Rapides Parish, Louisiana History and Genealogy
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Frank H. Neal, planter, Boyce, La. Mr. Neal is a native born resident of the parish, his birth occurring on the plantation where he now lives, four miles west of Alexandria, in the year 1852, and is the son of Merida and Ann (Henderson) Neal. born, respectively, in Washington County, Ga., in 1799, and Rapides Parish, La., in 1823. The father received his education in Georgia and Louisiana, and was engaged at different times in farming on rented land and managing a plantation for Mrs. Bayard, of Rapides Parish. After several years he purchased, in partnership with Richard Winn, a place, on which our subject now makes his home. After the death of Mr. Winn his interest was purchased by Mr. Neal, and became a tine property. He served as a member of the Legislature from Rapides Parish one term (1847 and 1848), and died in the parish in 1850.
The mother died in 1878. Frank H. Neal finished his education at the State Seminary, near Alexandria, and since then has been actively engaged in tilling the soil, being the present owner of one of the finest farms in this section. He has never aspired to public office, but takes great interest in all matters pertaining to the advancement of his State, and especially the locality in which he resides. He was married in November, 1874, to Miss Martha J. Texada, daughter of Thomas and Martha J. (Gordon) Texada, who were natives of Rapides Parish, La. Mr. Texada died in 1872, but Mrs. Texada is still living and makes her home in Rapides Parish, near the home of our subject. She is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Neal is a member of the K. of H., Enterprise Lodge No. 3552, at Boyce, and he is also a member of the A. F. & A. M., Fellowship Lodge, at Hineston. He is a member of the Methodist find his wife a member of the Episcopal Church.
C. W. Owen, merchant, Cheneyville, La. It is difficult for anyone unfamiliar with merchandising to form a correct estimate of the-magnitude of the trade in Cheneyville. Among those whose knowledge, courage and resolution have met with signal success may be mentioned Mr. C. V. Owen, who is one of the prominent merchants of the town. Although he has been here but one year, he has already won a large patronage. He was born in Alabama, and there his youth and boyhood were spent. He was educated in Now Orleans, and became agent for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company at this point in 1880. This position he held for ten years, and was joint agent for the Union Pacific and Texas Pacific Railroads, being their agent at New Iberia two years of that time. He married Miss Claudia Pierce, daughter of Hon. S. S. Pierce, of Avoyelles Parish, La., and to this union have been born two children: Claude P. and Chauncey H. Mr. Owen engaged in merchandising shortly after his marriage, and this has occupied his attention ever since. He is a Master Mason, and in politics is Democratic. He is the son of John and Susannah (Frasier) Owen, the father a native of Georgia, but who resided in Mobile, Ala., the principal part of his life. He was a steamboat man, and was the owner of several steamers. The maternal grandfather was a French Huguenot.
Maj. E. B. Pendleton of Alexandria, La., is one of the most extensive cotton planters of Rapides Parish, and is now residing on the old Bailey plantation four miles from Alexandria, on Bayou Robert's Road. The Bailey plantation was the home of the lamented Gen. Bailey, the father-in-law of our subject. It is one of the most picturesque places on Red River, and the stately old mansion is one of the landmarks that escaped destruction during the late Civil War. The spacious yards are filled with trees and shrubbery, the rarest that cultivated taste could desire or money purchase, and the massive pillars still bear witness as to the grandeur of its former days. Maj. Pendleton was born in Caroline County, Va., in 1828, and when about twenty years of age traveled to the Pacific slope by way of Cape Horn, going as sutler of Company A, United States Light Artillery, commanded by Col. Magruder. He located at San Diego, and there remained until 1857, engaged in general business. He was also treasurer of the county in which he located for a term. In the last mentioned year he returned on a visit, was induced to stay and entered business in St. Louis, Mo., remaining there until the breaking out of the war.
