J. Allen Phillippi
By Karen (Phillippi) Cappone, daughter of J. Allen Phillippi
The following story is in my father's words and relates his "dealing" career and partnership with his father, Joseph William Phillippi. As many Marshall County residents may know, my father also taught math and science at both Moundsville Jr. High School and at Cameron High School, ending his teaching career in 1977.
The parents of Joseph William Phillippi were Joseph (Josiah) William Phillippi (1838-1884) and his wife, Lucinda Bungard, who had moved to Marshall County from Fayette County, Pa. Josiah had been in the Civil War - Company K of the 85th Penna Infantry - and contracted what was probably tuberculosis. If not that, it was certainly a lung ailment that was related to the months spent in damp, swampy environment. It was determined that he died from conditions caused by that service. He died in November 1884 and my grandfather, Joe, was born in April 1885. Joe married Hattie Grimes from Aleppo, Pa. They reared their family on what is still the Phillippi farm, located one mile from the Cameron Dragon football field at Clouston. My father, age 89, and his wife Evelyn Anderson Phillippi still live there.
JOSEPH WILLIAM PHILLIPPI
Coming to Marshall County, Joseph Phillippi worked for Lucinda’s brother John, by the day, living in a log cabin just around the turn in the road off the Dry Ridge road, toward Wolf Run. That road was between the Scherich and Wm. H. Martin farms. The rent, no doubt, was free, and no doubt he demanded a long day’s work. Neighbors thought Joseph was pretty much a slave.
John Bungard had other tenant houses and the Phillippis may have lived in one before Joseph died. My dad’s (Joseph William Abner Phillippi’s) earliest recollections were a house down the valley from the Victor Doman farm against the hillside, off the Dodds Ridge Road, best known as the McGinnis Farm. A good spring was practically in the house, with large flat rocks near the spring.
Grandmother (Lucinda) had marks on the porch with a stick so set, that the sun gave the time of day. In my father’s recall, Grandmother supplemented her $16 a month pension by doing washings, ironings and other household work for Scherichs, Domans, Bungards, and others. She was sturdy and probably did field work, also. The boys worked for farmers, hoed corn for .25 cents a day and went home for lunch. Dad had little respect for one particular neighbor boy in that he kicked the boys off the farm when they were caught picking chestnuts.
Grandmother applied for a back pension, which was evidently a long process. The cough and poor health of Grandfather was traced to his army days. How much the back pension may be determined by the amount paid for the farm in 1895. The Deed Book #47 states on page 64, $2200.
The older boys and girls attended school at Cross Roads near the Dry Ridge, Wolf Run intersection. Some of the boys and their sister Anna may have attended the Rock Lick School, just before the present school was built. The latter school would have been at the crossroads of Dry Ridge and Route 89. Stories told by W. M. Fletcher who attended the Rock Lick School, the boys who were in school, would run up home during lunch hour and run the horses to the watering trough and back, and back to school.
George and Henry sometimes worked at laying pipeline with good pay. George told of laying 6-inch line that crosses this farm (Phillippi farm @ RR 3, Box 269 in 2004) and the Ola Fletcher farm (East, up the valley) into the McClain Phillips farm. In the steep hill up to the Phillip’s farm, George dropped the pole in his end of the pipe. The pole could be heard sliding to the bottom of the line in the valley. No one ever told, so it’s probably still there today.
Lizzie and Ella, daughters of Joseph and Lucinda, worked at homes in the community. Lizzie moved in with an elderly lady on Dodds Ridge, by the name of Mary Jillet. Ella married John H. Winters, a huckster and grocer. (They lived on what I remember as the Doc Spitznogle farm, which adjoins Great-grandmother Lucinda’s. KC)
George and Joe dated Goldie and Hattie who lived at Aleppo, PA. Each had a horse (Hackney) that made a fancy matched team. They didn’t always date at the same time. When one or the other would drive the team (Mac and Fred), they would put on quite a show. Folks thought they must be wealthy. Truth was, the horses were about all they owned. They had only one buggy between them.
