The institution was largely supported by contributions procured by traveling agents. The citizens of the neighborhood and of different parts of the State not visited by agents also kindly sent generous and often very timely contributions. Several agents were appointed at different times in the life of the Home. All of them were successful, but none traveled so extensively as did Dr. T. C. Teasdale, previously mentioned, and Mrs. Laura Reed, of Kentucky. Mrs. Reed visited us oftener than any other of the agents, mingled with us in our daily life and always had some pleasant incident to relate to the children. She thus acquainted herself with the needs of the place; and her appeal stirred the hearts of the people to their very depths as was shown by the donations she procured. Some beautiful incidents of Mrs. Reed’s agency deserve to be recorded both for the spirit manifested by them and the results to the institution. Just previous to the War between the States, “Memory Strings” composed of buttons, each the gift of a friend and each different from all the others was a popular fad with young girls. Miss Jennie Moxley, of Louisville, Ky., had one of these strings, very precious to her; for each button had its own history connected with the giver. Her heart was so stirred by one of Mrs. Reed’s appeals that she  voluntarily offered her precious string for the pleasure of the orphans.  But He who understood the sacrifice decreed better results.  The incident so excited the sympathy of the audience that quite a liberal sum was immediately raised. Nor did it stop there. Wherever Mrs. Reed addressed an audience, she exhibited the string and repeated the story followed by the same substantial result. Thus the self-denying act of one little girl became a source of considerable revenue. Again, in one audience an old lady anxious to give something, brought to Mrs. Reed a water gourd, raised and prepared by herself, modestly saying, “It is but a poor gift but it will hold a drink of water for the little ones.” But He who sat over against the treasury noted the deed, knew the motive and blessed the gift many fold. Whenever the agent passed it through an audience accompanied by a few remarks it came back to her full of offerings to the cause for which she so earnestly plead. One more donation deserves special mention. A baker in New Orleans, Mrs. Margaret Haughery, familiarly called “Margaret,” noted for her charitable deeds, sent without solicitation, from time to time during the life of the institution, generous donations of fresh crackers, very acceptable at all times, especially so during seasons of sickness.

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     A semi-monthly paper, consisting of a single sheet, 16x22, and containing 24 columns, was established in 1868 It was published at the Home, the work being done entirely by the employees and beneficiaries. It was a source of considerable revenue throughout the existence of the institution, not only through subscriptions and advertisements but by keeping up a communication with the outside world. The office also did a good deal of job work. The first few issues of The Banner were printed at Scooba, on the Mobile and Ohio railroad, where two of the largest boys were sent to learn the art of printing. A handpress was soon procured and an office was opened at the Home with one of those boys as foreman. The work being done entirely by the employees and beneficiaries there was no outlay except for paper and ink. Several of the boys became expert compositors, by which, in after years, they earned a comfortable livelihood.

     About 1870 a concert band was formed of the best singers, girls and boys, of intermediate ages. It was trained and sent out under charge of Rev. A. D. Trimble, of Tennessee, and a matron —Miss Mattie Wharton, of Noxubee county, Miss., at first and afterwards Mrs. Mollie Williams, of the Home. This band travelled principally in Tennessee and Kentucky. It was kindly received everywhere and through its efforts the circulation of The Banner was increased and supplies were sent to the Home. The children sang hymns principally and without an instrument, but large audiences always greeted them. Besides these sources of support, the boys cultivated a part of the land, made a garden, raised some corn, hogs and cattle. In all these ways we lived comfortably by strict economy. All supplies ran alarmingly low at times, but thanks to Him- who “cares for the sparrows” “the barrel of meal wasted not,” neither did the “meat fail.”

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     We had no regular preaching services. Occasionally a preacher made an appointment, but that was a very rare occurrence. Sunday school was held every Sunday morning, Prof. Granberry officiating as superintendent and the employees teaching. The literature was plentifully given. Several copies of Kind Words came regularly. A large supply of Bibles and Testaments with catechisms, question books, song books, both new and second hand, were contributed, and these we used as best we could. I was astounded to meet here a literary acquaintance of pioneer days which I thought had been crowded out of existence by the modern works. Among the contributions was a number of the same unlearnable question books that had been “Greek” to me in childhood. They were given to a class of the most advanced girls and boys, and the class most suavely assigned to me. I had not been connected with a Sunday school since those pioneer days, and,—shame on me,—my knowledge of Scripture had not kept pace with the passing of the years. I was, therefore, conscious of the fact that I was not nearly so well qualified for the position as was supposed or as the position itself coupled with that particular question book demanded; but to decline was out of the question Embarrassing situation! However, the class knew  less; so by diligent study I managed to keep in the lead through my time of service, in the meantime cracking many hard theological nuts.

     Family worship, conducted by the Superintendent, was held every night in the chapel at which all were required to be present.

     The part of this service and of the Sunday school which delighted the children most was the singing. All sang, from the largest boy down to the smallest. I do not think a single one was “tone deaf;” certainly not one was dumb. They did not always have the words exactly right, but they “carried the tune,” and with a  will. A chorus song especially delighted them; when they reached that part, the campus rang with the joyous refrain, which was echoed from the surrounding hills, and often reached Lauderdale station over a mile away.

     At every meal each employee present and each child, even the little “tots,” who could not read the Bible were required to repeat a text of Scripture before eating. The Superintendent, if present, if not a teacher, would ask a blessing, repeat a text, then every one around the two long tables would follow with a text. The trustees when present conformed to this custom, so did visitors when not taken by surprise. I learned more Scripture texts during my connection with the Home than I had learned during all my previous life.

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