INTERVIETER: Adolph Dial
INTERVIEWEE: Mrs. Nancy Lowry Revels pwh
DATE: July 26, 1971
D: Today is JulyJ26, 1971. This is Professor Adolph Dial, Pembroke State
University,speaking. I'm here at the home of Mrs. Nancy Lowry Revels.
Uh, Mrs. Revels, what is your age? When were you born?
R: When was I born? 1978.
D: What month and day?
R: Umm, Nov-- November 24t '
D: Novemberl247 1978. That makes...
R: I made a mistake.
D: Yes, 1878. Now how old are you then?
D: Ninety-two. This November you'll be ninety-three.
R: That's right.
D: I understand that your brothers and sisters lived to be. quite an
elderly age. Would you tell me about that, how old some of them lived?
R: How old some of'them lived? I don't believe I can, Brother Frenck,;I
can tell how old he was, 102 year.
D: I believe your sister in Charlotte was, lived over a hundred,' and Mr.
Billy lived over a hundred 'Mr. French 102, and you're ninety-three,
and your Brother D.F. is ninety, and it seems like y'all live a long
time. I d6n't know how old Mr. Henry was when he died.- Now, lIrs. Revels,
you are the, you-are the niece of Henry Biry tc:"4..s that right,
correct? The niece of Henry BArry Lowry? You're the daughter of Calvin
R: Yes, uh,huh.
D: And the niece...
R: I'd be Henry Bary Lowr s niece, wouldn't I?
P Lows niece, wou
D: Yes, y d b H ;**
D: Yes, you'd be Hen ry rry Lowry's niece. Do you ever remember seeing
Henry Barjry Lowr'
R: No,no,no. I never did see him.
D: That's right, you never did see him, because he was never seen after
1874, and you were born four years later. Did you ever hear your
father talk about him any.
R: I don't remember hearing him talk about him. He didn't talk about him
much back there.
D: Why do you suppose they didn't talk about him much back in those days?
R: Well, I can't say, I can't say, you know, I was children, I can't say
D: Back in those:.days, children went ahead and did their own work and
didn't interfere with grown people did they?
R: No,no. Heh, heh.
D: Were you rearediand born on the farm, Mrs. Lowry, I mean Mrs.- Revels?
R: How's that?
D: Did you spend your early years on the farm?
R: Yes, on a farm. <
D: Where was this farm located? r
R: Over there around Hopewell, I mean Oi J)h -Jm, nTmn.
D: And what was your life like in your early days, what kind of work did
you do on the farm?
R: Farm, well most everything i __e_ didn't have. to buy a
thing, only sugar and coffee. We growed all our food you know. Corn,
cotton, and potatoes, and anything that was eatable, you know, just a
big farm, that's the way we was raised, on a farm.
D: Did you have plenty to eat?
R: Plenty to eat.
D: You worked hard and had plenty to eat.
R: We didn't work too hard, but I reckon when we was children we thought
it was working hard. Heh, heh, heh.
D: Well, that diet must have beerood, potatoes, and meat, and so forth,
y'all live so long.
R: Yes, our own meat, you know, and lard, and everything. Ur, hum.
D: Now you are ninety-two years old. Were you ever a big eater? Or did
you always eat kinda light?
R: ,.9 /1A () ?
D: Were you ever considered a big eater, or did you always eat light?
You know, some people are big eaters, uh, you were never a big eater?
R: Big eaters?
R: I was always a little eater.
D: Were you ever overweight?
R: No. It seemed like always s'a" a little underweight.
D: Now, your brothers and your sister that lived so long...were any of
them ever fat?
R: Yes, they were fat, my oldest sister, she was a large woman like her
mother. ? I
D: You mean the one that lived to be a hundred?
R: Yes, um,hnmn. She\ a hundred i a few months;
D: And she was fat^at one time?
Li '; *i *\ '*
R: Yes, she was a hardy woman.
D: Is that right?
D: And lived to be over a hundred, I declare! Uh, so your diet in Iljp- r
early days was'mostly potatoes and corn meal, and meat, and...
R: Oh,oh yes, uh,huh.
R: hpL bh, ,then, back there. Um,hmm.
D: What did you do for entertainment in your young years?
R: Well, we had uh, heh, heh, he., uh, we had anniversaries, you know,
-aRad-things like that to go to on Saturdays, unm, hmm.
D: Did you go to church every Sunday?
R: Well, all we could; uh Lch u.
D: Where did you attend church?
