A Place called “Down Home”
Shortly after I married my husband, my mother-in-law Mary Jane Titsworth-Jewell (1893-1976) ask if we could take her down home to see her sister Lucile Titsworth-Thurman (1900-1993) who lived on the “old home place”. Her sister, Daisy Titsworth-Hayden (1902-1976) also accompanied us on the trip. Daisy had a twin brother, David Titsworth (1902-1989). They had 2 other sisters, Sallie Bell Titsworth-Hannon (1896-1984) and Elsie Titsworth (1894-). Their parents were Charlie (1870-1965) and Mary Clay Alexander-Titsworth (1873-1955). Charlie’s parents were William Titsworth (1867-1935) and Sara Jane and grandparents, John Titsworth (1822-) and Mary Smith. Mary C Alexander-Titsworth’s parents were David Alexander (1840-1929) and Mary Marshall.
I wasn’t sure how eventful this trip would be but I was mentally prepared for whatever would present itself. The home while old and very worn looking on the exterior was quite clean and inviting on the inside. Hot and cold running water was absent inside, so a “outhouse” (toilet) was a few feet outside the rear entrance and a slopjar for nighttime needs. While the outhouse did have an offensive odor there was lots of newspaper to line the seat opening and there was toilet paper. I was a bit apprehensive about using that outhouse after my husband informed me that snakes were often in or around these facilities. He enjoyed seeing my discomfort with that situation. The well pump with faucet for water was also outside, in front of the house. Urban Renewal replaced this home with a new one sometime during the 1980’s.
Hickman a riverport, formed in 1845, is the Fulton County Seat which is at the farthest southwest tip of Kentucky (highlighted in red) where Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky meet at the Mississippi River. Minorities make up approximately 25% of the population. Hickman was a very, very small place where the downtown area had the usual, grocery/general store, post office and courthouse (shown above) for city/county business, etc.. While the road in front of the Titsworth place was hardened dirt, the roads in the downtown area were paved.
Some of my husband’s cousins ask if we would like to go “out on the town”. Sure, we would go to “Tee’s Place”, it was the weekend and there was no Television or other entertainment seemingly available. Well, the entertainment place was a lot less than I imagined. It was a garage type building with a few tables and chairs around an open floor area for dancing. There was a “jukebox” with records, a bar/food preparation area and a waitress with handwritten menu’s. We seemed to be part of the entertainment because everyone was staring really hard at the strangers in town. Needless to say, we decided to forgo the “entertainment” after a short period of time.
The Titsworths also owned some acreage and our trip “down home” would not be complete without a driveby of that area. It contained about 100 pecan tree’s in a swamp, which was maintained by a “sharecropper” who split the profits with the family at the end of each season. This was a very new and different experience for me but interesting nevertheless. Our weekend trip came to an end and we returned to our familiar surroundings.