MEMORIES OF AUNT LUCILLE
Marie E. Bull
June 7th, 2001
See Obit at Bottom of this page. December 30, 2009
This page holds some of the memories of Lucille Edwards Brown. She grew up in the Mamers area of Harnett
County and has a book of memories that she has written at the extreme pleasure of me and her children.
She is in her 80s and lives in Virginia, and suffers from Alzhimers. Please take a moment to pray for
her and for her children who are the angels that take care of her until God's angels take
over. Thank you, Marie Bull
Surnames: Douglass, Douglas, Nordan, Womack, Rawlins, Brown, Griffin, Buchanan
AUNT SALLY & UNCLE SILAS DOUGLAS
It seemed like Aunt Sally Underwood Douglass' was a place that had been there forever.
My earliest memories of going there were always to have a special treat to eat. I don't
think any child ever went there that didn't have a good time. As soon as we had said our
hellos, etc. it wouldn't be long before Aunt Sally would put her hand down in her apron
pocket and get out a key and go over to the cabinet that reached all the way to the ceiling.
Then she would unlock a door and there was always candy, apples, peanuts etc. for us. It there
weren't anything else around she would send Barbara to the kitchen for Cokes or even a big homemade
biscuit with butter and sugar. In the fall Beadie would take us out to the scuppernong vine to eat grapes.
We could always ride a cart that Billy (Douglas) had in his Blacksmith Shop just across the road from
their house. Uncle Silas was a blacksmith and a farmer. Billy worked with his Daddy (Nathan Douglas,
Silas's Daddy) and when Uncle Silas, or Sile as everyone called him, was too old to work, Billy
carried on. We would take the cart to the top of the hill and coast down. This was real fun for
country children, who didn't have much time for play.
I remember Uncle Sile as being an old man sitting in a rocking chair with a long white beard. He
always had on a white shirt. He said everyone ought to live so at least his own family would be
sorry to see him go (die).
Aunt Sally and Uncle Sile had six children: Barbara, Lillie, Betty, Beadie, Bill and Mattie. Mattie
and Bill were the only two to marry. The other girls stayed at home and dressed in the old fashioned
way...dresses and aprons with pockets that reached all the way to the floor. They always wore homemade
bonnets except to church. It was as if nothing had changed since the 1850's. They farmed some and when
they werren't busy in the fields they were all busy doing different chores around the house. Barbara
did all the cooking and kitchen work. Beadie and "Bet" did all the outside chores tending and milking
cows, feeding pigs and chickens, yard work etc. Lillie took in sewing to help the family income. She
never used bought patterns. When you wanted a dress made she gave you two or three catalogs, mostly a
Sears Roebuck, and you picked out what you wanted. She took your measurements and you went back later
and picked up the finished dresses.
In the fall, my mother (Fannie Womack Edwards) usually bought three pieces of material each, for my
sister and me to start school and maybe two pieces for herself for house dresses. Lillie made enough
money sewing to buy a T-model car about 1925 or 1926; the cost was about $400.00. They never seemed to
change in their ways. On bad days or times when they were caught up on their chores, they were carding
cotton and spinning thread to knit socks, or they were knitting socks to sell. They also knitted work
gloves with the tips of the fingers out. All the socks and gloves were sort of gray with white flecks
in them. They called that color"nits and lice."
Aunt Sally's folks pieced quilts from scraps that people brought for Lillie to sew. She always took a
few scraps to put in quilts. They had some beautiful quilts. All the beds had quilts for spreads. They
must have sold the fancy ones, because all I remember seeing on the beds were mostly the block type or
what we called the crazy quilt, in which you could use any size or any shape scrap.
Lillie Douglas, they said, was going with the mailman and Aunt Sally wouldn't let her get married.
I don't know how true that is but she was an older woman then, probably in her late forties, so if
she really wanted to, I guess she could have eloped.
I have heard my mother say that she thought that Uncle Sile's father Nathan Douglass had the house
built for him and also one for Uncle Jack. We always called Uncle Jack's wife, Sally "Aunt Sally Jack"
to distinguish between her and Uncle Sile's wife, Sally.
The old part of the house was built from hand hewn wooden boards and sills, and put together with wooden
pegs. The kitchen and one bedroom on the back, I'm sure was added much later. The old part of the house
had a huge fireplace. When the house was first built, it probably had a log kitchen built separate from
the house. This house also had a room on the front porch as most of the houses of that time did have.
It was called a piazza room. This was built for guests to sleep in. A lot of the time strangers stopped
and asked to spend the night. This house was on a main road going from Florida to New York or points
north or south. My Mamma said when she was a child they would find orange peelings by the road that
travelers threw down.
