Tales and Legends

Written by Edna Liggin

March 29, 1990

Tales of Two Goats in Wells:

This tale may be a legend. A few years ago several of us were walking over the newly cleared ground between Shiloh church and the ball park under construction. We came to a shallow, dry well. One of us, whose folds were early settlers of Shiloh, claimed she could see a goat in the well. The rest of us could not.

Later, a woman whose family lived in a house once on this spot, told us the pet goat of a small boy did fall into that well. A Shiloh cowboy threw down a lasso over the goat’s horns, and with pulling from above the goat walked up the sides of the well, and thus to safety!

The other pet goat had not horns, but wore a collar. He fell down into the deep well on the Tabor place, but landed on a ledge. The owner of the goat, John Matthews, galloped his horse, Dan, down to get Deason Roach to help. With a hook on a long rope, they caught the hook under the collar and brought the goat out safely. This is a true tale.


Tale of a Rabid Hog:

Laura Tabor had climbed up from the deep ravine with a bundle of freshly washed clothes, headed for the house. She noticed a hog in a pasture where he should not have been. On looking closer, she saw red eyes and foam on the mouth. She began to run for the rail fence. She prayed the wobbly top rail would throw her on the opposite side. It did. She ran to tell her father.

John Burl Tabor came back with a loaded gun. He decided to climb a tree, then to lie on a limb of the tree, and shoot the mad hog. However, the limb broke. As Tabor hit the ground, the hog almost him, he realized he had only time for one shot. The hog fell over dead.

“Boys,” Tabor told his four sons, “get the knives sharp and the water hot. We gotta kill hogs.” They killed fourteen that day.


If  The Creek Doesn’t Rise:

These words have prefaced many promises in country conversation, but for Mattie and Essie Patrick in their school days at Patrick church, it came to pass. If it rained during the day, and Porter creek got too high for them to cross, they spent the night with the Porter family. The next day they went back to Patrick school. Apparently, there was no worry on either side of the swollen creek.

Many Patrick school students have built up a legend of the day Molly Key’s wig got caught in a bush as she played. Shocked and excited the girls ran to tell the teacher, who Mattie Smith says was Bertha Porter.


A Mock Wedding at Patrick School:

The late Cumi Youngblood told this tale. She was the bride and John Porter was the groom, with Floyd Key the preacher. The two finished the 8th grade at Patrick, then John went on to Bernice High School, but Cumi said her family could not afford for her to go.

There is a legend of a teenage girl who wore her best dress under her school clothes, then she slipped off from school, pulling off the school garb, to leave with her groom to go to ride over to Henry Smith’s to be married.


Steam Boats Come Up Cornie Creek:

The whistle of a steam boat as it approached Shiloh Landing was a signal and produced different reactions. Emma Lester Porter as a small girl would ride with her Grandfather Porter in a buggy to the Landing. Sometimes they got a stalk of bananas. Once, Captain Vaughn took little Emma on his boat, and told her his little girl had just such blue eyes.

The whistle of the boat in the night got Jim and Bob Tabor out of bed, to hitch up the mules and go in the wagon to the Landing. Their father, John Tabor, was on that boat, bringing them a fiddle and guitar. The boys then sat up the rest of the night trying to play a tune.


Floating Down Corney Creek:

It wasn’t a fun trip in a canoe down the Buffalo River. The late Leon Austin and wife, Ione, floated down Corney, on to D’Arbonne, and thus to Monroe on rafts of logs. It was a way they had to earn a living. Timber was plentiful. The Austins lived near Lowery’s Ferry.

Leon Austin was later to recall one trip in which they were in real danger. On this float, besides his wife, and little girl, Cecile, were John Lee and Nancy Youngblood. They made it to White’s Ferry, and stopped for supplies. A storm came up; with high waves. They almost didn’t make it back to the raft and to get underway again.


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