Allen Family

John Allen
Of Bibb Co. Alabama

John Allen came to Bibb Co. Alabama from Elbert Co. Georgia. He was in Bibb before the 1820 census was taken.

He is listed on the 1820 and 1830 Bibb Co., census. He was born according to the census as being born 1760-1770. His wife born about 1770-1780. I do not find John Sr. listed after 1830 and perhaps he died between 1830 and 1840. The wife of John Allen was said to be a Ms. Hogg. No other information.

It is believed that the families of John Allen and Isaac Suttle traveled from Elbert Co. Georgia to Alabama together. Two Allen siblings married two Suttle siblings.

Without doubt John Allen and Isaac Suttle both were religious men as the records show. It is believed that John is buried in an unmarked grave close to Ebenezer Baptist Church in Stanton, Alabama.

Taken from "The Baptists of Bibb County Alabama" by Howard F. McCord.


"Situated on Alabama highway # 22 at the community now called Stanton, this church was constituted on 31 July 1819, by Isaac Suttle, Lewis C. Davis, and William Harrod, as presbyters. Of the seven constituent members, the names of only three have been preserved: Samuel Crenshaw John Allen, and John Gandy. The first two named were deacons."

"This Church joined the Cahawba Baptist Association in 1819, the year of her constitution. One of the pastors for the period 1819-1828 was Isaac Suttle and John Allen was a delegate.

Charity Suttle daughter of Isaac Suttle who was in Elbert Co. GA., and came to Bibbs Co. The family may have traveled together from Georgia to Bibbs Co.

Known Children of John Allen are:

1. John Allen Jr. born 1801 GA
2. Mary Allen, born GA. She married in Bibb Co., 22 September, 1821 to William Suttle, son of Jesse Suttle.

John Allen Jr
Son of John Allen Sr.

John Jr. born 24 April, 1801 in GA., came to Alabama with his parents and lived Bibb Co. before he removed to Mississippi where he is listed on the 1850 census in Lauderdale Co. MS. John died 24 August, 1876 in MS.

John married 22 January, 1824 in Bibb Co. to Charity Suttle, daughter of Isaac Suttle. Charity died in MS., after 1837/38 as the youngest child John was born in 1838 in MS. After the death of Charity, John married to Kisirah Wells born about 1812.

From the 1850 census it appears James was the first child born in Mississipi which gives an app. date of 1835 when they moved to that state.

Known children of John Allen Jr. and his two wives. There may have been more children born between 1824 and 1832 that are not known.

1. William Allen, born 1829
2. Martha Allen, born 1832 AL
3. Isaac H. Allen, born 1834 AL
4. James Allen, born 1836 Newton Co. MS.
5. John C. Allen, born 1836 MS., John C. killed during the Civil War at Garnett's Farm, Virginia in 1862.
6. Sally Allen, not sure maybe 1838 when Charity died.
7. Thomas Richard Allen, born 1852 Lauderdale Co. MS.
8. Mary Ellis Allen, born 1856 married a Mr. Clark
9. Lizzie Allen, married Mark Horton

John C. Allen listed as age 12 was killed during the Civil War at Garnett's Farm, Virginia in 1862.

Isaac H. Allen
Son of John Allen Jr

Isaac H. Allen, was born 1834 in Bibb Co. Alabama and died 1908 in Erath Co. TX.

Isaac was married twice. He married (1)Sarah Ann F. White. In 1860 they were living in Conahatta, Newton Co. MS. On the 1860 census Isaac is listed as being 26 years of age and Sarah age 24. They had two children.

Isaac married (2) to Eliza Miller in Coryell County Texas.

1. William Allen, born about 1854
2. Mary Jane Allen, born about 1858 in Newton Co. MS.
3. Mary Elizabeth Allen, born 18 April, 1879 Ellis Co. TX. She married Richard Pace McCann.
4. Maggie Alice Allen, born 2 January, 1881 TX. Married Robert Lee McInroe.
5. Benjamin Wells Allen, born 2 January, 1885 Erath Co. TX. He married Mary Suzanne Elizabeth Williamson, born 14 August, 1889 AL. They were the parents of fourteen children all born in Texas.

Thomas Richard Allen
Son of John Allen Jr

Thomas Richard Allen, son of John Allen Sr was born 1852 in MS. He married Margaret Bufkin born 1854 and died 1929.

