Note NI1248NARRATIVE of LEE UPSHAW As told to daughter Mary Lee Bost.
We were living in Oregon County Mo. near Gatewood. When Lee was born they were living in Ripley County, Mo. In 1891, Jan 9. Dad was baby of the family of about 15. We left Mo when I was about 8 (1899), landed in Okla. three weeks later. There were 3 covered wagons of us. My dad, and family of 7 in our wagon, two of my brothers ( two wagons of them) Jont and wife and Polly Ann, Ambers, Art, Meta, Onie and Willard.Brother Verge and wife Jane and two girls, Bertie and Zelda.
We had such a load in our wagons us kids walked most of the way. My dad rode a horse. Pleas drove the wagon. At night, we couldn't all sleep in the wagon. Me and Pleas and my dad slept under the wagon. One night, while sleeping under the wagon, we had driven off the highway into a low swag and came up a big rainstorm - way in the night. If we hadn't got up and got out of there, we would have drowned. We had to harness our team, hook them up to the wagon and pull to higher ground. Itwas fair the next morning and we drove on.
We lost our dog. Some Indians stole him - or something. The cattle bothered us so much we could hardly sleep. Three weeks later, our dog made it back to Mo. to our old home place. My brother, Burl was living there.
One day Ambers was walking ahead of the wagon. They came to a railroad track, as train was coming, Ambers came running back to the wagon. He shouted, "I swear to God it's goin' to bust".
My mother and me saw our first train at West Plains Mo, when we were moving from Hal (Howell) Co, Mo. to Oregon Co, Mo.
When we got to Okla. we got a job picking cotton. We landed in Lincoln Co, Okla. near Carney. There were hardly any houses. We lived in a house with no floor, used our wagons to sleep in. It was a cold wet winter. The house had no windows. It was heated by a cookstove. No beds,everyone slept on floors. Later we rented a place that had two rooms. Burl moved in the other room with his wife, Emma, and boy, Lem. There was seven in our one room. I was only eight. Lem was five. We had over 100 acres of land. Rub, Burl, Pleas and dad farmed it. We farmed cotton. We had never farmed cotton before. In Mo. we had farmed corn and feed, and tobacco. We didn't sale tobacco -chewed and smoked it.
We had three horses - two we worked, a white mare and a black horse. One sorrel mare. We had to buy our farming tools - cultivator, breaking plow. We had sold our farm in Mo. We took some chairs with us. Two of my brother had teams. Jont rented a place and they furnished tools.He had one horse.
We made one crop in Lincoln Co, then moved to Dewey Co, where we stayed one year. That was the year of the drought, 1901. Our crops burned up. We never raised a thing. We went back to Lincoln Co, they had better crops there. We picked cotton all winter. We had to live in anotherhouse with no floor, but we did have some furniture.
The next year we made a crop on the Powers place. We next rented a place down by Chandler Okla. We made two crops. We had a two-room house and got a tent - put heating stove and beds in it. The next year an old man bought the place who had lots of money. He built us a new houseand drilled us a water well. We really enjoyed it. Before that we carried water from a spring. The new house was story - half. Two rooms down, one up. Upstairs big enough for two beds. We all had the measles that spring except ma and pa. Pleas, Cora, Minda, Alva, Lee. Pleas wentto work too soon and was hoarse all summer. This was right in the spring when we were putting in crop.
On the way out here, a man and his family caught up with us, where wehad laid over to wash clothes and clean up. He had 3 girls and 2 boys.He was on his road to Okla. They stayed with us all the way through. At night, we would play drop the handkerchief and games with them. Thegirls were about Lee's age. We enjoyed the trip except when it raining or cold. We cooked out biscuits and cornbread in a dutch oven overa campfire.
We traded a horse for a cow while in Dewey Co, when we left Dewey Co we left our cow and never got anything form it.
We changed places with a fellow in Mo. Cora carried her cats. The dogs ran out and scared the cats. She wouldn't turn her cats loose and got scratched badly.
Dad lived to see all of his folks go.
At Lincoln Co, Burl's wife Emma died, left Lem and Fred.
We went to the Kickapoo country in 1905, made one crop. Nine miles from McCloud.
Lee went to his first school at Mt. Vernon, three miles east of Carney. Went three weeks, got a licken' for fighting. Teacher whipped Lee but didn't whip the other boy so wouldn't go back. Alva, Cora and Mindawent also. Alva went quite a lot. Alva, Minda ad Cora went the two months summer term.