Some of the horses the boys bought to feed and fatten were often used before goals were reached. Joe told of one horse ridden on a date to Aleppo that couldn’t make it up the hill to the home farm, so one of the boys brought the horse home the next morning. The boys would tie a colt to be broken to another trained horse or team, drive them in plowed ground, tire the colt more than enough, then it could easily be put in to replace one of the trained horses in the team. Often the boys would work a new colt in the daytime and drive it on a date that night. Sounds cruel, but it wasn’t. The colt was tired, but fed properly and willing to learn commands without being destructive. When George lived at Rock Lick, he hitched a new colt, without help (none available) to a sled. The sled was maneuvered beside a corncrib. Then the colt was backed in between a broken horse that was already hitched, and the crib. It was tied to the other horse’s harness and the crib. After hitching the colt, it was loosed from the corncrib and the colt got an extended first lesson.
While on the subject of horses, the team, Mac and Fred, already mentioned, were bought at different places. The boys never knew if they were related, or not. They were near the same age and a most attractive team. The boys couldn’t turn down a fancy bid of $450 from a funeral home in Waynesburg.
Brother Aaron became paralyzed with polio at age 26. Whether he owned his horse, Trixie, at that time, or not, is not known, but this horse was one of the others he drove. One horse was struck by lightening along with a cow he had. From then on, he drove Trixie in the buggy, single. Trixie was well broken, but under certain circumstances, could pull a trick, balk, or turn too quickly in the buggy. Clair was often there to help hitch Trixie, but Uncle Aaron would manage on crutches if necessary. He would come to our house and drive us kids to the blackberry patches, tie Trixie to the fence, and help us pick.
Another favorite mare was Nell, dropped for Joe and Hattie about the time I was born. She was a black Morgan weight about 1200 lbs. She was broke both single and double for work and a cutting horse when driven to drive cattle. Here at this farm any new horse had to behave when hitched with Nell. Dad bought a perfect match for her and one wet spring morning he hitched double to the buggy to go to town. Mother (Hattie) had put out a washing and when the team came by, the clothes flopping in the wind, the new horse took off. Nell was on the side near the creek, trying to stop. The new horse crowded her near the bank near the hickory tree into Lough’s (J. R.’s) bottom field. The buggy pole and a strap or two were broken. Dad came back home, got a new pole, and repaired the straps and headed for town.
We raised one nice filly, half Perchron, from Nell. When driving cattle with Mr. Long, Dad was challenged time after time for a deal for Nell. Mr. Long had the money and knew horses. He also knew Dad would part with any livestock he had if the price was right. Finally, Dad said, “You don’t want this mare. She goes blind in the wintertime.” Nell was due her second colt and in the process of delivery, she got down in a slip, struggled and died. Dad was in Pittsburgh at the time and was quite disappointed. Mr. Santee bought the filly and matched her with a half-sister he bought from Mr. Henry Phillips. They made one of the best teams in the country.
After Anne’s death in 1908, Clair and Aaron lived on with Grandmother. Lizzie was at Mrs. Jillet’s. After Aaron’s death in 1921, of pneumonia, Clair was working away most of the time. Wendell (Henry’s son) attended school at Rock Lick and he could help Grandmother. The boys at Maynes would fill in on weekends when Wendell was home. After Grandmother’s death in 1923 and Mrs. Jillet’s death shortly after, Lizzie came home to make a home for herself and Clair. In 1925, Joe bought the farm from the brothers and sisters and Clair was given his share at this time, or maybe before, in cash. Deed Book #180 Page 75.
In the late teens and early twenties, my family would attend Clouston Methodist Church on Sunday morning, go to Grandmother’s for Sunday dinner, and to the Rock Lick Church in the afternoon. The other Phillippi families were often there, too. Many of the Sunday afternoons in the summer would be spent with our family taking Grandmother to visit relatives or to Jillet’s to visit with Lizzie, or just for a drive. Dad and us kids would drop in oftentimes during the week. Grandmother always wanted to fix a lunch but if it wasn’t lunchtime, just fix a “piece”, maybe salt-rising bread, home made butter and brown sugar. Grandmother as well as Aunt Lizzie always kept two cows, each freshening at different times of the year, so that milk was always available the year round. They would sell veal calves and butter. The cows were always fat and the envy of others. The butter was churned in the room off the kitchen, or in the cave back of the house. The cave was mostly above ground with an almost flat roof. We kids would climb up on the roof and pick sweet apples from one end and blue plums from the other end. There were two kinds of grapes on the back fence.
The early twenties were active with business, but there was plenty of time for visiting with neighbors and being with family. Often visits and business were mixed. The family would go on buying trips when roads were good. Often visits were to and from families whose husbands were buying sheep for\from Dad. They were Arthur (Doc) Clark, Loudenville, John Ingram, Wolf Run, John Carter, Ninevah, Charlie Jones, Claysville, Ceef Tustin, Pine Bank, Charlie Spragg, Waynesburg, Jim Bryant, Belmont, Ohio, a Mr. Graham, Waynesburg, brothers Henry and George, and brother-in-law John Boone.
Three or four years of trade to the western ranges, through Jim Bryant, we moved thousands of sheep. One year, 1924, over three thousand head were delivered, one day in particular, 450 head, loaded in freight cars. It was my (Allen’s) job to crawl in the shallow space of the double-deck freight cars and crowd the sheep back in the car so more sheep could come in from the center. These were all Marino, fine wool and from flocks around here, which may have numbered 3, 4, 5, or six hundred. Many of these were ancestors of today’s western ewes that are shipped here. All were driven on the road except those that were cut. The pick-up was usually behind for picking up the tired ewes on long trips. If the drive took two days, the sheep were left in someone’s pasture or scale-pen.
There were dusty, tiring trips. Relatives criticized Dad for letting me drive as young as 7. On these trips, drivers were paid $1 a trip, long or short. There were always plenty of drivers available. I got 50 cents a trip when riding my own horse, until one day while standing on the old house porch at Boones, I overheard Dad say to Uncle John, “ Don’t you think that boy should be moved up to what we pay the men, $1 a trip?” Uncle John answered, “I’ve thought of that Joey, but I was afraid of spoiling the boy. He is worth two of most men.” They were talking around the corner by the corncrib. Later, Uncle John knew I wanted a one-horse sled like the one Lee Welling made for him for $8, or $16, so he told me that he would keep track of the trips I made for him and sell it to me. I had my own horse, but used Uncle’s saddle. Getting to work or just visiting at Boone’s was a pleasure. Aunt Maude always had good meals. Uncle John was more precise and slower at his work, unlike the Phillippi men.
On Sunday visits to relatives, as well as dealer friends or neighbors conversations with the men would consist of talking business but never making deals on the Sabbath. Mr. and Mrs. John Ingram were great folks. Having no children, they enjoyed having us. A beautiful setting, the farm was at the bottom of the hill toward Wolf Run, from Poplar Springs. John would play the violin and talk music, considerably. He was well versed on the classics and I found it hard to understand how a big livestock farmer could be so informed about music. John was a mild-mannered gentleman. I don’t think I ever saw him run. He had a 1914 Model T Ford with brass radiator and headlight trim, always in good shape. In 1930, he bought a new maroon Model A Ford and sold the Model T to someone in Moundsville, I believe. John took a lot of time in making a deal, looking, pulling his chin, looking, questioning, etc. Usually he bought sheep or cattle in the spring, selling in the fall. One day, Dad called him to look at a small flock of 8-year-old sheep, priced them, told him they were all with “solid mouth.” Mr. Ingram did buy them, and after he left for home, I was disturbed because I knew they wouldn’t cheat each other, being the best of dealer-friends. Why? Why, when we knew the age, couldn’t he tell? Dad’s reply, “John will profit because he will be selling this fall. At the price they’re a bargain and, if he had known the age, he wouldn’t have bought them.”