From there he went to New York City, thence to Baltimore, Md., and later, on the underground railroad to Richmond, Va. He put up at Mrs. Surratt's Tavern, which was kept by the lamented Mrs. Surratt who was hanged for being implicated in the killing of President Lincoln. He was well acquainted with Mrs. Surratt and her daughter and son. John Surratt drove our subject a considerable distance on the underground railway. At Richmond, Va., Maj. Pendleton met Gen. Magruder and joined his staff as chief commissary, serving in the Lone Star State. He fought in the battle of Galveston, and when Gen. Magruder was ordered to Arkansas in 1864, the Major was ordered to Richmond, Va., as bearer of dispatches.
He was captured en route, taken to New Orleans, thence to Fort La Fayette, and then to Fort Delaware, where he was subsequently released by order of Gen. Grant. John Mitchell, the Irish patriot, who had two sons in the Confederate Army, crossed the ocean to America, and was with Maj. Pendleton on the underground railway, to Richmond. After the war Maj. Pendleton spent some time in Canada and New York, and resumed business in St. Louis during 1866 and 1867. In 1867 he married Mrs. Elizabeth Pickett, daughter of Gen. William Bailey, and withdrew from the firm in St. Louis taking charge of his father-in-law's plantation, where he resides at the present time. Mrs. Gen. William Bailey, the mother of Mrs. Pendleton, was born in Alexandria, Halifax County, Va., in 1818, the daughter of Alexander and Sarah Butler (Henry) Scott, natives of Fauquier County, Va., and descendants from some of the best families in that State. The father was a member of the Legislature of his county. He was in the theater at Richmond that burned causing such destruction of life, and jumping from a window assisted in saving the lives of many people. The mother was a daughter of the well known orator and statesman, Patrick Henry.
Mrs. Bailey married Gen. Bailey in 1835. He was also a native of Virginia, born in Lexington, in 1804, and reared and educated in his native State. He was occupied at different times as a merchant and farmer. Some time prior to the war he moved south taking with him a large number of Negroes, first settled in Mississippi, and in 1858 purchased the plantation in Louisiana, where Mrs. Bailey now resides. After the war he was almost totally wrecked financially, and died in 1878; his widow still survives him, although old in years, is well preserved, and a most brilliant and entertaining conversationalist. To Mr. and Mrs. Pendleton were born these children: Eugene, Allen B. (of Laclede National Bank, St. Louis), and Alice. Two children, Florence and Hattie, are deceased. The Major as well as his wife is a member of the Episcopal Church. He is recorder of Summit Council No. 12, and scribe in Keystone Chapter No. 44, A. F. & A. M. His parents, John L. and Elizabeth (Magruder) Pendleton, were natives of the Old Dominion. The mother was a sister of Gen. Magruder, and a sister also of Capt. George Magruder of the navy [for genealogy see sketch of Judge Thompson].
Col. William Polk. No name in the annals of the country is more highly honored, or held in more profound esteem than that of Polk. It dates with prominence far back in American history. The grandfather of the subject of this sketch was Col. William Polk, of Raleigh, N. C. He served with prowess in the Revolutionary War, and was one of the July members of The Order of Cincinnati of which George Washington was president, and Knox, secretary. Gen. Thomas G. Polk, the eldest son of Col. William Polk, was the father of Col. Polk. He was a graduate of Yale, and a man of ability. Col. Polk was graduated from Chapel Hill, and came from North Carolina to Tennessee with his parents in his early boyhood. Later on he emigrated to Louisiana, and for several years was connected in the culture of cane, with his distinguished uncle. Bishop Polk.
He made his mark in the State, as a man of ability, and soon amassed a fortune, being at the breaking out, of the war one of the largest, slave owners in the State. He cared little for the political arena, was conservative, disapproved of secession, but when he saw it was inevitable, was heart and soul with the South. He sustained heavy losses, but has become one of the successful planters of Rapides. Since the war he has built, up a lovely home, and is one of Rapides honored citizens. He married Miss Lamar, of Georgia, a name also of National fame, and a family that has given to the country men of prowess, and women of culture. Col. Polk has three children born and reared in Rapides Parish: Alice a woman of exquisite loveliness, married Mr. V. P. Flower, a prominent sugar planter of the parish. Eloise married Mr. D. S. Ferris, of New York, a young man highly connected, and William Polk, Jr. Mrs. Ferris and her husband reside on the plantation; she is a woman of rare culture and refinement, and is a devoted wife and daughter, making the home one of pleasantness and peace, for her husband and parents. William Polk, Jr., or Willie Polk as he is familiarly called, is a young man who is slightly passed his majority, and a rising politician of the State.
He was educated in the best schools of the State, and is brilliant and ambitious. He is a member of the police jury of Rapides Parish, and is an active participant in all public affairs of his parish and State. He is looked upon as a subject of future honors outside of his parish, and the outlook for him is full of promise. The following is a description of the coat of arms of the Polk family: On a shield of green, a cross of gold between three bugles, of silver. The crest greatest of heraldic honors wild boar transfixed with an arrow, the device, Boldly and firmly! The coronet on the shield represents the royal Stewarts of Scotland. The founder of the Polk family in America inherited the blood of a long line of Scottish kings. He was a direct descendant of Lady Egdia Stewart, daughter of Princess Margaret, and sister of King Robert II. Margaret was aunt of the Earl of Lennox, who was grandfather of King James IV. and direct ancestor of Queens Elizabeth and Victoria of England. The American Polk family is called in Scotland, The Clan of High Officers.
B. Pressburg is a merchant and hotel keeper of Lecompte, La., and like the majority of his countrymen he is intelligent, honest, thrifty and industrious. He is of Hebrew birth, born in Russia, in 1846, but was reared and educated in Germany. In 18(55 he came to the United States, and landed in New York City, but immediately came west and began peddling in Michigan, his headquarters being at Grand Rapids. He remained in that State until 1867, when he came to New Orleans and followed the same occupation throughout the surrounding country, until 1869, at which time he went to Alexandria, where he peddled until 1872. By 1870 he had by economy saved enough money to enable him to open a store on a small scale, and with a partner operated it until 1871, when they broke up, anjd he once more shouldered his pack and went on the road, continuing until the fall of 1872, when he began building a store on Bayou Boeuf, on the Widow Martin plantation. Opening his establishment the same year. In the spring of 1873 he was married to Miss Henrietta Jackson, who died on April 23, 1879, leaving two children; Israel and Jacob. On May 26, 1880, Johannah Borngesser, a native German, became his wife, and their union has been blessed in the birth of four children: Edgar, Tennie, Henry and Solomon.
Mr. Pressburg lived on the Martin place until 1882, then came to Lecompte, and placed his goods in the brick store building belonging to J. A. Stevens. In addition to this, he was in the grist milling business and operated a gin-house, and in 1883 was agent for the Wells Fargo Express Company. In the fall of that year he was appointed postmaster of Lecompte, a position He held under Presidents Arthur and Cleveland, but being a Democrat, he was thrown out of office when Harrison became President. In 1884 he purchased a lot on which he erected him a residence, also a storehouse, adjoining the same and other real estate. The same year of his purchase, he began selling goods in his own building, and in 1885 began keeping hotel, his establishment being especially fitted up for the accommodation of traveling men, a large sleeping apartment being built to the house in 1889. In connection with his hotel he runs a livery and back line to the depot. He does a creditable business and his merchandise comprises a stock valued at, from $5,000 to $6,000, the storeroom being 37x60 feet with an upstairs. This is managed by clerks, while the most of his attention is given to the successful management of his hotel. He is a progressive gentleman, and is active in attending to the wants of his patrons.
Benjamin H. Randolph is a prominent saw miller of Rapides Parish, La., and in this parish, where he was born in 1848, all his interests and affections are centered. As he grow up, his education was acquired in the common schools of this region, and his knowledge of life was only such as could be gained while working on his father's plantation. At a later period he learned the trade of carpenter and builder, and for some years followed the saw milling business, operating a mill in this parish, at which he made considerable money. In 1878 he engaged exclusively in the mercantile business at Bismarck, continuing until June 1889, but a credit business almost ruined him, there being some three or four thousand dollars he could never collect. He. is the owner of 700 acres of land, a small portion of which is under cultivation.
He is associated in the saw milling business with Joseph Meeks, their establishment turning out about 5,000 feet per day, the demand for their lumber being greater than they can supply. His marriage took place in this parish, and was to Miss Sarah G Simpson, by whom he has five children: Sarah, Mary, James, Florence and Robert. Mr. Randolph is a Democrat. He is a son of William and Esther (Hadley) Randolph, the former born in New York and the latter in Mississippi. William Randolph is a descendant of John Randolph, of Roanoke, famous in the early history of this country, and although his early life was spent in his native State, he was taken to Mississippi at a very early day, and later came to Louisiana. He was a tanner by trade, and became a magistrate near Lecompton. He and his wife became the parents of five children who grew to maturity, and one that died in infancy. Benjamin H. Randolph was appointed a member of the police jury from Spring Hill Ward in 1884, and after serving out, his term was reappointed by the governor.
Christopher Lewis Ransdell, deputy district, clerk. He was born in the parish in which he is now residing June 1, 1855, being a son of John Hickman and Amanda Louisa (Terrell) Ransdell, the former of whom was born in Frankfort, Ky., being reared to the profession of journalism, graduating in that calling from the office of the Louisville Courier, which afterward became the Courier Journal. In the early history of Rapides Parish, La., he came thither, and for a time conducted the Red River Whig, but, subsequently engaged in merchandising, and still later turned his attention to planting and was following this calling at the time of his death, which occurred in 1809, he being accidentally killed. He was a son of Christopher Ransdell and Martha (Hickman) Ransdell, the latter a daughter of Parson William Hickman, a member of the well known Hickman family of Kentucky, who accompanied Daniel Boone to that State and left an undying name and fame upon the pages of the history of the Blue-Grass State.
On both sides of this family they are found to be connected with Revolutionary War times, the Hickman family being particularly famous during that time. Christopher Lewis Ransdell is the sixth child and fourth son in a family of five sons and four daughters born to his parents, of whom four sons and two daughters are now living. He grew to manhood on his father's plantation in this parish, receiving meager educational advantages on account of the war; was sworn in as deputy parish clerk on his twenty-first birthday, a position He has very acceptably filled ever since, being faithful, efficient, and a true and trusty officer. His marriage, which occurred in the city of New Orleans in December, 1887, was to Miss Cordelia, daughter of Joseph and Cordelia (Bowles) Hoy, of Rapides Parish, natives of Ohio find Louisiana, respectively. Mr. Ransdell is vice chancellor of Alexandria Lodge No. 3, of the K. of P., and he and his family worship in the Roman Catholic Church.
H. M. Rogers belongs to the successful general mercantile firm of Rogers & Hartier, of Welchton, La., and as a man of business is keen, shrewd and enterprising. He was born in Rapides Parish, La., in 1845, David and Clara (Curtis) Rogers, who were born in Ireland and Louisiana in 1812 and 1818, respectively, but when a boy the father was brought to the United States by relatives, his home at first being in the Old North State. He afterward came to the Pelican State, and was here married about 1833, and in this State continued to make his home until his death, which occurred in 1855, he being a member of the Presbyterian Church and the A. F, & A. M. fraternity at the time of his death. His widow, who survives him. makes her home with her son in Alexandria, and is an earnest member of the Episcopal Church.
