The Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky is comprised of the eight westernmost counties - Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken. It is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, on the north by the Ohio River, on the east by the Tennessee River and the state of Tennessee to the south. By Kentuckians it is generally referred to simply as "the Purchase".

Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby purchased the land lying west of the Tennessee River from the Chickasaw tribe and opened the area for settlement around 1820. Within the next few years, my grandfather's ancestors came there from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee - the Beadles, Clapps, Pryors and Wingos settled in Graves County with the Reeves and Halls in neighboring Ballard County.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Grandfather

My grandfather, William Hubbard "Hub" Reeves, was born on the 21st of December, 1882 in Blandville, Kentucky. After his marriage to my grandmother, Effie, he settled in New Madrid County, Missouri just across the Mississippi River from his childhood home in Kentucky. In the small southeast Missouri town of Tallapoosa, he owned a sawmill and operated a general store.

Having been the oldest son of a farmer, he was unable to attend school for more than a few years because he was needed to help operate the family farm. My mother recalled that after working all day, he would stay up at night studying his children's school books. For all of his life, he would continue to expand his limited education, reading and consuming newspapers from the headlines to the very last page.

It was he who recited nursery rhymes and sang lullabies to his children and later to the grandchildren. I remember being bounced on a knee or swung on his foot as he recited Hickory, Dickory, Dock - the mouse ran up the clock.

As the timber in southeast Missouri became more scarse and the country attempted to weather the Great Depression, he moved his family and timber business to east Texas where he spent the last 30 years of his life.

In his later years, always wearing a fedora and with his hands clasped behind his back, he would regularly walk the few blocks to town in Centerville, Texas to play dominoes under a shade tree on the courthouse lawn with his contemporaries. As he started out for the courthouse square, we would say "where are you going Wawa?" and his response was always "Goin' to town to see the folks and eat peaches."

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