Auburn, Kentucky

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J. Henry Burnett was the son of Rev. J. H. Burnett (Professor & Preacher). J. Henry lived in Auburn until the 1930s when he went to Atlanta, Georgia. His love of Auburn prompted him to write to the Auburn Times about the many people he knew and admired so well. He named his writings "Auburn in the Long Ago."

Subject:     “Uncle” Winkfield Hall.

Auburn Times –  1938

One of the most picturesque and unusual personalities in or around Auburn in my boyhood was Uncle Winkfield Hall. He was a farmer and a good one. He had two fine outstanding, upright sons, Monroe and Scott. “Uncle Wink,” could not read or write, but was a good businessman and very prosperous. He grew up under the old dispensation and was always too busy to be bothered. He was a Christian man, but formed a habit of using cuss words in boyhood and they could just slip out. He never in his heart or mind was profane. He was a golden-hearted man. I worked on his farm (his and son Scott’s) for three summers and learned to know, appreciate and love him. He rode “Dan,” his horse everywhere he went. One day I was hoeing weeds in the garden, he spied me and came out. We had a heart-to-heart talk. He was a man of sterling character, and his word was his bond. During that talk he said, “Henry, folks say I cuss. Anyone who says that tells a damn lie,” and he went on telling about something else, never for an instance realizing what he had said. “Miss Nan,” his second wife, I knew well and she was a fine woman. I never knew his first wife, who was the mother of three sons.

They tell this story on “Uncle Wink”: When he was courting Miss Nam, she remarked to him, “Mr. Hall, you are no spring chicken.” To which he replied as only he could or would, “I God, madam, you ain’t no filly.”  Anyway, he won her, and they were congenial and happy. Monroe Hall married a sister of Col. Church Blakey, and they had three sons, Whitsett, Scott and Church. Whitsett and Scott are now living near Auburn and are prosperous farmers and own some of the finest land in Logan County. Church has been dead many years.  Their home was on the Bowling Green pike, about one-half mile from town. Scott, Sr., the youngest of “Uncle Wink’s” sons, lived with his father, about three or four miles out. He had a fine wife and his children were daughters. He and his wife were mighty nice to me. I worked on the farm during three summers and look back on it as one of the outstanding experiences of my boyhood. Mr. Scott Hall was musical and so was his wife. She played the organ at the Baptist Sunday School and Church and he led the singing and played the cornet. He also conducted the Auburn Band, which was a real band and Auburn was proud of her band. Mr. Scott was a philosopher as well as a farmer. I said one day to him, “Mr. Hall, it is a shame for these Negro men (he employed several) to work so hard all week and then spend their money riding the train on Sunday excursions.” He said  “Henry, it is a real blessing, for if they did not spend it, they would not hit a lick of work the next week.”

Mr. Scott Hall worked right along with his hired men and took the lead. He could get more work done in a day than anyone I have ever seen on a farm. I gave him the best I had and learned much from him. This farmer and two sons were prosperous farmers and splendid Christian men.


Yours sincerely,

                        Macon, Georgia





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