The paternal grandfather was a Presbyterian minister of Ireland, and the maternal grandfather was a cotton planter in Rapides Parish. H. M. Rogers was attending school when the Civil War broke out, and in 1862, when only sixteen years of age, he dropped his books to enlist in the Confederate Army, becoming a member of Company K, Crescent Regiment, afterward taking part in the battle of Shiloh. In the latter part of 1862, under the act excluding all persons under eighteen years of age from the service, he was discharged and returned home. He re-enlisted, however, in 1863, in the Second Louisiana Cavalry, and this time was on active duty until the war was practically over, having taken part in the battle of Pleasant Hill and numerous skirmishes. He was at Alexandria at the time of Lee's surrender. The war crippled him badly financially, and after he returned home he secured work as a steamboat clerk. In 1867 he was married to Mrs. Osborne, daughter of Joseph Duval, but his wife died in 1877, and in 1883 be married Miss Fannie, daughter of William and Catherine Mace, natives of, Pennsylvania. In 1869 Mr. Rogers first began planting where he now lives, and in 1882 opened a mercantile establishment, forming, in 1884, a partnership with A. Hartier, with whom he has since been associated, their annual business amounting to $15,000. Mrs. Rogers is a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Rogers is the father of six children: Charles (in Texas), Florence, Daisy, Fannie, Henry and Una, all of whom are receiving excellent educational advantages as they grow up.
Moses Rosenthal. Among the many enterprises necessary to complete the commercial resources of a town or city, none is of more importance than that of the grocer, being one of the main factors in the furnishing of our food supplies. Prominent in this trade is the establishment of Mr. Rosenthal, which was established in 1879, and has resulted very satisfactorily. He was born in Alsace, France (now Germany) /August 28, 1828, son of Isaiah and Sarah (Meyer) Rosenthal, the former a merchant of Oberlanderbach. In this town Moses grew to manhood, and learned the trade of a merchant, but in 1840 be decided to come to America, his first landing being made at New Orleans. in January of the following year be came to Alexandria, and clerked a few years, but in July 1849, went to Cotile Landing, where he kept a warehouse four years. He then opened a store in that neighborhood, which he conducted until the opening of the war, at which time he sold out and went into the army, remaining in the service until May 10, 1805, at which time he was paroled at Meridian, Miss., and returned to Alexandria. He then embarked in general merchandising, which be conducted for two years, and in 1879 took up the grocery business, which has since received his attention. He was married in New Orleans, October 28, 1865, to Miss Regina Bloom, who was born in Bavaria, Germany, a daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Bloom, and to them four sons and five daughters have been born: Sarah, Gertrude, Pauline, Benjamin, J., Isaac, Bertha, Esther, Emil and Gilbert Cleveland. Mr. Rosenthal is a Mason of long standing, has served as a member of the city council, and for seven years was parish treasurer. He and his family are members of the Hebrew Church.
Stephen Harris Ensuing, M. D., is one of the most trustworthy physicians and surgeons of Rapides Parish, La., and as he has obtained a liberal share of public favor, it is one of the best proofs of his skill and care. He was born near Whitesboro, Anson County, N. C, October 25, 1834, being a son of Col. James Madison and Susan (Rushing) Rushing (not related), the former of whom was a successful find prosperous cotton planter and a representative man of his county. Both were descended from old and prominent families, who made names for themselves during the Revolutionary War. and after its dose devoted themselves mainly to agricultural pursuits, though many became ministers, professional and business men. In about 1835 the parents removed to Alabama and settled in Sumter County, where the subject of this sketch grew to manhood, obtaining in the meantime a good literary education in Tutwiler College at Green Springs, Ala., after which he began studying medicine and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1853. The next year was spent in practicing on his father's plantation in Sumter County, but the following year came to Louisiana, spending about eight months in practicing in Ouachita Parish, after which he traveled until 1856, at, the end of which time he decided to locate at Evergreen, Avoyelles Parish, where he remained until the opening of the Rebellion.
He immediately enlisted as a private in the Confederate Army, but was appointed staff surgeon for brave Gen. Finley in the Army of Tennessee, in which capacity be served until the surrender. He then returned to Evergreen, resumed his practice, and here remained until 1880, when He came to Alexandria, of which place he has been one of the leading practitioners ever since. He has a paying practice in the town and surrounding country, and as he is painstaking and very faithful in the discharge of his duties he fully deserves his success. He was married at, Evergreen to Miss Flavilla J. Duvall, a native of Louisiana and a descended of an honorable Maryland family. The Doctor and his wife have three daughters: Inez May, Mary Eliza (wife of Thomas Moore Biossat), and Flavilla Duvall. The Doctor has long been a Mason and has passed through all the degrees of the chapter. He is a member of the Episcopal Church, of which his two eldest, daughters are also members, but his wife and third daughter are Methodists. In connection with his practice he carries on planting, and from his earliest child hood has been familiar with the culture of cotton. Hon. Michael Ryan, retired attorney of Alexandria, La. For many years, or since locating in this parish, Mr. Evan has enjoyed the reputation of being not only a substantial and progressive citizen, but is an intelligent and thoroughly posted man in all public, affairs. He has always been noted for honesty and uprightness of character.
