There I found a
center for my growing up years, lived there during the time I was in high
school in Hamilton and married from that home. I have never gone into the
house since the first owner outside the family remodeled it. I think I
just want to remember it as it was.
Baptist was the first church I ever remember! I suppose I did not know
other churches existed. The old "tabernacle" sides would raise
up, braced by wood braces. There were always kerosene lanterns (some
gasoline, I suppose) that lighted the building at night. There were always
June bugs, etc., which flew around catching our child-like attention.
According to your records there were several pastors but as small as I was
during those early years I do not remember them other than the times when
sweet old John Dempsey West preached. I guess I just grew up loving him.
When I was first taken there I was really small but grew up loving what I
found there. At those early years I was only a visitor to my grandmothers
home. My Grandfather Taylor died when I was only about 3, my Uncle Roy
Clifton Taylor died in 1940 and my grandmother in 1945. I do not remember
where services were held for my grandfather, but probably the church
across the road. I know my Uncle Roy's funeral was held there.
I had forgotten until
just recently that the building (tabernacle) had been moved into Littleville
and was placed there. By the time I was that old my family lived in Ft. Worth. Soon,
though, my Mother, sister, Bobbie Helen and I moved back to Hamilton and
to the Big House farm with my dear Uncle Ed, Motherís brother.
I remember so many of
the people in the neighborhood there whom you mentioned within that
article. The Berkleys especially were a part of my memory. That is where I
first knew them. Of course, later I shared school years with the older
ones. I had just overlooked the younger ones a bit. My husband, Edward
Eugene graduated high from school with Wanda Berkley and I graduated two years later.
I can close my
eyes and listen and see Hubert directing music at the church and at
Littleville. My membership was there after I moved back to Hamilton.
One other thought
keeps creeping into my mind and that is of the Sunday dinners which
Grandmother Taylor cooked in order to have people and the pastor across
the road to share. Usually she got up early, went outside and killed
enough chickens to feed the group who would need food. Feeding her family
alone was worth several chickens. I especially remember a lunch in the
spring of the year and remember Bro and Mrs. Westís being there, and of
course, listening as a child will to the conversations of the afternoon,
before time for church that evening. What happened to those days of quiet
peace? Probably all was not peaceful but I was so young I did not realize
there was unrest in the world even then.
I really did not have
a lot to contribute except the knowledge of the church about which I
wrote, however many of the families mentioned in the list of church folk,
involved in their positions, were families whom I knew. Many were
community neighbors and friends. I remember the Youngs, Neals, Cosbys,
Morans, Garners, Holloways, Wagoners. Berkleys, Jones (Mrs. Ace), Blansits.,
and, of course, the Parsons. For the most part I remember their names and
some faces, so to speak, but some of them I remember more completely.
Several of the
Ashmore children and some of my uncles and aunt were friends who were in
and out of the family homes. The Holloways were long time friends of my
family. One of the older Holloway men, Will, married one of Grandmother
Taylorís nieces, Era Havens. Eleanor Holloway married Walton Wagoner,
Lucy Holloway married Roy Parsons, who was the brother of my Uncle Tom
Taylor's wife, Inez. So, as often happens with close neighbors and friends
of that time, they were tied together in many ways. Owen Taylor was a
nephew of Granddad. Owen was a son of Granddadís brother, Dudley Taylor.
My grandparents had
been married before they married each other. Granddad Taylor (Thomas
Lafayette) first married Annie Donahoo. They had five children, losing one
at a young age. Grandmother Taylor was Mary Lillie Havens who first
married Matthew C. Houghton and they had one child, Maude Elizabeth. After
their first spouses died, they married each other and had John Edward,
Bob, Thomas Dalton, Leta Pearl, Sandy Cecil, Roy Clifton, Charles Andrew,
Lynn Wilson, and Kitty Faye. They raised quite a large family. Leta Pearl
was my mother. In her later years she met and married the kindly Tom
Griffis, a retired school teacher.
One more thought
about the church building after it had been moved--I remember one time
when I was at my grandmothers home. I went walking across the road, saw
what appeared to be the old song books we had used, climbed through the
fence and found the old song books scattered all over the place. I
remember feeling so sad that whoever moved the building chose to leave the
books behind. I gathered several up in my arms and took them to the big
house where they stayed for a number of years. I salvaged one of them when
the family moved out of the house the final time. I still have it though
the paper back cover has long since disappeared. I keep thinking it was a
Broadman version but am not sure I remember that completely.
In listening to
younger aunt and uncles in the family about school, they made the trek
across the pasture land to what is highway 281 to Edison school for part
of their education. Long walk, we would be insulted to have to do it now