June 2, 1979 Interview with Jim Porter (son of John C. Porter, son of Andrew J. Porter)

     with Everett Porter (son of Jasper, son of Alex, son of Andrew J. Porter)

 

Track 1  (timer 25:40)

Everett Porter:  Your dad (John C. Porter) preached too, didn’t he?

Jim: Ya he preached too, for a while.

Everett: I heard him preach.

Jim:  He made a bad mistake Everett, my dad did.

Everett:  I know he did.

JC: What mistake did he make?

Jim:  After my mother died, he just went off.  He lost his good sense.  He just didn’t have no reason.  Even Uncle Alick (Alex Porter, son of AJP) came to talk to him, and he couldn’t do anything with him.

Everett: Well it seemed like it.  He come pretty nigh getting killed didn’t he?

Jim: Yes he did.

Everett:  I sure hated that.

Jim:  It was awful, a fellow that could preach like he could talk.  He was good.

Everett: Yes he was.

Jim: Ya he was good at it.  He went all over the country preaching and talking.

Everett:  Him and Uncle Steve both.

Jim:  Ya, Uncle Steve.  But he just got out and got in worse all the time.  He even got to drinking.

Everett:  Oh he did.  I didn’t know that.

Jim: Ya he did.  It’s the truth I reckon.  I won’t lie about it.  He used to talk against whiskey.  Ya, he got to drinking.  I tried to get him away from Hog Town, but he wouldn’t do it.  He wouldn’t get away.  Told him he should go off some place else.  He wouldn’t listen to nobody.  Me or Will (son of John C. Porter) neither one.  No, he just wouldn’t listen.  That’s what happens to people sometimes, ain’t it?

JC: Did your dad ever get straightened out before he died?

Jim: Well he quit drinking.  I know that.  He quit that.  I was over there a time or two to see him.  He lived with that old woman.  He know’d she wasn’t no account.  He know’d her like a book.  That a man would let somebody pull them in that way.  It’s a mystery.

It’s a mystery.  We couldn’t do nothin with him. You may have just as well talked to a mule.

Everett:  He stayed all night with us one night,  one Saturday night.  On Sunday morning he wanted me, I had an old car, to bring him to Hog Town to get that woman.  Dad (Jasper, s/o Alex, s/o AJP) came with me.  Me and Dad and him came on over.  I didn’t know anything about there was trouble until I got down, we was coming up Christie Creek there.  Dad (Jasper) said, “There comes Marshall Adkins.”  Dad know’d him.  Old John was setting up in the front seat with me.  He just opened up a big grip there, and there was a big pistol in there.  He got down this way (John hunkered down in the seat), and I said “uh oh, we are in for it.” 

Jim:  (Laughs.)

Everett: He would have shot him, I believe.  He had hold of that pistol, a great old big one. 

Jim:  My Dad had the pistol?

Everett:  Ya, your dad had it in his grip.  We come over there and got the old woman.  We met him down there going down the creek.  We come up and got the woman, and come back down and passed him down there.  Oh I just gave it the gas, coming back down there a flyin.  He got down, him and her in the back seat and put something over their head.  And he (Marshall Adkins) stood there and watched that car.  I think he kind of smelled them out or somethin.  He (Adkins) might have seen him (John C.) when we went up there, when they met down there. 

   I told Dad (Jasper) “Don’t you ever get me in a scrape like that any more, I didn’t know nothing about that.  We could have every one got killed there.”

Jim:  You know my Dad thought that people ought to hold up for him, and they didn’t do it.  You know they wouldn’t.  He was thought well of by people around Hog Town.

Everett:  He was thought well of by people all around.

Jim:  When my mother died, he just went plum off.  My mother was an awfully good woman.  She was the only girl in the family, the Catrons.

(timer 32:14)

(timer 35:00)

JC:  What did your Dad finally die from?

Jim:  I think it was Bright’s Disease, and Uncle Alick died right after that, Harlan (son of Alex, s/o AJP) told me.  I had forgot about that.

Everett:  Same thing.

Jim: Same thing.  They both went to Ashland and they didn’t last no time.  They called it Bright’s Disease.  Kidney trouble.  I had the same thing.  Stayed in Morehead hospital for 20 some days 3 or 4 years ago.  Dr. Burchett doctored me.  He told me after I got after out of the room, “I didn’t think you was going to make it.”

JC: What did your uncle Steve die from? 