Children of Thomas R. and Margaret are:

1. J. Benton Allen married Ada (unknown)
2. W. Issac Allen born 1877; died 1972 married Annie Hairston.
3. M. L. Allen, married M. O. Spivey
4. Edward Pennington Allen, married Myrtle Brewer
5. Thomas "Tom" Allen, married Jete (unknown)
6. Mary Allen, married William O. McGill
7. Veda Allen, married M.O. Spivey
8. Earl Allen
9. Sallie E. Allen, born 1875; married A.G. Gibson
10 Alvis Floyd Allen, born 1894 married Mamie Cecile Cook.
11 Ernest Allen, born 1896
12 Benurn Allen
13 Morris Allen
14 Alvin Allen

A sketch of My life

A Sketch Of My Life' is an excerpt transcribed last week by Ray ALLEN from a booklet his great grandfather Thomas R. Allen wrote after his wife died in 1929. Some names and dates have already been given. However, I am going to include the entire manscript as written.

I have been requested to write a kind of history of my life together with that of my ancestry, a task that I feel very much unable to do, but will do the best I can. I have no dates or notes so will have to rely wholly upon memory.

My father’s name was John Allen. He was born in Georgia, June 24, 1801, and died August 24, 1876. His father was also named John. His mother’s name was Hogg. They all came from Ireland and settled in the United States.

I have heard my father tell of the many hardships they had to undergo. They fought in the early wars and some of them were officers. My grandfather and oldest uncle were in the army and were on their way to join the forces at New Orleans when they received the news that peace had been made. Then the army turned back and my grandfather and oldest uncle left the main army and made their way back through the wilderness home. As they journeyed they came to a place where some men had camped the night before and some Indians had made a raid on them and killed them. Some of the crowd turned back but grandfather said that there was no more danger ahead than there was behind, so they came in three weeks ahead of the main army. Afterwards they joined the army and were mustered out of service.

I heard my father say that they were all men of large stature and would fight anything that came along. At the same time they were peaceable until someone made an inroad on them and then they were ready to defend their rights. Oh, if I could just call to memory the many things that I have heard my father relate.

On another occasion there was at one time a company of men who were doing some scouting in the country and they all gathered in at a certain place to get breakfast. The lady of the house prepared breakfast for them and they, knowing that the woods were full of British and Tories, told the woman to stand in the door and watch and give the alarm if she saw them coming, but they got to telling of their ups and downs and she forgot to watch and before she was aware the yard was full of them. She gave the alarm, and there being but one door to the house, they had to come out and meet them. One of our great uncles, as he made his way around the corner of the house, met a British officer on his horse. He made a stroke with his sword but he dodged the lick and escaped the sword which buried itself in one of the logs of the house.

Another incident that I have heard my father tell about is that in a certain neighborhood there was just a man and his wife and there came a lot of men to stay the night. I do not remember whether they were soldiers or not, but the next morning when they left they all left their guns with the man with whom they had stayed all night. During the day they saw some Indians coming and the man told his wife not to get scared. They barred the doors and he told her when he shot one gun for her to reload it. He waited until they got within shooting distance and he shot one who tumbled over dead. Then the Indians made a charge on the house. She would use her apron for packing, so he began to shoot them, and as well as I remember he brought one down every time he shot. They finally got in the yard but he kept laying them out and finally one of them decided he would get in the house. He went up on the roof of the house and began to tear up the roof, but the man stood ready and when the Indian got the hole in the roof big enough to look in the man was ready and shot him. When it was all over there were some eight or ten dead Indians in the yard and, of course, the others left.

Now I want to write something that will interest the children. In those days neighbors did not live as close together as they do now. I have heard my father relate a little incident many times. Some of the connection decided one evening to make a short visit to a neighbor’s house who lived some three miles or more away to sit up until bedtime and then return home. My uncle went and took a little grandchild along with him. Finally he started back home and he had not gone very far until he heard something walking along in the dry leaves just off a little distance and it would change from one side of the path to the other. It was very dark and he could not see and occasionally the animal would walk up to a big tree and reach up its claws and rake down on the bark of the tree. So he decided that whatever it was, wanted the child and he took the child and placed him just ahead of him, we might say between its legs, and moved along slowly, but whatever it was continued to follow them until he got in hollowing distance of home. He began to call his dogs and the dogs came, but just as the dogs got to him he heard the animal run off and he put the dogs on the trail and they started out in full cry. It was not long until they were almost out of hearing So, now children, I have related this for your special benefit to show you some of the hardships that little boys and girls had to undergo in those pioneer days when our forefathers were blazing the way to our happiness and enjoyment. In this country there was a wilderness full of wild beasts that would devour a little boy or girl in a minute. In those days there were no fine automobiles in which to ride and people had to walk most everywhere they went. There were not many big fine cities in which to live. Besides all this the country was full of hostile Indians that would sometimes come in on people and kill them and sometimes would take little children away from their parents and keep them. Just what a good time you are having, all because of the many hardships that our people had to undergo. They fought for our independence as a nation. They bled and died that we might have a good country in which to live and have all the good things that we are enjoying today.

I will now take up my little career. I was born in Lauterdale County, Mississippi in the year 1852. When I was six months old my father moved to Newton County where I was reared to manhood. My father’s name was John Allen. My mother’s maiden name was Kisirah Wells. She was the youngest daughter of Mary Lindsey and George Wells. She had five brothers and one sister. Their names were according to age, Humphrey, Thomas, Sam, Jake, and Sibella. Sibella married Daniel Griffeth. She died and left no children. Some of the Lindseys served in the Revolutionary War in 1776. My mother was my father’s second wife. His first wife was named Suttles. As well as I remember they had six children born to them. Their names were as follows: William, Isaac, James, John, Martha and Sally. The first died in infancy, then I came next – my name is Thomas R. Allen – then Mary Ellis and Lizzie. All three of us are still living. My parents were poor so far as this world’s good are concerned but we were honest and truthful. My father was a man of extraordinary intelligence, yet he had no education, but was a great reader and talker and loved to talk. He was unassuming and I imagine had as many friends as anybody who lived in his day. He was almost an invalid for years before he died. I used to lie on the bed and hear him talking to mother, telling her that he could not live but a little longer, and I would cry at the thought of his dying and leaving us, but he lived to be 75 years old and died rich, that is, rich in faith. He gave every evidence that he was going to a better world, something I feel is worth more than all the wealth in the world.

My mother was a woman of strong mind but had no literary attainments. She was a great talker. I would give anything if I could call to mind the many things I have her relate in regard to the wars and many ups and downs that she and her ancestry had to undergo, the hardships and privations. She also lived to the ripe old age of 75 years and when she died she died shouting, so I feel that I have a father and mother in the glory land. I hope this is a strong incentive to me to look forward to the time that I too may be carried to that happy home, there to dwell in that glory land where all is joy and peace.

I remember of hearing my mother tell of another thing. A woman went to a neighbor’s house one day and took some scraps to piece up for a quilt. She pieced up several pieces and on her way home a big black bear began to follow her. She did not know what to do so finally she thought to throw down one of the quilt scraps as the bear began to tear it up. Then she would go on as fast as she could, but the bear would come again and she would throw down another quilt scrap and the bear would stop to tear it up. In this she managed to get home. As well as I remember when she got in calling distance her husband heard her and ran out and shot the bear.

Just think of the hardships that our foreparents had to undergo. We should be so thankful and hold them in sacred remembrance and honor them for the many sacrifices they made. Yes, blazing the way to our happiness that we are enjoying today in this great land of ours where we have every modern convenience. In those days there were no telephones, no electric lights, no automobiles and no radios.

I will now turn to my own life. I believe that I stated where and when I was born. Anyway when I was six months old my father moved from Lauterdale County, Mississippi to Newton County, Mississippi. He bought land and began to improve and open up a farm. On that farm I was reared to manhood. When I was bout eight or ten years old the war broke out between the states, so you will realize that I do not remember much about the cause or in other words what brought on the war. I do remember that when it started I had two half brothers who joined the first company that was made up in the county in which we lived.

I well remember that on the night before they left home they all gathered at my father’s house to stay all night. I do not remember how many but there were several and they all had big butcher knives that an old blacksmith made and gave them. I thought they were the largest knives that I ever saw. The next morning I overslept and when I awoke I heard my mother crying. I got up as quickly as I could and ran to the door and just got the glimpse of my half brothers going out of sight. I had two brothers in that company and they were sent right on to Virginia. It was not long until we began to get letters from them, telling of the things that take place in war. they would write back about the battles they had and the things that took place.

