Hiram A. McAdams

Jennie Robbins - Alice Rebecca Williamson

Jeanette Roberts: Her Life

Written by Jeanette Roberts Courtney in 1976

As you know, my mother, Mrs. Clara Roberts, was the oldest of Grandfather Hiram's children. She was born on Dec. 27, 1874, and died June 22, 1972. She married W. D. Roberts on Feb. 18, 1896, in the old Woodville church not too far from the McAdams reunion grounds.

To this family, three children were born: Floyd O. Roberts was born on Nov. 3, 1898, Jeanette Roberts Courtney was born on Aug. 31, 1901, and Sally Willie Roberts was born on Sept. 23, 1904, but died in infancy. Our home was a little to the north of Robbie Lee's place (Uncle Edgar and Aunt Mary's home site). A few years were spent there in making a happy home but death came and took my father on Nov. 6, 1905. My mother remained on the farm about two years, trying to take care of material things they had acquired together. Then she decided to take her children and move to Bedias, just 13 miles to the west. My father had bought a home there earlier, hoping to move us near a better school.

So many things could be told about our life in the country but one thing I do remember especially. Floyd and I were always out playing in a pine thicket near the house. One day Floyd decided to build me a "play house" out of pine limbs. The "play house" was built and when I got myself comfortably situated on the inside, much to my amazement, he came to the entrance and called, "Sister, you better get out! Your house in on fire!" So, my play house went up in smoke.

I can remember on one Christmas we were all at Grandpa's house and he decided to have some fun playing Santa Claus. Some how he tied corn cobs on his feet and hands and some way he had a light on his head. He went down the road a piece, lighted his corn cobs, started to ringing a cow bell, and came running to the house. Maybe you think there was not a lot of confusion and excitement!! Our mothers had a hard time explaining that it was Grandpa playing Santa Claus.

When we moved to Bedias the fun began. Auntie Alice and Uncle Cuyler Thompson already lived in Bedias and we lived very close to them. Soon, Grandpa and Grandma McAdams and their six children built their home near where we lived in Bedias. Soon after this, Uncle Edgar's family and Uncle Frank's family moved to Bedias. All the children enjoyed playing together. There were fights too but not too serious.

We had an old gray mare named "Dolly" and a small one-seat buggy. Mama would hitch up "Old Dolly" to the buggy and here we would go to visit our relatives in the country as well as in Huntsville. It took all day to go from Bedias to Huntsville and required several stops to let "Dolly" rest and get a drink. We went fairly often to see Uncle Carl and his family. They would remark, "here comes Clara and the children" and he would go immediately and butcher a goat so we could have a good meal. Aunt Pearl was a wonderful cook and we always enjoyed visiting with them.

Since we all lived close together in Bedias, the children of the families would gather and plan their own activities. We had no parks to go to so we had a play ground all our own. A little creek ran back of our house and that is where we had our "revival meeting" in the summer. Usually Floyd was the preacher but sometimes it was Vernon. We picked this place especially so we could baptize our converts. Of course we all joined and Floyd baptized us in the creek near by. We always had a singing session.

When it was time for a circus to come to town, we would have one also. We planned all kinds of stunts, races, trapeze, side shows, etc. One night when all was going well, G. B. was doing a stunt on the trapeze wire and he accidentally fell and cut his foot real bad on a piece of glass. That broke up the circus! To call the kids together for the circus, we beat on a number 3 wash tub and the children would come running. Dr. Luther Barnes complained because he couldn't keep his children at home to eat their meals once they heard the drum beats.

About once a year, a real circus came through the country. It would have live animals. That was a treat to see the wild animals and I especially remember a large elephant they brought along. Most of the children were able to buy a ticket to go but Floyd and I were not so fortunate. We had our own plan though! Floyd always went to see what he could do to get a ticket. We always had buttermilk, so he offered to sell some to get a ticket. He made a sale for his ticket. In order to get me a ticket, we took one gallon of good, thick milk and added enough water to make two gallons. They were satisfied and we were as well. There are many things I might relate, but time and space do not permit it.

In 1918, my mother moved to Huntsville and boarded college students for several years. She lived there until her death. We all grew up and married and went our separate ways.

Question: Where is the old Woodville church site that is mentioned as the wedding site for Clara McAdams and W. D. Roberts?