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Out On The Mudline

As Easy As Rolling A Church On A Log

By W. P. Sissell

Our Northwest Corner

I had to talk to former Enid Dam Ranger, Tommy Brooks, to get some of the following facts correct. One of the last exacting jobs he had as a Ranger involved locating a corner of the Corps property which was the same as that of our Cottner Place.

He came to me many years ago with a question, “Why in the world did the McFarlands have a cemetery out in the woods?” I told him the following story. Actually the cemetery was a part of the Worship Center for Captain McFarland’s people. The cemetery was in an area adjacent to a church (it also served as a school for many years). The church, long before the advent of Enid reservoir, was moved (the early thirties) down from the hill area where it was first built. I can remember when the moving took place. Although I was just a little boy, not allowed to get close and in the way, I watched from a distance.

Long slender trees were cut to serve as rollers that could be placed under the building’s foundation. As the building was moved along these rollers would travel from front to back and as they exited at the back of the building they were retrieved and brought back to be placed at the front by my father’s F-20 Farmall tractor. The people of the church did all the manual labor. The road supervisor, after going through the proper procedure, used his caterpillar to pull the building. The church/school was relocated in the flat area about a hundred yards from the Mud Line road, just at the foot of McFarland Hill close to our west line.

In the history of the schools of Yalobusha County, the school is referred to by two different names. Without going to the records, I’m staying with McFarland School. The teacher that I remember for  many years was Booker and I do not know any other names.

Because the road ditches had been dug out to form the roadbed, a bridge had to be built. The supervisor provided a slant bridge (one end on the edge of the roadbed, the other on the field side). There were three of these slant type bridges between Swindoll Hill and McFarland Hill (one on the Suggs Place, one on the Sissell Place, and one on the McFarland Place). Only one, the one on the McFarland place, was on the south side of the Mud Line Road. All the exits on the south side of the road were dirt ramps.


I realize that I’m completely changing the subject but this is kind of a fabulous story and I promised several young ladies in Senatobia (and I laugh at the WBLE announcer who in the commercial says Sina-to-bee-uh) that they would be in this week’s Herald.

  I went along with Nannette shopping for a shower gift for one of our friend’s, Dr. Hollis and wife, Linda’s, daughter. When Nannette was asked for and gave our address the young lady clerk said something that made me ask where she was from. Her pert answer was, “I’m a Memphis refugee.” When we told her that we went to Mt Olivet Church she immediately pointed to another clerk and said, “She’s James May’s daughter, and knows all about Mt. Olivet.”

We had a long and enjoyable conversation with those girls.

  Please do have a great week. I’m enjoying this cooler weather. Have you checked the price of soybeans and cotton lately. I know some of you—like Billy Brice—have done just that. Can you believe that I was a big boy when Billy Brice started to school.

   You may reach me most of the time at 23541 Hwy. 6, Batesville, MS 38606 or (662) 563-9879.


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