Mason County News
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February is Black History Month Dawn To Dusk
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 • Posted February 25, 2009

The Mason Jackson black families lived across the Comanche Creek in the Northwest part of town. The following story is from a recollection of Sandy Mason Miller.

Grandmother Matt washed everyday for either her own family or for different people in town including Judge McCollum, Earl Waller, Dr. McCollum and other from town who needed their laundry to be done.

Water was taken from the well. Everyone would pitch in to help. A bucket would be filled with water from the well. The children would get a broom stick and put the bucket in the middle. Each would get one end of the stick and then carry it to the house. Another way to tote the water would be to put a washtub in a wheelbarrow and wheel it to the house. This method required a more abler and stronger person to do the job.

Three tin wash tubs (No. 2) were used. In the first tub the clothes were scrubbed good using a rub board. The second tub was to rinse out the soap. Blueing was used for the white clothes. The third tub was used for final rinsing.

Trees were close to the house and a clothes line was strung between the trees. The clothes were hung on these lines and often times the clothes were hung on the fence.

The next day would be a time for ironing. Flat irons were used for the ironing of clothes. The irons were first heated on wooden stoves. In order for the iron to be clean and free of soot so as not to mar the clothes, Grandmother Matt put wax on a cloth and then rubbed the flat side of the iron on this cloth. This procedure made for a nice, clean iron. Grandmother Matt was very particular about the clothes and everything had to be "just so".

Sandy and her sister, Shirley, were taught to iron at an early age by their Grandmother Matt. Often times they would stand on a wooden box (crate) where they would be able to reach the ironing board.

From "dawn to dusk" there was much activity going on across the creek, as times were not easy for them. Sandy made the following statement- "We lived in a time of segregation and we accepted this because we were born into this culture and probably never even questioned it. The colored folks went on with the business of living and enjoying what life had to offer them."

By Marilyn Mahon

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