Mike Thompson

Interviewer: Miss Irene Robertson

Person interviewed: Mike Thompson, Widener, Arkansas

Age: 79

"I was born near Honey Grove, Texas. I remember my grandparents on both

sides--they were all Thompsons. They were cotton and corn farmers. I

don't know where they come from. I was so small and as soon as the War

was done a whole gang of us come from Texas to Dardanelle, Arkansas.

"The Bushwhackers was so bad we was guarded to the line and they went

back. We come in wagons. Bushwhackers was robbers. I remember that. My

grandparents and parents all come in the gang. Clem Thompson, my owner,

died. He had a family. I don't know what become of none but Ed Thompson.

We was the same age and growed up together. I worked for him at

Dardanelle but I don't know how he come from Texas. He butchered and

peddled meat and had a shop too. I don't think Ed owned land over at

Dardanelle but my father owned eighty acres over there when he died. My

father was Cubit Thompson. His father was Plato Thompson. My mother was

Harriett Thompson.

"The Thompsons was fairly good to their niggers, I recken. Ed was good

to me. He promised me I should never want but I don't know if he be dead

or not. I wish I could hear from him.

"When I was about twenty-five years old I was coming in home from town

one night. I seen his house on fire. I kept going fast as I could run,

woke him up. He run out but his wife didn't. He said, 'My wife! my wife!

my wife!' I run in where he run out. She was standing back in a corner

the flames nearly all around her. I picked her up and run out and about

that time the whole house fell in. They never got through thanking me.

I come off over here and never hear a word from him. He always said I

saved their lives and hers mostly.

"Times--young men can get work if they will go to the field and work.

If you can't work, times is hard two ways. If you are used to work, you

hard to get contentment and loss of the money too. Money don't buy much.

Awful sight of cotton and you don't get much out of it. Young folks is

got young notions.

"I come to Widener in 1908. I made a good living. I own this house. Now

I got to quit working in bad weather. My rheumatism gets so bad. I'll be

eighty years old 23rd of September this year (1938)."

Mike Genes Mildred Heard facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail