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Interview #1 with William T. Alexander

Interviewee: 
Alexander, William T.
Contributor: 
Alexander, Mary
Interviewer: 
Alexander, Sara Land
Date of Interview: 
1992
Identifier: 
OHAL0007
Subjects: 
Farming; Cotton farming; Mallard Creek; Family; Slaves; Tenant farmers; University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Abstract: 
Mr. William T. Alexander talks about the changes and developments he has observed around Charlotte, especially in the University and Mallard Creek areas. He talks about his family who have lived on the land for several generations and their farming operations.
Coverage: 
Charlotte; 1920s-1992
Interview Setting: 
Interviewed at the Alexander family home at Mallard Creek Church Road and US Highway 29. Mr. Alexander was in poor health at the time.
Collection: 
Piedmont Stories
Collection Description: 
This is one of a series of three interviews conducted by Mr. Alexander's daughter, Sarah Land Alexander.
Interview Audio: 
Transcript:
MA (Margaret Alexander): is now?
WA (William T. Alexander): It, it had always been divided into one room.
MA: Oh, OK. So it was no longer two separate rooms?
SA (Sarah Alexander): So you think you were born in this room, Daddy?
WA: I think so.
SA: And do you think it was one great big room when you were born here?
WA: Yeah.
SA: Well, I want to go back, let me test and make sure that--, Daddy, what was the name of that tractor we were talking about the other night?
WA: Allis-Chalmers.
SA: And was that, which tractor was that? One of the earlier ones, or, or the latest one about World War II time?
WA: Well, it was bought in the early 40s.
SA: And how long did you have that? Do you remember when you sold it?
WA: I expect it was about 1953 when I moved everything.
SA: When you got rid of the cattle and, and everything. But we were talking about the barn the other night, and where you got the timber to build the barn, and, and you had kind of like a rock quarry up on the, that real steep hill, going up that way?
WA: It wasn't too, it was that slope over there on the right hand side of the ditch near Duke Power, the present Duke Power line. And they did that on account of making logs, logs roll downhill easily. They'd move them by hand.
SA: But when they, they quarried out that, that rock, they, they-
WA: They, they didn't quarry out on that rock. That, this, quarrying was done over here in this-
MA: In the gravel pit?
WA: it's what we used to call a gravel pit, for the state highway.
SA: So that's where you got the rocks for the barn.
WA: No.
SA: Now where did they come from?
WA: We got the most rocks from over on, [pause] that area-
MA: Where Duke Power is now.
SA: The rocky strip--,
WA: most of it was on the thirty-two acres ( ).
SA: And when we were walking over there that Sunday, I remember you, you pointed out some of the area where those rocks came from. Is that basically where it was?
WA: That was some there. And we got some up here, [pause] down on the side of the road, on that ditch, first big ditch that goes down through the
SA: Gravel pit area?
WA: down through that swag up there, about two, two hundred yards from Mallard Creek Church Road.
MA: ( ) Uncle Mode, Uncle Bob's property.
SA: And the man who built the barn was a Mr. Neill?
WA: Yeah.
SA: And he came from what county? It was up in the mountains. I remember you telling me that not too long ago. [pause] I've forgotten what part.
WA: Macon.
SA: Macon County. I remember it now that you mentioned it. And he lived around here for two or three years while he was building the barn?
WA: He lived in this house between the old and new 29, to the right of where you turn out to go in, over by, maybe 150 yards from this branch--
SA: The creek? Mallard Creek?
WA: Well, it was between the creek and this big branch. And they were, they were off to the, you know where the, the old road cut went down through to the old bridge?
SA: Yes.
WA: Well, it was just about, I'd say a hundred, over Mallard Creek Road before this one was here. And maybe forty or fifty feet south of where it runs now.
MA: You're talking about, if you go down to where 29 is now?
WA: Yeah.
MA: And where you used to see the old bridge abutment?
WA: Yeah.
MA: Yeah, OK.
WA: But this was further on up here, this end of it.
MA: Oh, OK.
WA: Just, it was up on the cut bank, but it wasn't at the deepest part of the cut bank.
SA: Was that a house owned by the Alexanders, or somebody's--?
WA: Yeah. It was one of the later tenant houses built about 1900 or so.
MA: Where is that in relation to, to Watt's old house?
WA: It's the one he lived in.
MA: Oh, OK, so that's the house--.
SA: Oh, it's Watt's house.
WA: No, not Watt. Watt lived, you know where he lived in that house before he went to Virginia, before he lived with his daddy.
MA: I don't know. Where did Uncle Sam live?
WA: Uncle Sam lived in a house across the road.
MA: OK, the only house I remember was the one Watt lived in.
WA: Well, the Watt house, the one that he lived in is his house.
SA: He told
MA: The house where the guy built the barn lived?
WA: Yeah.
MA: OK.
SA: He lived, that house was a civil, an older tenant house. And the one that Alice lived in was not as old. You told me that the other night.
MA: Now Alice's house was where the pond is now?
SA: Yes.
MA: OK.
SA: Somewhere over in that area.
MA: OK.
SA: But anyway, he built, built the barn. And he had, he knew how to use rock when he was
WA: Sure did.
SA: putting it together. And I can remember years ago, you were telling me about when they built the barn, that your father had old horse magazines. And he used that to kind of line between the floors?
MA: So dirt wouldn't filter down?
WA: He, he put them in between, [pause] he had the floor lined this way and another along that.
MA: Criss-cross fashion.
SA: And he liked horses?
WA: Yeah.
SA: When you were a boy, did they, were there many horses around or more mules around the farm?
WA: More mules.
SA: But did you have any horses, or you, you said you rode horses to school?
WA: Yeah, we had a few horses.
SA: A few horses.
MA: Now your father is the one that got kicked out of church for riding a horse on Sunday?
SA: I hadn't heard that tale, Marge.
WA: No, he didn't get out, kicked out. W.T. Alexander the First
MA: Oh, was the one with the horse.
WA: your great-great grandfather got kicked out for drinking whiskey.
MA: Oh, is that why he got kicked out of the church? I thought it was cause he rode a horse.
SA: No.
WA: He didn't promise that he wasn't going to ever do it again.
MA: Oh, OK. He wasn't going to abstain, eh?
SA: I was getting ready to think of something to ask you, now I'm kind of blank. Marge, can you think of anything along the lines of the barn and, and--? I wanted to ask you-
WA: Well, the timber was cut out, probably extended over part of 1926 and 27.
MA: So when was the barn finished?
WA: It was finished in '28.
MA: OK. So it took how many years to build it?
WA: Well, all this lumber and stuff to build it with was got together before we started construction.
SA: Daddy, you need some RECODRING INTERRUPTED. RECORDING RESUMED.
SA: Do you remember what Mallard Creek Church was like when you were a boy?
