Featured Stories » Arkansas » Benton County
Back in the 1940's when my Grandmother Helenea Brisbane was getting out of the Army at Ft. Dix, she decided to invest in a business, "site unseen". It happened to be in a town called Hiwasse in Benton County, Arkansas. It was a Chicken Farm, fully automated....pretty fancy for the times. No indoor plumbing in the house, but the chickens had it made. With my mother in tow, they arrived in this small "don't blink, you will miss it" town in style....grandmother called her Chauffeur from her days before the Army and had him drive them to their new destination..."the farm" Needless to say, the new rich people made a big hit that would be talked about and remembered to this day. Grandmother promptly had plumbing put into the house....but left the outhouse for looks. My mother was in heaven, being the new city girl in town. The house had a rock facing and came to be known as the "Rock house". There were fruit trees in the back, with a very large grape arbor that was cool to walk beneath. It had a large garden area that you could feed half a city from as far as grandmother was concerned. Woods off to the side that mother went horseback riding in. They seemed to settle in just fine, until a boycott was called on chickens. Here is where my memory gets cloudy...don't remember what the boycott was about, but it meant that the fryers, with a delay in selling, turned into stewers and grandma was about to go broke. I didn't mention during this time, Grandmother had met and married a local fellow by the name of Ralph Todd and mom had married a local fellow and my dad, Joe Jenkins....(they moved to California by this time and mom was going to have me).....Grandmother, being very adventurous, and never letting anything get her down, said the heck with it, sold the farm because of the boycott and sent my mother a telegram which we have to this day...it read: Sold the farm, Stop. Put out the cat, Stop. Left the Todds to moan and cry, Stop. Took Editorship at Indianapolis Daily, Stop. Go ahead and have your baby, Stop. Mother......and that was grandmother's adventure in Hiwasse Arkansas, on Highway 72, and her chicken farm.....everyone is gone now and the chicken houses are gone the last time I was there, but folks still remember Bris and her adventure and the Rock house, which was partially still there when I went through back in 2008. You don't need to put all this in there. It is just some of the story I remember from my mom and folks from Hiwasse.—Linda Jenkins Wensel
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