Another dealer friend, Ceef Tustin, who bought for Dad lived at Pine Bank, down in the valley in a large cut stone house. Tustin was not the best judge of a sheep, so Dad didn’t always pat him on the back, on delivery. The family visited them. (It was) a romantic house. The story goes that the original owner had it built by a traveling stonemason. The man lived in, cut the stone, and helped lay some in place, spending two years. His pay was bed and board, living essentials, a little black mare, and $70.
One of Dad’s longest dealer friends was John B. Carter of Ninevah, North of Waynesburg. Carter (Dad called him) told later, in their friendship of one sheep deal at Dad’s second farm on Barney’s Run. The sheep were high on the hill. Carter agreed to buy all the sheep at $3 a head, which walked off the farm. As Dad called them from off the ridge and down the hill, Carter followed, shoving over many of the worst along with the few that fell back on their own.
Mr. Carter had deep voice. I loved to hear him talk. Dad never talked against any of his competitive dealers. One time Carter came to stay all night and borrowed a riding horse the next day and went to Cameron to pick up a “drove” of cattle from another dealer. Dad got him up long before daylight (and) led out a tall rough black horse that looked very much like a draft horse. After Carter mounted Dad struck the horse a wicked blow on the rump and yelled, “Now get there”. On returning the horse, Carter said he saw the horse coming out of the barn and wondered if the horse would make the trip, but was never more surprised how easily and quickly he got to the dealers’ scales (and) that only then did he realize why Dad pounded the horse and said, “Now get there.” At the arrival at daylight, the cattle were coming out of the hollow from the watering trough, probably heavily salted, with their sides bulging.
Another close dealer friendship was (with) J. Wesley Phillips of Maud’s Run near Mannington. Phillips, a former school teacher, lived in the heart of the then booming coal country, Rachael, Monongah, Farmington and others. He dealt chiefly in pigs and horses. One leg was much shorter than the other so he wore a built up shoe, and used a cane. (He was) A tremendous judge of a horse. I don’t recall where they first met or their first deals, but during my last years of high school and my college years, thousands of pigs went to Mannington. All males had to be castrated and delivery was at the Phillips farm on orders. Dad would buy heavily through the week and many Saturdays would involve three or more trips, maybe starting Friday evening, and making the final delivery before Saturday midnight. Sunday was out. However, if some unexpected delay occurred after midnight, that was ok. Phillips came to the auction at Moundsville almost every Monday, and bought horses and cattle. He also attended the Waynesburg sale. In the later days of their dealings after Mother’s passing, Dad’s money wasn’t plentiful. Phillips had a lot of I.O.U.s on pigs and horses. They would switch checks for whatever deals they might want to carry on the following week. By the time the checks would get back to the respective banks, the checks would be covered. We attended the Mannington sale many times buying from people on Phillip’s recommendation, usually dairy animals or sheep. We’d haul two cows on the ’36 pickup one facing forward, the other backward. In the joint friendship was Luther Riffle, a schoolteacher from Waynesburg. He was a farmer dealing chiefly in dairy cows. These three would sit in the auction barn and guess the weight of an animal and the price to expect. A local butcher at the auction always bought some of the better beef veal and hogs. One time, while the three friends were sitting near Butch Kestner my dad questioned, (Kestner had just bought a prize veal) “Tell me Butch, how do you tell a good one from a poor one?” Butch answered, “The weight between 175 and 200 lbs., straight body, short . . . ., Oh, you S. O. B.”
Another close buddy was Charley Behm of Bristoria. Charlie was an auctioneer, as well as a cattle dealer, an alcoholic, yet had control most of the time in his dealings. Dad carefully tried to encourage him, and succeeded to a certain extent. When he would meet Dad after slipping back he’d cry and offer apology, “I know you’re ashamed of me, but I’ll do better next week.” Sometimes he did.
