VOL 5 No. 1


Vol. V No. 1

March 2015


Bulletin Board

St. Clair

Sheriff’s Report

Vignettes of Current Events

Looking to the Future


Don C. Marler

Due to circumstances beyond my control we have missed several issues of The Chronicles in 2014.  We start again and this new start begins with an invitation to all to submit news, stories, comments, suggestions and most of all historical information for publication consideration in the Chronicles.

Through the Rapides Parish Library at Hineston, Mr. Elmo Long has sparked interest in the origins of the St. Clair community. Research on the ancient name of St. Clair is the easy part while information on our St. Clair community, located between Otis and Gardner, is difficult. Therefore, information on this community is welcomed. There are still folks in the area that attended the school before it was closed and moved to Oak Hill.

If you are interested in a St. Clair reunion please contact:

Don C. Marler

4209 Aspen Ct.

Pineville, La. 71360

318 640 0110



Carolyn Dyess Bales

318 792 8426

In this issue we have begun a report from Rapides Parish Sheriff, Wm. Earl Hilton, on activities and issues in Hineston and surrounding communities. The Sheriff is close to his Hineston roots and is happy to cooperate with us by sharing updated information.

Note: Please note that the Hineston Chronicles are online only and are free. Just send name and email address to me — doncmarler@gmail.com

Bulletin Board

Jessie Boyd, Jr. 90, passed away on 05/15/14.  He was the son of Jessie Boyd who served in WWI and as the Police Juryman for Ward 5 in Rapides Parish. Jessie Jr. served in WWII and was a successful businessman in Oakdale, La. for most of his life.

James Howard Wells, 74, passed away on April 16, 2014. Interment was a Fellowship Cemetery at Hineston.

Dalton Ray Stokes, 73, of Calcasieu passed away on 03/14/14.  He was interred at the New Hope Cemetery.

Willie LaVell Merritt, 85, passed away on Wednesday February 26, 2014. He is interred at the Mt. Zion Cemetery in Belmont, La. He was a veteran of the Korean War.

Glenn Long, , 82, passed away on April 3, 2014. He was interred at Mineola, Texas.

Jimmy Beeson Downs, 95, passed away on March 16, 2014.

Jimmy Dewayne Long, 62, passed away on March 28, 2014. He was preceded in death his father, Woodrow Long. He is interred in Effie, La.

Derek James Stanley, 18, passed away in Elmer, La. on March 12, 2014.

Alton Randolph “Randy” Johnson, 63, of Anacoco passed away June, 2014. He is interred at McMahon Cemetery at Evans, La.

Cecil Raiford Walker, 91, passed away on 09/13/2014. He is interred at the Beech Grove Cemetery in Anacoco.

Mitzie Rougeou Perry, 78, passed away on 04/30/14. She was interred at the Rougeou Family Cemetery.

Lillian Burns Bass , 93, passed away on 11/17/14She is interred at New Hope Cemetery at Calcasieu.

John Martin “Manzy” Shernin, Jr. passed away on 11/26/14. He is interred at the New Hope Cemetery at Calcasieu.

Dewey Gene Dousay, 72, passed away and was interred at New Hope Cemetery at Calcasieu on 11/25/14. He taught school at Oak Hill as did his wife Joan Cudd and mother-in-law Hattie Cudd.

Jessie Mae Miller Earp, 89, passed away on June 16, 2013. She lived in Aurora, Co., and is interred at Fort Logan National Cemetery.

Shirley Mae Dyess, 82, passed away on 10/20/14. She was interred at the Star Cemetery in Star, MS.

Gene E. Powell , 85, passed away on 10/19/14. He was interred at Fellowship Cemetery at Hineston.

Joshua “Josh” Paul Sonnier, 33, passed away on 10/20/14. He was interred at the New Hope Cemetery at Calcasieu.

James E. Meylain passed away on 09/22/14. He was a resident of Hineston.

Leon Swain, 86, passed away on 12/12/14. He was interred at Holy springs Cemetery at Fullerton, La.

Rufus Loyd Bonnette 1, 61, passed away on 06/03/14. He was interred at the Fellowship Church Cemetery at Hineston.

Calvin Denny Gray, 50, passed away on December 5, 2014. He is interred at the New Hope Cemetery at Calcasieu.

Eula Mae Walters, 99, of Glenmora passed away on 12/08/14. She is interred at Pine Ridge Cemetery.

Tommy Glenn Johnson, 77, passed away on December 26, 2014. He was interred at Dewill Cemetery, Otis, La.

Barbara Spier “Boo” Harrell, 83, passed away on December 21, 2014.

Barbara Long Nichols, 73, passed away on December 22, 2014. Barbara was the wife of Earl Nichols. She was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Zackie Faye Beassie Ward 75, of Elmer passed away on January 5, 2015. She was interred at Camp Eight Pentecostal Church Cemetery of Otis, La.

Carl W. Banks, passed away and was interred on 1/3/ 15 at Fellowship Cemetery at Hineston.

William Thomas “Ted” Holt, Sr. 84, passed away on 11/06/13 and was interred at the Holt Cemetery, Sieper, La.

Melvin E. Hilton 76, passed away on 11/05/2013. He was interred at Fellowship Cemetery, Hineston, La.

Ronald Sweat, 79, passed away on January 11, 2015. He was the husband of Ethel Swain. He is interred at Rosepine Cemetery.

Muriel Dalton Lott, 91, passed away on January 11, 2015. She was the wife of Ellis T. Lott who was for many years the caretaker of the Fellowship Cemetery of Hineston , where both are interred.

Willie Vernice Haymon  Kay, 88, passed away on January 12, 2015.

Martha Janie Robinson Townley, 86, passed away on January 13, 2015. She was interred at Lone Star Cemetery.

Louvenia D. Doyle, 82, passed away on January 14, 2015 and was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Jesse “Pete” Terrell,  88, passed away on January 18, 2015. He was a native of Otis, La. He was interred at Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville.

Sherman David Squyres, 63, passed away on January 19, 2015. Interment was at  Flactor Baptist Cemetery.

Nicole Terrell “Nicky” Brown, 71, passed away on January 15, 2015.  She was interred at Greenwood Memorial Park.

George Lester Davis, 69, passed away on January 14, 2015. Internment was at Elisha Memorial Cemetery.

Patricia Ann Doyle, 58, passed away and was interred at Occupy #1 Cemetery. We have no more information.

Mamie D. Odom, 91, a resident of Plainview passed away and was interred at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Elmer Marie Miller Mills, 68, passed away on January 17, 2015 and was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Eva Coleman Terrell Riggs, 89, passed away on July 2, 2002. She is interred at Camp Eight Pentecostal Church Cemetery.

John David Sorrells, 64, passed away 2/03/15. He lived at Cotile Lake.

Jody Michael Floyd, 41, passed away July 5, 2013. He was the son of Verna Johnson Floyd of Hineston.

Mary Rose Beatty Holt, 91, (wife of now deceased Judge Jack Holt) passed away on 2/07/15 and was interred at Greenwood Memorial Park.

Ruby Lee Welch, 86, passed away on 2/7/15. She is interred at Peniel Baptist Church Cemetery.

Charles D. Weatherford , 75, passed away on February 6, 2015.

Margaret Ruth “Peggy” Broadnax, 87, passed away on February 3/15. She was interred at Fellowship Cemetery –Hineston.

Jerry Donald Rivers, 71, passed away on February 8, 2015. He was a resident of Elmer, La. He was interred at St. Clair Cemetery.

James “Jimbo” McGlothlin, 63, of Cotille Lake passed away on February 7, 2015.

Johnny “Sonny” Townley, 83, passed away on February 10, 2015.  He is interred at Cryer Cemetery, Oakdale.

Buford Wesley “DOC” Woodham, 75, passed away on February 11, 2015. He is interred at Mt. Moriah Cemetery at La Camp, La.

Andrew Steven Dunn, 58, passed away on February 11, 2015. He was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Birdie Elaine McDowell Harris, 83, passed away August 31, 2010 and was interred at Camp Eight Pentecostal Church Cemetery.

Effie Sermons,  83, passed away on March 11, 2011 and was interred at the Beechwood Cemetery.

Joyce L. Kroics, 75, passed away on July 4, 2011 and was interred at Lone Star Cemetery.

Mary Lee Farmer Ducote, 64, passed away on April 2, 2012 and was interred at Lone Star Baptist Church Cemetery.

William Kevin McDonald, 77, passed away July 23, 2012 and was interred at Fellowship Cemetery.

Burley Andrew Evans, 91, passed away on April 1, 2013 and was interred at Fellowship Cemetery.

Elva Jean Schysm , 62 passed away on May 9, 2013 and was interred at Mt. Moriah Baptist Cemetery.

Cherry Ann Dauzart Smith, 60, passed away on July 31, 2013 and was interred at Smith Cemetery at Hineston.

David Allen Patterson, 52, passed away on October 1, 2014.

Roma Smales Lewis, 70, passed away on December 14, 2012.

Margaret (Maggie) Stokes Glenn Dove, 59, passed away on July 13, 2013.

Sonja Marie Terrell, 74, passed away on August 12, 2014 and was interred at Camp Eight Pentecostal Church Cemetery.

Allie Maye Evans, 83, passed away on January 5, 2012 and she was interred at Fellowship Cemetery.

Charles Larry “Taterbug” Robinson, 63, passed away on September 30, 2012. He was interred at Lone Star Cemetery.

Don Clayton Wright, 74, passed away on February 11, 2015. He was interred at Peniel Cemetery.

Alicea C. Brown, 70, passed away on February 9, 2015. She was a resident of Elmer, La. She was interred  at  Forest Lawn cemetery.

Alton Gwynn (Bill) Holt, 83, passed away on February 15, 2015. He was interred at Calvary Baptist Church Cemetery.

Troy Wayne (TJ) Russell, Jr., 26, passed away on February 14, 2015. He was interred at the Butter Cemetery in Forest Hill.

Daniel Ray Doyle, 64, passed away on February 16, 2015. He was interred at Union Hill Cemetery.

Leah Diane Martin, 50, passed away on February 17, 2015. She was interred at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.

Ronald D. Smith , 43,  passed away on February 9, 2015.

Samuel Miles ,68, passed away on February 12, 2015.    He was interred at the Polk Robinson Cemetery.

Christopher Miles, 56, passed away on March 4, 2015.

Irene Hinton Nichols , 89, passed away on February 18, 2015. She resided at Boyce.

Mittie Elsie Melder Funderburk May, 96, passed away on January 25, 2013. She was interred at the Pine Ridge Cemetery.

She taught school at St. Clair, Oak Hill and Lecompte Schools.

Virginia Gibson Ranton, No further information available.

Carrol Edens, 66, of Calcasieu passed away on February, 22. 2015.  She was interred at Pine Ridge Cemetery.

Huey David Morrison, 77, passed away on February, 23, 2015. He was a resident of Hineston.

Thomas J. Bell, 85, passed away on February 22, 2015 at his home on Cotlie Lake. He was interred at St. Clair Cemetery.

Thermon E. McKee, 81, passed away on February 16, 2015. He was interred at the Walnut Hill Cemetery.

Goldie M. Johnson , 90, passed away on February, 28, She was interred at Union Hill Cemetery.

Bertha Juneau Cain, 59, passed away on February 25, 2015.

Myrtle Margaret Pickering, 88, passed away on February 28, 2015. She was interred at Butters Cemetery.

Devone Davis, 58, passed away on February 28, 2015.

Ramsey Katherine Marler, daughter of Robert and Kristin Marler, passed away on March 1, 2015. She was 16 days old.

Clara Ellen Duffell Merchant, 73, passed away on March 3, 2015. She was interred at Mt. Moriah Cemetery.

Alfred “Sammy” Bordelon, 52, of Woodworth, passed away on March 6, 2015 and was interred at the Paul Cemetery at Lecompte, La.

St. Clair Community: Origins of the Name

The St. Clair name goes back a long way. The family was prominent during the time of the Knights Templar, Priory of Sion, the Holy Grail, etc. It was believed that the St. Clairs received the treasure of the Knights Templar when they were destroyed in 1307. They populated Germany, France and Scotland. The mystic Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, that is believed to hold much old knowledge and perhaps treasures, was built by them.

In the 1700s and early 1800s some of them migrated to Louisiana. The old Sinclair Oil Company involved this family as the name implies.

There is a St. Clair, La. in Plaquemine parish and a lake in New York is named St. Clair.  There is a St. Clair street in Natchitoches, and there are many more place-names around the country. Many of these may be the result of Masonic activity; Masons were connected to The Knights Templar and the Chapel; and they were, of course, actively involved in settling this country.

Treasure hunters have suspected that some of the family’s treasure is buried in the U. S. I know one such person who believed that our St. Clair may have some of their hidden treasure.

I can find no documentation of why the area was named as it was ; or who may have named it. Blanche Lee Lewis Morrison and her son, David, attend the church there. They have no knowledge of how and for whom it was named. David has been searching also since I approached him about it.

Historic Hineston has a section on the school. There are many books on the St. Clair name. If you wish to read more you might like to start with Rosslyn: Guardian of the Secrets of the Holy Grail, by Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins.

I will continue searching as it is a most interesting question.

There is now talk of a reunion of students of the old St. Clair school. If and when this occurs I plan to attend.

Mr. Elmo Long started this discussion by asking how St. Clair originated. It is exactly the kind of thing that makes our communities interesting. Let research it before it is too late.



Michael Hogatt, 2900 La. Hwy 121, Otis, La. was arrested by the Sheriff’s Department and charged with 5 counts of burglary and 1 count of auto theft.

Dayton Paul Whatley, 34 C. Walter Rd. Forest Hill, La., was arrested and charged with 3 counts of simple burglary and 1 count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Corey Cortez Rosenthal, Cedric Roshone Sanders  of Boyce were arrested for Armed Robbery and Tellys Tyrone Rosenthal was arrested and charged with accessory after the fact.

The persons who robbed the bank in Hineston are still in Rapides Parish Detention and are soon expected to go trial.

Vignettes of Current Events

Old Friends Unite:

The Town Talk reported on 2/19/2015 that Mr. E. A. Wood of Gardner, received an unexpected visitor from Mississippi a few days ago. Marcell “Charlie” Tynes, an old comrade from the Korean War, after years of searching for E.A., drove over from Mississippi to see him. It seems that 65 years ago E.A. had loaned his friend $35.00. That was one half month of E.A.’s paycheck at that time.

E.A. had forgotten the debt, but Charlie had not; repayment was on his bucket list. They had a good time revisiting the old battle stories.

Ft. Polk Cemeteries

There are many cemeteries in the Ft. Polk range and the Fort is diligent about caring for them. Currently the emphasis is on identifying and placing makers on unmarked graves. If you have knowledge of such unmarked graves please contact: Skip Cryer at Skip70634@aol.com.


In the next issue look forward to some interesting items about Oak Hill school taken from Dr. Clarence Golemon’s thesis.

Please give some thought to your own historical information about our communities: send them for inclusion in these chronicles.

Many of our descendants live away from the local communities. Please send information when one of them passes or has a major achievement.

Any announcements you wish to make are welcomed.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vol. 4, No. 1

We start the year with a full skate of information for the Hineston Chronicle readers. There are the usual deaths that we all lament and there is news and notification of the publication of the Chronicles goes out to 208 individuals and families. It is free and we hope you will notify friends of the availability.

A name and email sent to me at doncmarler@gmail.com is all it takes to get Carolyn Dyess Bales has also developed a free Facebook site for Historic Hineston. There are almost 900 people on that site. It is wonderful for those who love Facebook. This site is also free—just send your name and email to:

Carolyn at: carolyndyessbales@yahoo.com

You should know that Hineston is the title given to these publications, but all surrounding communities are included in the contents and interested people anywhere are invited to subscribe to the these online presentations without charge.

Please send news, stories, photographs to either or both of these You are free to use the material as you see fit—just give credit
where that is appropriate. Libraries should make copies for their vertical files or bind them as their resources allow.


Hazel Scarbrock, 69 of Otis, passed away on January 7, 2014.

She was interred a Fellowship Methodist Church Cemetery at Tyler.

Wade “TWIG” Wood, 19 passed away on January 10, 2014. He was a senior at Oak Hill High School. He was interred at Calvary Cemetery, Gardner, La.

Ray Joseph Johnson, 74 passed away on November 18, 2013. He was a son of Ms. Vivian Johnson and a past resident of Hineston.
He was interred at Campground Cemetery, Glenmora, La.

David Lewis, 73 passed away on March 7, 2014. He was interred at Calvary Church Cemetery.

Marvin Swain, 79 passed away on February 21, 2014. He was interred at Holly Springs Cemetery.

Pauline Robinson, 77 passed away on February 26 2014. She was interred at Lonestar Cemetery.

James A. Rutherford, 33 passed away on February 22 2014. He was interred at Mt. Moriah Cemetery.

Willie Mae Cryer Ross, 95 passed away on January 29, 2014 and was interred at Beulah Baptist Church Cemetery.


Arrests made in Hineston bank robbery:

According to the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, (RPSO), on November 20, at approximately 2 p.m., RPSO detectives, with the assistance RPSO Metro Division deputies and the US Marshals Violent Offender Task Force, made two arrests in the armed robbery of the Hineston Branch of Sabine State Bank from earlier this month. According to RPSO, detectives have been
working on leads and gathering information since the robbery on November 2.

On November 20, RPSO said detectives arrested Corey Cortez Rosenthal, 43 of Boyce and Tellys Tyrone Rosenthal, 36 also of Boyce. RPSO said a third suspect, Cedric Roshone Sanders, 43 of Boyce, was arrested but was already in the Rapides Parish Detention Center on an arrest two days ago on narcotics violations and an out of parish warrant.

According to RPSO, during the investigation, detectives developed information on the suspects from evidence they obtained during their investigation. Detectives alleged Corey Rosenthal and Cedric Sanders committed the robbery, and Tellys Rosenthal assisted them after the fact.

RPSO said Corey Rosenthal was taken into custody after a brief struggle. Tellys Rosenthal was taken into custody without incident.

According to RPSO, all three suspects are being held in the Rapides Parish Detention Center on a no bond hold at the time of this release. Detectives say the investigation is continuing and more arrests are probable.

Arrestee: Corey Rosenthal, 43, of 715 Longford St., Boyce, La.

Charges: Armed Robbery

Un-Authorized Use of Motor Vehicle

Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon

Arrestee: Cedric Sanders, 43, of 803 Killarney St., Boyce, La.

Charges: Armed Robbery

Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon

Arrestee: Tellys Tyrone Rosenthal, 36, of 1010 Millrace Rd., Boyce, La.

Charges: Accessory After the Fact Obstruction of Justice


Editor’s Note: In Volume III No. 4 of Hineston Chronicles we introduced a story of violence between two Hineston area families. We asked if anyone had more information as what we had was sketchy to say the least. Sherri came forward with more but there are still many unanswered questions.

Go back a read the story in the last issue to provide more context for the story. If you have more information or can find any more please forward it


Jacob Gunter’s daughter (Lucretia Gunter) eloped with Calvin Bass. They were married by Parson Duff, a Baptist minister residing in Calcasieu parish. Bass returned with Lucretia to her neighborhood and put up at the house of Rolen Weatherford. When Jacob learned of it, he and his oldest son David armed themselves, and David subsequently shot Calvin. Calvin then shot Jacob. David then finished Calvin off with a knife. David took his wounded father home. Constable Thomas Neal organized a posse to arrest David.

David saw them coming and started to run and was shot. A Dr. W. Hobby, had reported that he felt that neither David nor Jacob would recover from their wounds. (Ouachita Telegraph, July 20, 1877)


Jacob Gunter and his son David were tried last week in Vernon, for the killing of young Bass (Calvin), and both were found guilty of manslaughter.

Judge Blackman sentenced the father for six years, and the son for three in the Penitentiary, and ordered the Sheriff of Vernon to convey them to our Parish Jail for safekeeping till their cases had been decided by the Supreme Court, to which an appeal had been taken. All this, however, has turned out useless, both father and son have escaped from the Vernon Jail and are now fugitives. (The Louisiana Democrat, November 28, 1877)


Deputy Sheriff W.E. Hall, of Bell County, Texas, reached here on Thursday night last on the Silver City, and had as prisoners Jacob and David Gunter, charged with the murder of Calvin Bass. They were lodged in our jail, there being no jail in Vernon Parish. It will be remembered that the killing of Bass by the Gunters was under peculiar circumstances, and that Jacob Gunter is an old and respectable citizen of Rapides, and withall a good man, and that both he and his son were tried in Vernon Parish, were found guilty and sentenced for a term of years to the Penitentiary, but made their escape. The trial of the Gunters, at the time, created a great deal of interest, they were zealously and ably defended by Col. R. A. Hunter, a warm and life-long friend of the older Gunter, and bills of exception were filed in their cases, went up to the Supreme Court, and that tribunal sustained Col. Hunter’s exceptions and sent the case back for a new trial. We mention these facts in justice to the prisoners, the oldest of whom we have favorably known for years, and as this matter has to commence de novo we bespeck in their favor a suspension of public opinion, and let their trial be on its merits and in the interests of pure justice. (The Louisiana Democrat, July 13, 1878)

Family links: Jacob Gunter

Died: December 30, 1903

Spouse: Serena Johnson Gunter (1823 – 1927)*

David Gunter (1853 – 1920)*

Amelia Gunter Dixon (1853 – 1938)*

Martha Clementine Gunter Rutherford (1858 – 1906)*

Sidney Gunter Fulmer (1866 – 1955)*

Alice Elizabeth Gunter Johnson (1867 – 1966)*

W Crockett Gunter (1870 – 1958)*

E S Gunter (1872 – 1936)*

William Gunter (1874 – 1961)*

Joseph F Gunter (1875 – 1951)*

*= Calculated relationship

Rapides Parish, Louisiana, USA

Editor’s Note: There are several inconsistencies and unusual items in this story. For example Jacob was 12 years junior to his wife who was at least 52 when she had the last child. He was 17 years of age when the first child was born. Lucretia, the daughter who eloped with Mr. Bass is not accounted for in the listing of children. The lack of knowledge of her birth position makes calculations difficult.

It was not unusual in those days for the newspapers to take a position in favor or against one of the participants in a situation like this. We still do not know if the father and son served time for their crime. Can you provide Thanks to Sherri Abshire for furnishing an interesting chapter to this tragic

Remembering DeRidder Army Air Base

by: Rickey Robertson

In west central Louisiana there is a remnant of the days of the Louisiana Maneuvers and World War II that is very often overlooked. Nestled and preserved in the town of DeRidder, Louisiana is the location of the old DeRidder Army Air Base, with its original hanger, runways, streets, and remains of some of the World War II buildings still intact and in use! Yes, the old base is now the Beauregard Regional Airport and is continuously in use even to this day. Let’s look back and see the origins of this famous piece of World War history right in our back yards.

The air base was actually not a product of World War II itself, but of the Great Depression. With the depression raging across America, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration came up with many ideas to bring about jobs and created different agencies to institute the programs that were enacted. One of these much needed work projects began in DeRidder
in 1933 under direction of the Army Emergency Relief Authority. The site of the project was 160 acres of land on the western side of town. The site was leased for 5 years and what was of greatest importance was that it provided jobs for 400 men. But the work was hard and tough for the men since they were clearing off this area filled with pine stumps and brushy undergrowth. But the area was cleared and ready for use as needed.

In 1939 Germany began to run rampant over all of Europe. General George C. Marshall saw that the United States would be involved in this war that loomed closer on the horizon each day. In 1940 the U.S. Army began filling its ranks out with draftees and recruits and General Headquarters began planning maneuvers to train this new army of men. In 1940 Louisiana was chosen as the site of the army maneuvers.

In 1940 the first small maneuvers began and it brought out how unprepared the army was in manpower, weapons, and equipment. Here in Louisiana many army camps sprang up overnight to support these maneuvers. But forgotten is the fact that the U.S. Army Air Forces were also involved in these maneuvers.

Beginning in the 1940 maneuvers the site at DeRidder was used as a landing field for various types of aircraft that were used in the support of the ground and armored forces. Some of the very first planes were the small “grasshopper” observation aircraft manufactured by Aeronca and Piper Aircraft. These planes could land and take off on a short and rough runway and proved to be extremely useful in the future of U.S. Army aviation. Little did the army know but these small planes would forever change the thinking of General Headquarters as to their usefulness as liaison, artillery spotter, fire direction, and observation aircraft in the coming months and especially during the Great Louisiana Maneuvers of 1941.

In February 1941 a National Defense Project conducted by the U.S. Army Air Force built several airfields throughout Louisiana in which there would be training of combat pilots and aircrews, and in anti- submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico due to the menace of German U boats. At DeRidder the USAAF on July 1, 1941 leased from the Beauregard Parish Police Jury the site of the original small airstrip that had been built in 1933 and began to build an airbase. On December 25, 1941 the DeRidder Army Air Base was started when the 3rd Quartermaster Company arrived and began operations at the site. The 22nd Observation Squadron soon arrived and began As the base grew it totaled up to 4300 acres. The base would soon house from 3,000 to 5,000 men throughout its tenure.  Soon A-20, B-17, B-25, B-26, P-40, P-51, L-4, and L-5 aircraft would be operating out of this growing air base. Since it was a training base, it was placed under the 3rd Army Air Forces. By 1944 Colonel George MacIntyre was the commander of the base.

But to provide training areas for the pilots and crews, bombing and gunnery ranges were needed. A large bombing range of 20,000 acres was laid out near Merryville, La. These ranges were known as “Tokyo Range” where medium altitude bombing was conducted, “Burma Range” was the strafing, machine gun, and skip bombing area, and the “Berlin Range” was used to conduct high altitude bombing missions. Many bomber crews and fighter and observation pilots were trained at this base until training ceased in February 1945. After the victory had been won over the Axis Powers, DeRidder Army Air Base was declared “war surplus” on October 2, 1946.

On December 23, 1948 the former base was deeded to the Beauregard Parish.  Today you can still immediately see that this was a former military base. The original hanger, where mechanics and technicians worked on all the many types of aircraft, aircraft components, machine guns, and all other aspects of these planes still is standing and is in use to this day. You enter a special place when you walk into the old hanger. You immediately go back to the World War II days and can almost picture the mechanics and flight personnel checking their aircraft. Also on the base are many of its original streets and even the remains of the original concrete vault used by the Base Finance Office is still standing. The only thing missing is the control tower but when you walk out on the flight line you can almost just hear B-17’s, P-40’s, and other aircraft taking off and landing.

Today this old army air base is known as the Beauregard Regional Airport (KDRI) and is used in this role. The runways are even today being overlaid to keep everything up to FAA standards with all types of modern equipment for those flying into the airport.

And of importance, there is a special group of people based at KDRI…The Friends of DeRidder Air Base (DAAB), a 501c3 non- profit organization.

Formed in 2009, their mission is to bring about public awareness and provide support in preservation of the rich history of the base. Annually, they have hosted Living History Events, Fly-ins and other events. They also sponsor youth aviation programs via the Aviation Explorer Post (AEP) 3093.

They are currently assisting AEP 3093 in the building of a Zenith SH750 This year’s Living History Event will bring back memories close to home for many. On May 2nd and 3rd, 2014 the Friends of DAAB will sponsor a Living History Re-Enactment of the Louisiana Maneuvers of 1941!

Yes, the Great Louisiana Maneuvers will be re-enacted as best as possible with cavalry, infantry, and other units comprised of re-enactors from across the nation. And yes, there is something very special. There will be a “Grasshopper Fly-In” of Piper Cub aircraft such as was used during the maneuvers and possibly even some other World War II era aircraft. People will get to see the Red and Blue Armies battle each other and the aircraft on This is a great opportunity for you to bring your children, grandchildren,
family and friends to see actual re-enactments of the maneuvers and the aircraft that were used during that historical time. And just stop and think, if you actually lived through the Louisiana Maneuvers of 1941 you can re-live your childhood. Come and have a very enjoyable day and see history in You can check updates on this upcoming event online at: http://www.deridderarmyairbase.com or “like” them at http://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfDAAB, or contact Sharon Hyde-Beltz at 337-238-1024.

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by:  Carolyn Dyess Bales

World War One (WWI) was a global war centered in Europe; beginning 100 years ago on 28 July 1914 and lasting until 11 November 1918. Many families have very personal reasons to remember that war. This project, sponsored by the Historic Hineston Facebook web site, will give everyone in Hineston and surrounding areas an opportunity to refresh and record memories of those in the community who served and especially those who gave their lives in that conflict. Share any WWI information you have
about area residents who served; including stories and photos to make the  There are four parts I will be working on for the Hineston and surrounding areas: Collecting, Investigating, synthesizing, and presenting data. In addition to working on the Hineston and surrounding areas, I am working on my two major surnames (DYESS and BONNETTE). Because a lot of you are working on your lines, I thought this might be something you might want to work on your personal lines as well. At the end of the study, I will do a presentation of the findings.

Part One – Collecting the Information

One hundred years on, we are all connected to the First World War, either through our own family history, the heritage of our local communities or because of its long-term impact on society and the world we live in today.

From 2014 to 2018, across the world, nations, communities and individuals of all ages will come together to mark, commemorate and remember the lives of those who lived, fought and died in the First World War. Therefore, you certainly will be hearing more about WWI throughout the year from the media, etc. For the Historic Hineston and surrounding areas – it would be helpful if you could post the material to the Facebook site. If you are not on Facebook, PLEASE email me the material by the end of June 2014 –


Part Two, Part Three and Part Four – Investigate, Synthesize, and I mentioned above the four parts of the research for the Historic Hineston area(s). I am also doing my two major surnames. Listed below are some ideas I am going to be trying to get the resources from. This will be helpful if you are going to do a study for your surname.

• Does your surname have a war memorial? Visit it, get photos.

•Has anyone previously researched the WWI servicemen on the war memorial? Get hold of their research.

• When was the war memorial erected? Who contributed, who was at the memorial?

• Are there gravestones, military or other, in your surname for WWI?

• Are fallen servicemen from your surname commemorated on the war memorial in other areas of the country?

• Were there any buildings or streets relevant to the war effort? Renamed for your researched surname as a result of the war?

•Did the local paper mention servicemen from your surname you are researching? Report on their experiences? Print obituaries?

• Are there military service records for the force(s) of your surname?

• Are there any wills for the servicemen of surnames you are researching?

• Are there military pension records for the surnames you are researching?

• Are post-WWI medical records available for your researched surnames? Any other ways to find out how war injuries and illnesses affected?

• Did anyone from your researched surnames serve in an overseas force?

* What percentage of men from your researched surnames would have been eligible to serve or be called up?

• Whose occupation or trade changed over the war period? Do you see any of your surname women taking up new roles?

•Did servicemen’s pre-war occupations impact on their military role?  Were any collections taken up for the war effort? How else did those at home assist the war effort?

•Were there any conscientious objectors or war protestors in your

•Is there any memorabilia or ephemera relating to the war for your surnames? Are there Any postcards sent during the war mentioning the impact of the war for the people you are researching?

•Were there special church services held for any of your researched surnames during the war?

• Does the local archives hold any family papers for your servicemen’s

About Historic Hineston Facebook

As of this date we have 873 members on the Historic Hineston FaceBook website. Each of you have made that website a success and everyone is enjoying, remembering, contributing, and discussing Hineston and surrounding areas. There have been so much shared and so much learned!

Another big THANKS to each of you! Because I feel so strongly about our history and heritage, I wanted to give each of you a chance to share any WWI information you have and/or know either by stories, pictures, etc. by either joining the Historic Hineston Facebook Website or emailing me at CarolynDyessBales@yahoo.com

Join Historic Hineston Facebook Website

If you have any questions about joining the Historic Hineston Facebook website, please contact me. If you want to communicate with me by email CarolynDyessBales@yahoo.com or by phone – 318-792-8426 or 979-820-1212, please feel free to do so.

To receive the Hineston Chronicles send your name and email to doncmarler@gmail.com; it is free.

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Vol. 3 No. 4


The fourth quarter of 2013 has been a busy one for recognition of our ancestors. Through out the year Ft. Polk has been planning for its seventh annual 3 day Heritage Family meeting. The meeting began October 25, 2013, and went smoothly, beginning with a welcome by the new commander of Ft. Polk—General Hickman.


Several booths were available displaying photos and artifacts of families who were displaced at what was then Camp Polk – now Fort Polk. The Vernon Parish Genealogy Society and Heritage Family Association helped sponsor the event and both were much in evidence with their very interesting booths, food contributions and volunteer activities.


Three seminars were held, including one on edible plants from the area by Dr. Charles Allen. He has several books on this subject; Google him to learn more. Another was held on Genealogy and one on Cleaning Headstones.


There was music and a potluck lunch on the grounds. The volunteer and military staff was as always as friendly and helpful as could be; exceeding expectations.


Visits to cemetery sights were both of the guided and unguided type.


The environment at Ft. Polk has never looked better.  Plan to attend next year.


Fullerton held its annual family reunion in October also. The meeting was held at the Fullerton pavilion and the attendance was not as large as in the past. However, all shared a good time and good food. During its time Fullerton had a population of around 2000 people. See the story in the next issue.


Thanks to Sarah Thames, Heritage Program Coordinator, for another great reunion.


Don C. Marler




Leland Sanderson of Oakdale passed away on 8/7/2013. He was 83. He attended Oak Hill High school and was a veteran of the Korean War.


Opal Georgia Lee Warren passed away on July 18, 2013. She was 86. She was the youngest daughter of Henry and Hattie Dousay. Thanks to her daughter Mary J. Warren for sending this information to us.


Julius Harold Gunter 73 passed away on July 16, 2013. He lived at Elmer, La.


Verna Lee Lewis, 89, of Elmer passed away on October 11, 2013.


Johnnie Wayne Melder passed away on October 14, 2013. He was 71.


Billie Hernandez Brooks, of Otis, La. passed away on August 22, 2013. She was 75.


Rawleigh Mike Thompson, Sr. passed away in July, 2013. He was 92, the first graduate of Oak Hill High, a valedictorian, and a WWII vet.


Margaret Stokes Dove, 59, passed away on July 10, 2013. She lived at Elmer, La.


Lois Winnell Winegeart NesSmith, 63, of Calcasieu passed away on August 6, 2013.



A Revolting Tragedy



[Editor’s note: This article was published in the Quachita Telegraph Friday, July 20,1877. We have found no one who knows the veracity of the report. Anyone who has knowledge of this is invited to contact the Hineston Chronicles so this historical item can be verified, discussed or refuted. The Rapides Gazette picked up the article and from these sources an unknown person wrote the following. Who was this person?] thanks to Carolyn Bales for forwarding this story.



The Rapides Gazette thus relates the particulars of a bloody affray which resulted in the killing of the husband and brother of a newly married lady and the wounding of her father. Such a bereavement as hers seldom finds a parallel. The Gazette says: From a private letter received by a gentleman in town we learn that a sad tragedy occurred in the vicinity of Hineston. The facts as given are briefly these: Calvin Bass was enamored to the daughter of Jacob Gunter, and persuaded the young lady to elope with him. The couple went straightway to the residence of a parson Duff, a Baptist minister residing in Calcasieu parish, who united them in the holy bonds of wedlock. With a sense of having done what was honorable and right, Bass returned with his bride to the neighborhood of her home, and put up at the house of Rolen Weatherford. Having learned the whereabouts of the bride, Jacob Gunter, her father, and David Gunter her brother, armed themselves and started forth. On arriving on the spot where the honeymoon was to have passed, David Gunter without a word shot his new-made brother-in-law. Bass staggared, (sic) but before falling, drew a pistol and shot his father-in-law. Thereupon the brother-in-law who was standing set upon the brother-in-law who was wounded and ended his life at once and for all with a knife. David Gunter, managed to get his wounded father home. Constable Thomas Neal made the next move by organiging (sic) a posse and started out to arrest David. When he saw them coming David started to run, and the posse to stop him, fired upon him and brought him down. Dr. W. Hobby, who was called in, thinks that David will not recover, and that the chances for his father are slim. This a very sad and singular catastrophe, and the predicament of the young lady is calculated to excite the keenest sympathy.



Heritage Family Reunion Photos

Submitted by

Sarah Thames


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Vol. 3 No. 3.

 Vol. 3 No. 3. July, 2013


This issue of Hineston Chronicles contains an expanded list of local residents and former residents who have passed away. Thanks to Carolyn Bales for forwarding the names of some we missed in the early days of the Chronicles. Thanks also to David Morrison for notifying us of the death occurring in the area.

We are capturing some good information on Ft. Polk history through the activities of the Heritage Family Association (HFA), a new non-profit organization.

HFA is in need of donation of time, effort and monetary contributions.


Ruby Smith Cryer passed away on June 29, 2013.

Henry (Buddie ) Marler passed away on June 19, 2013.

Kim Bryant Johnson passed away on February 4, 2013. A resident of Hineston, Kim was the son of Shelby and Edna Johnson.

Modena “Frankie” Hilton, resident of Hineston passed away on May 2, 2013 at age 97. Frankie was the mother of Rapides Parish Sheriff, James Earl Hilton.

Eunice A. Lewis passed away on August 7, 2912; she was 65. Eunice was a resident of Hineston.

Clovis Irene Unruh 80, passed away April 1, 2011. She was preceded in death by her husband Donald.

Jeanette Miller Harvey 57, passed away on April 23, 2011. She was a resident of Hineston.

Thelma B. Afeman 88, passed away on May 8, 2011. She lived at Hineston.

John Calvin Lee a resident of Hineston passed away on May 18, 2011. He was 78.

Joyce L. Kroics, a resident of Hineston, passed away at age 76 on July 4, 2011.

Thelma L. Danzy passed away on August 28, 2011 at age 74; she was a resident of Hineston.

Grady U. Nichols, a resident of Hineston, passed away on November 23, 2011 at age 90.

Arline D. Cammack, a resident of Hineston, passed away on December 28, 2011 at age 75.

Roy L. Guice, a resident of Hineston, passed away on February 7, 2012 at age 81.

Viola Padgett, a resident of Hineston, passed away on March 31, 2012.

Beulah C. Dousay, a resident of Hineston, passed away on February 19, 2012 at age 95.

Mary E. Ward, a resident of Hineston, passed away on August 3, 2012 at age 64.

Odessa Haymon passed away February 28, 2013.

Sylvia Johnson: date of death unknown. Sylvia was a daughter of Crawford Johnson of Hineston.




(with light editing)

In December 1916 A.J. (Andrew Jackson) Peavy, a young logger from east Texas, began his career as a lumberman in Louisiana by purchasing 45,000 acres of land in the southeast section of Sabine Parish, La. Mr. Peavy did not have any experience as a lumberman but he partnered with R.J. Wilson, who was very experienced as a mill manger. When these two men partnered they also purchased several thousand more acres of land in northern Vernon Parish, La.

The two partners began building their sawmill and sawmill town in March 1917 and named the new town PEASON, a combination of the two surnames of the men. Lumbering and logging operations were begun in 1918 by the Peavy -Wilson Company.

As the logging operations began, my grandfather, Ora A. Robertson, returned from service in the US Army in World War I. My grandfather had experience with horses, mules, oxen, and all the leather and metal harnesses and equipment since his father, Robert Lee Robertson, had been a blacksmith. My grandfather could train horse, mule, and ox teams for logging. He had a good ox team and hired out to Peavy -Wilson company to both haul and skid logs. In some of the old Peason records, I have documentation where Peavy – Wilson Company bought a brand new factory built log wagon in 1922 for use by my Grandfather Robertson. On my grandfather’s team he had a young boy, Grover Owers, who rode the “offwheeler” mule or oxen. Grover would help rein the team as a turn was being made. Even though there were many spur log railroad tracks and re-haul skidders to bring logs to the mill, there were many situations where my grandfather could go into an area and skid out logs to a set near the railroad where they could be loaded. As the logging operation got bigger, the Peavy -Wilson Company needed a corral site away from the mill site itself to house, feed, and doctor the livestock needed in its daily field logging operations. This site is now located on present day Peason Ridge Military Reservation.

In its heyday, the corral site was of vast importance to the company. Even with modern logging equipment, animals such as horses, mules, and oxen were still needed.

Peavy -Wilson Company had a large number of these animals, with other animals being kept for use at the main mill-site in a separate corral in Peason.

As a youngster I grew up with knowledge of this corral site and went to its location literally hundreds of times with my father, Bud Robertson. My father and grandfather ran cattle for several decades on Peason Ridge (until 1995 when Joint Readiness Training Center advised all cattle must be removed) and we were in and out of this location regularly as this was part of the grazing lands where our cattle fed. In the early 1960’s my grandfather’s health became very bad and my father bought all of his father’s cattle. Over the years my father grazed at times 500 to 600 head of cattle on the open range lands. On many occasions we would sit and watch the cattle grazing and my father would tell me of the importance of the corral site, because it allowed the lumber company to have instant access to the much needed logging livestock. My Dad walked with me many times around the corral site and showed me the dimensions of the pens and corrals, locations of the two springs used for watering, the railroad spur, the loading ramp at the rail spur for the livestock to be loaded onto rail cars, and the site where the workers lived and camped.

The site is about one and a half miles south/southwest of the main mill site in Peason. The site could be reached by traveling on the rail spur, or by the wagon road that came to the site. And the site is in Ward I of Sabine Parish, La. At the corral site the “west corral” was the largest of the pens. This corral was about 4 acres in size. In the northwest corner of this corral was a large running spring that provided an abundance of water for the stock. At the southwest corner of this corral were a large gate (remains of the corner posts and fence posts are still there) and a road/trail that led to a loading ramp at the railroad spur, which was about 50 yards west of the “west corral pen”. The loading ramp was built so the livestock could be loaded onto rail cars. The ramp was built up to the height of the floor of the rail cars.

As with most livestock, these animals continuously walked around the fences of the corral. All the way around this 4 acre site you can still see the worn down trail inside the old fence lines that the hooves of the stock wore down over the years. For shade there are large oak trees in the “west corral”. As you look at the pen site you can see it had good drainage to prevent flooding and excessive mud. (See diagram of site.)

Just across the wagon road is what we called the “east corral”. This corral was about 2 acres in size. There are also shade trees inside this pen and the walk line can also be seen where the livestock walked the inside of the fence. On the east side of the “east corral” is another large flowing spring that provided water for the animals housed there. Again, there are the remains of old fence posts around this site. This corral is also well drained. It may be possible that this smaller pen was used to house oxen, as some would not associate with the horses and mules, and would fight and injure them (see diagram).

South/southwest of the corral site about 100 yards is the location where the men who worked at the corral site lived. This site is on a small sand hill that provided good drainage. Also located at the site where the workers lived (most of the corral workers were African-American, one of the bosses was Coburn Sanders who lived on Peason Ridge) are 2 concrete markers and a large sandstone rock all in a row. These concrete markers are not section or survey markers (they have no brass tag on them), they have no numbers or initials inscribed on them, and were never used as artillery fire point markers (over the years we never saw a military unit camped near the corral site since it is located in the Impact Area). These 3 items may be the grave stones and markers for the graves of African-American workers who were not allowed to be buried in organized cemeteries in the area. And sadly, most of these workers and those in the turpentine camps are not listed on any census records, since they were not living in the town of Peason or area towns or communities.

As you get to the top of this small sand hill, you can look further south and my Dad always advised that he thought my grandfather Robertson had told him there was another smaller corral located there where sick or lame livestock were kept (see diagram). He advised that my Grandfather Robertson, though not a veterinarian, would on occasion be asked to come and “doctor” a sick animal. My grandfather had his own set of old veterinarian needles and tools, and I still have these items that he and my father used over the many years. Granddaddy Robertson also hand made some of the leather gear used on the animals, and made many ox yokes for these teams from Bodark (Bois d’ Arc) wood.

The complete corral area including the possible small corral site would be 15 to 20 acres in size and ran between the 2 large springs. According to what I have been told, at the corral site there would at times be 200 to 300 horse, mules, and some oxen. Livestock that were injured and were not able to work in the logging operations were often “turned out” to live and graze freely around the corral area. When the mill shut down in 1935 and the corral site was closed, 2 good log mules were turned out that year to run free with the large number of animals already free. These 2 mules lived for many years on Peason Ridge with the wild horse herd. My Dad told me in 1978 that the mules, still running free on Peason Range, were 45 years old. In the next couple of years both mules eventually died, with them being nearly 50 years old at their time of death.

In 2010 I was able to carry several folks from Ft. Polk to this site. According to these men who have conducted much historical investigation and documentation, they have never seen or heard of a historical site such as this and they were able to see firsthand the site and hear the stories I have of the site. And as we were departing the site, about 15 wild horses came grazing up, just like they were coming to visit the site where their ancestors once lived. And who knows…their blood lines may lead right back to the animals who were housed in these corrals over 90 years ago!

pevy7 pevy1 pevy2 pevy3 pevy4 pevy5 pevy6



Phil Carrico

Doctoring the bull

This is an E. V. (Pat) Boyt yarn – as told to me by Zeke Zbranek..

This old Frenchman had a farm out around Winnie. The farm was just down the road from the inter-coast canal and at that time, the Swivel Bridge was still in use. Many folks in this area will remember that bridge. It spanned the inter-coast canal as it ran east to west between Winnie and High Island on Farm Road 124.

The bridge as you will remember had tenders who were on duty at all times and when a tug boat would come up the canal and blow it’s whistle, the tender would swivel the bridge and swing it parallel to the canal, permitting the boat passage.

Well this old Frenchman had a bull and the bull got sick. Pat Boyt came by that day and the farmer asked Pat to take a look at the bull. Pat inspected the bull and declared him constipated – said the bull needed an enema.

Pat told the farmer to heat some water and add a certain medicine to it. While the water was heating the men were looking for some instrument with which to inject the solution. Finally, finding nothing better, the men decided to use an old cow horn they found hanging on the wall. The horn had been carved by the farmer and used for calling his dogs.

Well the men tied the bull securely and inserted the funnel-like horn into the bull’s posterior. The farmer’s wife brought the heated solution over – and the men, unaware that the water had been heated to a boil and was still piping hot, poured the horn full of the hot water. When that hot water hit the bull’s insides, he let out a bellow, bowed his neck and broke the restraining rope as if it were spaghetti. He bolted, and in leaps and bounds, headed down the road toward the inter-coastal canal. The only thing unusual about the bull’s departure was that with each jump, he was blowing the still inserted horn loud and clear.

The bridge tender on hearing the horn blow, it sounding like a tug to him, swiveled the bridge. The bull, charging up the road, evidently figured on crossing the bridge. Too late, he found the bridge swiveled and plunged, with a splash, into the depths of the canal.

Well the old bull drowned from the canal water pouring into the open horn – and after that Pat walked easy and kept a low profile when in vicinity of the old Frenchman’s farm. He never made another diagnoses till the day he died.

Hineston Chroniclesfree online only. Google Hineston Chronicles.


In honor of the 200th birthday of Hineston this commemorative coin is made available. It should be an historic piece that reflects our memory of the place and most of all, its people —our forbearers.

When these are gone there will likely be no more. The cost including S & H is $12.50. Send to: Don C. Marler, 4209 Aspen Ct., Pineville, La. 71360

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Vol. 3, No. 2

Vol. 3 No. 2, April, 2013


Editorial                        Don Marler            1

Klansmen Invade Church            Town Talk            2

Bulletin Board                    Don Marler            3

Exercise Sagebrush                Ricky Robertson        4

My Trip To England                Carolyn Bales

What is a One Name Study            Carolyn Bales

Historic Hineston website on Facebook    Carolyn Bales

Los Adaes: The First Capitol of Texas    Phil Carrico


Who would have thought that each quarter would come around so fast? Here we are in the second quarter and the year just started. Your editor is fond of discovering unusual historical events. If you know of any that have not been covered in the Hineston Chronicles or other easily available sources please send them along. If you need assistance in writing up the story just send the basic facts and I will assist.

Thanks to all who contributed to this issue; your stories makes the Chronicles more relevant and interesting.

In the meantime enjoy the Chronicles and share them with others. Anyone with email can receive the Hineston Chronicles free by just furnishing their email address.

Don C. Marler, Editor


Klansmen Invade a Church: Chorister Seizes One’s Hood

[Editor’s note: This article is furnished courtesy of Loretta Dyess Cooley who is always on the lookout for interesting local history. It is from the Alexandria Daily Town Talk in the mid 1960s. Constable J.T. Hilton, the father of Sheriff Wm. Earl Hilton, was known to most local residents as “Tom” Hilton. Anyone have more information about this incident is invited to share it.]

A Ku Klux Klan raid on the Lone Star Baptist church at Hineston was halted Sunday night by a nervy constable who wanted to arrest the klansmen.

“It was a clear case of disturbing the peace,” Ward 5 constable J. T. Hilton said today. ”The way the people were excited in church, anything could have happened.”

The constable displayed a hood which one of the members of the choir grabbed as the men left the church. The church member reached down from the choir loft and yanked it off the man’s head. The man quickly covered his face and was not identified, Hilton said.

Hilton repelled the invasion by the 20 to 25 hooded men by insisting they had no business there and by insisting they were under arrest. One of the hooded men pulled a gun on him but turned and ran when the constable told him he was doing his duty, Hilton said.

“You’ll have to shoot me,” Hilton recalled telling the gunman, “because I am a deputy sheriff and I am putting you under arrest.”

Rev. Billy Nolan was leading the congregation of the small church in the song service when the masked men walked in, Hilton said.

Two of them were carrying a pulpit which had recently been given to a Negro church, the constable added.

Hilton said that new furniture was recently bought for the church. The old furniture and pulpit were given to an area Negro church. Some of the klansmen, believed to be from the community, apparently objected to this and decided to bring the pulpit back, Hilton said.


Mason Perry Marler, 91 passed away and was buried at Alexandria Memorial Gardens on February 1, 2013. She was the wife of James C. Marler, Sr.

John Beasley Marler, Sr. passed away on February 8th 2013. He was a leader in development of fertilizers nationwide. John lived in La., Texas and Tehran. He was buried at Mostyn Damuth Cemetery, Magnolia, Tx.

Mary Jean Swift Thomas – daughter of C.B. Swift and Clementine Howerton Swift, of Elmer, La., passed away at age 90 on 1/30/2013.

Siphronia Opal Robinson Jeane 90, passed away and services were held on 3/10/13. Burial was at Flactor Cemetery.

Bernice G. Dyess 90, passed away 2/18/13 and was buried at Calvary Cemetery at Gardner, La. He was very active in the Baptist ministry and politics in Rapides Parish all his adult life.

Reginald Leroy Pendergrass 79, passed away on 3/3/13 and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

Mitte Elsie Melder Funderburk Kay 96, passed away January 25, 2013. She was born in Rapides Parish and lived in Austin, Texas.

Sibyl Stracener Miller, 87 passed away January 29, 2013.


Rickey Robertson

In the history of the United States Army, the Great Louisiana Maneuvers of 1941 are still well remembered and many of the combat tactics learned in those maneuvers are still taught in the Command and General Staff School. The 1955 Louisiana maneuvers, known as EXERCISE SAGE BRUSH, however eclipsed this previous maneuver in one aspect; it was designed to test simulated combat conditions in an atomic war. The forces from various divisions and units camped throughout Louisiana just as their predecessors had done in 1941, in every town, village, community, and the countryside throughout Sabine Parish. Many of the battles and engagements were fought in Peason and Peason Ridge, so by capturing and holding Peason and Peason Ridge, the invading armies could fan out and attack Leesville, De Ridder, and Lake Charles.

In comparison to the Louisiana Maneuvers of 1941 where over 470,000 troops participated, EXERCISE SAGE BRUSH involved 140,000 troops; 110,000 were US Army and 30,000 US Air Force personnel. It became the largest post-World War II maneuvers conducted in the United States. Major units included the 9th Field Army (Provisional) comprised of the 1st Armored Division, 3rd Infantry Division, and a new unit to be tested–the 77th Special Forces Group. This army had as air support the 366th and 405th Fighter Bomber Wing, 345th Light Bomber Group, 363rd TAC Recon Wing, 507th TAC Air Command Group and the 11th Tactical Missile Flight. The Aggressor Forces were comprised of the XVIII Airborne Corps, 4th Armored Division, 82nd Airborne Division, and the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Air support for the Aggressor Forces included the 312th Fighter Bomber Wing, 479th Fighter Day Wing, 461st Light Bomber Wing, 363rd TAC Recon Wing, and the 507th TAC Air Command Control Wings. The residents of the maneuver area in Louisiana saw new equipment and tactics that had evolved from the previous maneuvers fourteen years earlier. Look out Louisiana, here we come!!!

EXERCISE SAGE BRUSH ran from 31 October 1955 until 15 December 1955, longer than most army training maneuvers. Its mission was to train the various units in “atomic attacks” for both the US Army and the Aggressor Forces. The maneuvers began with a simulated atomic bomb set off at Fort Polk. Residents of especially Sabine and Vernon Parishes encountered giant 280mm atomic cannons capable of firing atomic artillery shells. The new US Army H-19 helicopters used to transport troops into combat areas also fascinated them. People drove up to the camps just to look at these flying contraptions! Aggressor Forces were constantly attacking the United States forces in an attempt to defeat them. The 82nd Airborne (Aggressor Forces) hit the ground fighting and almost overran the US forces with two combat jumps landing in an area between Eagle Hill and Lyles Creek at Peason and on Peason Ridge Artillery Range.

Armored units faced heavy traffic congestion with miles long traffic jams as mechanized units attempted to attack northward. In late November 1955 to early December 1955 torrential downpours held up military and civilian traffic. People could not travel to town, to church, and school buses could not pick up or deliver students to the various schools in Sabine Parish; kids who lived at Peason and attending Plainview High School had a difficult journey each day just trying to get through the Peason-Plainview Road. If buses got stuck or could not climb the Ivy and Ed Dowden Hill people got out and pushed or army vehicles pulled them up. The severe rainfall meant US Air Force units could not provide the close air support needed by the ground units, but occasionally the jets screamed over the tree tops. There were not enough air-to-ground radio communications, and more engineer units were needed to keep roads, bridges, and culverts operational during the heavy rainfall and during the “atomic attacks”, and more transport aircraft were needed to supply airborne troops. This was the first maneuvers held since the United States had nuclear weapons and many new problems had to be worked out with locations of the new atomic artillery units and their ammunition supply and storage dumps. But all these problems were addressed during EXERCISE SAGE BRUSH and would be corrected; new equipment and the tactics learned during EXERCISE SAGE BRUSH would soon be used in a new war in a country called Vietnam.

The older folks remembered the 1941 maneuvers and the huge number of troops continuously on the move – but that was minor compared to the number of motor vehicles used during Exercise Sage Brush. The folks saw everything differently during Sage Brush. Heavy tanks replaced the early light tanks, jeeps had replaced the cavalry horses for recon duties, weapons carriers were in and out of the woodlands, bogs, and swamps, and in the air, troop carrier aircraft, jets, and helicopters filled the sky. But the scariest of all were the heavy atomic cannons. Veterans of World War II remembered the unknown certainties of the atomic bomb and here were weapons in the field that could deliver atomic projectiles onto the battlefield.

At Peason helicopters landed in many places and troops would fan out and attack their objectives. We did not know it at the time, but this was the first of the “Sky Cavalry Concept” to be tried. The lessons learned with the helicopters were used by the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam in the Ia Drang Valley very successfully.

With the roads virtually destroyed by the heavy military traffic, engineer units were in great demand. I recently interviewed retired Sgt. Major Edward Stanberry of Huntington Tx. about his days during Exercise Sagebrush. He was a young platoon sergeant in the 21st Engineer Battalion and his unit moved continuously trying to keep the road network open. At a collapsed bridge Sgt. Stanbery and his men captured an Aggressor tank. He and his unit stayed nearly two extra months after the maneuvers attempting to help rebuild the destroyed road network in the maneuver areas.

Let’s look back and thank the service members who served during Exercise Sage Brush, for they stood up for freedom during the days of the Cold War and a possible attack by Soviet Russia. These service men upheld the fighting traditions of its predecessors and let’s tell them “thank you for your service to our nation during Exercise Sage Brush”!

Below are a few pictures from the author’s collection.


Copy of an Aggressor Handbook issued to soldiers for Exercise Sage Brush in 1955. (Rickey Robertson Collection)

An Aggressor soldier camped near Peason, Louisiana during Exercise Sage Brush. Aggressor troops wore pale green vest over their uniforms and had an attachment on top of their helmets to denote them from other troops. (Rickey Robertson Collection)


Recon platoon checking out their equipment and jeeps in preparation of Exercise Sage Brush. (Rickey Robertson Collection)


Recon platoon checking out their equipment and jeeps in preparation of Exercise Sage Brush. (Rickey Robertson Collection)


Exercise Sage Brush began with a simulated atomic bomb blast at Camp Polk. The first photo shows the start of the blast and the other two show the resemblance of a real atomic explosion and mushroom cloud. (Rickey Robertson Collection)

Army campsite near Peason, Louisiana during Exercise Sage Brush with a new 1955 jeep parked in front of tent. (Rickey Robertson Collection)


Atomic Cannon set up in the field during Exercise Age Brush near Camp Polk. (Rickey Robertson Collection)


Supply dumps were scattered through the maneuver area for troops in the field during Exercise Sage Brush. (Rickey Robertson Collection)


Map showing the maneuver area in Louisiana for Exercise Sage Brush in 1995. (Rickey Robertson Collection)


A reminder of Exercise Sage Brush near Peason, Louisiana found by the author is a carved beech tree with “JWN US 5473635 1955 DETROIT MICH”. This tree and several more have been located by the author on Peason Ridge.

(Rickey Robertson Collection)






Carolyn Dyess Bales

About a month ago, I had the opportunity to travel to England with one of my cousins, Cammmie Dyess Mercer, from Alabama. She has been many times to Europe; I had never been so she took care of me and taught me how to get around.

We arrived in London and, immediately made our way to the London Metropolitan Archives. The staff was very helpful and the archives had a lot of material. We learned that their WILL Collection has been placed online.   There are more and more records being microfilmed and will be placed on the internet by the end of the summer.

Helpful URL.


Over the next several days we went to the National Archives.   Again, they were very helpful!


The last days of our trip, we attended the live “Who do you Think You Are” conference — the eighth year they have had it.  There were approximately 15,000 people attending the three-day conference; it was a great experience.


There were some things I learned that will forever help me in my research. We talked to experts wherever we went and they kept reminding us NOT to get hung up on the spelling of a surname!   There are many dialects in England and in one city, you would hear many different ones.   When people went to register at the churches, ports, registers, etc. the spelling would in a lot of cases get “mixed up” because of the different dialects – how the person spoke it and then again how the recorder heard it. In addition to that there were many who were not educated couldn’t read or write. So spellings were very subjective and mixed up!

In my DYESS name – The “Y” could most likely get spelled as an “I” and visa versa. The Dyess name could come out so many ways: Dyess, Dyes, Dyas, Dyce, Dias, Dice, Dies, Diss, Diass, Tice, Tise, etc. One has to be careful and search during a certain time periods and locations where you thought your ancestor came from.

We gained quite a bit of information and connected a few dots; but we came back with more questions than answers.  One thing for sure, we will have to return after we get our material organized.

It is all very exciting!!!

Carolyn Dyess Bales

Guild Of One Name Studies #5916

– Regional Guild Representative for Delta Region

– DYESS One Name Study — BONNETTE One Name Study

– DNA Administrator – Surnames: DYESS — BONNETTE — McILWAIN — ROUGEOU

– PHONES: 318.792.8426(AT&T)~ 989.820.1212(Verizon)~ 318.787.6205(Home)

– Alexandria, Louisiana USA


Carolyn Dyess Bales

After hearing about the One-Name Study for several years, about three years ago, I joined the Guild of the One-Name Study.  

I have been doing genealogy research for many years – beginning in 1996. At that time, I had no clue what to do, where to go; how to collect, record, organize and retrieve my material. The list of questions was long.

Anyone doing this research knows there are some common names that just “fall into our lines”. In my Dyess (all spellings) research, I have a ton of:

John Dyess (all spellings)

William Dyess (all spellings)

George Dyess (all spellings)

And, the list goes on!

For example, take all the John Dyess (Dyes, Dyas, Dyos, Dice, Dias, Dyce, Diss, Diass) etc. – how was I going to put the right one in the right tree / branch / etc.? Out of sheer frustration, I knew I had to do something!   Otherwise, I was just plowing the same field over and over – trying to match the right relatives!   That is one of many reasons I joined the One Name Study!

So what is this One-Name Study?

A One-Name Study involves research into the genealogy and family history of all persons with the same surname and its variants.

The Guild is the world’s leading genealogical organization for one-name studies with over 2,500 members worldwide, studying over 8,000 surnames.

I joined and registered two of my surnames:

Dyess (all spellings)

Bonnette (all spellings)

What does the Membership offer you?

*     I have been appointed as the Regional Guild Representative for Delta Region – that is for our area.   I would help you get started in whatever research you wanted to pursue.   So what does the membership offer you?

*    A Handbook to help you get started.

*    Our website – http://www.one-name.org whose member-only features include our:

    —    Guild Marriage, probate and Scottish indexes

    —    Guild Archive for storing digital data

    —    Wiki-style knowledge base

    —    And – much more

*    Member’s own web page (a Profile)

*    The award winning Journal of One Name Studies every quarter.

*    A Guild Forum – A global email discussion group where members can get questions answered by others.  Plus early news of new data sources.

*    A DNA advice and support service available to members doing DNA testing within the wider context of a one-name study.

*    Our unique Marriage Challenges – some members volunteer to find marriages in specific parish registers (UK).

*    Mentors to help and advise new and inexperienced members.

*    Discounts on “FindMyPast; Vouchers; TheGenealogist; Lost Cousins; and, MyHeritage.

*    If you register a name, your one-name study will be included in our public Register; http://www.one-name.org/register.html

But above all, as a member you have the opportunity to receive support and learn from others engaged in this field of genealogy.


Go to:  http://www.one=name.org/guildhowjoin.html

The Guild welcomes as members all who have an interest in one-name studies.   It is not necessary to register a study name in order to join.    The joining subscription is on a sliding scale, depending on the month of application, and will cover up to 23 months until the renewal date of 1st November.  Membership renewal is $23 each year or $25 if a printed register is required.





If you have any questions, please feel free to call me (318-792-8426)

Email me:   CarolynDyessBales@yahoo.com

FaceBook ID:   CarolynDyessBales / Carolyn Dyess Bales

I am also on Google+Circles, Twitter, Printest, Instrgram, etc.

Carolyn Dyess Bales

Guild Of One Name Studies #5916

– Regional Guild Representative for Delta Region

– DYESS One Name Study — BONNETTE One Name Study

– DNA Administrator – Surnames: DYESS — BONNETTE — McILWAIN — ROUGEOU

-PHONES: 318.792.8426(AT&T) ~ 989.820.1212(Verizon)~ 318.787.6205(Home)

– Alexandria, Louisiana USA


Carolyn Dyess Bales

For anyone who is on FaceBook – there is a GREAT site on it called Historic Hineston.

The site was established at the beginning of the 200 year birthday Celebration for Hineston.  It proved to be such a great site, it was renamed to Historic Hineston and it has grown in membership. Currently the membership is about 625 members.

There has been great discussion.  Wonderful pictures have been posted.   Cousin connections have been made.

We also use the site to announce reunions, deaths, etc. etc.

To join the site, please go to the following URL and just request to join.


PHONE: 318.792.8426

Los Adaes: The First Capitol of Texas

Phil Carrico

Artist’s conception of the Mission at Los Adaes, over looking the fort.

Shrouded in the mystery of bygone times and half-forgotten legends the ancient Spanish fort of Los Adaes has returned to dust. Sitting placidly under the pine trees in western Louisiana she is forgotten and forlorn. (Recent information confirms the fact that the State of Louisiana is currently spending money on the old fort and bringing it back to prominence).

However, for half a century, from 1721 until 1773 the Spanish providence of Texas was governed from Los Adaes. The old site sits one mile outside today’s town of Robeline, Louisiana, and sparks the interest of only a few brave souls.

Spain’s first attempt at solidifying the eastern borders of Texas was in 1690 with the Alonzo de Leon expedition, who left missionaries among the East Texas Indians. However, it was 1716 before they stationed troops and built a fort there. The Spanish established missions and a fort among the Caddo Tribes, between the Trinity and Red Rivers. However, after struggling for several years without proper funding, manpower or supplies, the troops were withdrawn in 1719. The eastern border of Spanish Texas went unpatrolled for the years between 1719 and 1721. During these years, the French from Louisiana had a free hand in encroachment into Spanish Texas.

Determined to check the French encroachment, a wealthy Spanish nobleman, the Marquis de Aquayo, paid for and led an expedition back to the land of the Caddo. In 1721 Aquayo re-established the abandoned missions and built the fort that he grandly christened, Presidio Nustra Senora del Pilar de Los Adaes.

Los Adaes was located and built from a military perspective. It had good fields of fire, cannon and a moat. The stockade had been made of three thousand sharpened cedar and oak logs two feet thick and eight feet high. Inside the fort were a chapel, governor’s house, barracks, mess hall and storerooms. Outside, were 30 or more houses where the married soldiers and their families lived and a mission stood on a hill near by. The construction technique of Los Adaes was borrowed from the French and called “bousillage”. It consisted of plastering the frame of the buildings with a plastering substance made from clay and moss.

Of the hundred or so soldiers originally stationed at Los Adaes, most were Mestizos of Spanish and Indian blood. However, half a century of intermarriage on this frontier produced other mixed-blood castes such as “Coyotes”, whose parentage was Mestizo and French. (A French fort lay some 20 miles away). “Lobos” was another caste arising at Los Adaes, the product of unions between Indian and black slaves. These half-savage Spaniards holding this edge of Spanish Texas were so far from any source of supply that uniforms could not be replaced, and as a result, one of the legends of Los Adaes was born. The soldiers of this fort began making their own uniforms, and according to the reports of visitors, the fantastic manner of dress was widely discussed and mentioned in all the existing journals.

The Mestizos, Lobos and Coyotes of Los Adaes were far removed from the pureblood hidalgos of the interior provinces. However, it was their job to hold the line against French encroachment. In reality the Spanish could not have survived without the trade that flourished with the near-by French. Although all interactions with the French were illegal, in fact, even intermarriage took place. Once when the near by French fort, St. Jean Baptiste, was under attack by Natchez Indians, the Spanish soldiers of Los Adaes rushed to its defense.

When the French ceded Louisiana to Spain at the treaty of Paris in 1773, the strategic importance of Los Adaes evaporated. Soon after, the soldier/citizens of Los Adaes were notified that they had five days to pack up and leave. Without time to round up their livestock or bring in their crops, they were sent west on a three-month trek to the new capital of San Antonio de Bexar.

Most of the people living at Los Adaes at this time had been born and raised in the settlement, and the eviction order expelled them from the only home they had ever known. Some of the Adaesenos disappeared into the forest, others refused to leave their houses and had to be driven out by mounted officers. Those who made the long march west suffered terribly from hunger and disease. The homesick survivors never adjusted to their new location and after a year of petitions to the government, they were finally allowed to move back to their homeland.

These Adaesenos founded a town on the Trinity River, (believed by some researchers to be in what is now Liberty County), called Bucareli. The town failed after a few years and most of the refugees finally ended up around Nacogdoches.

During this time Los Adaes was crumbling and soon forgotten. As the maps were drawn and redrawn, Texas receded from its former capital like a tide and finally, Los Adaes found itself high and dry in Louisiana.

Today, up along the Sabine, if you pull into St. Anne’s cemetery at Spanish Lake and read the names on the tombstones, you will find: Flores, Solice, Canales, Bustamente, Rosales and Gomez. These names represent former Adaesenos who had filtered back to their land of birth and re-established a pocket of Hispanic influence. I’m informed that along that part of the border, in both Texas and Louisiana, you can still, even today, find the best tamales in the world.


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Vol. 3. No. 1

INDEX Vol. 3. No. 1         January, 2013

Title                        Author

Editorial                    Don C. Marler

Bulletin Board

German POW’S In Liberty County    Phil Carrico

The Passing Of The Backhouse James Whitcomb Riley

The Founding of Camp Polk    Don C. Marler

A Lost School

Hineston Commemorative Coins

Hineston Chronicles


Don C. Marler

In the last issue you were introduced to the Family Heritage Association and to the Commander of Ft. Polk, Brig. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn. How quickly things change. General Chinn is now on his way to Afghanistan and Brig. Gen. William B. Hickman is the new commander of Ft. Polk.

General Hickman enunciated his continuing support for strengthening the relationship that exists between Ft. Polk and its civilian neighbors and the state of Louisiana.

Your attention is directed to the new work done on the Self/ Cavanaugh Cemetery at Ft. Polk that is included in this issue of the Hineston Chronicles. It is an example of the good work Ft. Polk is doing to preserve the heritage resources on its property.

*See the article by Chuck Cannon, Editor of the Guardian. Google the Ft. Polk Guardian.


Self/Cavanaugh Cemetery


Velva J. Powell, 88, long time resident of Hineston and wife of Louie C. Powell passed away on 11/26/12. The Powells lived at Hineston until they moved to Alexandria in 1984. Velva worked for the US Postal Service at Long Leaf and she taught school at Oak Hill.

Kenneth E. Robinson, 68, passed away on November 29, 2012. He was a well known resident of the New Hope/Calcasieu community.

James R. Chaffin, 56, of Elmer, La., passed away at Minden, La. on November 26, 2012.

Mandy Golemon, 87 of Hineston, passed away on January 2, 2013.

Lyman Leroy Marler, 72, of Tioga , passed away November 24, 2012.


For information on Ft. Polk, Google — Polkhistory.org







In Liberty County, Tx. in 1943, citizens were feeling the crunch of rationing. “Mairzy Doats” was tops on the record charts, getting tires was impossible and gasoline was money from heaven. As bad as things were, the thing that hurt most was the lack of labor to harvest the crops. Getting German prisoners of war (POW) labor had saved some crops in this part of the state, but getting them to Liberty was the problem. Bureaucratic debate among the various departments, concerning the POWs was so fierce that the issue was held up for months while crops, already overdue for harvest, began to rot in the fields.


Finally, in the fall of 1943, the groups hammered out directives that outlined rules for the use of POW labor. The Liberty County farmers led by county agricultural agent, Gordon Hart had been fighting the paper battle with the Beaumont Manpower Board for months trying to get POW labor. The manpower board was under Mr. Ezell, who was gonna go by the book, dot every i and demand every piece of paperwork suggested by the paper-pushers in Washington. About this time, according to agent Hart, a rice farm-labor committee was formed. The committee was composed of J.M. Rich, Jimmy Trousdale, M.E. Peterson, Pat Boyt and J.F. Clark.

Right away, with Hart’s assistance, members of this committee got Mr. Ezell to accompany them to Huntsville. Thousands of POWs were interned there and if the paperwork could be straightened out the POWs could go to the fields immediately.

Hart said that once the U.S. Army colonel in charge of all the prisoners heard that crops were rotting in the fields, he leveled on Mr.Ezell and told him that nobody but a traitor would let American crops rot in the fields over dumb paperwork. The committee left Huntsville with the promise of immediate assistance. Good as their word, the army was at the county agent’s office in Liberty the next day to sign contracts for each farmer who needed labor.

Sometime earlier, the directors of the Trinity Valley Exposition had voted to allow the POW contingent to be housed at the fairgrounds. The grounds were located south of Liberty on the Wallisville road. The initial contingent of POWs would prepare the camp for the larger group that followed. On Monday, October 4, 1943, 140 German POWs arrived in big army trucks in the city of Liberty. These young Germans would add yet another legend to the city sitting on the wild wild Trinity.

With the arrival of the POWs, after an initial burst of curiosity, the citizens settled down to the tasks at hand and accepted the situation. However, in the homes where a golden star was in the window, the pill was a little harder to swallow.

These combat-hardened veterans of Rommel’s elite Afrika Korps were the German legions who had fought across North Africa. Now the great battles were over – Gazala, El Alamein, Tobruk and Kasserine Pass were just dusty


memories. The combined power of the U.S. and British forces had finally defeated the “Desert Fox” and his troopers had been forced to surrender by the thousands. These troops, still wearing their desert khaki uniforms, were the first German POWs to arrive in the United States.

Before the war ended, more than 400,000 enemy captives would be scattered in 511 camps about the nation. German troops who were interned in Texas numbered 78,982. They were placed in 120 camps scattered across the state. The nearest base-camp to Liberty was Huntsville.

Italian POWs were also held in Texas; 2,580 were interned at Hereford and smaller groups were scattered near Amarillo, Big Springs, Dalhart, Dumas, and Lubbock. Of the 4,242 Japanese POWs held in the U.S., 560 were in Kennedy, 323 in Hearne and 182 in Huntsville.

It is agreed the U.S. made a massive mistake when interning German POWs into U.S. mainland camps. The fact that “die-hard” Nazis were not separated from anti-Nazis led to beatings and deaths in every camp throughout the system. The German non-commissioned officers, who would actually run most of the camps, were almost all die-hard Nazis.

A special camp for Nazis was finally set up in Alva, Ok. However, a POW must be proven guilty of a political crime before being sent there. The murderers, rapists and other criminal types were sent to the federal prison in Levenworth, Ks.

Local farmers actually contracted for 625 POWs that first season. However, agent Hart suggests that there was as many as 800 POWs in Liberty during the height of the rice harvest of ’43.

U.S. Army guards who accompanied the POWs were normally older men or those unfit for combat for some reason. The number of guards at Liberty never exceeded 125. The camp commander for the first contingent was Capt. J.E. Crawford. However, the camp command changed quite frequently during the three years the camp was open.

The contract-labor system, as it worked for POWs went like this: The farmers would come into the POW camp and sign for the number of laborers needed. On signing the contract, he was agreeing to pay $2.15 per prisoner


per day. Of that amount, the prisoner was given 80 cents (in PX coupons) and the remainder went to the federal treasury. The farmer also had the responsibility of transporting the prisoners. It has been said that the rice crops of 1943, which were vital at that time, would have rotted in the fields without the labor of the POWs. Impact made by the POWs nationwide, just in agriculture, was 90, 629,233 man hours of labor between mid ’43 and December, ’45 which further breaks down to $130 million paid into federal coffers from this effort.

In Liberty County, the men in Hitler’s master race seemed just like any other young man harvesting rice. The locals watched, with interest, the games the Germans played during idle time. Soccer was played with great enthusiasm. However, the game was looked upon as foreign by most Liberty countians.

I have spoken to several old-timers who say that those POWs set the best table on either side of the Trinity. People would go to great lengths to get an invite to eat at the camp. The prisoners entertained themselves by singing and playing games. In the larger camps, they had libraries and even college courses.

In Liberty, every weekend was show time. Most weekends, a troop of German thespians would come down from the big camp in Huntsville. They would put on skits, play music from a variety of instruments and sing. The farmers who contracted the labor, along with their families, were always invited to these shindigs.

Many people from the city of Liberty went to see the Christmas show put on in the camp’s big hall in December of ’43. Jake Smyth, who published the Vindicator at that time, attended this event, and told me it was an outstanding show.

On finishing the rice harvest of ’43 the Germans were gradually being sent back to Huntsville when a delegation from the lumber industry put forth a request for labor. During the early spring and summer of 1944, the POWs did a variety of jobs in and around Liberty County. I’m told that POWs cleared the land for Fairlawn Memorial Cemetery on the Wallisville road. I’m also told that a building contractor from Baytown hired a number of prisoners to build houses during the summer.


I was 14 years old in the summer of ’44 and I remember German prisoners coming close to my house in Hull to build a sawmill. The thing that bugged me about the whole thing was all the young girls of the town, sitting around watching those prisoners and giggling.

POWs harvested rice again during the fall of ’44. However, by this time a few combines were making their appearance in Liberty County and not as many prisoners were needed. A few prisoners stayed on after the harvest and worked at other jobs into 1945. One source indicated that 65 POWs were brought out from camp Polk, La. rather than from Huntsville. (Agent Hart denies this; said all POWs who were in Liberty came out of Huntsville).

In the entire state of Texas, where almost 100,000 German prisoners were interned, there were less than two dozen escape attempts – none successful. There was one sad incident with the Liberty contingent during the summer of ’44. A POW gang was clearing some timber in the area north of Dayton. A young German just laid down his axe and began walking up the road. The guard, after yelling halt three times, shot the prisoner.

In my search to find Liberty countians who knew something about this period, I found that most everybody during that time was either in the South Pacific or Europe. I’m quite sure these POWs were thankful for slapping mosquitoes on the Trinity rather than dodging Yankee lead on the Rhine. I found one fellow in Liberty, Norman Oglesby, who had been a train guard transporting the prisoners from east coast ports to various camps in Texas. Norman related several funny stories about his experiences.

Most Liberty countians will remember old Dr. Delaney. Doc was the official medical officer for the Liberty POWs. He got closer to the prisoners on a one-on-one basis than anyone else. After repatriation, Doc still corresponded with and received correspondence from prisoners who had stayed at Liberty during the war. (One such letter is on file at the Sam Houston Research Center).

I had all but given up finding any photos of the German POWs in Liberty County, when the East Liberty County Historical Society alerted me to the Raywood rice farmers. I talked at length with D.L Moss and George Stansbury and their wives. Both families were Raywood rice farmers during the ’40s and both contracted POW labor.


One of the more interesting stories told by these two was about the fascination the Germans had with water moccasin snakes that were in all the rice fields. It was not unusual, they said, to look up and see a POW walk by with a dead snake around his neck and four more dangling from his belt. I had heard of the fascination over snakes from several other sources. However, these Raywood rice farmers had pictures to prove it.

Repatriation started in November of 1945. The prisoners, having been drawn in from the satellite camps, were placed in large base-camps, and then aboard trains for the East Coast. Prisoners were being shipped home at the rate of 50,000 per month. There is some reason to believe that some of these prisoners were retained in Britain and France to help rebuild. The final boatload of 1,386 German POWs left New York Harbor July 22, 1946.

Although the echo of their passing grows more faint with every passing year, the city on the Trinity will not forget….


James Whitcomb Riley

When memory keeps me company and moves to smiles or tears,

A weather-beaten object looms through the mist of years.

Behind the house and barn it stood, a half a mile or more,

And hurrying feet a path had made up to its swinging door.

Its architecture was a type of simple classic art,

But in the tragedy of life it played a leading part.

And oft the passing traveler drove slow and heaved a sigh,

To see the modest hired girl slip out with glances shy.

We had our posey garden that the women loved so well,

I loved it too, but better still I loved the stronger smell.

That filled the evening breeze so full of homely cheer,

And told the night o’ertaken tramp that human life was near.

On august afternoons, it made a little bower

Delightful, where my grandsire sat and whiled away an hour.


For here the Summer morning its very cares entwined,

And berry bushes reddened in the steaming soil behind.

All day fat spiders spun their webs to catch the buzzing flies

That flitted to and from the house, where ma was baking pies.

And once a swarm of hornets bold had built a palace there,

And stung my unsuspecting aunt—I must not tell you where.

Then father took a flaming pole—that was a happy day—

He nearly burned the building up—the hornets left to stay.

When Summer’s bloom began to fade and Winter to carouse,

W banked the little building with a heap of hemlock boughs.

But when the crust was on the snow and sullen skies were gray

In sooth the building was no place where one could wish to stay,

We did our duties promptly, there one purpose swayed the mind;

We tarried not, nor lingered long on what we left behind.

The torture of that icy seat would make a Spartan sob,

For needs must scrape the gooseflesh with a lacerating cob.

That from a frost-encrusted nail did dangle by a string—

My father was a frugal man and wanted not a thing.

When grandpa had “to go out back” and make his morning call,

We’d bundle up the dear old man with a muffle and a shawl.

I knew the hole on which he sat—t’was padded all around,

And once I dared to sit there—t’was all too wide I found.

My loins were all too little, and I jack-knifed there to stay.

They had to come and get me out, or I’d have passed away.

Then father said ambition was a thing that boys should shun,

And I just used the children’s hole ’till childhood days were done.

And still I marvel at the craft that cut those holes so true,

The baby hole, and the slender hole that fitted sister Sue.

That dear old country landmark; — I’ve tramped around a bit,

And in the lap of luxury my lot has been to sit,

But ere I die I’ll eat of the fruit of trees I robbed of your,

Then seek the shanty where my name is carved upon the door.

I ween the old familiar smell will soothe my jaded soul,

I’m now a man, but, none the less, I’ll try the children’s hole.


The Founding of Camp Polk *

June, 1996

Don C. Marler

From the 1890’s to the early 1900’s more than a score of large companies purchased huge tracts of timberland in the Neutral Zone of western Louisiana. They began cutting the timber in the 1890’s and were “cutout” by the 1930’s. Replanting the cut over land was not a common practice until near the end of the lumbering activities. When the cutting was done the companies had little interest in the land and paying taxes on it was a burden that they wished to avoid. Therefore, they sold large tracts of this land to the US Forest Service.1 Since most of the land was owned by these large companies and the U.S. Forest Service, civilian inhabitants were sparse when the need for land for military training was at hand in 1939-40.

The area of central and west Louisiana in 1939 was an “open range” which meant that livestock ran free. There were few fences and those which did exist enclosed small farms keeping animals out rather than in. Even the highways were unfenced allowing farm animals access to them. Farmers believed that burning the range was beneficial to the livestock so each year, during the winter, a portion of the range was burned. The effect of this practice was to keep down growth of underbrush and to keep beneficial timber from regenerating. Consequently the land was barren except for isolated timber areas, strips of timber along creeks, green grass and the black stumps of the mighty trees that had been clear cut. In 1939 one could see little but black stumps for miles. The view was not unlike that of a battlefield.

From 1806 to 1821, during which time the area was declared a Neutral Zone by Spain and the United States, it was viewed by the government as a wild untamed area. In the early years outlaws living or operating in the area out-numbered the law abiding citizens. John Quincy Adams called it the backdoor to the United States because it was the entry point for contraband


goods and slaves into the country. The area was alternately tolerated and exploited as a staging area for filibusters into Spanish owned Texas. Indeed the Headquarters of the U.S. Army was located at Natchitoches. Thus, the precedent for using the area as a training and staging area for war was set long before the world events of 1940.

In 1935 the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), which was administered by the U.S. Army and other branches of government, established Camp 5405 (Camp Vernon) on US Forest Service land at the site of what is now Fort Polk. The unit, made up largely of young men from Georgia, began immediately clearing the stumps from the site and erecting buildings for the CCC Camp. The objective of the Camp was to reforest the 110,000 acres of land owned by the US Forest Service.2 Camp Polk was established at this CCC site and one of the original CCC buildings (used during WWII as Headquarters #2 and known today as the log cabin) is still in use at Fort Polk. 3

In 1939, with the successes of Hitler’s army, it became clear to the national leaders that the United States would eventually be pulled into the war. Hitler’s army was fighting a different styled war. His tactics involved fast moving mechanized units that covered large areas. The United States Army was not prepared for such warfare and the need for large scale training maneuvers to prepare for it was pressing. The western portion of Louisiana and part of east Texas was chosen in 1939 for the largest maneuvers ever held in the United States. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower scouted the Sabine area in search of a training site. The Sabine area was chosen because the population was sparse, the lumber companies had already disturbed the land, and the land was relatively unproductive. The Army needed an area where damage claims could be kept to a minimum. The maneuvers began in May 1940.4

The Sabine area provided the Army ample opportunity to test its equipment and manpower. A variety of terrain and weather conditions confronted the troops during the maneuvers. They encountered rivers, bogs, hills, sand, clay, heavy river bottom (gumbo) mud, timbered land and open land. They experienced heavy rainfall and hot weather. The participants in the maneuvers recognized that the area was a good training ground. At the end of the 1940 maneuvers officers in charge were favorably impressed. For


examples, Lt. General Stanley Embrick thanked the populace for their “unfailing courtesy” toward the Army during the maneuvers and declared the training area “ideal”. General George Marshall declared the training area “the finest he had ever seen.”5 Thus, the maneuvers no doubt had a positive influence on future decisions regarding location of a permanent camp.At the state and local level many people were instrumental in bringing Camp Polk to the area. Among those officials who were instrumental were the following: the Governor of Louisiana in 1939-40 was Sam Jones, the U.S. Senators were John Overton and Allen Ellender, A. Leonard Allen was the U.S. Congressman from the Eighth Congressional District, where most of the maneuvers were held, and Jean M. King was Mayor of Leesville.

Senator Ellender was a supporter of President Roosevelt. Nevertheless, he did not favor America entering the war. He was, therefore, not active in bringing Camp Polk into existence. Once the war started, however, he gave his support to the war effort.6 Senator Overton wanted the facility to be established near Alexandria where he resided. Governor Jones wanted the training camp as near as possible to his home area (Merryville/DeRidder) and worked tirelessly to get it established there. He made numerous trips to Washington in the summer of 1940 and met with President Roosevelt and other officials. Rep. Allen extolled the virtues of the Sabine area and promised that more troops would come to the area for training.7

Jean King appointed committees to work with the military officials in preparing the way for the Camp. The Leesville Leader reported on October 3, 1940 that:

    “… Saturday, the labors of the Vernon Parish Committee for     Cooperation with Defense and Military Training seemed to show     results. At 4:30 p.m. that afternoon a meeting of the committee was     called and meeting with them were Major C. E. Morrison and Lieut.     A.G. Sage, representing the army. Major Morrison, with detailed     maps of the area needed, explained what was expected of the local     body in order that the camp might be located in this parish, that is,     leases on certain lands. He gave to the committee the names of the     land owners, land description and acreage of each tract desired, He,     (sic) also explained, that the army would like to have these leases     handed in by the end of this week. After the meeting the committee


began at once securing options on the desired lands. All day Sunday     the committee worked, and with the cooperation of clerk of court,     Jack Hadnot and his force, they were able to turn over to the army Monday afternoon, title to the lands needed for a camp sight, (sic) bringing Vernon parish the first army camp in its history.8

No doubt the committee was encouraged by the fact that construction of Camp Claiborne, in Rapides Parish, had already begun on September 3, 1940. Troops began arriving at Claiborne in December 1940.9 Earlier in the year Governor Jones had named a State Defense Council to work with the National Defense Council on the nations defense problems.10

On the last day of the maneuvers a top level meeting was held to which Major General Lynch, Chief of the Infantry and Major General John Herr, Chief of the Cavalry, were not invited. They were not invited because the group intended to recommend that both branches were to be excluded from any role in developing the future of mechanized warfare. That responsibility was to go to a new organization — The Armored Force.11 Brigadier General Adna Chaffee was appointed as the Chief of the new Armored Force.12

The announcement that the new Camp Polk was to be located six miles south of Leesville was made on September 28,1940.13

Brigadier General Chaffee selected the general site for the new camp. Chaffee recommended that the camp should be located in the “Beauregard Area”.14

It is difficult to establish who decided that the CCC Camp (Camp Vernon-5405) would be the specific location of the new military camp. One flamboyant story concerns a local railroad man arranging for Col. Eisenhower to visit and reconnoiter the area. Mr. Gary Moore, Sr. wrote that in 1940 his grandfather Marvin Arthur Beaver, contacted Eisenhower in Washington, D.C. about reconnoitering the Vernon/Beauregard area. Mr. Beaver worked for Kansas City Southern Railroad and contacted the company Headquarters to request the use of its special “Presidential Car” to bring Col. Eisenhower to Louisiana for a tour of the area. The “KaySee” car, the epitome of luxury on the rails, was available and “Ike” was brought to the area. According to the published story, J.A. Porter loaned two horses and


Mr. Beaver and Eisenhower rode over the area where Ft. Polk is now located.15 There were, however, at least seven persons in the riding party including: M.A. Beaver, J. A. Porter, Mayor Jean M. King, Col. Eisenhower and other military officers.16 Certainly Col. Eisenhower had been involved in locating the site for the 1940 maneuvers, and it was logical for him to select the specific location for the camp in the “Beauregard Area” as General Chaffee had recommended. The general orders for creation of Camp Polk were issued on January 10, 1941.


1     W.T. Block, Early Sawmill Towns of the Louisiana-Texas     Borderlands (Woodville: Dogwood Press, 1996), p. 169.

2    Official Annual of District “E”: Fourth Corps Area, CCC, 1935, pp.     62-63.

3    Interview with Vernon parish historian, Martha Palmer, March     1996.     Ms. Palmer provided many of the documents related to the     development of Camp Polk cited here.

4    C.E. Cantley and J.R. Kern, Cultural Resources Evaluations Fort     Polk, Louisiana (Jackson, Michigan Gilbert/ Commonwealth, 1984),     p. 270.

    Nick Pollacia, Jr., “The Third Army Maneuvers, May, 1940: The     First Of The Great Louisiana Maneuvers,” Thesis Northwestern     State University, 1994.

    Beauregard Daily News and Leesville Leader “50 Years: The Army     and Louisiana,” 8 December,1989.

5.     “Marshall Says U.S. Better Prepared Than Ever Before”. Alexandria     Daily Town Talk, 14 Aug. 1940; Lieut. Gen. Embrick Thanks     Lampkin for City’s Cooperation”, Alexandria Daily Town Talk, 29     May 1940 (Lamkin was the Mayor of Alexandria); “Maneuver Area     ‘Ideal’, Asserts General Stanley”, Times Picayune, 13 May 1940.


