Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Two-fer: mules and a car!

As photography became available locally to the residents of Itawamba County (and became affordable!) families gathered for photographs of themselves. Sometimes, like the picture of my husband's great-great grandfather, Orville Mills, and his family, there will be a family dog posing with the family. In these early photographs, families are usually posed against the backdrop of their home, either on the porch, just off the porch, or with the home in the distance. As time went on, it became more common for the photos to become less formal, or maybe that is just the way it appears to be because many of the later photos include the family's mule or mules. The importance of mules to the families of Itawamba County cannot be overstated. They were the workhorses of the farm, and although there would be a mean one every now and then (and there are stories still circulating to prove it!), mules were just as much a part of the family as dogs (and cats) are to us today. As mules began to be displaced by tractors, their importance gradually played out, and the family car took the mule's place in family photographs. In the photograph above, we actually get a two-fer! Mules and the car!

Posed above with their two mules are Porter Gainsville Dulaney with his wife, Arvilla Omega Johnson, and their son Olun Dulaney.

Gainsville was the son of Thomas Aron "Bunt" Dulaney and Alice Moxley while Arvilla was the daughter of Napolian A. "Poley" Johnson and Mary Elizabeth Lester. My mother-in-law remembers that when she got married, her great-uncle Gainsville lived at Cobb Stump. He walked to town to buy her a set of pillow cases, then walked to her home about a mile behind White Church (now East Fulton Baptist Church) to deliver them before returning to his home.

No comments: