History: Greenwood, Wis. “Little Hell” (20 Jul 1911)


Contact:  Linda O’Donnell

Email: lindao@clarkcowisconsinhistory.org


Surnames:  Stevens, Stafford, Schofield, Shanks, Syth Stuart, Kennedy, Gullord, Wollenberg, Andrews, Green


----Source:  The Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark Co., Wis.) 20 Jul 1911


Little Hell Has a New Cover On It

(some grammar and spelling edited by L. O’Donnell)


Monday evening, a crowd of the “old boys” got together and put a new steel roof on P. M. Stevens’ harness shop, familiarly known in the past as “Little Hell.”


Pete was easily lured away early in the evening, so the whole thing was a great surprise to him.


The new roofing was put on over the old shingles rapidly and securely, and by dark the roof was completed.


As we go to press, the building is being painted and will present a changed appearance.


This is distinctly a work of the “old boys,” to whose hearts the little old shop has become dear through old-time associations.  The expense is borne by subscriptions from the “old boys” at home, in nearby towns and out west.


Pete contributes the following:


Editor Gleaner:  Allow me through the columns of the Gleaner to thank the boys for the above. 


To the old inmates of Little Hell, dear boys: Last night while going to milk, I noticed the Big Store dray unloading some steel roofing on the north side of the printing office, and wondered what it was for, as the office was shingled a few years ago.


While sitting up town in the evening, John Stafford came along and said he had some harness for me to fix and wanted me to go down and see if I could fix them.  Just then, Dr. Schofield came along with his auto and said, “yes, get in and I will take you down.”  So Stafford, John Shanks and myself got in.  John brought a collar and some harness.  Of course, everything he had needed fixing.


As we were sitting there talking, along came Mr. Gullord with his auto and asked if I was there.  Of course I went out to the road and he asked me if I did not want to take a ride, over to Loyal.  “Oh my, that will make me late getting home and the folks won’t know where I am.”  “Oh no, 20 minutes over and 20 back.”  So over we went.


But when I came over to the shop this morning, the steel that was unloaded north of the printing office was on top of Little Hell in nice shape; then I realized why Stafford took me down to the barn and Mr. Gullord took me to Loyal.


It is raining now (Tuesday), but Little Hell does not leak a drop.


And its doors are always open for the old boys.  But it would not make any difference whether they were open or not if you wanted to come in as you would come in, through a window, for you always did.


The old clock still hangs on the wall and also the old map by the side of it.  The profile is still on the map; that which was put on there one night while the write was home in deep slumber.  But I think if you ask Jack Syth, Archie Stuart or Dr. Kennedy, they could tell you how it came there.


The old bench is the same as it was when Charlie Wollenberg undertook to throw Bill Andrews and Denver Green in the Indian wrestle.  He was not onto the trick and came up the third time with both legs.  The boys hooked on and double him up under the bench.  Poor Charlie could not speak and the rest of the boys were playing hot hand on that part that was up.  Charlie was nearly gone when they let him down, so the boys had to throw water in his face to bring him to.


Kin, the bench is also ready for you in case you get mixed up in a green corn dance again and want to hide the keg in case the man the boys swiped it from should come in.


The old coffee pot is here; the one you filled with the boot-full of oil that you took out of the tank.  Of course, you were not all to blame, as Ol’ Warner put the boot in the tank.


The pot is yet behind the stove with oil in it and you are welcome to oil your boots at any time, or any of the old boys.


I would like to have a homecoming with all of the old boys and seem them under the old roof once more, as it is all on yet; the new steel is over the old shingles.


But boys, if we cannot all meet under the old roof, we will some time in the sweet by and by.


