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(Portions of this document which appear in italics represent an addendum provided by the author after the original document was distributed to his children.)
I, Eugene Hendrix Lovell am the fourth son of William Henry Lovell and the second son of Fannie Ellen Fisher. My father, W. H. Lovell was born near Lynnville, Tenn. in Giles County on Jan. 7, 1858 and died near Fayetteville, Tenn. on Nov. 18, 1924. He had married Lena Storey and there were two sons by this marriage. My mother, Nellie Fisher, was born near Lewisburg in Marshall County Dec. 20, 1874 and died Oct. 21, 1957. Mother was married to John L. Griggs of Williamson County. He died Oct. 24, 1901, and then mother married my father. Mother had two children by her first marriage, but one died in infancy. Mother and Dad had 7 children, of whom I was the second. My father, William Henry Campbell Lovell, was the son of James and Mary Hannah Lovell. He was the tenth child of the eleven. His father, James Wesley, was born on October 11, 1811, and died on July 22, 1859. His mother, Mary Hannah, was born November 20, 1820, and died on March 3, 1882. So you can see that his father died while he was quite young. At the close of the Civil War, his mother Mary Hannah, moved to Texas from Giles County, as did a great many others of that county. She took with her this large family, and bought land. Dad worked on the farm until he was 21 years old. When but a youth, he was converted, and some years later was licensed to preach. Seeking a place for continuing his education, he came back to Tennessee and entered Vanderbilt (it had another name and had not become Vanderbilt then), but later seeing the need of more foundation work, entered Webb School at Bell Buckle, where he finished the course. Dad was a Methodist preacher, having joined the Tennessee Conference in 1888 at the conference held in Fayetteville Oct. 17-22, with Bishop J. C. Keener presiding. His first appointment was Alex Green Circuit in the East
Nashville District, with Payten A. Sowell as Presiding Elder. His brother, Isaac Wilson, was also a Methodist preacher. He was traveling the Nashville Circuit at the outbreak of the Civil War, and died in a Camp in the Confederate Army. Their mother, my grandmother, was a deeply spiritual woman, and the salutary influence of her life on him was acknowledged by him. Isaac Wilson, the preacher brother, was the oldest of the several brothers. He had come into the Tennessee Conference on trial at the 1861 Annual Conference, held at Athens, Alabama Oct. 2-8 with Bishop John Early presiding. He was appointed to Swan Creek and Beaver Dam in the Centerville District, along with William P. Warren who was the Senior pastor, we presume. He became a chaplain in the Confederate Army, and died as recorded above in a Mississippi army camp March 14, 1863. So far as we know, Dad, Isaac Wilson, and Thomas Riley, another brother, were the only ones to return to Tennessee. Isaac Wilson did not live until the end of war, hence did not go with the family to Texas. There were seven brothers, and 4 sisters. It is thought that our grandfather Lovell, James Wesley, came from Kentucky or Illinois. He was buried at the family cemetery at Yoakley, Tennessee, between Columbia and Pulaski. Dad served 9 charges before I was born, and 12 others after my birth. He was always a circuit rider. In looking at the Conference records, I notice that his salary at White House started at $300, and increased to $320 his last year there. He was pastor there 4 years, and White House was a Mission charge. We know nothing of where our Grandmother Lovell originated, or even her maiden name. We hope that it may be possible to discover some facts about both families some day. We do know that our grandfather Lovell died of T.B. And we do know that our grandmother was of the Wilcoxson family. She died of Typhoid fever.
2 One can find the history of our mother's family in the Fisher Scrapbook written by Bill Jones. Her family was a well-known family of Bedford County. I mentioned the fact that Dad and Mother were married before, and their marriage took place after the death of first wife and first husband. Mother had two children by her first marriage, lost the little boy in infancy. Mildred Griggs was the survivor, and lived until May 2, 1968. She had married Clarence Jones of Burwood. He survived Sis only a few months. They had an only son, Thomas, who teaches at Columbia Military. Joe and Jim were the sons that Dad had by his first marriage. By the second marriage of the two (Dad and Mother) there were 6 more, 5 boys and 1 girl--John, 'Gene, Marsh, Gil, Margaret, and Marvin. Quite a family, but that was customary in those days. My mother's uncle was another Methodist preacher. This meant that we children grew up in a Christian home, where many of the luxuries that are enjoyed today were missing, but we had a happy childhood in spite of all this. Dad had already served several charges when I was born on October 19, 1905. I was born at White House, Tenn., in Robertson County. I think that Dad built the parsonage in which I was born, but have no verification of this. Of course, I was too young to remember anything which took place there or at the next few places that we lived. My brother, Marshall, was born at Pleasant View, Tenn. two years later. I remember a story told of my childhood, of how my father had to come down from the pulpit and rescue me after I had gotten my head between the railings of the altar of the church. I am not sure where this happened. It was the custom of my parents to put their children to sleep inside the altar railing if there was a night service. My first dim recollections start at Santa Fe. We were there in 1910-1911 and I started to school at Santa Fe. The Cook family were among those that are remembered. We played with a neighbor boy named Early, and I can still hear his mother calling to him, "Early, go fetch the eggs." We played in the creek back of the parsonage. In those days there was malaria, and my older brother became sick with it during the summer. You will notice that I passed over the periods from 1905 to 1913, for I have little memory of events during those early days of my life. We had now lived at White House, in Robertson County, at Pleasant View in Montgomery County, where Uncle Marsh was born, then at Bethlehem, in Williamson County, and near Nashville--just between Nashville and Franklin. Also I have little memory of Santa Fe, where I believe I first attended grammar school, and there to Nolensville, where we lived for two years, 1911-1913. Memory does clear a bit when we moved to Dellrose in 1913. We were there a couple of years, and some of the memories of those days were again stirred when we went there to serve as pastor during 1933-35. Names of families, places where they lived, and other matters renewed themselves in our memory. Throughout the years, even though my pastorates in the Tennessee Conference were few in number, I served two places where Dad had served while I was a boy. Dellrose and Cumberland City were these places. We were assigned the Dellrose and Bee Springs Circuit when we came home from Congo in 1933, during the Depression. Life was pretty hard, for there was little money in the country, but somehow we made out, and even managed to accumulate a few personal belongings. We started out in the ministry at Cumberland City, and were we green at the work?! Cumberland City was on the railroad, but Dover, the county seat was not. So the two towns were connected by means of a mail boat which made the journey down the Cumberland River to carry mail and passengers. This was before the days of good roads. Dad drove a horse called "Telephone" from his height, and later secured "Molly" with whom we grew up. My memory of things had deepened at Nolensville in 1911-1913. I recall that we had neighbors who were socially a notch or two above us. They even had a Lazy Susan table, and the lady of the home played the organ at the
3 church, I believe. My brother Jim had the job of pumping this pipe organ during the summer vacation, and usually came home wet with perspiration. This family went to Florida for the winter, and the boy shared a few things that he brought back with him. It seems that I remember the first coconut from those days. I remember stealing a pencil box at school one day, and the pangs of conscience I suffered as a result until I had to tell my parents and return it with an apology. Our grandmother on mother's side came to live with us while we were there, and she died at the parsonage. She used to regale us with stories of the Civil War until we were fearful of going to bed. This usually occurred when she baby-sat with us on Sunday nights. Dad always had a good garden, and so taught us to help out in this work after school. We were taught many things by our parents, for it was difficult for them to stretch what little money came in to feed and clothe so many children. I believe that my sister, Margaret, was born at Nolensville. We learned very early how to cut wood for the kitchen stove and for the fireplaces, for that was how we heated the parsonages in which we lived. Later we had grates and burned coal. We learned how to care for the cow, Molly, and any other livestock we might have as a calf, colt, or pigs. Dad had to have water that was not limestone water, so we carried his drinking water from an artesian well from the Waller home. Somehow I seem to remember that there was a suicide in the family during the time we were there, and of course this was a matter of fear to us at that time. It seemed a long way to carry a heavy bucket of water, but it really wasn't too far. Dad was often invited to the homes of people on the circuit, and occasionally we joined him, for Sunday dinner. Mother used to have to question him about where he had eaten, for she found that he would forget and bring home the dinner napkin. The railway was being built at this time, and they used to pull cars and other equipment by on the road that ran in front of the parsonage. When we moved to Dellrose for 1913-1914, we found it a rural community about twenty miles from Fayetteville. Even when Mildred and I lived there some twenty years later, things had not changed much. The Mansfield family was one of the older families as was the Sherrill and the George family. Dad drove through the country in the buggy when he moved, and we led the cow behind. We stayed at the Mansfield home, and I believe Dad returned for the rest of the family. Anyhow the first day of school was a disaster for me, for I was so timid that I ran away from the school over to the parsonage and hid in the utility shed for the day. When the family all arrived I was soon happy in school. We hunted all sorts of nuts in the woods above the parsonage. Jim was at Massey School in Pulaski, and on one occasion when coming home, he wasn't sure of the road, so decided to let Molly find it, and she came directly home. The railroad was being constructed through Dellrose, and the town was divided between New Town and Old Town. We lived in Old Town. Mother usually had extra milk and butter for sale, so we went to the cars to sell it. I believe that the price was about ten cents per gallon. There were no conveniences at the parsonages in those days, and so we had no bathrooms or electricity. It was the custom to get out the wash tub before the kitchen stove on Saturday nights and bathe. Of course water had to be heated on the stove for this purpose. When we moved to Cumberland City in 1914-1915, we attended the W. T. Thomas Academy. It later became the public school. We often were able to buy fresh fish here, and Dad secured the garden of a neighbor in addition to our own for raising vegetables. It had Bermuda grass in it, and what a time we had trying to get rid of it. We threw it into the alley and it even took root there in the hard ground. Many years later we lived at Dover, and the grass on the yard came from the Bermuda that we had thrown into the alley, which had been collected from the garden. Dad's fellow pastor carried it there and set it out. This was my first charge in the conference, and where we began our married life. Dad also rented a field down
4 in the creek bottom a little way out from Cumberland City so that we could have corn, beans, and other things. I drank some water from the creek and soon developed a case of Typhoid Fever. I first noticed it by the chills I had on the hot summer morning, for I was so cold I usually wound up behind the kitchen stove. The rest of the family were vaccinated, and so escaped it. I was a sick boy all that summer. Sometimes I had to be bathed in ice water, and of course was denied any solid food. This was before the day of miracle drugs, and the family must have worried a lot over me that summer. I was starved for something to eat and remembered that I had thrown part of a biscuit in the grate weeks earlier, and so crawled over to get it. That dry biscuit was real feast. I don't suppose that it harmed me much, but it was enough to kill me. I had been fed soup, raw eggs, orange juice, and other liquids until I had to have something solid. My hair all came out, and I was a scrawny creature when fall came. I could not so much as pick up a few pieces of wood without fever returning, but gradually it left and I can attribute most of my health today from that summer of fever. The bottles emptied of medicines as Castor Oil and other things piled up, until it was unbelievable. While at Cumberland City, mother asked me to take some empty jars to the smoke house, and in some way one hit against another and I received a very bad cut on the hand. I have the livid scar to this day on my right hand. The Stackers, the Bayers, the Billahans, the Daughterys, the Thomases, and Bradfords were friends who welcomed us back there when I started my ministry years later. We moved to Springfield from Cumberland City in 1915 and stayed until 1919--the longest sojourn that we remember. We lived on the edge of town, and Dad was Pastor of the Red River Circuit. We attended Peoples-Tucker Preparatory School. Peoples-Tucker Preparatory School was one of the many Preparatory Schools in the state of Tennessee, and a very good one. There were both boarding students and those who walked in each day. We were less than four miles away, and walked back and forth most days. Sometimes, if the weather was too bad, Dad took us in the buggy. We always rushed home after school hours, for there was much to be done, like cutting wood, helping in the garden in the growing season, and other kinds of work. We were kept busy. Mother canned a great many fruits and vegetables, and we raised most of our food, for there was too little money to buy much except the necessary staples. "Buck" Peoples was head of the school, and a real fine Latin teacher. Sometimes we had to stay after school to make up the Latin we were not able to recite in class. I think I was put in school too early at Peoples-Tucker so had to return to Grammar School another year or so. Miss Lora McClelland must have been an excellent teacher, for she introduced me to art and music. I enjoyed these years. When I returned to the P.T., "Buck" Peoples really bore down hard on Latin, and gave me an excellent foundation in that subject, which I am still using. When one could not recite properly, he was called to go down to the Raspberry patch and recite. One was kept after school in those days too. Chataqua came into our lives while there. World War I was being fought, and we saw patriotic marches, special services and the first flying machine, as it was called. How thrilled were we on Armistice Day which was celebrated twice. They were a bit previous with the announcement. We usually attended First Church on Sunday mornings, and then went to Woodland Street in South Springfield for the afternoon service. When Faxon Small was pastor there as a student, we rang the church bell all the time it took him to walk from the crossroads, and did he light into us. Mrs. Faxon Small is now here at McKendree Manor. We knew Faxon's sister, Mrs. Jim Majors. Jim and she taught school for many years and now live at Clarksville. John, our older brother-- two years older than I, was with the family until we moved to Sumner Circuit, I believe in 1920. I think that he was sent to
5 Massey at that time. Massey was another Preparatory School and used military training. It was located at Pulaski. Our brother, Jim, had graduated from there. Dad was rather puritanical in his discipline of us, and we all had the rod laid on sometimes. One day I ran away when he called me in for my share of punishment. He went on to town, and when he had returned, he asked me to come forward, and I started off across the field. He finally caught me as I was getting over the fence, and was it "hot and heavy" for me. John, my older brother rebelled, and this hurt dad a lot. He and Dad just didn't see eye to eye after that. He didn't want to be disciplined any longer. I worked on the Davis farm a summer or so, and also on the Dowell farm next door, to us, with a black family who lived there. Sol and Frankie were their names. Once after Sol had taken a drink of water with wiggle-tails, or mosquito larvae in it, he cried out, "Sister Frankie, Sister Frankie give me a cup of hot grease." He was afraid of what the wiggle-tails would do to him. On second thought, I believe that this was a friend of theirs, or Frankie's brother, not Sol himself. We found Sol and Frankie wonderful neighbors. The winters in those days were real winters, and one winter the snow stayed so long and so deep that schools closed, and naturally, we had lots of fun sliding down the hill on the pike in front of our home. The wagons and teams had a hard time climbing it. I spoke of the winters being hard in those days. Of course, most of the time the parsonages were heated with only a grate fire or a heater, and most of the house that was not used was shut off, and only when company came was the parlor used, or in the summer time. We kids usually slept in a cold room. The washing tub was brought out on Saturday nights and water heated on the kitchen range for baths. We wore long underwear, and long stockings, and button shoes were in vogue those days. The outdoor "john" was found most everywhere in those days too. Water came mostly from wells or cisterns. We were an outdoor family, especially we children, for there was never much room in the house to play. Mother helped us with our lessons, and the boost she gave me on Latin remains with me until this day. While at Springfield, Dad bought a surrey, or fringed-topped two-seated buggy for the family. We enjoyed it a lot. We had friends that we had known somewhere else settle in Springfield, the H. T. Thomas family. He soon bought a model T Ford, and we enjoyed many rides with him, although he was a rather wild driver and often scared the wits out of one, going around the corners on two wheels and other wild capers. I suppose that this was one of the first cars in which we rode. Swimming, hanging on wild grape vines, hiking, and attending "protracted meetings" were a lot of fun too. We had to work, but there was time for fun too. Mother used to make fried fruit pies for us to carry to school, and how we enjoyed them. She also made a fried sugar pie, and the fellows at Peoples-Tucker just couldn't wait to get their hands on them, and we bought peanuts with the dime and were satisfied. We had lots of Rhubarb in the garden, and mother canned a lot of it, as we had pies and other dishes of Rhubarb. We also dried fruit, for there was an apple orchard on the parsonage property. The two older boys were at Agricultural college at U. T. and told Dad how to prune and spray the trees. We also had cherry trees, and we picked berries here, there, and yonder. One other thing we did was to raise peas. We sold a lot of these, plus beans and other things, but we put up big carbide cans of peas for the winter, so we ate well. Farmers often gave us pork at hog-killing time, and most of the time we had pigs for butchering. Once we kept apples in cold storage until Christmas or later. We hunted nuts, etc. We somehow managed to survive the childhood diseases that afflicted us at seasons of the years. It is still a marvel how my parents managed to help two sons at college, and keep some of us in preparatory schools and other in Grammar Schools and still keep going from year to year. Mildred, our sister, began to attract the attention of boys, and we enjoyed some of the gifts that came to her from their hands. We all learned
