WPA Mollie Grove Smith
Writer: Edith L. Crawford,
Carrizozo, N. Mex.
Date: February 17, 1939.
Topic: Pioneer Story.
Source of Information:Mollie Grove Smith
I have lived in the State of
There were six of us children
then. We moved in a covered wagon and had all of our household goods and a coop
or chickens, besides the family. A family by the name of Willis left
When we got to
We traveled slowly and grazed the
cattle along. We came to the Lower [Peneasco?] and to the Upper [Peneasco?] and
Each family got a tent and we lived in these tents for several months until the men got houses built for their families. The houses were built of hand hewn logs with the roof made of boards rived by hand. At first the houses were just one big room with a large fireplace. I remember that my mother cooked on this fireplace and we depended mostly on the fireplace for light as well as warmth. Each man cleared a field and fenced it with split rails. My father cleared about twenty-five acres at first and enlarged his field each year. My father planted oats, irish potatoes and all kinds of garden stuff. The grass was about waist high then and my father cut grass hay with a hand scythe, to feed his horses through the winter months. I remember that we used to thrash out our seed oats with a pole or flail, as we called it. My mother and we children did most of the work on the farm. Father had good horses and he decided that he could make good money freighting. At first he had only one wagon, but before very long he got another wagon and team and my oldest brother Herbert helped him and drove one of the wagons.
One winter a man by the name of [Groeley?] came through by our place looking for a place to winter some cattle. My father had a lot of hay out so he decided to winter these cattle on halves. I do not remember how many of the cattle there were at first but my father got thirty-five head for his share in the spring. We were so proud of tho'se cattle.
After we had been on our homestead for about three years three other families located not far from us, two families named Hunter and one named Holden. That gave us quite a settlement. We had a post office then called Pine Springs and the first [post-mistress?] was Mrs. [Caleb?] Holden. I remember that an Indian carried the mail on horseback. I was just dreadfully afraid of him and he often stopped at our house to warm and sat. I always hid behind Mother's big quilt box until he left. Mother used to knit soaks and mittens and sold them to him for fifty cents a pair.
The men of the settlement built a log school house. I do not remember the name of the first teacher that I went to school to, but he was fat and bald headed. I remember at one time that at one time the Hunter, Holden and Grove family (ours) had a governess by the name of Elvira Kinney. There were sixteen of us that she taught and each family boarded this governess for a week at a time and she would go from one family to the other. Her salary was ten dollars a month and her board. She taught us for two summers.
There was a Baptist preacher in
the community that we all called Parson John Hunter. I have often heard my
father tell this tale on Parson John. Once just before Christmas when my father
had gone to
There was no doctor in the settlement. I remember once that my brother Luther got very sick and we did not know what was the matter with him. My mother and a neighbor woman took Luther and went to the [Mescalero?] Indian Reservation to a doctor. When they got there they found that the doctor was a negro. My mother was horrified but the baby was so sick that she decided to let the doctor prescribe. The doctor said that Luther had bone [erisipilas?] and that the bones would work out of his foot. Sure enough they did and my brother is crippled in that foot to this day. My mother was the mid-wife in our community and often was called on to doctor the minor ailments in the settlement.
As we children got older my mother
worried about not having better school advantages for us so she decided to move
When my father was freighting I
used to go with him once in a while on his trips. I remember once that my
oldest sister Olga and I went with father to White Oaks. Father
had oats, potatoes, garden stuffs, butter and eggs, to trade for groceries and
clothes. One of the merchants where Father traded gave Olga and me each a
little breast pin. We thought they were the grandest things and were very proud
of them indeed. We thought that White
Oaks was the biggest city in the
world. Another time I went with my father to
There were ten of us children, Olga, Herbert and Mollie, born in Tennessee, Sissala, Jimmie and Willie, born in Brown County, Texas, John, Howard and Luther, born in James Canyon, New Mexico, and Eppie Jean, born in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Seven of us are still living.
In 1895 my father sold his place
I was married in January, 1898, to
William Lee Smith. We have two sons, Leo and Orris, both born in
In 1900 my husband and I left
Edward W. Grove, who was president of the Paris Medicine Company of Saint Louis, Missouri, and who put out Grove's Chill Tonic and Grove's Laxative Bromo-quinine, on the market, is a first cousin of my father. I have a letter dated December 23, 1913, from Edward W. Grove to my father in which he sent a check to my father for $100.00, an a Christmas gift.
My father and mother moved from
NARRATOR: Mollie Grove Smith, Aged
60 years. White Oaks,
Edith L. Crawford,
CORRECTIONS ON PIONEER STORY OF
MOLLIE GROVE SMITH.
MAR 16 1939
Page 4. Paragraph 3. We moved to
Page 6. Paragraph 2. I have a
latter dated December 23, 1913, from Edward W. Grove to my father in which he
sent my father a check for $100.00 for a Christmas gift. This Edward W. Grove
was president of the Paris Medicine Company of