T R A N S C R I P T   O F   H A R V E Y   I N T E R V I E W

Robertson County TX

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The transcript which follows is of a taped interview with Glen Harvey, age about 94, and Judia Harvey, age about 91.  This interview, which was conducted about 1996, was submitted by W. A. Harvey [Mrauthor@aol.com].

 

FAMILY HISTORY IN LOUISIANA AND ROBERTSON COUNTY

 

G. (Glen)

 

J. (Aunt Judia)

 

B. (Bill)

 

B. Now, you said that Grandaddy Harvey told you that our people came from Scotland??

 

J.  Some of them did.

 

G. Glasgow….Poppa said that’s where his people was from.

 

B. Where did they come to from there?? N. Carolina somewhere??

 

G. I don’t know where all they’ve been or anything about it.

 

B. Yeh..hang on a minute now   (Adjusting tape recorder).

 

G. Well, the whole story was….I don’t know too much about it….but Poppa told me that one time his Uncle come by with a wagon caravan.

 

They lived near Winfield, Louisiana, and Uncle Jim (Poppa called him) and they stayed a day or two … or awhile … there with his  daddy. 

 

Uncle Jim Harvey, he was on his way to Red River county Texas, which is up near Paris Texas, and that’s all I know about it, or nearly all.

 

Now I know that Grandma told me that Poppa looked exactly like Grand pa. Now that’s doing some pretty good looking, now wasn’t it Sis?? 

 

J. Uh huh.

 

B. Now it was the Granddaddy that he looked like that went north and fought for the Union Army, right??

 

G. He’s the guy! His name was EVAN …Not Ivan nor Irving…but ee  vin.

 

B. And he married a woman that was a Davis ??

 

J. Yeah.

 

G. Yeah, he married a woman that was a Davis.

 

B. She was Jeff Davis’ first cousin? Or cousin??

 

G. Now we won’t put that in there…….

 

B. Ok…cause it may not be, huh ???

 

G. Well, I just don’t know too much about it. I just don’t want to make a statement that wouldn’t be reasonable. But I was of that opinion, wasn’t you Judia??

 

J. Oh, she was !!! (kin to Jeff Davis) I’ve heard her say that it was no great honor to be kin to a

TRAITOR!!….She spoke of him as a traitor…(SEE FOOTNOTE A)

 

B. She came from up in Mississippi somewhere then, huh??

 

J. Somewhere around  there.

 

G. Uh huh.

 

B. Was she the one that had the brother that was in the….(Confederate)  or was that Grandma Harveys’

(mother)

 

G. That was Grandma Watson. Mama was a Watson before she married my Papa!

  

J. That Holbrook that’s the uh

 

B. State Senator??

 

G. His name was Holbrooks.

 

J. No  One of the…No, one of Clintons advisors about about…something…I don’t …he went over there

and tried to get the Serbs ….and the….

 

B. Oh  that guy, yeah I didn’t even get the connection with the Holbrooks.

 

G. What was that??

 

B. Well, there was a guy named Holbrook that went over to try to mediate between Serbs and the Bosnians some time ago and Aunt Judia said they were related. (SEE FOOTNOTE A)

                                                                

G . Well, any way…Grandma…I went and spent the day with Grandma Watson…a Holbrook, and she told me that when she was a “little girl” that they was coming to Texas.  When they was at Natchez Mississippi, her brother (In Confederate uniform) rode up on a horse. Him and Pappy (as she called him) conferred  or talked a while. And directly he said,“Well Paw, I’m gonna have to go” and he says, “I’ll join y’all  in Texas.” I don’t know where they was coming to in Texas but it was possibly Robertson County.

 

J. Uh huh. That’s where it was.

 

G. Anyway, Grandma sat there….and she was 86 years old then (1937??)…and she said, He come by and  he said, “Callie, don’t cry now.  When I come to Texas, I’ll bring you a doll.”…..and she said, “And I never saw him again.” And she broke down and cried….

 

That’s how vivid a memory she had of her brother telling her his last goodbye.
 

B. That was about the time….in the Civil War….

 

G. Wait a minute now…..(she said)  as they drove on, they heard the guns from the battle at…

 

B. Vicksburg??

 

G. No it wasn’t Vicksburg…..Yeh it was one of those battles that they was fighting, and they heard the guns from it…..LOTS OF GUNS.

 

B. So they went into Robertson County about the time of the Civil War??

 

G. During the Civil War….got in there, and Grandpa (Holbrook) settled in..

He had a little slave boy that he had brought along, and Grandma (Holbrook ) Watson  said that this little

slave boy was big enough to make a swing for her and things like that. And later on, when we was big kids,

…great big kids..we moved back to Robertson County, and this slave boy, George Henly was his name …

 

J. He’s buried in a white cemetery…

 

G. Yeh. He was there, and he went from cousin to cousin and all of them recognized George, and took him in. He was part of the bunch. He told me one day, “Your Grandpa learned me how to work”….  He didn’t teach him, he “learned” him. I don’t guess he knew how to read or write, I don’t know….cause they didn’t teach slaves that then. And anyway….Old  George was a welcomed person to every one there…..

 

B. What town was this close to??

 

G. Well, Franklin….it was a community…Shiloh Community…that’s east of Franklin about 14 miles. And we uh….when somebody asks me where I was born, I say, well, I was born in Franklin right back of the depot 15 miles.

 

B. You were born in Franklin Texas then..?

 

G. I was born in Robertson County….and in the Shiloh Community…and in the same house my mother was born in,  I think….Grace was later born in it…..

 

B. Well, where was Uncle Toyn born??

 

G. He was born in Louisiana somewhere.

 

J. I think about like …..

 

G. Lowhorn(SP)??Lowhorn is above Castor about two or six miles. (1900)

 

B. Then Grandpa Harvey must have come wandering thru  Robinson County when he met Grandma??

 

G. My daddy was….My uncle (Bud) said, “ John Harvey were a Rounder!!”….and John Harvey

WERE  a Rounder!! He’d get on his horse and disappear….be gone for a year or two. But when he got that little ole 16 year old gal down there in Robertson County, she showed him a thing or two!!!

 

B. Penned him down some, huh??

 

G. Yeh,  but he still….he still…  he showed the first moving pictures in the state of Texas.

 

B. Well, what did he do for a living in Robertson County.??

 

J. Anything.

 

G. He worked at different farms for awhile and things like that. At one time he worked in the state asylum at  ……. Terrell. That’s where he got crippled…

 

B. Crippled by ….how??

 

G. Old gal stepped on his foot when he was dancing with her … one of the crazy girls.

 

J. I didn’t hear about that one.

 

G. Stepped on his big toe…broke it…. Any how, that’s just some of the things that happened in our family.

 

HICO, LOUISIANA IS NOT LOST

 

This is the Louisiana part of the tape made by Glen Harvey and Judia Harvey several years ago. During the tape, they referred to “Hico” Lousiana as being where their own Grandmother is buried. I couldn’t find any such town in Louisiana, and thought I was not hearing the tape correctly, but Bob has confirmed that the town where the cemetery is located is really Hico…a few miles out of Dubach, La.

 

In any event, many things of interest to me are told in this portion of the tape….

