Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Past in the Ozarks

Many times the thoughts of Christmas evokes of the bustle of shopping and the quickened pace of activities and events.  In times past, gifts were given in order to provide the necessities of life rather than filling the fringe of every desire.  In looking back through the leaves of history, I would like to share glimpses of past gifts, gatherings, and benevolence at Christmas.

1908…Gifts for the Wife
If you love your wife buy her a Cook Stove, Range, or a Buggy. These three things are dear to every married woman’s heart. What we have in the Stove, Range, and Buggy lines are strictly up-to-date and are A1 quality. The best line Cook Stoves are $6.00 and up. The best Ranges on the market start at $25.00. For the best Buggy on the Market prices start at $35.00. Come see I. J. Morris, The Implement Man in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

1909... Gathering at the Apron Strings (We used to call this "Sparking.")
Misses Argie and Margie Redus entertained a large number of their friends Friday evening with an apron and tie party. The girls brought the aprons and ties and the boys chose the ties in envelops and matched them with the aprons the girls were wearing. Each apron was unhemed and the boys had to hem the girl’s apron. A prize was offered for this and was won by Mr. Claude Alley. Later a gum molding contest kept the fun moving. Each had to make from a piece of chewing gum some animal or bird designed. Miss Beulah Casey won this prize by making an excellent dog. Refreshments were served later in the evening. All spent a very pleasant evening.

1910…Gifts in Baxter County
Shoes, Oranges, Candies, and Nuts were on sale for Christmas at the Redus Mercantile Store in Mountain Home, Arkansas.

1911…Gifts in Cotter

1914…True Christmas Spirit in Cotter

1927…Good Will & Benevolence
Some of the greatest influences in Ozark history are the many times the White River flooded. Great havoc has been chronicled in this region, including the “Flood of 16” (1916).  Nevertheless, “The Flood of 27” was the turning point of exasperation. I will not repeat a great entry that is cataloged on the Encyclopedia of Arkansas, but I encourage you to read about it here at the Flood of 27.

Cotter, Arkansas
The Flood of 1927
The flood brought devastation along the Mississippi, Arkansas, and White Rivers. The rains began in the spring, lasted through the summer until September. A small reprieve was felt by October. At Christmas, another soaking made front-page news, although it was small in comparison.

The North Fork River was at 30 feet flood stage, the Buffalo River was at 45 feet flood stage, and the White River at Cotter was resting on 28 feet at flood stage and fomenting its’ weight down to Batesville.  Baxter, Izard, and Marion County roads along the rivers and streams were washed out.  The White River Division of the Missouri Pacific Railroad was damaged.  Half of the town of Calico Rock, Arkansas, was flooded, and water ran through the main street in Guion, Arkansas.

Many lost houses, crops, cattle, and land this year to the deluge. Although houses were destroyed, the Ozark home endured by grit and determination.  Even so, neighbors strove to lend a helping hand to bridge the chasm of despair with goodwill, compassion, and true Christmas Spirit.

1927… Gatherings in Mountain Home
Mr. and Mrs. Z. M. Horton gave a reception Christmas afternoon from four to seven in honor of Mr. Horton’s brother, Mr. L D. Horton, and wife, of Durant, Okla. Music was furnished during the afternoon by little Miss Dow Horton, who has unusual talent for one her age, Mrs. Lon Jones and Miss Hallie Shiras. A delightful two-course lunch was served, and Miss Lucie Horton was assisted by Misses Madge Roane, Annie Simpson, and Hallie Shiras.
The guests in attendance as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Wolf
Mrs. Patillo
Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Dyer
Mr. and Mrs. Lon Jones
Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Morris
Mr. and Mrs. L. G. Talburt
Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Baker
Mr. and Mrs. F. M. Seaward
Misses Simpson, Roane, and Shiras

May you Bless the Father in Heaven...
Find Healing in His presence...
Renew broken bonds with those who were once afar off...
Make Peace with your foes...
Find Joy in the small things...
Feast on the bounty of the land for only $2.00... in your Ozarks' Christmas.

1929…A Feast for the Gatherings

Works Cited
“Advertisement - I. J. Morris, The Implement Man”. The Baxter Bulletin. 9.51 (6 Dec. 1908) 3. Mountain Home, AR.
“Advertisement- Reus Mercantile”. The Baxter Bulletin. 9.51 (6 Dec. 1910) 1. Mountain Home, AR.
“Christmas Offerings” 11.47 (22 Dec. 1927) 1. The Cotter Courier. Baxter County Library. Mountain Home, AR.
“Social Events” 28.2 (3 Jan. 1928) 1. The Baxter Bulletin. Baxter County Library. Mountain Home, AR.
“True Christmas Spirit” 4.49 (31 Dec. 1914) 1. The Cotter Courier. Baxter County Library. Mountain Home, AR.
"A Two-Dollar Dinner For Six” 29.1 (20 Dec. 1929) 3. The Baxter Bulletin. Baxter County Library. Mountain Home, AR.

1 comment:

Mary Jane Hobbs Pattillo said...

Enjoyed the memories from Baxter County. In the 1927 excert, Mrs. Mamie Pattillo was my husband's grandmother and Mr. W. M. Dyer were Mamie's brother and sister-in-law. Thanks for sharing on your page. If you find any other references to the Dyer's, Field's, Pattillo's or Toler or Irene White, I would love to see them. Thanks again.
Mary Jane Hobbs Pattillo