Dig A Little Deeper: Birth
Starting in 1952, William Branham
told a story about a mystic woman, a fortune-teller, who told him that his birthdate was significant in the world of astrology. According to Branham, the woman quickly recognized his "spirit," and asked him, "Sir, did you know that you were born under a sign?"
Using this theme, Branham started promoting the idea that "before God does anything on earth, He declares it in the heavens," using the star that the Magi followed as his example. He then claimed that the same star that led the Magi to Christ is that which announced the arrival of William Branham to this earth.
This story was tied to the birthdate that he started using in August of 1950. According to Branham, April 6, 1909 was his birthdate, and a supernatural being visited him as he entered into this world. He claimed that the "being" returned to tell him that he was chosen to spread the "message of Divine healing to the peoples of the world."
There is just one problem: this was one of three different birthdates he gave, all having different years, and two of which were tied to spiritual events. Only one birthdate can be correct, which would indicate that one of the spiritual events cannot be accurate.
In a 1949 sermon given to followers of false prophet John Alexander Dowie, Branham reminded the congregation of Dowie's prophecy regarding the coming revival. In this sermon, entitled "I Was Not Disobedient To The Heavenly Vision," Branham promoted the idea that he was to bring the revival that Dowie promised would come. Two years later, addressing Raymond T. Richey, Branham reminds Richey of Dowie's prophecy. In this sermon, Branham makes the claim that Dowie "died on one day, and I [William Branham] was borned on the next." Both Richey and F. F. Bosworth were taught under the ministry of Dowie, though Bosworth had co-founded the Assemblies of God under which Richey was ordained as a minister. To these men trained under Dowie, Branham's claim to have been born the day after Dowie died would have been very appealing. Dowie died on March 9, 1907, placing Branham's claim of birth to be March 10, 1907.
But this was not the second date Branham gives for his birthday — though it was the second claim to a supernatural event. On his marriage certificate, William Branham claimed to have been born April 8, 1908. Thus, we have three different years, three different days, and two different months for Branham's birthdate — all dates given by William Branham himself:
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- March 10, 1907
- April 8, 1908
- April 6, 1909
Branham's statements about his birth:
April the 6th, 1909, when the sun begin to peep up over a little Kentucky hill,
a little old mother setting there, fourteen years old, in a little old crude made
bed, no floor but the earth. All the stuff, a little table, a little old straw tick
laying there to lay on, a little old shuck pillow for her to lay their head on...
My daddy with his pair of overalls on, standing at the foot of the bed... But God
permitted me to come into the earth. As the morning star was peeping across the
mountains, coming circling into the window, came a supernatural Being whirling into
the room when the mountain people standing begin to cry. Oh, my. [Blank.spot.on.tape — Ed.]
Years after that, standing in a little old room one night, cold, praying with all
my heart, here come the supernatural Being, His august Being lit the room like the
morning sun shining. He spoke to me, in a scream, "Come, fear not. I'm with you."
(Hallelujah.) "You're to take a message of Divine healing to the peoples of the
world." Here He is, performing miracles, calling out diseases, healing the cripples,
blind, deaf, dumb; working among His people. He's the same yesterday, today, and
forever. God is in His people. Do you believe it? Oh, hallelujah. He's here now.
He's in His people.
When I was born on April the sixth, 1909, about five o'clock in the morning... We
lived in a little cabin. There's a picture in the book. We didn't have windows like
you people have that live in nice homes. We had just a door that you push back,
like a little window, you know, push back. Don't guess you all ever seen anything
like that up in this country. But a little old window you push... [Blank.spot.on.tape — Ed.]...
Oh, if I... If Jesus tarries, and I can stay that long, let me be like that. That's
right. Brother Richey here, how I could speak of him, of how down through the age
when I was a little boy in school, he was out there preaching the Gospel and praying
for the sick, when I was just a boy. Your mothers and dads listened to him preach
the Gospel on Divine healing, both of them out of Zion, Illinois. Candidates, or,
out from under the — the great teacher, late Doctor Dowie. How Doctor Dowie, in his
death, prophesied that I would come to that city forty years from the time that
he died. Not knowing nothing about it, he died on one day, and I was borned on the
next. And forty years to the day I entered the city, not knowing nothing about it.
