Dec. 15, 1938
Back fifty and sixty years ago a great many farmers had to cut drain ditches to drain branch bottoms so the land would be dry enough to cu1tivate. "Uncle Alex" Goin and his son Dan, and John and Doss Hutchins would do a lot of ditching for the people. They lived above Mt. Harmony church near the foot of the mountain, and they would very often walk four or five miles and do a day’s ditching for fifty cents or sometimes a bushel or half-bushel of corn, and carry it home that night. They would be back by sunup next morning, ready to go to work.
Lawson Gamble lived in Golden Valley township, near First Broad Baptist church. He was a shoemaker by trade and was one of the best cobblers in the county. He could make the nicest boots I ever saw. In those days it was very fashionable for young men to wear boots. When a young man wanted a real nice pair of boots, he would nearly always go to Mr. Gamble to make them. They would usually wear their pants tucked into the boots. Mr. Gamble was a good farmer, but about 1890 he left the farm and moved to Henrietta Mills and lived there for several years, but he kept up his shoe work. Sometime in the early nineties his wife died and he later married Miss Bettie Fortune of Golden Valley Township, and they lived in Henrietta a few years and then moved to Forest City where Mr. Gamble died about 1922 or 1923. His wife is still living in Forest City. Mr. Gamble was a member of the Baptist church and lived a consistent Christian life. He was a justice off the peace for a
number of years and was a strong believer in the principles of the Democratic party. Mr. Gamble served in the War Between the States in Company K, 1st North Carolina Cavalry, and always appeared to take great pleasure in telling of his experience in the war.
He also served in the War Between the States, along with Mr. Gamble. They were born about the same year, and there was one day’s difference in their death. Isaac Newton Biggerstaff was born and reared on Roberson’s Creek, and was a son of Aaron Biggerstaff. He married Miss Susan Cowan, and settled in Logan’s Store township about one mile east of Logan Store post office on the old Piney Mountain road, where this road and the Whiteside settlement road crosses. This community is now known as Pea Ridge. He entered the mercantile business and also put up a cotton gin and operated it by steam power, this a being the first cotton gin in this section that was operated by steam.
Mr. Biggerstaff was one of the leading citizens of the county and made a success in the mercantile business. His wife contributed largely to his success. They had four children, two sons and two daughters. Sometime in the eighties Mr. Biggerstaff moved to Forest City, then known as Burnt Chimney. He continued in the mercantile business there which he followed throughout his life or till a few years before his death. He also operated a hotel, the first one to be opened in Forest City. Mr. Biggerstaff was a steward in the First Methodist church and was one of its most able members. He also served in the War Between the States, along with Mr. Gamble. They were born about the same year, and there was one day’s difference in their death. Mr. Biggerstaff’s wife died a number of years after he moved to Forest City and he later married
Miss Susan Young, who died a few years after he died.
Mr. Webb Toney lived on Roberson’s Creek on what was known as the Benny Jenkins old place. He married Miss Lydia Hollifield and they had three sons and five daughters. There is only three of this family now living. Mr. Toney was a Baptist preacher and took a great interest in the work of the church, and could pray some of the most earnest prayers I ever heard. I remember having heard him pray during the revival meetings at Mt. Harmony and he would very often say: "O Lord, wilt Thou ride a white horse by Mt. Harmony this evening." He was a man of strong conviction. When he made up his mind on any topic it was hard to change his opinion. He was a very sensitive man. I recall being at his home at a corn shucking. The corn was piled by an apple tree. There was a remark which you would frequently hear on such occasions: "where Toney hid the wedge." At this corn shucking a boy in his teens noticed an iron wedge lying up in the fork of an apple tree, and he spoke up and said: "I’ve always heard of where Toney hid the wedge, but I never knew where he hid it before." Mr. Toney resented the remark.
At about the age of seventy years Mr. Toney had a stroke of paralysis and only lived a few days. He never spoke after he was stricken. Like most all the Toneys he was a great believer in the principles of the Republican party, although he was not as active during political campaigns as many others were. Mrs. Toney lived to be eighty-five years of age.