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The Haynes Family
The Haynes Family came to America in the 1720s from Ireland and England.
They enjoyed playing games from cards to ball games. Many were drinkers and
smokers, all hard working, honest and great entertainers with their stories and
jokes. In 1993 our branch of the Haynes Clan had their first family reunion in
over forty years after losing touch with each other when the parents died.
Cousins from coast to coast met for the first time since they were children.
The first food box carried into the hospitality room was the alcohol assortment.
One of my brother-in-laws who had never met the Haynes side, grinned and joked
with me, "Now this is the kind of reunion to have." The Woodard and
Ketcherside reunion is held on the mountain each year with much food and
drink, but the style of drink is quite soft.
Errol Haynes of West Helena, Arkansas first met Iva Woodard in 1926 when his
parents, Aretus "Cap" Haynes and Helen Gordon Haynes moved to Lurton. "Cap" Haynes operated
a barrel stave mill on the Sutton property at Lurton near the old Sutton barn.
Young Errol Haynes and his brother Coleman worked for their father at the mill
until the mill moved to Moore, Arkansas in late 1928.
Iva Woodard, fifth in a line of eight sisters, was born in a log house
on the old Markey Place near Lurton in 1906. She completed eighth grade Tarlton
school before moving to work in Jasper at the Murray Hotel in the early 20s,
where she made many new friends.
The Woodard side of the family came to America from England in the early
1720s and the Ketcherside clan came from Edinburgh, Scotland. Ephraim Moore
Woodard and Martha Ketcherside Woodard, Iva Woodard Haynes' parents, moved to
Tarlton in 1904. Eph was a farmer, hard working and neighborly, people in the
community knew they could depend on Eph Woodard for lending a hand.
Colleen Haynes Rongey is my name and my parents' newly married life
was spent in the back woods of Newton County and for a short time, in the
farther back woods of Missouri and Kentucky, following oak timber where Dad
worked as a sawyer for barrel stave mills. At the time of my birth in February
of 1928, they lived in an abandoned homesteaders log house built by the Isaac
Freeman family, next to Tarlton Cemetery on Highway 123 three miles north of
Moving every few months, we lived in sawmill camps near Fallsville, Red
Star, Boxley, Deer, Moore, Pelsor, Richland, Russellville, and back to Lurton in
between. Sometimes living in an old house or vacant store building, even in
tents with dirt floors. Nineteen thirties were hard times for young families
starting out. When my sister Phyllis was born we were living at Fallsville, so
we came to my aunt's house at Lurton for Dr. Sexton to deliver the baby. We
moved to Russellville a short time in 1934 where my sister Patsy was born and
Daddy walked four miles each way to a stave mill and waited to be hired. At
times only for an hour or two, with no lunch and many times, no work. In
depression years of 1929 to 1938, we moved around Newton County and between
stave mill jobs, we lived in Grandpa Woodard's little house beside the Woodard
Still the heart of the depression and no work for Dad, off he went to
work in a mill camp in the woods near Summersville, Missouri. When the mill timber was
cut out in Missouri, we sent our bedroom set back to Grandpa's little house and
rode the train to live with Aunt Dorothy and Uncle Coleman (Mothers sister
married Daddy's brother) at the stave mill camp near Hot Spot, KY. On the train,
little sister Phyllis threw up out the open window when the train was going. A
lady on the train gave Mother some red hots (candies) for Phyllis to eat, first
time we had red hot candies. I am in second grade this year and my cousin Lloyd
Haynes and I have another new experience as we walk twice each day across the
railroad bridge to a country school.
Moving again in 1937 to Harrison, we lived in a shotgun house in the
Eagle Heights section. Listening to our neighbors radios, we heard about Hitler
and the Germans. It sounded like war coming. Folks were nervous about any German
person. Because he was German, one neighbor father couldn't get a job. Their
family's food gone, Mother shared fresh milk and vegetables from Grandma
Woodard's garden when she could. When my sisters and I ate something outside,
their children asked us for a bite of food. Their mother died while we lived
there and Mother always thought the cause was starvation. We lived next to the
cemetery and as her funeral passed our house, Mother watched from the window and
cried. This was before the days of welfare. With no family or friends to help as
we did, they had no place to turn.
In 1938, we moved back to Lurton for the last time where Mother and
Daddy bought a little unpainted house on five acres from Johnny White, next the
Lurton school house. The twins, Carrol and Errol, Jr. were born soon after we
moved in to our little three room unpainted house. Mother dressed all of us with
handed down dresses Grandma Haynes sent us from city cousins in Little Rock.
Feed sacks began to have pretty prints by then and she made dresses. She liked
pretty things so she made curtains from the feed sacks, decorated with fancy
stitches and lace she crocheted. Making quilts from leftover scraps for the beds
and crocheted doilies on the dresser.
The Errol and Iva Haynes Family, 1938
My dad was a big man, and strong. Some remember how he carried home
groceries on payday from Thompson's Lurton General Store. Loading a 100 pound
sack of feed to his shoulder, he sat on the store step while someone loaded a 50
pound sack of flour on top of that, then a 25 pound sack of meal. Sometimes he
had them load a 5 pound sack of salt on top of this. The Lurton General Store
porch sitters and spitters went out in the road and watched Dad as he walked the
half mile to our house, making bets if he would make it all the way home with
his load on his shoulders.
Mother cooked for a bunch of folks many Sundays. Her homemade rolls,
cream pies, squirrel and dumplings are still memorable. With little meat except
chickens and whatever Dad killed in the woods, pork tenderloin was a treat once
a year at hog killing time. Each morning of our lives, we had biscuits and flour
gravy for breakfast and dinner and supper cornbread, pintos and fried potatoes
and onion, along with whatever she had in the garden or canned. Bananas, light
bread and potted meat was a treat. Eating was our biggest form of entertainment,
then as it is now. My sister Carrol told me this week, "Our All American
diet is killing us all." She's right but, hey, we can't blame it on the
pintos, maybe the mountain fat back we learned to like. Enjoy!
In the early thirties, with no electricity on the mountain, I C Sutton
put in a Delco for lighting his big white house in Lurton. He later ran wires
from there to the Lurton School house so we could have school programs and
community meetings. Silent Movies were shown by the Spitler Brothers who came
from Russellville in an old T Model truck once a week at the school house, shown
in black and white with the dialogue printed in script to read on the bottom of
the film. With a white sheet draped over the blackboard, the Spitler Brothers
set up their projector in back of the room, beaming a picture to the sheet. We
watched the older young people when lights came on as they changed their reels
of film and if their boyfriend had his arm around the girls, he moved it fast
when the film got to the end. Mostly we sat on backs of the two seater desks
with our feet in the seats and watched the scenes around us and on film. Little
kids sat on the front row and the favorite actor was Buster Keaton and the
Keystone Cops. They took up 5 cents for kids and 10 cents for adults at first.
When the show went to "talkies" it went up to 10 cents and 25 cents.
Popular all over the mountain, folks came in truck loads from Bass, Mt. Judea
and Jasper. On summer nights with the schoolhouse windows open, the men stood
outside leaning on their cars watching the show when the house was full.
At Lurton, since our house was next door to the Schoolhouse, our early life
was lived around all functions going on there. From our front porch, we saw
every thing going there and most everything had admission of some sort. Florence
Handyside and Helen Leavie of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, started our
first school house Sunday School. Mother laughed when my little four year
brother came running in and asked for a nickel to pay his way in to Sunday
Another day, we saw an old truck drive in the schoolyard. Pots and pans
hanging all over, it came clanging into the school yard. Looking strange to us,
with it's bright colors and signs. We watched as they opened up the tent sides
on the truck and hung up a sign that said, "Gypsy Medicine Show - Dancing
and Singing, Fortune Telling." Neighbors came to see what it was all about
and my little sister Phyllis began crying and holding to Mothers skirts, when a
dark man with long black hair and cloak looked at her. Mother traded them a
chicken for us to see their Gypsy show. Living close by, our chickens sometimes
visited the schoolyard, and Mother was nervous about all her other chickens
until they drove away.
Lurton Schoolhouse was the polling place for voting in local and
national hot political races. Everyone already knew who was a Republican and
Democrat. You were born one or the other. Even as a little kid, we knew what
kind we were and had bloody nose fights over this thing on the school bus. Your
friends turned on you when we got near election time, choosing up sides in a
hurry. So much for election day on the mountain in the thirties.
Picnics at Lurton are legend in Newton County. With a wood floored dance
platform built high off the ground and live string music, men paid ten cents a
dance. Moonshine flowing and fights breaking out , usually the same people
continued their feud from one picnic to the next...we children were not allowed
on the picnic ground alone. Dad went with us and let us ride the swings, or
Mother the airplane rides at the Freeman field when Mr. Sutton rented a plane
for rides. Doyne Heffley tells me about riding the airplane with his cousin
Custer Heffley. He said he was scared to death when Custer told the pilot, "Turn
us a flip!" Doyne said, "I begged him not to do that till he got me
Most mountain families played string music and everyone sang at musicals
in the homes. Families took turns hosting dances. In our small houses, the men
carried all the furniture out in the yard and with the musicians in one corner,
danced in every room. We remember great fun with the dances and musicals in
homes and things were usually quiet. Some of you remember dances at the
Ricketts, Smiths, Bickners, Daniels, Dad Tuckers, Alton Thompsons, and others
around Lurton. Music was furnished by Luther and Bea Merriman, Crease and Andrew
Smith, Ernest and Margaret Daniel, Charlie Rosamond and Athel Heffley on the
fiddle, and many others.
About this time, President Roosevelt came up with some projects for the
mountain folks, from WPA to CCCs. Finally had us making mattresses at the school
house. Truck loads of cotton unloaded in the school yard, and yards of ticking
and cording. Each day the neighbors drew lots for who was to get the next
mattress and everyone worked on all of the mattresses. White bales of cotton
spread out all over the school yard, sunning, ready to be sunned and stitched
into mattresses with big giant needles, it looked for the world like a summer
snow storm. The first and only mattresses cotton most of us ever had. We had
feather beds and straw mattresses before this time. People came came out of the
backwoods and met in schoolyards... to make each a mattress, much like a
quilting party we had good time, men and women alike, working and visiting.
On September 23, 1940 life in Newton County changed forever. Our coal
oil lamps were put on the shelf for emergencies as the electricity was turned on
at Lurton!nbsp; Our three room house, back porch and front porch each had its
drop cord in place, with a bare light bulb hanging down in the center. From coal
oil lamplight to the bright electric light, what an experience. An electric iron
was ready to plug in, a radio in the front room, with a wringer washer sitting
on the front porch, we are ready. Down the road in Lurton town proper, Charlie
and Ora Sutton had a baby boy named Lloyd on this day, and Granny Crawford had
her birthday celebration at the Lurton Hotel where she lives with the Harry and
Josie Tatro family. Next to the hotel, Mitchell Smith's Garage has a dance floor
and a juke box with Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys records of "Steel Guitar Rag
and San Antonio Rose" ready for dancing.
On the electric radio, the world outside the mountain came into our
front room. Names like Hitler and Mussolini became household words as we heard
Gabriel Heater talk about them on the news. Mother listened to Ma Perkins as she
ironed and Dad never missed the world champion prize fights and major league
ball games. Each night, all of us sat glued to the radio as we heard the
squeaking door of Inner Sanctum, and "Henry, Henry Aldrich" with his
teen age voice cracking as he answered, "Coming, Mother". Fanny Brice
as Baby Snooks with her troubles and "Jack Armstrong, the All American Boy"
made us dream about eating Wheaties. Saturday night came alive for us at the
Grand Ole Opery with the Solemn Old Judge George D. Hay, Minnie Pearl, and
Little Jimmy Dickens' "Take a cold tater and wait." Now these are
folks we can relate to. Finally,we have a radio of our own as until this time we
went to Aunt Nellie Daniels' house and she listened to news and her favorites,
then turned the radio off to save batteries. We loved our radio and groaned when
we missed our favorite shows as President Roosevelt came on with his Fireside
Chats. All seven of us sat as near the radio as we could, listening to the
voices of George and Gracie and Fibber McGehee and Molly's closet falling in.
December 7, 1941 life changed again...Pearl Harbor! From this time until
the war was over, the Iva and Errol Haynes family scattered as did most other
mountain families. With news of Pearl Harbor, we ran for the geography book to
see where Pearl Harbor was. Fear of that day turned to tears very soon as we
said goodbye to Frank Bickner, Harry Sutton, Ernest Daniel, Elmer Gregory, Bill
Bristow, Cecil Oliver, the Davis twins, and other neighbor boys and cousins on
both sides of the family. Later, with even more sadness as we received word via
the US Mail that Frank Bickner was lost in action over the Mediterranean Sea.
Frank Bickner was never found. Elmer Gregory was a prisoner of war in Germany.
While he was a prisoner, neighbors helped when a tornado lifted the Gregory
house off the foundation. They sat it back up for his wife Myrtle Gregory and
the children. Elmer Gregory was later released from a German prison and, thank
the Lord, we still see him at the Tarleton Cemetery on Decoration Day. (Since
this article was written in 1995, Elmer Gregory has died and is buried in
More goodbye tears for Lurton folks began early in 1942 when neighbors
began to leave the mountain for work in the defense factories of California.
Berry Heffley, Ben Hankins and others cleaned up cattle trucks to haul loads of
people to California. Hauling truck loads of people each way, entire families
moved back and forth as they worked for a time in California fruit fields and
factories, then back to the mountain to attend school or see about their farm.
By war's end many bought larger farms and paid for cattle and equipment. As for
Mother and Daddy, they paid for their little place and repaired and remodeled
the house. Never did get it painted, nor did we ever get inside water. We drew
water from the well had had WPA workers built us a new outhouse. A one holer.
(They did not vote Democrat that year.)
Dad worked in California for short periods back and forth in the
forties. In the summer of 1944, school was out at Deer and I was sixteen years
old, Mother sent me to Oakland, CA on the Greyhound bus to live where Dad was
living and help find a place for the rest of the family to move. At the time Dad
worked in a barrel factory in Oakland and along with about twelve other men from
Newton County boarded with Anna Mae and Eldrich Davis from Vendor.
