The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on August 4, 1954 · Page 2
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 2

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, August 4, 1954
Page 2
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PAGE TWO BLYTHEVILLE (ARK.) COURIER NEWS WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4,1954 OSCEOLA NEWS St ar, You Think You've Got Troubles? Compare Them, to Mrs. Martin's Have you ever felt sorry for yourself, and thought you were having all the tough breaks and that your children didn't get the opportunities that the other children got and that nobody in this big, wide, world had as many troubles and hardships as you? If all of these things sound familiar, you'll prob- vably change your tune after reading the life of Mrs. Ruby Martin. I'll never again sympathize with a member of the fair sex when her permanet turns out frizzy or that the color of her nail polish doesn't suit her personality. Mrs. Martin's troubles weren't the unimportant kind that upset a lot of women, but the kind — or kinds — that very few men could endure and no women at all. With all the hardships and sorrows, Mrs. Martin was faced with — and t&ey were of every description — she should be awarded a chest full of medals for her bravery, over and above her duty. I don't know how this story will affect some, but to me it is reassuring to find someone who went through life, such as she had, can come up smiling and counting her many blessings. If a person ever had the test to prove her endurance, Mrs. Martin would certainly stand at the head of the class. * * * TO BEGEST with, her mother died when she was 16 months old and her older sister was not quite three years old. Their father remarried ten months later. With so many thinking step-mothers are some sort of monsters, Mrs. Martin said no finer person in the world lived than her step-mother. She never knew the difference, even after two half-brothers and three half-sisters came along. She and her sister were shown exactly fee same consideration as the other children. The step-mother was old-fashioned in her ideas and beliefs and by being that way instilled in the children the better things of life, not in dollars and cents, but in terms of faith, hope and charity. Through her teachings, enabled Mrs. Martin to SXur- vive her trials and tribulations. Mrs. Martin was born in Alabama, but came to Arkansas at the age of seven and lived on a farm near England, where she entered the first grade in school. The law in Alabama kept her from starting, as the children in Arkansas do, at the age of six. Osceola really didn't matter. Mr. Martin's father lived with them and had managed to save bit! by bit, in preparation of the proverbial rainy day, so he used it to buy Mrs. Martin and the children tickts to go back to Bradley County and stay until either the scare of the levee breaking wa* over or it broke and washed away their every belonging or the Lord stepped in and saved it. * * * IN THREE weeks, the sun began to shine for the Martins. They came back to their little farm to build back fences that had washed away, painted the water marks out of their home and really worked STARR GAZING Having left my vacation money at the cashier's desk at the Methodist Hospital recently, I thought I might relive my first trip to New York City. The old beat-up Kodax book, I've kept hidden from my children, lo these many years, helped to refresh my memory. On the fly sheet was me, looking like a woman of the world (I was 14) it was in mid-July and a hotter day only happened this past twice as hard to make up for their! Ju] y-. Nobody traveled in style un- neither of the trunks had been op- been transferred ened but had from station to station until one of the said old maids demanded I send them back home. Poor Mama, but I was too far from home to argue. After that. I learned to live out of my suit case for the balance of the trip I didn't like what I overheard one of them say about Mrs. Ruby Martin when you have to, you can entered school in Conway that to Mississippi County. Ten months spring, but they did a lot of let- The family moved later to Bradley County, where they farmed on a small scale and operated a 15- cow dairy. The children did the mil! 'ng, which, of course was done before daylight so they could go to school. Instead of playing after school, those 15 cows were standing around waiting to be milked before supper time. Then i the milk and butter had to be taken into town (3V 2 miles away) to be sold, which fell to the other children to do, and that included Mrs. Martin. • * * MRS. MARTIN attended and was graduated from a consolidated school. Upon her graduation she entered Monticello A. and M College. The following fall, she began teaching school, near Pine Bluff. The school was an eight- month school, beginning in August. The following March, she entered Arkansas State Teachers College. She taught school in Brad- terms, taking correspondence courses and summer courses at Arkansas State College It was during that six years that she met her husband. He worked in Pine Bluff, but had originally come from a little community called Faith. Mrs. Martin's school was two and one-half miles from Faith and it was there she came to catch her train on Friday afternoons to go home for the week end. Faith community was an active little settlement, where church j socials and school programs j brought the entire countryside to-' gather. Mr. Martin came home on week ends to enjoy those functions as he and his