The William (Bill) Earl Griffin Family
by Linda (Griffin) Brown
When my father Bill Griffin, his wife Ruth Lea and children moved to Russett we were very poor. My dad worked for Chapman as many did during that time. We lived, for a short time, practically on the banks of the Washita River. I remember snakes being all over the place. I was bitten by a snake and an old lady that lived up the hill (wish I could remember her name) made a potion and I soaked my foot in it and it got well.
I remember having to walk across a field with cattle in it, walk up a stile (steps leading over the fence) up a hill to that house to catch the school bus. I was so afraid of the cattle, but had no choice but to go through that pasture. That place was a muddy mess when it rained.
The day I was snake bitten, there had been a rain and my sister and I were outside jumping in the mud puddles. A snake came out from under the house and bit my little toe. Dad was off working. We didn't have a car, so Mom picked me up and carried me up the hill to that house and she doctored me. Later we went to the doctor and the doctor didn't believe I was actually bitten by a snake. I know that old lady probably save my life or the snake wasn't poisonous, because I never got sick. That is a very vivid memory.
I just went to Russett School my first year of school in 1952. Mrs. Portman was my first grade teacher and I remember her husband as being the Superintendent. Mrs. Portman took me under her wing and was very kind to this skinny little girl that was so shy. I rode the school bus to school. Then we moved closer to the school and I walked every day. I remember Mrs. Covington being such a good cook. Mr. Covington was the school janitor and the bus driver.
Because we had no car I remember Bill Wilcox driving the truck that took us shopping on Sat. night. I remember going to Tishomingo on Saturday night in the back of that truck. Wow, what a life we lived.
I am the oldest in our family. I have a sister, Nita and brother, Earl, that lived with us in Russett. A sister, Joyce, was born later. We moved from Russett to Nida where I finished my 2nd year of school. Then I started 3rd grade in Tishomingo where I finished school in 1963. My siblings all went to Tishomingo schools.
My dad died in 1974 at the age of 59 and my mom passed away in 1994. My sister is still going through pictures of our childhood. We don't have many pictures as we didn't have much money in those days.
Dad was real skinny, a very quiet humble man. He was very smart. He just finished 8th grade in Milburn, but he was knowledgeable in many areas, as he read any magazine, newspaper or book he could get his hands on. My mom was a large woman and was such a good mother. When Dad died, they had 2 grandchildren. When Mom died, there were 9. She never lived to see great grand children.
I stayed around Tishomingo for several years after graduating from high school. I never finished college but took classes through the years. I regret never finishing. So glad my son has a college degree and good job. My daughter had tried many things, gone to school and is thinking of finishing her degree. I worked at the Madill sewing factory, took classes at Murray State College and lived at home. Church was my social life. I moved to California in 1969 and stayed for a few years. My son was born in San Diego. Then we moved to Sherman, Texas in 1974 when David was 6 weeks old and have been here ever since that time. I have worked in banking, hospitals and Texas Instruments in the insurance department.
I believe we had a well, but not sure. I know we didn't have electricity. We didn't have electricity until years later when we moved to Tishomingo. I remember, every where we lived, we had a garden and mom canned food. I always loved gardening and still have one every year and also can fruit and vegetables. I also made all of my clothes when I was old enough to sew. I sewed for my sisters and my friends too. Still sew and quilt.