Another, J. K. (Jake) Long of Silver Hill, was a short sharp-featured farmer who was a teamster, with four sons and two or three girls. He had several farms, raising cattle, sheep, and hogs, maybe owned oil and gas wells. He was a good judge of livestock, especially horses. Dad met him for the first time in 1918 or early 1919. Deals continued with him through the thirties. After the first few deals, most were ‘sight unseen’ so sure was satisfaction that stock would be delivered partway or to a weigh station. On Saturday, most farmers came to Cameron for the day, farmers and dealers usually hung around Brody’s Restaurant (Brown’s in the ‘50s and ‘60s), in and out. Things discussed, weather crops, markets, deals, and etc. Mr. Long loud speaker as he was with oaths well placed, announced that he had put one over on Dad. He had in the summer, engaged 100 head of wethers (sheep) at 8 cents a pound to go in September. When that time came and they delivered the price was 5 or 6 cents. Dad returned the jab, asking if Mr. Long remembered the first trip to the farm. Mr. Long said he did. Dad went on to say on that cattle deal he paid for the newly acquired Model T Ford he was driving. All present got a kick out of things and knew they were good friends and would continue to deal. I was probably 12 or 13 when Mr. Long told Dad he needed a riding horse. Earlier, Dad owned a nice dual-purpose horse that man couldn’t catch. We either had to chase him to a small pen or have Mother catch him. Gypsies were camping at Clouston and Dad stopped by their camp and asked the headman, Dad only spoke of him as Gypsy Smith, if he could use an all-purpose horse that was difficult to catch. They traded because Smith told him his horses were always hobbled or staked out. The little bay horse we traded for was a doll, but running idle for a while, when first hitched to a load he wouldn’t pull. We used him until the next fall when Mr. Long asked about his need for the horse. Dad priced that little bay at $25. With an oath Mr. Long said he wouldn’t buy a $25 horse. He did not see the horse. Next spring, Mr. Long inquired about a riding horse. Dad priced one at $100. He said to have the boy ride him down to Clouston and, “. . . I’ll go out with you to look.” On seeing the horse, he asked for it to be delivered the next Saturday to Cameron. The boys would take him home behind the wagon. A few weeks later, Mr. Long was relating how well he liked the horse. He asked, “Where did you get that horse, Joe?” Dad remarked, “ That is the same horse I price to you last fall. The horse and Mr. Long grew old together. After the horse became a little stumbly, the boys persuaded Mr. Long to sell him. Dad bought him back for $20. Dad later sold him to a friend, Harrison Chambers, who needed a horse for light work. Mr. Chambers lived on Grapevine Ridge. The horse would, after balking, pull all he was worth, if you went to his head and lead him.
Summertime in the ‘30s found me in on Dad’s deals. We sold Harold Delaney from Waynesburg, loads of sheep. Possibly through John Carter, Delaney learned fast that he didn’t need to look any further when he wanted more sheep. Bill Barnes, also of Waynesburg, bought several loads of sheep ‘sight unseen.’ Dad’s attitude in these kinds of deals, was always if it is an “unsight” deal, always describe the items not quite as good as they really are.
In dairy cow deals, Dad always described the production of the cow in pounds of milk per day rather than gallons per day. Customers came back happy, saying the cow gave more milk than expected. I do not quite understand the thinking behind it, but Mr. George N. Yoho, one of the Cameron Dairy suppliers, would sell his whole herd and replace them with a heifer supply. Dad would have 40 or 45 of these delivered down North Avenue to the stockyards, and usually had customers lined up for the better ones. The rest would be shipped to Pittsburgh by freight.
Dad’s first Model T Ford, as mentioned earlier, was a Touring Car. He must have bought his first Pick-up in 1920, or 1921. From then on, he kept both a pleasure touring car and a pick-up. He traded pick-ups every year. He would shop around for the cars in his travels, but most often traded locally. He would drive in with his well-worn pick-up, get what he thought was the best proposition for the new touring car, then challenge the dealer: . . . “ switch this pick-up body with my pleasure car. Then you’ll have a nice body on this worn chassis.” I know of at least three times that this worked. When he got into the Model A line, switches wouldn’t work so well. Dad was humble, or maybe didn’t want his customers to think he was so prosperous, so he could hardly wait to get his new Model T out in the dust or splashy mud. Later on, he would keep it clean.
