The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000 Page: 1
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Autobiography of Charles V. Compton by Don Raney
Autobiography of Charles Volantus "Buddy" Compton
Buddy Compton was born on 7 January 1873 near Waterloo, Poluski County, Kentucky, married Jesse Shappard circa
1902, and died 12 June 1960 at Dallas County, Texas. His very informative and interesting narrative provides details of
the family life experiences of two typical Kentucky families, the Comptons and the Gossetts, who migrated from
Pulaski County, Kentucky to Palestine, Texas in 1879 and then settled in Williamson County, Texas in 1890. They were
instrumental in convincing many of their friends and relatives to migrate from Pulaski County to Williamson County.)
3:30 a.m. - This is the tenth day of May 1950. 1 have just awakened from a deep sleep and the impulse to immediately
begin carrying out a resolution made to myself and members of my family, to unfold some of the most interesting
events and happenings since my birthday, January 7, 1873, is irresistible. These have been the grandest years of all the
years of time. We have come farther and moved faster than in five thousand years immediately preceding this date.
The most important - that is, the most significant episode in so far as it concerns me and mine, was a decision reached
just a few years subsequent to the date of my birth, by and between my father (Erasmus D. "Raz" Compton), mother
(Martha Jane Duck), mother's sister, Saline (Celina Duck), and her husband, Thomas Gossett (Joel Thomas Gossett).
One of my earliest recollections is of a conversation between my father and uncle Tom Gossett. They were standing in
our yard talking earnestly, paying no heed to me, when father said: "Yes Tom, you are right. That is the only way out.
We must break up, sell out, and move away to some new place where our children can be brought up free from the
influences and temptations that face them here."
Uncle Tom replied: "Yes Raz, Saline and I have stayed awake several nights recently, discussing this, and have reached
the same conclusion. What can we look forward to? What can we hope for or expect? We have stills, operated by moon
shiners, in the knobs, hills and hollows near us, which are the meeting place day and night of the boys in this
neighborhood. We both know that so much drinking and drunkenness can be charged to this condition."
Then they decided that the families should get together and agree on what should be done. Accordingly, uncle Tom and
aunt Saline and some of their families came over to our home, bringing along a geography. Mother and aunt Saline
seemed to lead in the conversation. Mother said: "Yes, we should move from this still-infested community." I was so
impressed by what mother further said, that I retained the thought and had her teach me her precepts in later years.
From our childhood, we were taught, "Sow thoughts and reap actions. Sow actions and we reap habits. Sow habits and
we reap character." Sowing time is here. We must start our children on the road to a life of purity - or take the chance as
we are now doing in starting them on a life of shame. Evil companionship of only a few months can be the beginning of
unspeakable sin and misery. Then she looked at the girls, Marty, Arizona Duck and Arizona Compton, and said: "You
are by no means entirely removed from these dangers. If we can find a place free from the enticements such as are near
our door, we can afford any reasonable expense, for we can choose our associates and be in a different environment."
Mother and aunt Saline had a brother (George Washington Marion Duck) who for years had resided near San Antonio,
Texas (Atascosa County). He was not pleased with that part of the state as a farming country, but told them that Texas
was a new progressive state and the change would be advisable if they would use caution in choosing the proper
location. The geography was placed on the table and the map of Texas was studied. Their eyes fell on the name of
Palestine. Finally, all agreed that as soon as arrangements could be made, we would leave for Palestine, Texas.
All this has come to me most vividly during the past few months. I began to ask just where were my parents born?
Where did they spend their childhood days? What were their surroundings, avocation and environment and on and on.
As I am far away from the places of their birth and where their childhood was spent, very little authentic information
can be obtained. In consequence, it is my purpose and intention to leave this record, which I am compiling largely from
memory, to be used in summing up, not only my life, but also conditions and events significant and insignificant over a
period of more than three fourths of a century.
How often my children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren, have climbed into my lap and said, "Tell me a story about
when you were a little boy." Between the lids of this book are some of the stories I have told them. Also, there are
incidents and happenings that are of interest to me and that I believe are worth recording. Though more than seventy-
five years have passed, I still remember the old one and a half story house - the place where I was born.
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Dallas Genealogical Society. The Dallas Journal, Volume 46, 2000, periodical, June 2000; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth186859/m1/7/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Genealogical Society.