November 30, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Lillie Guice Martin

Lillie Ora Guice

Born on June 3, 1910

Daughter of
Enos Nathaniel Guice and Sarah "Sallie" Elizabeth Armfield

Sister to
Lee Eunice

Wife of
Johnny Lee Martin

Mother to
Willie Wade, Clarence, David Lee, Mildred, Joyce, Carolyn and Dean

Died on January 31, 1961
Buried in the New Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

November 29, 2014

Sports Center Saturday - 1962 Jamboree

The following article appeared in the August 29, 1962 edition of the Monroe News Star:

El Tigre Yearbook - 1963

November 26, 2014

Wednesday's Child - Shirley Faye McCarty

Shirley Faye McCarty

Born on December 29, 1943

Daughter of
Charlie J. "Buddy" McCarty and Emily V. Mason

Sister to
Patsy "Pat" and William "Bill"

Died on August 23, 1944
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

Budded on earth to bloom in Heaven

November 25, 2014

Tuesday's Tune - The True Meaning of Thanksgiving

Wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving

"Acknowledge the providence of Almighty God...obey his grateful for His benefits."
~ George Washington

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."
~ Thornton Wilder

"O Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!"
~ William Shakespeare

"Reflect upon your present blessings...not on your past misfortunes."
~ Charles Dickens

"I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains."
~ Anne Frank

"Enter into His gates with thankful unto Him...for the Lord is good."
~ Psalm 100:4,5

Nasif Clinic-Hospital Opens in Jonesville, 1959

The following article appeared in the November 8, 1959 edition of the Monroe Morning World:

November 24, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 64

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Something I forgot to mention on earlier tapes when I was talking about exploring the forests and swamps around the village of Sicily Island was persimmon trees.  Every so often we would find persimmon trees in the swamp.  If anyone has ever bitten into a green persimmon, they will know what I’m talking about.  
Green Persimmons
You could bite into one of those green persimmons and it would draw your mouth up something terrible.  I don’t know what was in them but it would almost choke you.  After the first frost of the year, the persimmons would begin to ripen.  A ripened persimmon was one of the best tasting things.  
Ripened Persimmon
My mother loved persimmons.  She’d always tell me to bring her some persimmons if I came across any when I was out exploring.  I always made a special effort to find her some persimmons.
I remember one persimmon tree that was over in the swamp going towards Peniston’s and Brown’s lakes.  It was a great big ole tree.  When I got out of school I would walk over there.  It was a good ways from my house.  By the time I walked over there and made it back home it would almost be dark. 
My mother told me about the time they all went out to Grandpa and Grandma Smith’s house back in 1908 or 1909 when she was about nine years old. 
James Luther Smith
Henrietta D. Smith

James Luther and Henrietta Smith were Grandma Steele’s grandparents.  

She and her sister, Nettie, were raised by their grandparents when their mother, Ginny, died at a young age. 

The Smith family was a big family.  They would all gather at the Smith house on Sundays.  

The Smith house used to sit on some land out behind what is now the cemetery just outside town.
Smith House:  J. L. and Henrietta seated LtoR; Jennie standing

Formerly property of James Luther Smith; farmed by Grandpa Steele

Old Smith house sat at the back of this land
On this particular Sunday, some of the boys and girls had gone out to a persimmon tree that stood behind the old Smith house.  Mother said her cousin Charlie Smith was up in the tree shaking limbs to make the persimmons fall. 
Grandpa Steele
Grandpa Steele was out walking around in the fields he farmed that were right beside the Smith house.  He saw Charlie and all the other children and decided to sneak up on them. 
Once he got close he let out a scream like a wildcat. 
Charlie dropped out of that tree and led the pack of children who were running and screaming to get away from that wildcat. 
Mother said every time Grandpa Steele told that story he would laugh and laugh.

Note:  Parts 1-63 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

November 23, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - John Henry Knight

Monroe News Star - 1/31/1956

John Henry Knight

Born on August 14, 1871

Son of
William Bryant Knight and Sarah "Sallie" Myers

Brother to
Thomas, William "Bill" Bryant, Jr., Eula and Ella 

Husband of
Lillie Margaret Ballard

Father to
John Barkley, Margaret "Maggie", Sallie [Fairbanks], Olga Laura [Seal],
Coan Ira, Rufus and Ione Nellie "Babe"

Died on January 30, 1956
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

Note:  I have been unsuccessful in my search for documentation on his half brother, Jeff, and a third sister who are listed in his obituary.  Please leave a comment or email me at if you have information you would like share.

November 21, 2014

Sicily Island Music Recital, 1954

The following article appeared in the May 13, 1954 edition of the Monroe News Star:


Sicily Island Music Recital Is Planned

(Special)---Music and voice students in this area will present a recital at the high school auditorium here Thursday, May 13, at 8 p.m.

Students who will participate in the recital are Betty Peck, Charlotte Stutson, Martha Knotts, Pat Brooks, Tressie Mae Alexander, Mary Knotts. Sharon Flaherty, Martha Franks, Olivia Hinton, Beverly Coney, Delorah Goode and Louise Bingham.

November 20, 2014

Contract Awarded for New Sicily Island High Building, 1930

Ruston Daily Leader - 11/27/1930

Construction of the school was completed in 1931.

