Biographical Non-Fiction posted October 17, 2022 Chapters:  ...19 20 -21- 22... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
My dad's early life growing up in the south.

A chapter in the book Pioneers of My People

Glover's Story, Part one

by BethShelby

My genealogy book is full of the stories of my family members I know or was able to learn from other sources. Those of my immediate family I've learned from their personal accounts or my observation.
Hugh Glover Weir was born December 15, 1909 in the little southern town of Newton, Mississippi. His parents Ebenezer Weir and Alma Simmons Weir lost their first baby, a little girl they named Mary Elizabeth, at birth. They wanted more children but Alma was frail and having trouble carrying a baby to term.
Glover was born nine years after their marriage and five years after the first baby died. He would be their only child. Since Glover would grow up to become my father, he deserves a spot in my genealogy book as well as my mother, Lucille.
Being an only child, it is likely he was pampered, even though his family wasn’t wealthy, and they were simple country people. They were so thrilled to have this long-hoped-for child, and so fearful that something could happen to him that they gave him a lot of love and attention. Alma was still grieving the loss of a younger sister who had died the month before Glover’s birth, from what is now known as hepatitis. It was called yellow jaundice in those days.
Glover’s grandfather, Robert Weir, was living with the family. He was 81 at the time of Glover’s birth. Being crippled and unable to do much more than sit around, the old man adored the child and was said to have spoiled him rotten. He passed away when Glover was only five.
Glover loved animals and was able to find a baby squirrel and turn it into a pet. The squirrel lived in his coat pocket and was around for several years. Living in the country on a farm, all children were expected to help with chores. Plowing was a dreaded task, but it was a necessary one. Glover preferred the task of stocking and waiting on neighbors in his father’s country store, but he wasn’t inclined to learn to run the gristmill his father operated. Operating corn-fed gristmills was a family business which had been handed down for generations.
As a young boy, Glover had red hair and freckles, a characteristic inherited from the Waltons, his maternal grandmother’s side of the family. When he started going to school, he took some teasing from his peers, and he despised being labeled a carrot top. Over time his hair turned black, and the freckles became less noticeable, except on his arms and chest.
For children living in outlying communities, there were one-room district schools, where students of all grade levels were grouped together in a single classroom with wood-stoves used for heat and windows for light. There was no electricity so far away from town. Most had a nearby well and an outdoor toilet. The kids took tin buckets to school each day for lunch. Glover’s bucket usually contained a couple of biscuits and sometimes a piece of cold chicken or a baked potato.
Glover’s mother's youngest sister, Eva, was only eight years older than Glover and a student in the same school when he was still in the lower grades. She looked after him like she would a little brother. The school only went through eighth grade. 
Glover was a good student and he excelled in math and reading. He had the potential to be an artist as evidenced by the numerous designs and bits of doodling drawn on the edges of the pages of his textbooks. He was proud of his ability to do the fancy handwriting which was considered an artistic skill in that day.
Alma's parents had both passed away from the flu by 1917. Glover was eight when his parents took in his mother's sister, Eva, who was 16 and her single brother, Willie, who was 27 and still living at home. Glover’s father agreed to provide them a place to live and keep up the taxes on the Simmons’ acreage which bordered his land. Willie had been drafted into the Army at the beginning of WWI, but after getting the smallpox vaccine, he became ill and almost died. The Army had given him an honorable discharge, and sent him home to recover. With the money from the Army, he managed to buy a car. Up until that point the Weir family had traveled by buggy or wagon.
After completing the eighth grade, students who chose to go were bussed to the larger school in town. Seeing the way the town boys dressed for classes, Glover was ashamed to be seen in the overalls he was accustomed to wearing. He told his father if the family could move closer into town, he would quit school and find work. In those days, most of the country boys were satisfied with only an eighth grade education. 
His mother had hoped to see him go further in school, but she didn’t push it. His father sold some of the acreage where the waterwheel gristmill stood by a large pond and moved the family into a large old house a mile from town. It was unpainted and had a tin roof and two porches. With four bedrooms, it met their needs. Glover's dad quickly built another crude structure to house the gristmill which would be powered by a gasoline motor, rather than the waterwheel.
At fourteen, Glover was able to find work as a stock boy at a clothing store in Newton. There was a need for workers. So many young men had been drafted to fight in WWI, and help was scarce. The Jewish family who owned the store soon learned their new employee was good at lettering signs which they used to advertise their merchandise. They were very pleased with his work and in a short time, he began waiting on customers. Having worked in his father's country store, he quickly caught on to how a larger business was managed.
The customers found Glover friendly and helpful. By the time he was 18, he’d managed to get enough money together to buy a pre-owned Ford Model T. The Great Depression started shortly after he acquired the car. Many stores were going out of business, but his boss, Ira Levine, was a shrewd business manager, and it seemed Glover’s job was secure. He was interested in girls and some of them seemed to enjoy chatting with him, but with money so tight, he didn’t feel he could afford to date. No one knew what would happen with the economy. It was a scary time. 
When he was twenty, he’d met Lucille and was starting to get to know her. She was only fifteen, and she was related to his cousin, Lewis. They had a chance to talk one day while both of them were visiting Lewis. She was fun-loving and outgoing, and he got up the courage to ask her out. He thought she was beautiful, and after a few dates, he started to believe she was the one for him.
It was about that time his boss, Ira, told him he was thinking of buying a store in Knoxville, Tennessee, and he would like Glover to manage it. He and his boss started on a trip to check out the store, but when they were halfway there, a severe storm struck. The rain was coming down so hard, Ira decided not to risk driving further and turned to go back home instead. The trip was on hold for the meantime, but Ira never got around to pursuing the idea further.
After much persuading, Lucille finally agreed to marry on the grounds they not tell anyone until she finished school. They drove to another county and were married by the Justice of the Peace. Their secret would be made public in less than a week. It would mean the end of school days for Lucille.
To be continued....


I'm writing these storeis for those who are interested in genealory to leave behind stories of family that might otherwise be lost forever. I hope even those who don't share my DNA will find something of interest in the history of the times.
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