Gladys McCullough Alexander:
Looking Back at the Long Ago


Memories on Parade

Meet the Family

A Town is Born

The Growing McCullough Family

A Church Becomes a Reality

A Closing Word

The Man Called Guelcksie

A is for Arthur

The Coffin House

Poet and Philosopher -- Aged Seven

The Two Room School House

Open the Windows and Open the Doors

Sixteen Girls in White

Four Girls and Five Boys

The Poet in Hot Water

Windows Open for Edith

The Great Decision

Bo Peep




As my father's business interests grew and marked his success, my mother's duties grew to keep pace with them. Imagine a house with nine rooms and five porches, seven children in all ages between twenty and two, cows to be milked every day and driven to pasture, called home at milking time in late afternoon, garden chores, meals in the big dining room three times a day, canning season, sewing, mending, ....... and no electricity for appliances or refrigeration. She was a small woman but undaunted. I never saw her rest during the day. When she sat for a bit on the front porch in the afternoon she mended clothing, shelled peas, and sang at her tasks.

How well I remember her clear, pretty voice as she worked in the garden in late afternoon singing:

"It may not be on the mountain side, nor over the stormy sea,
It may not be on the battle front, but my Lord will have need of me;
And if by a still small voice He calls, to paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, Dear Lord, with my hand in Thine, I'll go where you want me to go."

Clothes were washed in the open. Mittens and puppies were all over the back porch, chickens were everywhere, and eggs had to be gathered every day. Cooking was done on a big wood range, but she sang:

"Take the name of Jesus with you,
Child of sorrow and of woe.
It will joy and comfort give you,
Take it then, where ere you go."

My father made every /\ effort [penned in] to find help for her. Once he made a trip to Walnut Ridge and found a black family of three, Jim, Mary, and teenage Minnie. he built a house for them near the big house but within a week Jim came to him with an anonymous letter telling him to leave town within three days. (I believe Alicia has never had black residents.)

The solution to the help problem was chores for every member of the family. Promotions were in order with each birthday. I will never forget my delight when I was elevated from the chore of cleaning the kerosene lamps to being allowed to strike matches and light them and to carry a lighted lamp upstairs at bedtime.

And so it went - from milking cows to helping a toddler get dressed in the morning, from feeding the chickens to sweeping porches.

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Copyright 2011 Ellen Wilds, all rights reserved. Redistribution and/or reuse terms of license. Disclaimer for this document: "Gladys McCullough Alexander: Looking Back At The Long Ago is published here with the permission of Ellen S. Wilds and transcribed by her, December 1999. The materials published here are presented "as is", without warranty of any kind to the extent permitted by applicable law, and without any promise of validity and/or accuracy."