My mind is wandering back now to remembering Uncle Frank Smith, Mr. Joe Bryan and Pop Denham. Thinking about one day in particular. The old fellows, of course, had to have a little drink every evening to kind of keep them revived. They'd sit around in Jack's Saloon and I'd usually sit around and talk to them.
Uncle Frank, Mr. Joe Bryan and Pop Denham were all way up in their eighties. In fact, I think Pop must have been ninety. They were there in Jack's just sitting around and I was there talking to them. The Methodist preacher, Brother Davis, came in and had the Bishop with him. The Bishop for the Methodist Church in this area was a big, tall man.
Jack's Saloon; Jack-far left
Brother Davis brought him in and introduced him to everybody and walked out of the saloon. Of course, we were all a little bit nervous with the Preacher and the Bishop walking into a saloon with all of us sitting there.
Uncle Jack McNair said, "I noticed, Uncle Frank, when they walked in you got up. Stood up for them." Uncle Frank said, "Yeah, dadblame, I wanted them to see I could stand up." Oh man, we laughed! Uncle Frank didn't want them to think he was drunk sitting there and couldn't get up.
If there was a good way to drink, I guess those old fellows drank it the good way. They never did get drunk but they had their little drink every day.
Everybody back in those days knew and remembered how Mr. Joe Bryan would walk right down the middle of the road. If a car was coming, it would either have to go around him or stop. If they blew the horn at him, he'd give them a cussin'. He used the road as his walkway. It was a wonder he never got run over. Many a time people had to just stop.
Somebody else I spent a good many hours talking to was Mr. Gus Krause. He could tell you a lot of interesting stories about happenings on the Island back in the late 1890s and early 1900s. He was a very interesting old fellow to talk to.
I remember one day, we were talking and I was telling him about me and my buddies, little pals, and where we used to swim. All of a sudden he got just as excited and said, "That was our swimming hole!" It was the same place he and his buddies used to go swimming; about fifty or sixty years before me and my buddies. Mr. Gus and his pals and me and my pals...same place, same happening. Hearing him talk about it made it seem like we could have all been there together.
It was Mr. Gus Krause's older brother, Mr. Henry Krause, who told me one time about the Sicily Island hills. He said many people didn't know it but a lot of people used to have camps and lived in those hills.
People from around Waterproof, St. Joseph, Newellton, Tallulah, Vidalia, Ferriday and all that low country had an idea back in those days that the low areas gave them the yellow fever. It could have had something to do with it. The mosquitoes were worse in those low areas than they were in the hills. People had these camps in the Sicily Island hills and would move here in the spring and summer. He even said there was a girls' academy out in those hills at one time back years and years ago.
Mr. Henry told me there were more people living here on the Island in the late 1800s than there are living here now (1991). It was thickly populated. Much more populated than in present times.
There were four Krause brothers; Albert, Henry, Gus and Oscar. Albert died at a very young age. Their father was named Gotleib Krause. He was from Germany. He'd been over here, living here, when the Civil War broke out and he was in the Confederate Army. His wife, Mrs. Caroline, was from New Orleans. She was German. All three of those brothers were good story tellers. Had good memories. They were all interesting to talk to.
Gotleib Krause tombstone
Caroline Therisia Herzer KrauseIf they were living today (1991), the youngest one, Mr. Oscar, would be over 100. I expect Mr. Henry would be close to 110, Mr. Gus about 106 or 107 and Mr. Oscar about 103 or 104 years old. They also had sisters. One was named Lina and one was named Gertrude and one was named Katie. The three boys lived here on the Island all of their lives. Mr. Oscar adopted a son, Ben Westerburg. Mr. Gus had a daughter, Augusta Taliaferro. Mr. Henry had three boys; Markham, Albert Earl and Freddy. Markham and Albert Earl are still alive and living on the Island today.
Mr. Henry had a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Markham didn't have any children. Freddy, the youngest of Mr. Henry's sons, had a couple of girls.
His son, Albert Earl, had three boys and three girls. They all had children and some of their children have had children. That's where the Krause family is marching on; through Mr. Henry's son, Albert Earl.
My grandfather captured the 50th wedding anniversary of Henry and Earle York Krause on film. The video can be viewed by going to the "Old SI Videos" Tab and clicking on the last video at the bottom on the left side of the page. (There is a time delay at the beginning of the video)
Note: Parts 1-9 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.