ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
INTERVIEWEE: Mrs. N. H. Dial
INTERVIEWER: Adolph Dial
DATE: August 26, 1969
D: I'm here with my mother in the home where I was born and reared.
Mrs. N. H. Dial, what is your age?
D: What are your parents names?
N: William Luther Moore and Mary Katherine Oxendine.
D: William Luther Moore was the Reverend W. L. Moore, the founder of the
old Croatan Normal School. Your mother came from the Burnt
D: Now, I understand that she was the first Indian lady teacher, is
N: It is.
D: Was she born in the Burnt Swamp area?
N: I think so, yes.
D: Where was your father born?
N: Near Clarkton, in Columbus County.
D: I believe that I was reading where he was united in holy matrimony
with Miss Mary Katherine Oxendine in 1879. Will you tell me
something about the education of W. L. Moore? Will you tell
me about some of the stories that he used to tell concerning
his school days? W. L. Moore attended school in Lumberton,
North Carolina. Who was his teacher in Lumberton?
N: Professor D. P. Allen.
D: This period between 1835 adn 1885, the Indian people who received
an education, if they went into a school or for higher education,
they attended with Negroes at that time since they did not have
their own school between 1835 and 1885. What was W. L. Moore's
view on this? How did he feel about attending school with the
N: Well, he said he wanted an education and he was willing to go with
the Negroes for the sake of education. That was his desire.
D: Will you tell me something about this teacher, D. P. Allen,
in Lumberton? Moore's teacher?
N: Well, he was an intelligent and nice man. They boarded at his
D: They boarded at his home and he taught them there?
N: Yes, that's right. Had to do that paying his education.
D: You don't recall what your father W. L. Moore, paid per week to
attend school there?
N: No, never heard him say.
D: You told me a little incident about how he would read the news-
paper at the table when it was mealtime. Tell me about that.
N: Well, he said "Boys, listen now, this is important" and it would
be important. He'd have it, reallimportant subjectwhatever
it would be. They got a newspaper, Robesonian, and he would
draw their attention. He was an intelligent man, very intelligent.
D: Why was he trying to draw their attention at mealtime?
N: Well, I don't know his reason. I reckon one thing is it was a
good way to get them together at the table.
D: So they wouldn't eat too much, you told me. So he'd read them an
article maybe. That was a good way of conserving food, I suppose.
Now, the North Carolina legislature, the general assembly,
appropriated money for what was to be Croatan Normal School in
1885 with the understanding that W. L. Moore would become-the
first head 6f this school. He had worked hard for this. Will
you tell me about some of his work in trying to get the school
N: Well, he said he wouldn't walk during the heat of the day, right
maybe twelve o'clock. And, he took 200 dollars of his own money
one time and donated.
D: That was out of the 500 dollars, I believe.
N: Yes. His own money.
D: You don't know how he acquired this money, farming or preaching
N: He didn't do much farming.
D: But he did own some land.
N: Oh, yes. That's right, 120 acres.
D: Now, did you ever hear him say why he left Columbus County and
came to Robeson County?
N: No, Idon't remember that I do.
D: What were some of the obstacles he encountered in trying to get
the Croatan Normal School started, would later become state,
Pembroke State University.
N: They was ignorant and they'd laugh and say "We're going to build
us a fine brick building." Poppa would say that "a baby had to
always crawl first before he could walk."
D: And of course he felt that the frame building, the old two story
frame building. .
N: Was just like a start.
D: Did you attend the normal school?
D: I sure did.
D: And was he your teachers
D: Did your dad ever teach you?
N: Out here at Prcspect when I was a little girl, he was my first
D: That was after 1900, wasn't it?
N: Yes, after 1900.
D: He went back to teaching after he left the old normal school.
N: Yes, that's right.
D: He was there for three years. Then he taught some at Prospect also.
I find this inscription written on his tombstone about a half mile
north of the Prospect Church, on the Moore estate, "Reverend William
Luther Moore, October 12, 1859-December 22, 1930. A life devoted
to the task of making the world a better place to live in, Founder,
Erector, Teacher, INS. (which would mean Indian Normal School).
1885 to 1890, elder in the Methodist Church for 49 years," Well,
he was certainly an active Methodist minister for a good long
while. Would you tell us something about his ministry? Would
he go off and stay for days, or where would he go and so forth?
N: He would stay a week sometimes.
D: How would he travel? In his buggy?
N: That's the only way, he had a buggy.
D: He'd drive a horse or a mule?
D: And he would go up in the area of Hamlet?
N: Yes, he spent a lot of time in Hamlet. In fact, he preached lots
of funerals up there.
D: And run revivals?
N: And run revivals.
D: Did he do any teaching while he was up there?
N: Yes, he would teach up there.
D: .I see. Now, in the years during his ministry he performed
marriages and preached many funerals and so forth. Now, would
you tell me something about some of the texts that you remember?
You mentioned Malachar Locklear. What was Malachar's text?
N: "If a man die, shall he live again?"
D: And you mentioned John Joe Locklear. What was John Joe's text?
N: "Man wasteth away."
D: John Joe Locklear was a strong, healthy man who seemed to waste
away in his latter days. There was a lady, Martha. Was she a
D: Yes, Martha Goings who was a very unfortunate lady and who was
a beggar all of her days. He had an appropriate text for her
funeral. What was her text?
N: "And it came to pass the beggar dies."
D: And you mentioned the Smith child who died, and the text for
N: Mr. Walter Smith's child. The text was "My children are gone and
I am desolate."
D: Yes, and I believe you spoke of Aunt Peggy Locklear. She lived
to be about one hundred years old. What was her text?
N: "Thy shall come to the grave at a good old age."
D: We mentioned a murder case, we won't call the name, and a love
affair was involved. What was the text in this murder case?
N: "Love is stronger than death" and "Jealousy is cruel as the grave."
D: Well, we can certainly see here from the various texts that were
used that his texts were very appropriate at funerals. The texts
were not just taken at random. Now, he did perform marriages,
did he not?
N: Most of them in the area.
D: Do you recall during your childhood days, anyone else in this
Prospect area who performed marriages other than your father?
N: Well, Mr. Elias Locklear. Well, he didn't live really in the
D: He was the only one in the Prospect area?
N: Yes, that's right.
D: Would they come from around Pembrooke or Burnt Swamp for him to
marry them? ;Would they come that far away too?
N: Well, they would come from Red Banks.
D: Any off of Burnt Swamp?
N: I wouldn't say about Burnt Swamp. I-don't remember about that, but
lots of Red Banks and the Prospect community. Pretty well all in
the Prospect community.
D: I see. You said that as children some funny things happened over
the years as he would come to perform these marriages. Will you
tell us some of them?
N: Well, one man was bashful and he wanted my father to take
him in a room to himself. But he couldn't agree to that,
you know, that was not lawful. He had to have a witness. During
their ceremony, he gave a deep breath and his collar bursted
loose and that was kindly funny to we children. We were all
little, small kids and we enjoyed seeing the people come there.
One couple, the man had stole the girl, as you'd call it, and she
slipped off about three o'clock in the night. Pa didn't approve
of that, you know. He wanted to know what he was doing. He
didn't want to marry a stranger, so to speak. The man said
he knew she was grown. He says she dose got one living
husband and the man has a living wife. So Pa says, "Well, that
sure enough settles it." He says, "You'll have to go on somewhere
else." I don't know where they went.
D: Would people come at odd hours of the night?
N: Well, that was three o'clock in the morning. They'd wake us up
to get married. Didn't hear talk of weddings much then,
not among people around. .
D: No, you didn't have weddings among the Lumbees at that time.
D: Now, getting back to the funerals, I've often heard you speak
of what we'd call totems, perhaps meaning token. These spirits
that you would hear before your grandfather was going to preach
a funeral, and you said that your mother really believed in these
spirits. Will you tell us about the occasions when you claim that
the totems were around?
N: Well, they were common. They just got used to it, so to speak.
They didn't mind. .
D: You got use to what?
N: The tokens.
D: Well, will you tell us how it worked?
N: Before he'd preached a funeral?
N: Well, some of them sound like you were throwing lumber down,
clanging boards up top of each other, you know, that would be
a loud noise.
D: How about the one you told me about with sound as if a hundred
children were running up and down the halls?
N: Yes, I heard that.
D: Did you hear these spirits yourself?
N: Yes, I could hear them all.
D: You claim that you still hear these totems.for close friends who_
D: As a matter of fact, I believe you said one of your friends died
last week and you heard one. Is that right?
N: Sure did.
D: Well, what did you hear?
N: Just like somebody walking in the den with shoes on.
D: With shoes on. Was it pretty plain?
