The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000 Page: 9
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Autobiography of Charles V. Compton by Don Raney
they were received by anxious waiting Kentuckians with open arms and the joy that this report gave can't be described.
They had marked the trails so that they could be followed. All that was left to do was to get together our effects and it is
surprising how quickly that this was done, for all were anxious to leave the unhappy hunting grounds. The girls
laughingly said, "We will miss only our poke berries." Other horses and two wagons were soon ready to leave. Ours
was a new Ranger, painted green, yellow and red - a thing of beauty. The next day was Sunday and we all went to
church. How proud we all were of our new chariot. Sunday p.m. we were all in a frenzy and Monday morning our
wagons were loaded with all of our worldly effects. And with just fifteen passengers, believe it or not, we were all
happy. In fact, jubilant expresses it mildly.
We dashed away at the rate of about five miles per hour, all of us having the time of our lives, especially when we
reached cliffs and had to use two teams to get us up the steep hills. On and on we rolled, over highways and low-ways.
At last, we began passing the spreading moss trees and the pecan trees that looked like Kentucky walnuts. Then father
said, "We are at the San Gabriel River and just beyond is our new house. We crossed the river, drove up the hill and
there, stretched like a carpet as far as we could see, was a green prairie. Then to the west was the farm and houses - our
new homes. We led the way and were soon unloaded. Uncle Tom's house was just a few hundred yards further away,
near a spring. Our house was also near a spring along the branch which gushed endless quantities of water.
Mr. Young was soon over and gave us a fatherly greeting. All of us were jubilant. We youngsters, that is, Charley,
George, Marion, Billie and me played back and forth between the houses. Also Arizona Compton, Arizona Gossett, her
sister Mattie and everyone including the ma's and pa's were pleased with their homes. The older bunch soon made a
sight seeing trip to Taylorsville, which was a village six miles south, while Circleville, our Post Office, was two miles
A few weeks later, I said "Mother, I believe that I can smell apples." She said that it was near Christmas and old Santa
might have had a breakdown. I had not seen an apple since we left Kentucky. Soon Christmas came, the grandest I had
ever had or have since had. Santa brought us a full ten cents worth of stick candy, a package of firecrackers and a bucket
of apples. He was just as generous when he reached the Gossetts. We all romped and rejoiced together and Christmas
night the families were together. They told jokes and listened as the elders related funny incidents for hours.
The 10th of March, Billie's birthday, was corn planting time and a few weeks later was cotton planting time. The full
two hundred acres was prepared and tilled by the families in a masterful way. A good season, followed by a bountiful
crop of corn and cotton and the fact that the prices for farm products was good, brought joy and comfort to our entire
About one mile distant was a good country school. A meeting house was located on the Young farm, where Sunday
school and an occasional preaching was held each Sunday. Well do I remember my first day's attendance. Willie
Walker and I sat together, while the good teacher, in a most devout and gracious manner, stressed our keeping Holy the
Sabbath, quoting "Thou shalt not do work on the Sabbath." Then he mentioned the services, not denominated work, that
we should do. Then he said "Willie, if you had an ox and he should fall in a deep ditch on Sunday, what would you do?"
Willie looked puzzled, then answered, "Kill it." The embarrassed teacher said, "No Willie, it would be your duty to help
the ox out of the ditch, even if it was Sunday." Even so, her gentle words could not suppress a genial giggle.
I had intended to give only the lights in the picture, of our year on the Young farm that afforded us all so much
happiness and hope, but my daughter, La Vonne, to whom I had told some of our hardships, said "No dad, write down
all of the facts." Our rented house consisted of 4 large rooms and one small room boxed in from the end of the front
porch. We had a big fireplace, one front and one back door. We had three dead fall windows, that is, boards nailed
together to fit the openings and suspended by iron hinges at the top. When they were lowered, we had but little light or
air. Our cow lot, a few feet away in our 1000 acre front yard, over which cattle grazed, was the meeting place for
countless millions of mosquitoes of various size and description, all of which had free access to our home. There were
no screens or mosquito bars in the good old days. Each had to provide his own line of defense.
Our five cows were of the wild breed and when cornered, gave less than two gallons a day. Every member of the family
was ready for the days work before sunrise. Sister, Arizona, then 14, let the field in any kind of farm work. Reaping
time soon arrived. The big job was picking the cotton. No pickers were available outside the family. My task was 60
pounds and Billie's was 70 pounds every day, and if we fell an ounce short, our poor backs paid the penalty. But as
aforesaid, it was a glorious season and enough money was made and saved to make a substantial payment on our newly
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000, periodical, June 2000; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186859/m1/15/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.