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Anna (Allred) Smith - Pension Mt. Teacher - 1920 Census Enumerater

Early Census Statistics

Mrs. Anna Smith says she can remember when the ladies that rode a horse did so by riding in a side saddle…Mrs. Smith says the first woman she ever saw riding astride was a woman from Berryville on her way out to Osage. Mrs. Smith said the women started riding astride when she was ten or twelve years old.

Mrs. Smith said she took the 1920 Census for the rural part of Prairie Township (Berryville is in Prairie Township), and she covered a great part of the territory on horseback in her riding skirt. There were times when she crossed King's River when it was half way up on the sides of the horse. Sometimes she failed to hold her feet up enough to keep from getting wet. She said the riding skirt she used had inverted box pleats and it had a divided front. Later she wore the wrap around type when she was teaching at Pension Mountain.

Kings River was the line for her census taking territory, but she had to cross the river several times because of the crooked river and the location of the homes and roads. Several nights when she was taking the census she stayed away from home and always offered pay for the accommodations for her and the horse. As she recalls, only two places would take any pay. In this 1920 census of rural Prairie Township there was not one completely modern home. The home of Pete Applegate near the mouth of Piney Creek, had water in the house. This farm home had a cistern with a hand pump for pumping the water into the kitchen. The Joe Maples home had water pumped into the house by windmill power. Mrs. Smith doesn't recall that any other homes in this area had water brought into the house. Mrs. Smith took the census again in 1960. She said she was paid the same price of 4 cents per person as for 1920.

In the summer of 1922 the school board at Pension Mountain came to Mrs. Smith and asked her to teach the school. They offered her a contract of four months at $50.00. She told the board members her son was only ten months old and she did not know what she would do with the baby…All the patrons signed the petition and it was agreed that she would bring her baby to school with her…She kept a quilt in the locker at school to make down a pallet for Herman, the baby…On rainy days she had a long saddle slicker or rain coat to pull over Herman where he sat in the front of the saddle on his pillow.

Mrs. Smith said this was before the time that the state furnished textbooks. There was a very limited number of textbooks and a great amount of the work was form the blackboard.

It was a hardship to teach the school and keep the baby. She road Topsy from near the month of Piney Creek, a distance of about four miles. Mrs. Smith said the water for the school was carried form Johnson Spring, a spring down the steep mountain side a great distance form the school. Only two boys were large enough to carry a regular size water bucket, but, because of some discipline problems, they were not permitted to go together. So the small children carried water in gallon syrup buckets. They had a dipper to dip the water from the bucket and pour it into the individual tin cups.

Note: Anna's husband was Frank Smith.

Carroll County Historical Quarerly
September 1963
Page 5-6

Flying Arkansas Flag from The Page.

Carroll County Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc.
P.O. Box 249
Berryville, AR 72616-0249
Phone 870 423-6312


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