Marlboro Herald Advocate
May 5th, 1977
Contributed by Brenda Wagner, 19 Sep 2001
"Parrish recollections of 19th century recalled"
Marlboro Herald Advocate- May 5th,1977 pg 6
(Ed Note: Mrs. Bessie Herndon shares with us an article, probably from a 1930's edition of The Pee Dee Advocate., It is now perhaps 90-100 years later than the time recalled by the late D.D. Parrish, writer of the letter to the editor.) Editor of Pee Dee Advocate, Bennettsville, SCDear Editor: Back in the days when buggies, carts and wagons horseback riding was the way people had to travel. The shovel, moulboard and the old fashioned drill and the log or heavy block to cover the seed that was rushed on the ground or in the barrel and sowed by hand. When nearly all men, women, boys and girls worked on the farm. Corn shucking, log rolling for the men and boys and quilting for the women and girls, then in the evening dancing for all. And by the way, there was plenty of good fiddlers in that day fifty years ago. Lot's of land owners never owned a buggy yet they went to the village a shopping and to get their weekly paper, chewing tobbaco and snuff for women folks. They nearly all used snuff and some of them smoked the pipe. They enjoyed life to the fullest extent, not so much stealing in those days, when it did happen the culprit had to suffer. I remember very well when Daniel Mcleod drove over from the Harmony section of Hebron and taught school at Ebenezer in a log house for fifteen dollars per month. From his home to the school was five long miles. Taught mostly in the old blue back spelling book, and there was some good spellers in that day, but there was very few white collar folks. Down at old Ebenezer church they used to have protracted meetings that was noted far and wide. Some of the men and women that took part in those meetings were Rev. W. K. Breeden, Uncle Giles Newton, Rev Wright Wilson, Rev. George Boyd, Rev. Thomas Breeden, A.Y. Moore, Joel Easterling and others too numerous to mention. Good Singing. I will say among the best Clem Fraiser, One of the best tune raisers in the county in that day, Henry Cottingham, Thomas Fraiser with five soprano voices, John Nathan Cottingham, Henry Parham,and Major Samuel Thomas led with fine base, there were others, but not so good. The Misses Mary and Annie Parham, Loretta Cottingham and Sarah Moore were noted for their alto and tenor voices. When these singers got together there was music in the air. No piano or organ. In 1886, the year of the earthquake, Rev George Boyd and Rev W. K. Breeden were holding a meeting at Ebenezer church. and the next day after the quake before ten o'clock the church was full and lots of people were on the outside. You people who can remember these trying times know how each one felt for him or herself. The preacher preached a powerful sermon. Back in those days he would read out his hymn and read the first two lines then sing, then two more then sing again. Custom in those days. People could remember the words that had no books. However, as I want to say when the preacher on this occasion started reading his hymn people commenced to go to the altar and by the time he was through the whole congregation were down on their knees. A wonderful meeting it was. Capt. Henry Edens, John D. Hill and others professed the faith. People that remembered 1886 won't forget it as long as they live. Ladies as good as there was in Marlboro at that time or now picked cotton, wore the fly bonnet with splits came way over the face to keep the sun off and gloves up to their elbows. I could call names but no I might offend some of their kin. I knew one family with 3 daughters, two of them picked cotton and the other taught school, considered one of the first familes of Marlboro. The farmers in that day used peruvian guano under their corn and cotton. One handful sowed through a trumpet would sow thirty yards. Very strange indeed drop a little in the corn bud and it was done. Before the fences were done away with the woods were alive with cows and hogs. To hear cow bells in that day was a joy to most farm folk. The cows were of the common breed and the hogs were called pine rooters, at the same time there was lots of milk and beef also meat in the smokehouses. In the afternoon when the cows commenced to come to the barn lot the bells tingling, the geese hollering, the turkeys yelping and gobblers strutting. Life on the farm was pleasant with both the men and the women in that day. The Kitchen was built off from the dwelling twenty to thirty yards afraid of fire. Dug their wells 40 yards away no pumps then. Some families lived in a one room house, seven or eight children perfectly satisfied. Farmer killed beeves and hogs, divided with their neighbors, later their neighbors did the same- a friendly spirit among them. Some of the farmers raised fine horses and their daughter used side saddles and it was a beautiful site to see them cantering down the road in the cool of the afternoon long ago. We could get along way on very little money. Taxes were low. Then we wove home weaved clothes, some of the best cloth that has