Oh, how God's great move is coming together. I hear the sound of abundance of rain.
And I thought, "That's not gentlemen like, but I — I don't want to talk to her."
See? And I waited there. Then she said, "Say, you the conservation officer," said,
"could I speak to you, just a minute?"
I said, "What did you want?"
She said, "Could I speak to you just a moment?"
I said, "What do you want?"
And she said, I thought, "That was nasty of you to act as a man," so just so indifferent,
you know. And she said, "Are you a Christian?"
And I said, "No. What's that to you?" See?
And she said... She said, "Well, I just wondered." And she said, "Did you know you
were borned under a sign?"
Oh, my. I said, "Look, lady, I don't want to know nothing about that. See?" I said,
"Not giving you any short answer, I've got a mother at home. See?" And I said, "I
don't want to know nothing about that."
She said, "Oh, don't be so hard."
And I said, "Well, I don't want to know nothing about that stuff." See? I said,
"I know nothing about it; I know nothing about any religious things, and I — I don't
want to know anything about it." And I said, "I don't want to hurt your feelings."
I just keep looking on ahead.
She said, "My..." And she said, "You shouldn't act like that."
And I said, "Well, I — I don't mean not to be a gentlemen; but I — I..."
She said, "Look! This is nothing to do with religion." She said, "I'm on my road
to Chicago." We was on a Greyhound bus. She said, "I'm going to see my son, which
is a Baptist minister." She said, "I work in the White House." And she said, "Did
you know the first thing, did you know this United States and all the astronomy,
and how they do?"
I said, "I know nothing about it." See?
She said, "Well, I work in the White House." And she said, "Right as you go in the
steps of the White House, there's a astronomer calendar." Said, "There's a sailor
standing behind you. Ask him if the moon doesn't control the tides."
I said, "I got sense enough to know that." See?
And she said, "Well, that's right." Said, "And your birth has something..." Said,
"Perhaps, I will tell you just exactly when you was born, would you believe me?"
And I said, "You can't do it in the first place." See?
She said, "Oh, yes, I can."
I said, "Let's hear you."
Said, "You was born on April the 6th at five o'clock in the morning in 1909."
I said, "That's right." I said, "Tell this sailor when he was born."
She said, "I couldn't do it."
"Well," I said, "why can't you tell him, if you just... if you could tell me?"
She said, "Because you were borned under a sign; I don't know when that was to appear."
She said, "Has ministers never talked to you?"
I said, "I have nothing to do with preachers." I said, "I don't have nothing at
all to do with them, at all." I'd always run from it, you know. I... Thinking of
that, speaking to me, and I knowed that was the same thing, my mama told me them
things was of the devil, and I stayed away from them." See? And I said, "No, sir.
I have nothing to do with it."
And she said, "Well, nobody ever told you that?" She said, "Isn't it strange that
preachers wouldn't know that?"
I said, "I don't fool around where they're at." And I said, "I — I thank you very
She said, "Well, look. You were borned under a sign, I want to tell you this, as
a gift." And she said, "If you'd only could recognize it."
I said, "Yes, ma'am." I said, "Maybe, I will be a Daniel Boone, I like to hunt and
I was born in Kentucky." And so... She said, and like that.
And she said, "No," she — she — she called me. She said, "No, that ain't what I'm
I said, "Well, maybe I'd be a businessman. I've got a grammar school education."
She said, "That's not what I'm talking about. I don't know what you'd be. But I
know that according to astronomy that on that time, they was..."
