Margie Eveline McGlawn
was the youngest child of nine born Feb 26, 1903 near to Arbyrd, Dunklin Co., Missouri to parents James Toles and Arter Eveline
[Coats] McGlawn. Margie’s parents, previously from Pelham, Shelby Co.,
AL, moved to Missouri after the 1900 US census was taken, but before Margie's birth.
They located near to Arbyrd, Dunklin Co., Missouri. It is not known at
this time why James Toles McGlawn brought his family from Alabama to Missouri, but most likely it was in pursuit of a better
Margie was just 3 1/2 months old
when her father died from Pleurisy. James might have developed this due to working in the lime quarries while he lived
in Alabama. After the death of her husband, James (Jim), Arter never remarried.
She raised her nine children alone.
Margie has not been located in the 1910 US Census. I assume
that her mother, Arter and family were near to Margie's older married brothers. These
brothers appear in the 1910 US census in Salem Twp., Dunklin Co., Missouri. Sadly, only a part of the Salem Twp. census
records are available for research. I've heard that there are boxes of the 1910 census sitting at a courthouse in Kennett,
Missouri that have not been digitally scanned as of yet. The McGlawn family moved from place to place throughout Dunklin
Co., Missouri. Some of the places mentioned by family include Hollywood, Arbyrd,
Cardwell and Senath in Dunklin Co., Missouri. Margie once mentioned that she lived way back in the woods in a very isolated
place and that she attended school in Europa, Salem Twp., Dunklin Co., Missouri.
Margie is found twice in the 1920 US Census. Shown first on January 3, 1920, she was living with
her sister, Pearl Tucker (husband, Marion Tucker) in Heber Springs Twp., Cleburne Co., Arkansas.
On February 25, 1920, Margie is found again in the 1920 US Census, but now living in Neal Twp., Mississippi
Co., Arkansas with her mother and siblings in the household of her brother, Charles Edward McGlawn.
MCGLAWN C E head M W
Zone dau F W 17 S
Lillie dau F W 11 S
Melvie son M W 11 S
Connie dau F W 9
Nannie dau F W 6 S
Rubbie dau F W 8 S
A.E. mother F W 61 Wd
Pearl dau F W 5 S
Marvin *son M W 39 Wd
Beatress dau F W 3?/12
Bascom *son M W 35 Wd
Margie *dau F W 16 S
Penn *son M W 33 M
(*note: many of these relationships to the head,
Beckie wife of head F W 36 M
C.E. McGlawn, are incorrect on original image)
Married life began on March 21, 1920 when Arby and Margie were joined as man and wife in Leachville, Neal
Twp., Mississippi Co., Arkansas by C. M. Wallace, Minister of the Gospel. H.
B. (Henry Bascum) McGlawn (Margie’s brother), and L. R. Bailey were witness to the marriage. Margie was just barely
17 years old even though their marriage certificate states her age as 18. Arby’s
age is listed as 25. Arby and Margie are both listed as being from Boynton, Mississippi
Co., Arkansas. After they were married, Arby worked with Margie to improve her
reading and writing skills.
Some of the locations in earlier married life that Arby and Margie Houston’s family were located
are as follows: Boynton, residence before marriage; Pawheen School and the “Section 2” house; Leachville and Carmi.
Big Lake was a favorite fishing location.
Arby and Margie had their first two children in the early part of the 1920's. The first child tells that she was born in a house that was located about a half mile from the
Pawheen School in Neal Twp., Mississippi Co., Arkansas. After the first
child was born, the family moved to Tokio, Greene Co., AR where their 2nd child was born.
The oldest child says that they lived in Tokio across the road from Tokio School until their new
home could be built east of Neal. The post office of Tokio was Marmaduke, which
is listed as birth location of the 2nd child's birth certificate. The area that
was once known as Tokio now appears to be called Jay. It is 2 1/2 miles northeast
of Marmaduke on Hwy 49. The historic Tokio School is still there at that location.
In 1923, Arby won a Ford Touring car in a raffle held at the Paragould City Park by Paragould and Marmaduke
City merchants. It’s unknown what happened to the car.
Arby had the drive to be the best at whatever he set out to accomplish.
His intelligence, great will and determination would help the family through the many hard times that lay ahead.
