Thursday, October 20, 2005


(Run originally 4/15/04 on our old site)

Ernie Simpson

One of the clan of Yarnells lived on North Bypass Road years ago and, after he had retired, he was feeding his fish in the pond, had a heart attack and fell in the water and drowned. Now this is really faulty, so I would feel silly even putting out the question of anyone remembering....I think it was Ray? Yarnell? The house is gone now, burned. There are one or two blue feed silos at the location where the house was. You have an idea where I'm talking about?

Dan E. Randle

Harold's mentioning of rain water collection sparked the memory again. I had forgotten that my grandmother had barrels at strategic locations around the house and barn to collect rain water. The water from her well was so high in iron content it would turn the clothes a rusty color. I remember seeing about a quarter of an inch of rusty buildup on the spout of the kettles (not rust but boiled out iron particles) she used to boil water in. The kettles had to have been used since the early 1900's. By the time I came along, that had to be around 45 years of boiling water. Since I'm on the subject of water, I wonder if anyone remembers the water fountain in the park. Nothing like a good drink of sulfur water, right? I tried it once and that was enough.

Tom Pry


White County was once known as “Strawberry Capital of the World.’ Pickers … found plenty of work and a ready market for the fruit, which was shipped by rail throughout the U.S. But today the strawberries are gone. Only a few area farmers raise them and sell them any more. … The White County Historical Society will spotlight the rise and fall of strawberry farming at the meeting April 26. Johnny Hubach, whose family was a leader in the strawberry industry, and past president Paul Miller, who saw strawberry heydays, will present this unique program. (The meeting) is open to the public.

This blurb was lifted from the Historical Society’s monthly newsletter, edited by the always-excellent Eddie Best. Dues and newsletter subscription are a measly $16 a year and, beside the monthly newsletter, includes a major publication of historical White County info at year's end. Join up by sending check or money order to White County Historical Society, P.O. Box 537, Searcy, AR 72143.

Ann Shannon Snodgrass

I remember Mady Armstrong, too. She lived on Vine Street, just a couple of blocks west of my grandparents', O.D. and Verna Rogers. I was wary of her, too, but then my mother told me that Mady carried an old broken knife to dig herbs and roots. Much of the under-growth around her house was herbs and medicinal plants which she dried and shared, as needed

Anita Hart Fuller

I wish I had a personal memory of Madie Armstrong - although at the time I was growing up and wearing shorts around town, I was darn glad I didn't. I THINK I have a memory of her standing outside the Rialto before the show started, "hopefully" to catch some girls entering in shorts. I do have a couple of "stories" about her, don't know if they are true but they are fun to think about. First: she wore a pedometer around her leg, and was written up in Ripley's Believe It or Not as having walked the number of miles to make it around the world but never left White County.

Second: she was crossing the street in Searcy - and was hit by a car, knocking her down and breaking an arm. With the broken arm "dangling" she shook her fist with the "good" arm at the poor motorist who had hit her, and walked on. Now that I'm on the subject, I've remembered another one: this was told to Bob and I a few years ago by Jean and Jim Robbins and Dr. John Stotts, when they were visiting us in Greers Ferry: Madie walked about town early in the morning. As she passed by the Robbins home, she saw "Boney" Robbins and his wife, Lillian Robbins, asleep in their bed, which was by a window. The hose was hooked up to the faucet under the window and she turned on the water and sprayed them thru the window, telling them "you should be up by now".......

Tom, you probably need to edit some of this, I do tend to get a little carried away or long-winded when relating stories. Everyone: keep up the good work.

Thank you for the funny stories and the kind words, Anita. I wouldn’t touch a hair on its chinny-chin-chin.

That, incidentally, would make the second time I know of when White County showed up in Ripley’s “Believe it or Not.” The other one was a short blurb saying that, “In Searcy, Arkansas, Pleasure Street leads to Joy and Romance.” I guess the opening of the Beebe-Capps highway killed that one. –tlp-


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