Bill Due


Bill Due was born in Flippin, Arkansas in his own home. Bill had five siblings, two brothers and three sisters. The oldest was Larue, then Walter. Next came Lily Bell, Christine, and Eugene. Bill was the youngest of the six. Bill has not lived in the Ozarks all his life. He lived here until he was eighteen years old. Then he moved to Kansas City, Missouri. He lived in Kansas City for twenty-three years before he moved back to the Ozarks.

Bill lived about one and a half miles outside of Flippin towards Yellville and had to walk across a mountain about a mile to catch the school bus. Then he rode the bus about two miles back to school. That is when he wasn't skipping school. He usually cut school because he didn't want to go. Bill would purposely miss the bus and go back home. On their bus, there was a little boy, Harold Flippin, who hardly ever wore a shirt so he had a very dark tan. The kids called him "Little Brown Jug" and today is still known as "Jug" Flippin.

When the Bull Shoals Dam was being built, Highway 178 was being paved. This would leave oil on the roads so the buses wouldn't run. This made the children have to walk to school.

The old school building presently houses the third grade at Flippin Elementary. It was a four room school. The FFA, which was boys only, would raise hogs on the campus. The playground had big swings and a big slide. Kids would often get hurt on the swings because they were so big. There was a pump water fountain for the children to drink out of. They would make little paper cups for the water. There was a big bell that the principal would ring for the recess bell and the tardy bell. On the Northeast corner of the campus was the girls' outhouse and at the Northwest corner was the boys outhouse. Every Halloween the outhouses would be turned over. Also at the Northwest corner of the campus, there was a designated tree for boys' (not girls) who had permission to go smoke.

The average number of students in his class was around twenty to twenty-five. The schools then had many of the same subjects as it has now. It had math, spelling, history, geography, physical education, science, and health. Bill's favorite subject was history. For fun the children would play baseball at recess, if they could find a ball. They would play with any kind of ball they could find. Sometimes they would use a heavy, rubber ball. No one hardly ever had a glove to use. When asked what his friends were like he said, "Ornery bunch a boys!"

What kind of chores did Bill have? Every night Bill had to go to the spring and get water to bring back. He also chopped and carried wood into the house. Sometimes, he helped his mother feed the cows. Bill's house had no electricity or running water. It was wood heated and had a wood cook stove. There was no indoor plumbing, therefore, they had to use an outhouse until 1942, when his family moved to California.

When Bill was a child, Flippin, Arkansas had a train depot, three grocery stores, and two drug stores. The roads weren't paved and in the middle of the road in front of Sanders there was a water well. Flippin also had a post office, a movie theater, a hardware store, and a jail house. They also had a blacksmith shop run by Clem Hogsit.

Many people worked on farms or at the tomato canning factory. Other folks worked for the railroad, at saw mills, cutting logs, wood, and cedar; others worked on the dam. Bill's parents were farmers. His dad also worked on the W.P.A., which stood for Work Projects Administration, a government program that helped out after the depression. (W.P.A: Otherwise known as "We Piddle Around"). Sometimes, Bill also worked at the zinc mines in Rush. Bill Due lived his childhood in the Ozarks. Many people lived their lives in the same manner.