R: We attended church at New Hope, do you know where that's at?
D: Yes. :
R: New Hope, the old Methodist church.
D: Now, were you in the Methodist Church when the New Conference broke away?
R: Yes, I've been in the Methodist Church ever since I was about fifteen
year old. '
D: You didn't join'the New Conference?
D: And what did you consider the main reason for the, round the turn of the
century, when JvS, you were a grown woman when they formed the New
Conference, weren't you?
R: Oh,yes, oh, yes.L
D: What did you consider the main reason for this?
R: Well, I can't, I can't say. Itljust changing, or had a name for the
Methodists, that's all I know. Um,hmm.
D: And of course, the other group of Methodists established their own
R: Yeah, and they still have their own church.
D: Do you still bel-- where's your membership now?
R: Union Chapel Methodist Church.
D: Are you still a member at Union Chapel?
D: Do you go out...
R: Now, I've not always been a member, ever since I been married, you know.
R: Different places. .
D: Were you ever a member of...
R: First we had a church at Hope Well, you know' our church was at Hope Well.
Over there where we was raised.
D: Your daughter goes out to First Methodist, doesn't she?
R: Yes, uh,huh.
D: I thought maybe-tiet- you were a mehher there, too.
R: Well, I'm not aAmember there, but I go occasionally tiere with her, I
go to church when I get a chance, yo+know, I'm living alone, so I have
to go when I get a chance.
D: Yes, I'm sure that's true. Uh, in your young days, how many months did
you attend school out of the year? 'a -
R: Do what?
D: How many monthscdid you attend school out ofe the year?
_~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ _i -
R: Out of the year?
R: Well, back there it was six months, I reckon, the schools was.
D: Yeah, maybe four for a while, in your early days.
R: Yeah, there was six months I reckon, when I was in school.
D: Where did you attend school? First, what was the first school you ever
R: The school between Harper's Ferry and Hopesell.
D: Harper's Ferry, and Hopewell.
D: What was the school called?
R: I can't think now, what it was called. Heh, e, heh eh,heh. Might have been
called a Dial School, there was a lot of Dials went there to school.
D: Yes, and who was your first teacher?
R: Brother Henry.
D: Was your brother Henry older than you?
R: He was the oldest one of the children.'
D: Is that right?
D: So he was your teacher.
R: hWas a schoolteacher. There's a family :f four, there's five. preachers in
that, in our family. j *
D: Five preachers. What's their names? .
R: Yes, I made a mistake. Heh, heh, heh.
D: Let's see, ther6 was Mr. Henry was a minister, ..
R: He is a minister,.and... '
D: ir. D.F.,
D: Mr. D.F. Lowry.
R: Yeah, and French.
R: French Lowry.
R: Fuller Lowry.
R: Edmond Lowry.
R: How many's that?
D: That's four. Edmond, Henry, French, and D.F.
D: Yes, Henry.
R: My oldest brother.
R: D.F.? F.R.,
R: That was buriedthea' other days
D: Right. ,
R: And Edmond, Brother Edmond.
R; Yeah, he was a preacher too, and a schoolteacher. Is that four preachers,
D: That's four. Can you think of the fifth one?
R: l/te4 r.'.^: -.T ;L ,'' t'c -. .O H
. ._, ,
o r -pwh
D: Yes, the fifth one--the fifth one is Mr. Canady Lowryl
D: Now we have it right! Canady Lowry, D.F. Lowry, French Lowry, who was
F.R. Lowry, Edmond Lowry, and Henry Lowry. Five preachers! Well, how
many brothers ss was in the family?
R: There was seven boys... and wait now...Seven boys and five girls if I
make no mistake.
D: Who were the other two boys? Did they live long?
R: The other two boys was Billy and Abner.
D: Yes. Billy and Abner.
R: Billy, Billy was a school teacher, Abner was a farmer.
D: I see. Mr. Billy lived over a hundred, too.
D: Mr. Billy went over a hundred, your sister, what was your sisters name?
-D: Annabel went over a hundred.
R: Uh,huh. And Deborah, she didn't reach a hundred.
D: And, well Billy-went over a hundred, Annabel, and 'rench went over
R: Uh,huh. -
D: And you're ninety-three and you're going over a hundred, or you'll soon
R: Heh,heh,heh,hehk Soon wi&I be ninety-three. '
D: Yes. Did you ever talk with any of the boys who went down to the
batteries at Fort Fisher after the Civil War, who went down there to
work? Did'you ever talk with any of those? [<
R: No, no. Don't remember anything about that.