6 the value of a dollar, and how to work with our hands, and hope that we have been able to pass this on to others. We saw something of rationing during the war, but our sugar managed to hold out as well as other foods except when they needed replenishing. A Powder Plant was being built at Jacksonville, now called Old Hickory, and bus loads of workers used to pass by each day. Model T's were beginning to be somewhat plentiful, and a few of the luxury class cars as well. We left Springfield with regret, and went to Theta in Maury County. It was in 1919-1920. When we went to Theta in 1919 from Springfield, it seemed as if we were going to the backwoods, for Theta was quite a distance from Columbia or Franklin in those days. The school was an incomplete High School, and we lost out on our school work that year. I remember that "country singing" classes were held in the church, and I can still hear, "Life's evening sun" being sung. The year at Theta was a full one for we cut wood for sale, grubbed sprouts, and did a lot of other work to help make ends meet. The school there was limited in its years, so some of us had to repeat what we had had before. Dad always made a point of trying to move to a place where there was a good school, but could not always be successful. We were kept busy, for we cut wood in the places where the loggers were getting out timber, and even though this was mostly on Saturday, we found that Dad had big plans for the vacation. Before school was out some of us were taken out of school and started grubbing sprouts off land that had been fallow for some years. There was a barn where we could go when it rained. We soon thought we had poison oak, or something worse. It turned out that the barn was infested with pig fleas, and we even got the parsonage infested. Fumigation had to be used. We learned to plow with a Hillside Plow, which had a mold-board that could be switched from one side to the other, and one simply switched it at the end of the furrow and came on back. We made an excellent crop of corn, but didn't get much for it, since we were moved, and could not bargain too long. We had learned to break a young mule to riding, how to stack up a neat cord of wood of the firewood kind and of the kitchen stove kind. We also had a good garden, and even a cantaloupe patch, I believe. During the summer revival, when the church had a visiting evangelist, I publicly acknowledged my call to preach for the first time. I cannot date my conversion, for it was gradual, and experiences were many that deepened my faith. One of the happy experiences that came was to care for the pressure lamps in the church, and to do other things that were helpful. We were allowed to visit our cousins at a place called Boston, not far from Franklin, for Uncle Will Lewis had moved there and bought a farm. Tom and Sallie May were first cousins, and children of Aunt Margaret who was mother's sister, and had died some years previously, and Uncle Will had married another wife. I believe that we went coon hunting for the first time, or was it possum hunting? A Jewish family kept a general store at Theta, and we learned a bit more about Jews. The other storekeeper said that we were not like most of the preachers' kids, for we worked and were behaved. There were three churches--Campbellite, Baptist, and Methodist. They were so close together that the story goes, when one sang the song, "Will there be any stars in my crown," the answer came back from another, "No, not one." Singing schools were then in fashion, as today, and our church had them from time to time. I believe that listening through the open windows of the parsonage next door, and the comments of my father gave me a dislike for them until this day. Dad had several churches, and at Burwood lived a man named Clarence Jones. I do not know where our sister Mildred met Clarence, but he started coming to the parsonage seemingly to ask Dad for church information, and before we knew it the news that she had run away and married him just about bowled us all over. It was most difficult for Dad and he was quite upset for a long while, and never became
7 reconciled to the matter. Clarence was always rather peculiar, and we laughed far too much at the poor fellow. He never seemed very happy for some reason or other. I am sure that he showed Sis a lot of troublesome times. They are both gone now. Mildred, our older sister, lived during the first years of her married life on the Jones family farm at Burwood. It got so they had a hard time making ends meet, and Grandpa Jones, Clarence's father, ran a market wagon. I do not know how well he did in those days. It used to be the custom for a country store to have a regular route for such business throughout the countryside for people could not always come to the store, especially during the depression. They had little money, few cars, and quite a bit of produce as eggs, chickens, etc., which they traded for store bought goods. When we lived at Dellrose in the mid-thirties, both the Jean, and Sherrill stores had market trucks running. When conditions got worse, the Jones family sold their farm, and moved to Old Hickory, where Clarence found work at the DuPont plant. He always hated the place for some reason or other, and had very few good words for it or the Campbellite church. Big Sis was Clarence's aunt, and Emma was his sister. They took boarders too, for nearly everyone did in those days. DeBow Street was one of the streets filled with big duplex tar-paper houses put up during the days of the Powder plant at Old Hickory, and most every family had a good many of the men and girls who worked at the plant boarding with them. When we moved from Theta in 1920, it was to the Sumner Circuit to which Dad was assigned. We lived in a small community called Ocana--about 6 miles from Gallatin. We were pleased to find that there was a good school not too far away. It was the Williams Preparatory School. Marshall and I rode in to school with Walter Dorris and his two sisters, Josephine and Mary. The girls were in high school, while Walter and we were at Williams. Sometimes the model T had to be helped up the hills, and in the snow, we often had to assist it. When gas was low, Walter had to sometimes back it up the hills to get enough gas to the engine. On cold mornings, a tea kettle of hot water had to be poured over the manifold to start it. The church, next door to the parsonage was called Douglas Chapel, and there were several influential families connected with it. Mrs. Harris, my S.S. teacher made a very vivid impression on my 15-year old mind and soul. It was there that I put on long pants, which in those days was a big event in the life of a growing boy. During the summer vacation, we secured jobs with local farmers, the telephone company, a group baling hay and other places. I was fortunate in that day and got me a job with a family near Cottontown, I believe it was called. The man I worked for was one who milked 13 cows, and it often fell my lot to do the milking, the separation of the cream, and other duties about the place. I learned to run the big mower, and to do many other things. He also raised "bearded barley" for feed, and operating the winnowing machine was about the most breath-taking job I was called upon to do. It was a "lung busting" job. I did not know it then, but found out later that the crib of the barn where we kept the feed was Strother's Meeting House, a celebrated Methodist Chapel. It now stands on the campus of Scarritt College. While at Ocana I remember cutting Marshall's hair on the promise that when I finished, he would do the same for me. I made such a mess that it took a local barber a long time to finally straighten it up. When Marsh wanted to claim my promise of letting him do mine, I was too afraid of what he might do to let him start, so the promise is unfulfilled until this day. We borrowed a team and wagon and hauled wood from the top of Pilot Knob, a very high hill. We had to lock the wheels coming down to control the wagon. Once I went with Dad to Shackle Island where there was a large mill, to hold the funeral of a returned soldier's body. That was about as far as I got away from home during that year, save the trips to Gallatin to school.
8 Once Earl Stilz, home on furlough from his work as a missionary to Congo, visited the church and gave a talk. I can still see some of the curios he brought along. It made an impression upon me, and gave an urge to want to do likewise. We moved to Dover in 1921, and lived there for three years. It was a long move, and the circuit was large. The parsonage was a large two-story house built of green lumber, and unable to heat in the winter to any satisfaction. We had a good public High School there, and both Marshall and I graduated at Dover High School. We made many friends there. Professor Gorham was the school principal, and an able school man. There were other good teachers. Mr. Gorham was a good disciplinarian, and we heard that he committed suicide in later years because of deep depression. It was sad to hear such of so good and so worthy a man. He did not claim affiliation with any church, but certainly upheld high moral principles. One of my teachers simply could not understand how I could do so well in Plane Geometry in daily classes and just about fall flat on the final examination. I have never cared for math of any kind, and after that course, never took math again. Latin was my favorite subject, and History was next. I have always been sorry that I did not major in History in college instead of Philosophy. I detested Philosophy, so guess I was looking for an easy way out. I believe that the first year we were at Dover, I went to Columbia to stay with Joe, my older brother, and Louise, his wife. I was given the opportunity of helping them by caring for the cow, the yard, and the chickens, as well as running errands, and could attend class. I enjoyed my school days there. Agnes Malloy was my French teacher and I came to like French through her efforts. Everrett Derryberry, the president of Tennessee Tech University, was a fellow classmate. My stay with them helped out matters at home in cutting down by one those who had to be fed. When school was out I went to Burwood to visit sister Mildred and Clarence and Jones family. John, my older brother was there from Massey. He was restless, and still was rebellious about any parental control. I can well imagine my Dad having to handle him with "Kid Gloves." He cared little for Massey, and was sent to stay with Joe and Louise at Winchester, while I entered Dover High. I had heard of Granite City, Illinois and how much one could make there, so persuaded the family to let me have a try. A good many men from Dover were there at work and doing well. Permission was granted, and I soon found a job working at loading tar. I believe that I first had to dig the stuff up, and load it into cars on the railroad. One had to smear oil all over the exposed surfaces of the body to keep the fumes, and the dust of the tar from blistering one in the hot sum. I soon decided that this wasn't the sort of job I wanted and sought another. I soon was employed at the St. Louis Coke and Chemical Co., in the same city. I was a "Second Helper" which meant that I was to blow out the tanks where the Napthelene was being extracted from the by-product department of the Coke plant. This called for passing by the very hot furnaces where the coal was being processed into coke, and another job was to stir the mixture in the napthelene tanks, or vats. The odors of that place almost lifted off the top of the head, even beating the Ammonia extraction place. Ammonium Sulphate was another by-product, as well as Benzine. Our locker space was very near the ammonia tanks, and sometimes those tanks ran over, and the wall of water in the shower was a fair protection. Even then, one had to get out of the shower stall, and without a stitch on get away from the ammonia. I saw people coming toward us stop as if they had run into a solid wall, when the wall of ammonia suddenly stood in their pathway. Another job was to load heated tar. One had to measure the temperature so as not to have it too hot or too cool. It was a ticklish job up on the tank car doing this work. After some weeks, I decided that I would live longer back home, and left. Dad had gotten a job for me at a sawmill as an "Off-Bearer", which meant carrying off the slabs as soon as they were peeled off by the big circular saw. After a few hours of this, I
9 volunteered to help cut timber instead, for after all I knew how to handle a cross-cut saw. During my stay near the lumber project, I boarded with a good family, but when I heard of a much cheaper place, I left and tried it out for a night or so. The family were very poor, the food miserable, and the sleeping accommodations worse. I found out that after I fell asleep at night, the parents brought the children to my room, and I woke up next morning with some of them in my bed, and others on the floor about. I soon decided that I was in the wrong place for work, and secured a job on a farm. It was a nice place, and I spent the rest of the summer, cutting and baling hay, cultivating tobacco, making apple cider, and doing the thousand and one things that a farm calls for. Finally when the worms became bad on the tobacco and the farmer sprayed it with Paris Green, I used to get sick and vomit. I suffered out the days until we cut the tobacco, and hung it in the barn. Sometimes I had to stand spraddle-legged in the top of the barn and receive the tobacco plant as it was handed to me. One gets used to the heights in time. Once in the apple orchard, the son of the farmer showed me how he made more cider for sale later for vinegar. He would add a lot of creek water to it. When I protested that this was dishonest, it rolled off him as if no protest had been made. I enjoyed the cider until it became too hard to drink. I hope that I missed the creek water mixture. Our class at Dover School had fifteen members. We were a closely knit group, and enjoyed our days together. The Cherry girls, Nova and Viola, Walter Brigham, Lucille Keel, Oscar Vaughan, who married Viola later, Burrus Lewis and others were people for whom one had high respect. Lucille came in from the country each day, and had cheeks as pink as a rose. I was asked to keep up with her after graduation, but have not done a good job of it. Another student in the class just a year ahead of us, Henry Oliver, was the son of a Free-Will Baptist preacher. He graduated in short pants. He was one of the best graduates of the school. He himself became a Baptist preacher, and teacher. He was at one time principal of East Nashville High School, and later Superintendent of the Nashville Schools. The story is told of how his father was enrolling him at Southwestern College, then at Clarksville, and now at Memphis. Henry still wore short pants. When the Dean saw Henry, he asked his Dad to get him long pants before he came to college. We did not have preaching services every Sunday, so we went to the Christian church on alternate Sundays, and sometimes attended the services of the Baptists who were beginning an organization and meeting in the courthouse. We took care of the church and the pressure lights. It was a pretty church and had a special window in the end of it to commemorate the end of the Civil War, with the gray and blue shaking hands. Fort Donelson is at Dover and one of the decisive battles of the Civil War was fought here. It was the custom for each graduate to deliver a short oration during the closing exercises. Mine was about Carrie Nation. I have long since forgotten the contents, and recall only one phrase, "Carrie Nation with a Hatchet." It was a great day for each of us. Marsh graduated the next year, so there are two Lovells who are alumni of Dover High School. Dad always envisioned a college education for his children, and so we began the search for a college. Emory University was the Methodist College which took the place of Vanderbilt, and in those days offered some cuts in expenses for preachers' children. That was the place. I have always felt that I might have received just as good an education closer to home, and probably at less cost, but Dad wanted me to be in a Methodist school. He was always sad that Vanderbilt had been weaned away from the church. What a greenhorn I was. I hardly knew which end of the street car to catch, but met a boy on the way to Emory, while we were on the train, and he helped me some. The dormitories were full, so I stayed off campus in a private home along with others. Some weeks later, I was able to get into Alabama Hall, the
10 Freshman dorm. I was always strapped for money, and work was hard to find. I finally did get a job delivering suits for the pressing club. Later I found work washing dishes along with others at the dining hall. My grades were only fair but slowly I became adjusted to University Life. I suppose that Freshman English was one of the hardest subjects, and the many themes were really difficult to compose. We had a rather hard boiled teacher who used a percentage grading system. I never did too well in his class, but passed the course. Bible was a subject I enjoyed a lot, and even though John Knox was a good teacher, I must admit that my faith was a bit shaken by some of the "Higher Criticism" I heard for the first time. I had been reared in a theologically conservative home. I was able to take it in my stride, and have always been thankful that I was taking a course in biology which helped. Later, Evolution and Genetics, with Eugenics were of great help. Fosdick's, "Modern Use of the Bible" helped me in the change of theological change. I saw others who seemed to have their faith wrecked. I continued my study in Latin, and in Greek, as well as in French. We had excellent teachers. I went to the different churches in Atlanta, and at times taught a S. S. class during my student days. The older students in the Candler School of Theology manifested a great interest in others who would come after them, and often assisted us in finding churches where we could be of service. I shall forever be grateful to them. When summer came in 1924, I went back to Nashville, where I met Marshall and we took training from the Southwestern Book Co., on selling Bibles and other books. We stayed at the old Merchants Hotel on lower Broadway. It was a rather weather beaten place, with poor beds and poor food, but about as cheap a decent place where the company could house and feed us. I remember some of the men climbing over the wall of the bathroom to take a bath, so as to save the quarter of a dollar charged for that ablution. At the close of the training period, we were assigned to go to Maryland. It seemed a long way off, but we finally arrived at Westminster, and secured a boarding place. We soon set off through the town and communities of that part of Maryland with our sample cases. We found the work hard and interesting. We stayed with anyone who invited us at night, and lunched with those who asked us, and made it back to headquarters on the week- ends. We attended the local Methodist church. The church had a college there called Westminster. We were kept so busy that we kept out of mischief. Some weeks were good, and some not so good. By the end of the summer, Marsh had more orders than I had. I was able to deliver most of my orders. I found that keeping the sales record was an excellent way to develop memory, for I could start at the beginning of the order book, give the name and address of each person, and tell the item bought. I lost that art some months later. What a memory I might have developed. I ran into family quarrels, strange food, and many experiences. I was even bitten by a dog. One house I went to presented a dilemma. As I walked up the walk to the door, the little girl came out and said, "Mama doesn't want any." That was it. Usually we were well received, and found hospitality. I learned to eat smearcase for breakfast (cottage cheese). One Seventh Day Adventist family gave me bacon for breakfast. On one occasion I was ordered out of the garden by an irate farmer, but not before I finished selling his wife a Bible. That was one I sent C. O. D. on deliver date. I made something over $400 that summer, and that was a big help in meeting expenses at college. Marsh accompanied me to Emory, and we had been there only a few weeks when a telephone message came telling of the death of Dad. He had been at his new circuit at Medium and Harms, had sold Molly, bought a model T and was ready to start his pastoral work. One morning as he went to milk the cow, he had a stroke and died instantly. Marsh and I came for the funeral at Franklin where he was buried. We were not sure that it would be possible for us to stay at Emory, but Mother insisted that we
