April 29, 2015

Attempted Double Assassination at Sicily Island, 1906

In an earlier post about the history and renovation of the Pine Hill Plantation House, I transcribed a newspaper article which appeared in the November 28, 1982 edition of the News-Star World.

The article mentioned a tragedy that was believed to have happened at the Pine Hill residence involving a 'Mr. Stewart'...
Mr. Stewart had come to Catahoula with the gas industry.  In the short period he was there, he gained the respect of area residents.  One ill-fated night, he escorted a young Sicily Island woman to the Pine Hill dance.  Unknown to the young couple was the fact that a local youth was in love with the girl.  He waited outside the house for them to leave the dance.  As they walked onto the front steps, Mr. Stewart was mortally wounded. The murderer mounted his horse and vanished into the night, according to one popular version of the story.  The young girl was totally innocent, that was the irony of the entire matter.
Could this 'Mr. Stewart' be the Charles Lee Stewart killed in Sicily Island in March of 1906?

New Orleans News - 3/13/1906

If this is the same 'Mr. Stewart', it appears that the murder occurred at the Tom Hardin residence and not at Pine Hill Plantation.

Thomas Leo "Tom" Hardin was the son of Dr. John Calvin Hardin whose home was located just a few miles down the road from the Pine Hill Plantation.

Hardin House

Is the Hardin house pictured above where the shooting actually occurred?

Dr. Hardin was still alive in 1906 when the shooting occurred but where he was living is in question. The article says the shooting occurred in the home of Tom Hardin.

The 1900 U.S. census shows Dr. Hardin and his wife and two of their children living at the home pictured above.  Tom had married Florence Meyers in 1898 and by 1900 one of their six children had been born.  He and his family lived about five houses down the road from his parents.

U.S. Census - 1900

At some point after the 1900 census, Dr. Hardin, his wife and two of their children moved to Harrisonburg.  The 1910 U.S. census shows Dr. Hardin and family living in Ward 7/Harrisonburg on Water Street.

U.S. Census - 1910
I have been unable to find a 1910 census record for Tom Hardin.

It is possible that Dr. Hardin and family were living in Harrisonburg in 1906 and Tom and family were living in his father's house pictured above.  Or perhaps the article was incorrect and should have stated that the shooting occurred in the home of Dr. Hardin.

From the November 3, 1906 edition of the Donaldsonville Chief we learn the fate of the young man who was arrested for the attempted double assassination:

Donaldsonville Chief - 11/3/1906

If anyone has information on where this shooting actually occurred please leave a comment below or email me at Rootsfromthebayou@gmail.com.

A note to my friend, Dawn, who currently lives in the Hardin house:  Maybe you should pay more attention to those unexplained noises you hear!

A special 'thank you' goes out to David Newland for sharing these newspaper articles with me.

April 26, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Ralph David Price

Monroe News Star - 7/25/1968

Ralph David Price

Born on June 16, 1950

Son of
James Blanchard Price, Sr. and Ara Lafaye "Faye" Slade

Brother to
James Blanchard, Jr., Larry, Doris, Maxine,
Laverne and Karen

Died on July 24, 1968
Buried in the New Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

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

April 19, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Annie McCarty

Monroe News Star - 7/31/1969

Sarah Ann "Annie" Watson

Born on February 26, 1891

Daughter of
Wade Watson and Emma Hardin

Sister to
Jessie, Willie, Thomas, Ida, Roy, Mary, Jack and Velda

Wife of
Robert Leo McCarty

Mother to
Ethel, Charlie "Buddy", Juanita, Hazel and Robert Leo, Jr.

Died on July 29, 1969
Buried in the New Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

Tombstone photograph taken by FindAGrave member, Karen Klemm Pinckard.

April 15, 2015

Wednesday's Child - Thomas Jefferson Chisum, Jr.

Thomas Jefferson "T. J." Chisum, Jr.

Born on Oct 2, 1881

Son of
Thomas Jefferson Chisum, Sr. and Catherine "Kate" Smith

Brother to
Mary Eva (Gordon), Jessie (McNair), Edward Walling, Sr.
and Emmett DeWitt, Sr.

Died on August 17, 1882
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

April 13, 2015

Flooding of the Mighty Mississippi, Part Four - Early 1900s

Mississippi River at Natchez, Mississippi - 2014

The early 1900s saw the mighty Mississippi River overflow five times between 1903 and 1916.

