Interview with Huldah Rivers Malphurs February 3 1988

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Interview with Huldah Rivers Malphurs February 3 1988
Malphurs, Huldah Rivers ( Interviewee )
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Bellamy Road (Alachua County) Oral History Collection ( local )
Spatial Coverage:
Alachua (Fla.) -- History


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
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This interview is part of the 'Bellamy Road' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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C: This is Sudye Cauthen talking with Huldah Rivers Malphurs at
her home in Bland outside of Alachua. Today is February 3,
1988. This is the Alachua Historical Perspective Project,
and my work is being financed by Talquin Development
Company. Huldah, tell me your full name please.

H: Huldah Jane Rivers Malphurs.

C: Huldah Jane Rivers Malphurs. And you were born when?

H: July 13, 1908.

C: And your father's full name?

H: Thomas Jackson Rivers.

C: And do you know his birthday?

H: No, I do not.

C: Do you know when he died?

H: I could find out maybe, but I do not know.

C: How old were you when he died?

H: Five years old.

C: So about 1913?

H: Yes.

C: Where was he buried?

H: St. Johns Methodist Church.

C: What was your mother's full name?

H: Ollie Howell Rivers Pinkston.

C: Rivers was your father, and Pinkston was your stepfather?

H: Right.

C: What was Mr. Pinkston's first name?

H: Joseph S. Pinkston.

C: And do you know his death date?

H: No, I do not.


C: He and your mother died near the same time, did they not?

H: About a year apart, I think.

C: Do you remember your mother's birth or her death date?

H: I believe it was December 1966.

C: Where was your mother from? Where did she grow up?

H: Worthington Springs.

C: And who were her parents?

H: Winfield Scott Powell and Elizabeth Powell.

C: Do you know Elizabeth's maiden name?

H: Gainey.

C: Elizabeth Gainey Powell. Where are your grandparents?
Where are your mother's parents graves?

H: Fort Call.

C: Fort Call?

H: Yes. There is a cemetery across the river from Worthington

C: Well, New Hope is there out of La Crosse, but it is a
cemetery at Worthington Springs, right?

H: It is across the river on the right as you go toward Lake

C: I do not know the name of it, but that is okay. That is
enough information that if we were to go look, we could find
it. What about your mother and Mr. Pinkston's graves?
Where are they?

H: Mama is buried at St. Johns Methodist Church, and Daddy is
buried at Fort Call cemetery.

C: Do you know what year your parents married, your mother and
Mr. Rivers?

H: No.

C: You probably do not know what year your mother and Mr.
Pinkston married.

H: No.

C: Okay. Of that first marriage, your mother's marriage to Mr.


Rivers, there were how many children?

H: Three.

C: And who is the oldest?

H: My brother, Thomas Howell Rivers.

C: Thomas Howell Rivers. Do you know what year he was born?

H: He was two years older.

C: He was two years older than you. In 1906?

H: His birthday was in May, May 19.

C: May 19, 1906. Is he living?

H: No.

C: When did he die?

H: January 24, 1965.

C: And then who was the second child? You, Huldah? You where
born 1908. And then you had a younger sister. What was her
full name?

H: Tomye Rivers.

C: Cauthen?

H: Right.

C: And do you know what year Aunt Tomye was born?

H: It must have been October 27, two years later, I think it

C: Maybe 1910?

H: Yes.

C: Yes, I think that is right, because she turned seventy in
1980. And just for the record, for this tape interview,
Tomye Rivers grew up and married the interviewer's uncle,
Willie Cauthen. So her name is Tomye Rivers Cauthen. Did
she have a name given her other than Tomye?

H: No.

C: Why do you think they did that?

H: Unless it was just to be different, I do not know.


C: Do you know when your mother's ancestors first came to

H: I do not have any idea.

C: What area did you tell me she was from?

H: Worthington Springs.

C: Do you know when your father's people first came to Florida?

H: They came from South Carolina, as far as I know.

C: And how about your mother's people? Where did they come

H: All I have ever known was Union County.

C: From Lake Butler. Is Worthington Springs in Union County?

H: Yes.

C: Okay, let's talk about you for a minute. What is your first

H: I do not know.

C: Well, do you remember your little sister being born?

H: No.

C: Do you remember her when she was little?

H: Not too little.

C: No? What about Christmas? Do you remember Christmas when
you were a little girl?

