REFLECTIONS OF JOE C. WASHBURN - PAGE 1
I was born unfortunate, with a Cleft Palate and don't speak very plainly.
My father was a Farmer and Sawmill operator, that was my occupation until I
married at the age of 25 years, since then farming and dairying until about 3
years ago, when I sold the cattle and am not trying to do much work. We have
lived on the same little farm 52 years. It joins the land where the Pittsburg
Fiber Glass Company is constructing a $20,000,000 Plant.
My Typist, My wife, is 70 years old and never attended school more than 2
or 3 months a year. No High School, no Grades.
I was born November 6, 1880. My Wife was born December 19, 1887. We are
known as Joe and Tillie Washburn.
This 12th day of September 1958. Pittsburg began making fiberglass April, 1959 with one
Furnace of which there are 15 more to start.
A Little History - January 9th, 1959
I signed up to the Soil Conservation Program at the Farm Office. Ralph Harrill
is the head man at the Farm Office now.
I get $21.20 an acre and 83 & 1/2 acres in it, $1770.20 per year. I took this out of
production and have to so Lespedeza on it. I left 2 or 3 acres for garden, orchard,
I drank the first drink of water out of the well Gaines has had punched on his lot,
across the branch from the garden spot, northeast of our home.
Virgil McSwain finished the well today. He drank the 2nd, Dietz the 3rd, and Mama the 4th.
It seemed to taste O.K.
We finished up the Bell house, septic tank, drain and all, except fixing and sowing
the yard in grass. It is 9:20 o'clock to night. J.C. Washburn
"From J. C. Washburn's own writings this July 28th, 1961." I was born Nov. 6, 1880
about one-half mile Southeast of here where we
have lived for fifty-five years, except the first one. We lived about 1000
feet southwest of here, just beyond the barn, about 4 or 5 hundred feet in an
old log house, and I was born in one and lived in it one or two years. Then we
moved about two miles South of here and lived there two or three years on
Grandma Harrill's farm of 175 acres. Norman Lee owns this now.
We moved from there to just above where Washburn's Switch is now. I was
five years old then. Foncy was born just after we moved to this old house with
windows in it and a chimney at each end. There was no railroad there then,
but it went through the next year. That was in 1886.
We had a bad earthquake that summer. Mama said her dishes in the cupboard
rattled. They waked me up but it was too late for me to hear anything. The
first train came up as far as Papa's 1886. The engine had a smokestack like
this ( ). Deitz built these chimneys after that type. We call that house the
Henry house. Henry Cabiness lived in it first in 1950.
I went to school when I was six years old, to the left of the railroad,
below Fred Green's, near where your Mama was raised. We had benches made out
of slabs from a sawmill that had been close there. The slabs had holes bored
in them and sticks stuck in them for legs and my feet would not near touch the
floor. I wore dresses or aprons till I was 6 or 7 years old, when I was at
Maynard and I were just BOYS. We were over here near where this house is
and we pulled a few stalks of Mr. Will Putnam's corn fodder before the corn was
hard enough to pull the fodder. He was your Uncle Malk Putnam's Father. Papa
made us take Mr. Putnam a gallon of peas to pay him for us pulling the fodder
and tell him what it was for. That was hard for us to do, but we did not pull
no more of his fodder before it was ready to pull.
We boys went in a swimming the 19th of March one Sunday. Our parents did
not know this. That was a little early. We went to Brushey Creek.
Back then there were chinkey pin bushes on the hill up toward where Pleas
Bridges now lives. In the Fall of the year we would go over there and get
chinkey pins. They were in a stickey burr like a chesnut burr. They were
little round nuts.
One truck of containers loaded April 19th 1967. This is the first load to
be sent out. [Here Joe speaks of the Pittsburg Glass Plant]
"Fifty years ago last fall we planned to get married on the 21st of March,
1906. In January I went to Raleigh to take a ten week short course in
agriculture. Before going, I bought my wedding suit and a dresser. On
February ll, 1906 the home of my father was burned and all I had there went up
Letter written Feb. 11th, 1906 to Joe Washburn from his father,
Willard W. Washburn
Joe, I drop you a line this evening to give the sad news. We had our nome, smokehouse,
and old house where we had our cotton stored consumed yesterday with half the peas
and all the household goods nearby. The cotton we saved all but one caught on fire and
had to pick it some. Not more than 5 or 10 lbs. It was on fire about the time
we left church, and by the time we got home there was no chance to do anything but save
the cotton and wheat house. All you had is gone but your cotton, but best of all we
have the sumpathy heartily of our neighbors and community generally. So they express
it without a doubt. So you need not grieve for we will sure remember you in your loss. So Joe,
if you can stay and do any good why of course we want you to get the best out of the school
you can while you are there. So we leave it all to you about coming home. I'm trying
the best I can to over it. We fear if it had not been for Charlie Green and Posey Bridges
that your mama would have ventured too far into the fire, but her and Annie Lee and Purvis
saved themselves and some things. All the meat for one thing. I am glad to say it could
have been a great deal worse. We are all just tolerable well. Remember us.
Your Father WWW
One of our good neighbors, Mrs. Lula Hamrick, canvassed the community and
contacted fifty-six persons who contributed money toward replacing that which
I had lost in the fire. Only seventeen of the fifty-six are now living.
The wedding suit that was bought to replace the one that was burned cost
$11.00 and the dresser $6.00.
As we were in the receiving line of our fiftieth wedding anniversity, one
of the 17 Oscar Cabiness, died.
Betty Bridges, one of our grand daughters pinned a rose bud on each of the
seventeen, or someone who represented them.
There were more than 300 came through the line, we were all very informal.
Ten of our eleven children, their wives & husbands (except Dorothy's, who
is dead) were with us. Reburn, our oldest son, his wife Beatrice Blanton
Washburn and their three children, Merle, Kenneth and Joe, live in Las Vegas,
New Mexico. Merle was married to Leon Smith (a Baptist Minister) Sept. ll,
1955, she is our only married grand child.
Ordained Ministers Present:
John A. Bracey,
Dr. Zeno Wall,
Dr. Phil Elliott,
Dr. Robert Dyer,
D. A. Tedder,
John S. Farrar,
S. L. Lamm
Two old family Bibles, some old letters, old lamps and other keep-sake
articles, harking back to the Washburn's courtship days and early life together
were on display." as written by J. C. Washburn
© Copyright by Myrtle N. Bridges - June 1999
YESTERYEAR in CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC
Page 2 - REFLECTIONS OF JOE C. WASHBURN
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