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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Donie Ezell: born August 10, 1886

reposted from 2013

The daughter of John Ezell and Mary Belew. She was born August 10, 1886 in TN., Loretto. Donie was Kizzie’s first cousin, she was also the wife of James Carroll Littrell, the brother of Kizzie’s husband, John Daniel Littrell, making her also Kizzie’s sister-in-law, and Aunt to all of John & Kizzie’s children.

The following article is contributed by Ollie Onene Littrell Curtis, we believe it is from the "Sikeston" [Missouri] Daily
Standard and the date is circa 1981. Donie passed away October 30, 1981


95 year-old was a woman's libber even before it was fashionable

By Jill Bock, Daily Standard staff writer.

ASS- (6)Donie Littrell, who will turn 95 August 10, knows all about woman working at what is considered a man's job. She was a "liberated woman" long before Gloria Stienem was even out of diapers.

Donie, now a resident of the Sikeston Convalescent Center, grew up doing "men's work".  "I've done everything men done, I've done anything done in the field-- plowed, shucked corn, laid fences, everything," she recalled.

Those early days of hard work  began in Tennessee. In 1929, perhaps not the best time to pick to make a new start, she loaded up her eight children and with her husband came to Southeast Missouri.  "Times were so bad out there we couldn't make a living," Mrs. Littrell said. Her husband, James, who came to the Boothill earlier thought the land looked better for farming than in the hills of Tennessee.

By 1930, the family, working together, had made their first crop in New Madrid County north of LaForge. They continued farming there as tenants for 6 years. "We could have bought that farm $35 an acre," she remembered. "But we were afraid to stick our necks out."

Buford W LittrellLife in the 1930's rural Missouri was filled with many good times and some bad.  James was one of the first farmers in the area to switch from mules to a tractor. One day while using the new steel wheeled tractor, the youngest child, a boy, who was riding on it with his father, fell off and was killed.

The family enjoyed good times with the neighbors who would bring fiddles and banjos to the home and they would play and dance. Mrs Littrell acknowledged she used these times for a little matchmaking and her daughter later married one of the young men who came calling at their dances. Days were filled with quilt making, spinning, canning produce. Each of the children were appointed chores and when they were through, they had a pony to ride and school to attend.

Looking back, Mrs. Littrell commented, "Everything has changed. Especially the prices, They've gone out of site."  The first year me and my husband were married, he drove a team for $1.25 a day. I could go out and buy three cans of Salmon with twenty-five cents then."ASS- (5)

Also she recalled gathering berries on the farm and walking to the store where the proprietor would pay her ten cents a gallon. She would use the money to buy cloth at ten cents a yard.

The family later moved to New Madrid and the to Sikeston in 1947.

Four of her daughters are still in the area. Lorene, Clera, Auvine, and Rachel, live in Sikeston, and her oldest daughter, Vela now lives in Pensacola, Florida, and her son Arthur, lives in Austin, Texas.

"I think I raised a pretty good family. I appreciate everyone of them," she said about her six surviving children.

With 95 years of living behind her, Mrs. Littrell said, "It seemed to me like hard work and all, but I enjoyed it."

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