H: I remember Christmas, a few Christmases when I was not too
little. We did not have quite the Christmases we have now.

C: It was simpler then?

H: Yes. There was not much money circulating, and it was not a
big thing like children get in this day and time. There was
more fruit and useful, practical things than toys or
anything like that.

C: This would have been about 1920, maybe, and you would have
been twelve years old?

H: I imagine.

C: And your childhood home is over here between Bland and Santa


H: Right.

C: Right in that area. Well, describe for me what a typical
Christmas might have been like.

H: Well, there were six children in the family, and there was
just lots of playing and all that. And Mama had plenty of
food. Good food!

C: Was it mostly food that you produced yourselves?

H: Yes.

C: Tell me what the Christmas menu would have been like.

H: Oh, who knows. I have not got any idea.

C: Well, was your mother good at cooking one particular thing?

H: My mama could not be beat.

C: What was she good at?

H: She could make the best milk custard pies of anybody, and
her biscuits were so out of this world that the girls wanted
to trade lunch with you at school to get one of her

C: Better than anybody else's biscuits?

H: Better than you could find anywhere.

C: Do you know the secret?

H: She "fumbled" them; they were not cut.

C: What do you mean, she "fumbled" them? You mean she just did
them with her hands?

H: Yes, she just pinched off a piece of dough and rolled it in
the palm of her hand. They were just as pretty as new. And
every one of them would look like they were almost cut.

C: Well, that is probably why they were so good, because they
were not rolled and beat half to death.

H: Well, it takes practice to make perfect, and I think that
that had lots to do with it.

C: Well, they must have been good if the other kids wanted to
trade. You took your lunch to school?

H: Took it to school in a little tin bucket.


C: What was the name of your school?

H: Bland School.

C: Bland School. Did you go there always?

H: I went from first grade through eighth grade.

C: And then where did you go after that?

H: Alachua High school.

C: Did you graduate from Alachua High School?

H: Yes.

C: In what year?

H: Nineteen twenty-five.

C: Well, tell me this. Do your remember the first day at Bland

H: No, I do not remember.

C: What do you remember about first grade?

H: Sudye, I do not think that I remember particularly anything
about the lower grades.

C: Who was your first grade teacher?

H: I do not even remember that.

C: Do you remember any teacher at Bland School?

H: Yes, I believe there was Mrs. Sanchez, Miss Ford, and Mrs.
Ellis. That is about all that I can remember right off

C: Was that an Ellis from around here?

H: Yes, she was the wife of Mr. Frank Ellis.

C: And what about Sanchez? Was that somebody from around here?

H: Well, I think that some of them came from out beyond
Gainesville in the areas like that.

C: That is an old name.

H: That has been quite some time ago, yes.

C: Do you remember the last day at Bland School?


H: I think, the best I can remember, that we had a picnic.

C: That must have been a happy day, graduating from school?

H: It was.

C: Who was in your class there?

H: I remember my eighth grade class was Mae Vaughn, Jewel
Russell, Beulah Ivey, Reba Pinkston, and M. E. Boston.

C: Is M. E. Boston a man?

H: Yes. He is a brother to Earl Boston.

C: Is M. E. Boston still living?

H: No.

C: Sounds like most of you that graduated were girls.

H: Right.

C: Had the boys quit and gone to farming?

H: I do not know what happened to them.

C: So you had a picnic the last day. How did you get to and
from Bland School?

H: Walked.

C: How far did you have to walk?

H: About two miles, maybe a little more.

C: What was that like in the winter time?

H: Like walking across frozen ground with the earth crackling
under your feet.

C: How did you preserve food?

H: You could cure the meat at home.

C: Without refrigeration?

H: Yes.

C: Who did the killing of the hogs?

H: The parents and the older boys.

C: So Mr. Pinkston, your stepfather, is probably who you
remember doing that?


H: Yes, and the mothers and grandmothers.

C: Was your grandmother there at the time of the hog killing?

H: Yes.

C: Now, is that your mother's mother?

H: Yes.

C: What was her name again?

H: Elizabeth. She was called Lizzie.

C: Did she live with you when you were a little girl?

H: No.

C: She just came for the hog killing?

H: She lived nearby. She lived about a mile from us.

C: Was her husband still living at that time?

H: No.

C: Did she live alone?