WA: It was a country church with the women sat on right-
SA: On one side of the church and men on the other?
WA: Yeah. And the women were on the right, and the men were on the left.
SA: And they had been doing that for a long time?
WA: I reckon ever since the church-
SA: Had started?
MA: Now did any blacks go upstairs in the balcony?
WA: Yeah.
SA: During your lifetime?
WA: Yeah.
SA: Really?
WA: There was about four or five families.
SA: Well, who were some of the familie-the Galloways, I know they were there. And the, were the Garrisons, and the Johnstons, and the Sloops?
WA: Well, the, the Johnstons and the Sloops were there.
SA: What about the Hunters, like--?
WA: Well, the Hunter family wasn't too interested then.
SA: Were there families that we don't even know anything about today, because they, they are no longer around in the Mallard Creek area? Or you can't think of them? How many people attended Mallard Creek Church when you were a small boy? Do you have any idea? Fifty, a hundred?
WA: I'd say in the range of, [pause] maybe sixty or seventy-five.
MA: Now when you were little, you rode a horse to go to church?
WA: Not, not too regular.
MA: So by that time, you had cars? By the time--?
WA: No, we rode buggies.
MA: Oh, OK. You rode a buggy.
WA: Or rode horseback.
SA: Now what
MA: When did the cars come into Mallard Creek?
WA: ( ), an increase in cars come into Mallard Creek to 19-oh, when they first were in our family in 1914.
SA: That was about the-
MA: Who had the first car? Do you remember?
WA: I don't know whether Andy Kirk had one.
MA: Now who is Andy Kirk?
SA: He was one of the Kirks.
WA: He was the, the uncle to--
MA: Cousin John's father's brother?
WA: He was a brother to--
MA: The John Kirk, old John.
WA: Yeah, and he was also best friends with Edward Williams.
MA: Oh, OK. Now where did he live?
WA: He lived where Frank McLaughlin used to live down there.
MA: Oh, up at Mallard Creek
WA: About where, about where the present-day Mallard Creek School is.
MA: Oh, OK.
SA: You rode a, a buggy to, to church. Any special kind of buggy, or just an ordinary sort of buggy? It wasn't the kind that had the surrey with the fringe on top, was it?
WA: Yeah, we had some surreys.
SA: So, it, was a surrey a buggy? A form of a buggy?
WA: Well, a buggy was usually sort of a two-wheeled contraption.
MA: OK, now the family all-
WA: Or no, not necessarily two-wheeled one. It was-
SA: How many, how many adults would it accommodate? About three or--?
WA: No, it, it would accommodate-
SA: Some small children maybe and some--?
WA: It would accommodate four or five people.
MA: Now in the wintertime, did you have a closed buggy?
WA: You had curtains that you-
MA: Pulled down?
WA: put up on the side.
MA: Oh, OK. So it just has a top, and in the winter, you put the siding on.
WA: Yeah.
MA: Now was church as long as it is today or not?
WA: Longer.
SA: Longer.
MA: So how long would church be?
WA: Oh, I don't know, two hours.
SA: Two hours.
MA: So did you have Sunday School?
WA: Yeah.
SA: And where did your Sunday School meet? Was it up in the balcony area of the old church, or, or--?
WA: Well, variable classes would segregate in small
SA: In the sanctuary?
WA: small corners in the sanctuary.
MA: Like how many kids were in your class?
WA: What?
MA: How many kids would have been in your class? Three or four?
SA: Well I had more than that.
WA: It was probably
SA: Eight or ten, maybe.
WA: Eight, eight or ten.
MA: Oh, OK.
SA: Now what, what did you have for music? Did you have a piano or an organ or, or--?
WA: We had an organ.
SA: The old pedal pump kind?
WA: Yeah.
SA: And did you have a choir of any sorts?
WA: It was of sorts.
SA: Well, what about the ministers? Can you remember some of the early, earlier ministers, their names and what they were like? Did you have times when you didn't have a regular minister, where you had a, a--?
WA: Choirmaster.
MA: Now was Frasier in there any at that time?
WA: Oh well, Frasier was a permanent sort of a supplier. In fact, he was in violation most of the time with the rules and regulations of the Presbytery.
MA: Oh, OK. He would just
SA: He sort of made up his own rules as he went along, sounds to me like.
WA: Well I mean, he, he was such a person that he'd override the
SA: The rules.
WA: For the continuity of the service.
SA: Was he a, was he a good preacher?
WA: Yeah.
SA: Interesting. I would think so.
MA: Now was, was it still the Mount, the Mecklenburg Presbytery then? Or did it have another name?
WA: Well, it, it was Mecklenburg until it became the Charlotte Presbytery.
MA: Now when was that?
WA: That was just three years.
MA: Oh, you're saying after it consolidated, OK. Like the join, rejoining of the church. Oh, OK. That's what I wanted to know, whether it was called Mecklenburg like it was when I was here, or whether it had some name, you know, before it became
SA: In other words, it was just Mecklenburg County. It didn't include any other counties necessarily or areas.
WA: Well, Mecklenburg Presbytery ( ). It included a lot of counties. They had Stanley-
MA: Where Wadesboro is.
WA: Union, Anson, Richmond. They even had one up at Ellerbe. I've forgotten what that was.
SA: Well, did they have other activities besides just church? Can you think of anything that, where you went to meetings, or activities, social activities?
MA: On Wednesday nights?
WA: Well, they had homecomings regularly. And that kind of died off, though, several years ago.
SA: Did you have dinner on the grounds usually when you had--.
WA: Yeah.
SA: That was out in, outside instead of inside?
WA: Usually they had it twice a year.
SA: What about a, revival services? Did you have many of those type activities?
WA: Yeah, there was Bible School. There was
SA: Bible School.
MA: Now did you have Wednesday night prayer meetings or things like that?
WA: Sometimes we did, and some we didn't.
SA: Well, did the women have some kind of an organization?
WA: Yeah. They had the women of the church.
MA: Now did you ever call off church in the wintertime cause the weather was too bad?
WA: Very rarely. These folks were raised
MA: To go to church on Sunday?
WA: to go to church on Sunday. Most of them did.
SA: Well, Daddy, were, were your parents real strict? Did you have Bible reading at home and prayer and all those kinds of things when you were growing up? Or could you do anything on Sundays?
WA: Back when Grandmother was living and this was probably 1910, you were supposed to go to church and come along and be quiet. And generally you were.
SA: And you got--
MA: And you got special toys for Sunday, like Noah's ark and things like that?
WA: Well, there wasn't much.
MA: Now did you cook like Sunday dinner on Saturday so it was ready, so you didn't have to cook on Sunday?
WA: Well sometimes, I guess.
SA: Well, were they as strict as some churches, or not necessarily? About average maybe?
