A BIT OF TIMBER CREEK
My father, Herbert S. Groom, moved his family to Timber Creek in 1909 or thereabouts. We lived on an eighty acre farm three miles south and 1/2 mile east of Atlanta. This later became known as the Lige Tredway farm. My earliest memory is standing at the window of our little shack and watching the flood water cover a small field south of the house. I don’t suppose we were ever in danger but it looked like a lot of water to me. That small pasture stream never had water except in a rainy season when the run-off from the pasture would cause it to overflow and meander across the field, washing the soil and tearing at the plants. Four or five years later, probably in 1913 or 1914, my Dad and a neighbor living west of us, R. L. Crowley, whose field was also affected by the run-off, decided to do something about it before the fields were completely ruined. This was before people thought of government aid or conservation payments. Using horses and slips or scoops they made a channel for the water so it would run straight to Timber Creek, a distance of 1/2 or 3/4 mile.
They first made the ditch about four feet deep, piling up the dirt to make the banks of the canal. They showed their engineering ability by plowing furrows in the bottom of the canal and leaving the dirt loose. When it rained the water came down and washed the dirt to the creek. They did this several times until the ditch was deep enough to carry the overflow. As of the present date, the hard work is still in evidence as it is now the overflow from the Jabara Lake to Timber Creek and the small fields it saved are productive areas. I don’t know if the government had to work on the stream when they were putting in the lake or not. I doubt if there are any besides my brothers, Elmo and Raymond Groom, Wilber Crowley and myself who know the foresight and back-breaking labor of two of our pioneers.
As you drive south of Atlanta and approach the three-mile corner, lift your eyes for a few seconds and view a small gnarled, twisted old tree on the Crowley hill. Do you know how many years that tree has weathered storms and raging wind? Did you know that for many years that tree was a landmark for our pioneers? Blanch Chenoweth tells that as a little girl she was told by the early generations of the Stout and Sphar families that the same old tree was the only tree on our part of Timber Creek when they came to homestead their land.
Hard to believe until one remembers the fires that played havoc with the prairies long ago.
DISTRICT 76 CLUB DISBANDS
The curtain was drawn on an era of 55 years on Feb. 8, 1968 when the District 76 Club disbanded at its last meeting. In an age when busy farm wives and mothers had little time for social events, eight women met to form a club on January 23, 1913. District 76 included an area along Timber Creek of some 4 to 5 miles, beginning three miles south of Atlanta. The charter members were Mrs. Lige (Myrtle) Tredway, Mrs. Herbert (Amy) Groom, Mrs. L. J. (Aunt Beck) Shpar, Mrs. William (Mary) Moore, Mrs. W. P. (Christine) Carver, Mrs. Sherman (Lizzie) Wingert, and Mrs. Walker (Lena) Asbury. Myrtle Tredway is the only charter member still living.
The name chosen was “Embroidery Club” and the work consisted of “fancy work,” crocheting, tatting and embroidering, plus darning socks or sewing buttons, tying comforts and hemming tea towels.
Besides the charter members, other friends soon joined the group as they moved into the neighborhood. Some of these were: Mrs. Everette (Nola) Reeves, Mrs. Bert (Nellie) Scott, Mrs. R. L. (Ada) Crowley, Mrs. W. S. (Una) Crowley, Mrs. Sid (Stella) Stout, Mrs. Ben (Blanche) Robertson, Mrs. George (Ruby) Stout, Mrs. Tom (Elsie) Ferguson, Mrs. John (Aunt Betty) Stout, Mrs. Bill (Frankie) Scott, Mrs. John (Glenice) Stout, Mrs. Dee (Edith) McMinn, Mrs. George (Zona) Stout, Mrs. Buford (Devota) Crowley, Mrs. Harold (Ethel) Sphar and Mrs. Ben (Mayme) Woods.
As the years went on, younger women took their places in the club. Their plan was “once a member, always a member” if the lady so desired, even after moving out of the area.
The club first met twice monthly, but after some years, changed to once a month. Inflation never caught up with this club as their dues remained a nickel a month through the years.
An opening devotional thought was always used but Roberts Rules of Order were never strictly adhered to.
This club was the thread that bound the neighborhood together in work and play. The end of haying and harvesting was always celebrated with an ice cream supper. One or two men made the trip to town for a load of ice and after an early supper the families came with their ice cream freezers filled and ready to freeze.
Every winter the men treated their families to an oyster soup supper. The soup was often made in a wash boiler. Tables were laid in two or three rooms. There was scarcely room for turning but everyone was full of fun and soup by going home time.
Halloween was often a happy time with a wiener roast on the creek. Sometimes in the summer, several of the men would go ahead to a creek to fish and the next day the families would join them for a fish fry.
The Christmas dinner during school vacation was a traditional affair. There were no better cooks anywhere than in District 76. The women would exchange gifts and much merriment resulted when one would receive a gift she had especially admired through the past months of embroidery work. Each member had their specialty and one could usually guess the giver of their gift.
A Fourth of July picnic was sometimes planned by those who did not go elsewhere.
Refreshments were not always elaborate. Once, when the hostess failed to provide refreshments, the guests went into the kitchen, boiled some eggs and ate them with freshly baked, still warm bread and jelly.
Those who were “kids” of those early years will remember playing up and down the dark and dusty road, in and out among the horse drawn vehicles. Fortunate indeed, were the few who had a car. These “kids” are now grandparents.
Thelma Groom Lanier