The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

Here is something amusing that is worthy of mention and we give it as one among the rare old time incidents of this kind.

The Johnson boys Jim, Allin, Joe, and Jess, sons of John Johnson who lived at the lower end of the Panther Bottom. This part of the Bottom is just over the line in Cedar Creek township in Marion County, Ark. The cabin the Johnson family lived in was at the extreme lower end of the Bottom where Tom Carroll taught a three months subscription school in the autumn of 1857. They lived here for a year or two and while they were here they built another log cabin which they used for a blacksmith shop and stood near the dwelling house. Mr. Johnson and his sons sharpened the points of the bull tongue and single shovel plows which were in common use then by the settlers. They made horse shoes out of old wagon tire and scraps of iron and put new tire on the wheels of ox wagons. In truth they did a general business for the settlers who lived along White River that were in reach of the shop. Wilshire Magness who lived on Big Creek at the mouth of Little Cedar Creek was a regular customer at this shop. Mr. Magnesses wife whose name was Nancy Elizabeth was an industrious woman and spun and wove all the wearing apparel the family needed. One day she taken a nice piece of Janes out of the hand loom and part of which she made her husband a nice pair of pants out of. The color of this cloth was striped with red and blue. A few days after Mrs. Magness had made these pants her husband put them on for the first time and rode over to Johnson’s shop on business. He had not been there long before Jim Johnson took a fancy to the pants that Magness wore and Bays "Wilshire Magness, how much will you take for them new pants?" And Magness says, "I’ll take money if I can get it." "How much money" says Johnson. "Well" replied Magness "They are worth $4.11 "That’s too much, I’ll give You $3.50" said Johnson. "All right you can take them" said the wearer of the new pants and he pulled off the pants and handed them to Johnson and the latter paid him in silver and Magness mounted his horse and rode back home in his drawers. When the man rode up to his yard gate and his wife had noticed that he did not have on his pants she was frightened for she supposed that something very serious had happened to him and run out to the gate and says "Wilshire what is the matter?" "Oh nothing" said he "Only I sold my pants". And then she gave him a piece of her mind.

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