Childhood Memories of Mamie Smallwood (b.) 1915

MAMIE SMALLWOODMamie Smallwood was born about 1915 to Catherine Belle (Davis) and Talmage Smallwood. She was the granddaughter of the man my family calls Uncle Tom Davis and wife, Sarah “Sadie” Jane McConnell Davis, who lived at Board Church in Comanche County, Texas.

Late in life, Mamie recorded some of her childhood memories. A huge thank you goes out to our cousin Laquita, daughter of Robert Lane, for sharing.


Among my most precious memories are the visits to my grandparents, Tom and Sadie Davis. I can remember sitting in grandpa’s lap in front of the fireplace and him telling stories and singing “Old McDonald’s Farm.” He could mock the animals real well. His story was “Hop Over Thumb.” He chewed tobacco, and I remember the smell of tobacco while sitting on his lap.

I looked forward to seeing Lillie Tom and Oma Mae. They had such interesting play pretties. They each had a box of their belongings. They used corncobs for dolls. They would dress them, and they had whole families and would make homes for them. We played in the shade of the chinaberry trees in the yard. Sometimes we would take the dolls out and play in the big barn. It had a hayloft. It was fun to climb around in the loft among the hay bales.

Lillie Tom had among her belongings a glass inkwell. I liked it, and she told me I could have it. She told me it came from the old Dingler schoolhouse which was replaced with a new building in 1918. She had had the inkwell for sometime. Lillie Tom was always my idol.

Most time there were other grandchildren visiting at the same time we were there. We would play church. Lillie Tom was always the preacher. She could mock the preachers real well. She would kneel and pray loud. The older cousins looked after the babies and young cousins. They would play as if they were their real babies and try to keep them quiet in church.

Oma Mae had among her things a set of small dishes. She would let me look and play with them, but she would not get them out when other children were around.

We lived near Hassie when Oma Mae visited us for several days. Our yard was sandy, and it was damp. We played in the sand. Oma Mae had a loaf pan, and she made a cake and turned it upside down. It was a nice cake so she made a long row of cakes. Frankie was a baby at this time and Oma Mae came to help Mama out with the new baby.

Time went by and Oma Mae and Lillie Tom and Claudine outgrew me, and I did not get to play with them anymore, but Aunt Iva always had time for me. I remember the long cellar. We would play in it sometimes. They built a new cellar sometime in the 30s. It was closer to the house.

About Fredda Jones

Fredda Davis Jones was raised “in the country” in Comanche County and learned very early that creativity and innovation are traits that can flourish even in small-town Texas and that with enough effort, indeed nothing is impossible, including being married to the same man for over 40 years! Rickey and Fredda have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, and a crazy life that includes sitting in the bleachers several times a week. The rest of her time is spent creating great content for and marketing small-town Texas.
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