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During Wind and Rain

The Jones Family Farm in the Arkansas Delta 1848–2006

Margaret Jones Bolsterli

Publication Year: 2008

In telling the story of five generations of her family and its farm in the Arkansas Delta, Margaret Jones Bolsterli brings together her own research, historical perspective, and family lore as it reaches her from the days of her great-grandfather down to her nephew. The result is a family saga that is at once universal and personal, historical and timeless. During Wind and Rain moves from the land’s acquisition in 1848 through the Civil War and Reconstruction, the 1927 Flood, the Great Depression, and the drought of 1930 to the modern considerations of mechanization, fertilizer, pesticides, and irrigation. The transformation of dense swamp and forest to today’s commercial agriculture is the story of two hundred acres worked by people sowing their fate with sweat, ingenuity, and luck. From the hoes of Bolsterli’s great-grandfather Uriah’s time to her nephew Casey’s machinery capable of cultivating an acre in five minutes, During Wind and Rain poignantly portrays five generations of farmers motivated by dreams of “a crop so good that the memory of it can warm the drafty floors of adversity for the rest of one's life.”

Published by: University of Arkansas Press


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p. vii


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p. viii

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pp. ix-xiv

Throughout my childhood, there were three trunks in our house on the farm in the Arkansas/Mississippi Delta. One was a small tin trunk brought by my grandmother, Mary Margaret Brown, when she came as a bride to the home of my grandfather, Joseph H. Jones,...

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1. The Place They Came To

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pp. 1-16

In 1841, my great-grandparents, Uriah Jones, his wife Sarah and their small son Joseph, who was to become my grandfather, moved west from central Tennessee to Arkansas County,Arkansas, in the Arkansas/Mississippi Delta. In August 1849, as assignee of a Choctaw Indian named Pha-Nubbee, Uriah presented a patent for...

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2. The Uriah Generation

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pp. 17-34

One story, told me in passing by my father, had it that Uriah was a mule trader when he came to Arkansas in 1841, and as selling mules on the frontier was lucrative and as he did come to Arkansas from Davidson County,Tennessee, the center of the mule-trading world, it may be true. The 1840 census for...

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3. The Joseph Generation

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pp. 35-62

While our attention has been focused on Uriah and his fortunes, Joseph has been preparing to take center stage. His wedding picture, a daguerreotype taken in October 1869, shows a handsome young man with big ears and deep-set, weary,worried eyes. His left hand, resting on a cane as it is in other...

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4. The Boss and Sallie Generation

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pp. 63-104

At Joseph’s death, the torch passed to his daughter Sallie and to Boss, his youngest son and my father, both single members of Joseph’s household at the time of his death.The passage of the land from Joseph to the next generation naturally...

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5. The Grover Generation

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pp. 105-114

When Grover became sole manager of the farm, he was forty-five years old and had the experience of some thirty years of farming behind him.There was no question that he would take over at our father’s death and run the place, as he had been doing so much of the management for years. In his...

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6. The Casey Generation

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pp. 115-126

Although Grover survived a massive stroke in 1985 with a clear mind, he was left partially paralyzed and was able to speak only with difficulty. It was clearly time for Casey to step in and take over as sole manager of the farm.He had been more or less in charge for several years, starting with the soybean part of the operation after graduation from high school in 1980 and moving...

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7. Conclusion

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pp. 127-130

So this is the way it stands in 2006, 157 years into the Jones family’s ownership of the farm: some of us still own it, but nobody lives in the house.Casey and Pauline own the land,but Pauline has moved to an assisted-living facility, and her daughter, Sue Lloyd Ray, who lives in Pine Bluff, will inherit the house. It is empty...

APPENDIX: Casey’s Field Notebook for 2004

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pp. 131-132


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pp. 133-138


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pp. 139-140


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pp. 141-144

E-ISBN-13: 9781610751346
E-ISBN-10: 1610751345
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557288714
Print-ISBN-10: 1557288712

Page Count: 122
Illustrations: 21 photos
Publication Year: 2008

OCLC Number: 607134711
MUSE Marc Record: Download for During Wind and Rain

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Desha County (Ark.) -- Social life and customs.
  • Desha County (Ark.) -- Biography.
  • Farm life -- Arkansas -- Desha County -- History.
  • Arkansas Delta (Ark.) -- Social life and customs.
  • Jones family.
  • Bolsterli, Margaret Jones -- Family.
  • Family farms -- Arkansas -- Desha County -- History.
  • Arkansas Delta (Ark.) -- Biography.
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