Mary Allie Lucretia Spurlock
I (Elizabeth Anna Spurlock Smithson) have many fond memories of my Aunt Allie. She visited us often when I was a child. She always came and stayed with us for at least a month when Mother had a baby. She always slept with me and called me her bed partner. She told me stories of the old days in Texas. I wish I could remember them in more detail. One that I do remember quite vividly is when her family first moved from Arkansas to the plains of Texas about 1886. She and Dave were given the job of herding the milk cows. These were not fancy dairy cows but range cows that had been gentled so the milk could be used for the family. They were leisurely watching the cows one day when they heard a rumbling noise. They looked off into the distance and saw what looked to them like a huge group of buggies coming over the hill. As they got closer they realized it was a herd of buffalo stampeding towards them. They trotted the cows as quickly as they could to a thick grove of trees. The buffalo came right up to the grove and were very close to them. Allie and Dave got a close up look at the huge snorting beasts. The buffalo looked and snorted at them for a time then moved on. That was probably one of the last of the big herds of buffalo in that country.
Another very fond memory was the Christmas after Pat was born. Pat was born the 8th of November 1939 and Aunt Allie and Uncle George Rybolt stayed until after Christmas. Uncle George was a carpenter. He made us a perfect little cupboard and the frame of a little couch and chair. Mama and Aunt Allie painted the cupboard a pretty bright blue and padded and upholstered the couch in a pretty rust colored fabric. They looked so professionally done! Santa stocked the cupboard with lovely china dishes and tiny boxes and cans of food. Sis and I each got a big beautiful life size doll all dressed in lovely clothes. We kept those lovely pieces of furniture for many years. It is my most memorable Christmas!! How they did all that without us knowing a thing still amazes me! We lived at Charlie’s Place, 5 miles north of Holbrook, on the Leroux Wash near the big sand dunes at that time.
Another memory of Aunt Allie was at the Charlie’s Place also. She was a wonderful cook and sometimes baked her delicious apple cake. Because everyone had wood burning cook stoves at that time and the cooks had to test the temperature of the oven some way, Aunt Allie would mix up the batter then bake a small cake to see if the temperature of the oven was correct. I distinctly remember her bring the little warm "test" cakes out to me when I was playing outside.
I remember making the rounds through the corrals and the chicken pen at night making sure all the gates were shut up properly. She let me latch the gates I could reach and bragged on me for being such a big girl. I love my Aunt Allie dearly!
While we were living at Charlie's place Aunt Allie made Sis and I each an authentic pioneer bonnet out of printed flour sacks. Mine was blue with pink flowers, Sis' was red with flowers. I still have mine. It has been worn many times to various pioneer events throughout the years. I treasure it and always think of Aunt Allie when I see it.
Aunt Allie was Austin Spurlock's (author of The Spurlock Story) eldest sister but she raised Austin as her son. See the book! When Austin wrote the book of the history of our family he drew on Aunt Allie's very vivid memory extensively. See notes under Allie's husband Dick Pincham for excerpts from that book and others.
Aunt Allie and Dick Pincham lost their first child. It was born and died just a few weeks before Grandmother gave birth to twins, Austin and Bill. Austin was big, strong and healthy and Bill was small and weak. So the decision was made for Allie and Dick to raise Austin so Grandma could devote all her time and attention to Bill. This obviously worked out fine. Bill lived a full life and Austin considered himself blessed to have two sets of parents. He called Allie his Sister/Mother. I remember Aunt Allie saying that she was even able to nurse Austin. It had been a short enough time since her baby had died that her milk came back in.
Allie and Dick Pincham figure prominently in the history of the early years in Texas. Dick was 21 years older than Allie and was already an established rancher when they married. Almost all accounts of those early days written by the cousins who move to the Panhandle of Texas after our people (R. A. Spurlock and the Leverton’s) make reference to the help they received from the Pincham’s in getting established in this new country.