Our True Story, Mama’s Part

Our True Story, Mama’s Part

This story is one of two, which Aunt Mary wrote down from a conversations she had with her Mother, Faustina Cline Ragland, and her Father, George Wallace Ragland. She typed both of the stories, drew some nice covers, and then stapled all the pages together.

Its title is “Our True Story” , which is then broken down into sub-sections labeled “Mama’s Part” and “Daddy’s Part”. I am typing the text here exactly as she did.

This is “Mama’s Part”

I Faustina Kate Cline Ragland was born Oct. 16, 1905. We lived two and half miles north of Dublin, Tex. on what was known as the Cane place. My father worked this place on what was then called shares. Whatever he made, he gave the land owner a third of some crops and one fourth of others. There was a pasture where they kept milk cows. Mother also raised chickens and had a garden. They had hogs to kill for meat in the fall of each year. Dad was a good farmer and my Mother was very saving. She worked hard, sewed all our clothes. Everyday dresses were of material called cotton checks and our one good dress was of percale or gimgham. Mother was a good cook. She could fix a nice dinner without going to the grocery store. She baked all our bread, cakes, pies, and tea cakes.

They must have done very well financially because in the year 1907 Dad bought a small farm three miles west of Dublin. It had a five room and a bath tub, a hall and a big front porch, and an out house in the back. We had a windmill and overhead water tank, a big red barn, and a nice fruit orchard. Dad worked this land and rented two other small places, raised cotton, corn and maize and hygeria. Besides the garden, pea patch and watermelons, we always had two or three rows of pop corn, with pumpkins planted in the skips.

I started school the fall I was seven years old. We walked to and from school in Dublin. My sister Rivers and my brother Clayton went together. Clayton and I would tag behind Scaring Mr. Lane’s old bull just to hear him bellow. One time we stole some green apples from Mr. Lane’s apple tree, we ate them and got sick. Rivers told Mama that we did and we were properly punished. The spring before I was six years old it came a big rain and washed down part of the pasture fence. The horses got out so Dad sent Clate and me to drive them home. We waded in the water and got our clothes wet. I took a cold that developed into pneumonia. Dr. Farmer, told Mother and Dad that he would have to operate on me to drain the fluid and the phlegm out or I would die. There wasn’t a hospital any closer than Ft. Worth. Doctor Framer got a doctor from Stephenville, Dr. Malloy, to come help him operate on me in our home. They put sheets on the dinning room table to put me on. They had a fire in the cook stove with pots of boiling water to sterilize their instruments in. They put me to sleep with Chloroform. It took two hours to do the operation. They cut two inches from one of my ribs and inserted two rubber tubes fastened together with safety pins. I was real sick for days. When I finally got better I couldn’t walk, Mother had a baby buggy and Rivers and Clate would push me out in the yard and I would watch them play. In a few months I learned to walk again.

!n 1912 Dad and Mother bought a half section of land five miles east of Dublin in a community called Harbin. There was a good school just down the road a ways. There were four teachers. There also was a Methodist Church and a parsonage. I would say about twenty or twenty-five dwelling houses. There were two stores, both of them general merchandise stores, a cotton gin, blacksmith shop, a post office, and a barber shop run by Conner Carpenter. Haircuts were twenty-five cents. There were lots of trains in those days as everything was shipped by rail. There were two passenger trains in the day time, one at 11:15 A.M. going to Dublin. that was the time to start making corn bread for dinner so it would be ready to eat when Dad came in to feed the mules and rest a while. At 12:15 there was another passenger train going towards Stephenville. The day trains always stopped and someone usually got on or off. There were cans of cream, milk, and crates of eggs being shipped to Ft. Worth by express. My Uncle Walt Jennings and our Grandpa Cline that had the stores, bought the cream and eggs from the farmers and shipped it to Swift & Co. in Ft. Worth. The night trains did not stop unless someone wanted off. If you wanted to board the train someone stood on the track with a lighted lantern swinging it to and fro.

All of us children worked in the fields hoeing corn and chopping cotton. In the fall we picked cotton, gathered corn, headed maize, picked dried beans and peas to eat in the winter time. One year the cotton didn’t come to a good stand in one field. So Dad put me and Clate to replanting the skips. One of us would dig a hole with a hoe and the other would drop the seed in. Clate and I got tired, as it was getting late and we knew if we went to the house they would send us back. So we made it up to say we were out of seed. But that was a story. So we buried the seed in one big hole and went happily home. To our surprise Dad came in a few days later mad as a Hatter. All those cotton seed had come up. Need I tell you what happened? Well as Drexel said one time, “We didn’t do that any more.”

By the time I was m=nine I would go take Clate a drink of water, a tea cake, cold biscuit or whatever I could scrounge. He would be plowing or harrowing over the back fields driving a pair of old white mules named Jack and Pete. They were so old and slow and gentle that Clate would beg me to stay with him and throw dirt clods at the mules so they would go faster. Of course I stayed, as I never liked house work. Then when I was about thirteen I began to plow with a cultivator, run out middles with a Georgia stock when the corn was laid by. You don’t know what a Georgia stock is, but I tell you I’ll never forget how one looked and I’m glad they don’t make or use them any more. I also helped at haying time and drove two horses to a hay rack. One day I put on a pair of Clate’s pants to work in. Dad saw me when I came in from work and I caught it. I was a disgracing the whole family. A girl in pants, how awful could you be? So from then on it was blue denium dress.

About this time Dad decided togo into the dairy business. He and Mr. Lee Sanders went to South Texas to Knolles Jersey Farm and each one bought two registered Jersey Cows and a bull. We were in the business. some times we would have as many as forty to forty-five cows to milk and cream. We had a hand turned cream separator. We milked in big buckets and poured it into ten gallon cans, put the cans on a wheel barrow and pushed it to the house. Marie, Katy, and Jack were to little to push the wheel barrow. Clate would get through his milking before we did. He would rush to the house to eat breakfast and off to school he’d go. At night he would finish up and rush across the calf pasture to see Wallace and Elmore. Rivers said it hurt her back to lift, so you know who did the pushing, turned the separator, washed the milk buckets, strainer rags, etc. We had a big orchard out back of the barn where there were peaches that always began to ripen the last of May. All through the summer we had peaches the last ones ripened in Oct. We had pears, plums , berries and apricots. We picked the fruit to eat and helped Mother can lots of it. She made jellies and jams. When we had put up all we needed we would pick peaches in buckets and go down to Harbin and go house to house and sell them. I don’t remember how much money we got for them but whatever it was we gave to Mother. She save it all. When the Baxters and Higginbothams would have a sale on sheeting she would by material and make sheets and pillow cases. Our towels were feed sacks, washed and bleached and then hemmed. Flour sacks were our cup towels. Salt sacks, sugar sacks, and meal sacks were all made of cotton cloth in those days. They were used for dish rags, wash clothes, and cut into bandages for cut fingers and stubbed toes.

U never knew my Mothers parents until I was ten or twelve years old. They lived in West Texas on a farm near a town called Plainview. Grandpa Choat was a farmer and a good one. When he retired in 1918 Dad went out there and helped them sell the farming equipment. They sold their cows and horses. Dad bought a team of mules from them named George and Cooley. He loaded all the furniture in a box car with the mules in one end and rode the freight train home with them. He had to feed and water the mules on the way home. It took about three days for him to get to Dublin with them. Grandpa and Grandma came in a passenger train and arrived at our house before Dad did. Mama was so happy to see them and know they would be close to her. They bought a house across the road from us and lived there until they pasted away. They were good to us. Grandpa bought us candy and big soda crackers on Saturday if we had been good. Sometimes we got two or three crackers and a stick of candy. Grandma sewed for us girls and helped Mama in lots of ways.

Grandma was short, fat and very dark complected. She was of Black Dutch descendant. She always called Grandpa “Mr. Choate”. He was ten years older than her so when they married it was proper for her to call him Mister and she kept it up. Grandpa was six feet tall, red complected. He was Irish. His hair and full beard, which he kept trimmed real nice was snow white. He could whistle so pretty. He had a rocker on the front porch where he sat and whistled and whittled. He made his one corn liquor, as those were the prohibition days. He had a mini ball in the calf of his right leg that he got in a battle during the Civil War. He was seventeen when he went to war and twenty when the war was over. He fought for the South. Peggy was four months old when Grandpa died and Grandma died seven months later.

