The Opp News
Old Home Folks Day Edition
Thursday, August 2, 1984

Guess you'd call that love

When they first married, they lived with his sister and her husband, working for $5 a month (for the two of them) and board. But Ruth and Malley Worley had nine children and were expecting a tenth. They couldn't afford the $5 and they couldn't afford to feed two more. So Rufus and Unavae Ziglar moved to his brother's house and lived with them. "But they couldn't afford us either," Ziglar recalled recently, so they moved to the Tom Head place and worked for Stiles Williams and worked for 50 cents a day and "a house you wouldn't put a cow in today."
The two room house "leaked in every room," Ziglar declared. "It was a good, dry place when it wasn't raining."
Mrs. Ziglar adds in her quiet, shy way, "Guess you'd call that love." Her eyes crinkle at the corners when she smiles.
Rufus Ziglar moved to the Enon community in 1915 at the age of 3. His father sold his 80 acres at Childrens Home to Lurie, put all their furniture in a two-mule wagon, hitched up two oxen and headed to Florala.
"You could buy 40 acres cornered on Lake Jackson for $1000; but Mother and Grandmother were afraid I'd fall in and get drowned, so they wouldn't let Papa buy it." The family traveled on, spent the night at West Bay and got to Enon the next day.
Robert H. and Emily Bruner Ziglar were of German descent, from Norfolk, Va. They had a dozen children and Rufus was third from the youngest. The others were Johnny, who died as a child; Alice; Lum; Race; Ruth; Lue; Zie; Gus; Charley; then Rufus; Eula; and T.E. who died at three weeks from what Ziglar said was "boll hives."
When Robert Ziglar bought the land in Enon, he swapped his oxen for a pair of mules and started farming. "Papa had money 'til he swapped those oxen for mules," his son declares. "Then he died a pauper."
You can turn an ox into the field in winter and he'll eat velvet beans and shucks, a mule has to be fed all year."
In those days, the South Alabama farmers planted corn in hills six feet apart, with a hill of velvet beans between each hill of corn. The beans would run up the corn. After the harvest,, the two oxen--"Buck and Broad" they were called--would be turned into the field to live the winter off what was left of corn and beans: stalks, leaves, husks, and all.
Ziglar built a home for his family. It was made with fat lightwood sills and pillars and roof, Ziglar said, with no partitions, no glass windows, no doors and no screens. "At night we fanned and put out smoke for mosquitioes."
Three days after the house was ready for occupancy, Ziglar siad a tornado hit it and moved it eight feet. "We just left it there." According to Ziglar, "there was 14 head of goats living under that house when the tornado moved it, it broke one's leg."
An uncle, also named Rufus Ziglar, was their nearest neighbor. He sold his land in 1917 to G.W. Black.
The son also recalls vividly when his father died in 1928 at the age of 63. "Willie Johnson and his daddy made the casket of cypress lumber. They worked on it at night and I held the light."
He said his father was buried in a new pair of overalls and a chambray shirt, the kind of clothes he wore most of his life.
Mrs. Emily Ziglar died at the age of 59. She and her husband are both buried at Enon. Today there are only 3 of the twelve children still living, Rufus who is 71; Charley 73; and Gus, 76.
Back in the days when the children were growing up, however, they didn't have many neighbors, but even less time to socialize. One neighbor, however was George Washington Taylor, who moved with his wife and 11 children to the Carter place behind the Ziglar land. There were four boys in the family and seven girls. One of them was Una Vae, who was 3 when her family moved to this area. She was 18, however, when she first met her neighbor, Rufus Ziglar. They were married 3 months later.
She well remembers that night. She was working, she said and bringing home part of the money for the large family's support, so her father didn't want her to get married. He forbid her to, as a matter of fact.
Love will have it's way, however. One night, according to a prearranged plan, she slipped out of the house to meet Rufus so they could go get married. "It was cold!" she recalled. Instead of finding him where he was supposed to be, she found only lonely darkness outside. The house door was locked behind her and she didn't dare knock on it and rouse the family for fear of the consequences if her father discovered her plans, so she started walking in the dark to the home of Rufus' sister.
Meanwhile, Rufus had been on his way to get her when he crossed the branch on a foot log and slipped and fell in. It was so cold that by the time he could get back to his house, his overalls were frozen on him. He changed clothes and hurried to Una Vae's house, only to find her gone. As it turned out, he headed for the same sister's house to try to get help from his brother-in-law, who had a car.
