ARIZARD-L ArchivesArchiver > ARIZARD > 2007-08 > 1186874549
From: "Vera Reeves" <>
Subject: [ARIZARD] interesting article
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 2007 18:22:29 -0500
July 23, 1953 Melbourne Times - Melbourne, AR
Article by J. A. Roberts
Aunt Sinda Tate at 97 Still Does Her Own Milking
Aunt Sinda Tate, who is 97 years old, visited Mr and Mrs W. M. Pittman, both 83 in Lafferty last Sunday. It was the first visit she had made to the community in eleven years, although she lives only two miles away.
Mrs Tate, who is one of the oldest residents of this county, is the daughter of John and Mary Francis, who came to Arkansas from Mississippi in 1859, and settled on little Lafferty Creek.
They arrived at Batesville by boat and the family walking, according to Mrs Tate’s story, from Batesville to the farm they bought on this creek. As the story goes, it required one man to carry the money bag containing the amount used to by the farm. They bought their farm from Uncle Richard “Dick” Williamson, father of the late William “Bill” Williamson. They paid $1,200 cash for the farm which is known as the Francis Place.
Mrs Tate says she can remember Uncle William “Bill” Davis, one of their neighbors, a settler, who was there when they came to that part of the country. She recalls that he beat his corn on the top of tree stumps to make bread meal as there was no mill to grind corn nearby. Mr Davis was a great uncle of Rev. W. E. Davis, present pastor of the Sage Baptist Church. He came to this part of Arkansas in the early 1840’s from Kentucky.
Mr Davis cleared land for his crop, but did not fence it. There were very few domestic animals in the country at that time and the forest was full of wild animals such as deer, bear, panthers, and other beasts. Since it is believed that most wild animals have a great dislike for the scent of dead bodies of their species, Mrs Tate recalls that Mr Davis would kill bears and place their heads at intervals around his crop. As the bears have a great liking for corn, especially in the roasting ear stage. By this means, reports have it, Mr Davis protected his crops in the winter.
In spite of her age, Mrs Tate has a clear memory of events from her childhood until now. Through feeble, she walks about the house and yard and does her house work. She also still milks her cow. She lives with her son, Myrl, on the same place her father bought when the family came to Arkansas in 1859.
A short time ago their hired man was late in coming to harvest hay so Mrs Tate got the pitchfork and helped in the hay until the man came.
Mrs Tate remembers the slaves of the Civil War days and many unhappy events of that troubled time.
Though her eyesight is poor she still takes the Melbourne TIMES and keeps in touch with the activities in the county.