Recorded in Batesville, AR 8/10/62

Click here to listen to the first part of the original recording

Neill: “Well, we had a little settlement there, you know. Dr. Weaver was a merchant at Jamestown then, and he was the kind of the head of it. They built cabins and a dining hall, good big building, and then they had individual cabins where the people lived.”

Wolf: “About how many cabins were there?”

Neill: “Well, I don’t know. Mine was not among the first. The first time I went up there, Carter Fitzhugh and Charlie Hinkle and myself and somebody else, I believe . . . There was a tent. I had a tent I brought out of the Spanish American war, and we lived in the tent while we spent a week or so. And then . . .”

Wolf: “When was that? Do you remember?”

Neill: “No, I can’t fix the date. It was after . . . It was in the early 1900’s.”

Wolf: “Um hm.”

Neill: “Before there were any automobiles, I had a little racehorse. You know, back of that, Arthur and Clint Jackson -- you remember Clinton Jackson . . . He was clerk here two terms, and uh, bought a racehorse we took over to the county fair. They hadn’t had any fair for two or three years, and we rejuvenated the fair, and we gave two nice fairs, and built a big pavilion out there, and spent a lot of money.”

Wolf: “Well, about that Ozark Springs. About how many cabins do you think there were at the most?”

Neill: “Well, Dr. Weaver had one, Mr. Minor of Newport had one, and Bob Weaver was up there. He was a bachelor. I don’t know whether he had a separate cabin or not. Oh, there must have been a half a dozen cabins at least, and then the big dining hall where we ate and where we had gatherings.”

Wolf: “Yes. My father had a cabin. I think . . . Didn’t Dean Coleman have one?”

Neill: “No, Dean Coleman didn’t have one.”

Wolf: “Dr. Weaver was the one that started it up, was he?”

Neill: “Yes. Dr. Weaver was a merchant at Jamestown. He was familiar with all that country . . . Jamestown was the trading point for . . . big section, clear out at Cleburne County. His trading territory reached clear out in Cleburne County and, uh, he was a very popular, capable man. He took an interest in things, generally.”

Wolf: “Was that camp incorporated out there?”

Neill: “No, I don’t think so. Well, I’m not sure about that. It might have been. I’m not sure about that. We had a board of directors. I reckon it was incorporated.”

Wolf: “You had a cabin, did you?”

Neill: “Hm?”

Wolf: “You had a cabin, did you?”

Neill: “Yes.”

Wolf: “What did it cost you?”

Neill: “Oh, I don’t know. They gave us . . . really didn’t have to pay anything for the land. They bought ten acres, fenced . . . It was all enclosed in one big fence, and all the houses were inside. And, uh, I guess it was incorporated. You could find it in the county clerk’s office, you know, the record of incorporation.”

Wolf: “Yeah. Uh huh, yeah.”

Neill: “Mr. James P. Coffin was one of the incorporators.”

Wolf: “Yeah. What’d you do up there?”

Neill: “Well, we didn’t do much of anything but sit around and drink that cold water. You know, the spring came down and had a fall, and we built a bathhouse, and they had to have you get that cold water . . . We had to warm that cold water before we could take a bath. We had a bathhouse, and we had toilets, dug pits, you know. There was a sawmill not so very far away, there where we got our lumber.”

Wolf: “I remember that the ground was covered with sawdust.  You put down sawdust to keep the chiggers and ticks off people, I guess.”

Neill: “Sawdust?”

Wolf: “Yeah.”

Neill: “I never remember about that.”

Wolf: “Yeah, all over the place where the dining room was built, there was a sawdust floor, sawdust floor.”

Neill: “I don’t remember about that sawdust. Sam Phillips, my brother-in-law, and I built the cabin, and uh . . .”

Wolf: “Cost you about fifty dollars, I’ll bet.”

Neill: “Well, it wasn’t very expensive. I don’t remember how much it cost. There were two bedrooms and a sitting room, I believe was in the cabin.”

Wolf: “Yeah. Well, uh, I’ll tell you something else I wanted you to tell me. Once when I was down here, you told me about a story about a man who . . . Some preacher who said he was going to walk on the water up there at the dam.”

Neill: “Yeah. That was a noted murder.”

Wolf: “Yeah. Tell me that story again.”

Neill: “Well, it was right up here . . . It was right . . . It was in Sharp County, not very far beyond the old . . . you know . . . Well, it wasn’t very far above that. And that was in Sharp County at that time, but later . . . reaching clear up to . . . village town was stuck in Independence County. Well, there was . . .  There was a political speaking. The candidates for offices met there at that place. There was a church there, they called it the Flat Rock Church. There was a flat sand rock there nearby, and they had a gathering there, and the candidates for county offices met. And this murder . . . homicide took place while that crowd was there. There was some fellow came into the country. He preached . . . They called it the ‘New Light’, and he . . . great excitement up there in the country, and this fellow Miller . . . Let’s see, his name was Miller, was just one of the natives there . . . came to the church and got religion, got a big dose. And he tried to get this . . . one of his neighbors and friends . . . converted, and he didn’t want to be converted, and he just kept bothering him and made himself a perfect nuisance and, uh, Miller got mad about it . . . Not Miller, but . . . Oh, what was that fellow’s name? Bob . . . There’s a family of that name still there. Anyway . . .  Matlock - Bob Matlock was the man that committed this crime. He had a pocketknife out, whittling, and this fellow Miller come to him and kept annoying him. The evidence in the case was that he probably didn’t intend to kill him, but he had a knife out a-whittling and he was vexed and annoyed with Miller, and just threw his hands out with this knife in it, and cut his throat. And they said the blood gushed out in a stream as big as a man’s arm. Was a great throng of people there, political speaking. One of them was . . . Dickinson, who was running for clerk. He was clerk for . . . He was up at this house on the corner. I remember him telling it. Well, my father and old Uncle Bill Padgett defended Matlock. I think he was tried in change of venue in Fulton County, I believe it was. He wasn’t tried in this county. And he was acquitted.”

Wolf: “Well, where did the walking on the water come in?”

Neill: “Well, that was . . . this evangelist that tried . . . and there was five little water mills on Polk Bayou at that time, beginning . . . The first one was about a mile, half a mile, upstream from the mouth of Miller’s Creek, where Miller’s Creek runs into Polk Bayou. And then clear on up into Izard County, all together there was five of those little water mills, and at one of them--the closest one to Barren Fork, I reckon--not Barren Fork, Cave City . . . The nearest one, I reckon, was where the baptizing was. And they had baptizing, and he had announced that he was going to walk on the water, emulate the savior, and a great throng came there. But the homicide didn’t take place at that gathering. That was just one of the exciting things that happened. And he . . . The man must have had some attraction, ability to interest people and gather them. I don’t remember what his name was, the preacher. But he didn’t walk. His faith failed him just . . . They had to pull him out to keep him from drowning.”

Wolf: “What’d he do, step off the dam into the water?”

Neill: “Yes, he stepped off the middle of the dam, the middle part of the dam. There was a bank where the water was deep. He stepped off, and his faith failed him . . . and he went down.”

Wolf: “What was his name? Do you remember?”

Neill: “No, I don’t.”

Wolf: “Well, did that kill the movement?”

Neill: “Hm?”

Wolf: “Did that kill the New Life Movement when he . . . when he failed to walk on the water?”

Neill: “No, I don’t think it did altogether. He had some excuse for it. . . . continued to preach.”

Wolf: “About when did that take place?”

Neill: “Oh, I reckon that was . . . I was born in 1871 . . . I was about, oh, about ten years old. I tell you what I . . .”

Wolf: “It was in your lifetime, was it?”

Neill: “Oh, yes, sure. I tell you, the Matlock family’s still there. Matlock . . . Bob Matlock had a brother that continued to live there, and after I became grown or practicing law I used to meet him up there and talk to him. And he may be up there now. If you go up there and inquire among the older citizens, I expect you could find people that know more about it than I do, now. I don’t know whether . . . whether Matlock’s . . . any of the Matlock family’s still living there, but the brother of Bob Matlock, the man who committed the homicide, continued to live there a good long time, and I got so I knew him, used to see him up there, talk to him.”

Wolf: “Well, there was another thing I wanted you to tell me about - that you know a good deal about - and that’s this, uh, Willie Richardson . . . the old man Erwin case.”