We didn’t work all the time. Our big times were on Saturday afternoon. Mother would say “You children wash the surrey (it was two seated and had a fringe on top) and bathe Old Mollie.” That was Mothers old mare that was so gentle we kids could ride her. Mama could hook her to the buggy and go visit her neighbors, Betty Sanders and Ida Bell Alexander. She did not go to often, but it was nice she could go when she had the time. But sometimes Dad would work Old Mollie in the fields. At busy times all horses, kids. and anyone he could hire on would work from sun to sun. Anyway we would have the surrey shining and Old Mollie’s dapple gray was so pretty. We would put on our Sunday clothes and off we would go to Grandpa and Grandma Cline’s house. They lived in Dublin on the right side of the the railroad tracks. All the Aunts, Uncles, and cousins would be there, of course we had a big dinner. The kids ate after the older folks were thru. We played out in the yard under the big trees where there were swings and a see-saw. Uncle Everett Cline and our cousin Carl Smith would watch after us, pushing swings, telling us tales, and stopping arguments. Clayton and Coleman Williams, our cousin, would aggravate us girls by untying our sashes, and hair bows or anything to hear us scream and holler. Of course we would have been unhappy if they hadn’t noticed us. Before it was time to go home Grandpa would call in the house and play two or three records on the gramophone such as “Dixie”, “Peach and Cream”, and “The Preacher and the Bear”. We all sat on the floor quite as mice and didn’t dare touch the gramophone. It was the one with the big horn on it. The records were about six inches long and were round cylinders. I don’t know the brand name but it had a little white dog sitting down in the picture. I think it was RCA. When Grandpa shut it off and said, “That’s all for this time.”, we kids scurried outside for the last few minutes of play before Dad said, “Everyone in the buggy.”

I remember one time we were going to Aunt Alice Smith’s house. She was Dad’s Sister. Mama helped us kids all get ready, and then she went to get dressed. It was Winter time and cold so we had eaten breakfast in the kitchen by the cook stove. Someone had put Hallmark Sorghum and butter in an enamel pan and heated it on the stove so the butter would melt. We ate it with big fat biscuits Mother had made. Someone set the pan in a chair to sop. Of course Mother said, “You kids sit down and don’t get your clothes mussed.” Poor Clate sat in the chair all right, the one with the syrupy pan in it. There was Clate with syrupy pants. He just had one good pair. We could not wait to tell Mama what had happened. Clate wore patched pants to Aunt Alice’s house but he could have cared less.

We had lots of good times picking wild flowers for Mother in the early spring. Sometimes we would go pick violets in the pasture and mama would go with us. It was a nice outing for all of us. We worked but it didn’t hurt us. We had plenty of good wholesome food, clothes to keep us warm, parents and grandparents that loved us. We were a real close family.

In the year 1920 a new family moved in the house down the road from us. We saw the wagon go by loaded with household goods, cows, chickens, pigs, and all the things needed to farm with. Their name was Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Ragland and their sons Clarence, Octavis, and Babe George. George had a red bicycle and he would pass our house riding the bike to Dublin which was five miles away. When I’d see him coming, I’d grab a broom and sweep the front porch or anything so he would look my way. One Wednesday night we went to a prayer meeting at the little white church house down the road. Brother Robert Wallace was the preacher. Just as the services began three boys came in and sat on the back seat. Of course all of us girls had to look and see who it was. One was Welch Wier, a boy who had lived there a long time and the other two were Clarence and Babe. When services were over we started down the aisle going outside. Welch told us, “Come here I want you to meet these boys.” Next day at school all of us girls were talking about the new boys, wondering if they had girl friends. Time went by and Babe was out looking for work. Dad needed someone to gather corn so he hired Babe. That afternoon I went after the cows. I saw him really pulling that corn and tossing it in the wagon, gee and haw to the mules. I thought, Gee! he sure works hard besides being good looking. After we were thru milking that night I came thru the front lot with the milk, Babe was there unharnessing the horses. He said, “Wait a minute.” I thought he wanted to know where the feed was for the horses or something like that. he came up to where I’d stopped and said, “There is going to a party at Grace and Velma Robbins tomorrow night. How about going with me?” he told me Welch and his girl were going and we could walk with them. It was about a three mile walk. So I said yes I would go, wondering how I was going to ask Mother if I could go to a party with the new boy they didn’t know. But I asked her and she said I had to talk to my Dad. Dad said if Clate and Lora were going that I could go. So from then on we had dates on the week-ends. In July 1921 on the 15th we were married at four o’clock in Charlie Bishop’s home. That is where the preacher was working on Mr. Bishop’s Model T Ford. Bert Stockton, Babe’s Brother-In-Law, had let Babe have his car so after we were married we went to Mable and Bert’s and spent the night. The next day we went to Desdemona on the train. Mr. Ragland met us in the wagon. Mable and Doris went with us. We were as happy as if we had good sense. We lived with Mr. and Mrs. Ragland until the first of November. By then Babe had a job and we bought us some second had furniture and ordered some new things from Speigle May Stern, a mail order house. We moved down the (road) just a little way. I didn’t know how to cook. Poor Babe, it is a wonder he did not have stomach trouble.

