(Transcribed from Short Sketches of Jackson County, W. P. A. story from Alabama Department of Archives and History,)
Edgar Walker, Landowner
Dorans Cove, Alabama
September 30, 1938
J. S. W.
The Walker farm is located about four miles north of Bridgeport in Doran’s Cove. The place contains 148 acres of land, only 87 being in cultivation, the remaining 58 being taken up in mountain land, ditches, fence rows etc.
Only One Child At Home
He has five children. The only one at home is Betty Clyde, thirteen years of age, who attends Bridgeport High School. She comes in to school on the school bus and is in the 9th grade. His oldest child finished high school and took a business course. The other three children would not finish high school, but got married instead. He says it is not his fault the children didn’t get any more education, did everything in his power to get them to attend school. He is a firm believer in education and has high ideals for his children. He only attended school through the fifth grade because back in his day they only had three months school out of the year and he did not get to take advantage of this all the time. The only time he got to attend school was when his father did not need him to work. He related with much pride that his father owned three farms.
His earnings have been doubled from the time he first started to work. Says people who complain of hard times now don’t know anything about hard times. The trouble is in the people now days. They want too much and are never satisfied. They always had plenty to eat and wear when he grew up, but never had much money; can remember when his father would start saving money twelve months in advance for his taxes.
Likes His Work
He takes much price in his work, says a person would not get very far along and be much successful in any linen of work unless they liked it and took pride in it. Really likes his work. Worked on the railroad for twelve or fifteen years but liked farm life so much better that he returned to it. Thinks that farm life has advantages over all other life as they raise their own meat, have own vegetables, own corn for meal. Milk two cows and has chickens and eggs.. Very few items they have from the store in the eating line and they can generally exchange something from the farm for their items. It takes very little money to live like this with exception of money for tax, medicine, doctors, etc. The wife and daughter have been in the hospital, but they are all in good health now from the medical attention they have had. He thinks that “moderate” work on a farm is good for the health. Believes that life on the farm has advantage from any other life from healthful standpoint. As they get plenty of fresh air, sunshine as well as a well-balanced diet, containing plenty of rich milk and eggs, plenty of exercise and good sound sleep.
The wife and children belong to the Missionary Baptist Church. He things the children need amusement and recreation, which they receive in various ways, including attending ball games, going to parties, box and pie suppers, singings, almost any kind of amusement they indulge in with exception of attending dances. He never has any time for pleasure. When not working in his crop he is busy cleaning, repairing and improving the farm. Thinks there is always plenty to do on a farm if you will do it. Gets his pleasure from improving his place.
Shows much independence in his voting, says that is about the only privilege a man has and he certainly would not be deprived of that. He is a staunch old democrat.
Renter On His Place
They have one renter on the place, renting by the share, 1/3 and ¼. Gross a “well balanced crop”; raises what vegetables they eat in summer and wife cans enough for winter, raises some cotton, corn, hay and also live stock. Doesn’t market very much corn and hay as he saves this for own use.
The soil is prepared in early spring by turning and disking. Is through planting and cultivating and “lay by” about the first of July. Harvesting takes place about the last of September.
They are very proud of their modest six-room house, which provides adequate room for the three people at home. Have a well in the back yard.
In general you would say the Walkers take pride in their home, children and all their possessions, and is enjoying a quite peaceful and satisfied life coming from making their own living with their own hands, enjoying freedom and taking pride in their work.
S. B. J.
Alabama Footprints Volumes V-VIII: Four Books in One
Interesting History retold as real life. Many pioneers traveled to what would become the State of Alabama at an early day and pushed out the Native Americans who were living there. Over the years, the personal stories and events that took place during this time, have often been lost and/or forgotten. This book (four-books-in-one) reveals the circumstances, events and why and how the Native-Americans were forced to leave the “Alabama soil of their birth” forever. Treaties, legal acts, news clippings, and other documentation have been included with the stories.