The Story of my Life
Louise Virginia (Weir) Frasier
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y name is Louise Virginia (Weir) Frasier. I am the oldest daughter of William (Willie) Hugh Weir and Ida Beatrice (Haynie) Garrard Weir. But my mother had a daughter, Lillian Alberta Garrard, when she married my father, Willie Weir. I have two brothers older than me and one brother and five sisters younger.
Memory is a funny thing. No one remembers things alike. I guess that’s because no two of us see things the same way. If ten of us see an accident from the same distance, we each tell it differently, because we all see it differently and in the telling it really gets different.
Remember the old game of gossip? If there were five playing or twenty and you started with one statement, when you reached the end it was altogether different from when you started. That’s because no two people hear alike. And if we hear something when we’re young and tell it over and over it will change the whole story line. Some of my kids are doing a family tree. Carrie and her daughter have spent hundreds of hours in court houses and genealogy libraries with microfilm, old books, and old records. They have found that very few of the handed down tales fit the facts. If you don’t have documented facts, it’s too bad. And even then mistakes are made. Depending on who gives the facts, a death certificate might be wrong altogether.
I only know Mama and Papa lived in Marshall County, Alabama and nine kids were born there. I knew Grandma Weir, she lived with her youngest daughter, Aunt Eula. Guess Grandpa Weir died about the time I was born. I was told that Grandma Weir’s old maid sister lived with her. But her name was Nan Collier. How then could Grandma Sarah Brasher have a sister named Collier? Were they half sisters? Had Grandma been married before? And I always thought Papa lived in Randolph County, Alabama before they moved to Marshall County.
One of the reasons that I decided to write my memories for my kids is that I don’t remember a lot of what Papa and Mama told us when we were little. They did tell us that they went to school when they were children, although at that time not many people did.
At the end of the 1800’s the schools were one-room log cabins. Sometimes the teacher would be male: more often, female. The session was three months during the summer. There were no paper or pencils. There were ink and feather quills but students never had those. Students wrote on slates, which were very thin manufactured pieces of rock. They generally wrote with another rock, then washed the whole thing clean.
There would be kids from six years old to nineteen years old in the same room: mostly boys. Most people thought that girls didn’t need to know how to read or write. Girls were taught about home remedies, how to dance, maybe to play the organ or piano. They were even taught to sing, to recite poetry or to paint. But usually not to read or write. And of-course none of the black people were allowed to learn to read or write. Even after the Civil War, if someone was caught teaching the blacks they were put in jail or killed.
Mama said the big girls and boys didn’t like to wear shoes, but were ashamed to be seen barefoot, so they toted their shoes until they got almost to school and then sat down and put their shoes on. The women teachers did this too.
I remember that Papa said, “Once, it came up a cloud: lightening and thunder, but no rain or wind. The school building didn’t have any windows, but had a door at each end.” He said he was looking out the door and saw a white ball of light. He said it was about the size of a bushel basket and about two and a half or three feet off the ground.
The ball of light didn’t go in the door, but went down the side of the school building. He said, “It made itself long and went through a crack between the logs. It moved to the center of the room where there were no seats and floated out the door. Then it hit a big hickory tree and split it into kindling.” He was eleven or twelve years old at the time and he said that he remembered it exactly like it happened.
Mama said that once it came a big snow in September. Everybody was barefoot. She had on a thin dress and bloomers and Uncle George had pants and a shirt on. Uncle George wrapped his shirt around Mama and toted her on his back four miles through the snow. It was things like this that made her love him so much. I wonder why I didn’t like him? I wonder if any of my brothers and sisters didn’t like him?
Mama told me that Papa bought her a diamond ring when I was born. She also told me about the night that I was born— February 25, 1914. She said that there was snow on the ground and when she went into labor, Papa called Central and had her call Dr. Morton.
We lived on the edge of a small town called Boaz in Marshall County, Alabama. Mama said that Dr. Morton wrapped burlap bags around the horses feet and tied his black bag (Me in it? Ha!) to the saddle. He got there about ten o’clock on the evening of the 24th and spent the night. The next morning he doctored my half sister Lillian; my brothers, Comer and Buford; and Ruth, my mother’s cousin who lived with us, for bad colds. The fee for the delivery and treating the kids with colds was $2.00.
My father was the son of George Weir and Sarah Elizabeth Brasher. Papa was born February 25, 1872 making him 42 years old when I was born. I guess that was the reason for the diamond ring—a daughter for a birthday present!
Mama was born February 18, 1888. She was 26 years old when I was born and 16 years younger than Papa.
Sarah Elizabeth (Brasher) Weir
George H. S. Weir
I know very little about my father before I was born. I do know that he had one brother, John Henry, and five sisters, Mary, Julie, Lula, Eula and Rennie. Papa’s sister, Mary, was deaf as a result of suffering from meningitis when she was young. At the same time, Papa and a baby had meningitis also. The baby died and Papa was left hard of hearing.
Uncle John Henry was married and had one son and two daughters. His wife burned to death. Then he married a widow with one son—my Aunt Ida. We had to call her Uncle John Henry’s Aunt Ida for that was also my mother’s name. Uncle John Henry and Aunt Ida had three boys and two girls.
Aunt Mary married Amp Watson who was a deaf-mute also. They had one son and two daughters.
Aunt Julie married Cam Smith. They had seventeen children, of which some died in infancy. They lived in Memphis, Tennessee. Most of the children living still live there.
Aunt Lula married Willie Wells. They had three boys, two girls, and Low, a black boy that Uncle Willie had live with them. One son fell on the ice when he was thirteen years old and died.
Aunt Eula married Willie Seay. He had a new baby by his first wife who died in childbirth. They had one son and two daughters.
Rennie married John Long. They had two sons.
All of these people live in Marshall and Etowah Counties, Alabama except Aunt Julie and Uncle Cam who live in Memphis, Tennessee. We never knew any of them very well except when we were small.
With so many Johns, Willies, and Idas, we always had to call them by their last name too; Hence, Uncle Willie Weir’s Aunt Ida and Uncle John Henry’s Aunt Ida.
Mama’s father was John Haynie and her mother was Louise Patterson. John Haynie married and had seven children, two girls and five boys. We did not know them except for Aunt Cana who married a Summerlin and Uncle Genie. Mama’s mother, Louise Patterson, ran away when she was fifteen years old to live with her first cousin. They lived somewhere around Chattanooga, Tennessee. They had three girls; Aunt Mattie, Aunt Vora, and Mandy who died as a small child. The father of Louise’s children was killed in a mining accident. Her family had disowned her, but his family went and got her and the babies and let them live in a former slave cabin at the back of their house. Mama told me this while I sat with her for five months before she died.
Grandpa Haynie’s first wife was still living but he courted grandma and she had Uncle John. Then, when grandpa’s wife died, he married grandma and they had Uncle George and Ida (Mama).
When Uncle George was about fifteen and Mama was about fourteen, they left Clay County, Alabama and went to Marshall County where Aunt Matt lived. They rented a little farm and lived together. Mama married Cicero Garrard in the first part of 1906 and Lillian was born in December 1906. Cicero died of typhoid fever the next year in 1907. Uncle George married Zackie Garrard in 1907.
Papa married Dora Stonicher December 9, 1897 and she died May 22, 1898. Papa remained a widower for several years and then saw mama and wrote her a letter, which I read when I was small. It ended by saying: Roses are red, Violets are blue, Sugar is sweet, and so are you.
|John B. Haynie|
He gave this letter to Aunt Eula to send to mama, but she told him that mama had married Cicero Garrard not long before. They had sat in the buggy and Grandpa, George Weir, had married them. Aunt Eula and Aunt Nan Collier were the witnesses. Papa kept the letter for four years and then gave it to Mama after Cicero died. They got married the last part of 1909. Mama had Lillian Alberta Garrard. Papa never adopted her, but they were truly father and daughter.
Lillian married Riley Watkins who had grown up in North Georgia. They have eight children: Junior, Jack, Jean, Peggy, Billie, Patrick, Mickey, and Jerry. Riley died in 1982.
Mama and Papa had nine children:
Comer Lee married Ola Shubert and had three children: Barbara, Doyle, and Jimmy. Jimmy died in 1970 of a bad heart and Comer died in 1979.
Buford Earl married Vollie Pitts and had eight children: Dexter, Joe, Addie B., June Marie, Waylon, Carol, Lorene, and Gary.
Louise (Me) married Hoyt Nathaniel Frasier and had ten children: Virginia, Dorothy (Dot), Carrie, Hoyt, Thomas William (Bill or Tom), John, Patricia (Pat), Margaret (Margie), Evelyn, and Martha. H.N. died in 1968 in a car-cattle truck accident in Texas.
Mary Will married George Daniel and had one son, Jerry Wayne. George Daniel died in 1989.
Elizabeth married Cecil Moore and was divorced.
Evelyn (Coy, Ha!) married Russel Jacobs who died of infantile paralysis, leaving one son, Rusty. Evelyn, then married Marius Boschetti and they have two children: Mike and Dale.
Dora and Nora are twins.
Dora married Charles Taylor and had two children: Tim and Linda. Dora divorced Charles.
Nora married Richard Davis, a widower with two children: Joel and Kathy.
George William married Ursala in Germany. They have two daughters: Patty and Prescilla. George and Ursala were divorced and George married Gliesy from the Philippines.
Papa died of skin cancer in 1940 and Mama died in 1973.
These are Tintypes and have not been definitely identified. We believe, on the left are:
Sarah Brasher and George Weir Mama's paternal grandparents.
On the right are:
John Haynie and his father George Haynie Mama's maternal grandfather and great-grand father.