Interview with Betty Odom, Frank Kelly and Sue Kelly Parr

Every Saturday Betty would get 50 cents to get her hair cut by my granddaddy Rosser Chapman.

Betty remembers walking from their house to Gwaltney’s store.  Betty played set back with Miss Daisey.

Mother was born in Isle of Wight.  County line when through the house up on Audubon Road.  Dad was born in Portsmouth/Isle of Wight.  Some confusion here but because their grandfather worked for the Sea Board railroad.  Grandparents came from Ireland.  Grandfather came as an indentured servant.  Grandmother was born in Isle of Wight.

All of the children were born on the farm just behind Wesley Chapel.  Hulda was born in 1919.  The Cox farm was at the end of the road that passes the church.

Frank was born in 1924,  Sue in 1929, Betty in 1934.  Clyde (Buck) was born in 1931/2.  Frank lives in Eastover and Sue in Lakeside.  Buck lives in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Frank said in the winter of 1927 there was a big snow and he fell into a snow bank and had a hard time getting out.

Frank went to Chuckatuck for all eleven years.  1st grade teacher was Dorothy Williams,  Her finger was missing when she put it up on a block and dared her brother to cut it off.

Mrs. Matthews and Mrs Brothers were also some of his teachers.


Graduated in 1941 went to NSYU (Norfolk Shipyard University)  Rode to work with Jesse Johnson.  Lone Star started in 1927 and in 1941 they were just come across the road.  In the Navy yard he served an apprentiship in the sheet metal shop, then 1957 to 1983 was in Non Destructive Testing Lab. Frank was drafted in May of 1944 in the Army.  Got out in January of 1945 with a medical discharge.  Originally moved to Suffolk in 1944.

Mr. Floyd Hudnell Christopher was the Principal.  Did not play sports (I was too lazy)  and very safety conscious about getting a joint banged up.

What did you do for fun.  Sand lot baseball.  Grew up on a farm with lots of vegetable and cotton, peanuts, watermelons, oats for feed.  Remembers loading watermelons on Doc Goodman’s boat for transport to Little Boat Harbor.  Father would go to Portsmouth every Friday and sell produce to a group of selected cutomers.  Used a 1924 Model T .  Could see the road through the floor boards.   He did this every Friday year round with some type of products.  He would bring home $20 which was a good day.  King’s Highway was opened in 1927.  Before that they went from Ferry Point Farm over to

Mr. Chapman and Puss Bowden worked on the King’s Highway bridge.  Gun Implacement was put down on the entrance to the bridge in 1940/1.  In 1945 there were 5 operating stores in Chuckatuck,  C.H. Pitt, Wilson Spady, Owens, Charlie Johnson, Billy Moore, Lafayette Gwaltney and Andy Gump (W.G.’s father) who had a store where the Restaurant is now.  Ruritans would put on a minstral ever year.  Holland Ruritans still have them in the King’s Fork Middle school.  Not like it use to be.      Frank says Gwaltney’s Store had rooms to rent upstairs.

Arthur Joyner boarded with the Odoms and worked for the Lone Star Cement corporation.

Woolford, RayHowell, Mitchel Bounds, Richard Doughty, and PD. Howell.

Mrs. Odom and Ercile were first cousins.

The most memorable thing that happened to you was “being from Chuckatuck”.  Got a good education, and a lot of benefits from the teachers and learned some values from the teachers like “tell it like it was”  Bill Rippey was his Agriculture teacher.  Billy Rippey daughter got an appointment from Harry Truman.

Sue graduated in 1946.  Katherine Beale was her 4th grade teacher (soon to be Katherine Godwin).  She taught her art and Maude Andrews was a teacher.  Wilbur Bailey was the basketball coach.  He also taught economics.  Walked to school each day with holes in her shoes.  Enjoyed high school, played basketball,  Remembers Richard Gayle always sitting in front of principal office.  Lewis Winslow was a bully and one day Mr. Christopher put him down.

1935/36 had two very bad winters.  Frank rode with daddy for about six months.

Betty,  Joshia Chapman had his house built and he had gas lights in it.  The Odoms lived in it for awhile in 1948.

First Longerberger party Sue went to she bought a basket that Momma was at and now that basket is really worth something.

Mr. Johnson’s Store,  Mr. Pitts home, Mr Willougby , Owens store (still there)  Asa Johnson ran this store for awhile (1941).  The old Pinner House on the hill enroute to the Grist mill.  This house was built in the early 1800’s.  Now from the Ice Plant up the hill on the right was Mr and Mrs Doyle (house right on the road).  Mr. Matt Crumpler had a meat house right behind it where he cut up hogs in the 1920/30’s.  The house that is there now is built on the foundation of the old meat packing plant.  The next three houses were the Harmons (colored folks),  The Bowdens and the Marshalls in the next one.  Then there was Spady’s Garage/Store  then the Spady House.  Then the Johnsons.

Mr. Johnson had a brother who ran a store in Hobson just before you get to Moore’s Point Road going toward Chuckatuck.  There was another store (Shaubach entrance) where the Buppett’s lived for awhile.

Rental houses on the Ridge.  Dr. Eley owned them.  There were five at one time.  The last one on the left going to Suffolk had so many people in it that you could see it breathing.  This was Joe Bailey (bootlegger) who lived in the last house.  Son Turner lived in the first house.

95:00  talks about making apple cider.  Then they would send it up behind Oakland and have it distilled.  This was in 1935.  Dr Eley was already in Chuckatuck.  He charged 50 cents for an office visit.  School was built in Chuckatuck in 1927.

Betty was born in 1934 on the Chuckatuck Creek.  Dr. Ray Parker was her doctor.  Lived there until she was 7 years old.  Lone Star moved.  A goat buted them while they were shelling butter beans.

103:00  Frank poured kerosene on the goat and when he came back around he throw a match on him.  He ran so fast that he put the fire out.  Then Frank shot him with the shotgun.

Betty lost her ball in the creek and went out to get the ball in water over her head.  Her brother came out and saved her.

105:00 Betty Odom remembers Miss Lucy Upshur coming up on her horse with candy for them.  Miss Lucy died in 1946.

108:00  Talks about Miss Lucy when she got burned with Coffee.  Miss Annie was her sister.  She married a Godwin.  Where Joe Barlow lives is called the Cotton Plains Farm.

Miss Lucy use to sell Marl and in fact they were very well off.  The Upsher place was an original land grant from the King of England in the 1700’s.  There was at least 100 acres.

Frank Whitney built the house the Odoms lived in.  Betty has a check made out in 1936 for rent.

They also lived in Sandy Bottom when the school caught on fire in March of 1948.  Betty did not want us to become the city of Suffolk.  The only thing they have done is picked up her sticker.

119:00  They talk about the 5 mile farm.

Miss Lucy’s house was built circa 1750.  Both Miss Lucy and Miss Annie were well educated.  Miss Lucy had an Austin, but towed it to Mr Byrd’s with her horse.

When the Union Soldiers came to their grandparents home they hid most of the items to keep them from stealing them.

In 1930 Z.H. Powell built a warehouse across from the Packett Wharf.

134:00  Mr Powell came courting Betty’s mother even though he was married.  Mr. Powell owned the Butts farm, Meadowlot farm, and Meadowbrook farm and had built the old house across from my grandmother in Chuckatuck.  This is the home that Harvey Saunders lived in.

There was a Dance Hall in Gwaltney’s store and Miss Lucy use to have big dances in her house..