Pictures taken at the Padgett Home at 646 E 35th St, Savannah, GA
(middle pic in 1947, on right in 1986)
Savannah - Barbara Padgett Huish Interview 12-2-2015
(Please note that this interview was followed up a few days later with a visit by Greg and Lisa to Savannah, which is recorded here)
Interviewed by Greg and Lisa Porter in Barbara’s home at 14740 E Via De
Arboles, Chandler AZ, for 2 hours beginning at 6pm 12-2-15. This
interview was in preparation for Lisa and I to visit Savannah for our
first time on December 5-6, 2015. This interview was voice recorded and
is saved as file "Barbara Huish Savannah Memories Interview Dec 2 2015 with Lisa n Greg Porter.mp3"
1. What do you know about where your mom lived as a little girl in Rocky Ford or Thomasboro GA? Did she ever take you there?
Ruby never took us to Rocky Ford, but she told the
story of how they lost the home in Rocky Ford. Maggie inherited money
and paid off the family home, Jim tried farming and he lost it all.
They have since torn the house down many years ago. Barbara understood
it wasn’t much of a home, it was a humble home. One day when cooking
dinner John pranked and stuck the barrell of a gun through a crack in
the wall into the kitchen and scared them all.
2. Do you know where the unnamed Deason boy that died in 1923 is buried? Did you ever visit his grave somewhere?
No we never visited his grave. He wasn’t normal when
born, and they just called him “baby boy” or “baby brother” or "little
boy” and he passed away at 9 months. Many years later when Ruby
submitted his temple work she didn’t include a first name and the
temple asked her to give him a name, which she did “Joseph Alvin
Deason”. Joseph was from Joseph Smith, the LDS prophet, and
Barbara isn’t sure why Ruby came up with Alvin. Where was he buried?
Barbara thinks he must have been buried there somewhere in Rocky Ford
before the family moved to Savannah, but she wonders if the family even
had enough money for a headstone. I told Barbara that I had found “Rocky Ford Cemetery” on a map and Lisa and I intended to visit there and try to find a headstone.
3. What do you remember about how Ruby and Orson first met?
Mother was working in a 5 and 10 and Orson saw her
in the store. (I shared with Barbara from my research I knew that the
store was Silver’s 5 and 10 at 201 W Broughton
where Ruby was working in 1927, which she was delighted to learn). He
asked her when she would get off work, but she wouldn’t talk to him. He
came by at closing time each evening for about a week and she still
refused to talk with him. Orson said she was a beauty. On the final
night he decided to ride the bus home with her just to see where
she lived. (I shared with Barbara that the house Ruby, age 17, and the
Deasons lived in in 1927 was at 409 W Charlton,
which was not known by her before). That broke the ice and they began
dating. She was told by her dad not to bring that Mormon home, and so
she didn’t. (Jim Deason held a deepset dislike for Mormons for all his
years, and only tolerated Orson in his later years, but never
befriended him.) She would slip out and see Orson but she never took
him home and when she said they were getting married none of the family
came to the wedding, and Jim did not allow Ruby back in their home, or
even to visit her mother verbally, for almost 10 years. Ruby joined the
LDS church after she and Orson were married. The members of the
Savannah branch gave
them a little reception, but none of her family came. Greg then shared
with Barbara that from my
research I found that Orson lived at 407 W Charlton in 1925 and Ruby
and the rest of the Deason family lived at 409 W Charlton in 1927, did
they meet there? Barbara had never heard about Orson living in the
house next door two years prior to the record of the Deason's living at
409. I told Barbara that Ruby noted in her journal only that a friend
neighbor introduced her to him.
4. Do you recognize the corner house with the catwalk on the 2nd floor on 39th St named "1986 Ruby Deason Orson Padgett Savanna GA hang out porch.jpg"? We hear that you (Orson’s family) lived next door and Jim and Maggie Deason lived there?
