Greene County Arkansas

Paragould, Arkansas

Centennial Edition Section 5

   Monday, August 29,1983, Paragould Daily Press                                                                                                                   Section 5, Centennial Edition -7

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Halliday was the scene for this sit-down meal for the traveling recruits

 I remember: Picking, Chopping Cotton

   The first that really remember, I think it was 1913. I was 4. We lived somewhere near Marmaduke.
  That year in August, a doctor -- I believe  his  name was Bradsher --
came to our house and brought us a
baby sister. This doctor had the first
car I had ever seen. While  he  was
busy, I tried to drive his car. It went
backwards, down hill.
  Now to 1917 and 1918. We lived at Mainshore.  By  that  time I was big enough to work, hoe  and  pick cotton. Back then, kids on the farm either  worked  or went to school. They  made  us  eat cornbread for breakfast; I  never  did  figure why, we had flour.
    One  time,  we  had over 100 soldiers visit Miller School and the ladies made a big dinner for them. That was April, before the Armis-tice.
   The flu epidemic hit. My mother
died in October. We sold out and left  Greene  County  for one year.
Then  we  moved  to  Paragould.
Kingshighway,  on  the east side, was called  Junction  Street. In winter it was muddy; in summer, dusty. But we had nice picnics at Labor Park. We had band concerts on Pruett Street at the bandstand on Friday nights. We also had a big swimming pool on North Pruett near the laundry.
 Not everyone had cars in those days -- but who needed them, anyway?
   I'm afraid I got  married  after that
and  went  away to  Kansas City for two  years. But  I  was  glad to get
 
   back to Greene County until 1929 when we went to St. Louis. Know what happened then? That's when the old men started selling apples on the  street  and  I  beat it  back to Greene County to survive.           Know where I landed? In the cotton patch. It seemed to me that the  farmers  didn't  like  to  chop cotton.  That  cotton  was  really grassy, really hot. But I did survive. $1.50 per day.
   Then several ladies I knew had let
their  houses  get in  a  mess. They gave  me  $5  a week  to clean the house. Some paid me, some didn't. That was 1931 and 1932.
   By the end of the '30s, they were
talking about war again. My father
had a friend that knew Hitler after
World War I. He got a paper from
Germany and kept us posted.
   By  the  last of  '41, we were in it. So I had  to  leave Greene County again --that time, to Marion, Ill., to build  hospitals  to  bring  the boys back to. Another year out, but we were back.
   By  that  time, I  had  too much family to work.  I had to keep the kids in  school.  I  was so busy, I didn't have time to notice much out-side  my house. But  I didn't leave anymore  'til  1951. I really don't know what the matter was -- there must have been plenty of work, for I'm pretty sure we kept a Democrat for president. But back to St. Louis through 1967.
   After that, everybody knows. I'll let someone else tell the rest. I think everybody knows more what goes on now than I do.

                                              Della Bridges
 

Company F visited several Greene County communities during "The Hike" April 8 through 13, 1918. Tom McHaney documen-ted several of the excursions including the ones pictured above.
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In the top right photo, the residents appear to be awaiting the arrival of the soldiers. When they march in, it's time for another picture and then the soldiers get their orders: at eats
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.Hard Times

1930
Times were, oh, so hard in 1930.
Everyone was, oh, so poor.
We all had corn bread and peas,
also a patch on both knees.
But no one had to lock his door.

                                                                Ilene Scott

 

  My first day of teaching school

    The superstition of 13 being an unlucky number did not affect my thoughts or feelings in the least in regard to my first day of teaching, coming on the 13th of July. On that day, I was to become the teacher of the advanced pupils of the old Mt. Carmel School, a three-room, two-teacher school.
   When Monday morning came, I rose early and ate very little break-fast. I dressed myself carefully, being particular to wear my lavendar ging-ham dress because it made me ap-pear mature and "teacherly." (So I thought.)
   I arrived at school early, before most of the pupils came. When the children began to gather, they used their own methods for be-coming acquainted with the new teacher. Some of the timid ones looked shyly in my direction, smiled and passed to the rear room to leave their lunch boxes or pails. the bolder pupils came forward to talk. Some com-mented on the weather, some asked questions about their lessons and still others volunteered general information about the community.
   My prospects for the day and for the term were splendid until noticed a large man talking with the older boys. I knew he was not one of the school directors and I could not imagine why he was at school.
   After a few minutes, he came to me and said, "Little girl, could you tell me who the teacher is going to be? The county supervisor told me that I could get a good review in the 7th and 8th grades here. I plan to enter Jonesboro Agricultural School this fall."
   As this large, 30-year-old man stood be-fore me and looked down at me for an answer, my lavendar gingham made me appear small and insignificant. Nevertheless, I hesitated not a minute and answered, "I am she." he seemed surprised and confused and I felt better.

                                   Mabel Huston Spence
                                   Jonesboro, Ark.

                                                                                                Grandma's treasures in the attic

 

Transcribed by: PR Massey

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