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Family Memories of Calvin Abner Knight

Calvin Abner Knight is the grandson of Calvin Marcus Knight and Mattie Green and the son of James Calvin Knight and Hettie Erwin. Calvin was named after his two grandfather s, Calvin Marcus Knight and Abner  Abe Erwin. You can see a picture of his parents by clicking here.

My parents, Jim and Hettie Knight, raised eleven children on a 123 acre farm in Thomas, Louisiana. We were a poor, but happy family. My father was a farmer all of his life. The family worked hard, getting up before daylight to feed the mules and get them ready for plowing at the break of day. Everyone had their turn to milk the cows. Wood was gathered for cooking and heating our house.

Our farm was mostly self sufficient, but money was needed to buy things like flour, some of our sugar, fertilizer, etc. Our family grew cotton for a cash crop. Five hundred bales of cotton sold for $500.00. Groceries were bought on credit during the winter and paid for in the summer when the cotton was sold. We also grew corn on the farm to make such things as cornbread for ourselves and food for the livestock. Instead of hay, corn shucks were tied together and bales of fodder were used to feed the animals. Sweet potatoes were grown and baked for the children to bring to school for lunch. We raised hogs and cows for our meat. The meat was put into a store box and covered with salt as a preservative. When needed, the meat was smoked in the smoke house. Peanuts were grown and stacked on top of the smoke house to dry.

We made our own quilts and ground our coffee. The coffee was made by straining it through a sack. The children were not allowed to drink coffee because we were told that coffee was bad for children.

For entertainment, children from the neighborhood would come over and we played basketball from a goal that we made.

Times were hard during the great depression. Many of the people worked for the WPA. My brothers, Jesse and Levan, worked for the CCC. There was the NYA before the WPA where youth were hired to build houses and barns. My brother Junior worked for them.

A lot of people hauled paper wood in the winter for a money crop and sold it to Gaylord. They used some of the money they earned to pay for their paper wood truck. After my parents were married, my father hauled logs from the swamp with mules and hauled it to the saw mill where it was made into lumber.

My dad and I made cross ties at a creek bank in the swamp across from our house. This was before World War II. We used a broad axe to hew the cross ties. One time, my father cut his little toe with the axe. The toe was completely severed with only the skin holding it to his foot. He poured coal oil on it and wrapped it in a rag. It healed and the toe grew back.

My father read the family Bible from an old coal oil lamp. The family either walked or hitched up a mule to a wagon, our only means of transportation, and went to the Lawrence Creek Baptist Church on Sundays. We tied the mule to an old oak tree near the church. Sometimes the church was so crowded that some of the congregation was unable to fit inside the little country church. The windows were raised so church members could listen to the preacher s sermon on the outside of the building. Preacher Jim Stewart was one of the preachers that preached at our church. Back then, preachers would go around to many of the churches in the area.

Note: Like so many of us, Mr. Calvin Knight was not interested in his family genealogy until many of his ancestors had passed away, and it was too late for him to learn more about his grandfather, Calvin Marcus Knight. We are very grateful that he shared these memories of his life with us so that we can preserve them for future generations.

Calvin A. "C.A" Knight
(Died Oct. 28, 2008)

The Daily News - Bogalusa, LA
Published/Last Modified on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 10:56 AM CDT

Calvin A. (C.A.) Knight, age 82, a resident of Bogalusa, died at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at LSU Medical Center in Bogalusa. He was retired from Avondale Shipyards as assistant night superintendent. He was a member of Love Missionary Baptist Church and a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII.

He is survived by his wife, Faye Crain Knight of Bogalusa; two sons, Dennis (Jackie) Knight of Marrero and Douglas Knight of Talisheek; a daughter, Brenda K. (Randy) Spitzkeit of Meridian, Miss.; his grandchildren, Ryan, Eric, Douglas, Gala and Stacy; three brothers: Wayne Knight of Ponchatoula, LeVan Knight of Bogalusa and Billy Barber of Franklinton; two sisters, Joyce Magee of Franklinton and Linda Cluster of Monticello, Miss.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by a daughter, Barbara Ann Knight; his parents, Jim and Hettie Erwin Knight; his brothers, Lavelle, Wilton, Leslie, Junior Daniel and Jake Knight; and sisters Ozzie McKenzie and Violina Vince.

Visitation will be at Crain Funeral Home from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30 and continuing on Friday after 9 a.m. until time for the funeral service at 2 p.m. in the funeral home chapel. Eld. Glynn Erwin, Eld. Glay Galloway, Eld. Jerry Blackwell, and Eld. Lavell Knight will officiate. Burial will follow in the Thomas Cemetery.