“SECTION 2”, Neal Twp., Mississippi Co.,
Once the family home was completed, they moved from Tokio to the new homestead that the family refers
to as “Section 2”. “Following highway 77 a couple of miles,
just past the cotton gin, and then east back on a gravel road far off of the main road” is how the family remembers
where their home was located. After researching the area and using the memories
of the family, I’ve discovered that the homestead was located about 2 miles east of Neal at the end of Jimmy Kennett
The home in “Section 2” had no modern conveniences, such as running water or electricity. The house was constructed using crude 2 x 4 boards.
The walls had no insulation, and building paper was tacked onto the studs. The
outside of the house was covered with unfinished rough sawn boards cut from local sawmill logs. There was a hand pump for water and an outhouse out back of the home.
Each bed consisted of a homemade feather mattress and one of Margie’s quilts atop a base of straw within a wooden
frame. The home was lit with oil hurricane glass lanterns.
While living at the Section 2 home, the family endured the Mississippi River 1927 Great Flood. Margie's 2nd child recalls that the house was perched upon piers about two feet off of the ground. During that flood, the waters ran underneath their home. The 2 oldest children both recall when their mother, Margie saw the opportunity for the girls to have some
fun. She gathered two no. 2 galvanized washtubs, an old mop handle and a broom
handle. Margie placed the tubs into their flooded backyard and the girls joyfully
leaped in with the handles in hand to use as push sticks. They had fun in the
waters for about two days until the water receded.
Arby and Margie’s 3rd child, was born late in the 1920's at Margie's mother's home near to Pawheen,
While living at the “Section 2” home, the children attended Pawheen School. The two
oldest children remember that it was a 2 ½ mile walk from their home to the school.
Part of this walk included stopping at a neighbor’s house to join with other children. Together they walked through this family’s farm and then part of the way alongside a ditch that they
crossed over on logs, to finally get to the school. Arby Houston, his brother
in law, Lonnie Vaught and other surrounding neighbors built the Pawheen School. This
school district later consolidated with Leachville Schools.
Arby and Margie remained in “Section 2” to have their 4th child, a son. The 2nd oldest child says that she remembers it like it was yesterday when he was born. The girls were sent next door to the neighbors during the birth.
Arby worked the 40 acre farm and was a GF Foster traveling salesman. He carried a heavy suitcase,
filled with bottles of assorted food flavorings, while peddling his wares in his assigned area district. The heavy load led to Arby developing a hernia. Arby was also
deaf in one ear. Arby often went black bird hunting on the family farm to provide
meat for the table. After he brought in his kill, Margie would clean the birds
and put them into a sort of chicken and dumplings dish that the family loved.
About the year 1934, the family moved to a 40-acre plot of land in Carmi, Mississippi Co., Arkansas. Carmi is located about four miles southwest, from the town of Leachville. Their home was on the south
east corner of the main road (AR-18 Hwy) at the crossroad of N. Co. Rd. 17, just west of Carmi and north of Whisp. The school the children attended was kitty corner to their home. A store in Carmi was about a block
away and a railroad ran at the west side. This same railroad (Cotton Belt Route)
crossed north to south through the family farm.
The children toiled out in the fields alongside their parents often chopping cotton and working the fields
with a mule, "Babe" and a palomino, "Ribbon". Babe worked well with other animals
in the field and helped to train Ribbon to be his partner. Ribbon had a white
stripe down the front of her face. This is how she came to get the name Ribbon. The team of Babe and Ribbon were used to pull the plow to work the fields. They still did not have electricity or running water, but they did have the luxury of a dining room where
the family could gather for meals. A wood burning heat stove stood in their living
room. A Home Comfort cook stove was located in the kitchen with a side reservoir.
This reservoir is where the family heated water used for personal washing and cooking. The family had no indoor plumbing;
a “two hole out house” stood out back of the home. A hand pump, located
between the house and the barn, was used for water.
Margie's two oldest children recall hard times at the Carmi home during the 1937 Great Flood. Arby made a quick dash to town to pick up supplies and told the family to get up in
the loft if the water rose into the house. At the time, there were butter beans
growing on the fence. Even though the flood surrounded the home, it was spared from the water.
The crops in the field were damaged. The family managed to stay together
and always had food to eat and clothes on their backs. Much of this was due to
Margie’s planning ahead and Arby’s side job selling food flavorings.
