Henry Doyl

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Henry Doyl, Brinkley, Arkansas

Age: Will be 74

Feb. 2, 1938

"I was born in Hardeman County near Bolivar, Tennessee. My mother's

moster was Bryant Cox and his wife was Miss Neely Cox. My mother was

Dilly Cox. Two things I remembers tinctly that took place in my

childhood: that was when my mother married George Doyl. I was raised by

a stepfather. Miss Neely told my mother she was going to sell me and put

me in her pocket. She told her that more'n one time. I recollect that.

"My oldest brother, one older en me, burned to death. My mother was a

field hand. She was at work in the field. When she come to the house,

the cabin burned up and the baby burned up too. That grieved her mighty

bad and when Miss Neely tell her soon as I got big nough she was goner

sell me mighty near break her heart.

"The first year after the surrender my father, Buck Rogers, left my

mother in her bad condition. She said she followed him crying and

begging him not to leave her to Montgomery Bridge, in Alabama. The last

she seen him he was on Montgomery Bridge.

"They just expected freedom. My mother left her mistress and moved to

the Doyl place. She didn't get nothing but her few clothes. I was born

at the Doyl place. She worked for Moster Bob Doyl, a young man. They

share cropped. We had a plenty I reckon of what we raised and a little


"I worked on Colonel Nuckles place when I got up grown. I worked on the

Lunatic Asylum at Bolivar and loaded tires and ditched for the I.C.

Railroad a long time.

"I don't recollect that the Ku Klux ever bothered us.

"My stepfather voted Republican ticket. I haven't voted for a good many

years--not since Garfield or McKinley was our President.

"I come to Arkansas in 1887. I married in Arkansas. I heard that

Arkansas was a rich country. My mother was dead. My stepfather had been

out here. I come on the train, paid my own way. Come to Palestine the

first night then on to Brinkley. I been close to Brinkley ever since.

"The old man died what learned me how to walk rice levies. I still work

on the place. Everybody don't know how to walk levies. It will kill an

old man. Your feet stay wet and cold all time. I do wear hip boots but

my feet stay cold and damp. I got down with the rheumatism and jes' now

got so I can walk.

"I got a wife and three living children. They all married and gone.

"Times is hard for old folks and changed so much. Children used to get

jobs and take care of the granny folks and the old parents. They can't

take care of themselves no more it look like. I don't know how to take

the young generation. They are drifting along with the fast times.

"I applied but don't get no pension."

Henry Davis Henry F Pyles facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail