“Sudie’s Story”

Editor’s Introduction | Sudie’s Story | Childhood | School Life | Learning the Womanly Arts | Teenage Life | Beaux | Getting Married | Making a Home | Widowed | Life Goes On | Marrying Again | Conclusion

Martha Susan “Sudie” Hunter Cole (1867-1960), wrote this brief autobiography in 1952. In her early years, the period of Reconstruction, she lived in what would become Webster County, Mississippi. Before the middle of the nineteenth century, her parents (Silvanus Gardner Hunter and Sarah Hannah McMullen) and grandparents (James A. Hunter and Martha Harris) were among the settlers who established farms there in former Choctaw and Chickasaw homelands.

At the recommendation of her grandchildren Sudie read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books about a pioneer childhood and was encouraged by their mother, a schoolteacher, to write an account of her own similar life. The story she produced is true, with a few fictionalized names. Although young ears knew her to be an entertaining teller of spellbinding reminiscences, Sudie was not the same success with literary narrative that she was with the oral word. Yet, along with her religious spirit, the echo of her voice and of her conversation is here.

With light editorial touches, the following is a transcription of her manuscript, seventy pages written in two tablets of Montag letter paper.
“Gladys,” she noted in transmitting it to her daughter-in-law, “I thought we would read this over together and take from or add to, as was needed, if you thought you could do anything with it. If you can’t, I will rewrite it and keep it as my own story.”

For more than half a century it remained in an envelope, not much remembered and not often read. It is a poignant memory picture of life in another time.



In the year 1861 Gardner and Hannah [actually Silvanus Gardner Hunter and Sarah Hannah McMullen], the parents of Martha, married and settled in Chickasaw County in a big split-pine log house of two-stories with four rooms, with windows on the sides and one on each side of the native-rock chimneys at each end, with wide hall between the rooms and a long porch on the front facing the east with a big creek and swamp lands and farms for a front view, with a ravine on each end of the house running out of the mountains and forest on the west side.

In 1864 a boy baby [James William Hunter, called Willie] was born to bless their home. They named him James, and he grew to be a fine baby. In 1867 a baby girl came into the home and they named her Martha, and when she was ten months old, a young man was plowing near the house and put Martha’s brother James on the horse to ride. He fell off and broke his hipbone in two places, and as we had no hospital at that time, the home doctor splinted his leg with rolled oak splints and he lay on his back for six weeks for it to heal. And of course it took Martha’s mother’s time to care for her little crippled brother, so she weaned Martha and took James back to the breast, and Martha’s father and the cook took charge of her. They kept her in a baby walker that her father made and never let her crawl, but she learned to walk at an early age, and though she had a precious loving mother, Martha became very much attached to her father.

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When Martha was two years old, another little brother [Thomas Edwin Hunter, called Tom Ed] was born in the home, and they named him Eddie. And still Martha was her father’s little lady. He took her to feed and care for the stock and in the saddle in front of him to ride old Jack, his saddle mule, and we fox-trotted along wherever he went until she got old enough to hold onto him and ride behind. He would ride Jack close to the front porch floor and Martha would hop on and Jack would go trotting off.

Martha was never sick and loved outdoor life—the stock and farm with water brooks to wade in. Martha’s father was never harsh and abrupt but taught Martha that she could do anything. And at an early age Martha began to ride horses by herself, with her father leading them. She began planting extra corn or cottonseed, two or three in one place at the end of one or two of my steps and do other helpful things around the house. After James got on well from his broken hip, so that he could play and go with me, he fell and broke his right arm. He was a cripple in his right leg from his broken hip, so Martha and her younger brother Eddie became pals together in all of our play and pranks.