WA: I don't know what you call strictness.
SA: [laughter]
MA: Did they like
WA: Grandmother Alexander was.
MA: Now your grandmother. Is that who you're talking about, or our grandmother? Your mother or your grandmother?
WA: My grandmother
MA: Oh, your grandmother.
WA: on my father's side. She was very strict. No activity on Sunday whatever.
MA: Now did she live with you all, or did she live somewhere else?
WA: She lived here most of the time. [pause]
MA: Now what like, for weddings? Would you come for a couple of days when you had a wedding? Or was that like on Sunday, too? Or you got married at home?
WA: Most folks got married at church. [pause]
SA: I think he's getting sleepy. I'm going to stop that cause I think you're getting sleepy. TAPE 1, SIDE B
WA: over there one day.
SA: All in one day?
WA: Yeah. And I was just a kid. I was bringing some cottonseed back for, to plant for the next year. It was some of the better cotton. I remember I had eleven hundred and some odd dollars for the sale of those three bales of cotton and, and the, and the cottonseed there were two bales. And I brought that money all home in, in the cottonseed.
SA: In the cottonseed. So you wouldn't, were you afraid you would might, somebody might rob you?
WA: So it wouldn't, it, they wouldn't know where to look. And [pause] that was some of the highest priced cotton that we had. And it came along about 1923. And it was sort of a world decline following World War II.
SA: World War I.
WA: World War I. And cotton dropped off to almost, well when I, I had thirty, about thirty-four bales of cotton. But it was down to about five cents when I, the year that I went to Asheville in '31. And I had it in a storage over here at one of the cotton warehouses, waiting for the price to improve. And I was working up at Asheville. And the price got up over nine cents a pound. And I wired them to sell those thirty-four bales of cotton at one time. It wasn't much, but I mean it was a whole lot better than it was when, when we ginned it. But the warehouse would have cost enough, it would, would have ultimately eaten up the difference in price at the time we ginned it and the time we sold it. But anyway, that, that was about the last of cotton growing here on the place.
SA: Except for maybe tenant farmers that, that--?
WA: Well, we had a little bit of it maybe two or three bales a year. But there wasn't any, any major.
SA: Now did you ever oper-have any oper-did you ever operate that gin, gin that was on the property? Or was that mostly your father that did that?
WA: That was my father. I didn't, I never did that.
SA: So it really was not in, in use--?
WA: Well, I mean
SA: maybe when you were very small, but not--?
WA: I was around it, but I never
SA: did it?
WA: never personally operated it.
SA: Now was that gin, did that date back to William T. the First or not?
WA: No, this, this gin house here was William T. the Second.
SA: What did it look like?
WA: It was
SA: Just a building of some sort?
WA: a tin building with a drive-in and a suction for the, to suck the cotton up out of the wagon and into the gin. It was just a typical country gin.
SA: Now did other people that had cotton fields bring their cotton to that gin? They did? That's from the old records. It looks like that's what they did. What about tenant farmers? Now in my lifetime, there was Watt's old house and the other house that Alice Walker lived in. Were there any other tenant houses that you remember?
WA: There was one down here, too.
SA: Where the old chimney used to be?
WA: Where that old cut was down there, which was up this way, back of that service station that's down in there. And it was up at the separate end. It was a little bit up, [pause] I, well part of, part of the lot at that point it, it goes out in the road would have been, it would have been opposite it up at the top of the hill. And that, [pause] ( ) Joe will [pause] oh, Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe, because I'm not going to tell it wrong, but I'm trying to think of his last name.
SA: Was he a former slave or his family?
WA: Yeah, yeah he was former slave. [pause] Let's see what it was. [long pause] And he was honest. But his, he had a son that wasn't. And I remember the first money I ever lost. I went his son's bond, get him out of jail. Not for the boy but for, for his daddy. And I signed that paper. And I, he skipped out. And I went up to Winston-Salem and tried to find him. He was working in Winston, but I never did, did locate him.
SA: So you didn't get your bond money back.
WA: I didn't get my bond money back. But I sure as heck had to pay it to, to Mecklenburg County.
SA: Now
WA: That, that was a good lesson too, Mother told me not to sign people's bonds.
SA: Well, you told me one time that the, the slave houses were on the, around the backfield and that area?
WA: Well, I'll tell, there's a hedgerow that goes along out the back of the chicken house now.
SA: Yeah.
WA: There was, there was a row of houses across the front here. And the foreman's house was down there about where you folks used to play Girl Scout business.
SA: The campsite?
WA: Yeah. And that was the foreman's place. Then there were several cabins that were scattered out back through the back fields down, all those strung out, lined up, for I guess a quarter of a mile or so.
SA: Were any of those standing that you remember?
WA: Well, I remember some of them. They were all torn down shortly after I was a kid. [pause] And [pause] all, all of the slaves, several slaves came back here to, came back here after they'd gone out and more or less
SA: After the Civil War?
WA: Well, I mean they, they went out and worked for themselves for a period, Sam Walton and all.
SA: And then they came back later?
WA: And they came back here. We gave them a house and no, didn't charge them any rent for the period that they wanted to stay here. Joe Henderson was the name of this man down here. And Clark Henderson was his son. But Clark's the one I paid 250 dollars on.
SA: Now was there white tenants that lived in some of those houses?
WA: Yeah, but particularly the one where Alice used to live. And they were in and out. They were the Whitley family down there for several years. And that, [pause] that wasn't as old a house as the one where ( ) Walker lived.
SA: So Watt's was an old, older, or at least a Civil War period house?
WA: I, I don't know. I imagine when you actually get down to the age of it, this house down there where Joe Henderson lived was the oldest.
SA: Oldest?
WA: It was a log cabin and probably existed
SA: Do you think any of those houses that you remember as a child were, you said log cabins? Could they have been the houses that people, you know, the colonials or the pioneers might have lived in at one time before they became slave houses?
WA: I, I don't think that, I don't think they were ever
SA: like you know, Dick Banks' store?
WA: No, I don't think there was any of that. I don't think it was part of the living quarters of the, of the Alexanders.
SA: Well, whoever lived in this house before it was built, do you think they might have lived in a log cabin of some sort around on this property? Or had, did you ever hear about anything like that?
WA: Well, the only log cabins I ever heard of Alexanders living in were over off of the, the opposite side of Mallard Creek, down below, well it would have been opposite of about the bridge. It goes over 29 to 85. And I went over that. And it, it's, one of the houses, well they, there were two log houses that come down through conversation. And the one that my, W.T. the First lived in as a boy has been destroyed completely. Now the one that-
SA: Moses?
WA: Moses Julian lived in is still existing. One of the Harrises live in the house. And the Smiths used to live in it before. And the Smiths built around the log part of it.