family had always done. One night, at a school program, the building filled up long before the appointed time and when Mrs. Martin reached the building. Not being able to see what was going on, she stood on the seat. * * * A YOUNG man came in late and seeing her standing on the seat, asked if he might stand by her. Mrs. Martin thought he was a young man about town who had sent her word he wanted to meet her, so she was very "live about the whole thing. He asked her name and she answered by telling him she was sure he knew who she was and let it go at that, until after the program when a friend of hers introduced them. He wasn't the man at all who had sent her word he wanted to meet her, but was Ernest Martin, a man she had never heard of before. So fate brought the two together at Faith. They didn't see too much of one another after that as Mrs. Martin ter writing and it was through that mediurr that the two young people really became acquainted. Three and one-half years later they were married. Family affairs kept them from marrying sooner. Mr. Martin was associated with a hardwood flooring business and when t*e depression came, that business folded up among the first, so Mr. and Mrs. Martin went into the farming business which wasn't too good either at that time, but at least there was a house on the place which eliminated house rent and burning coal ou lamps was cheaper than paying electric bills and the timber on the place would supply their fuel. MR. AND MRS. Martin had three children while they were struggling to keep body and soul together. They were all born in or near Pine Bluff. The year the last one was born was one of their toughest years. There was not" enough to eat for the family during the winter. Mrs. Martin shelled corn, took it to the grist mill and with the dried beans and peas they managed to buy, they did have corn bread to go with them. The money earned for the bare I necessities came the hard way. Up! until 10 days before the baby was born, Mrs. Martin picked cotton to help Mr. Martin and give the other two children enough food to keep them alive, thinking this couldn't go on forever. The oldest of the children was only four years old and if the neighbors didn't watch after them, Msr. Martin had to take them with her to the cotton patch. There was not • enough money for a doctor when the baby came, so the neigh- later, Mrs. Martin wrote her sister that she would take her up on the proposition she made, but that they had no transportation nor money to make the move. Her sister borrowed a trailer and moved the Martin family. Cotton picking: during the fall of 1933 was only paying 35 cents a hundred, out Mrs. Martin's sister paid them 50 cents a hundred. They managed to get by during that winter and when spring came, they losses during the flood. The future looked a little brighter so Mr. and Mrs. Martin talked over buying a pair of mules to take the place of the one and only mule they had that died six weeks previously. That meant to go in debt for $250 but without the mules the children couldn't go through the mud and mire to pick them up, and, too, they were working every spare minute clearing land and sawing up the wood and they couldn't sell it unles they had a team of mules to pull through the gumbo. The late Clem Whistle had faith in the Martins and let them have the money for th« pair of mules. This was a big help to the children, especially as they had to walk two miles to catch the school bus, after the loss of the mule and by the time they walked through the rnud, leaving home before daylight during the winter months, with not enough money on hand to buy a flash light, they were a pretty muddy bunch and none of the other children would let them sit next to them. You know how children can be cruel. Mrs. Martin washed their clothes every night, dried them by the kitchen stove and ironed them long before a lot of folks turn over in their beds. They left home spotless, but before they were out of sight they would be wet and muddy to their waists, but they went to school, nevertheless, even though they each had only one outfit to wear. The daughter was valedictorian of her class when she graduated from. Luxora High School! IF YOU THINK nothing else could happen to Mrs. Martin, listen to this. Soon after they'went in debt for the mules and wagon, they had brought a load of wood to town and Were returning home with their week's supply of meat, meal and molasses, with the three children sitting on a plank run through the bed of the wagon. A drunken driver in a truck collided head-on with the Martins, completely demolishing the wagon and scattering groceries all over the highway. Even though dazed from the accident, Mrs. Martin had only saving their food on her mind so she began picking up the things that weren't ruined. Mr. Martin's leg was broken. The accident occurred on Dec. 11, 1937, following less they were dressed in a navy blue suit, weather or no weather, and that was a long, long time before air conditioned trains. On the opposite page, I was stanuing between the two old maids with whom I was allowed to make the trip. They warned me before I stepped up on the platform not to flirt with strangers and to look at the price on the diner menu before I set my head on ordering. My daddy had a grocery store and I didn't know food had to be paid for. They traveled light but not me — my mother sewed all winter for this trip and her creations were meant to startle Fifth Avenue, and they would have only I didn't get there with them. I had two trunks