Soon I decided I didn't want to live in California. I missed mountain
life, never once looking for a place to live as I promised Mother. Enjoying the
summer of '44, and being 16 years old, I went with friends I met at work in the
defense factory to the USO to visit and dance with young service men, (For the
war effort, you know) but couldn't wait to get back to Newton County and my life
there. At summer's end, Daddy came in one day and said, "Sis, I've agreed
to help drive Berry Heffley's truck home to Newton County and it's time for you
to go home and go back to school. You can ride the bus or ride with us on the
I tied my hair up in a bandana, put on a hat and rode home to Lurton on
Berry Heffley's cattle truck. Bouncing along, looking out through tall wood
sides and sitting under a tarp to keep out rain and sun we drove night and day
for seven days. Hot desert days and cold desert nights, a problem sleeping and
eating, chili and hamburgers looked good to us in the few "rest stops"
on Route 66. Some of you were on that truck or on another trip to California.
Berry Heffley made many trips from 1941 through 1946. E L Heffley was ten years
old at the time, and he made the trip with us along with his parents, Viola and
Elmer Heffley. My sister Carrol later married E L Heffley and EL and I talk
about our days on that truck ride from California and how hot, cold and sleepy
Before he went to California to work my dad drove a road grader for
Arkansas Highway Department, as Number Seven Highway had recently been rebuilt.
He later worked on WPA projects in Newton County . Mother placed us with
relatives and went to work at Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, California for a few
months in 1943. They both worked for Sutton Handle factory until it moved to
Harrison in 1951. With no more work at Lurton, mother finally moved the family
to Kansas City where she worked in a factory where she lived only two months
when she died in July of 1951, at age 46 of stroke. Dad died ten years later of
a heart attack in 1960 at 56 years old. Both are buried at Tarlton Cemetery at
It's now 1998. We Haynes "children" from Lurton live all
around the United States. One in New Orleans, one in Los Angeles area, two in
Kansas City area and one in Little Rock . We get together at the Woodard family
reunion each year on Tarlton Cemetery Decoration Day, fourth Sunday in May at
the Ernest Daniel Memorial Park near the Woodard pond on the old Ephraim Woodard
place at Lurton.
Errol and Iva Haynes had five children, and 12 grandchildren.
Children and grandchildren are:
1. Colleen Haynes, Born February 5, 1928 in an old log house at Lurton.
Married Paul Rongey October 15, 1949 at Fort Smith, Arkansas. Now living in New
Orleans, LA, they have 4 sons, Mike, John, Robert, Scott Rongey, 7 grandsons, 1
granddaughter, Daniel, Joshua, Jessica, Adam, Matthew, Michael, Jacob, Ben
2. Phyllis Haynes, Born November 9,1930 at Lurton, Married Lynn
Dennis, California, 1952. Lynn Died 1992 Phyllis lives in Redondo Beach, CA.
and has 1 son, and 2 daughters, Jeffrey, Janet, Jeanna Dennis, 3 grandsons, 1
granddaughter, Jason, Courtney, Steven, David.
3. Patsy Haynes, Born February 8, 1934 in Russellville, Married Fred
Coonts, 1952, Jasper. Pat and Fred Live in Independence, MO. They have three
sons, Gary, Jerry and John Coonts3 granddaughters, Taylor, Emily and Jennifer
Coonts, and 1 grandson, Jeremy Tyler Coonts.
4. Carrol Haynes, Born April 8, 1938 at Lurton, AR (Errol is her twin)
Married EL Heffley, 1954 Lurton . They have 1 son, Mark David Heffley. They live
in Little Rock, AR.
5. Errol (Buddy) Haynes, Born April 8, 1938 at Lurton, Married Wilma and
live in Independence, Mo. They have 1 daughter, Alicia Haynes. (Errol and Carrol
Patsy Haynes Coonts died in Kansas City, Missouri in 1998 and is buried in
Phyllis Haynes Dennis died in Los Angeles, California in 2000 and is buried
in Tarlton Cemetery.
You can visit Tarlton Cemetery and see our Haynes Bench...This is the only
seat in the Cemetery and when all the Haynes children made our annual
migration to Lurton in 1997...we went over and purchased our stones and had
them set in Tarlton Cemetery next to our parents...Not wanting to view my
own stone for awhile, I bought a concrete cemetery bench and had it engraved
"Dedicated to the Haynes Family" and had it placed beside them all...Now,
you can look out over Tarlton Cemetery and see a lone bench sitting there,
inviting you to sit down and rest a spell and visit one more time with the
Haynes Family of Lurton.
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Take Care, Judy Tate