Biography of Serena Millhollin
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Serena Millhollin, a daughter of Sam Lindley, known all over Hopkins County as Aunt Serena, gives a graphic account of pioneer life in Hopkins County. She says: “My father was born in the state of Kentucky, and married my mother in the state of Arkansas, and then migrated to the Republic of Mexico and stopped on North Sulphur Creek. [By reference to the first chapter in this history the reader will notice that the territory of Texas once belonged to Mexico.] about where the village of Ben Franklin is located, and remained for only one year and then moved to South Sulphur Creek, where he located for life.
My mother’s maiden name was Letha Turmon. My father lived to be eighty-three years old. My mother survived him a few years and then passed to her reward. There were six children born to them. Five of these are living. Serena married Jacob Millhollin at the age of fifteen years. Jacob was a good, inoffensive, uneducated, honest man. Bartholomew married Lavina Jackson. He is a farmer and stockman, Jordina married Wig Collins, brother to Red Collins. She lived but a short time. Alice married Aiden Posey, a big-hearted fellow of splendid blood, a gentleman whom every one respects. Lethia married Bat Millhollin, a gentleman of noble parts, genial and social to an eminent degree.”
Aunt Serena is now sixty-six years old. When her father moved into the neighborhood where she is now living she was only seven years old, but she recollects distinctly the cabin her father built on the spot she was raised. It was built of logs and covered with clapboards. In size it was 4x 4 feet with only one opening and a dirt floor. It was erected in the brush near Sulphur Creek. Cooking was performed under a brush or pole arbor. Water was brought from Sulphur Creek in small kegs on horseback. It was made her duty to go twice every day to the creek after water, carrying with her for company her little brother Bartholomew. Corn meal was $produced in the manner hitherto described in this history. “My parents had all of their children come into the cabin at twilight every evening the lights all extinguished-and there in the cabin we all sat till bedtime, not speaking except in a low whisper. This state of affairs continued for about four years. A dark, lonely time we all experienced during all these long years. Could the reader but know and feel as they knew and felt in those dark and gloomy times, he would better appreciate his happy surroundings. There in that lonely but in the dense wild woods, we have lain all the dark and gloomy night, cringing and shivering.
Bring from every noise without, not knowing at what moment we would all be massacred by the savage Indians, who were all around in the brush. Dear reader, pause for one moment and go back sixty years with me to the days of my innocent childhood, placing yourself in my helpless and lonely condition. To-day, as this grand old pioneer lady walks the streets of her country town and remembers when the Indians roamed its virginal wilds, when the bears and panthers inhabited its dense thickets, where the wild cats screamed and the catamount cried, accompanied with the solemn and lonely chanting of the whippoorwill solo, and hears her dress criticised and her personal appearance discussed, her heart is saddened within her. People who indulge in sport of this character should be taken up by the law and sent to some institution for the feeble-minded. Were the author familiar with the names of such persons he would not soil and befoul the pages of this history by personal reference. In the language of the great Solomon, “A fool is joined to his folly,” but fortunately it is said that the God of heaven has wisely made provision for fools and idiots.