He was born in Darrow, Kings County, Ireland, in December, 1812, to James and Catherine (Moore) Evan, both families having long been well known near the town of Tollamore. Some members of the family of Evan became noted divines, and were men of marked ability and long-lived. In 1835) Michael Ryan emigrated, iti search of a fortune, to the new world, and as he received a fine classical education in his native land, he soon secured the position of professor of Latin in the Spring Hill College of Rapides Parish, at the same time teaching and reading law, and before he had been a year in the parish he was admitted to the bar and began practicing, a calling he followed with the best, success for many years, occupying a front rank in his profession. His success in life at the bar bits been attained rather by the force of native talent and culture than by tact, find his style, both in speaking and writing, is forcible, smooth and convincing. He has always been a Democrat, active in local and State politics, and in 1851, on the earnest solicitation of his many friends, he was elected to the State Legislature, and served two sessions.
In 1854 he was elected to the Senate, serving four years, find during this time was on the judiciary committee, as chairman, holding this position the last two years. His reputation as a pure and intelligent legislator is the very best. He was married in this parish to Miss Maria C. Crain, a native of Virginia, and a daughter of Bailey Crain, of Fauquier County. Mr. and Mrs. Ryan have had four children born to them, two of whom are living: John C. (an honored member of the Alexandria, La., bar), and Kate (wife of Dr. J. V. Thompson, of Opelousas). Mr. Ryan has always given close attention to his business, is laborious in research, and has never permitted the interests of his clients to suffer. He was always thoroughly prepared in his cases, and rarely taken by surprise, and had the unbounded confidence of his clients. During his long years of practice he assisted many young men to a thorough legal knowledge. He was elected judge of his district, but resigned this position to accept the nomination for Congress.
Hon. V. L. Sanford, farmer, of Rapides Parish, La. No worthy reference to the agricultural affairs of this parish would he complete, without mention of Mr. Sanford, among others engaged in agricultural pursuits. Besides this he enjoys to an unlimited extent the confidence and esteem of all who know him, and is one of the influential men of the parish. He was born in what is now Hampshire County, West Va., and received the advantages of the common schools of the same. His parents, V. T. and Catherine (Crain) Sanford, were also born in that State, the former in 1797, and the latter in 1790. The paternal grandfather, Capt. William Sanford, was of English descent, and was an officer in the Revolutionary War. W. T. Sanford was a member of the Methodist Church, his wife being a Presbyterian, their deaths occurring in Missouri and Virginia, in 1842 and 1824, respectively. In addition to attending the common schools of Virginia, V. L. Sanford was also an attendant in Missouri, and completed his education in St. Charles College, of St. Charles, Mo. After leaving this institution he studied law one year, but did not complete the course, and after his marriage, which occurred in 1843, he purchased the plantation where he now resides, and has since devoted his time in planting. His plantation of 670 acres is situated twelve miles west of Alexandria, and 200 acres are under cultivation and well improved.