H: She was a widow for a long time. She had two sons that
lived with her part of the time, and then part of the time
she had grandchildren with her. Probably a little bit of
the time she was alone.

C: What was her job at the hog killing?

H: There was a lot of work to be done on the hog's head, feet,
and things of that nature. Of course, the lard had to be
cut up and rendered out. She made liver pudding.

C: How do you make liver pudding?

H: You use the livers, of course, and I am not sure. Of
course, they made hog-head cheese that people make now. You
buy it in stores, but it is not as good as that we made at

C: My mother made that when I was a little girl, but I do not
know how it is done. How do you make hog-head cheese?

H: You cook the hog head and feet until they are so tender you
can just smash them up, take out the bones, and mash it up
real good. Put in seasoning, and then you put it in a
container that is safe from contamination or anything. You
put something on top of it and press it and let the grease


all press out.

C: Is that what you would use cheesecloth for? To press it

H: No.

C: Okay, let me get this straight. You get the grease out of
it, and then what do you do?

H: It is ready to eat. You slice it and you eat it.

C: What is cheesecloth used for in hog killing?

H: Straining the cracklins out of the fat, the lard.

C: What are cracklins?

H: Cracklins are the solid pieces that are left after you cook
the fat to make lard.

C: You save the lard to cook with?

H: Yes.

C: And then the solid pieces that are left are cracklins?

H: Yes.

C: Now, are cracklins the same thing as the bacon skins you buy
in the store?

H: No, the bacon skins you cut off the meat and cook them
separate from the solid fat you are rendering for lard.
That is what you buy in stores, just the skins off of the

C: But cracklins are different than bacon skins?

H: Cracklins are just the meat left after the solid fat has been
heated until it melts and strained for lard.

C: Well, some people like cracklins in their cornbread.

H: I would rather have it because of the meat.

C: Back in the days when you were a child, where did you get
cornmeal from?

H: We shucked and shelled the corn and carried it to a mill and
had it ground into grits and meal.

C: Where was the mill that you took it to?

H: It was about a mile from home out in the flat woods.


C: Whose mill was it?

H: Laurence Davis.

C: Mr. Davis. Laurence Davis. Corn meal and grits--is that
the same thing, but one is cut up finer than the other?

H: Right.

C: And is the corn meal cut up finer than the grits?

H: Sure.

C: Were the grits yellow?

H: That would depend on your corn. If you planted yellow corn
and then had it ground, you had the yellow meal and grits.
But we mostly used white corn.

C: In the stores today you cannot buy yellow grits, can you?

H: I think so.

C: Oh, yes. Dixie Lily might have it.

H: Probably.

C: When was the last time you saw a grits mill in operation?

H: It has been years ago. But I know where one is now. I have
got meal in my freezer out there that was ground just a few
months ago.

C: Where? Where is one now?

H: Mr. Presley.

C: Where is that?

H: Over here on 241.

C: I would like to go there one day.

H: I have never seen them grinding it, but the mill belongs to
Earl Boston. They just grind it for home use, and a person
would just have to know when they were doing it. But it is
much better than this you buy in the stores. That might
sound funny, but it is.

C: It is just done differently.

H: She gives me some, and she gives Mae Vaughn some, and we
both enjoy it.


C: I am sure it is probably fresher. Now, did you work in
cotton when you were a child?

H: Yes.

C: What do you remember about the cotton?

H: I remember the last time I picked any cotton. I do not
remember how old I was, but I was rather small. It was a
job I did not mind giving up.

C: Why? What was so hard about it?

H: Back breaking.

C: You had to bend way over?

H: Right.

C: Is there some kind of sticker on the cotton that can stick
in your finger?

H: The bolls, when they open up, the points on the top of them
are sharp.

C: Did you work for pay?

H: No, I do not think so. Of course, they might have given us
a penny a pound or something, just to encourage us to help,
being that it was such a burden and such a chore.

C: Who do you remember working with you?

H: Working with? I guess my sister Tomye, my brother, and my

C: Did you have any people working on your farm besides the

H: Well, we did not really have any half-croppers or anything
at that particular time. But Daddy planted Irish potatoes
for market, and we did not have machines then like we do
now, and they had to be picked up by hand.

C: You had to dig them up?

H: And the children were great at that, picking up potatoes.

C: They were under the ground, were they not?

H: Oh, yes.

C: So you would just dig a hole and dig them out?

