My Ancestral Legacy
My Cooper Legacy

Emmaline Mason Ann Waller Pattison
Information as told by her daughter
Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
recorded by Nellie Cooper Rogers

In the Waller family, it was the custom to give long names to their children. Mama's full name is:
Ethel Rilla Luraney Rendy Emmaline Mason Ann Lucendy Waller.
She was known as Emmaline Mason Ann Waller.

Emmaline's Family
By Nellie N. Ostler                         
    Emmaline (Emily) was left motherless at the age of 8 years. Her mother die'shortly after the birth of her tenth child. Shortly after her mother died, her father married Elizabeth Boyd Blackshear. By the next spring, her father died.
    When Emmaline's father died, she was still only 8 years old. Her "stead-mother" had her baby after the father died. The baby was named Benjamin Jonas. Emmaline was just barely 9 years old when the baby was born.
    This new baby was called Jonas by the family.
    From then on, Emily's childhood was very hard, as she had to live from place to place, working for room and board. I feel that life was very hard for that family. Emily's "stead-mother" kept the family together, although as the children got old enough to be able to work for their keep, they did.

Life in Alabama

   Jonas was about 12 years old when Emmaline married Billy Pattison. Jonas got married after my grandmother Telitha was born. Jonas lived in the Columbia area in Henry County Alabama and Emmaline and her family moved to Florida.
Jonas had five sons, William (Willy), Charles, John Burton, Henry and Jacob. I believe it was John Burton that told about his life while they lived in Columbia, Alabama.
These are his stories: [this happened about 1889].


(by John Burton Waller)
   "We lived at Camp Springs (which was close to the town of Columbia). We moved by wagon from Camp Springs to Pansy, Alabama, a distance of about 15 miles. The grown folks and older children walked all or most of the way. Our first home at Pansy was a log cabin with a side-room We did not live in this house for very long. Shortly after moving papa, with the help of our neighbors, and Charley and Willie, who were old enough to contribute labor, logs were rived, shingles split and the house raised. This was the most up to date house in the community. We had glass windows."
(by John Burton Waller)
   "The local church building served as a schoolhouse. We had puncheon seats. That was a log split into two parts and each part held up by four peg legs. These logs were smoothed on the split side to make sitting more comfortable. Our studies were confined primarily to the three R's and just about literally taught to the tune of a hickory stick. To enforce discipline and encourage learning the teacher kept a supply of switches standing in a corner close at hand. Charley got five whippings in one day from not knowing the multiplication tables. With this "encouragement" he soon was able to say them forward, backwards or any other way.
   We studied by a pine knot fire. At school we held the books in our laps to study. Along the wall was a slanting board used for the writing lesson. A school term that ran four months was a long term. We did not have busses to ride abut this did not keep Charley, Willie, and Minnie from riding. They used stick horses."

(by John Burton Waller)
   "Washday was a day of excitement as well as work. The excitement came from that fact that several families would probably be washing at the same time and there would be visiting. The clothes were taken to a pond. The clothes were cleaned by means of a battling block, a paddle, and home made soap. At the pond there was a board out over the pond and we dipped what water was needed for washing by walking out on ;this board. Myrtle and Emily decided that it would be great fun to see someone slip into the water, so they soaped the board. Guess who fell in? They were the only ones."

Social Life
(by John Burton Waller)
   "Anything that called for a community gathering was welcome. Some of these things were long-rollings, land clearing, brush burning, barn and house raisings, singings, and going to church. These neighborhood gatherings were times for learning and passing on local news, visiting and for the young folks to get better acquainted. If the event called for work the men worked, our mothers prepared food for a picnic dinner and the younger children played.
   "One Christmas we started to Uncle Tom Boyd's for the holidays. While crossing a creek the water came into the wagon and we all got wet."

Medical Care

(by John Burton Waller)
   "Doctors were scarce. Grandma [Elizabeth] Waller set papa's arm after he broke it wrestling. Mother was good at first aid and it was necessary. She doctored our cuts, bruises, colds and minor ailments with homemade poultices, cough syrups, and just plain old mothering. There were some things beyond her capacity as the time Willie broke his leg at the saw-mill. For this a doctor from Ashford was called in. It was while Willie was in bed with the broken leg that we saw our first bicycle. You can imagine the rush to get a good spot to see the new means of transportation coming down the road. Grandma pulled Willie's bed around so he could see the bicycle.
   "It was here that we saw our first train. A railroad had been built near our house. One the day that the first train was scheduled to come through; all activity at home stopped and everyone went to the railroad to see the excitement. Uncle Tom Boyd brought Grandma Waller down from Camp Springs to see the train."
as told by Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
   When Emmaline was a girl, she had two suitors. When one became too insistent, and she preferred Billy, she went to him and told him. He always teased her about proposing to him.
   Robert William Pattison married my mother, Emmaline Mason Ann Waller, on January 11, 1868, at Blakely, Georgia. Their children were born in Blakely, Early County, Georgia, which is just across the state line from where Emily was born in Alabama.
   After the Civil War, Papa had been an overseer for his Uncle Henry Boatright, About the time he married, he stopped being an overseer for his uncle's plantation, and had a cotton plantation of his own. He must have rented the plantation, because there is no record of him buying any land. We lived on Barebin Plantation where I was born, later moving to Kilemoky Plantation. Later we returned to Barebin.
   On these plantations, our family raised all the corn, sweet potatoes and vegetables we needed. We had chicken, geese, duck and made pillows and feather beds (mattress) from their feathers. We also had turkeys, and cows. The cows furnished our milk, butter and cheese. We raised sugar cane from which we secured syrup. My father having a cash income made it possible for us to buy many things from the store.
My Mother
By Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
   My mother was a medium sized woman. She was 5 feet 4 inches and weighed from 115 to 130 pounds, until after the change of life, then she weighed 150 pounds. She was a medium complexion, dark brown hair and dark blue eyes. She wore a size 6 shoe after the change of life. To me she was a very beautiful woman and she was called a beautiful woman.
   Mama carded, spun and wove the cloth for our clothes, when we were small. She raised the sheep, sheared the wool, washed it, carded it, spun it, dyed it, and wove it. She raised the cotton, picked the seeds out by hand, carded it, spun it, and wove it.
   If there was any sickness, Mama was there to assist and do her part in the work. Her dear old hands had to do all kinds of work, in the field as well as washing, ironing and scrubbing.
   I was eight years old when she did her last weaving. (This is the time they left Georgia and moved to Florida). It is said she could weave two or three yards a day and do the other housework. She made the most beautiful bedspreads. They were called coverlids in her day.
   Telitha remembers that her mother gave her, a bedspread when she was married. The bedspread was made of white cotton warp with brown wool filling. This bedspread was woven so there was large brown diamonds and small white diamonds on one side and on the other side large white diamonds and small brown diamonds. When Mama left Florida, by accident she left this beautiful "coverlid".
The Family
By Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
   When Emily married she had to live with Grandma (Martha Annie King Pattison). Now Grandma had never done much work, as she had always had a Negro servant to do her work. So you can see that made mother's life not so pleasant.
   With Aunt Mary, my cousin, Martha, and my Grandmother Pattison living with them, it was hard for my father (Billie) to do his job as an overseer and to find time to raise the crops and animals for food for our family. With so many to feed, some one had to help with the outside work so that more could be done.
   Grandmother was very old and lame and could not help. And it would not have been proper for Aunt Mary to go out and work with Papa, (Billie), so Mama, (Emily) went out to the fields to help raise food for the family, and left Aunt Mary to do the house work and take care of the children.

