(Reprinted from Polk County AR Genealogical Society Quarterly)
My grandfather, Berry Samuel (Berry) Crawford, was born January 13, 1870 in Ouachita, Polk County, Arkansas. He was the son of George W. Crawford born January 15, 1813, outside Athens in McMinn County, Tennessee. His second wife, Emily Jane Parrish was born in Arkansas in 1830. George's first wife Anna Harkey, was born in North Carolina in 1820. George died on August 3, 1882 and is buried in the Hilton Cemetery at Board Camp, Arkansas.
Berry married Levina Ann (Vina) Huckabaa, the daughter of John Macon Huckabee and his wife, Milie Ann Taylor. She was born October 5, 1868 in Platt Springs, Lexington County, South Carolina. Vina was about seven years old when the family moved to Arkansas and settled on a farm on a hill south of the mouth of Carter Creek about two miles east of Nunley. Berry and Vina had ten children, all born at Ink, Polk County, Arkansas. They were as follows:
Minnie Ella (Ella); Archie, who died in infancy; William Albert (Will); Martin Luther (Martin); Berry Lee (Lee), Milie Jane (Bertie); John, who also died in infancy; Franklin LaFayette (Fate); Trinnie Etta (Trinnie); and Winnie Elizabeth (Winnie).
It appears that Berry secured a homestead on the public domain by an act of Congress approved to settlers May 20, 1862. It applied to the Northeast Quarter of Section 8, and the North Half of the Northwest Quarter of Section 9, township 2 South, Range 29 West of the Fifth Principal Meridian in Arkansas, containing 120 acres. Patents and seals affixed at Washington on March 13, 1905. Homestead Certificate No. 12111. Early pictures show what would now be called a primitive house, barn and smokehouse, but to a young married couple it was "Home Sweet Home."
Ella, born September 8, 1890, married James N. Liles and lived in Mena, where their only child, Helen Louise was born. Some time after the death of James, Ella married John Henry Talkington and lived in Calhoun, Oklahoma where their only child, John Henry, Jr. was born. Ella died on October 27, 1975 at the Oak Ridge Manor Rest Home in Durant, Arakansas and is buried in the Concord Cemetery at Ink. Ella, said to be the eldest girl was spared working in the fields but did her chores in the house, helping her mother cook and tend the children.
Will, born April 24, 1894, married Starlie Mae Goodman, the daughter of Anderson Goodman and his wife, Jane. Will and Starlie had three children: Albert Anderson, Milie Jane, and Dolly Mozelle, all born at Ink, Polk County, Arkansas. Will died on August 19, 1970 and is buried in Concord Cemetery at Ink.
Martin, born February 8, 1896, married Ollie Frances Reed, the daughter of Isaac Lee Reed and his wife, Rosa Jane Lewis. She was born July 27, 1899 at Holly Springs. Martin and Ollie had one child, Dale Francis. Martin died September 24, 1977, and Ollie died December 5, 1987; both are buried in Pinecrest Memorial Park at Mena, Polk County, Arkansas. Martin and Ollie lived at Holly Springs for many years on a farm where they grew the usual crops, one of them being watermelons. One day when a group of youngsters were swimming and playing in Irons Fork Creek at the Edwards Hole it was decided to visit Martin's Melon Patch. About eight of us slyly entered, and each chose a large melon and headed back to the swimming hole which was a fair distance away. We became very tired and decided to stop and eat them under a large oak tree. After bursting them open we only ate the hearts, leaving a big mess under the tree. Several days later Martin asked some of us if we had a good swim, and we knew he knew it was our group who took his melons. We felt pretty low then.
Martin usually had a few dogs, as he and a group of friends spent many hours up Posey Hollow hunting fox, not to kill them, only to enjoy the chase. Lee was born February 6, 1899. He married Laura Maggie Horton, daughter of Frank Horton and Hattie Mae Jenkins.Laura was born July 9, 1909 at Honey Grove, Texas. Lee and Laura had six Clifton Lee and Virginia Ruth were born in Ink, Arkansas, Ola Mae was born in Mojave, California, Darlene was born in Barstow, California, Sybil Marie and Nora Lee were both born in San Bernardino, California.
Lee tried his hand at farming, first as a share cropper and then as an owner but that was not his calling. Like many others he then moved to California about 1930. After working around the borax mines, he eventually settled permanently in San Bernadino where he lived for about 45 years. He worked for Santa Fe Railroad until his retirement in 1967. Lee died on April 21, 1984 and was buried at Montecito Memorial Park in San Bernadino, California. Bertie was born April 8, 1901. She married Francis Leonard Coffman, son of James Francis (Jimmy) Coffman and his wife, Margaret Jane (Maggie) Owen. Frank was born in February 2, 1891 at Winchester, Clark County, Kentucky. He and Bertie were married April 17, 1919 in Mena, Polk County, Arkansas.
Bertie is the daughter of Berry Samuel Crawford, [who] was born January 13, 1870 in Ouachita, PolkCounty, Arkansas. His wife, Lavina Ann (Vina) Huckabaa, was born October 5, 1868 in Platt Springs, Lexington County, South Carolina. Vina's parents moved to Arkansas about the year 1875, and later moved to Ida (now Battiest) Oklahoma in 1916. Her father, John Macon Huckabaa, was born in 1850 in Orangeborough District, South Carolina. His wife, Milie, was born 1848 in Lexington District, South Carolina.
Bertie and Frank had four children, all born in Ink, Polk County, Arkansas. Leslie Lloyd, Ella Mae, James Berry and Ima Gene. Frank died September 19, 1928 and is buried at Concord Cemetery.
I can vaguely remember seeing my mother and father baptized at the swimming hole in Irons Fork Creek, not far from "Aunt Martha" Edwards' house. I believe Aunt Martha was a sister to Isaac Reed.
A recent letter from Alba Guinn (Mos) confirmed that mother and dad were baptized late in the summer of 1924 with Talt Guinn, Joe Blackwell, Lula and Eula Cole, Alba Mos and others. The name of the preacher who baptized them was Waller.
After my father's death, we moved from the rented farm to a small place across the creek from the Mitchell Farm on the way to Grandfather Crawford's farm. Mother and her two young sisters tried to farm by putting in a cash crop of peas, which netted my mother the grand sum of $12.00 for her share. We had a milk cow, chickens, and an old sow, and mother canned and dried lots of fruit and vegetables so we had plenty of food.
Ella Mae and I attended the Elm Springs School. We walked across a branch, a creek, and along a wagon road from the Mitchell house past the old Walker place and up to the school every day. I have no idea at all why this area is called Elm Springs, but I do remember a time when some pools of water froze over just a short distance southeast of the school house, and several children had a lot of fun skating on the ice. Perhaps these pools were the "Elm Springs."
After my father's death mother learned to drive our 1925 Model T Ford, and it was used sparingly. It was kept parked in the open along the south wall of the house. Mother had to buy a new tire, which she purchased from Billy Gilbert's garage at Ink. One morning she noticed the new tire was missing, so she told Billy. He told her to not worry about it and to go home and say nothing. Within a week Billy sent word for mother to come see him so she drove to Ink, with me along for company. Billy got in the car and told mother where to drive., We drove to Bob Ware's place, where he too got in. Billy told mother where to drive along the highway east of Ink. Bob Ware was the local Justice of the Peace and evidently Billy had already informed him of the problem. We shortly arrived at the place, turned in, and stopped at the house. An elderly man came out, and Bob asked him if his son was home. The father called his son several times before he appeared. Then Bob asked a few questions, and we all walked around to where a Model T Ford sat. Billy then had one look at the new tire on the car and identified it as the one he had sold mother. Bob then ordered the son to remove it from his car and put it back on mother's car. All the while he informed the boy of a lot of facts just in case there was ever another complaint against him as long as he was resident in Polk County.
An interesting bit of news came out many years later. There were actually two people involved in the theft, and the partner's name was freely given to me, but then he is long deceased, or so I was told.
Bertie's second marriage to Gilbert M. Millett of Daggett, California, produced one child. Gilbert Gregory Millett..
Fate, born October 5, 1905, married Deffa Mae Davis, born March 25, 1903 at Kyles Ford, Tennessee. She was the daughter of William Ervin Davis and his wife, Laura Jane Bledsoe. Fate and Mae had two children, both born at Ink..
Trinnie, born April 5, 1909, married James Alanzo Walker, born February 28, 1904 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was the son of James Alanzo Walker and his wife, Linnie Schroeder. James died while in the hospital and is buried in Montecito Memorial Park in San Bernadino, California.
Winnie, born July 4, 1912, married Everett Walker. (He is no relation to James Alanzo Walker, born March 13, 1913.) Winnie and Everett had one child.. Winnie died July 21, 1987 and was buried in Hill City, Kansas.
