March 28, 2015

Sports Center Saturday - Sicily Island Girls Basketbell Team, 1947-48

Sicily Island High School Girls Basketball Team, 1947-1948

Front Row (LtoR):  Coach C. B. Coney, Bernice Bruce, Virginia Pearson, Mattie Bullock?, Barbara Jean Pearson, Patsy Seal, Mary Lou Mount, Maurice Cupit

Back Row (LtoR):  Betty Gambrell, Virginia Dent, Mickey Salter, Margie Evans, ?, Adele Vaught

Note that none of the girls are wearing basketball shoes.

Mickey Salter Thurman was kind enough to help with identifying her teammates.  When asked why they were wearing their dress shoes, she replied, "We didn't know they were taking that picture that day!"  I think the dress shoes add a nice touch and make this one of my favorite photographs.

Photograph is courtesy of Pam Twiner Thompson.  Thank you, Pam!

March 23, 2015

Flooding of the Mighty Mississippi, Part One - The Great Overflow of 1874

Mississippi River Flooding of 1874

The above map shows the entire area of flooding in the Mississippi Valley in 1874.

Below is a zoomed in portion of the Mississippi Valley which shows Catahoula Parish and the flooding which occurred in the northern and southeastern sections of the parish.

Flooded Portions of Catahoula Parish in 1874

News reports of the 1874 Mississippi River flood began as early as February 21 as seen in this article from the Highland Weekly out of Hillsboro, North Carolina.

Highland Weekly - 2/21/1874

The following notice by the Office of Commission of Engineers appeared in the March 21, 1874 edition of the Donaldsonville Chief:

Donaldsonville Chief - 3/21/1874

From an article appearing in the Ouachita Telegraph in Monroe on May 1, 1874:
Ouachita Telegraph - 5/1/1874
At a mass meeting of the citizens of the parish of Catahoula, La., assembled at Trinity, La., on the 15th April, 1874, for the purpose of taking into consideration the wretched and deplorable state of affairs existing on Ouachita, Black, Tensas and Little rivers, and the lands contiguous thereto, caused by the unprecendented and ruinous high waters which are now overflowing the whole country, and subjecting the citizens to near starvation, it was
Resolved, That it is a solemn and sad fact that the extreme high water which now covers our entire rich alluvial lands, is bringing with it great distress among the people, who have no money, no credit, and not more than ten days rations.  This want of money and provisions in this district, arises from the fact that crops were almost a total failure last year; the people are in debt, and no one will advance them money, credit or provisions.
Resolved, That it is a fact, that the few mules and cattle now remaining in the overflowed district, on a few small ridges of land, are poor and starving for want of provender, and the people are in no better situation.
Be it further resolved, That the Governor of the State, and the President of the United States, be notified of and made acquainted with the hunger, destitution and want of this section of country, and that they be requested to furnish the poor, destitute people of the district with meat, meal and corn. 

On April 18, 1874, the New Orleans Republican printed correspondence between General W. H. Emory, a committee, Governor William P. Kellogg, New Orleans Mayor Wiltz and President Ulysses S. Grant. This correspondence began with a committee's appeal to General Emory for relief for sufferers in North Louisiana which included Catahoula Parish.
Dear Sir:  We respectfully request your favorable endorsement of the foregoing printed resolutions and accompanying statement of facts relative to the sufferers in the overflowed districts, in the parishes of Ouachita, Richland, Franklin, Caldwell and Catahoula, and respectfully ask that you solicit the War Department to furnish 50,000 rations to the sufferers from the overflow immediately.

Part One
Part Two

Part Three

Part Four
Part Five - New Orleans Republican - 4/18/1874

Several days later an article appeared in the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer out of Wheeling, West Virginia. The article reports that no supplies were able to be spared from military stations in the region. Therefore, the Secretary of War instructed the Commissary Subsistance to purchase rations for an estimated 20,000 persons for twenty-five days.

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer - 4/27/1874

The following article appeared in the May 16, 1874 edition of The Caucasian out of Shreveport, Louisiana.  The extent and consequences of the Mississippi River flood are described in detail.  In summary, the article states:
To sum up the flood from Memphis to the Passes, the crevases are fifty miles in width. Through them flow streams greater and more powerful than the mighty Mississippi itself, and which pour out on this devoted country 2,000,000,000 cubic feet of water every hour.  Not only is this water thrown on the land, but it must find its way to the sea through six hundred miles of low alluvial lands.  It is not hyperbole, then, to say that the Mississippi is wider now than the far-famed Amazon, whose mouth is two hundred and fifty miles in width.
Part One
Part Two

Part Three
Part Four - The Caucasian - 5/16/1874

*This post is part one in a series of posts in which an attempt will be made to document the history of flooding in Catahoula Parish.  Occurences will be presented using maps, newspaper articles, photographs and reports from the State Library of Louisiana. 


March 22, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Cora Slade

Monroe News Star - 4/28/1959

Cora Elizabeth Anderson Slade

Born on March 6, 1883

Daughter of
John and Elizabeth Anderson

Wife of
Ralph Deming Slade

Mother to
Emmett, I.V., Dorothy, Jake, Faye and Mae

Died on April 26, 1959
Buried in the New Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

Tombstone photograph was taken by FindAGrave member, Karen Klemm Pinckard.

March 21, 2015

Proposal to Create Beauregard Parish out of Catahoula Parish in 1908

Central Louisiana - 1907

The 1907 map above shows Catahoula Parish surrounded by the parishes of Caldwell and Franklin to the north, Tensas and Concordia to the east, Avoyelles to the south and Rapides and Winn to the west.

Following the failed proposal to annex a portion of Catahoula Parish to Caldwell Parish in 1904, the voters of Catahoula Parish would go to the polls to vote on further annexations in 1908.

In January of 1908, a proposal to create the parish of Beauregard from a portion of Catahoula Parish was put before the voters.

The Tensas Gazette of St. Joseph, Louisiana reported the following on January 17, 1908:

Tensas Gazette - 1/17/1908
Initial election returns indicated the passage of the proposal to create the parish of Beauregard from a portion of Catahoula Parish.  Official election returns stated otherwise.

From a January 31, 1908 article in The Rice Belt of Welsh, Louisiana:

The Rice Belt - 1/31/1908

The Southern Sentinnel of Winnfield, Louisiana reported the following on January 31, 1908:

The Southern Sentinnel - 1/31/1908

Thus ended the annexation and changing of the political boundaries in Catahoula Parish.

Earlier boundary changes (and attempted changes) since the creation of Catahoula Parish in 1804:
1814 and 1828
1838 and 1843


Sports Center Saturday - Sicily Island Boys Basketbell, 1949-1950

Sicily Island High School Boys Basketball Team - 1949-1950

First Row (LtoR):  Mahaffey, Taylor, Garrison, Stephens, Roberts

Second Row (LtoR):  Thurman, Smith, Cole, Barron, Punchard, Coach Peace

Yearbook photograph is courtesy of Karen Barron Egloff.