Family Life of
Garland Henry Brown & Fannie Eliza Blount
Garland Henry Brown and Fannie Eliza Blount were married near Holly Springs, Miss., Feb. 3, 1884. To this union were born six children: Susie Etta was born Dec. 22, 1884; Mary Grace born Jan. 14, 1887; Garland Wylie, the only son was born Dec. 20, 1889; Dona Bernard born April 26, 1892; then I came along Oct. 22, 1896. They named me Bettie Rallins. Clara, the youngest in the family was born Nov. 10, 1898.
We lived on Grandfather Brown's farm. (Note: this would have been Bernard Garland Brown) He was a captain in the Civil War, and died while in service. Our home was a one room log house. Papa felled trees and hauled them, one at a time, to the homesite. Split the logs for the house. In one end of the room was a large fireplace, built of native stone. As the family grew larger, he added a lean-to for a kitchen. All the children except Susie was born in this house. In 1998, he built another room with a wide hall between it and the other large room. He passed away in Sept. of 1899, before he had entirely completed the new room. I remember how we enjoyed the wide cool hall. Papa would come from the field and hang his hat on a peg in the hall. Old Rhemus, our dog would lie down under Papa's hat; we thought he was guarding it.
Mother made our clothes by hand. She spun the thread she used to knit our stockings and gloves with. In the winter, we used huge back logs on the fire to keep warm. We sat by the big fireplace and roasted yams in the hot ashes, popped corn, parched goobers or roasted eggs by wrapping them in wet paper, and covering them with coals of fire. We would shell corn for meal, and throw cobs in the fire, and watch the brilliant sparks, all rainbow colored fly up the chimney. In the spring, mother would put up a screen in front of the fireplace, and decorate it with white dogwood blossoms she gathered from the woods. We washed our clothes at the big spring down the hill from the house, and hung them on bushes to dry. Mother picked the geese to make our feather beds and pillows with. We had corn shuck mattresses under the feather ones. There was a cistern at the back stoop, and we drank from it in the winter and spring. When summer came, it was too full of wiggle-boils to use. (The strainer didn't catch them all)
We roamed the hillsides gathering chestnuts, hickory nuts and walnuts in the fall, and wild berries in the spring, huckleberries, mulberries, and muscodine. We hunted guinea nests, hen nests and geese eggs. Do you remember the guinea nest, Dona? Do you remember the whipping the old gander gave you? We loved the hills and pines, we loved the valleys and streams. We loved to play in the "new ground" in front of the house, when papa had cleared the timber, to make a little patch of farm. He cut the trees and snaked the stumps out with Patsy and Mouse, our faithful old mules. Papa planted cotton in that two acres, and gave it to Mother to buy our clothes with. Mother and we children picked the cotton in baskets, then carried it to the barn till Papa could haul it to the gin in Holly Springs. When we sold the first bale of cotton, he would but us some candy. That was a treat to look forward to.
After Papa died, we moved to Oglesby, Coryell Co., Texas, in the fall of 1900. Grandpa Blount had moved to Oglesby (from Holly Springs) several years before. We started farming on the halves. Those twenty and thirty acre farms sure looked big to us. I was four years old that fall, and Clara was two. Mother picked cotton, pulling Clara on her sack, and I had a gunny sack and walked along picking on Mother's row of cotton. We farmed seven years in Coryell Co., and moved to the high plains of Floyd Co. in the fall of 1907.........
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