Monday, December 15, 2008

Big Daddy and Big Mammy

William Hugh Pennington was affectionately known to his grandchildren as "Big Daddy" while his wife, Ethel Dee Sloan Pennington, was called "Big Mammy." The Pennington and Sloan families lived in the Peaceful Valley community of southern Itawamba County, settling there after the Civil War.

Hugh and Dee are pictured here with their "baby" daughter Clara Nell, sitting on the steps of their new home in 1944 or 1945. Dee died in September 1945 so this picture was taken before her death. The home was built with funds provided largely by their son, Frelon, who served in World War II and sent home money to his parents Also, their son Jessie was a foreman for Gilmore-Puckett Construction Company, and his expertise and labor were an important contribution as well.

The new house replaced an older one that was several decades old, a typical Southern dog trot house that likely was built by the land's former owner, S. L. English.

"Big Daddy's" house is what we called it growing up. After his death in 1959, the house pretty much stayed empty except for a few occupants here and there. Mike and I even lived in the house during a couple of summers. With no bathroom, we had to be creative. A shower "stall" was rigged up just out the back door, and for a shower "head" we used a tin bucket with holes punched in it. Water was provided courtesy a water hose snaking from the kitchen sink. Unfortunately, damage caused by termites required the house to be brought down a couple of years ago, but not before salvaging the mantel, the cast iron enameled sink, and some doors as well as some of the original lumber and planks that had been re-used from the original dog trot house.

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