S: Linda Gail Caldwell's Family
1: Our Family History | "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." | This book was written by Linda Gail Caldwell-Staples and is dedicated to the memory of my sister, Debra Jean Caldwell-Burke.
2: Hattie Carrie Annie Gray and Rosie Parker | Grannie Smith | Grannie Smith, Jane Ellen Martin and Grandma Martin on the front porch of Grandma Martin's house at London, AR | Grannie Smith and Linda in Grandma Martin's kitchen
3: Hattie Carrie Annie Gray married Charlie Parker and had four children, Chester Parker, Lizzie Parker, Rosie Parker and Gertrude Mae Parker. There were two men at the general store who were about to have a fight and Charlie Parker tried to break them up and he was shot and killed. Later she married Grandpa Smith. I don't know his first name. Grannie Smith always wore an apron with pockets and kept hard candy in her it. You knew that she really liked you if she gave you a piece of her candy. When I knew her she lived with Grandma Martin and Grandpa Martin in the rock house at London, Arkansas that Grandpa and Grandma Martin built after they married. She had a a small red metal suitcase that she kept under her two drawer dresser with all of her pictures in it. After Grandma Martin died, my mother got the suitcase of pictures and she gave it to me when she died, I always knew her as Grannie Smith and she loved fresh coconut. At Christmas time, sometimes she would take you to her bedroom and get a piece of fresh coconut out of the red suitcase for you. When she was a young girl and Charlie Parker was courting her, they were walking to town one day and the elastic in her bloomers broke and her bloomers fell all the way to her feet. She stepped out of them and kept walking just like nothing had happened and Charlie picked them up and put them in his pocket and never said a word about it. Sue was very young and innocent when she married Charlie Parker and on their wedding night when he tried to make love to her she got very angry and told him that she was going to tell her papa what he tried to do to her. Charlie had to take her home for a few days so her mother could explain the facts of life to her. After they had been married many years and had four children, she was getting dressed one day and was completely dressed except she didn't have on her thick stockings and Charlie walked in on her and saw her naked ankles and she cried and cried because Papa had never seen her nakedness. She died in 1960.
4: Grandma Martin with Linda on the left and Diane Stanley, Uncle Junior's daughter | Grandma and Grandpa Martin built the rock house at London, Arkansas. On the front porch, they made a sign that said "God Bless This House" | Gertrude Mae Parker Stanley Martin May 1898 - August 26, 1976
5: Like branches on a tree, our lives may grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. | Grandma and Grandpa Martin | Grandpa and Grandma Martin with Jayne Ellen at her graduation
6: Gertrude Mae Parker married Martin Luther Stanley and they had four children, Ernest, Jerome, Euna Mae Hazel and Martin Luther Jr. Martin Luther was working in a coal mine that was near Forrest City, Arkansas and got some type of lung disease and couldn't work any longer. They lived by a railroad track that hauled the coal out of the mine area and when the train would go past their house, the engineer would make the train shake so coal would fall off and Mom and her brothers would go pick it up to use for heating their home. He died and is believed to be buried near Forrest City. Grandma took her children and went to Pope County Arkansas to live. Mother always said that things got better when Mr. Perryman, who lived on Norris Town Mountain, let Grandma and her children live in a wood shack on his land. It was by a stream where they got water. He let them pick fruit from his trees and hunt on his land. The old shack was made of boards with cracks between them and they would "wallpaper" the walls with newspaper to help keep the cold out. Mother said that she always thought it was so pretty when the walls were covered with newspaper. The boys would hunt any type of wild game, including song birds. They ate anything that they could catch. When it would snow, the boys would wrap their feet in newspaper and go out with a stick and club rabbits to death for food. Mother said that Grandma would always eat the back of the little birds so she knew that she didn't get hardly anything to eat. The kids went to a one room school house that taught children until the 8th grade. When Mother was young, she didn't want to go to school, so Grandma would switch her legs all the way to school and then Mother would follow her back home. Later, Mother loved school and did really well. The teacher would put math problems on the blackboard for the older students to work and when they couldn't,
7: she would let Mother work them, which made the older children furious and embarrassed that an elementary school age girl could work the math problems that they couldn't. The only clothes that the kids had were made from bolts of fabric that the government gave out, so all of their clothes were made from the same fabric. Mother didn't go to school after the 8th grade because they had to go to Russellville to high school and she didn't have clothes to wear. After Grandma married Oscar Martin, Mother lived with Granny Smith and had problems with sleep walking. Many times, Mother would wake up and find herself in odd places like straddling the upstairs porch railing. Mother and her cousin, Maxine Parker were best friends and worked in a spinach cannery. Each week when Mother would be paid, she would buy herself one pair of panties and one bra until she got some underwear. Grandma Martin was a wonderful cook and never had to measure anything. There was a large closet off of her kitchen that she used as a pantry. She had a large wood bowl that she kept flour in and every morning when she made biscuits, she would add some salt, then put lard in the center of the flour and kneed it in, then add water and roll out her biscuits. She cut them with a small pet milk can. She milked her cows, then churned her own butter, killed and cleaned her chickens. She would go out side and grab a chicken's neck with her left hand and one with her right hand and swing until their necks were broken. They had a screened in porch on the back of the house where they had a water well with a long metal tube that they lowered down the well and brought up water. There was always a water bucket and dipper to get a drink of water from. There was a large open front barn just on the south side of the house with a large dog pen behind it where Grandpa Martin kept his hunting dogs. For years Grandpa was the local butcherer and slaughtered peoples cattle and hogs. When he was butchering, he would hang the animals from a large pulley from the rafters of the old barn, so the ground was black with years of soaked in blood. He would throw the animal remains into the dog pen for them to eat.
