Mary E. and Daniel W. Campbell

Children of Norman A. and Bessie Butler Campbell

About 1922

The Day We Tampered with the U.S. Mail (and got caught!)

Mrs. Sarah Jane lived at our house after Mama and Daddy got married. I loved her; and I loved to see her coming! But I don't think Mama cared much about her visits. Mainly, I think, because as she said, "Old Lady Sarah Jane follows Dan around with a switch, keeping his legs streaked up!" Either I was not as bad as I thought; or she liked me better, because she was very nice to me. Daddy would go wherever she was living at the time and bring her "bag and baggage" to our house. I couldn't wait for her to open her trunk. It always smelled so good! She was a very neat person and carried a lot of good smelling cosmetics. She had something in her trunk for us once in a while too. Most often this was a piece of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, or some of her good smelling soap. Mrs. Sarah Jane was old and didn't have much of anything else to do, so she spent a lot of time talking to me. I stood beside her and listened and admired the big ball of hair on top of her head. She pulled all the hair up on top of her head and pinned it down with fancy hairpins. Apparently, she didn't have children. Her husband was killed in the Civil War. (More resent research shows William M. Butler was wounded and later filed a claim for a pension, which was denied.) Mrs. Sarah Jane received a widow's pension. I remember one time, which I am still reluctant to talk about, when Dan and I decided to go to the mail-box to get the mail. Our mail-box was a good distance from our house on the "publick" road, in front of Marks Creek School. We were not allowed to go that far unless we were with someone else. We sneaked off! We got the mail, a letter, out of the box; and perhaps because it wasn't a book or magazine to look at, or maybe because Dan didn't like Mrs. Sarah Jane, we tore it up. Dan was the one that tore it up, but I stood there and watched him. Daddy was right in behind us and met us a few feet from the box. I remember the exact spot and could point it out today! We had torn up Mrs. Sarah Jane's pension check. Daddy came as close to "tearing us up" as I ever remember! As usual, all he did was talk to us, but he sure did make us feel bad. Mrs. Sarah Jane did not have a home. She was a McFarland before her marriage and lived somewhere in the vicinity of Old Laurel Hill Church. When I remember her she lived with Mr. George Pate and his wife about three or four months out of the year, then at our house a few months, and then Daddy would take her to Mr. W.A.Wilkes' house where she spent about the same amount of time. (Source: CAMPBELL AT THE HEAD OF MARKS CREEK by Mary Campbell Chappell)

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