ALICE COBB STORIES Told by the Boys Summer 1934

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography
Series 24: Derived Literature

ALICE COBB STORIES “Told by the Boys, Summer1934”

TAGS: Alice Cobb Stories “Told by the Boys, Summer1934”; Alice Cobb; stories; Pine Mountain Settlement School; Harlan County, KY; 1934; Uncle John Lewis; marriage; wives; Line Fork; Ben Lewis; Tom Madon; Wilson (Little Wick) Lewis; mules; Sam Winfrey; corn; sales; L.E.C. (Lige) Cornett; pickled beans; weights and measures; markets;


“The first ‘un the angels took ‘er for their own, and I laid her on yander hill, and kivered her over in her bloom o’ youth. The second she tuck atter the world and I had to put her aside, accordin’ to God’s holy word; but Louize, here,  she was the fairest o’ the flock. There ain’t been ary ill word atween us and we been alivin’ together in holy wedlock nigh onto forty years now — hain’t we Louize?”


Mrs. Lewis at LIne Fork: “They was a cat asightin’ around amongst my hens, and them a cacklin’ and crowin’ like they’d all went crazy.”


Ben Lewis — “Lots o’ golkdrd scrd Mr. hoe vomr er sit brothers [?]. I tells ’em I takes my complexion from the Bakers and he takes his’n from the Lewises. ”

“The trouble with us folks back here is that we air too selfish to sit together and every feller give a little for the good of all. That’s why we hain’t none of us got anything.”


P. Cornett had an old yellow cow and she would lay out in the woods and he had hunted her so much he got disgusted and he started pitching big rocks on her back as hard as he could.  He says, ” ——————–! I’d pitch a clift on ye if I could!”

Lige Cornett, he had a boy named Wilson, called “Little Wicks“. One day somebody passing by heard Little Wicks cry, so he says, “What’s the matter with the baby?” Now LIttle Wicks was the only one in the family Lige cared anything about, so he says, “______________!” LIttle Wicks is mad! If it wasn’t for Little Wicks I’d pitch a clift on the house!”

Lige [Cornett], he had an old mule that wouldn’t plow good so he would get mad and cuss, and the old mule wouldn’t do a bit of good, so one day he took out a little short knife with a broke blade, and says “Now doggone ye, I’ve showed her [the knife]  to you for the last time!”


Sam Winfrey — “Last winter when we had that slide on the road we got out of corn and we didn’t have any way of getting it. Lige came along and said he was out of money, needed it, was in hard luck. He had some corn that he wanted to sell. He was willing to take a dollar a bushel for it. Now we was paying a little over a dollar a bushel at that time in Harlan. But we told him we wouldn’t need corn especially, but if he needed the money and was a friend of the school that we would buy it from him — but his corn wasn’t worth a dollar a bushel and we would give him 90 cents.

He didn’t want to take 90 cents so we compromised on 95 cents and he was to deliver it to the barn. First trip he come with a slide load drawn by his little mule Bobby. He wanted us to weigh it and we got the scales. He didn’t know how to weigh on the scales and he says “Kin you weigh on them thar’?” Lake said “No.” Lige says “Do you all reckon that feller can weigh?”

I went up and weighed the corn.

We guessed at the weight before I told him and I agreed to it too quick so he got suspicious and wanted to see it weighed. It was a gallon less than he had guessed it and then he thought the scales was crooked. The next trip he come by Frank Cornett‘s store and borrowed a half bushel — said he wanted to measure it because he knew that was more accurate than to weigh it.

As he was leaving he met a feller who wanted to get his corn and come after it for $1.00 a bushel. He said everybody was trying to best him out of what he had. “They’s lots of bad people in Harlan County,” he says. I said, “But there are some good ones too.” And he says, “Yes, but they’s mighty few!”

When I got ready to pay him I wanted to know his name and he says “Ye don’t need to know!” I said “All right. It don’t make any difference. We got the corn.”

“It ain’t paid for, but just let that go!” He said quick, “L.E.C. Cornett! The school knows me. I’ve had lots of dealings with the school.


Lige was out working on a neighbor’s fence. The neighbor had a barrel of pickled beans in there. So Lige had an old dog with him that he called Old Rock. So Old Rock went in the neighbor’s house and got in the barrel of pickled beans. A man came along about that time and Lige says “Don’t ye hear Old Rock? He’s in thar speculatin’ on them pickled beans!”