11/27/11

Mattie Maude Pittman Faulkner


Mattie Maude Pittman Faulkner
Born: October 23, 1880
Died:  April 14, 1948   
Daughter of:   George Washington Pittman and Emma June Howell Pittman

Sister of: Beulah Magnolia Pittman James
Lula Leodia Pittman White
Robert Rene Pittman
Columbus Chapel Pittman
George Lowery Pittman
Alison Lee Pittman
Ruth Beatrice Pittman Brown
Howell Cobb Pittman
 Lizzy May Pittman
Howard Grady Pittman

Wife of:  John Thomas Faulkner
married:  March 11, 1901 in Mason, Texas

Mother of:  Mable Ester Faulkner
Wayman Faulkner
Iola Ruth Faulkner
George Laurence Faulkner
Floyce Faulkner
Helean Jean Faulkner
Aline Faulkner Denman
Emma Lou Faulkner
John Howard Faulkner

Mattie Maude Pittman was the sixth child of George and Emma Pittman.  Her birth is recorded in Douglasville, Douglas County, Georgia which was originally known as Skint Chestnut...a name derived from a large tree used by Indians as a landmark which was stripped of its bark so as to be more conspicuous.  The Town of Douglasville was established on February 25, 1875...five years before Mattie was born.  Although her birth records reflect her birth in Douglasville, the 1880 Census taken in June show that George and Emma were residents of Cobb County  as well as George's brother Albert Singleton and their widowed mother Mary Anne Howell Pittman.  It is likely that Mattie was born at home and her birth recorded in the closest County Seat to their farm which was Douglasville.

In the 1880's many of the Pittman Clan were residents of Cobb County and farmed in and around the townships of Lithia Springs, Mableton , Powder Springs and Marietta.  Atlanta was 25 miles from Douglasville and the center of  Georgia's Reconstuction Era.  Just three days before Mattie's birth on October 20, 1880 the First Electric Lights were shown at Oglethorpe Park in Atlanta. 

On May 4, 1895, Mattie's mother Emma June Howell Pittman died at the age of 45 years.  Mattie was fourteen years old.  Emma gave birth to five more children after Mattie, and with most of her older siblings already gone from home, Mattie assumed the household chores and task of helping raise the younger children.


It is known from passed down family history and documented in Census Reports that Pittman Family members of this era received a basic education in reading, writing and arithematic.  With that in mind, this author claims a 'Writer's Priviledge' of continuing Mattie's Story by way of  a fictitious journal and letters.  Although these are spurious journal entries and letters , they are based on documented, timelined events and historical research.  

Mattie's Journal and Letters 
The Year of Mourning
~~~~~
Trail of Tears
by Sandra S. Pittman
July 26, 1895
Today is Pa's birthday.  He has been sad since Mama died.  He misses her something terrible...we all do.  I tried my best to make supper special for him.  I baked sweet bread and cooked a stew.  Pa said it was good and thanked me for setting the table with Mama's embroidered table cloth.   I put a dish towel over it for baby Grady.   We all held hands as Pa blessed the supper.  He thanked the Lord for us and sent our love to Mama in heaven.  Amen.  Mattie

August 20, 1895
Dear Beulah,
   How are you?  We are all doing fine.  Grady fell off the porch last week and cut his arm.  Lizzy has been helping me with the washing.  She is tall enough now to hang the clothes over the fence.  The garden is ready for picking.  Mama would be happy to see all the seeds she planted made a good crop.  We should be shucking the corn in a week or two.  I am hoping you can come for the tomato and okra canning.  I am not sure I know how to do all the canning by myself.
   Pa and the boys have been working from morning til dark in the fields.   Chappo says the cotton crop is good this year.  The cotton chopping has been hard with the weeds growing so thick.  It has been the same in the garden.  We are mindful to take a hoe when picking tomatoes.  I chopped off the head of a snake a few days ago. 
   Pa wanted to know if you would get the canning supplies before you come, Beulah.  He can't get to town before then, and said you would know what to buy.  He will pay you when you come.  Mama's jars are washed and ready.  I hope there will be enough of them.  I'm glad you and Lula are coming.
   Today is Mama's birthday.  We are all miss her more than I can say.  I am trying my best, but it seems I never get done with the daily chores.  How did she do it all?  We are all counting the days until you and Lula can come. 
Your sister,
Mattie

October 23, 1895
Today is My Birthday.  My thoughts are of Mama.  I don't think I ever thanked her for my life, and now she is gone.  I remember her every night in my prayers.  Tonight I will thank her.  Amen.  Mattie

January 20, 1896
Dear Buelah,
     I hope this letter finds you and yours keeping warm by the hearth.  It was good to visit you and Samuel at Christmas.  Thank-you for having us on Christmas Day.  Pa especially enjoyed the time away from home.  Our first Christmas without Mama, but one filled with sweet memories of her and our Christmas' past.   We trimmed the tree as she would have with strings of berries, pine cones and bows of muslin. 
     When it came time to place the Star of Bethlehem on top, Pa handed it to me.  He said it was now my place to crown the tree.  I know I told you this, but I wanted to write it down while it is a fresh memory.  The Joy of Christ and Mama's love filled my heart as I crowned the tree.  I will forever remember that moment. 
     Lizzy loves the doll you made for her.  She named her Magnolia, and remembers you in her bedtime prayers.  She is a sweet girl.  Thank you for the yardage of calico.  The sewing is going slowly, as I want to make it my best sewing yet.  I am using a piece of crochet lace that Mama made around the cuffs and collar.  There are pieces for you and Lula, too.  She is so on my mind with every stitch taken. 
     Today feels as if it is a special day for someone, but I can not remember that it is anyone in the family's birthday.   Do you know of anyone?  Odd, isn't it?  Pa says that Mama had a sixth sense about her.*  I am not sure what that means.
     I close for now, Sister, and hope that your winter days are happy ones.  Remember us in your prayers as we remember you and Samuel in ours.
As always, your Sister,
Mattie

May 4, 1896
I write on this the anniversary of Mama's death, with sadness that the memories of this day hold.  However, my spirits are lifted with the thought of her resting in heavenly peace in the arms of our Lord.  We gathered today at the Howell Cemetery.  The day was warm with the afternoon rays of the sun shining through the trees.  The Cherokee rose vines have grown up the iron fence around Mama's grave.  Pa said he knew she must be pleased as it was her favorite flower not only for it's beauty, but for the story of how it got it's name.*  Thank you Lord for this day and the comfort of knowing that Mama is safe in your loving arms.  Amen.  Mattie




*The Cherokee rose is an evergreen climbing shrub that blooms in late March and early April.  A native of China, the Cherokee rose appeared in the mid 1800's in Georgia and was planted by the Native American Cherokee.