H: Well, they plowed a furrow down beside the rows on either


side and kind of threw the dirt away. The men took potato
forks, or potato rakes, as they called them--long, pronged
rakes--and pulled them out of the ground. Then the women
and children picked them up.

C: Were they planted alongside another crop, or just a field of

H: No, a field of potatoes.

C: How did you know when the potatoes where ready?

H: Well, the tops die back.

C: I see. And what time of year would the tops die back?

H: Well, it's between spring and summer, I guess you would say.
Just like they do now. Down in Hastings, or if you plant
them in your garden, or whatever.

C: Do you know where people are planting potatoes now?

H: You mean big patches of potatoes?

C: For sale.

H: I do not think there is any right around here, in this area.
But at Hastings there are a lot of Irish potatoes grown

C: When you where a child, people grew quantities of them?

H: Yes.

C: And your daddy sold them?

H: Yes.

C: Where did he sell them?

H: Unless it was out at Santa Fe, I cannot remember. Oh, I
know, they shipped them to some big buyer somewhere. I do
not remember where.

C: Did they go by train?

H: Yes.

C: Would that have been at Santa Fe or at LaCrosse?

H: Santa Fe.

C: At Santa Fe. So you had corn growing on your place?

H: We had corn, peanuts, velvet beans, and oats. Now they


plant rye, mostly.

C: Is that just to protect the ground for the winter?

H: No.

C: Why do they plant rye?

H: For feed.

C: For winter feed?

H: Yes, in the pasture.

C: Do they plant oats in place of it for the same reason, for

H: Yes.

C: What are velvet beans?

H: Well, they are good cow feed, and they are also good to
enrich the soil. They are a large bean with a hard shell.
I would say maybe they were about the size of a dime, and
they are usually kind of a white and brown stripe.

C: Do people eat them?

H: No.

C: Do you just turn the cows in to graze?

H: Right.

C: And what time of the year do you grow velvet beans?

H: Well, they are planted in the spring, but they are like
corn, because they grow through the summer months and then
into the fall.

C: I remember hearing my daddy talk about velvet beans when I
was a kid. How about peanuts? Do you sometimes plant
peanuts along with corn?

H: Yes.

C: Why do you do that?

H: Really, I do not know. Of course, they did not plant corn
close together. They did not fertilize like they have to do
now, and the corn was spaced far apart so they put peanuts
or beans in between, and the beans ran up on the corn

C: Do peanuts run up on the corn stalks?


H: No.

C: They are below the ground?

H: They grow in a bunch.

C: They are in the dirt?

H: Peanuts? Yes.

C: You know, I have never seen them. What did your daddy do
with his peanuts?

H: Well, he "hogged them off," I imagine. That means he turned
his hogs in the field and let them eat them.

C: He hogged them off. What about his cotton? What did your
daddy do with his cotton?

H: I imagine we brought it to Mr. Matthews's mill right over
here at Bland.

C: Now, that was not at Traxler?

H: No.

C: That was at Bland?

H: Right.

C: Was that on the Matthews's property?

H: Yes.

C: On the way between your old house and Alachua?

H: Between here and where I was born and raised.

C: So there was a cotton gin there?

H: Yes.

C: And it was on Mr. Matthews's land in Bland. What else was

H: At Bland? A dipping vat and a store.

C: What was in the store?

H: Everything. General merchandise.

C: Now, did Mr. Matthews own the store?

H: Yes.


C: Who traded at it?

H: Neighbors. People living all around.

C: What did he have in the store that you could not raise at

H: He had dry goods and furniture and dishes. Anything like we
have in stores this day in time.

C: Did you pay money for it, or did you trade cotton for it?

H: We paid money for it.

C: Well, I guess your mother liked to go there and look around?

H: School children. The school was just about a quarter mile
from it, and they went up and bought candy, chewing gum,
pencils, papers, and things like that.

C: Do you remember what kind of candy or what kind of chewing
gum you could get there?

H: I remember the kind of chewing gum. It was better than you
can get now. It was Juicy Fruit, and it was two sticks to
the package. The best I can remember they were longer and
were marked in squares. But the flavor lasted longer than
the chewing gum you buy this day and time.

C: And you could just break off the square and chew it? What
did it cost for two pieces of Juicy Fruit Gum?

H: I cannot remember. A little bit.

C: What kind was the first soft drink you ever had?

