Page 12 – Autobiography – Benjamin Lafayette Smith
 
 
         Lucy Overton Hobby of Columbus Miss who was living with her stepfather, W. N. O’Neal.
         We remained with him until Saturday morning when we took the cars for Artesia. Some of
         my small brothers met us there with a horse a piece for us, and rode to my fathers horseback
         and spent the day there, and in the evening, I took her a mile distant, to a single room home,
         a dressed weather boarded house, unceiled and unpainted. I had hired a good negro woman,
         Julia Peterson, to cook for us. She gave us supper, and thus we began the battle of married
         life in a single room, furnished with a neat plain bedstead, a small dining table, several
         chairs, a small hanging minor and a neat wardrobe and bookcase, the two latter, I made
         myself. Both looked nice. The pillow cases on the bed, were of yellow domestic, bleached
         from continued washing. My wife made some nice bleached domestic pillow cases and put
         the room in nice order, and made things look much more orderly and cheerful. She never
         once suggested or even hinted that she would prefer a better house, but went to work
         patiently, willingly and cheerfully to do her full share in making this a neat comfortable and
         happy home. I was delighted and highly appreciated her start, but I failed to praise her as I
         should have done. Failing to commend her and her children especially her, when deserving
         it, was and has been all my life, a great fault with me. I failed to commend my servants as I
         should have done, when they deserved it. I went with Lucy occasionally to visit her
         stepfather, and he gave her in the summer a buggy and harness that he had used some, which
         we used in going to church and also in visiting him. In the fall my father offered to sell me
         eighty acres of land and take my note with interest for another eighty. I accepted this offer
         and he deeded me the W ~/2 of NW 1/4 and the E ‘/2 of NE 1/4 of Sec 33 T18 R16 East,
         west of and adjoining the Westly Johnson place. On the east edge of this land was a grove
         on which was a tow room house with stack chimney built of soft white limestone. The
         weather boards and floor were of rough plank, and covered with 30 inch cypress boards.
         Besides this house, there were on the place two cabins and an old log crib and a cheap
         shelter for my horses. We moved there a few days before Christmas, and we were both
         delighted to get to a house we could call our own. I hired Ned O’NeaI, his wife and two
         other hands to cultivate the place for a part of the crops. I employed Susan Wade, Ned’s
         Mother-in-law, a good cook and handy old woman to do our cooking. She lived in, and did
         the cooking in a nearby house. This made it convenient, as we had but two rooms and no
         kitchen. On the 14th January 1870, a pretty little girl was born unto us. As soon as Lucy
         thought it necessary, I started Ned on horse for Dr. Howorth, but he did not start soon
         enough for in an hour the baby was born. He soon came and attended to Lucy, and being
         good natured and cheerful, he soon had her in good spirits. She and baby both got along
         finely and she was on her feet in four weeks. Our new home seemed to give her fresh
         courage. She went to work diligently, cheerfully and lovingly to make this a neat happy
         home. Mr. O’Neal was Lucy’s guardian, and soon after we were married, told me owed
         her about $1500.00, and would pay it soon. I found that he had used it, hoping to be able to
         pay it back. When I found that he could not pay it, I employed lawyers, who agreed to take
         half of what they collected for their fee, to bring suit. They collected from his sureties
         $3000.00 without suit. This left her $1500.00 the amount that Mr. O’Neal said he owed
         her. Lucy lovingly and confidingly placed it all in my hands, except a small amount she
         used to but herself a necklace and gold watch. I used a part of it to but eighty acres of land
         adjoining me on the west. This made me 240 acres. I bought a mare and mule and
         increased my hands and put this land into cultivation. In the fall of 1870 I added a cheap
         shed room to the south end of our dwelling, which we used for a dining room. By this time