Monday, August 2, 2010

TAYLOR- "MEMORIES OF LIFE WITH DADDY TAYLOR" By Daughters Ossie, Levetra, and Emma

Daddy Taylor was born in Ashley County, Arkansas on October 13, 1871.

Daddy was seventeen months old when his father married Sarah Elizabeth Jarrell in 1873. He recalled life at home as being very hard.

When he was fourteen years old, the family moved fifty miles away (from Ashley County to Drew County). He and his half brother Leonard were responsible for one of the wagons. The family settled in the area that is now known as Cominto. Their home was located two miles off the highway 35 on 80 acres between Monticello and Dermott, Arkansas.

As a young man Daddy Taylor worked for a man who owned a sawmill near Boydell. He floated logs down the Bayou to the mill. He was also a Scaler (a person who measures the length of a log in “feet”).

When Daddy Taylor was twenty, his father’s wife died. His father passed away 5 years later. He then bought the “Homeplace”. Four years later he married Maggie Viola Watson, known to all as “Mammy Taylor”.

Seven children were born to the couple, a son and six daughters. Their son Alva died of Bone disease at age 10. Alma only lived for six months. Following these two children, the couple was blessed with five healthy daughters:
Emma “Sister”, Mabel “Cotton”, Beulah “Doots”, Ossie “Ola Bug”, and Levetra “Mutt”.

He continued farming the homeplace. When the crops were “laid by” for the summer, he would make crossties for the railroad and sell them to Mr. Porter in Monticello. In winter, he caught skunks, possums, coon and mink. Once he caught an otter, but didn’t know what it was. A good Mink hide was worth about $12.00, Coon about $3.50, Possums about $2.00 and skunks $1.50.

The Original house had a dogtrot (a runway between kitchen and the living quarters). He Tore the old house down and built the one that “we” lived in until the 1930’s. It had a brick walk from the house to the front gate.

Daddy Taylor raised Cows and hogs. They ran wild in the Seven Devils Bottom. He had dogs to round them up so he could feed them. They were Catahoula hound dogs. He had a red long eared mule named “Kit” and a Mare named “Dolly” and a horse named “Prince”. Daddy Taylor was known for being an animal lover.

In autumn, it was “hog killin’ time” He would go into the woods and kill maybe four or five hogs for our winter meat. Water was heated to a boiling in the wash pot and put in a big barrel. The hogs were dipped in the barrel head first, then the rear was dipped, sloshed up and down, taken out and the hair was scraped off with a sharp knife. Then the hogs were hung between two poles and cut open and the insides removed. There was “liver for supper, brains and eggs for breakfast and spare ribs for dinner”!

Daddy Taylor also loved to fish and hunt. During duck season in the fall, there were so many ducks that the “sky would turn dark”. Mammy Taylor would pick their feathers and make pillows and feather beds. She boiled, baked and fried duck and made cornbread dressing.

In the Spring, when the Seven Devils Swamp was flooded, Daddy would go down and hunt for Buffalo Fish. He had a small hand made boat about 12 feet long. He made a harpoon from a steel arrow attached to a long stick and a long rope was attached to the stick. The stick was then placed in his gun barrel. He would find the fish by the noise that it made. Then he would “raise up and fire down”. Emma remembers she and Mabel going fishing with him. She often wondered why Mammy Let them go!

He joined the church at an early age but didn’t attend regularly until later years. He often said that he and his horses were too tired to on Sunday.
He never smoked or drank.
He never owned a car.

He enjoyed southern food such as biscuits and gravy. He did not eat peas or tomatoes or pepper.

Before the mowing machines took over caring for Rash Cemetery, there was a “Working” in August. People from all over would come bringing hoes, rakes, and shovels. The grass and weeds were cut, raked and burned. There was a dinner on the grounds. The Oak tree were we sat is still there. Daddy Taylor always sat on the roots that had grown up from out of the ground.

Daddy Taylor was 96 years old and in excellent health, not wearing glasses, or hearing aids. He died when a car hit him when he was walking to the mailbox. They were expecting a letter from Levetra.


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