I remember going to Uncle sile's funeral. It made quite an impression on me to see a casket on the back
of a truck covered with a home made quilt. I am pretty sure the casket was homemade. I don't know if there
were any funeral homes around then, but people usually used the cheapest way (on a wagon) to take people
from the home to the cemetery. He and his whole family are buried at Cool Springs Methodist Church Cemetery,
a more beautiful place would be hard to find.
The only thing I can remember about Uncle Jack was that he was an old man and Aunt Sally was an
old woman living in a very small house on a hill just below Cool Springs Methodist Church (in Harnett County).
I think "Mary Pete", as we called her, because there were so many named Mary in the family, had moved
them from the old home place so they would be near her and she could look after them. After Uncle Jack
died, Mary Nordan moved her mother into the house with her. By that time, her family (stepchildren)
had all grown up.
I remember going there with my Grandmother and Granddaddy Womack on the buggy. It was such a happy
thing for a child to do. I'd sit on the floor in the front at their feet and every time Grandpa would
trot the mule, I'd start laughing and they'd get tickled at me and start laughing too. We would usually
go late in the morning and eat dinner(lunch) with them.
Mary Pete said her mother, Aunt Sally, always enjoyed washing clothes. She said sometimes that if she
didn't have but one piece to wash, like an apron, she would go down to the spring and wash it.
By that time Aunt Sally was probably very senile, because she just sat in the corner by the fireplace
and didn't say anything. Her face and hands were covered with age spots (large brown spots) and she
would be dressed in a long dress, usually black with an apron. She looked something like Whistler's Mother.
Aunt Sally and Uncle Jack had three children that I know about--John, Mary and Rabon. John married Mamie
Rawlins (I think) and Mary married Pete Nordan whose wife had died and left him with a large family.
I think Mary was an old maid and probably thought that was her last chance to marry. I guess God has
His way of working things out, because all of her stepchildren loved and respected her as much as
their own Mother.
I lived near her for a year after I was married, and she was one of the nicest people I ever knew.
Her Christian attitude shown like a bright light. She was always cheerful and lots of fun to be around,
even though she was an elderly woman when I knew her. She loved Edgar Brown (son of John Henry Brown)to
death and nobody better say anything about him around her.
My Mother said she used to come over to their house when she was a small girl. Mary was a young woman and
would stay a few days, and the whole family enoyed her. Mother said she and Aunt Jannie tried to be as near
like Mary Pete as they could. (Mother was Fannie Franklin Womack Edwards, neice of James Benjamin
Franklin Stewart and Aunt Jannie was Jannie Womack Smith, married to Young B. Smith)
When I knew her she and Pete Nordan lived alone in the Nordan homeplace. She had chickens, and she
sold eggs and chickens from time to time. When she got the money for them she always put a tenth of
it in a special place for her church contribution, and people in the church said she was one of the
largest contributors to the church. To me her life was certainly one of beauty, always so cheerful,
never grumbling or complaining. She always seemed to be satisfied with her place in life. She was a
pretty lady physically too. She had beautiful skin and snow white hair that had a pretty gloss.
Mary's brother, Rabon Douglass lived in the neighborhood just below Cool Springs Methodist Church,
on land that Uncle Jack inherited from his father Nathan Douglass. He ran a corn mill and farmed.
Probably Uncle Jack did that for a living too. In the times of Nathan Douglass, and before, corn
was a very important staple food, so I don't know just when Uncle Jack or Rabon put in the corn mill.
Anyway, it was a very important part of the community. As far as I know, the old grinding stone is still
there. I went there a few times while I was growing up. The kitchen was apart from the house. I thought
it was fascinating to eat there, because they had a lazysusan dining table. Nannie Griffin and Mrs. Ida
Womack had one also, so they must have been popular arount the 1880's or 1890's. Rabon married Agreness
Buchanan (she was Johnnie and Lee Buchannon's half sister I think). Their Daddy was named Tom Buchanan.
They had four children--Sadie, Bessie, Corrina, and Wade.
We all saw each other at church a lot. All the children were just a little younger than my mother was,
but it was fun to go to visit and to have them visit us. They all married and moved out of the community
except Wade, and I only heard from them occasionally, because we moved out too. John Douglass married
Mamie Rawlins and we didn't hear much about them, because they moved across the Cape Fear River from us.
Note: Fayetteville Observer, October 20, 1856
Died on Thursday, 2nd instant, in the county of Harnett, at the house of his father-in-law, Silas Douglas, Esq.,
Mr. John W. Rollins, aged 35 years.
Myrtle Bridges - December 30, 2009
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