Mixsonian Wilbur

Rosalie and Wilbur

Life on the farm was hard for Wilbur and Rosalie but as the boys grew so did their help with chores on the farm which there were plenty to do.  There were the chickens, pigs and horses to feed, garden to water or weed, laundry to hang to dry or bring in, trash to take out and burn and firewood to cut, split and stack.  With three boys helping it lessened the load on Wilbur and Rosalie and so life became a little easier.   

Life was made harder with the family coming down with bouts of malaria, Wilbur Rosalie and the boys having fever and chills.  It was pretty much expected that everyone in the area would get malaria at some time or another with the mosquitoes being so bad.  With a bout of malaria, Wilbur and Rosalie might take a day off to rest, but the farm work always needed to be done so they pushed though it with an occasional dose of quinine if it got really bad.  Finally in 1945 a young doctor in McIntosh, Doctor Strange cured them all of it with new medications.  (Dr. James Larson Strange of McIntosh Florida not Doctor Strange the comic book character) It helped that DDT became available and was widely used to control the mosquitoes.  Rosalie would take the hand pump sprayer and mist down each bedroom before bedtime to kill any mosquitoes that got into the house.

Wilbur with Knot and CabbageWilbur with Knot and Cabbage

Wilbur’s horse Dink that he had when he courted Rosalie grew old and had to be put down. Wilbur needing a new horse was happy when his father, J.D. gave him a new horse named Knot.  Knot was trained as a cow horse and could cut a cow from a bunch of cows, you just turned his head to the one you wanted, let the reigns go limp and knot would cut the cow out away from the others. He was also looking out for the rider too, never would go too close to a tree or limb which was helpful when Wilbur had to fetch the cows out of the forest. Wilbur put Knot to good use to round up his cows which roamed free range at the time.  With free range there were no fences except around gardens to keep the cows out, otherwise all the farmer’s cows roamed about and could be on anyone’s property.  To keep track of their cows each farm would brand their cows which would require every spring rounding up the new calves and branding them. Brands would be registered with the state and Wilbur’s was “WD Joined” on the left lower side of the cow.

Morris and Arnold with CabbageMorris and Arnold with Cabbage

While Knot was good for rounding up cows, he was a bit too high spirited for pulling a plow in the garden and much to spirited for Rosalie to ride so Wilbur got a second horse.  After a particularly good summer, Wilbur had sizable patch of cabbages which he traded for a three-year-old horse which he named Cabbage.  Being a young horse, Wilbur broke him for riding and trained him to pull the wagon and plow and, before long Rosalie would ride him if needed, although she usually made Wilbur hitch him to the wagon.

Updated: 11-22-2021