 

Glen Harvey has just completed telling a story about John Harvey getting his big toe broke while dancing with an inmate at the Terrell, Texas asylum, where he worked for a while…

 

TAPE RESUMES

 

G. By the way, did I tell you that Bob come by and said, “Daddy, I’m going over to North La. to take a pump over there… do you feel like riding with me?”  Well, it was before I got sick, and I felt alright so I got in with him. And we drove up there. And he said, “What side of the country are y’all from ?” and I said, “well, I had some kinfolks at Hico”…and he said well, we are going right by Hico. And I said alright.  Well, me and Grace had gone up there to and visited Grandmas’ grave…you remember that , Judia?? {(Hattie) Grace Harvey Ford}

 

J. Uh, huh.

 

G. But me and Bob was coming thru there, and he said…..  and we drove into the town of Hico, and I said

Turn here on this street…that might be the way I want to go. We turned and went down that way and I said, well, I guess I just don’t know how to find the place. Didn’t pay enough attention. I said, “I’d like to show you my grandmothers grave if I could.”  Well, we drove down there and directly we come to a church on the wrong side of the road, but just as we got past that church there was a road that turned to the left, and it went right in front of the church. And it began to look like that church. I said, “Stop here Bob and lets go out there and look.”

 

G. We started out thru there and we got thru the gate, and it was just a clear as mud to me then. I said, “My grandmas’ grave is right over there. “ Well, he went over and looked  at it, and he said that’s her alright. And right by her was her daughter Lucindy…wasn’t that her name, Lucinda??

 

J. Aunt Lu??

 

G. Aunt Lu…

 

J. It was Lowesa??…Louisa…Louisa

 

G. I don’t know what it was, but any how. (Tape interrupted here for discussion of change from the purchase of hamburgers….)

 

J. Do you remember a bunch came to see us named Tolbert?

 

G. O yeh…Jeff Tolbert.

 

J. And Pace…Seneca Pace- I don’t know if I’m pronouncing it right.

 

G. I remember them coming to the house very well…and he was a first cousin of  Poppas.

 

J. One of Pappas Aunts married a Pace, and one married a Parrish….don’t you remember Grandma used to talk about Parrish!!

 

G. O yeh…I remember the story of Parrish!!

 

J. If we wouldn’t mind, or wouldn’t do our jobs, she’d say, “All RIGHT, Parrish!!.

 

G. She (his grandma) said that her momma was out there washing one day, and Parrish had come. And he had just a bunch of no good dogs…and there was a little rail fence around there, about so high, she said.

Wasn’t very high.

 

G. Any way grandma….her mama was upset over it and she was griping about the dogs. And he said,

“Missus DAVIS, I will get my dogs OUT of your way!!” and he grabbed one of ‘em by the front legs, and carried him over and throwed him over that fence and come back and got the others and throwed THEM, too!!

 

G. One time…. He was the black sheep, I think.  And he said…Aunt Fannie…wasn’t that her name…

Grandmas sister??

 

J. No. Aunt Sarah..(Parrishs’ wife ??)

 

G. Said…  Sarah. He said something to her, and then he said, “I think we shall PERISH to death!!  In fact,

 I KNOW we shall!!”

 

And Aunt Sarah just turned around and said, (singing) “I’m going where my troubles will be over…”

 

J. And one of them (Grandmas sisters??) had a child that was dying with some fever or something, and they were taking care of it. It was one of Grandmas’ nieces or something. And she said they went and woke him (Parrish) up, and said, “The child has died.” And said he come in there with sleep in his eyes… just feeling his way….he glanced at the kid and said,

 

“Yep, she’s a goner alright.”  And Grandma hated his guts.

 

G. He wasn’t much of a hit, Parrish wasn’t. Grandma didn’t like him, I know that.

 

B. What was his last name??

 

G. Parrish was his last name.

 

J. Parrish and Tolbert and Pace.

 

G. They are all surnames.

 

G. Poppas’ sister married a Tolbert.

 

J. No Poppas’ sister married a preacher named Elias White…Grandmas’ sister married a Tolbert.

 

G. Her name was Fannie  (Harvey)( White)

 

J. Aunt Fannie… she had Will and Joe.

 

G. Will and Joe White and they was as fine a boys as you’d ever want to know…and I just wonder what ever become of them.

 

B. That was around Hico, La ??

 

G. No that was down close to Caster ,(SP) La. but I don’ t know more than a goose anything about them. But we love to see Joe and Will come to see us because they were such fine men.

 

B. Well, didn’t you tell me a story one time about Grandpa- or one of our relatives- camping out and John Wesley Hardin rode in and had coffee with them or something??

 

G. I didn’t tell that story..

 

J. That’s in that Bill Brett story…Bob Hardin…..

 

G. That’s in …JOHN WESLEY HARDIN… the story of John Wesley Hardin. It’s in that book. And John Harvey was out there.  He’d (left camp) and gone down to water the horses. It coulda been him. There was a spring down there, and he got down there and there was a fortune teller down there. And this fortune teller…Poppa told him that they had John Wesley Harding taking him back to stand trial… and this ole boy come up there and told Wes’ fortune. Told him he wouldn’t hang…..

 

J. Well…Robert Wesley Hardin is buried right there by Grandpa Watson and Uncle Polk Anderson. You know…the cemetery….

 

B. You mean in Robertson County……..

 

BACK TO ROBERTSON COUNTY

 

J. Robert Wesley Hardin married Mommas’ first cousin.

 

B. We called him Uncle Bob, but he was a cousin, but we called him Uncle.

 

J. Emma.

 

G. He married Emma Anderson, which was mothers first cousin.  And they had a passle of children.

 

J. Well, I don’t think the Andersons were much ahead of Wes Hardin. (See FOOTNOTE B)

 

G. Judia, I want to tell you something…they had a boy named Guy that was about our age. We used to go down there to see him once in a while, and he would come to see us. One day, Guy was telling us about his Daddy. He said…now I’m not bragging or nothing like that, but Papa killed that man…

 

J. What??

 

G. Killed that man…got in a fight and killed him…

but of course he got out of it…. He had just killed a man- He hadn’t stole a hog or nothing like that!!

 

J. What?

 

B. Laughs…he said he just killed a man. Hadn’t stole a hog or nothing serious!!

 

J. Well, you know  Mama used to just worship her Uncle Monroe(sp??)… He wasn’t no kin to her.

 

G. Actually he wasn’t her uncle.

 

B. That’s what she said.

 

G. Well, he was a good old man!!

 

B. Well, who did he pitch for??

 

J. He married one of …

 

G. You know the……family that was all deaf(??)…One of his boys killed a feller…and they tried him and he come clear…..because the feller had called him a son of a bitch or some pet name like that. Anyway, he got out of it, and he was scared all the time that they was going  to kill him. He lived about a block from us for a while up there, and he’d come down there in the middle of the night…him and his family, scared to death, and wanted to get behind something. Later on the woman he was married to…lemme see now..

How this all went…. The woman he was married to…

 

J. Her first husband had killed….

 

G. Her first husband was uh…anyway she separated from (Dewitt ?)….and later on she married the ????

 

J. Him…the killer…

 

G. Later on she married  the…

 

J. De Witt

 

G. Married the….anyway got it all mixed up…we weren’t in that country during all that siege. That happened just before we got there, and of course it was the talk of the community. (SEE FOOTNOTE C)

 

J. Well, Uncle Monroe was a fugitive from over there.

 

B. Yeah…where did that happen??

 

J. He killed twelve men.

 

B. Where at??

 

J. Mississippi.

 

J. Well Uncle Monroe….he was an Indian. He said people, when they couldn’t find anything else to do, they’d bash Indians.

 

And he said ….TAPE GOES BLANK..RE-RECORDED IN ERROR…ORIGINALLY IT SAID APPROXIMATELY…IN MY MEMORY..  a bunch of men rode up to our place just before dark, and he  began to hear shooting. He ran and hid in the loft…. 

 

ACTUAL TAPE RESUMES

 

And looked down and saw that bunch of  good White Protestants shooting his family. He said he took a picture of all of them and put it in the back of his brain, and…

 

G. They caught his daddy and hung him.

 

J. And he said when I get grown I’m going to kill every one of them..

 

G. Anyway, Uncle Monroe said, “By the eternal gods, I’ll get em!!” That was one of his expressions.

And when he was 21, he had saved up and bought himself the best horse that he could get. And one evening, he started out late in the evening. And he rode to the first ones’ house, and called him to the door, and shot him dead. Jumped on his horse and went to the next and called him…shot him dead. He just made the rounds and killed every ONE  of them!!!

 

J. Every one of them!

 

G. Then he put the spurs to his horse and went to Texas.

 

J. He came to Aunt Mary Bakers, where Grandma and them had decided to rendezvous, cause he was friends of theirs…(SEE FOOTNOTE D)

                                                                                        

B. What kind of work did he do??

 

G. He was a farmer….nearly everybody was farmers.

 

J. Or a cattle man

 

G. Anyway, Uncle Monroe was a fine old man. And we just loved old Uncle Monroe pretty good. He..

We had an old horse… it was a pretty good old horse. But Uncle Monroe come up there one day and said to Poppa, “I want to borrow your horse…I want to do a little plowing.” And Poppa said, “Well, it’s as good a plow horse as you can find.”

 

So he took this mare of ours off adown there, and he worked her there a while….but she was hard to catch.

You come up on her here in this little corner and think you had her, and she’ d turn her butt to you…

And you couldn’t get around in front of her.  And she was …she was just as gentle as could be once you had the rope on her.

 

But anyway, he was trying to catch her out in the pasture…and she dived off of this bluff.  He says I guess I’ve got you now…. She was up on this bluff…he had her headed off there, and he just hit her with the bridle to turn her around, and she just jumped off.

 

And jumped into quick sand… in this creek and went down to around her belly. He couldn’t get her out and it scared him half to death. But he came after Poppa and all the neighbors gathered up to get old Maud out of the quicksand….and they got her out.

 

B. Well, y’all went back and forth from Louisiana to Robertson county several times??

 

G. Well, they did….well, I did too, because I was born there and then they went to Louisiana and Cotton was born.

 

J. And Poppa bought him(self) a movie camera (Projector.)

 

B. Well, where did he buy the movie camera??

 

G. I  don’t know. But he told me he had to pay their “weight in gold” for the film.

 

G. Their weight in gold.

 

B. Where were y’all whenever he started this, though??

 

G. Well, it must have been up in Robertson county…  because…

 

Him and momma they fixed up this little wagon and…

 

B. Was that before or after you were born??

 

G. Oh I think I was born then. Any way, they started across the….he would stop at the school houses.

 

B. But what towns did he go to??

 

G. He would stop at the school houses along the way.

 

J. Anywhere.  Momma said that one time…he burned this carbide…it was a powder…

 

And it flashed and made a flash up on the screen.

 

G. Well, it was just a light that he used..

 

J. And she said that she ran…. And they just emptied the school house. And Poppa scolded them, and said, “Come on back,  its safe.  What did you run for??”

 

And one of them said, “that old Show Woman ran!!!”

 

And Poppa said that broke up his business. Mama said aint nobody gonna call me an old Show Woman!!

 

She was all of 16.  (SEE FOOTNOTE E)

 

G. Poppa….Momma was telling about…they didn’t have hotels along the way. Anyway they stopped down there in the Red River bottom. And was going to build a fire and cook. They’d camped by the roadside by a branch where they would have water for the horses and also water for themselves. And trees to get behind when they had to go behind one.

 

She said, “These plantation niggers, they come by there, and they would look….. you know. One day they were down there and Poppa had some kindlin ‘ gathered up… and had a little piece of cotton, and he didn’t have any matches. He just took a glass, and was holding it up here. You’ve seen that, magnifying it. He said this nigger woman walked up behind him, and she said, “What you doing there white man???” He said, “I’m building me a Hell of my own.”  Just about that time that thing lit up and she said that nigger woman took off running.

 

G. Another time, they was…  maybe it was the same place… I don’t know… she said these little nigger kids were standing  around  there. … she was cooking….dinner…She said she didn’t imagine a kid ever had enough to eat… most kids don’t, you know… one of these nigger boys (pointed at another one) and said “ You know that whopper jawed devil would eat right now if you’d ask him.”

 

J. Poppa said that one time it came an eclipse, and he knew about it…thru an almanac or something.

But anyway, he said that the niggers in the neighborhood was scared to death. They saw that the moon was messed up and they came down there and said, “Let us stay down here with you.” They thought there was some kind of magic.

 

Directly, Poppa said, “What IS the matter with that moon??” One of them said, “It’s Clipsed!!” and Poppa said, “Which one of you clipped it??  Nooo sir, they said, we didn’t clip it!!!  (SEE FOOTNOTE F)

 

TRIP TO HUMBLE FROM ROBERTSON COUNTY

 

B.  Uh you told me a story one time about your horse dying in Spring.

 

G. Oh Lord goodness, that’s further down the line…that’s when we made the Exodus from Robinson County…. Papa had been sick for 3 years and hadn’t been able to work, and we WAS on the rocks.  When I say we was on the rocks…we was poor   Poor.  But me and Nubbin (Toyn) got us a cotton chopping job. 

 

Poppa in the meantime he took off, ….thought he was able to go…but he wasn’t.  But he went…and he went to Humble. And….

 

B. That was before the boom in Humble, right??

 

G. It was during the boom.  Big boom.  And he went down there and he wrote back that they was paying

three  dollars a day  for working in the oilfield.  And he hadn’t got a job but  later on he wrote that he had took a contract to jack up a house ..a ten room house..and build a story under it. And he was gonna get Four Hundred and Fifty Dollars for it.!!

 

G. When Momma got that letter, she said-- when he gets that much money , we will have a little anyway. We are going … today!!

 

Well…meantime we’ d been chopping cotton, and  hanging on to our money and living on what we had…which was not much. But anyway, Momma was thrifty. She‘d take care of money then--

That’s fore the kinfolks moved in on us.

 

Anyway, she went to Uncle Monroe …said, “ Uncle Monroe, I need  a wagon.”

 

He said “Belle , you can have mine!”

 

Well, we had one horse …that’s the old horse that had jumped off in the creek. That’s all we had then. Well  Grandma had one.

 

Mama told Grandma, “ I want to use old Molly….to take us down there.” 

 

Well Grandma sez, “Well, I’m going too!” 

 

J. Any thing for a trip with Grandma!!

 

G. I tell you right now…that was the crowning glory of the trip …for Grandma to be along!!

 

We was three days on the road. First day, we got to Bryan. We stopped there…and they had  a wagon yard there… now you don’t know what a wagon yard is,  but let me explain to you what it is.

 

J. It’s more like a motel.

 

G. It was where the country people could come in to do their trading….and they would stay at this wagon yard, and the merchants there furnished  the … everything for them…and made it pretty nice for everybody.

 

G. Well, anyway, we stayed at the wagon yard that night …..(And) the next night we got to Navasota.

and they didn’t have a wagon yard there, so we drove on out of town and got to the edge of a creek out there and stayed there….

 

B. How old were y’all…about…??

 

D. Well  lets see ..I was about 13,  I guess and Nubbin 15

 

B. So it would have been about 1915 that y’all were doing this??

 

D. Well, a little bit before, cause we were there when war was declared…we had got to Humble and was established when war was declared. ….(First declaration of war in WWI was July l914 in Europe)

 

Anyway,  we was going along  way in the night…we was trying to urge the horses until we could find a place.  And we come to one of them old bridges that was built like this (shows a hump with his hands).   They made ‘em like that then. And the horses tugged and strained to pull up there, and then you ‘d go over here and you’d  have trouble stopping them.

 

G. Anyway, we’s going along.  Me and Nubbin was scared  because we had just got word from Louisiana , where we had lived over there, and they had started over one of them kinda bridges, and the horses got scared , started backing up, and the whole wagon backed off and 11 o f them was killed.

Of course we was scared!!!

 

Well, we started  up that hill and we was just trying to get the horses over it you know, me and him both…

Just working with both hands on it.

 

Grandma, sitting there, said, “OoooH, Merciful, Merciful Meeeeee!!”  And the horses stopped!!!.

 

They thought she had said whoa!   And Bob, I just  panicked. I absolutely panicked … I DIVED outa that wagon and got them horses by the reins and managed to stop the wagon and LED ‘EM over that hill !!

 

And I’m telling you right now…..  Grandma was good at crap like that.!!

 

J. She was….(interrupted   …..again…by her brother).

 

G. We went on a little further and we camped that night   We  just found a place and stopped. The horses were give out and we knew it. We didn’t even have water for them. But we stopped there. It a was a place we could put the beds down and all that and we did.  And we slept.

 

And we woke up the next morning and we was in the edge of a cemetery ( Laughs)  And Grandma like to have went crazy!!!!

 

J. She thought they would put a hex on her!!

 

G. Well anyway, we got in the wagon again and started off.  Well, we had got to Spring…or nearly to Spring   and we was going along  and the old horses…we had fed them oats….we had a wagon bed full of oats.   But the old horses…we was crowding ‘em  …too much. And we was driving along and all of a sudden …Kerplunk….and that old mare of ours fell in her tracks….

 

Well she didn’t die but she was a sick  little girl.

 

G. So there we was on the road. So we got out on the side of the road, and got the harness offa old Maud, and  we spent the night there. Well, the next morning we got up and it was a couple of miles into Spring…and I think that I rode old Molly…the other horse…into Spring…and we talked to a man…told him our horse had give out.

 

And in the meantime, Momma had made a deal with the people there where the horse  fainted to keep the horse a few days...  

 

So he come out there to talk to Momma. He told her…I’ll put my horse in beside of yours and take y’all to Humble for five dollars.

 

Well……Momma had the five dollars alright…she'd saved that cotton chopping money…

 

G.  We got in that wagon and went on and we got to Humble. And Aunt Edna had give us directions on how to come to her house and she said go to the Graces store….Go to the Grocery store was what she intended  for it to say…and we couldn’t find …we didn’t know where we was when we got there.

 

So we went out to Moonshine Hill…and this old boy was nervous about getting loose with his horse…getting his horse out of it,,,, So we was driving along and directly Cotton said, “I saw Papa back there at that house.”  And that feller stopped the wagon and turned around, and we went by there again. Sure enough it was Papa.!!

 

And that was as big an accident as there ever was…us finding papa.

 

J. It was a boom on  …  Uncle Elbert ..

 

D. But anyway….he told the man where to go. .. to take us down to Aunt Ednas house. That’s where he was staying then.

 

B  Now that’s Aunt Ednie…Grandmommas sister? (SEE FOOTNOTE G)

 

G. Yeh…anyway, we got down to the hot wells and turned right down the river road which was the directions, and shore nuf, we come to the house and there was another…

B.  SIDE ENDS….

 

HUMBLE TO HULL AND BEYOND

  

Begins with a recorded over gap….The family in a wagon from Robertson County has arrived in Humble and is searching for Aunt Ednas and Uncle Elberts Home….

 

TAPE RESUMES

 

J. when she got a whiff. She said I know where we are. We’re not too far from Moonshine Hill. Said if you ever smell Moonshine Hill with the oil boom  …

 

G. Well, anyway, we got there to Aunt Ednies…. And if I’d been Uncle Elbert and Aunt Ednie I’d have dived out the back door and they wouldn’t a seen me any more! (SEE FOOTNOTE G) The way we come in there…we just came in bad...  and then Poppa was out there trying to keep a bunch of men moving. And he’d borrowed jacks and props and things and he was going ahead with it. We got down there tho, and we stayed the night there. And then the next night, Poppa come in and he said, “Now this little house next door here is Mrs Gilmartins.”  (That was the woman he was doing this building for). And he said, I’ve made arrangements to move in it, so we moved into it. But, of course, bringing that much …..in that bunch of stuff we had in our wagon.. we didn’t have a cook stove and we didn’t have….  Well, we didn’t have a Pot nor a Window, did we Judia??

 

J.  I didn’t hear much of the dealing except tending to the little kids while  Momma  took care of the negotiations…..

 

G. Well, anyway..we moved in there and in a day or two, we was established in our own house. Over there. I don’t know where we got a stove..or whether we got one…

 

J. It was a kerosene stove…wasn’t it??

 

G. I don’t remember.  We’d been there a day or two, or a week or something like that when Momma decided that we needed to go get our horse over at Spring. Well, they had a taxi…had a jitney…you know what a jitney is??? It was a Model Tee, two seated….  Car ,  and you’d crank it and start down the road.

 

And we …uh.. went down there and asked the man what he would charge to take us to Spring. Well,

he told us- and Momma had the money- and me and her went to Spring. We got down there, and found our old horse…she was walking around pretty good.  Didn’t have a saddle for her, but I just put the bridle on her and got on bareback, and started to Spring….about 14 miles across there.  Momma went on back in the taxi.

 

G. Well, I was nearly all day. Riding to  ….Humble.  Rode on down there…. and we had our horse!!

 

Had about as much use for a horse as a Hog has for a Holiday!!

 

G.  So we had the horse around there for a day or two, and Poppa …  there was an old man down there that come up there and wanted the horse, and Poppa said, “What you got that you’ll trade me for it?”  The man said, “I’ve got a house…tent house.  Its’ got a tent over it but the rest of it’s a house.” Poppa says, “Where it is” ?? and the feller says, “Its over on the ditch.” Well, me and Poppa and some of us, we went over to the “ditch”.

 

B. What was the “ditch??”

 

G. Ice plant ditch where the water runs off……laughs…

 

So we got there, and Poppa looked at it, and Poppa told him, sez, “I’ll trade you the horse for it.”

Alright.  So he led the horse off, and that’s the last we saw of the horse.  And we moved into THAT place.

And we got in there and ….we lived there THREE YEARS…didn’t we Judia??