In Mo, Burl had a friend who had a moustache. His friend had a box ofwax for his moustache. He put some chicken manure in box. The boys were going to see their girls. Soon, Burls friend stopped at the creek and washed his moustache.
Lee and the girls went to school in Dewey Co. We had to walk three miles over those old sandy roads. The teacher said: "I got a big stick that I'm going to use on the girls if they need it". They went most of the winter. It was so cold; often we could hardly make it. Also sand storms. Farm was on the South Canadian River.
Lee went to Stony Point in Chandler. The girls didn't go. Lee would have gone more if they had let him. His father could read and write his name, didn't think education important. He could read a weekly newspaper.
Lee had several teachers at Mt Vernon. He went to school there several short terms.
Lee's mother died in 1921; dad in 1912. Pleas stayed single as long as his mother lived, and took care of her. He was past forty when he got married.
Lee started barbering in1910 at age 19, in Hominy. He left there and went to Coyl, came back to Hominy in1915. A barber in Hominy trained him, Greeley Hampton, about six weeks. He had cut all the farmers boy'shair. He had to learn to shave. Haircuts - 25 cents; shaves 10 cents.
Lee went to Everett, Washington in 1909 - about 18. Mother, Pleas, Jay and Bertha, Ruth and Luther went also. Stayed about 5 1/2 months, worked in planing mill. Lee and mother, Pleas, Betty Fox spent one dayat Seattle World's fair. Went from Everett to Seattle in a boat. Theyrode the Ferris wheel and a scenic railroad, which went up - down. She was about 65 at the time, but she enjoyed it. She did her houseworkuntil she got sick and died. She was a good cook and kept a clean house. She had little to keep house with. Mary Ellen Smith was born in 1843.
Lee Roy Upshaw was born Jan 18, 1834. Mary Ellen Smith was born in 1843.
In Mo. there were no schools. It was a rough country and people couldn't make a living. We had two cows, but they would both go dry at thesame time and we'd nearly starve. They had free range. Our cows and hogs would come up for feed. If there were strange hogs, our dog would run them off. His name was Rattler - a big black dog with white on theend of his trail. There were wild hogs there. We would be squirrel hunting with Rattler - those wild sows would jump on old Rattler, but hecould whip them.
Verge and Amber also had dogs. Those followed some Indian dogs. When Rattler got back to Mo the smokehouse door was open, and Burl was gone, but Rattler didn't bother anything. He waited for Burl to come and feed him.
Rattler kept the family in meat, treeing squirrels. Pleas had a mussel-loading rifle. He would get lead bars and mold his own bullets, buy his gunpowder and caps. One day Rattler treed a squirrel; Pleas shot all his bullets but one, but couldn't get the squirrel.Wind was blowing, broke ramrod, (wooden), and couldn't get it out. So to get the ramrod out he aimed at the squirrel, shot and killed it. We were glad to get it because we were hungry.
Lee's mother would spin and weave cloth. Burl had a loom and would gothere to weave cloth. She would knit gloves and socks. Got wool from the neighbors or the boys and made threads out of it.
In Lincoln Co. we would grow big watermelons. We would take them to town but could hardly sell them for 10cents apiece.
At Chandler, the man, a Mr. Owens, who bought the place would come ina rubber- tired buggy. He would take Lee with him and often give himaquarter. He gave Lee 50 cents a day to help carry tools to a man who was building fence. He would buy Lee a cold drink sometimes in town. We cut wood for him, cut into stove wood and sold for a dollar a rank.Always take a load of wood when we went to town.
Pleas wanted a buggy. He traded 12 loads of wood for one-horse buggy.He finally got a tongue put in it. While in Kickapoo Co. he went to town, coming back after night - I guess he was pretty drunk - he got outand the horse ran away with the buggy and tore it up. This horse would look back to see if you laid the lines down, if you had he'd be sure to run away.
Lee fell out of wagon and hit his head on a flint rock. He was sitting on the end-gate. END
Lee Roy served Military duty in co 'K', 34th Arkansas Infantry, Confederate States Army. Caroline is his first wife.
"UPSHAW HOLLOW - Ripley Co MO Southwest Shirley Township, just north of highway 142 where Reuben Upshaw of North Carolina settled. The UpshawSchool was located there on land he donated. See also see p63 of "History and Families Ripley County Missouri" Vol I" . A map of the1931 Ripley County School Districts shows Upshaw district is number 36.
Thank you to Jerry Cox for creating WikiTree profile Upshaw-76 through the import of jcoxff.ged on Oct 15, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Jerry and others.