KeywordsAlabama--Social life and customs
Alabama Writers' Project
Dale County (Ala.)
United States. Works Progress Administration
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AbstractFolder contains 15 pages of Alabama short stories compiled by George S. Barnard for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the late 1930s.
• • • • •• A History of Dale County,Alabema • ---000--- Page.No.__ A I7ELFARE WORKER'S DAY (Continued,page.no.2) Yesterday I ran into so msny differsnt kinds of cases, thst, svsn tho I sm s Presbrberian, I hope the Same thing doesn't happen today. I left about 8;30 yesterday and wsnt out ebout 12 miles on the paved rosd to Echo, and then took a dirt road to the Lewis SchJol House community, and visitsd the Bandean family. Thay are white people. The res son for my visit wes that Urs. Bendeen's daughter had an illegitimate child, a boy, and in my work it WaS necessary to go out there occasionaly end sorter supervise the Care of this child. In other worda, check up on how the child was being traated and getting along. You want to know about the history of this csse7 Well, Mr. and llrs. Bendeen are tenant farmers, and ths mother of ths child is a daughtsr of Urs. Bandeen by her first husband; she and "her present husband having bs married abollt '1 years, 8I.d t:'~:1 hev • a girl eight years old, and a boy five, but this particular child _s only about s year and a half old. They ars not recsiving any county assistancs, nor are they on relief, but the supervision snd csre of this child comes under ~y gurisdiction. r. Bendean farms on"Halves", the "old Way" which maens that the landlord !tIrnishes ths land and a place to livs, and half the sssd and fartilizsr, and tha tsant doss all ths work; the tsnant ususly buys ths stock, for which the landlord eithsr furnishss or ths tsnant buys it on credit; Hs runs what is csllsd sons mule crop, that is hs cultivatss about thirty to forty scres, which is about two thirds cotton,and the • • A History • • of Dale County, Ale bama. Page.No • • ---000---- -A WELFARE WORKER'S DAY ( Continued, page no.3) balance is in corn, peanuts, potatoes, snd othsr crops. Th y livs in e three room unpainted frame houee, which is not~ ceiled, and tha entire houee hee only one window in it with gla $ in it; there ie a fire place in ona of the bad-rooms, and a stove in the kitchen. Thay all liva right thsra, :r.& :"rs • Eendesn, the two~ ths bsby's mother • children of thsir own, snd this particular baby; is now in Birminghsm in the Home up thers. This house hss absolutelJ no ssnitary co vsniecies--not eVen a privy-- or beck-house--not even a barn I They have to go to the woods 1 rlhicl, fortunately, are close by. heir w6ter su.'pl.' ie from a well, end the ater i~ drewn b~ lettin down e bucket, to hich is attached < ro e, whic', runa thru e ,ulley, an is '70und over a lOB, wit e handla to it. T' e '11 rbpably recevies some 11rfece et r w e it rains 1 The touee ie ver. 1 rl~ furnis ed, wit o"le ~ron e " e woode bed, d there are ver faw kitc en te"lsils. o .ver, ever.t i g i t 8 ou e, i c. d~. a. a tel, nor e rte1 s on • e 1 .< a, no r r "on t s f1 r. c een. 8 ress t air clothee re are Ver' • t e f1 tree eloos y. re re 0 flo ers in t e ere, ie eVers a • e ,le ir t sir eire at nees, • ir~ of s ruba, a'th h ra ere no or Fer'. " .)0 t l' nor e ta f r os, iti Ization a d f t're neells f t e ed t a elf re De srt e t t t to Q Q e r 8 a " a referred ter wea • r _nept, b 'rs. er: e d a a w s Sa! nct out lld. • • • A History of Dale County .A.1.abep;a. -0- Page No.,__ A WELFARE WORKER'S DAY (Contd.Pg. ~) They are penniless, had no property of any description, outsids of a few meager household furnishings, and are absolutely dependent upon their monthly A.D.C. allowance • &ll:ounting to about $14.00. This home bad no sanitary conveniencies, and the well. and its curbing wae so poorly constructed that surface waiter seeped into; the house leaked badly. As a result of which ths family kept con-tinuous colds and were verf much run down and sickly.and verf unhealthy. aid of an increase in their allow-anc~, they were able to d did move to a much better home in a good community, where I this day visited them. They now receive $16.00 per month. The new place they live in isaLso an unpainted frame house, in the rural section, was faily well built, had glass in ths windows, has a priT,Y, and a chicken house and a garden spot. They have recovered their spirite to a great extent, an, are taking a great pride in thsir new home, plantsd flowers in the • front yard, planted vines by the front porch, outlined the walks around the nouse, and even have a cheap rug for the front room! Since moving there thsy have practically no • colds, and their health bas improved one hundred per cent; in addition their spirite have improved wonderful!y on account of their social relations; they have neighbors; (she attended 27 peanut ehellinge the paet season 1) • and they have been accepted into ths social life of ths cOllllLunity, which, of course is very rural. The three largest childrsn go to school regularly and make ~ood grades, • • t , • A History of Dale County Alaba:r.a. Con t .,=P"-__ A Welfare Worker's Day Cont .E$. 