He had a ‘31 Model A, a ’33 V8, a ’35 V8, a ’36 V8, and kept the ’36 until his death in 1949. (He) traded the ’35 for the ’36 with $133 difference. When the title came back, he then found it to be a 1936. The salesman had sold it for a 1937. The dealer gave back $100 after the salesman realized his error. He thought it was a 1937 Model.
All that has been said about the deals and trades would make it seem that it was all Dad thought of, but even though his activities were livestock, his main interest and devotion was people. Where deals for any length of time occurred, extended friendships developed, often involving both families. The gatherings on the streets in Cameron, the church and community activities, the auctions and other events were settings for getting to know plenty of people. Dad’s memory of faces and places was a large contributing factor. He knew the roads, the hollows, the small towns, and where the people lived for miles around. He knew how to handle the variety of people that he met; the unreliable, the poor, the wealthy, the widow, the one who didn’t know the value of their product, the one that knew everything.
In the summers of ’36, ’37, and ’38, we were driving to auctions 3 or 4 times a week, maybe more often some weeks. The Moundsville auction was held on Monday, the Weston auction on Tuesday, Waynesburg on Thursday, and Parkersburg on Saturday. At times our neighbor, J. R. Lough would go with his 1 ½-ton Dodge truck to Weston where we would buy course wool sheep. We usually bought beef cattle, not more than one large truckload. After arriving before sale time, we would take a quick look around, and then visit until the auction started. No matter what came into the ring, Dad would make up his mind whether he wanted it or not at the final bid. At Parkersburg late one night, the workers brought out two cattle to our loading pen that were not the two we bought. I told the manager of the mistake, and then Dad told him. No results. Dad went back again to tell him and the manager yelled, “Get those cattle on your truck. You’re just sick you paid too much for those.” We loaded. We no sooner arrived home than the manager called us, singing a different tune. We told him we would settle with him Tuesday at Weston (he was manager at that auction also). We told him we brought home better cattle than we had paid for. Large trucks could be called on to deliver loads of livestock, the 80 or 100-mile trips, charging $10, $12, or $15. Cattle were bringing 4-6 cents a pound. We might pasture them for 2 or 3 weeks, and then sell them at the purchase price. Their weight gain would be our profit.
Other dealer friends were Bill and Levi Phillips of Dry Ridge, who were sheep farmers. Young Tom Conely often drove for them. One Saturday, Levi asked Tom to drive him to church and later to Joe Phillippi’s. On the way to the Phillippi farm, Levi said, “This trip may be worthless. I think Joe has the flock of sheep I want. He also has two nice looking daughters. You should have worn a tie.” They stopped at the farm, and after a little talk, Levi got back in the car and said, “He has what I want. Could you bring me back over Wednesday evening to buy them?” This was Tom’s first acquaintance with Dad. (He should have told Levi that Phillippi had what he wanted, too.)
Shipments of livestock to Pittsburgh meant being there on Monday morning to help get a good sale. Dad often took others along on the trip. He had driven many trips; always talking of how dependable was “Old Buck”. This trip, as they descended a hill into Washington, PA, one of the rear wheels came off and rolled down the hill past the car. They had to stay over one day while repairs were made. Dad took the family along several times, getting Mother and us kids up after midnight to be on our way. Mother would take us to the libraries, the zoo, or the museum in Pittsburgh, while Dad tended to business. We drove to Cannonsburg and rode the streetcar into the city. When I got old enough to drive, we no longer rode the streetcar from Cannonsburg. Trips weren’t quite as frequent. One trip, during Christmas vacation, Dad and I left at 2:00 A. M. with 27 big sheep, double-deck on the ’46 Ford pickup. We drove slowly down the steep hills in low gear, stopped in a large, dark, vacant lot at a service station to answer Nature’s call. Dad stepped out first and gave a loud surprised expression. I thought a hold-up was on. About that time he yelled to watch my step. The lot was a glare of ice. We hadn’t realized the last several miles had been icy. Our 2700-pound load had held us as though the road were dry.
