Wednesday, January 28, 1959
Jimmy was a sweet boy and Frances would remember he visited many times with “Miss. Nichols” and Martha was visiting us at the time. As her brother Walter stated once here, when he and I were out looking at the shrubs and flowers. There would have to be a heaven, if for no other reason that for Mat is what her family called her.
Billy, (W. H. Nichols) was a busy man. He knew how to support his family and, later in his life, lived a quieter life. He was Superintendent of Union Grove Methodist Church for about 10 years. His health wasn’t too good and he passed away at 58, was buried at Union Grove out from Kenton, not far from his home and the homes of the Bruce family, who were their friends and neighbors. He had several brothers, I recall some of them, Jim, John, Joe, Tom and one of his sisters married a Wilkerson who lived near Troy, Tenn. His mother Martha Nichols made her home with him and his family
Thursday, January 29, 1959
one of her grandchildren said she smoked a clay pipe in her day. She too was buried at Union Grove. “Ma” as I knew here so very well, was Margaret Brown. She had some sisters and brothers. I’ll try to think of… Susan who married a Walker Phillips, one sister to was married to a Polk, his son Polk Phillips died in 1958 in Troy Tenn., he had one daughter Lu who was likely in her 30s when she died and Nellie who was really a beautiful girl, red hair, blue eyes and beautiful complexion. She married a road contractor and last report she was alive. Uncle Ross Brown we knew so well, with his wife Aunt Mary was her youngest brother. He had 6 daughters, Anne who married Joe Joyner, had two children; then Beulah, Jane, Lee Mary and Bonnie. Five of these lived in Memphis now (one lives in Detroit, Mich.) and I’ve told Uncle Ross and Aunt Mary no one could raise a finer family than they did. I can recall when I first knew them, Your dad and I were
Friday, January 30, 1959
young and only had Frances in our first visit to see them. They owned a farm with a big house, each girl with out effort (?) helped with the meals, and seems, I never ate better food in my life – actually if the meal (?) was filled with as good people as that family it would be like a heaven on earth.
Uncle Fuller Brown was Ma’s first brother he was jolly and people liked to have him in their homes. Uncle Fuller was with Gen. Forrest’s Cavalry. He ran away at less than 15 years and joined Gen. Forrest’s Cavalry during the Civils War days.
Aunt Addie [Mary Adaline Brown] was another one of Ma’s sisters and in our early marriage when Ma visited us we would take her to see Aunt Addie and her husband as I recall he dressed up to show us how he looked in his Civil War Confederate Uniform. I believe I remember now his name was Bob Maupin [Robert T Maupin 1839-1920]. He lived out from Troy, Tenn. on a farm. Ma told us one thing she thought was just so very funny, it was when she was a girl at home, most parents were very strict on their children and her father was very strict on she and
Saturday, January 31, 1959
especially her older sisters and brothers. Her father had a desk he liked and treasured, one day he found some one had hacked it and made ???? an ugly place on his desk. He called all the children in for a real conference and asked who cut my desk. Uncle Ross spoke up and said, I did it and I don’t care if I did. See he was the baby of the family. For sure he wasn’t punished but Ma said if it had been one of use older ones, it would have been just too hard for us.
Polk Phillips, one of her sister’s sons, told about a visit many years ago, when he was a boy. He went to visit “Aunt Gettie” [Margaret J “Gettie” Brown Nichols] is what she was called by her brother’s and sisters and their families. Any way, Polk said he was spending the night with family and the boys that is most of them were in a big room having a good time with pillow fighting and
anything else to have a good time. Aunt Gettie walked in and Polk said, I knew she would get us all, but instead, she pulled up a ricking chair and started rocking, that was the end of it all for they were soon quiet and fast asleep. — Ma Nichols
Hetty Nichols, Alfred’s wife, I knew her from the beginning of my married life, all the family loved Hetty. She married Alfred about the time, Elbert, your dad had his first pants, so she know lots about the family. Paris, what they called your dad’s dad. He, it seems was strict on his children. Alvie, the youngest now humored and petted by his mother, she was 46 when he was born and its natural that people mellow and get more gentle as a rule so on this particular day. Pa was there for dinner Hettie too was there and Ma often carried a switch under the big apron she wore to the table, even to church if needed – so this day
Sunday, February 1, 1959
Alvie started to cry and whine at the table. Pa told him to go into the kitchen, which he did and suddenly a most terrible scream came from Alvie in the kitchen, Hetty could hardly tell it for laughing as the answer came from the cook, that Alvie stuck his nose in the boiling tea kettle. Hetty said Pa allowed no laughing for even that but she and most the others soon finished their meal so they could get away and laugh all they wanted to.