8: To get to the outhouse, you had to walk past this building and the dog pen. that contained all of the animal bones, which was incredibly scary for all the grand children. The kids built Grandma and Grandpa an indoor bathroom in a hall closet, but Grandpa wouldn't use it. He said that you just didn't go to the bathroom in the house. He didn't use it for years, but finally decided that it might be all right to use the indoor bathroom. In the hot summer time, they had a bed and mattress on the hill behind the house under an apple tree and would sleep out there. Across the road from the house was the animal barn and pasture land with a pond. Before they retired, every morning Grandma would get up before sun up and make her biscuits from scratch and cook breakfast, they would eat and she would clean up the kitchen, then go out in the fields and work with Grandpa all day. She would leave the fields in time to go home and cook supper. She washed their clothes in a wash tub with a rub board, milked the cows twice a day, fed the chickens, emptied the slop buckets every morning and kept her house clean. What's a slop bucket? Each bedroom had a bucket with a lid under the bed for you to use to go to the bathroom during the night. Each morning, she had to empty them and rinse them out to be ready for the next night. After breakfast was ready but before you could eat, Grandma and Grandpa had morning prayers. They would both kneel over their kitchen chairs and both pray out loud and you could not have breakfast until they were done, which could take up to thirty minutes. My cousins and I would be lined up down the hall waiting for morning prayers to be over so we could eat. There were times we thought they would never get through. After morning prayers were over, you sat down at the table and Grandpa said grace. One time Grandpa was at the local store and he and some men got in an argument over a local election that was taking place, he came running in the house, grabbed his shotgun, yelled at Grandma that his money was under the mattress and went out in a pasture and had a shootout with the men that didn't agree with him. As far as I know all of the old men came home uninjured.
9: Grandpa enjoyed his whiskey. Pope County was, is and forever more will be a dry county. When I would be going through Morrilton, Arkansas, which was a wet county, I would check with Grandma to see if Grandpa wanted me to pick him up a bottle of whiskey. The first time I did, he said "Gertie, they won't sell whiskey to a woman". One time he had driven to Clarksville to get a bottle of whiskey and Mother happened to be standing at her front window when he pulled across the bridge to go up the hill to his house, he missed the bridge so the truck leaned over, his door came open and he fell into the bar ditch that was full of water. She went out and pulled him out of it before he drown. When he got older and couldn't drive any longer, he would sometimes walk to Clarksville to get a bottle, which was about 20 miles. Sometime after Grandma died, Oscar had to go to live in a nursing home and they had problems with him trying to get in bed with the ladies. In the early seventies, I was visiting Mom and Debbie. Grandma went with us to Russellville to do some shopping and when it got lunch time, we went into a restaurant that had a buffet to eat lunch. After we had sat down after getting our food, Grandma said that that was the first time in her life that she had gone into a restaurant to eat. She said that sometimes when they were out, Oscar would go in and bring out hamburgers for them to eat. Oscar liked to use talcum powder on his body. One time he got really sick and could hardly breath. He was lying in bed and Grandma, being Pentecostal Holiness, was praying loudly, hollering, crying and carrying on convinced that Grandpa was dying. When the doctor got there and examined Grandpa, he said that there was nothing wrong with Grandpa except an overdose of talcum powder. He got so mad at that doctor. I have wondered if Mother's father's family was from England because he was named Martin Luther and there was a famous man from England named Martin Luther who promoted Bible interpretation for the commoners.
10: Rosie and Tom Potter They had two children, Virginia Ann and Charlie. They lived in California. During WWII, when Dad's ship was coming into SanDiego, Mother would travel to California to see them and be with Daddy. She told me that the first time she went there, was the first time she had ever been out of Arkansas and was scared to death to travel by bus all the way there. The buses were loaded with men traveling to various military bases and she was the only female on the bus. She was really frightened for her safety, but every man on the bus treated her like a lady and was very good to her. She assumed it was because they would have wanted someone to respect and treat their wife well if she was in Mom's situation.
11: Lizzie and Tom Shinn Uncle Tom and Aunt Lizzie had four children, Woodrow, Charlie who married Frances, Jimmy, who married Dora Wall and Mabel, who married Sylvester McCullough. They lived at Forrest City a little east of where we lived across the road from the gravel plant. The first home east of us was Charlie and Frances. Uncle Tom and Aunt Lizzie lived east of them. Frances had been married previously and had Carolyn and Butch. Jimmy and Dora had a son, Jimmy Jr., and a daughter, Karen. Jimmy and Dora lived north of us.. Mabel and Sylvester had one daughter, Ann. Sylvester and Ann's husband died in a house fire together | Clockwise from top, Carolyn and Butch, Woodrow and Charlie Shinn, Frances with me, Mabel, Dora with Jimmy, Jr. and Jimmy.
12: Chester and Vesta Parker and their children, Carol Wayne, Charlie, Wilma and Maxine
13: Charlie Parker | Carol Wayne Parker | Maine Parker | Maxine and John Davis
14: Jerome and Wanda Stanley, Rosemary, Beverly, Brenda, Sharon, Nancy, Ruthie, and Becky. Uncle Jerome was an engineer on a train and for some years was a preacher. They were a very Christian family and devoted to God. If there was ever a saint on earth, it was Aunt Wanda. She was the sweetest, kindest person that I ever knew. I never heard her say a negative word about anyone or anything. She was totally devoted to her family and her church. They were members of the Assembly of God Church and lived at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. After Uncle Jerome retired, they moved to Dardanelle, Arkansas and built a home across the road from Becky and Roger, their youngest daughter and her husband..
15: e | Earnest Stanley and his first wife Rosalie. Uncle Earnest, his second wife, Frances and a friend, Lucille Weston. Uncle Earnest never had any children. When he died, he requested that his ashes be spread over part of Lake Dardanelle in Arkansas where they played as children.
16: Euna Mae Hazel Stanley Caldwell & David Madison Caldwell m August 18, 1944 My Mother told me that the most important thing in selecting a husband was love. It didn't make any difference if he made lots of money or not. If you really loved each other, you would work everything out and be happy. We never lived in nice houses, but everyone always said that you could eat off of Mother's floors. Every day, she swept her floors, cleaned the bathrooms, made her beds and cleaned the kitchen. She never had a dishwasher, but after every meal, she washed the dishes, dried them and put them away. She never let them sit in the drainer. After I married, she finally told me that she had decided it was all right to let them sit and drain, then put them up. The only other advice that she gave me when I married was to not spend my life cleaning my house. She said that she felt like she had missed out on so much time that she could have spent with Dad because he would ask her to go fishing or somewhere with him and she would always say that she couldn't because the kitchen wasn't cleaned up or the house was a mess. She felt that she missed a lot of what was really important in life to make sure that her home was immaculate. She told me that when my husband said let's go..., drop what I am doing and go. The housework will always be there to do later. Mother enjoyed reading, gardening, cooking, sewing clothes, and playing cards. Mother never learned to drive a car. She and Daddy went everywhere together and when he died, she was totally lost without him. I truly believe that she grieved herself to death. She was never happy after he died. After Mother died, Debbie told me that every night when Mother went to bed, she prayed for God to let her die so she could be with Daddy. One morning she didn't wake up. She had a cold, but the doctor said it was nothing that was serious. I believe that God granted her prayers. I always thought that I wanted to love my husband, but not make my life totally wrapped around him. I believe that is why I always wanted to work outside of the home. I wanted to make sure that I had some kind of life apart from my husband.
17: Jayne Ellen Martin was Oscar and Gertrude's only child together. Jayne was raised in a very strict Christian way of life. She had to wear long sleeved dresses, thick hose, long skirts. Because of her rigid upbringing, when she turned 18, she went totally wild. She cut her hair, started wearing short - shorts, ran around all night, and came and went as she pleased. She married Jimmy Allen and they had one son, Marty Allen. She lives in eastern Arkansas.
18: Martin Luther Stanley, Jr. We always called him Uncle Jr. He lived in Eliabeth, New Jersey and worked for a rescue squad with the fire department. He married Dorothy on April 25, 1949. They had one child, Dianne Patricia Stanley. Uncle Jr. would come to visit us a couple of times a year. He was a super nice guy but he was alcoholic. He and Dorothy divorced then he moved to Russellville, Ar and married a lady that he had known early in his life. They had no children. He died from cancer of the esophagus. Dianne married Alan Frank and they had a daughter and son.
19: The picture on the right is of Mother and Daddy. It was taken in May 1960 at Grandma and Grandpa Martin's house. Grandma's birthday was on Mother's Day sometimes and that year, Jerome and Wanda's family and our family all met at Grandma's and had a big celebration. Daddy was in the Navy during WW2. His ship was in the South Pacific. He was drafted, but they wouldn't accept him because he had a heart murmur. When he voluntarily joined, they accepted him. Daddy had a massive heart attack about 1963. The doctors didn't know if he was going to survive or not. Half of his heart was dead and he had to have round the clock nurses come into our home to take care of him. Our household income stopped. I was working part time at Ben Franklin 5 & 10 store making 50 cents an hour and that is what we survived on. I'm not sure how Mother did it, but we even kept the rent current - even though the landlord said to not pay him until Daddy was well. It took six months to get Daddy's social security disability check started. Daddy did survive and his heart actually grew an artery on the outside of it that bypassed the dead part of his heart. He had a few small heart attacks through the years, then had another massive one that took his life on January 9, 1974. Daddy was a good man. I never saw him even drink a beer. He worked hard and brought every penny of his pay check home to Mother to pay the bills. He enjoyed reading, fishing, and spending time with our family. He and Mother both were well liked and respected. He was an excellent mechanic and kept our old cars in top notch working condition. His father died when he had just finished the 3rd grade leaving a widow and 4 little children. Dad was the oldest and had to quit school to work and support the family.
20: Debbie with two girls that lived next door to us.
21: The pictures to the right were taken after Debbie was born on February 9, 1960. She weighed 4 lbs 14 ounces. We lived about 3 miles east of Forrest City, Arkansas. There were 2 fruit markets on each side of Highway 70 and there was a single story row of apartments behind the one on the south side. We lived in the last apartment. I was 11 years old. When Debbie was just a few months old, Daddy was cutting trees down for fire wood and one of the limbs hit him in the head when it was falling and almost killed him. He was in the hospital in Memphis for quite some time. Our cousin Beverly came and helped me take care of Debbie while Mom stayed with Daddy at the hospital. The picture below is of Debbie, Daddy and me right after she was born.
22: The picture to the left is Debbie, Linda and a neighborhood friend where we lived on Honeysuckle Lane in Forrest City. The picture at the bottom is Mother, Daddy, Debbie and me on the front porch of our house in Forrest City. The picture opposite is Debbie. We moved to London, Arkansas in 1967.
25: Debbie before she started school. She lived at Forrest City, Arkansas.
26: School Days
29: 7th grade 12 years old | Choir picture 13 years old
30: 10th grade age 15 | 11th grade age 16
31: RUSSELLVILLE HIGH SCHOOL Russellville, Arkansas
32: Debbie with Uncle Earnest | Debbie at Dog Patch in Arkansas
33: Debbie and Mother visiting Linda at Angleton, Texas in 1977
34: Our most treasured family heirlooms are our sweet family memories.
35: The photo on the right was taken in 1971 at London, Arkansas and is of Hazel Caldwell, Debbie Caldwell, Douglas Ivy, Lara Ivy, Linda Ivy and Gertrude Martin. The photo on the left was taken in 1977 at Angleton, Texas and is of Debbie Caldwell, Hazel Caldwell, Linda Ivy, Larry Ivy, Lara Ivy, and Douglas Ivy. | Generations
36: Debbie married Bobby Burke in 1978 and had three precious children, Ruby Elaine, Christopher Lee and Kimberly Gail | RUBY ELAINE BURKE January 3, 1982 | CHRISTOPHER LEE BURKE August 17, 1983
37: KIMBERLY GAIL BURKE August 25,1985
43: BIBLE SCHOOL
45: CHRISTMAS PARADE BOY SCOUTS AND CANDY DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT!