Renovation of the school building was completed in 1987.

Sicily Island High School - 2011

November 19, 2014

November 17, 2014

Amanuensis Monday - The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 63

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Today is November 4, 1991.  One can imagine this day back in 1915 when my Aunt Nita was born.  She was born in the old Steele house which sat on this very ground before it burned down on August the 17th of last year.  In fact, where I'm sitting as I make these tapes is probably no more than thirty feet from the spot where she was born. 
She was named Lena Juanita after her aunt, Lena Rhoda Steele McLelland.  Everyone called her Nita.
Nita was about thirteen years old when I was born.  My first memory of her was when I was about three years old.  I called her "Nina" up until I was around ten years old. 
"Nina" and Bruce
Nita told me on many occasions over the years that I was the first baby she ever loved.  I loved her, too.  It always made me feel good when she told me that.  It is a wonderful memory to have.
Lena Juanita "Nita" Steele
She was a beautiful girl and a beautiful woman.  
Nita married William Peck in 1938.  They had two children.  Will was born on March 6, 1939.  Betty was born on May 2, 1944.
Nita died in 1982 in her late sixties.  My mother died in 1969 when she was sixty-nine years old.  Their mother, my Grandma Steele, died when she was sixty-nine years old.  Their sister Lucille [called Dick] is still living.  She was eighty-nine this past September.  The oldest child named Edna died when she was several months old.  She was a little redheaded girl. 
Mary Allye Steele Edmonds, Lena Juanita "Nita" Steele Peck, Clara Lucille "Dick" Steele Ogden
All four girls were born in the old Steele house.  Lord, I miss that old Steele house.  The front part of the old house was over ninety years old.  I am enjoying this new house with all its modern comforts like central heat and central air but I still miss the old Steele house.  I always will.
All the kids here in the village used to gang up in this old yard and play; particularly in the Summer.  We had a lot of pecan trees in the yard so it was shady.  Nita’s age group which included Babe Knight, Martin Enright, Eloise Yancey, and Lorelle Seal played in this yard. 
Before this time, I’m sure my mother and Aunt Dick had a lot of kids over to play with them.  I know the same was true when I was growing up.  
My friends, cousins and I played all sorts of games out in this yard.  As I’ve mentioned on earlier tapes, my favorite game was Go Sheepy Go.  The only thing that I’d say came close to this game was Deer and Dog which we played once I started school.  One group would be the deer and they would go hide.  The other group would be the dogs and they would go in search of the deer. 
The dog group would bark and howl and yelp like dogs when they were hunting the deer.  Once the dogs found the deer, the deer group would come out of their hiding places and little boys would be running all over the place.
Deer and Dog was a great game but nothing ever really compared to Go Sheepy Go.
I raised my children here.  My children and all of their friends played in this same old yard. 
Bruce's children
Years later, my grandson and his friends played out in the yard.  
This old yard has been a playground for well over seventy-five years.  Echoes of children’s voices linger on.

Note:  Parts 1-62 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.

November 16, 2014

Sunday's Obituary - Sudie Mason

Monroe News Star - 1/9/1964

Sudie Adams Mason

Born on August 11, 1886

Daughter of
Joseph and Elizabeth Adams

Wife of
Franklin Edward Mason

Mother to
Annie (Richardson), Jack, Ada, James, Ida (Patten), 
Elmer, Emily (McCarty) and Frank Ollie

Died on January 8, 1964
Buried in the Mason Cemetery
Leland, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

November 11, 2014

Veterans Day Tribute to Sgt. Wallace O. Cloy

Wallace O. Cloy was born in Franklin County, Mississippi in 1919.

He was the sixth of ten children born to the marriage of Richard Harris Cloy and Pinkie Paralee Bowman.  His siblings were Mary Nellie [Hair], Richard Frank, John Edward, Anna [Furr], Jerald Hudson, Charles Clay, Barnie Lee [Stubbs], Jarvis Roan and William "Billy" Cloy.

In the mid-1920s the Cloy family moved from Franklin County, Mississippi to Sicily Island in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.  Their home was located on Highway 15, north of Sicily Island.

The 1940 U.S. census record shows Wallace Cloy as twenty-one years old and living with his parents in Sicily Island.  His employment is listed as service station operator.

On August 16, 1940, Wallace O. Cloy enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps as a private.  His Term of Enlistment is shown as the Philippine Department.

Following basic training, Cloy was assigned to the 13th Bomber Squadron, 3rd Bomber Group. The squadron was based in Charters Towers, Australia during World War II.

On December 31, 1942, Sgt. Wallace Cloy was part of an eleven man crew on board a USAAF B25-D-NC Mitchell returning to Charters Towers from Port Moresby.

B25-D Mitchell Bomber
The bomber never arrived in Charters Towers and was believed to have gone down in the Coral Sea when the pilot flew into a violent downdraft of a large thunderstorm.

Sgt. Wallace O. Cloy was listed as Missing in Action as of December 31, 1942.

His name appears on the Tablets of the Missing in the Manila American Cemetery located in Manila, Philippines.

Tablets of the Missing - Manila American Cemetery

Tablets of the Missing - Manila American Cemetery

Tablets of the Missing - Manila American Cemetery