 

J. I can’t remember, Glen.

 

G. You know I worked for Shorty Rhodes, you remember ??  I got me a job…..

 

B. Was that the first job you’d had  ???

 

G. No, it was not the first one…I’d sold papers and I…..Any thing… I’d set pins at a bowling alley…Boy that’s a back breaking job!! For a kid……  I’d get a nickel a game. And boy, you earned yore nickel too if you want to know something. You’d bend over and pick up those pins and set them on those spots…and you’d just give out…

 

G. Anyway, I worked for Shorty Rhodes for four dollars a week…

 

J. And Toyn worked for Sid Westheimer…. He hauled coffins  (Confused conversations here)

 

G. Any way, we both got us a job, and it’s a good thing we did, because not too long  later, Poppa

got sick again, and we had that on our hands.

 

B. What kinda sickness did he have??

 

G. Son, I guess Poppa musta had some kind of a ….I don’t know!  But he passed blood.

He worked when he shouldn’t of been working.

 

J. Huh??

 

G. He worked like the devil !! When he shouldn’t have been working.

 

J. He sure did. He didn’t know what rest was!

 

G. Naw…he didn’t have TIME!!

 

G. Well…we got there….Mamma would wash the clothes….we’d…we…we hadtu carry water..

We…a neighbor had a well out there… 

 

J. Its still there. That artesian well is still a flowing.

 

G. You mean that hot springs….. that wasn’t the one I’m talking about. The one over there by the ice

plant ..  he  had a pump on it. Ludtke was the name of the people. L U D T K E   And a .. they’d let us get water there.    And we’d carry the water, and Momma would wash….  and

 

B. What kind of a job was it that you got??

 

G. Driving a dray wagon.  He had a one horse and he had a little wagon and  he’d meet the trains.

Drummers would come in with trunks and things. You’d pick up the trunks and take them to the merchants where he was gonna display his stuff.  And a… It was a pretty good job!!  I tried hard to make good…and I did make good on that job.

 

J. And Uncle Elbert…. He was a Dude! And he came to Houston and  got a job as a conductor

on a street car. And he had this little old ticket puncher that would punch those little holes on the transfers.

But he was up in the … up in the… Face Cards!!   He wasn’t no common everyday laborer !!

 

G. But, what we was going to tell you about him tho…they didn’t have any protection…they was right out in the open,  the conductor and the motor man, and he took pneumonia and died. And here comes Aunt Ednie and her bunch down there to live in the tent with us.

 

G. Any way…we got there to Humble and we got things to working. Then I got a job selling the Houston Press…that was a little daily publication…six days a week. Give ‘em a half cent a piece for the papers.

And I give 25 dollars for the agency.  And I got the agency with 26 subscribers…this old man had been doing it…delivering it.

 

B. How much did you get per paper??

 

G. Ten cents a week. But we weren’t supposed to get but six cents a week. And some of em would “Belly Ache””…  You would deliver a paper for a dime a week..  that was cheap enough but some of them didn’t think so. Saturday, I ‘d get out….I went to school…I’d get out, and take one of them papers and carry it down to this next door here,  and I’d say would you like to take the Houston Press?? They are just dime a week, and here’s the news…..well, heck,  I had  six hundred and forty seven customers when I give up the thing.  And I had saved a little money.

 

B. Did you sell the agency to somebody else??

 

G. Yeah. Didn’t get much…I’ve forgot what it was.

 

Anyway, while I was working over there making all that vast sums of money, there was an ole boy

come down there, and he says, Glen, would you like to own that old house of mine. And I said, Yeah, I’d

like too but I can’t buy that. He sez, I’ll tell you what…if you want to buy it, I’ll sell it to you for $20.

It was a little four room house. And I said, well I’ll see if I can get twenty dollars. And so I did get the twenty dollars. And then I rented it for $20 a month!!

 

B. Why did the guy want to get rid of it??

 

G. Well, he didn’t know what he had.  I don’t know, he’d gambled for it or something. Any way, then I bought another house, and I was accumulating houses….I had three of them.  And Poppa,  they just got

kinda dull there in Humble and he wasn’t getting  no work. He saw an ad…Kirby Lumber Company

wanted a carpenter to build a bunch of houses at Lyric(?)  Now Lyric is between Cleveland and Hightower out there in them woods. He went out there and built it in by the sawmill.

 

B. Then ya’ll moved  from Humble??

 

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

 

G. We went to Lyric ??  (SEE FOOTNOTE H)  We went out there and Papa built the houses according to the contract, and there we was again…stranded.

 

J. He was supposed to get a dollar an opening. A door or a window, and they didn’t want to pay him for but one opening for each house.  He had to sue John Henry Kirby. He won that, tho, didn’t he Glen??

 

G. Judia, I don’t remember the details of it….I think he got his money alright.

 

G. Anyway, while we was living there, the war was going on. Well, every thing was rationed and we didn’t work for Kirby Lumber Co. The fellows that worked for Kirby…he had a commissary there and you’d go down there and buy your groceries. Well that was alright if you had the cash.

 

B. Or company script ??

 

G. Well, they had script, or punch outs. And we would go down there and we would buy groceries. But we couldn’t get sugar and we couldn’t get flour…they saved that for their customers… the big shots. And we didn’t have a bite of wheat for three months…we didn’t have biscuits.  One day there was a lady come by and  she’d wound her way out thru them woods on a little dim road and went to Hightower, and said that they had flour over there, and was letting it go six pounds to the person in the family.

 

J. And you had to buy an equal amount of meal.

 

G. But that’s the way they did it. Me and Cotton (his next youngest brother, Dee Harvey) looked the situation over, and it was a long way over there. But we decided we’d try to go over there. And Momma give us the money and we took off down thru them woods …..  six miles.

 

J. No road, no nothing.

 

G. Well, there was a half road. And we went down thru there and we got over there and sho nuff they had the flour. Well….it happened that that lady that had come by was there, and we told them that there was ten in the family. That make sixty pounds of flour… and sixty pounds of meal!!! Well, we bought the sixty pounds of flour, and put forty lbs in one bag and twenty in the other one, and we set the meal out on the porch of the store and we started home. Of course, I got to carry the sixty…I mean forty…lbs because Cotton was littler than me and he was tired before we started.

 

G. Well we WAS tired! Anyway, we got home and we had biscuits!!!  Whew those were good biscuits!

 

But a few days later, Poppa said, well, I got to go. Aint no work here.

 

G. In the meantime, Momma had a cousin from Robertson County that had come down there to see if he could work for Poppa. It was during the war. So he was there, and Pappa took off and Uncle Lyndell (Lyndal?) went too.  Well they went to Orange and they got down there and somebody told them that Lake Charles the place to go as they was building ships down there. It was during the war. And they went over there to (find work)??

 

B. Y’all were still where then??

 

G. We were at Hull, then. We had moved to Hull. Poppa, when he left and went to Orange….when he come back…and was coming back, he stopped at Hull, and they had just made the oil well. And he said there will  be a bunch of people building little houses there and he’d get the jobs.  So he just proceeded to come on over there and said, “We’re moving to Hull!!”  

 

We hired a truck…a flat bed truck…it was able to carry all of us!!! (Laughs) Judia, what did we do???

 

J. I don’t know!!

 

G. We went on that truck didn’t we?? Carried all our worldly possessions on it!!  It wasn’t a van.. it was a truck.   We wound around thru there and got to Hull , and we stopped under a tree and set up.  I think we had a tent and we set it up and we slept in there, and would come out on the front and eat our meals..

vittals.