47: THE FAMILY CONTINUES............ Ruby has three wonderful children Zack Burke Seth Burke Alayna Cox Chris has a lovely girl friend, Susie Trobaugh, and two step sons, Austin and Colby. Kim has an adorable daughter Hope Elaine Burke They all live at Kingston, Oklahoma.
48: Debra Jean Caldwell-Burke Debbie was born on February 9, 1960 at Forrest City, AR. She was very smart and did well in school and was a great daughter to Mom and Dad. She didn't even date until she was a senior in high school. She was a sweet, kind, good person. She married Bobby Burke after she graduated from high school and they had three children, Ruby Elaine, Christopher Lee, and Kimberly Gail. They lived most of their life at San Antonio, Texas. She and her children moved to Kingston, Oklahoma about 1993. She spent the rest of her life with Michael Trent, who loved her very much and she was very happy with him and their life. In her 40's she developed a kidney disease and after bravely battling it for several years, she passed away on August 13, 2007.
51: Lily Eva Simmons Caldwell | Lily Eva Simmons married William Washington Caldwell on December 17, 1917 at Russellville, AR. They had four children, David Madison, Roy, James and Lucille. As far as I know she lived her entire life in Pope County, Arkansas. Her father was David Shaffer Simmons and was of Irish decent. His nickname was "Doc". Her mother was Sarah Alice Keener, who was 1/2 Irish and 1/2 Cherokee Indian. Her Grandfather was Jim Keener and he was a full blood Cherokee. Grandma Caldwell and my mother were not close and somewhere I heard that when Daddy and Mother married, he was still helping to support his mother and after they married, most of his salary from the Navy went to mom. I never knew of our Mom visiting her when we went to Russellville. For many years she cooked at a boarding house and had a reputation as a wonderful cook. When I was younger, she still cooked on a wood cook stove and her biscuits would melt in your mouth. While Debbie lived at London with Mom and Dad, she spent a lot of time with Grandma Caldwell and grew very close to her. Later in life Grandma Caldwell re-married. She enjoyed walking around the woods and looking for rose rocks. When I was young, my uncle James was involved in an automobile accident and hit someone who was badly hurt. He was afraid that he would be charged with a crime, so he left Pope County Arkansas and lived the rest of his life I believe in the Northern United States. Dad never knew where he was, but believed that his mother did. It turned out that the person he hit did survive and was fine so he fled for no reason.
52: Hattie Carrie Annie Gray m Charles Henry Parker then Grandpa Smith | Chester Parker m Vesta | Lizzie Parker m Tom Shinn | Carol WayneParker Charlie Parker Wilma Parker | Maxine Parker m John Davis | Susan Louise Davis b 1946 | Sharon Denise Davis | Charles Shinn m Francis | Mabel Shinn m Sylvester McCullough | Jimmy Shinn m Dora | Carolyn Shinn Butch Shinn | Ann McCullough | Jimmy Shinn Karen Shinn | Woodrow Shinn
53: Gertrude Mae Parker m Martin Luther Stanley then Oscar Martin | Charles Potter Virginia Ann Potter | Charles Henry Parker | Rosie Parker m Tom Potter | Jerome Samuel Stanley m Wanda Henderson | Earnest Stanley m Rosalie then Frances | Hazel Euna Mae Stanley m David Madison Caldwell | Martin Luther Stanley, Jr. m Dorothy | Dianne Patricia Stanley m Alan Frank | Rosemary m Otis Parmer | Beverly m Dennis Threlkeld | Brenda m D L Roberts | Sharon m Bobby Wyatt | Nancy m Ronnie DeFoor | Ruthie m/ Goldman | Becky ,m/ Roger Everette | Linda Gail Caldwell m Larry Mack Ivy then David James Gilpin then Ronald Lee Staples | Lara Michelle Ivy m/ Robin MIchael Glynn | Douglas Dewayne Ivy m Sonya Barger then Randi Michelle Jamar | Reese James Glynn Ryan Michael Glynn | Megan Nicole Ivy | Debra Jean Caldwell m Bobby Burke | Christopher Lee | Ruby Elaine Zachary Seth Alayna | Kimberly Gail | Calvin Mack Ivy | Hope Elaine
56: Family Learn from yesterday, live for today hope for tomorrow
57: I experienced a lot of life changing events during my life, but each one made me a stronger, better person. There were good times, there were some bad times, but I feel like the good times far out weighed the bad times. I was always loved and taken care of by my family. I always knew that no matter what choices that I made in my life that my family would always love me and be there for me. Of course, my life continued after high school, but that is for another book or two. My children and grandchildren have been the most wonderful blessings in my life and I can't begin to tell them how much I love them and am thankful for each one of them.