ever been made and by the way, made with fingers. No sewing machines then. I imagine I can hear the old weaving loom slam banging and spinning wheel humming mother and daughters knitting. Called in that day sock and stockings. some of the men could knit as good as the women. The ladies going to church with their young friends would tote their shoes until they got close to the church, then a log to sit on while putting their shoes on. Happy days for these young people long ago. When the ladies wore long dresses with trails three feet long, when they went to church they had to tote all this up the steps. The country women wore calico for sunday dresses and were made to fit up under the neck, the sleeves long down to the hand. Some of you remember these times. Perhaps the younger people of some of them have not been told about the traditions and customs of their great grandparents. The ladies used to have a strenuous time when they wore the hoop skirt getting in the buggy or what they were riding in. There came the bustle fashion. You know some of them looked very nice, others not so good. Farmers knew very little about the value of cotton seed as a feed or fertilizer roughly manure or pine straw was used extensively. Plenty of good farmers who had corn to sell at all times and the price was one dollar per bushel an with some of them one dollar up or down. I knew one farmer who raised more meat than his plantation called for and have seen him cut up rusty side meat to feed his hogs. The farmers used to run tar. Well water was the only kind used so they would take and put in little bags, drop in the bucket and also smear tar on the bucket and guard to prevent fever. Apples grew in those days as fine as you ever saw, all kinds and of course we had the cider apple, a might fine one. There were lots of cider made. It was the autocrat drink of the day. Some would drink a little too much, there was very little fighting or trouble. Just jolly good times. Back in those days you could trust people. Their word was their bond. It is a pleasure to think back to those days long ago to have known people completely honest, happy who enjoyed life in every way. Those gins were the only way the farmer had of ginning cotton two or three bales and was all that could be baled in one day. The press built with long arms run up the top would be set high. Turn the arms and it would run nearly by itself. Then you would tie a horse to it and go again two or three more times, get the bagging on, haul ___ton packed so tight in it you could hardly get it in great round baskets to carry cotton in. When full carry it to the cotton barn and empty then right back to the field. The same thing over all day- no _____ or sheets. Farmers with this section worked monday morning until tuesday night I remember very well when there was not in the town of Bennettsville any candy but stick, No cool drinks nor crackers, very little canned food if any, no cosmetics for the ladies but plenty of black molasses direct from cuba. From Marlboro St. east a little ways south of main following in the crooked sandy road now fayetteville ave. there were three dwellings where Mayor Crosland now lives. J.F. Everette and Deems Matheson. Mayor Crosland lives where Dr J. L. Jordan owned; J.F. Everett now where Billy Cook owned; Deems Matheson now where Mrs. Ann Crosland owned. I have seen Dr. Beatty Jennings grandfather of our young Dr. Jennings. in his cotton field now where the school buildings are. He raised some large cotton, nearly all east of Marlboro St was in cotton. How many of you town people remember the pine and hickory on the public square? Ebenezer School district is over six miles long and over two miles wide at least five hundred people in the district that was here forty years ago, white or colored. The most of the cooking done on the farm in that day was in the fire place with the swinging pot oven with three legs. The lid had a rim about one inch high. Put coals under the oven and on the lid now the older folks know how good the biscuts were, never have been improved on. The old black pot that all the collards and other things that were boiled in it had the best flavor to suit the most hard boiled critic. The griddle that the bread was baked on was a three leg concern long handle you could turn it around as it worked on a little post in the middle when the bread was done. The three leg cricket with an elevated crown was handy to put the bread on to keep it warm. David Dixon Parrish ~~~~~~~~~~
My Great Grandfather David Dixon Parrish was many things in his lifetime. a successful farmer, weather prophet, and served in the house of legislature's 52nd Assembly in 1923/1924. He was married 3 times losing all 3 wives to complications during child birth. He was a quiet man who worked hard all his life, Well educated in a self educated way.(By his own admission) He was very interested in politics. Many who knew him was to have said he was well read man whom having a very retentive memory,used all the knowledge gained to succeed in his lifetime.
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