6 and their health is gpod also. There have been no ~isbehaivor proble s prs~ented at all. and the children bear a good reputation in that neighborhood. Mrs. Wright is well tnught of, but she is inclined to De the helpless, dspendent, t~'Pe. end is taking quite a while to learn how to manaae without the leaderehip of her husband. Tne reason for ~ visit to this family on this day was a supervisor3 one to tind out if the children had entered school. and had their books and tne proper clothing, which I found they had, w1th the exception of tne litt~e girl who 11eece,:. "reRsee bh.• l·. Ths health of the children wae found to be good. n~ 0 eepecial proble~s had CODe up aince tl.e last visit was »£dei e. Wright reported that one of the ~rl 's wae in ~s. E. 's roo~ t ie ear at l-c1'.o ecrool, Fhe was afrc.id c ~i1 ht e:..ve E'o;;e tr ubl there, nIl trJS,t ""'0 £: of t-.c ch11~ren ~1"ecl us. 'lOt 1 ke h r. But I am of the opinion thie is just one of those rural school things. and the proble~ will pro~ly adjust itself later. I stayed there about an hour, but had to hurry back to Ozark to see Judge Dees. the Probate Judge of Dale County on a case involving do~estic relations. Wote: At this point of the interview a Deputy-saeriff called ~ss Waite to co~e to the Courthouse at once. so ehe had to leave hurriedly). Geo.S.harnard.Ozark.Ala. Dec.2-6--J.938 , ( • • COUITY --000-- IN BELL P '1E to. - In the early days and up to 1889 when the first railroad came to Ozark from Eufaula, being the Central of Jeorgia, freight was hauled by wagons, which were drawn by four mules; theese wagons would £radually get together on the way up until there would be eighteen or twenty in a train, from various small communities on the old road to Eufaula. l,Irs, J. L. "alker, aged 75 years, a re sident of Ozark, Ala., formerly an for over 70 years has live in this country, and ur n the t me the trains went by Baker n 11 (now in Barbour county)she 1 ved there, and re~embers quite well thes, wagon trains co=ing by her father's eOllw; it was an interest ng siJht; one could hear them coming a long way (own tee ,'oad, not only .from the no se and the s lout s of the dri ers, and t e dust hat arose, bat also from the ~ELLS. All the large freighters, that is those sh ppers w~o ad several wagons in the train, always ha a lea team, and there Was a ell attacl.e to the bSJ!Bess of the lead mule, which rang and tinkled at every movement. This ell waS roun an about the s ze of an oro nary dinner bell; tte top of it had two small p eces of iron f xed in a sem'-c rcle. Th ollar on the mule's neck ran up to a point, or po nts, at 'he top,ald a two sIDall brass knobs; the ames held the collar toJether; and • • • . • .~ ... A History of Dale County Alab8Jl'8. --000-- »,ge.llo.__ • -A F1 eh Baeket· (Contd.pQ:.3J • they would go out of doore and the early morning etar would be ehining eo brightly, an4he dew would be all over the grass, and it would be kinder cool; they would call'" ·Ruler·, who was the old hound dog that they all loved so well, and who always went With the on their trips; so~eti~es he would be away when they started out, and when they got back old ·Ruler· look would/like he had been insulted .' Anyway, they would start ofr towards the swamp and the river, whibb wae about a ~ile and a half fro~ their houss. /; ....e It would bS just ' and the chickens and the birds get up and cackle ,' anddp eing, and the crickete • uld II to • Sputter·: and away of hear the ttle low. --1hey , would go off down to the swamp thru the lane, and the fields, with the dew on the grass; they would finally co~e to the sw~p, and would gO down a little part and finally co~e to a littls stream of water, and it was very ~arshy all around it; and it was ~shy too; it -/ wae too wide to jump, although it wae very dsep, but she ~ had her 6hoes on so she couldn It wade it; anyway she was always afraid of snakes. So they had to cross th*s little stream by walking a foot-log acrOBS it; old ·Ruler· would always go ahead and scare away the Bankes J • ,• .. ---: '. A History 01 Dals County Al.abama • . --000-- Pags.Ho.,__ • !,.F,~is::h:...:B::a:.:e:.:k:.:.:.:.~· (Contd 'pg.# 6) to whsre thsy kept the boat, and hid it again, and tied" it up, and put the !"ieh in a eaok and started back homs. On the .ay thsy found ths old aLligator wallow, which had been ime, at least a few monthe, and it s-.lled aWful, and the place thie alligator went down to the river from his wallow looked like a broad path--it was jUB~ smooth thrQ&h the underorush of ihe swamp--, but they didn't stay around to find the allisator that morning. However another morning they all went down there to try to kill the alligator, that is, all the men did, but Ih. went along. But I will tell about that at some other time. They carried the fieh on home, and put them into barrels of fresh water,and ate them whenever they got ready, but, grandmother said they were always ready to eat freeh fieh, so they didn't last ver-.f long. When they got home it was just after day_break, and gre.t-grandmothsr was cooking breakfast of pan-cakes and ham and eggs. They wers vsry hungr-.f and sat down and ate lots. Wsll, sometime, if you want me to I will tell you about ths 'Coon hunt, and whsn the Red Bird got into Uncle John's pants and bit him on the belly, and when the rattle enakes got after him, and lots of talss like that which grandmother has told ms of what happened when she girl a long, long time ago. " Dec.8th,l938. •