WNC History Timeline

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www.childers-shepherd.org, 29 Dec 2008
                                         Roy Arthur Childers

Interviewed Fall 1973 by Dwight Childers

[The Midwives]

This old lady, her name was Wyatt. Now she was livin’ in the Civil War. She was the midwife of some of
our later children and probably me, I guess. I remember her very well. We used to go up to Carry
Nations’s, and they had a big gate there and they had a loose chain on it, ‘t they fastened it by. She’d
hear that gate open, hear that chain rattle, she’d pop her head out this little scuttle hole in the house,
and she had this . . . they called ‘em [hippins] then, a white cloth on her head. I never did see her
head, but people said all her hair ‘d -- she’s so old her hair ‘d all come out. Her and Fate, her son,
lived there with her. That was the house below the Nations.

I remember one time when we left there and then come back we stayed all night there with her the first
night after we come back from Greenville, and I remember her bakin’ the bread in an oven on a fire.
They took the bread, put the bread in a oven an’ then put a top on it, an’ then put coals on it. An’ it
baked the bread that way. I remember it didn’ have a speck of salt in it. She didn’ have any. She was
evidently gettin’ some kind of a little pension from her husband -- I don’t know if he’s killed in the Civil
War, or died. An’ I’ve heard her tell about the soldiers comin’ -- they had to hide the food you know.
Theey’d take people’s horses you know. They had to hide their meat.

That wasn’t in there. It must have been somewhere else. That was in her early days I guess. An’ l’ve
heard her tell about ‘t where people used to salt their meat in the meat houses--the’ was a scarcity of
salt during the civil war -- they’d get this dirt up someway and run the salt out of it to salt their food
with.

I guess she was ninety year old, because Fate was an old man --Fate was older than my daddy.

[We called her] Miz Wyatt, I believe, her son’s name was Fate Wyatt.They must have lived up on that
creek before we ever moved there. Her house had been built out of saw timber. It was sawed in there.
All that I knew had built their own houses there.

I don’t think the’d been any [previous houses] if they had the’ [wudn] no record of it or no trace of it or
anything.

The’ used to be another midwife out in there. ‘T was Miz Loftus lived down near the old church there
on the river. She delivered some of my brothers and sisters. On ‘Luftee River, down near that Mingus
Creek mill.