The following transcript is from the childhood remembrances of Flora Kathryn Crawford Eschenburg who was the daughter of Samuel Cooke Crawford and Rachel Victoria Seal.
Part One - Mississippi to Louisiana
I was born near Wesson, Mississippi, on December 13, 1912. I was the ninth child, and three more were to follow. The house in which I was born was a nice house for its day. It had a porch across the front and a big hall in the center.
My sister Dot was the baby, number ten in line. I recall the wicker buggy that we all took turns pushing. John and Addie Bell sometimes argued over who was going to be the one to push the buggy next.
Our mother was always a beautiful Christian and was interested in the church and Christian friends. One such friend was called Sister Morgan and was a self-proclaimed minister. She had two sons and she would bring them when she came to visit Mama. I thought it was interesting that they wore dresses. It was not unusual for small boys to wear dresses until they were out of diapers, but these boys seemed to wear them much longer, both in length and in time. Despite the dresses, we were always glad when they came and enjoyed their fellowship.
Papa was a talented farmer, and if it could be grown he could grow it. We had a large garden near the house. This stands out vividly in my mind, as I used to sit on the steps to the side porch and watch my mother gather vegetables. In 1914, when I was two, Papa decided to move to Louisiana where it was said the land was good for growing cotton.
Two other families joined us to make the move. Our band consisted of the Estus Evans family, the John Conn family and ours, the Sam Crawford family. Among the three families, there were seventeen children. Mr. Conn, Mr. Evans, my oldest brother, Bud, and the oldest Conn boy, Ellis, were elected to drive the teams and bring the wagons from Mississippi to Louisiana.
They spent five nights on the road. The last night was spent on the outskirts of the town of Ferriday, Louisiana. Late the next day, they reached their destination which was near Deer Creek. They traveled over narrow dirt roads, crossed the Mississippi River at Natchez and the Tensas River near Clayton, Louisiana, on a ferry, and forded several small streams along the way.
Mama and Papa, Mrs. Conn and Mrs. Evans, along with the seventeen children, traveled by train. That evening, Papa took the older kids out for supper. The policeman on the beat was amazed to see so many children following one man. He asked Papa if they were all his. Papa, always one for a good joke, said, "Yes, all mine!"
A few years later, a man from Natchez bought a farm near ours in Catahoula Parish. When he and Papa met, they recognized each other. Papa had some explaining to do because the man was the policeman from Natchez.To Be Continued...
Special thanks to Joan McLemore for allowing me to share her Aunt Flora's childhood remembrances. Joan is the daughter of Flora's older sister, Dell Crawford Meadows.