6    Thomas A. Becnel, Senator Allen Ellender of Louisiana: A     Biography (Baton Rouge, LSU Press,1995).

7.    “Allen Talks on Maneuvers”, Alexandria Daily Town Talk, 13 June     1940.

    States Times, “Jones Will Fly To Washington To Confer with     Roosevelt and Other Officials On Many Matters,” 1 June, 1940.

    States Times , “Jones Expects State to Share In Defense Plans:     Governor Back from Washington Tells of Conferences,” 6 June     1940.

    The Shreveport Times , February, 2 1942, reported that Gov. Sam     Jones began in WWI as an enlisted man and was promoted to 2nd Lt.     By the time of this report he was a Major in the Infantry Reserve. He     was also an active member of the American Legion.

8.     Leesville Leader, 3 October, 1940.

9.     Concerning Claiborne, nd compiled by the Public Relations Office.

10.    States Times, 16 June, 1940.

11.    Mildred Hanson Gillie, Forging the Thunderbolt (Harrisburg, Pa.:     The Military Service Publishing Company, 1947), pp. 163-4 as     cited     by Nick Pollacia, Jr., “The Third Army Maneuvers, May, 1940:     The     First Of The Great Louisiana Maneuvers,” Thesis     Northwestern State     University, 1994., p. 136.

12.    Op. cit. Pollacia, p. 137.

13.    Alexandria Daily Town Talk, “Site For Armored Division Sought”,     28 September, 1940.

14.    Gillie, Forging The Thunderbolt, p. 189 as cited by Pollacia p. 148.

15.    Leesville Leader, “Fancy Rail Car for Ike Helped get Fort Polk”, 31     May, 1990.


16.    Telephone interview with Martha Palmer 4/96.

  • Presented at the History of Fort Polk Seminar June 7, 2000 at Fort Polk.

A Lost School

Ms. Bessie Monk once told the editor’s mother, Bertha Dyess Marler, that there was for a short time a school north/north west of the current Oak Hill High School. It was less than a mile away and she did not remember its name. She said that William Powell and Waver Perry were two students there. My mother did not recall if Bessie was also a student there but thought she was. Anyone with information about this lost school please contact us.


In honor of the 200th birthday of Hineston this commemorative coin is made available. It should be an historic piece that reflects our memory of the place and most of all, its people —our forbearers.

When these are gone there will likely be no more. The cost including S & H is $12.50. Send to: Don C. Marler, 4209 Aspen Ct., Pineville, La. 71360



The Chronicles are available free, but they are ONLINE only.

To get a notice of each publication please send your email address to the editor at: doncmarler@gmail.com

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Vol. 2 No. 4

Don C. Marler

We are ending the 2nd year of publication of the Hineston Chronicles, a quarterly journal in electronic format only. The Chronicles are about more than just Hineston; the intent is to include the broader area of small communities.

In this issue we will get a glimpse of Ft. Polk that has had an impact, both positive and negative, on many families in the area. The negative was the disruptive effect of having homes, property and way of life permanently altered in the early 1940s when the military needed land for its training activities. And after the foreign hostilities ended there was neglect and disregard of cemeteries, home-sites and other cultural resources. In the last decade this has all changed for the better.

Perhaps better than any other such facility in the country Ft. Polk is trying to assist in healing the wounds of those past painful experiences. In October we attended the 6th annual Heritage Day; a gathering of Heritage Families and descendants of these families. Staff and military personnel of Ft. Polk hosted us. The event was actually a two-day event with the second day reserved primarily for tours (guided and unguided) of cemeteries and home sites.

In October there was also a meeting of the newly created Heritage Family Association. This is a non-profit group whose main purpose is to work with Ft. Polk personnel in preserving the heritage and cultural resources at Ft. Polk.

The Fort Polk enterprise involves tens of thousands of acres of land in its immediate vicinity and on Peason Ridge in Natchitoches Parish. The land is owned by both Ft. Polk and the U.S. National Forest Service.

Of keen interest to Heritage Families are the 19 cemeteries located on the reservation. These cemeteries are now fenced and maintained by Fort Polk. The old home sites are also of interest to displaced families.

The new association will be involved in the decisions made regarding these cultural resources as well as the relationship between the broader community and Ft. Polk leadership and personnel. The fort commander and his able staff led by Mr. Charles Stagg, encouraged and facilitated the creation of the Heritage Family Association.

The association is in the formative stages and all interested parties are invited and encouraged to participate in its activities and to take advantage of the resources and opportunities made available through it. Mr. Gene Haymon, a lifelong resident of the area and retired businessman is the first chairman of the association’s board of directors. He will need our assistance and cooperation; what he and the new board does now will affect the future relations of Heritage Family members and Ft. Polk and the cultural resources of which it is custodian.

Elsewhere in this issue you will find sources you can access for more information and how to join the new association.


Hello! My name is Gene Haymon and I am the newly elected president of the Heritage Family Association. This past weekend in conjunction with Ft. Polk personnel and the Heritage Family Association, the families and their descendants who lost their homes and land in the early 1940’s with the building of Camp Polk, were again recognized and honored for the great sacrifices made for God and country!! On a very cool October weekend those present met for the 6th annual celebration, ceremony and reunion.

New this year, however, was the introduction of the Heritage Family Association. The idea of recognizing all the families that lived on the lands now occupied by Fort Polk, started with the military and over the past six years the officials at Ft. Polk, beginning with the Commanding General, recognized that in order for the celebrations to grow and prosper a non-profit organization was needed to serve as a vehicle through which more people could become involved in helping to build a complete footprint of each and every family’s sacrifice and to preserve the heritage and cultural resources that are so bountiful on the 1000’s of acres now owned and used by the United States Army in Central Louisiana, including land in the Leesville vicinity and Peason Ridge.

The U.S. government is in process of acquiring another 100,000 acres at the present time and as those lands are purchased, more families will become members of the Heritage Families of Fort Polk. The association will be involved in capturing and preserving the cultural and heritage resources of this new acquisition. The new association will be the perpetual and unified voice for the affected families as they express their desires and needs regarding cemeteries, schools, home sites, churches and other historic sites on lands owned and used by Ft. Polk.

I want to thank Mr. Don Marler and the Hineston Chronicles for providing me this opportunity to invite anyone who is interested in preserving the culture of Louisiana families to become a member and get actively involved in helping us grow this organization. There is room for anyone who wants to work with one of the ten committees that are presently being formed. Our desire is that when we meet again in 2013 for “Heritage Day” weekend at Ft. Polk, not only will you be in attendance you will be actively involved in helping to build this great organization. I leave you with this quote, author unknown: “How will our children know who they are if they do not know where they came from.”

You may contact me at: 337 353 1080 or email: ghaymon@dishmail.net

A membership application follows at the bottom of these choronicles; please join us for a satisfying adventure.


This annual event, designed to afford opportunity for Ft. Polk Heritage Families and their descendants to share memories and visit the sites the residences of ancestors, was again a great success. The meeting was, as usual, held at the base chapel where the cultural resources staff is housed. The first day is filled with programmed activities at the chapel and the second day is reserved for tours to the various cemeteries and home sites.

Tables are provided for display of family artifacts, selling of books and memorabilia, sharing genealogical information. Wonderful food and fellowship is the highlight along with music and reenactments. Military personnel are eager to assist in parking and carrying items to the meeting area if needed. There is NO CHARGE for these amenities.

At the recognition ceremony

Faye Swain Paolino in the wheel chair. Behind her in the camouflage uniform is the Ft. Commander. Note display tables.

Domestic horses gone wild near the Smith-Maddox Cemetery

Large Live Oak Tree at the Old Jerry Smith home place.

Smith/Maddox Cemetery

Smith/Maddox Cemetery

Note: The cemetery photos were taken about 3 weeks before the Heritage Day Celebration.

Brigadier General Clarence K. K. Chinn, Commander Ft. Polk


Mary Lee Delk Wells, 69, of Hineston, passed away on November 1, 20012.

Connie S. Lewis, 71, passed away on September 7, 2012.

Rosie B. Toney Woodham, 95, passed away on October 11, 2012.

See the application for joining the new Family Heritage Association—last page of these Chronicles—print it out and join us. Help us preserve the family heritage and cultural resources of Ft. Polk. 

Please feel free to print out the Hineston Chronicles; keep them in hard copy for your records and pass them to those who do not have email capability.

If you know someone who would like to get the electronic copy please send their name and email address.

We have been asked to recommend a DNA program. We recommend Family Tree DNA out of Houston. It is, in our opinion, the best. Google it by name.

By: Don C. Marler and Sherry Wilson Manuel

November, 2008


The urgency and magnitude of the coming war with Japan and Germany in the early 1940s demanded drastic action by the U.S. Government and sacrifices by the people. The U.S. Military needed and still needs a large tract of land for its training exercises. In the early 1940s there was little time for negotiations over land transactions between the military and the landowners and no doubt mistakes were made and inequities occurred. Nevertheless, precipitously and unwillingly giving up ones home and livelihood is among the most emotionally unsettling events.

In recognition of the sacrifices made by the settlers who owned the land acquired by the military in Vernon Parish, Fort Polk is trying to collect data that will be used to recognize and memorialize those sacrifices and contributions.

It is toward this end that Fort Polk has asked the authors to collect additional data on those historic communities, roads and families about which it has little or no data. As the reader will see, historical distance has already dimmed the trail and in some cases it is almost obliterated already. Perhaps the sketchy material provided here will stimulate production of more data to assist in refreshing our collective memory.

The material presented here is in no particular order except that people and places are presented together. Example: Smithville, the community, is presented and the families associated with it are presented immediately following.

No doubt there are some errors and omissions in the data presented here. Corrections and additional data are welcomed.


Founded by Jeremiah (Jerry) Smith around 1871, Smithville is located in Vernon Parish, Louisiana. The exact date Jerry settled there is difficult to establish. The birth dates and places of birth of some of his many children provide the best clues. One was born in Mississippi on October 3, 1870 and the next was born two years later on October 12, 1872 in Vernon Parish, Louisiana. Family tradition has it that in the meantime he went to Texas and then moved back to Louisiana. Apparently the Texas move was unsatisfactory and short. No doubt Jerry saw the beauty of the country as he passed through to Texas. These pioneers often traveled to a new and distant home in large groups. As a result the traveling group often were friends or relatives or soon became such.

The Smithville community was located north of present day Pitkin, east of Fullerton and west of Westport. The exact site of the Smith home place is known as is the site of the post office of which Jerry Smith was postmaster. The only remaining visible improvement to the area is the Smith/Maddox Cemetery, maintained by Fort Polk.

Smithville had a population of 150 in1891. The post office opened in 1891 and closed in 1899. Upon closing, mail service was transferred to Cora — aka Smith’s Mill. For many years Jerry Smith had relatives living in the Cora area.1        16

Smith/Maddox Cemetery Fort Polk # 8

This cemetery is approximately a half-acre in size, surrounded by a fence. It is located north of the old Jerry Smith home place. Oral family history has it that there are many unknown and unmarked graves there. Family history also recounts that before the site was fenced and before Fort Polk took responsibility for care and preservation of the site, there were many grave markers destroyed by timber workers and military personnel on maneuvers and other training activities. Moreover, in the early pioneer days suitable materials available for more permanent markers were scarce, and had they been available the financial resources were often not available to procure them. Consequently, they used what was available and affordable — wood. The most lasting wood was the heart of the longleaf pine–called lighter pine or pitch pine.

These two names were derived from the flammable qualities of the wood. Though it did not rot it was highly flammable and the practice of cattle and hog farmers was to burn the woods almost every year. Thus, many markers were burned in those days by fires that knew no boundaries. In some cases concrete was used and names were hand written in the wet cement. Less than a hundred years later many of these were unreadable. A reading of this cemetery in 1979 by Mr. Jack Hadnot revealed the deterioration.

During a family visit to this cemetery in 1998 some children of the visiting party, while digging in the ground, found two concrete markers that had been covered with dirt. With some effort they were read as follows:

Philips, Philonease –[Note: First married to John Watson, Westport Fight actor].

Philips, W.L 2

These names were not available to Jane McManus when she published the series L’est We Forget in 1994. Jane identified 19 graves, not all of which had readable markers, and the two found later brings the total to 21.3 Could it be that there are other such markers buried inside and outside the cemetery?

The earliest readable marker is dated 1899 and the latest is dated 1933. Not included in the markers are ones for Jerry Smith’s first wife, Martha Ann Register Smith, or their infant son, William Webster Smith, who died in 1886. Both are almost certainly buried there. Since Jerry was a carpenter he may have made the markers of wood and they subsequently deteriorated or burned. Jerry’s son in law, Isaiah “Son” Maddox, who died in 1932 while the cemetery was still being actively used has no marker, but he is likely buried there.

Barbara Swire collected information on many of these Smith family members and recorded many names claimed by family members to have been buried at the Smith/Maddox Cemetery for whom there is no marker.4

These are:

Martha Ann Rester Smith

William Webster Smith

George Lenard Smith

Nancy Elizabeth Smith

Isaiah “Son” Maddox

Jeremiah (Jerry) Smith

Jeremiah was the son of Sherrod Smith who was the son of Nimrod. There have been many Nimrod and Sherrod Smiths throughout American history. This family named at least four members Sherrod during the 1800s. Jerry’s father and a brother were named Sherrod.5 Sherrod, the father of Jerry, was buried at Akin Cemetery in Allen Parish. Little is known about his life after he moved to Louisiana from Mississippi. He is reported by family members to have lived with Jerry at Smithville for sometime and that he is buried at the cemetery there. This may have been Jerry’s brother of the same name. Sherrod, the father of Jerry, must have been involved in floating logs down the Sabine River to Orange, Texas as there is a log brand book with his brand recorded.

The brand was stamped on the log usually on the large end (butt) of the log. There were several types of the actual brand. Most often it was a raised pattern of letters or designs on the face of a sledgehammer. When the log was struck it imprinted the letters in the wood. The sawmill was at the mouth of the Sabine River at Orange. When the logs floated to the mill they were snagged and the brand recorded along with the amount of lumber cut from the log. At the end of the month a check was sent to the holder of the registered brand. (See Attachment A)

Jerry Smith owned 162 acres at Smithville, a community named for him. He was the only postmaster Smithville ever had, serving from April 11, 1891 to February 15, 1899. It has been jokingly said that he needed a post office for his family alone having 22 children –19 of whom were living in the home at one time. He was born in Mississippi (Biloxi, ?) on April 5, 1845, and married Martha Ann Rester on October 29, 1865. Martha Ann was born about 1844 in Hancock County Mississippi.6 She and Jerry had 10 children. Mary Ann died in 1886 at the birth of her 10th child, William Webster Smith, who also died later the same year.

Jerry married Mary Caroline “Carrie” Wilson in 1877. (See Attachment B) Carrie was a cousin to Martha Ann Rester and she was a schoolteacher. She and Jerry had 12 children. Mary Caroline died on February 19, 1925 at the home of her daughter Cora Ophelia Smith Perkins. She is buried beside Jerry at Fellowship Cemetery near Hineston, Louisiana.

Jerry was a master carpenter and supported his family with this occupation and by farming and operating a syrup mill. His neighbors whom he was quick to assist when help was needed, loved him, but he was sometimes too rigid with his own family. He always owned a fine saddle horse that he kept close at hand in a stable and barnyard made especially for the horse.

The 1880 census lists some of the neighbors of Jerry Smith as: Brown, Hogan, Willis, Johnson, Wilson, Brady (Braddy), Dias (Dyess), Goldman, Bird, Johnson, Davis, La Caze, Hester, West, Thompson and Perkins. Many of these neighbors were related or would become related through marriage.

He moved his family to Little Valentine Creek, aka Dyess Creek, near Gardner, Louisiana in 1898 or 1899. Some family members say it was 1898, but the post office did not close until February, 1899. He was the only postmaster to serve the Smithville community. It is possible that he knew it was closing and left someone in charge during the last few months. Jerry owned 40 acres at Little Valentine Creek, where he continued farming and carpentry.

Bertha Dyess Marler and two of her brothers, Elbert and Oscar Dyess, told the story of the trip from Smithville to Little Valentine on many occasions. The trip to Little Valentine Creek took several days because the family had several turkeys that made the trip on foot. When late evening came the turkeys would fly up in the trees to roost for the night. The traveling party could not leave until they decided to come down in the morning. Sarah Matilda (Smith) Dyess and Cora Ophelia (Smith) Perkins, daughters of Jerry walked behind the wagon during the trip herding the turkeys.7

Jerry lived at Valentine Creek until his death in 1919. On May 6, 1919, while boarding a train at Woodworth Camp (near Gardner and west of present day Woodworth) to take his son, Wilburn Smith, to New Orleans for treatment of appendicitis, Jeremiah suddenly fell dead. He is buried at Fellowship Cemetery in Hineston, Louisiana.8

Elbert Dyess, a grandson of Jerry, was also a master carpenter who lived at Gardner until his death this year – 2008. For many years before his death he made miniature buildings of the period in which his grandfather lived and worked. One of his proudest achievements was the replication of the buildings on the Smith home place on Little Valentine Creek. This replica includes the stable and barnyard built for the Jerry Smith saddle horse.

Mr. Dyess created a large private museum in a separate building at his home near Gardner. Before his death he donated the museum to the Museum of West Louisiana in Leesville. The Museum of West Louisiana built a separate building to house his entire collection known as The Dyess Building. In addition the collection contains much related to the timber industry in Louisiana. This collection found its new home just months before he died. Mr. Dyess was especially pleased that out of state visitors coming to Fort Polk were visiting the collection.

Elbert and Oscar Dyess, recently deceased grandsons of Jeremiah Smith, said that Jerry sold his home place to his daughter, Mary Ann and her husband Isaiah (Son) Maddox. Mary Ann’s children say that Mary Ann and her husband later sold the home to their son, Bill Maddox and wife Eleanor Peterson Maddox. Bill and Eleanor lost two sons, (grandsons of Mary Ann Smith Maddox and great grandsons of Jerry Smith) from an accident involving live grenades in the Fort Polk Range.9

They were:

Maddox, David Leroy d. October 9, 1944

Maddox, Joseph Harold d. October 8, 1944

Since the Smithville area has been uninhabited since at least the early 1940s the area has returned to its natural almost pristine beauty. The pines are tall and straight and sage grass (or as the old-timer’s said sage brush) is doing well. This is the grass they used for making brooms.

The property taken from Jerry Smith’s descendents was reimbursed by the U.S. Government in civil suit # 14400 in 1967. (See attachments C and D)


Cora, Louisiana is located approximately 7 miles from Smithville. It is still an active community located about 2 miles from the Fort Polk Range. It was here that the Smithville post office moved in 1899. The Cora post office was established in 1887 and Michael Smith, son of Archibald, was one of its

Postmasters. The Cora Post office closed in 1957. In 1888 the population was 200. Cora was aka Smith’s Mill. The date of the community’s beginning is unknown.

Early Resident, Edmund Dyess

At the end of the Civil War (in early 1865) Thomas D. Dyess, his wife Nancy Jenkins, their five single children and married son, Edmund Dyess, his wife, Margaret Mathis, and their two children moved from Jones County, Mississippi to near Rusk, Texas. By 1868 they all contracted dysentery and Thomas D., his wife and two of his children died. Edmund, his wife Margaret Mathis, his two children and three younger surviving siblings, returned to Ward 5 of what is now Vernon Parish. They settled in the Cora area. The rest is, as is often said, history. The Smiths, Dyesses, Wilsons, Maddox and many other Cora/Smithville area residents were forever bound together in kinship and friendship. Edmund later moved to Little Valentine Creek near the home of Jerry Smith, the father in law of his son Josie B. Dyess.

The Dyess Family And Its Military Connections

Six Dyess brothers were born to the Dyess family in Barnwell, South Carolina. In the 19th century they began a trek west, some going to Texas and some returning from Texas to Rapides and Vernon parishes.

Members of the Edmund Dyess (son of Thomas D. Dyess, one of the six brothers) family married into the Maddox, Mathis and Wilson families in Vernon parish. Several of the six brothers moved to Louisiana and Texas. Two members of these families became national heroes during WWII. 10

Col. Edwin Dyess

Col. Edwin Dyess, whose parents once lived in Rapides parish was a hero at Bataan and was the first to escape from Japanese at Bataan. He exposed the horrors inflicted on the men who were prisoners of the Japanese and the atrocities suffered by them on the Bataan Death March. He was later testing one of the early jets and when it malfunctioned stayed with the plane to keep it from crashing into a school. He was killed in the crash. Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas is named for him.11

Lt. Colonel Jimmie Dyess

Major General (R), Perry Smith, is the son in law of Jimmie Dyess, a WWII hero. His book A Hero Among Heroes: Jimmie Dyess and the 4th Marine Division, is a biography of the only person to have ever received America’s two highest awards for heroism, the Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal. In 2006, Perry produced a 60 minute DVD, Twice a Hero: The Jimmie Dyess Story.

The US Navy destroyer (U.S.S. Dyess DD 880) was named for Jimmie Dyess. This ship was built at Orange, Texas. His wife and daughter attended the christening ceremony. His daughter later married Perry Smith who is now a retired Air Force Major General. General Smith was Commandant of the War College and the military consultant to CNN until shortly after the beginning of the Iraq war when CNN ran a false and damaging story that America used nerve gas on its own troops and innocent civilians in Laos. They ran it without consulting him first and refused to retract it. He resigned and CNN, much later, retracted the story with an apology to him and the country.12 General Smith served at England AFB, Alexandria, La.

Brig. General John R. Dyas (Dyess)

General Dyas never lived in Rapides or Vernon Parishes but is included here because of family connections. General Dyas was born 1917 in Mobile, Alabama. He attended Auburn University majoring in aeronautical engineering and aeronautical administration. He entered aviation cadet training in 1940 and went on to hold many important positions in the North Africa and European theater of operations. He received his training at Randolph and Kelly fields in Texas. General Dyas retired in 1971 and died in 2004.

General Dyas was inducted into the Alabama Military Hall of Fame.

Some of the positions he held were:

Tactical Squadron Commander, North Africa and European theater,
Adviser to the Peruvian air force,
Commander 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing,
Deputy Chief of Staff Deputy Chief of Staff for operations, 4th Allied Tactical Air Force in Europe,
Assistant deputy Chief of Staff, operations, at headquarters U.S. Air Force in Europe,
Deputy Director of military personnel,
Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, Headquarters U.S. Air Force,
Command of .S. Air Force Military Personnel Center—Randolph Air Force Base,
Vice Commander of the Seventeenth Air Force, U.S. Air Forces in Europe,
Commander, Task Force Alpha, Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, and
Chief of Staff, Headquarters Air Training Command, Randolph Air Force Base.13


Huddleston was located south of present day Leesville at what is now known as Billy Goat Hill. It was on the Old Beef Trail that ran from Cotile Landing (Boyce) and on to Burr Ferry and points west. On some maps a portion of this road is shown as the Hineston to Huddleston Road.

Isaac Huddleston became the postmaster of Huddleston on January 22, 1847 and according to post office records for Vernon Parish, served until June 22,1866 when the post office was discontinued.14 However, the Rapides Parish census shows that N. Sanders became the postmaster there in 1863.

We do not know the year of Isaac’s death; perhaps it was in 1863. Isaac was the first postmaster listed so it seems safe to assume that he founded the community about 1847 or earlier. Issac’s son married Penelope Saunders before 1863; could it be that it was her husband who was the postmaster in 1863? Confusion between Sanders and Saunders would have been fairly easy.

Erbon Wise, in Tall Pines, recounts that Huddleston was one of the first settlements in Vernon Parish.15

Steven Smith postulates that Huddleston was likely Vernon Parish’s first village. And it was the largest village in the Fort Polk area in 1860, having several mercantile establishments including those of Hatch, Robinson & Co., J.P. Eddleman & Co., a post office, Rapides Lodge No. 167 and during the Civil War it was a supply depot for the Confederate troops.16

Louise Tucker related that she owned a tract of land in the 1970s located southwest of Billy Goat Hill — less than a mile away as the crow flies. On this land there was a salt lick, a large cache of horseshoes and a small cemetery—McManus Cemetery. She and her family were curious about these artifacts and were surprised when a lady came to visit who related that this was the site of the Huddleston stage stop. She showed a photo of the stage stop that depicted a sign reading, SAN ANTONIO STAGE LINE. This lady wanted permission to remove the headstone of one of her relatives from the cemetery located on the property. She secured permission from the authorities and moved it to a cemetery in Leesville. Ms. Tucker does not remember who the lady was.17

A field trip to this property revealed the cemetery with 5 grave markers left in place and remnants of an old fence and gate. The oldest marker was dated 1811. Ms. Tuckers said there were 12 to 15 markers present when she lived there.

A building has been built on the site of the salt lick and horseshoes and this along with considerable bulldozer work that has disturbed the earth makes it impractical to attempt to locate and study this site. There was some “hard pan” dirt near the building but no test for salt was made.

Little else is known about Huddleston. Few of the “old timers” in Vernon Parish have ever heard of the community.

Isaac Newton Huddleston

Issac N. Huddleston, Sr. was shown on the 1840 Rapides Parish census in what is now Vernon Parish. He was born 1785 in South Carolina to James Huddleston and Susanah Miller. He married Mary Speights who was 1 year his senior. Isaac owned 13 slaves in 1840 and in the 1860 census he had 16 slaves; he was listed as a farmer.

His son Isaac Newton Huddleston, Jr. married Penelope Saunders and both registered land purchases in Vernon parish from 1860 to 1891. The 1860 purchase was listed as Penelope Hurdlestone.18 The date of death of Isaac Huddleston, Sr. is unknown. In 1866 he would have been 81 years of age. Mary died in 1855.


Petersburg was founded by John Peter Eddleman sometime after 1859. There is much confusion in the few written references to Petersburg and the oral history as recounted by local people. There are those who believe that John Peter Eddleman took over Huddleston and renamed it Petersburg. Post Office records do not list a post office at Petersburg nor does it list John Peter as a postmaster at Huddleston. Other accounts have Petersburg first (in the 1830’s) with Huddleston following.19 This account is clearly wrong as Eddleman came to Vernon Parish almost 30 years later.

Local people locate Petersburg as having been on Highway 10 south of Fort Polk, at Huddleston, at Pickering and on Entrance Road east of Highway 171. The St. Petersburg church was located at the northwest corner of Entrance Road and Jeanne Chapel Road. The church burned in 1984. Land records show that J.P. Eddleman purchased land in this area in 1874, and he moved to Johnson’s Bayou, Louisiana in 1878. It could be then that Petersburg was not established until 1874.

John Peter Eddleman

John Peter was born on December 18, 1823 in Rowan County, N.C. His mother, father and siblings moved to Mississippi between 1835 and 1840 and he with his wife and children moved to Rapides Parish, about 1859 or 60. He married Mary Guess in 1846 in Mississippi.20

Highlights of His Career:

  • In 1860 he was elected to the Rapides Parish Police Jury.
  • In 1861, after the start of the Civil War, he formed a Home Guard Company and was its Captain. This company was apparently disbanded and he was later the senior 2nd Lt. of the Martin Scouts (Co. K, 6th La. Calvary Regiment). This was the unit of Robert Washington “Bloody Bob” Martin, great-grand father of actor/comedian Steve Martin.21
  • Shortly after the Civil War ended he had a minor altercation with Dennis Haynes, a Union sympathizer.22
  • He owned a store near Gum Slough.
  • John Peter Eddleman was elected to the Louisiana legislature in 1864. It is not known how long he served. (See Attachment E).
  • In 1878 he moved to Johnson Bayou in Cameron Parish.
  • On December 9, 1878 he was appointed postmaster of Johnson Bayou.

*    In 1893 he and his youngest son bought a home in Orange, Texas. This home still exists as the Wilcox Home.23 (See Attachment F)

John Peter Eddleman’s grandson, Clyde Davis Eddleman, was born in Orange, Texas in 1902 and became a Four Star General in the U.S. Army. (See Attachment G)


0n a Rand McNally map dated 1915, Pringle is shown as being due east of Leesville, La. at the end of a 14 mile long railroad called the G & S R. The G & S R connects with the Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe at Nitram. Pringle is approximately 7 miles from Leesville and 7 miles from Fullerton. (See Attachment H)

Calls to many central Louisiana Pringles and other knowledgeable people in the area have revealed no one who has ever heard of the community.

EM Pringle and Associates Naval Stores

It is easy to assume that Pringle was associated with the EM Pringle and Associates Naval Stores located within what is now the city limits of Glenmora, Louisiana. Mr. Pringle had vast holdings throughout the area. The turpentine camps and stills were manned mostly by black workers, and the Glenmora site provided housing on the plant grounds for some of these workers.24

Camp Pringle

Camp Pringle was a logging/sawmill camp located southeast of Melder, La. in the old Camp Claiborne military training grounds. (See Attachment I) This puts it roughly between Melder and Glenmora. Again it would be easy to assume that this mill was owned by EM Pringle and Associates, but it may have been owned, as indicated by a hand written note on the attached map, by B.E. Smith (perhaps, Branch Smith—another large timberland owner and lumber mill operator who lived in that immediate area). Branch Smith may have been one of the many associates of E.M. Pringle.


The word Nitram is Martin spelled backwards. The community was located at the junction of the Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe and G & S. R. railroads. The G & S.R. was a 14 mile long line running to Fullerton and on to the mill at Pringle — owned by Gulf Lumber Co. (See Attachment J)

It is not known what years Nitram was in existence. One reference was found on the internet (genforum.genealogy.com) as follows:

“ADDIE LEE MATHIS..was born 25 Dec. 1896 in Nitram, by Pitkin, Louisiana….” The photo in Attachment H was taken in 1921. The owner of the mill at Pringle, Gulf Lumber Co., had “cut out” before 1921.25

Other Communities Not Explored

These communities have not been explored, but may be of interest for future research.


This was a town of 2000 or more that disappeared around 1930. It had a sawmill and a school with grades 1 thru 8.26


Mr. Hugh Sanders settled near Cooper and named his settlement Sandersville.27

Cole Central and Drakes Fork

Both of these communities were located about 5 miles east of Rosepine.28

Burton’s Station/Walnut Hill

Burton’s Tavern aka Walnut Hill is located near present day Glass Window Cemetery approximately 1 mile north of present day Walnut Hill. It was established in the early 1840s and was the most westerly voting precinct for what was then Rapides Parish.29

This community had a horseracing track as did Hineston. Local horse racing was a popular sport in the latter half of the 19th century. Legend has it that the Hineston races had an added attraction. A goose was picked, greased and hanged by its feet. The winner of the prize was the person who could race down the track and pull the head off the greased goose in the shortest time.



Whiskey Chitto

Six Mile



Hineston to Huddleston Road (aka Old Beef Trail)

Country roads of the 19th century were almost without exception plain dirt roads with no rock or other covering materials except in extremely wet places logs were sometimes laid side by side across the road. The roads were winding and crooked going around trees and other obstacles. During the heavy rainy season they were almost impassable. Tree stumps were often left too high for some wagons to cross especially if they were sinking due to the muddy conditions.

When a road was abandoned the heavy rains wound continue to deepen the ruts cut by wagons or more often fill them up with dirt, leaves and straw. Soon trees and grass were growing profusely in the old roadbeds making them unrecognizable within a generation or two. Such was the case with the Huddleston to Hineston Road.

Mr. Gil Jeane has spent many years searching the old roads of Vernon Parish, using traditional methods (old and new maps, old documents, oral history and physical on the ground tracing). He is now in communication with Ellen Ibert at Fort Polk who is using advanced geological methodology to study the location of old roads including the Hineston to Huddleston Road.

Jeane’s unpublished work portrays the Hineston to Huddleston Road roughly following current state road 121 to several miles east of present day Leesville where it veers south across the north section of the Fort Polk range and crossing Hwy 171 south of Leesville near Billy Goat Hill. From there the road proceeds west to Burr Ferry and on to near Mayflower, Texas on State Hwy 87 just south of that highway’s junction with R255 and then to points west. We eagerly await the results of the work by Ibert.

As an aside, during the American Revolutionary War cattle were driven from Nacogdoches, Texas to Opelousas, Louisiana to feed the army of Galvez who was fighting the British there.30 During the Civil War cattle were driven over the Old Beef Trail to Cotile for the Alexandria canneries.


  1. From data furnished by the U.S. Post Office and posted on the internet by Jane Mc Manus.
  2. Carolyn Dyess Bales, email to authors.
  3. Jane McManus, L’est We Forget, Parker Enterprises. Pineville, Louisiana. 1995., p. 137.
  4. Barbara H. Swire, Descendants of Sherrod Smith From Mississippi and Louisiana, Private Printing, 2000. We have relied heavily on this book in this account.
  5. Nimrod and Sherrod were indeed popular names going back to early settlement of the east coast. An Indian Chief was named Nimrod Smith and there have been persistent stories of the Cherokee connection of the Smiths of Smithville. According to Bertha Dyess
  6. Marler, a grand daughter of Jerry Smith, around 1919 the Jerry Smith family had their last chance to join the Indian roles. They refused because they would not be able to attend white schools as Indians.
  7. From Carolyn Dyess Bales by email to authors and Swire as in 4 above.
  8. Op. Cit., Swire, p. 54.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Carolyn Dyess Bales, email to authors.
  11. Millard F. Martin, The Descendants of Thomas D. Dyess and Nancy Jenkins, 1817-1868, Polyanthos, New Orleans, 1975.
  12. Wm. E. Dyess and Charles Leavelle, The Dyess Story: The Eye Witness Account of the Geath March From Bataan and Escape From The Japanese Prison Camps, New York, G.P. Putnum’s Sons., 1944.
  13. http:// discussion-for-you.com/

  14. http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=5307
  15. From data furnished by the U.S. Post Office and posted on the internet by Jane Mc Manus.
  16. Erbon W. Wise, Tall Pines: The Story of Vernon Parish, Sulphur, Louisiana., 1971, p., 48.
  17. Steven D. Smith, A Good Home for a Poor Man: Fort Polk and Vernon Parish1800 – 1940. Funded by the Department of Defense, 1999. P., 66. Smith cites Wise, Cupit and Pritchard.
  18. Personal interview 10/16, 2008.
  19. Boyd, Gregory A., Family Maps of Vernon Parish, Louisiana,Norman, ARPHAX, 2007, pp.178 & 277.
    Vernon Parish was created in 1871 from parts of Sabine, Natchitoches and Rapides and much of the Rapides land records was destroyed in the Civil War burning of Alexandria.
  20. Op. Cit. Smith, p., 66.
  21. Nancy S. Bell, “John P. Eddleman (1824-1901)”. Internet article http://www.txgenweb4.org/txorange/bios/johnpetereddleman.html Used by permission of the author—see entire article with photo in Attachment E.
  22. Don C. Marler, Redbones of Louisiana, Hemphill: Dogwood Press, 2003, p. 148.
  23. Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr. ed. A Thrilling Narrative: The Memoir of a Southern Unionist, University of Arkansas Press, 2006., pp. 80 & 90.
  24. By email communication Ms. Windi Lynn Wilcox-Hinson confirmed that John Peter did purchase the home now known as the Wilcox
  25. Home. He had a dairy there that was inherited by the Burton family. Bonnie Burton married Charles Wilcox. This home still exists surviving many hurricanes.
  26. Telephone conservation with Mr. Edmund Hayes, Glenmora, Louisiana.
  27. Oral history interview with W.W.Mears by Russell Crump foundationonline at Russell Crump’s Archives. http://www.atsfry.com/OralHistory/Mears/pitkin.htm
  28. John T. Cupit, A Brief History of Vernon Parish, Louisiana, Typescript,1961, p.37.
  29. Ibid., p.38
  30. Ibid., p., 5
  31. Luther Sandel, The Free State of Sabine and Western Louisiana, Many, La., Jet Publication, 1982, p. 99.
  32. Robert H. Thronhoff, The Texas Connection With the American Revolution, Austin: Eakin Press, 1981, p. 46.

Note of Appreciation:

The following persons were especially helpful in assisting us in the research that forms the basis of this report.

Carolyn Dyess Bales

Edmund Hayes

Ted Hammerschmidt

Danny Hudson

Ellen Ibert

Gil Jeane

Gregory Jeane

Johnnie Koenck

Linda Mitchell

Charles Stagg

Barbara Smith Swire

Louise Tucker

A shadowy peek into our past….

Phil Carrico

George Catlin’s most famous portrait

The Mandan beauty “Mint”

In the early 15th century when Cortes and his Conquistadors were in the process of conquering the Aztecs of present-day Mexico, they glimpsed, for the first time the great Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, and were awed. The best traveled soldiers among them thought Tenochtitlan’s marketplace greater and better run than those of Constantinople or Rome or any other city of the old world that they had seen. The splendor of Montezuma’s royal palace far exceeded anything in Spain. Many of these men thought the pyramids and works of art they had seen here could only be the product of a superior culture.

Now that the Europeans realized that this land was not a part of Asia but indeed – a New World, speculation ran rampant. How did these massive structures, with the touch of an apparent master architect, rise? How did the science, philosophy, religion and governments evolve?

Most historians attributed the cultural rise in the Americas to a transplanted Old World culture. Individuals have tried to prove for centuries, that visitors from Egypt, Phoenicia, China, Japan, Wales, Scandinavia or Outer Space must have sparked the development of civilization in the Americas.

Recently there seems to be a move by an opposition force, those who say that civilization rose unaided in the Americas, that where ever man lives he will inevitably develop along a fairly predictable cultural path.

It’s not for an unread bushpopper like me to enter into an argument of this magnitude. However, one thing about the debate is puzzling. On our North American continent, as the early frontiersmen fought their way, biting and scratching, to the Big River, and then beyond, rumors and stories spread like wildfire.

Tales by our ancestors, of tribes, who had unmistakably European features, are far too numerous to ignore. Even today stories of “white Indians” live on in the folklore of some regions of the United States. These stories, which have been handed down from generation to generation of our ancestors, are far too numerous and documented not to be based on truth.

Theories have circulated for centuries about western cultures who have migrated voluntarily (or were forced) to the New World. The ten lost tribes of Israel coming to the New World is one such theory. Of course, virtually all the people on earth have been identified at one time or another with the vanished descendents of the tribes that rebelled against the rule of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam.

Other theorists have found evidence in the cultures represented here that reflect the Chinese, the Japanese, Egyptian, Phoenician, Scandinavian and finally, the Welsh. Perhaps the most popular of these tales and the one I will concentrate on (only because at one time this tribe wandered into Texas) is the legend of Prince Madoc AB Owain Gwynedd of Wales.

The story, first circulated in the 1580s, relates that in the year of 1170 Madoc and 120 of his followers fled a civil war in Wales, their homeland, to make a new beginning across the sea. According to the legend, Madoc and his party landed at what is now, Mobile Bay, Alabama and were the first Europeans to settle in America.

Prince Madoc was mentioned in Dr. Powel’s “Historie of Cambria” in the 15th century and again in the 16th century by Sir Walter Raleigh’s “History of The World”. However, it’s from more recent lips and more homespun men that the story gains credence. In the 17th century, a Welsh speaking migrant to Virginia, named Morgan Jones, was captured by white Indians. The Indians were fluent in the Welsh language. The American folk hero, Daniel Boone, once spent some time with a tribe of blue-eyed Indians who spoke Welsh. These “white Indians” all referred to an ancestral homeland across the sea which was on a small island to the north. Most theorists have concluded that the small island was England and that, indeed, these people were descendants of Prince Madoc’s colony – who had “Gone Indian”.

In the mid 17th century a French explorer, Sieur De La Verendrye, reached an unusual Missouri River tribe, the Mandans. The Mandans were fair complexioned with blue eyes, red hair and they spoke Welsh. Later in the same century, Captain Isaac Stewart was exploring up the Red River and encountered the Mandans once again. At this time their village was located in the northeast corner of what is now Texas.

It seems that the tribe was continually harassed because they were different from the neighboring tribes, and through necessity had become truly a migrant people.

In the early 1800s a self-taught artist whose name was George Catlin found the illusive Mandans along the upper reaches of the Missouri River. This driven romantic found this tribe to be so different from any other native Americans, that he stayed among them for months and captured their features as no other had done before. Catlin’s portraits of these “White Indians” so captured the imagination of people on both continents, that Catlin has earned a lasting fame for the fete.

Although the Mandans had begun, by the early l800s, to intermarry with their darker neighbors, their blue eyes and reddish hair was still very evident. Catlin’s portrait of the Mandan beauty “Mint” is still one of his most famous and shows unmistaken evidence of European forebears.

This little peek into the past is almost like looking through a knothole and viewing the shadowy realm of our deceased ancestors. The knothole is very small and the view is distorted by the swirling fog of by-gone times. Occasionally the fog will lift for a second and we can see bits and pieces – but never a whole. Undoubtedly these bits and pieces has been the spark that has ignited man’s imagination down through the ages and has created within us all a desire to know more.

I know these bits and pieces about “White Indians” in Texas has fired my imagination, and if it does nothing more, perhaps it will challenge you to put your eye to the knothole.

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HERITAGE FAMILY, PLACE & TIME PERIOD IF KNOWN_______________________________________



PO BOX 7                                            
HORNBECK, LA 71439-0007

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Vol. 2 No. 3


Fort Polk is a valuable source of information both historically and presently. Perhaps the information from there will inspire others to broaden their interest and thus generate a greater variety of information.

The leadership of Charles Stagg at Ft. Polk in creating the Heritage Reunion is invaluable. He has secured the services of Sara Thames, Ecologist/Cultural Resources Manager, to fulfill the myriad tasks associated with that project. Sara provided the information included in this issue regarding the cemeteries in the Ft. Polk range.

The next meeting of the Heritage Reunion will be on October 27-28, 2012.  Registration for the events on Saturday 27th will begin at 8:00AM at the Main Post Chapel. Self guided tours of downrange cemeteries and home sites may be made on Saturday; Sunday the 28th will be for Guided tours of downrange cemeteries and home sites. Don’t miss it. More agenda details will be available later. For an update call Sara at  337 531 6011 or send email to: sara.thames @us.army.mil. Check also the website at: www.polkhistory.org

If anyone is interested in setting up a family booth call Cheryl Perkins at 337 239 0537 or 337 353 7363. She can be reached at; clpblp@bellsouth.net . The booths have been a great hit at previous reunions.

Mr. Bill Bridges, who now lives in Oklahoma, has promised to provided the information on Fullerton. He comes to Fullerton for its reunion every year. We look forward to more information from him regarding that famous sawmill town.

It is my hope that we can announce the passing of anyone who has ever lived in the general Hineston area. It is difficult however to get that kind of information because of the varied sources. Many people have moved away and we do not have contact information. Please send me the report of the passing of any such residents or past residents.

I have moved again, hopefully for the last time. The contact information is: 4209 Aspen Ct., Pineville, La. 71360. Home number is: 318 640 0110, Cell: 409 594 8221, Email is: doncmarler@gmail.com.

Don C. Marler

Bulletin Board

Minter Lou Marler (Gray) passed away on June 9, 2012. She lived at Tioga, La. she was 80 years of age.

Lorraine Coody (Moore) passed away on August 12, 2012. She lived at Ball, La. she was 76 years of age.


Ft. Polk Heritage Reunion will be held on October 27-28, 2012. See details in the editorial above.


Phil Carrico

Postscript: The amazing thing about this story is how a simple GI graffiti scratched on a wall someplace in Europe in the 1940’s could become a worldwide icon in such a short time. But where-ever our GI’s have gone since the early 40’s they have taken our Kilroy with them – he has had one heck of a ride.

In the early 1940’s, someone first scribbled the funny face peeking over a fence and added these unforgettable words; “Kilroy was here”. We don’t know how many thousands of times this simple graffiti appeared during WW 2 and Korea, but we do know it appeared in surprising places all over Europe, Japan and Korea – but what is more surprising the graffiti was prevalent in Vietnam and now in Iraq and Afghanistan.

After WW 2 with the American GI’s coming home, many went into heavy industry and the building trades. They made sure this GI graffiti did not die by reproducing it in secret places in some of our most prestigious buildings and monuments. As an example, did you know a reproduction of Kilroy is engraved on each of the granite headers over the steps leading to the service area of the World War 2 Memorial in Washington DC? It is seen in buildings, churches, cathouses and especially public toilets everywhere from Alaska to Brownsville – most of the time saying, “Kilroy is watching”.

Hundreds of people from all over the world have claimed to be the originator of this phenomenon. Brits claimed to have started it and even Nazi Germans, but we are convinced that Kilroy is American as apple pie.

Near the end of WW 2 Hitler was completely paranoid over the Kilroy phenomenon. This character seemed to be able to get into everything and anything that was supposed to be secret in Nazi Germany. Hitler ordered his best men to begin actively searching for this super-spy and all troops were ordered to shoot on sight.

From the dark days of Bastogne on a bombed out barn was written, “Kilroy was stuck here”. On the side of a glider taking the 101 Airborne into battle was written, “Kilroy was here – Look, no motor”. People were constantly amazed at some of the places this graffiti was found and it seemed the more secret the hiding place the better. As an example, it has been found in a bombed out castle drawn on the floor under a throw rug – or in a closet on the ceiling where “Kilroy” could see everything (he was a “peeper” ya know).

One of the most humorous Kilroy stories I have heard happened in Korea – reported by an old Frogman some thirty years after the hostilities.   “Our Team was directed to insert a squad into a sector of North Korea to search for a downed UN flyer who

had bailed out of his damaged aircraft close to the coast. There were eight of us and we had a couple of Korean interpreters in case one was needed. After dividing our force into two units of 4 men each (one interpreter with each group) we split up to search different sectors. After my unit had wondered around not seeing much for a couple of hours, we finally came upon a cluster of hooches. They were all dark except one where we could see a light, So we figured we should check it out.  When we rushed in, I figured we’d get the usual screaming and shouting, but instead, the only person we found was an attractive female who stood with her hands on her hips and was angrily spouting something in Korean. Our interpreter said, “She wants to know why we came back”? “She said the GI promised we’d leave her alone”. Of course none of us had the slightest idea what she was talking about. In short order the interpreter explained, “She said she was visited an hour ago by a GI – when he left he promised her we would not bother her because she had “helped” him. Of course we didn’t believe a word of it – but she had proof. She angrily gestured with one hand for us to get out – but with the other she lifted her skirt and there across her bare bottom for the entire world to see – some old Frog had written, “Kilroy was here”….Of course the authenticity of this story cannot be substantiated – but for old Frogs, it sounds about right.

[Editor’s Note: For a more comprehensive account of the history of Kilroy Google Wikipedia on the internet. Your editor was a U.S.  Navy Frogman in the Korean War and so was Mr. Carrico. We both like to tell stories so it is natural that he should appear in the Hineston Chronicles.]




[Editor’s note: Mr. Charles Stagg and his staff have worked tirelessly over the past several years to ease the difficult memories of the many families who were displaced during WWII. We commend them for their work. There are nineteen cemeteries located in the territory comprising the Ft. Polk reservation. Ft. Polk maintains those cemeteries, and part of the agenda of the annual meeting (Heritage Reunion) held there each year,  is a visit to these cemeteries.]

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union Soldiers of the Civil War. By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. As a marker it typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.

Traditionally, many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Also, on Memorial Day the flag is traditionally raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon. It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day. The half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day the National Moment of Remembrance resolution was passed in 2000 which asks that on Memorial Day at 3pm local time, for all American

We must never forget the meaning of Memorial Day and always remember those proud patriots who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

* * * * ** * * ** *



[Editor’s note: Mr. Charles Stagg and his staff have worked tirelessly over the past several years to ease the difficult memories of the many families who were displaced during WWII. We commend them for their work. There are nineteen cemeteries located in the territory comprising the Ft. Polk reservation. Ft. Polk maintains those cemeteries, and part of the agenda of the annual meeting (Heritage Reunion) held there each year,  is a visit to these cemeteries.]

The Cultural Resources Program staff remembers those veterans buried in Fort Polk cemeteries each Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, and for our annual Heritage Reunion events by placing a flag on each veteran gravesite at Fort Polk.

Thirty-two known veterans are buried within the nineteen Fort Polk cemeteries. Below are each of their names and known information:

  • Hiram James Mathis, 22 Apr 1833 – 2 Aug 1970, Civil War – Confederate States Army 8TH MS INF (Brack Cemetery)
  • James Knox Polk Burns, 4 Aug 1845 – 5 Jun 1888, Civil War – Confederate States Army (Burns Cemetery)
  • Willie Gordon Davis, 1894 – 9 Nov 1946, WWI-PVT, US    ARMY (Davis Cemetery)
  • John S. McKee, died-25 Mar 1925, WWI-PVT US ARMY  (Davis Cemetery)
  • William Allen Davis, Civil War-Confederate States Army, 28TH LA INF (Davis Cemetery)
  • John Washington Davis, born-1844, Civil War-Confederate States Army-28TH LA INFANTRY (Davis Cemetery)Memorial Day 2012
  • James Pinkney Haymon, 6 Jan 1894 – 6 Oct 1918, WWI-Army, Camp Beauregard (Haymon Watson Cemetery)
  • Hezekia Haymon, Sr, 1826 – 14 May 1906, Civil War – Confederate 27th Louisiana Infantry, Co. C, Union outfit, Co. B, 1st Battn. Louisiana Cavalry Scouts, captured as Confederate States Army and paroled in Vicksburg, MS on 18 Jul 1863, joined the Union upon  his return home (Haymon Watson Cemetery)
  • John Mandy Watson, 8TH LA INF (Haymon Watson Cemetery)
  • Reddick Watson, Civil War-Confederate States Army, PVT 27TH LA INF CO G (Haymon Watson Cemetery)
  • Homer G. Brack, 12 Jul 1919 ␣ 15 Aug 1948, WWII-PFC 477 QM TRK REGT (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • Oscar Calcote, 12 Aug 1906 ␣ 16 Nov 1975, WWII-CPL, US ARMY (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • Charles C. Clear, Jr, 31 Aug 1931 ␣ 6 Oct 1999, Korean War and Vietnam War-SSG, US ARMY (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • Clinton Driver, 18 Feb 1917 ␣ 3 Jun 1989, WWII-PVT, US ARMY (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • Harmon C. Mathis, born-1832, Civil War-Confederate States Army, 7TH MS INF (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • Michael W. Osmun, Sr, 19 Apr 1944 ␣ 5 Jul 1985, Vietnam War – SFC US ARMY RET, 522 ENG CO (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • Russell J. Stebbins, 27 Apr 1964 ␣ 21 Nov 1998, US ARMY- PV2 (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • Earl Swain, 22 Dec 1932 ␣ 12 Sep 1997, Korean War (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • John Alvin Swain, 29 Mar 1895 ␣ 7 Dec 1950, WWI (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • Ivan Swain, 1 Sep 1926 ␣ 14 Oct 1954, WWII-SC3 US NAVY (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • Henry Clifford Swain, Sr, 4 Oct 1923 ␣ 13 Dec 1996, WWII- WT2 US NAVY (Holly Springs Cemetery)
  • R.T. (Robert) Conner, 7 Sep 1841 ␣ 15 Apr 1925, Civil War- Confederate States Army, CO K 1ST TX INF (Merritt Cemetery)
  • Edmon Merritt, 31 May 1818 ␣ 3 Aug 1897, Civil War Confederate States Army, 3RD BATTALION MS CAL RES (Merritt    Cemetery)
  • Luther Lee Dedmon, 26 Mar 1923 ␣ 27 Oct 1996, Korean War-  PVT US AIR FORCE (Mill Creek Cemetery)
  • Frank Rodney Sawyer, 24 Apr 1952 ␣ 17 Mar 2007, Vietnam War (Mill Creek Cemetery)
  • Kenneth Virgil Thompson, 22 Jul 1925 ␣ 29 Apr 1992, WWII (Mill Creek Cemetery)
  • Allison M. Phillips, 7 Dec 1837 ␣ 24 Nov 1917, Civil War-  Confederate States Army, 4TH Serg Co. K 19th LA Inf (Sarver       Cemetery)
  • Patrick H. Cavanaugh, 11 Jun 1837 ␣ 17 Apr 1905, Civil War- Confederate States Army, PVT CO B 4 LA VOLS (Self Cemetery)
  • Albert Self, 10 Jul 1827 ␣ 23 Jun 1905, Civil War-2nd Louisiana Heavy Artillery (Self Cemetery)
  • Bill Craft, 27 Dec 1896 ␣ 27 Sep 1938, WWI-CO L 84TH INF  (Zion Hill Cemetery)
  • John Tom Hall, 12 Jan 1840 ␣ 22 Sep 1925, Civil War Confederate States Army, 6TH Florida Infantry Regiment (Zion     Hill Cemetery)
  • Alexander Shankle, 1826 ␣ 7 Apr 1901, Civil War (Zion Hill Cemetery)

THANK YOU to Josh Martin, Scott Faris, and Brad Laffitte, of the Fort Polk Cultural Resources Program, for placement of the flags!!!


Below are a few pictures from the 2012 Fort Polk Cemetery Memorial Day efforts at Holly Springs Cemetery (23 May 2012).


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Vol. 2 No. 2


Hineston and its surrounding area has an interesting history and I am convinced that much of its history is untapped. Tapping into the obscure and hidden events is the task of all who know and love the area and its history. I have learned that that which seems the most obscure is likely to be of interest to someone and they often lead to discovery of other interesting history.

So lets give some though and attention to uncovering and reviving those events. If you need assistance in presenting it in writing let us know and help will be available. In the meantime the Chronicles will republish some old accounts and bring stories from outside the area such as the ones presented by Mr. Carrico on the Sabine River and east Texas.

Don C. Marler



Phil Carrico



This is a fictional peek into early East Texas, at a time when Spain was trying desperately to hang onto the possession. By the mid 1700’s Spain had too little in the way of material and manpower to sustain adequate troops in this area. The men sent to patrol this eastern border, through necessity, became savage in handling encroachment of Frenchmen from Louisiana who illegally crossed the Sabine River.

The story line involves an interesting Texas phenomenon, the wild mustang, and showcases those fascinating characters that caught them  – the Mustangers.


Captain Juan Quinteria sat ramrod straight on the black stallion. Although his shoulders were square and he appeared the prototype of Spain’s military class, his face revealed a far different story. Quinteria was having black thoughts again as he watched his inept soldiers stumble through the evening formation.

These particular troops arrived in east Texas along the Sabine River in 1721 with the Marquis de Aquayo expedition. They were the guards for the fort and missions to be built in the area and also a deterrent to French encroachment from across the Sabine River. The soldiers were the dregs of Mexico’s prison system, mostly mix-bloods with a sprinkling of pure Spaniards, some of whom were more vicious than the mix-bloods. Quinteria’s second in command, Lt. Jose De La Rosa, was a mix-blood himself. De La Rosa had gained a battlefield commission for heroic action on a number of occasions. The scared old veteran was a throwback to the time of the conquistadors and was a savage fighting machine. In fact, De La Rosa’s reputation and ferocity was the fearful factor that held this ragtag unit to any form of discipline.

The King’s treasury had been bled white by sustaining a standing army on this wild frontier. The bulk of gold from the conquered Aztec and Inca nations had long since been squandered. Now, what little treasure made it’s way back to Spain came from the mines, scratched out by slave labor of border country Indians who were captured and sent to the mines for that purpose. A little turquoise was found in the wastes of New Mexico, however, the true treasure ships to Spain were a thing of the past. And the coffers of the King simply could not support the kind of military establishment that was needed.

Quinteria was aware that this ragtag unit was the only thing keeping back the flood of French into Spanish Texas from across the Sabine. Although illiterate, uncouth and unprincipled, these lancers were killers, every one. They were well versed in exotic methods of killing, and many had learned their trade in the back alleys of Mexico City as paid assassins.

The bloodthirsty reputation of his troops was the one bright spot to Quinteria, because he was a kindred soul in blood lust. He had learned to be this way because he was feeling wasted, forgotten and abandoned by his King. After all, the Quinteria family held an old and honored position in Spain. He had come to the New World seeking adventure and had found it to full measure. Now, in his mind, his usefulness was over and he was feeling wasted.

“THE FIRST SEVENTEEN” is the term used for the first cavalry horses to be landed on the American continent. Hernando Cortes, a Spanish hidalgo from Estremedura, brought the animals for use in his conquest of Mexico, (landed at Vera Cruz in 1519).

In the thinking of many anthropologist however, the event was just a “homecoming.” The plains of America is said to be the original home of the horse. After many horses migrated across the Aleutian Chain the horse completely died out in the Americas. After many years and going through startling physical changes, the horse had returned home with Cortes.

The horse was reintroduced to the American continent in Mexico in the early 15th century. They were first brought to Texas in the mid 16th century and were running wild by the thousands from the Rio Grand to the borders of Canada by the close of the 17th century.

Mustang is the term used for these wild horses north of Mexico. The word has been Americanized from the original Spanish, MESTENO. The Arabian/Barb bloodline made the Spanish horse. They are lightweight, quick, intelligent, tough and tireless. This bloodline made up the American mustang that were direct descendants of the early Spanish horses brought from Spain, who escaped and ran wild.

By the late 16th century these animals had found a heaven in the belly deep salt grass which extended for miles along the gulf coast of Texas east of the Trinity River. (Also, the area patrolled by captain Quinteria’s lancers).

This was the area where the mustang stallion, Starface, ruled supreme. The stallion stood 15 hands high and weighed 1000 pounds. This was exceptionally large for an Arabian/Barb mustang and Starface needed every pound to defend his harem and territory against pretenders. The stallion’s glossy blackness offset the startling white of the perfect star on his face. The horse was so unusual in his size, his beauty and grace, that to look upon him was to see perfection in motion. Once seen, a man could never forget him, and to catch and tame such an animal became the driving force in all who saw him.

In a very short time on this coast, Starface become a legend. Awestruck mustangers from as far east as New Orleans and south into the depths of Sonora spread tales of his magnificence. Many men traveled hundreds of miles to be disappointed in their efforts to catch him. All the methods devised over the years by the best of the mustangers came to naught. The hidden traps, the relay rundown and even creasing (minor gunshot wound) had proven ineffective.

Captain Quinteria had tried to catch the stallion for the past two years. He had begun to think of the wild beauty as his personal property and raved to high heaven when finding young Frenchmen from across the Sabine chasing him. The deadly game was played for many years between the Spanish lancers patrolling the border and French encroachers from across the Sabine. The Frenchmen had a ready market for all the horses they could bring back into Louisiana from Texas. And to bring back such an animal as Starface not only meant money in his pocket but fame and recognition for catching a legend.

The young Frenchmen knew well the risk of crossing the border. Over the years, many young men had taken the risk and had never been heard from again. However, the Frenchmen still came. The game now had evolved into something other than monetary reward; young rakes were crossing the border whose lust for risk and high adventure was a direct challenge to Captain Quinteria.

Quinteria took no prisoners, his lancers, mounted on fast horses, chased down many encroachers over the past months. Each was shot on the spot without benefit of legal process. Recently, in his frustration, the Captain began turning captured illegals over to his vicious troopers. The sadistic butchery carried out by these men was terrible to behold. As tales of their savagery spread over the area, the name Quinteria became synonymous with the devil.

Yesterday, the long awaited supply caravan arrived on the Sabine at Quinteria’s base camp. To his surprise, the Captain’s replacement was with the party. Captain Quinteria was ordered back to Mexico City. Quinteria’s head was spinning. As he looked into himself, he didn’t like what he had become over the past months. Was his thinking so bogged down in the savagery on this frontier that there was no return? He realized that a return to civilized society would require a total change of gears in his thinking. He was wondering if he could do it.

Captain Quinteria wanted to make one more attempt at catching Starface before he left the area. At daybreak the next day, he left camp accompanied by a score of troopers. When arriving at the edge of the salt grass, Quinteria’s party pulled up beside him. They looked upon a sea of waist high waving grass that was one of the true wonders of this great continent. Usually from this location one would see hundreds of wild horses. Today not a solitary horse could be seen. It was in Quintrria’s mind that the young French horse catchers from across the Sabine were active again. As he was having these thoughts, a distant disturbance in the grass caught his eye. As he watched, he saw a band of horses approaching led by the magnificent Starface. As they came closer he could see two riders crowding them closely. One was a girl on a big white horse.

Now, very close to where the Spanish soldiers watched, the girl raced alongside Starface. The second rider, a young man, crowded Starface from the other side so he could not move away. Suddenly, when her position was right, she reached over, grabbed Starface’s mane, and slipped neatly from her seat onto the wild one’s back. All she took with her when she made the glide was a hair rope about 5 feet long. As Starface raced on at full speed, she threw a little loop over his head, tightened it, and then threw two half hitches around his nose. With this noseband to guide the runaway, she passed from sight. Immediately after she changed horses, her companion caught the reins of the white mount and led him over to where the Spanish sat in astonishment.

Quinteria had seen mustangers catch wild horses for years but he had never seen this method, and by a snip of a girl, if he had not seen it with his own eyes, he would not believe it. As the young man approached, the Captain could tell by his clothing that the boy was not French but Spanish. He asked, as the boy pulled up, “How is the girl going to stop that horse?”  “She’ll be ok, and will be back pretty soon,” he replied. He was her brother, as it turned out.

In about half an hour the girl was back, still astride Starface, who was now well winded. Using the hair rope she had checked him, gradually brought him around, and was now guiding him. She was maybe 14 years old, small and wiry, weighing about 70 pounds.

In later conversation, Captain Quinteria found these two youngsters were part of a MASTENERO (horse-catcher) family. They had been coming out of Mexico for years catching mustangs in this fashion as their only means of livelihood. Both Father and Mother had been “gliders” and also the brother who was now too heavy. Two younger sisters were awaiting their chance.

After the horses were well rested, the youngsters said, “Adios,” and leading the beautiful Starface, headed for their camp on the gulf.

Quinteria could have taken Starface by force, but after the pair had provided so much entertainment and shown so much skill, he could not bring himself to do so.

As the troop turned toward their camp, Quinteria was grinning. He had just released something he wanted very badly. A week ago he would have had the horse even if it required killing both youngsters. “Thank God,” he was on his way back to civilization….


Carolyn Dyess Bales

I am not selling this machine; nor have I been asked to promote it.   I am just mentioning it because I have purchased it and used it at two recent family reunions. It is a great tool for me for family reunions and also for crafts, scarp booking, etc.

The Flip-Pal is a mini, battery-powered scanner that you can take anywhere. It comes pre-loaded with batteries and a 2GB SD memory card. All you have to do to start scanning is take it out of its packaging. You don’t need to hook it up to a computer or plug it in; just switch it on, and press the scanning button! Magic!

As I mentioned, the Flip-Pal is a portable scanner designed to scan photographs.  It fits easily into a briefcase or a ladies’ medium-sized purse or into some overcoat pockets.  The Flip–Pal is 10.25 inches long, 6.5 inches wide, and 1.25 inches thick.  Though that is small it is possible to scan larger photos.  It really excels at any black-and-white or color photograph of 6-inches by 4-inches or smaller.

Once the images are scanned and stored on the card, you remove the SecureDigital card and insert it into your computer.  If your computer does not have a slot for a SecureDigital card, you can use the included adapter that accepts SecureDigital cards and plugs into your computer’s USB port.

The images on the card can be quickly transferred to the computer for further editing or uploading to web sites or for copying to other media.

The scanner can even be turned upside down to scan larger documents or pictures.   I guess that is why the word “flip” is in the product name; you can flip the scanner over and make scans of larger documents.   Larger documents and pictures are scanned one section at a time, as the scanner only handles a maximum size of 4 by 6 inches.  The individual partial images can then be “stitched together” with the included Windows Software.  By the way, the Easy Stitch software is available for Mac Computers also.

The Flip-Pal costs $150 or less (depending on any promotions at the time).   That price includes shipping, a SecureDigital Card, a SecureDigital-to-USB adapter, batteries, all the required software, and a one-year warranty.

Here is the website for the Flip-Pal Machine and all the other Information, FAQ’s, etc  –   http://flip-pal.com/

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Vol. 2 No. 1


Carolyn Dyess BalesWe all know we search for deceased people for our genealogy. However, tracing our family tree forward is a great way to enhance our genealogy experience. Sometimes “reverse genealogy” will give us new resources and allow us to connect with family members we never knew we had. From   experience I have connected with living relatives who have shared their family stories, pictures, and trees. How do we make these connections?   I’m sure there are many more ways than I have listed and would love to hear from you about your additional resources and experiences. Lets start with the Social Media. 1.  Facebook.com –   With almost a billion users, you have this resource to locate living relatives.  I have a Dyess (all spellings) page on facebook with over 600 members.  I would never have found a lot of information about the Dyess family without this resource.  It has enabled me to get ancestors’ pictures and stories that are priceless!   I also have a Bonnette (all spellings) Facebook Page. 2.  MySpace.com – I have not been as successful with mySpace locating as many relatives as I have with Facebook.  However, I have connected to a few relatives there also. 3.  Google+ Circles – This social network is like a genealogy conference.  It is designed for forced sharing with people who have common interests.  I have not been as successful with meeting new relatives there – but – I have been very successful getting general genealogy information from this source.  They do have a chat feature – but Facebook is getting that too.   Google+ Circles has the Group Chat that has been pretty successful. 4.  Linkedin.com – It is a business networking Site.   I have connected with relatives and the business genealogy world here. 5.  Twitter.com – This is, yet, another social networking tool with which I have had some success.  The best way for me to distinguish between Twitter and the other social media – is to me Twitter is more like texting on a phone.   You post a sentence and/or a few sentences to express an opinion or ask a question. Other ways to locate living people are: Newspapers – Articles, wedding announcements, obits, etc, lists living people.  A subscription site – GenealogyBank.Com – offers more than 5,800 historical newspapers, as well as a collection of modern obituaries from 1977 to present.  For links to collections by state, online  Historical Newspapers (sites.google.com/site/onlinenewspapersite) listings give the county and time period covered. Family Tree Data Bases – While a lot of living information is not placed in the trees, you can always contact the owner of the tree and share information about living people. Contacting the owner of the tree containing your ancestors can pay off. Here is a list of some of the available online trees: *

People Search Engines –    Court Records – Many types of court cases, including probate, bankruptcy and even traffic violations, can help you locate a person. As of now, I have not found a single website that offers a comprehensive way of searching records, and not every state will provide online access to case information.  I have, however, been successful with these types of records from Oklahoma.  I can’t remember if I had to pay a small fee or not; but, whatever I did, it was worth my time. Google Earth – If there is mention of a town or even an address where your family lived, you can easily discover what that place looks like today.  Believe me!   There is nothing like seeing a place to get a sense of what your family experienced.   I have done this many times and always get that goose bump feeling and such a sense of pride.   Here is one tool – earth-google.com Another is Historypin (historypin.com)  It has features similar to googleEarth.   Search for a place on a map and find historical images others have “pinned” on it.  You can overlay the photos onto the map. Mind County Histories – Google Booksbooks.google.com – I use this all the time!!!   BYU Family History Archivelib.byu.edu/fhc/index.php – I use this a lot too!!! Search for a Name geonames.usgs.gov Military Records – A few sites for this are: Chart – familytreemagazine.com/article/at-your-service Civil War – www.itd.nps.gov/cwss Military records – go.fold3.com Religious Recordswww.familysearch.org/#form=catalog There are many more online resources, websites, blogs, forums, etc – but – these are some ideas that might help you in your research.   Some of the content of this article is from my own experiences and some that I have gotten from Thomas MacEntee, Rick Crume and Nancy Henderson. I would  love to get feedback from you all – Carolyn Dyess Bales – CarolynDyessBales@yahoo.com

1940 U.S. Census


Carolyn Dyess Bales

For some reason unknown to us common mortals we have to wait 72 years before the census is released. For the 1940 census the 72 year wait is almost over. On April 2, 1940 there were 132,164,569 people living in America; today there are over 300,000,000 and 87% of these Americans can find a direct family link to one or more of those who were living in 1940. When the 1940 Census is opened to the public (April 2, 2012) you will have a window into every one of those 132 million lives: their names, where they lived, who shared their house, even where they were five years earlier. Many of these individuals are part of what has been called the greatest generation.   These are people who: *          Survived the Great Depression *          Fought in WWII and the many wars since *          Innovated technology: TV, microwave, internet, space exploration and     atomic energy *          Sacrificed in the name of freedom *          Practiced thrift and compassion *          Understood hard work and industry Where do you find the 1940 Census on April 2, 2012? *          Archives.com *          Familysearch.org *          Findmypast.com *          National Genealogical Society *          Ancestry.Com — A paid site. I am so excited about getting to view the 1940 Census.  Maybe it will help us climb some brick genealogy walls. If you have anything to share about the 1940 Census, we would love to get about it. Please share your experiences using the census with readers of Hineston Chronicles    

A Charivari Ends In A Homicide


{From the book Historic Hineston}  On Sunday last, just before midnight, Mr. F.T. Marler, constable of Hineston ward, arrived in Alexandria and took to the parish prison, two white men, Thos. Gentry, aged 25 years, and Claude Stewart, aged 24 years, charged with murder. The facts in the case are as follows: On or about April 10th Claude Stewart married the widow Warren, and the couple lived on Hemp Hill Creek, 25 miles west of Alexandria, and about one-half mile from Hunt’s saw mill. On Saturday night, April 20, at about 10 o’clock, a party consisting of about fifteen men and boys went to the house of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart for the purpose of giving them a charivari, and the accused say some of them fired buckshot into the house. Besides Mr. Stewart and his wife, Thos. Gentry, the brother in law of Mrs. Stewart, was in the house at the time the chaivaring party arrived. Stewart and Gentry, it is said, opened a window and shot into the crowd around the house. A young white boy, aged 14 years, named Jim Berry Johnson, son of James Johnson, received a buckshot in the forehead and one through the breast, stomach two more buckshot and a lot of flesh wounds in other parts of the body and died instantly. Two white men, F.M. Mitchem, aged 30 years, and Jim Ritchie aged 24 years, were also slightly wounded by the shots from the house. Justice, Jas. L. Whitehurst, of the Hineston ward, held an inquest  on  Sunday  the  27th,  assisted  by Dr. Collins, who resides in the neighborhood.. The weapon that is said to have done the damage was an old rifle remodeled into a muzzle-loading shotgun. Several of the parties who took part in the charivari say that no shots were fired by them; that the shooting done by them were with blank cartridges.


Weekly Town Talk May 31, 1890  

Blood For Blood


In our issue of May 3rd, we published an account of the killing of Jim Berry Johnson, the 14 year old son of James Johnson. This killing took place on Hemp Hill Creek, this parish, on the night of April 26th. The deceased was one of a party who went to charivari Claude Stewart, who married a widow on or about the 10th of April. The charivaring party were fired into from Stewarts house, which resulted in killing young Johnson, and wounding, F.M. Mitcham and Jim Ritchie. Claude Stewart and Thos. Gentry were arrested and charged with the killing of Johnston, and were brought to town and placed in jail on Sunday, the 27th of April. On Monday, May 5th, the accused were given a preliminary examination before Judge Blackman and were allowed appearance bonds in the sum of $300 each. Mesars J.J Hunt and C.O. Gentry were accused of being accessories in the killing and were also placed under appearance bonds of $300.00 each. In mentioning the fact that these men had been released on bond, Town Talk said there would be more trouble, and our predictions proved true. The parties named above accused of killing and being accessories to the killing of young Johnson, fearing trouble, left their home and went to work at White & Hatton’s saw mill, some 3 miles from Lena Station, and about 20 miles from their home. Jim Johnson, the father of the boy killed, swore vengeance against them all, and in company with John Bolan, went to the mill for the purpose of killing them. The best account we have yet seen of the affair, appeared in the Colfax Chronicle of the 24th inst, as follows: On Thursday morning, May 22nd about 10 o’clock the citizens of Colfax were startled to see two men walking up the river bank at the foot of Main Street, one of whom carried a double barreled shot gun, while the other was literally dripping and saturated with blood from fifteen wounds in his breast, arms and legs. They reported that about 7 o’clock while they were at work at White and Hatton’s mill in Rapides parish about five miles from Colfax, Jas. Johnson and John Bolan suddenly made their appearance and opened fire on them without warning, killing J.J. Hunt outright, and putting no less than nine buckshot in the body of Geo. C. Stewart who, notwithstanding, he was felled to the ground, arose and made his escape by flight in spite of two or three loads of buckshot sent after him by the assailing party. Thos. J. Gentry, who is the brother-in-law to the wounded man, made his escape without a scratch, although he says he had no warning until the guns fired, and is convinced they fully intended  to  kill  him. In  company  with  the wounded  man,

Gentry made his way on foot to Colfax, where Stewart is now under the treatment of Drs. Goad and Jones, who are as yet unable to pronounce upon the nature of his wounds, although the patient seems to be in a fair way to survive his many wounds. This affair is a sequel to the killing of young J.B. Johnson, and the wounding of two others, which occurred at Hemp Hill some seventeen miles west of Alexandria on the night of April 26th, when a charivari party was fired on from the house of Thos. J. Gentry. On the preliminary trial the Gentry party were admitted to bail in the sum of $300 each. As some threats of violence were made against them, Gentry and his relatives left Hemp Hill and came to White & Hatton’s mill near Lena Station, where they have been working for two or three weeks past, until the murderous assault made on them on Thursday morning. The body of Mr. J.J. Hunt was brought to Colfax on Friday and buried here. Mr. Hunt will be recollected by many of our citizens as a pleasant young man of correct deportment who clerked in the neighborhood of Fairmount several years ago. He was in no way connected with the killing of Johnson’s boy at the charivari, but seems to have been shot down in cold blood simply because he was a relative and extended aid and counsel to the persons concerned in the first trouble. Gentry says he has another brother living near Hemp Hill that he fears Johnson and Bolan may have killed before they came after himself and other brothers. The mill hands who witnessed the bloody work of the two men, said they gloated and  boasted  over  the  dead, and  swore they would kill the whole family if they remained on top of the ground. Each had a shotgun and a Winchester rifle, also side arms. They left the mill without molestation. The attacked party were unarmed. Sheriff Stafford received word of the killing on Thursday, the 22nd, by the steamer Garland, and left on the west bound T&P train on the same evening going to the Hemp Hill neighborhood where Johnson and Bolan reside. What was the Sheriff’s surprise to learn that not satisfied with the killing done at White & Hatton’s mill, John Bolan had gone back to the neighborhood of Hemp Hill, on Thursday, the 22nd, and about 3 o’clock p.m. had called out and shot C.C. Stewart at his saw mill, and shot him to death with a Winchester rifle. C.C. Stewart was the father of Claude Stewart, wounded by John Bolan and Jim Johnson at White & Hatton’s mill that same morning. The Sheriff tried to find out something about Bolan and Johnson and which direction they had gone, but every man, woman and child ask were as dumb as an oyster, some from fear, others because of friendship. Johnson’s wife told the Sheriff that as soon as her husband had killed Gentry he would surrender to the authorities. It is said that Jim Johnson wears next to his heart the bloody hat his son wore at the time he was killed at the charivari. In our last issue we stated that John Estes was accused of taking part in the killing of Hunt. The report was in error. John Estes had nothing to do with it. Sheriff Stafford has sent out through out the country posters offering a reward of $200 each or $100 each for the arrest of either Johnson or Bolen. The posters read as follows: I will pay a reward of $100 for the arrest of John W. Bolen, about 30 years of age, 6 feet in height, weight about— lbs.; light blue eyes, full round face, florid complection. One upper front tooth missing. Wanted for the murder of C.C. Stewart. I will also pay $100 for the arrest of James Johnson, 37 years of age, looks older, about 5 feet 10 inches in height, weighs about 160 lbs.; light mustache and chin beard, sprinkled with gray; light eyes; complection sallow. Wanted for murder of J.J. Hunt.                                                                           D. T. Stafford Sheriff of Rapides Parish, La. John Bolan has only been living in this parish a few years. He has the reputation of being a bad man and his latest murder of a defenceless (sic) old man, like Mr. Stewart, goes to prove the fact beyond dispute. Such men should be hung up to the first tree. His case is entirely different from that of Johnson, because Johnson’s son was killed almost for nothing, and every parent must know how he feels, but Bolan seems to be killing people just to keep his hand in. T.J. and C.C. Gentry came to Alexandria on last Thursday evening and are now at the jail here. They will remain there for safety, as their lives have been threatened by Jim Johnson. As Johnson now has no chance of killing the Gentry boys, it would be wise for him to come in and surrender to the authorities.


Jim Johnson and John Bolan were both convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Petitions were being circulated in Louisiana and Arkansas for the release of Mr. Johnson, when he died in prison. He died a few months after he arrived there in 1890. According to members of the Johnson family, John “Bolen’s” name was Bolton – not Bolen or Bolan as reported by the paper. It is not known whether the persons who killed young Johnson were ever brought to trial. After his 14 year old son was shot, Mr. Jim Johnson reportedly went to the Stewart house and said, “You have killed my son;” whereupon the lady of the house said “Then take your dead and leave”. Johnson replied, “I will, but I will be back”.


FAMILY:       J. B. DYESS DATE:                        APRIL 28, 2012 TIME:             9:00 AM TO 2:OO PM PLACE:          2015 SHIRLEY PARK PL. ALEXANDRIA, LA. HOST:            REV. B.G. “BERNICE” DYESS CONTACT:    LIN DYESS STEWART        318 880 1966 CAROLYN DYESS BALES 318 792 8426 DON C. MARLER                 318 443 7985 REMINDER:  LOCALS BRING A DISH. — MEAT AND DRINKS WILL BE                                        PROVIDED. TRAVELERS JUST COME AND ENJOY. BRING PHOTOS, ETC. INVITED:       FRIENDS AND RELATIVES.


FAMILY:       DYESS REUNION—PRIMARILY THE WILLIAM DYESS LINE OF                            THE 6 DYESS BROTHERS FROM BARNWELL, S.C. DATE:                        MAY 5, 2012 TIME:             10:00 AM PLACE:          COMMUNITY CENTER, CARSON MISS. CONTACT:    BERNICE DYESS                             601 943 6232 CAROLYN DYESS BALES             318 792 8426 REMINDER:  BRING COVERED DISH BRING PICTURES AND STORIES


FAMILY:       GEORGE LEE DYESS DATE:                        MAY 26, 2012 TIME:             10:00AM TO 8:00 PM PLACE:          OUTSIDE EDOM & CHANDLER—BOBBY DYESS HOMESTEAD,                            580 VZCR 4828, TYLER, TEXAS. CONTACT:    KEITH DYESS AT-scarpetta_tx@hotmail.comCAROLYN BALES   318 792 8426


FAMILY:       DYESS (CHRISTOPHER OF THE 6 BARNWELL BROTHERS) DATE:                        MAY 12, 1012 TIME:             STARTS 10:00 AM PLACE:          REBEL PARK, 1260 HWY 1221 MARTHAVILLE, LA. PH. 472 6255 CONTACT:    VERA DYESS                                   318 472 9420 AUDREY SIMS                                318 949 5196 CAROLYN DYESS BALES                         318 792 8426 REMINDER:   BRING PICTURES AND STORIES.


FAMILY:       BONNETTE DATE:                        JUNE 9, 1012 TIME:                         10:00 AM PLACE:          HINESTON TABERNACLE, HINESTON, LA. CONTACT:    ALMETA BONNETTE         318 442 6639 CAROLYN DYESS BALES 318 792 8426



The School of Business at Northwestern University and friends have established an endowed professorship for Dr. Tommy G. Johnson. Tommy taught in the School of Business for nineteen years; fifteen of those years were as department head. He was inducted into the School of Business Hall of Distinction in 2001. He lives in Natchitoches with his wife Liz Walker Johnson. Congratulations!! Tommy and Liz



RUBY J. BOUNDS — Ruby, wife of Joesph “Joe” Bounds, passed away on February 20, 2012. She was 84 years old. PAULINE BEASSIE — Helen Pauline Beassie Henry passed away March 4, 2012. She was 91 years of age. She was buried at New Hope Cemetery. WINFRED HOLT — No specific information available at this time. JOHN WAYNE HOLT — No specific information available at this time. EARL CLINTON LEWIS — Earl, 83 years of age, passed away on January 24, 2012. He was buried at Camp 8 Pentecostal Cemetery.


LSU Museum

Don and Sybil Marler made a trip to the LSU Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens in Baton Rouge to attend the 200th Anniversary of the entry of Louisiana as a state of the US. The theme was the Neutral Zone, and since Redbones were important to the early history of the Neutral Zone, Don was asked to speak about the history and culture of these early settlers. The museum has been rated by the British Museum as one of the top ten outdoor museums in the world. It was started in 1970 with a gift of 450 acres to the university. It is easily located. Directions are as follows: take I-10 toward New Orleans to Essen Lane and turn right. About 500 feet down Essen you will see the entrance on the right. Phone: 225 765 2437 Email: rurallife@lsu.edu    Web: www.rurallife.lsu.eduHINESTON COMMEMORATIVE COIN In honor of the 200th birthday of Hineston this commemorative coin is made available. It should be an historic piece that reflects our memory of the place and most of all, its people—our forbearers. When these are gone there will likely be no more. The cost including S & H is $12.50. Send to: Don C. Marler, 112 Chris Lane Pineville, La. 71360. {Editorial note: Thanks to  Phil Carrico from Liberty County, Texas for use of his story. He has several books: Google them. The boys along the Calcasieu and Sieper Creek should enjoy this one. Don Marler}


 Hog hunting in Liberty County…




Phil Carrico


PREFACE: Hog hunting in Liberty County is something most folks do not do anymore – however, for many years here folks did it to put food on the table. The men in this story still hunt for sport, but also to keep the old time traditions of our ancestors alive.

Horses, men and dogs - ready for the hunt


In the old days, if by the tail end of February those rural East Texas families didn’t have fresh hog-meat hanging in the smokehouse, something was wrong. If you didn’t know the difference, let me explain: A West Texas cowboy would subsist on pan-fried beef the year round and would actually get ruffled feathers if you had the audacity to suggest a variation in diet. He somewhere got the idea that hog-meat, catfish, greens or new taters is something that will tarnish his cowboy image. On the other hand an East Texas cowboy, the minute ice starts forming in the cow tracks, would head for the river bottom. He spends as much time in the pursuit of wild Piney Wood Rooter Hogs as he did speckled backed mossy horned cattle. The Piney Wood Rooter, of course, is that species of hog that has, over the past hundred and fifty years, adapted itself to the river bottoms of East Texas. The Rooters are presently moving toward the same fate as the American buffalo and the Big Thicket black bear. Their habitat, in this area, has been reduced in the last couple of decades to the very limited area of uninhabited bottoms that still exist along the Trinity, Neches and Sabine rivers in East Texas. The southern edge of the Big Thicket where the Trinity exists, at one time, was the range of thousands upon thousands of these hardy creatures. They subsisted chiefly on wild acorns and pecans, but would eat anything from dead cattle to marsh grass. The stories of these old time swine are thick as fleas in this Big Thicket country. In the early days it was no chore to find a ten-year-old boar weighing anywhere from three to four hundred pounds and carrying up to four inches of ivory curving upwards from his lower jaw. Garland Taylor is my wife’s son by a former marriage and has lived on the edge of the Big Thicket for his entire fifty years. Garland has a nice place in Hardin between highway 146 and the Trinity River, in Liberty County. Going horseback from his place, he can be in the river bottom on the East Side of the Trinity in a short twenty minutes.

Hanging the sausage to smoke

Hanging the sausage to smokeWe recently visited Garland and his wife and immediately on our arrival, he took me to the back of his house to show me his new smokehouse. When he opened the door, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. The smell was so overwhelming that saliva began filling my mouth and memories of the old days began flooding my thoughts. I had not smelled the spicy magnificence of fresh, handmade pork sausage, which was curing under the lazy smoke of a native pecan wood fire, for many years. As I drank in the fragrance and looked inside, I saw hundreds of sausage hanging from nails driven into the rafters.  After standing there for sometime feasting my nose, I realized the door was open and too much smoke was escaping, so I stepped out and closed the door. As I glanced around I saw the scraping platform with portions of hog hair still laying there; the scalding barrel and the scale-like bar where the animals were hung by their Achilles tendons to be gutted. In the conversation that followed, I discovered these sausages had come from wild Piney Wood Rooter Hogs which had been caught in the nearby river bottom. The animals had been brought in alive and grain fed for two months prior to butchering. Garland then guided me to an elevated pen in a back corner behind the smokehouse and to my surprise, pointed to a live Piney Wood Rooter in the pen. The hog was about two years old, had wild long hair growing in all directions along his back, a long nose with his upper lips just beginning to bulge with the tusks that were starting to grow. The hog watched us with menacing eyes, but had already learned that it did no good to charge, because the strong hog wire enclosing the pen was rough on his nose. Garland informed me the hog had been caught as a boar, but had been castrated. He said the musk associated with a boar hog would now be absent and makes the meat of the animal, when butchered, more palatable. Our entire conversation over dinner that evening dwelt with hog hunting and hog hunters. As I have already indicated, I was not completely ignorant of hog hunting. After all, I had grown up in the area. I remembered an old gentleman from Daisetta, who had sustained a large family and kept the wolf from the door for over fifty years, primarily by hunting these temperamental creatures. His name was Bowen Taylor – a relative of Garlands. Bowen, from all reports, was the absolute king of hog hunters in the lower Trinity Valley. Garland’s description of his last hog hunt is as follows: It was a cold Saturday morning this past December. I was up feeding my dogs at 4 AM. The reason for feeding so early was because the dogs should not be run on a full stomach. As it was turning light around 6AM, my brother, Jimbo, the Potez brothers and John Brett rode up to my house. Good thing I didn’t have any close neighbors, cause the sound hog dogs make when they know they are going on a hunt is a little short of thunder. All together, with my two, we had nine dogs. I realized that was too many dogs, but the boys had some young dogs they wanted to work and since we were all holding down full time jobs, there might not be too many chances.

Jimmy Taylor unleashing the dogs


Jimmy Taylor unleashing the dogs

A light mist began falling as we entered the bottom and our horses were laboring through knee-deep muck. The dogs were fanning the area to our front and it was a pleasure to see the young dogs imitating the old experienced ones. The boys were in a high ol’ mood. They were laughing and joking and listening to the music of those dogs. Although we were enjoying the comradely, our ears were always cocked for a tone change in the sound of the dogs. Once they hit a trail, the tone became eager and expectant and began moving away from you at an accelerated rate. Many times you had to do some tall riding through thorn thickets to keep the sound in range. Since we all wore cowhide leggings and had been bush popping since we could walk – we could handle the ride. The dogs were becoming too scattered and I had just lifted my hand carved cow horn to blow them in closer when Jimbo’s dog, Ol’ Blue, changed his tone. As we set spurs to our mounts, we could hear the other dogs converging on ol’ Blue’s sound. The hog had started running north or up-river and we realized we had to get there by the time the hogs stopped running and the dogs bayed. With this many dogs, they would kill the prey if we were late getting there to beat them off. As we were storming through the thickets watching for low hanging limbs and armadillo holes, we heard the dogs bay. We were still too far away and increased our speed to try and save the poor hog the dogs had bayed.As I broke into a small clearing that was covered with palmettos, the first thing I saw was one of the young dogs being thrown some seven feet into the air. The screaming of the dogs, the grunting and snorting, but mostly the musk smell that suddenly penetrated my nostrils told me beyond doubt, the dogs had bayed one of the most dangerous things on the continent – an ol’ Piney Rooter boar hog. As the other riders came up and we moved in closer to the action, we could see two of the young dogs were already out of the fight and bleeding profusely. The older and more experienced dogs had more respect and knew better than to charge headlong into those four-inch ivories that were sharp as razors. The young dogs were paying a bitter price for their inexperience. The hog, which looked to be a ten-year-old, stood nearly three-foot at the shoulders and in the neighborhood of four hundred pounds, was going about his self-preservation in a business like manner. By this time all six of the young dogs had been cut and had learned the foolishness of getting in range of those flashing tusks. The hog had backed into the depression left by a large pin oak tree, where it had uprooted and gone over. He had his back up against the root base and was quite effective in teaching a lesson to those young dogs. I took my rope from the saddle and as the dogs kept his attention; I walked up the log from the opposite side of the protruding roots. I dropped a loop over the hog’s head and just let it lie until he stepped forward and put a foot inside the loop. I knew if I tightened the noose with just his head in it, he would jerk out. As the boar stepped into the loop, I jerked and as the hog fell on his side, the other boys jumped him. Holding his ears and legs so he couldn’t slash with his tusks, the boys got a hitch around his snout and quickly tied his feet together. The boys had slapped the excited dogs away with their hats and after just a few frantic minutes; the dangerous animal was ready to be hauled to the fattening pen. Of course coaxing one of our mounts to accept this smelly bundle on his back was another problem to overcome.

Garland bringing the bacon home

Our hunt as far as getting the rest of this pack was out of the question. We had to stop the bleeding on six young dogs and spend time tying each dog up – so we could stitch up his wounds.

Garland bringing the bacon ho

Readying a cut dog for stitches 

As Garland came to the end of his story, I asked about stitching the dogs. He took out his wallet and showed me a small sewing kit. It contained a stainless steel half moon needle and a quantity of gut thread. He explained that no hog-hunter would take to the woods without his stitch kit and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. He grinned and said, “Of course the whiskey is strictly for antiseptic purposes”. These boys skin the hogs (a process I had not seen before) I tried to continue the conversation, but Garland had gone into a trance-like state and seemed to be reliving the hunt through the telling.   I suppose that state is what you call “Hawg Heaven”.









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