THE JACKSON SISTERS OF HILLSBORO

                                THE JACKSON SISTERS OF HILLSBORO, JASPER COUNTY, GEORGIA

 

                 ARTICLE WRITTEN SOMETIME AFTER 1940 IN THE MACON TELEGRAPH, MACON, GEORGIA

 

Jackson Girls 

by Susan Myrick

Jasper County people still talk of the Jackson Sisters, six women whose father was killed in the early stages of the Civil War, leaving them, with their mother, to take care of a 300-acre  farm.  When their mother died, the "girls" continued to work the land, eking out a living much like their pioneer successors had.  They refused to have the aid of any man; they plowed, hoed, weeded the cotton and cut their own firewood. 

They spun the cotton and wove the cloth for their clothes, except for the calico they bought for their Sunday dresses.  They spent their spare time piecing quilts, making comforters for their beds, embroidering elaborate patterns on the home woven cotton cloth to make bed spreads worthy of a place in a museum.

Youngest of the Jackson Sisters died in 1940, bequeathing all her worldly goods to Rufus Garland, a neighbor who had been kind to the Sisters during their good times and bad. 

Mr. Garland, in his turn, bequeathed the Jackson possessions to his sister, Mrs. G. A. Wynnes, who has lived her days in Jasper County.  She lives now in a white frame home at Hillsboro where ancient trees shade the house, and camellias more than half a century old blossom.  It was my good fortune to spend a few hours at the home of Mrs. Wynnes, along with her next door neighbor, Mrs. Frances Reid and to wonder at the beauty of the craftsmanship of the Sisters, the quilts with their tiny stitches and pleasing patterns, the exquisite workmanship of the embroidered spreads.

One of these, made of home-spun and hand-woven cotton was embroidered with a replica of the American Eagle; it looked as if the bird had alighted from a Presidential seal.  Above the eagle were 12 large stars and scattered over the spread were elaborate stylized designs, vines and shrubs, some of them looking vaguely like the Scottish thistle.  The spread was bordered with a lacework pattern some three inches wide, ending in a handsome fringe. 

We handled gently mementos in the old trunk the Sisters has left.  Chief of these in interest was the yellowed paper that granted amnesty to the Confederate soldier, Andrew Jackson, uncle of the Sisters.  The day brought very near to us the more than a century ago days of the War Between the States.

Transcribed by Suzanne Forte (suzanneforte@windstream.net) from information provided by Benny Hawthorne, December 2004.