Dad and Uncle Henry were no doubt closer because their farms joined. They worked together, dealing and going to sales. Uncle Henry, no doubt was more versed on world affairs, as he spent a great deal of time reading. He was highly opinionated, and this often led to some things they wouldn’t agree on. Sometimes, when passing some farm and recalling some farmer, Uncle would speak of him as an ‘Old Moss Back’ farmer. Dad would hold for a minute and then lambaste him with sarcasm. After all, he and Dad both were farmers.
Uncle George and Uncle Henry both helped Dad in driving sheep and cattle. Uncle George had a well-trained collie that was one of the best ever. Uncle could send Wag up ahead of a drove and with motions and verbal (commands), he could turn a cross roads or opening in a field. Wag would ride the saddle or in back of the pick-up, and stay with either, even in the city. One time, at the Post Office, he fell off the horse as Uncle George turned the corner, immediately ran up the fender of a well-polished auto and landed back behind the saddle. While living on the farm on Fork Ridge, Wag was stolen. Uncle offered attractive rewards, but had no results. Years later, an old collie turned up, rough and hard of hearing. Uncle seemed to think it was Wag. Most of the family and neighbors agreed with Uncle. I think it was just to make Uncle feel better.
Uncle George didn’t always buy to suit Dad in that he trusted the general public more than he should have. Often there would be a drove of sheep that, when inspected, would be much older than the seller said. Uncle Henry didn’t travel over the countryside in that he was a poor auto driver, but he helped drive livestock for Dad and John Boone. He was quite excitable and often created a scene when something didn’t go right. A dog running out in front of a drove would always receive a blessing; with the name Jack always applied. Once one animal in the drive went aside into a lawn and garden spot. Uncle was dancing up and down yelling, “Lady head that ‘gentleman cow’." A section of the drove of sheep going to the Cameron stockyards went in one door of the passenger depot and out the opposite door. Uncle demonstrated again in front of quite a crowd. When excited, children he knew well were called ‘little girl’. (Dottie spoke of his yelling at her, “Little girl, little girl! Head that cow!”)
I learned to drive a Model T Ford when Dad permitted me to go back and get one that was parked, all hands being needed at a particular section of the road, a crossroads or in a section of farmland not fenced. I must have been about eight years old. The Model T had three pedals; left one, low gear; middle one, reverse; the right one the brake. When the emergency brake, left of the driver was half advanced, you had neutral. All the way advanced was high, unless you pushed the low gear pedal. I wasn’t allowed to be out of low gear for quite a few years. Dad came by Hick’s School one day at recess time, got stuck in the mud, and asked the teacher if some of the older boys could help him. I think I was 11 or 12. He put “Big” me under the steering wheel, they pushed, but not much progress (was made). He came to the driver’s side and exclaimed, “Oh, you’ve got the emergency on!” You can imagine my embarrassment.
While on autos, Dad traded for the first Model A Sedan in the winter of 1928. They delivered on April 1st, from Moundsville. Dad wasn’t home when they came, so I had my chance and drove the car back and forth to the stonewall several times. I gave Dad his first lessons, as I had received my license in March, when I was 14 years old. The big difference was that there was both hand and foot feed for gas. The Model T had only the hand feed on the steering column. Of course, the gearshift on the floor was new to Dad. Later, when Dad was experienced, I lifted the stick out of its top socket and turned it around toward the instrument panel, and Dad thought it was broken. I believe only Model As permitted this.
