Stories of the South - Outhouses & Family

Photograph by my grandmother Nancy Pepper Lancaster 1987
Outhouse from John and Ethel Pepper's homeplace Chickasaw County Mississippi 

My family, both sides, are definitely farm people.  

All of my great grandparents were farmers and my grandparents grew up on farms and didn't get jobs in town until after WWII when mechanization changed farming forever.  

One set of great grandparents from Hohenlinden, MS were farmers their entire lives, this was my immortal MawPep and PawPep also known as John Henry Pepper and Ethel Beard Pepper.  PawPep was a true southern Renaissance man.  He was a farmer, a craftsman of baskets, furniture, and homes, a trapper, a hunter, and a lover of animals.  His wife, my MawPep, grew up on a farm and a sawmill.  She was right there with him when it came to having multiple skills.  She sewed clothing, made quilts, crocheted, cooked, canned, gardened, and farmed right along side PawPep raising hogs, picking cotton, and raising my grandmother and great uncle.  

John and Ethel Pepper with some of their handmade split oak baskets

Their farm is located in the Hohenlinden community which is west of Woodland and not close to much of anything else.  They probably didn't have electricity until the 1930s and also had a well for their water for years.  (As a child I can remember being told explicitly to stay away from the old well.  It had been bricked up but the ground was soft.)

Of course when you don't have running water inside you can't have an indoor toilet.  I barely remember this outhouse.  My Dad found some old pictures my Granny had taken and passed them along to me.  

While there is a lot of that simple living that I love and try to strive toward I'm proud of my nice, warm, snake free bathroom. 


  1. Yes Ma'am to plumbing! My grandparents in Eupora were still on a well until the early 1970's. Best water ever, made beautiful tea except when the Mississippi red dirt would hit the line! I know we are related through the Pepper family - will figure it out someday. Nice post!


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