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Mittie Mae Johnson Abram

October 31, 1907 N.E. of Pryor, Oklahoma
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January 14, 1983 Claremore, Poger Co. Oklahoma

Contributed by Allison Abam Sheldon

I am from a large family. 4 Brothers & 6 sisters. My parents were James Jefferson Johnson & Martha Jane Phariss. I had 3 brothers older than I.  The first place I remember living was close to a school house & a country cemetery. During the years my family & I lived there, my mother had 3 borders that worked in the coal mine along with my father.  
The next place I remember living as a small child, I don't remember how old I was, then the next place we lived was on my Uncle's place.  
When I was 13 years old we moved to where we were about 1 block of a country store after several years we moved on a place called Napes Place, which had a large orchard on it. Years later my mother's brothers and family moved in with us. The year my family lived closet to this little country school she (her mom) had 4 borders and a school teacher and I was spoiled rotten. I would climb upon the gate post just to get some of those hired boys to carry me to the house.   During the time my mother kept those hired hands they had me cussing.
During the time we lived by that country store there was a branch close by, when my 3 brothers--Steve, Otis, Cotton (Floyd) went to the creek, my 2 sisters--Carrie & Jessie (Josie) & I followed them.
But during the years my parents, my 2 sisters & I would follow my 3 brothers to the field we had a pet dog who followed us 6 kids every where.  He was a good squirrel dog, so one day the dog treed a squirrel, so my oldest brother told me to shoot the gun or he'd shoot me. So, my second sister said, just shoot me. Those boys were just trying to break us girls from following them, which my brother had no intention of shooting us girls.
Just a family of 11 children we had our up's & down's, but were there when we were needed through sickness & good health.   When I was 19 years old we moved 5 1/2 miles north of Chelsea. We grew up, we went horse back or on foot, but we enjoyed ourselves. We never had much but we had fun gong to dances and to play parties, even though we did have to work.
During my years in country schools, we went to pie suppers which now days, children now days think we were crazy for telling how use to have fun by  walking or going horseback.   My children and grandchildren never went to a pie supper.   When I was 12 years old my grandmother got sick, my father took care of her, took care of his own 8 children, my aunts 4 children also my uncles 4 children.   I just doubt if my four brothers or my six sisters & I could manage that many children now days.
One place we lived where over flowing springs, so there was a small dip where we could swim. Two of my sister's, a cousin & I would follow my 3 brother's and a cousin down to this pool of water with in 5 minutes of our home. Children don't do anything you have to have patients with kids if they are to learn, you can't holler & scream at children & expect them to learn.   My father & mother didn't have a chance in school as kids do this day and time. My children's grandfather on their father's side of the house, he said a child didn't have to have school to learn how to work.   I do believe a child can learn as much in 8 mos. as in 9 mos. if they wanted to learn.   Today & time children think that work is a dirty word. I've seen my father & my 3 brother's also my husband work for .50 cents a day or $3.00 a week but kids couldn't make it if they had to work for $3.00 a week. the truth is. they can't make it on $5.00 a month for I have 3 who can't tell where their pay checks goes to. When I was 16 years old we had to move off my Uncle's place so my father found a place in the Dog Creek Hill, my mother refused to move there, so my father said ok, about a week later he told my mother he found a place, but it was the same old place we lived there about a year and my mother told one of our neighbor's, I won't live in Dog Creek Hills, our neighbor laughed and said Mrs. Johnson that's where you are living.   My mother thought Dog Creek Hills was where the outlaws stayed.   One place we lived at was about a quarter mile to the coal mine, my 3 brothers, 2 sisters & I went from end to end & side to side of that old coal mine, those days they dug coal under ground but those days are long gone.   But The house was just 2 rooms & a pantry. My parents, 9 children and my mother's brother his son & daughter all lived with us for a while. When my uncle moved to Tulsa, Okla, then my father found a bigger house.   I never saw my grandparents on my fathers side of the house, I never saw my grandpa Phariss either.   The town I live in now is called Chelsea, Oklahoma and it is no bigger now than it was 72 yrs ago.   Bonites (not sure who/what that is) had all the starch washed out after my mother spent hours ironing them.   My 3 brother's, my 2 sisters to the timber to get us some grape vine & smoke, talk about sore tongue's, we had sore tongues. My brother's would get into fight's coming home from school, so I would tell on them. So on my way to school the next morning they spanked me, but they broke me of telling on them. The only way we had going was on foot or a horse back, but we had a good time though.   When I was 24 years old I got married so I now have 4 boys & 2 girls and they don't get along as well as my 4 brother's & 6 sister's did.   After we kids got grown up and got married we got scattered and very seldom see one another, we are so far apart. When we were kids, we gathered wild greens & wild onions. And I still like wild onions and wild greens. Kids now days think people are off in the head when anyone talks of the good times we had, when we talk of going on foot or a horseback.   This day & time the kids would put their parents in a rest home just to keep from taking care of them   There were enough of us children to take care of my parents, they didn't have to go to a rest home. My parents took care of me, so when they got old my sister's and brothers took care of our parents.   My sisters and I weren't perfect, doing things we shouldn't that worried our parents, so our children are feeding us out of the spoon. When I was 18 I saw my father tiese (not sure) for the railroad track. The first day my father helped my brothers cut their first load from there on my brothers would have a load ready for him to haul the next day, but our neighbor boys wouldn't do anything unless their father was there to push them along.   But you have to teach children or they won't learn anything, that is the parents fault.

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