Grandpa, Allen Grimes lived with us the winter months, Grandmother having died before I was born. He went to Uncle Leighton’s to help at his fruit farm, in summers. Dad built the present bedroom for Grandpa’s use around 1925. Dad got along well with Grandpa, but when spring came, Grandpa would come up with some kind of contrary action, cause Dad to lose patience, and they would argue. Grandpa would take off in a huff, for Leighton’s. He would fall out with Leighton and come back in the fall. When we were building fence with Mr. John Lough, Grandpa said or did something that caused hard feelings. Mr. Lough didn’t speak for years. Dad always threw up a hand as he passed, but put in his own set of stock scales. We kids knew to never walk through Lough’s field with the other kids in the spring to avoid the deep muddy road. Finally, sometime around the early thirties, Mr. Lough and Dad became good friends again.
When I enrolled in 4-H, Dad went to the W. G. Riggs farm atop Moundsville hill on Route 250 and purchased a pure bred Jersey heifer at the cost of $75. The other selection was priced $100. It went to Vincent Baker of Glendale Heights. My calf, Sybil Pogis Virginia, topped the $100 heifer at the State Fair in Wheeling the first showing. At that time, Dad didn’t profess to be a good judge of dairy animals. By the time Sybil was producing, he modernized the dairy barn, and bought a cream separator. My herd finally numbered seven.
Dad and Mother supported the church in the different communities they had lived, even changing denominations if necessary. At picnics or other gatherings Dad was always the winner in footraces. His nearest contender was Harry Hicks (Dale’s father) who is still living. Dad would outrun me until I was 18; he 48.
Summer business included gathering up a load of veal calves and trucking them to Wheeling markets. One trip in back of Hundred (WV) in 1934, Joe Hukill had come for a visit. I had just had my appendix out. I was driving, Hukill in the middle, when Dad reached out and grabbed a big veal by the front leg as he jumped over the truck racks. The truck was stopped in time. We, on the driver’s side, ran around the truck, put a rope on the calf, and reloaded.
Mr. George Houston, known as Squire, lived in a log house, across the hill about three-fourths of a mile from the PA line. His dog was known to come out in the road and bite persons passing by. Dad had warned Mr. Houston to tie the dog when he came along with a drove of sheep or cattle. On one particular trip, Dad left a drove to go to Mr. Houston’s house to call home and let the family know that he was nearing home. Just as he got in the low doorway, the dog bit him, and he banged his head on the doorframe. From then on, Mr. Houston always took care of the dog before we came with a drove.
One time, we brought in five big bulls from the Burleys who lived at Woodruff. Four of the wildest were tied in pairs; the fifth to a large cow. They were housed in the lower barn until they were shipped to Pittsburgh. In a short time, they knocked down the stairs to the second floor and the doors had to be reinforced. Another time, Dad came by Sugar Grove on horseback, driving two large steers tied together, when each went out of the road on either side of a large tree. He didn’t dare cut them apart, so he had to ask onlookers to help get one back up the steep bank.
Dad and Jim Burley (Fay Carmichael’s dad) were standing on the Post Office corner in January 1929 when across the street in front of the bank of Cameron, the sheriff was selling a farm; 39 acres with ½ royalty located in Webster District. Dad said, “Let’s buy that for $100 (Deedbook #189 – page 372).” It has paid ¼ $9.50 a year to each partner since then.
On the corner of Main Street in Cameron, where the Francis Caton Ford Beauty Shop is, was a service station. The gas pump sat on the edge of the sidewalk. It was 1925 or 1926. Dad was standing near the corner, when Uncle Henry went by in his newly acquired 1924 Overland Car. Dad was watching when Uncle collided with the horse and buggy of Lee Riggs, who was coming to town from Rock Lick. The horse and buggy were crowded over the embankment where now stands the True Value Hardware. Mr. Riggs held on during the slide. Uncle was yelling, “Whoa, Flora! Whoa, Flora!,” all the while. Flora was his black mare at home. Dad was watching and arrived there just as the dust was settling. Uncle thought just an apology would be sufficient, but Mr. Riggs wanted a new buggy. Uncle did tell Mr. Riggs to come by and pick up a used one that he had.