SA: That's the house that's over on Harris Houston Road?
WA: Harris Houston Road, in that big loop down toward the thing. And it, that was part of the
SA: The Alexander--?
WA: part of the original Alexander property. And Joe Joseph and another man own that, bought that property from the Smiths. And the Harrises got part of the property somewhere in the deal. But I don't know all the transactions.
SA: You always spoke of the [pause] oh, Hutchisons that lived, I think, over toward Mallard Creek as you go up 29. Am I right about that?
WA: Well, it was, I'd say from the old road was almost, not too far from where the present road is. And as you start up that hill, it was Old, the Old Salisbury Road would probably--you know where that night club house is over there, that's always needing to be rented or something?
SA: That's across from the Herlockers?
WA: Yeah. And it was about in that area that the old Hutchison house
SA: What was it? Was it a brick house or a wooden house?
WA: Well, it was a log house. And it, and it had been weather-boarded around.
SA: Two-story?
WA: Yeah. And I think that old house finally burned. But I don't know. It's been so long.
SA: Well, did you know any Hutchisons? You call it that.
WA: Yeah, I knew, I knew Mr. Hutchison.
SA: Now did they go back a long, you know back a long, long time, pioneer?
WA: Well I mean, they were there from [pause] about as long as I can remember.
SA: Now there was another little house as I remember as you go up toward, I guess it would be where the golf course is now. A kind of a frame house with green shutters I remember.
WA: Well, that was the, let's see, what was that?
SA: Was it a very old house or--?
WA: No, it was built during the, sometime in the, maybe, I don't know, let's see
SA: 1900 or earlier, a little bit earlier?
WA: I don't, I don't think it was that old. I think it was probably, I don't know when it was built.
SA: What was the name of that, it was something like a tavern that was up there? It would be about where the Research Park is. There's some big trees still left. Do you know anything about that place?
WA: Well, that was a, an old Alexander house. But it was not our immediate family that lived there.
SA: Was it a stagecoach stop going--?
WA: Stage, stagecoach stop way back.
SA: What did they call it? Did they have a name? Did they call it some place?
WA: Well, I don't know what it, what it was, but
SA: It was real old. I remember that.
WA: And the, oh these Pendlestons bought the place a number of years ago. And they, they lived around up there for a number of years.
SA: Now changing the subject a little bit. The meat house, I remember when I was little it had, you, you were talking about the hams, I think, the other night. So we won't go into that. But the molasses, do you remember making molasses, or watching people make it?
WA: Yeah, yeah. We made it.
SA: Where did you grow the, the sugar cane for the molasses?
WA: Down, down on the creek bottom.
SA: What, do you remember anything about the process of how you, how you did it?
WA: Well, you, we had a machine that would just toss stalks of cane. Strip the leaves off of them and ran those stems ( ) while they were still green through this press. And the juice came out. And usually they would run the juice out and almost automatically start cooking molasses as it, as the juice kept coming from the mill.
SA: And did you have a big pot to put it in or a container of some sort, pan?
WA: Well, the, well there was a, rectangular type pan about [pause] oh maybe ten feet long by about four feet wide. And the depth of it was probably twelve to fifteen inches. And you, you would cook it. And the green stuff would foam and what have you, you'd dip off as it kept hot. They had a furnace down underneath the, the thing that they heated the, heated that pan with. And when it got into a certain state, you, you started bottling it.
SA: Putting it in bottles, did you say? Well, they put it in those big kegs. Did they, do you know where the kegs came from?
WA: Well I, well I guess they bought them. I don't
SA: They didn't make anything like that?
WA: No, they didn't make it. And we used to grow all of that stuff.
SA: How often, how many times a year would you have made sugar cane? Was it a certain season whenever the cane--?
WA: Well, it was a certain season when the cane got ripe that you went
SA: Would that be in the summer or the spring or the fall?
WA: Well, mostly summer. It was toward the fall of the year. And there were several weeks there that they rented a press to press the juice out. And it was almost a continuous cook. They had a man that knew how to dip off the scum, as they call it.
SA: And what did they do with that? Did they use it or throw it away?
WA: Well, they used it in the hog slop and that sort of stuff.
SA: So you recycled it, so to speak?
MA: Don't make him sound so pompous. See those pills make you groggy, sleepy, Sarah.
SA: Are you getting real sleepy?
WA: No, I'm still all right.
SA: Let me see. Now I remember there used to be an old Model T or something. The parts of it that were stored up in the meat house. Was that your
WA: That, that was a part of an old Studebaker.
SA: Was that the one you were talking about to John recently about, about 1918 or so that you, you had?
WA: I don't remember whether we put that one up there or whether it was one of these-
SA: Model Ts?
WA: No, I don't know what they call them. They [pause] they're more or less a single-seated car for the sport type car, or something.
SA: Well, when did you first get a family car that you remember? Was it before World War I?
WA: We got it back in the teens. I guess 1918. Since we bought that model, that would have probably been that.
SA: The first one that you had. What other models did you get on into the 1920s and maybe 1930s?
WA: Well, I started, [pause] Chrysler Motor Company came out with the Nashville Motor Company. And in about 19--, [pause] I guess about 1927, and it, I bought a sort of an off-brand. I bought, what the heck was it? [long pause] Oh, I've forgotten the name of the cock-eyed thing. But anyway, it was a, [pause] a two-door sedan. And it would rattle. And if you drove it too fast, it would almost shake apart.
SA: Were those all hand-crank type cars in the early periods?
WA: Well, there was the, the Studebaker was a crank car. And I, they had invented a starter by the late 20s. I think the name of that car, they had so many models that they were burning through back in those days. And I guess it, this was cheaper than anything else.
SA: Is that what, you were looking for economy back in those days?
WA: Yeah.
SA: Something that you could
WA: And I bought a [pause], I didn't buy, I didn't actually get around to, I had a 1932 Chrysler. And I bought a [pause] '31 Plymouth and then later had a Dodge about 1935.
SA: So you never had a Model T?
WA: No, I didn't, we had a ( ) here on the farm, what you call it, farm tractor. And we had so much trouble with it, I didn't, didn't want anything to do with a Ford.
SA: Well, how many tractors did you have around on the farm in, during this period? One, two three, or--?
WA: Well, most of the time, it was just one.
SA: One major one and maybe one that didn't half work? A retired one?
WA: Well, that doggone ( ) tractor, you'd get to pulling hard, and it would throw a connecting rod. And you had to almost stop and rebuild the engine to get it back to going. I remember one time it knocked a whole as big as my fist through the crank case. And it was one thing after another.
SA: Well that tractor you had when I was little-what kind of tractor was that?
WA: That was [pause], ooh, [pause] it will come to me. It was a [pause] you getting back into areas that I haven't thought about so long.
SA: What other kind of farm equipment-I remember some old things in the barn. You used to have a, some kind of a mower that you would operate with a mule team. And then you had a, some kind of a curved like fork thing, I remember.
WA: That was a reaper. Cut the grass.
SA: Now was that, did that date back in the nineteenth century?
WA: Well, it was going back, way back into, I don't know how far back that would go. It was early 1900s maybe. We kept using it. But it was about all four mules could do to pull that thing, a reaper. They would tie the wheat into sheaves. And you, once it spit those out on the field, you gather them up and throwed them into a stack.
SA: Did they have the, the haystacks like you see in Ireland? The old-timey hay stacks, do you remember those?
WA: I don't know how they worked them there, but we put these things into stacks to where the drainage of the straw would run the water out to the side. It wasn't wet very deep into, into the stack. It would, was weatherproof after a few inches.
SA: Did you have any kind of baling thing to bale your hay?
WA: Yeah, we had a baler, and I don't, don't even remember the name of that. But we made these rectangular bales. And they were, used wire to make the bales. And it would tie them off into the [pause] oh I, I, that tractor [long pause], let's see, what was it? [long pause]
SA: Do you know why your father decided to build the big barn?
WA: He just always was fascinated with the barns in Ohio. And he just wanted to do it. And he was planning on going into the dairy business.
SA: So he was going to have a barn, a dairy barn? That was primarily what the purpose of the barns?
WA: That was, and he died in 1928 when the, shortly after the barn was built. And we never did have any great desire to get into the dairy business. So we never did. The biggest operation we got into was the Hereford-
SA: That you told me about the other night?
WA: Yeah. And I can remember that tractor here in a minute.
SA: Now how long did it take him to build the barn? About three or four years?
WA: Well, we started sawing for it probably [pause] couple years in advance and got all the material together.
SA: Now he used his saw mill when he got ready to get the boards and everything for that?
WA: No. He, he didn't operate the saw mill at that particular time. He had a fellow Honeycutt that was operating a saw, general saw mill in the community. He would come and locate down here across that big branch, over there near where the Duke Power line is now. And it was located up from 29 about, oh maybe, five or six hundred feet up that branch. And we brought the, cutting the timber off in that area around over there. And he would- TAPE 2, SIDE A
SA: I'm going to continue, I think this will still pick up the voice, I'm going to continue a couple of questions on education from the other day that I've thought of since then. The first one was about the schoolhouse that was in Mallard Creek. Do you know how old that building was where you attended school, more or less?
WA: No I don't. It had always existed, I guess.
SA: So it wasn't a new building when you, when you were there.
WA: No. I mean, it had been there for years.
SA: Years. But you-
WA: But I don't know when. It's whenever North Carolina got into the-
SA: Public education?
WA: public education. I guess it was probably under Governor Aycock, would be my guess. He was a big promoter of the schools in the state. I don't know whether that's the case or not, but that's, would be my guess. RECORDING INTERRUPTED, RECORDING RESUMED.
SA: The next question I have was when you were in, at school at Mallard Creek and later at Derita and Newell, did they provide the textbooks? Or did you have to pay some kind of fee for, or buy your own books? Or do you remember?
WA: [pause] No, I think they were furnished by the state, probably.
SA: Even when you were at Mallard Creek?
WA: Well, the [pause], at least they were approved by the state. And I don't, I'm wasn't, maybe not young, not old enough to know if they
SA: Yeah, that's true.
WA: were paying for them or not.
SA: Did you have encyclopedias or dictionaries or any other kind of resource books in that, that school at Mallard Creek?
WA: There was very little resource books. I mean, we, we younger students learned from the higher students in the, as they studied.
SA: Did you do a lot of memorizing?
WA: Well, it was a certain amount of rote, but we, I don't know whether, whether you're supposed to have done any thinking at that time or not.
SA: Did you have any kind of religious study like, did you have Bible reading, or
WA: Well, they
SA: devotions?
WA: had a few quotations by the students every day.
SA: Was that to start the class, or?
WA: To start the day, more or less.
SA: Did you have Pledge of Allegiance, that sort of thing?
WA: Yes.
SA: Did you ever sing songs or have any kind of activity like that?
WA: No, there wasn't too much of that, I don't think.
SA: What about artwork? Do, do you remember ever doing any drawing, or things of those--?
WA: Well, they gave you the opportunity. I know we didn't do much.
SA: Now the other question, when you were at Chapel Hill, did you, what was your tuition? Do you remember, to go there?
WA: It was, if I remember, it was sixty dollars a quarter.
SA: And then you paid for your meals, and your, your board?
WA: Well, you, we paid twenty-two dollars a month for meals in Swain Hall.
SA: And then you paid in addition for the dormitory rooms?
WA: Well, the dormitory was usually about seventy-two dollars every quarter that would be, [pause] at least, I don't know whether it was. [pause] Well, we were on a quarterly basis. In other words, it would have been four times added for the year.
SA: Now, until I can think of some other questions about education, I, I'm going to switch the subject. And I'm going to ask you some questions about the house and the property around here. Do you remember in particular trees, what they were like around here when you were a boy? Were there a lot of trees? Were there maple trees, cedar trees, pine trees, hickories, elm trees?
WA: Yeah.
SA: There were a lot of elm trees?
WA: Yeah.
SA: And then those were hickories, where the, the big trees that you talked about in 1916 that were blown down?
WA: No those, those were red oak.
SA: Red oak.
WA: And some of them were as much as [pause] five feet or more in the diameter, probably as, two to three hundred feet tall.
SA: And were there other trees like that redwood, red oaks, other than that particular area?
WA: Well, there was one that sat right next to the () garage apartment, where the car pavement is there now.
SA: Did it blow down in 1916?
WA: It, it blew down in one of the, I don't know what, which storm it was, but it, it missed the house. And you could of, the hole that the roots dug up was eight or ten feet deep and the--
SA: So you had to fill up the hole, or somebody had to fill up the hole later?
WA: I filled up the hole and cut the tree up where it was at. But it didn't, it fell in such a way in the storm that it missed the kitchen and didn't, other than the roots coming up by the garage, it didn't disturb anything.
SA: Well, that was good.
WA: It might have been a telephone line broken, or something like that. But I mean, it wasn't-
SA: Major damage. What other kinds of trees were around? Were there sycamore trees?
WA: Well, there were sycamores down along the creek. And it, on this little branch down there.
SA: Speaking of creek, where, you talked about picking bucketfuls of arrowheads. Where do you remember picking up the arrowheads in particular?
WA: Well, it was in the various cotton fields over the place.
SA: More than in the creek beds?
WA: Yeah. I remember that the arrows were scattered all over the fields.
SA: And you just accidentally--?
WA: You just kept your eye open and a nice one showed up. You saved it. We had a collection of, oh maybe a hundred arrows that we picked up around, although I don't know what ever happened to them.
SA: Think where I want to go next. [pause] What, what do you remember about farm life in particular around here? The animals that you had, hogs, mules. How, what quantities did you have of the mules that were around here on the place?
WA: Well, when dad was in the grading business, and I expect he had as many as sixty mules at one time.
SA: Now where did he keep those mules? Did he keep them here or did he--?
WA: Well, a lot of times they were out on the job where, wherever he was-
SA: Working?
WA: working. And he, he graded a portion of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad down in Stanley County. He didn't have a rock contract in it. And, well that, what he had to grade was rocky and he lost his shirt on his bid on the job.
SA: What, where did he keep the mules? I mean, did he have a place around here? Or did he ever have that quantity of mules around here on the farm?
WA: Well, sometimes they would congregate for a while. He kept, we had an older barn where we built this
SA: The big barn?
WA: in 1928. But it was a log barn.
SA: Where was it located in relationship to the house?
WA: It was located ( ) about where the, [pause] it was located between the house and out, almost in the septic tank field out here in the, that lower corner.
SA: Now would that have been the, one of the original barns comparable to the age of this house? Or would it have been built maybe a later period?
WA: Well, it was built in a later period. I think the original barn burned down somewhere about 19-- [pause], I don't, I remember the fire, but-
SA: So you were a little boy when that happened?
WA: I was only a year or two old, but I remember the hubbub around, remember it was happening. And then this, this second barn down there before this other one, it was built. They moved, I think they moved the old wheat house.
SA: Well, what was the wheat house? Just a storage-?
WA: It's stored, stored wheat while it was waiting.
SA: Now what did they do with the wheat later? Was it sold?
WA: Well, it, it was either ground to make flour or sold, whichever.
SA: So they actually ground flour here on the property?
WA: Well, they didn't, they didn't necessarily grind it. But they had the only ingredients to have it ground.
SA: So would you take it somewhere and have it ground?
WA: Yeah--
SA: That's what you needed to do?
WA: they, they had the mills scattered around over the country.
SA: Let me turn this off right. RECORDING INTERRUPTED, RECORDING RESUMED.
SA: Where did you grow wheat around here? Where were the fields where you would have grown wheat?
WA: Well, there were various and sundry fields. All this field out here in back of the house-
SA: Was a wheat field?
WA: Well, it was from time to time. They more or less rotated crops.
SA: In other words, they would grow wheat and maybe cotton the next year, or something like that?
WA: Wheat, cotton, and corn was probably the big-
SA: The three big crops?
WA: Well, corn was probably the biggest on account of the bottomland flooded.
SA: Now is that where most of the corn was grown, in the bottomland?
WA: In, in the bottomland.
SA: Now where was that? Is that across the creek, I mean down near the creek, where we know--?
WA: Well, it was a creek. Beyond the creek over there, the bottomland that ran up there by the present Alexander Glen was in corn. And all that place where Alexander Glen was at one time, we grew cotton on that area over there. And there's the upland part of it.
SA: So that was just a big cotton field? And then the pine trees grew later that, that I knew when I was little?
WA: Well, after we stopped farming, the pine trees took over.
SA: I see. Now you I think you've told me you had turkeys. Did you have any geese or anything like that ever?
WA: Well, not any quantity.
SA: Did you ever have any sheep or goats?
WA: Well, we had a goat or two in my childhood. And the goat would get into everything.
SA: So it was more of a nuisance than a help? [laughter]
WA: [laughter] Well it, it wasn't-and they'd climb over every, everything and anything. You'd find one up in a tree sometimes and you wonder how a goat could do that.
SA: [laughter] Climb up in the tree? Now cows, how many cows did you have at various times? Do you remember?
WA: Well, I had, when I started I bought, Mayor Victor sold us basic Herefords.
SA: Was he in Charlotte?
WA: Yeah, he was the mayor of Charlotte. And he tried to go in the cattle business without having his feed in advance. It was about to break him, trying to buy food for the cows. And I bought his, I don't know that I bought all of them, but I bought about sixty heads from a purebred herd.
SA: No--,
WA: And I kept, these were virtually all cows. And I kept them from breeding first. And I carried these sixty-odd Hereford cows through the winter. And they ate up all the hay in the world, just that and corn, and everything else.
SA: Now what, about what year was that?
WA: Well, it was back in the [pause] I would say, back in the late 40s or early 50s. And I sold, I finally sold the whole bunch out. It was, I had a farm foreman. He'd goof off when things needed to be done.
SA: Who was the farmer, did anybody--?
WA: I don't remember his name now. But anyway, when he ought to have been preparing the hay and getting in the hay and feed for the winter, he would end up, and I would have to get him the hay and stuff. And I had William T. Alexander Company going and also Alexander Tank and Equipment going, and it was just too much for one man to [coughs]-
SA: So something had to go, and the cows--,
WA: Something had to go, and the cows happened to be it. And I sold every cow, pig, chicken [pause] on the place in 1953 ( ) '53. And I got about fifty-five cents a pound for those cows on foot, which made it, it was the highest beef had ever gotten, along about that time. And I was able to liquidate what I paid for them with the profit.
SA: That was good.
WA: And, but I, I had one registered bull. And there wasn't any type of fence would keep that thing in. He was a nuisance to, from day one. The electric fence didn't bar him and five kinds of barbed wire didn't bar him. If he decided he wanted to go through, he just pushed against the fence, barbs and all, and went right on through.
SA: Now these barbed wire fences that are some still stray places around, when were most of those built around on the property?
WA: Well, it was in anticipation of the--,
SA: Your herd of cows?
WA: of the herd of cows. And I had the, the bulk of the place in pasture on this side of the road. Down to the old Tucker place and all the way up around to some part of the seventy-seven acres you folks are on now. On back down here to the-
SA: The road?
WA: to the road. And I carried those sixty-odd breed, breeding cows through the winter. ( ) It was a beautiful sight to watch them grow. And but--,
SA: But you had to feed them a lot?
WA: Oh, they ate tons and tons of hay.
SA: Now, changing the subject just a little bit, chickens. Did you ever raise-your father or you-any quantity of chickens, now--?
WA: Well, we had, mother wanted to raise a few chickens, but we--
SA: So she was the one that raised the chickens, you mean?
WA: We usually had about fifty of those. And I kept the costs on them. And when they got to be more than the, you could buy them at the grocery store, I quit keeping ( ) chickens [laughter].
SA: Now when was the chicken house built?
WA: Oh, sometime back in the 40s, I reckon.
SA: So it did, it was not as old as the barn?
WA: Not quite.
SA: What about hogs? Did you ever have any quantity of hogs?