She tried to tell me about the...?... of the cycles, and, in commemoration of the
Son of God, when three stars came together. She said, "Three wise men, the Magis
was following three different stars, they didn't know when they were coming." Said,
"When they gathered together, and met each other at the Bethlehem gate, following
three different stars, and they formed the one morning star, that hung over the
Christ..." And she said, "One was from the lineage of Ham, Shem, and Japheth, the
three sons of Noah." And said, "Those three stars went together and made the one
star that hung over Christ." And said, "Then when they separated, they've never
went to their orbits, they've never been since." And said, "Now, all the stargazers
in the country never seen such as that. And they never noticed it; it was just supernaturally
given," and on talking like that, with all of her stuff.
Well, I couldn't understand what she was talking about. And she said, "In commemoration
of that greatest gift that God ever give the earth, He sends back a — a something
lesser in commemoration of that time."
"Well," I said, "lady, I am not a Christian. I have nothing to do with preachers.
I have nothing to do with what you... I don't know nothing about the stars. All
I know that I'm the game warden of Indiana. I'm doing the best that I can. Thank
you." And went on, like that.
And now to this audience here tonight, and a — a confession. In the beginning of
my ministry... When a little baby born up in the hills of Kentucky, this light that
you see on this picture here that we have tonight; and they've been selling at the
meeting, just at... what it... We have to send, get them ourself, it's a copyright.
That same Light come in that little cabin and stood over the bed, a little corn
shuck bed, where I was born in a cabin in Kentucky, on April the sixth, 1909. And
from a little bitty — little small lad of about, I suppose, two years old, was the
first time I remember of That speaking to me. And He told me I would live near a
city called New Albany, Indiana. Well, that's where I've lived. And I was... That
was a hundred and eighty or ninety miles up in Kentucky, near Burkesville, Kentucky.
I just kept looking forward, and I wouldn't pay any attention to her. Directly I
thought, "I believe I'll see if she says like the rest of them." I turned around,
I thought, "Oh, my! That would quiver me, I know." Cause, I hated to think that.
She said, "Maybe I better explain myself." She said, "I'm an astrologist."
I said, "I thought you was something like that."
She said, "I'm on my way to Chicago to see my boy who's a Baptist minister."
I said, "Yes, ma'am."
She said, "Anybody ever tell you you were born under a sign."
I said, "No, ma'am." I lied to her there, see, and I said... just wanted to see
what she was going to say. And she said... I said, "No, ma'am."
And she said, "Doesn't... Hasn't ministers ever told you?"
I said, "I don't have nothing to do with ministers."
And she said, "Uh-huh."
And I said... she — she said to me... I said, "Well..."
She said, "If I tell you just exactly when you was born, will you believe me?"
I said, "No, ma'am."
And she said, "Well, I can tell you when you were born."
I said, "I don't believe it."
And she said, "You were born on April the 6th, 1909, at five o'clock in the morning."
I said, "That's right." I said, "How do you know that?" I said, "Tell this sailor
here when he was born."
Said, "I can't."
And I said, "Why? How you know?"
Said, "Look, sir." She said, when she begin to talk about this astronomy now, and
she said, "Every so many years..." Said, "You remember when the morning star come,
that led the wise men to Jesus Christ?"
And I kind of stalled, you know, I said, "Well, I don't know nothing about religion."
And she said, "Well, you've heard about the wise men coming to see Jesus."
I said, "Yes."
And she said, "Well, what was wise man?"
"Oh," I said, "they were just wise men, all I know."
She said, "Well, what is a wise man?" She said, "The same thing that I am, an astrologist,
'stargazer' they call them." And she said, "You know, before God does anything in — in
the earth, He always declares it in the heaven, and then on the earth."
And I said, "I don't know."
And she said, "Well..." She called two or three, two... three stars, like Mars,
Jupiter, and Venus. It wasn't them, but she said, "They crossed their paths and
come together and made..." Said, "There was three wise men that come to meet the
Lord Jesus, and one was from the lineage of Ham, and one Shem, and the other one
Japheth." And said, "When they met together at Bethlehem, the three stars that they
were from... Every person on earth," said, "they have something to do with the stars."
