Narratives are personal stories that help enrich the reader’s understanding of a time period, person, place, or event. These are first-person views of history taken from personal recollections, memoirs, diaries, and oral histories.

Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Narrative is entirely responsible for its content.

I was born in McClelland, Arkansas, and my family moved to the community of Daggett, Arkansas, where my father went to work in the stave mill there. My earliest recollection is that the mill was run by a family named McCrea who lived in a stone house in the community. All the rest of the houses were wood. There were a few shotgun houses where some of the mill workers lived. The main mill was on a bluff overlooking the Cache River. My grandfather, John Henry Wade, lived in a wooden shack with a dirt floor very close to the mill and made a "home brew" form of beer. This is where a lot of the men gathered on Friday and Saturday nights to "have a few" and play cards.
There was the main mill where the logs were cut and put in hot boxes and then were sent to a cutting machine where they were sliced into a certain thickness. The operator was known as Uncle Jimmy (no relation) and had parts of some fingers missing that had been caught in the machine. The logs were then taken to drying sheds. After drying, they were taken to the stave cutting shed where my father worked. He operated a cutting machine that trimmed and shaped them. He then put them into sorting bins where they were bundled into bales of 50 and loaded into a railroad car for shipment.
We moved from there in the late 1940s as mill work was slowing down after the war. I can remember my father stating that they were making stave for some of the barrels that were used in shipping supplies for the war. The entry refers to Dale McGregor; I went to school in Cotton Plant and was in the same grade as Sara, Dale’s sister. 

Bert Wade
Maumelle, AR