Sincerely yours,
P. M. Stevens

Prop. of so-called Little Hell




History: Greenwood, Wis. “Little Hell” (17 Aug 1911)


Contact:  Linda O’Donnell

Email: lindao@clarkcowisconsinhistory.org


Surnames:  Miller, Andrews, Carter, Shanks, Smith, Mead, Chandler


----Source:  The Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark Co., Wis.) 11 Aug 1911


Article Brings Another Response

(some grammar and spelling edited by L. O’Donnell)


The recent article on the improvemet on “Little Hell” has touched another soul among former inmates and brings the following comment:


“Dear Friend Pete: your letter in regard to the new cover on Little Hell, published in the Gleaner last week, was mighty interesting reading for me and brought back to mind many pleasant evenings ad several afternoons spent in your place.  How Johnnie Miller would laugh when a real good one was pulled off.  I think it was he who caused the roof to leak.


“What great ball games we had in Miller’s field just back of your place.  Kin Andrews was one of the pitchers.  He did not pretend to throw curves, but delivered a very swift and effectual slant.


The dances were enjoyable too; the biggest one of all being P. M. Stevens’ prize and May pole dance.


The Bowery parties were pleasant, especially the week teachers’ institute was held.  F. M. Carter, Dave Shanks and Jack Smith furnished the music, excepting on special occasions when Bill Mead and others would help out.


I wish Greenwood would have a homecoming.  Those who have made their headquarters at Little Hell would answer “here” when you would call the roll, have a few stories, a smoke and possibly a game of Head in the Hat, with Bill Andrews “it.”


There are many more things to write about, but will close.  Kindest regards to yourself and my many friends in Greenwood.


Yours truly,

Carl Chandler,

Blanchardville, Wis., Aug.1st 1911



History: Greenwood, Wis.. "Little Hell" (22 Feb 1912)


Contact:  Linda O’Donnell

Email: lindao@clarkcowisconsinhistory.org


Surnames:  Andrews, Stewart, Hogue, Behrens, Dowie, Schofield, Pratt, Ferneau, Stevens


----Source:  The Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark Co., Wis.) 22 Feb 1912


Fore notes: In 1871, Steven Honeywell built the first blacksmith shop of Greenwood, Wisconsin. George Andrews assisted him and received seventy-five dollars a month. George built an addition to the blacksmith shop and put in an ox-frame where he shod as many as fifty yoke of oxen in one year. When oxen were to be shod they were led into a stall on purpose for this work. There they were raised in a sling until their feet were off the ground. Then their feet were placed on a board rest and fastened with a clevis to hold them, for they kicked like blazes. A part of Uncle George's original shop was moved from the east to the west side of the street.  When first moved, Peter M. Stevens conducted the same kind of business there. His shop was a gathering place for the men of the community who played pranks on one another and on the proprietor until the place became known as "Little Hell." From the tales the old settlers recount of what went on there the name suited the place very well. And as one man remarked, "The ones gathering in "Little Hell" were a prospective, preparatory class for the greater "Hell" to come. Jack Syth, Claude Carter, Archie Stewart, Bill Hogue, Harry Hogue, Clare Hunt, Otto Behrens, Gene Curnmings, Oll Warner, Ralph Ferneau, Shell Andrews, Frank Pratt, Kin Andrews and many others were in that prospective class. P. M. Stevens was for many years janitor at the Woodman hall. He kept the hall clean and neat and appointed himself as sort of an inspector to see that good order was kept at all dances, funerals, and other gatherings. His brother Jack was janitor at the schoolhouse for many years.   Greenwood, the Hub of Clark Co., Chapter VI





A Representative Class, Says Kin

--Former Inmate of Famous “Little Hell” Comments on Other Members and Points Out Destiny of Each

(some grammar and spelling edited by L. O’Donnell)


"Little Hell" Members

Front Row (left to right): Davie Shanks, Clarence "Clare" Hunt, Jack Syth, Hastings Baird, Sr., Arch Stewart, Claude Carter, Ed Wollenberg.

Back Row: Pete M. Stevens (Proprietor), Harry Hogue, Otto Behrens, Gene McMahon and Will Hogue.


