TO MY CHIIDREN
from Mama & Papa Mr. & Mrs. H. G. Terrell In the Year of our Lord 1909,
which was Sunday December 5, 1909.
Henry Grady Terrell, left his home driving a horse hitch to a sky blue rubber tire buggy. Which was about the sportiest thing of that day. It was just as Modern as the most up-to-date car of today. Driving to Mountain Springs Methodist Church at the foot of Lavender Mountain and just off old Bryant Gap Road. One and a half miles vest of the Church to Mountain Springs. At the home of George Rolland and Sally Vaughn Presley. From there took Luna Presley. Who was the third Daughter of her Parents. And at midafternoon we drove to Freeman Town, then to Redmond Gap Road. and drove along the fence toward Rome. To the Rev. William Cooper's home. which was about one mile west of Berry Schools an about one half of a mile north of the present Battey State Hospital, and united in Holy matrimony after we drove to the back of Gammn Farm and back to the Old Bryant Gap Road and near Cooper's Creek, then we were caught in a drizzling rain. before we got to a house where I, Grady had secretly furnished for housekeeping. I also stored some of my mother's canned fruit, under a bridge near by. It was almost a secret marriage. Though previously I had asked Mr. Pressley for the hand of his daughter in marriage I knew that my Parents would object to me marrying any girl, because I was only eighteen. They had arranged for me to go to boarding School to complete my education, After building a fire I went to my parent's home and hitched my horse in the back yard, And went up to my room then got my trunk which I had previously packed with my few belongings in it. Bring it down the stairs which open to the dining room. Where the Family was seated at the supper table. when they saw what I was doing My reply was when you. think you can treat my wife as you treat me come to see us.But don't come unless you intend to treat her as you treat me. Papa looked at Mama and said what did that boy say? As I went out the door. I heard mama tell him I guess he is married.
They did not know where we lived till Tuesday night. Though it was only 1/2 mile from the family's home. They came to see us Tuesday night. I know parent's were no nicer than mine. They treated us nice then and always. After living there a few months, I rented a farm from Berry Schools and in the spring I quit Carpentering and went to farming. 1910 was a very bad crop year and of course I made a bad one, 1911 I made a good crop on the Hanson Farm. The next year I moved to Texas Valley there on the 23rd of March our first child was born. Where we farmed a year, we named our first child after her Grandmothers, Sarah Sybilla, when she was three weeks old, which was very rainy Saturday We went to Sand Springs School to closing exercises. Lot of the old folks said that Grady was killing his wife and Baby for taking it out so soon on a rainy cold day like that. If it hurt them you couldn't tell it. At first we did not say the grace or did not thank the Lord for this food. My wife said do you care if I ask the blessing, Which we have done ever since then to the present. Toward the latter part of the week I suggested, that we have Family prayer night and mornings, which we have done until today. Which think was the foundation of our happiness, however during the years we were dairying we left off morning prayer. Another reason I think, we were so happy as man and wife because I had nothing to keep secret from her, And she had no secrets from me. Though I had gone with a number of girls.
In August of 1910 I joined Mountian Springs Methodist Church. where my wife and part of my family were already members. Four years before joined Fifth Baptist Church in Rome. When I was twenty-four years old. I was agreeable surprised for being elected superintendent of the Sunday School of Mountain Springs Church. I did not find it out till I was fixing to retire. When my wife told me. I felt so unworthy and incapable we knelt right there and ask God to give me strength & knowledge and wisdom to do a good job. I filled that position for two years, till I moved to Cordelle In 1913 I moved to the only house in the Arbor Bottons which is now a part of the Battey State farm. It was a cold late spring, and turn very dry early. We had a hard time in preparing and planting a crop. We had a real hail storm. which destroyed a good part of our cotton then it was awfully dry till 25th of July. The corn tassels fell out. It looked like starvation to me. It rained the 25th of July. But, as I was through work, and didn't think it was a chance to make a good crop I went to Stockland and contracted cooperage timber. But, we made an extra good crop. In 1914 I move to the Bassets Ferry to Miss Lizie Johnson Farm. That year everybody made a good crop, cotton sold as low as 4 1/2 cents per pound.