11 return. We did so, and it was proposed that we transfer to Cumberland University at Lebanon. However the Tennessee Conference offered some money on loans and a small scholarship, so we stayed at Emory. Mother moved to Franklin, for she had lived there some years while in school and it felt more like home to her. With her were Gilbert, Margaret and Marvin. Marvin was the last, born at Dover. I believe Gilbert finished High School and went to work in Nashville. During the summer, Marshall decided to sell aluminum, and I was scheduled to sell stereopticon views, but the more I thought about it, the less I liked it. I decided to go to Old Hickory and try to get a job at DuPont. It was a pretty raw looking place, with all the barrack type homes, and crowds of people there working at the Rayon Plant. Sis and Clarence were there, so I stayed with them, and sought work. It was not an easy matter to find just a summer job. One was accepted if there were prospects for long time employment, but not for three months. I was about to leave, when something happened that greatly affected my life. Clarence's sister Emma had told me when I had said something about not seeing a girl at Old Hickory that I would care to go with, about a girl down the street that might change my mind. I summoned up courage to try and see her. I knocked on the door where the Wright family lived and saw a young lady at the piano playing a hymn with one finger. She was soon introduced to me as Mildred Wright, and we sat down for a conversation. I must admit that I liked her very much. I think that she thought that I was a stuffy college boy. This was in the time when "Little Mary Fagan", and "Floyd Collins" was played on the phono from one end of the day to the next. I suppose that having to hear this music gave me a great distaste for country music. I am sure that I talked to Mildred of my difficulties about getting work at DuPont. She did a bit of work behind the scenes, for she was working there, and soon I was hired as "spinerette cleaner". The little thimble like jet heads for the viscose to pass through often got a bit of dirt or dried viscose, and had to be carefully cleaned and inspected. It so happened that Mildred's father was working in the same department, and when the fellows found out that I "was keeping company", with his daughter, I got quite a bit of kidding. I fear that I was a better Baptist than a Methodist that summer, for we both got a great deal of pleasure in being together all that we could. We had a busy summer together and all too soon the time came for me to return to school. The Methodist Church was just organizing that summer at Old Hickory, and Rev. W. H. Saxon was the pastor. The congregation met in the old "Y" building, where the community hall stands at present. Sometimes Mildred went to church with me, and by the end of the summer, we were engaged, although we both knew that it would be a long time before we could marry. In those days it was not the custom for a marriage to take place before schooling was finished. I should say that it was rare. So we courted in the summer of 1925. We still have some of the notes that we exchanged as we went to work, for I would go by her desk and pick up one and leave one. I felt that the Lord had enriched my life in giving me someone to love, and cherish. We continued to correspond almost daily, and sometimes were able to see each other during the vacation periods from school. Mildred returned to High School at Goodlettsville, where she graduated. She had to have transportation to and from school, so bought a model T, and once while I was there, we went for some reason or other to the old home place at LaGuardo in Wilson County. I took over the wheel of the car, and learned to drive. Mildred vows and declares that I have been a speed demon from that day until this. I devoted most of my time to school, for I attended summer school in order to shorten the time that I could be in school. I came home only occasionally for money was not plentiful. Once I was able to make a trip to Jefferson City, where Mildred was in school, at Carson Newman. She had taught school a year at
12 Goodlettsville, after graduation. We had a very happy few days together. During this visit, our first kiss took place, and many others followed. I was in "seventh heaven" all the way back to Emory. She had about two years at Carson Newman, and we agreed that if we were married before she finished college, that she could return and finish while we were in the pastorate. I had considered no other work than the pastorate, but was influenced by Marsh who was a Student Volunteer, while at Emory. I had asked Mildred if she would go to Africa with me if the Lord directed us there, and her reply was in the affirmative. We both felt that this was right, and later developments led us to this very thing. Once while at Emory, and while I was still washing dishes to help care for expenses, we the crew felt that we were getting the little end of the deal, and I took it upon myself to talk straight to Peggy, the dietitian. Her boy friend, whom we called "High-Pockets" threatened us if we said more, so it was not long until I was in the midst of quite an uproar, for the students backed us. I was called upon the carpet by Dr. Parker, the Dean of the Seminary, by the Dean of men of the college and finally by Dr. Cox, the President of the University. I was finally told that I could either apologize or be kicked out of the university. I felt that things had gone far enough, so chose to apologize, and the affair blew over. There were reforms made in the dining hall. I lost my job, but things were corrected to a large degree. I had worked a combination course in College and Seminary, so I was ready to receive my A. B. degree in March of 1928, and my B. D. in June of the same year. Summer work was received in an offer from the pastor of the Cumberland City Circuit, who asked me to assist him while he was in revivals, and looking after his sick wife. Just as I was about ready to go, a letter came saying that I would have to take over from him, for his wife was worse and that he had taken her to Missouri to her home, and that he would have to be with her. I had to borrow the money to get there, and along about the middle of June I arrived in Cumberland City. I was brand new, and such a responsibility almost floored me. Everything was in a state of confusion, so I finally managed to find a place to board at the little hotel, and to more or less settle down to my job. I decided that visiting the parishioners was the best way to get acquainted with the people and their needs, so spent most of the summer doing just this. Since I was on foot, I accepted hospitality where it was offered, and they seemed glad to have me. The parsonage paling fence had been torn down, and it was scattered all over the place. I tried to clean up that mess, but I am afraid I did not do much for the house itself. I walked all over the place, and I fear I spoiled the people for my next year when I bought a car. There was a lot of backwater that year for the Cumberland was out of its banks, so a car would not have really helped much that summer. I was returned by the conference and the Bishop. Mother was persuaded to come down and keep house for me. At the same conference I was received on Trial and ordained a deacon. The Daugherty, Bayer, Stacker, Gillahan, Thomas, Bradford, and Dunbar families were especially kind. There were others who had a keen interest in helping a young green preacher come into his own. I boarded at the hotel with the Bedwells when in the little town. I stayed at home more now that mother and the children were with me. And naturally some said the preacher did not visit like he used to. The first Sunday there with the car, when I got stuck in the creek on my way to an afternoon appointment, led one old gentleman to say, "Well, Preacher, when you were walking you made it each time, but now with the car, you aren't able to get to us." I had to go over that little road and spend hours cutting all the branches that seemed determined to reach out and scratch up the car. I also tried to fix some of the deep mud holes. Mildred and I were to be married on February 25, 1929, so Mother and I set out for Old Hickory. I do know that I was so poor that before Mother and I could drive to Old Hickory, I had to go to the bank and borrow money against my salary in order to go to the wedding. That wasn't too hard, for Mr. Alex Daugherty
13 was the cashier, and he knew that he would get the money back when the stewards collected the quarter's money for the quarterly meeting. There was some snow on the ground, and it was plenty slushy. Some of the roads were closed, so we went by way of Clarksville, and tried to go the Joelton road. At one place we got stopped just as the car slipped off the road on a culvert, and almost tipped over. I got some help and soon we were on our way. Brother Saxon performed the ceremony at the Wright Residence, and our lives were united. We had asked Sally Brooks, a nurse that I had known at Emory to play the violin, which she did beautifully. At our wedding ceremony, Mary Davis, a cousin of Mildred's played and (the vows were) said in the living room of the Wright House in Rayon City. Mr. Hunter now owns the house and has made many changes. I believe that Mary Davis sang at our wedding, "I love you truly, dear." It has slipped my memory. About the only things I remember are: Mildred and I were married in her parents' home, with Rev. W. H. Saxon, performing the ceremony, Sally, a nurse friend of Emory days playing the violin, driving to Nashville and folk passing by laughing at the "Just Married" sign on the car. It was an occasion of so much joy that a lot of the details have been forgotten. You will have to consult your mother for more. She can tell you. On our way to Nashville, people kept blowing their Horns and looking at us laughing, and we finally stopped and found a "Just Married" sign on the car. There may have been some old shoes, but I do not remember. We went to the Sam Davis Hotel for our Honeymoon night, and I was so unaccustomed to signing the register that I wrote E. H. Lovell, and wife. We were so happy to be together that we didn't sleep too much. There was too much to talk about. Because of the high water, we were unable to return home immediately as we had planned, so we went to Laguardo to visit with Mildred's Uncle Lee and Aunt Lena Wright. By the time we arrived back at Cumberland City people were wondering where we were. They had planned a reception and shower for us at the church. Miss Margaret Stacker was the person responsible for most of it. She and her mother were dear souls, and lived out a mile or so from town. I had not even told many that I was off to be married, or when we would be returning. As one would guess, there was quite a crowd at the church to welcome the bride, and groom. We were very happy, and gradually life returned to somewhat normal conditions. When we finally returned to Cumberland City, we had to skirt some of the backwater of the swollen Cumberland River, but finally made it. Mother, Margaret and Marvin were all living with me before our marriage, and so we decided to continue sleeping on the screened back porch, even in the winter time. That was in the days before too many slept in single or twin beds, so we made out fine. There was a tiny room on the end of the porch where I had an office if it could be called that. I think we had a small heater there, so could get warm before going to bed, and dress there in the mornings. Mother lived with us until we moved to Palmyra, when she went to live with Marsh, who was still single, and needed someone to keep house for him. We slept on the screened in side porch, which was quite cold during the winter months. Spring was on its way and we had a garden, and Mrs. B. Stacker across the alley-way asked if we would not cultivate hers also. Salaries were low in those days and with the fresh meat that came from farmers at hog-killing time, plus other gifts, we were able to make it quite well, even keeping up the payments on the car. We were in the Clarksville District, and most of the District meetings were held there, so we did travel a bit. The roads were not so good toward St. Paul's church, and I sometimes got stuck to the axle and on both at the same time in the ruts. I used fence rails to get out, and pass by the worst places. Once I arrived at the church to preach, all muddy after my bout with the car, and found one person to hear the sermon. Another time we got stuck in a flooded ford at a creek, and had the valve stem cut off. Water
14 got into the gas tank through the vent hole, and we had to unscrew the filter bowl many times before we reached home. I took the car to the garage the next day, but they found not another drop of water. Another day I decided to remove the distributor of the car, and was soon in such a muddle that I had to call the mechanic to put it right. I knew nothing about the "timing" of the engine. When we went to the church on the other side of the river, we usually stayed several days to visit. We had to cross on the ferry, and go across a long causeway. In high water, this was almost impossible. The Dunbar home was a favorite place to stay in that community. When we were on the other side of the river, we often spent the night with the Dunbars. Our bed was in the spare room, and about the time that we would be ready to go to sleep, "bam, bam, bam" could be heard all over the house, with the slats falling out. He was one of the mail carriers. They were very, very, nice people. There were many cases of pellagra, for they ate mostly "sow belly" and cornbread, which lacked the elements of a good diet. Greens and other things were preventives, but the people of that section were very poor. Often we would go to bed, and the slats would fall out one by one until we were on the floor. Some of the people were share-croppers and very poor. They had a good deal of pellagra in that community from eating "fat-back" and corn bread. Their diet was unbalanced. In the summer, we were invited to meals which were bountiful but over which the flies swarmed, for many of them did not keep the screens repaired or shut. We did not seem to suffer from those meals. One of the few marriage ceremonies that I performed while at Cumberland City was one for my brother Gilbert, near Franklin. Gil married Margaret Whitfield, and the wedding was in the home of the Whitfields. I was really filled with "butterflies" in performing the ceremony. But I guess I came through it all right. I believe that it was the first wedding I conducted. Another was of Paul Williams of the Tennessee Conference. When he and Maggie decided to get married, the ceremony was performed out of doors while they were in the car or standing near it. I think there was some question as to whether the license was good in Stewart County, or it may have been Houston County. Dad had a lot of books and commentaries. One was Matthew Henry, and the other may have been McClinton and Strong. We felt that we would not be using them since the theology of our day was a bit different from that of Dad's day so we decided to sell them. We felt that we needed the money, but have always wondered if we did the right thing. The commentaries might have been of far more value that the money we got for them. Jim Majors and Anne, his wife, boarded at the Bidwells, and we became good friends. She was Faxon Small's sister. On one occasion Mrs. Stacker from whom we often got milk and butter, offered us part of a ham if we could open the smokehouse door. I tried and tried, but did not realize that the lock was a double one, so failed to get the promised ham. She gave us some slices as a consolation prize. They were very good to us. We tried to reciprocate by taking them places in the car. The elections were coming along, and I thought that I would vote, so went out and got them. When I went in to the polls, I was asked my business there, and told that I had not been in the county long enough to be a voter. I always felt that I voted, for the Stackers would not have been able to get to the polls without my taking them there, and they voted as I would have. I suppose that it was against Al Smith. When the end of the conference year came, we were moved to Palmyra, just about 13 miles away, nearer Clarksville. We did not have far to move that fall. We considered Palmyra a promotion and it was a good appointment. The Swift family were very good to us. We may not have had much money, but enjoyed our work there. We stayed with them only about six months, for we soon felt that our work lay on the mission field of the church. Here we had several churches again, and spent a great deal of time in visitation. We had a somewhat better
15 parsonage, and we found the people very friendly and hospitable. Mother decided to keep house for Marshall, since he was assigned to the West Point circuit. He was not married. The Swift, Broome, and Allen families were very nice to us, as well as many others. Once we were staying in the church community across the river from Palmyra, and being fresh air fiends had the window open. The next morning, we had a lot of snow in the room by the window. We still have a little oak table we were given there. Once I was holding a funeral and forgot my Bible which I laid on a tombstone while I was having the graveyard service. I missed it, and could not imagine where it was. Some time later, I was handed my Bible with the comment that this preacher must not use the Bible too often. We ate many sweet potatoes, for they were given in the poundings. I once shocked Mildred when I took my bowl of soup out on the porch to cool. She couldn't imagine a person not wanting food that was hot. I surprised some of the Russelites and 7th Day Adventists who came through selling books. They told some of my people that I seemed somewhat prejudiced against them. During the winter months, we did a great deal of reading, and much of mine was on Missions. I was greatly interested in what the church was doing overseas. We attended a Student Volunteer Conference at Maryville College along with Marsh. He had met Eloise, and she was one of the officers of the conference. So, we met our sister-in-law. They were married later. When W. E. Tabb sent a cablegram from Congo, saying, "Africa needs you," we felt that we were ready to make the decision to go. The story of David Livingstone in my father's library, and other books influenced my life in that direction a great deal. Mildred's call had come when she was a teen age girl, but her mother said that young ladies did not go as missionaries. So it was in 1930 that we answered the call to become missionaries, and the Board (Mission) thought of China for us, but as we had a strong leaning toward Africa through the Tabbs, and Maws being there, the Board finally acceded to our request for service in Congo. It was a moment of high resolve, and happiness as we prepared for our work there. Mildred had felt the call to be a missionary while a girl, I suppose that I had been on the verge of it for a long time. Tabb, and Joe Maw were my classmates who had gone to Congo in 1928. Another Emory man was in Congo also--Dr. William Hughlett and his wife Violet. I do not remember when we applied to our Board of Missions, which was then located in Nashville. I do remember Bishop Cannon interviewing us at the old Tulane Hotel, and being very impressed when Mildred told him that she liked to raise chickens. We were consecrated in McKendree Church along with Foye Gibson, who was to go to Poland. David Livingstone's Africa would now become a reality. Plans were made for us to sail with the DeRuiter family. They had two children, William and Martha, then a baby in arms. We separated but were to meet in New York, and sail to Antwerp, Belgium where we would buy our supplies, and arrange for our trip to the Belgian Congo. It was the first time that either of us had been out of the state, and so travelling by train proved interesting. We stopped off in Washington to see a bit of the sights, and when it came time for us to leave I was at Union Station getting tickets etc., I made the mistake of practicing old time southern chivalry, for I let ladies go first. I found out that this had cost us the train that we were to be to New York on. When I looked for Mildred, I could find her nowhere. I searched and searched, and was upon the point of going to the police to report her lost, when she came out of the ladies' lounge where she had been for a nap. We arrived in New York rather late, and when at our hotel, found no one who sounded natural in speech save the elevator man, who happened to be from Georgia. We have never cared for New York, because of the rush of life, the noise, and the hustle and bustle of things. We did get so we could understand the ordinary person when he talked. Some were interested in our way of speech, for they would have us repeat and repeat in order to hear our southern
