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Caldwell County
1876 Atlas History
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WPA Interviews

Chronological Events





Narrator: James Puckett, 79, of Hamilton, Missouri

Mr. Puckett was born 1855 in Carroll County Virginia. With his father Constant Puckett and the other members of the family, he came 1859 to Caldwell County to live. Constant's brother-in-law Elisha Edwards already lived here. They came to Lexington Missouri by boat and from there overland by ox team. When ever any relation came out to visit the Pucketts, they always drove over to Lexington after them.

Constant Puckett first bought a forty from the Government in New York Township, later an eighty from the railroad, six miles south of the railroad, the land still is in the Puckett name, being owned by James the narrator.

James' father and some of the sons were in the Union army. Neighbors of the Pucketts were: Elisha Edwards, John Cormona, John Cox, Isaac Edwards and Billy Hawks.

His first home was a one-room log cabin later a shed kitchen built on. The cabin had a window at one end and a chimney at the other and a door in front. Inside was a bed, a trundle bed to be shoved under the bed and often beds on the floor for the children.

The church was Hopewell, Baptist with Father or Grandpap Andrew Baker (they called him both) as pastor; in this church Mrs. Constant Puckett was a constituent member.

The school was Pleasant Ridge and early teachers were: Mr. Woosebeck, Annetta Kautz who married Ira Houghton, Miss Scott (later Clevenger). Amusements were literary societies, debates, spelling matches and all day work like husking corn at some farm when the women quilted and the food "was brought in".

Mr. Puckett recalled some of the old farming ways which he had known as a youth. There was the old linch pin wagon and the stiff tongued wagon which used the linch pin wheel, the jumping shovel plow for ground with stumps (it was like a single shovel but had a cutter in front of the shovel which made the plow jump the stump) there was the old wood turning plow. He recalled how first the ground was broken with one yoke of cattle, then run over with single shovel plow, then planted by hand from a seed bucket--three seeds to the hill (one to rot, one to grow, one for the birds). The plow then went through the parallel lines, then checked in the other way through and at each check seeds were planted. Then it was covered by dragging a stone the size of a pillow over the field. Later came the hand planter, still later the horse planter.

Changes came to in cutting wheat. First a bunch of wheat was taken in hand and cut with a hand sickle until enough was done for a bundle. Then came the cradle and the binder. Todays' machinery combine many of these steps. The old wheat threshing was done on a "threshing floor" which was really hard ground swept clean, then the wheat was spread out with heads all in the same direction and horses were driven over it in a circle. It was cleaned by a fan.

Few people had buggies those days. Billy Clampitt, and Charlie Hawks were the first in their part. The buggies (later spring wagons) cost $150 to $200 and that was a lot of money to spend when you already had a farm wagon.

Interviewed July 1934.


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All photos are copyright KingsCross Farm, 1997 & 1998
All written material other than reference material copyright KingsCross Farm 1998