Broyhill Family History

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Gibson Broyhill
Submitted by John Garrett. Undated
Hand written Manuscript

When Gibson Broyhill and Daisy Mayberry were married in nineteen hundred and fourteen, they began to keep house in a one-room log house which had a big open fireplace in one end. Her father objected to her marriage, therefore they ran away one Sunday morning, went to a country church, where they knew there was service on that third Sunday, waited in Gibson's buggy on the outside, and when the preaching was over, Gibson called Rev. Garnett over to the side, and they were married.
     Gibson was working for his father, who was a big lumber man, manufacturing lumber and building houses.
     Gibson never would go to school if he could help it. And when he had to go, [he] spent his time flirting with the girls, making funny faces, and just couldn't be made to study. His father used to tell of an incident. He was sending Gibson to subscription school, and the teacher decided that he would make a record for himself and get Gibson interested in learning his letters, so one day he brought him up to the font of the school and began making letters on the blackboard. He made "A," asked him what that was. He answered "A." When he made "B" asked him what that was, Gibson answered, "I don't know." The teacher said, "Well, what does it look like?" On turning around Gibson was winking at the girl opposite him and answered, "It looks more like a pig's tract than anything I know of," and the teacher gave it up. While Gibson hated school, he loved to work, and when he was twelve years old he left school for good, being then in the third grade.
     He went to work with his father. He loved to drive a team, and he was permitted to haul lumber to town with the other teams and driers. This he enjoyed. Or working on his father's farm with the horses, but never with a hoe if he could help it. As he grew older, his father taught him the trade of carpenter, and he enjoyed helping build houses, and working with the different machinery in his father's shop, so when he was married, even though he couldn't do much reading or with figures, he had become a good first class carpenter.
     But Mr. Mayberry, his father-in-law, didn't like the idea of him stealing his daughter the way he did. After about a year their little daughter came. Ruby they christened her, and the in-laws soon forgot their hard feelings, and buried the hatchet and were good friends.
     In nineteen and fifteen the World War come on us, and Gibson come to Hopewell, Virginia and was employed with the Dupont Power Company. His wages were good, he being a mechanic, and they soon saved money enough to purchase a Ford Model T. And the little family enjoyed many a ride in it. The war closed, and Gibson was out of a job again. He had saved a little money, and they now had a son, Paul, and they went to live on the f arm. Gibson though he would like farming better and jobs were hard to get, so they drove their Ford to the farm, began farming, and seemed to be getting along well. That year, they broke a little more than even, had their own meat, chickens, pigs, cow, besides Daisy had canned up a lot of vegetables and fruit for the winter. The spring had come again, and with it come another sweet little baby boy, which was never named, for when it was about six weeks old his mother went to the spring to see about her washing, left her wee baby in his crib asleep. Gibson had gone over the mountain to see some men on business, and when she looked, behold the house was covered with flames. She ran to the houses creaming to the top of her voice. About then Gibson come in sight of the burning building, come running with all his might, but they both were too late. Lost was their "wee babe," with everything they had. "Oh it was the awfullest sight I ever saw. I'll never get over it. Our baby gone. If I could have only saved him, I wouldn't have worried over the other things."
     Then Daisy was taken sick, had high blood pressure, and a tumor. Had to have her operated on, and for weeks she was neared dead than alive, but at last she pulled through, "but I tell you that fire was awful." He was discouraged, and we decided to move back to town. "Our neighbors was mighty good to us. They gave us clothes, quilts and things to go to housekeeping again, so we left the country, this time I think for good. I come back to Hopewell, went to work with my father and brothers building, and have made a fair living." We now have five children. Our oldest boy and girl are married. John is in his last year in high school. Lincoln is in first year high. John wants to go to college next year. He is more like an 'old maid' than anything you ever saw. Cooks and washes dishes like a girl. I think he wants to be a professor or something, but it cost money to send a boy to college, but we want him to go if possible.
     Gibson has had some real bad sickness. "I've had the pneumonia twice. They thought I was about gone, but you know my mother and father were good Christians, and they had the whole community a-praying for me. I tell you prayer brought me out. Then I had the flu but I come through."
     Gibson walks stooped over in his back from the effects of having had the pneumonia. After Gibson lost his baby by fire, he took to drinking, and when he got a drink or two, he went half crazy, and wanted to abuse his wife and oldest daughter Ruby. They often had to leave home on this account, and stay away all night, waiting for him to sober up. On one occasion, he went to his father's, looking for them, and demanding them to get his wife out from her hiding place. His father and mother, being old, couldn't do anything with him. As his younger brother came in, Gibson jumped on him for a fight, and then the police were called, and as soon as he learned of this, away he went in his car, so drunk he could hardly drive. About two years ago, he got on another drunken spree and Daisy and John had to leave home to avoid his abuse. They come to his sister's home, and that so shamed him, he is broke from drinking so badly. Daisy says, "If Gibson had never drank, we would have had a nice home all our own, but Daddy is doing better now. When he can keep work to do he is all right. Never drinks, but he can't stand to be out of work. We have bought us a little home on North Fourth Street in Hopewell, and are paying for it by the month, and in a few years we will have it paid for. I tell you there's nothing like owning your own home."
     The house is painted, screened and papered on the interior; shrubbery is planted out in the yard, with roses and many different kinds of flowers, which John calls "his own."







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