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Homesteader Stories

Mattie Faye Waggoner

I was born Mattie Faye Waggoner on March 28, 1927, in Vernon, Texas. I am the fifth child of John and Reina Mae Waggoner.

We moved around alot before I started to school, I can remember us moving to Pie Town, New Mexico where we lived in a half dugout until our house was built. It seemed like the house was built such a long way from the dugout. In reality, it was no more than thirty feet. Dad, Jr. and Skeets dug a well that was eight or ten feet deep and I fell in it. It seems that I had a knack for falling.

On one of our trips back to Vernon, all the family, except Dad and Skeets, were riding in the back of our truck with the furniture. As we were going through Roswell, New Mexico I had a bad toothache. Just before we stopped in Roswell to go see the dentist, I fell out of the truck. I think Dad traded a sack of pinion nuts to the dentist for pulling my tooth.

Jr. had brought a pair of squirrels back to Vernon; with him. I can remember him selling them, but I don't remember how much he got.

We were living in Vernon on Texas Street when Mother died. After that we moved to a one room tin shack on Wilbarger Street. Sue and I attended a Lutheran School as Sue was too young to go to a public school.

We moved back to Pipe Springs, New Mexico and lived there about three years. By then Lillian and Skeets had left home. There were at least 13 people living in the same house at the same time—sometimes more. Most everyone worked at the sawmill.

All the kids had to help carry water from a spring that ran out the side of a mountain. This was especially true on wash day. Carrying water was everybody's job. During one fall evening all the kids from school were having a brush burning party. This is the only special event I can remember and I had the chicken pox and couldn't go. In the three years we lived in New Mexico, I went to town one time—on a logging truck with my cousin, Beatrice Molar and her Uncle John Molar.

We moved from New Mexico to Tahoka, Texas...
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