[Untouched Photo shows more of "Little Hell"]  [Newspaper Photo]


Last fall (Oct. 1911), when Dr. Arch Stewart visited here (Greenwood, Wisconsin), all of the old-time boys that could be reached at the time, got together and had a picture taken on the steps of Little Hell (above).  Kin Andrews, on receiving one of the pictures, wrote the letter below. Photo contributed by the Greenwood, Wis. Library.


Colby, Wisconsin, Oct. 3, 1911.

P.M. Stevens, Greenwood, Wis.


Dear Old Pete,

I received your photo card, which I immediately sent to the Look Out Committee of the American Bankers Protective Association as a collective picture of noted crooks.


A representative graduating class from “Little Hell.”  A prospective preparatory class for the greater hell to come.


Old Cloven Hoof himself on the extreme left, who, I fancy, has in his concealed hand the blacksnake which was partly worn on my unlucky legs during the past, which occupation made him preeminently fitted for the poker job in his next home.


“Squire Hogue” next, who from his hang dog look and judging by past knowledge, has a bunch of your belt leather concealed about his person.  He also has a cinch on his future job.


Otto Behrens, who for the shady horse trades of the past, will undoubtedly be compelled to trundle the lowly wheel barrow in his future home, which will be filled with coals by “Penny Ante Gene,” who, if examined at the time the picture was taken, would be found to have a cold hand up his sleeve, and a game of “bluff” won’t work, either when requested or to get on the job.


Slough Water Billie, who in days past carried a quart of water from the far distant spring and diluted it with slough water from the nearby pond, forgetting in his haste that pollywogs do not live in cold springs.  Well, even slough water will be nectar to him in the place waiting for him.


The representatives of the meat and blinder trusts, who from the smug look on their faces have had an exceedingly profitable year in oleomargarine and cast iron binder frames.  Neither of these articles will stand the test when heat is applied.


Farmer Jack, who obtains the greatest part of his butter fat from the barn pump, from his exceeding cussedness in the past; it is my private opinion he will not be even allowed to inhabit the place of darkness.


Dr. Dowie is in the center.  There is hope for him, for the chip which he usually carries on his shoulder will burn off.


The next two I do not recognize; undoubtedly graduates of a more recent class, as “birds of a feather will flock together.”  The second from the right—from his high intellectual forehead and look of piety—might be offering apologies to Diety for his present company.


Shylock the Banker is on the extreme right; lower row.  Note his expectant attitude, waiting for his pound of flesh.  The more he gets, the more he’ll crave.  Good Lord, has such a soul to save?  I imagine that during eternity, he will be trying to get a chattel mortgage on your poker, Behrens’ wheelbarrow and Gene’s shovel, which he will use in buying an option of a cooler location.


As before stated, a representative class, only how small.  Where are Doc Schofield, Frank Pratt, Ralph Ferneau and a host of others?

Yours, K. Andrews


Next week, our readers will hear from the honored head of Little Hell himself, in some of his personal reminiscences.




History: Greenwood, Wis.  "Little Hell" (29 Feb 1912)


Contact:  Linda O’Donnell

Email: lindao@clarkcowisconsinhistory.org


Surnames:  Root, Thompson, Stoker, Dennis, Syth, Cummings, Oelig, Huntzicker, St. German


----Source:  The Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark Co., Wis.) 29 Feb 1912


Tales of Old Times in “Little Hell”

By P. M. Stevens (some grammar and spelling edited by L. O’Donnell)


Little Hell not only has a new roof and a coat of paint, but has been freed from encumbrance by the help of the old boys at home and abroad.


Editor Gleaner.  Again, please allow me through the columns of the Gleaner to express my sincere thanks to the old boys and inmates of Little Hell for their kindness to me, and particularly to Dr. Schofield and E. F. Wollenberg, who were the instigators of the plan to put Little Hell on the free list.


