The McRae senior girls championship basketball team for 1940-41: (left to right) Naomi Weir, Blanche Crisco, Cooter Hale, Doris McAffee, Mildred Richards, Geraldine Jones, coach J.L. Woodfin and mascot Marion Cook. Blanche married Ralph Cook, who provided this photograph.

Mote the McRae Moving Maestro


President, White County Historical Society, 1974-75

The largest load I ever hauled on a two-ton truck or anyone ever hauled on a two-ton truck: Ike Mote of McRae wanted me to move him and his family to southeast Missouri. We set a date to load. I went to his place and checked everything he had including a large wagon with bed, a team of mules and one cow. I told him I didn’t think we could get it all on the truck. He told me to leave the loading to him. He had three big stout boys. I told him to get going.

They started with the wagon, which they had taken apart, then the mules and the cow, then several farming tools, cultivator and everything, then the household things including a large cook stove, a big coop of chickens, several sacks of potatoes, canned fruit, tables, beds, dresser, chairs and everything. In less time than you would think he had it all loaded. I thought we were ready to go. He said, "Now we will go to Casey’s and get his things." I didn’t know how we would get anything else on but he did. He had a three-room house full. When he got loaded, he said, "Now we will go get my daughter’s next." They had about the same amount. Cornelius’ was the last place.

I know you won’t believe this; I can’t, either, but it’s the truth. Mr. Mote would use iron beds for sideboards then use chains and ropes to keep them from spreading too much. When we got loaded, we had at least four wood cook stoves, four wood heating stoves, four dining tables, four dressers, four beds, at least 20 chairs, one icebox and many, many, many other things.

I didn’t think there was a chance to get there with that load but we did. I had to go around all the towns and then someone had to ride on top to hold wires up and then I broke some phone wires. There was not much traffic those days but when we met anyone most of them would pull off the road and let us pass.

We got lots of attention along the way.

Walter Wisdom’s book, White County Wisdom, 90 Years of Short Stories, is available from the White County Historical Society.