The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on December 24, 1952 · Page 7
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 7

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 24, 1952
Page 7
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/ WEDNESDAY, DEC, 24, 1952 BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.)' COURIER NEWS OSCEOLA NEWS & f . Si, arr . Mr. and Mrs: Ed Qulnn Christmas last 10 days at their house . Quinn Family Gathering Keeps Old Christmas Customs Alive "'Tls'the night before Christmas and all through the Quinn house every creature Is stirring, so pity the scared mouse. _ The grandparents are waiting by the open fire, to make sure St. Nick fulfills the children's desire. The hustle^and the ' bustle and the smell of spice makes us all realize that Christmas is nice." Big families and Christmas are synonymous. To prove this statement, a better selection than choosing Mr. and Mrs. Ed Quinn just couldn't be found In Mississippi County for a Christmas story. Big families with tradition always a part of their very existence have something to hand down to their descendants. The tun this family has and the big preparations' they make to make every Christmas even better than the last one, Is good So know about. Mr. and Mrs. Quinn's son, Wade, his wife Jean, their three children, Wade, Jr., Ed, II, and the youngest, Becky, rise bright and .early on Christmas Eve morning, and 'start taking down beds at their home, which by the way Is only three blocks, or less, away, and are pub on a large truck. .Springs, mattresses, pillows and bedding. Included. Two chests of. drawers are filled with clothing and loaded into the truck, the key is turned in the door and away they' go to grandmother's house, not to return unti! Jan. 2, not even to get their mai: out of (he box or to collect old newspapers from the yard. Christmas sets In from that very day and for 10 days to come, celebrations are in progress at the Ed Qulnn house On Christmas Eve, the whole ca- boodles stay up nil night, trimming the biggest Christmas tree this side of New York's Times Square. There are always new ideas in decoration: due to the young grandchildren, but the traditional strings of cranberries and popcorn around the tree are never forgotten and the Irce mus be cedar, Just like Grandma Driver used when Mrs. Quinn was a very small child. • With a blazing Yule log and mistletoe boughs hanging in all thi doorways, pretty little blonde Beck' watches the fnlries and brownies dancing in the fireplace as stu searches out images in the flames wishing Chrlsimas would last the year. It takes all night to complete the trimming of the tree because ther ara so many people dropping in— mostly relatives as Mr. and Mrs Quinn are the children of parent who made practically everybody In Osccola klnfolk ic story will come later. Boiled custard by the gallons, akes to suit everybody's fancy, ome made candies, salted nuts and jowls and bowls of hot buttered opcorn are found at everybody's Ibow. The men and boys In this family re the official corn poppers. The argest turkey that can be bought —this Is bought weeks in advance rid put in the deep freeze just to « sure—is cooked while the family s celebrating Christmas Eve. Roasting in the double oven range, a. big Tennessee country ham per- umes the house. Mrs. Qulnn add:d: "The meats have to cook all night as slow as the oven will go o preserve the juices" and also to make room for all the traditional 'oods that she-serves year in and year out. These baked dishes include oyster scallop, baked macaroni bubbling with sharp cheese/candied yams for the grown ups and yams topped with marshmallows for the children, baked dressing, seasoned with fresl: sage just like Grandma Driver's. "Homemade cranberry sauce—no canned sauce for my family" smiled Mrs. Qulnn. "In olden times, meals weren't balanced, but they lived and thrived pretty well even though their dinner consisted of several starchy dishes and no green vegetables. Fresh vegetables were unheard of In the winter time. After this' big Christmas dinner, for those who can still swallow, there is a dishpan filling with ambrosia sitting on the back porch to stay aold.' ' Everybody is too full for an evening meal but at mid-night, triple- decker club sandwiches are passed with hot coffee and hot chocolate topped with a marshmallow. Open house, which continues following Christmas, is climaxed with a watch party New Year's Eve, when the young members',of the family watch the old year out and the New Year In by shooting fire works. p The next day. the truck backs up, re-loads the beds and back home they all go, declaring this Christmas was (he best. Another Christmas now is' in the making with this family who prove that old customs die hard and, thank heaven, here is one family in which this custom will always live. Celebrations at Christmas time down on the old Driver home place, as It will always be called, reads like a fah-y tale to this younger generation. The old house is still standing, but so many have lived in it and neg- plac.e even when I was a child, is I well remember spending the nigh down there and the long dlnln room table were fried sweet pota (oes, hash browned potatoes a n grits were all served lor breakfas at the same time and country ha_ was Just cooked for It's gravy. Th Negroes working around the plac got the ham. The "white folks" go tired of the-big slabs of the sllccu lent meat that makes my mout water now to even think about !t. The house sat back two hundre feet from the old dirt levee roai The walk leading to it was made < brick, lined with pointed bricks. . As grandma Driver called he deep purple sweet-scented viole that lined the walk, her "tame vii lets." They were an ideal place fc hiding Easter -eggs. Not one blad of grass could grow under the cedar and marigold trees but moss Is life vu tht wealthiest man in I Jo farmlne. In 188J fclj father PAGE SEVEN Ilssisslppl county, lived with his arenls and never did he come to Dwn that he didn't bring a niece or ephew with him and they always ent back home with if new dress r a new pair of shoes, At Christmas me, he sent a wagon to town filled 1th empty barrels to fill with lire orks for the children' In his family Negro chll- nd for all the little ren on his farm. The bill for the fireworks alone •ould run as high as $300. Osceola as never known a more, generous, Indly person and at this- particu- ar.season of the year. Old residents re reminded of his generosity to .11 the needy families In town. He always I had his 'land deep In hh pocketffor any charity need. J. D. Driver, who was Mrs. Qulnn's grandfather,, came to Arkansas In 934. He was the son of Abram and Sallie CDeMoss) Driver. They came o the slate from Tennessee by flat»at down the Cumberland river and during a storm were blown up against the landing at Council Bend 'n Crittendcn County. After a llt- lle investigation, the elder Mr. Driv- ir discovered a fnie body of land at this point, and decided to sta 1 there and make his home. There were 1,000 acres in this tract belonging to the government. Mr 3river paid $1.25 an acre for It iVIth their three children, they settled there. Later, four children were born to them. The family set bravely to work :o improve their land. Eleven years later he died, leaving his wife to carry on the work he left not completed. Four years later, she died. J. D. Driver, who .was the sixth child In the family, had very little schooling ns there were no public schools in those days. However, his iwo older brothers and sisters were sent away to school during their father's lifetime. After the death of their mother the family scattered In all directions and for two years, Mr. Driver drifted around from one place to another. He finally settled In Lauder•Ie County. Tenn. where he bought farm and made his home there from 1858 to''l872. During that time 1860, he married Miss Sarah Gllles- ple/Mrs. George Dillahunty of Blytheville is one of the descendants of that branch of the Oillespie fam- The money Mr. Driver realized from his father's estate amounted to S3.5DO. He invested it all In slaves a short time before the Civil War Consequently, when the slaves were freed he lost everything he had. One o! the members of the Driver family .now have In their possession a billot sale their grandfather had In his possession for the purchase of the slaves. During the war, Mr. Driver sent his slaves to Alabama for safekeeping and It' was while they were In Alabama that they were freed. The ex-slaves made their way back to him and continued working for him. , uriied over 1,600 acres of land to ilm, with 1,500 acres of It' heavy Imber. He was young and ambitious and began clearing up the land and building houses on It. Laler he added a saw mill and a gin and was employing 7J persons :o help with the work. In 1883, Mr. and Mrs, Qutnn's parents had a double wedding In the old Union Church, that was the only church In Osceola at that time. A big celebration was held after the ceremony at the Ladies Aid Hall. Mr. Qulnn's mother, who was Miss Mattle Speed,, was'a niece of the late "Uncle Billy Hale." Mrs. Qulnn's mother who was Miss Madle Williamson was also a niece of "Uncle Billy Hale", "so that's how everybody in Osceola became klnlolks,' smiled Mr. Qulnn, "And to make matters more complicated," added Mrs. Quinn, "Ed and I. didn't help the situation. We weren't the only cousins In the family who married, but since you nrcn't writing up the Hale-Drlver- Qulnn history, we'll -let matters drop there," she added. Going back to Mr. and Mrs Qulnn's school days, when (he late Senator H. T. Caraway taught In Osceola brought back memories to them. f Mr. Caraway was living In Hor- nersvllle. Mo., and decided he would apply for the vacancy In Osceola chool. There was no railroads ere then and he rode Into town n an old mule to apply for the Job Ir. Qulnn's father, the late J. W. ulnn, was on the school hoard nd when Mr. Caraway tied his uile to the old hitching post and alked In Mr. Qutnn's home and sked for the job, Mr. Qulnn gave to him without asking for any efercnces.