By Norris Chambers

             Several readers liked the part of Uncle Marion Jones’ autobiography the Old Timer presented a few weeks ago. Here is a little more of his life story in his own unedited words. For a man with only a month of schooling he writes pretty well. I am told that he was a good harmonica player. He was born in 1842 and did this writing in 1933.

            “Well, I don’t know where daddy came from unless it was from Arkansas. I believe I remember him telling how he moved. He walked and his wife carried the baby and the house furniture was on the pony. Daddy married Elizabeth Telood years before he came to Texas and after she died daddy and my mother married in 1848 and in November 20, 1861 mother died. Almira Vanslyke and grandfather Vanslyke lived 6 miles west of Gainsville, Cook County , Texas . Then daddy and Mrs. Fenter married. Well, yes, I was still a boy and I remember the old ram and how he made little boys and girls get up and get. One day he caught me and knocked me down and every time that I would get nearly up he would strike me behind and over I would go on my head. You know I was glad when daddy cut his head off.

            Now if any of the descendants of the Fenters reads this you can tell them that Marion  Jones is still living and expects to live until I die and all of 7 children except Olene. She died in Oklahoma , her and her man Shrater.

            Oh, yes, I must tell you about our plows and teams. While I was a boy we had an old mule that I could ride and make him go and pull the bull tongue.  It was like the Georgia stock and Brother Dave would plow up and down the middle four or six times and our steers, two of them we called a yoke  of steers and we would put them to the turning plow and we sure would turn the dirt.

            But there was teams of 8 yoke of oxen that men hauled freight from Houston and Galveston to towns in Texas . No, we didn’t know anything about railroads in 1865.

            Luke Pearce and Rile and Wash Pearle was boys and lived near us I like to forgot the time we were all playing on this long gallery when James, my youngest brother about two years old, was climbing on the banister and fell in the barrel of molasses that was setting in the corner of the gallery and covered with a cloth. James was nearly covered with molasses when we found him and pulled him out.

            And one of my half brothers was in the army called Rangers and the Indians killed him. Colonel Boland commanded the Rangers.  They were forted somewhere in Montague County , I have forgot.

            One day my brother Simon was on horse herd with another man when a Indian appeared. He was on a fast horse and had come there on purpose to lead the men in their trap in the forks of the branches. Simon went to the fort and reported the acts of the Indian when 10 men was summoned to go and see about the Indian. When 4 law men fell in the chase and Simon went with the soldiers which made 15 men. So the Indian led them rite in to the trap. When 500 Indians rose up and  began shooting the best thing for the men was to run out  as fast as possible while Simon’s fell, he had no way to save his life and was killed there. They killed one man and he never emptied his gun. There was other men who fought the red men but I don’t remember their names. If anyone reads this who knows where Simon was buried I would be glad if you would write and tell me.

            Wash Jones, my other half brother was a hot headed sort and went to fight Abe Lincoln’s men at Washington and got shot in the elbow after the war in the Spring of  1865.

            My father moved to Navarro County and got completely broke up, then we came back to Cook County and he hired me out to work for the Jacks Burrow, Jack County .  When I came home I got acquainted with a girl by the name of Mary Josephine Galliher and we were about 15 years old and lived in Cook County, Texas about 15 miles south of Gainsville. Well, Mrs. Galliher moved to Dallas County , Texas and Josephine and I got married. Of course Mrs. Galliher had to sanction the marriage before the County Clerk could record our marriage. Yes, you will find our marriage recorded on July 15, 1869.

            Then I went to cutting cordwood and sawed stacks for Milt Rollins south of Dallas . About 20 miles from here our first child was born, May 25, 1870, and we called her Lida Jane in honor of my mother and Josephine’s mother. We were the father and mother of 12 children, 6 boys and 6 girls…Lida  Jane and William, David, Henry, James, Melvin and Comodore.

            While we lived at Milt Rollins we lived in a hut made of logs with a dirt top and a dirt floor. Mr. Rollins house was a nice house painted white and had glass windows in it. You remember the slaves had recently been freed and left the old hut.”

            Old roaming Marion moved almost as many times as Ella and I did during the first 8 years of our marriage! I’ll bring you some more of his life story later. It is very evident that my old great uncle had FUN.