On a blustery Saturday in January, the second day actually…in the year 1926, a remarkable child was born into this world. She would grow up in the hard, lean years of the Great Depression, be a vivacious young woman in the years of WWII, marry well- and raise children who have consistently contributed to the Community in which they still live…all the while gathering and storing the heritage of “a people” and the place that birthed her!
She was born Marjorie May Clark, to Samuel Milburn Clark and Rosa Kathryn Stapleton Clark. Rosa had to travel to Utopia, over the Mountain, for the child’s birth where her sister could help for the 12 day confinement after the birth…and it is frustrating to the woman we know today, as Marjorie Kellner, that she was not born in Real County!
Marjorie had a sister, Mary Ellen, two years her senior and parents that were dedicated to the education of their daughters, as well as to their moral and religious training. On the Fulgham Farm they leased when Marjorie was born, the Clarks had many commodities, wool and mohair, fields of corn, trapped furs, goat meat, deer meat and turkeys! “My mother was a good turkey hunter!” she says. “My daddy would climb up the Pecan Trees and thresh them and then we would pick them up, mostly my Mother!”
Around the time Marjorie turned 10, no one could afford to buy those commodities anymore. The stock market crashed on October 29, 1929 but the economic situation hit bottom in March of 1933. The Great Depression changed and shaped the lives of those forced to survive through this time in American history. Marjories’s auto-biography is entitled “Depression’s Daughter”, and I personally can’t wait until it is finished!
The Clark Family left the farm in an economic situation that made it impossible for them to afford the gas back and forth to school. They moved to town where the girls were close enough to walk to school. Following this exodus, which Marjorie looks back on as a sacrifice her parents made to ensure their children an adequate education, her daddy cut cedar posts and built the log house that you see in this picture. Her mom, Rosa, on the left, 12 year old Mary Ellen, 10 year old Marjorie and their dad, Samuel.
They moved to town where the girls were close enough to walk to school. From the farm, they brought the corn of that year, a milk cow, and chickens. They grew a big garden for which, her dad carried water 200 or 300 hundred yards to the log house on Clark-Moore St., from the Creek across Evergreen St.
Rosa was a midwife and Samuel worked as a school custodian, sold wood and water, when later he was able to purchase an old truck with no cab, but a truck bed. Her dad would then fill up barrels at the Spring with five gallon buckets, keep theirs and sell the rest for 15 cents a barrel.
When Samuel retired, he went into poultry and sold eggs and poultry till he passed away at age 62 in 1963. Marjorie says her daddy killed himself, working hard to always give his family what they needed. I guess she made him proud because when asked what her favorite childhood memory was, Marjorie hesitated only a moment before she said, “School…school was my favorite. I loved it and I made good grades. I was the valedictorian of my class.” Marjorie graduated from Leakey High School in 1943, one year after her sister, Mary Ellen.
Also pictured here is Marjorie in 1942 at the home place on Clark Moore St., and in her graduating class of 1943. The story goes on as Marjorie moved into the world as it was in WWII, and the days thereafter… but she will tell that story!