Said, "Ask that sailor there when the moon goes out and the heavenly planet goes
out, the tide doesn't go with it and come in."
I said, "I don't have to ask him that, I know that."
And she said, "Well, your birth has something to do with the stars up there."
And I said, "Well, that I don't know."
And she said, "Now, these three wise men came." And said, "When they three stars,
when they... They come from different directions and they met at Bethlehem. And
they said they found out and consulted, and one was from the lineage of Ham, Shem,
and Japheth, the three sons of Noah." And she said, "Then they come and worshipped
the Lord Jesus Christ." And said, "When they departed," said, "they brought gifts
and put to Him."
And said, "Jesus Christ said in His ministry that when this Gospel has been preached
to all the world (Ham, Shem, and Japheth's people), then He would come again." And
she said, "Now, those planets, heavenly planets, as they move around..." Said, "They
separated. They've never been on the earth since, known. But" said "every so many
hundred years, they cross their cycles like this." If there happen to be an astronomer
here, you might know what she was talking about. I don't. So when she was talk-...
Said, "They cross like that." And said, "In commemoration of the greatest Gift that
was ever given to mankind, when God gave His Son. When these planets cross themselves
again, why," said, "He sends another gift to the earth." And said, "You were born
on the crossing of that time." And said, "That's the reason I knew it."
Well, then I said, "Lady, the first place, I don't believe anything about it. I'm
not religious, and I don't want to hear no more about it!" Walked away. And so I
cut her off pretty short. So I went on out.
And every time any... I'd get around one of them, that's the way it would be. And
I thought, "Why does them devils do that?"
Then the preachers, saying, "That's the devil! That's the devil!" They had me believing
And then that night up there when I... when He referred to that, I asked Him, I
said, "Well, why is it all them mediums and things like that, and them devil-possessed
people, that always tell me about It; and the clergy that, my brethren, tell me
that it's of the evil spirit?"
Now listen to what He said, this One Who is hanging over there in the picture. He
said, "As it was then, so is it now." And He begin to refer to me, that, "When the
ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ begin to take place, the ministers said, 'He was
Beelzebub, the devil'; but the devils said, 'He was the Son of God, the Holy One
of Israel.' Devils... And look at Paul and Barnabas when they was up there preaching.
The ministers said, 'These men turn the world upside down. They're evil, they're — they're
the devil.' And a little old fortune-teller out on the street, recognized that Paul
and Barnabas was men of God, said, 'They are men of God who tell us the way of Life.'"
Is that right? "Spiritualists and soothsayers, demon-possessed people."
And my people, of course, formerly, the beginning, are Catholic. We... They emigrated
from Ireland and come here. And then, but my father and mother didn't go to any
church at all. And they was raised up in the mountains; my father, a logger. And
when that Light come in that morning at six o'clock on April the fifth, or, April
the sixth, 1909, and that Light hung over that little crib bed there, a little trundle
bed... I don't know what you all know what a trundle bed is or not, a straw tick,
or a shuck pillow. How many ever seen a shuck pillow or a straw tick? Well, would
you look? My. I'm not the only country boy around here, am I? There's just plenty
of us. Well, my, that's mighty fine. I feel like I could come without a tie on now.
That's just — that's just fine. Well, that's... My mother, it liked to scared her
to death. My dad... My mother was fifteen years old and my dad was eighteen, just
kiddies. And so, since then there it's been. Nothing — nothing that I had, nothing
that I merited, it's... Now, it's just a little gift that God gave, sovereignly
give. That's the only way they are given is by the sovereign grace of God.
My mother was fifteen, and my daddy was eighteen. And the morning when I was born,
April the sixth, 1909, at five o'clock in the morning, there was no doctor; they
had a mid-wife. And when I was born, I only weighed five pounds: very small.
I was born April the 6th, 1909, in a little cabin up in the eastern Kentucky mountains.