Martha and Eddie had some little mates who lived just across the brook, Carrie and Tommy. We would meet and build playhouses under the big trees, where we had so much pretty green moss to decorate and make rugs for the rooms, and big hickory leaves to make our hats and sashes with to wear and ride our stick horses to church, where one of us would preach and play like we were baptizing the others, and would ride home and have some of mother’s good tea-cakes for lunch. In the summertime we would have home-grown fruit from our father’s orchard, which had some kind of fruit from early June until late October. We knew nothing of theaters or stores to go to, but were happy with the home surrounding.

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Martha’s school life. The courthouse with all of its books and records, along with many homes, was destroyed by a company of Yankees that marched through our country during the Confederate war, so the state had no free school system. So the schools were run by parents paying fifty cents or one dollar a child. It was called subscription school, taught in some vacant dwelling house or church, which was run two or three months in the winter and four or six weeks in summer. Children could start at the age of five years. Martha was going to an old dwelling house to school which had a big spring of water down under the hill in the thick woods. Three older pupils had gone for a walk and water. Martha and three other little girls went down for water and wanted to follow the older girls. Of course they didn’t want us, but we insisted and they started to run, hollering, “Oh! Look! There goes a wild man!” And in our imagination we saw him too and ran to the house scared and crying and got the teacher and school excited. They ran to hunt the man. The older girls ran on and came into the school building another way and saw the excitement and were afraid of punishment and didn’t explain the story, thinking there wasn’t much to it, and kept quiet. But the pupils went home excited and telling that the older girls saw him. So the fathers gathered the guns and the dogs and carried their little ones to school the next morning and hunted the woods for a wild man all day. The older pupils kept silent for a few years and told the joke, and it was one feeble-minded girl about their age that they were trying so hard to get shut of, as well as the little ones.

The next year James and Martha walked two miles through a big wooded swamp to the church to school. Father felled a big poplar tree across the creek and with a broadax hewed and flattened the top side for us to walk on and nailed a post along on it, and nailed a pole to them for our hand pole to hold to. As we walked across, Martha’s head would swim when she looked down at the water. We called that our foot log with a hand pole. We were always so glad for it to rain. Father would come for us and we would hop on behind Jack and would go trotting off, but Jack could not walk this log but would have to wade across through the water and sometimes almost swim and we would all have to hold our feet high and hold tight to the saddle.

When Martha was nine years of age, there became more school children in the community, and the citizens built a big room schoolhouse on the west side of Topishaw Creek, cut trees into logs ten or twelve feet long, split them open, made them smooth with a drawing knife, bored holes in each end, and put peg legs on them for seats. It had shutters to keep the wind out and a big rock chimney to heat it. The state constituted the free school system, and there is where Martha spent her school days, studying blue-back speller, dictionary, grammar, as we called it, arithmetic, geography, history, and writing.
Playing making playhouses in the woods, Ring Around the Roses, and Guinea Squat, jumping the rope, steel peg, and watching and hollering for the boys to play base ball, [Martha would always] have some little boy to smile at and to bring her a red apple or pomegranate or something he could bring to her when he came to school in the morning.

We had our chores to do when we got home in the winter months. Eddie and Martha’s job was to feed the sheep and put them in the sheep house out of bad weather and to keep the dogs from getting them. Sometimes we would find a little lamb dead, and we would have a burial, and sometimes the mother would not feed her baby lamb, and we would wrap a goose quill with cloth and teach it to get cow’s milk from a bottle, and it was also Martha and Eddie’s job to milk old Sophia and James’s job to feed the cows and milk Star. Martha would sit down on one side of Sophia to milk in the pail while Eddie sat on the other side and milked in his.

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When Martha was twelve years of age, her mother went to Union City, Tennessee, and stayed three months to have her eyes treated. Old Aunt Mona [a fictionalized name for Polly Hunter], the cook, Father, and the children kept house and ran the farm and kept things going on. Mona would help me fix our lunch bucket, and Martha would play hostess to her brother at the noon hour, as Mother had taught Martha and the cook to always prepare and save something for the school lunch. With so much home-raised fruit [and] meats we could always have a nice meal such as sausage, spareribs, and ham, with dried fruit pies, tea-cakes and good biscuits and sweet potatoes with a big quinine bottle of molasses with butter stirred into it to eat with our biscuit, with a quart bottle of milk to wash it all down with. It makes my mouth water to think of how good it was to a hungry kid. We would sit in a group around the school building to eat, and little Jane never had anything in her lunch but cornbread and fat meat. She would look so wishful we always divided with her. One of Martha’s classmate’s mother seasoned her biscuits with butter and they were so good to Martha, and Martha’s biscuits so good to Mattie. They would exchange. They were all happy schooldays to us. In our later teen years we had a long writing desk with copy book with words: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” with many such quotations that would be well to follow.

Martha was large to her age, and her father had taught her to never say “I can’t,” but “I will try and try again,” until she thought she could almost do anything. And in her twelfth year while her mother was away having her eyes treated [was a ] time there were no clothing factories. We could not get ready-made clothes or stockings and socks. Aunt Mona and Martha would card and spin our sheep wool into thread for sending to Mother while she was away to knit and keep us all in warm socks and stockings, and Martha’s parents had a loop-stitch Wilcox sewing machine, the only sewing machine in the country, and her father bought woolen jean to make him and her brothers pants. Mother was such a nice hand to sew and had her patterns put away. So we got the boys’ patterns out first. They wore long pants at that time, so Martha’s father showed her how to lay them on the cloth and she looked at some that Mother had made, to measure and go by, and did a very good job. They fit nice and they were their new pants for Xmas. So Father helped me lay the pattern and cut his and showed me how to fix the front and I finished them up and Father said I was worth a million dollars and the pants were very nice. An old colored man on the farm came to the house and said, “Martha, I want you to make me some pants like Marse Gardner’s. I will pay you fifty cents.” So Martha said “Bring me the cloth.” He brought the cloth. Martha made the pants, and he came for them and gave her fifty cents and carried them off. The next time he came to the house, I said, “Wiley, how did your pants fit?” “Jes fine, just fine, Martha, cepen the buttons over the wrong way, but I can wear them all right.”

Martha’s father bought material for her two dresses. She got out a Princess pattern, cut, and made them with ruffles on the bottom, one with a bolera jacket in front. She thought they were very good and wore them with pride. And I knew later on that it was through sympathy that people complimented them very highly. But from that day to this in her eighty-fifth year Martha hasn’t had a half dozen dresses that she didn’t make herself. After her mother returned, she had her help and advice.

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Martha had a happy, busy teenage life. While her father forbade her going with the boys or having a beau until she was fifteen years of age, a group of us could always go together. We had school parties and singing at the schoolhouse on Sunday afternoon. And the group with one older girl for chaperone would go home with Martha sometimes in the spring or fall for a walk up the mountain, where we could see the orchards in bloom for miles around, and woods would be full of dogwood in bloom, violets, and wild honeysuckle, with so many wildflowers in bloom, which gave all of us a romantic feeling, which caused us all to feel like we were in the Garden of Eden. In the fall we would go for grapes, chestnuts, chinkipins, and huckleberries.

Martha had two boyfriends about one year older than she that were always ready to pick her flowers and grapes, but there was one about five years older than Martha that was most always along with some girls older than Martha. He could reach the limbs and get the flowers and fruit and was always pitching Martha a pretty flower or bunch of grapes. He and Martha both went the same road to school along with many others. While he would be walking along with his classmates, he would often carry Martha’s books or bucket while she romped along this way.

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When the long fifteen years had passed, Martha could have a beau, but never without James or Eddie along with the crowd, and though James was eighteen, he never cared to go with the girls or going places as much as Eddie did. Eddie was in his fourteenth year, well grown to his age and always ready to go. We had our own saddle horses and James would help him curry and saddle mine, and we would hop on and this way would go, sometimes at night to sit up with the sick until two o’clock, or sometimes to a sociable or candy rolling, singing, or prayer meeting. But we never failed when we got to another stretch of the road to tighten our reins and cluck to Queen and Fly, and we would have a horse race as fast as they could go. Martha could not make Eddie do anything but could place her hand on his shoulder and gently reason him out of any trouble or to do anything she wanted done. He was a dear brother to Martha.
Frank and Archie, Martha’s boyfriends, would often meet her at the Horse Block and walk with her to the church door and ride home with her from church.

But Davis [Jeff Chandler] never missed an opportunity to show Martha a favor. He with another young man who was a good violiner. Davis was good with a harp and Martha with accordion and Eddie with his violin, with Mother as singer. They would come over often after supper for a musical. And while we played, Father read and listened, and Mother usually had something to pass around for refreshment. By the time Martha was sixteen, Davis had really started love making, but knowing of Father’s positive way, it was very much on the sly and his visits were mostly with Martha and her brothers in a friendly way, and Martha was at liberty to go with every boyfriend, and he to go with any of his girlfriends as he chose, and they were to get married when Martha was eighteen years old. Going on with confidence in each other, he buying eighty acres of land, raising hogs and cows, and farming in a [illegible] way, still boarding with Martha’s aunt [Frances Caroline Hunter Womack], Martha going to school during school months, piecing and making quilts, carding, spinning wool into thread to weave into blankets on her mother’s loom. Martha thought she had to have ten quilts to start housekeeping, and Davis didn’t have a mother or sister to give him any, and there were none to be bought ready-made in those days. Davis’s lady friends made him a friendship quilt with each one working their names on the square they had made. We went on with our social life indifferent. We went as delegates with Father and a young lady cousin of mine from our church to the Zion Association held at Pleasant Grove in Montgomery County. His relatives lived in Yalobusha County. Martha’s father was a juryman in Oxford Federal Court, and Father’s brother lived at Coffeeville, Mississippi, so he carried Martha and her cousin along with him for a visit with their kinsman. It was in November. Davis was about through gathering his crop, so he asked if we would like for him to go with us. So Martha asked her father about his going. He said that would be fine, as he might be kept on the jury for a longer time, and so he was, and we were all horseback, and after taking in Water Valley, Coffeeville, and the country round about, and visiting some of each other’s kinsmen, we made our way home with Davis, as much my cousin’s escort as mine.

We were best man and bridesmaids together at four different times as our friends would get married. Sometimes we would be with each other, and sometimes we would be with a sister or brother of the bride or groom.

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In Martha’s eighteenth year, just reaching young ladyhood and having such a free good time, she would like to put off her marriage for a year. As she and Davis were riding home from one of the weddings, Davis said, “If this was our wedding day,” [and] I said “No, we are having a good time. Why not wait a year?” He had gotten a good business proposition from an uncle in Texas, so Martha says, “Suppose you rent out and go see what you find in Texas.” He said, “Would you go with me?” “Oh, no, I will stay here while you are gone.” And he said, “I would not leave you for any proposition.” I said, “I do think it would be best to wait another year, and I would be older.” He said, “Why, Martha, we have always agreed. I have never doubted you in anything, and now must I be disappointed?” “I think it would be best to put off our marriage a year. Think it over.”

And it was time for him to leave on Wednesday. He had a congestive chill, as was common, and very dangerous in those days, and doctors six and eight miles away with no phone systems, or no way to travel except horseback. My aunt, being a widow lady, sent for her brother to help her nurse him until they could get a doctor. Martha was attending summer school and had to pass her aunt’s house on her way. So she stopped by to see him and wish him well and went on her way, but heavy-hearted. But as soon as he was able to get to Martha’s house, it did not take long to agree on their old wedding day, which was to be Martha’s eighteenth birthday, the fourth of February.

The school teacher was boarding in Martha’s house, and she and Martha went on with their social entertainment, having a good time until school was out, when Martha went on helping her mother with the domestic duties of the home and making napkins and doilies and different pieces of embroidery and crochet work to use in her own home, and making ready her trousseau, for it all had to be made at home, as we could not buy ready-made clothing at that time.

While Davis busied himself with gathering his crop and working on the farm, West Point, his market, was forty miles away, where he went in January to purchase our household furniture. On February 2 we had a big snow, and the weather got colder and everything was frozen over, but our cousin that was older than either one of us, that had been our standby during our courting days, came to Martha’s home and helped Martha’s mother and Aunt Tilda [Polly Hunter] bake the cake and prepare the wedding supper, with Uncle Willy [George Hunter], the colored man, to do the outside work. Our old pastor who had ridden ten miles on horseback had to be tucked away to spend the night, as there was no hotel or no nearby resorts. With no way of transportation except horseback, it was a custom to have an [illegible] dinner the day after the wedding with the bride and groom’s parents. But as Davis’s parents were dead, he had a couple of good friends in the community that prepared a nice dinner the next day for us, and a few friends with a party at night.

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Thus ended Martha’s young happy courting, girlhood days, to begin her career as homemaker with as lovable, congenial companion as ever lived. Martha had learned to cook and do most anything in the role of housekeeping and wasn’t embarrassed so often with her cooking, but one day a neighbor brought over some collard greens to cook for our dinner and says if you will put a little pinch of soda in the boiler they will get tender quicker. So she followed directions, but the pinch of soda was too big, and the collards became as green and slick as if she had poisoned them. But they were hungry for vegetables and she hated to put them out, so she first smoothed on the dish with a nice piece of jowl meat in the center and put them on the table. After Davis had returned thanks, Martha looked at Davis and said “I am not trying to poison you, but the collards look like it.” He said, “I am not afraid to eat anything you cook. You would not poison me for anything.” So we helped our plates and poured on pepper sauce and enjoyed them thoroughly.

Davis had killed and put away his meat and bought garden seed. The weather had warmed up, and they planted their garden on February 14. Their first disappointment came in April when we had a hail storm that beat our plants down so bad some never got over it, but we planted some over and made a good garden and crop of everything he had planted.

They lived not a mile from the school building where they had community singing twice per month, and Davis and our singing teacher, Mr. Arnold, were the leaders. In that way we kept up our friendship and social life with the young people and young married friends and often having company our pastor or someone for dinner, as we had no store or [illegible] to go to in emergencies. Martha would prepare vegetables, dress a chicken, and make cakes ready Saturday to be ready to go on Sunday. We had to bake our [illegible] on Sunday morning as well as at night. Davis was ready help in the kitchen or making ready to go. Bro. S., our pastor, a widower, Mr. L. A. Young, a bachelor, and Davis were warm friends. The three had lost their fathers in early life from effects of the war and had much in common with each other [and] would often stop together for dinner and discuss the times, joke, and tell of their experiences in Reconstruction, in their boyhoods and young manhood.

Davis busied him with improving and harvesting his crop, Martha in making ready for their little daughter who came December 16. Davis was fond of children, and was so happy over his little blue-eyed baby, and as he liked to have Martha go with him, he traded for a buggy, which was a rare possession in those days. It was a custom in those days for the younger people to get together on Christmas Eve for a serenade. So the crowd came and gave us a serenade and was invited in to see Martha and the new baby and was served cookies and peanuts. They wished us a Happy Christmas and went on their way.

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Christmas day Davis was taken violently sick. The family physician was called but could not relieve him, and as there were no hospitals nearer than St. Joseph’s in Memphis, Tennessee, which was 150 miles away, the six doctors of the surrounding communities were called, but all to no avail. So he died January 5th and left Martha with a crushed heart and her little blue-eyed girl. Thus ended Martha’s free happy life into crushed widowhood at nineteen years of age.
Her dear loving father and mother took her on her bed in their carriage to their home to live, thinking she was too young to keep her home. Martha felt as though she never wanted to go again. Her loved ones, friends both old and young, were so very good and thoughtful of her.

When little Jeffie was four months old, Martha’s aunt [Frances Caroline Hunter Womack], who had been [like] a mother to Davis and who was a widow from the ravages of war, sent for Martha and her baby to come and spend a week and [for the messenger] not to come back without her. The aunt [who] had been left with five children and did not know that her husband was buried, [told Martha that she] must not be so rebellious. “You have your baby to love and care for. You are too young and fine to give up life. Davis would not want you to. You must not.”

Martha went home with the thought of overcoming rebellion and sorrow and trying to make her devoted parents and brother happier by her being in the home and making a good neighbor to the community that had been so devoted to her and Davis during their sickness. Her father had Dr. Gunn and Clark’s medical books on his study table that he might know how to give first-aid treatment to his family and tenants on the farm, so Martha began to study Dr. Gunn’s book so that she might know how to help care for the sick of the community. She was often sent for by the family doctor to help him nurse bed patients. There was never any pay attached to the nursing, but many hours of lost sleep and anxiety for the patients. Her reward was the love and high esteem given her throughout a long life.

She was loved by her church for her attendance and Sunday School work among the young people. James and Eddie were Christians. They all worked together. Martha and little Jeffie were never refused anything they could do for them. The baby was the first thought of the home, and she dearly loved them and was so lovable and congenial in her ways.

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Eddie married and moved from home two years after Martha’s moving back to the home. James had to some extent about grown [out of] his afflictions from so many broken bones and developed into young manhood and was engaged in farming and stock raising and staying in the home with his parents and Martha. Martha’s father did not have room for her stock, so she sold her stock and feed, only keeping a four-year-old horse with such gentle qualities that she and her Little Blue Eyes could ride or work him anywhere. He would back up to the stump or fence, for Jeffie to hop on behind and go trotting away on their journey.
Mr. L., Davis’s friend, was very helpful to Martha in selling her produce at a desirable profit. He was an admirer of Little Blue Eyes, who was ready to make him a little speech or throw him a kiss when leaving. After two and a half years, though Martha still wore nothing but black, he was paying her his respect and wooing her to put away her dreary black. One October morning the community and friends at large were shocked when they learned he had died from an accidental fire. So Martha, being thoroughly convinced that [more] than ever it was God’s plan for her to live for Him and her baby. As her father was getting old and in poor health, she allied with him in farming and stock raising. She loved both, and with hired help they were successful in both for eight years. She and James had much in common, he having great respect for ladies but never allied with any one of them, but said he was always attracted by a pretty horse and a pretty woman and kept a pretty horse. He bought a top buggy which was a treasure to him and Martha, for he liked to have her and her little curly-haired blonde to ride with him on through our seven years living in our parental home. We did what we could to keep each other happy.

Oft times when there would be an all-day to-do in reach, he would say, “Plan a way for Jeffie to be happy with Ma and Pa,” who were always ready to keep her, “and fix us a lunch. I will put the tongue to the buggy and drive two horses, and we will go by and get Miss B. and carry her along.” And sometimes he would want us to give a party for some visitor. In so doing he kept Martha in touch with the young and the old.

She and her little daughter had many admirers and were courted by the [illegible] and young men of different occupations and professions, treating all with highest respect but accepting no proposal.

James thought Martha unwise in some refusals. He married a young lady in his 28th year and settled near the old home. Martha’s parents took a 12 year old grandson by a former marriage, whose mother had died, to raise, which gave Martha and Jeffie someone to love and care for and accompany them to church and Sunday School and to go with, Jeffie to school. They became very much attached to each other.

Rev. Seborn [Seborn McKelva Cole] had never married [actually he was a widower] but took his widowed mother and moved farther away to a school town and changed his pastoral churches. He had studied and grown strong in his churches and in the Associational work with the Baptist denomination throughout his country and in his going from place to place, through his years of study, he like other ministers would stop in for the night or for lunch or a few hours with Father on church affairs. Father was an old deacon and in the constitution and charter membership of the two oldest churches of the first settlers of his county.

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Martha going on with her affairs, as she did with other preachers, of Sunday School and other church activities that would arise, never thought of discussing courtship or marriage with any of them except sometimes [with] one of their deacons or good citizens’ wives, and he was a good provider, a good Christian gentleman, and would be good to Jeffie and me. One had a nephew at Rerus, Texas, whose father was a war comrade of Martha’s father and had gone to Texas and bought several hundred acres of black land and died and left it to Ruth, his only son. And the uncle said, “Martha I had rather see you and Jeffie share it with him than anybody I know. I have written to him to come to Mississippi and stay a month. Now, Martha, it is the chance of your life. I want you to give him some encouragement.” So in due time Ruth came. He was then thirty-one years of age. His mother and father [illegible] and Margret, with him in his childhood had lived [as] neighbors to Martha’s mother and father in her early childhood when she was about the age of her little daughter Jeffie. Uncle Ben brought him down in a few days to spend the day with his old Mississippi friends. As Martha’s mother was a good entertainer, she left Martha and Father to entertain while she played hostess in serving a nice dinner. So the afternoon was spent very pleasantly. So Ruth invited Martha to spend the next with another uncle, where we went and had a nice visit. He asked for a date later, which Martha granted. But his big Texas hat, black mustache, and suntan, with his land and cattle, were no inducement to Martha to take Jeffie and leave her parents and homeland. For a time Martha and Jeffie and Buddie her nephew went on with parents in the general upkeep of the home, church, and community.

One day a letter came to Martha from Rev. Seborn saying he would be at her father’s on Sunday evening on his way from an appointment, saying if it was convenient he would like to have a conversation with you. In later dates his conversations grew into courtship and love that Martha was not able to reject. So it terminated in marriage, Martha tearfully leaving her parental home again with her dear mother and father and grandson who had been good to her to take care of the dear old home. She starts out at thirty years with her little daughter to start a new life as a Baptist minister’s wife, in which she found many joys and many problems to solve over through the years. Pastors were paid meager salaries in those pioneer days. None depended on their churches [alone] to support their families without some sideline. Rev. Seborn had his aged mother and Martha her little daughter. And they soon started a new family. His mind turned to the farm where he could grow a living. In a few months there was eighty acres of farmland to be sold joining his residence that he bought and he and Martha started their farm life. Again where they could have fruit, vegetables, chickens, hogs, and milk for their family, [with] him managing the farm and carrying on his ministerial work on weekends and revivals through the summer. They were the parents of four children (one died in infancy), raised two sons and one daughter to be grown, and educated them along with Jeffie so they could teach school or hold good positions and marry into good families and make good citizens for their country. Which was a great joy to their parents. Rev. Seborn died and left Martha a widow again with a nice home, a very good income, with her dear children to care for her. She maintained her house and kept boarders or rented rooms that she would not be alone. She kept her cow, garden, and chickens, was active in the Sunday School and WMS work, and liked to have her Mission Circle meet with her, until she was seventy-nine years old. She fell and broke her wrist and hurt her knee so she could not wait on herself or walk without a crutch. So she rented out her home and went to live with her dear daughter and her family.

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Now she has six granddaughters, three grandsons, three great-grandchildren. None deformed, all have active, alert minds, all Christians, but one that is not old enough to know how to trust in Christ. All lovable and kind to her in her old age, for which she thanks God every day, and busies herself with her keeping her own clothes or mending some for the family, crocheting or reading or writing letters, keeping her mind active and thoughtful of other people’s needs, trying to rely on God’s promises, to keep her from pettishness and presumptuousness, sins, that she may be happy until her heavenly father call her to come up higher to dwell with Him and loved ones who have gone on before.