This picture is not of the correct house(s). These 3
incorrect houses are on the corner of 39th St and Abercorn. (Greg
believes this picture was taken because the homes appear similar to
Orson’s family home where they lived at 116 E 39th Street, which would
be the 4th house from this corner, but it has been torn down and is now
an empty lot). The correct homes where Jim and Maggie Deason
lived are on the SE corner of 36th St and Habersham,
facing Habersham. There was a trolley car that ran along Habersham
right in front of the home. There are two buildings. They first lived
in the one on the right (South), it is the smaller building and they
lived in the upstairs apartment, where uncle Talmadge would chase
Barbara all over the apartment because she took his comic books. Once
Talmadge had moved out then Jim and Maggie moved to the house next door
(North) on the corner and they moved in with their daughter Nell (Deason) and her husband Fred
Grotheer into the 2nd door (of the 4) from the left, which went to the
upstairs apartment. They did this to share the rent since money was
tight. Then Nell and Fred eventually moved out and Jim and Maggie
stayed. (Mary Padgett Schnepf Naylor told Greg that she remembers
visiting Grandpa and Grandma Jim and Maggie Deason in that upstairs
apartment many times as a child)
Now back to the incorrect picture named "1986 Ruby Deason Orson Padgett Savanna GA hang out porch.jpg”
of the 3 houses on the corner of 39th St and Abercorn. The missing 4th
house was still there in this 1986 photo and is barely visible to the left of the 3 houses. It was at 116 E 39th St
and was where Barbara remembers living for several years prior to living at 646 E 35th St. She
said the family was living there when both Mary and Barbara were born
at Telfair hospital (79 E Park Ave). The house looked just like the 3
remaining to the right of the empty lot. Barbara had a boyfriend named
Charlie that lived next door and she has a photo somewhere of her and
him on the steps of his home (the blue home in this picture).
5. Did you ever go to Deason Tire and Battery? (Here's how it looks today at 348 Whitaker)
Uncle John and Aunt Louise couldn’t have children
and never adopted. Barbara and Mary were there frequently and they
would spoil them rotten with soda and candy. Barbara was very
complimentary about the love and affection shown to the Padgett girls
by John and Louise.
6. Are you in the photo of the Sunday School in front of the Little
White Church? Who Else is? Can you name all the folks you remember from
the 2 pictures?
Barbara named many of the people in the photo taken
of the large Sunday School group in 1943 in front of the LDS church at
1325 E 35th St. The picture is “Savannah LDS Sunday School 1943.jpg”,
and a scan of the same picture with the names Barbara provided is "Savannah LDS Sunday School 1943 with names.jpg”
Barbara also named several of the folks in a smaller
group taken on the side of the same church. The photo is "Savannah Branch LDS Primary circa 1945.jpg” and the scan of the same picture including names is "Savannah Branch LDS Primary circa 1945 with names.jpg"
7. Is this the elementary school you attended on 37th St? "1986 Barbara Carolyn Mary Padget school Savannah GA.jpg"
Yes. In the 5th grade Barbara was the hall monitor
and was in charge of all the monitors. Mary attended there as well.
8. What building is the Orson/Carolyn picture taken in front of? Orson Carolyn Padgett.jpg
Where they attended church before 1929 when the little white
church was used and Barbara remembers it as being by Daffin Park and
she remembers Orson and Ruby saying years later that it was located on or near
Waters avenue. She said it was a building used for many purposes, it
wasn’t a home.
9. What’s the Deason Padgett Gas Co? "1986 Deason Padgett Gas Co. Savannah GA (3).jpg"
This picture is the colonial oil company that Orson worked for. He never owned it or a gas company.
10. What year did you move to Arizona and why?
June of 1948 is when Ruby and the kids came out.
Carolyn married Clinton and they were going to settle in Joseph City AZ
and they asked Orson to move the family out to Arizona. He had just
sold the seafood market and he applied for a job with Salt River
Project and got it and moved out here alone and lived for 3 months as
Ruby sold all their possessions and came out to Mesa on a bus with
Barbara and Mary. Carolyn decided to live in Mesa rather than Joseph
City. Orson moved his family into a rented home at the SE corner of Broadway and Mesa Drive. Barbara was stung by a scorpion there.
