|Courtesy of Chronicling America|
Dunn's Grocery was located in Concordia Parish which bordered Catahoula Parish's eastern side. This advertisement appeared in the Concordia Sentinel on May 21, 1921.
|Courtesy of Chronicling America|
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.”
|Frank "Merle" Finister|
Roy Lee Enright, 1894-1918I have wanted to locate and photograph this cemetery for quite some time. While back home for a few days last week, my sister, one of my brothers and my daughter joined me in my search for the Gillis Cemetery.
Marion Jennie Lovelace Stone, 1814-1872
Frances A. Lovelace, died 1851; age 16
Samuel Lightner, died 1828; age 19
Samuel Gordon, died 1829; age 30
George Peniston, 1837-1842
|Gone to be an angel|
|Anniston Star, Anniston AL - March 25, 1938|
This small, East Louisiana town today buzzed with reports of the supernatural powers of 12-year-old Alice Bell Kirby, who hundreds swear "talks" with a table and commands a ghostly hand that writes answers to her questions.
Alice Bell, seventh granddaughter of a seventh child on the paternal side, today had achieved her greatest evidence of weird powers, Mrs. Leon Kirby, the mother, reported. The child has become proficient in mathematics, formerly the "tough" subject in her seventh grade classes.
Mrs. Kirby said her daughter discovered the strange powers by accident while playing with a group of friends. The children tired of dominoes and decided to "play at making the table walk," Mrs. Kirby related. They were terrified when the table actually "walked" at Alice Bell's command, the mother said.
Among the feats the child has been able to perform, according to Mrs. Kirby, were:
- To get a "yes" or "no" answer to questions from the direction in which a dining room table tilted or tapped, apparently of its own accord
- To make the table rise as high as three feet off the floor
- To make the floor vibrate at her command
- To make doors open or close without touching them
- To make a pencil, without human motivation, scribble answers to her questions
- To make a piano lift at her request; to make the instrument play a tune, unaided by human hands
Headquarters Polignac's Brigade, Harrisonburg, Louisiana - March 3, 1864
"Capt. W. H. Gillespie with 50 cavalry engaged the enemy on the west bank of the Black River all the way up to Trinity, the enemy responding with a brisk artillery fire. The six boats stopped in front of Trinity and shelled the place and its neighborhood. I had disposed of my infantry force along the north of Little River to protect, as best I could the pontoon bridge, and also to detain the enemy, if possible, long enough for the captain of the Ruby (now engaged in getting lumber on Little River for the Engineer Corps) to be notified of their approach by a courier previously sent by me. The boats, however, did not come up Little River, and Lieut. O. Gaudet, in command of the only section of artillery that I had opened on them with two 12-pound howitzers, which of course, were unable to check their progress. This officer behaved very well. His action was within 300 yards of the iron-clad boat, and stood the unequal contest with a great deal of coolness."
"As soon as the gun-boats had run past Trinity, and thus made apparent their intention of attacking Harrisonburg, I moved my infantry back to that place that same night, as I had to ferry the Bushley Bayou, a navigable stream, where the enemy could easily head me off. It had rained the day previous and the road had become almost impassable. Two caissons had to be left behind. I have since had them pulled out and brought to camp. I ordered the cavalry to remain at Trinity. Capt. John G. Randle, by some unaccountable mistake, took his cavalry up Little River, so the duty of guarding the town devolved upon Captain Gillespie alone. This young officer behaved throughout with coolness, energy and judgement, and I take great pleasure in commending him to the officers above me."William Henry Gillespie married Maria A. Cuny and had the following children:
Laura, 1868-bef 1880The date of death for William Henry Gillespie, Sr. is unknown. Louisiana marriage records show a Mary A. Gillespie marrying John A. Wansley in Catahoula Parish on January 31, 1878. It is assumed that William died after his son's birth in 1872 and before his wife's second marriage in 1878.
William Henry, Jr., 1872-1849
|Courtesy of Karen Klemm Pinckard at FindAGrave.com|
Linda Lou (m. Lynn Evans)
Albert Earl, Jr. (m. Mary Kate Nolen)
Peggy (m. Joe Bondurant)
Henry Roy "Rook" (m. Marguerita Carter)
Walter Markham "Pot" (m. Gloria Jean Johnson)
Mary Elizabeth (m. Ronnie Bruit)
|1933 LSU Track Team - Buddy Blair, standing next to Coach Bernie Moore|
Jesse Mathew, Jr.
|Sicily Island Depot in the 1940s|
"Each day at 10am and 3pm the Doodlebug made stops in Sicily Island. The postmaster, Tom Hardin, would whistle for Harry Jenkins. It was Harry's job to harness an old gray horse to a wagon and head to the depot to pick up the mail. The old gray horse was named Mag and she belonged to Buck Smith. Always following along behind Harry and Mag were two old dogs named Blue and Trailer."
|Fred Krause Feed and Seed Store - established in the early 1950s|
|Courtesy of Ancestry member, BrendaLeeAllen|
|Photograph by Eileen Blass, USA TODAY|