Katie Dillon

Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden

Person interviewed: Katie Dillon

307 Hazel Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Age: 82

[Dec 31 1937]

"I hope I was here in slavery days--don't I look like it? I was a good

big girl after surrender.

"I was born in Rodney, Mississippi in 1855.

"I had a good old master--Doctor Williams. Didn't have no mistress. He

never married till after surrender.

"We lived right in town--right on the Mississippi River where the gun

boats went by. They shelled the town one day. Remember it just as well

as if 'twas now. I hope it was exciting. Everybody moved out. Some run

and left their stores. They run to Alcorn University, five miles from

there. Some of em come back next day and some never come back till after


"The old Doctor bought my mother when she was twelve years old. When she

got big enough she was the cook. Made a fine one too. I worked around

the house and toted in wood and water.

"After surrender, Dr. Williams wanted my mother to give me and my

brother to him and he would give her a home, but she wouldn't. I wish

she had but you know I wasn't old enough to know what was best. She

hired out and took us with her. I hired out too. I reckon I was paid but

I never did see it. I reckon my mother collected it. I know she clothed

me. I had better clothes than I got now. We stayed there till we come to

Arkansas. I was married then. I married when I was seventeen. I was fast

wasn't I? I got a good husband. Didn't have to work, only do my own

work. Just clean up the house and garden and tend to the chickens. My

husband was a picture man. Yes'm, I've lived in town all my life--born

and raised up in town.

"After surrender I went to the first free school ever was in Rodney,

Mississippi. I went about two sessions. I ought to've learned more'n I

did but I didn't see how it would benefit me.

"In slavery days we used to go right to the table and eat after the

white folks was through. We didn't eat out of no pots and pans. Whatever

was on the table you et it until you got enough.

"When I was comin' up and they was goin' to have a private ball, they

sent out invitations and I went, but when they had that kind where

everybody could go I wouldn't a gone to one of them for nothin'.

"The way things is goin' now I don't think the end can be very far off.

"I remember when peace was declared I saw the soldiers across the street

and they had their guns all stacked. I was lookin' and wonderin' what it

was. You know children didn't ask questions in them days. I heard some

of the older ones talkin' and I heard em say the war was over.

"I never had but two children and only one livin' now. Yes'm, I own my

home and my son helps me what he can. I'm thankful I got as much as I


Katie Darling Katie Rowe facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail