Mixsonian Rosalie


Frances AndersonMy mother, Frances Etta Belew Anderson was born in Decator, Alabama. There were six in the family. Her parents were William and Nancy Belew. Her folks came to Florida in an ox cart and wagons when she was nine years old. Her father had asthma and the doctor thought the change would do him good. There were twins, Thomas and James, and mama and the youngest boy, William. Jim died when he was 17 of some kind of fever. They built a log house over near Shiloh and lived there until Grandpa Belew died. Uncle Thomas Belew married Alice Sercy and Uncle Billy, (William) went back to Alabama and married his old sweetheart Ida Henderson and mama married Tobias Anderson. Grandma lived around with her children after her husband died, mostly with us. I can remember her sitting by the fire early in the morning smoking her pipe. She only smoked about three times a day, but used snuff all the time. She made a pocket in all her dresses to carry her snuff box, her knife and she always had a needle on the front of her dress to sew up any tear or sew on a button for us children.

Grandma Belew taught me to make cornbread. We would always get the corn as soon as we could in the fall. It would be so green, we took a knife to start the row, then shell about a bushel and spread it out on a sheet in the sun to dry. It made sweet corn meal and grits. The grits was corse ground and you had to wash the husks in a lot of water to have clean white grits. It took a long time to wash the grits but we had plenty of time. Everyone cooked on a wood stove or in the fireplace. Mama would cook on the fireplace in March when the wind was high as she was afraid of the fire. Our old wood shingle roof would get pretty dry in a dry spell. Once it did catch on fire but Andrew put it out before it burn bad. New corn bread and milk was sure good after working hard in the fields all day. Papa loved fish and potatoes but didn’t care for grits or cornbread. Mama had a big flock of hens and she raised a lot of young chickens for us to eat. She sold eggs for 9~ a dozen and bought coffee and things we didn’t grow on the farm.

Calico was 5¢ a yard (I remember I bought a dress for 10¢ a yard when Adrian was a baby). We never went anywhere. There was no place to go. Sometimes we went to picnics or to church at Flemington. Papa didn’t fish or hunt. He read the Bible and studied it. We walked to school at Shiloh (3 miles) and I finished the 8th grade there. There wasn’t any teachers to teach beyond that. We walked to school, rain or shine.