Ex-slave History

Name of Interviewer: Irene Robertson

Subject: Ex-Slave--History

This information given by: Jack Boyd

Place of Residence: Hazen, Arkansas

Occupation: Light jobs now. AGE: 72

[TR: Information moved from bottom of first page.]

[HW: The Boyd Negroes]

Jack Boyd was born a slave. Miss Ester's mother was a Boyd and married a

Donnahoo. Miss Ester Donnahoo married Jim Shed. The Boyd's lived in

Richmond, Virginia. They sold Jack Boyd's grandmother, grandfather,

mother, and father a number of times. One time they were down, in

Georgia not far from Atalnta. They were being ill treated. The new

master had promised to be good to them so he wasn't and the news had

gotten back to Virginia as it had a time or two before so the Boyds sent

to Georgia and brought them back and took them back home to Virginia.

The Boyds always asked the new masters to be good to them but no one was

never so good to them as the Boyds were, and they would buy them back

again. When freedom was declared three of the Boyd brothers and Miss

Ester's husband Jim Shed, was the last master of Charlie Boyd. Jack's

father came to Waco, Texas. They may have been there before for they

were "big ranchmen" but that is when Jack Boyds whole family came to

Texas. There were thirty six in his family. The families then were

large. When Jack grew up to be about ten years old there wasn't anything

much at Waco except a butcher shop and a blacksmith shop. Jim Shed alone

had 1800 acres of land his own. He used nine cowboys, some white and

some black. The first of January every year the cattle was ready to be

driven to Kansas City to market. They all rode broncos. It would rain,

sometimes hail and sometimes they would get into thunder storms. The

cattle would stampede, get lost and have to be found.

They slept in the open plains at night. They had good clothes. They

would ride two or three weeks and couldn't get a switch. Finally in

about June or July they would get into Kansas City. The white masters

were there waiting and bought food and supplies to take back home. They

would have started another troop of cowboys with cattle about June and

meet them in Kansas City just before Christmas. Jack liked this life

except it was a hard life in bad weather. They had a good living and the

Masters made "big money." Jack said he always had his own money then.

His people are scattered around Waco now, "the Boyd negroes." He hasn't

been back since he came to Arkansas when he was about eighteen. He

married here and had "raised" a big family. The plains were full of

rattle snakes, rabbits, wild cats and lots of other wild animals. They

never started out with less than 400 head of cattle. They picked cattle

that would travel about together. It would all be grown or about the

same age. The worst thing they had to contend with was a lack of water.

They had to carry water along and catch rainwater and hunt places to

water the cattle. His father's and grandfather's masters names were

Gillis, Hawkins, and Sam Boyd. They were the three who came to Texas and

located the ranch at Waco. Jack thinks they have been dead a long time

but they have heirs around Waco now. Jack Boyd left Waco in 1881.

Circumstances Of Interview


NAME OF WORKER--Bernice Bowden

ADDEESS--1006 Oak Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

DATE--November 2, 1938


1. Name and address of informant--Mal Boyd, son of slaves

2. Date and time of interview--November 1, 1938, 9:45 a.m.

3. Place of interview--101 Miller Street

4. Name and address of person, if any, who put you in touch with

informant--None. I saw him sitting on porch as I walked along.

5. Name and address of person, if any, accompanying you--None

6. Description of room, house, surroundings, etc.--Frame house. Sat on

porch. Yard clean--everything neat. Near foundry on graveled street in

suburbs of west Pine Bluff.

Text of Interview

"Papa belonged to Bill Boyd. Papa said he was his father and treated him

just like the rest of his children. He said Bill Boyd was an Irishman. I

know papa looked kinda like an Irishman--face was red. Mama was about my

color. Papa was born in Texas, but he came to Arkansas. I member hearin'

him say he saw 'em fight six months in one place, down here at Marks'

Mill. He said Bill Boyd had three sons, Urk and Tom and Nat. They was in

the Civil War. I heered Tom Boyd say he was in behind a crew of men in

the war and a Yankee started shootin' and when he shot down the last one

next to Tom, he seen who it was doin' the shootin' and he shot him and

saved his life. He was the hind one.

"I've farmed mostly and sawmilled.

"I use to get as high as three and five dollars callin' figgers for the

white folks."

Interviewer's Comment

NAME OF WORKER--Bernice Bowden

NAME AND ADDRESSS OF INFORMANT--Mal Boyd, 101 Miller Street, Pine Bluff,


Subscribes to the Daily Graphic and reads of world affairs. Goes to a

friend's house and listens to the radio. Lives with daughter and is

supported by her. House belongs to a son-in-law. Wore good clothing and

was very clean. He hoped that the United States would not become

involved in a war.

Personal History of Informant


NAME OF WORKER--Bernice Bowden

ADDRESS--1006 Oak Street

DATE--November 2, 1938


NAME AND ADDRESS OF INFORMANT--Mal Boyd, 101 Miller Street, Pine Bluff,


1. Ancestry--Father, Tol Boyd; Mother, Julia Dangerfield.

2. Place and date of birth--Cleveland County, August 4, 1873

3. Family--Lives with daughter. Has one other daughter. Mother one-half

Indian, born in Alabama, he thinks.

4. Places lived in, with dates--Ouachita County, Dallas County. Bradley

County, Jefferson County.

5. Education, with dates--Began schooling in 1880 and went until twelve

or thirteen.

6. Occupations and accomplishments, with dates--Farmed till 21, public

work? Sawmill work.

7. Special skills and interests--None

8. Community and religious activities--Ward Chapel on West Sixth.

9. Description of informant--Gray hair, height 5 ft. 9 in., high

cheekbones. Gray hair--practically straight says like father.

10. Other points gained in interview--Says father was part Irish.

Belonged to Bill Boyd. Stayed there for years after freedom.

Evelyn Mclemore Ex-slave History Old Sayings facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail