Eula Johnson and her siblings.

Eula Johnson and her siblings.

Eula Henderson Johnson


min read

A Jacob City Native

Eula Henderson Johnson was “born, bred, and raised” in Jacob City, as she will tell you. Her mother is originally from Enterprise, Alabama but moved to Jacob City at a young age. Eula’s father was also born and raised in Jacob City. Her mother and father grew up on opposite sides of the railroad tracks. Nonetheless, they met in Jacob City, got married, and eventually expanded their family to twelve children – eight girls and four boys. Eula recalls walking with her siblings to school when she was a student at Jackson County Training School and St. Paul High School as well as walking to church every Sunday.

Eula Johnson
Eula Johnson

Eula recalled many details about farming with her family in Jacob City. She explained, “we did a lot of our own raising our food… We had gardens and we had farms, we had mules, and we had wagons.” Her family grew peas, beans, squash, and grains. They cut and burned wood for heat and food. They raised chickens, guinea pigs, turkeys, hogs, and cows. She grew up using candlelight and making fans out of cardboard during the hot summer days. She mentions how her neighbors had cane-grinding mills, corn mills, and sawmills. Eula recalled a cow stepping on her foot once and since then, she has not wanted to milk cows again. One of her favorite memories is when her siblings would travel to the plum market and make fig, pear, and peach preserves. Throughout all of Eula’s stories, her dedication and closeness to her family is evident.

Eula Johnson as a young woman.

“I meet a lot of people and I have a lot of friends everywhere I go. Come right around here and ask anybody about me and they will tell you that I get along with everybody. I really do.”

Eula Henderson Johnson
Family is Everything

After the sudden passing of her sister and brother-in-law, Eula took on raising her sister’s daughter and three sons. She eagerly will tell you how proud she is of them. She says that they are good people and are “so well mannered… and they always thank me for everything.” Eula’s close-knit and supportive family is important to her, and to this day, Eula helps host her family reunion on the first Saturday of August every year. She continues to teach her children and grandchildren about the importance of respect and reminds them to “stick together, no matter what. If your sister or brother needs help, you help them if you can.”

Eula Johnson raised her own family and also her sister's family after her passing.
Eula Johnson raised her own family and also her sister’s family after her passing.
A Community Coordinator

When reflecting on community involvement, she says that “every family around here would work together… If you grew a garden, that person could come and get greens and peas. Everyone shares with each other.” Eula grew up in a collective society where families and neighbors would participate in hog-killing, mudding, gardening, and farming together. Growing up, she called the May Day holiday “Goat Day” because they would cook and eat goats during the celebration of Emancipation. She is proud of her community, reflecting on how “a lot of people [in Jacob City] are really smart.” Eula notes that the community includes lawyers, nurses, correction officers, funeral home managers, bankers, teachers, and writers. Both of her sisters work in the medical field as nurses.

“All my people – I don’t know why, but all my people there always call me first. They tell me it’s because of my heart.”

Eula Henderson Johnson

Currently, Eula serves as the parade coordinator for Jacob City Day. Eula’s patience and kindness make her a highly respected individual in her community. She says “All my people – I don’t know why, but all my people there always call me first. They tell me it’s because of my heart.”

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