To the old inmates of Little Hell, dear boys: On the Saturday night before Christmas I retired very early, having been up the night before at the hall until 3:30 and was just dropping off to sleep when a knock came at the door.  My wife was just retiring and asked who was there.  The answer came: “Dr. Schofield,” and he wanted me.  My wife said that I had gone to bed.  Doc said that didn’t matter; he wanted to see me, so she unlocked the door and let him in.  By the aid of a match, he found his way to my bedroom and placed in my hand a paper that put Little Hell on the free list.  It took all the sleep out of me; I did not go to sleep that night until after the clock had struck eleven.


O boys, O boys, how can I ever repay you for your kindness?


I was as surprised as was Otto Behrens one time when he got in a jackpot in a penny ante game with old Jacob Kahn.  Poor old Jacob has gone to his reward years ago and I suppose we might let him rest, but to make the story, we will just use his name.  He was the superintendent of the Hutchinson Cooperage plant that was here at the time.


Perhaps the editor of the Eau Clair Leader knew him, as he was a man that liked to have a little sport and used to go to Eau Claire to have it.  But when he found out the boys here could entertain him, he did not visit Eau Claire as often.  The upper ten as well as the middle five all visit Little Hell.


The Eau Clair Leader man saw fit to copy my piece in the Gleaner the time the boys put the steel roof on Little Hell with a great heading, saying that Greenwood in Clark County has Little Hell that is greatly admired, and she was worthy of a place in the columns of the Eau Claire Leader, or even the New York Sun or some of the big Chicago papers.  Now I will give the Leader man and others some of the reasons and a sketch of some of the times the boys of years ago have had in Little Hell that makes it so admired by them.


As I said before, when Doc Schofield handed me the paper that put Little Hell on the free list, I was as much surprised as Otto Behrens was in a game of penny ante.  Well, one day, we were having a little fun, five or six of us, and there came a jackpot.  The deal was passed a few times and of course we had to fatten the pot; but after a while, Otto opened it.  Jacob sat next and he raised him, so the rest of the boys stayed.  All drew cards.  Otto made his bet.  Jacob just called him.  The rest of the boys dropped out.  Then Jacob said, “Now I will divide the pot with you.”  “No sir,” said Otto.  Jacob laid his hand face down on the board and hauled in the pot, saying, “If you won’t divide, you can’t have any of it.”  “Hold on there, I’ve got a king full,” said Otto.  Jacob pointed to his hand on the board and said, “Look at that hand.”  Otto turned the hand over and to his utter surprise, gazed upon four aces that Jacob been sitting behind.  You could have knocked Otto down with a straw.  The boys all had a good laugh at Otto.


I mailed one of the photo cards to our old time friend and inmate, Kin Andrews, Cashier of the Colby State Bank, and upon it were these lines:


“This card I send ye,

Is from an old friend ye

See standing at the left hand.

The gang you can tell

As you’ve seen them in Little Hell,

A few of the old band.”


In his reply, which appeared in the Gleaner, he says he immediately sent it to the lookout committee of the American Bankers’ Protective Association as a band of noted crooks.  Now I would advise him if has not got a photo of himself to go at once and get one and forward it at once to that association, for if there is a crook among the many graduates from Little Hell, he must be the one, as he attended more evening sessions and in the summer he always attended the noon hour sessions on the front steps.  He could not go back in the hayfield or hoe the corn until he had taken in some of the noon session.  This is why he graduated with such high honors; the highest of any graduate that left the sacred precincts of Little Hell.


But the boys have not yet forgotten the time they chipped in to buy the apples and he went and got them.  When he came back, did he pass the sack around to the boys?  No, but he sat down in the chair by the stove and the sack opposite the boys and went to eating them.  The boys’ mouths watered for some of them but they said nothing.  They thought they would see if he would pass the sack around, but no, he sat there and ate every last one of them.


He says that he fancies that I have in my concealed hand the blacksnake that I used on his unlucky legs.  Perhaps I did.  If so, I did not use it amiss.


He thinks that Squire Hogue has a bunch of leather about his person that he has been cutting up.  If so, it is nothing more than he and lots of others have done.


He also thinks that Penny Ante Gene has a cold hand up his sleeve.  Perhaps gene has played one of those cold hands on him some time, is why he thinks so.


