The Turnbo Manuscripts

by Silas Claiborne Turnbo

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By S. C. Turnbo

We are seated on the river bluff In cedar Creek Township in Marion County, Ark. On the opposite side of the river in Franklin Township is the old Pew C. Anderson farm. Mr. Anderson was born in the state of Tennessee in 1805, came to White River in 1822, and died November 13, 1878 and his bones repose in the little cemetery opposite the Panther Bottom. When Mr. Anderson settled on this land he built a cabin on the bank of a branch called the open hollow. On the west side of this hollow in the head of a small drain is a fine spring of water. This spring is only a short distance above where Pew Anderson’s house stood. Just above this bubbling water another little log cabin stood in a small clearing. This small hut had been built a few years after Mr. Anderson settled this farm. Here in this cabin I and William Trimble son of Allin Trimble learned the alphabet together and spelled and read our first lessons in the old blue back spelling book. The school was taught by Leander Wells in 1854. The writer’s father and Pew Anderson and Sam Magness employed Mr. Wells to teach a 6 months subscription school. Some of my school mates were my two brothers Newton and Layfayette (Bubby) Turnbo, and 4 of my cousins Dave, Bill, Parthenia and Eliza Magness children of Sam Magness. Tommy Anderson son of Pew Anderson, Bill Brown and Lurinda Brown children of Tom and Sally Brown. And besides William Trimble his brothers, Joe and Milton and two of his sisters Lucinda and Mary. Mr. Allin Trimble the father of these children attended the school two weeks. The teacher was a very old man and a preacher. I well remember that before dismissing school on each Friday evening he would sing that old time hymn which began, "The day is past and gone, the evening shade appears. Oh may we all remember well that the night of death is near". After the old man had finished the song he would have us all kneel down and remain quiet until he devoted himself in a prayer which he seemed to do in a fervent manner. His prayers and excellent discipline which he maintained during the whole term of school made a good impression on the students. Some months after the school was taught Mr. Wells went to St. Clair County, Mo. where he died.

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