INTERVIEW WITH NADAUNA & CARL JR
JULY 6, 2003
This is a very special time and honored to have Nadauna and Carl Jr here and he should be a senior by now. Very special since they are the two oldest grandchildren in this area. We want you to talk and give us some family history that is missed in the books. We want to ask some questions and just let them talk.
Anybody can ask any questions at any time but what we want to do is explore the early Whelchel history. from what you know of J D and Amanda family in Gainesville or North GA and their move to Coney. That segment of history we would like to gather since we don't have as much as we would like.
Q- Nadauna, what was your thinking of why they moved to Coney?
A- He wanted to make a better living for his family.
Q- What was he doing in North GA?
A- He was farming.
Q-It has been rumored that he was a moonshiner?
N-You didn't see that written down, did you? No, I only heard it from you.
Q-You don't think he was in the moonshine business?
N-No, not that I know of.
Q-Were they staunchly religious? And would it be a religious reason that he was not in the moonshine business?
A-It could have been, he had a cottage build at the Lumpkin campground. They always went there on a regular basis.
Q-Tell us what the Lumpkin campground was?
N-It was a Methodist camp meeting place. They would take cooks, family and all their wares there and stay there for a week. It was their way of worshiping. They would sing the old hymns and listen to the preaching.
Did you ever go?
N-That was before I was born.
What about the one that was near here somewhere? The one where Ben's Lucille met him.
A. Dooley Camp Ground
Q-Was that similar to the Lumpkin Camp Ground?
N- Yes, except they didn't have cottages there. So Grandfather built a cottage with 3 bedrooms and a sitting room. That way they could bring children and friends with them to spend the night. In those days, there was no running water or bathrooms. Bedrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, kitchen and dining rooms could be together.
Q- Carl, what do you know about the Lumpkin campground?
C- Well, I have been there. As far as I know, it is still open.
Q-How many children with J D and Amanda when they left North GA? Carl Sr had left before. Nina was not also.
N-Nina and Carl Sr were the only two. Alvin was in school in Atlanta. (Diary available)
Henry was with them. Alvin came later.
Q-Were all the children born in 1905
A- Lee was born in 1902. This is answered in the history of Crisp Co. Mary Jeff has a copy.
AC- Uncle Doc was the best malaria doctor in these parts. He had a horse and buggy and made house calls. (discussed in diary). Also in the Crisp Co. history, J D & Amanda, 1904, came here with 9 children.
Q- Ula was about 17 at this time. Do you know why she stopped school?
N- Don't know, but do know that she was about 17-18 at the time she kept house in Ashburn for the brothers.
Q- Was it typical of way female were treated during this time? What was the education of Nina and Sallie?
A- We (Bell descendants) don't know. Nina had married at a very early age and probably she did not get any advanced education. Amanda did not approve of a man Sallie was dating and she was sent to MS where she married a brother in law., Charlie's youngest brother. Amanda heard of the relationship and sent for her to come home but they had run off and married in Memphis. So she didn't want to come home. So they had 8 children; she died in childbirth with the 9th.
Q- Uncle Doc said he borrowed money from a moonshiner to go to medical school; is that the story that you heard?
A- Yes, that is right.
Q- Was a lot of money loaned around in the family, are you familiar with that? Did Uncle Doc loan money to other family members?
A- I don't know about that. He did treat a lot of family members over his practice career.
Q- Did he ever loan you (Carl) any money?
A- Well, not money, but I did live with them for 3 years and went to school.
Q- What years would that be?
Q- So you lived with Alvin and Eunice?
A- Yes, but I went home on weekends.
Q- So there was no school in Hatley?
A- Well, may have been one but not accredited.
Q- So that is the reason Ula left Hatley and took some brothers to Ashburn. Do you know which boys went?
A- Homer, Lee, Dan. Annie didn't go. (Nadauna) My daddy didn't go because of the tale that he went to finish at Davisville School or at least through the 6th 0r 8th grade. But he must have done something since he later was at the Univ. of GA and had told them that he had graduated from the accredited Davisville School. Everyone laughed at the story that he had talked his way into the college. (Polly) That is the reason that he became a politician. I don't know but could be true.
Q- Carl, how old was your Father when he left home?
A- 17 years old in the late 1800, he left with Grandmother's brother, Raymond Palmour. Raymond was living in North GA at that time. His Father stayed about 5 years and no one knew who he was on returning but his Mother. Nadauna paraphrasing the Crisp history: Whelchels lived next door to John Palmour in Dawson Co. Raymond lived there when he was present but was considered a black sheep of the family because of his wandering. Nadauna related the book about the trip from North GA to Coney. Train from Gainesville to Atlanta. Meet Uncle Doc and with Kelous went to see Christmas decorations. Dan did not go being too young.
Q- Why Coney?
A- Looking for farmland.
Q- What year to Hatley?
Q- What did Carl do after leaving home?