On one occasion we were all down in the cotton field at work. We had a negro woman hired and she came running down to where we were and told us that John Allen was killed and for us all to come to the house. When we got there everybody was crying and mourning. John was a man of fine stature. As well as I remember he was about six feet tall and well built in proportion. I feel like sometimes that if he was to appear to me in the same likeness that I saw him last that I would recognize him.

I will relate a little incident that occurred. One evening while my mother and I were at the cow-pen milking, there was a man walked up and asked my mother if he could stay all night. She told him to go to the house, that the men folks would be in from work in a short while. He did so. In a short while the men came and he stayed all night. When bedtime arrived John would not sleep with him so they put him in John’s room to sleep. The next morning they got up; the stranger got up and he went up the road and was gone some little time but finally came back and ate his breakfast and left. John and the rest of the hands went to work but John got to thinking that maybe he had better go back to the house. He knew that he had some money in his trunk and the trunk was not locked, so he went and looked and sure enough his money was gone. He went to my father and asked him if he had taken his money, supposing that father had taken it to make him more careful with it and not to be so careless. He asked him two or three times. Finally father told him that he did not get his money and when he was convinced that it had been stolen he began to make arrangements to follow the man. He got a couple of men who lived in the neighborhood to go with him and overtake the man, which they did. They had to follow him by his tracks. He would try to bewilder them by changing from one side of the road to the other and sometimes would walk around and around, but they soon would get on his trail again and finally overtook him. They told him that he had stolen the money and they wanted it, but of course he denied it. Finally my brother told him if he would give up his money then he would not bother him any more, so he sat down and tore the hem of his pants where he had sewed the money. When he had given up the money he began to make his arrangements to go on. The men told him that he could not go because they were going to take him to jail. He told them he would not go and that they had promised him that they would not bother him any more, but the two men who were with John told him that they had not made any such promise and they had to knock him down twice before he would surrender. They took him and put him in jail and he was tried and sent to the penitentiary.

I will try to relate some things to the memory of my next brother who was wounded in the war. He was shot on the battlefield. I do not remember the date when they started into battle. The man bearing the colors was shot and another picked it up and was going on when he was shot. A third man picked it up and he was shot. My brother said that it looked like there was no one going to pick it up again so he went back and got it. The General in command told him to go forward and he said that he went through the lines and was some ten or fifteen feet in front of the main line. He was carrying the flag and was loading and shooting all the time. He turned around to tell the others to come on and just as he turned a ball struck him in the hip. He fell and while he was lying there the bullets were falling all around him. He decided that his head was too low so he took his knapsack and placed it under his head. He had no more than got himself straightened when a ball went through the knapsack. I have heard him say how many holes there were in his blanket which he had folded in his knapsack. It was 2 o’clock in the evening when he was shot so he lay there all that evening and all night. His friends were hunting him and they had about given up finding him but just about daylight they decided that they would risk one call and they called Isaac Allen. He heard them and answered them. They took him and placed him in what they called the field hospital and when the doctors came around and examined him they told him that his case was incurable they did not have the time to give his kind any attention because there were so many whom they had a chance to save. So they took him off from the main body and put him on the ground and left him. Now I want to state here that when he fell on the battle field he said to himself that he was not going to die, that he was going to get well and go home to his wife and children, but when they told him that he could not get well he did not give up hope and kept telling them that he would get well if they would give him any attention at all. So when they took him off to himself he lay there 5 days and nights. It was hot weather and the flies bothered him and the maggots got all over him. He had to fight to keep them out of his mouth and eyes, so he began to think if they did not give him some attention he would have to die. One evening he dozed off to sleep and when he awoke there was a lady standing over him crying. She asked him why was it that he should be treated that way, and he told her that he did not know, that they told him that his case was incurable, and that there were so many who had a chance to be saved that they did not have time to give his kind any attention. She told him to rest easy because she would see that he got attention. He looked around and saw a carriage with two fine horses hitched to it and a driver sitting in it. He heard her ask how far it was to headquarters and they told her that it was about a mile. She told the driver to put the whip to the horses, and he said in the shortest tie imaginable she was back with two surgeons and two men. She told them that he had to have attention, so they took him up and dressed his wounds. He went to sleep and slept all night. The next day they had a man sitting by him. Ne noticed that his foot was turned to one side so he told the man to straighten his foot because when he got well he did not want to walk with his foot one-sided. The man laughed, “Do you think that you are going to get well?” My brother told him that he knew he would get well. Now they move him into a hospital and, as well as I remember, he stayed there 13 months but received good attention from then on and finally got to where he could get about. Finally he came home and made a crop and moved to Texas.

Texas, in those days, was a wild country and he got in wild company and his wife died. She was one of the best women I have ever known and her death, together with the wild company, caused him to become almost shipwrecked. We lost sight of him. After moving to Texas and having there two or three years I received a letter from one of his boys whom I had never seen, telling me where his father live but he failed to give me his father’s address. In a short time I received another letter from him, giving me his father’s post office and then I wrote him. After a while I received a letter from him. We did not live over 50 or 75 miles from each other so I wrote him that I would be out to see him. I went and he met me at Lampasas and conveyed me out to where he lived. I had not seen him since I was a small boy but he said that he pointed me out before I got off the train. I did not recognize him right on the start but soon could see that he was the one for whom I was looking. He lived in Burnett County out on the Colorado River. I remained with him several days and returned home. In some two or three months he moved to where I lived and lived on my place. He made several crops and while living there joined my church, the Primitive Baptist, and I baptized him and his wife. After living there several years he moved to Erath County, Texas and lived there several years. Finally he was taken sick. His hip would rise on him; it would do this occasionally all through his lifetime after he was shot on the battlefield, as I have previously related. I was notified that he was very low and I went to see him. When I got there I found him in very bad shape. He was almost a perpetual smoker and had smoked so much that his jaw bone had decayed to the extent that it had no life in it. The doctors said that they would have to take it out, so they did and he came out from under the anesthetic all right. It looked like he was going to get up but all at once he began to fail and in a short while he passed away. He was 75 years old when he died. A good man, he suffered enough to kill almost any number of men but endured all his suffering with as much Christian fortitude as any man that I ever saw. He could suffer the most and complain the least. I have often heard him say that he never was placed in a condition but what he felt that it could be worse.

I want to relate a few incidents that I heard him speak of which occurred to him. As I have stated, when he moved to Texas into wild company he got to drinking too much but he was never known to get down to where he could not go. Now I will try to relate this as near as I can as he told me. He said that he had made several resolves to quit drinking. On one occasion there was a young man who lived in the neighborhood who came over to his house to sit up and talk with him until bedtime. He said that he felt as well as usual but after he retired there was a strange feeling came over him. He could not tell what it was. It came in his feet like a cramp and would begin to crawl up his legs and would keep on until it would get into his body and would begin to shove up his breath. It would get up to his throat but just before it would take his breath from him he would be enabled to cough and it would leave him. In a short time it would return again and would do as it had done before. This was repeated several times. During these spells his house was filled with angels and he would ask his family if they could see them but they could not, so when the last spell came he told them not to raise him up any more that he wanted to go. Of course they would not do this, but as the last spell left he told them that he would hot have another and that he was not going to die. The angels all disappeared and he told his wife he was not going to die at that time, but they had a sick baby and he looked over to where the baby was on another bed. The little angels had hovered all around it. He told her that the baby would die and sure enough it died in about three days.

He said that during the time that he was drinking he would tell them that he was going to try to quit. Now he said he told them he was not going to try any more but was going to quit. When he told me this he said that it had been about 18 years and he had not touched a drop of it since. During his last sickness he said that there was a man who would come to him every morning dressed in white and would talk to him and give him every assurance that he was all right. On the morning that he had his apparition he came to him.

Now I know that these things are out of the ordinary but I have every confidence in them. I have been wanting to write these things a long time. I realize that I have made a weak effort but it is the best I could do, having to depend entirely upon memory and a great deal of it took place when I was just a small boy.

Now I will come to my own little career as I previously stated. I was born in 1852 in Lauterdale County, Mississippi. I was reared under some trying conditions. My parents were poor and we had no modern conveniences such as are known today. I remember very distinctly the first school I attended. It was in a little old log house, way out in the woods. My brother and I would go and I was so small that I could scarcely keep up with him although he was good to me and would walk, slowly, but it still worried me.

I remember that there was a boy who went to school who did not have a good mind. If he were living now he would be sent to the asylum, but in those days there were no such things, or if there were I did not know anything about them. The teacher would whip him and it would scare me nearly to death because I expected every minute to be the next one, but by some means I escaped. I was always the biggest coward you ever saw. I dreaded a whipping worse than anyone.

As usual I did not go to school very long. In those days they were not what they are now. I would go to school at short intervals – never over two or three months at a time. We had the old blue back speller, McGuffey’s reader, Dean’s arithmetic and other books of similar nature. I went to school until the war broke out between the states.

When I was about eight or ten years old we encountered many horrors of war. Every able-bodied man who did not go into the swamps was forced to go into the service. Those who did not go into service were called deserters and were dreaded almost as much as the Yankees. We lived about a mile from the road over which Sherman and his army traveled when he raided Mississippi. Those were the hardest times that I ever witnessed. They would come in droves, in number from one-half dozen to fifteen or twenty.

I remember that on one occasion ten or fifteen cavalrymen came dashing up the hill. They hitched their horses and began to shoot chickens. They went into the smoke house and took hams but they mostly wanted chickens.

There was one man in the crowd who was the biggest man and who was riding the biggest horse I ever saw. He jumped from his horse, dashed into the smoke house and jerked down a ham. There was a chicken in the corner of the fence. He saw it, caught it and wrung its neck. Then he went back to his horse and began to talk with my father. He first asked him if he had any horses. My father told him a chunk of a story. He told him that the Confederate authorities had taken his horses and all the time they were hidden in the swamp.

Then the man asked my father if he had any boys in the army. Father told him that he had two or maybe three. Then he wanted to know where they were. Father told him that they were in Virginia. He said that one of them was killed and the other was wounded. The man wanted to know at what place the one was killed and the other was wounded. Father told him that the one was killed near Richmond in the seven days fight and the other was wounded in the battle of Gettysburg. Then the man said he had been right there in both of the fights and was taken prisoner but was soon exchanged and sent around to the west. He then wanted to know where the son was who had been wounded. Father told him that he was somewhere in Maryland. Then the man said, “Well, old man, if good, kind treatment will save your boy you need not be the least bit uneasy for those are the best people in the world and they would surely take care of him. When Isaac came home he told the same story. He said that while he was in the hospital no difference was shown and all were treated alike.

This man stayed until all of his company had left and he finally asked my father if he had hidden any meat. Father told him that he had not but he had. The man then told him that he had better start hiding his meat because the army would be passing there all night and all the next day and would take every piece he had. My father began to see that he was right and began to want him to leave so he could hide the meat but the man just kept on talking. Finally father asked him if he did not know that he was in danger and he wanted to know how. Father told him that our men were flanking his army and were watching every move they made. Father said, “just think how easy it would be for them to dash in here on you and take you.” The man said, “I believe you are right about it,” and began to put his feet in his stirrups. I can remember how he looked on his old grey house, going down one hill and up the other. It was about sundown when he left and there didn’t any more men come that day, but all the same there was not much meat left in the smoke house because it was all hidden in the thicket.

On another occasion, just about sundown, a company of infantry came marching up the hill. My father had just fed his hogs. He had a fine bunch of them. The man in charge spoke to my father and said, “Old man, we have come after some of those hogs. We need some pork.” Father said, “Well, if you have come after them I guess you will have to take them.” The man ordered one of his men to open the yard gate because he wanted to drive them into the yard to kill them. Father told him that was why he had the gate there so he could keep them out of the yard. Then he pointed to a lot just off a little distance and said that it had been built for the hogs. The man ordered one of his men to open the gate to the lot and then they began to try to drive the hogs into the lot but the hogs would not drive. The men got around them and began to hollow ‘hua, hua,’ and the hogs began to make for the bushes. The man saw that they would all soon be gone so he ordered his men to shoot. Now I was out at the barn when they began to shoot. They were nearly between me and the house and I thought that they were the longest blazes that came out of the guns. I never saw such a slaughter. The literally covered the ground. They would kill them and just take the hams and leave the other part lying there. The next day I had to drag them away.