WA: Oh, we, we didn't have anything except for our own use, more or less. We'd probably have eight or ten hogs a year, something like that.
SA: Now I can remember in the old smokehouse, there were hams that were hung up in the smokehouse. Now those were cured here on the place?
WA: Yeah. And we used to have a ( ) cooperation between several families here in the community. And each of us would kill a cow every so often and divide it. In other words, we rotated the type meat we were getting from one, one cow would ( ) folks better all the way around.
SA: And that was pretty typical you think going back maybe to your father's generation, or even before? That was just the way things were done?
WA: That was just the, just the way we did the Kirks. And then on the, that and old man [pause], oh what's his name? [long pause] Remember the man lives there at the Back Creek--?
SA: Was he the minister at Back Creek?
WA: No, it, this was
SA: The one that still has a farm over there, I think?
WA: the one that the school board took the property for the present school that they're building.
SA: Oh, Helms?
WA: Yeah, Helms. In other words, he was in on it, on the plan and there were several others, I don't remember all of them now. But that was just some others that didn't have refrigeration and it was used as a meat--
SA: Now I can remember we had an old icebox when I was really young. How long did you have an icebox? Going back to the 20s or before that, or--?
WA: Well, we had ice delivered in a block ( ), it was more than a hundred pounds. We had, it, it was, they, they cut the blocks so it would go in the icebox. And they would, we could keep that stuff in that box for maybe a week to keep things cold. But it was kind of a nuisance. And we got a refrigerator, in fact we had a refrigerator that was operated with gas before we got electricity in the community. That was back in the 20s, back then. And it was [pause], I don't know, what did they call that? It operated from that [pause]. And we had those lights before the
SA: The
WA: carbide, carbide, carbide gas. And that was, that gave us light and gave us refrigeration before the
SA: Now are you talking about icebox refrigeration or, or regular refrigeration?
WA: Well it, it, it was a regular refrigerator that was operated by gas. Kerosene.
SA: You say something about kerosene? I think they've got it somewhere recording. It was kerosene that operated the icebox?
WA: Kerosene operated the unit that made the ice. It's a matter of heat and-
SA: Now how long ago was that, that you had that icebox?
WA: It was back in the 20s.
SA: 1920s. Did you have electricity in the 1920s?
WA: No, we didn't have electricity. That's the reason we used kerosene. You could, it had a gauge on it. You could put five gallons of gas--kerosene in a heater. And it would run you for a week or so. RECORDING INTERRUPTED, RECORDING RESUMED.
SA: So when did you get electricity?
WA: Oh, it was about 1937.
SA: And was that Duke Power supplied electricity?
WA: Yeah.
SA: When did you first get a telephone?
WA: Oh, about 1936.
SA: So it took a while to get a telephone?
WA: Well, they weren't even going to give us one until
SA: Did you have any other way of communicating besides telephone or was that--?
WA: We had a, we were on an old telephone line, one of these party lines with about forty-eight people on it. And I could go to town twice before I could get all the way home on a telephone. [laughter]
SA: Now, when was, what period was that type of telephone?
WA: That type of telephone was back in the, it seems in the 20s.
SA: And was that the kinds that had the crank and the--?
WA: Yeah.
SA: the kind, the antique-looking kind, kind of telephone?
WA: Yeah. And we went through the Newell exchange.
SA: For those forty-eight lines?
WA: Yeah. Well, I mean, forty-eight customers. And that was just like not having a telephone at all.
SA: I was asking a few questions about animals on the farm and, you know, farm-related questions on this tape. Where there any forestlands around in the, in your lifetime?
WA: What?
SA: Forestland, mostly grown-up trees that maybe had been around for a hundred years or more?
WA: There were some pretty big trees. The, that little two-acre corner that goes over Mallard Creek there down at the Benfield place.
SA: Now where is the Benfield place from here?
WA: Well, you know where the exit now is to 85?
SA: Down there?
WA: Yeah.
SA: Yeah.
WA: Well, it was up, it was the opposite part of that entrance going up ( ) to the creek. And we had two acres [pause] that extended beyond the creek, where the Kirk land was divided up and the original divide, we think. About 1870. And we cut enough timber off of that two acres to send Uncle Tom to State College.
SA: Now what did you do with the timber? Just sell, sell it to a saw mill?
WA: We sold, sold it out as sawed up lumber. And lumber was pretty high. This was back in the, let see, he graduated in '22, we would have been there four years, back, oh, in about 1917. And we cut that timber off over there and sold it and sent him to school with that.
SA: Now you did, you have, did your father have a saw mill?
WA: Yeah, he had three of them at one time.
SA: Where were they located around the property?
WA: Well, various and sundry places. He'd move them around in the community where somebody wanted timber sawed.
SA: So it was a, kind of a portable sort of arrangement?
WA: It was portable to move and he said he wouldn't wish a saw mill off on his best friend.
SA: Now did he have a cotton gin ever?
WA: Yeah.
SA: In the early days? And was that over there somewhere on Aunt Margery's property? That was where William T. the First had his, wasn't it?
WA: Well, the cotton gin was up here [pause]. ( ) was to the left. And I would say, it was in that area between Aunt Margery's driveway and, and halfway up that hill.
SA: On past her driveway?
WA: Yeah.
SA: I see. And then after you discontinued the cotton mill, you started taking it, I mean cotton gin, you started taking it to gins that were in the community, is that right?
WA: Well, we took the bulk of it to the, the cotton mill over at North Charlotte. That would have been, oh, did you know where Davidson Street is now?
SA: Yes.
WA: And it was just around the corner where the [pause], you don't remember how the Highland Mill was located?
SA: I think, I roughly know what the area is.
WA: Well anyway, it was in the area in front of the mill. And we used to, forever out there have cotton gins. They bought seed. They bought cotton. And, and they didn't try to Jew you out of all you made on the property. I mean, it's a bale pretty well in line with the margin.
SA: Now that cotton gin that I remember when I was little--when did you start using that one? The one up at 49 and 29 intersection?
WA: Well, they, they finally closed that one over at North Charlotte. And this one was available to use. And it was closer, so we, we did most of it. Sometimes we used the gin down at Pitts crossroads.
SA: The one that's still over there now?
WA: Still over there now.
SA: But barely is there?
WA: Just to the left of the turn there. US 29 and Pitts Schoolhouse Road. And I remember one time, this was back during World War II, I was just a kid and I took [pause]-
SA: You don't mean World War II. You mean World War I?
WA: I mean World War I. And cotton was pretty high. TAPE 2, SIDE B
SA: Well, I was going to ask you one question about your catechism. Do you remember much about when you said that? How old were you? Did, did you say the shorter catechism? Did you say the shorter catechism or just the, the children's one? Or do you remember?
WA: I said the, I said the children's catechism. I have a certificate for it. And my guess is that it would have been about when I was eighty years old, not
SA: Eight years old?