Margie's 1st child remembers that the cow’s name was Jersey and that they had a pet duck
that would quack at the back door for the kids to come out to play with it. She
also recalled that the pig’s name was Curly.
said that Granddad never let them have any of the farm animals for pets because they were for food, but one time he did let
them keep a little pig that was ill. They raised it away from the other pigs
until it recovered. When it came time to head for the butcher, the pig was loaded
with the others into the truck. It managed to escape. It wasn't used to the other animals and was scared to death. The
kids were upset that the pig was going to slaughter. Granddad then decided, no
more farm animal pets. Grandma told me on one hot day that the pigs were lying
around, trying to keep cool. She had some cold water to throw out. Not thinking, she threw it on one of the pigs. The shock of
the cold water on the hot animal caused it to have a stroke and die.
Margie's 2nd child tells that Arby and Margie worked their cotton farm together, endured the great
depression and suffered through many floods, pest infestations and draughts. The
family was self-sufficient raising their own farm animals, such as a cow, pigs, chickens and roosters, to supply the family
with milk, meat and eggs. Along with planting and working the fields of cotton, they tended a vegetable garden that
included: field corn, a variety of beans, peanuts, popcorn, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons, etc. The girls remember that during hard times they ate a lot of beans and fried potatoes.
Margie worked long hard hours to put up food for her family to last through the winter and times of lost
crops. Her cooking and canning were done on a Home Comfort cook stove located in the kitchen. She washed and sewed
the family clothes herself. Laundry water was drawn from the hand pump and heated over a wood fire in a cast iron wash
kettle. This water was then poured into two No. 2 washtubs, one for washing and one for rinsing. The laundry was
scrubbed on a washboard using lye soap that Margie rendered herself. It was then
rinsed and hung out on a clothesline to dry. After several years, Margie upgraded to a primitive washing machine consisting
of a washtub and wringer.
Margie fashioned the family
clothes using a Franklin sewing machine that had been purchased from Sears and Roebuck Company. The material that Margie
used for making some of the clothes at this time was salvaged from feed sacks that previously held dry goods and animal feed. These sacks had a variety of designs on them that made bright and cheerful clothing.
The two oldest children recall when they were young their mother, Margie had a quilting frame hanging from the
ceiling in the Carmi home dining room. It was raised by a pulley system to the ceiling to store the quilt in process and
then lowered so that the rack could be used for quilting. Margie was often seen cutting quilt pieces to sew piece quilts together. Once she had the pieces all cut out, she sewed them into a quilt top and a boarder was then added. This quilt top was then placed, along with a backing and filling, onto the quilting
frame. Margie then spent hours quilting the layers together, all by hand, on
this quilting frame. Each stitch was only about 1/16 of an inch long. She would carefully pick up 10 to 12 stitches on the needle and then draw the thread through the layers,
using her other hand on the bottom to gently guide the stitches. The quilt was
rolled on the ends so that she could continue to quilt across.
I remember as a young child wondering what the contraption was hanging from the ceiling. Grandma made numerous quilts, on her quilt frame, of which I have two that were made for me. One is a double bed pink and white diamond of 2 x 2 squares. The
other is a double bed multi color pink and tan color of various shapes with a tan boarder.
The frame could be used to make a quilt of most any size to fit a bed or a small quilt used for a child. Grandma’s quilt frame was carried with her as the family moved from place to place.
Margie and the kids would usually ride bikes when traveling on their own.
Margie had placed her bike up against the back of the neighbor’s car and the owner nearly backed over it.
Arby loved traveling in his truck. He would often
stop to visit with fellow farmers to reminisce about days of long ago. While
in Carmi, Arby would often sit out on the front porch of the nearby store, sipping a cold “so-dee”, talking with
the neighbor folks. Later in life, Arby grew to enjoy his morning cup of coffee. Arby was highly competitive. He loved
a good game of dominoes. He desired to have the largest watermelon in the area
and to be the best at all that he did. When things were done, they had to be
done right or not at all. He was a perfectionist.
The children attended Carmi Schools. Their grammar school
was located kitty corner from their house. In later years, after the high school
burnt to the ground, the children then attended school in church buildings until a new school could be built. The Carmi schools eventually consolidated with the Leachville Schools.