The whole country was bankrupt, August of the same year Germany declared war. Then, on April 14, 1914 our elder son Henry Grady Jr. was born, 1915 I moved to the top of Lavender mountian where the Berry Schools Flag pole stands, I paid two bales of cotton standing rent I had $27 left. I had a lot of other stuff. My Wife put 60 gallons of sour kraut.
Mr Presley died that year June 14, 1915.
In 1916 I moved to a farm I bought from Mr. M. Beard for $600.00. October 15 Vaughn Excell was born. Then we moved to Cordella and stayed 1918-1919 that was the first year they had, bad boweevils, July 27 , 1918 Paul Stephens Hull was born while we were in Crisp County. 1920 we return to own a little farm in Floyd County The very first Sunday we attended Church. I was re-elected Superintendent of the Sunday School at Mountain Springs. which job I kept for three or four years. I refused to serve longer. Because I thought it was unfair to other Church members. 1920 December 30, Annie Luna was born in Floyd County. That was the first year the boweevils hurt Floyd County. That made 3 years I made a bad crop in succession. I made a poor crop, just like everybody did that year on cotton. When the summer was about over in 1922, I began to dairy. I owned the forty acres but in September I moved to the old Marrison Farm. Which we had bought and built a small two story dwelling there Alice Allene was born on February 11,1923,Flora Elloise was born December 1, 1925. In May 1925 1 sold that place to the Berry Schools for $2,800 paid all my debts and had a 80 acre Beard farm a part of his farm. It was then I bought the Sharp's farm for $2,500, which joined it. January 18, 1909 I sold both places to the Berry Schools for $5,000. Paid all my debts put $3,000 on the Brown Farm In Amuchee Creek. At the old Jones Mill. There I spent $2,000, I moved after living there four years and doing a lot of improvement. In 1933 during the depression I lost it for the lack of $5,000. 1 also lost half interest, in a farm in Texas Valley. In April 22 I had absolutely nothing but a healthy family. All in good health. And a dairying herd mortgaged for $300.00, but during the four years stay on the Dalton Road. We help to establish. a Bush Arber Sunday School and organized Wesley Chapel. Got a good bit of the material for the building and set the machinery in motion for the building. Before moving to Spite to a farm I had bought from Dr. McCall on credit and moved to it.
But December 22, 1932 Sybilla married Marvin Clay. She had been teaching school two and 1/2 years. They moved to Texas Valley. Where she was engaged in teaching.
Shortly after moving to Spite I was elected Sunday Supt. of the Prospect Methodist Church. After living at Spite four years I sold the Farm to Marvin Clay, I bought one closer to town at Berry Hill Station. I sold that place and put the money in a place in Turners Bend. May 17, 1943 I accepted a job at Beldevilles with the State Prison, and November 1943 I accepted Civil service work as a guard for the five barracks in Charleston, SC. I remained there until November 1947, I also did extra work for the railroad for 7 months. I put about $3,000 in the Arrington Farm that I made while I was in Charleston. I also did 766 hours of volunteer Coast Guard duty.
While going to work at the railroad one day in 1946 I was ran over by a taxi cab and was almost killed. Then I moved back to the Arrington Farm. That I bought in 1943. Papa & Mama have constantly told us that not to take anything that was not ours. I have never took a thing that belonged to somebody else. Though I have sinned many times but the warning of my parents always haunted me when I did so. I was taught all my life to respect the rights of others. To never ride a free horse to death. To be sure not to wear my welcome out, and not to impose on my friends. And with all benefits there was responsibility, and never shirk a responsibility I was also taught that wilful waste made woefull wants and what so ever I sowed I would reap. I was proud of the fact that my parents hadn't handed some diseases down to us children. I remembered many years ago in talking to a neighbor, I ask him if he has done a lot of hard work in his life. His reply was yes Sir. But I was raised by a good Methodist Preacher. Rev. Troutman who taught me this song which went like this.
Must I go to heaven on flower beds ease while others fight to win the prize. and sail through bloody seas. No there is a cross for everyone and there is a cross for me.
