Saturday, May 3, 2014

Life History of Velma Tyler Glenn (1906-1996): Part 4: Memories of Arkansas and Ancestors

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Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

August 30, 1979, was our Golden Wedding Aniversery [sic]. Our children had a very nice party for us. We told them we only wanted our close relatives invited, our brothers and sisters, our children and grandchildren. That many relatives made quite a crowd. We appreciate all our children did for us to make it a happy occasion. They had a beautiful four tier white and gold cake made. They sang songs and told short stories about our lives and theirs.

Another thought---I must not leave out. This is 26 November 1984-- ---
Wesley and I (Velma) have been working as name extractors in the Spanish language since June of 1982. We work afternoons three or four times per week. We enjoy this mission as much as we did the one we filled in Independence, Missouri.

Continued--1979. My daughter, Patricia, and her daughter, Lisa, can be blamed for this addition to this history. They wanted me to tell what the country was like in northern Arkansas, where I was born, and more of the things that happened to my ancestors.

All of the eastern half of what is now the United States was heavily wooded in the early days when the people from the eastern coutries [sic] first settled in the country. Some of the trees were two to three feet in diameter. It was more of a jungle. All under the tall trees were smaller trees and shrubbery from a foot to six feet high and many many kinds of wild flowers. The large trees were hardwood. Three kinds of oak, hickory, walnut, birch, maple, sycamore, gum and cypress (all I can remember).

Some of the smaller trees I remember were black haw, about 6 to 8 feet high, fruit was edible. Sweet, sort of dry, ripe in the fall. Mostly seed, fruit hung in clusters. Maybe a handfull to the cluster. Each little fruit about a half inch long and not as wide. Very good. The red haw was the same size. We didn't eat its fruit. I don't know if it was good or not.

There were wild plums, wild crab apples (about an inch in diameter), wild strawberries, black berries, dew berries (similar to boysen berries in Idaho). Wild May apple (fruited in May) grew about a foot high, had two leaves on it that stood straight from the stem. Two little apples grew out just above the leaves, about one inch to one and one-half inches in length and diameter. They had a rather queer flavor but very good. The wild cherry tree also grew there. The tree was hard wood, grew very high and large and the cherries were bitter. We ate them anyway. They were good for jam or jelly. The persimon tree grew to be probably 50 feet. The persimons were about an inch in diameter and were much better after frost--more sweet and sugary.

Three varieties of grapes grew wild. The vines grew up and wound around the trees. We sometimes had to climb the trees to get them if they were on a very high tree.

There were black walnuts, three sizes of hickory nuts, and hazel nuts that grew as shrubbery under the large trees. Some of the acorns from the oak trees were edible, if you didn't eat too many.

During the winter and spring, cold springs of water would push up out of the ground. Some would flow all year long and some would dry up during the hot dry months.

There were many wild flowers in bush and shrubbery and also flowering trees. It looked just like a beautiful garden during the springtime.

With the damp beauty comes a lot of disagreable [sic] things--poison snakes, spiders, ticks, chiggers and many other disagreable [sic] pests.

The states of Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, are the states I know more about because I have studied them searching for information on my ancestors. I have studied some about the states of Illinois, Pennsylvannia [sic], Virginia and South and North Carolina, where some of my ancestors settled first. These states, especially northern Arkansas and southern Missouri, have large beautiful caves, many lakes, and many large streams that are full of fish.

Mother said the HOGAN OR O‘HOGAN ancestorus [sic] came from Limerick, Ireland. The four brothers, Joseph, Charles, Humphrey and Waiter G, came over to America with an Irish Colony of Catholics between 1700 and 1800 because mother and I found them in Tennessee marriage records, court records . Humphrey had many acres of land there before 1800. We have never fouind [sic] where they landed in America on the East coast. Humphrey was married in Davidson county, Tennessee, 24 June, 1800, to Catherine Fisher (Md Rec of Davidson Co, Tenn). I don't know if he ever left there. Charles and Joseph Hogan are mentioned in the very earliest records of Kentucky, helping improve lands and waterways. The record said that Charles and Joseph and a number of other men's names were found on some scraps of paper. The researcher said they could find no other records of the men. They figure they were killed by the Indians because they were very hostile in that area (before 1800) and killed many of the early settlers . My great great grandfather, Walter G Hogan, their brother, was married in Hopkinsville, Christian county, Kentucky, 18 March, 1800 to Susannah Miller (Md rec of smae place & Martin Miller's will). They and all their chidren [sic] were found there in the 1810 census.

