Last week I told about how the big snowstorm of October 1913 had impacted my Dad’s family in the death of his mother, Anne Rogers, due to the long exposure out in the cold. The three children went to stay with their grandparents, R.T. and Eliza Rogers, until their dad, Arra Rogers came home with a new wife, Ollie (Allen). Over the course of the next ten years, Eula, Vernon, and Eileen were born.
One of the stories that my dad would tell was how he and his dad would walk to church at Pleasant Green on a Sunday morning. They had to cross Beaver Creek to get there so they took off their shoes and socks and waded the creek. When they got across they would put those shoes and socks back on and continue the trip. I asked him, one time, why they did not take the horses and wagon. Dad’s answer was that they would give the horses a rest on Sunday and also that sometimes it was too cold for Ollie and the little ones to go in the wagon. Even if you used heated flat irons and covered up with quilts, an open wagon was cold. I could not imagine taking off my shoes and wading when it was too cold to go in a wagon.
Dad would also tell about how there were times that they would take the wagon to Cedar Gap to get a load of something (I think that it was cattle feed) at the railroad. They would start early and it would be so cold when they started that they would walk along beside the wagon to warm up. Then they would ride a while. By the time they got their load and came back home they would be too tired to walk much.
Another trip that they made back in those days was to Springfield in the fall to sell sorghum molasses, tobacco, and dried fruit. His granddad, R.T. Rogers, would raise cane, tobacco, and his grandmother would dry the fruit. They would have the wagon loaded the night before and very early they would start out on a road that runs about where Highway 14 now runs. They would turn north at Sparta on what is now Highway 125 and camp for the night at Linden. They would get up early again and get into Springfield that afternoon. They would sell what they had and camp for the night and start back home the next morning.
We don’t even think about how hard it was back in the “wagon days.” We get in our cars, turn on the heat or air conditioning, drive to Springfield in an hour and never even think how it used to be.