D: Yeah, well I thought maybe you would have talked with some during your
D: Uh,huh. Well, I'm glad, I'm glad you reminded me that five of them
were preachers there, I didn't kdow that.
R: And how many teachers? Henry?
D: Yeah, teachers, all right. Henry.
R: And Fuller.
D: And Fuller, and Edmond.
R: And Edmond, that's five teachers.
D: Did Canady teach any?
D: Did your brother Canady teach any?
R: No, Canady was, he was a preacher. Canady was a preacher..
D: But not a teacher.
R: He wasn't a teacher.
D: Um,hbm. So you had five teachers too.
D: And five preachers.
R: Now get that straight. Five preachers, but I had preachers was teachers,
schoolteachers. Henry, Billy, French, Edmond, and Fuller...
D: Uh,huh. -
R: Was teachers.
D: Your dad was not a preacher was he?
D: Mr. Calvin, he was not a preacher, was he?
R: Oh,no. Ha was a farmer.
D: A farmer?
R: Yes, he said he was a preacher, but I didn't remember about bik preaching,
D: What about Mr. Patrick? Was he a preacher?
R: I don't think so. I think he was a farmer.
D: What are some of fie things that your mother told you in your young days
that you always followed and tried to remember? I know she gave you
some good advice, uh.
R: Ok, she gave good advice all along, you know, that 'as her living, givY1
aS;; we children good advice.
D: And what was some of it?
R: And we tried to hold to it, just as longas we could. I'm still holding
to it. i
D: And what was this good advice?
R: Well, she told us to not be in bad company, always go ai,....well, ITll
tell you how it is... Always go with the first-class people, not be in
bad company. She'd charge us with that, you know, by bad company. She'd
tell us about that. Well, that's about all. !Of course.
D: Of course, you didn't have any brothers who were bad to drink, and so
R: No, no, no, not as I know of.
R: Didn't know nothing about that, andT didn't know nothing about tobacco
and snuff. i ;
D: Did any of your brothers smoke? Well, Mr. Billy smoked.
R: I think Billy smoked, yes.
R: But I don't, I think he's the only one.
D: What atwe you contributirg your long life to?
R: Well, I don't have it to think about...heh, heh e, he I just leave
it .with the Lord, you know, I don't hax it to think about, I just livejs
D: Well, why do you think you've lived so long?
R: Well, I don't have that to think about. I think sometimes it was the way
I was brouglit.up,why we lived so long. Heh., heh, he.i.
D: What do you mean, by how you were brought up?
D: What do you mean, by how you...
R: We were brought up to go to church. Sunday school and church on Sunday,
and through the week we worked on the farm. ....Sunday school on
D: Who was your preacher? In your early days?
R: Now you've;got me. '
D: Your brother Henry?
R: Well, he was a preacher. Of course, I had some. age on me you know,
D: Who was the first man you ever remember hearing preach a sermon?
R: Hearing preach .a sermon? That's hard for me.to think of, Mr. Dial.
Whrn IIJhrJ the first preacher I heard preach....I- .. .
D: Repeat that again.
R: Look e-[ 4iz dytinow.
D: Repeat what you said a while ago.
___________________________________________ ,. ''
R: I wasn't a person to be look--te-e thinking about things way back
yonder. I just give it up. Didn't have it to think about} worry
about, and what had happened. I worry about tb at/times now, look
at everything now.
D: You never did worry about what's already happened.
R: No,no,no. Well, the Good Book, the Bible, you know, tells us not
to worry, says to worry is a sin, not to worry.
D: That's right, that's very good.
R: Yeah, us, hmm. Yeah, and worrying and all of that will make your
day shorter, I believe. That's my belief about it.
D: Um, hmm.
R: And so,ve are to get right with God, and lt.erright, get right and
D: That's right.
R: And so that's my life. I was saved when I was about fourteen or fifteen
years old, and I joined a church, aad I've been in church- ever since. I
never did move from one church to another. I joined the church where
the spirit led me to join, and I'm still there. Is that nice, ain't
D: That's very good, very good, very good.
R: That's what I think.
D: Well, as you look at the generation today, how would you compare the
generation today when you were a child?
R: Well, it's hard. to do. There's such a difference, it's hard to do.
I think of that a lot.
D: Do you think, do you think there's as much prejudice among people
today and-races! as there was when you were a child?
R: They're more. I think they're more prejudiced among the people, ae there
was when I was a child. When I was a child I remember people loved
each other, and they got along good, and they'd visit, heheh, heh,heh.
D: What about the white people, did they visit much when you were a child?
Did they visit the Indian homes much?
R: Yes, very much, very much.
D: Would you ever have any white people in the community come to your
R: Well, as far as I know, they did. Yes, of course, we wasn't, there
wasn't a living many white people in our community, you know, just
D: You don't remember what your grandfather, what waslCalvints daddy
R: Heh,heh,heh,heh.. Allen, I believe.
D: Allen. That's right.
R: Allen Lowr5C -
D: Yes. It was Allen Lowry, and his father was William Lowry, and his
f ,: I. :.
father was James Towry, ;and his father was James Lowry.
R: Wel,!I don't know anything about that. u
D: Tell me about this.
R: Didn't say muchkabout parties back there.
n o rT-r Lujcrs qaoa 0 2re o- h- d aD*
D:; Near -w ld yoi, wold a, hamd, tell me what a quilting day would be
R: Ba like? -
R: Wall, it would be like a, we might say, our lose neighbors, you know,
a-going and quilt for the other neighbor. It'd be a lot of joy in it,
they'd enjoy it.
D: And wouldttle men do anything?
R: No they wouldn't be there to do anything. Just the womenfolks.
D: Did you ever attend a woodsawing and help cook forlwoodsawing?
R: Yeah, woodsawing? Corn, have corn Corn' iyou know.
R: Yeah, cornshucking. Gather their corn and pile it in a lot, you know,
a big pile of corn, and asking help you know, to shuck corn. And the
ladyfolks would fix supper.
D: There wouldn't be any money in it, to anybody?
R: No, didn't say anything about any money.
D: Now, what about, do you remember any logrolling?
R: Yes, I heard of that, urn, hmm.
D: In other words, it was more, was it more of a necessity for people to
cooperate back in those days?
R: Say, whs it necessary?
D: Yes. '
R: Yeah, they did cooperate, ur, hmm.
D: What was. that you said? I
R: When we'd lay by our farms, we children would go huckleberryin', and
pick huckleberries and cook dumplin's and pies, and put some of 'em in
jars for the winter.
D: fWhat else would you prepare for the winter? .
R: Well, I can't say, I don't believe. They didn't prepare for the winter
like they do now. I mean, fixin' up everything.
D: Of course, you had pork.
R: Yeah, we had out own meat in the smokehouse.
D: Sometimes.they went on to the beach, and got some salt fish.
R: Yeah,1go down to the beach and get somr salt' fish, and put them in the
salt and have to fish to eat winter, through.' the winter. I
r-. '* '.'
Um,h=m. Yeah, that's right.
D: Now, when someone was taken sick, what would usually happen?
R: Why, they were washed, and the coffin was made. Murdock Lowry, E
think was the man that would make coffins. And he would make them,
you know, and they'd make a coffin, and put a orsAc 9i oth q9A 'a ort-
sad when the person died, they didn't carry him to a funeral home,
they had to fix him up theirselves. Um, hmm. And Murdock Lowry, I
think was the man who made the coffins. For the grown folks and tJf ,O
b !rc children's.
D: And what was that to put him out on, until they was waiting for the
coffin? What 'ind of board. was it?
R: I don't know.
D: Some kind of... where would they put him while they was wait4ig for
R: I don't know, I guess.... '
D: I've heard some of them talk about some hoard, I have to find out,
Uh... Now if you had to have a doctor,, they'd have to take the mule,
and wagon or buggy and go a"4 get the doctor.
R: I guess, they did, I can't remember that. What they did about the.
D: Anyway, you didn't have a car.j so the doctor would come in a buggy.
R: Yeah, just a horse and buggy. Um,huh.
D: Now, did they have setting up? Would they set up all night with the
people when they died?
R: No, I dontt think they set up all night, just part of the night.
D: Depends on who it was, I guess, as to whether they stayed up all
night. -4le they buried? ....
R: Back there when anyone died, we children stayed at home, we didn't
go about, our parents would go, you know.
D: Children didn't attend the funeral?
D: Children didn't go to the funeral? io -0 e- A
R: I reckon they went to the funeral,1 but when anyo. adid., they
stayed home. They didn't go. tyi
D: Oh, they didn'tjgo to. the setting up?
R: No, the parents went.
D: That way they didn't get into devilment.
R: That's right.
D: Repeat that again.
R: We children didn't go when we had business. EeBL, BEhE, heL. Yes, anything