 

And Momma began to get acquainted with farmers in the neighborhood. And they would come by and say, “Mz Harvey, would you like to buy a half a hog??”  And she’d say well I can’t use that much.

 

Well… I’ll tell you….if you’ll buy a half a hog, I’ll let you have it for so much .

 

Well, she’d go out and look at it, and talk…and first thing you know, she’d buy it. When Poppa come in, he could cut it up and fix it up  …..    economizing!!

 

He’d come in and they’d have a basket of peas…he’d been peddling, and couldn’t peddle them out

He’d come back by our house…that was on his way home..

 

J. And Momma would get on the train and go to Beaumont, and buy a suitcase full of groceries.

We didn’t have a store.

 

B.  Well, that’s one way of doing it.

 

GOING TO WORK AT A MANS’ JOB

 

B. Well, what did you do in Hull??

 

G. What did I do in Hull ??? I grew up!! …  and become a roughneck.

 

B. Well, who did you go to work for first ??

 

G. Ice…I used to deliver ice…

 

B. In Hull ??

 

G.  Yeah. See, they had them ice houses that was setting right by the depot, I mean right by the railroad.

And they’d order that ice by the car load, and it would come in and we’d put it in the icehouse.  Then we would put it in the trucks and in the wagons and …

 

B. Take it to whoever would buy it ??

 

G. Yeah … there would be a sign in the window that said twenty five, so we would cut off  25 lbs and take it in there and put it in the refrigerator.

 

DOORBELL RINGS……TAPE SHUT OFF THEN…

 

G. I tell you what now…that at Hull we didn’t have any jobs there for a long time because…me and Nubbin was undersized…and underage…and we wasn’t old enough to take just any kind of job.

 

J. Toyn had to register for the draft…

 

G. Yeah. Nubbin had to register for the draft…and was called, but he never left the house…they turned him back…

 

J. He got as far as Beaumont and Peace came.

 

G. Yeh…Peace broke out. Anyway, we got …..  and later on…

 

B. You were telling me about going to work in the oilfields…how old were you when you got your first

job in the oilfields??

 

G. Well, pretty…I was pretty young…but I had one…they was building a pipeline down there….

 

J.  Momma and Daddy had to sign a minors release…

 

G. No No they never….they asked me how old I was and I said “Twenty One” and he said  What year was you born and I said well, uh  uh…and he said  I’ve got it figured out!! Just forget it…

 

B. Laughs…he knew you were under age…

 

G. Anyway, I went to work down there.  And worked down there… until I got laid off.

 

B. What was the name of the company??

 

G. Humble…

 

B. Oh, you were building a pipeline for Humble…

 

G. Humble Pipeline…and then later on, I went to work for a telephone company, there.

 

J. For who ??

 

G. A telephone company.  I…I…worked in a grocery store for a long time, delivering groceries.

 

B. Well, didn’t you tell me that you had a hamburger stand once ??

 

G. Oh Yeah!!!   That was another day, wasn’t it Judia??

 

G. In Hull.. They built a schoolhouse there, and I didn’t have any job and that’s before I went to work down there. And we decided we would try to put in a sandwich shop down there. They didn’t have any cafeterias or anything like that in schools. Poppa built me a little…he built it for a garage …

 

J. It was about as big as this room, wasn’t it??

 

G. Yeh, about this big. And I had me a little stove.. an oil stove, and a griddle…and I’d never made a

hamburger in my life. But I got me some buns and some meat, and cut up some onions. Them kids would just buy the heck out of  them.  I done pretty good with it there. Any way, school was out and I had to do something else then.     

 

G. I got a job working for the telephone company then.  Worked for them a while, and then he run out of work…..laughs…    I got all his work caught up…

 

B. Yeah…worked yourself out of a job!!

 

G. And he said, “I think maybe I can help you get a job with the Magnolia Company.” So he did.

He got me on with the line crew with the Magnolia Petroleum Company, and I went from place to place..

 

B. Doing what ???

 

G. Lineman..

 

B. Putting up telephone lines??

 

G. Yeah.

 

J. Tell him about the World Championship fight…Carpentier and….

 

B. Said something about on the radio…

 

G. Oh that was..

 

J. Carpentier and who…Dempsey??

 

G. Dempsey…and anyway…I had a little radio….one tube!! And had to put a lamp chimney over the ear piece  and turn it as loud as I could get it so we could all hear it. (Makes noises with his throat…) crackling

One little boy sitting there said, “ Boy, Old Dempsey is laying it on him ain’t he ???”  Laughs

 

B. When you went to work for Magnolia on the line crew, was that before or after you got the oilfield job??

 

G. Before. I got my oilfield job while I was a lineman.  I was working.. a friend of mine-Connor Jerdan..

He asked old man Taylor about putting me to work.  He said you know Glen. He said, yeah, I know him

Not too good but I know him. Well, he sez, he needs a job and …..

 

(As a lineman) I got six dollars a day, which was more than I got roughnecking, but by the time I paid my  board. … …They didn’t give us traveling expenses or nothing. They would put us on a truck and move

us alright, but uh…I just couldn’t make a living at it.  You would move into a place, and a dollar a day

board and room and sometimes it was more than that….anyway we lived thru it anyway.

 

BECOMING AN OIL FIELD NOMAD

 

Then I went to work for the Gulf Company when I went back to Hull and stayed with the Gulf..

 

B. What were you doing for the Gulf when you started??

 

G. Roughnecking …

 

B. On a drilling rig…was that your first drilling rig??

 

 G. Yeah..that was in 1924.

 

B. Down in the Hull  field…

 

G. 1924…

 

B. Where did they send you from there??

 

G. I worked there for a year or two and they sent me to Stratton Ridge, that’s right out of Freeport

I was on a wildcat well, working for George Devore, Judia. And we finished up down there and moved the rig to Egan, La., and we went down there and made what well we made down there and we moved from

there to  Hancomer(SP).

 

B. Well, pretty much then, the crew followed the rig…wherever the rig went, the crew stayed with it.

 

G. That’s right.  We had…George was the day driller…Bear Hide Smith was ….Cody Abshire I believe was the evening tower driller and the morning tower driller I don’t remember right now.

 

B. So they had about 21 or 22 guys making up a three crew shift then???

 

G. Yeah…they was a five man crew, and then they had a time keeper…which was Henry Mass.

 

J. That’s when you got your finger cut off, wasn’t it??

 

G. That was when I was roughnecking…that was before I went on the wildcat well.

 

I had my finger cut off when I went to Stratton  Ridge. It was in 1927 that it got cut off.

 

G. Did I ever tell you about what happened on January the 8th ???

 

B. Nah….

 

G.  Well, one time me and Cotton was out  in the barn…that was when we lived in Robertson  County.

We didn’t have any air gun nor sling shots or anything like that, and didn’t have no rubber to make a slingshot. So we was out in the barn…so we had made us a bow and arrow.  I called it a barn… but it was a crib…a corn crib. And rats got in there and we was gonna kill ‘em. We get fixed with a bow and arrow…

 

So I had a hole back there where one come in at, and I set me a nubbin of corn out about that far in front of it. So …a…I was setting there waitin’ …I could see this ole rat just easing  on out. But just before I got ready to shoot old Cotton shot…and he shot MY rat!!

 

B. Did he kill it??

 

G. Naw!

 

B. But he scared the rat away???

 

G. Any way he shot MY rat instead of HIS!! He had him a place fixed up there.  When he did, I just turned around and slapped the THUNDER out of him!!

  

B. Yeah , that’s what little brothers get…that’s fair…

 

G. I said, “WHAT DID YOU SHOOT MY RAT FOR???” He said he wasn’t YOURS’ ‘til he got killed!!

 

So I turned back around, and was watching again. And in a minute, something hit me on the head!!

He’d picked up a nubbin of corn, and he come down on my head like that!!   And when he hit me, he Dived out the door, all in one motion!!

 

And started hollering … OH HE’S KILLING ME…HE’S BEATING ME UP!!  And I hadn’t touched him

except to slap the thunder out of him …And he run, and I dived out after him…and I could out run him and he knew I could.

 

But he was Singin…hollering BLOODY MURDER  and he got out in the watermelon patch out from the house there. (Of course the watermelons were gone by then) . And I overtook him out there. I caught him and THROWED him down on the ground and was slapping him in the face like this…(demonstrates)..

 

G. All of a sudden…POPPA WALKED UP BEHIND US !!  And Boy, he just whipped the heck outa me !!

And Cotton…I looked over at him and he’s (shows how he was snickering)…But he HAD been screaming like I was killing him !!

 

G. But Poppa just turned me loose, and reached over and got Cotton, and tore HIM up!!

 

Well, later on that day, we was talking and Cotton said…”we ought to remember this day for a long time

The eighth of January!! “  He said   “ We got a whupping didn’t we??” I said, I dang sure did!! Did you?? And he said  Yes I Did!!. And we were sympathizing with each other about getting whipped.

 

G. But anyway, thru the years, the Eighth of January has been my nemesis. Something has happened

On the Eighth of January yearly!I got  my finger cut off on the Eighth of January..and I got…uh…

I’ve been operated on FIVE TIMES on the Eighth of January!! And I have been…and I took Butch in on the Eighth of January…(SEE FOOTNOTE I)

 

B. Laughs

 

G. Well, You can laugh if you want to…

 

B. (To Aunt Judia) That’s one of Sues’ ( My step sister) cousins…  Butch.

 

G. You remember Butch staying with me ?? A little boy that moved in here. I took Butch in on the Eighth of January.

 

J. Are they still living??

 

G. As far as I know. He come down here one day with his suitcases. And I told him there wasn’t no use to have his suitcases cause he wasn’t moving in with me!! Any way, then your momma and I separated on the Eighth of January.   One thing after another on the Eighth of January.

 

B. Well,  where were you working when you met Momma??

 

G. Luling…I’d been transferred up there. They moved us around then. After we made that well (struck oil and  “completed “ the well) at Hancomer(?), they sent another supervisor in there to take care of that. And George, he got rich off of it by getting him a partner and sewing up some land (a oil well drilling option??) But I didn’t have any backing and they transferred me to Luling …

 

G. Yeh, I went to Luling…actually, it was Stratton Ridge…I mean Dorse (Doris??) Creek.

 

B. Well, I’ve heard them talk of Dorse Creek.

 

G. Well Doris Creek was were your Granddaddy lived…and he had built a little shack down there, and they was going to take in boarders and get rich.[(Arch Calvin Martin and Florence Brand Martin…with Oleta (my mother), Juanita, Francis, Christine and Dorothy Jean…my aunts)]

 

B. What was he doing then…

 

G. Oh he worked for the Gulf!! Me and Big Beaver Horton(?) and Earl er something….I just can’t remember.

 

B. That’s alright…

 

G. Any, we moved in down there in the little house, and we would go up there and eat… And it was nice and a very convenient thing for us. I had bought me a car. But Judia and Poppa had it. Judia was doing the census…. 

 

B. That would have been about 1930 then??

 

G. That was right close. ,,,it had done got to 1930  And I met  your momma and  a  ….we…made a deal

 

Then I got transferred to East Texas…

 

B. To Greggton??

 

G. Naw…to Kilgore! Me and the old boy I worked for …Bob Morton was his name.  I was rough-necking for him then. They told us to go to Kilgore and be there at seven o’clock in the morning.

 

Well, you could make it now with the kinda cars you got, but you couldn’t then. So we loaded up in Bobs’ car and started, and we got to Nacogdoches…just at the crack of dawn…and we eat breakfast.

 

The next morning was the 23rd of March…and we was coming along, and

 

I’d been off out there among them lil ole trees that weren’t as big as nothing—that had dirt on them and all that…..

And then ( to see) them big old Stately Pines along the side of the road…and occasionally look out through there and see a dog wood in bloom…

 

And I said, Boy, I’ve come Home!! Cause I was raised over there in North Louisiana ..they had plenty of that kind of stuff over there…and I just liked it!

 

I’ve been gone two or three times since then…but its been because I had to go on a job. But when I finally wound up, I was awfully glad to get back to Kilgore!! I Like It !!

 

B. Uncle Debs said that he worked with you over there around Greggton, didn’t he…or he was working there while you were there too??

 

G. Well, Debs…yeah he was there some.

 

B. Well, let me see if I got the thing straight. You were living …or working around Greggton when I was born ?? Right ??

 

G. Yeh, Yeh.

 

B. And Momma went back to Luling …or back to Dorse Creek and went to the hospital in Luling to have

me, right??

 

G. Yeah.

 

B. And we were living right next to Uncle R J (Shaw) and Aunt Faye,(Grandma Martins Sister) right??

 

G. There at Greggton.

 

B. Well, how long did we stay at Greggton??

 

G. Oh we stayed there about a year  I guess.

 

B. And then where did we go??

 

G. Don”t crowd me.. will you?? (SEE FOOTNOTE J)

 

B. Well, I was just trying to remember myself, and naturally I can’t…

 

G. We went back to Overton and worked over there a while and then, we went from there to Bogota.

 

B. So we went from Greggton to Overton for a while and then to Bogota and

 

B. Well, you were in Overton when Bob was born…tho…before we went to Bogota??

 

G. Yeah…

 

B. So how long did we stay in Bogota??

 

G. Oh I think about a year or a little better.

 

B. And then we took off and went where???

 

G. Ever where!!  We went to Houston and we worked out of Houston there…drill a well and then come back to Houston…drill a well, and then come back to Houston. I worked at Fairbanks, and I worked at El  Campo…

 

B. Was this for Gulf or for Housh Thompson??

 

G. Housh…

 

B. Then you left Gulf while we were in Bogota and went with Housh Thompson??

 

G. I left (Gulf) to GO to Bogota..

 

B. I can remember…in Goliad…because that’s when I started school. Because I was too young to get in the public schools and y’all started me in that Catholic school.  But I had been in kindergarten in both

New London and Houston. I can remember having graham crackers and milk at that school in Houston.

 

G. That was a lucky break wasn’t it??

 

B. That’s just all I can remember about it…it wasn’t important.

I know that after Goliad, we move around a whole bunch there for a long time…back and forth to Louisiana…Chaneyville and….

 

J. Y’all lived in some town called Sandia…

 

B. Yeah, now that was later on…Sandia was…

 

G. Sandia was after I had that spell, Judia and was in the hospital for so long and couldn’t work

And they let me go down there and watch a rig, at Sandia.  Sandia is right out of Mathis down there. Not far..