By this time, the children rode buses to school.
Margie and Arby were both rather superstitious. My cousin recalls
that Arby was much more so than Margie. Many of these superstitions were passed
onto their children:
Walking under a ladder would bring bad luck.
It’s bad luck to let a black cat cross your path.
Thirteen of anything is bad luck.
If you drop your fork while eating at the table, you will have a woman visitor. If you drop a knife, a man will come to call.
Break a mirror and you will have seven years bad luck.
Don’t open an umbrella in the house, it will bring bad luck.
Never sew on Sunday; you’ll rip it out with your nose on Monday.
The oldest daughter married early in the 1940's in Dunklin Co., Missouri and soon afterward, they
moved to Michigan.
The family of Arby and Margie would soon make another move. They
left for Michigan shortly before their 2nd child turned 18. In
years past, the southern states school year was set up differently than in the northern states. The southern schools took off time in the spring to work the cotton in the fields and then attended 6 weeks
of school in the summer. Since the family left Arkansas for Michigan in July,
the Leachville School had not had their summer session yet. So this meant that the
2nd child was not able to complete her senior school year at Leachville. When
they arrived in the north, the schools had already completed their school year, so she had missed her opportunity to graduate
from any high school that year. Times were hard, so as soon as she turned 18,
she applied for a social security card and got a job to help support the family. The
family needed every dollar that could be earned in those lean times.
The family came to Michigan in the early 1940's in hopes of an easier life. There were said to be
jobs available due to the booming automotive industry in Detroit. To make the
trip north, the three remaining children, with their mother, Margie, her sister Pearl Tucker and Pearl’s daughter all
rode in the back of a covered pickup truck with a couple of cotton mattresses and pretty much just the clothes on their backs. This type of truck was hired by many families to transport them from Arkansas to Michigan
during those years. The Houston family rode all night over rough roads for the
long, hard trip to Pontiac, Michigan. Margie and her children first moved in with Arby’s sister, Snody Vaught
for a couple of weeks. They then found a house to rent on Edith Street, Pontiac,
Oakland Co., Michigan. Arby stayed behind, at the farm in Carmi, Mississippi Co., Arkansas, to finish up the crop for
the season. Later that fall, Arby came to Michigan with the rest of the family belongings, again in the back of
a hired pickup truck. The family stayed in the rented house on Edith Street until
they moved in with their cousin, Edra Hayes in Pontiac, Oakland Co., Michigan. The family would move again in about
two weeks to a home on Osmun St., Pontiac, Michigan.
Within a year, the family had purchased and moved into their home located on Osmun St. in Pontiac,
Oakland Co., Michigan. The two youngest children both attended the Pontiac area Schools. Arby and Margie had several different jobs while they were in Michigan. They applied for and obtained Social Security cards during their stay in Michigan. One of Arby’s jobs was at the Simms Warehouse that was across the street from their Osmun Street
home. This warehouse supplied the Simms store, downtown Pontiac, with merchandise. The Simms store had all sorts of wares that related to household living. Arby also worked for a door company where he assembled doors in the factory. It was a crude form of building doors and many dangers were present during the process. Margie worked for a while in a laundry mat on Telegraph Road in Pontiac.
She later worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti during WWII. Her
job was to run a stamping machine, earning $1 an hour. She worked there until
the end of the war when the plant laid her off. The plant soon after closed down. The three oldest children remained in Michigan for many years to follow.
Now just Arby, Margie and their youngest child were living in the household. The family missed the life in Arkansas of farming the land and the warmer weather. Arby was a farmer
through and through. He was raised a farmer and could not get it out of his blood. He was restless when he wasn’t able to farm and soon returned to what he knew
and loved best. Arby and Margie, along with their child, moved back to Arkansas in the late 1940's. They first lived
in a little house, they rented from a cousin, located east of Leachville, Arkansas where the Swihart Peach Orchard is now
located. In a short time, they then moved on to Trumann, Arkansas.
Arby and Margie once again took up farming, but now in Trumann, Poinsett Co., Arkansas. All total, there were 100 acres of farmland. Their last child graduated and would settle in Jonesboro,
The Trumann farm was split by a railroad track running through it.
Their main crop was again cotton. They had hired hands to help them in
the fields. The farm was worked using tractors and modern equipment. Much easier than what they had used on the Carmi and Section 2 farms.
Arby and Margie worked hard to provide for their family during these many rough times of draught and boll weevils.
In the late 1950's, Arby and Margie moved from the Trumann farm to a home in Leachville, Neal Twp.,
Mississippi Co., AR. While Arby and Margie were living in Leachville, they still
kept most of the land in Trumann. They leased the land for many years for extra
income. The original house in Trumann and the barn burnt to the ground while
they were rented out.
The farm at Trumann had pecan trees on it, but in years later just one survived. For many years Margie would go to pick the pecans off of the ground.
Even the great grandchildren enjoyed an outing to the old farm’s pecan tree.
Arby and Margie’s Leachville house was located on the northeast corner of Hwy 77, where the
highway turns from south to east. If you continue south from Hwy 77, the road
becomes Hwy 119. The Leachville house was next door to the 1st United
Methodist Church. Hwy 77 in this area is now known as 3rd street. For years, the mailing address was Route 1, Leachville, Arkansas. Gregg Funeral Home and a Ford car dealer were located across the street.
bought Margie a new Ford Falcon car. She drove that car everywhere until she
wore it out. They then bought another Ford Falcon. As far as we recall, those were the only two cars that she ever owned.
Our family made regular visits from Michigan to my grandparent’s home in Leachville. As I recall, the breakfast room, located to the side of the kitchen, was the main gathering place. A chandelier hung over the table. This
area of the home was heated with a small ceramic gas wall heater that was used in early morning and the cool times of the
day. The knob for the gas was turned on and grandma would hold a match up to
the pipe and the gas would ignite, filling the heater with fire. In this breakfast
room, there were screened jalousie windows and a door leading out to the side covered porch.
There was a modern gas stove with
an oven and a white refrigerator. A dial type phone hung on the wall next to
the door leading to the dining room just off of the kitchen.
A door located off of the kitchen led out into an old garage area that was later remodeled and used for
storage and Margie’s quilting frame. When I was very young, I recall diamond
shaped windows in the sun porch. This porch stretched the length of the front
of the house, with glass door corner cupboards at each end. I loved those corner
cupboards! There was a hide a bed couch on the sun porch for overnight guests. I recall trying to sleep and thinking how noisy the traffic was.
The bedroom near to the front of the house was where Arby and Margie slept. The house underwent a major remodel in the mid 1960’s and afterwards Margie slept in a bedroom that
was near to the breakfast room. When we would come to visit from Michigan, we
would drive in the alley at the back of the house and park there. There was a
storm shelter and storage shed in the backyard. I loved the warm weather and
couldn’t wait until we arrived. I was never ready to leave for home.
Grandma was a great cook. Some of the family favorites included:
banana pudding, chocolate popcorn, homemade ice cream and chicken and dumplings.
She also made fabulous catfish and hushpuppies in her cast iron skillets. One
of Arby’s favorite foods was beans, any kind of beans. Margie would prepare
several different types of beans to serve with the evening meals. He also enjoyed
fried potatoes and fish. I recall when I was quite young, we would go to visit
granddad and grandma and many of the family would come to visit the house. When
there was a large crowd for dinner, the food was served buffet style. I recall
that the men went to the buffet table first and once they filled their plates, the women and children filled theirs. After the meal, the men would go into another room and talk amongst themselves. The women would remain in the kitchen to clean up and then they would sit at the kitchen
table and chat about things that were of interest to them. The children remained
with the women or went off to themselves.
I recall grandma making her wonderful banana pudding. Margie
would separate the eggs, placing the yolks into the pudding and reserve the whites for the meringue. The pudding was made from scratch using flour, sugar, egg yolk, vanilla flavoring and milk. This was all cooked on top of the stove in a double boiler. The
bananas were sliced and homemade sugar cookies were placed into the dish and covered with the vanilla pudding. The whites were combined with sugar and beaten stiff. This
meringue was then slathered over the top of the pudding and placed into a very hot oven until the top was a beautiful golden
brown. The aroma filled the air. That
pudding was thought about throughout the entire meal. Once the meal was over,
the pudding was served. The dish was always scraped clean. This is still a family favorite.
We had many great times in the backyard with family and friends.
