Vol. V, No. 3, Winter 1992

Winter 1990

Dodging Starvation

by S.C. Turnbo

Silas Turnbo was a native of Marion County Arkansas who collected, in the late nineteenth century, tales of wilderness, wildlife, pioneering, and the Civil War, throughout the interior Ozarks. The result has been transcribed and the collection is in the libraries of Springfield-Greene County, Missouri, and the University of Arkansas, Little Rock.

An old timer of Marion County Ark. who has lived on Jimmies Creek since the early flies has this to say of hard times at the lose of the war between the states:

"I and my wife lived 3 weeks at the close of the war without the least bit of bread. We were compelled to live on anything that we could use at all that had any nourishment about it and was not poisonous, wild onions and wild salad were hunted for and gathered all over the woods. Sam Railsback's wife would hunt all the slippery elm trees she could find and take the bark off and scrape off the outside bark and save the inner bark and cut it into small bits with a knife and dry it in the sun or heat of the fire and when she had a sufficient quantity of this she put it into a sack and carried it to Adams Mill on Mill Creek south of Yellville where it was ground into meal and used it for bread by moisten[ing] the ground bark with water and making it into pones or flat cakes and baking it in a skillet. The old man Bosier who lived on Newtons Flat below Jimmies Creek was so nigh starved to death that he would hunt all the old dry hides he could find and cut them into small pieces and scorch them on the fire and eat them."

-- Contributed by Lynn Morrow

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