Mixsonian Morris

Morris goes to School

Shiloh School HouseThe Schoolhouse in 2021

In 1932 Morris started first grade at the Shiloh School. Many Mixson children had attended the school since it first opened in 1917. The schoolhouse was some two miles from the Mixson’s house if you knew the shortcuts though the fields and woods, which of course Morris at the age of six did. The schoolhouse was a simple two room building with a tin roof.  One side was for grades one though three and the other side for the kids in grades four though six.  Inside there were simple wooden desks for the kids, the teacher’s desk and a blackboard at the front of the room.  There was no heat so on the coldest days of winter the kids would stay home.  Morris would walk to school with his older brother Adrian who was in the older kids half of the school.   Out back there were two outhouses, one for the girls and one for the boys.   Morris said that the older boys would say they had to go to the bathroom and go out and smoke and would sometimes put a snake, turtle or other critter in the girl’s outhouse and wait for the scream when a girl would go in. Morris would be the last first-grader to start at the Shilo School, in the following years students, depending on which side of the line they lived, would either go to school at Micanopy or Reddick. Morris would go to Reddick, which would forever shape his life. The schoolhouse stands to this day next to the Shiloh Methodist Cemetery where Morris is buried not some hundred feet from the schoolhouse. 

Bobbie the Dog

Also, in 1932 the Mixson’s old dog Louder died, and the boys wanted another dog.  Wilbur checked around but no good dog could be found, a “good” dog being one that could hunt and tree possums and coons.  Well, the boys heard that a neighbor’s dog had six pups and, when Wilbur was busy, they walked over to the neighbor’s to see the pups.  They quickly fell in love with one that had white with pretty red spots and brought him home and named him Bobbie.  Wilbur came back from working in the field and saw the dog he got mad and told the boys “You just as well to kill him, he’ll never be worth anything.”  Worth anything to him meant a hunting dog.  But the boys proved him wrong

Morris and Arnold with Bobby the DogMorris and Arnold with Bobby the Dog

The boys, Adrian, Morris and Arnold would go hunting on the weekends at night. Sitting around the dinner table, they would ask their dad if they could go hunting after dinner and most times Wilbur would say yes.  As soon as Bobby heard “go hunting” and before they were through eating, Bobby, who was sitting at the back door listing to them, would run off and have a possum or coon treed before they finished dinner. After this happened a few times they would, they would whisper “go hunting” at the table so Bobby didn’t hear them. When Bobby was four years old Wilbur decided that Bobby was a good dog! He could then hunt anything you wanted him to, just show him the tracks and he would find whatever you wanted found. He was a good dog to take duck hunting. They would tell him to sit behind a tree and he’d sit there until they shot the ducks, then he’d go bring them in out of the water and drop it at their feet.

Bobby’s greatest moment came when he was older. Bobby lived twelve years and in his later years the local farmers were having a problem with wild hogs getting into their corn fields.  A dozen of them men gathered one day at a field that the hogs were known to be in, formed a line with their shot guns in hand and started marching across the field with Bobby the dog  running out in the corn field ahead of them.  A couple of cars passed by on the highway at first slowing down to see what was going on but seeing a bunch of men with guns quickly sped away probably thinking they were looking for the escaped convict they heard about on the radio.  

In a short time the men heard Bobby barking loudly in his “I gottem treed” bark and the men rushed forward finding Bobby had a big black hog cornered up against a tree.  It was one of the biggest hogs they had ever seen weighing three hundred pounds.  Some of the men said at first they thought it was a bear until they shot him and got up close.  The men then hung the hog from a branch of the tree and butchered him and divided the meat amongst them which they were thankful for it being in the depression years.  

Bobby lived a few more years after that, not hunting as much, spending most of his time sitting in the shade during the hot summers or in a warm sunny spot in the winter.  When people would come to visit Wilbur and Rosalie they would talk about Bobby and the hog and Bobby would perk up a bit and lift his head and look at them with a gleam in his eyes.

(See full story in Rosalie's "Old Times" writings)

Updated: 02-03-2024