George and I gave our lives to Jesus Christ in the summer of 1922 at a revival in the little church at Harbin, Tx. We weren’t active Christians until we moved to Carlton, Tex. Jack Sheldon was the preacher there. He helped all of us, encouraged us when we were weak and didn’t know the way. The there was Bro. Hays. He was the pastor, friend, and a big help to all of us. Miss Ethel Murdock was a good christian woman. She was an active member of the Carlton methodist Church. She had a big influence on all or our lives. Then Bro. Wallace came to Carlton as our pastor. He was a buddy to George and Jerry. There was Bro. Jackson and his wife Lorena also. They had a daughter Irma Jean who was Sons age. They were good Christians and good friends. They helped us build our lives in the right way and grow to be stronger Christians. I was President of the Woman’s Society of christian Service for two years. I learned a lot, guided by Miss Ethel and my Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Brimer. George was janitor at the church for several years. In the last few years we haven’t attended church as much as we should. But we try to live each day as if it were the last. We have faith in our Maker, love our neighbors and help in any way we can.

Anyway our home was established. We had married over a year and half when our first child was born. George worked hard at a lot of different jobs. He always managed to keep a roof over our heads and plenty of food on the table. There was a depression in 1929 but he never gave up. Most everyone was on W.P.A. but not George. he just tightened his belt and worked hard(er). I worked after the children began to grow up. i cleaned houses for people. worked in the laundry at Carlton, and stayed with young couples when they had babies. We all went to church together. We didn’t have much money but we were all together. We went to ball games and worked picking cotton. it was a good life as I look back on it now. Then the children began to grow up and leave the nest. This was natural but it was nice to see them go.

Then in 1951 George and Jerry built our very own house at 165 Gibson Lane in Corpus Christi. We all had jobs. George worked at American Smelting plant, Jerry at the Blue Bonnet Co. and I worked in the Clarkwood Cafeteria. But on week-ends and we got off from work we worked on the house. When it was finished we moved in. We loved our beautiful house.

Then Jerry had to go off into the Army. When he was sent over seas George and I were lost. here we were just the two of us again. It was a lon(g) two years but Jerry came home in April. He met a real nice girl that worked at the telephone company. they were married in December 1955. So then we really were back where we started. Just the two of us.

George worked at the American Smelting Co. until he retired after working 22 years there. He was sixty-five. Now six years later we are really enjoying living. Our children are good to write us, come by to see us, call us on the phone, and if anything happens and we need them they are right here to help and love us.

We have five children, five in-laws, 15 grandchildren, eight grand in-laws, seven great grandchildren. Two more on the way. They all love and respect our wishes. It may not seem like a glamorous life to some people, but to me it has been wonderful and I thank God every day for taking care of us and blessing us in so many ways.

My father’s name was Luther Colquit Cline. Born July 31, 1876. He was born in Northern Georgia. He came to Texas at the age of 14. they came by covered wagon, bringing horses and milk cows.

his parents were Doctor Pearson Cline. Born in the state of Carolina Dec. 10, 1851 and Florida Indiana Cornelison born Nov. 7, 1861.

My Mother’s name was Eva Mae Choat Cline. Born Feb. 14, 1883 (1881 was crossed out and 1883 written in) She was born and raised in Erath County near Dublin, where she lived until she married my Father.

Her Father’s name was James Allen Choat. He was born March 13, 1844 in the state of Missouri. her Mother’s name was Julia May Dalton Choat. Born Oct. 16, 1854 in the state of Illinois.

To my Father and Mother eight children were born :
Lena Rivers Cline Garner, May 31, 1902, Dublin near Greens Creek.
Luther Clayton Cline Feb. 12, 1904 near Dublin.
Faustina Kate Cline Ragland Oct. 16, 1905 near Dublin.
Nina Marie Cline Ragland Jan. 3, 1908 Dublin.
Katherine Cline Dutton Jan. 9, 1910 near Dublin.
Geneva June Cline Alexander Dec. 24, 1913 Dublin.
Wynona May Cline Mackey Feb. 19, 1921 Dublin.

Faustina Kate Cline married George Wallace Ragland July 15, 1921.
To this Union five children were born :

Viola Virgina Ragland Feb. 18, 1923 Desdemona,Tx.
Mary Louise Ragland Aug. 24, 1926 Harbin, Tx.
Peggy Ann Ragland Nov. 7, 1928 Harbin, Tx.
Lavada Caroline Ragland Aug. 7, 1930 Dublin, Tx.
Jerry Cline Ragland May 24, 1933 Harbin, Tx.

From Text Typed by my Aunt Mary. She typed the following as an attachment to her “Our True Story” :


©2006 Texas Tortilla Factory – Mike Vauthier

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