Arriving, he found his girl and they borrowed the car for the rest of the trip. After they were married, they moved in with the Worley's.
Ruth and Malley Worley eventually had 13 children, 11 boys and two girls; but at that time they had only nine, with a 10th. on the way.
It was crowded in their house; but they were hospitable and welcomed the newlyweds. Una Vae recalls how Ruth woke all the children to come meet their new aunt, and she said, " I've never seen so many little tow headed boys get out of bed in my life. It looked like they just kept coming!"
In 1917, the Robert Ziglar family had left Enon and moved to the Lynn Ziglar place between Enon and Sanford, about six miles south of Sanford on the Old Salt Road, some 10 miles from Andalusia.
There they found a ready-made house built from an old convict hospital at the Henderson-Waite Stockade. A railroad had once gone to the stockade where convicts were taken when they got sick.
There also were barracks there for other prisoners who were put to work logging timber.
The hospital, railroad, and barracks were vacated about 1905, Ziglar said, and the buildings remained on the place when his father bought it.
When they moved there, Rufus got his first schooling. He went to school at Five Runs on the Head farm. "Tom Head used to be high sheriff," he recalls now, "and the land now belongs to the Dixon's."
As for his schooling, he said, "I went three weeks. It was too fur, too cold and no shoes." He didn't attend school again until he was 16 when he " went to Lindsay Schoolhouse and made three grades in one day, from primer to third grade."
For his first year of school he had one book, he recalled, the Blue Back Speller. When he left school, he said, he taught himself to read and write at home. When he went back to school, he wanted to learn so badly that he would get out and pick velvet beans every evening after school to make money to buy pencils and paper. At that time, he said, his mother and father were both dead and he was staying with his brothers and sisters on the Lindsay place.
When Rufus and Una Vae were married and discovered there just was not enough room for them at the Worley's table, they went to the old home place to try it a while with his brother; but soon were back at the Head place, this time in the leaky house. The house had wooden windows, Rufus said, and plenty of mosquitos. "We slept under mosquito nets."
It was in that house that their first son was born. Dewayne is now married to the former Nadine Sims and they have three children.
Rufus and Una Vae stayed in that house for about two years, they recalled, before they got a better house and "Moved up the road." By then they were working on the Donaldson farm for seven cents an hour; rising, eating and quitting "by the bell."
"We made about 80 cents a day," Mrs. Ziglar said, recalling how she had picked cotton "carrying one baby and dragging another one on the cotton sack." ( The second child was Dorothy, now Mrs. James Burkett of Andalusia, who was born on the Head farm in 1834 ). Mrs. Ziglar said, "He ( Rufus ) was trying to make the groceries and I was trying to make enough to buy clothes."
Their third child, Donnie Hugh, was born when they lived briefly at the old fairgrounds in another house. It was 1935. Donnie Hugh Ziglar is now retired Police of Panama City Fla, and lives near River Falls.
The fourth child was born at the Donaldson farm Feb. 3, 1941. The little girl lived only three days.
The fifth was born Dec. 18, of that same year. Jerry Hobson Ziglar now is manager of the Road Runner Number Two Store on the Gantt highway.
Number six and seven were twins, born June 14,1943. Geraldine is now Mrs. Don Robbins and Earline is now Mrs. Obie Inman. The Robbins live in Montgomery and the Inmans live in the Beulah Community.
The eighth child was named James Lavon. He served in Vietnam. He now lives in Horn Hill.
The ninth, Patricia Ann, now Mrs. Johnny Page, lives in Andalusia. The 10th. was David Earl, who died when he was about 25 hours old.
Mr. and Mrs. Ziglar now live at 302 Patterson Drive, Opp, and have 26 grandchildren and 16 g-grandchildren "scattered all over." They reared one grandchild, Renee, now Mrs. Gary Williamson of Andalusia, and she is more like a daughter than a granddaughter, they said.
In 1974 Ziglar retired from Covington Industries, and these days they garden and stock their freezer and have time to reminisce about the days when he fell off the foot log and his overalls froze and the nights they slept under a mosquito net in the little two room house "that leaked in every room."
After 10 children, 26 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren; a lot of happy times, a few sorrows, and many memories, I guess you'd call that love.


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