If you are looking for the definition of a hard working woman, look no further, it's Bessie Glover. When you read her story, you will see what I mean.
It all began when two Mississippi natives, John Abner Hartley and Nora Lee Gray, fell in love and married in the arid land of Jones County, TX. In January of 1902, the happy couple became the parents of a lovely baby girl named Bessie.
The Hartleys were a hard working farming family. Bessie along with her 2 sisters and 2 brothers were raised on a farm in Anson and later moved to Floyd County in 1917. Bessie says " We came to pull cotton and we lived in a tent. It was suppose to be temporary, but we decided to stay. The land was sandy and there were lots of grass burrs."
In those days life was fairly simple but brought lots of enjoyment to Bessie. She remembers really liking school. She recalls learning the basics and having spelling and arithmetic matches every Friday. Getting to school meant walking, but on occasion they would go on horseback and leave the horse tied to a tree. She recalls that some of her most memorable events were when they had “run-aways” in wagons and when a horse ran away with her as she was returning from school. She says she could not move, "I was just still" and did not realize that she could have just pulled the reigns to make the horse stop.
When school was out, there was always plenty of work to be done around the farm. That was never a problem for Bessie. She loved working in the field. She picked and hoed cotton with friends and family. She recalls with delight how she would race down the rows with her mother picking cotton. She remembers many family members picking a bale of cotton, individually, and ginning it in one day.
Even though times were hard, there were many things in life to enjoy. When the days work was done the Hartley family took time out to enjoy good music. Their mother played the guitar and their father played the violin. Neither played publicly. The family played baseball and other games such as roof-over-the-river, and snap, which was a chase game. There were parties and in the summertime, fishing was always a favorite. The family was faithful members of the local Baptist church that was several miles away. The family especially enjoyed the revivals held at the different area churches.
Christmas was always a very special time when the family gathered together. Bessie recalls, “we got lots of candy. I always got a new doll and the boys got pop guns and tricycles.” The meal always centered on a delicious turkey and trimmings.
As Bessie moved into her late teens, she met a dashing young man in Jones County named Jessie Glover. He was a local farmer who enjoyed music too and played the violin. The young couple grew closer and married in 1920. After they married they lived in the Baker community until 1924. They then moved to Mayview where their first born, Jesse was born in 1924. In 1929 they moved to Dougherty and were blessed with a daughter, Bessie. From 1932 and 1935, the young family lived in the Fairview Community. Later, the farming family spent the mid 1930's and part of the 40's in the Campbell Community.
The Glovers moved back to Dougherty in 1946 where Jessie continued to farm using mules instead of power machinery. Bessie became the babysitter for most of the children in the community. Besides babysitting, Bessie helped plant wheat, maze and cotton on the farm. And if a neighbor were in need, she would go and help pick their cotton. Bessie was no stranger to hard work and she loved it. Because of their hard work and contributions to the community, the Glovers were named Pioneer Couple at the 1986 Old Settler’s Reunion in Floydada.
Currently Bessie enjoys talking about her youth, "Life Glow" stories, quilting and receiving letters in the mail (especially the letter from the Governor of Texas on her 100th birthday). She loves to attend church and still enjoys good music. Bessie treasures her family visits and is adored by her 5 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and 6 great great grandchildren. As far as her outlook on being 100, Bessie says “I can’t tell it…I don’t feel any different... Just live the best you can.”