Memories in Winston County

By Nannie Maude Dewease Reynolds


In the past few months, I have wanted to share some memories from my childhood with the readers of the Winston County Journal. I have seen our society change asI have grown older and some of the changes are not for the better. Some of them are. I feel that I need to write some of my memories down with the lessons I learned from them and maybe somehow, someway someone will be encouraged to realize that we need to be thankful for what we have, no matter how meager. God has His reasons for the events that form our lives.

I grew up on a farm near Liberty Baptist Church. My parents and grandparents were members of that church since coming to Winston County in circa 1909 or 10. They moved to Winston County from Neshoba County where they were sharecroppers. There was my grandfather, grandmother, and four children including my Uncle Odell, my Aunt Clara, Aunt Mabel and my father, Bill. They moved in a horse drawn wagon with a cow in tow. The children rode in the wagon except at times when they jumped from the wagon to run alongside. They drove the wagon along a trail that is now Highway 19 and turned north at Plattsburg.

They settled in the area of Webb Springs, just a few miles north of Liberty Baptist Church on the homestead of the Gregory family.  Many stories have been handed down about the Gregory family as well as the Webb family and another family that lived in the area, the Ennis Smith family. These families helped each other and grew a friendship that has lasted for over a hundred years. The descendants of these families remain friends even today. Members of the Gregory family still own the land that belonged to their ancestors. My family must have lived in that area for several years.

I have heard stories and have memories of many interesting events of our lives growing up after the family moved to what is now named Tuck Wilkes Road. They bought a small farm and built a house there in 1924. The Dewease family went on to rear 11 children there and made many memories and shared a love that is almost unheard of in today’s world.

I have seen all 11 of the older members of the family go on to meet the Lord. Some of them lived to be very old even to 100 years.  My own father died in 1977 at his home on Tuck Wilkes Road. My mother died in 2009 at the age of 99.

I was born in 1933, during the Great Depression. We were as poor as anyone could be. We had nothing, but we had everything. We never knew that we were poor until someone told us. We had everything we needed on the farm. We had meat of all kinds, milk, butter, eggs, vegetables galore, dried fruits, canned fruit, sugar cane and pop corn. What else do you need?  We went to the store very seldom and bought flour, sugar, and coffee. I cannot remember buying anything else.

We had no electricity and no refrigerator until around 1946-47.  We killed a calf occasionally and shared with neighbors. At times the neighbors would kill one and share some of it with us. Pork was cured and kept all year in the smoke house. Chicken could be had anytime of the year by going out in the yard and picking up a chicken and wringing its neck. No locks on the smokehouse either. Our house never had locks.

The lessons that I learned at my parents knees have held me in good stead for 80 years and they have been passed down to my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. They will remain with me as long as God lets me dwell on this earth. I would like to share some of them with you if you will let me.

I ask God to give me the wisdom and the fortitude to teach the principles that I learned at my parent’s knees. To give me the strength to stand and speak when it is popular to sit in silence. To give me the discipline to sit in silence when that is what He directs. I would ask for faith to see beyond the present, the ability to see humor in everyday things and the grace to laugh at my own mistakes. Give me the humility to admit my mistakes and the strength to ask for forgiveness.

More memories next week.

Editor’s note: Nannie Maude Reynolds is an author and Winston Countian. She has written four books including Home For Christmas. To purchase one of her books contact 662-724-4631.