H: Root beer.

C: Where did you have it?

H: In Lake City.

C: What were you doing in Lake City?

H: My half-brother was in the Army and was stationed in Lake
City, and we went to see him. I suppose the root beer was
in the drug store. We went to the drug store, and you
could, I think, get all you could drink for a nickel.

C: And you got a root beer. Had you ever had root beer before?

H: No.

C: How did you know you wanted root beer?


H: What does a child know about why they want things?

C: Was it in a bottle?

H: They gave it to you in a mug.

C: Oh, I bet that was good. Was it hot weather?

H: I imagine it was.

C: What kinds of things where considered treats then? Like on
holidays, was there something special that your mother
cooked? Was there some kind of cake, pie, or cookie that
was special for the holidays?

H: I imagine cakes were the same thing. It is just a little
different than it is now, anyway. I do not think we
emphasized celebrating like that too much, you know.

C: Did you have a refrigerator when you were a little girl?

H: No.

C: Did you ever go to town to get ice?

H: When they went to town, they had to go in a buggy or in a
wagon, and it took all day, just about. So there were not
any children going to town getting treats.

C: Did they go to Alachua?

H: Yes. They bought the flour in barrels. I cannot remember
too much about sugar and some of those other staples, but I
remember the little flour barrels. I remember going to what
we called the coast. We went to Horseshoe.

C: Horseshoe Key [Horseshoe Point]?

H: The same Horseshoe that is over here, somewhere, that people
go in to fish and all like that. My mother would make just
oodles of cookies, but we called them tea cakes in that day
and time. I cannot remember what all she cooked, but they
would just cook a box of food and take it with them when
they went. We would buy fish and bring it back and salt
them. We would salt fish down. You did not have

C: So that was a big outing.

H: Yes, that was a big thing.

C: Did all the children go?

H: As best as I can remember.


C: Did you all fit into the buggy?

H: We went in the wagon.

C: You went in the wagon. How was the wagon built? Did it
have seats?

H: It had one main seat, but the children sat on the floor of

C: In the back?

H: Yes, all over it.

C: Was there anything to cushion it, or did you just sit on the
wooden floor?

H: Probably a folded quilt.

C: Then where did they put the fish?

H: Well, they were in the barrel. We just had to make room.

C: Make room for the fish? Well, what were the tea cakes like?

H: Real good cookies. Some of them were sweetened with
molasses, some with sugar.

C: Were they like cup cakes, or were they thin?

H: They were thin like cookies.

C: Where did you get the molasses from?

H: We raised cane and ground it, made the syrup, and put it in
the bottles to save it. Anything that you could keep
without refrigeration we could have on the farm.

C: Well, would you tell me something? If you used to have time
to take your corn to be ground into grits and meal, and you
had time to kill your own hogs and make hoghead cheese and

H: Yes.

C: And stuffed the intestines to make the sausage, and grew
cane and made syrup. Would you tell me where all that time
has gone? What do you think has replaced it and taken up
peoples' time?

H: People did not go as much that day and time. They did not
have automobiles, they did not have highways, and they had
most of the essentials that they needed at home. Therefore
they did not go so much. So all that time that is wasted


now was utilized.

C: It sounds like fun to me to go to Horseshoe in the wagon.
Did the kids think that was a good time?

H: Yes, I would say so.

C: What was Horseshoe like then?

H: Well, I cannot remember too much. I remember when they
would hitch the horses. It was not built up, developed like
they are now. It was more open woods with a lot of
palmettoes around. We would hitch the horses, and sand
gnats were so bad the horses would just stomp. I can
remember that. The boats that were fishing, commercial
fishermen, would come up as close as they could. We got to
go out in a little boat to the big boat, and they lifted us
up in there. They had the fish stowed away down in the boat
with ice all over them. We saw them take those fish out,
weigh them, and put them in the smaller boats to be carried
to the shore. That is the thing I remember the most about

C: Did you ever go out in a boat in the ocean?

H: Yes, a small boat just a short ways.

C: What were you doing?

H: Going to see those fish.

C: Then you went out to the big boat.

H: I remember they had their nets stretched on I guess you
would call them frames, drying near the shore. If they had
broken any of these strands and all, they mended the nets.

C: And you saw people sitting there mending the nets?

H: As far as I can remember.

C: Well, you remember Horseshoe. What about going to Alachua?
Did you all go in the wagon to Alachua?

