UNCLE MARION’S BACK AGAIN!
By Norris Chambers
Several readers liked the parts of Uncle Marion Jones’ autobiography the Old Timer presented a few months ago. Here is part 3, 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. He was a good harmonica player. My old great-uncle was born in 1842 and did this writing in 1933.
Then we moved to Ellis County and I dug a cistern for Mr. Marcelis Halkins in white chalk rock and I got hold of a mare and a yoke of oxen . Then I rented a place from Crow Bradley. Then I moved to Tarrant County 5 miles west of Mansfield and 20 miles south of Fort Worth and went to work making rails for Newt Stehenson near Mr. John Hudson’s gin and Uncle Shelt Grimsley and Johnathan Hunter and the Pearce boys, George, Luke and Rile Pearce. Here I built a log house, 16 by 16 and made hundreds of rails for Newt Stevens and had a big bunch of children born to me and Josephine. We called them Melvin, Comodore, and Alfred, Webster and Mary Alice and Margaret Louise and Danie Elvira and Rebecca Frances and Virga Washington and Watter Augusta and Lillie May. By now I had purchased a cow and had a few cattle and an old cap and ball rifle when one morning I heard the bell of my cattle that was grazing near my house and I knew there was a deer running with them so I took my gun and went out to get me some venison and when I got near the cows I spied the deer looking at me and was not scared so I leveled my gun and snap went the cap and I had failed to take more caps so I went back to the house without any meat. No, I never killed a deer in all my life.
Here I put in a farm on what is known as school land and I had 40 years to pay for it at less than a dollar an acre. Well, well I did one wrong thing when I sold out to a man by the name of James Una, moved to Comanche County eight miles east of Sipe Springs at the mouth of the Nars and Coperes Creek where I had lots of friends by the name of Hink Green and Will Green, uncle Buck and John and Jim Green. They were singers and Methodists and Uncle Bill Scott and his boy’s names were Bill and Job.
Dr. Meguerie was my doctor and Tom Yantis was my banker and we had two houses built of logs about ten feet apart and one morning I called William to get up and make a fire and he was stooped over the stove when Lida came along outside and picked up the old tom cat and pitched him through the crack where we had worked a chinker out to make light as we had no glass windows. Yes, Lida pitched old Tom on William’s back. Of course it scared William. He thought he had a wild cat and he sure bawled loud!
Before we come to Comanche County I had joined the Baptist Church and had moved to Brown County. While we were in Brown County I and Wiley Cook had a fight and I run off and would not pay a fine. Yes, Wiley had to sell the only cow he had to pay his fine.
I learned to chew and smoke tobacco but later put the dirty stuff from me. I used it about 23 years.
The last several pages of his life story tell of his religious convictions. He could probably have served as a preacher in his later years. He quotes scriptures and gives his interpretation of the meanings. I believe he was looking forward to a better life after his death.
Uncle Marion must have been quite a man. Maybe we need more men like him now. He had a pretty hard life but I’ll bet he had FUN! You could get old and write the story of your life and have a lot of fun! I wouldn’t recommend the “getting old” part!