“Eve Mills Mule Was Quite A Character---Eve Mills once owned a famous mule, known as Ned. Col. William J. Fowler was supposed to own the mule, but really he belonged to the community. Someone was frequently calling for Ned; he was in good demand the year round. Col. Fowler was always glad to accommodate his neighbors. The mule knew more than some men about plowing, so when a neighbor boy reached plowing age, his father came to borrow Ned to teach his boy to plow. All summer he served in this capacity.
When molasses-making time arrived, no mule could pull the mill like Ned; so he was kept busy at this job for many weeks. Sad to note, he contracted blood poison at this job. He got a foot hurt during the summer and when grinding time came, it became infected and blood poison was the result. He “passed over the river.”
Ned made a number of trips to Texas when families moved out there in wagons. His first trip was to help move the Airheart family. They just couldn’t adjust themselves to Western ways and decided to return to the “blue hills of Tennessee,” consequently hitched to Ned and his buddy to the wagon and returned to Monroe, “the land of milk and honey.”
They sold Ned to a Mr. Brakebill, who had a longing to go West. He drove Ned to his wagon and made the journey. He also became dissatisfied and pined for his beloved Tennessee, likewise returning, bringing Ned as one of his team.
Again, Ned was sold to a Mr. Vincent, who became a victim of the Western fever and the novelty of going in a wagon. Really this mode of transportation was all we had at that time. Ned’s service was again in demand. By this time Ned was so well trained in traveling Westward that he required little guidance; he knew the roads, for at that time there were no so many highways. This family could not become reconciled to the rough ways of frontier life, and the many blessings and advantages of dear old Tennessee grew more desirable daily---so they returned. Ned was harnessed again and headed Eastward.
This family, when they got back, sold Ned to Col. William Fowler. Some who seem to know Ned’s history say he was the property of Col. Fowler before he made his first trip. We do know he died on the Fowler farm, and a great demonstration was made over his death---for all the little boys were distressed about a plow mule and one to grind cane at molasses time.”---Eunice.