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Oral HistoriesMr. Will Lewis.
Telephone Interview March 15, 2004.
“What I remember of course was around 1941. According to my mother, my father and I took the last passenger train out of Oxford. We went north to Abbeville and met a friend and came back. She saved the ticket for some time…although it was not terribly impressive to look at. My mother was a great saver of items. I do have some vague recollection of the experience. My father and mother always had a sense of history …August 16, 1941 was the date of the last passenger train out of Oxford. The source of that date was a letter to Dr. Calvin S. Brown from the 1975 work, A Glossary of Faulkner’s’ South. Brown cites a letter to him from Mr. Arthur C. Carlson, a press relations man from the IC Railroad.
The other recollection I have as a young person growing up around the age of six, seven or eight years old during the Second World War. There was a black man named Ben Mitchell who was in charge of the warehouse portion of the depot. He later became blind and was in fact going becoming blind at this time...He was a kind gentleman with a deep voice and there was not much going on around the warehouse…His primary job was to keep the little boys in the neighborhood from getting hurt when they tried to climb up on the cotton bales at the warehouse… I grew up in that neighborhood…around the depot…I remember hobos coming up from the railroad asking for a handout. It must have been in the network that my mother and grandmother were a soft touch. The hobos would come by and ask for food.
The depot and railroad area were places we played…we just roamed around the area, which I do not think children do so much anymore.”