Adopted as the Georgia State Flower in 1916, the Cherokee rose is forever linked to Georgia's history through the "Trail of Tears".  A tragic event in 1838 in which thousands of Cherokee were forced out of Georgia and other lands east of the Mississippi River. 
According to legend, the path of the Native Americans took was dubbed the "trail of tears" because of the tears shed by Cherokee women on the journey.  Cherokee chiefs prayed for a sign to give their women hope and the strength to care for their children.  It is said that wherever a tear dropped, a Cherokee rose bloomed.
 * Reference Website.


Mattie Maude Pittman Faulkner was my Grand Aunt. 
Read more about her in:

*Sixth Sense - a power of perception or keen intuition seemingly independent of the five senses.
Thank-you Great Grandmother Emma.  Your spirit and sixth sense endures.
Sandra Sue Pittman
January 20, 1947
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11/21/11

Rattlesnakes, Sidewinder and Flying Contraptions

by Sandra Sue Pittman

The days passed into weeks and the weeks into months, and as time had a way of doing, the months added up to a few years since Bob Offield* had seen Willard and MD. Those Pittman boys were the closest folks he could call family. “Lordy, how I regret losin' Martha Jane*.  We should have worked out our differences,” Bob thought as he sat rockin’ on the same porch where Willard and MD regularly stopped to tell him about their school day.  “Yep, those two rowdy boys growed up purt near right before my tired ole eyes.   I reckon Chappo* misses those two broncs, too, livin’ by hisself down there by the ‘Ditch’.” 

Last he’d heard MD joined the Air Force. Now that was somethin’ to think about. Air Force. It taxed his mind to understand them new fangled flyin’machines.  He marveled at the planes flying overhead as they took off and landed at the Rattlesnake Air Field* over in Pyote. “Why, I remember the days when the only thang flyin’ over hot dusty West Texas was buzzards,” he mused as he looked to the sky.

Down the dusty road a mile or so before crossing the ditch, Willard wondered if ‘Old Bob’ would be porch sitting. It had been six months or more since he’d had a day off from the Wristen Ranch*, and today he was on his way home. Sure enough, ‘Old Bob’ was on the porch sittin in the same old chair, looking at the sky. As soon as Bob saw the cowboy, his hand went up in greeting and he leaned heavily on the arms of the rocker as he stood to meet Willard at the edge of the porch.
Git down from that wild lookin bronc, Willard, and I’ll fix us something to drink. Thanks, Bob, but I just came from *Grandma Elsey’s, and you know how she can fill you up on pie and coffee. “Well, then have a sit down and catch me up on what’s happenin’ at the ranch. How’d you git a saddle on that twistin son-of-a-gun ole bronc,” he asked as he lowered himself back in the rocker.

"He’s a might more accommodating since Gid* had a talk with him about his buckin’ habits,” Willard laughed as he flipped open the flap of his Sunday white western shirt pocket and pulled out the bag of Bull Durham. Offering Bob a smoke and a light, he recounted the psychiatry session Gid had with the bronc.
This dang bronc has thrown every cowboy on the ranch including me more than once. We were one more pitch into the dirt away from sending him out to pasture, when Gid* drove up in that old truck he’s so proud of.   He asked us if that sorry mount was too much horse for all us broken down bronc busters. A couple of the older wranglers swelled up and said they’d have the black devil broke before the week was out.  Gid looked me over as I was knockin off the dirt, and commenced to walkin' toward the snortin' stallion.  He began talkin’ real quiet and soothin’ like, all the time inching closer to the horses’ head.

We was all gettin’ a spot on the corral fence thinkin’ we’d be seein’ that ‘Old Man’ hit the dirt like the rest of us had done tryin’ to break this black beauty. It was somethin’ to see, I’ll tell ya that. That horse was bewitched or somethin’. He never twitched a muscle as Gid stroked his neck and talked in his ear. I had a hell of a time getting the saddle on him not an hour earlier, and there he stood as docile as an old broodin’ mare after pitchin’ everyone of us in the dirt.

In no time at all, Gid gathered up the reins, and handed them to me and said he guessed that the Black Devil was just the horse for me. I’ve been riding him ever since, but anybody else gets near him with a saddle and he goes to pawin’ the ground.  Bob nodded his head and said, “Yep, I seen Gid do the same thang once when he was a young man over in Fort Stockton. It shore enough gits you thinkin’ bout man and his relationship with Gods creatures. Did you know that ‘Old Man’ has been known to have live rattlesnakes under the seat of his old truck? I seen it once myself or I wouldn’t have believed it. Gid said the rattler found it's way into the truck one day while he was on a surveying job over by the Pecos River.  He guessed it’d git out when it got to where it was goin’.”

“Yeah, I heard that story, but I’ve never seen any rattlers in there, and you can bet your life I look before I step into that Old Man’s truck. Daddy told me that when Gid was a young boy, an old woman gave him the Mystic Power, and when he died he should pass it back to a woman. Kind of interesting to think about…the type of woman that would cotton to a thing like that. I don’t guess it would be one of his own, since he never married.
The black stallion started pawin' the ground, and the day was getting on into evening when Willard said, “Guess I’d best be getting on down the road, Bob.   Dad should be home from riddin' the ditch.  There's enough daylight left for us to  have some supper and talk awhile before I have to get back to the ranch. We got a couple of dozen wild broncs to break next week, and I don’t think we’ll be able to count on Gid to be there to do any horse witch-docterin’.”
Bob, slapped his knee and said, “Speakin of Rattlesnakes, I heard MD joined the Air Force. Is he trainin’ to drive one of them‘Flyin Contraptions’ over at the Pyote Rattlesnake Base?” As he stepped in the stirrup, Willard said, “Naw, Bob, MD joined the Army. He’s trainin’to march and shoot one of them bolt-action rifles. I doubt he’ll be shootin’ Diamondback Sidewinders where he’s goin’.”
Well, I’ll be dogged, I was jest thinkin’ bout you two boys as youngin’s, and how ya’ll are the closest folks as I can call kin. I shore hope MD is as good with that rifle as he was with that ole pistol ya’ll used to shoot rattlers. I’ll be prayin’ he comes home safe and sound. What about you, Willard, are you goin’ to join up?   I betcha you’d be right good at flyin’ one of them Rattlesnake Flyin’ Machines.”
As Willard settled himself in the saddle and took the reins in his hands, Bob said, “By the way son, what did you name that bronc?” With a flick of the reins and a wink at Bob, Willard said, “Let’s go, Sidewinder”.

Willard Carroll Pittman
March 14, 1927 - April 1, 1988
MD Pittman
March 6, 1924 - April 2, 2011

*Bob Offield was a cowpoke in Grandfalls, Texas around 1915 when my Great Grandmother Martha Jane Carroll arrived in Ward County.  Bob makes his first appearance in Martha Jane's Covered Wagon Tracks and again in Martha Jane Makes Homestead Tracks in Texas.  The above photo is from Martha Jane's Photo Album and is thought to be Bob Offield.  Taken  in front of Ott's Blacksmith Shop, C. Hale's meat market and the Grandfalls Hotel.  This photo also appears in the Ward County History Book 1887-1977, pg.181.

*Bob Offield and Martha Jane Carroll married April 1, 1916 and seperated in July that same year.  It is not known if they ever legally diviorced, but Martha Jane never went by the name Offield.

*Columbus Chappel 'Chappo' Pittman married Effie Estella Carroll August 11, 1916.  Estella was the daughter of Martha Jane Carroll.  Chappo and Estella were Willard and MD's parents and my grandparents.

*Rattlesnake Air Force Base was a World War II USAF training base located in Pyote, Texas.  It was nicknamed the Rattlesnake Bomber Base for the numerous Rattlesnake dens that were uncovered during its construction. Ruins are still standing today and a museum is housed in nearby Monahans.   References:  Wikepedia and  Texas Escapes Online Magazine

*Wristen Ranch located between Grandfalls and Monhans where Willard worked as bronc buster and cowhand.  Still in operation and Wristen Family owned.

*Grandma Elsey's Diner was a train dinning car turned into a cafe'.  It was located on the main street of Grandfalls and run by Grandma Elsey who really did make the best homemade pies in Ward County.

*Gid Reding a surveyor by profession and a man with many talents.  It was said that he had a photographic memory and could tell you about every plot of land he surveyd and where every rock pile marker he made was located in and around Ward County.  He is pictured in this story at the 100 Year Celebration of Ward County in 1992...he was 92 years old.  He was a great story teller and I was a good listener.

Dedicated to the Memory of
Gideon Lowe Reding
June 3, 1900 ~ March 6, 1993
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