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Contributed by Frances Clark Cronin March 8, 2006

(Note from Frances:  Charles Monroe Anderson was the son of William Henry Anderson and Mary Ann Askew of Hinds County.  See the family bible and family sheet. He was born Nov 2, 1855 in Hinds County near Edwards.  After returning from his first trip to Texas he stayed in Mississippi and taught School for about 10 years then went back to Greenville, TX and farmed for 2 years then worked for the railroad.  So many of Southernors after the Civil War went to Texas.  I particularly liked his description of Texas and then his reasons for coming back to Mississippi.)


Lasting influence of Kind Act of a Railroad Conductor
      C.M. Anderson, who has the reputation of being one of the kindest and most accommodating railroad men in Greenville, gives the Herald the following entertaining personal reminiscence that made a lasting impression on his life:

     “Sometime during the month of January, 1875, Clem Wells, now of Oklahoma, and myself bought us a pair of horses and a wagon, and started overland from Edwards, Miss., to seek our fortune in what
seemed then the far off state of Texas.”

     “Our intention was to invest what we had in sheep after arriving in Texas and to graze them on the open ranges of the prairies.  To help us in herding and keeping them we brought four Negro boys along with us.  Lewis Johnson of the Beckham hotel force is one of these boys.”

     “High water in the Mississippi delta forced us to ship our outfit by rail from Vicksburg to Monroe, La.   The conductor of the train--a big, broad shouldered, huge mustached fellow--advised us to go back home, saying that we were too young to venture into a new country like west Texas.  We, of course thought he was mistaken. However, we were both pleased with the interest he had manifested in us and thanked him kindly for it.  I shall have occasion to speak of him later.”

     “After enjoying the pleasures and enduring the usual hardships incident to such a trip we pitched camp at last at our destination about one mile south of where Kingston now stands.  There were no
railroads here then and Greenville was almost small enough to be termed “A wide place in the road.”

     “Riding over the country and looking at it I felt disappointed and somewhat discouraged.  Only those who were raised near broad rivers in heavily timbered countries, with high hills and intervening
valleys, can understand how the silence, the loneliness and the monotony of the prairies, covered as they were at that time with vast stretches of dead grass, with here and there a stunted, leafless bush, depressed and disheartened me.”

     “This depression was so intensified a few weeks later by personal injuries received by me as a result of my horse falling under me while running at full speed, that I resolved to return to Mississippi.  Accordingly in company with one of the Negro boys mentioned as soon as I was able to ride horseback, we made the start on the return journey.”

     “I had left the bulk of what money had in Mississippi, and of that I brought with me to Texas I had only $50.00 left.  This was hardly enough to take the two horses, the Negro boy and myself through, but it took too long a time then to get money transmitted to this part of Texas to think of writing for more and waiting for it to come.  So i resolved to economize by hurrying through.”

     “When I reached Monroe, La., about 7 o’clock one evening I found that I had just money enough left to pay for our night’s lodging there an the passage by rail (the water was high) to Vicksburg.

Finding that by hurrying I might yet make the train ( there was but one a day) I rushed the stock to the depot and went to see the agent.  Hurriedly and apologetically explaining to him that I was a boy returning home from Texas; was hurt and anxious not to be detained; that my tardiness in reaching the depot was altogether due to the hotel keepers failure to wake me as he had promised, and that
if I could not get off then I should have to wait in monroe until I could get more money from home.  I asked him to arranged for the train to take me.”

     “I shall never forget his cold indifference and the utter absence of sympathy in the tone of his voice as he answered: “ I can’t help it; it isn’t my fault that you are late.”  i turned away, vexed beyond expression and uncertain what to do.  Just then looking in the direction of the train I saw the big conductor who brought us over standing on the rear platform of the caboose.  i lost no time in
hurrying over to him, and explaining my predicament just as i had to the agent.  After a little hesitation caused by the delay it would occasion, he told me to hurry my horses to the stock chute, and he would switch me a car to it for them.  So after all, through this bighearted man’s kindness I was saved serious trouble.  The incident impressed me deeply, and years afterwards when I returned to Texas and entered the railroad service myself whenever a belated traveler appeared, asking me hurriedly to check his baggage or to sell him a ticket, the memory of that heartless agent’s treatment of me in Monroe, La., and the kindness of the big conductor always caused me to ask no questions, and cheerfully help him out if I coould possibly do it.  Our own big Ed Stivers reminds me of that conductor in many regards.

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