When I went to New Jersey back in August and visited with Bonnie Marsh, we had a very interesting conversation about her childhood on the Whaley Farm, in Bowie Co., Texas. After hearing the story, she kindly told it to me again, so I could video tape and share it here with you.
Bonnie was cared for on this farm by a woman named Pree Carson. Bonnie would very much like to hear from someone in the Carson family so she can share some of her wonderful memories of Pree and her husband Charlie, along with their daughter, Toots.
Here’s the story.
Here are a few of the photos that I shared in the video.
This is a crop of a letter Bonnie had that her father had written to her mother. I cropped the letter off as it had nothing to do with this story, but I thought the names at the top might interest someone, as well as the date, 1926. Bonnie speaks of the name Leachman in the video so maybe this will connect a history for their family as well if they come across this.
This is the photo Bonnie mentions of the working families on the farm, with the three overseers. Bonnie’s father, William Newell Harkness is one of the white men on the back row, he is the one on the far right. Pree Carson is seen sitting on the front row, in the black hat. Possibly holding Toots? If you know your family was on the Whaley farm on or about 1926-1928, this picture could contain your family! How exciting would that be?!?!?!?!?!
I love this photo of Pree in the wagon. Bonnie thinks this is Charlie walking beside her. I can’t tell if he is one of the men in the photo above or not. I want to say he looks like the man standing up, a couple of rows behind Pree, but close up, I’m not sure. Without knowing the family better, I don’t think I will be able to tell.
This photo was dated 1928 and this is Bonnie, with her two brothers Billy and David Harkness sitting with Pree Carson. What a great picture!
The way that Bonnie speaks about Pree, which you will see in the video above, it’s evident that she cared a lot for Pree and cherishes the memories she has of the farm and Pree. To me, this picture shows that. I love how Bonnie is hanging around Pree’s neck. It speaks volumes.
If you belong to the Carson family mentioned above, or if your family was on the Whaley Farm, please contact me. I would very much like to put you in contact with Bonnie.
I hope you enjoyed the video, it’s evident I’m an amateur, but oh well, the story is there and that’s the most important thing of all. If anyone has any tips on what equipment you use to capture your family stories, I would really like to hear them. Especially any tips you could give in the microphone department.