November 25, 2012

The Children (and grandchildren) of James William "Buck" Smith

James William "Buck" Smith was born on December 10, 1862 to James Luther and Henrietta DeGlando Smith. On February 8, 1883, he married Margaret A. "Mary" Kendrick.  Upon the death of his mother in 1917, he received twenty acres and the old Smith house which was included in the acreage. 

Buck died on July 23, 1936 and Mary died on January 4, 1921.  They are both buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.

Buck and Mary had the following nine children: 

Lillie Mae was born on March 22, 1884 and died on January 28,1885.  She is buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.

Kate A "Katie" was born in 1886.  In 1909, she married Charles Alexander "Charlie" Ballard who was born on January 2, 1879 to Oliver Goldsmith and Margaret M. Sargent Ballard.  Katie and Charlie had one daughter, Katie Laura, who was born circa 1914.  

Katie died in 1953 and Charlie died on December 4, 1959.  The location of their burials is unknown at this time.

James William, Jr. "Jim" was born on September 27, 1889.  He married Mary A. Williamson circa 1922.  Mary was born on July 24, 1903 in Monticello, Lawrence County, Mississippi. Jim was a farmer and drove a Model-T Ford taxi that everyone called a Jitney.  Later, he worked with the parish sheriff's department as the town marshal of Sicily Island.

Children born to the marriage of Jim and Mary were:
Mary Henrietta, 1923-2006 (m. Homer Rushing)
James Henry "Buddy", 1926-2001 (m. Emma Panoma Scott)
Billy Rollins, 1930-1970 (m. Emma Jean)
Jackie Mae, 1935 (m. William Melvin Ferrington)
Sara Katherine, 1939-2009 (m. James H. Sanders)
Birth records for Billy and Katherine:

Jim died on November 9, 1954 and Mary died on May 13, 1972.  Both are buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.

Laura A was born on July 22, 1892 and died on September 8, 1893.  She is buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.

Henry Newman was born on June 30, 1895 and died on August 28, 1900.  He is buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.

Nettie was born on November 4, 1898 and was married to Marshall Mason "Marcy" Francis on June 14, 1916.  Marcy, the son of Joseph Strahan and Mary Etta Renfrow Francis, was born on January 14, 1894.  Nettie and Marcy lived in Jonesville and were the parents of the following children:

Mary E, 1916-?
Marcia Elaine, 1918-2002 (m. Willard Moran Richards)
Laura, ?
Marshall Mason, Jr., 1922-1945
John C, 1924-1989 (m. Eunice Geraldine Saunders)
Gus, 1930-   (m. Loraine)
Birth Record for Gus:

Nettie recalls her father telling her of the following incident he had when he was only a small boy:
There was an Indian camp not far from where they lived.  An Indian woman came to his father's house to exchange trinkets for potatoes.  The Indian woman didn't have a bucket to carry the potatoes back to camp, so Jim's mother, Henrietta, had Jim follow the Indian woman back to her camp to carry the potatoes.  He said he just knew he would be scalped and never see his mother again.  (Our Island Heritage, Vol. 3, 1978, compiled by Sophie Haley and Mickie Smith)
Nettie died on October 11, 1990 and Marcy died on May 8, 1953.  Both are buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island.



Charles Gordon "Charlie" was born in 1901.   He married Kathryn Benedict circa 1930.  Kathryn was born in Mississippi on November 30, 1897.  She moved to Sicily Island and was teaching school when she and Charlie married.  Charlie owned a garage for awhile then opened a restaurant.  He later added on a nite club.  

Will Peck, IV gave the following description of Charlie's Nite Club in his History of Sicily Island, 1976 writings:

In the late 1940’s the citizens of our community experienced the end of an era, some not realizing the impact it had made on the area. Kathryn Benedict of Mississippi, came to Sicily Island to teach English and art and fell in love with a local boy, Charlie Smith. With her help Charlie opened what was to become one of the most famous nightclubs in Louisiana. When citizens of the community went to Natchez or Monroe to shop at the most fashionable stores, they visited with the proprietors on a first name basis, since they mingled, dined and danced at Sicily Island the night before.  Ike St. Clair became known as one of the best bartenders in the country. There were also the bouncers, Bully Smith and Duke Kiper, who were well known for their ability to perform. Bud Scott, the popular musician from Natchez, played at Charlie’s many times. Reflecting, one can see how Mrs. Mollie Steele always knew about the exciting things happening at the club – not from Charlie, her first cousin, who came to see her almost every day, but through her trusted maid, the hilarious Annie Barkshire who was married to the well known Ike Sanders, the cook at Charlie’s. When the nightclub closed, many of the dealers left and reestablished in Las Vegas, thus ending a nostalgic period in the town’s history. Old patrons will always remember Wednesday nights as Homer Rushing’s voice rang out to an excited crowd, “It’s nine and it’s bingo time.”
Charlie and Kathryn had one child named Buddy who was born circa 1941.

Kathryn died in Adams County, Mississippi in 1976.  The date of Charlie's death and the location of their burials is unknown at this time.

Augustus Edward "Gus" was born on October 5, 1903.  He married Lila Hanks circa 1930.  Lila was born on January 24, 1909.  Gus worked for the Tensas-Concordia Soil and Water Conservation District as a superintendent of equipment.

Gus and Lillie had one child, Lila Augusta "Patsy", 1934-2012 (m. Thomas Louis "Sonny" Jackson).

Gus died on May 17, 1977 and Lillie died on June 10, 1991.  Both are buried in Highland Park Cemetery in Sicily Island. (Editor's Note:  Tombstone photograph is courtesy of Karen Klemm Pinckard at

Jack B was born on January 18, 1907.  On January 14, 1933, he married Ella Mae Moon.  Mae was born in Eudora, Chicot County, Arkansas on November 23, 1912.  Jack owned the Chevrolet Dealership in Eudora.  Jack and Mae had one child named Sallie who was born circa 1939 in Eudora.

Jack died on July 23, 1996 and Mae died on April 8, 1988.  Both are buried in the Mt. Carmel Cemetery in Eudora, Chicot, Arkansas.  (Editor's Note:  Tombstone photographs are courtesy of Jaycie Smith at


  1. I am the great grandson of Charlie Smith, and was searching for info on his nightclub there in Sicily Island when I ran across this site. I have many of the remaining items from his old clubs, including an old bingo goose that was probably the very one used in the club there. I would love to know where you got your information for this article and especially where the above pictured sign for the night club is. Any information you could offer on my family history would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    1. Hi Justin, Thank you for visiting my blog and for commenting! Charlie's father, James William "Buck" Smith, was a brother to my paternal great-great grandmother, Virginia "Ginny" Smith Blackman. The majority of my information came from my father who was a family history buff and who left many notes as well as cassette tapes he recorded about his family. I have also conducted research for the past ten years on our family and other families who lived in Sicily Island. The picture in this post is actually not a sign. I have this in my possession (through my father). It appears to be a menu holder and the photo is of the outside cover. My paternal tree has more information on the Smith family. It is currently set as private while I do some clean-up work on it. If you are interested in viewing my tree, please email me and I'll gladly give you permission to view. You are also welcome to post or email me on any other questions you may have. Thanks again for visiting and leaving a comment.

    2. My f@ther was Jack Smith. I remember playing under roulette tables at Uncle Charley,s place. I h@ve some articles on night club. Re@ch me at