Being interested in a charity my cousin’s husband does a lot of work with, I started doing a little research.

Being interested in a charity my cousin’s husband does a lot of work with, I started doing a little research.   After just a little while, I ended up in Frogeye or Frog Eye, Alabama.  There are folks who spell it both ways.  Therefore, if someone ever asks me, “How do you get to Frogeye?”

I will be prepared to honestly answer, “You do a little research.”

This fellow, who is my cousin’s husband, does a lot of work with the group, “Soles for Souls,” who as you would guess collects shoes and clothes and sees that folks around the world who need them – get them.  It’s very admirable and I’m sure, a rewarding thing to do.

In addition to his “footwork,” my cousin’s husband drives a school bus and preaches.  He does a lot of good stuff.  He is the pastor of the Mountain Springs Baptist Church in Frogeye, Alabama.  It seems like he is doing a pretty good job because he has been there for a number of years, having the privilege of being the 25th pastor since the church opened its doors in 1884.

Since he is technically “family,” I would like to note that he was not around when they were having troubles with the congregation getting “a little wild.”  It’s amazing what you can find on the internet.  It seems that Frogeye had its share of folks who might “stray” every once in a while.

Specifically, back around 1900, some members of the Mountain Springs Baptist Church were turned out of the church for drinking liquor, dancing, taking the Lord’s name in vain and cursing. Oh goodness gracious, this happened over a hundred years ago and an area newspaper reported in their October. 21, 1903 edition, “this past Sunday there were 2 fights at the Mountain Springs Baptist Church.” The paper noted that it was “just a fuss over some gambling at the schoolhouse earlier.”

The writer noted that law abiding God serving people should look into this. Well, I’d agree with that I guess.  It always makes me feel better when I read or hear about troubles a long time ago, even in little places like Frogeye, Alabama.

I’m not sure how many folks live in Frogeye because the census doesn’t keep up with the small community in Tallapoosa County’s exact population.  They do keep up with the population of Goldville, also in Tallapoosa County, which was noted as 55 in 2011.  I would have to assume that the population of Frogeye is less than that.

On Sundays when my cousin’s husband preaches, the population goes up.  They get about 70 folks on Sunday mornings, that’s a good thing.

We find some of the best and most interesting stories in small towns and communities.  The heroes seem to be just bigger there.  I’m pretty sure there are some good ones up north, also.

In Frogeye, you can find stories about the Hodnett family who still play an important part in the community, stories of the ferries that used to run across the Tallapoosa River and stories of the famous sorghum syrup made by “Mr. Joe.”

One fellow who passed through Frogeye on a regular basis was Dr. James Thomas Clack, who was featured in Time Magazine and on Bob Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” radio program in 1940.  You see, Dr. Clack, or “Dr. Tom” as he was known went door to door helping sick folks and delivering babies.

Door to door doctors were not uncommon in those days, but there had to be a catch for Time Magazine and Ripley’s Believe It or Not to be interested.

There was.

Dr. Tom was blind.

Dr. Tom's lost his eyesight right after he started practicing medicine, but through the eyes of his wife he continued practicing medicine for many years. His wife Theresa or "Miss Resa" as she was known traveled with him and told him what she saw, and together they helped a whole lot of folks in Tallapoosa, Randolph and Chambers Counties – going door to door.

You have to ask, “Where did Frogeye or Frog Eye get its name?”

One lady, the “Froglady,” notes that what she was told was that it had to do with a ceramic frog.  The ceramic frog sat in a saloon that was in the area.  The saloon sold both legal and illegal liquor.  Honestly, I don’t know the difference, but evidently there was.  When the “state boys” were in town, the owner of the saloon would close one eye on the frog or have him winking at you.  That was the clue not to ask for or talk about the illegal liquor.

If the frog had both eyes open, all was clear.

It makes perfectly good sense to me.

The Froglady also had a copy of Ms. Irene’s Wash Day Instructions from 1916.  Frogeye’s Ms. Irene was one of the Hodnetts.  The instructions were very thorough including things like “bild fire,” “bilin water,” sorting things into three piles and scrubbing hard.  The list of instructions is a story by itself.

However, the way she put herself on the porch at the end of this wash day would make any man want to go to Frogeye, Alabama (where my cousin’s husband lays down good sermons on Sundays).

From Ms. Irene’s, Final Step - Step Number 12, “Turn tubs upside down. Go put on fresh dress. Smooth hair with side combs.  Brew cup tea. Set & rest, rock a spell. And count blessings.”

Now that “Cranks My Tractor.”

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