February 28, 2015

Sports Center Saturday - Sicily Island Boys Basketball Team, 1947-1948

Sicily Island Boys Basketball Team, 1947-1948

Back Row (LtoR):  Nolan Stephens, Boots Thurman, Tim Cupit, ?, Caly Daniel, Jr., Larry Barron
Front Row (LtoR):  Coach Little, Charlie Taylor, Edward Enright, Jr., Rex "Sonny" Guice, Benny Ray Mahaffey, C. Garrison

Photograph is courtesy of Pam Twiner Thompson, niece of Tim Cupit.

February 27, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past - Sicily Island Graduates, 1948

Sicily Island High School Class of 1948

Freddie Cooper, Tim Cupit, Johnny R. Martin, Joyce Bird, Ray Golmon, Joyce Marie Hensley, Vernon Dennis, Erma Dean Dampier, Edward Enright, Jr., Barbara Jean Pearson, Lyndol "Sonny" Guice.

Photograph is courtesy of Pam Twiner Thompson, niece of Tim Cupit.

February 25, 2015

Wedding Wednesday - Cupits Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary, 1957

Willie Earl Cupit and Mary Smith Cupit - 50th Wedding Anniversary, 1957

Willie Earl Cupit and Mary Augusta Smith were married in 1907 in Mississippi. At some point in 1920 and following the births of all but the youngest of their children, they moved from the Bude/Meadville area of Mississippi to Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.

Willie and Mary Smith Cupit - 1907

The following children were born to the marriage of Willie and Mary Cupit:
Robert David "R.D."  (1910-1972) m. Theda Mae Benge
Rufus Millard (1913-1980) m. Rachel Maxwell
Ella Mae (1912-1978) m. Herbert V. Twiner 
Iva Rae (1916-1986) m. Joseph Wilson Lane 
Harold Elmer (1920-1993) m. Josephine Salario
Tim Leroy (1931-2008) m. Dorothy Butler

Photographs are courtesy of Pam Twiner Thompson, granddaughter.

February 23, 2015

Military Monday - Carlos L. Thompson

Photograph is courtesy of Karen Barron Egloff

Carlos L. Thompson

Born on July 30, 1908

Son of
John Jessie Thompson and Mattie Farmer

Brother to
Willie, Eula, Vera, Barney, Bertha, Christine and Maxie Eugene

Husband of
Birdie Lee Rush Barron

Step-Father to
John Wesley "J.W." Barron, Jr. 
Larry Kenneth Barron

Died on January 7, 1970
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

United States Army
World War II

February 22, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Robert David Cupit, Sr.

Monroe News Star - 4/19/1972

Robert David "R. D." Cupit, Sr.

Born on December 21, 1910

Son of 
William Earl "Willie" Cupit and Mary Smith

Brother to
Ellie May, Millard, Ira Rae, Harold and Tim

Husband to
Theda Mae Benge

Father to
Thomas Earl, Robert David, Jr., Donny, Danny,
Betty Lou and Shirley Jean

Died on April 18, 1972
Buried in the Highland Park Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

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

February 21, 2015

Sports Center Saturday - Sicily Island Boys Basketball Team, 1946-47

SI Boys Basketball Team, 1946-1947

Front Row (LtoR):  J. W. Barron, Thomas Blackmon, Sonny Guice, Boots Thurman
Back Row (LtoR):  Edward Enright, Jr., Billy Pat Seal, John Bowman?, Carroll Boles, Larry Barron, Coach Louis Little

Photograph is courtesy of Karen Barron Egloff.  Mickey Salter Thurman assisted with identification.
Thanks to both of you!

February 20, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past - Sicily Island Cheerleaders, 1950s

SI Cheerleaders - Early 1950s

Seated on the Hood (LtoR):  Mickey Salter and Bobbie McKay
Standing (LtoR):  Sarah Gambrell, Joy Miller and Virginia Pearson
Children (LtoR):  Peggy Krause and Judy Krause

Photograph is courtesy of Karen Barron Egloff

February 18, 2015

Wednesday's Child - Richard Iverson Harris, Jr.

Richard Iverson Harris, Jr.

Born on December 10, 1944

Son of 
Richard Iverson "I-Bo" Harris, Sr. and Cora Hamilton

Brother to
Mary Catherine

Died on December 10, 1944
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

February 16, 2015

Sicily Island News - March 17, 1940

Transcription (with corrections):

Monroe Morning World - 3/17/1940
Mrs. W. S. Peck, Sr. is in Natchez serving as hostess in Miss Myra Smith's lovely old home, Devereaux, during the Garden Club Pilgrimage.

Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Yearwood had as their guests over the week-end Mrs. F. O. Denham and young daughters, Ellen and Darilyn, of Baton Rouge.  They were joined by Mr. and Mrs. T. S. Scott and son of Winnsboro.

Mr. and Mrs. A. Y. Tillinghast of Mooringsport were guests of Dr. and Mrs. C. J. Gordon and family.

Miss Margaret Ridley accompanied the members of the Sicily Island school band to Natchitoches to take part in the district band festival.

Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Yancey of Shreveport were guests of Mrs. Laura Yancey.

Raphiel Teagle spent several days in Campti at the bedside of his father who is improving after a very serious illness.

Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Lanier and daughter, Dorothy Nell, of Wisner were guests of Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Benge.

C. B. Coney visited in Jena.

Those motoring from here to attend the showing of "Gone With the Wind" in Monroe were Mr. and Mrs. John Hall, Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Chisum, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Coney, Mrs. A. S. Krause, Mr. (or Mrs.) W. B. Taliaferro and Miss Hattie Harris.

Mr. and Mrs. Werlie Randall of McGee, Ark., spent several days recently with Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Randall.

Mr. and Mrs. Leon Herbert and young son Leon, III visited Mr. Sam Seal and family.  

Nathan Blair has returned to New York and the New York Yankees, after spending the winter with his family in Sicily Island and Mangham.

Mrs. S. S. Boniel of New Orleans is the charming guest of her mother, Mrs. Caroline Krause.

Miss Nedra Bowman, a popular member of the senior class, is serving as hostess in her grandmother's home King's Tavern, during the Natchez Pilgrimage.

February 15, 2015

To My Dearest Bertha - A Valentine from 1945

1945 Valentine to Bertha from Abbott
Above is Abbott Allen Pearson's 1945 valentine to his wife, Bertha McKay Pearson.  The valentine was on the back of a page of war news.  Thank you to Karen Barron Egloff for sharing part of your maternal grandparent's history.

Abbott Pearson
Bertha McKay Pearson

February 9, 2015

1953 Campaign to Raise Highway 15

The following article appeared in the September 6, 1953 edition of the Monroe Morning World:


Campaign Begun To Raise Hwy. 15

JONESVILLE, Sept. 5 (Special)
A campaign to raise highway 15 southeast of Sicily Island is being started by the Sicily Island Rotary Club with assistance of the Catahoula parish school board and police jury.

Official bodies and civic groups throughout northeast Louisiana will be invited to participate in the campaign because of the importance of the highway as the most direct route to Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  Highway 15, as presently constructed, is frequently made impassable by backwater, necessitating miles of detours.  It is the route of buses operating between Little Rock, Ark., and New Orleans.

Wednesday morning, at the suggestion of William Peck, police juror and president of the Sicily Island Rotary Club, the police jury passed a resolution asking the state department of highways to raise the level of the road.  The jury also voted to write other police juries in the northeastern section of the state, seeking their help in the campaign.

Aubrey Brooks, superintendent of schools and a member of the Sicily Island Rotary Club, said he anticipates similar action by the parish school board and that he will write to other school boards in the area urging that they help.

Approximately 3.5 miles of road between Sicily Island and Foules has been flooded numerous times in the past several years.  Brooks said completion of drainage projects north of the area has aggravated the condition.

February 8, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Alpha Smith Evans

Monroe News Star - 1/26/1970

Lou Alpha Smith

Born on October 14, 1887

Daughter of
William Berry Smith and Emily Susie Scarborough

Sister to
Minnie Bell, Louis Allen, Homer Estus, Robert Lossie, Ruthie Lucille,
Emily Paulie, William Luther, Mary Etta, Ella Mae and Quitman Otto

Wife of
William Estus Evans

Mother to
Susie Bell, Willie, Joseph Denman, Mary Lucille,
Evelyn Alpha and Aubrey Malcolm

Died on January 25, 1970
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

February 6, 2015

Friday's Faces From the Past - Keystone Lodge No. 213 Celebrates 100 Year Anniversary, 1972

Front Row (LtoR):  Marvin B. Nolen, Sr., Larry Barron, Harwell L. Allen, Maurice Saltzman

Second Row (LtoR):  Freddie Cooper, Lonnie Franks, Aubrey B. Chisum, Sr., Clarendon Peck, Jr.

Third Row (LtoR):  J. W. Barron, Claude Tarver, Floyd Cole, Stewart Chisum, Johnnie Crawford, Marvin B. Nolen, Jr., Bruce Edmonds

100 Year Anniversary Program Cover

100 Year Anniversary Program

A special thanks to Karen Barron Egloff for sharing the photograph and the program.

Note:  If others would like to share old photographs or documents pertaining to Sicily Island or other communities within Catahoula Parish, please email me at rootsfromthebayou@gmail.com.  

February 4, 2015

Wedding Wednesday - Pearson and Barron

Virginia Pearson and Larry Barron
Married September 11, 1951

Wedding Announcement

Larry and Virginia Pearson Barron - 1961

Photographs and wedding anouncement are courtesy of Larry and Virginia's daughter, 
Karen Barron Egloff.

February 3, 2015

The Good People of Harrisonburg, 1887

The following article is from the February 12, 1887 edition of the Meridional in Abbeville, Louisiana:

The good people of Harrisonburg, Catahoula parish, are evidently awake and fully alive to the importance of civilization and education.  They vote a tax for the railroad and have made a well-directed effort to establish a high school in their town.  The health and morals of the place are excellent, but we think their strongest card is cheap board, which may be had by a child at the exceedingly reasonable rate of $5 per month.  We wish Abbeville could "see" these figures, even if it did not go "one better."  It would assure the succes of our high school.

February 2, 2015

Amanuensis Monday - The Stories That Should Be Told, Part 67

The following transcription is from a series of recordings my father made in the early 1990s:
Sometime around the end of 1911 or early 1912, Grandpa and Grandma Steele moved out to Childress, Texas near Grandpa's sister, Lydia Steele Greer .  My mother and her sister, Lucille “Dick”, were their only children at the time.  They didn’t stay in Texas but about six months.
When they moved back to Sicily Island, Grandpa Steele built a house out on the old Steele place.  Grandpa Steele planted over 100 pecan trees on the old Steele farm. 
Steele House on the old Steele place
The big two-story school had been built right out there beside the Steele place. Mr. Howard Wright, Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Stone and Mr. Jesse Beasley boarded with my grandparents on the old Steele place. 
Mr. Charles Mackey was the first principal at the two-story school.  After he left, Mr. J. K. Stone was the principal.  When Mr. Stone moved up to be the superintendent of the parish, Mr. Howard Wright became the principal.  In 1917, Howard Wright moved up to be the parish superintendent.
I’ve heard my mother and my Aunt Dick talking about Mr. Jesse Beasley, Mr. and Mrs. Stone and Mr. Howard Wright boarding with them when they lived on the old Steele place.
The two-story school was right there next door to Grandpa and Grandma Steele’s house.  Sisters Emily and Blanche Wilson and Anita Bondurant stayed with them during the week because they lived so far up towards the Peck Station that it was too far to travel to school every day. 
Two-story School House near Steele Place
Courtesy of Gladys Nelson
My Aunt Dick remembered Anita Bondurant sleeping with her when she stayed with them.   She was several years younger than my Aunt Dick.  Anita later married an Oliphant who died just a few years after they were married.  She is still living and is in the nursing home up at Harrisonburg.
My oldest son, who was the great grandson of Grandpa and Grandma Steele, married Mr. Jesse Beasley’s great niece.  Mr. Charles Mackey’s wife was a sister to Mr. Jesse Beasley.  Isn't it something how the circle comes back around?
At one period of time, Charles Mackey and his wife Lee Etta Beasley lived in the old Steele house here in town where I lived until it burned in August of 1990.  I believe they were living here along about 1912.
Several different families lived in the Steele house in town at one time or another in earlier years.  This was because Grandpa Steele liked to move back and forth from town to their house on the farm.  
Old Steele house in town

Old Steele house in town

Note:  Parts 1-66 of 'The Stories That Should Be Told' can be found in the Tags List on the right-hand side of the blog.