Neill: “Yeah. Well, Will . . . Will Erwin, that was old man Erwin’s son, was somewhat older than me. He was a dull (?) boy, and no good. He, his first marriage, married a German girl in . . . oh, a town up in Missouri where there used to be a business school. Mr. Erwin sent him up there, and all he learned was to write a pretty fair hand. I don’t think he learned anything about bookkeeping. He married this, or he boarded with a widow who had a daughter, and he married her. She was a nice German girl, and she came down here and lived with him several years, and finally she just got tired of him and went back home. She lived up there in a cabin, nice little house; that little house is out there now. You go out towards the Erwin place and look up, look up that dry run (?), and you see a nice little house up there. That was the Will Erwin house. Well, let me see, what was it I started out to tell you?”

Wolf: “You were going to tell me about the Willie Erwin . . . the whole story about Willie Erwin.”

Neill: “Yes. Well, Willie Erwin married, and that first wife was a nice girl, an intelligent girl, but it was such a dreary life. He was so no-good that she just went off and left him. After she’d been gone a bit he sued and got a divorce. And then he married twice more after that. He married . . . Mr. . . . There was a man, T.R. Taylor. You’ve heard of T.R. Taylor?”

Wolf: “Yes.”

Neill: “T . . . Taylor, he came from North Carolina out here, and he married one of John Glenn’s sisters -- Mr. Glenn’s first wife was a Glenn, John Glenn’s sister -- and uh, she was . . . She was the mother of all his children. Second wife didn’t have any, didn’t bear any children. Well, Will Erwin married a daughter, married a niece of T.R. Taylor, Thomas . . . Taylor. She lived in Memphis. She was a widow, and poor, and had two daughters, as I remember. One of them came out here and lived with the Taylors. The Taylors . . . The old granddad, he was a tightwad and saved his money and accumulated a pretty good sum, and he gave his daughter five thousand dollars, and they built that hotel down there, the old Arlington. And this girl came out from Memphis and lived in the hotel. The Taylors owned the hotel, and sometimes they run it, and sometimes they leased it out. The Taylors traveled . . . were gone a good deal of the time. But his wife stayed there. She lived in the hotel. Well, . . . finally Will Erwin married one of those girls, was a niece of Mr. Taylor. Well, that made old man Erwin mad. He . . . He didn’t like the Taylors. . . . he married the third time. Little Willie, who married a Richardson, was a daughter of the Taylor girl that married. She lived with her grandfather. Will Erwin finally contracted tuberculosis when he was living with his last wife. Old man Erwin sent him to Texas, way down in that dry part of the country, and he died down there. And when he came back, his widow came back, little Willie was just an infant, and she lived . . . and old man Erwin didn’t . . . other people thought they didn’t do right about it. He didn’t like the woman. He resented the way the Taylors . . . He finally did take Willie in his home, when she was a little girl. She used to . . . Sometimes she’d go to school here in town. And they lived out there where there was no . . .

Second wife was an old maid when he married her, and she was too old to bear a child, and she was an exacting woman, and not affectionate with little Willie. Little Willie had an unpleasant life there. This old woman was so strict with her. She didn’t seem to realize that she was a child and ought to have childish things. And Willie lived there. And sometimes her wife, her mother, old man Erwin threw her off, wouldn’t have anything to do with her; wouldn’t support her. And she just traveled around, and she had some kind of job peddling something, and she was mercenary, and sometimes Willie would be living there with her grandfather and Pearl (that was the woman’s name), she’d come and she’d take the child with her and take her off. And one time they lived way out in Oregon, had her out there, and she had a new job peddling some kind of . . . and she was immoral, too. She’d take Willie off and finally Mrs. Ewing, who was Mr. Erwin’s sister, she’d get a letter from Pearl saying she wanted her to come and get Willie, and she’d go out there and get her and bring her back. Well, the child just led that kind of life. She was just battered back. Part of the time with her grandfather and part of the time with her mother off somewhere. Well, Richardson came in here, just an adventurer.  He had a wife, and he got a divorce with her, and after Willie grew up, he somehow got a license to practice law. Oh, I can’t remember too much of it. He first brought a suit against old man Erwin, charging that he’d neglected Willie, I believe, or something. He lost that suit. No, the first suit they brought was against Erwin McGuire. You see, Mr. Erwin had two sisters, Mrs. Ewing, who was a childless woman, and Mrs. Clint McGuire, and that’s . . . and she had children. And one of her sons was Erwin McGuire, and Erwin didn’t have much sense, and was a problem. And this crooked (?) lawyer first brought a suit against Erwin McGuire, charging that he undertook, tried to have sexual intercourse with Willie when she was just a little girl. Well, they had old Judge . . . removed down here from Evening Shade, and he was . . . and . . . from Newport was one of the attorneys. They tried to . . . they removed it to the federal (?) court, and it was quite a sensational case. Willie got to be a very artful liar. The poor little girl was neglected, and old Mrs. Erwin, that is, his second wife, was a cold, exacting woman. Oh, she just ruled like a rod of iron. And . . . one thing that came out in evidence, there was a lilac bush, way out at the gate -- they built a two-story house setting well back from the road, and the place was fenced in -- and right out by the gate there was a lilac bush. Well, that lilac bush was in bloom, and Willie wanted to pick some flowers . . . she would go to school. She’d walk all the way from the edge of town to the public school, and walk back. I’d sometimes pick her up in my buggy. I fished up the creek a good deal, and oftentimes I’d be going out that way, and overtake Willie . . . would carry those books, and I’d pick her up in my buggy. Well, nobody . . . Erwin McGuire was such a no-good that people generally didn’t know whether he was guilty or not. Of course, Willie was too young to . . . for any man to have had intercourse with her. She was just a child. But they . . . She testified that Erwin did something to her, tried to do . . . Well the jury . . . They lost that case. But after that suit was tried, Richardson married her. Of course, the reason he married her, he . . . Old man Erwin was getting old, and getting ready to pass out, and he married her for what he could get, and he did get it. When the old man died, why, he got half the estate -- that is, his wife did. Divided it. They brought a suit right away, and he got half of what old man Erwin had, which was about two hundred thousand dollars. The whole estate was more, at least four hundred thousand dollars. Oh, it was a . . . sensation. I tell you, I’ve forgotten a great deal of it.