Elbert, your dad, was really the problem of the family, from all the stories told by his own mother, brothers, sisters and other relatives. He was what you would term a dandy. Seems from the things told on him, he enjoyed teasing others, exploring places and doing things he wasn’t supposed to, yet they said he was still kind but he just didn’t want to be fenced in. One day when he was quite a small boy, his sister
Monday, February 2, 1959
Martha and brother Alfred’s wife, Hetty, were left in charge of Elbert to be watched and see to it he did not slip away and get into anything. They had a big two story house and they decided as Ma had gone off to visit a neighbor. They would put a pallet at the foot of the stairs that way he wouldn’t go up the stairway and they would sure watch him. It was summer and they all laid down on the pallet with Elbert in the middle – not knowing – they both went to sleep and when they did rouse, Elbert was gone —
Of course, at once they began to search and call him, Pa, his dad came home and I think Ma too, well, they were just frantic. they had two large ponds so Pa thought next thing to do was to seme (?) or drag the ponds, for no where was there any sign of Elbert and he was a small boy. Someone just happened to peep into the hen house and there was the innocent little boy, Elbert, laying there fast asleep with him two
Tuesday, February 3, 1959
baby chickens, one in each hand which made all of them happy.
He liked cats and his mother disliked cats. So around the big farm, quite a few cats had accumulated. Alvie was starting his first year of school and Ma decided to go visiting for the day and take those pesty cats off before Elbert got home. They had to pass Oak Grove school so Alvie saw his mother pass by driving a buggy so Alvie started following his mother down the road. She didn’t, of course, know so she drove on a bit farther and dropped all the cats out of the bag by Grassy Crick. It was recess at school and Elbert saw his baby brother going down the road and he too started after him. Alvie got as far as Grassy Crick and when Elbert reached him, there were all “his” cats. So he persuaded Alvie to help him get them back to school and put them in clock closet and I recall ma telling me, after she got home and everybody busy with supper and other chores, they realized Elbert was late. Finally, he got home and she asked him why he was late. He replied, you think you were smart, took
Wednesday, February 4, 1959
my cats off while I was gone, so I took some of the cats to Mrs. Grissom and other neighbors where they will have good homes and no body will drop them off to starve.
His brother Alfred told me once when he was on Mississippi Ave, where we lived in Memphis, Alfred was older with white hair and dark eyes and enjoyed having a good time. he said his father, Pa, is what they all called him, had a big lot of stock, sheep, hogs, horses and mules, so one day he happened to go down to the stock barn, found the sliding doors closed and he listened as he heard what seemed to be a wild stir of horses, mules and other broken stock. So he just peeped in and he just couldn’t believe his eyes for there was Elbert on a young unbroken animal, had never been riden. The stock was going round and round biting, kicking and it was just a rampage for they were shut up and couldn’t get out. He saw Elbert holding on for dear life and crying his eyes out just
Thursday, February 5, 1959
plan scared almost to death, Alfred told me, he figured, if he could slide the door wide enough open and let one at a time pass out, then if Elbert could hold on, he might save him from falling off or getting trampled to death, so he opened the door. And, one my one the stock came out and he motioned Elbert to grab his neck as he passed by. He did, and Alfred felt he had truly saved his young brother’s life, and was very grateful.
Elbert had many narrow escapes from what the family told me about him. Once Ross, his brother near his age, and your dad and all the family loved him (?). Ma said, Ross, Elbert has been so bad, grant you to get him in the well house and I’ll come in and give him a whipping. Ross, some how got him in the well house, and his mother came in with a switch. Every time she hit with the switch, Elbert would turn and his brother would be in line for the lick of the switch. Finally, Ross said Ma you are whipping me not Elbert so he didn’t get the whipping. Both his mother and Ross told me of this episode. They laughed about it.