FLORENCE E. HUGHES 1933 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT RELIC OF DEPRESSION ERA TENNESSEE AND A SADLY TYPICAL LOOK AT THE LIFE AND TIMES AND RACE RELATIONS OF THE DAY
SPRINGFIELD BARREN PLAINS TENNESSEE 1933 Good
On offer is a very interesting manuscript diary handwritten by Florence E. Hughes who lived in or near Springfield Tennessee in 1933.[ We believe Florence was an African American woman though this is not stated categorically in the book there seems little doubt given the clues, some activities etc.] Florence was born on July 4th, 1867. She married Walter S. Hughes in 1890 and had three children with rather interesting names; Golden R., Pearl M., and Jewel A. She talks of "traveling" to Springfield and living closer to Barren Plains which she writes about it as if it were home. Prolific but rather illiterate Florence details life and quite a few deaths from the area, talks of barn dances, tobacco growing, shows coming into town, a "Negro" trial that was held on their front lawn, and much more for a full diary. Her husband was a blacksmith by trade and Florence designed several gravestones for her family and some local folks providing a very broad knowledge base of doings in the town. Here are some snippets: 1933 "January 1st, Mary Olive (Highsmith) Jones will have her funeral at the Baptist Church here today. She died at her home in Murfreesboro Tenn., on Friday and brought here to her mother and father's, Mr. and Mrs. P.M. Highsmith, on Saturday and kept her there until today. Buried her in Springfield. A large crowd attended church. I was sick in bed and could not go so I was so sorry. Great deal of sickness here this winter." "January 3rd, I am up today but not well. Mr. Morris is clearing the old brick house. Is moving everything he has today at the new house near Mt. Penson Church. We have lost a real neighbor and friend. Floral Park wishes them the best of wishes. Hope to have them come back. I mailed Ruby a pk this morning. I received a new year book from her. Mr. Clinard is moving to the Sommer's house today. I have been up all day. Charley Johnson was arrested this morning and carried to jail selling whiskey." "January 11th, V. Strange and wife are moving near Guthrie Ky today. Sure wish them well and like to have them back some day. 3 o'clock, still raining. I made a design for Bro Zoa and sister Ida's grave. Will carry them to the cemetery soon. This is the third one I have made for their grave in Springfield Tenn……Annie sick a bed." "January 20th & 21st, I spent the day at the club house. Had a real nice dinner and large crowd. Mrs. Lillie Holman gave me a clipping from the Nashville Banner in behalf of Ed. He sure has all honors a man could have. Nothing too good can be said of him. Oh why did he have to go. Some day we will understand. Oh what a man he was…..I received several papers from Ia in Houston Tex giving the articles of bro Ed funeral and burial. It was wonderful to read. To see and know how his country honored him……" "February 10th, Captain Charles A. Lindberg is getting some more trouble about his baby. Kidnapers are demanding $500,000 or they will take his baby……." "March 8th, Somewhat warmer today. They are going to carry Mr. Joe Gown's (?) remains out to Mr. Pink Gown's this morning from Henry and Bill. They went over to Nashville last night after he died and brought him to town. I sent flowers over town to Annie Taylor for her mother's grave, her birthday tomorrow. The club are going to send eats to Mr. Gown this eve. Rev. F. E. Alford of Cedar Hill got run over by a car this morning and got his hip broken and they carried him to Nashville Hospital but died the same day. Did not live but little. A fine man gone." "April 21st, …….Elizabeth Holman taken supper here tonight. Stayed over for the Negro play that is on tonight at the High School building. Club meeting this eve. Mrs. Smith was still in the hospital not able to come. The jury sent King to the pen for 21 years." "May 6th, A large crowd was in town to see the large whale. Idella and myself went to Springfield this eve, was guest of Aunt Lucy Gorham. I also called on Mr. Lowery fishery. Purchased me two mated fan tailed fish, also snails and tad poles……." "June 1st, E. T. and Nancy have a girl baby. Washed for Annie today. Real warm. Daniel Garrett of Houston Tex left for his home this morning. He spent several days with his mother Mrs. Viola Garrett. Mrs. Dan Holland, Mrs. Mollie Barbee, Mrs. Barbee Holman, Mrs. Estelle Corbin, were guests at Floral Park this eve. Mrs. Laura Scott Cantrell died in Nashville today. Henry and Bill, undertaker, went for her remains and carried them to George Robert Scott where she will remain until tomorrow's burial 2 P.M." "August 14th, Show came to Barren Plains for a week. It is real good. Viola and Hettie spent the night here. Idella and I went to the show. Mrs. Emma Benson stayed here with Viola while we were gone. The show is over in the lot in front of the house. Only 3 in the show. Mr. and Mrs. O'Brian and daughter……""August 21st & 22nd, Had a real good show tonight. This is their last one. I did not go. Set on front porch and could hear real good…..Had large crowd at show. The darky's had some trouble and 2 spent the night in jail. Robert Garrett and wife from Mich. are here for a few days……Had the darky's trial here in front yard. Fined them $7.50 each. The show left in this morning. Hope things will be quiet once more…..Quite a crowd here at the trial. Sheriff A. L. Jett was here and Mr. Moor. Mrs. Harvey Powell was here and Mr. and Mrs. O'Brian, the show people." "September 24th, Preaching this morning and night. Truck load drove in Springfield to Tabernacle to hear a 13 year old girl preach. She is a missionary from China. She sure was fine. The meeting at the M.E. Church closed last night. They had a large crowd. Hope things will get quiet for awhile…." "November 6th, Mr. and Mrs. Clenelan Mason has a baby girl. Mr. and Mrs. Gary Jackson has a baby girl. Hettie Lee is with Dora Lee. Cleve Baker buried their little girl at the Edward Cemetery today. March has gone to town as this is first Monday, several spent the day in Springfield. Making flowers for our little cemetery." "December 13th, One year ago today Bro Ed. Passed away at his home in Washington D.C. Buster went to see Dr. Dye this morning about his feet they are giving him some trouble…..They begun the work at the High School today digging out the basement and filling in the front. Will do some painting too. Buster working at the oil well tonight. Short of one hand….." Historians, genealogists and researchers of the area will be delighted by the number of names are mentioned: Farrar, Ollie Hughes, Morris, Charley Holland, Viola McNeil, Mollie Barber, Randall Powell, Jack Dean, Dr. Charley Tanner, Jim Chinnard, Laura Pook, Bob Trogdon, Sam Moon, Martha Alexander, Pantha Hollingsworth, Dr. Dye, Bud Powell, Charles Highsmith, Bob Bell, Olive Garrett, C. Baggett, Orndorff, Earl West, and more. The diary measures about 5" x 7 ½" and the cover is rather worn but overall G.