 Richardson was a bad egg, and he had been shot in the back. The marshal at Newport had shot him with a small caliber pistol, and the bullet had penetrated almost to the spinal cord, Richardson . . . Padgett (?) boy got to screwing Willie. Tom Padgett’s youngest child, you know, Farrell (?) Padgett, he was a bad egg, and uh, he was screwing Willie all the time, and Richardson found out about that, and he didn’t kill him the first time. But he had him come up to his office; he was practicing law. And his office . . . second story of the Fitzhugh building, and had Farrell come up there and told him, says, “I’m not going to kill you.” Says, “I’ve forgiven Willie because she’s young, but if you ever touch her again, I’m going to kill you. I want you to stay away from her.” Well, the little hussy, she was responsible for his death. She was driving -- oh, she bought this expensive automobile, she spent lots of money, and she . . . The evidence showed that she sent him word some way, sent him a note to meet her out here on the road going up across Miller’s Creek. And she drove out there, and this boy did meet her out there, and Richardson had spies. There was a fellow there lived up toward Cave Creek, a young gambler.  He who came in, and he was coming down, and he saw them there talking. All they did on that trip was they just met and talked. But this fellow came and told Richardson about it, that he’d seen Farrell Padgett talking to Willie. So Richardson killed Padgett. They had a street fair down there, the Adler block down there where the Simon Adler building was? Over there where that big automobile place is now was vacant. And these street fairs used to show there. There was a street fair going on there, and Farrell was, he was just a bad boy, he was the town bad boy. He was down there . . . after Richardson died. He killed himself, when he was in bed in the hospital. And uh . . .”

Click here to listen to the second part of the original recording

Wolf: “He killed himself?”

Mr. Neill: “Yeah.”

Wolf: “He did?”

Mr. Neill: “Took poison. The evidence was, doctor . . . told me this. He went up there, and he talked to the surgeon. The surgeon lived a long ways from the hospital. And he said that he cut into Richardson’s back, and he found that bullet was embedded there, and was so close to the spinal cord that he was afraid to try to take it out for fear it’d cause . . . he’d be paralyzed, it was so close to the . . . He said that, told Dr. . . . that he was afraid in his efforts to get the bullet out, he would injure the cord so that he would be paralyzed, and he refused to do it. And after Richardson came out from under the influence of the anesthetic, he told him. He says, "You probably can live out your normal life."  It didn’t bother him. But, he says, “I’m not, I wouldn’t operate, I wouldn’t chance it.” So, Richardson would get drunk. The barber . . . He’d have a barber come to the hospital and shave him and so forth. It was, we had national Prohibition, but then of course you could get whiskey, and he’d ask the hospital people, told . . . that Richardson would get drunk and holler and raise a rumpus. He did that, he lived up in the old Ewing house a while, that belonged to Colonel Cook at the time, just rented rooms. And the neighbors would hear him yelling; he’d get drunk and go crazy. He’d whoop and yell and make a lot of noise. Well, he got some kind of poison, took it, and died.”

Wolf: “Well, now . . . Tell me about the Paxton Thomas business. I know you know a good deal about that.”

Mr. Neill: “Yes, Paxton Thomas. When I first knew him, he lived at Sulphur Rock. He was born and raised up in Izard County, up this, oh, a little bit above Cushman, and came in . . . and Kelly and Dorr (?) first became partners in practicing medicine at Sulphur Rock. Sulphur Rock was quite a busy town for a while, before automobiles came in. They had several good stores there, and Dorr & Kelly went in the mercantile business on the side, and they begin practicing surgery. Our local physicians, Ewing and Lawrence, were not surgeons, none of them . . . Dr. Case . . . But Dorr, I don’t know why, well, he was a very energetic man; he learned to be a pretty good surgeon. And uh, in the meantime, they started . . . they got a . . . had a big store there. Sold merchandise on credit to the farmers, and made a good deal of money. And, uh, let’s see what I . . . what’d I start to . . .”

Wolf: “Paxton Thomas.”

Mr. Neill: “Well, Paxton Thomas wrote a nice hand, and he was employed in their big store down there at Sulphur Rock. Came down from Barren Fork. He wrote a nice hand. And, uh, there was a merchant there named . . . Oh, I administered his estate . . . uh, what was that fellow’s name. The merchant . . . died, and he and . . . He was married, he was married twice. He had the mumps, it turned out, had had the mumps, and he could get an erection, but he couldn’t finish. He couldn’t spend (?). His first wife was the daughter of a man named Thurman. There was a man named Thurman came here from Illinois, tried to practice law. He'd been a county judge in Illinois, and he wore a stove-pipe hat and a Prince Albert coat, and he tried to practice law and couldn’t get any . . . Started a female school, the first thing, right across from the Ms. Parse house, that’s the old . . . Smith home. There was a north Methodist church, a church that the Yankees had built for the niggers just after the Civil War. It was used for a schoolhouse, and this Professor Thurman had a girls’ school, select school, that taught one term there. Just girls, but didn’t have very many. And Sulphur Rock was a growing town then, and the next year he went to Sulphur Rock and taught school down there. Turned out he was a good schoolteacher. And he succeeded. He had a daughter, they called her Dolly, Dolly Thurman. She was hardly of marriageable age when they moved down there. But he married this . . . She married this merchant, Scott Braden, a merchant down there named Winfield Scott Braden. And she stayed with him a year or two, his wife, and she was . . . brought a suit for . . . she left him and brought a suit for divorce. I’ve read the papers . . . The allegation was that he could not consummate the sexual act, and the doctors -- two doctors -- testified. One of them was a doctor down there, I believe, and another was a . . . oh, another prominent doctor down there somewhere. I read their depositions. It said, this girl said it just like to kill her. Well, then he married . . . He was married a second time. He married one of the Jernigans. You know the Jernigan family down there got prominent. Methodist preacher was a . . . and he married Miss Jernigan, I don’t know why she didn’t know about that, because he’d already been divorced. But anyway, she married him, and he finally died. And he’d been a right successful merchant there. And the hotel man was a friend of mine, and he was a friend of . . . Anyways, I was employed by the widow to represent her in the estate. And she had me administer . . . I took out letters of administration on the estate, Scott Braden estate. The estate amounted to about forty thousand dollars, and she got half of it. And, uh, Paxton Thomas was keeping the books; he wrote a nice hand. This Dorr . . . the big store was booming along there. He was a . . . Well, he married the widow Braden. He married her before the year was out, and came up there, and got a job in a bank. And he stole $18, 000 from the Erwin estate. Old man Erwin had been . . . He got so he couldn’t tend to his business, and he had stock in two banks, this bank and another . . . and Thomas, as a cashier of this bank, had charge of the Erwin money, . . . business collections. By golly, he stole $18,000.”

Wolf: “How’d he figure on covering it up?”

Mr. Neill: “I don’t know. That’s the strange part of it. He built an expensive home out here on the . . . addition, you know. It burned afterwards; it was a two-story brick house. And began spending money, and how he expected to get away with it, I don’t know, but Richardson was partly responsible for that, too. Not the stealing, but the discovering of it. He was suspicious right away that Thomas . . . stolen some of this money. In the meantime, he’d married Willie, you know. But it turned out he had . . . Thomas committed suicide. Now, how he expected to get away with that, I do not know, but the evidence showed he lived in a rented house up there right next to the John Warner house. You know where the John Warner house is? . . . houses belonged to the Warners and they rented. There was where Thomas was living, and Thomas worked in the bank, and old man Erwin had died. And I had spoken to Thomas that very day and told him I wanted -- we wanted -- a list of all the collections that had been made after . . . after . . . before Mr. Erwin died, settling up on the estate.”

??: “Well.”

Mr. Neill: “. . . afterwards, Paxton Thomas must have thought that he could get away with it.”

Wolf: “Well, there was some way he’d make collections in the books, wouldn’t he, and not report all of them, or something like that?”

Mr. Neill: “Well, he . . . She kept the books, Mrs. Erwin, she tended to them; old man Erwin couldn’t tend to them, but they had a bankbook -- a regular passbook -- and uh, every once in a while she would give him the passbook and have him enter up the collections, deposits that had been made. And it happened that one time, when she left the passbook with him, he didn’t return it right away, and she stopped . . . She and old man Erwin would take drives around in the buggy. And she stopped in front of the bank, and . . . wanted her passbook.”

Wolf: “That’s good.”

??: “You all go on. Don’t let me interrupt anything you’re doing.”

Wolf: “Yeah. We’re just talking about old times here.”

??: “Can you recall it?”

Wolf: “Well, I can, yeah.”

??: “I wish he could tell you some of his stories. Tell you, I told Ernest he ought to write a book about Arkansas, because he knows so many old timey tales and all.”

Wolf: “I’ll get him to tell me some in a minute.”

??: “Before you go, I want to show you something.”

Wolf: “All right.”

??: “. . . he can’t talk very good with two people.”

Wolf: “All right.”

Mr. Neill: “He apologized, said he had neglected to . . . and that he’d mislaid it, and that he’d have to get another one . . . after that, day or so, another book with a lot of deposits in it, and it balanced out. And turned out that in this book that he made up, he didn’t put down a lot of the deposits that had been deposited in there. Left it out. As much as he’d taken out, he stole it. So that . . . about that . . . was the bankbook. I remember I stopped up there and told him . . . I said, I want you to give me a list of all the deposits that you’ve made since a certain day. And he said, all right. And it was said . . . I don’t remember how this . . . come about, when he went out to supper that after he’d eaten supper, he told his wife he was going back to do some work at the bank, and he was cheerful. And evidently he thought he could do it without detection. But when he got to . . . to do it, he realized he couldn’t. And he took a pistol and shot himself. Went in the vault and pulled the door partly to, and I believe he stuck the pistol in his mouth.”

Wolf: “Well, what made you suspicious? What caused you to be suspicious?”

Mr. Neill: “I hadn’t been suspicious, but we were . . . we were having a suit with Richardson, you see. We were getting ready for the suit. Richardson brought a suit right away. And I . . . I wasn’t suspicious when I told him I wanted his records, but I wanted a statement so that we could show the court just what Richardson had been saying, that somebody, the Thomases or somebody . . . Some of the money wasn’t there. Or he didn’t know it, but then you suspected it.”

Wolf: “Well, uh . . .”

Mr. Neill: “There’s another strange thing happened in that suit. Now, I had and . . . After . . . after the suit was over and the estate was settled, Mrs. Thomas come to me and said that she wanted to bring a suit against the Erwin estate that Mr. . . . her husband, should have been paid for his services, for looking after the Erwin money and so on. Well, I said, of course, I couldn’t do that; I represented Mrs. Erwin. . . . said, well can you recommend a lawyer. Well, I recommended Silas Campbell first, Newport, and she said, “Don’t he drink a good deal?” I said yes. She said, “Well, I’d rather have a man that don’t drink.” And I recommended Joe Stephens. And she said, “Well, I wish you’d have Mr. Stephens come up here. I want to talk to him.” So I called Joe on the telephone . . . told him to come up, that she wanted to talk to him. So she employed Joe. She . . . and a suit was brought against Mrs. Erwin for her. She thought that she could recover, that Mr. Thomas should have been paid for his services in looking after the Erwin estate. Well, they tried the case and lost it, and I defended it. Now, why she thought that Thomas, who had stolen all that money from the estate, should be paid, that was something I didn’t understand.”

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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