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The Memoirs of Martha Frances Caudill Brown

Part 6 (final)

      Our two children, not yet seven and three years old was taken down with measles and was very sick with them for some days. When we was all well again we felt that we never before was so thankful for health. (pg 76) About one year after we came to this place, our third child (Coy Delbert Brown) was born (18 March 1905 in Pageton, McDowell Co, W VA). The children and I stayed there thru the day alone. My husband would get home late and he would carry water to do until the next night, and cut and carry wood. Then he would get up about three o’clock in the morning and do the chores and cut the wood he had carried the evening before. He would have to be at his place of work by seven o’clock and quit at six o’clock and got $1.35 per day. We took in five boarders in May, charging $12.50 per month. Each one had (pg 77) at least two miles to walk to work. We would get up about four o’clock in the morning, get breakfast , pack their pails, and then we had the chores to do.

     My father in law (George Brown (Jr)) and brother in law (?) stayed with us part of that summer, making seven to cook and wash for besides our own family of five. I hardly ever went to bed earlier than ten o’clock and got up at four all summer long.

In March 1906 we moved to another place in W VA. When we got to the R. R. station, we found we were several miles from the place of our destination. (pg 78) My husband and a friend of ours that had gone with us, started out to find the folks to whom we was going. We had never met any of them, they were all strangers to us. The children and I stayed in a hotel until my husband and a young man came for us, planning to take us on horses but the snow was so bad and it was so cold we only got a short ways. We was taken in by some kind old people and the next day we was taken to the foot of the mountain on a lumber truck drawn by horses and we was supposed to be taken (pg 79) over the mountain on an incline. When we got there we was told it was not safe as the rope had broken a short while before. Then what could we do. So we started to cross the mountain with our three children, one (Coy) one year old, our little boy (Roy) not quite five years old and our little girl (Cordelia) was not yet eight years old.

     We walked the tram road built for the lumber trucks where it was not too high off the ground. Then we would climb thru the brush. There was quite a snow on the ground. After a long and tiresome climb we reached the (pg 80) top of the mountain and it was not so difficult going down as it was not so steep and not so long. When we reached the home to where we was going, we found the folks very kind to us, taking us in and doing for us the best they could but they were in very hard financial circumstances.

     We could not get a house to move in to so the children and I stayed in this house. My husband got work in a camp where they logged with horses. He would come home at the week end and bring some groceries which was gone (pg 81) all too soon. Then we would have to just get by. I can not figure now how we did but we got by. All three children and I got whooping cough. We were hungry, I went out to see if I could get some wild greens. It was cold and raining. I would cough and pick greens when I could find any. I could have eaten all I got after they was cooked, but I divided them up. Between my three children and another little girl that was all we had from Sunday evening until Tuesday. A widow woman gave me some milk. I (pg 82) boiled it and stirred flour in water to thicken it and we had a real meal out of it. About one quart of milk with salt water and flour in it.

It was about two months before we got a place to move too. Then we moved to a cook house where the company had left. We stayed there until in November 1906 and moved back to Powhatan, West Virginia. In March 1907 we moved to Herndon, W. VA. where our fourth child (Virginia Lee) was born August 9, 1907. We was living in a log house, two rooms downstairs, two upstairs with a log partition both downstairs and upstairs and a long porch along the side of the house next to the public road.

In November 1908 we left W. VA and moved to Kentucky. We had to live on shell beans and turnips until I thought if we ever got anything else to eat I would never eat any more beans or turnips. So a man, Mr Ball, hired some work done on his farm. He raised tobacco and also corn so he let us have what we needed and let us pay for it in work. I washed for his wife and my husband worked in the tobacco and other farm work. My mother gave us a cow so we got along fairly well.

(pg 84) We left Kentucky (by train) the 16 th day of March 1911 and arrived in Morton, Washington March 21 st. There was so much difference in the West and the East. We almost felt that we had gone into another world. When we got to the station we was kind of slow to get our bundles of pillows etc as we had not had any berth. We prepared for our children to be as comfortable as we well could. So I had all the family go ahead of me and before we all got off the train was in motion. Our oldest boy jumped off the train. I tried to set down on the step as I had my part of the luggage and could (pg 85) not very well hold on to anything. So I lost my balance and fell off the train. There was nothing to do only lie there until the train had gone as I was near the wheels.

      There was some of our friends met us at the station. They had a two seated buckboard drawn by two ponies. We never before had seen such large trees many of them with moss hanging several feet long from the limbs. They took us to their home and we stayed there for a few days. Then we went to the home of an old lady of whom those people had rented her farm for us before we had arrived. It was a few months of torture, her house being small. Her dogs and cats lived, ate and slept together with an innumerable company of fleas.

We was strangers in a strange country, no money, no job. Did not know what to do only take the place that had been rented for us. So we too took up our abode with them. We lived very skimpy. Would be hard to tell just how we did get by until my husband got work. First he got a job of making tiling which (pg 86) lasted only a few days but we was able to get some supplies to keep us from going hungry. Later he got work in a shingle mill and worked for a short while.

We raised quite a bit of garden and other stuff. I put up 132 quarts of Black Cap and Black Raspberries. Then we went into the forest and picked most of them. When the hay crops and other crops was stored away, the old lady became very anxious that we go elsewhere to live which we very much wanted to do. So again those people that had (pg 87) rented her place for us, rented another place . When we got ready to pack our few belongings, the old lady would not let us have only half the stuff we had put up. But we managed to not have trouble with her more than we refused to eat in the dishes the dogs ate in. Invited them to sleep outside in order to be able to get rid of the fleas. Her house was made of cedar boards. The floor was on the ground and the dust came up between them and the fleas could be seen on the floor or in the dust. I took lye and boiling water and got (pg 88) rid of them to the extent that we could have some rest and sleep. In spite of it all we had many pleasant hours. The little shack was built by a lake and there was such nice forest near by. We was away from our friends or near relatives and our family ties seemed all the stronger and dearer to us.

     The eleventh day of October, after butchering an old mother hog we had bought from the old lady, we loaded into a wagon and started to our new home. The snow was about six inches deep and the wagon did not ---

In 1870, both the grandparents and the parents to be of Jonathon Brown are living together at; White Laurel, Ashe Co, North Carolina   George Brown 63 Abigail 63 George Brown 21 1848 Ann 19 William (Roark) 14 (This 14 yr old Wm is not a child of Geo & Anna nor likely of Geo. & Abigail) Martin 1     1880 Horse Creek, Ashe Co, North Carolina   George BROWN 31 <1849> N. C. Self Married W M Horse Creek, Ashe, NC Ana BROWN 28 <1852> N. C. Wife Married W F Horse Creek, Ashe, NC Martin G. BROWN 12 <1868> N. C. Son Single W M Horse Creek, Ashe, NC Joseph BROWN 10 <1870> N. C. Son Single W M Horse Creek, Ashe, NC Johnothon BROWN 7 <1873> N. C. Son Single W M Horse Creek, Ashe, NC Malsia C. BROWN 3 <1877> N. C. Dau Single W F Horse Creek, Ashe, NC   Note; George Brown (Sr.’s) brother, Larkin, is living next door Larkin Brown 31 with his wife Elizabeth 21 Wilson 5 Symore or Symence 4 female John 3 Amanda 1    

In 1900, Johnathon Brown (26) & 23 yr old Martha “Frances” have been married 5 yrs and have a 2yr old daughter, Cordelia. Johnathon’s newly wed (20 Aug 1899) brother, Smith Brown age 20 born Sept 1880 & Leah (Caudill) age 27 born 1873, are living next door. Also living next door is Leander Walker & wife Jane and 2 children. There are 2 Blevins families also close (on same census page). In this same Wilson District of Grayson Co, VA are many other relatives, such as: Blevins, Baldwin, Wyatt, Lewis, Sullivan, Roop, Dolinger, Stamper, and more.


1900 census at Horse Creek, Ashe County, NC census was taken on June 23

George 54 born in March 1846

Anna 49 born in April 1850

William R. 15

James W. 13 born in May 1887

Lillard W. 10 born in March 1890

In 1900, Melissie (Brown) & her husband, John Wesley Hart, are farming and have been married since 17 Feb 1898. There are no children living with them. Their 1 st child, Minnie Lucretia was born 25 Feb 1899 but died of Whooping Cough at 4 months old.

In 1910 the Jonathon Brown & Martha Frances Caudill and 4 children are enumerated in Taylor Co, Kentucky

In 1910 George & Anna and also their son Wm Roby & Rebecca Caudill are also enumerated in Taylor Co, KY

Johnathon’s brother, Joseph and his family are shown in the 1910 census of St Clair Twp, Smyth Co, Virginia—the 38 yr old Joseph is again shown as a laborer while “cutting timber”. Coy David Brown was born in 1909 in Konnarock, VA

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