Some favorite times were when the crank ice cream maker was brought out. Grandma
would put the milk, sugar, eggs and flavorings into a metal cylinder and place that into the large wooden bucket that was
filled with ice and rock salt. Grandma froze the water, to make ice, in ½ gallon
milk jugs and broke the blocks up with a pick. The bucket was topped with the
crank mechanism and old rugs to keep in the cold. Everyone took turns cranking
to make the ice cream. It was the best ice cream ever!
Arby was known as “Daddy” to his children and “Granddad” to his grandchildren. He would not answer if he was called anything other than one of these names. This was especially difficult for me, coming from the north. I was accustomed to “Dad” and “Grandpa”.
Arby and Margie both enjoyed fishing and would travel miles to a favorite lake or ditch. I remember once, when I was very young, that we all went to a lake a long way from granddad and grandma’s
home to fish. Once we got there, I would not get out of the car because I was
scared stiff. There were snakes hanging from the trees. My cousin says that this was most likely Big Lake and that they were probably cottonmouth snakes. The others all went over to the lake and cast their lines into the water to try to
catch a stringer full of fish. It wasn’t long until they all returned to
the car where I sat. I think that my parents weren’t too happy about all
of the snakes either. I can’t remember if they even caught any fish that
day. All I remember were those snakes hanging from the trees!
My cousin and her mother moved into the Leachville house with Arby and Margie about 1962. My cousin remembers
house remodeling and tree removal….
“They took away the sun porch, removed some walls and the very front of the old sun porch became a front bedroom. The walls from Grandma's bedroom were taken out and that became the big living room.
So then all three bedrooms were side by side. The dining room and kitchen stayed the same. I can remember running home from school to see what had been done on the house when it was being made over.
I also recall what a job it was when the big oak tree between the two houses was cut down. The county prison used wood
to heat so they came and did the work with the prisoners. They were brought in by bus with the guards and dogs.
At the end of the day they were lined up on the side of the road and a head count was done and then they got back on the bus
and headed back to the prison. The guards with the dogs were stationed in the front, side and back of the house each
day. The phone rang off the wall during that time asking Grandma are you ok with those prisoners there, aren't you scared!!!
Grandma told them I don't have time to be scared I am too busy going from room to room to see what is going on.” Another memory shared by my cousin was, “Granddad loved to play pranks
and he thought it was funny to throw firecrackers at your feet and watch you dance.”
Arby passed away on Feb 12, 1969 at the family home after suffering a fatal heart attack. Arby had contracted diabetes several years earlier and it had taken a toll on his health. Some years after, my cousin and her mother moved away, leaving Margie in the household alone. During those years, Margie enjoyed feeding the stray cats, attending the church next door and visiting
with the neighbors. Margie still loved to sew piece quilts, go to auctions, and
most importantly, visit with family and friends. She would also take off to go
fishing for the day at a nearby ditch. Her son, made frequent visits to check up on his mother and made sure that all
When Margie was in her 90’s, it became difficult for her to take care of her home alone. She had to break up her household and sell everything. Her
two daughters took turns caring for Margie in their homes in Arkansas and Florida.
She then moved into an elder care facility in Paragould, Arkansas.
I did get the chance to visit with her a couple of times there at the elder care facility. I recall one visit when I asked her if she remembered her mother’s brothers and sisters names. She said to me as clear as day, “Sure I do!” She then rattled off the names. Without this help, I might
have never discovered the rest of her family in Alabama. She shared several stories
about her life as a child and early married life. I jotted it down while she
talked. I am so glad that she was having a good day and could share so much. Now I am sharing some of these same stories told to me by my grandma Margie here in
this history of the family.
The family gathered for Margie’s 95th birthday.
Good times were shared and enjoyed by all. The day went by all too quickly
and for some of us, this was the last time that we saw our grandma alive.
Margie’s home in Leachville was sold to the First United Methodist Church next door. The church sold the house to make room for a parking lot. The
house was moved to Carmi on the north side of Hwy AR-18. It now stands, completely
remodeled, due west of the Carmi home and farm where Arby and Margie once lived in the mid to late 1930’s.
Margie died on June 8, 1999, at the age of 96, in a hospital in Paragould, Greene Co., Arkansas. She was unable to recover from a bout of pneumonia.
Arby and Margie are buried side by side at Cudd Cemetery, Marmaduke, Greene Co., Arkansas.