(Note: If you've wandered onto this web page by benefit of a web browser, please be aware that this is the second of a series of web posts.)
The following is the second of several serial posts. The July 2, 1986 edition of the Itawamba County Times contained a collection of stories that were written in November 1925 to his grandchildren by William Ephraim Wiygul, one of the earliest settlers in Itawamba County. Wiygul's written recollections were transcribed by his great-granddaughter, Joana Y. Swanson, exactly as written by Wiygul.
I am now going to tell you some Bare Stories that my Granfather and Father told me whin I was just a boy. For the woods was full of Bares, Wolves, Dear, wildcats, but not verry many Panthers.
As Granpa was Moving his Family from Cotton Gin to where he lived and died, he was coming through Flat Woods Just North of Bigby. There was no small Timber nor no bushis but there were lots of it covered with Sage Grass and Gramma Sean the Sage Grass shaking. She said to Granpa Alfert, "What is that shaking that Sage Grass?" Granpa said to her, "Now Nancy you watch and I will sho you." So Granpa Hollowed and there were Four Big Bares rared up on there hind feet and the Fartherest one wasent one hundred yards from them.
It wasn't verry long after Granpa settled in his Little Hut till he bought him a hog from the Indians, and She found some little pigs about 150 yds from the house in an old Hollow Tree that had fell Down. One Night About Good Dark, he heard the old Sow Making an awful racket. So he got him a pine torch and went off Down there. Whin he got there he saw that the Old Sow was having an awfull Fight with a Grate Big Wolf. The wolf was trying to ketch him a pig. But Granpa ran him off and went back to the house and got him a Basket and told Gramma what he was going to do. So he went back down there and Got the Pigs and put them in the Basket - there was about five - and got the Old Sow to follow him. Whin he got to the house with them he Made a good bed for them right in the Chimney Corner. A good warm bed under the edge of the house. So the old Sow and little Pigs went to bed all right. Next morning, Just before day, Gramma woke him up and told him that Something was after the Pigs so he Jumped up and got out of there. The old wolf grabed one of the Pigs and ran off with it. He run back into the house and Put on his cloths and went to an Indian Neighbor and borried his dog and the old Indian went with him. The old dog struck the trail. Just as soone as he got to the house. The old wolf tun right up the Bottom about a Mile still Holding to his Pig. He turned and come back Down the Creek but held to his Pig untill he got back in about Three Hundrid yards of where Granpa killed him, right close to where the Old Log was where he first found the pigs.
In a little while after that, Judge Boland Moved into Itawambe. What give him the name Judge was in 1836 Whin Itawambe was made a County and he was elected one of the Bord of Supervisors and he was then elected President of the Bord. He and Granpa was the only white People in that Part of the Country for quite a Little while. So they Did quite a lot of hunting together.
Granpa and Judge Boland went a Dear Hunting one day and Desided to run and race and See which one Could kill the Most Dear. Granpa killed five. Judge Boland killed Six. Whin they would kill a Dear they would stop and skin his Hames and cut them off and hang them up on a lim of a tree. Whin they quit that eavning they went back and got all there Dear hames and carried them home.
I have heard my Father tell what I am going to write. He had been sick in Bed for several days. Granpa Desided to go down in Boguefalaw Bottom a Dear Hunting and he carried his old dog - Something he did not do oftin - and he told Paw if he would go down and Stand close to the Spring He might get a Shot. Paw then quite a young man and was weak from being sick. But he wint and took his stand. So in a little while Granpa and old Dog Jumped a Big Dear. Granpa shot at him and wounded him but he could still run, so he run up to where Paw was standing. Pa shot at him but Slightley wounded him. Paw said the old dear Truned his hare all the wrong way and Bowed up and Made for him. He said he was standing right at a Gum sapling - about six inches through, about 15 feet to the first lim. I have heard Pa say lots of times, as weak as he was he did not believe he could have clom that saplin at all if it had been for the stimulating effect that Dear had on him. That Dear Staid around there for a little bit, So Granpa Come up and Killed him. He was a fine Large Dear.
[End of Part Two, to be continued]
MY NOTES: Although Wiygul's written stories are filled with misspelled words and other obvious grammatical errors, it is important to understand that in those early days on the frontier most people wrote phonetically and not much attention was paid to punctuation. For his day, and having grown up in a very rural environment, Mr. Wiygul was apparently very well educated and his writing should not be judged against present-day standards nor should it be a reflection of intelligence. Indeed, a large number of people could not read or write at all, as indicated by the early census records.
Part One - click here
Part Three - click here
Part Four (conclusion) - click here