At a very early age I saw my Grandfather Crawford as a tall imposing figure who seemed to always have a bucket in his hands, so I began referring to him as, "Grandpa Bucket." To me he appeared to be a very serious person who did not give us children much of his time or attention. He was never unkind, and before I realized it I was trying to emulate him in many ways. Grandfather was a preacher, not an ordained minister but a person who preached the Bible and dealt with every day life in those times. Sunday was observed in strict accordance. The Bible was read in the home, and only certain chores were done on Sunday in running the farm, like milking and feeding the livestock.
On Sunday grandfather preached at the Pine Grove Church where mother attended whenever possible with us children. After church on Sunday it was visiting time for most of the farm folk, and my grandparents place was a favorite for for many. The children would play games outside until called for dinner, and then resume play until time to go home.
We lived in a small place near grandfather's farm, about a half mile north. Nearby was a creek where I fished a lot and often caught a "mess" which was a welcome contribution to the table. Only once did grandfather ever fish with me, and that was to fulfill a promise he made to me. That day he was working in a field adjoining the creek and I had taken worms and an extra pole along, so he did come with me that day and fish for a short time; I never did ask him again.
Grandfather had a large smokehouse close to the back kitchen steps, about 12x12 feet in size with tables built around the walls. It had no windows, a hard packed dirt floor, and a small opening in the roof where smoke could be regulated. This smokehouse was built of logs many years before. The smokehouse was never empty while grandfather was alive, and I was present on three occasions at hog killing time when we butchered the meat and put into the smokehouse to cure. When winter came and the weather was cold, a day was decided upon. Neighbors would arrive early, build fires, heat water, sharpen knives and make the kettles, wash pots, pans and buckets all ready for the first of several fattened hogs. If I remember correctly, most of these hogs weighed between 400 and 500 pounds. Grandfather would use a bucket to coax the hog as close as he could to the work area. Then kill it with a single blow to the head with the blunt side of a hatchet. After the hog was bled, it was scraped with boiling water until the hair slipped. Then it was scraped and cleaned, hung up, gutted and then allowed to chill. After chilling, the carcass was cut up, the hams and shoulders were rubbed with a mixture of salt and sugar, the joints were treated with salt petre, and then it was hung from the rafters in the smokehouse. The middling, or bacon, was also treated with salt and sugar and hung from the rafters. Large blocks of fat back were placed on a salted bench and covered with salt. The trimmings and bits and pieces of fat were rendered down in the big iron wash pots into lard, then dipped off and put into pails to be used in cooking later. When the last hog had been cut up and placed in the smokehouse, grandfather would then start a fire using hickory and keep it going for about ten days and nights only when it reached a certain standard would the smoke fire be stopped and the meat declared "done." Never did I hear that grandfather lost any of his sugar-cured meat, and it lasted through the year until the next time. The willing helpers always went home with a few "messes" of fresh meat.
The first living quarters was a log cabin with a fireplace in the north end. As the family grew grandfather added porches, a flyway, and extended south by adding three rooms with another fireplace in the bed-sitting room where my grandparents slept. Suspended on four hooks to the ceiling of this room was grandmother's quilting frame so it could be raised and lowered as required; it was used a lot.
The log cabin was boxed in with pine planks in later years to match the other part. My grandmother used heavy iron pots and kettles in the open fireplace. Hooks and irons were built in for the cooking pots and kettles to hang on. They could be swung in or out over the fire to regulate the heat. Even though a wood stove had been put in, grandmother continued to use the fireplace for many of the dishes she prepared. Never will I forget her biscuits because they were larger around than any others. Her fried corn could not be beaten, nor the way she fried potatoes.
Grandmother was a tall, thin woman. She was gentle, kind and soft-spoken. She loved children and children loved her. To me she was a "sweet grandma" from an early age. People tell about the time when our family arrived at church first one Sunday and was seated. My grandparents entered the church a bit late, and when they came through the door I shouted out, "There is my sweet grandma."
My grandparents home was always open house, especially on Sunday. They had an organ, and mother was a good organist. She would play and everyone would enjoy the music and sing hymns.
Grandfather died on December 28, 1929, and grandmother passed away on May 14, 1936. They are in Concord Cemetery..
I remember this couple as tender and caring toward each other. They were thoughtful and good neighbors. You couldn't ask for more honest, considerate, Godfearing and kind people. I am fortunate and proud to be a descendant of them.
Leslie Cottman, Queensland Australia
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