JANUARY 10, 1882 – JANUARY 9, 1966
Maud was born January 10, 1882 on a farm near Five Mile in Stone County, Arkansas. She later moved, with her parents, to Wolf Bayou, Arkansas. She was the fifth child of Leonard Travis Cranford and Josephine Phillips Cranford. Their family consisted of Thomas, Ella (Pritchard), Mollie (Beasley), Dora (Sharp), Maud, Leonard, Oscar, Ada and Murrell (Inman).
I don’t know any stories about Maud’s childhood. Her daughter, Lorene, says she didn’t tell stories about when she was young, and we didn’t think to ask her.
Like most other children in that time and place she began very young to work. Maud learned to do all the jobs of a farm — cleaning, cooking, gardening, canning, washing, ironing, sewing, quilting. I assume that she also had some time to play. She had many brothers and sisters who remained close all their lives so I suppose those good relationships began in childhood. Dora was the girl nearest to her in age, and I remember that they continued to communicate and visit each other as long as Dora lived. When Maud began her own family, she and/or Hubert made a corncob doll for their first little girl to play with. Did she do that because her parents had done the same for her? Clelan says he remembers his mother saying that sometimes when she was a child American Indians would come to the door asking to work for food–doesn’t that make it seem long ago?
Maud went to school from the time she was 6 or 7 years old in a one-room school. One day at that school when she was around 10 years old a new student came to school.
Maud’s uncle and aunt (Fayette and Nanette Ward – Nanette was Maud’s mother’s sister) and had taken in Hubert Martin to live and work with them and they let him go to school. He was a couple of years older than Maud and had never been to school before. However, she remembered that he was so eager to learn that he soon passed up all the younger children. He must have made quite an impression because they were married two days after her 17th birthday!
Hubert may have had a premonition of things to come, because soon after they were married he sawed off a section of a nice round hickory limb, sawed, shaped and smoothed it with hand tools to make a very durable rolling pin. Did he know how many biscuits would need to be made? The rolling pin (which I have now) was one thing my mother requested to remind her of her mother and the life she led. I believe that Hoyle and Ethelene have the enormous wooden bowl she used to mix those biscuits.
After their marriage Hubert and Maud moved into a house that would today be considered uninhabitable. The only reference she made to me about that house was when she, with her son, Claren and his wife Lucy, stopped to visit Tom and me in Dallas in 1954. We had just moved into our first house which by today’s standards would be modest – 1 bathroom, single garage, but nice and new with tiled bath and kitchen, hardwood floors. She looked around and said, "Law me, if you could see our first house!"
When I told my mother what she said, Mother said she thought it had a dirt floor. They lived there while Hubert continued to work for Mr. Ward. Their second house was a log house, a portion of which still exists. A history of the house and a picture of it are on pages 50 and 51 of Louie Clark’s book, Wolf Bayou, Arkansas and Healing Springs Township. The house was built by Jacob Artimus Kever, great grandfather of Hubert Martin. Maud and Hubert’s first child, Elva, was born there March 2, 1900. At least by the time she was crawling, they lived in the house with a floor, but the floor was made of wood that was so rough and splintery that it was a hazardous place for a crawling baby. Clee and Clyde were also born in this house, January 21, 1902 and August 31, 1903.