A- He went west, Texas, with Uncle Raymond, who had connections out there. He worked in the oil business. He stayed until he was 22 years old. He went to the house and the boys there did not know him and told their Mother that a strange man was at the door. She came and said, "It is Carl". He is unsure about returning to the west. He had been gone several years. (Alvin- added during typing. Carl visited us when I was about 10. I asked him to explain how oil drilling worked and he drew me pictures of the bit, rig with explanations. From that he must have been directly involved with drilling.)
Q- When did the house burn in Hatley?
A- March 10, 1961.
Q- When was that house constructed?
A- In 1917. (that means when they moved from Coney in 1908, they must have has another home). Photos of Grandmother on porch with flag with 2 stars for Dan & Kelous.
Q- Why did they move to Hatley?
A- Carl The soil was better and uncleared.
Discussion of death date of Carl Sr. March 6th or 8th.
Q- Did the boys cut timber and saw it into lumber?
A-That was Henry. He was the sawmill man.
Q- Did he sell lumber also?
A- Carl I don't know about that. In those days a lot of trading was done. Nadauna The book says the house was constructed with virgin pine cut off the property. Was it painted originally. Yes it was. The house was the first in the area to have a Delco system for lighting and running water.
Q- Nadauna, you came to live with Grandmother Whelchel after your Mother died. What do you remember about living with Grandmother?
A- It was about 1917 when I moved in, Grandpa had just died, and they said I took his place. Uncle Lee and Homer were young. They were there and round and about. Aunt Annie, Ula and Grandma went out to MS to visit Aunt Nina and Sallie. We stopped in Atlanta and Lee and Homer were at GA Tech and they met us at the train. I had on a dress that Aunt Ula had made. It was yellow with black and white checks. And I had on panties that hung down below the dress. Homer said, "Ula, what in the world did you let her come up here with her britches hanging down."
Q- So Aunt Ula made some of your clothes and other things for you.
Q- Did Grandmother Whelchel sew?
A- No, never saw her sew. The biggest thing I saw about her was her sitting in that rocking chair, reading and rocking. On the front porch and in her bedroom.
Q- How about cooking?
A- She never did any cooking. A black woman did all the cooking.
Q- How did Ula become such a good cook?
A-Well, Annie and Ula did a lot of cooking. Grandma did make biscuits in the back pantry.
Q- Did she have a stoke at some point?
A- She died at 92, so guess the stoke was about 90. She had high blood pressure.
Q- Carl, you grew up near the farm. Tell us your early memories of that family.
A- We lived about 4 miles from them. I remember going there a lot, especially on Sat and Sun. My Father wanted to visit his Mother. Nadauna said that her Father (Ben) would put the kids in the car and we would go to Grandmas on Sunday. Carl, Henry, Doc would come. Maybe that we stuck together then is the reason that we stick together now.
Q- Who did the cooking for the visitors?
A- It was a black woman that stayed there. named Carrie. And she looked after Grandma. Maybe Carrie did not do much cooking, there was another woman who did the cooking. Can't remember her name. Polly said "Lizzie". Or at least that was when we were there. Nadauna, she was there when I was I was in high school.
Q- Carl, tell us about your Uncles. Do you remember any stories?
A- No, I don't. Nadauna, prompted, how about Kelous? Yes, he did live with us and worked with Pop in the store, but one day he just up and left for AL working for Colgate Palmolive Pete. He met Lucille and they married. She must be given credit for the history book. She was the "Daddy" of the book. ???
Q- Carl, Did your Daddy go in the farming business with Henry?
A- I don't remember that. (Alvin, I have seen a safe at Henry's that had "Whelchel Brothers" on the front. Assumed that they were farming together). Carl- Henry was a partner in the store at one time.
Q- Carl How big was Hatley in 1910.
A- That was before I was born. OK, how big when you were a child. There was 7 stores. 8-10 homes about. A gin, Freight depot and passenger depot where people could get picked up and go. Blacksmith shop
Q- There was a big fire which destroyed most of the town. There was 7 buildings destroyed by fire. The gin did not burn then but in a separate fire. The Empire Gin Co. New equipment was installed at one time.
Q- Nadauna You went to live with Aunt Ula for a number of years?
A- I was old enough to go to school and Glenn and Ula had just married and was living in Vienna, GA. Carl- I remember visiting there. We don't know what his job was then. I stayed 2 years and then they moved. Don't remember where to but near Monticello.
Q- With Aunt Ula taking in you and going to keep house in Ashburn for the brothers, was it typical of the times?
A- I guess it was. I was very thankful that my Daddy sent me to college after high school and my age friends did not get a college education. Alvin-comment- most of children of the family got some higher education. Yes they did.
Carl- my Father went to North GA for a short time. Annie graduated and signed Homers diploma in Tifton. They guess that Annie was with Dan and Homer in Ashburn when Ula was keeping house. Henry N GA Ben UGA, Dan , Homer, Lee GA Tech. Alvin N GA & Atlanta College of Physicians & Surgeons (1905)
Dan excelled at football and played for Heisman but left in WWI joining the Navy. Kelous joined also. Alvin comment: I heard Dan & Homer reminisce about football at GA Tech and Dan said Heisman told him that he would surely be an All American if he returned. Homer was a running back and starred in track throwing the javelin and is in the GA Tech sports hall of fame. Went to the Olympics, Paris, 1924. Homer's roommate asked him to throw the javelin back to him (he was on the track team) and Homer threw it over his head. Ula kept a scrapbook of all the articles and later presented it to him. Carl- I remember seeing Homer throw the javelin on the farm. Nadauna- Homer and Lee came home from GA Tech and Lee had a radio he had made and Homer had a javelin. They gave them to Grandma and she was so proud of those things. The radio had one of those big horns sticking out.
Q- Nadauna all your children were educated. Did you put a high priority on education?
A- I had all my children well educated and the grandchildren as well. I am proud of them. (comment by Alvin. She said the work ethic came from Nadauna's Mother-in-law, Mrs Morgan)
Q- Carl, what about your family? Why did you put such emphasis on education?
A- Well, I had to, in that day & time, I went to North GA College and I felt like they had to.
Nadauna- When my Dad said I was going to Milledgeville to college, I said no and he said yes, you are going to be a teacher. So I did. Carl- I got a dose of the same medicine.
Q- Did either Grandfather have higher education?
A- Nadauna- G. Whelchel died when I was about 1. Carl- I never knew him. But my Mother was a nurse and nursed him when Doc sent him to Atlanta. Carl Sr came to visit his father in Atlanta and he met Lola there. Nadauna- I heard that Allyce and Alvin went to Slidell, MS to a wedding of one of Carl's grandchildren and it reminded me of the large diamond ring that Carl Sr had given Lola and wondered where it was. It was a great big old stone that he bought in New Orleans. I bet Alvin doesn't know the story of the ring and New Orleans. All this is written in this book.
Q- Who wrote the book?
A- Discussion not legible
Glenda comments. The ring is in Homer's safe at present. Everybody talks at once. Not legible. Alvin comments- Carl Sr must have been very generous, since he gave my Mother a Mexican gold piece (probable $50) that Allyce has and wears. Carl Jr did not know about the gold piece. Some speculate that Lucille wrote the history. Glenda- comments about the diamond. It is probably going to Patricia. She had it reset and the jeweler said it was a fine stone worth several thousand dollars.
Nadauna asked what will be done with this transcription? Alvin said the information would be used to add to the current history to make it more complete.
Q- A lot of land was bought through the years by the brothers, Henry, JD, Carl Sr, Doc; do you know the story about that?
A- I don't know about that. I think my Dad put up the cash money to buy the whole place. He was about the only one that had money at that time. Polly comment- Doc had some land between Carls and JD. Carl- Did not know about that? Others comment . Doc owned some land but never in this area. Henry bought the land next to JD about the same time. Polly comment- Dan bought land and could not make payments and so Henry took it over.
Thank you all. It is an interesting family.
Nadauna remembers. Grandmother W looked out and saw Ben, Dan, all other children with chickens buried with just their head sticking out. They had buried them to keep them warm since they had no feathers.
Carl. Dan told them that he knew why Atlanta was where it was. You couldn't farm there because of all the stones. They were so many that they paved the streets with them.
Polly- did you ever hear about what Daddy (Homer) said when he came home from Martha Berry? He was from south GA and when he got up there He was trying to plow and couldnt keep a straight row because all the rock made the plow just around. For some reason he didn't last very long and returned home.
Nadauna- When they arrived in south GA they jumped out onto the sand and not hard rocks. Also the wagons did not have brakes like those of north GA. This was for braking on going down hills. No mountains in south GA so no brakes.
Q- What is remembered about the trip to MS?
A- Well, we stayed at Aunt Nina's. Mary Lou and Sara were there. Uncle Charlie had died. We stayed about 2 weeks. We rode the train and it was my first train trip. I was about 5 years of age. We went over to Aunt Sallie's and would eat dinner over there. My Daddy told me about Aunt Sallie, she would always fix the table and people would come in and buy the meals and she would fix and serve dinner. She would send one of the older children to the grocery, "check them all out", and see which one you can buy the cheapest. We all went down town and walked into each grocery and see what vegetables were cheaper. That was some of the things I remember.
Q- How close did Sallie and Nina live to each other?
A- Sallie-We don't really know. Their first house burned and they lived within a few blocks of each other.
Q- Was it close to downtown?
A- Nadauna- when we went to visit, the houses were close to downtown. Was it two story? No, don't remember that. It was close to a cemetery. There were chickens running around. Carl- We went to visit Aunt Nina. Sallie- My Mother was 12 when Grandmother Sallie died. Nina had come to GA at one time.
Q- What was the business of the Bell brothers?
A- Our Grandfather was the post master and he and Uncle Charlie had a mercantile store. Uncle Charlie's place was only a block or two from the house. Nadauna- as best as I remember, the store was right next door. He made machinery parts in the building. But they also had some kind of mercantile business, since Mother said he also made furniture but maybe not for commercial sale but after the house was cleaned out she said a lot of things had been made by him. One thing that survives is a shoe polisher, made from some bear shin. It would polish your shoes. He was very inventive; he made a boll weevil catcher. Some things were patented.
End of tape.