A Firm Faith in God
By Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
   Mama was loved by all who knew her. Virtue was her main aim in life; honesty and everything that was for righteousness. She taught my father how to spell and figure and write his name. Mama learned to read from the Bible. Mama was a Latter-day Saint at heart, but she did not know anything of the Mormons, only that her girlhood chum, Mrs. Madocks, had been lured off by a creed that had a host of wives.
   Mama was even tempered, very kind and not loud mouthed, and always had something good to say about everyone. Mama joined the Presbyterian church in Florida as there were no Free Will Baptist. She said that we children should be raised in some religion as they taught honesty and virtue. My mother taught me to pray and taught me to have faith in God.
   My mental picture of Mama is sitting in her chair reading the Bible. Mama had an easy chair of her own and no one sat in that chair only when Mama did not need to sit down. When Papa sold his land and home, and started to Texas, Mama put her chair in the back of the wagon and sat in her chair. I remember when I saw the last sight of her sitting in her chair.
You Do What You Have To Do
By Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
   At one time father moved us away out in the sticks on a homestead, and father went off to get a team to haul some shingles that he and Dennis and Mary had made.
   We ran out of groceries. Mother went to the swamp and gathered a herb called vanilla and sold it to a company who made fine tobaccos. They used this vanilla for flavoring the tobacco. She could only get trade for the vanilla, and she had to walk miles to get a man to come by for the vanilla as he went to a little town and then she give him a liberal share of the vanilla, so you see she did not get much. I tell the world, gathering that vanilla sure was hard work.
   I remember a print dress she got for me and a beautiful pair of shoes for my sister Ollie. (Telitha had the bill of goods she got for it when she told this story.) The bill of goods read like this [we call it a "receipt" now]:
"Mrs E. M. A. Pattison
Dr W A LoveIl & Son    1882
      Oct. 10
      44 1/2 yds strip                               5.79
      2 pckg coffee                                    .45
      6 strand cotton                                  .40
Oct. 17
      12 lb sad iron                                    .84
      3 pr child shoes                               2.75
      (sizes read 1/120, 1/90, 1/65)       10.23
Oct. 17
      By 600 lg vanilla 2 1/2 15.00        15.00
A Lovely Collar
By Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
   My Mama was self sacrificing. She worked hard at everything she could get to do and then would buy things for Billy and us children. One lesson I learned I have never forgotten.
Mama washed for a woman and the woman crocheted Mama a lovely collar. When Mama came home with the collar, I said, "It is mine." Ollie said, "No, it is mine. You don't look nice in anything anyway." Clara said, "Ma, give it to me." Kate asked for it. Mama could not keep the tears back. I do not remember now the words she used but this is what she meant. "Telitha and Ollie, I thought you was old enough to think your Mama needed something nice. You all have nice things and I haven't ever had a nice collar for years."
   I was 14 and I could never remember Mama ever having a collar. I never thought that my Mama cared for nice things as she always gave everything nice to us children and papa.

"Bumble Bee"
By Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
   Mama would get out and play games with us children, old fashioned games. One special game Mama played was, we children and Papa would take hands in a circle. Mama would be in the circle and she would say "A bumble bee is a stinging me and I want to get out of here." At the same time she would try to break the ring, where we held hands. And where she succeeded to break the ring, those two would have to pay a forfeit by dancing or singing or running around the house, or anything Mama said. As Mama would say, "A bumble bee is a stinging me" she would dance around in the ring. Sometimes she would say it several times, dancing around until we would all get so interested in her we would forget to hold hands tight, and then is when she would break out.

Easter Eggs - Rag Dolls

By Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
   My Mama always colored "rabbit eggs" for Easter. The eggs were really chicken eggs, but no one ever let on. How did she color them? She sewed them up in a pretty piece of cloth and boiled them in the cloth. At that time, the coloring in the cloth was not colorfast or permanent, but would bleed out when the cloth got wet or was washed. When the eggs boiled inside the cloth, then the figures of the cloth came off' on the egg. She let them cool before she took the cloth off.the egg.
   She used to make us dolls by cutting them out of cloth, then sewing them tightly and stuffing them with cotton. Then she would sew (embroider) on the face and make hair with yarn. She called them rag dolls. They sure were pretty.
   My Mama always made Christmas presents and fixed nice dinners. She could make the best biscuits and the best self rising bread, and baked chicken and all kinds of good things to eat.
They Were Going to Texas

By Telitha E. Pattison Cooper
   After I was married, Papa and Mama started for Texas. (Mama's half-brother had moved to Texas.) On the way to Texas, they stopped at Blitchton (near Ocalla), Marion County Florida. This is in North Florida. It was while they were there that my Mama took pneumonia and passed away. She died before my husband and I could get there by wagon from Lake Co. where we lived.
   Mama died the 23rd of February 1896, being a little over 51 years of age. She was buried in a church cemetery there. Elias Thayer, a very dear friend of my mother's, engraved a stone for her grave which read "Asleep in Jesus." We went to put the stone on her grave.
   Thus ended the earthly life of a wonderful mother. May I live worthy to meet her when I leave this earth.

Rhio's SamplerEmail meAdd me
My Ancestral Legacy
My Cooper Legacy