Flood of 1903

The Mississippi River reached its ninth highest crest of record at New Orleans on May 29, 1903; cresting at 19.42 feet.

St. Louis Republic - 3/23/1903
Catahoula Parish may have been spared in 1903 due to a build up of the Sycamore levee following the flood of 1897.  From the March 23, 1903 edition of the St. Louis Republic of St. Louis, Missouri:
This levee has been raised since the flood of 1897 from two to three feet higher than it was then, and will be able to withstand the large amount of water yet to reach here.  This is the most important levee in this section, and if it holds intact the overflow will not flood Concordia, Tensas and Catahoula parishes on the front.
No other news reports have been found to indicate flooding occurred in Catahoula Parish in 1903.

Flood of 1908

The National Weather Service's records show that the lower Mississippi River was above flood stage for over 100 days below Arkansas City, Arkansas in the late Spring and early Summer of 1908.

Catahoula Parish felt the impact of this flood as noted in a July 11, 1908 article which appeared in the Thibadoux Sentinel of Thibadoux, Louisiana.

Thibadoux Sentinel - 7/11/1908

Flood of 1912

The mighty river made its presence known to the people of northeast Louisiana when it flowed out of its banks in 1912.  

Washington Herald - 4/26/1912
The El Paso Herald of El Paso, Texas reported on the flooding in Catahoula Parish in its April 30, 1912 edition.  
Whole Parish Under Water in Louisiana...Conditions in Catahoula parish were reported desperate.  Only about 10 percent of the total area of the parish is above water.
El Paso Herald - 4/30/1912

A May report from the flood relief committee in Natchez, Mississippi stated the following:
"All of Concordia Parish, all alluvial land in Catahoula Parish and on our side of the Mississippi, is now under water, and the river is still rising.  People are being forced to leave their homes and are being brought to Natchez for safety.  Over two thousand here now.  All railroads are out of commission.  Government relief work is equal to emergency."  
Washington Herald - 5/9/1912

In the latter part of April 1913, the lower Lake St. John levee broke due to overflow from the Mississippi River.  The following article from Natchez, Mississippi which appeared in the April 28, 1913 edition of The Sun in New York reports on the situation:

The Sun- 4/28/1913
The lower Lake St. John levee, twenty-eight feet high, ten miles above Ferriday, La., broke this morning at 3:30 o'clock and Concordia parish and parts of Tensas, Franklin and Catahoula parishes are being flooded, the water returning to the Mississippi through Black and Red rivers.  No deaths have been reported.
The river above and below has been relieved by the break, the depression being felt here in three hours and the water is falling an inch an hour. The gap is half a mile wide and twenty-five feet deep.

Flood of 1916

On February 15, 1916, main levees broke along the Mississippi River.  The following news articles report the events and the impact to several parishes including Catahoula.

From the February 15, 1916 edition of the Evening Star of Washington, D.C.:
It was stated that a large volume of water was rushing through the breaks and would flood Tensas, Concordia, Franklin, Catahoula, and possibly Madison parishes in Louisiana.

Evening Star - 2/15/1916
Evening Star - 2/15/1916

The Day Book of Chicago, Illinois reported on February 15, 1916:

Day Book - 2/15/1916

The Louisiana governor's office received requests for flood relief for the people of Catahoula and Concordia parishes in March of 1916.

Madison Journal - 3/18/1916
From an article appearing in the March 18, 1916 edition of the Madison Journal of Tallulah, Louisiana:
More appears for relief of the flood victims of Concordia and Catahoula parishes reached the governor's office.  
One, signed by a committee composed of S. A. Clark, notary public; W. F. Miller and S. D. Fairbanks, came from Parham, Catahoula parish.  
It said that 250 people and 67 head of stock which had been saved from the flood were badly in need of food and fodder.  It asked that provisions be sent to Tilden Landing on the Black river, the point most easily accessible to them.

*This post is part four in a series of posts in which an attempt will be made to document the history of flooding in Catahoula Parish caused by the overflow of the Mighty Mississippi River.  Occurrences will be presented using maps, newspaper articles, photographs and reports from the State Library of Louisiana and other collections from the sources linked below each post. 

Part One

April 12, 2015

Sunday's Obituary - Oscar Otto Krause

Monroe News Star - 1/14/1972

Oscar Otto Krause

Born on November 18, 1885

Son of
Gotleib Krause and Caroline Rotham

Brother to
Henry Markham, Albert Gotleib, Katie Louisa, Augustus Samuel "Gus"
Caroline "Lina" and Mary Gertrude

Husband of
Birdie Talbert

Father to
Ben Louis Westerburg

Died on January 13, 1972
Buried in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery
Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana

April 7, 2015

Flooding of the Mighty Mississippi, Part Three - The 1890s

Mississippi River at Natchez - 2014

The Flood of 1892

It appears that Catahoula and Concordia parishes suffered flooding in 1892 but there is no mention of the Mississippi River flooding that year per the National Weather Service.

Asheville Daily Citizen - 2/8/1893
An article appearing in the February 8, 1893 edition of the Asheville Daily Citizen in Asheville, NC references the flooding of the previous year.
Four thousand people in Concordia and Catahoula parishes in the northern portion of Louisiana are on the verge of starving. Information received from that section yesterday shows that the people are in a pitiful condition and unless relief is given them at once many deaths from starvation will result.  The floods of the last summer destroyed their crops and the water remained so long that it was not possible to plant corn or anything else beyond some quickly maturing vegetables. Hence hundreds moved away. Thousands, however, were unable to leave.  Those remaining have subsisted during the winter on wild game, but now they have nothing to keep body and soul together.

The Flood of 1893

Catahoula Parish did not see as much flooding as its neighboring parishes to the north.

St. Paul Daily Globe - 5/17/1893
The St. Paul Daily Globe in St. Paul, MN warned of the consequences of the levee break on the west bank of the Mississippi River south of Greenville, MS in an article dated May 17, 1893:

"All of the northern part of Louisiana will be flooded, and it is also feared that the water cause great damage in the central portion of the state, as Red river, in which it will flow, is rising rapidly, and will soon be out of its banks."
Daily Public Ledger - 5/24/1893

On the 24th of May, the Daily Public Ledger in Maysville, KY reported the news of a break in the levee south of Lake Providence, Louisiana:
"The levee on the Wiley plantation, four miles south of Lake Providence, broke at 10:30 o'clock Tuesday.  This is by far the most serious break that has occurred during the present high water....the crevasse Tuesday is nine hundred feet wide and only eighteen feet deep and caving rapidly."

The Flood of 1897

From an article appearing in the April 17, 1897 edition of The Herald in Los Angeles. California:
The crisis has arrived in northern Louisiana where the the mighty force of nature has won the fight.  
The Herald - 4/17/1897
Last night at 10 oclock the workers on the levee at Biggs, four miles below Delta, La., were horrified to see a sudden bulge in their embankment.  A small yellow stream began to trickle through the aperture and a moment later there came a crash.  The Louisiana main system had at last succumbed to the fearful onslaught of the Mississippi river.
A general alarm was sounded and the inhabitants of the vicinity began moving their valuable effects.  In thirty minutes the crevasse had increased in size from a dozen feet to fifty yards, and the water was pouring through the opening with fearful velocity.
San Francisco Call - 5/10/1897
There is a strip of swamp about two miles wide immediately behind the levee where the break occurred, and beyond that are many of the finest plantations of Southern Louisiana.  
The water flows into the Tensas river, and should that stream prove unable to carry the great volume of water into the main channel the flooded area will extend to Franklin and part of Catahoula parish, and take the fifth district levee, where the board had concentrated nearly a thousand men along the line of the levee adjacent to Biggs, this strip having been regarded as one of the weakest points in the entire system.
The fertile lands that will be inundated are in the highest state of cultivation and the loss will be tremendous.
On May 10, 1897 the San Francisco Call reported, "The town of Trinity, Catahoula Parish, at the junction of Tensas, Ouachita and Black rivers, is submerged."

Residents of Catahoula Parish finally received good news towards the end of May.

NY Sun - 5/27/1897

*This post is part three in a series of posts in which an attempt will be made to document the history of flooding in Catahoula Parish caused by the overflow of the Mighty Mississippi River.  Occurrences will be presented using maps, newspaper articles, photographs and reports from the State Library of Louisiana and other collections from the sources linked below each post. 

Part One

April 5, 2015

He has risen!

He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.
Matthew 28:6