16 accent. We met the DeRuiters, and were soon on the S.S. Pennland. The voyage was a never to be forgotten experience for us, since we had not been on the ocean before, or even seen it. The width, depth, and movement of the sea was indeed fascinating. The meals were superb, and we found the voyage very interesting. When we arrived in Antwerp about ten days later, a thief stole one of the DeRuiter bags. It happened to be the one in which the dirty diapers were kept, so I can well imagine his utter surprise. William took us out to a little place to eat, and although he explained about the custom of bringing the food for one's approval, we were hardly prepared for the huge platter with a large fish beautifully prepared, which had been ordered by Mildred. We helped her eat it, and it proved to be a gourmet's delight. Little William DeRuiter had some escapades back at the hotel, riding the elevators, and into a thousand and one things. He was at that age. Little Martha was a sweet well-behaved baby. We were soon at the big store buying our equipment, foodstuffs, and clothing that we would need. I am sure that we bought some things unwisely, but people new to the tropics had to learn from experience. The heavy helmet, the stomach bands, and the spinal bands were things that we could have left off. Only the following years proved this. The Belgians always thought the sun far more dangerous than it really was. Mosquito nets and mosquito boots proved very helpful, especially in the evenings when there were always plenty of mosquitoes and other insects. We took along some permanganate in which to wash green vegetables, but I do not believe that we used it very much, for several washings in good water were sufficient. There was much speculation about the tropics, which wasn't true. It was like "Old wives' fables". A bath-tub trunk was really useful, for this was before there were any permanent bathtubs or bathrooms in our part of the world, and it was simply a tub in the shape of a bath-tub, with a wicker basket inside it for holding clothing when not in use as a bath. It had no drain, and we had plenty of men around who didn't mind taking it out to empty it. We later installed bathrooms with tub of cement and even a toilet commode of the same substance. These served their day, and were later replaced by real sanitary fixtures. Water was usually rain water, or water poured in to the gas drums which formed the water system of a residence. We had opportunities to visit Brussels and see the sights there, the Cathedrals, and the Museum, to mention two. We also visited the Cathedral at Antwerp. There were many famous paintings there. We went one day with Mr. DeRuiter to the organ factory to buy a folding organ. When not in use, it folded up like a small suitcase. The case was of metal to protect it. Soon the time came for the trip to Congo--a sea voyage of about eighteen days. We were to sail on the S.S. Anversville--Anvers being the French for Antwerp. We were all eyes as we sailed out of the port and soon came to the North Sea, and later the Bay of Biscay--a rough body of water which makes the unwary traveller very seasick. Once the purser asked me to conduct the services on Sunday, when we were leaving Antwerp. I asked what our location would be on Sunday morning, and when told "the Bay of Biscay," I hastily excused myself, for I knew that I would be in bed sick as a dog--in other words seasick. And this was true. We enjoyed a brief stop at the Canary Islands, and I believe that was the only stop until we came to Matadi. As we approached the mighty Congo river and saw its waters, all muddy, flowing out into the Atlantic Ocean, we felt that we were nearing the end of our dream of many years. Sailing up the river itself was most interesting, and we stopped for a while at Boma, where we met the first Congo missionaries save the ones with whom we had travelled. The Ennals family had been of great help to us, for Mr. Ennals gave us lessons in Kingwana a dialect of Swahili. He made us have class on the Fourth of July. Canvas had been spread over most of the deck and one had plenty of
17 room to play shuffle board, lounge in the sun, or recline in the lounge chairs, and read. The ship carried a library. The Ennals were English. It was the rule of the Baptist Mission Board for them to leave all young children at home, for they felt that would be too hard on them to endure the tropics. Mrs. Ennals was really sad about this and missed her baby very much. Matadi was a very busy port, and there was lots of activity when our ship arrived. We managed to get our bags through customs, and were seeking a cooler place at the A. B. C. hotel, or was it the Swedish Mission. We now had to arrange for the trip by train to Kinshasa about 300 miles up the river, and around the rapids. It was a long hard day from early in the morning to late in the evening. We had to take along water, and food for this was before the day of the dining car. We had with us several cans of Bear Brand Milk, which we enjoyed very much. We could be consoled by the fact that this journey used to take two days with a break for the night at a place called Thysville. In those days, the rail line was narrow gauge, and the train travelled slower. There were many stations en route and we stopped at many of them. Chinese workmen had been imported to work on the rail lines when built. Mr. Hearn in charge of the Hostel for Missionaries met us at the station at Kinshasa. This hostel had been built some years before and was operated by the 6 mission societies who had put up the building. Our church was one of the 6 societies, so we had no trouble getting into the hostel. We heard a voice outside the train shouting, "Open the window, and get your bags out." We quickly obeyed, and soon were speeding over the cobblestones of the city, in a car chauffeured by one called Lutete. He was a speedy driver and Mr. Hearn called him down from time to time. We remained at Kinshasa for two weeks since Mr. DeRuiter had been charged with the finding of a buyer for the mission steamer, The Texas. The depression was already being felt in Congo, so this was not an easy task. The reason that our society had the boat was because it had been so difficult to get passage on the state owned steamers. Many of the societies on the river had such boats. The same thing was true of the Hostel, called the UMH. We now faced another long journey into the interior--18 days by boat up the Congo, Kasai and Sankuru rivers to Lusambo, with a change of steamers at Port Franqui, the end of the railroad from Elizabethville. We had to take along drinking water, and things like candy, and a few other delicacies. They did have bottled water, of the carbonated variety, but we would want something else besides that. We did buy lemons en route, and made carbonated lemonade. The food was fair, especially for the first few days, but then got progressively worse. Meat and potatoes were always the basic foods. Sometimes we watched a goat being butchered for our dinner. The boat had cabins on the main deck, and these were screened for protection against the mosquitoes and other insects. There were plenty of Tsetse flies, and we didn't care for Sleeping Sickness. The walls at night would be black with all kinds of insects. We did not travel at night, but stopped just before dark to load up wood for the next day's journey. Most locomotives and boats were wood burning in those days. We saw hippos, and crocodiles. It was our custom to take a walk after being cooped up on deck all day to take a walk in the villages in the evening. I made my first acquaintance with driver or soldier ants on a walk. I had been warned not to get too close to them, but didn't pay too much attention, and it felt that a bulldog had me by the leg. The head came off as I pulled him from the calf of my leg, and I found that his pincers were embedded in the flesh. Once was enough. We were interested in the villages, and in seeing the people. We were tired of travel and rejoiced to be at Lusambo where we were to be met by our colleagues. It was a real joy to find that Elmo Tabb was one of those who had come to meet us. We enjoyed our visit with the missionaries of the Wescott Mission, where we spent the night at Lusambo. They were of the English Brethren Society. Setting out the next day in the green Chevrolet
18 and a truck, we headed for Minga, about 165 kilometers in the interior. The roads were rough and very sandy, and we were worn out by the time we came to Minga. What a nice time we had there talking with Joe Maw and others. All too soon it was time to leave Minga after a good night's rest and head for Wembo Nyama. This was not a full days' journey. William DeRuiter Sr., soon came down with Typhoid Fever. I suppose he drank some of the river water they had on board. It was supposed to be filtered, but had not been boiled. We visited at Wembo Nyama for some days while preparations were made for our trip to Tunda. One morning after arrival at Wembo Nyama, Mr. Anker whom we called "Uncle Pete" asked me to come to the "Palaver House". This was the place where domestic affairs, and other matters were heard and settlement attempted for all of the Africans living on the Mission Station. I had received some inkling of what our meeting might be about from Elmo Tabb, and soon discovered that I was right in my surmise. Mr. Anker wanted to know about my beliefs in the doctrines of Christianity. I was able to reply in such manner as removed most of his fears that I might be another "heretic" as was considered Tabb. Uncle Pete and I were great friends for many years after we came to an understanding that we had slightly different beliefs, and we became tolerant of each other. We found that William and Isabel DeRuiter had given us a pretty fair introduction to mission life, and although we realized that we were not exactly able to see eye to eye on some things, they too became great friends. The first years of mission life must have found me rather unbending in my disagreements, but I learned to become tolerant of my colleagues across the years. The Hughletts, the Reids, the Tabbs, the De Gosseries, the single ladies that included Dot Rees, Dora Jane Armstrong, Helen Farrie and others were very nice to us during those days. Preparations were soon completed for the Tabbs to accompany us to Tunda where we were to live and work. Elmo and Mary Taylor drove us to Onema, the closest road point at that time, where we spent the night in a government "Gite" or Rest House. We were off on bikes and Mildred in a kipoi, or hammock chair the next morning. It was to be a journey of two days. I was riding a bicycle, and soon learned to get along fairly well on it. I had practiced a bit at Wembo Nyama. Mildred wanted to go by bike too, but it was felt that it would be easier if she went by hammock. We travelled over the plains and through the hot sun until in the afternoon, when we stopped at the village of Shutsha for the night. Setting up equipment for the night was done mostly by the African men who accompanied us. We watched to see how things were done, and how food was bought for the men, for we knew that we would have to go through the same experiences another day. I fell off in the swamp the next day, but suffered no damage, and a few hours after we crossed the Lomami River, we came to Tunda. Crossing at the river was done in large dug-out canoes made from the trees of the forest. There were many Tsetse flies, and we were warned to shake them off before they could bite, for we were to beware of Sleeping Sickness. We found the trip tiring, and hot, so were happy for frequent stops. Once I got ahead, and passed by the tent of a Belgian Official, who tried to talk to me, having invited me to have coffee. I am afraid that I refused his offer, for I did not drink coffee, and knew only a wee bit of French. I hope that he understood. The Africans from Tunda came out on the path to look for us, and what a reception we received. We were very happy to come at last to the mission station, where we could talk to someone. We were duly welcomed, and made to feel at home. I think that there was some curiosity on the part of the missionaries to ascertain just what work I had been asked to do. I got the impression that we might not be able to fit in too well in the work assigned us. Of course we first had to learn enough of the language to be able to communicate, and we had to set up housekeeping, and get established before we could do much of anything. We were invited to board with the Ayres. "Pepe" and Verna Ayres were a couple who did
19 industrial and treasurer's work. We lived in a big adobe guest house, where hospital patients from the Europeans stayed while getting treatment. Dr. Lewis had a big reputation as a surgeon. Mr. Wheeler agreed to give us lessons in Kingwana, adding to the ones given us by Mr. Ennals. As this was a day by day affair, we had time to get into other things. Our things had not come for housekeeping, so we had to be content as guests for some months. We helped Pepe in stopping leaks in his own house, and as he was busy on a new residence for the single ladies, we assisted in helping to get up the roof structure. "H. T." (Mr. Wheeler) took us to some of the churches in the district, and we even went with some of the others to sing a special. We had to wade the swamp up to our waists, so were rather bedraggled when we got up to sing. We often went out to the out-villages to preach on Sundays. I remember one of the first times. Mr. Wheeler asked some of us to join him on a bicycle trip to a village not too many kilometers away. We were to sing "Life is like a Mountain Railway." The sun was hot, the way seemed long, and when we came to a waist deep stream which had no bridge across it, we had to plunge in and wade across. There we were, sopping wet below the knees, and to the waist, trying to get out breath before trying the song. The Africans enjoyed it, but I have a suspicion that a lot of them enjoyed the sight of those silly white people all wet and bedraggled standing up before them to sing a song that was in English more than they actually enjoyed the singing. Many were these experiences between 1930 and 1933 on the Tunda District. Most of my itinerations were somewhat like that--for there was much water on the road, or pathways, for there were no roads as we know them in these days. Many times did I stand before a congregation with squishing shoes full of water, and all muddy. I helped some at the local school, and helped with the boarding boys. Mildred was busy at the house, at the school, and helping to look after the Wheeler girls who were small. Jane Lewis soon became a favorite at the house. Billy was small at the time. We enjoyed coffee and peanuts at the Lewis home most every afternoon. Later Dr. Lewis said that Zaidee his wife had to put gussets in his pants when they went home on furlough. We had quite a few visitors, and one of them was an old English plantation owner. He was also a hunter, and furnished the mission meat from time to time. Mr. Baggett was a teller of tall tales. We often wondered if some of his tales did not come from the Bulawayo Chronicle, published in Rhodesia, to the south of Congo. There were many wild animals in great herds, and we had elephants come to the station during the night. They played havoc with the Lewis banana patch. Large pythons were frequently found in the workman's village. Tunda was on the edge of a large forest and miles from any town of any sort. The road to Tunda was built, but there were some bridges which the state had not finished, so our goods arrived only on Christmas Day, by the first vehicle that ever arrived at Tunda 1930. What a day of rejoicing this was. We were kept quite busy for some weeks to come getting things stored away, and our kitchen set up. I had been told that missionaries and other whites usually took a siesta at midday. I paid no attention to this for some time, but worked in the garden. It was some time before I learned that a siesta was really necessary, and not just a waste of time. It could be a time for a good nap or for some quiet reading. Young missionaries have a lot to learn. Many were "green" as was I, but usually with experience comes more knowledge. On some matters, it takes just that to convince a new missionary that old ones have adopted some skills after all. The working during siesta hours was one matter on which I had to convince myself. The hard work digging in the garden under the boiling sun helped to remind me that there were other ways I could spend this time. It was not long before I was making trips on the district with H. T. We had two little
20 motorcycles, and used them for some trips, but they were belt driven, and not so good for the tall grass and the dew, so we used bicycles to good advantage. Sometimes during the rainy season, we waded swamps, and crossed streams that came to our chins. H. T. advised that I carry my bicycle across these deep streams and I soon found out why, for the weight of the cycle held one on his feet, otherwise he would float downstream. The grass had needles on it and so the tires on the bikes had to be repaired over and over again. Sometimes, we had to use bacon grease or palm oil to grease the bikes, when motor oil ran out, and the bearings became dry from riding through knee deep water by the hour. The paths through the tall grass were worn down into the soil, and lower than the rest of the plains, so water often filled the path like a trench. When one found the path leading across a large anthill, there was usually water in a pool on the other side, and many times the bike would slide around and throw you off in the mud and water. The Wheelers went home on furlough, and we took over the evangelistic program for the district. When the Wheelers went on furlough, the evangelistic work was left to me and there were just some preachers that I thought lazy and not fit for the job. I fired some of them, and really bore down on some others. Wheeler returned from furlough and promptly hired most of them back. Maybe he was right, but I thought that I should have been consulted more, for I considered myself a fair judge of character. I think that I was able to persuade the chief of the village to get food for my men who were carrying my chop-box and other things on the trip. I made one of the chiefs and his headman go ahead of us to push down the tall grass. He always was very friendly and respectful after that occasion. I tried to be firm, without exerting too much authority that I thought a white man should have and I did pay the men well. I think the folk grew to like me, and those I met in the years following were very friendly. We spent a lot of time on the path. Checking on the schools and the work of the church and preaching in many of the villages gave us fluency in the Kingwana. We had a leader from the Africans named Ona Omba. He was our travelling companion, and gave us a great deal of help in these early years. We got acquainted with the chiefs and head men in most of the villages. We saw people who had seen very few whites and many of them were very much afraid of us. Sometimes we had to be a bit dictatorial in demanding food for our workmen who were carrying the chop box, containing our food and bedding. In later years, we were able to travel over the district by car, and much of this work--i.e. the selection of the trace for the routes was done by Wheeler. He used salt as the gift to encourage the Africans to help him. Wheeler did a great deal for Tunda. He brought out a small saw mill for cutting lumber. Usually it was done in a rather primitive way of cutting the tree, dividing it into sections, and rolling it on a pit, and then one man stood on top of the log, while the other was underneath in the pit. They pulled the saw back and forth on charcoal lines that had been traced until they had the whole sawed into boards. Some of the lumber was really of very fine quality. Tunda had many forests nearby and excellent hardwood could be obtained. After the boards were sawed out, the timber was transported into the station on carts (push-pushes) or carried on the shoulders by the workmen. One of the dining room tables at Tunda station was topped by a board 4 or 5 feet wide. Beams were also secured that cannot be had for any price these days. At Tunda, I was one of the judges at the station tribunal which was held once a week to settle palavers. Dr. Lewis was station chairman was the main man, and when he spoke, he was obeyed instantly. I can still see the old policeman jump when doctor yelled at him for listening through the window. Doctor was a firm disciplinarian. Most of the palavers concerned adultery, stealing, beating one's wife, and other domestic problems. We were sadly in need of a connecting road from our station, and indeed from our side of the
21 river to the other side, so Pepe Ayres and I, with a large group of workmen decided to lay out such a road. I suppose that the impetus for it came from the news that Wheeler was bringing back a car, and would not be able to get it home unless there was such a road. We spent a week on the plains from near Onema to the Lomami. The sun was hot, and we really had a time deciding where the route should go. At one small grove, a hornets nest caused us to veer around where the road should go. When the route was completed, that veer or curve still remains until this day. We also selected a new ferry site, if I am not mistaken, somewhat some distance from the old, bicycle path. We were on bikes, but did a lot of walking that week. Pepe liked to hunt so killed an antelope for us and for the men. We enjoyed the delicious antelope steak. Both the Lewis family and the Ayres family as well as the rest of us enjoyed this road across the Plains of the Otodi. It was a long straight plain of many miles. Joe Maw and I were the first persons to travel over the road, for I was on Dr. Lewis's motorcycle and Joe in a Model T truck. It was a bumpy ride, but I was young and could take it. We made it to within a few miles of the river, when the truck quit running, and there was nothing we could do to get it running again, so we left it for some days before trying again. The trouble was probably the firing points. When we went back for it, we came to the ferry--a new one mounted on dug-out canoes, but we had no boards. Joe knew what to do. He sent the workmen for poles, which he tied together, and soon was able to drive the old truck onto the ferry. We carried the poles over the river, and used them to get off the ferry. Later, boards were sawed for both sides. During the three years that we lived at Tunda, I felt that something should be done about the courses that were being taught in the Bible School at Wembo Nyama, for the students knew more about the Devil than they did about Christ, so I tackled Pete Anker, and his courses. This was not appreciated, and soon I had a fuss going between the conservatives at Wembo Nyama and myself, and the Board, for they had been told of the argument. I was about to be put into school work, which I did not care for and as the depression had cut funds for the Board, they were looking for ways to economize. We were the latest couple to come out, so were selected as the first to return home. Funds were being cut here, there and yonder. Before we left the field, I had appendicitis, and was operated on by Dr. Lewis, and Dr. Hughlett at the old grass covered operating room. A sheet above the table kept particles of dust and grass from falling onto the table. I had a roll of fat on my tummy, so it was hard for the doctors to make the stitches hold. I finally recovered, but have a big scar to show for the job. There was lots of malaria at Tunda, and I really had to take lots of quinine. I was soon able to take 45 grains a day, and still play tennis. We did play tennis in those days, after the work of the day. Mildred and I had planned for children, and after waiting for two years decided that we should start our family. We were delighted when she became pregnant, and especially when Jeanette was born on December 31, 1931. We had hoped that the first would be a boy, so decided to name her Jeanette. Her other name was Mildred for her mother, and Jeanette was for Gene, her dad. She was the most beautiful baby ever, and we tried to do everything by the book in her care. By the time we came home, she was walking, and talking a bit. What a change she made in our lives. As I have recorded, our first daughter, Jeanette, was born on December 31, 1931. Her mother wanted to call her Jeanette for she looked so much like me. While she was still a baby, I found a "Basenji" dog which we called Spot. When I brought the dog home, he was full of fleas. I doubt that we ever got rid of all those fleas, for this was before flea collars, and other medicines which are used today. We had several men helping us at Tunda. Papa Kahudi was one. He had a house full of children, and seeing twin bananas on the stalk would lead him to say that Mildred would have twins, etc. Bichu was our cook for a while. The washjack was a backwoodsman, and even
22 though I went to all the trouble to build him a wash bench, the first time he used it was funny. He stood on the bench with the tub of clothes on the ground, and tried to wash them that way. The nearest place that we had for a vacation was Lake Makamba, which was in the Asongo country, and in one corner of the District of Minga. It was a small fresh water lake, and later stocked with fish. There were many horse antelopes, and other game animals nearby. The missionaries finally were able to get a cottage or so built on its shores. We had to travel to Minga to secure the Chevrolet truck to take us there. We had first thought of having a vacation at Lake Munkamba, near Luluabourg, in Presbyterian country, but had so much trouble by the time we arrived at Lusambo that we decided to turn back to Lake Makamba. We hadn't gone very far until we discovered that one of the front wheel bearings was missing or giving trouble, so sent for Joe Maw, who was the mechanic and transport man. He got us all fixed up, and we set out, only to have a rear axle break about half way to Lusambo. This meant that we had to stop in the middle of the road, and await a mechanic from Lusambo to come with a replacement. We asked the villagers to bring us some food, and soon had rice and a chicken all beautifully cooked by the African women. We had one spoon, which was Jeanette's so ate in relays. Late next day the man arrived to fix the truck, and we made it on into Lusambo, where we were soon bathed and visiting with the Moyes. We decided to return rather than face other incidents on the road. We had a long trip back to Minga, spent the night and were off the next day for Lake Makamba. With us were Catherine Parham, and the Lewis family. The road was new, and very sandy. We carried extra water for the radiator which was soon boiling furiously from pulling through the deep sand. I could not begin to guess how many times we were forced to fill the radiator, which boiled away the water so quickly, The truck would often be so hot that its engine would continue to run with the key off. We enjoyed the good swimming, and hiking, but tragedy soon struck again. Dr. Carroll Mount, who was our youngest doctor came out for a day or so of recreation, and while out in the boat was drowned. When the Africans brought us the news, we ran to the scene and searched and searched for his body, but to no avail. Finally, I was the one selected to go to Minga to carry the sad news to Helen, his wife, and to the others and to get help for finding the body. Joe Maw came in the car with me, and finally grappled for the body and found it. We had to hastily prepare for a return to Minga, for decomposition was setting in rapidly. What a journey, and what sadness at the other end. Helen was pregnant with their first child. The funeral took place the day we arrived, and many things were said to the young widow which hurt deeply, for remember most of the missionaries were very conservative in their faith and theology, and should have kept quiet. Some weeks later, after the death of the baby, Helen planned to travel home with us. We had sold our little accumulation of supplies, our bikes and what food was left, and were taken by truck to Kibombo, our nearest railway station, where we were to board the train for Kindu, where we would be taking a boat to Stanleyville, and a still larger boat for Kinshasa, then by rail to Matadi, and by Ocean steamer to Europe, and then home to the U.S.A. We had some happy times on the way home, and were able to cheer up Helen to some degree. She took care of Jeanette a great deal on the voyage. On the river steamer from Kindu to Stanleyville, she used to take out her teeth, and amaze the Africans with this feat. We stopped at Wayika to see Mr. Whitehead, an old English Baptist Missionary, who had been ordered home by his Board, since it was difficult to care for him, and he was entrenched in one spot all to himself. He had a long white beard, and looked like Santa Claus. He had done a lot of work on Kingwana, and was the recognized expert in this language. Upon our arrival at Ponthiersville, we found that we would take the train on into Stanleyville. We arrived there and stayed at the hotel, if I am correct in memory. We spent a day or so there, and were soon
23 boarding a very large river steamer--the Kigoma. This steamer had been made for the Mississippi, they told us. It seemed as large as an ocean going one, and the decks were quite large. We had many passengers, and Helen spent so much time letting them admire Jeanette until some of the women wanted to know from Mildred, whose child she really was. Jeanette learned to stand erect in my hand, and balance herself. She accumulated so much candy from fellow-passengers that we had to eat a lot of it ourselves to keep it from her. We were amazed at the size of the Congo river. There were so many islands, and it was miles wide in many places. It was good to see some of the mission stations en route to Kinshasa. We were able to buy a few pieces of ebony wood, and other trinkets. I think that most of them are scattered about these days, until we have only a small piece of it. On the continuation of our voyage toward Europe, we made several friends, and enjoyed many hours of fellowship with them. At the table in the dining room, Helen said that she would try most of the cheese offered, but when it came to Horve, she had to take her plate to the nearest porthole and empty it. We spent a day or so in Antwerp, and then went over to London. While there, we took the opportunity to see one of Shakespeare's plays in an open-air theater in one of the parks one evening. It was very good and even though the August weather was very cold, we came away much impressed. We also toured London, got lost in its underground, took Jeanette to Westminster Abbey, where she literally wiped up the dust of the centuries. Her clothes and hands were black. We also took in Wesley's Chapel, and went to a Sunday morning service there. London was a very interesting place. I bought my one and only Tuxedo suit there, so that I could dress for dinner on the steamer coming to New York. I finally had it changed to a regular suit, and suppose that it finally clothed some African man. We were travelling with a couple of Mennonite missionaries, and they were very strict. I fear that we influenced one a bit from her teachings, for she finally consented to going to the Shakespeare play with us, while the older one was our baby sitter. One lady we met on the steamer coming home was able to give us an insight into church life at Riverside in New York. One took time to learn much from such a voyage--far more than in later years when we flew back and forth from Congo. After spending some weeks with our families, it was finally time to go to Conference, and we were sent to Dellrose. I was ordained Elder at this conference in 1933. We knew something of Dellrose from my boyhood days, and really enjoyed our stay there, even though the salary was very low, and we were starting out again in the conference. Jeanette was small while we were at Dellrose, and we thought that it would be a good thing for her to have a dog, so when one of the members offered us a Collie or Shepherd puppy, I took it home to her. It was a beautiful animal, and she enjoyed playing with him. We could not break him of the habit of running after cars that passed on the road in front of the house. One day he was hit by a car that never stopped and we had to kill him, for he had many broken bones. Jeanette was heartbroken for a while, and when we moved to Adams got her another dog. There were two charges in the Tennessee Conference where Dad served where I served--Dellrose and Cumberland City. Marsh also served at Dellrose and at Bethlehem, where we lived when we were both very small. It is a rather difficult thing for people who have known the father to keep from considering the son still a boy even though he is a minister in his own right. Such was true especially at Cumberland City, our first charge, but we found a bit of it at Dellrose, however not so much. There were three churches on the Dellrose charge. Dellrose, Bee Springs Memorial at Bryson, and Shiloh, on the road toward Fayetteville. The easiest one to serve was Bee Springs Memorial, for the people were better educated, had better material resources, and
24 were different in their background. The folk, with few exceptions, at Shiloh, were good country people, but mostly poor folk, and without much education. The ones at Dellrose were "sot in their ways" and not about to make any changes for a boy preacher. They even accused us of having bossed the African people, and of trying the same stunt on them. There were, of course, some real good folk there. It was during the depression and money was about the last thing one was able to get hold of. We used up what little savings that we had, to get reestablished. We had to start from scratch, buying a bed, refrigerator, and some other things. Just why the Methodist system thinks that a missionary who has returned to his home conference has to start at the bottom again, I will never understand, but it is true. Jeanette picked up Trench Mouth or something akin to it, while we were there at Dellrose, and we had been so careful with her. The doctor at Fayetteville was able to treat and cure her after some days. I developed a back trouble while cutting the high weeds off the church yard. No one else would volunteer for the job. I wanted them to do something about the water that got into the basement, but no one was interested beyond keeping it out of the furnace. Audie Ross usually took care of the furnace. He could make it do, when no one else could. Mrs. George played the piano, and sang in a certain way which was not pleasing. She did not appreciate you calling for another person to play, even though she might be late a bit. I suppose that the Sherrill family were among the largest contributors, but one could not count on any extra. We bought our first radio there. It went out on us, and could never be fixed. We had gotten it second hand from Dorvall Jean. The Stone family was one that we could count on too. I somehow developed an ear infection while at Dellrose, and the ear drum was perforated. The local doctor didn't help much, so a specialist in Fayetteville finally healed it. I went to a doctor there for my back--a Chiropractor, but he didn't help much. I even bought special shoes. I think, the light of experiences later, that it was a slipped disc. Lumbago isn't a disease to make one rejoice, especially when it hits you all of a sudden. I helped in a meeting at Blanche, not too far from Shiloh. I ate fried chicken 45 meals straight, and still like it. Once, my white linen pants split while I was at the church, so I had to be careful getting onto the rostrum and off and away to keep people from noticing it too much. Mother told Mildred that she wouldn't wash and iron such a suit. Sometimes, we lacked the funds to buy postage stamps, and walked a bit in visitation. We were able to have a cow, and chickens, so had plenty of fresh eggs, milk and butter. We also had a good garden, and enjoyed the many fresh vegetables. People were very kind to us, travel wasn't too difficult, and though we saw Hoover buggies (model T's that had been cut in two and shafts inserted for a horse to pull) and heard much of hardships, I daresay we did not suffer too much. We had the experience of following a pastor who was slow paying his bills, so had to wrestle with the iceman and the electricity people before we could have either ice or electricity. We managed to convince them that our bills would be paid on time. In time we bought a small TVA model electric refrigerator, so the ice man no longer had to come. We even managed to have the Board of Stewards over for a dinner and meeting. I mean all of the stewards of the whole charge. Churches were Dellrose, Shiloh, and Bee Springs. It was an easy charge to serve, so far as travel was concerned, however they didn't have much money and thought if they paid the salary they were doing well. They left it to the preacher to get the money for benevolences as they were called. I tied a chicken coop on the back of the car, and collected hens for sale to raise some of the funds. Some gave their Sunday Eggs for the project. One of the men of the church at Dellrose became very angry with me when I suggested that he could give some cow feed in place of money. He let me know that he would give if he wanted to, and would choose whether money or
25 otherwise. He was a nut and cared very little for the church. Another, at Shiloh, got angry with Marsh who had served there and came to church only occasionally. He refused to take any active part or contribute to amount to anything. I found the people at Bee Springs to be the best of the lot. They were so kind, and hospitable, appreciative of one's efforts, and with some vision. We served there for two years and then moved to Adams, where Anne was born, on January 17, 1936. This was a charge of two churches, and the easiest to serve that I had in my years of active ministry. The churches were about four miles apart. When we moved to Adams, we had only two churches, and they were just four miles apart. Adams was where the parsonage was situated, while Sadlers was on the road to Guthrie. It was an easy charge to serve, although when it got cold, and the roads were icy, I thought a bit differently. Folks at both churches were very friendly, and knew how to treat a pastor and his family. The parsonage was a big ramshackle house, very hard to heat in winter. The parsonage was a big old house, and impossible to heat in the winter months. We lived on one side of the house and had a big coal heater in the living room, and a grate fire in the other.We had swapped our old Chevrolet for a Plymouth, after we moved to Adams, for we felt that we needed a car we could depend on. Mr. Glover, to whom a good many preachers went for cars gave us a good deal, and we were quite happy to have the Plymouth. We were too poor while at Dellrose to buy gas for visitation, and walked a good bit, especially around Dellrose itself. We didn't have much of a garden. It was a dry year, and we were not at home enough to do much. Part of the time, we had to depend for water upon the town well, for the cistern was low. One of the projects I undertook was to secure a lot of piping (second-hand) and a pump for the deep well that was there, but not used. The water was diagnosed as almost pure. Our first attempt showed that we did not get the piping low enough in the well, for when we added another twenty feet, we had sufficient water. It was quite a job, and I did most of the work myself. It got down to ten below zero, and our water pipes froze. I had to carry water from the town pump, when the cistern ran dry, so decided to see if there was not something I could do about the well that was on the place. I managed to collect enough pipe, and get an electric pump from Gil--a used one, and we soon had water, however as the summer was dry, I had to add another 20 feet of pipe. We had plenty of water after we did that. I had it tested in Nashville, and they rated it pure. The well was originally 150 feet deep we were told. The water was icy cold. Once when Henry Atkins was helping us in a meeting, we would pump the long hose pipe full of water, and let it rest in the sun by day, so that he could have a shower at night after preaching. It was good and hot, at first, then got colder and colder. Once while Henry was showering, I slipped out and turned on the water full force, so that the cold water came quickly. You could almost hear Henry yelling all over town. Anne was born at Adams on January 17, 1936, and during the real cold spell we were having. She cried a lot with what some thought was colic, but it was because she was cold. She has suffered from cold weather ever since. She was a big baby, and Mildred's bag of water ruptured before she came and scared the wits out of me. I ran for the neighbor, and we put the doctor on stand by. The D. D. had given us a small bottle of whiskey to make a toddy for her colic. We gave her some, but it wasn't a help for she was cold, and O.K. when she could get in bed with her mother to keep warm. We managed to find a Jersey cow, named "Beauty", and she was a picture, and her milk was as rich as she looked. She was gentle, and often wanted to play. On one occasion she took the handkerchief from my back pocket. We did have a beautiful Jersey cow. She was small, and her name was Beauty. She was a fine milker, and we enjoyed the milk and butter. She was playful enough to reach back in my hind
26 pocket and pull out my handkerchief. I was sorry that when she was with calf, something happened to her bag and teats. I should have called a vet, for she needed some attention and I fear she was not so good after that. We had to sell her when we left Adams in late October, when we decided to come back to Congo. We often wished for all her good milk. We had Rhode Island Hens, and they did lay, even in winter, when we had to run out and collect the eggs before they froze, for our winter there was bitterly cold. The day Anne was born, a bucket of drinking water on the mantlepiece about the grate froze, and there was a fire going. We had a large stove for the living room. It was a fruitful year, and I profited much by it. I have always wondered where I would be today had we stayed at Adams and in the Tennessee Conference. But, an opportunity to return to Congo could not be turned down. We were asked to return to Congo to more or less take the place of a fellow-missionary who had gotten into trouble of a nature that was best to return him to the states. When we left New York in November on our way to Congo for the second time we had two children, and the sea was rough. We were flooded once by the sea water which got into our porthole. We reached Antwerp, and were met by the Belgian Pastor. That winter was a rough one. I had intestinal flu while at the pension with the Savels. The Board gave us a three months stay in Belgium to learn French, as if a person could learn French in that time. We set sail for Congo, going to Brussels for our study, and arrived in Antwerp on Thanksgiving evening. We were met at the boat by one of the Belgian pastors, and taken to his home in Molenbook. It was very cold, and I remember that we asked for a gas fire, which would naturally cost something. The room where we stayed was enormous, and we kept the fire going for 48 hours before we even turned it down a bit. Jeanette and Anne were small, and we could not risk their taking pneumonia. We spent several days there, and then found a boarding house or "pension" with the Savels family. They had been missionaries in Congo. At one time he was the Father Superior of the Catholic Mission at Lusambo. Mrs. Savels was a very nice woman, while he was a bit brusque in manner. They had two sons. When Mr. Savels gave thanks at the table, he did so with his eyes open. Jeanette couldn't understand this. The Savels kept a "Pension", or boarding house, and there were several missionaries staying with them. They served good meals, and the only thing that we suffered from was the cold. The doors were so placed that the wind would whistle up a storm underneath them, and we had to go to bed at night to keep our feet warm. The heat was never allowed to get beyond somewhere in the sixties. One took a bath about once a week. I had intestinal flu, and was sick for some days. The weather was miserable. We didn't get too much French, for the verb was stressed by my teacher more than anything else. I can still hear him saying, "The verb is the soul of the language." We stayed in Brussels until April, if I remember correctly. It was hard to find even a little sunshine in which to take the children walking from day to day, for the weather was very fickle. Dorothy Rees was there at the same time, so we set sail from Antwerp for the Congo along with Dorothy. We were glad to be off to Congo in the early Spring--in April, I think. Dorothy Rees was on her way back too, so we travelled with her. On board our ship was a Dutchman, who attached himself to us at the same table. He was always doing something to embarrass Dot. One day he came to lunch in shorts and just his shirt. The steward sent him back to the cabin to get his "jacket." It really riled him, for he looked at the Belgian ladies who were in their tropical shorts, and halters, and asked "what about them--am I not dressed as fitting as they are?" I believe we made the voyage to Lobito, and from thence to Elizabethville, and on to Luluabourg from there. When we arrived in Luluabourg, we could find no room at the hotel, so were forced to hire a truck to take us and our
27 baggage to Mutoto, the Presbyterian station. We found Luluabourg in 1937 to be only a small country town with a few stores and a hotel, post office and railway station--little also. What a different place is this same town, now called Kananga, with 450,000 people living there. What a dirty trip it was then to ride a train, with dust and sparks from the wood burning locomotive blowing in the windows which had to be left partially open for air. Later, Congo had air conditioned trains. We were to be at Wembo Nyama to work in the schools, and naturally this led to all sorts of other jobs. It was good training for us to become a "Jack-of-all-trades." We bought a lot of the things that the Bardens left for sale. From that day in 1933 until now, we have not seen them, although we do communicate on rare occasions. John was a good educational man, and "Gene" was a fine musician. It was too bad that he was a homo-sexualist, and had to leave for the good of the work. He taught for many years at Appalachian Teachers College at Boone, N. C. The trouble that our colleague had evidently had something to do with homosexuality. We didn't know enough about it to recognize it, and were told very little by our other colleagues. From what the Africans told us, we judged it to be this kind of thing. We were occupied mostly with school affairs during those days, and knowing little about things (African educational affairs) had to pay close attention to things. We were in charge of the Mission (school) Boys or the boys who boarded in the dormitories, the buying of food, the teaching of Agriculture, making brick, carpentry and a host of other things. One of the many things one had to check daily with the students was itch (similar to scabies), and jiggers (a very tiny flea-like insect which bores under the skin causing painful sores). I usually let the teachers get out the jiggers. They usually had the students who had them wash their feet, and if they spotted jiggers, they scrubbed the soles of the feet with brickbats until a lot of the hard sole was gone, then they could get out the little critters. I usually was able to get sulphur powder, and plenty of palm oil, and then secure a bit of Carbolic Acid from the hospital, then mix it all up together, and it did wonders for the itch. I kept long swabs to use on their heads and bodies, and they were usually greased up well before they got out of the office. In our work at Wembo Nyama, we learned to make and burn brick, and to give some instruction in gardening. We were able to burn a pretty fair kiln of bricks which the boys made with boxes, and we built a dormitory for them. What they had were falling down. They still needed others. We took orders and made a lot of stools, toys and other things for the different families for Christmas. I also made a set of wheels for a baby carriage, and attached them to the hubs and spokes of the carriage, so that they worked quite well. We still have one of the little stools that Mildred gave to her sister, and she gave it back to us. We made tables and chairs and some nice furniture. The Agricultural class were able to harvest some manioc, but that is about all for the ground was very poor. We had many beautiful zinnias and some other flowers around the school buildings. The boys boarding department was always a difficult department to run, for one had to be responsible for buying grain, and meat for the boys, seeing that they prepared their food, and all of the other details. We hope that we were able to teach them some things. Our outstanding failure was to show them how to make corn hominy and to prepare it for eating. We made it all right, but when it came to their liking it, they just didn't because it was something new and they were not accustomed to it. I suppose that the old dormitory that we built of brick which we built is still standing. They say that either I or Inman Townsley were the ones who fired or dismissed Patrice Lumumba from the school, because of his misdoings. We never thought him fit for a Prime Minister. We stayed at Wembo Nyama long enough for me to finally become Director of the Monitor's School. I finally became the Director of the Monitors' School, where we trained the teachers
28 for the Mission schools. With the help of an Otetela, we worked out several new courses. I still have a copy of the small book on the "Beginnings of Things". I, who knew nothing of educational policies, had now become head of a school for the training of teachers. We managed to get some things done, like translation of a course in history, telling of the beginnings of things. I always thought that this course was badly needed, for the Africans needed to understand from whence had come some things--our culture was different from theirs, and there were many things that must have been a puzzle to them, just as many things in their culture were a puzzle to us. We also gave them a start in agriculture, carpentry, and other matters. I think that they appreciated my efforts, and I found it better than being director of a primary school. Mildred was teaching some too, when she could get away from the care of the children and the running of the household. We both were kept busy. Gene Jr. made his appearance in late 1939, so now we had three children--two girls and a boy. He developed rather slowly, and it was not until we went to Lubondai to teach in the school there that goat's milk seemed to give him what was needed to help him come out. The war had started in Europe, and some supplies were cut short, but we managed to get along. During the war, which broke out while we were at Wembo Nyama, I had been keeping up with things on the radio. I listened to some of the news programs in French as well as English. I heard the announcement of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and I was probably the first one to hear the news. It was told very quickly. We were on a limited rationing plan. Gas was scarce, but kerosene seemed plentiful. Some groceries were scarce, but we made out fine. We planned our furlough, but nothing came of it because of the war. In the summer of 1942, at the Annual Conference at Wembo Nyama, someone was asked to volunteer their services to go teach at Lubondai at Central School for Missionaries' Children. Dr. and Mrs. Lewis volunteered, but were rejected, for he was needed as a doctor. Mildred and I volunteered and were accepted. It was quite a change for us to take the family to Lubondai, and begin actual classroom work, but we managed. We volunteered to go to the school for missionaries' children in 1942, I believe it was, for the Presbyterians were having a hard time getting teachers out. We knew that it was only temporary, and so we were prepared for several months of hard work. Mildred had charge of the kitchen, and we had classes in Latin, French, European History, Bible and Geography etc. We were there from August to December. I had to study as hard or harder than the ones that I taught. I hope that I did a good job. Mildred was matron of the Dining Room, and did some teaching, and taught Anne and Gene Jr. Latin was a particularly hard subject to get into once again, but I enjoyed it more than most else. I also taught Geography and Bible to the children in Grammar School. Ginny Anne King had one stock answer for the products of agricultural countries: Corn, wheat etc. The Bible textbook was something beyond my comprehension, so I appealed to one of the trustees of the school, and he told me to teach what I wanted to teach. The textbook was filled with the theology of the Rapture and many other strange doctrines which I could not accept, and found rather repulsive. European History was a subject to which I had had little exposure, so I had to study it very much before teaching it. We enjoyed this new experience, and I had to study harder than the children, for a lot of the subject material was new, or it had been many years since I had studied it. Lorena Kelly followed us, in January and we moved to Minga. We were supposed to be going home on furlough but our term of service lasted from 1937-1944. Lorena Kelly had agreed to go to Lubondai to take our places for the second term. The reason that we were helping out was that during the war, it was practically impossible for the Presbyterians to send out teachers.We then went to Minga to spend another year and a month or so in doing most everything that needed to be done there.
29 We had been scheduled to travel home on furlough from Durban, but the ship was sunk by a German torpedo and that settled all possibilities for one to travel for that time. When it seemed that the war would continue on until no one knew the end, we asked the Bishop to let us try going home by way of Capetown. He agreed, and so we left Minga in February 1944 to go to Luluabourg to take the train to Capetown in South Africa. Dr. Hughlett took us to the station in his panel body car. In the early months of 1944, we left Minga to go to Capetown, at the recommendation of the Executive Committee and the Bishop, where we would wait on a boat. We needed dental, eye and other health care by this time, for we had been in Congo since early 1937. We contacted Cooks (travel agent) in Capetown, had some dental work done, and waited for a boat. We hardly knew what to prepare for on the journey, but made it fine. Since we were at the Avalon Hotel, we were constantly on the search for another place where it was cheaper, but were never able to find anything satisfactory for our needs. We could not find a very good place to live, and so had to go to the Avalon Hotel, located close to the foot of Table Mountain. It was in a very pretty part of the city. We tried to fan out from the city and see if we could find a cheaper place to board, but there seemed to be nothing for there were many others in the same boat. The Avalon, although with a high rating, was a rather second class facility. There were bed-bugs galore, and we were accused of bringing them from Congo. The meals were only fair, for South Africa was doing all it could for the war. Pumpkin, and no white bread save on Easter Day was the style of life there. We had a good time, seeing some excellent movies, visiting various parks, and other parts of the country near Capetown. We also went swimming in the Indian Ocean, and got very sunburned. When we tried the Atlantic Ocean, with our friends the Molyneux, we found it too cold--just like ice water. The Moyes from Lusambo were there, and a hosts of Presbyterians. The McKinnons of the A.P.C.M. were there too, and others. They soon returned home, or back to the field. Most every day, we checked with Cooks' hoping to find passage home, but nothing was offered until June, and then it was a coastal steamer from Argentina. We had spent all our funds and had to ask the Board for more to pay our passage home. Gene Jr. found the escalators very interesting, and the stores were interesting. The trouble about finding a boat there was, that they would carry men, but not women and children. Finally after a wait of four and a half months, we found an Argentine Coastal steamer, and set sail on her for Buenos Aires. What a voyage. We were all seasick for days, and poor Jeanette was sicker than all the rest. We finally got her up before the twenty day voyage ended, but she was weak and listless. We had on board the ship several of the A.P.C.M. (Presbyterian missionary) families who helped us a lot. The voyage to Buenos Aires was indeed a rough one. We took some seasickness pills before leaving the harbor at Capetown, but not soon enough to prevent the Cape Rollers from turning our tummies all upside down. We had plenty of food, the cabins were all right, but we were all seasick, and poor Jeanette was sick most of the twenty days it took to get across the Atlantic in the winter time at that. She lost pounds. We were helpless to attend her, and had to depend on the folk in the cabin where she was to look after her. We were so sick that finally when one of the A.P.C.M. missionaries--Earl King, Sr. suggested it, we tried a little Brandy, but it was worse than the seasickness, so we tried no more of it. The smell of the food from the dining room made us sick. It was close by, and the sea was too rough to try to open the porthole to amount to anything. I am sure the room or cabin smelled, for we were told by the Kings that it did. There was little that we could do to avoid it. Toward the end of the voyage, we did manage to get up, and got Jeanette out on deck a bit. There were rumors that the Germans were following us with a submarine, and we would
30 not know when they might show up to check for Americans on board. Nothing came of this. We were all happy to finally arrive in the Port of Buenos Aires. We had to go through customs, and it was a rigid inspection. We left most of our baggage at the port facilities because of the "Red Tape", and the agents acting for us finally got everything settled. We all finally arrived in Buenos Aires. The children had bronchitis and deep colds, but we finally got cleared by a North American doctor just before we were to fly out for Miami, Florida by way of Salta, Lima, Panama City, and over Cuba, and on to Miami. What a trip, and what sights awaited us. We were sent to a large hotel in the heart of the city, and found it very comfortable, save for the cool nights and mornings. We bought a small electric heater for warmth, for the steam heat came on only a few hours per day. Oranges and apples were very cheap--one could buy a dozen of these fruits for a quarter. The steaks at the hotel were very thick, and very tasty. The children were sick with colds, and one or more of them had bronchitis and laryngitis, so we found the one North American doctor in the city and got him to treat the children. We arrived on Saturday, and we went to church at the American Protestant church. We were a bit late at the service, for we stopped at the Air office to see if we could get reservations to the states on Pan-Am-Grace airlines. We were able to get them for the next Sunday. It was now a question of getting the children cleared by the health officials, and this we were able to do--just barely. At the last moment before business closed for the week-end, we found out that we might have to divide up along the way, so were advised to get two passports. One for Mildred and two children and one for me and the other child. We rushed around like mad to get this done. It looked hopeless for a while, for the pictures had to be made, but finally the Consul signed the passports before they were filled out, and we had to dash by taxi to the Panamanian Consul's office after he had closed to get our visa, for going through Panama. We finally got it all done, and were able to make it to the airport on Sunday morning, a week from our arrival. The plane took off, but had to return a few moments later to fix something about the oil pressure. We finally took off and soon landed at Salta, then Antefagusta, and there spent the night, if I remember correctly. We went from there to Lima, where we spent the night, and from there to some place in Colombia, and then on to Panama. Flying over the Andes was quite an experience. None of us had flown before this trip, and we filled our eyes with the ice and snow all below us. We finally had to suck oxygen to feel well. Gene Jr. didn't want to do so, but was finally persuaded to do so. When we got to Panama, the electric eye doors caused a lot of amusement on the part of the family for none had even seen one before. While we were in Lima, we had a chance to visit the Cathedral, and marveled at the beauty of many things seen there, but were also impressed by the poverty seen. The flight over the city in the early hours of the morning was a glorious sight. The sunrise was magnificent. When we flew over Panama, blinds were put over the windows of the plane for this was prohibited territory, and one was forbidden to see anything of the defenses of the country. We flew over Cuba on our way to Miami, and landed there in the late afternoon, I believe. We sent a telegram to Violet Hughlett asking if it would be convenient to stop off and visit her and the children at Cocoa, Florida. She replied that she would be standing on the platform of the station, and we were to watch for her. It seems that there was some question as to whether or not she would be home, for if we saw her we would know to get off. The air conditioner in our car had gone off and we had to move forward to another car, so when we arrived at Cocoa, Violet was there and we had to rush like mad to collect our baggage and get off, before the train left the station. We made it by the skin of our teeth. We enjoyed the visit very much. Doctor was in
31 the process of trying to get back to Congo, and had already left. The mosquitoes attacked us on the street even at 9 A.M. It was hot, and after a day or so with the Hughletts, we set out for Nashville. At the last minute we were able to get a drawing room on the train for sleeping, but told that we would have to be out of it in the early morning, before getting to Atlanta. We made it. What impressed us was the crowds on the train, and the surliness of the conductors. They were harassed by so many passengers demanding so many things, I suppose. We arrived home in late August, I believe, and enrolled for some classes at Scarritt. We were able to get an apartment in the upper floor of a big yellow house belonging to Peabody College. We settled down at Peabody in an upstairs apartment of a big yellow house, on the hill, the only place close around. It was on the third floor. Someone gave us a Manx cat, and he was a fighter. In spite of the heat, we survived. I had the Mumps, and the cat jumped in the big electric fan we had in the third story window. He was knocked out, but soon came to, with a cut on his nose, and as mean as ever. The children went to school at Peabody Demonstration School, and we felt that we were fortunate to be able to get them enrolled there. I am sure, from what they said later that they felt somewhat not clothed as well as some of the others, and that there was a big difference in the scale of living of the families but somehow they didn't say much about it at that time. The Board did want to know why we did not put them in a public school. There just were none within easy walking distance, and I was away on trips so much. We managed to get everything squared away for our return to Congo during the late summer, and faced the question of returning with or without a car. We had a second hand Plymouth, and finally drove in it to New York and had it boxed for shipment. They stole some of the tires off it before it left New York. We had to sail for Lisbon, Portugal in 1945 because the war was not over in Europe, and so had to go on a neutral ship. The tail end of a storm (hurricane) caught us some days out, and the old ship was turned here and there, and almost capsized. Our baggage was shifting around from one end of the cabins to the other. The Hughletts were with us on that voyage. Dr. had already gone out, while Violet and the children stayed home. We also had some of the A.P.C.M. missionaries with us. We all found places to stay in Lisbon. While we were in Lisbon, I preached one time in an English speaking service. I think possibly that I had an interpreter. We visited many of the Catholic Cathedrals, observed the dinginess of parts of the city, went to some of the Sunday afternoon meetings of the Protestant groups, and spent one day at one of their famous beaches. We also took a trip to one of the cities, near the Spanish borders. There were many points of interest. We enjoyed being in the same apartment with the Hughletts. It was good to have Violet in on our activities, and the children enjoyed being with the three Hughlett children. We were impressed that the Bank where we sometimes got our checks cashed had the name, "Bank of the Holy Spirit." We had been warned that we might pick up fleas in church or on the street cars, and I suspect that we did on occasions. Mr. Grancha did a good job feeding us, but some of the food was highly seasoned with too much olive oil. He did give us liberty to ask for changes when we didn't like some of the foods. The Hartzlers were in Lisbon studying Portuguese, and we also took a few lessons in it. It seemed hard. The Hartzlers were preparing for work in Angola. We tried by every means to find some way to get on back to Congo, but there were no planes going direct. One line did go to Liberia, but to find the connections from there were difficult. Finally, when we had been there many weeks--6 in all--we managed to get third class on a Portuguese steamer for Lobito. Some of the A.P.C.M. (missionaries) did give a bribe and got second class accommodations, but we refused to do this. It was really a rough way to travel, as we were to learn in the following days. We were with the Graneia family in a new