Slough Water Billie perhaps did not want to carry water so far, and thought that slough water was good enough for their hogs to drink, and though it would not hurt them much if they did not swallow a pollywog.


He speaks of Farmer Jack obtaining the greater part of his butter fat from the barn pump and that he will not be allowed to inhabit the place of darkness, but when Kin gets there, he will find Jack sitting near him.


He says there is hope for Dr. Dowie, as the chip he usually carries on his shoulder will burn off.  But if He-boy Watson is there the chip will not burn off as he will knock it off for him.


The next two he does not recognize.  I suppose he does not know that Areb Stewart was here.  The second from the right he says has a high intellectual forehead and a look of piety.  That is Dad Carter.  He is married now perhaps that has something to do with his having hair between him and heaven.


He speaks of Wollenberg as Shylock the banker.  As he is a banker too he will be waiting for the pound of flesh too, but if he gets his right place it will be with a shovel in hand along with Gene, and if I am there with the old blacksnake I will warm his legs for him and make him shovel until he will wish that he could buy an option on a cooler location.


He says of the class, "How small, where are Dr. Schofield, Frank Pratt and a host of others?"  The gang was got together on short notice.  Frank is on his farm and we could not get word to him.  Doc was off on a call, but came later and is in on another picture.  Arch took the film of it with him.


Kin, the old pipe bowl that you so mechanically carved out while in the logging camp is yet in the drawer and in it yet is a portion of the old Carrie Greenlaw pipe stem.  I think it is the only relic of Old Carrie's left in town.  It is ready for you  to smoke any time you come over.  You always liked to smoke it but whether it was on account of you making the bowl, my tobacco used or the stem once belonging to Old Carrie that you liked to smoke it so well, I do not know.  But come over some time and have another smoke out of it.


Speaking of old Carrie reminds me of a masked ball in the old Vates Hall.  I used to go those days but I could not disguise myself but what they would know me.  But, this time I thought I would fool them, so I dressed in female attire.  So my wife dressed me up and not being able to find any corsets large enough she fixed up two towels and with the aid of a pillow to give me the required form, I made a fine looking and portly old lady.


Lots of the boys were dressing up in Little Hell as it was always headquarters for anything like that.  I walked in on them, saying, “how is this for high, boys.” “They will not know you tonight, Pete.”  So over I went to the hall, walked in and went up on the stage to take off my wraps.  Not being in the habit of wearing dresses, I forgot to raise my skirt going up the steps to the stage, and of course stepped on it.  At the same time, Will Harlow was coming behind me and gave me a push.  Over I went, and tore the skirt from the band in front.  But I soon fixed it up by tying a string around and me and pulling my waist down over it.


I took my seat in the hall.  Many eyes were on me to know who that portly old lady was.  I danced a few times, but it was quite awkward for me being on the wrong side.


Being a little warm, I sat on the stage steps, fanning myself.  Some of the standers nearby were telling who they thought this one and that one was.  I've got one short foot, so I had Bill Hubbel put on a longer shoe on his right foot.  He was dancing near by and George Johnson said Len Eastman, "there is Pet Stevens, there you see that short foot," but I was sitting by them.  Old George Hubbel was floor manager and some of the ladies took me for old Carrie, so some of them went to him and told hi that there was old Carrie over there, and told him to put her out of the hall.  But George told them, "No ladies, that is not old Carrie.  It is some other lady, for old Carrie is too well brought up to mingle herself in this crowd."  But I did not know this until the dance was over.


When supper time came, George got the ladies on one side and gents on the other.  I, of course, took the ladies’ side.  Then it was ladies’ choice partners for supper.  I grabbed a fellow and when he turned around and saw what had him, he trembled like a leaf.  Then George said, “unmask,” and I removed mine.  I had shaved smooth that night most of them never saw me that way.  When I removed my mask I could hear them whisper down the line, “Who is she?”  So I smiled and bowed.  Then they all knew me.


Those days, we all had good times at dances.  We danced square dances and all of the old-fashioned dances, but nowadays it is about all round dances and the longer they dance, the righter they hug, and when the music stops, they will encore them.  Whether it is more dances they want or more hugs, I do not know as I do not dance round dances.


(To be continued.)




History: Greenwood, Wis. "Little Hell" (7 Mar 1912)


Contact:  Linda O’Donnell

Email: lindao@clarkcowisconsinhistory.org


Surnames:  Root, Thompson, Stoker, Dennis, Syth, Cummings, Oelig, Huntzicker, St. German


----Source:  The Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark Co., Wis.) 7 Mar 1912


Tales of Old Times in “Little Hell”

By P. M. Stevens (some grammar and spelling edited by L. O’Donnell)


Long years ago, our friend, H. M. Root, now a banker in Neillsville, at that time a member of the firm of Thompson & Root, loggers at that time, lived here.  Homer used to take a magazine and sometimes would find a good story and bring it down, and in the evening, after he had attended to his supplies for his camps, would come while Mike and I would be working. Dick Stoker, Bill Dennis and many of the Stoker boys would be sitting around or lying under the bench.  Homer would read to us for hours, as we had to work very late some nights in the wintertime.  Other times, Dick would get a copy of a new drama and he had to come in and read it, but some nights when the younger ones would come in, then the noise would be a-going, playing games, Indian wrestle, hot hand, or something of the kind.


One night, Jack Syth and Eugene Cummings were down on the floor, on all fours, and had a surcingle around the backs of their necks and were trying to pull each other, with Fred Oelig coaching them.  But somehow they got too near the stove and knocked the legs from under it, and down it came.  It was a cold night in winter, 20 below zero and a big fire in the stove.  But the boys, with the aid of sticks and some old rags, soon righted it again.  There was a kettle of hot water on the stove, and when that came down, the boys got up off the floor pretty lively.  This was about twenty years or more ago, and as the workroom floor of a harness shop is seldom ever scrubbed, there has never been any hot water on the floor since.


One day, some of the boys were playing cards to see who had to fill the consumption jug.  They were busy playing and others were looking on when, all at once, the old stove commenced to smoke.  It poured out the door and all around.  I thought I could hear something on the roof, so I slipped out still into the front shop, took down a four-horse whip and went out there.  I saw Babb Syth on top of the roof with a board on top of the chimney.  He didn’t see me.  I gave the whip a swing and the cracker lit on the seat of his pants.  He saw me then and said, “oh my G--, Pete, don’t; I will take it off.”  “Take it off then,” I said, “and come down,” and at the same time kept swinging the last pretty close to his legs.  He got down faster than he got up there.


I suppose some of you will consider why the jug is called the consumption jug.  The jug has a large mouth and it is yet here in the shop, but it is cracked and I do not use it.  Over forty years ago, 3-1/2 miles south of Greenwood, there was a stopping place called “Dutch George’s,” kept by George Huntzicker.


There was a man there, sick with the consumption.  At that time, the country was new and spittoons were not very plentiful, so they had a large-mouthed jug for this sick man to spit into.  At that time, there was a Frenchman by the name of David St. German.  Dave liked his whiskey and knew that George kept it in the house, and supposed he would have some in the sick room for the sick man.  So, in the night Dave goes in and, feeling around, he got hold of this jug, supposing it was what he was looking for, and took a swallow or two before he found his mistake.


This jug here I will guarantee never had any consumption in it, but there has been lots of water and some beer consumed out of it.


(End of part 5)




History: Greenwood, Wis. "Little Hell" (21 Mar 1912)


Contact: Linda O’Donnell

Email: lindao@clarkcowisconsinhistory.org


Surnames: Stevens, Andrews, Smith, Syth



----Source: Greenwood Gleaner (Greenwood, Clark Co., Wis.) 21 Mar 1912


Another view of some of the "old boys." Dr. Hugh Schofield at the extreme left; at the right is E. F. Wollenberg with his daughter, Phyllis. These gentlemen were the promoters of the plan that resulted in the recent benefits received by Little Hell and its genial proprietor.


