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Accession number 1997.103
Catalog Number 1997.103.004
Object Name Audiocassette
Date 10/16/1997
Title McKinney, C. J. Jr. Oral History Interview
Scope & Content Original tape. Informal interview with Mr. And Mrs. C J McKinney, Jr. at the McKinney family cabin on Fire Tower Road between Rocky Mount and Plain Dealing. Present were Mr. And Mrs. McKinney, Mike Montgomery, and Shanna Faulk.

Interview of Mrs. McKinney and Mr. C. J. McKinney, Jr.
and Mike Montgomery
By Shanna Faulk
Interview Date: October 16, 1997
Transcription Date: October 20, 1997

[Mr. C.J. McKinney] My aunt and a couple of uncles had died of T.B., so my Daddy and his younger brother got in charge of the house and they burned the house with all its furniture inside trying to get rid of the T.B. germs.

[Mrs. McKinney shows photographs of house]

[Mrs. McKinney]-points to the house and states that "This is the house here, where I exit here you see and the Crawford's they bought it first so you see the Ralph's,I do not know if the records from the court house will give you them.

[Mike]-Well the Library at Plain Dealing has got a copy machine, all of them do, what we will do is when you all have time, when we get through we will run and make copies of these. And that would be the best thing, and we are part of the system

[Mr. McKinney] Well I don't mind you getting copies

The group speaks about not mailing the copies, and how they might get lost in the mail.]

[Mike Montgomery] Well let me tell you, this is a window to the past

,[Mr. McKinney]-I wished I had a lot more of that of course, I was busy trying to make a living whenever my Dad was living and my Uncles and Aunt's sat down and talked to me...

[Mrs. McKinney] That is why I told him I wished we could have done something to kept this house up, but we were all working to make a living.

[Mike Montgomery] May I voice something? If we could get a grant to preserve this house, it is extremely possible that we could, we would probably have to move it because you know what happened to the Ulysses House,

[Mrs. McKinney] Well I wouldn't want to move it.

[Mr. McKinney] Well this house would be under key, nobody get's in here. You would have to look at this, you would have to walk around and see what shape it's in, on this back side back here the floors actually fell in.[Mike Montgomery]-Well we could get money for it, what I'm thinking from the federal government, but it probably would have to be moved and if you all do not want to move it. We could preserve the house, it would be the McKinney House.

[Mr. McKinney] We'll talk about that whenever you think you can get the money, of course all we use it for is storage and a lot of that stuff ought to been thrown away when we put it in here.

[Mike Montgomery] I know, but some things you just can't turn a loose from, just like this house and I tell you, my roots are here and just like you all roots are here.

[Mrs. McKinney state to the group that her husband

[Mr. McKinney] was born in this house.

[Mr. McKinney]- Yes, I was born in this house, and the fourteenth of next month , be 76 years ago. You see this is old,

[Mike Montgomery] Do you have any old photographs of it? No I don't think so. It had a long porch on the front.

[Mr. McKinney]-We could get the archeologist, Shanna was talking about the archeologist from Natchitoches, La. is we could get a pretty good idea of what it was, and what we could do if you were ready to make that decision, money would be available from what they are telling us these grants mostly go to South Louisiana because there are more people down there and it's easier to get them in the North.

[Mrs. McKinney] And of course the letter states about the well, see there is the well, and they made there own bricks and they had a brick yard over there.[ the group are outside] Here's one well here, in fact I liked to fell in that well there. This is the one the family uses, for animals, I sinks down.

[Mr. McKinney] Was it in 1992, I had mu Uncle's big tractor and I run through that thing, and that thing just went straight down, I mean about 30ft,. down and I had to struggle with it to stay out of it. And it had water in it. The parish came out and filled it in, but we had trash in it, but it rotted out and caved in.

[Shanna] Yes, that's dangerous"]

[Mr. McKinney] I'll Bet these bricks were made on this place here.[ The McKinney's]-We imagine they were. There is the buggy well. But one of these chimney, I do not know which one, but it was replaced somewhere along in 1918, my oldest brother was a small baby at that time, they called the 5th of July rain and most of the men were fishing on the Bodca creek, and Mother and her baby and the school teachers they taught at Concorde, I don't know whether you've heard of it, but it was a little one-room school house there. It was a Methodist church and they also used it for a school house. And that chimney fell the night that they were out on Bodcau, and that rain, I do not know what kind of chimney it was, it could have been mud, I don't know, but anyway it fell, my Mother, I heard her say all she could think of was my brother and that the baby bed in front of that fireplace. When she looked up all she could see was daylight.

[Mr. McKinney] But you know this was unusual construction they had the verticle and then they had siding on the side,

[Mr. McKinney] Well that's what they called "box house."

[Mr. McKinney] I bought a child's park on the old Roger's place over there on the oilfield road, and I've got 18 acres and there is an old house on it and it's probably was built in the 1890's, I'm guessing, but it had an addition built on it in the 1920 and a lot of it they split pine logs on it.

[Mr. McKinney] Well what they done here they had the bark and then they added weather boarding.

[Mrs. McKinney] It has a high ceiling in these two front rooms. [Shanna goes and takes photographs]

[Mr. McKinney] If we could have back in the 1930's could have spent some money on it then, but there was know money around and we were struggling to make a living at that time, it was hard times.

[Mr. McKinney] Do you remember the old Mattlock house?

[Mrs. McKinney] I was a Mattlock,

[Mr. McKinney] You remember the old house by those pecan trees, I got some photo, I vaguely remember the house. And who was your daddy?

[M.M asks Mrs. McKinney]

[The McKinneys] Richard, I'm Richard's youngest daughter.

[Mr. McKinney] The Matlock's, Sandy Matlock teaches at Bossier Community College and she is one of our cousins, and she has done extensive study of the Matlock family, oh gosh yeah, and we have most of it in the history center.

[Mrs. McKinney] I've got the family tree.

[Mr. McKinney] We have a computer program and we are hoping to get all the families

[Mrs. McKinney] This is all on computer,

[Mr. McKinney] Really?

[Mrs. MccKinney] Yes, there was a Coker out of Benton came and got the church book, but I would not let him have this one, but we have one at the church that is just like this one, and he came and got it and put the whole thing on computer.

[Mr. McKinney] That's wonderful, so much of it is not preserved, we hope that we can get all of the information from the families and be able to tie the families in to where people can put in a name

[Mrs. McKinney] See my Granddaddy fought in the Civil War, He's buried at the Walker's Chapel Cemetery, you know where that is Mike, that's where your grandparents are buried.

[Mr. McKinney] I know exactly were that is. That's where the Walkers and I have a couple of great grandparents buried in that cemetery. I do not know where they buried Stromier, I think it is Salem Cemetery, Yes ta is correct, Salem Cememtery. I also have a couple of great-grandparents buried at Bodcaus Cemetery.

[Mrs. cKinney]-That's where people are buried at; [M.M]- Was it John R.?[Mrs. c.] No it was Marion Matlock,[M.M.]-O.K.[Mrs. McKinney]- He at one time nearly owned all of Mott down there, cause a write up on the family tree he was considered a rich man at one time, and his great-grandaddy loaned money at one time.

[Mr.Mc.] Yeah, what I am saying whenever they'd come over , I guess he'd had a little bit more than the rest of us and he run over his neighbors money and he was noted to be very thrifty[laughs].

[M.M.]-We've got a lot of unidentified Matlock photos[Mrs.Mc.]-Oh Really!

[M.M.] Yes, Cindy Terzerle got them at a Matlock family reunion, and all Bossier Parish Matlock's they were in type, and if you are ever in Shreveport stop by there at the library and we've got copies of them and it's possible we can put some names on some of the people , you know, I wish Grandmother was still alive, you know, she could probably help.

[Mr. McKinney] Yeah, that's the trouble when we could have gotten that information, we didn't get it. [M.M]- "I mean you know, but that's the thing that is most exciting about, we will start construction before the year is over on a history center, and the whole focus is to preserve Bossier Parish history.

[Mrs. c.]- Mr. Mandry, he has archives in Shreveport at LSUS, that's right.

[Mr. Mc] John Mandry used to work with the Shreveport Times as a newspaper reporter.

[Ms. Mc.] Did, John that went our church do reporting?

[Mr. Mc.] Well he, uh, I don't know how big a role he had in it but he done reporting in this are I guess, he had a lot of history from his daddy and aint' know telling how much history he had in that house, but he and his wife are deceased and the house is still there. I do not know where all the stuff he had in there, history he had.

[M.M]- W e have a display that just started at Bossier Community College and it will go to the Plain Dealing Library and it is on the sharecropper system, and we've got a lot of old photos that we got from the Red Chute General Store, some of the ledgers and things, it's an interesting display and we are going to have displays to go to all the different branch libraries and we're having the display cases made so that all of the towns like Bossier City and Haughton they'll all be there like two or three months at each location.

[Mrs. Mc.] I think that it's wonderful that some ones got that interested in wanting to preserve the history.[M.M.] It's a lot of interest in it know days, and we are fortunate that we are able to finance it.

[Mrs. Mc.] Now are yall connected with the Hughes House there in Benton?

[M.M.] No Ma'am,that was a separate the Historical Society and they are doing a fine job.,

[Mrs. Mc.]but that house was not in bad of a shape as this one is.

[M.M.] Nope, [Mrs. McKinney] They had done a lot of work on it before they moved it to Benton, well Hunter Martin, the denist[Mr. Mc.]Hunter Martin whenever he died it quit and he was the one that was pushing it, and no one to carry on, and it was a lot of stuff taken from that house was taken tha could have been placed on display, the house was completely furnished with antique furniture,but they hauled it all off,well some of the family went back a got there's the furniture that was left . Some of these antique dealers they'll break in the Roger's home , if you knew Earnest T. Rodgers , his parents home it sets back off the road quite a ways and they went in there and stole and broke in and tore things up.

[M.M.] That's a shame you know, when I was a kid growing up over at Walkers Chapel you could leave your doors unlocked and nobody would ever bother anything.

[Mr. McKinnley] My Dad said that a lock was for a honest man and no good for a crook, because if he wants inside, he'll get in anyway.

[M.M.] That's what I try to tell my wife, because I leave the back windows open and we've got a dog in the back yard, and she says, oh lock it and I say Linda, all we are going to have to do is get a window, because when someone breaks in they'll break the window we will replace.

[Mrs. Mc.]I have a painting of the old Methodist Church at Walls Chapel

[Mr. McKinney] Oh, You Do!

[Mrs. McKinney] Yes I sure do

[Mr. McKinney] You might know of a Bobby Scarborough,

[Mr. Montgomery] Don't know of him.

[Mrs. McKinney] Of her it is a she. No I called Eloise Kason and asked her did she had a picture of Walker's Chapel so I borrowed it and Bobby painted me a big picture of it.

[Mr. Montgomery] Well I remember when I was a kid going to that school, I remembered my grand-daddy when he was sick and he died I'd come over and spend time with my Grandmother during the summer, and back then boys would run around with .22 rifles shooting frogs, and I'd run with Homer Matlock and Gerald Martin and they had prayer meeting and revival and Grandma said you had to be there, and we would come in with our rifles and sat them in the corner and go up there and sat down, and when it was over go back and get our rifles and go back in the woods again.

[Mrs. McKinney] Was Rev. Carrington the minister then?

[Mr. McKinney] I remember him, yes

[Mrs. McKinney] We'll see he was when I was going to Church up there, yeah he is quite younger than I am, for sure I left in 1944. (laughs)

[Mr. McKinney] I was probably going to, well le me see, it was right after World War II when we lived over there and...

[Mrs. McKinney] I was going there in 1941 through 1944.

[Mr. McKinney] And I have heard these names so much with the family and talking about the different preachers, and I t seems like I know them, brother-in-law and the different ones...

[Mrs. McKinney] And of course I do not know what the preacher's name is after I left in 1944. I started going to the Presbyterian Church then (laughs)

[Mr. McKinney] Seems like it was just a

[Mrs. McKinney] I remember your Grandparents very well of course through church and I remember the girls and your Mother.

[Mr. McKinney] See my Grand-daddy was old man Sid DeMoss, the old house that used to be on the fire tower road

[Mrs. McKinney] That place has a lot of history it is owned by Smith and Gilmer plantation, and Slave Cemetery is right there on the fire tower. Many families are buried there that were slaves. Didn't they call it the Whitehouse plantation?

[Mr. McKinney] No, the biggest plantation was called Grahams Plantation.

[Mr. Montgomery] You know we were talking and Shanna had suggested that if we could make a map of Bossier Parish like of the 1830's and identify the first families and identify the first families and 1840 and have the location where you could have plastic overlays to show the location of the families.

[Mr. McKinney] Well this letter, you have a lot of history here, and they left Troy, Alabama, they were going across to Natchez, but they missed their turn and they crossed to another place, and that time there were few roads and bridges and they had ferries. I read where one family camped around Vicksburg, Mississippi, and they were raided by Indians, and the Indians stole one of there children ands never did get it back.

[Mrs. McKinney] Cause one of the ministers' that did this was a engineer, and came up there and laid that cemetery out. He wrote quite a bit about the history of Rocky Mount. You might like copies from this.

[Mr. Montgomery] We will go to Plain Dealing Library and get copies of this material.

[Mrs. McKinney] Then in places he made comments, and maps showing how he worked up the family history. He talked to the older people who were then living and compiled his book. The author of this book is Mr. Wilson.

[Mr. Montgomery] Oh that is a treasure...a treasure. You all are to be commended for having

[Mrs. Mc. cuts him off to show him the history book]. She mentions about the Andrews Family that came from Alabama. He and I or on the Cemetery Committee, It is a lot of history in this book.

[Mrs. McKinney] There is a lot of history in this area , One time I planted about 10.0000 pine trees on,

[Mr. McKinney] We planted this about three time so thats about 30,000 trees that were planted. I have about 20 acres here.

[Shanna takes photos] M.M. I tell you this is a beautiful place for a house on this hill.

[Mrs. McKinney] Our son-in-law did a pen and ink of this place when the trees were still here and in the spring it is full of bugs.

[Mr. McKinney] Well did you all want to get those copies today?

[Mrs. McKinney] Well, yes sir we would love too.

[Mrs. McKinney] Well whenever she [Shanna] gets through taking photographs, and will go to the house and get the car so that all four of us can ride.

[Mr. Montgomery] Unfortunately fire ants are winning the battle, because I have put out more fire ants poison.

[Mrs. McKinney] We just got back from our reunion in Pennsylvania.

[Mr. Montgomery] Really! You know this part of the house is in amazingly good shape

[Mrs. McKinney] Yeah, these two rooms are except the windows on each side of the fire place.

[Mr. Montgomery] A well made house I mean it had three-layers of walls, now this is the type of ceiling they had in my grandmother's house before they tore it down , you know.

[Mrs. McKinney] See, it has the square nails.

[Mr. Montgomery] Yes, it has the square nails.

[Mr. McKinney] It probably was back in the 1930's.

[Mrs. McKinney] Well here's a door knob. Here's what they are right here,

[Mr. Montgomery] Glass door knobs, just like the one's in my grandmother's house except these look older. But this house here is in really good shape, it's just the rear part and the south side, you got that west sun, and it really took the beating.

[Mr. McKinney] I think it is some floor, daddy and I used it, we raised oats when we where in the cow business back in the 1960's

End of Side A Tape 1 End of the Interview[McKinney]
People McKinney, Caleb Joshua, Jr.
McKinney, Margaret Eloise Matlock
Search Terms Oral history
Lexicon category 6: T&E For Communication
Interview place Family cabin
Medium Plastic, Metal
Recording media Cassette Tape
Lexicon sub-category Sound Communication T&E
Inventoried date 2011-08-20