The Gathered Words of Mulberry, Texas

The Gathered Words of Mulberry, Texas

by John Gregory Hall


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The Gathered Words is documentary history and personal interpretation of Mulberry, a small Texas farm and ranch community in one deep bend of Red River. Beginning in the days of the Republic, the account describes "Indian troubles," fatally contested land surveys, and a pre-Civil War plantation. Filled with colorful personalities, the history of this remote riparian culture unfolds vividly from the earliest days of settlement through Reconstruction, the Great Depression, and poignant stories of tenant farmers, black, hispanic, white, as they battle heat, cold, drought, discrimination and poverty.
The broad sweep of history in Mulberry for more than a century is revealed through the numerous sources consulted and organized by the compiler/editor. Examples include lively accounts of the remembered outlaws, Hunter and Green, "foul murder" of Lena Pendergrass, called out testimony of Levi and Beulah Stewart, and a 1919 Cyclone that devastated the "little town" and took eight lives.
Through two World Wars, the rise of modern agriculture, and a fast changing cultural milieu, every aspect of life is seen. This work is based on family letters, extensive library research, newspaper reports, court records, maps, personal observation and interviews. It is generously illustrated with period photographs and contemporaneous documents.
One portion reveals the fortunes of local families who accepted farms offered through the U. S. Rural Resettlement Administration of the 1940's. These farms and families are pictured, where available, with a narrative of their experience. There is a treasure trove of local school, store, church and cemetery documentation. Individual and family portraits and genealogical data not elsewhere recorded in the well-known sources are included.
Mulberry's unexpected association with Private Eddie Slovik, the sad story of a WWII soldier with a local connection, is revealed. Then poems by Mulberry's own son, Michael Busby, are unique and affecting word-pictures until the time of his too early death.
Eighty years of life has inspired this gathering of words and photographs. Against the backdrop of a North Texas boyhood, the compiler draws on his journeys in Europe, the Middle East and beyond, his army service in New York City, library work in London, and a Peace Corps assignment in Iran. Well read in the history and literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, Hall deftly reveals a perspective both ironic and compassionate. Multigenerational and transcultural, the story is replete with intertwined lives, their grit and courage, and most clearly, the influence of strong, independent women as they navigated turbulent waters toward transformation and triumph.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781546932710
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/24/2017
Pages: 600
Sales rank: 631,787
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

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