11. Orson had a boat called the Ranger and they caught fish and owned
the B&P (Black and Padgett) Seafood Market on Montgomery street.
Ruby managed the store, and a black boy named Freddie would help
with cleaning fish. Clive Black was LDS and was a butcher and they
decided to go into business together.
12. Marion Deason joined the church after her husband Epton died. They had a daughter born with a skull that had no
soft spot so her body grew but her skull didn’t and Marion had a hard
time dealing with it, so she would bring the girl to Ruby who would be
kind and gentle with her. She passed away when about 2 years old. It
was their first baby, hers and Uncle Bill.
13. Ruby was the mutual president for years and years and they held mutual activities out on Tybee Island.
They would put a piece of bacon on a string and catch crabs and have a
crab boil and skate on the rink that was out over the ocean. You could
hear the water roar underneath you and it was where Barbara learned to
14. Ruby and the kids weren’t allowed in Ruby’s father’s (Jim Deason)
home after being married because Ruby had married a mormon. When Ruby
would walk the girls to school they passed the Deason home, and Ruby
would stand with Barbara across the street and a woman would come to
the window and wave and blow kisses to Ruby, who would cry and cry and
Barbara would ask why she was crying and who the woman was. This happened
many times and finally when Barbara was old enough to understand Ruby
told Barbara there on the street that the woman was Barbara's grandmother waving
and throwing kisses because Ruby wasn’t allowed in the house by her father, because
she had married a Mormon. Until then Barbara never knew she had a
grandmother Deason, she was only aware of her grandmother Padgett. Ruby
was finally allowed in the Deason house when Barbara was 4 or 5 because
Maggie (Ruby’s mother) had a stroke and they thought she was going to
die and they let Ruby come in and see her. Maggie got better. The ice
was then broken and Ruby and the girls were allowed into the Deason
home but Orson wasn’t allowed for a long time. Maggie said she wanted
Orson to preach her funeral, but Jim didn’t let that happen. Jim never
could accept Orson all his days, he just tolerated him.
15. Bernard was a bit of a drinker and his wife, Trudy (Helena) put up with a lot with him.
16. James E, known as Edward, was the fire chief in Savannah, and was
very respected in his occupation. Ed was a wonderful and kind uncle.
Barbara's son, Mark Huish, is named
Mark Edward Huish, after Uncle Ed.
17. Aunt Louise was a wealthy woman from a prior marriage and they had a beautiful home in the wealthy part of Savannah.
18. The picture "Mary Barbara Carolyn Ruby Padgett 1946 2.jpg" was taken in Forsythe Park with Drayton Street running behind them and the bushes.
(Greg checked Google Maps street view all down
Drayton street and it appears that house in the background in the
picture is no longer there).
19. As of December 2015, Martha Deason, age 90, is living in a
retirement home near her daughter, Ann Deason Hill, in Evans, GA.
Martha is the last of the original Deason family children and spouses
that are still with us. Barbara noted that Martha was always
conscientous about eating healthy food and keeping trim. It looks like
that is paying great dividends. Ann reported in a phone call with Greg
Porter that Martha is healthy and doing well. Ann is the only child of
Tal and Martha's and she has been happily married for many years to
John Knight Hill, an ordained Presbyterian minister and a licensed
Marriage and Family Therapist. Ann shared with me that she and John
have two children, Shawn Christopher Hill (living in Athens, GA) who is
married to Megan Wyatt Hill who just had twin girls in September 2015,
and Christy Deason Hill, who is married to Christopher Dunn and lives
in Grovetown, GA. Ann was so complimentary of Barbara, Mary,
and Carolyn and their families when talking with Greg on the phone.
What a wonderful person and credit to the Deason family.
As a reference, here is a table of the Deason family and their ages at different years: