September 30, 2013

Tuesday's Tune ~ Autumn Leaves

Webster's definition of Amanuensis:  A literary or artist assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.

My Monday posts, 'Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told' are transcriptions of cassette tapes my father made in the early 1990s.  On each of the tapes, my father speaks of his love of Sicily Island.  In one passage he recorded the following:
I love this Island and always have.  I'm a part of it.  I'd like to be a part of the Island like the wind, the rain and the falling leaves.  A part of the Island that goes on and on forever.  We all have our hopes, our dreams.  We'd rather have this or we'd rather have that.  If I had my "rathers" I'd rather leave here on some pretty Fall afternoon.  Take my leave on the breeze of the leaves that come down on a Fall afternoon.  My last memories will be of this Island and the wonderful times I've spent here. 
My father passed from this life and the Island he loved on the 24th of July in 2002.  No, it wasn't a pretty Fall afternoon when he took his leave.  His "rathers" were not part of God's plan.

I think of my father each time I hear Nat King Cole sing 'Autumn Leaves'.  I think of his dream to remain a part of the go on and on forever like the wind, the rain and falling leaves.  Through the sharing of his recorded memories, I hope to make his dream come true. 

I miss you most of all when Autumn leaves start to fall....

Note:  Posts on 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

Home Movies ~ Fielding Guice and Edgar Garrison

In this short video from the 1960s you'll see John Fielding Guice, his granddaughter, Debbie and his wife, Janie Langston Guice.  Next, you'll see Edgar Garrison and some of his handmade axes.

Home Movies ~ P. J. Spears, Jr. with his Quarter Horses

The following short clip was taken at the home of P. J. Spears, Jr. and shows him with his registered quarter horses.

Percy Jackson Spears, Jr. was the son of Percy Jackson and Emily Wilson Spears.  Emily was the daughter of Swedish immigrant, Claus Robert Wilson and Annie Vaughn.

September 29, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 17

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:  
School Days...
I started to school in the first grade in 1933.  My teachers through elementary and high school were the following:
1st grade - Mrs. Jessie McClure
2nd grade - Mrs. Anita Bondurant Oliphant
3rd grade - Mrs. Lorelle Seal who later married Leon Hebert
4th grade - Mrs. Taylor
5th grade - Mrs. Mamie "Kidd" Bryan Trichel
6th grade - Mrs. Deleta Furr Peniston
Aubrey Brooks
Aubrey Brooks was the elementary school principal.  He came to Sicily Island in about 1931 or 1932.
In high school, some of the teachers were Eunice Garrison [married John Enright], Rosemary Wilkinson Crawford, Birdie Talbert Krause, Thelma Brooks, Willy Woodward and Lily Mae Seal.  Our Ag teachers were John Randall, a 3rd or 4th cousin to the John Randall who was the barber and later a school janitor, and George Durham.  Another janitor was Will Cupit from Foules.  Cameron Coney was the high school principal.
Mrs. Brooks taught Home Economics.  Miss Willy Woodward taught Chemistry and English.  Miss Lily Mae Seal taught English.  Mr. Coney taught general science.
Some of the people who taught school before I started were Florence Duncle Meyers, Daisy Spencer, Mrs. Kempe, Margaret DeWitt and Georgia Westbrook Peniston.
School started at about 8:30 and we'd go until about 10:00 and have a 15 minute recess.  We'd go back in the classroom until 12:00 then we'd have an hour break for lunch.  They didn't serve school lunch until several years after I graduated.  Kids that lived out of town had to bring their lunches.  Those of us who lived in town could walk home to eat lunch.
Classes would start back at 1:00 and we'd have another 10-15 minute break at 2:00 or 2:15.  Fourth graders and up would go back to their classrooms until 4:00 in the evening.  
Kids in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades got out of classes at 2:00 and were allowed to play on the school grounds until 4:00.  That's where I got to know people and made friends.  We had some great times.  Some of my classmates in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades were Jarvis Cloy, T. J. Johnson, Ray Flowers, Benny Causey, Cary Francis and Lonnie Stringer.  
I can still see all those faces.  Some have gone on before us.  Those still living don't live around here.  One girl I started first grade with, Mary Nell Benge, still lives here.  She married Gordon Higgins.  That's the only classmate I have left here on the Island.
Cameron Coney
There was lots of discipline and order when I was in school.  We used to have to line up and march to our classrooms.  If you got out of line, you were in trouble.  The boys got whippings.  The girls got paddlings in grammar school but they didn't get whippings in high school; they got yelled at.  
Yes, we had whippings back in those days.  There was no law that said there had to be witnesses to the whippings.  Mr. Coney and Mr. Brooks would pick you up and tear your back end up!  Both of them could really do it, too!  Mr. Coney whipped the grown boys in high school.  
In fact, he whipped me and several more boys while we were practicing marching in for graduation.  I forget what we did.  We got demerits for something we didn't do.  If you got so many demerits, you got a whipping.  We had finished all our classes but he gave us a whipping anyway.  He didn't play with us either.  He gave us a real whipping with a big ole barber's leather strap they used to sharpen straight razors.  It sounded like a gun going off when he'd hit you.  It felt worse than that!  We could use some of that discipline and order back in our schools today.
My graduating class, the class of 1944, was the only class that never had a graduation ceremony.  We practiced lining up and marching for a few of days.
One day Mr. Coney came in while we were practicing and asked us to all take a seat.  He told us there was a child with a case of spinal meningitis down in Foules.  He said school was being closed immediately by the Health Department.  
Two or three of the girls asked if we couldn't go ahead with the graduation ceremony and have only our families there.  Graduation was only a few days away.  Mr. Coney said, "No public gatherings."  So we left school about fifteen minutes after he gave us that message.
They mailed us our diplomas the next week.  The day we got that news and left school was the last time I saw several of the girls I had gone to school with.  I saw them sitting there in that gym and fifteen minutes later they were gone and I was gone.  We never met again.  That was 47 years ago.

Note:  Parts 1-16 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

Military Monday ~ Columbus Duke Kiper

Columbus Duke Kiper

Born on December 24, 1889
Son of
James E. Kiper and Mary J. Rhodes
Died on January 13, 1956
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

Private, Co. C, 43rd Infantry
United States Army
World War I
Enlisted on July 16, 1918
Honorably Discharged on December 13, 1918

Application for Headstone

WWI Draft Registration Cards

Tombstone photograph taken by E. Price and posted on

Home Movies ~ Methodist Church Scenes, mid-1960s

This short video clip shows scenes from the Sicily Island Methodist Church in the mid-1960s.  Some of the people you'll see are Nan Brooks, Edmonds children, Willie Evans Knight, Deleta Furr Peniston, John Peniston and Olga Knight Seal.

If you recognize others in this video, please leave a comment below so that I can add their names to the post.

Rev. Leonidas Hill Brooks Family

Reverend Leonidas Hill Brooks was born in Catahoula Parish on January 8, 1881 to the marriage of Reverend John Madison Brooks and Priscilla E. Piety.

His siblings included the following:
Rev. Isaac Julian, 1879-1947 (m. Eula Lambert)
Dallas H., 1883-1948 (m. Lizzie Prestridge, 1884-1942)
John Friley, 1886-1942, (m. Anna Pearl Keenan, 1892-1993)
Rev. James Heard, 1889-1941 (m. Alicia Reitzell, 1895-1961)

Leonidas married Lillie Elouise Randall who was born on January 15, 1882 to the marriage of John Hiram Randall and Emily Wainwright.  Elouise's first cousin was John Calvin Randall who married Mary Frances Price.  John Calvin Randall's father, William Harmon, was a brother to John Hiram.

Leonidas died on July 23, 1948 and Elouise died on December 7, 1963.  Both are buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.

The following children were born to the marriage of Reverend Leonidas Hill Brooks and Lillie Elouise Randall:
Aubrey Leonidas, 1908-1980 (m. Thelma Mitchell, 1908-1995)
Rev. Kerfoot Graves, 1911-1992 (m. Grace Chandler, 1916-1988)
Ann Hasseltine, 1912-2006 (m. Freeman Cornelius DeBoe, 1906-1992)
John Madison, 1914-1994 (m. Nelda Nobles, 1918-2000)
Rev. Richard Shadrack, 1922-1993 (m. Bessie Marie Little, 1922-1993)
Rev. Paul Elkins, 1924-2005 (m. Allie Glynne Ingram, 1924-2012)
Julian Dodd, 1918-1998 (m. Sibyl Louise Wurster, 1991-?)
Aubrey Brooks served the Catahoula Parish school system for forty-two years.  His first ten years of service were spent as a teacher, principal, coach and supervisor.   He served as the Catahoula Parish Superintendent of Education for the remaining thirty-two years.

Other areas of service included membership on the AASA Executive Council of Louisiana Teachers Association, two terms as president of the Fifth District School Superintendents Association, and membership in the Sicily Island Rotary Club. 

He and his wife, Thelma, made their home in Sicily Island where they raised three children; Pat, Craig and Nan. 

Aubrey Leonidas Brooks died on May 7, 1980.  Thelma Mitchell Brooks died on September 6, 1995.  Both are entombed in the Highland Park Cemetery in Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.

Sunday's Obituary ~ Warren Guice Mobley

From an article published on September 30, 1921 in the Tensas Gazette:
MOBLEY--At the family residence, corner Sixteenth and Elliott streets, Alexandria, La., on Friday, September 23, 1921, at 2:12 p. m., Warren Guice Mobley, aged 78 years, 11 months and 2 days.
The funeral took place this morning at 10 o'clock, the service being conducted at the family residence by the Rev. Dr. B. L. Price, minister of the First Presbyterian Church, assisted by Rev. Ralph S. Prosser of the Episcopal Church, who is State Chaplain of the United Confederate Veterans.  Interment was made in Rapides cemetery, Pineville, by the Hixson Undertaking Company.  Interment was made by the side of his wife, who preceded him on February 18, 1910.
Mr. Mobley leaves two children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  His son and daugther are Mr. Hoover H. Mobley and Mrs. A. M. Ringgold.  The grandchildren are W. M. Ringgold, Miss Mary Ringgold, Mrs. E. A. Tomb, Elwyn, Clifton, Leslie and Catherine Alice Mobley; and the great-grandchildren are Doris Lane and Warren Mobley Ringgold.  His wife was Mary Hoover of Catahoula Parish, to whom he was married on November 16, 1865.
Mr. Mobley also leaves a half-brother and sister, Mr. Geo. W. Blackson of Clayton, La., and Mrs. Anna Guice of Natchez, Miss.
Mr. Mobley was born on Fairview plantation, Concordia Parish, October 21, 1842, but moved when quite young to Wateree plantation in Catahoula Parish.  His early education was secured at Cornish's school in Natchez, Miss.  From there he went to Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, where he studied for three years.  This was just before the outbreak of the war, and as war talk was so strong at that time he concluded to leave Kenyon and came South again and attended the Louisiana State Seminary near this city, and from this school he joined the Tensas Cavalry, composed of men from Tensas and Catahoula Parishes, which organization was attached to the First Mississippi Regiment, commanded by Colonel Wirt Adams.  His organization engaged in all Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky campaigns.
He was taken prisoner at the Battle of Shiloh, when his horse was shot from under him, and was held by the Federals in Camp Douglas, near Chicago for six months, finally being exchanged, when he rejoined his command and remained throughout the balance of the Civil War period.
After the war Mr. Mobley took an active part in the reconstruction era, was active in politics, always being a staunch Democrat.  He organized the Alexandria City Municipal Democratic Party twenty years ago, and was honored with being chosen the chairman of the City Democratic Executive Committee at that time and held the position until his death.  He was sheriff of Catahoula Parish for many years, was deputy clerk of court and president of the police jury and the school board of the same parish.
Deceased was commander of Jeff Davis Camp, No. 6, U. C. V., and served on the staff of several major generals, and was present judge advocate with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on the staff of General O. D. Brooks, commander of the Louisiana Division of the United Confederate Veterans.
He was engaged in planting in Catahoula Parish for many years and later on established the Catahoula Times, which he conducted until 1892, when he came to Alexandria with his family and bought and conducted the Louisiana Democrat with the assistance of his son, Mr. H. H. Mobley.  He retired from this work when his health became impaired.
Mr. Mobley was a member of the Presbyterian church.  He was highly educated, a good conversationalist, and possessed the art of making and retaining his friends.  He was a good man and lived an exemplary Christian life.  His bereaved children and other relatives have the sympathy of their large circle of friends.
The active pallbearers at the funeral were M. F. Holloman, Sr., G. W. Pearce, W. M. Ringgold, Dr. L. W. Peart, Elwyn Mobley and Clifton Mobley.
The honorary pallbearers were C. E. Roberts, Jonas Rosenthal, Judge James Andrews, Ben T. Lewis, J. A. Whiteley, Gen. D. T. Stafford, Judge L. L. Hooe, A. W. McMichael, J. E. McAdams, J. D. Weast, J. H. Smith, L. M. Fiernberg, R. S. Thorton, Major E. J. Barrett, H. M. Huie, R. C. Jarreau, L. J. Hakenyos, J. W. Beasley, Guy M. Toomb, Rev. R. H. Prosser.
 Obituary courtesy of Chronicling America.

Tombstone photograph was taken by FindAGrave member, Tegrecon.

September 28, 2013

Home Movies ~ Island Street Scenes and Neighbors, 1960s

This video from the early 1960s shows the following scenes:
Neighbors in their yards - Cloy, Krause, Woodward-Peck, Smith-Peniston, Smith-McNair, Gilbert
Lovelace/Peck home with an old Indian Mound and Lake Lovelace in the background
Businesses on Newman Avenue - Old Post Office, Jack's Place, Wynn's
Pet deer the Gilbert family kept in their back yard


Some of the faces you'll see:
Richard Harris Cloy and granddaughter, Diana Stubbs, Anita Oliphant, Bro. Davis and his wife, Estelle Woodward Peck, Nan Brooks, Cathleen Dale, Jessie Smith Peniston, Jessie Smith McNair,
Henry Doniphan Peniston, Oscar Krause, Ben Westerburg, Birdie Talbert Krause, Georgia Westbrook Peniston, J. C. "Sonny" Gilbert with Barbara Jane Peck Gilbert, Barbara Gilbert and Jess Gilbert

Below are photographs of some of the businesses and homes taken in 2010.  Which ones do you recognize from the video?

Home Movies ~ Scenes from Bruce's Drive-In and the Methodist Church, 1960s

This 1960s video clip begins with a birthday party outside of the old Bruce's Drive-In.  You'll see the old picnic tables mentioned in my previous post as well as the railroad tracks that ran behind Bruce's Drive-In.  The last portion of the video clip shows scenes from the Methodist Church in Sicily Island.

Some of the faces you'll see:
Susan, Brenda and Elizabeth Baxter
Mary Eva and Joy Vaught
Clarendon Peck, Sr.
Earle York Krause
Edmonds Children
Jess Gilbert
Olga Knight Seal
Willly Woodward

September 27, 2013

Bruce's Drive-In

Years ago my grandfather opened Bruce's Drive-In on Louisiana Highway 15 in Sicily Island.   The location was near the former site of Charlie's Nite Club which saw its most prosperous years in the 1940s. 

Bruce's Drive-In was known throughout the area for its homemade burgers, curly-Qs, and ice cream.  My grandfather's failing health brought the closure of Bruce's Drive-In in the early 1970s.  After his passing, my family re-opened the dairy queen for a short time before selling it to the Krause family.

Snack Shack owned and operated by Pot and Gloria Krause
Bruce's Drive-In became the Snack Shack and continued the tradition of serving great food and ice cream. 

When Louisiana Highway 15 was expanded to a four-lane, the old building was torn down and a new Snack Shack was built in its present location.  And yes, the tradition of great homemade burgers and ice cream treats continues on with the present owners, Walter Markham "Pot" Krause and his wife, Goria.

One of my earliest memories of the structure of Bruce's Drive-In was the segregated dining areas in the 1960s.  One dining area was located on the front/northern side of the building and the other was located on the eastern side.  

Bruce's Drive-In, 1960s

Bruce's Drive-In

The separate dining areas would later be torn down, leaving a covered area in front.  A long covered area was built on the western side where picnic tables were placed for those who chose to eat on location.  The picnic tables held stories of their own.  Names, initials, who-loved-who...all were found etched on the tables and some of the benches. 

Bruce's Drive-In

In the back portion of Bruce's Drive-In, near the grill and the deep fryer, there was an old orange colored chest that held supplies such as napkins, burger wrappers and straws.  That old chest was my favorite spot to take naps as a young child.  I'm sure the health departments of today would not allow a child inside, much less taking naps beside the grill and deep fryer!

In the front portion, there was a box freezer with containers on top that held the toppings for sundaes, shakes and malts. 

The same old box freezer is still in use at the Snack Shack. 

I remember the elementary teachers taking their classes to Bruce's Drive-In for cups and cones of ice cream.  The school was only about three or four blocks away so the students lined up by class and made their way up the sidewalk. 

The story is told that I uttered my first complete sentence while at Bruce's Drive-In.  There was a swinging door held open by a huge rock.  (I remember the door and the rock)  I supposedly stumped my toe on the rock one day and asked, "Who put that d*** rock there?"   I don't remember that part.

Home Movies ~ Street Scenes in Sicily Island - Early 1960s

Some of the people you'll see in this video:

Katie Harris (m. Cameron Coney)
Katherine "Kitty" McNair (m. Marvin Nolen, Jr.)
Mary Nell Benge (m. Gordon Higgins)
Earle York Krause
Henry Krause
Anita Bondurant Oliphant
Thelma Brooks (m. Aubrey Brooks)
Nan Brooks
Craig Brooks
Joy Miller (m. Gordon Vaught)
Lily Mae Seal
Howard Wynn
Pauline Fairbanks (m. Carey Fairbanks)
Lillian Young (m. O. G. Wynn, Jr.)

September 26, 2013

Family Recipe Friday ~ Pineapple Coffee Cake

From the kitchen of Harrisonburg resident, Mrs. Allen King:

Friday's Faces From the Past ~ Old Friends

Seated:  Alvin Walton "Doc" McKay and Clara Lucille Steele Ogden
Standing:  William Winstead Knight and Mary Green Sumners

September 25, 2013

New (Old) Sicily Island Movies ~ Mid to Late 1950s

From the mid-1950s to the late 1950s:

The last video includes scenes from an Enright Anniversary.  I believe it was Mr. Claude and Mrs. Vivian Enright's 50th Wedding Aniversary.

Videos from 1960-1970 will be added in the next several days.  All videos will eventually be added to the video tab at the top of the blog.

September 24, 2013

More Old Movies (Teasers)

Here are a couple of samples (teasers) of the video clips I'll be posting over the next several days:

The first video clip includes street scenes from Sicily Island back in the late 1950s as well as some faces of Islanders who are no longer with us.

The second clip is from the same period of time and includes scenes from the Courthouse in Harrisonburg and the School Board Office in Jonesville.

