By S. C. Turnbo
Among the many accounts of pioneer life among the old timers of Marion. County Arkansas is the following told me by Capt. Curtis Rea who died at Oakland on the 29 of March 1907. "As regards my hunting experience I have no stories to give you.
True I have killed a few deer but, I never met any trouble with a buck or other wild beast. My inclination was not, toward hunting. I took more delight in breaking unruly cattle to work or ride, a wild horse than hunt for game; however I will tell you a story that may be of some interest. Some years after my father John C. Rea settled in Rea Valley below Yellville a family of the name of Treat came into our section from the state of Indiana. This family consisted of several members. The men of which were large and exceeding stout weighing from 250 to 300 pounds each. Two brothers of themSteve and Billy Treat one day at Buffalo City is said to have lifted a hogshead of sugar weighing 1200 pounds and put it on a wagon. I am told that Steve Treat held up a 40 gallon barrel full of liquor by the chimes and drank whiskey out of the bung hole. The Treats had voracious appetites and eat with raging hunger. They were so ravenous, that it took an enormous amount of food to satisfy their appetites. They were the greatest eaters I ever saw. I was told that Steve Treat once consumed at one siting l5 big biscuits and drank ten cups of coffee and got away with other victuals in proportion. I do not know whether the Treats belonged to the Confederate Army or not. If they did I can account for our rations being so scarce for they devoured it and left the remainder of us to starve to death almost. One day Berry Treat informed me that he and John Treat went into the Buffalo mountains together to hunt and on the evening of the first day out they killed a yearling bear that was fat and two yearling deer that was in fine condition and after removing the hide, and dressing the meat they carried it, to camp where there was a fine spring of water and made a fire and began to fill up on the broiled and fried bear and venison until the following morning when they found that they had consumed all three of the animals except the hides and bones."
Springfield-Greene County Library