Bon Jellico Families

The L.B. Stanaford Family
By Earl Lovitt (1980)


    Our closest neighbors were the Stanafords—L.B. (Bird) and Cassie, Kerb ( b. 1902), Otis (b. 1907), and Cleo (b. 1909). They were the best neighbors any family could have…and lived next door for over 40 years. All my memories of the Stanafords were good. Let me tell you one----I had a brand new hound dog about 1917 and did he love to chase hogs! Mr. Stanaford’s red Doric pig was about 100 lbs and real fat; somehow he got into our garden and it was my job to get it out. I liked that; so I let the dog run the pig for a good while – enjoying the chase- but it was a hot summer evening and the pig gave up. I thought that was real neat so I picked up the pig and put it over the fence toward the Stanafords hoping he would go on home. I hadn’t dreamed that a fat pig would die on a hot summer day if he ran too long. I told my dad and asked him what to do. He said there was just one thing to do—go tell Mr. Stanaford what you have done. I sure didn’t want to, but I did and I can’t believe Mr. Stanaford just gave a little grin and didn’t even scold me.

    Mrs. Stanaford gave me my very first Christmas present (I had never received a gift from anyone except Mom and Dad) but for some reason one day Mrs. Stanaford (Cassie) asked me to draw some water for her (a well with a long narrow bucket and chain in the yard). When I did, she said , “I’ll give you a present for that.” I thought no more about it but when Christmas came, here came Mrs. Stanaford with a little box wrapped ‘Christmassy’. I opened it and here was a belt—the first one I had ever had….and if you had always had to wear those suspenders (gallowses) you would know how much I liked that belt.

    I could go on and on about Curb and Otis Stanaford and some of out good times together. Mike Richardson had a turnip patch and …little boys love to steal turnips… The turnip patch was along the big road up Brian Creek.

    I seldom had many nickels but when I did I headed for Mr. Stanaford’s store. The Stanafords ran a small grocery store on the banks of Briar creek—close by the coal company camp. I knew how slow to walk across the trestle and up the track so that all the good peanuts would be eaten up by the time I got home—that way I did not have to share…

    About Oct. 1923 at around one o’clock in the morning, Mr. Lewis Roe rushed to our house saying, “Somebody has killed my wife”. People back then had more sense than we seem to have now—so my dad went and woke-up L.B. (Bird) Stanaford to go with him to the Lewis Roe house. Sure enough someone had killed Mrs. Roe, who had been sitting in a swing on their front porch.

    I faintly remember (though I may be wrong) when we moved on Briar Creek near the Stanafords they lived in a log cabin with an outside stairway to the bedrooms upstairs. Soon thereafter, they built the nice frame home still standing today (1980). I would guess their new home was built around 1914.

    Never in those 40 years did I ever hear of any problems in the 2 families (Lovitts and Stanaford) and I’m sure that during this time with four parents and about 12 normal kids there were many times when problems could have arrived but they didn’t—my Mother and Mrs. Stanaford were good friends until the end.”

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