September 22, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 16

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s: 
Some of the families that once lived on my street and a couple of streets away...
Yancey House
The Yanceys.  I never knew Mr. Yancey [Stephen Richard Yancey].  I knew Mrs. Yancey.  She was a Wood from over around Newellton or St. Joseph.
Gus Krause and his wife, Wardie.  Mrs. Wardie was a Reeves from Gilbert.
Oscar Krause and his wife. Birdie.  Mrs. Birdie was a Talbert from around Arcadia or Ringold.
Henry Krause House
Henry Krause and his wife, Earle.  Mrs. Earle was one of Mr. Zeb York's daughters.
Claude Enright and his wife, Vivian.  Mrs. Vivian was from Winnsboro.
Tom Enright and his wife, Lilla.  Mrs. Lilla's maiden name was Sorg. 
Tom Enright House
Tom and Claude Enright were born here on the Island.  I've heard two former slaves telling about the day Tom was born.  One of the former slaves was Uncle Henry Brown and the other was Uncle Hardeman Brown.  Hardeman lived down around Foules and Uncle Henry lived up the road at a place that belonged to the Peck family.
Those two Browns weren't kin.  Both had been slaves when they were boys.  They could remember back in the slave times.  In 1951, my mother and I spent a couple of hours up town talking to them.  They told us some stories!
Uncle Hardeman told us that during part of the Civil War, he was living over around Waterproof.  He said they could hear the guns firing at Vicksburg.  Maybe it was thunder they heard.  I don't know.  Waterproof isn't too far down the Mississippi River from Vicksburg so I guess it's possible that he did hear the guns firing.
He said the first money he ever saw was when three Yankee soldiers rode up on horses to the little cabin where he lived and got him to water their horses.  They gave him a nickel a piece.  Uncle Hardeman said he was afraid someone would take the nickels away from him so he took the three nickels and crawled up under the cabin and hid them on a sill.
Ed Enright, who was the son of Tom and Lilla Enright, married Irma Stutson from Harrisonburg.
Joe Bryan and his wife, Mamie, lived right across the street from my family.  Mrs. Mamie was a Bennett
Knight House
On down the street, towards the bluff, was Mr. John Knight.  He was originally from Mississippi.  He married Lil Ballard.  One of Mrs. Lil's sisters, Nellie, married Big Walling Chisum.  Another of her sisters, Laura, married Walling's brother, Big Emmett Chisum.  A sister named Maude married a Kendrick [William Dudley Kendrick].  Mrs. Maude was the mother of Mrs. Gladys Saltzman and Mrs. Sadie Hardin.  There was another sister [Sena Ione] who lived up in Kentucky.  They had a brother named Charlie.  I never met Charlie.  He married Katie Smith; one of Uncle Buck [James William] Smith's daughters.
Willie Benge was a rural mail carrier.  He lived over on the bluff next to Mr. John Knight.  The Benge family was from Mississippi.
Jesse Whitlock, the barber who took over from Mr. John Randall, moved here from Ferriday.  He was originally from Arkansas.  He came here in about 1933 or 1934 before moving up to Monroe in the late 1940s.  He had a son named Vernon who was also a barber.  Vernon's barber shop was close to the Northeast University campus.  I think Vernon is retired now.  I spent many a day playing with Vernon.  I remember just as well when they moved here.  Vernon started first grade the next year after they moved here.  Mr. Jesse's daughter, Jo Ann, was younger than me.  I didn't know her that well.
Maurice Saltzman was born in Cook County, Illinois.  His father came through here as a sort of peddler.  He settled here on Sicily Island.  There were several more boys besides Maurice and two or three girls.  I think most of his siblings were born here.  He married Gladys Kendrick.
Alvin Seal married one of John Knight's daughters, Olga.  I grew up playing with two of their daughters, Ouida and Juanita.  They had two younger girls, Patsy Ann and Carolyn.  Alvin was the son of Sam Seal who came from Mississippi in the early teens.
Mr. Sam Seal had three other sons named Walon, Garrel and Charles Lee.  His daughters were Lily Mae, Mildred and Lorelle.  Sam Seal and his wife [Lula May White] died years ago.  All the children are gone except Mildred.  She married a Prescott [William Andrew] and they had a bookstore on the LSU campus.
Rufus Knight, son of John Knight, married Willie Evans.  Mrs. Willie is still living.  Her sister, Sue, married Asa Kiper from Wisner.
Bennett-Bryan-Denham House
Pop Denham's son, Earl, married one of Mr. Joe and Mrs. Mamie Bryan's daughters, Bea.  Earl and Bea Denham had one daughter named Jo Ann.  Jo Ann still owns the old house across the street from me. 
Mrs. Duncle and Mrs. Winstead were sisters.  I didn't know their husbands' names.  The sisters came to Sicily Island from Mississippi.
One of Uncle Frank Smith's daughters, Jessie, married Mr. T. J. Peniston.  Another daughter, Sadye, married Marvin Nolen.  Marvin was originally from Arkansas.  He was a railroad man.  Uncle Frank's daughter, Mollie, married Fred Chambless who was from Arkansas.  Mr. Chambless was the depot agent for the Missouri Pacific Railroad.  Another daughter, Jennie, married a Cantrell [Shelleah Cantrell].  I never knew them as they lived away from here. 
Sicily Island Depot
Uncle Frank had four sons.  Buck [William Edward], married Mildred Harris.  Mildred was a sister to Katie, Mack and I-Bo Harris.  Clayton married Willie May Sapp.  Sidney [married Lillian Vic] was another son.  Isom married Otis McNair.  She was from Gilbert.  There was no kinship with the McNair family living on Sicily Island.  Isom and Otis had a son named Howard and a daughter named Eugenia.
McLelland House
Uncle Jim and Aunt Lena McLelland lived here.  They never had any children.  Aunt Lena was my Grandpa Steele's sister.  They moved to Sicily Island several years after Grandpa Steele moved here.
Dr. Gordon was from around Fayette, Mississippi.  He married one of Uncle Tom Chisum and Aunt Kate Smith's daughters, Eva.  Cousin Eva had a sister named Jessie who married John G. McNair.  She also had two brothers, Emmett and Walling.
Chisum House
We called the brothers, Big Emmett and Big Walling because they each had sons named after them.  We called their sons Little Emmett and Little Walling.
Little Emmett Chisum lives out in Laramie, Wyoming.  He is the living authority on the Indians who once lived here on the Island. 
There are signs that a lot of Indians lived around here.  Dr. Chisum can tell you about the Natchez Indian Tribe who were run out of Mississippi by the French.  Many of them escaped and came over to this part of Louisiana.  
Indian Mound on Ferry Plantation
There were Indians here before the Natchez Indians arrived.  This part of the country dates back to the Mound Builders.  There are still Indian mounds here on Sicily Island.
If anybody should ever want to know more about the Indians who lived here, they should contact Dr. Emmett Chisum.  In later years, after he's gone, I'm sure his writings and discoveries would provide plenty of information.  He was the one who knew the most about the Indians who lived here.
Sicily Island must have been a paradise when the Indians lived here and before the white people moved in.  All the lakes, rivers, forests, swamps and hills provided ideal places for hunting and fishing.  There must have been many Indians who lived here because people are still finding arrowheads and axe heads and pottery. 