Jim:  He went to Wisconsin.  He stayed over there in Olive Hill with my Dad for quite some time.  They lived up there right close together.  He went back to Wisconsin, and I never seen him no more.

JC:  He moved up there by himself?

Jim:  Well he married another woman, Uncle Steve did.

JC:  Oh he did?

Jim: Ya

JC: Who was she?

Jim:  I believe she was an Evans.  She was married to Drew Evans.

JC:  Where is Steve’s first wife buried at?

Jim:  She was buried in Wisconsin.

JC:  Oh he moved out to Wisconsin and then came back?

Jim:  He didn’t take her (2nd wife) back.  Some way or another, she got sick and went back to her people, and Steve went back to Wisconsin.  That is the way I understood it now.  I know they told me there was a big snow on when Steve died.  They had to rake the snow off and dig his grave and bury him there.

JC:  Did any of his kids move out to Wisconsin with him?

Jim:  Uncle Steve had children there… Charlie Porter.

JC:  In Wisconsin.  He had kids still living there?

Jim:  Ya.  Charlie, course he is dead.  Charlie was here once, back __________.

JC: I wonder where they lived in Wisconsin?

Jim:  I think it was close to Antigo.  Bryant or Antigo, one.  You’ve heard of that, Everett.

Everett:  I’ve heard of it.

Jim:  That’s all I know.  Bob Porter (s/o Levi, s/o AJP) went up there.

Everett:  Bob was up there a long time.

Jim:  He stayed there a long time.

JC:  Who’s Bob?

Jim:  He is Levi’s boy.  He is buried out here on Brown Ridge, out here just from Hog Town.

JC: Is that where Levi is buried too?

Jim: No.  Uncle Levi is buried over there by his home someplace.

Everett:  Arthur (s/o Levi, s/o AJP) had a boy named Harold.  I’d go over there and stay with Harold.  We’d go in there and stay all night several times.

Jim:  Harold and Uncle Levi took care of Arthur when he died.  He was young, but I don’t know how young.  Uncle Levi took Harold, and just kept him, and he brought him to stay all night several times at out place.

Everett:  Dad stayed with him, (Arthur) till he died.

Jim:  Harold did too didn’t he?

Everett:  He married Pete Gayheart’s girl.  You know’d Pete didn’t you?

Jim:  No.  But I’ve heard tell of him.  He was a rough one wasn’t he?

JC:  What did Levi die from?

Jim:  Well he died over there at home, I reckon.

JC:  From old age?

Jim:  I think he died with old age.  See, he didn’t get no pension, because he was on the side that got whooped.  Till Woodrow Wilson got in.

Everett:  Woodrow helped him get his pension huh?

Jim:  Ya, he passed a law, and Levi started getting his pension.

JC:  You say they crossed the Little Sandy River when they came to KY?

Jim:  Ya, I think they crossed the Little Sandy River, that’s what caused them to get to Stark.  They lived there I don’t know how many years.  That’s when my grandmother died and they buried her up on the hill.  We went there once to the cemetery.  We went down to Uncle Jim Porter’s place.  Me and Ellet, Bill (sons of Jim, s/o AJP) and my sister Florence .   Stark to the Cemetery.  We couldn’t find the grave though.

JC:  You never heard them say why they came here?  (from Virginia)  Was it to get away from all the trouble after the war?

Jim:  I guess so.  You know that war was bad in old Virginia.  They done everything there, robbing and stealing, anything to get by.  There was a bunch that wasn’t really in the war, they was just stealing and robbing and tearing up stuff.  It was bad.  I guess that was the reason they left.

JC:  Were the Catrons pretty well to do in Virginia? 

Jim:  Well I don’t know how well to do they was.  The best I could find out, they just made a living.  I guess it was tough cause that war went on for four year, you know.  I’ve read a lot about the Civil War.  These old War veterans like Mace Day, we had a bunch of them here at Hog Town.  Civil War Veterans.  Tom French?  Albert Simmon’s father.

John French and Flem Ross.

Everett:  They are all dead now aren’t they?

Jim:  Ya, they are all dead.  Mace Day used to be bad to pick at a feller.  Well he know’d Uncle Levi.  They was big friends.  They would meet up here at Hogtown.  He was always pulling off some kind of a joke or stunt on somebody. 

JC:  What kind of a man was your dad?

Jim:  Well my dad wasn’t much for joking after ________________?

JC:  He wasn’t?

Jim:  No.  He wasn’t.

JC:  He was pretty serious?
Jim:  Ya.  And Uncle Levi didn’t seem to be much for joking either.