And I... It was His grace that brought me here. He's fed me and kept me ever since,
and I love Him with all my heart. I don't feel I'm an old man. But I — I feel like
that I... To be honest, I feel just... Feeling in my body, I feel a lot younger
than I did twenty years ago. I feel fine, 'cause I was always a little bitty skinny
boy until about five years ago. The Lord Jesus healed me of a terrible rundown condition,
underfed when I was a child, and — and nervous. And even till I was in such a condition
that Mayo Brothers said there wasn't a hope for me."
And, let's see, I was born in 1909; that makes me twenty-five, or something like
that, Sunday. So, I'm just a boy in an old house, but, I... This is the first time
it's come on Easter Sunday for some time. And so, I'm going to be at my little tabernacle
at Jeffersonville, my home, for Easter sunrise service. Then immediately after that,
a baptismal service, and then the message and a healing service.
f there is any credit to be given to the Branham family, it's my wife. She's the
one who stands between me and the public. I went down and got her today. I thought
I was bashful; she's worse than I am. I was talking to her, what I said to you last
evening, that after being born in 1909, I'd be about twenty-five. But I believe
I have to make that twenty-seven, because I been preaching twenty-seven years, and
the rest of them didn't count anyhow; just those who I preached and served the Lord.
I said to my wife, "Honey, would you walk up on the platform?" She said, "I'd faint."
But I'm going to ask her just to stand up just for a moment, and let you know the
sweetest woman in the world, my wife, Mrs. Branham. [The congregation applauds — Ed.]
Thank you. She's sure bashful. I will hear about this later on.
I had a birthday the other day, and let's see; I think I was... My wife's setting
here, so I have to be careful; I think I was twenty-five. I was just a little over
twenty-five; I was born in 1909, so that makes me a little over twenty five, doesn't
it, just a — just a little over twenty five? So I'll hear from this. I remember one
night... She always gets after me for saying this. I... We had a close time, when
I almost had to take a offering once; we couldn't make ends meet. Did you ever hit
that place? And so I said, "Honey, I'm going to take up an offering tonight." She
said, "I'm going over and watch you do it." So she set down. And I said, "Folks,
I'm going to take an offering; I'm just in a little tight place. If you all got
ten, fifteen cents you could throw in and help me get over this snag, I appreciate
it." I said, "Uncle Jim Wiseheart (one of the deacons)," I said, "would you get
my hat?" We didn't even have an offering plate. He went over to get my hat. Little
old woman, used to set right down to my right, prayed for me all the time. She's
in heaven tonight. She had one of them little old aprons on that you had the pocket
on the inside. How many ever seen one of them, you Southern women? Sure. Grandma
used to have one; she'd carried her pipe and her tobacco on the inside there, little
old cane and long clay pipe. Did you ever see one? Sure, Grandma had one. The man
folks would come, she'd stick it under here and hold her finger on it, and then,
to keep it from burning her apron till the... Didn't make any difference about the
hand, you know.
Let's see, I had a birthday recently, and I was — I think I was twenty-five or just
a little past it. I was born in 1909; that'd make me a little — about twenty-five,
wouldn't it? Just a little over — forty-nine. So I've been in the ministry, twenty-seven
years, and never took up an offering in my life. I pastored the Baptist church for
seventeen years, and never received a penny of salary, or took an offering all the
time. Worked as a state Game Warden in Indiana, and made my living. Never took an
offering in all my life. I remember one night, I usually tell it, especially, when
my wife's not along, that I got to the place I couldn't make ends meet. Did you
ever get in that place? Sure, we all do. And I said, "Honey, I'm going to take up
an offering tonight." She said, "I'll go over and watch you do it." And she gets
her seat and sets down. Now, not that people wouldn't do it, certainly, they would.
They'd have give me anything they had. But I was young, and I — I just had Wednesday
and Sunday services, and I... that's all I just — I could work, so why not work,
and not be obligated to — an obligation to them. All the money I got, I put right
in the church, everything outside of my living.
Of course, every one knows that I'm just a past twenty five, now. I was born in
1909, so anyone can figure, knows that I'm past twenty five.
And I was born on April the — the 6th, 1909. Course, you know, that makes me a little
over twenty-five now. And so, the morning that I was born, Mother said that they
opened up the window. Now, we had no doctors, there was a midwife. Just... And that
midwife was my grandmother. And so when I was born and my first beginning to cry,
and — and Mother wanted to see her child. And — and she was no more than a child herself.
And when they opened up the little window, just at the break of day, about five
o'clock. And the... There was an old robin sitting by the side of a little bush.
As you all have seen. the picture of it in — in my book of my life story. An old
robin was sitting there just singing for all that was in him.
I'm intending, if the Lord willing, and I believe I have the assurance, that the
very best part of my ministry is right ahead of me. I — I believe that with all my
heart. I — I'm not no boy no more, you know, so... I was a... Had a birthday recently,
and... April the sixth, and... Let's see, honey, I was a... I'm past twenty-five,
ain't I. I was born in 1909, so anybody'd know I'd be just a little over twenty-five,
so... And so, I'm not a boy. But, you know, I think you have to get a little age
on you to begin to realize what it's all about. At least, I feel that way. I want
to thank you brethren for your fine cooperation, and your love and kindness, and
for this love offering which will be taken straight to the trustees, be put right
into the foundation. And it'll all be spent, every penny, to the Kingdom of God,
for overseas missions, and things that I — I know that'll go right. It'll have to
go right. So, I'm want it that way. I don't — wouldn't have it no other way. That's
the way I want it.
One day, I started to take my own life, and the gun wouldn't even go off. Then I
turned it and shot it. It was God taking care of the gift. When he'd... Just like
Moses, he couldn't run away from it; God will find you. Wherever you are, He will
So this woman — I said, "What would you want?"
She said, "Sir, did you know you were borned under a — a sign?"
Quickly, that scared me. I said, "I don't know nothing about that, and I don't want
to know nothing about it."
She said, "Haven't you never talked to preachers?"
I said, "I have no use for them. I — I don't go around where any of that's at." I
said, "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I don't want to hear anything you
have to say."
She said, "Sir, that's not a gentleman."
And I turned to her again, I said, "How did you know that?"
She said, "When you got on the bus, I seen it." She said, "I work in the White House."
She said, "I'm on my way now to Chicago to see my son, who is a minister." She said,
"I'm an astronomer." She said, "Did you know who... When God does anything, the
first thing He does is to declare it in heaven, before He declares it on the earth?"
I said, "I know nothing about it." And I turned around again. It kindy made me feel
bad, because there's many people on the bus, and me an officer. And so I thought
that wasn't gentleman like. So she called me — kept calling me. And I turned around
again; I said, "What's that got to do with me?"
And she said, "When Jesus Christ was born, or before he was born, wise men came
from the east." She said, "What is a wise man?"
I said, "I have no idea."
She said, "They're astronomers that watch the heavens, and before God does anything
on earth, He declares it in the heavens."
And she said... I — I said, "I don't know nothing of it."
She said, "But when God gives a gift, He declares it in the heavens."
I — I said, "I know nothing about it."
And she said, "You were borned under that sign." And she said, "What if I tell you
when you were born, would — would you believe me?"
I said, "Lady, you can't read my mind. I won't believe it."
And she said, "You were born on April the 6th, 1909, at five o'clock in the morning."
She said, "That's when certain stars," she said, "crossed or something." (Or astronomy.)
And I said, "I don't know nothing about it, and care less."
So she said, "You may pass it by," but said, "if you would respect it, it would
shake the world."
I said, "Tell this young sailor here, when he was born."
She said, "I couldn't do it."
So then I was almost to my place where I was going to get off. My righteous indignation
all up, my face all red, shaking, scared, I was glad to get off that bus.
