Okefenokee Swamp | Blackwater, National Geographic Magazine: Bachelor Farmer

Man stand in doorway of ramshackle house with cats.

Elderly bachelor William McKinley Crews looks out the back door of his home near the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. A new bull he bought earlier in the day broke through a fence and ran away, and he has waning hopes that it will return.

Crews led a reclusive life on his 160-acre farm in Moccasin Swamp, which borders the Okefenokee. His only company for many years was his older brother Daniel who was also a bachelor. Both were known for their skepticism of the outside world. Sought out by a reporter from the Miami Herald in 1982, the brothers were quoted as only fearing “God, the devil, women and electricity.”

Having no running water, electricity or telephone after his brother’s death, Crews lived mostly in isolation with his fourteen cats and four heifers he jokingly calls his “nuns.”