“And Now You Know” — Aunt Sadie, our region’s original Pioneer Lady

Published 12:28 am Thursday, March 31, 2022

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Sadie Pricilla Christman was born in Bonifay, Holmes County, Florida, on Aug. 30, 1890. She was a small baby, only weighing 2 and a half pounds at birth. She was the oldest of two girls and three boys in her family.

“When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my father heard that a person could get rich in Texas, so he got a covered wagon and we headed west to Texas,” Aunt Sadie said. “For a while we lived in Woodville, where my daddy worked as a blacksmith. Later he moved the family to Fields, Louisiana, where he worked as a logger.”

As the oldest of the children when her mother died, Sadie took on the part of being a mother to her siblings.

When she was 15 years old, she met Calvin Christopher Columbus Williamson. He had moved from Vidor to Fields to try his luck as a logger. He was twice Sadie’s age and twice her size. After they met, they found they had a lot in common and a courtship began. They decided to marry.

They first moved to Vidor, but soon moved back to Fields, where their first child was born. In 1908 they moved back to Vidor, into the Williamson Settlement founded by Calvin’s father, William Williamson. It would be where they would live the rest of their lives.

Over the years the little old lady became almost a legend and would become known as “Aunt Sadie.”

“I’ve had four children and my Father in Heaven let me raise two of them. One died from pneumonia and the other from a snakebite,” Aunt Sadie said.

When Aunt Sadie was 83 years old, she was interviewed for a story about her life. At that time, she was riding an adult-sized tricycle for short trips and driving her Jeep for longer runs.

She lived on a small farm on what became known as “Aunt Sadie Road” between Vidor and Mauriceville. Aunt Sadie still drove a tractor to bale hay. She had quit butchering her own livestock a few years earlier, but still farmed, growing green beans, corn and a few other vegetables.

She enjoyed telling stories and told them to children and adults alike. Some of her stories were about her ongoing battle to keep coons from eating her vegetables. Aunt Sadie had a .410 gauge shotgun and for years also had a coon hound.

She told one story of one night hearing the coon hound tree a coon. She grabbed her shotgun and went outside for what turned into a busy night. She bagged four coons and two possums that night.

Another time the hound had something up a tree. When she went out to see what he had, she got a surprise.

“The hound was barking and when I shined my flashlight up into the tree, it looked like a Christmas tree, all lit up with coon eyes. There were seven coons up there,” Aunt Sadie said.

Once while showing a quilt she had made, she said the central design looked like a coon hide tacked on the wall.

After her husband died in 1956, she never remarried and lived alone on her farm. She had no telephone or television. She felt they would tempt her to waste time instead of doing constructive things.

Except for lines in her face and roughness in her hands, Aunt Sadie showed no real signs of her age. She was proud she had never seen the inside of a hospital. All her children were born at home and her health had remained good.

For over 65 years she taught Sunday School in her church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Williamson Ward, where she remined an active member.

Once she was asked how she had stayed so young, her reply was, “What I give it to is my Father in Heaven, (he) blessed me with good health.”

Aunt Sadie Williamson died in 1984 at 94 years of age.

— Written by Mike Louviere