WA: Eight years old.
SA: Somewhere along in there.
WA: And I studied the other one. But I don't know whether I ever finished it or not.
SA: Finished it. [coughs] Do you remember some of the early preachers that were at Mallard Creek? Was Pharr ever at Mallard Creek when you were a boy, or was that before your time?
WA: [pause] I don't remember much about him. The preacher Bailey was a, one from Iowa.
SA: Worst?
WA: He was the first one
SA: Oh, first.
WA: I ever paid, paid any attention to.
SA: What was the tale about you sitting on the, on the bench and bumping or something? And your father took you home and gave you a whipping. What was the circumstances involved in that?
WA: Well, the, the front section was separate. The seats was, seats was separate. Men and women were separated by a rail that went down the center of the church. But the front seat didn't have a separation in it. [coughs] I started, was sitting in that long front seat in front of the two sections. I had [laughter] straw ( ) at the one end and slide down the seat and start back for the other end.
SA: So you were going from one end of the pew bench to the other, thumping something, the--?
WA: Straw.
SA: Straw.
WA: And the preacher called me down, down during his sermon. My daddy [coughs] didn't say anything to me. But he had to stop along the way and got him a hickory whip that was about this long.
SA: About, a little over a foot long?
WA: Yeah. And he, when I got home, he was sitting on the side of the bed. His bed went across the center of the room. And he was sitting here and lecturing me and hitting me. And rubbing it in.
SA: Uh-huh. [laughter] So you didn't do anything like that in the future did you, when you went to church?
WA: Well, [coughs] they, they never saw me ( ) around. My daddy didn't put up with foolishness in church.
SA: Do you remember any of your early Sunday School teachers?
WA: [pause] I remember some of them, but [pause] I was trying to figure out [pause].
SA: Are you getting sleepy?
WA: No, I'm just
SA: Can't think of the names?
WA: Mary Francis Alexander.
SA: That would have been, she was later Mary Francis McLaughlin?
WA: Yeah. And I guess Miss Hannah Galloway probably taught some.
SA: Now was that the Galloways' mother, or is this somebody--?
WA: Oh she, she was the one who married ( ) Alexander. She was
SA: Oh, oh his first wife. And you would have met there somewhere in the sanctuary in a little group?
WA: That's the way they used it until they built that Sunday school room in 1920s, early 20s. And they almost lost it.
SA: What do you mean, they almost lost it?
WA: Couldn't pay the mortgage.
SA: Oh. So they had a big mortgage on the education part?
WA: Well, it wasn't too big. It was, it was big for the times and for the congregation, but it wasn't too big a mortgage.
SA: Now when did, what was the occasion for Dr. Frasier to come? Was it because you were in financial difficulties or small church and he was trying to pep it up a little bit?
WA: Well, he, he was trying to get some growth in the area. And he, well let's see now, we had made and [pause], what was that? [pause] I know that chaplain out at, [pause] what do they call that camp? Camp Greene?
SA: Camp Greene? That was about World War I?
WA: It was during World War I.
SA: So you had a chaplain from Camp Greene during World War I that was the, was he a regular minister or a supply?
WA: He was a regular minister. And, and I think he was, he served as chaplain ( ). And ( ) he was a substitute for a couple of years. And Dr. Frasier.
SA: So Dr. Frasier came in the early 1920s sometime?
WA: Yeah. And he stayed there until sometime in '38 I reckon.
SA: '38? 1938?
WA: Probably.
SA: Now what was, what was the reason for the barbecue? Was that just to make money to pay off the mortgage on that Sunday School building, or--?
WA: We, he had a, a group that planted an acre of cotton trying to raise funds outside. He promoted the efforts of folks to get in some money.
SA: That was before the barbecue, when they were planting that acre of cotton?
WA: Yeah, that, that was when they were trying to raise money to keep the mortgage paid.
SA: Now where did they, do you remember where that land was? Who owned the land where the cotton was raised? Or was that individuals that raised their own acres?
WA: That, that's individuals. Or, or they could raise hogs. They, they raised both.
SA: In other words, they could raise a hog and then an acre of cotton as a means of getting money to pay off the mortgage?
WA: Well they could, every fall ( ) on the farm-
SA: Members?
WA: to church member. ( ), either one. It was, they had it ( ) eight or tens hogs a year. And they donated those to furnish meat for all the volunteers.
SA: Now had you had barbecues, school barbecues or other kinds of barbecues around in this area, before the Mallard Creek started theirs?
WA: Well, there were just small barbecues around the community that folks bought it. It wasn't any big deal in the county if some Mallard Creek ( ) were growing their own hogs and didn't have to buy the hogs.
SA: So they didn't buy the hogs for the first barbecues? They raised their own. So they had the meat and the chickens too, I guess, anything that would--?
WA: Yeah.
SA: and the vegetables that they put into the, the stew?
WA: Yeah.
SA: Now did they have Brunswick Stew when they first started the barbecue?
WA: Yeah.
SA: So that was from the very beginning, the Brunswick Stew and the barbecue. Anything different about what they served for those first barbecues?
WA: Goat meat.
SA: They had goat meat. Instead of all hogs.
WA: ( ) Daddy knew how, and Tom ( ) on ( ) Road. He was a barbecuer. And I think he had more to do with the goat in that first thing.
SA: So he was a member at Mallard Creek, Tom? He was not?
WA: [coughs] No. He, he was just on the edge of it, but I think his family went to
SA: Sugar Creek?
WA: Sugar Creek.
SA: But he still participated when they had the, the barb-first barbecues.
WA: Yeah.
SA: Why was it your father discontinued going to Mallard Creek? What was the reason he left Mallard Creek? Do you remember?
WA: He never did go to Mallard Creek.
SA: Oh, that was his problem. He just never did join Mallard Creek.
WA: He was a charter member of Newell. And this was ( ) two hours away. And the, Rowan Rich was a good friend of his went over there. Several folks jumped on him, but, maybe C.W. Rich. He married one of the Newell girls.
SA: So he just always had gone over there to church?
WA: Yeah.
SA: And he liked it?
WA: He continued to keep at that church. But my father joined over here because there wasn't any Methodist churches nearby.
SA: Oh, no Methodist churches nearby? So that's the reason she joined the closest Presbyterian Church nearby. That's interesting. So now Uncle Tom, he and Aunt Margery would have gone over to Mallard Creek when they were real little?
WA: Yeah, they went there.
SA: Mallard Creek. Well, did your father not go to church much when he was older? Or did he go to Newell?
WA: He didn't go too often. But he went to funerals and weddings. He, he didn't go to Mallard Creek very often.
SA: Well Daddy, I'm going to stop it right here. I'll pick it up another time. After you get some rest.
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