I do not write these things to try to stir up strife or to keep an old grudge, but in order to show how hard the times were in those days. Talk about desolation, it does not give it a meaning and poorly expresses it. Everything that could be was destroyed. The gins, mills and fenced around the farms were burned. All the cows and hogs were killed. Every cow that we had except one was killed and she had two balls shot through her but she got well.

I have often heard that General Sherman said that war was hell, and he certainly must have meant what he said for he certainly made it so wherever he went. Finally his army passed on going east and was gone about three weeks. I think that he got to Alabama and from some cause he turned back. They did not do much damage on their return because they were in such a hurry.

After this the whole country was left in a state of desolation and hundreds of people were left almost destitute. It seemed that there was a spirit that prompted the people to buckle up and come again. I do not remember of anyone starving, but I feel sure there were some who went hungry at times. Lots of them did not have a cow, hog or chicken left. I want to say here that I have not had much feeling for Yankees since that time. I do not say this to create strife or to try to irritate or keep an old hatred but merely to give vent to some of my feelings that I have had in the past. It was in war ties and it is generally conceded that all things are fair in way and to the victor belong the spoils.

As time went on the war continued. I do not remember the exact time General Sherman went back to Vicksburg and shipped his army back to Memphis, Tennessee He set on another raid to the sea, leafing death and destruction in his path. As well as I remember he paid more dearly for his booty then he did in the raids that he made through Mississippi. Anyway he was victorious. I will indulge in these things any further.

I will return again to my own little career. After all these things had taken place something must be done. We had to go to work to try to get something to eat. By this time I was large enough to begin to plow. My father, from some cause, had let a good portion of his land grew up, that is, he quit cultivating and it had to be brought in again to a state of cultivation. It was covered with what we called broomsage. It grew on the poorest soil, sometimes as high as your head and had a powerful turf. Now I want to tell you it was a job to break that turf, but we finally succeeded in bringing a good portion of it back to the state of cultivation. From some cause it never was as fertile as it had been before so we had to battle for our lives, that is, make something on which to live.

I spoke something about my school days. I would go to school as time and opportunity would permit, but I was never a very apt student. It seemed that I was of an incomprehensive nature and could not grasp the things that one should to advance very fast in literary attainments. I just scrambled along.

I will relate one incident that took place in my school career. I was attending a school and we had a teacher, too, and his plan was to have a spelling every Friday evening. I want to state here that I always occupied one position in spelling and that was foot. I had a sister who stood at the head. One Friday evening there was a word given out at the head of the class and they missed. It came on down the class to me and I spelled. The teacher said. “Dick, go to the head.” So I went and he would not give me another word for he know if he did I would miss it – you may know my feelings. On the next spelling I began to miss and soon got back to my old stand and then I was safe.

The teacher’s rule was that the boys and girls must play together. Once they all slipped off and went down to the spring, that is, all but two or three other little ones and myself. We did not go to the spring. All during the play time we stayed at the play grounds and played until just before tie for books. The teacher knew we did. He did not know where the others were but anyway we knew it was about time for books. Our custom was to go and get some water and wash our face and hands. We had no more than gotten our water when he appeared on the hill and hollowed “books.” Of course we were in the crowd so everyone made for the house. When we were all in the house he began to talk to us and began to call first one then the other up to him to lay on the hickory. He would tell us that we had disobeyed his rule. Finally it came my time and I told him that I had not been there but just a little while, that I had been playing on the play ground. He said, “You were there just the same.” So I had to take my dressing just the same. He whipped the whole school except two and they needed it worse than any of us because they were the largest.

As time passed I began to get some larger and would go to school some but never long at a time. I was the only boy in the family and there had to be some work done in order that we might make a crop so that we might exist. I would think that my name was the easiest called in the world. It was, Dick do this, and, Dick do that. I realize now that I did not have such a hard time.

Finally I came to where I began to think that I was grown and began to think about the girls. The girls in those days were prettier than they are today, because they all wore long dresses and long hair. When they kept their hair combed nicely I thought they were the prettiest creatures in the world and I think so yet. A woman’s hair was giver her as a covering or adornment. It is her glory and there is nothing that is more becoming to woman than a head of long, pretty hair, especially when it is well kept.