filled to the top with dresses suitable to wear to Buckingham Palace. By the time we reached Cleveland, 0., where we were to visit relatives, i my mother — that she should have had more sense than start me off on a trip with clothes like THAT. When I look ba~k on that trip, I'm perfectly contented to stay home this summer and relax in a wrap-a-round. On the Social Side Mrs. John White is a patient in were dinner guests Sunday of Dr. the Methodist Hospital. Miss Joanne Cullom left by plane Friday for Nashville to be the week end guest of the Rev. and Mrs. Tames Hawkins and their son. Jim. Mrs. J. H. Hook entertained two tables of bridge at her home Tuesday night. An ice course was served during the evening. Mrs. D. Ohlendorf is recuperat- What's this with the flat bosoms? That Christian Dior! He should live so long. His motive in life is seeing: if women are darn fools enough to follow his every whim, and you know what? Some are. Not so fast, old pal, it has taker me a long time, since the days I instead b~ brazen enough to talk about falsies as though they were something no family could be without, and now, even falsies are becoming nothing'short of a passing generation's whim. Time marches on and so does Dior. a "winding sheet" •'corset cover," to We. First her teaching license lapsed back in 1929. But Mr. Wilkins assured her that with the shortage of teachers he could get an emergency license for her. He would not take Mrs. Martin's excuses, so be~ fore he left she consented to take the job. The $85 a month job looked like manna from heaven. She could still run her farm and keep the teaching job, but after two years of keeping the candle burning at both places she rented out her farm. SHE BEGAN to get back her perspective on life and took up her college work where she had left off. For two summers she attended Arkansas State College and during the fall and winter she took correspondence courses. For seven years, Mrs. Martin continued teaching. After signing her contract for her sixth year, Mrs. See MARTIN'S on >a*e 5 .The first steamboat the "Pike, arrived at St. Louis on Aug. 2, 1817. The first American to enlist in World War I on Aug. 6, 1914, was Dennis Patrick Dowd and a more Irish name I've never heard. He died two years later in a plane crash near Saint Cloud, the day before he was to serve as pilot at the front. THE HOUSE ON THE HILL The once lovely house on the hill Is shabby and deserted now. Lonely winds cry through empty rooms A mass of weeds cover the lawn Where children romped quite happily. I loved this house and there I left A million memories with roots Planted firmly in my heart. And now it grieves me deeply To see it, thus . . . sad and lonely With only ghosts to fill the cold rooms And my heart. — Gwyndolyn Smith ing at he home following a recent illness. Mrs. H. J. Levenstein was hostess to the Widows Pitch Club at her home Thursday night. Guests playing with the club were Mrs. Sam Coble, Mrs. Dick Cromer, Mrs. Bob Cromer, Mrs. Ely Driver and Mrs. J. A. Pigg. Mrs. Pigg won high guest prize and Mrs. A. F. Williams won the club prize. Cantaloupe a la mode was served during the evening. Colorful garden flowers were used in the decorations. Mrs. George Cone, Who underwent surgery recently, is now at home. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Stanfil and son, Lloyd, Jr., and Bob Morrow have returned home after touring the west. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Jones and daughter are vacationing in the western part of the state. They will return over the week end. Mrs. Tommie Ragland who is undergoing treatment' at the Methodist Hospital carne home over the week end. When she returns she will be hospitalized for the next three weeks. Mrs. Spencer uriver and her Cartwright's mother, Mrs. James Cartwright, in Memphis. Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hook and son are home after spending a week in Russelville as guest of Mrs. Hook's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Doa Barger. Mrs. Roy Butterick of Magnolia L visiting Mrs. D. Ohlendorf. Mrs. B'ltterick, the former Miss Fayc Stevens, taught school at Grider for a rumber of years. Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Riley, Jr., were Sunday guests of Mr. Riley's parents in New Madrid. From there they drove to St. Louis to spend several days with Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Richardson. Mr and Mrs. Billy Barber, and Mr. and Mrs. Roy Anabel spent the week end at Bear Creek. Miss Lily B. Terry of Jackson, Miss., was a guest in her sister't home for a week. Upon her return home she and her sister, Mrs. Georgie Balloue, spent Thursday and Friday shopping: in Memphis. Miss Terry then left for her home in Jackson and Mrs. Balloue returned to her home in Osceola. Mrs. Albert Behrens of Bentonville, Ark., has returned home after a visit here with her brother, Judgf S. L. Gladish. Mr. and Mrs. Wade Quinn, two sons, Wade, Jr. and Ed, and daughter, Becky, of Memphis were dinner guests of Mr. Quinn's mother, Mrs. Ed Quinn. Abner Driver of-Memphis drove up from Memphis to visit his sister, Mrs. T. P. Florida, Sunday. Mrs. Florida is ill at her home. Dr.. Eldon Fafrley and sister, Miss Vivian Fairley, have returned sister-in-law, Mrs. Vernon Win- h onie after a two weeks tour ton of Memphis, are attending the Municipal Opera in St. Louis, this week. They will be the house guests of Mrs. Driver's daughter, Mrs. Marshal Kline, and family. Mr. and Mrs. Hale Jackson of Kansas City were special guests Thursday night when all members of the Seminole Club held their regular monthly buffet supper- dance. Pink and white lilies were used to decorate the club house. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Edrington and Mr. and Mrs. Ben Butler, Jr., have returned home after a two- week vacation in Sea Island, Ga. Mrs. O. C. Brewer and daughter, Miss Margaret Brewer, of Helena, were Sunday guests of Mrs. Joe through the west. Mrs. Louis George and children are home after spending two weeks in Bay Minette, Ala,, visiting Mrs. George's parents. Mr. and Mrs. P. D. Johnson and sons are home after a two-weeks vacation in the Smokey Mountains and Myrtle Beach, N. C. Mr. and Mrs. Bard Edrington and children arrived home today after a vacation in Florida. Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Erwin and daughter, Madeline, are vacationing in Florida. Those attending thfe two day Parent-Teacher Association workshop in Jonesboro Monday and Tuesday Mrs. were Mrs. Carrol, Watson, Rhodes, Sr., and Dr. Frank P. D. Johnson, Mrs. Charlise Lit- Rhodes. I tie, Mrs. Bob Bailey and Mrs. Dr. and Mrs. Vance Cartwright John Ed Phillips. made a share crop. They contract- j tne flood experience. her through. Always looking for a brighter tomorrow Mrs. Martin began planning on the things she could do, come spring. First, was to plant as big a garden as they could spare the ground to plant it on. This being done in due time, an idea struck her to can on the halves, since she had no money to buy the jars, she had ran an ad on the trouble shooter column (which was free) of the Pine Bluff Commercial, asking for jars and in return she would divide her products. Enough jars were offered to circle Arkansas, but as things were going at the best a jar broke in her hand, which stopped her from canning any more during that summer. MRS. MARTIN'S sister living in Luxora came to be with her when the baby was born and, seeing the destitute circumstances the Martin family was in, insisted on them leaving Jefferson County and come ed that year for a 50-acre farm that had never had a tree taken off of it, but the family cleared 12 acres that first year. Mr. and Mrs. Martin sawed up the wood and would bring it into Osceola to sell. She worked harder than a lot of men, using a swing blade and a cross-cut saw and clearing up new ground. This was a far cry from the girl who attended college for a school teacher's ca- rer, but, as she said, we never know what we can do until we're faced with* problems such as she had. THINGS were cheap back in those days and for several days work of sawing wood into fireplace and stove wood, she and Mr. Martin would drive their team to Osceola and peddle from house to house and then go by the grocery store and buy food for their children with the money from the wood sales. Mrs. Martin said she didn't see how things could get worse, but they did. Their next catastrophe was the flood of 1937. Living between Victoria and Osceola in those days was like living a million miles from nowhere. If I might add a familiar expression. I'd say she went through hell and high water on that 40-acre farm to £ pr - it cleared. She was determined not to move out of her house during the flood, but when water was everywhere she could look and everybody in the vicinity was leaving, she decided she'd better go, too, before it was too late. She, Mr. Martin and the three children had become so accustomed to being on the short end of everything that being practically herded into the refugee camp in Christmas was nearing and the children were expecting, as all children do, big things, but the money Mrs. Martin was saving for a feu cheap toys and fruit, went for doctor bills. Christmas night, through all the trials and tribulations that seemed to follow the family, Mr. Martin had a nervous breakdown and her daughter's eighth birthday, he was taken to the State Hospi tal. Then it seemed there was nothing left to do but sell out their small interest in the farm they had worked so hard to clear so they could have something: of their very own. * * * FOR THE next five years, Mrs. Martin tried to do Mr. Martin's work as well as her own. She plowed the fields and gathered the crop with the aid of her three children. In 1942, the war came along and school teachers were leaving then- profession to seek work in defense plants where the money was flow- j ing in a much bigger stream. j The late T. D. Wilkins knew j that Mrs. Martin had once been a I school teacher so he drove out to j her farm to talk to her about a ! vacancy in Lowden, a one-room school 10 miles northwest of Luxora. When he found her, Mrs. Martin was pulling cotton for dear life. Every penny counted to her, so instead of buying a pair of gloves to protect her hands from the cold (they had become toughened to the cotton pulling) she had taken rags and tied each finger separately and was wearing a pair of old pants. When Mr. Wilkins approached the , subject of school teaching, Mrs. | Martin offered every excuse possi- i FAUBUS Thursday Nighl-Blylheville Court House 7:30 PM o rompt DELIVERY SERVICE Phone 3-4507 Hour*: 8 a.m. to I p.m. Went Malfi St. WILSON'S TV & Radio Service Guaranteed Service AD TV and Radio* (home or auto). Phont 1.4237 Day or Nlfht 114 So. Fint—Inffrtm Bldg for the COURIER NEWS in Osceola, call BILLY BEALL, 567-J Hear Mr. Faubus Discuss Many Issues that are of Great Importance to Mississippi Countians O This address will be carried Over KLCN-FM and FAUBUS (Political Adv. F»M For By Orral F»ih«*]

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