Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994

CTIDDIW

to as "The Terrible-Tempered Angel" of the Arkansas Children's Home and Hospital. Many is
the time she talked to me and I would have preferred that she just go ahead and spank me; it
would have been much easier! Things really changed around the Home with Miss Beall in
charge. Dentists and doctors donated their services, bakers their bread, and barbers their
haircuts. Miss Beall was a real fund-raiser and go-getter. Annually she would speak before
civic groups and anyone who would listen to recruit funds for the Home and Hospital. There
really was no one in the city of Little Rock who did not know Miss Beall. She was for us all
the way.
We never lacked for anything, but by the same token we were taught never to waste.
We had to work somewhere in the compound with work allocated according to size and age.
The housemother was the bank. We could save or withdraw as needed. We always went to the
movies on Friday nights with a chaperone, no ticket, just a letter from Miss Beall. We
belonged to the Boys' Club which allowed us to belong to the "Knot-Hole Gang." This meant
that you could go to all the home games of the Little Rock Traveler's Baseball Team.
At Christmas, we had the REAL Santa Claus, because he wore a brown woolen suit,
no fur on it, a big wide leather belt and boots like in the old, old pictures. He would arrive
with a big sack of many, many gifts. Can you imagine what I was thinking since (that I could
recall) I had never had a Christmas before arriving at the home. I do remember, however, that
once a neighbor of ours gave us children some popcorn balls, and my Dad said that was from
Santa Claus! Yes, this REAL Santa was a big, big man and he filled the bill exactly. Of
course, all the gifts were donated by merchants.
We had our own ball diamond and all the kids in the neighborhood would come to our
block to play. We had a storeroom chock full of canned foods donated by grocers, with meat
from the meat companies. Farmers markets would donate fresh vegetables. Clothing stores
donated clothing for us. Miss Beall knew how to take care of her children!
I had trouble understanding the school system! When I went to country schools, I
would be in the grade the city schools said I was, but it was reversed when I went from the
country to the city. They would start me a half grade behind. At the Home, school was a
certainty and I got an education.
One of my best school years was with the Mose Wallace family in Rogers, Ark. This
was in 1937, and I was thirteen years old. Mr. Hinkle, the attorney for the home, had to make
a trip from Little Rock across the state to Rogers, probably something to do with the Wallaces'
adopted daughters, Faye and Barbara. I took the trip with Mr. Hinkle. We returned to the
Home and nothing was said to me. One day, Mrs. Wallace and a bus full of her fellow club
woman came to tour the home and hospital. I saw Mrs. Wallace again and, by golly, I was
invited home with her. I went home with her and that bus full of women to Rogers and stayed
for a year!
Mr. Wallace had been gassed as a soldier in World War I. Mr. Mose (as I called him)
and I would get up in the middle of the night and go raccoon and squirrel hunting with his
dogs. He loved it and so did I. We became very close and it was just exactly what I needed at
that age.
Mrs. Wallace canned everything and anything she c could. We would go (the whole
family) to apple orchards and pick up the culls and pick grapes from the vineyards. Mrs.
Wallace canned all of this. We grew a big garden and all of this was processed. Mrs. Wallace
was a lady before her time. She recycled many things, and we always ate our apples right
down to the tiny core. She recycled her Christmas cards too. My wife and I always got a card
from her which had the original sender's name carefully erased. Mrs. Wallace would always
write long notes. I know they liked me as much as I liked them. They reinforced the concept of

61

a l -m r L d JIj z- j ~l- J j

MARCH 1994

I

Texas State Genealogical Society. Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994. San Antonio, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39868/. Accessed December 18, 2014.