And — and that Angel of God, at five o'clock in the morning, April 6, 1909, at five
o'clock in the morning, come right in and stood over that little bed where I was
laying. They didn't know what... My people before me were Catholic. And so there
was no Catholic churches up there, and so they taken me over to a little Baptist
church. And there I made my first visit to a church. The Baptist church is called
"Opossum Kingdom Baptist Church. Opossum Kingdom Baptist Church." There's where
I made my first visit to a church. And from — when I was just about two years old,
the first vision come, from that it's come on, and on, and on, and I'm fifty-one
years old now. So you see, it's — it's the vision. When He told me, said, "You were
born for this purpose, to pray for sick people." I said, "They won't believe me."
He said, "As Moses was given two signs, you're given two signs." He said, "One of
them, just take the people by the hand and don't use your thinking." See? Said,
"And it'll be told you what's wrong." Well, I did that. I watched how things went
for a while, watching people. And then, I told you that this other will take place.
Now, you see, it's taken place. Now, the next thing's coming in. See? Perhaps, be
all mostly overseas, 'cause I feeled it pulling overseas.
I'd like to say, how did I ever become a Christian? My father and mother, grandfather,
grandmother, on both sides, was all sinners. And my nature was a cocklebur... then
if I going to be a grain of wheat. But one morning in a little log cabin down in
Kentucky, so said my mother and the midwife, on April the 6th, five o'clock in the
morning, 1909, when the Lord God brought me into the earth, there was a Light standing
at the little window. And when they opened the window back, mother laying on a little
shuck bed, to find out what kind of a baby she had, a Light come whirling in. And
the people of the mountains didn't know what to think about It. I was too little
to know this.
Now, when I was a little baby. My people, course, being Irish descent, perhaps we
were formerly Catholic, but my father and mother didn't go to church at all. In
a little mountain home, up in the state of Kentucky; one morning, April the sixth,
1909, in a little old house that didn't even have any windows in it; just a little
door like, you went, let the light in. When the Lord Jesus permitted me to come
to the earth, being the firstborn of my mother and father; her fifteen, my dad eighteen.
And on a little straw tick. I guess you people around here never know what a straw
tick was. But, us, how many ever know what a straw tick was? Well, what part of
Kentucky you from? See? So then, a straw tick, on a little straw tick, with a shuck
pillow, that one little bed in the room. One little room, and a little kitchen,
was just about, the whole thing together, wouldn't be twenty feet, altogether. Little
old log cabin, no floor at all, a table is made out of a stump. And there, in that
little room, when Jesus Christ permitted me to come to the earth. I can only say
this by testimony of my parents, which was not religious. But they didn't have no
lights like we have here, not even a coal oil lamp. I don't know whether you ever
know what a grease lamp was, or not. Take some lard and put it in a can, and put
a little piece of flannel in it, and light it, and it'll burn. The light, that early
in the morning, wouldn't show enough light to let mama see what I was, or looked
like. And they opened this little window on the side towards the East, for some
robins was setting in the bushes out there, singing, as it breaking day at five
o'clock. And when they opened up the window, a Pillar of Fire, Light, came moving
through the window, and come and hung over the little bed. My mother screamed. The
midwife was there. We had no doctor. And the midwife was there. They didn't know
what It was. About two weeks after that, I was carried up to a little Baptist church,
called Opossum Kingdom. The minister held me in his arms and dedicated me to God.
The mountain people didn't know what to think about That. They, they told them.
They thought maybe mama was just out of her head, or just thought that. Three years
later, we come to Indiana, and papa got a job. He was a rider, breaking horses for
the ranchers and farmers, and so forth. He come out there to break some hackney
ponies, for a — a rich man named O. H. Wathen, lives on the Utica Pike. He's a great
owner of the Colonels, and also the R. E. Wathen Distillery, and all them in Louisville,
and O. H. and R. E. And daddy was breaking saddle horses for him. And then he got
hurt, and he went to being a private chauffeur for him.
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