I was born 6 June 1902. My parents were Emory M. Bradshaw and Mollie Eugenia Hurd.
I spent my early childhood in Caruthersville MO. We lived very near the big seawall or levee. I remember in the 1912 overflow, the river was real high. My mother bathed us, put clean clothes on us. When night came we slept in our clothes, even our shoes, because it was reported that the levee might break at any time and mother had everything ready for us to leave at a moments notice.
I went to school in Caruthersville until I was in the fourth grade. My daddy and his twin brother decided they wanted to move “back home”, meaning the Cunningham Community just East of Ridgely but, in Obion County.
The Community was named for the “Cunningham “ family. It has always been said that the Bradshaw family furnished the lumber to build a church and a school and the Cunningham’s furnished the land.
I had 4 sisters but, 2 died in 1984. There were 5 Bradshaw brothers living at Cunningham at one time. They were Rhett, Dee, Sam and Hillary ( my daddy’s twin) and my daddy, Emory Bradshaw. I had a brother, J. C. Bradshaw. When I was growing up, we would have a party nearly every week, especially a “Gypsy Tea”. These were parties at our homes that were usually held outside. The girls would bring little finger sandwiches. There was one boy in our crowd that drove an ice cream truck at Dyersburg and lots of times he would bring ice cream to the parties
We also had square dances. I never could square dance but, I loved it. I loved to watch the others dancing.
In those days we played a lot of “Rook”. A game played with crook cards. We also played some party games. Our parties were always at someone’s home.
When I was a young girl, we would go to Memphis. We had relatives living down there and we would go visit them. We would ride in the buggy to Miston and get on the train there to go to Dyersburg. In Dyersburg we would change trains to take the one going into Memphis.
I remember one time when we went to “Glass”, a community not to far away. We went to play there, my sister, her boyfriend and I. We were in a buggy and coming home. It was dark as it could possibly be and it started pouring down rain. Back in those days there were no outside security lights like you see now. Out there in the country, with the rain coming down , we couldn’t see anything.
My sister’s boyfriend stopped at a house and knocked on the door. The man come to the door in his underwear.
The Boy ask him if he had a lantern. He said “ it’s so dark I can hardly see, we really need a lantern”. The man drawled real slow, “well, I’ve got a lantern but, you can’t use it, it’s broke all to pieces “.
We made it safely home laughing all the way. If his lantern was broken all to pieces, he really didn’t have one.
After I got out of high school, I went to Martin to Hall Moody College. It’s the University of Tennessee at Martin now. To get to Martin, I would come to Ridgely in a buggy, catch the train to Hickman, KY. , then go to Union City through Gibbs and onto Martin.
While going to college I never wanted to be a teacher but, there was a need for teachers, so I took a teaching position at Community Pride School just outside of Union City.
A lot of people didn’t like the second grade teacher that wad at Cunningham. The leaders of the Cunningham Community got up a petition requesting that I teach the second grade there. So, I swapped places with the teacher there and she went to Community Pride School
Community Pride was a small School about 3 or 4 miles out of Union City. There were a lot of Lattimer families there. The church was a Presbyterian one called “Beech Grove”.
I guess teaching gets in you blood. After I got into it, I loved it.
While I was in college, I started going with William Shaw, who I later married. He had moved to Wynn, Ark so, my teaching career was interrupted for a while.
William and I married at my family home 8 June 1924. We immediately went to his home in Wynn. It was several months before we went on a honeymoon trip. We went to Hot Springs, Arkansas just over the 4th of July holiday and I almost froze to death. I wasn’t accustomed to the mountains.
William was offered a job in the bank of Ridgely so he took it. We both were anxious to get closer to home
I went to work in Cosners Store in Ridgely but, when William started to work in Tiptonville, I got a teaching job up there. I taught school 29 years.
The were lovely in those days as days so, obedient and well mannered. Nothing unpleasant happened. If the children came to school without breakfast, I took them to the lunch room to get it for them
I am still on the Education Committee in our club and I get up most of my own programs.
I belong to the Wynnburg Women’s Club. There was a one time a large group but, now we only have eleven members; Blanch Fraught, Lucille Dillard, Vivian Throckmorton, Marguerite Maddox, Marjoridean Ward and Nolan Johnson just to name a few. We had the meetings in our homes.
I will say we have had a very comfortable and enjoyable life. We have a son William Harold, who was born 9 March 1933. He has a lovely wife. She is Nancy Fisher and they live in Dyersburg. I don’t know what we would do with out them. They are always here when we need them.
They have a daughter, Donna Carol. She lives in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Their son, William David lives in Austin, Texas.
We have enjoyed our home here on Lake Road. We are near Reelfoot Lake. There is a saying here “if you ever taste Lake County water, you will always come back here”.