John W. Lindley, elder son of Eli Lindley, deceased, gives this thrilling and graphic account of many incidents that occurred within his recollection during his father’s life in Hopkins County. He remembers quite distinctly when his father came into the territory of Hopkins County. J. W. Lindley is sixty-three years of age.
He married Miss Nancy Rea, sister to Neal Rea, at the termination of the Civil war. He has raised a large family of healthy children who are respected citizens of the county. Jacob Marion, a prominent businessman of Peerless, is his oldest son. Uncle Eli Lindley married Sallie Crisp in the state of Missouri. Aunt Sallie, as she was called (her name being synonymous with everything that was kind and good), has gone from us now. Aunt Sallie and Uncle Eli were the parents of seventeen children. Five of this number died in infancy. Jacob M. married Miss Jo Crutchfield, She died and he married Miss Starkey Houston and shortly afterwards he passed to his eternal home. Green died while a student at McKenzie College in Red River County. Elizabeth married Marry Portwood. By this union two children were born to them. Harry died and Lizzie married Clabe Gates, with whom she is living at this time in Decatur County. Jonathan and Amanda were twins. Jonathan married Miss Hughes. She lived only a short while and he subsequently married Miss Mattie Cobb, a lady of excellent family and splendid ancestry, they have a large and interesting family. Amanda married Marshall Lindley, a distant relative. Some of their offspring are citizens of the county and are respected and esteemed for their real worth. Eli F., a prominent gin man and an all around businessman, married Miss Victoria Bailey, a daughter of an old pioneer Texan. They have a nice young family of boys and girls. Miss Josephine married James Crowder, a stepson of Volney Rattan of Delta County. A great calamity befell Mrs. Crowder in the untimely death of her husband a few years back. She has four children, two girls and two boys. She is very much inter? in the correct training and educating of her children, believing that to educate means to become useful citizens, and that knowledge is power. Mrs. Josephine lives in Cooper now, and is a prosperous business lady of the town. Miss Sallie is a beautiful blonde, and an accomplished and polished young lady, possessed of engaging manners. Miss Mary is a sweet girl of domestic habits. Her ideality is large and she is unexcelled in her needlework. Mary Ellen Lindley married Jack Worsham, a man possessed of a large share of common sense. He has been successful in business, the result of his own energy, foresight and good judgment. He bears an enviable reputation throughout the county. They have five children-three boys and two girls.
An unfortunate and grievous accident befell his family a short time since in the explosion of a coal-oil lamp, which resulted in the death of one of his daughters. Miss Docia married Mr. John Jordon, a son of an old pioneer citizen of the county. Mr. Jordon is an honest, upright gentleman, a farmer and a successful stock-raiser. They have raised a nice family. His daughters are all beautiful, nice and neat. Some of them are married and have done well in their selection of husbands. Jefferson Davis Lindley married Miss Dora Bailey, sister to his brother Eli’s wife. Jeff is a successful stock-raiser and planter, a good, worthy, upright citizen of the county. They have five children. One of their daughters is married. Their eldest daughter, Miss Mary Ellen, is a reigning belle, and her association is sought after by the best young people of the county. Her parents are endeavoring to give her a finished education, which Miss Ellen encourages and appreciates. Jeff is the youngest child of the seventeen and is named in honor of Jefferson Davis of Confederate fame.
Uncle Eli Lindley reared this large family on South Sulphur Creek, where he moved sixty years ago. This family has passed through all the hardships attendant upon pioneer life. The water that this family used in an early day was hauled from holes in Sulphur Creek in wooden vessels, upon slides drawn by one or two oxen. Gourds (when they could be obtained) were used for many purposes: water gourds, milk gourds, honey gourds, sugar gourds, fat gourds. A, gourd with a long neck was used as a funnel-a pipe or passage for conducting liquids into other vessels. When gourds could not be obtained, buffalo horns were brought into requisition, and were made to answer the same purposes as the gourds. In many instances holes were pored into the rough, improvised dining table and buffalo horns were introduced and used instead of dippers or cups.
At one time when neither gourds nor buffalo horns could be had, the clapper was removed from a large cowbell and the bell was used as a gourd. The bell was passed around with pioneer hospitality. The visitor was asked to have a bell of water. In the absence of suitable vessels deerskins were cased from the carcass and the legs of the skin were tied together. This hide then formed a sack in which many articles were conveyed from place to place, such as corn, peas, lard and honey. When meal could not be obtained the breast of wild turkey was dried and used for bread. Venison was also used. in the same manner as the turkey bread. When bear was killed the flesh was called meat, and hog flesh was called meat; but venison and turkey were called bread. Deer were so plentiful that J. W. Lindley, with a hired hand, stood upon one spot and killed seven at one time. The whole country was literally over-run with wild animals. The mustang roamed the country in droves, and were a source of much annoyance to the settlers.