32 apartment. Portugal impressed us as a not very clean place. There were fleas on the street cars and in the churches. The Hartzlers were studying there in Lisbon preparatory to work in Angola. They were not able to return to the Congo for some reason or other. We spent six weeks in Lisbon before we were successful in obtaining passage to Lobito. We had to take third class passage, and found things pretty rough, on our voyage back to "the Dark Continent." When we were shown our cabins, we found that the family was all divided. The beds were very hard and the pillows worse. The children below six were supposed to sleep with their mothers. I had a cabin along with Bill Worth with several Portuguese men. Mildred had one with the children. Some missionary ladies and their children were in the same cabin. The third class portion of the ship was filled with people of the peasant class of people, and down in the hold there were others. When they got seasick, they upchucked right where they were, and the rats were all over the ship. One ate a special melon Bill Worth had under his bunk, and then came and crawled over my face. I slapped him off with my hand, but such was our life on that voyage. Mildred had one crawl through her hair, for she was sleeping on the floor on a rubber air mattress. I finally bribed the steward to get her a mattress. We had been forbidden to complain. It was a ship packed with people like sardines. We ate in the second class dining room, and were served with octopus, and other delicacies which the Portuguese liked. We had for breakfast, black coffee, rolls, and fish cut up in rice. We had purchased some jam on the way down, and had milk for the children. They denied us the use of the lounge, so we had a rear deck, where we had prayer meeting, and school for the children who would be late for Lubondai. We made out, but it was trying, and we were not the only ones who were tried. Roseva Loring, the principal of the school at Lubondai had a cabin with Portuguese women, and their husbands used to come busting into the cabin to shave, for they had no mirrors down below, and poor Roseva who wasn't used to all this often said that, "I could bite nails in two this morning." The worst was to come. When we came to the town next to Lobito, they coaled the ship. There was the dumping of the coal on the deck, and then it was shoveled into the chutes. Coal dust was all over the ship--we had it in our hair, in our food and in our beds. It was an experience that no one would want to experience twice. We left the ship and strolled around the city, visited a while at the mission station there (Methodist), and even after the day spent away from our quarters on the ship came back to it with the "coaling" still going on. It was good that we arrived at Lobito within a day or so, for this gave us a chance to clean up by bathing, swimming in the sea and washing our clothes at the hotel. We were soon ready for the next stage of the trip--several days train ride through Angola and on up into Central Congo. It was a long hard journey. We carried some food along for the children, but the dining car service was not too bad, considering all things. The ride was a hot and dusty one, for it was the dry season. Dr. Hughlett met his family at the Angola border, I believe. We were all glad to see him, and especially his own family. He had carried us to Luluabourg when we left for furlough, and now we were to be together again. We had to go through customs at a point on the Congo-Angola border, and the authorities were inclined to deal very lightly with us in customs until Dr. Hughlett rather insisted that they see everything, and so stirred up their curiosity as to what we might have. Then we had to open most everything. Some of the folk were rather provoked with the whole thing, and wished that Dr. had kept his mouth shut. We finally came to Jadotville, now called Panda Likasi, where we stayed at the hotel until the train for Luluabourg, now called Kananga, was made up in Elizabethville, now called Lubumbashi. I forgot to say what a refreshing thing it was to see the Hughlett family reunited after having been separated for more than two
33 years. We were happy for them. When we arrived at Kananga, we got the children off to Lubondai where their school was located with all haste, for they were already late. Remember Roseva Loring, the principal was with us, so it was not too bad. I do not recall who came for us to get us to our respective places of work. This all happened in the year 1945. If I recall correctly, we were assigned to work at Wembo Nyama, where I was the District Superintendent, and for some of the time worked with Mildred in the overseeing of the Regional Schools. Doubtless, I was engaged in Industrial work, and if I remember had charge of the Transport Department for some time. When we received notice that our Plymouth had arrived at Lusambo, I went down for it, and was telling Mr. Moyes about the tires and other features of it. He said, "When I took it out of the box it had some rather sorry looking tires on it, and it was with difficulty that I managed to get enough air in the tires to drive it home." Sure enough, our $160 box had not protected it too well, for they had stolen the tires (some of them) and put at least a couple of junk-heap ones on it, with big truck tubes that had multiple patches on them. Fortunately, I was able to buy new synthetic tires and tubes, but in those early days of such tires, the tubes were almost worthless. I had hardly gone 20 miles when I was out working on them, and soon they had many patches. We used that Plymouth all that term, and finally sold it at the close of the new term, in 1949 to a chief. I had put a new engine in it, for the old one had worn out the bearings, and the crankshaft must have been worn out of round. The chief had little service from it, for he knew nothing of caring for a car. I got less for the whole car than I had paid for the replacement motor. Bishop Booth gave us permission to come home a year early, for Jeanette was ready for College. We located at Scarritt, and Jeanette went to Martin at Pulaski. She was not too happy there, because they did not offer French, and she was going through the process of adjusting to American life. We lived in one of the Scarritt cottages, and it was a dark, dirty old place, with the furnace making a lot of fuss at night. During the course of the year, the children were at Peabody Demonstration school, and Mildred at Scarritt. I was on the road a lot and so can't remember too much of our life from day to day. While we were home that year, Mildred had an operation at Vanderbilt that incapacitated her for some weeks. She had a hysterectomy. I remember trying to do some cooking during that period, and the children didn't starve. On one occasion, Jeanette brought home with her, her new boy friend and we were rather pushed to entertain him, for he had to sleep in the room with me. Martin College wouldn't even skip the extra charge because we were not able to pay the school fees at one time. Money matters were really tight, and we just had to do without a lot of things we would have liked. I remember having to go to the bank to borrow the money for the hospital fees, for in those days one had to pay it and then get reimbursed by the Board. On one occasion I had to borrow the money from mother to have Christmas for the children. The bank from which I borrowed money required that Mildred sign the note. He (the banker) didn't ask for collateral, and said that he trusted my honest face. That made me feel good, for evidently some the loan companies didn't think that I had too honest a looking face. I had gone to them first for a loan. We were back in Congo for the school term, and were assigned to Minga District as Superintendent, with Mildred in charge of the schools, both Station and Rural Schools. Our term at Minga was very pleasant, and we soon became acquainted with other facets of the work while there. We moved into a new home of native construction, which Julius Davis had gotten chief Mukundji to build. The first rain that came soon revealed that the roof was no good, for it leaked like a sieve, and had to be done over. We had to move all our furniture back against the walls to have anything dry. It was hard to get boards out of Joe Maw for the food magazine, and so we were able to change the house as we saw fit only after Joe had left for furlough. We saw that the kitchen in the house
34 itself wouldn't work. It was not safe, so an outside one was built, with the food storeroom attached. This gave us some porch room, and a place for our light plant, and later for the motor which lighted the church. The water at Minga was good, and did not have to be boiled for drinking. This was in 1950. We had the whole gamut of the work there part of the time, for the Maws were gone, so Transport and Industrial work was ours and most everything except Medical work was ours. I believe that there were single ladies on the station part of the time to care for the work with the Girls. We particularly enjoyed the Sapys, a Hungarian couple who came out to do Medical work. Dr. Sapy was a hunter of note, and so we had buffalo meat a good many times. I used to take him out to hunt while I visited churches in the district, and having bought a pick-up from the ladies at Tunda, was able to haul it in to the station. I shall never forget the time he went out for hippo. He killed two or three and came back home in his car. He told me that if I would go for the meat I could sell it to the Africans. I went, and finally got a part of the hippo in the pick-up, and arrived home about 2 P.M. It was Sunday. The meat was "High" and so rather than have it wait over till Monday, we told the folk to come get it while it lasted. They cleaned it up in short order. There were lions of the man-eating type in the river sections of the District, so we heard lots of tales of people being eaten. I am sure that some of them were true. We visited Lake Makamba several times, enjoyed the good fishing for the Tilipia, and were quite contented at Minga. I helped train Museu Emile as a Superintendent. I also trained others later. Once I went to some kind of meeting in the pick-up, and when I returned from Luluabourg brought back a load of gas etc. There were some bad hills which were very sandy, and the tracks were covered with grass. In climbing one the car struck a chuck-hole that broke the welding holding the spring seat. I felt that something was wrong, but it was night and so I went on to the top of the hill. I stopped, but could spot nothing in the darkness, but had hardly passed a small commercial center when the car stopped, with the engine still running, and soon I saw the entire drive shaft roll out from underneath the car to the side of the road. What had happened was that the axle had moved back and forth with the seat broken until the Universal Joint had broken. I had no food, and no bed, so went back to the magazine (store) borrowed a blanket, and slept in an empty house, after sending a bicycle man to Mildred asking that she get Joe Maw to come for me. I had to wait most of the next day before they arrived. About a week later, I took the whole rear axle in the back seat of our car, and had to go all the way to Luluabourg to get the spring base or support welded on. I took along one of the chauffeurs, and when we had gotten back, and attached the axle, we came on home. I suppose that thereafter I tried to hit the holes a bit more carefully. I remember one other repair job that the truck required--that of replacing a bad rear axle bearing. Fortunately I found one as I passed by Lubefu, and was able to use it. We sold that old pick-up for about what we had paid for it, and had a few years of usage. Of course, I imagine I had to replace some of the tires. Anne was next to go home to enter college, and so we had one lone "chick" left. Anne graduated at Lubondai from High School, and so Gene Jr. was the only one left. While at Minga, I worked hard to keep the Transport trucks going, and helped keep the work going. Mildred was busy with school, and with work with the girls and women. Neither of us realized quite the discipline problem of the Girls' Home until we had to do some of it. We did some building, and did a lot of visitation of the district. Papa Lunumbi, Museu Kasongo, and others served with me on the District, and I helped train some of the men for the job. I think Gene Jr. really enjoyed his years at Minga and at Tunda, for he was more free to play with the Congolese than his sisters had been, and being a boy, he learned a lot from the Africans. He was good at understanding the language, and sometimes acted as interpreter for
35 us, when we were able to get out on the district during the holidays when he was home. He also picked up quite a bit of Tshiluba while at Lubondai. Strange thing though, he could not write it--i.e. Otetela. I suppose that comes from the almost complete oral usage of the language. When June 1955 came, we left for furlough, and lived at Cookeville where everyone was in school but me. We went to an Ecumenical Conference on Missions at Bossy, Switzerland, and spent two weeks at the end of the Lake in a rural village called Bouveret, and about a week at the Bible School in the city of Geneva. These were happy times and relaxing ones after a busy term. In 1955, we left for furlough, and after we went back to the field were sent to Tunda Station, which was our first home in Congo. We arrived in 1956, and I believe that Gene Jr., graduated from Lubondai in 1958. He really enjoyed the hunting at Tunda, having carried back to the field a .22 rifle, which we had gotten him while we were living at Cookeville. When we arrived home in 1955, Anne was at T.P.I. in Cookeville, and helped us find a house on the outskirts of town. She wanted to live at home with us, and we found the house a little too far from the college, so we searched for another one. Anne and Allison soon found a house that belonged to Mrs. Johnson which was for rent. College students had been living in it, so it required a bit of cleaning. Too, it had a coal furnace and there were stacks of ashes and clinkers in the basement, in addition to stacks of old magazines and newspapers. During the course of the year we got rid of both. Water ran through the basement in a small stream all the time, for the house was in a low place. We soon had it liveable, and soon I was the only one at home in the mornings, for Gene Jr. was in High School, Anne and Mildred in College. I was away a great deal of the time on itineration for the Board. It was a joy to have Anne home with us for that year. We especially enjoyed the church at Cookeville. Bro. Bruce Strother was the pastor, and we came to enjoy fellowship with the Strother family. The Annual Conference met at Cookeville that fall, and it was a time of renewing of old acquaintances. We were able to secure from Mrs. Johnson a small plot for the planting of greens which we enjoyed very much. We rented an old piano for Anne, and she was able to practice at home. We also came to know Allison at this time. I believe that he, Mildred and Anne were in one class together at the college. We liked his parents very much, too. We had bought a Ford Sedan to take back to the Congo with us. It was a good car and gave us much good service. Anne, and Gene Jr., both were able to get their driver's license at Cookeville. I had renewed mine at Nashville, having to take the written examination, and the driving proof as well. When the policeman came to get into the car at Cookeville with Anne, he happened to look at the license plate and saw that it was New York or New Jersey, and said that it was against the law to give a driving test in an out-of-state car. When I told him that I had taken mine in the same car, he still said that it was illegal, so Anne had to go get Allison's car for her test. When I went to the courthouse for a Tennessee license, they refused to sell me one on the ground that I had not paid the sales tax on the car. I had gotten it from an organization that was exempt from the sales tax. I was stumped until I happened to tell the garage man about the incident. He immediately called the lieutenant governor of the state who was a Cookeville man, and after a few questions as to the length of ownership of the car, I was able to avoid paying $60 some odd dollars for the sales tax, and had my license plates. Somewhere we have an old picture of the car with the top carrier loaded to the hilt, and the inside so full that it was difficult for the three of us to get inside--this was the day that we left Cookeville to get ready to return to the Congo in 1956. It had been a busy and fruitful year. It was a year when we had our first T.V. when Gene Jr. and I put up the first T.V. Antenna for our set, necessary for reception. It was the year when I tried to see that Gene Jr. took second year Latin by correspondence school, for he had to have it for his Lubondai graduation. I found that I did most of the work, and that we made 86
36 on our final. Perhaps this was good after all the years passing when I had studied Latin. It was a year of trial for us in the young adolescent changes coming over our son. He had quite a siege with Measles. Richard and Jeanette came to see us at Cookeville. They were at Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. There had come about a change in Congo. One of the things that we had to do shortly after reaching Tunda was to set up a pension plan for the workmen, and later for the preachers and the teachers plus the people who worked around the houses and elsewhere. It was a good system, but crooked people stole most of the money in the mid-sixties, and as a result most of the men never received a penny for their pensions. They paid so much and the people who paid them paid so much. It is a pity that all this fell into the hands of folk who either neglected to send in the funds, or kept poor records on the matter, and that the troubles that came to Congo about destroyed the system. It has probably been rectified by now. Too, the Africans were taking over more and more responsibility, and we had to work in the background. It was difficult to train some of them for their jobs. I shall never forget at least one--Shutsha Pierre. I tried to teach him to ride a motorcycle, but he never learned to shift gears. I tried to teach him to drive a car, but he just couldn't get the hang of it. He was the big chief, and insisted on it. He undoubtedly was the most difficult person with whom I had to deal in these years of transition. I suppose that he felt that the position of responsibility gave him the position of lordship. He acted that way and I can well imagine does today. I remember once being at the parsonage at W. N. and seeing the water getting under the brick walls. I happened to suggest that he get his sons to shovel a bit of dirt next to the walls, and he launched a bitter attack against me for suggesting that he put his sons to work. Once when he had bought a pick-up, he wanted me to pay the mileage for his travel over the district, and was furious when I refused. The years of transition were not usually so hard. We were able to take the changes in good spirit, and to find many Africans who made them with us in the same spirit. When 1960 came, we were planning for our furlough in June of that year. A new family came to the field, and I have never understood how they ever got to be missionaries. They were sent to Belgium for French study, and did very poorly, for the language came difficult to them. We had tried to help them before they came by suggesting some of the things they would need. When they arrived, we found that they had assumed that they would be doing evangelistic work and nothing more. They were emotional, and often cried real tears at their lack of ability to learn Otetela. They were missionaries whose theology, gained at Asbury, was almost extreme in its fundamentalism. Harry just couldn't do much at all with his hands. He wept when I turned over to him the work-line, saying that he would never be able to keep it going. When I showed him the light plant and demonstrated how to crank it off, he just didn't seem to catch the idea at all. Perhaps I was too hard on Harry, for other folk seemed to appreciate him, but I have yet to see how the Board ever accepted him. Maybe I was wrong. He was a spiritual man, but his horizons were certainly limited. He didn't even want to take out social security, for he had the feeling that it was rather denying the power of God to take care of him when he was old. I felt sorry for him in that he seemed so naive. Those were the days when the colonial government was about to topple, and when the souls of men were tried by fire, so I may have made the wrong judgment of the man and his family. We spent the term at Tunda doing most everything--preaching on the district and at the station, building, transportation for the station, installing a pump to get water to the top of the hill and hauling it to the station. I bought an old pick-up from Wheeler, which would stall when it got hot, which was a real help at the time. I hauled gravel, sand and other things, and even helped the folk get some of their grain from the garden. I finally sold the thing to Luhata Daniel, who was begging for it. I don't think that he ever finished paying for it, but it was
