If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday - Pearl S. Buck


Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Rest of the Story - Part 2

Okay, back to the rest of the story.  For the girls at RHOK's McLinky Monday.

2. One of my grandmothers was traded by her father for a horse.

Charlie and Maggie Dunn & family, cir 1902
Yes, this is true.  It was my great grandmother, Nancy "Pearl" Emily Dunn Barham.  The Dunn family was living in a logging camp in Arkansas where Pearl's father, Charlie Dunn, was a logger.  Pearl's mother, Maggie Brashear Dunn died while living in the camp two weeks after the birth of her ninth child.  She died from pnemonia at the age of 35 on February 27, 1905.  Pearl was only 13 years old at the time.  Two months later, Pearl's older sister, Maudie got married.
The story my grandma tells me is that Charlie went crazy, drinking and everything.  I wish you could hear my grandma say, "drinking".  He traded Pearl to a man in the logging camp for a horse.  Pearl and this man got married, but it was never consumated.  My grandma always made it clear that it was never consumated.  When I was a girl I had to look up "consumated".
Pearl escaped from this man and went to Russellville.  She worked as a typesetter for the newspaper and the owner of the paper let her lived in a back room at the newspaper office.  After Pearl married my great grandfather, John Jackson Barham they left Arkansas and moved to Oklahoma.  Eventually all of the Dunn children left Arkansas and moved to Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico.  None of them returned to Arkansas, too sad I guess.
Pearl left a memoir of her life, sadly it was lost years ago.  I bet it was good.
Have a great day.
Territory Mom
P.S. If you are a family member who wants a copy of the above photo without the names, just email me.


Nadine Hightower said...

my grandmother's name was Maggie Pearl!! She went by Pearl. I have a cousin that looked up the family history and compiled it into a book nothing flashy or sorted. You know the juicey details. When I write my memoirs, all the good stuff will be in there. Just like my blog.

Oklahoma Granny said...

Great story! I thought it was very interesting.