Tales of Old Times in “Little Hell”

By P. M. Stevens (some grammar and spelling edited by L. O’Donnell)


One time years ago, I had some potatoes in the ground on the lot by the shop.  At that time, the local option law was in force here, and the boys could not get beer when they wanted it.  So, they said if I would send to Neillsville and get a keg of beer for them they would have a bee and dig the potatoes.  So I sent by the stage and got a keg.  The stage left it at the shop.  That evening, as I was coming home from up the street, I saw Frank Andrews sneaking around the old well house.  At another corner of the shop was Jack Smith, and at another corner was Babb Syth.  I crossed the street over to the shop, saying, “O you suckers, I know what you are after.”  I went into the shop, locked the door, and hid the keg of beer under the bench.  The empty keg, one the boys had the green corn dance over the winter before, was still in the shop--the one that Kin so successfully concealed with himself under the bench the night they were drinking it when the man they stole it from came in.  I took the empty keg on my shoulder and took it over to the house.  When the boys saw me they began to beg, "oh, now Pete, let us have it tonight and we will did them tomorrow." "O damn it Pete!  Do we will dig them sure."  The more they begged the more I kept going and told them, "not tonight: dig the potatoes and tomorrow night you can have it.  The morrow came and the boys dug the potatoes.  Of course I had to help or they would not have been dug.  When nearly picked up the boys said, "go over and get the beer now, we will have them all up when you get back."  "No sir, when they are all up you you can have the beer."  When all was done I took the boys in the shop, uncovered the keg under the bench and gave it to them.  They looked surprised and said, "we thought you took that over to the house last night."


One night I went into the wood shed and found my as handle all split up, evidently the work of some five arms.  I at once reported to the Little Hell detective.  The next night Herb White and Fred Willams were brought up on the carpet before Judge Pratt.  They were tried and found guilty.  The judge expelled them from Little Hell, never again to enter unless they brought a new ax handle.  The next night a new ax handle came and the boys were reinstated.  I do not know where they got it, but am inclined to think that A. M. White’s handle rack was shy one that night.


Red Jak Syth, in his letter, spoke of Uncle Steve Andrews always enjoying his smoke in Little Hell.  He would always come over every evening, and we would smoke together and have a good talk.  But when the young boys would come in, especially Herb White (who would get pretty loud), then Uncle Steve would leave.  Red Jack also speaks of the May pole dance.  That was in 1885.  That was my big gift dance and there were 220 numbers out that night--the largest dance ever in Greenwood.  The May pole was danced by four couples selected for the occassion.  They boys were dressed in short black knee pants, white vest, black swallowtail coat and white stockings.  The girls wore short white dresses and pink stockings and each one wore around the neck a piece of the same color ribbon that they braided the pole with.  There is only one of the party yet in Greenwood that danced the May pole dance and that is Mrs. Will Harlow.  This was May 1st.


The next Monday was the big fire that burned fifteen or more buildings.  Among them was the Vates hall and saloon.  It was  was a wild afternoon in Greenwood.  When the saloon took fire beer and whiskey were plentiful and some of the boys made use of it.  If you don't think they did, ask others.  He can tell you.  I thought at one time that the church and Little Hell would have to go so I cam home and packed small things in trunks and boxes and got ready to move out, when some of the boys came to the well for a drink and said that the Syth building was safe: the wind had changed and the fire had crossed the street.  So Little Hell was safe, so I went over to the house.  When the four barns back of the Vates saloon took fire it was pretty hot at my house, but I had Hank Johnson and Ed Parker on top of the house with but it did not catch fire.


A surcingle (pictured below) is a strap made of leather or leather-like synthetic materials such as nylon or neoprene, sometimes with elastic, that fastens around a horse's girth area. A surcingle may be used for ground training, some types of in-hand exhibition, and over a saddle or horse pack to stabilize the load. It also is a primary component of a horse harness.




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