-He said if a man want- d a Job enough to ride a mule irough the wilderness of Arkansas, he Job was his (or the asking, fr. Caraway's salary was $40 a onth. Mr. Qulnn's sound Judgment In all matters was tl»: rea- he served on the Osceola chool board for 35 years. As Ida Mae Driver, Mrs. Qulnn nd Mr. Qulnn attended school in ^rkadelphla for a year, along with line boys and girls from. Osceola. ihe was 12_and he was 14. The ollowing ye'ar, she attended the ashlonable. "Miss Higbee School or Girls." The next year, her par- nts sent her to Forrest Park Unl- 'ersity In St. Louis. Ground was icing broken for the St. Louis Vorlds' Fair while she was In chool. She remained there four ears. In 1908, , Mr. and Mrs. Qulnn's /edding was the social event of the season. There were eight brldea- At the death of Mr. Driver, he was the wealthiest man In Mississippi County, his thousnnds 'and thousands of acres of land extenrtec from Crittendeh County to south- any as 25 or 30 extras, to spend Christmas Eve. Negroes stayed up all night keeping logs blazing on the Immense fire places and children were scattered all over the place sleeping on pallets. That was before sinus. Maybe their noses did run but that was associated days. with children in those The old bachelor In the family, the late Walter W. Driver, uncle of Mrs. Quinn, who at one time in stilled that in His children from the time they were able to talk uhtl large his death. He left such family it would take more space than I am allowed to use to write about the family, but someday somebody will 'write an entire book about this family. Mrs. Quinn's father, the late Ab ner Driver, was.a graduate of Eas Tennessee University, which Is now the University oi Tennessee In Knoxville, but his heart was alway -but this part of lectcrf the yard which was a sliow for the COURIER NEWS in i Osceola, call BILLY BEALE, 567-M We deeply appreciate the loyal associations of the many friends whom We have served during the past year; we extend to one and all — our sin- cere-st and most cordia! ... HOLIDAY GREETINGS PatO'Bryant Jewelers In. Qulnn, "After the wedding, the entire bridal party boarded the afternoon rain and went with us to MemphU on our honeymoon," added Mr, Qulnn. Isn't that the darnest thing •ou ever heard?" I aireed It was. "We all registered at the Gayoso Hotel where a wedding supper vai waiting us. During Ihe m«al two of the couples decided they would get married too and really make > celebration out of It. After we went all over Memphis hunting for preachers to perform the ceremonies, it was almost daylight when we got back to the hotel. We three couplei stayed a week at the hotel. We all had friends and relatives and were highly entertained during that week. The old Lyceum Theatre was operating at that time and we had boxes reserved during,the entire week. "When we came back home, we boarded for a month until our new home was completed. That was the first house in Osceola to have a bath room, although my father had the firet water works In town, the water wasn't good to drink as It was pumped from his Ice house, which was also the first one In town." Mr. Driver had a 20 year franchise with the city to operate the light nnd water system In Osceola. During this time, he built a public bath house. There were three tubs for women and three tubs for men. They were Installed in the ice house and the charge was 2S cents, which included soap and towel. There was also a grist mill at the Ice house. "With my father owning the water and light plant, Ed nnd I thought we would get lights free and the first month In our new home which we kept lighted up like R steam boat, to show It off. We got a bill for MO. "My parents." continued Mrs. Q\llnh, "had the first automobile in Osceola. I never shall forget It. It seven passenger Premier. There were no doors to It and the tights burned on carbide. Papa had calliope Installed In It for Mama to play. I can see her now In that duster and chiffon Veil flying In the air and playing on that thing," laughed Mrs. Qulnn. "There were so many of us children it took the seven-passenger car to hold us and I can well Imagine now what a sight we made rldlpg down the street with Mama playing the calliope. "On 'our parents 30th anniversary, we gave them a big party and In the mldfit of it, the dynamo at the light plant burned out leaving ui in total darkness and breaking up STARR GAZING Christmas U » beaullful heritage handed down (or centuries and will continue to bt handpd down lor centuries to come. We always associate Charles Dickens with Christmas, probably because he loved the season and he loved people from all walks of life. To htm, Christmas was not only a holiday but a time to express his love and thoughts to others and give the simplest gifts he could find hut which appeared as though they were made (or that particular person. Expensive gifts do not prove anything; It's the sincerity, love and faith you express In sharing wltli others that counts .There are stll! some who say Christmas has become too commercialized and that the day Is nothing but a date printed In re<i on their calendars. They are the folk who never really enjo; Christmas In the first place and si- ways are glad when It's over— even though they ale dinner In a hotel. was not crucified upon a crow of hat shape .although his saints were. It Is a Salrit Andrew's cross symbolic of the cross on which Saint Andrew died a martyr. Happiness belongs to no one particular family, nor is It ever Inherited; but. It is within the reach of every individual, Borne people give happiness when they enter a room and there are plenty of those who give happiness when they leave a room. The happiest families are those who aren't worried if their nigs wear out or that the dining table pedestal shows a scuff mark —that's an example of a happy family, and where friends dropping in are never lacking. What won't they think up next to make dolls for real? I've seen those that say mama, how old fash- Ion can you get? Those that walk, say Ihetr prayers, cry real tears (that's what the sales lady said), take their bottles and burp, wet their pantx, and now—listen to this —they are maknig them now with an honest-to-goodness heart heat. Next Christmas they probably will have them riding real honest-to : goodness horses or driving midget cars or maybe attending school. It may be true that all men nre fools, I can't argue that, but I do know.they're not reminded of the fact so often If they sUvy single. There Is it deep significance" In the way we write the word Christmas when we put It "Xinas." Christ A lot of people's idea of religion Is about like a bunch of mistletoe growing on a dormant tree. Purely parasitic. They edpend too much on the preacher giving them a week's supply in one easy lesson. The lunatic, the lover and tho poet nil have something in common. Their imaginations run away with them. 'Take each man's censure, but use your own judgement. No legacy Is so rich as honesty. Half the world Is on the wrong scent In looking for happiness. That half think it consists In having and getting, nnd In being served from a silver plotter. The other half thinks it should flow like gas to them with no expense on their part for tho piping. The respect, of another,Is the first See STARR GAZING on Page 10 maids, maid of honor and two ma- rons of honor, each with an escort. Instead of the reception fol- ovving the wedding as Is the cus- om of today, the reception was leld the evening before. This was he first dinner-dance ever to be given in Osceola and for years and 'ears was talked about. • ^ The dining room In the old BeaTI lotel was the setting for.the event. The men in the bridal party gave the affair. After the supper, the dining room was cleared and Handy's hand furnished the music for the dance. Mr. and Mrs. Qulnn were presented a of ullver which :ontalned twelve tablespoons. "Now, they say four It sufficient," smiled the party. The party almost came to a climax when we served supper. Finger bowls hud just come in style and I thought it would add Rome- thing extra special to the anniversary supper by using them. "Nobody knew what they wer« for and when somebody finally picked up one and drank out of it everybody at the table followed suit and I went off Into my bedroom and cried." Mr. and Mrs. Qulnn celebrated their Mth wedding anniversary last January and two of the bridesmaids, the maid of honor, the two matrons of hondr attended the celebration. Mrs. Nora Borum, now M, also was there. She had decorated the old °T -L'- <-^0- WV4k- ClvuL cxLL UlXtTLCoJi. "the, MJtGJV, a 1-4-1 I I D 4- vu-ecUXH, <y\. aao-cL, AO-tUt^e,, r od, OKAXrt-/ __. „,. ' ^ the B; F, Goodrich Store , On the Social Side... Mr*. Bairon HoKiess Mrs. Dale Barren was hostess to the Thursday canasta - luncheon club when It met at the 50 Club for fried chicken luncheon. The club room was, decorated for the occasion in glitter-sprinkled magnolia leaves Interspersed with red nan- dlnn berries. Mrs. E. H. Rllcy and Mrs. Bob Otllesple won top scores In the games. Dinner Dance Held Highlighting the Christmas par- tie* given during the holidays was Baptist Church on Broadway for the big wedding. In the receiving line with Mr. and Mrs. Quinn were their son and his wife, who is the fqrmer Miss Jean Fisher of Blythevllle, and their three children. The ntory of this family could go on and on, as there Is never a dull moment In their lives 'and for those who don't bellev< In i Santa Claus, drop by the Qutnns during the holi- dayi and youll change your mind. the first anniversary dinner-dance at the 50 Club Saturday night. Awaiting the guests upon their arrivals was the Yuletlde smorgasbord on a lengthy table draped with an alencon lace coyer. The central decoration was on i tree made from glistening Christmas baubles. At cither end, eper- gnes filled with red carnations held burning red tapers. The club room featured a winter wonderland scene. Frosted mag- ; nolin leaves, tied with satin ribbons and silver bells were clustered around the walls. The mirrored plaques about the room were snow touched and holding Christmas greetings. Boughs of magnolia, depleting rnlng trees were cornered around : (he room, and were also touched with snow. Mrs. Uoyd Godley and Mr». Bob Gillespie were hostesses. Bridie Club Meela Mrs. Dick Bagby entertained her bridge club for luncheon Wednes- Sce OSCEOLA NEWS on Pay* I* W E E'RE counting among our many blessings Ihe privilege to enjoy your friendship, good will and patronage ... • V V E wish you all Ihe joys and happiness o[ Christmas. May yours be a Mew one! Arkansas Paint & Glass Co. Blytheville, Ark. Phone 2272

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