These words as well as many words and many old songs have been a source of comfort and strength of me always. Through these years. Another thing that I think that has made us happy, was the active part we took in Sunday School. My wife always got the children ready for Sunday School regardless of how bad the weather was, even whether she was possible able. We did not allow thoughtless excuses to get in our way when when we were dairying. Another great help was prayer meetings. My humble opinion is when you testify for the Lord it will encourage you to do better. Give you strength as nothing else does me. My wife's health for a number of years has been so bad. She couldn't go to church. Though she is very prayful. Thankful to God, for all good blessings. She listens to all religious radio stations she can. She has always encouraged me to be religious. I could never find a better wife if I had years to look for another one. I made several trades to my sorrow that I wouldn't have made if I had listened to her, though she never fussed about it. She's always been willing to move where I thought I could do the best. In fact I have found her to be every thing that any man could want, a Christian wife to be. By the help of God and the children I have made a barrel of money though I have done some bad trades, and lost heavy. When I had money I never wasted or threw it away.
My wife's father was very religious worker. My father & mother real good people. But they were not always church workers, But, regardless how hard times were for us. They always saw we had clothes sufficient to go to church. Mama had been dead 27 years, Papa 18 years, When at times I miss them so bad. I feel like that if I just had them and talk over my troubles, they could help me. They tried so hard to raise me right that it is very hard for me to do wrong now. Their ways and disciplines is always a flash in my mind. Though they were very poor. But I would not exchange them. For thoses who had gotten their riches through shady deeds.
One week from today we will be married 40 years. I think my wife has done a wonderful job really. Seven fine healthy children that we are proud of. I hope my girls will make as good wives and as religious as their Mother. I hope my sons will be an impression to me, Now we have had some very hard times at times. Years that money was so scarce with all of our neighbors. But most of the time we had good health and plenty to eat. If we lacked any thing it was clothes not eats.
My children have some ancesters to be proud of, and their mothers parents too. Alexander Stephens, and others not quite well known. Vaughn's were very quiet people, the first Terrell that came to this country was great. He had 30,000 acres of Land That the King of England gave him. On which Cleveland Ohio was built. All of his family died and his housekeeper and her two sons took his land, and sold it. With not having any title to it. More that he left it to his and her More that he left it to his and her possession. And as any of the Terrells could not be found. And it was all sold. They have been a number of lawsuits since then. The last one thirty years ago, But the Terrells lost. Gov. Joseph Terrell was the cousin to my grandfather, John Asbury Terrell.
My Grandfather Terrell came from England, family settled in North Bartow county, where he raised two sons. Before the Civil War. He had never moved and had more land than anybody in Bartow County . Grandfather married A.E.P.P. Leake from Cartersville Ga. She has several Brothers and Uncles who were Doctors & Preachers. My maternal grandmother was Mary Ann Johnson, raised in Acworth, Ga. and so were her children, They were very religious in fact the Johnsons and their kindred did a great deal to restore Christian religion and to rebuild their country after the war. In Cobb County as elects, as did the Terrells in Bartow County.
I hope our children will try just as hard to serve God and their country and friends as their ancestors did. Each one of you, live such an individual life that God will see fit to give you many years of peace and happiness. A good deed will help you do it. It is when you attempt to do something rash, that I want you to think of this when you start to do wrong. If you will say the Lords Prayer and repeat some other favorite scripture, study your Bible and learn a lot of them. Do like your Mother and your Grandmother Terrell. Any religious songs that God and angels would like to hear, refrain from filthy jokes and from people who tell them and have clean conversation if you are where you can't pray, when you are tempted say Amazing Grace. What a Friend we have in Jesus. Jesus loves of my soul. God be with you, till we meet again or another good religious song you might think of. Have good friends among all. Never be in company either with men or women that you would be ashamed to stand among of in the day of judgment.
Yours always Mother & Daddy
Mr. & Mrs. H. G. Terrell Sr.
written Nov 28, 1949
Daddy dictated this to a young prisoner while he was a guard at Battey State Hospital in Rome, Ga
Sarah Sybilla Terrell Clay