Martin Miler (Muller, etc) and his wife, Sophia Randleman (Rindlemann, Rintelin, etc) came from Germany (Ship list). The next place we found them was in North Carolina, next in Kentucky, Missouri, then to Arkansas Territory. Our other ancestors that are supposed to come to America from Germany are Meyer, Moyer, Myer, Moir, and many other spellings. (We first found them in North Carolina) Weidener (now usually Whitener but also found spelled Wydner) . The Graves or Segraves or Sitgraves or Seagraves, etc, from England (the family said [sic] directly from England and settled in western North Carolina, settled on California Creek near Mars Hill (it is still there. There is a college there by that name and one in England)

My great great grandfather, Vincent Segraves, moved from North Carolina to Illinois. There he married his first wife (never found the name) and all their children were born there. The oldest child, Elizabeth, married a Payne and stayed in Illinois. The others moved to Arkansas.

We are not sure where our branch of the TYLER (also TILER, TILLER, etc)[from England] landed. But, the Tylers that landed on an Island off the coast of the Virginias and in Virginia, are our branch. They have the same male family names as ours. Those that landed in Massachusetts and higher up in the states are not related (proved by that branch). While checking the President John Tyler genealogy records, the men's family names are the same as ours carried on generation after generation. They said one of their James Tylers went south from Virginia. They didn't know where. Our oldest Tyler that we have record of, James, was supposed to have come through or from Georgia to Arkansas. I found James in Lawrence county, Territory of Arkansas, in the 1830 and 1840 census. According to these census, he was born 1780. It didn't give a birth place. I found his wife, Sylvia, 86 in the 1850 census of Randolph county, Arkansas. She said she was born in North Carolina. She had two of her grandsons with her.

My great grandmother, Mary Ann Myer(s) was a very small woman with dark complexion. Very spry and moved quickly. A hard worker, very particular. Everything had to be done right. She was the second wife of my great grandfather, Martin Miller Hogan. Martin was born in Hopkinsville, Christian co, Kentucky, 28 August, 1803. Mary Ann was born in Fredericktown, Madison co, Missouri, about 1811 (cemetery rec.). She is the daughter of Mary or Ann Marie Weidener (Whitener) and Henry Myer(s). Henry was born about 1780, and Ann Marie about 1790 (as near as we can figure from census records). Mary Ann Myers and Martin Miller Hogan are the parents of my grandfather, John Gabriel Hogan, who was born 22 March 1851 in Foster (10 miles north of Pocahontas), Randolph co, Arkansas. He married Mariah Elizabeth Segraves, 24 February, 1876, at that same place. Mariah Elizabeth was born at the same place as above, 14 June, 1856. This couple are the parents of my mother Mary Ann Hogan, who was born 5 January, 1877 at that same place. She married Rufus Black Tyler, who was born 20 August, 1871, at Lima (in the same area). Their marriage date was 10 January, 1892, at Attica (same area as above). Grandfather Hogan was a short dark complexioned man. Dark hair that he kept cut short all over his head. He was very stooped in his shoulders (mother was also. She had grandfathers dark hair and skin.) He was a hard worker. Very quiet, but laughed easily. Grandma Mariah Elizabeth Hogan had fair skin, light brown curly hair and blue eyes, quite large frame and bones, a spotless housekeeper, an excellent seamstress. She could spin cotton and wool into thread and weave it into cloth in different weights or thicknesses for blankets or work clothes or dress clothes. She was a very jolly person and loved to joke. But she could get very angry. I never remember seeing Grandpa get angry.

My mother was a perfect person, I think. I can't remember any fault she had. She was jolly, loved to joke with we children. She knew how to spin cotton and wool into thread, crochet, knit, embroider and was an excellent seamstress. Father was 5 feet, 10 inches tall, dark hair, grey eyes. He liked to play and sing with we children around the fireplace at night. If he got angry at mother, he would walk out of the house and stay until he cooled off. He was a hard worker and believed children should have work to do each day, to help keep them out of mischief. We were taught to be very polite, at home as well as at other places. We were not to touch anything that didn't belong to us. He helped mother outline the work for us to do each day in and around the house. He always wanted his family to be neat and clean, in appearance as well as conduct. When we were told to do something, we did it now, not five minutes later. He said "Procrastination is a thief of time", "A place for everything and everything in its place", "Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today", "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", “A stitch in time saves nine (stitches)“, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise". I think he said Benjamin F said that. He always had some quote that fit the occasion and he knew who said it. "Pride costs more than hunger, thirst and cold.“ Thomas Jefferson said that. "Always put your best foot forward“ (look the best you can under the circumstances) at all times.

My grandfather, John Tyler, was born 1810 (1850, 1860 & 1870 census of Randolph co, Arkansas) Once he said he was born in Indiana, another in Arkansas, another, no place was given. His second marriage was to my grandmother, Sarah Catherine Jones, 27 November, 1868 (Randolph co Md. rec, in Court house at Pocahontas, Arkansas) Looking at John Tyler's picture, I would say he had very dark brown hair, small dark eyes, slender face (ears sort of stuck out from his head) (I was told that is a Tyler characteristic.), tall and slender. Grandma Sarah Catherine gave her birth date as 1839, born in Indiana (1860 & 1870 census, Randolph co, Arkansas). Sarah was of medium build, medium brown hair, fair complexion, blue or greyish eyes.

Ancestors-- ---Incidents
The Jones, Weidener (Whitener), Segraves, Eldridge, Miller (Muller, Mueller, etc), Randleman (Rendlemann, Rintelin) and many of those that married into these families were at one time in North Carolina. All the people in the very early days seemed to move quite often. They covered a lot of territory considering they had to travel by horse or ox team, or horse back. I suppose they were hunting for the greenest grass or they didn't want their neighbors too close. They had so many encounters with the Indians, one would think the people would want to stay close to each other. The men, according to history, were very brave, but I'll bet the women folks were frightened. The old Heinrich (Henry) Weidener came home from hunting one day by way of his neighbors and found their house burned and all of them dead by scalping. Their little baby was still alive when he found it. He took it to his home but having its whole head peeled (scalped), it died. I don't know why the Indians killed that way. To make the people suffer longer I suppose. Why didn't they just shoot them like they did in their wars.

All the old ancestors lived in Forts at first. The men would have to brave it outside the walls to hunt food for them to eat.

Great grandfather Vincent Segraves was hunting one day and he heard the Indians coming. He saw a cabin near by. He went inside and climbed up in the chimney as far as he could. It seemed to be the custom for the braves to send a squaw into build a fire. She came in and looked up the chimney before building the fire and say [sic] Vincent up there. He shook his head and motioned for her not to tell. She didn't build tthe [sic] fire. He didn't know what she told the braves, but they left and Vincent climed [sic] down and went home. One time, another man was hunting with him. They had been hunting for some time and were cold. They found a deserted cabin near and went in to get warm. They had just got inside when they heard the Indians coming. They climbed up in the loft as they called it. Some boards layed over the two by fours, or whatever. Vincent told the other man to be very quiet or the Indians would kill them. This man was very curious so when the Indians came in, he kept edging over to see if he could see them. He knocked one of the boards to the floor. The Indians didn't look to see where it came from. It scared them so much, they ran away as fast as they could

Vincent was in the Revolutionary War, in the Battle of Kings Mountain. One of his brothers was killed in the battle. He was also one of "Johnson‘s Guards." He and many of the other men (relatives) at that time were in all the early wars . The country had "rebels" (they were called), gangs that just went about destroying and taking anything from the people that they wanted. The people didn't dare try to stop them or they would be killed. They would take their animals, especially horses, destroy their crops, gardens, take their knives and cut the cloth in the looms. Sometimes they would take the men off and kill them.

