Enoch Beel

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Enoch Beel; Green Grove, Hazen, Arkansas

Age: 79

"Yes maam I was born a slave, born in slavery times. I wer born in

Hardman County, Tennessee. My own daddy was a Union soldier and my mama

was a cook fer the mistress. We belonged to Miss Viney and Dr. Jim Mass.

My daddy drawed a pension fer bein a soldier till he die. He went off to

wait on some men he know. Then he met some men wanted him to join the

army. They said then he get paid and get a bounty. No maam he never got

a red cent. He come back broke as he went off. He say he turned loose

soon as he could and mustered out and lef them right now. He had no time

to ax em no questions. That what he said! We stayed on that place till I

was big nuf to do a days work. We had no other place to go. There was

plenty land and no stock. Houses to stay in got scarce. If a family had

a place to stay at when that war ended he counted hisself lucky I tell

you. Heap of black an white jes ramlin round through the woods an over

the roads huntin a little to eat or a little sumpin to do. If you stay

in the field workin about puttin back the fences an round yo own house

you wouldn't be hurt.

"The Ku Kluxes war not huntin work theirselves. They was keepin order at

the gatherins and down the public roads. Folks had came toted off all

the folks made in the crops till they don't call nuthin stealin'. They

whooped em and made em ride on rails. I don't know all the carrings on

did take place. I sho would been scared if I seed em comin to me. We

left Dr. Mass and went to Grain, Tennessee. I had three sisters and

half-brothers. I don't remember how many, some dead. I farmed all my

life. Everybody said the land was so much better and newer out in

Arkansas. When I married I come to Tomberlin and worked fer Sam Dardnne

bout twelve years. Then I rented from Jim Hicks at England. I rented

from one of the Carlley boys and Jim Neelam. When I very fust come here

I worked at Helena on a farm one year. When I got my leg taken off it

cost bout all I ever had cumlated. I lives on my sister's place. Henry

Bratcher's wife out at Green Grove. The Wellfare give me $8 cause I

caint get bout.

"I don't know bout the times. It is so unsettled. Folks want work caint

get it and some won't work that could. You caint get help so you can

make a crop of your own no more, fer sometimes is close."

Emoline Wilson Ervin E Smith facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail