Mary Elizabeth Pinegar Letter

The following is the text of a letter that was written by Mary Elizabeth Pinegar Smith Milstead to her great granddaughter Jennifer Vaupel. This was sent to us by Dee Roth.

Dee writes:
"...I have a letter that I found while going thru my parents belongings after they passed. The letter is from my grandmother Mary Elizabeth Pinegar. Her parents were Nay Dar & Sarah Eliza Newton Pinegar. She is writing telling about her life growing up in Trigg Co. What I found amazing was she was in her early 80's when she wrote this letter and she was able to remember the names of her pets and animals. I would very much like to send this to you if you are interested. The letter decribes the hard times, food they raised..."


To my great granddaughter

I'm the 11th of 12 children. I was born March 25, 1908, in Trigg co. to Nay D. and Sarah Lou Newton Pinnegar. Mother told Grandma Mary Nunn she would go down on sugar creek to get wood for the Wood stove. Daddy was down there with 2 horses and they road to Dover, TN. and got married.
In 1908 when I was 2 weeks old they moved to Marshall co. where Hubert my youngest brother was born. In 1911 we moved down by Birmingham Ky. And on Easter Sunday, April 12 there was an egg hunt for the kids. My sister Drusella Delena put churn of milk before the fire so it would turn and she would churn and make butter, but a neighbor come over, Mike Ryne, got to teasing me and we over turned the churn, was she mad.

On May 5, 1913, daddy and boy Elua Arly hitched Jim and Dan, our two mulls and 2 horses up to covered wagon and started out for Missouri. With 9 kids, 3 dogs, Spot which would play antie over the other dogs, Lee and Rat was for hunting dogs. We had a mare dollie with a year old mule colt that followed her mother and my brother Garvis road dollie to Mo. We crossed the Mississippi River on a boat. Daddy and the boys had to hold on the horses and mules head while crossing the river.

Somewhere before we got to where we were going we stayed all nite with one of daddy's cousins. I got sick in the nite, I was sleeping with my sister Delena, she thought I was dead she hollered Mother and dad was sleeping in the wagon. We stayed 3 or 4 nites till I got well enough to travel, I begged for chicken and daddy's cousins wife, wasn't very clean person so Mother said Iíll cook the chicken. Jason Lawrence was daddy's cousin name and he had to go in to town she threw all the bread from dinner out and someone said Jason not late. She took the bread from dogs and said good enough for Jason. We traveled to where my uncle van lived in MO. That was daddy's brother. We pitch a big tent in edge off Nigro wool swamp and daddy and boys hacked ties. we had jonnie beds to sleep on made from wood polls with forked end and a tick stuffed with straw with feather bed on top of straw tick. By fall we was all home sick for KY. when we return to KY we lived on Bud Price farm when brother Arlie got poison ? On ? Thinking it was sweet anise.

Then we moved over on another farm were my brother Elvie died in 1916. spring of 1917 we bought a farm and moved to Trigg to between the rivers and we lived there until spring of 1923

When I was 15 years old we moved to Grand Rivers. I had a boyfriend that come down there to see me, but before we moved there he write me letters and I put them in a fruit jar and buried them in the apple orchard on the farm. In 1923 in Oct. We moved to Princeton Ky. and I went to work at the Hosiery mill. But when we lived on the farm we raised most of what we ate. Corn for bread, beans and black eyed peas, tomatoes. Mother would can them and all fruit, apples, peaches, blackberrys. We tap sugar trees and sweeten our fruit with sugar water. Salt block, pepper, and soda were things we couldnít raise. 1920 was lowest year My first to remember. The war was awful.

We didnít have a bathroom like we have today, we took a bath in the tub and went to out side John. Cut wood and tobacco almost year round job and when it was sold they bought shoes. We started school in July and went bare footed till tobacco was sold and that was all the shoes we got for the year. School was from July till December about 20th. Spring came and another time to plant. Through the summer on Sundays all neighbors would want always to come to our house. We played marbles, pitched dollars? Horseshoes and play baseball. If they like one for baseball they call me. We ate lots of watermelon and we take time from playing and ate melons and played until 4 oíclock in the morning. Daddy and I would go with the wagon and mules and get a wagon bed full of melons. Hubert and I gather Hickory, hazel and black walnuts in the fall  for winter. Winters at nite we pop popcorn and take sorghum molasses and make popcorn balls.

1928 I married Eura E. Smith who is your Grandma Vaupels daddy. He was hit in the side with a broom and died April 10, 1936. In 1937 I married Leslie Myron Milstead who helped me raise your grandma Vaupel, great aunt Dru and great aunt Lavern. Your Daddy and aunt Dorietha Kay, Diania and cousin Bobby Glen, Carlotta was with papa Buck quite a lot.

There a lot more but canít think and I think I put enough down.

I love you, my great granddaughter,

Your great grandmother

Mary Elizabeth Pinegar Smith Milstead  (Mammie)

(This letter was written to Jennifer Vaupel, daughter of Loren Veril Vaupel II, Granddaughter of Sibyline Smith Vaupel, and Loren Veril Vaupel I. Great granddaughter of Mary Elizabeth Pinegar Smith Milstead)


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