Note:  Parts 1-15 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

September 19, 2013

Friday's Faces From the Past ~ Herd Nathaniel Guice

Herd Nathaniel Guice
Son of John Fielding Guice and Mary Janie Langston
Born on October 7, 1927
Died on July 28, 2004

Record of Birth

Family Recipe Friday ~ Old Fashioned Nut Loaf

From the kitchen of Harrisonburg resident, Mrs. John Zeb (Hildred Hudnall) Stutson:

September 15, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 15

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Back in the mid to late 1930s, everybody met the train.  Morning and evening.  The gathering place was the post office to get the mail.  We had a little ole train called the Doodlebug; a mail train that brought the mail in the morning and back in the evening.  Everybody was always waiting to hear the whistle of the Doodlebug.
The Doodlebug
The Doodlebug ran about 10 in the morning and about 3 in the evening.  Old man Tom Hardin was the postmaster.  He'd let out a shrill whistle for little Harry Jenkins to bring the mail wagon.  It was Harry's job to harness an old gray horse to a wagon and head to the depot to pick up the mail and bring it back to the post office.  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.  They followed that wagon just like it was part of their duty.
That was about the only excitement on the Island back then...when the Doodlebug came in the morning and back in the evening.
Cows grazed in the fields here in town.  The Penistons had sheep.  They were mostly on the other side of town.
Kids made clover chains.  Kids would tie stems of clover together and see how long a chain they could make.  We'd walk around town with 150-200 feet of chained clover.
All those little things.  Roosters crowing early in the morning.  Cows lowing, pigs squealing, calves bleating.  Long, long ago.
For those of us who do remember those times, they were wonderful.  There wasn't much money or much entertainment.  Maybe it wasn't so exciting but it was a wonderful time to be living here on Sicily Island.
Great events that happened in my time... 
Mr. Curtis
Mr. Curtis bought the drug store and started serving double-dip ice cream cones.  Ice cream cones had two sides on the top of it.
Soon, following the ice cream, was koolaid.  We could take a nickel pack of koolaid and mix it with water and make a gallon of drink.  Orange, grape and strawberry.
They started making big drinks of RC Cola.  Three or four more ounces than you'd get in regular coke or orange sodas.
All of these were great events.  Great new inventions.  Great happenings.
I think back to a time when there were four telephones on all of the Island.  Four that I knew about.  The Peck Plantation had a telephone. 

Lovelace-Peck House
Uncle Wes Ogden had a telephone in his store.  The Chambers Hotel had one and they had one at Charlie's Nite Club.
Chambers Hotel
I remember when everybody had to buy ice to put in their icebox.  People would buy a big block of ice to put up in the top of their icebox.  The first refrigerator I saw ran on gas.  Alvin Seal had one.  Later on came the ones that ran on electricity and most everybody then had an electric icebox.  That was the end of the old icebox.
Oscillating Fan at
I can remember when there were only three or four people on the Island who had electric fans.  I remember Mr. Alvin Seal had an electric oscillating fan.  It moved back and forth and I thought that was wonderful. 
I saw the time when that changed and everybody started getting fans.  And then I saw the time when everybody went to what they called attic fans.  After that, it was air conditioners.  Now most everybody has air conditioners.
One of our most modern inventions was the television.  It is great.  It is wonderful.  But at the same time, I'm not the only one who feels this...thinks this...I think it is becoming a curse on the land.  It's one of the worse things that ever happened.  People don't visit like they used to.  They don't sit around and talk or communicate like they used to.  Everybody is at home locked up watching their television.

Courtesy of Library of Congress

Note:  Parts 1-14 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.