37 good to be rid of it. He bought it even though he knew its limitations and weaknesses. We had a trailer too, and it was a big help. Jimmy Cox of Cookeville sent us the money for a Chevy 3 ton truck, and I built the body for it. It really was a godsend to the station, and had a lot of hard usage. The soldiers finally took it over and ruined it, as they did all of the other vehicles of the mission. Just before we left Tunda in June 1960 for our regular furlough, the politicians were making speeches all over the country, and getting people ready for Independence. They were told that they would be provided for by the government, would take over the white man's cars and houses, and would sometimes get his wife. The colonial government became scared, in my opinion, and even sent planes to drop leaflets saying that they were still in power and to remain tranquil. I really think that there was a good deal of panic on the part of the Belgian officials, for they were too ready to give up and clear out. A lot of the killing and riots etc. could have been prevented if they had maintained a strong control, but I suppose that they were fearing for their lives, and wanting to get out before they were murdered, and certainly the whole country was in an uproar, and Lumumba was to blame for a lot of it. We had already gone and went to Oberammergau to see the Passion Play. We had travelled down by train, and really enjoyed the Play. It was a quaint little town, and I can remember how surprised and shocked to see what I thought were women carrying the suitcases of the tourist. They were of course long-haired youth, some of whom had a part in the cast. We enjoyed our stay at the little hotel, but were surprised when we had to pay for the coffee extra at .75 cents. The trip by train was most interesting, and a lot of it was along the Rhine river. We were greatly impressed with the comfort of the trains. Our tickets were good ones for the Play, and American Express had gotten them for us. I think they were cancellations. We had read no news of the outside world, and when we finally arrived back in Belgium, we were told of the terrible happening in Congo. We also saw while in Brussels the reaction of the Belgians regarding their using the army to get out those who had not been able to get out. There were Demonstrations, which they called "MANIFESTATIONS", and thousands of people massed on the streets. Certainly there were many killed in Congo, and many beaten and tortured, and many women raped. The new government, headed by Lumumba had little power, and mob violence seemed to be the order of the day. Later, when the United Nations saw what was happening, and Russia was trying to gain control, they came upon the scene, but with the type of soldiers sent, who were more interested in looting than in keeping the peace, there could be little doubt that Congo was in for some tough times. One has but to read some of the books written during those days to catch a glimpse that Congo was headed for oblivion or for take over by some strong power. Things went to pieces, and afterwards one of the leaders of the country said that, "But for the church, there would be no Congo." Things were really rough, and many innocent people died. There is no way of telling how many of the Congolese died at the hands of their own brother Congolese. Tribal warfare was rampant, and the whole country was wasted and pillaged--that is all save Katanga. Tshombe Moise was a strong leader, and quite early during the troubles decided to declare the independence of Katanga. Of course, he was helped and advised by many Belgians to take this course of action, for in Katanga's copper lay much of the wealth of the country. From the first, the United Nations decided that they would not allow the country to be split, and they did all they could to prevent this. In 1961, upon our return from furlough, we were asked to go to the Katanga, to an old mission station called Kanene, and our special job was to undertake the construction of a church, for the old one was literally falling down. The Bishop (Booth) wanted us to live at Kolwezi, something
38 like 100 miles away, and go back and forth for this job. After staying at Kolwezi a few weeks we flew to Kanene to see about the possibility of getting on with the construction of the church, and to ascertain if it would be possible to live there. We found that it was possible, and after preparations regarding supplies etc., we decided to undertake this. The old house was inhabited by bats, and had not been lived in for some 20 years. We cleaned it and set about making it liveable. We constructed a water system, a bathroom, and fixed a kitchen, plus the front porch surface and pillars. The field rats were bad about running into the house, and coming under the front door. We killed twenty or more, and had lots of fun chasing them about the house to kill them with sticks. We had no traps or cats. The old house served us well after repairs, even though some of the leaks could not be fixed. We even had a fireplace, and a fire felt good at night part of the year. We made a road to the good inexhaustible spring, hauled rock for the foundation. Brick which were already made were also hauled. We searched for and found gravel, and sand for building. It was quite a job to secure workers, but with the help of the District Superintendent, Morrison Matafawadi, who was a "peach" of a man, we found sufficient workers to start. Our gas and cement had to be hauled from Kamina, about 100 miles away, and finally we secured a beat-up 5 ton dump truck from the missionary at Kolwezi. We had to have extensive repairs made on it, and that at Kitwe in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. It was a long day's journey from Kanene, and required papers and a lot of red-tape to get over the border between Congo and Rhodesia. We had a hard time securing funds on which to live, for the mail service between Kamina and Elizabethville (now Lubumbashi) was very erratic in those days, and had it not been for a supply of Travellers Checks which we had, we would have starved. It was impossible to travel toward Kolwezi or E'ville part of the time. The Katangese army had a lot of road blocks to keep out the U.N., and were always suspicious of anyone travelling, especially Americans. We had to get our building supplies from Kitwe, and one always faced going over the border, and the customs at E'ville. On one occasion, I was returning home from down country with the truck and night had overtaken me en route home. I came to a bridge over a small stream that had been partially stripped of its boards by another truck. I stopped the truck and replaced what I thought necessary to get across, and as I started off and up onto the bridge I must have pulled back on the dump lever, for I caught a glimpse of the drum of gas just behind the cab window being thrown away from its place. The back gate of the bed of the truck was tied tight, so could not come open and spill the heavy steel bars and other things. I stopped when the bridge had been crossed, and found that the body of the truck had pulled all the boards off the bridge, and that the drum of gas was sitting beside the road, upside down. It was too heavy to try to load, so I left it and went on home. Was I ever glad to get there, and so was Mildred who had been there alone for several days. It was on Saturday night that I arrived, but I went back that Sunday morning in the Volkswagen Kombi, and picked up the gas. We found Kanene located on a hill, accessible only after crossing a causeway, which became flooded in the rainy season. In fact some times one had to leave the car over at the little settlement on the road, and wade across on foot to get home. In the valley below, the soil on top was a black type, and very rich. They had told us that the spot we had fenced for a garden would grow nothing, but after several loads of the black soil had been hauled and spread, it produced an abundance of good vegetables. We had so many beans, we gave them away. We even had strawberries--not many but enough to enjoy. Morrison Matafwadi, the superintendent raised leeks and sold them in Kamina. We had brought from Elizabethville a small kerosene refrigerator, and a kerosene bottle cooler, which we used as a freezer. It would do a beautiful job, keeping meat and other things which we froze. We had a bottle gas stove for
39 cooking. Mildred had cooking classes for the women of the station, and we had been able to secure a practically new wood burning cookstove at Kitwe for this work. They were thrilled with this class--making bread and cakes, etc. We also held Adult Education classes in one of the villages nearby. Sometimes the superintendent and I went out for Sunday services. Occasionally we got as far away as Kamina. I was helping the folk build a church there, and succeeded in getting the foundation put down while at Kanene. Fortunately we were able to get our cement there, and a few other supplies for building. Things were very scarce during those days. On one occasion, we ran out of yeast for making bread, and I checked with the big brewery to see if I could get some from them. They asked for my bottle, which I did not have, and by the next time I went to town, yeast was there, so I did not get back to the brewery. We lived at Kanene until October of 1962, when we left to go to Kitwe, where we hoped to get the mission plane for Kindu. By pressing hard, we did get the walls of the church finished, the stone entrance completed, the steel windows and doors in place, and the roof put on before leaving. I still wonder if they finished it, and whether or not glass was ever put in the windows and doors, or the cement floor poured. I always wanted a picture of the building I worked so hard to construct. As I remember, we spent something like $3,000 on the building. I also built a small hut for the person taking care of the girls of the girls home. We enjoyed our year at Kanene. It was very isolated, but the people were friendly, and added much to our lives. We would have been glad to stay with them, but felt that we should get back to Central Congo. I worked hard in building, and once the scaffolding gave way with me, and I fell to the ground with a lintel weighing more than a hundred pounds, and very rough. It bruised me considerably, knocked me out with a blow to the head, and scared the builders considerably. I survived, and got it (the lintel) in place before going to the house for Mildred to doctor my abrasions and bruises. My leg was black and blue for some weeks. We took time for fishing once in a lake not too far away. I wish we had done more of it. We had plenty of fish for eating, on that occasion. We set out grass, planted flowers, and learned that cucumbers could be cooked for squash, for we had so many of them for a while. Bishop and Mrs. Booth have a son buried at Kanene. There was a small air strip there when we first went in, and we later enlarged it. It was soft, but a fairly good strip before the Katangese soldiers closed it and accused us of playing along with the U.N. They were suspicious of us because we were Americans, and the U.N. was backed by America. The soldiers finally came and closed our air strip, and planted tree branches all over it. We had enjoyed the few visits we had from the plane. On one occasion, Paul Alexander, the pilot brought us some chickens from Kapanga, or Sandoa. He had the six hens and a rooster in a box. Paul was travelling with a refugee woman, to whom he couldn't talk. When the rooster let loose with a loud crow, Paul said that he almost bailed out of the plane. By the time they got to us, they had laid an egg or so. They were a beautiful white, and kept us in eggs. We even sold a good many eggs to the Africans who begged for them. We even raised some chickens. The soldiers finally came and camped at Kanene, and when they demanded I take them to one of the villages nearby one Sunday so that they could shoot down the goats and kill chickens without paying, I thought it time for us to be questioning as to whether we would stay or go to Northern Rhodesia. We consulted with the D.S. and he advised us to go, so we left a few mornings later at daylight before the soldiers were about, and were they furious. They demanded to loot our house, killed our chickens and ate them, and only the influence of the D.S. kept them from breaking in our house and looting it. We thought it best to stay in Rhodesia until some of the worst was over, so spent several months there--probably two. When we came home to Kanene, things were quieter, and we were able to continue our work. We had no radio, and often the rail line between
40 us and the capital city was blocked, so for weeks we had no mail. We finally had to drive down and get some money. As I said, living in this isolated area had its moments of tenseness, especially when the soldiers mined all of the bridges. We were careful so had no unheard of events take place. When October came, we left, returned our 5 ton dump truck to Kolwezi, and went on to Kitwe. Shortly after arrival there I was hospitalized for hemorrhoidal operation. I had been having trouble for some years, and all of a sudden I could not get the things to shrink. The operation was painful--rather the after-effects. I lived through it, and stayed in the Kitwe hospital for about a month. I was advised that I should have a prostatectomy after recuperation from the first operation. So, a short while later I went back into the hospital for that. The after-effects were painful too, but I was finally able to be up and about. We stayed in Kitwe at the rectory which we had rented from missionaries of our church to use. We took in good shows, enjoyed the movies, and enjoyed the respite from the isolation of living on an inland mission station. We enjoyed the pastor and his wife, who were Canadian missionaries. Our folk often came to Kitwe for shopping or vacations. Once while I was in the hospital one of the missionaries and his wife were brought to those facilities. They and their children were in a plane crash, and the Enrights were banged up a bit. The children were O.K. Another of our Central Congo missionaries was there for a broken hip. They found that she had leukemia, and she stayed with us as preparations were made for her to be flown home for her last days. We left Kitwe and were flown by Paul Alexander to Kindu, where we arrived as the Field Committee was breaking up after meeting in the house where we would be living for seven years. Was that plane loaded. Paul had to sit hunched over because of all the stuff we carried with us. We spent the night en route. So, it was back to work, and to the classroom for us. I wasn't too happy about that, but it was an adjustment that had to come. Kindu had the first two years of Secondary School. It was called the Cycle d'Orientation. The first year class had over 70 students in it, and were meeting in one of the Primary School rooms. One can imagine what teaching we did with so many students, with no books, few pens, notebooks etc. We lived through the experience. We were soon speaking Otetela, Swahili and French, and sometimes I fear a jumble. Ukunda Andre was the Director. From 1963 to 1970 I taught and my teaching was never inspected. I wonder if the inspector would have approved it. Kindu was a pretty sad looking place, for all the disturbances that had come to it in the years from 1960 to 1963 had left their marks on the city. People were cautious, and there was an atmosphere of lack of confidence in government and other allied interests. The place looked run down, and many of the stores were closed. A good many of the governmental offices were occupied by men who were there to fill their pockets, and often when a person had wind of the fact that he might be transferred somewhere else, he paid himself his salary for six months just before having to leave. And the pity about the whole matter was that people felt that he was doing the right thing. Even our church people expressed approval of this sort of thing. Food was scarce, and Kindu was no longer the rice bowl of that part of the world as it had been in times past. Rice was brought in from Arkansas. The butcher shop, run by our Belgian friend Thommes, was open for some months, but closed again as more trouble seemed near. The larger stores were closed, and only occasionally could one find canned goods and other edibles. Fish could always be bought at the market, but one had to watch to see that it was really fresh, for some of the women tried to put old fish off on you. One had to be constantly on guard to keep within his rights, for it seemed that there were few honest folk left. We managed to get along quite well, and could always get a pretty good exchange for our
41 money that came in from friends every now and then. Stealing which previously hadn't been too much of a problem, was really bad, and one had to lock everything up. Once while we were away, some thieves carried off our light plant, and because it was too heavy for them, abandoned it by the side of the road. Another smaller one, we never found. One night, a thief cut the screen as Mildred was watching him, and when she came to wake me up it scared him off. Most everything not tied down was carried off. There was always a wrangle about pay scales. We used to have it up and down with the few who worked for us. It seemed that the demand was always for more and more. The government finally came in, and set scales, but this helped very little to keep down the feeling that you were out to cheat them of their wages. Most of the government people were kind and rather accommodating to us. It was difficult to keep up the standards for the schools, and if close inspection had been made I doubt that we would have had subsidy as we did. Some of the teachers objected to the church taking out the tithe from their salaries. On one or two occasions a Syndicate tried to muscle in on the teachers and get them unionized, but Bishop Shungu was very much against this. Bishop Shungu was the successor of Bishop Booth, and did an excellent job in administrative work, and was a good preacher. He did tend to be a bit dictatorial from the beginning, so continued to become more and more that way until his episcopacy was rejected by his own people. The tragedy of the situation is that few of our African people are ready to step down from such a high position gracefully. He and Bishop Onema are now almost irreconcilable. When we went to Tunda to pick up what stuff we had there, we found that our silverware was stolen, and other things had been checked over. The 400 day clock was partially taken, and the rest left. The person who took these things did not know much. Our light plant had been used until it was about shot. Anything that was used was used hard. The big diesel plant had been used until it was about broken and out of usage. The water pump was about out, and things were terribly run down. The Pension system was in a mess and has not been straightened out to this day in all respects, so the people who paid money into it were the ones who got nothing back when they need it so much. I think that most of the money was stolen at Bukavu in the Bank. All our stations were in a grand mess after the events of the early '60s. There was little that we could do about it.
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