 

B. I remember Sandia well…I remember us catching that big ole 75 lb gar and giving to those Mexicans out across the prairie, and them cooking it and baking it down in that pit!!

 

G. Yore momma would’ve died if she hadn’t of got to go over there and see how they was cooking it!!

They dug a hole…and  built a fire on top of it,  Judia..

 

Put this gar down in the hole and built a fire over it. And then, he’d take the skin and lay it back, and

they’d eat all that was done. And then he’d cover it back up and put his fire back over it.  Oleta asked

him…why didn’t you fry it?? He …said Don’t got any shortening!!

 

J. Said what??

 

B. Laughing…Didn’t have any shortening!!

 

Well, we will do this again sometime, but right now, I’m going to turn this off.

 

REGRETFULLY, WE NEVER DID DO IT AGAIN…wah

 

FOOTNOTES

 

Footnote A.   Aunt Judia is convinced that her Grandmother was a first cousin to Jefferson Davis. (Her parents were of course Davis’). However, checking Jefferson Davis’ charts, it shows that his father was an only child with no brothers.  It follows that he could have had no first cousins actually named Davis.  I believe that both Aunt Judia and my father Glen Harvey heard this when children and mistakenly believed it to be true.

                     Aunt Judia was crippled  by a stroke and confined to a wheelchair, living at my home when the Bosnian troubles were occurring (as well as at the time of this taping). The idea that the Holbrook who went to Bosnia is in some way related to the Holbrooks in our family line has to be pure speculation. It may be true, but the odds are very greatly against it and even if true the connection would be extremely remote.

 

Footnote B.   Apparently there were several Anderson families in Robertson County. Grandma Martha C. Holbrook Watsons’ sister Sarah is shown in the records to have married Polk Anderson in the late l860s

Just a few years or months after the Holbrooks arrived in the area. They had a lot of children, all of whom are my Grandmother Isabelle Suzanna Watson Harveys’ first cousins. The Guy that Glen Harvey is referring to as saying “my daddy killed that man”may or may not be from this bunch of Andersons.

Re-reading of the transcript also shows that he could possibly be referring to a Guy Hardin.. which would also make him a cousin of Isabelle Suzanna Watson Harvey if he was a son of Robert Hardin.

 

Dad told me a story once about an Anderson that all the children he played with believed to be a pirate with gold hidden in the woods…and I’m pretty sure he was not talking about Uncle Polk Andersons family, but another group of Andersons in the county. It isn’t really relevant, as I would be glad to be related to either bunch !! Better yet…both bunchs.

 

FOOTNOTE C.  Apparently there was a couple of killings in the county just before John  W and Belle Harvey returned to Robertson County. Glen and Judia Harvey were trying to tell the story  but seemed very confused on the tape as to who shot who and why …and who married who and why. It would be interesting to find someone in Robertson County who might shed light on this happening.

 

FOOTNOTE D.  Have been unable to identify “UNCLE MONROE” in the census records for l860 thru 1910, but I did not get his full name, or if Monroe is spelled correctly, or if Monroe is his first or last name. In any event, Uncle Monroe seems to be a very strange fugitive, especially if he did in fact kill 12 men back in Mississippi. From the conversation on the tape, we get the impression that the story was told to them as children by Uncle Monroe himself, or from adults who had heard it from him. But if he had killed 12 men and was a fugitive…why tell anyone at all?? Why come to a place in Texas where people who came from Mississippi who knew him were living? Why not change his name and head for California…or places unknown?? Even if he did kill 12 men, he seems like a nice man.

 

FOOTNOTE E.  Glen said he believed he was already born when the movie wagon business was operating. However, Aunt Judia says that “She was all of 16” when the business broke up. One of these is not correct, as Glen was born in 1902 and Grandmother was 16 in 1896. I personally believe that the movie business actually took place before Glens birth, but later than l896…but who knows??

 

Also…I do not believe carbide is the substance that caused that flash that frightened  the audience. Carbide and water gives off a gas that will burn brightly, but I don’t believe it will flash. (I understand though that the old film itself would flash brightly if it was burned…but again, who knows ?? )

 

FOOTNOTE F.  The last three or four paragraphs involve stories told by my grandmother and grandfather to my aunt and to my father about incidents  they considered amusing about the “niggers” they encountered in the late l890’s. Strong consideration was given to not including these in the transcript for fear that some offense would be taken by those reading this today. However it is important that the story these two people told be reported honestly and with all the warts and prejudices showing, as well as all the good qualities that show through the tapes. The prejudices of my grand parents clearly show, and it is clear that they partly  continued into the generation of my parents…and this is probably true in all  Southern families whose grandparents and great grandparents were here during the Civil War. It should help those of us with children and grandchildren of our own to realize what a thoughtless legacy we can leave to them in just our attitudes and beliefs.  

 

The same reasoning applies to “Policing Their English” and their pronunciation which all sounds awfully country.  Both were much better educated than it seems on the tapes, and I think they both must have been trying to stay in character for the narratives they were making. True, Glen only attended school thru about the 8th grade, but he had a very good self taught background (He tried to help me with my calculus when I was in college, but I managed to flunk out anyway), and Aunt Judia graduated from Mary Hardin Baylor, went to Austin and got a law degree (she never practiced), and was an Inspector for Hughes Tool in Houston from 1942 until the 60s. On the other hand, this IS the way we used to talk in a gathering of the Harvey clan, particularly with Belle Harvey around.

 

Besides this is the way they wanted to tell it and this is the way it has been transcribed. (I cheated a little here and there.)

 

FOOTNOTE G.  Aunt Edna (Watson) Goodman Benefield  was a few years younger than my Grandmother  Isabel Watson Harvey. They were sisters. Her name was spelled EDNA, but everyone called her Aunt Edknee.. She had three children (that I know of) Lavelle, Lorene and Nell. On several occasions, the Harveys stayed at her house, and on others her family stayed with the John Harveys. I remember at age 5 or 6, Aunt Ednee had a small house in Hull, just down the railroad tracks from Grandma Harveys house, and she was still living after Grandma Harvey died in l952. After Uncle Elbert Goodman died, she married a man named Benefield, but I don’t remember him at all.

 

FOOTNOTE H.  The name of this town (?) (community ??) is very difficult to hear on the tape, and it does not appear on the map… and might not ever have BEEN on a map. In any event, someday as an expedition I will make a trip to Cleveland to attempt to find the place.

.

FOOTNOTE I. In the 1950s, long after I had left home, Daddy and Eunice (my stepmother) took in a young nephew of Eunices’ whose mother had died. His name was Butch and we called him Butch Powell (Eunice's maiden name), but that was not his real last name. Apparently Dad and Butch did not see eye to eye on matters of behavior and discipline…and after Butch discovered that Daddy was bigger than he was, he finally left. It was not one of Glen Harveys’ favorite episodes!!

 

FOOTNOTE J. This tape, as I have related elsewhere, was done in 1996. At this point, these two older

folks had been talking into the recorder for over an hour and a half. They had been hinting at stopping for some time…particularly Aunt Judia…as we still had a four hour drive back to Houston that day. But there was still so much ground I wanted to cover that I tried to extend it as long as I could. It was at this point in the tape that I could hear “quit” in Dads voice. You can almost hear me trying to hurry on the tape after that.

 

 


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