Grandmother Mariah Elizabeth Segraves Hogan was the one that told we children about an the things that happened to the ancestors. Many of the things she was old enough to see happen during the Civil War.

Grandma said her father, Thomas Henry Segraves, got up mornings, warm or cold, and walked to the big spring where they got their water, and washed his face and head. If it was cold, he would come back to the house with icicle in his hair. He said it was healthy. They were thankful he didn't insist on any of the other family members doing it.

The people always got up long before day light and worked until after dark. They had to, I suppose, to get all the carding, spinning, weaving, and sewing done. It was an every day job, except Sunday. Saturday night was celebration night. The young folks had that time off. Grandma said sometimes they would dance all night. To save the wear on their shoes, in warm weather, they carried them almost to the church house, then put them on. When they left the church, they took them off again, as soon as they got out of sight of the church. The fathers made the shoes. They had one pair at a time.

Every one had fireplaces in their homes. It was used to keep them warm and to cook their food. Some had ovens built to one side, to bake in. Many just used their heavy iron skillets that had heavy iron lids. They put them on the fire to get them hot. Then they would rake some coals out on the hearth, set the skillet on them, put the bread in or whatever they wanted to bake, but the hot lid on and put some coals on it . Some of the food was cooked in an iron kettle hung on a rod over the fire. They also used copper kettles.

There was no water in the house. It had to be carried in and out. No toilets. It was a little house out back.

Grandma said she say [sic] a meteor shower when she was a young girl . They thought all the stars were falling and that the world was coming to an end. Every one was frightened. until it stopped.

All the ashes from the fireplace were piled in a hopper. When speing [sic] came, the women poured water on the ashes every day. When the ashes got all soaked, the liquid that ran through into a trough at the bottom would be strong lye. The women tested the solution by dipping a chicken feather in it. It if dissolved the feather, it was strong enough. This solution was kept covered at all times because it was strong enough to kill an animal or person. The solution was put in a large iron kettle, on a fire outside. The fat from the meat was put in as it was boiled until the lye ate up (disolved [sic]) the fat. The stronger the lye, the quicker it would eat up the fat. It was set aside to cool, then cut into retangular [sic] shapes and put in large wooden troughs to cure or dry. After they were cured, the lye had spent its strength on the soap, it was ready to use. These big trought [sic] were kept in one end of the “smoke house“ where the meat was put to smoke and cure. Salt was also stored with it. It was bought by the 50 gallon wooden barrel. They cured some of the meet [sic] with it. The pork sides (beacon) callled [sic] salt pork. That is the only way they had to keep it.

(Sketch of soap making device here ----- )

Grandma said, in the early days the people had to build their homes of logs. They didn't have time to saw or split the lumber and let it dry before building. The floors were made of wide planks or boards split from a big tree. They were put in as soon as they were cut. After they lay there for awhile, the boards or slabs would get dry. That would make big cracks between the boards. She said they were called puncheon floors. I don't know why and I didn't ask her. Later years, the floors were made of smooth hardwood. Many were left bare and polished and cleaned by rubbing the floors with clean white sand then sweeping it up. When they covered the floors, they would cover it with a clean layer of straw with a home woven carpet over it, and tacked down. Every spring, the carpet was taken up, put outside and beat good. New clean straw was put down, and the carpet tacked down again. The matresses were made of an unbleached material and stuffed with clean straw. This was redone each spring. From this time (1700-1800 and on up to 1915) everyone had a mattress filled with nice fluffy goose feathers to put on top of the straw mattress. If a young person got married, and the parents could not scrape up enough to give them a feather mattress and two feather pillows, it was an unpardonable sin.

>>Part 5

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