In 1979, Roxie Leana (Dalton) Adkins, daughter of James and Viola (Tomblin) Dalton, wrote a history of her family, which includes memories of her early life on Harts Creek. Roxie, born in 1904, married Willis Adkins in 1924 and mothered nine children. In the late 1990s, Roxie’s daughter Emerald (Adkins) Fleming gave this history to me.
I got married three years later and started a family of my own. I was married to Willis Adkins, son of John and Caroline Nelson Adkins. I was married May 29, 1924. I started housekeeping in the head of Big Branch right in the woods in a little three room house — a shack — and that was a happy time for it was mine and Willis’ private life and we had each other and I would love to go back to that lowly summer I didn’t have anything to worry about. So that is a big part of my life history and we planted a garden. We had plenty of fruit and berries and peaches, cherries and apples and we had a joy beyond compare for we didn’t have no children. Eighteen months later we had our oldest child, Carrie Adkins. She was born November 30, 1925.
Then we moved to Logan County. Willis worked for Appalachian Power Company at the Logan Plant then he went to the coal mine and we moved from Mud Fork to Switzer, W.Va. and we lived there from November 1926 to May 1927. Then we moved to a lumber camp at Omar, W.Va. We stayed there to March 1928. We moved back to Big Branch and raised a garden and a crop of corn and moved back to the lumber camp in January 1929 and March 28, 1929 our first boy was born: Denver Adkins. We stayed in the lumber camp until September 1929 and moved up Pine Creek to a mine camp.
In October 1929 we moved back to the farm we live on now and rented then and a year later we bought the land off my uncle Ed Dalton and I am still here. I had 7 more kids and put them all through high school and I was very proud of all of them. I tried to see they got good treatment in school. They weren’t rich and they wasn’t the poorest people in our country but I always taught them to be kind to others and to treat their teachers with respect and to always be kind to old and young and do their best to keep all their promises.
My children are Carrie Adkins, born November 30, 1925; Denver Adkins, born March 28, 1929; Alpha Adkins, born August 24, 1931; Jennings Adkins, born April 9, 1934; Emerald Adkins, born February 13, 1937; Arnold Adkins, born February 17, 1940; Clara Francis Adkins, born August 26, 1942; Doris Wellmarine Adkins, born June 15, 1945; and Larry Adrain Adkins, born March 17, 1948. Well, I had four boys and five girls and all the boys served in the armed forces and my oldest is still in the federal government and is somewhere in the overseas countries and I don’t know but trust that God does.
I am now 75 years old. My husband passed away June 9, 1968. I was 64 years old and I am still in my own home. If it be the Lord’s will, I will live in this same house until I go. My children all got married and had families. Denver doesn’t have any children and one of my boys — Arnold Adkins — was killed by a train in Huntington in 1966. He had a wife and two children and was expecting the third and I trust they will be as honest and respectful as he always was. He had a host of friends.
Well, this is about all I can write for now.