Page 13 – Autobiography – Benjamin Lafayette Smith
 
 
         
         we had three milk cows, Lucy began to sell some butter, which was always nice, and
         brought the best price. I increased my hogs and began to prepare to raise some colts. I
         made a good crop the following year and killed enough hogs to do us, and some for hands
         on the place. I pushed back the shed room and added another room and hail to the south end
         of house. In this hail was our cistern which furnished all of our drinking water and a good
         deal to wash with. We caught water off the house to fill the cistern which held about 600
         barrels. I rolled the shed room back to the new room and had it for a kitchen and the new
         room for a dining room.
              In 1873 I was employed by the tax assessor of the county to assess the taxes of that
         part of the county south of Tibbee and east of Bigbee. This kept me from home a good deal
         in the spring and the weather being wet, my hands got badly in the grass and caused me to
         make a short crop. In the fall I bought 20 acres on the east side of my place from my father
         and put me up a good frame crib with sheds on three sides for my stock.
              About this time, I sold our old buggy and bought a two seated hack for my family. I
         sowed rust proof oats this year in February and made a good crop. I had some to sell and
         always after this planted them and sold some every year. I tore down the double rock
         chimney and put new blocks under my house and tore up and dressed the old floor in our
         room, and ceiled it throughout, doing all of the ceiling and flooring myself. The next year I
         removed the rail fence around the yard and put me up a neat rough picket fence of sawed
         pine. By this time I had put up one double ????? cabin and two single ones for my hands. I
         kept making some improvements on the house place every year and finally built a gin house,
         but did not fix to gin for several years, used it for storing seed cotton as it was picked. I
         added a hail and room to the west of our room, with ???? at ends of the hail. I enclosed the
         hall with single door on the south side and double doors and side lights and transom on the
         front. I ceiled the hail on sides and front, and put dressed flooring on hail and porches, as
         well as in the room, and put a brick chimney to the new room. I kept the house
         whitewashed inside and out. I most always made good crops of corn, but frequently made
         light crops of cotton as my land was not first rate cotton land. I usually cultivated about 180
         acres of land, but one year cultivated 250 acres. My milk cows increased rapidly and Lucy
         began to sell more butter and I sold one occasionally and sometimes some beef cattle. Made
         some improvements every year and kept the place in fine fix. In 1879 I made a trip to Texas
         in August to see if I could not find a better place to raise and educate our children. By this
         time we had six. I made no purchase, but came back’home and made two more crops, and
         in the fall sold my place to my father, and bought 130 acres of land and a house and lot
         adjoining it in West Point Miss. The house had three rooms and a kitchen, all of upright
         dressed lumber, the three rooms painted on the outside and unceiied and whitewashed inside.
         I put one coat of plaster and ceiled overhead the three rooms in 1882. In 1885, 1 added
         three rooms and hail to the front of these, and furnished them and the others nicely. We
         moved to West Point 12/23/1881. In addition to my house purchase, I bought a half interest
         with 0. A. Gibson in two lots, one on Main street, on which was a frame store in front and
         a brick house with mill in it for grinding corn, and the other a lot on which was a large old
         frame house with grist mill in it, also a cotton gin. Gibson looked after the one (the latter)
         on Broad street and I attended to the one on Main street. We did a great deal of grinding
         and furnished a good deal of corn and meal to farmers also ginned a good deal of cotton in
         the fail, but we did not have much money at end of year. We sold the mill and all fixtures
         on Main Street and rent the store and brick house to Dominick and Wade for a hardware