Dec. 01, 1938
Nearly all of the farmers would gather their corn and pile it in the barn lot or by the side of the crib and later have a corn shucking. All the men would come in and help and the women would assist with the cooking, and very often the women would have a quilting and quilt two or three quilts. It would sometimes be eleven o’clock at night before they would finish with the supper. Very often there would be from fifty to one hundred to eat supper including the children.
I recall being at a corn shucking at George Stewart’s home one time, and that night at supper they had fried steak and gravy, both in the same dish. There was a young man at the table and they passed him the steak. He, thinking it was sliced potato pie, took out several pieces of it and passed the dish on.
Mr. Addis Philbeck lived on the old Lincoln road near Salem and was one of the best farmers in the county. He married Miss Hulda Wells and they had a family of five boys and two girls. Mr. Philbeck was one of the leading men in the community. He was a christian man and always believed in the right. He was a member of Salem Methodist church and was one of the strongest members in the church. He lived a model life. He ran for the Legislature once on the Republican ticket, but failed by a few votes of election.
The younger men and school boys would have debating societies and one would very often see Uncle Addis Philbeck and Uncle Abe Hollifield at the debates and would always take a part with the boys and encourage them in any way possible.
Mr. Thomas Carlisle lived between Salem church and Oak Springs post office. He was reared in the state of Michigan and when he was a young man he joined the United States Army and during the excitement over the Ku Klux Klan in the south there were a lot of soldiers sent to this country. He was one of them. He was later mustered out of service at Rutherfordton and he became acquainted with Miss Frances Biggerstaff, daughter of Mr. Aaron Biggerstaff and they were married and settled down at the Biggerstaff home where they lived throughout their lives.
The pupils had been accustomed to being called to study, after playtime, by the teacher yelling “Come to Books.”There was a schoolhouse about three miles south of Sunshine known as the Fortune school house. I remember a number of the teachers who taught school there. Among them were Mr. Martin L. Martin, Miss Jennie Eaves, and Mrs. William Bridges. There teachers were paid from twenty to twenty-five dollars per month and the school was in session about three months each year.
Mr. M. L. Martin was one or the most able men that ever taught school in this county. I recall when Mr. William Bridges came there as a teacher. The pupils had been accustomed to being called to study, after playtime, by the teacher yelling “Come to Books.” But the first day Mr. Bridges was there, and time came for study after the noon hour, the pupils were at the play ground. He came out [and] yelled “All Right.” I asked him “What is all right?”
We had a great many spelling races at these schools. There were about ten or fifteen pupils that would stand up for two or three hours and spell before they would miss a word. Sometimes they would spell almost half the words in the Webster’s Spelling Book before either side would be “killed.” Among the best spellers, as I remember them, were Misses Lex Stewart, Minnie Stewart, Arrie O’Brien, Bessie Toms, Rebecca DePriest and Messrs. Zeb, Joe and Charlie Carson, Bob Hollifield and Weldon Toney. All but one or two of these people are still living and I believe some of them would stand up today and give modern day spellers a great surprise. This school has since been torn down.