I have been telling you of some of my ups and downs during my school days. I will come to the last school that I ever attended. I guess I was somewhere near twenty years old and had to go about four miles. As usual I did not advance very fast. This time we had a fine teacher and he took a great interest in me. We went on until the school came to an end. The neighborhood all joined in together and made a great day of it. They had a big barbecue, and a great crowd gathered. All of the students had memorial speeches and dialogues. Of course, I had to take a part. It was quite an undertaking for me to memorize my speech, but I finally mastered the job. I guess I did about as well as any of them. One thing I know that I thought I was about the happiest one in the whole business. My speech was on temperance and began this way: “Who hath woe, who hath sorrow, who hath contentions, who hath babblings, who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine.”

I got my speech so that I could repeat it pretty well and I remember that I caught myself listening to my voice echoing down the hollows as the school house was located in the pines and the hills and hollows were all around. While I was endeavoring with all my might to repeat my speech with as much grace and dignity as I possibly could I cast my eyes around. Lo and behold they had arranged a long row of girls all dressed in white, the larger ones in the middle and then the smaller sizes would taper off to each end of the row. They sang a song but I do not remember the name of it although I do remember two lines that were: “Sparkling and bright is the livid light,” and, “There is nothing so good as the sparkling water.” These two lines are all that I remember and they may not be correct. Anyway I was the happiest mortal that ever lived. I will never forget that occasion.

Now I will say that this was about the time that our love affair and courtship started between me and my beloved companion who has recently been called to a better land. She attended these exercises and during them it seemed that my thought and mind was directed to her. While we were almost reared together, yet I had never seen in her that beauty and grandeur that I was enabled to behold afterwards. My whole mind and soul were almost absorbed in her. She was from childhood possessed of a meek spirit and disposition. She was considered the flower of the flock so I began to turn my attention toward her.

It was not long until we had made a contract to live with and for each other. We continued our courtship for about three years and finally it was consummated into a matrimonial vow which was consummated September 18, 1873. We started out in the world poor in this world’s goods but just as full of life and vigor as any couple who ever lived, united in soul and in spirit. Our lives were interwoven in each other. A more faithful, God honoring and loving woman never lived, but alas, I am bereft of her and left alone in the world to battle with trials and tribulations.

So, dear reader, bear with me in this trying hour of loneliness in this world. I am cared for as well as could be expected, but with all the good wishes by friends and a set of as good children as ever live, my heart still bleeds with sorrow as one who is left alone in the world.

Oh, she is stilled in death but her memory is sweet and dear. Her wonderful life will last as long as there is any living that knew her. Her sweet life and graces will live on in the memory of those that were her companions here below. Her pious life was adorned with all the Christian graces that the Lord has placed here for his children. Her faith and confidence in God was unbounded. She was always for the right and condemned the wrong. She was thoroughly established in the doctrine and practice of the church. She had no compromise to make with what she considered disorder in the church. I am lost when I endeavor to speak of the golden virtues that adorned her pious walk and godly conversation in this world. Oh, dear reader, bear with me in this my saddest trial of life. There is one thought that cheers me and that is she is in the glory world with her blessed Saviour. She is free from all the trials of life. Some day, and it will not be long, I will be called to go on and I hope to meet her in spirit in that world of glory and bliss together with all the redeemed of the Lord, there to spend an eternity with God.

Now I will close this part of my little paper and turn to some of her family connections. My knowledge is very limited. Her father’s name was Isaac Bufkin and her mother’s name was Caroline Loper. Both of them were born, reared and died in Mississippi. There was born to them, I think, twelve children. They were all Methodist in faith. She has two sisters and one brother living, Mrs. Julia Robinson of Lawrence, Mississippi; Mrs. Ida Nixon of Waco, Texas and Mr. George Bufkin of Almagorda, New Mexico. They are all that is left of a large family, which bespeaks to us that we are all passing away.

Now, dear children, I have done the best that I could in writing a little sketch of my life. I know that it is very imperfectly done. There are so many things that could be brought in, but my poor mind is so scattering that I could not hold it together.

Just take the thoughts as I have tried to express them as she desires of my heart and pass by all my imperfections and let us walk together in peace and harmony.

May the God of peace be your daily guide is the prayer of your most unworthy Father, Amen


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