H: I really do not remember going in the wagon. My pasttime
when I was a girl growing up was horseback riding.

C: Oh, is that so?

H: Oh, I loved horses. We had a good gentle horse. Dad had
two black mares that were buggy horses. One of them was
real gentle. My stepfather would let me use it, and I just
rode horseback just about everyday. We girls would meet
together out at Bland and go horseback riding together.


C: Who were the other girls?

H: Lila Matthews, A. C. Edwards, Grace and Mildred Reaves.
Those were the main ones.

C: Were they in school with you?

H: Yes.

C: What was your mare's name?

H: Eva.

C: Eva. What was the best time you ever had with her?

H: I do not know which was the best time. It was all a good

C: Tell me of one of those times. Where did you ride her?

H: Well, I met Lila Matthews, and we rode to Worthington
Springs to the bathing pool, the swimming pool.

C: That was a long way, wasn't it?

H: Yes, it was several miles.

C: Did you go bathing when you got there?

H: Well, a group of us went one time, and we all went bathing.

C: What kind of bathing suit did you wear at that time?

H: It was a one piece.

C: Was it down to your knees?

H: Not quite, but it had an apron on it. It was not the kind
that showed more than the bathing suits like they have this
day in time.

C: Where did you get dressed there?

H: They had bath houses.

C: You know, I went there a couple of years ago, and there is
really nothing there. What was it like?

H: Oh, Sudye, they had a place around the pump. They had a
building that had benches all the way around where people
could just sit and talk and just have the best time. Then
they had real nice places to change, the bathhouses. It was
a two-story affair around the pool. They also had a bowling
alley underneath the bathhouse.


C: How about food?

H: You carried your food in a picnic basket.

C: You and Lila Matthews were how old?

H: We were teens, I do not know exactly. See, this went on for
several years because we lived so close together.

C: Was it kind of adventurous for two girls your age to go on
horseback to Worthington Springs?

H: Not then.

C: That was considered usual?

H: That is right.

C: But you probably went in the daytime and came back before

H: Oh, yes.

C: Did you ever have any difficulty with your horse?

H: I do not think so.

C: Were you ever thrown?

H: Oh, yes. But not by this one.

C: Which horse threw you?

H: Well, I did not ride just the horses. I also rode the
mules, and one of the mules threw me. Well, this horse did
throw me one time, too, and I never did know why. We had
heard that a horse could smell a snake, like a rattlesnake.
But she jumped from one side of the road so fast that she
left me in the road on the other side.

C: And that was Eva?

H: Yes, and it dislocated my arm at my elbow. I had to wear a
cast for three or four weeks, just like you would with a
broken arm.

C: Well, how soon did you get back on Eva?

H: I got right back on her, rode to Bland, and the Matthews
children carried me to Alachua to the doctor, and he set my

C: You got right back on her as soon as she threw you off?

H: My sister Tomye was riding with me, and Eva threw us both



C: What did it do to Tomye?

H: She helped me get back up on the horse, but she went home

C: She was just a little thing. I used to ride horseback when
I was young, too.

H: Of course, I could ride that other horse, that other buggy
horse, but she was not as gentle, and (I am not sure) she
might have thrown me sometime. But they did not discourage

C: What about the mule? Did the mule throw you?

H: No.

C: You really liked riding?

H: I was not too crazy about riding the mule because it was
kind of rough riding. But when I did not have a horse
available, I would ride what I had.

C: And you rode almost every day?

H: Just about.

C: Did you ever ride by yourself?

H: Oh, I rode by myself most of the time.

C: Did you ever go places that you had not been before?

H: No. But I rode to Sunday school, and rode horseback and
carried a big sack of corn to the grits mill to get my corn
ground, and then I would bring it back home.

C: Boy, you were doing some hard work.

H: I would just put it across the saddle, and all I had to do
was ride.

C: You liked being outside?

H: Oh, yes.

C: Did you try to get chores outside instead of inside?

H: I do not think I tried to get chores. Like most children,
all I wanted to do was play.

C: Your brother probably got a lot of the men's work, but I
know you told me that Tomye, your sister, did not care that


much about being outside. I wondered what the difference
was in the kind of chores each of you got?

H: Well, we had to make the beds, sweep floors, and wash
dishes--just house chores.

C: When did you learn to embroider?

