Volume 4 , Number 11, Spring 1973
A Douglas County Huffman Tale
by Cinita D. Brown
Jarrad B. Huffman, born May 1, 1790, died Feb. 13, 1882, and his wife, Margaret A. Freshour Huffman, born Sept. 22, 1798, died March 14, 1870, came to the area which is now Douglas County and settled on Cowskin Creek about three miles west of what is now Ava in 1824.
They were the parents of twelve sons, no daughters. Rough teasing seemed to be a part of their life. How they seemed to enjoy getting a good joke on each other for so many of these jokes and tales were passed down from one generation to another. I am six generations removed from Jarrad (sometimes spelled Jarred), yet Margaret and I yet enjoy telling the old "Huffman Tales" to my children. One goes like this:
Near the middle of the 1800s a traveling preacher came through the country and built a brush arbor in the Cowskin area. For weeks he preached to the people of the area, in the "protracted meetin". His sermons on sin, hell and destruction, wickedness, and eternal punishment had caused many knee to bow at the mourners bench.
It seems as if the meetin was about to break up and Jim, one of the younger sons of Jarrad, was yet unsaved. On that particular night, Margaret decided to go have a talk with Jim and see if she could persuade him to go to the mourners bench. She said, "Oh, Jim, you know Im getting old and seeing you go on in sin just breaks my heart. Wont you come and be saved?"
Jim answered, "Now Maw, there aint no use in me being saved, now. You know I've got that new ground to break and I cant possibly
plow it and not cuss, and I can't live a Christian life and cuss like I'll have to. You know that maw."
Maw Huffman, supposedly, replied, "Oh, Son, if thats all that is in your way come on and be saved and Ill see that your Pa or Jess plow that new ground. There going to hell anyway."
Old Docs Miracle Cure
by Cinita D. Brown
Volumes of Doc Gentry stories could be written. As his son, Dr. Marvin Gentry of Ava, said, "At the time that Dad started his practice (He was graduated from Barnes in 1899) you had to have a sense of humor. You could not get by in the medical profession without it." Our old Doc had a sense of humor!
One of the stories which many persons in this area will remember hearing him tell was about a hired girl.
Doc had been called to the home of an elderly couple who were "ailing". After Doc Gentry had examined the old man and counted out the desired number of pills for him, the old man said, "Doc our hired girl has took bad sick. Shes in the back room in bed. I want you to go in there and see her now."
When Doc qot into the room the hired girl whispered to him, "Doc, I aint really sick. Im just aggravated. Ive worked for weeks for these old people and they wont pay me so Ive just gone to bed. Im aimin to just lay out my bill with them."
Doc replied, "Well, they wont pay me either so get over and Ill lay my bill out, too."
According to Doc, it was the quickest cure in medical history. She was out of the bed in a flash.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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