Clara Bell Burge was born in St. Joe, Louisiana in the St. Tama Parrish. Her father, Hiram Slatin Burge, and mother, Mary Eliza Burks, moved to Pearl River County, Mississippi, where Hiram was the minister of the town. Clara was the 3rd child, in a family with three brothers, whose names are not mentioned, and four sisters: Carall, Lily, Esther, and Maude. The school Clara and her siblings attended was taught by her grandmother, Rebecca Burks. On January 1, 1910, when Clara was 18 years old, she married Thomas White who was 18 years older than Clara. The couple moved to Stateline, Green County, Mississippi where they farmed a cotton plantation for the next thirty years. The Depression was hard on them, especially after the death of their days-old baby boy, Levorne. Clara had another baby, a girl named Teletha, who died at three months old. Clara was never able to have another child but took in her sister-in-law's three-year-old boy, Albert (Pete) Reed after his mother passed away from TB. She and Thomas raised Pete as their own child. Pete joined the army and was killed during World War II. After his death, Clara and Thomas adopted a little girl, Helen Jansen, whose mother had died in a car accident. Helen grew up and married, but her husband was prejudiced against Clara so they did not see each other very often. Thomas passed away at age 98, after 13 years of being an invalid with hardened arteries. Clara moved to a rest home, and was very grateful for the Church to keep her happy and busy.
This autobiography is 29 pages typewritten. Clara gives a brief history of her ancestors, telling how her father came to the area. She loved living near the Hobolochitto River as a child, with a forest nearby. After completing 7th grade, Clara was not able to continue schooling, as it was very expensive, but was always thirsty for more knowledge and continued to learn on her own. Clara was a talented quilter and seamstress, teaching herself how to make clothing for her husband and neighbors. When Clara was a little girl, she heard some Mormon Elders preach and liked hearing about the temple. She remembered being very religiously-minded as a child, making her own alter to pray at when she was lonely or scared. Much later when Clara was married, two Elders came by the house, and asked if they could stay the night. Thomas and Clara were generous people, and would not take money from the Elders for their stay. The Elders left a Book of Mormon with them instead. Many years later, Clara finally read the book, and felt a deep spiritual connection to it. She and Thomas met with the elders and were both baptized in 1953. Clara maintained a strong testimony throughout her life, which helped her survive in times of illness and depression. Included with her autobiography are several poems Clara wrote after her husband went to a rest home to live.