H: I did before I married, which was still in my teens.

C: Who taught you?

H: I suppose my mother.

C: Do you remember the first thing you ever made?

H: No. But I made a bedspread one time, and it was real
pretty. It lasted a long time. It was made out of what
they called unbleached domestic or homespun. We stamped it
ourselves, and it had a large, oval design, one in the
center and a small design in each corner.

C: Tell me about when you and York Malphurs married.

H: York told my stepfather, Joe Pinkston, when we were going to
get married. He did not believe it. That night I told my
mother that I got married that day, and she did not believe

C: But if you wanted to keep it a secret, why did you tell?

H: Because we knew it.

C: You mean you knew what you did. But you did not tell
anybody in advance so they could not get in on it and
disturb you?

H: Right.

C: Then you came to live in this house?

H: Right.

C: You told me that your husband's parents came to this house
in 1899. Do you know who built this house?

H: No, I do not.

C: Do you know when it was built?

H: No.

C: You do not know who owned it before York's parents? What
was York's father's full name?


H: Joseph Matthew Malphurs.

C: Do you know when he was born?

H: No.

C: Do you know about what year he died?

H: No, but all these things I could find dates and so forth.

C: That is okay. Where is his grave?

H: North Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.

C: And York's mother, what was her full name?

H: She had a long name for some reason. Laura Lucy Anne Cason

C: Is Cason her mother's maiden name?

H: Yes.

C: Do you know when she died?

H: She died December 27, 1947, I think.

C: Now, why do you remember that?

H: Well, this was very vivid, because she was bedridden for
some months, and I cared for her. She was still rational.
When her girls and the family came in at the last, she did
not seem to prefer them over me. She included me in her
last show of affection just as much as she did them.

C: You had lived in her house and cared for her for a long

H: Almost twenty years. And Dad about twelve years.

C: Those are two interesting things, that he gave you the broom
the day after you moved in, and that she included you in the
final moments of her life.

H: Well, Dad liked me, too. He never had any differences. He
always took up for me.

C: Did you anticipate any difficulty in moving into York's
parents' home?

H: Sudye, I imagine I was too young to even think about that.

C: But, now, looking back on it, you realize what you
undertook, don't you?


H: Yes, I do. Everybody does not get along as beautifully as
we did, but we just got along just wonderfully well.

C: Well, that is a great thing.

H: I have often said I was not grown when I had married and
they finished raising me, and they were good at it. They
were Christian people.

C: The closeness you had with them is something. A lot of
people never live with their in-laws nowadays, but you lived
with one of them for twenty years.

H: Yes.

C: Twenty years with her, and twelve years with him. How old
was York when you married?

H: Twenty-six.

C: Had he been in the army?

H: No.

C: But he had left home. Where did he go?

H: He went to Kendrick, a little place out of Ocala.

C: Did you tell me he was working?

H: Yes, he worked in those mines for a short time.

C: Phosphate mines?

H: Yes.

C: Then why did he come home?

H: He did not like the work, and his father's health was
getting to where he could not do farming. They did not have
machinery; it was all done with livestock. It was too hard
for him, and he told his son if he would come home he would
give him so many acres of land. Then, upon his death, if he
still remained with them, he would give him so many more
acres of land.

C: How many children did he have besides York?

H: I think there were eight or nine to begin with.

C: But York was the one who came home?

H: Yes. Now, he did not have that many at the time that York
came home, because they lost three or four children during
the time that hemorrhagic fever was so bad in the country.


So many people died from it. They had a son that died from
hemorrhagic fever or something related when he was twenty-
four, a daughter when she was nineteen, and a son when he
was eleven.

C: Who were the other surviving children?

H: There were seven. Do you want the names?

C: Yes.

H: Audrey Witt.

C: That is a woman?

H: And Ruth. Now, those are their married names.

C: Audrey Malphurs Witt.

H: Ruth Malphurs Harrison, Johnny Malphurs Smith, Josie
Malphurs Logan, and Dovie Malphurs Crocker.

C: That explains why he was the one that came home. All five
of them were women!

H: That is right. And they were already married.

C: He was the only boy to come home.

H: That is right.

C: What was it like for you to be pregnant and have a baby and
a little one in this house with your in-laws? How was it
sharing that with them?

B: It was not any trouble at all. They helped me, although
Mother was unable to do any of the actual physical help.