N: Really plain. It was as loud as the man that went to Londontown
with shoes on. Well, I got frightened for just a few minutes,
didn't last long, then I got to studying. It was for a certain
friend and it was, too.
D: And she passed away?
D: Does this always happen? Your close friends who pass away, do you
hear their. .
N: No, I say ninety-five percent of them.
D: Now over the years, I'm sure that your father, W. L. Moore, instilled
in you children some kind of philosophy and some teachings that
were to follow you the rest of your days. Let's talk about this
some. What are some of the things that you will always remember
your father for most?
N: He looked after his children's health, one very important thing.
D: How did he look after their health?
N: Well, it was just what you call sprinkling rain. He'd call us
in, we had to come. He didn't ask his children twice to do
anything, one time only, and we needed to get up and go to it.
D: Was your father what you'd call a strong disciplinarian?
N: He sure was.
D: What makes you say so? Any of the children ever talk back to
N: Not a time that I remember. Not one time.
D: .!Not one time did any of the five children ever speak back:
N: Never heard it.
D: Now, what about at school? Did he have good discipline?
N: He sure did in school.
D: Did he use the whip?
N: When he used the whip, you didn't forget it. You felt it.
D: He believed in using the whip?
N: Yes, he sure did.
D: Do you remember a time or two when he was using it?
N: Not particularly, you know. I can't remember the students.
D: I believe he whipped you once. You have a scar on your hand.
D: What was that for?
N: Just for jumping the bench. And I had forgot.
D: Was he teacher at the time?
N: Uh huh, only teacher in a one-teacher school. Sometimes he
would call on the grown girls to hear a class for him whenever he'd
be over-crowded. He didn't make a habit of that though, just some-
D: Sometime the older ones would have to teach the others in
N: Yes, sometimes.
D: Now, how many books did you have in school?
N: Well, along then, four or five.
D: When you first began, what didyou have?
D: Did you have the blueback speller?
N: Well, later on. Not then.
D: What was your first book that you used thatyou remember?
N: It was called First Reader.
D: The First Reader. In your first years, what did you do mostly
in school? Read and spell and arithmetic?
N: First year, yes.
N: Arithmetic and spelling, didn't have grammar, not in the first
D: Did you claim to be a good speller?
N: I could spell very well. I'd go the whole way through and not miss
a word. I remember one occasion my daddy brought me a gift to
remember how I passed that winter through and never missed one word.
D: Did you ever take part in any spelling contests?
N: No, they didn't have those contests like they have them now.
D: But you did, and you'd have them every Friday?
N: Yes, spelling matches every Friday evening. I got a great
thrill out of that. I always did love to spell.
D: Did you all have to take anything like a state examination, as
N: No, not then.
D: Not then. Who determined that you could teach?
N: Professor J. R. Poole in Lumberton was who. We'd go to the
courthouse then and that's the man that .
D: He was the superintendent.
N: Uh huh.
D: Would he give you a test, or talk with you, or what?
N: He would have it wrote out. For instance, history. The question
would be on then. Grammar, the same way. He'd put this paper
bound at your desk, right side of your hand, and he'd go on and
he's say "Now, I'm trusting your honesty. You're supposed to
give no aid nor take any." I always was 100 percent: with him
there. Of course, I'd rather give aid than to take any, and some
of the girls, they would ask me how to spell certain words. Well,
I hated, but I couldn't afford to do it. I'd tell them no, I wasn't
supposed to. Unless it would be like that, I'd have to give a
little help. Only when Mr. Poole asked me.
D: Do you recall any of the questions thatyou had back in those
N: No, I don't.
D: Now, you liked history as a student in your early days. Do you
remember any events or anything that you learned from history
today? You're seventy-three years old?
N: That's right.
D: You were born March 7, 1896. Your.mother was born in 1855,
Mary Katherine Oxendine.
N: On March 27th.
D: And she died in 1928. W. L. Moore passed in 1930. Do you
remember any historical dates or do you remember any events in
history? What do you recall learning in history?
N: I remember Captain Lawrence's dying words were "Don't give
up the ship." Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give
D: Yes. -And you remember Ferguson's? At the battle of King's
D: Do you remember any other events from history? Your mother
was living here in this area during the Civil War when the
Yankees came through. She was a little girl. Do you remember
her relating any stories to you children about when the Yankees
N: Oh, yes. Lot's of times she'd speak about, well, lots of old
folks would say they were born the night of the Shake.
D: Of course, the Shake came after the Civil War.
N: Yeah, that's right. Shake was after the Civil War.
D: In 1886.
N: And that's the way the old folks would date back to their age.
D: I know they used to say "I was so old the night of the Shake.
I was born two years after the Shake."
N: Yeah, that's right.
D: And the Shake was August 30, 1886, this was quite an earthquake
in Charleston, South Carolina,and the effects of it were
felt here. Do you remember any stories told about the
N: Yes. I rememberi:one man said he swore he'd never sin again. Then
another man said the dog broke loose at their home. He broke
the chain just was so frightened. And they said that man said,
"Don't mister Devil,catch me now. I'll go without trying."
D: What did he mean "go without trying?"
N: Well, when the dog broke loose, he thought that was,
D: Thought it was the devil coming.
N: Satan, yes.
D: And so, what did he mean by saying "I'll go without trying?"
N: Well, he thought he'd come after him and he'd go without that, he'd
make it easier for him. He didn't want to be tried.
D: Where was your father, W. L. Moore, the night of the Shake?
N: Well, he was over at Mr. Sam Bullard's.
D: Uncle Sam, I recall him-the big farmer who owned the cotton gin
and the sawmill and running water to his hogpens years ago.
N: Yeah, that's right, a very popular farmer.
D: He was the farmer of Prospect community, wasn't he?
N: He sure was.
D: And'!he was there the night of the Shake? What was he doing
N: Well, he just went over there after he ate supper to chat awhile
and this happened while he was there.
D: What did he tell you about the Shake?
N: He took the baby child; he was about two or three.
D: Who took the baby child?
N: His father, Mr. Wat Bullard's father.
D: Sam Bullard gathered Wat Bullard in his lap.
N: And he says, "Honey, kiss papa. I'll never see you again.'" Pa
said, "Oh, Mr. Bullard, you're not gonna have time in that
final day." They thought it was the end of time, you know,
the final days.
D: Yes. They said it had been the twinkling of an eye, huh?
N: Yeah, he told him, "It'll be so quick you won't have time to
pick up children and kiss."
D: I've got to check my date. Was it 1886 or 1889? I believe
it was 1886, the night of the Shake. Now, do you remember
your mother relating stories to you about when the Yankees
came through during the Civil War?
N: Oh yeah.
D: Well, tell us somethings.
N: Well, she said that they had on their blue suits and golden, well,
brass buttons, but the imitation gold.
D: Blue suits and brass buttons. Did the Yankees treat the Indians
N: Yes, they treated the Indians fine.
D: The Yankees treated the Indians fine, but they gave the white man
N: A rough way to go.
D: And of course they treated the colored fine too.
N: Yeah, that's right. Sure did.
D: Do you recall anything that they did to any of the white
people in the area, or do you recall any stories that she told
D: What are some of the things you say the Yankees had the colored
and white doing in the area when they came through, your
mother told you about?
N: Well, said they would have a white woman where they worked at. The
lady of the house'would go to sweeping and doing different jobs
around the house andllet the -colored lady come on to the table
and eat with them.
D: In other words, the white became the slaves for a while and the slaves
N: It was reversed, you see.
D: How did most of the Indians feel about the Civil War anyway? Did
you ever hear her say?
N: Well, you know, they didn't like war, but .
D: Did the Indian people sympathize with the slaves?
N: They sure did.
D: Do you recall why they sympathized with the slaves?
N: Well, my mother said on one occasion the men were sold at auction.
In other words, a man would always bring a higher price than the
woman as he was supposed to be able to do more work than a
woman. That's the way theyworked that. The man, if he was
a strong, healthy man, maybe weighed 200, 250, he'd bring a big
price at auction.
D: Did you hear her say anything about the Indians siding with
the slaves, with the Negroes and with the North? In other
words, were the Indians wanting the South to win the war?
N: No, they wanted the North to win. There wasn't 100 per cent
that way, but two-thirds or more.
D: In other words, the Indians people wanted the slaves freed?
N: Yes, she said she didn't approve to that, my mother said.
D: She didn't approve of slavery?
D: Now, your mother, I believe you often spoke of what she would
say about Henry Barry Lowry. How did your grandmother, Mary
Katherine Oxendine Moore, view Henry Barry Lowry? She was
a small girl during the time that he reigned because she was born
in 1855 and the Lowry Gang reigned from 1864 to 1874. She was
old enough to remember some of the things that happened. What
do you remember her saying?
N: Well, on one occasion she said she went out to the corn barn
or shuck barn. While she was there, when she opened the door
to get some feed to give the cow, she said she discovered a
man in there. Well, she was a little girl and that frightened
her very badly, so she went to the house and called her
daddy, Grandpa. She says, "There's a man in that barn."
She said the man said to her, "Don't be afraid little girl.
I'm not going to bother you. I'm just want to stay here
D: Well, who was this man?
N: That was Henry Barry Lowry.
D: You know if anyone else was with him that night or not?
N: No, by himself. She never mentioned anyone else. When she went
back, Grandpa told her to tell him to come on to the house and then
they'd cool there. They had what you call shutters, they were made
of wood. It wasn't shades like we have today at our house. They
couldn't afford that, you know. So, he cooled him down. Said
that.he said, I- !won't stay about all night, but he stayed
a good while. He chatted all of them together, but nobody
couldn't see in the house.
D: This was your mother's people he chatted with?
N: Yes, father andlrother.
D: Her father was Hughie Oxendine?
D: Hughie's wife was Eliza?
N: Yes, Eliza Oxendine. Eliza Chavis; she was a Chavis.
D: Eliza Chavis Oxendine?
N: That's right. And said thathe seemed to be mighty kind and nice and
very intelligent, nice acting. You never heard of his stealing
nor trying to rob nor break in. If any of that happened, I never
did hear of it.
D: Well, if the Lowry Gang-robbed, don't you suppose he was
taking part in it too?
N: Well, yeah. I mean at these homes he. ..
D: Oh,} what you're saying that he would rob stores and so forth
but he didn't bother the Indian homes around.
D: What about the white homes?
N: Well, I don't remember that he ever did the white's homes.
D: You're saying he didn't take advantage of the people much. It
was mostly stores and so forth.
N: That's right. Stores.
D: I wonder if he had respect for women.
N: Oh, yes. He was a gentleman around the ladies.
D: Did your mother have a great deal of respect for Henry Barry
N: Yes, she sure did.
D: How did your father feel about Henry Barry? Of course, he
came from a different county and he wasn't here at that time.
He didn't know a lot about him, did he?
N: No, he didn't know. You see, she was a little girl.
D: Well, your father though was not in this country at that time.
D: He was in Columbus County. Your mother had a great deal of
respect for Henry Barry. She felt he was somewhat a gentleman,
although an outlaw.
D: Do you recall any other incidents that she spoke about the
N: Well, they went to the courthouse in Lumberton.
D: Yes, we have that story.
N: They tried him.
D: What about your mother's early days in preparing for you--children's
clothes and so forth. Will you say something about that?
N: Well, she had to sew a lot. She seemed like she enjoyed sewing..
D: Would you tell us about that?
N: Well, she got the indigo there back of our home in the woods.
D: That was a dye and that was blue, wasn't it?
N: Yeah, more or less, that was blue. And the white streaks, it's
checked, the white, that's plain natural cotton, although it's
colored the least bit there. It's old.
D: What about the red?
N: She'd go there around here, I have some of them trees here in my
yard--red Oak bark. She'd boil that and get the strength of that
and dye that a kind of a brownish color. I have some of that
D: It's still strong after many, many years.
N: That's right. Yes, you can't tear it in two.
D: Some of that cloth is almost a hundred years old and it's still
strong. I have a piece of it. The blue shownig the indigo
and the red Oak bark showing a brownish color, not quite red and
white representing the natural color of the cotton. W. L. Moore
attended school in Lumberton under D. P. Allen after they were
married. It that correct?
N: I don't remember about that.
D: But he did go to school some after they were married?
N: Yes. I can tell you of the others that went with him.
D: Who were the others who went with him? Was this after they
married? The others who attended school with Moore?
N: Yeah. Miss Ellen Oxendine, and Mr. John West Jacobs. He was
good in mathematics. D. P. Allen called him his mathematician.
He was so skilled. And the other man was Reverend H. H. Lowry.
D: Reverend Henry Lowry?
N: Yes. We all know him. That was the four.
D: It looks like the leaders during this day among the Indian people.
The leaders attended school with the Negroes.
N: They had to do it.
D: It was either that or sacrifice and not have leadership.
N: He said he wanted an education regardless and he went on down
there. He had to do it. He was a poor man, poor like all
the rest of us around. That was the only way he could do it.
D: When you were a child and when Reverend Moore was preaching, do you
recall any visiting ministers coming into the home or spending
the night? Any white ministers who came into the home in later
N: Oh, yes. My daddy's home was called a preacher's home.
D: Although it was your own private home, wasn't it?
N: Yes, it was our own home, but they'd come so many there at that
D: What time is this? About when are you speaking of? He was elder
for forty-five years.
N: When I was a little girl...
D: Ten? Twelve years old? Perhaps around 1905 and along in there?
N: Yes, it was before I was a grown girl.
D: Do you recall any of the names of any of the ministers who spent
the night there? White ministers?
N: Well, Preacher Charles Hunter was one. I don't remember his home.
He was a Methodist evangelist. One was... I don't know what he was.
But anyway, he left this country, never did come back. He must be
dead by now, I'm sure.
N: Tom Davis was one.
D: What was his position?
N: A methodist elder, what we call a superintendent now. Then it was
known as elder. He would spend nights at my daddy's home.
D: What about theman who preached his funeral? Who preached you dad's
N: Reverend W. A. Parson, I think. Yeah, that was his initials. And
Mr. Aaron Lowry, he was about 100 when he died.
D: Over the years, your father had lots of visitors in the home.
White ministers who came in, superintendents--elders as they
were--and you had the privilege of meeting lots of people
as a young girl.
N: Lots of them. That was all before I was eighteen. When I was
a little girl, you might say.
D: Did people often come to your father's home for advice on one
subject or another?
N: They sure did. They would come there if they didn't understand
anything in the Bible. Now, that was aged fdlks. And they
would come there for information.
D: Do you recall what anyone ever came for in the way of Biblical
N: One lady said that some of the neighbors, crowd of them,
been together that-day, and they said that the Bible read like
this, you know, different ways. And she said she didn't understand
it. She'd call my father Bud. She was old, real old. Old enough
for his mother, I guess. She says. "I told them every what Bud
says, I'd believe." Lots of instances like that. When they'd
get confused, one preacher telling one thing and one another.
All that brought on confusion when you are not educated. She
couldn't read, but she had a lot of good common sense.
D: So, Moore served as a teacher and as a minister and somewhat an
authority on the Bible, and perhaps a legal adviser to some
extent also. Were the neighbors good to the family while Moore
was off preaching? Would you relate some of these stories to us?
N: Yes, on one occasion, there was a deep snow. We had snows then much
deeper than wa have now. And this man, he said he knew that my two
brothers were too small to go in the woods with an axe and try to cut
and haul wood.
D: Who was this man?
N: Well, he was better known as Bill Jackson, Mr. Bill Jackson.
D: What was his real name?
N: William. He said he felt like my motherwould appreciate it, which
she did. She said she'd never forget that man. He brought his
axe and the wagon and went out in the woods and cut it to fit
the old time chimney. He said he knew that would do till Pa came
back. When he left, this snow was not on hand. But you see, being
gone about a week, it happened before he returned home. That was a
D: You told me earlier about your mother working to help send
your father to school.
N: Yes, she did. She would set up at her sewing machine till around
eleven o'clock and sew. Make shirt for people, dresses. In fact,
she made a good many dresses for the women around Prospect. She
only got a quarter. Sometimes they'd give fifty cents if she made
a shirt. She said she meant for him to get an education. She didn't
think his health would allow him to go in tough, like some men could
stand. He just wasn't able to stand it.
D: There were five of you children and your sister Cary. She
died at age eighteen?
N: That's right.
D: She never did teach?
N: Never did.
D: But you taught for how long?
N: Just three terms.
D: Three terms. And of course your husband taught for how long?
N: Three or four years. Just a short time.
D: And your sister...
N: She taught some after she married. She taught when she was single
and then she came back and I think taught two terms at Prospect.
D: Yes, and of course Charlie, C. H. Moore, he was quite an educator
dying, I believe, somewhere in his fifties. So he taught several
years, too. How many of your children are teaching? Youihhave
four children teaching out of the five?
N: All of them teaching but one. That's Herman.
D: Yes, and he's serving as county commissioner. He's in politics.
D: Four of your children, and three of the four in your family who lived,
and your parents both were teachers. So we've had teaching in
our blood for a long, long while. Now, Mom, when you married,
you lived in the home 6f Elizabeth Harris Dial, who married
Marcus Dial. You lived in their home with them for a couple of
N: Well, a little over two years.
D: Elizabeth Harris who married Marcus Dial, in other works,
your mother-in-law, she was the daughter of Brent Harris. Now,
Brently Harris was killed by the outlaw gang and presumably
Henry Barry Lowry. Do you recall hearing her speak of anything
about Brently Harris over the years? Describe Brent Harris. What
did she say about him? His physical make-up?
N: Large man, and I don':remember whether he was a blonde or what.
D: He was a white man, wasn't he? Why was she an Indian if he
N: Her mother was an Indian.
D: Her mother was Nancy Locklear?
N: Yeah. That's right.
D: And she was an outside child?
D: She was an illegitimate child. Brent Harris had a reputation for
having illegitimate children all around the place, didn't he?
N: Good many. A good many.
D: Wasn't that his reputation? A good may outside children? He was
white and there was lots of Indian children for J. Brently Harris.
In other words, the Indian people didn't have much respect for him,
for being a gentleman. They had more respect for the outlaw,
Henry Barry Lowry, who killed J. Brently Harris than they had for
J. Brently Harris. He was what we'd call a mean man, I suppose.
Now, do you recall any stories? Do you recall her saying anything
about J. Brently Harris? How did your mother-in-law feel about
Henry Barry Lowry? How did she feel about the man who killed him?
N: I've never heard. She never did say a word against him.
D: And she was Indian because her mother Nancy Locklear was Indian.
Is that correct?
N: Yes, although she looked like she favored white.
D: She didn't show any Indian blood.at ;all?
N: No Indian whatever, not a bit.
D: Thank you, Mom, for this taped interview. I've enjoyed it
although you didn't want to answer some of my questions, too
freely here. Now you can go on and do your work.
N: I'm afraid this will kill me if I don't get up.
D: Your:-' age seventy-three, aren't you?
N: Yeah, March 7, that's my birthday.
D: March 7, 1896. Well your mind's right good and you're doing
N: And if I had the time, I could give a lot of historical dates,
important dates, but I don't have time...
D: I'm looking here at one of your uncles, by the way, on the wall.
Andrew Oxendine. He was the brother of Mary Catherine Oxendine,
D: He was supposed to have been killed by some fellows on Burnt Swamp.
They never did know for sure who murdered him, or did they?
N: Well, yes, I think.
D: They knew, but you say you don't care to go into that. Didn't
some of the Oxendine boys go down in Georgia?
D: Your mother's brother?
N: Yeah. John and Henry.
D: John and Henry went to Georgia, worked in turpentine, didn't they?
N: Yeah. And married white.
D: And Hughie went later too, didn't he?
D: I don't believe he ever married. I met one of the offspring of
John in Memphis, Tennessee, who's a big executive today doing quite
well. I met him at the Southern Historical Association a couple
of years ago. He was the grandson, he was the grandson of John
Oxendine, who's living in Memphis today.
N: Yeah. They both went down there together.
D: They never did return after they went down to Georgia? Did
they ever come back for a visit?
N: If they did, I don't remember.
D: They left and never did return.
N: Then it was a very common thing for folks who would go to
Georgia and Florida:arid work turpentine. Especially Georgia.
D: Well, was that because they couldn't get jobs around here?
N: I don't know, but lots of folks would go there and stay. I'll
tell you one, they all know his children. Mr. Tom.Oxendine,
Mr. Clifton....His mother and daddy lived there and worked in
turpentine, he did.
D: Well, I believe Valdosta up here came from Valdosta, Georgia,
because they worked in turpentine there, right? He didn't,
but some of his people....
N: Yes, that's where he got his name.
D: And Rochelle too. Rochelle, Georgia?
N: I didn't every hear of that.
D: Yes, Valdosta and Rochelle.
N: Valdosta had a sister named Geneva.
D: Yes, there's a Geneva, Georgiatoo. So, they brought some of
the names of the towns and cities in Georgia, named the children
after some of the towns and cities in Georgia.
I would like to close here with some more information. On this
day, in addition to visiting my mother in the home where I was
born and reared, my father's deceased, I also visited the
Prospect Cemetery, up what's known as Old Prospect Church. I
visited the grave of Marcus Dial, born August 19, 1938. He was lost
in Baker's Bay October 5th, and was found on October 11, 1932. He
lived to a ripe old age here ou- some ninety-four. His epitaph
reads "though lost to sight, to memory dear."