There were no improvements on the place when be first located in 1847, but he has now one of the most fertile and best cultivated and improved farms in the parish. In 1855 he was elected to represent Rapides Parish in the General Assembly of the State, serving two years, and in 1863 be was elected to the State Senate, serving one year, and again in 1867, being elected to the Lower House to fill the unexpired term of Mr. Lewis. in 1863 he was appointed by Jefferson Davis, provost marshal for Rapides Parish, with the rank of major, and hold this position until the close of hostilities. In 1876 he went back to his old home in Virginia, to take charge of some property left him by the will of an aunt, and there made his home until the death of his wife in 1885, returning to Louisiana the following year. His wife was a daughter of Samuel and Jane (Williamson) Compton, born, respectively, in Maryland and Tennessee. In the early part, of the present century they removed to Louisiana, where the rest of their days were spent. To Mr. and Mrs. Sanford fourteen children were born—nine sons and five daughters; L. C, William, Robert L., Mary A. (now Mrs. Hickman, with whom the subject of this sketch resides), Sarah W, and Louisiana being the only ones of the family now living. Mr. Sanford is the only surviving member of his father's family of eight children, and throughout life has been a prominent man in the different communities in which he has resided. He was a member of the board of supervisors, of the State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy, now located at Baton Rouge, and after the resignation of Gen. Graham as vice-president, he was elected to that position and held it for ten years. Under Gov. Warmoth's administration he was appointed superintendent of public education, for the district, of North Louisiana, but for various reasons did not qualify for this office.
B. F. Scott, manager of the Alliance Store of Lecompte, La., is a native of Vermont, born in 1832, and was there reared and educated until about seventeen years of age. From there he then went to Ohio, resided in Cincinnati for about three years with his brother, who was pork-packer, and graduated from Bartlott's Commercial College, while there. After leaving Cincinnati Mr. Scott went to Georgia and taught school for seven years, during which time he was married to Miss Margaret Aderhold, a native of Georgia, born in the year 1839, and one of his former students. He came to Rapides Parish, La., in 1859, taught a country school and kept books for V. C. James at the same time. He followed this occupation until the year 1801, and then entered the Confederate Army, Company G, Second Louisiana Cavalry Regiment. He operated chiefly on the Mississippi, under Taylor, and served until the dose of the war. He participated in a number of prominent engagements, and was captured by Batik's force before he got to Mansfield to participate in the tight. He was in prison for mouths and was exchanged, after which he joined his command and was with the same until cessation of hostilities. He was guarded while in prison in Alexandria, before being transferred to New Orleans, by one of his own brothers, a citizen of Minnesota, and a soldier under Gen. Banks. Mr. Scott was made sergeant soon after be entered the army, and acted in that capacity all the way through. Returning home after the war he again followed his profession of school teaching and continued at this for seventeen consecutive years after the war.
He then changed from school teaching to farming, and is now the owner of 100 acres of land. He was made manager of the Alliance store in November, 1888, and still fills that position. All the Alliance is in the co-operative union store, 250 members, and our subject is president of Lecompte Farmers' Union Lodge, having filled that position for two years. He is a member of the A. F . & A. M., third degree, and was master of Fellowship Lodge for twelve or thirteen years. He has also been district deputy grand master of the Twelfth Masonic District for ten years. He joined the Masons when he was twenty-one years of age, and has been a member of that organization for thirty seven years, and always in good standing. In politics he affiliates with the Democratic party, but is nonpartisan. His marriage was blessed by the birth of six children: Jonathan W., Georgia A., Mary A., Michael A., Eugene A. and Benjamin Franklin Pierce. He was one of ten children, six sons and four daughters, all of whom grew to maturity, and five of whom are still living, born to the union of Jonathan and Almira (Ward) Scott. The father was a native of Vermont, was a farmer, a soldier of the War of 1812, and died in his native State. He and wife were members of the Congregational Church.
Grandfather Scott was probably a native of England, and his wife of Germany. Our subject paid his people a visit this summer (1890), the first time for forty-one years. The Alliance store, of which Mr. Scott is manager, has a good trade outside of the Alliance, had an annual business of $3(5,000 last, year, and will do $50,000 worth of business this year. Our subject's head is White as snow, but. his limbs are almost as supple as when a boy. His health is extremely good; he has not had a spell of sickness for many years, and now labors eighteen hours a day.
Maj. Frederick Seip, planter, was born in Rapides Parish, August 5, 1840, and is the son of Dr. John and Eliza (Martin) Seip, the father a native of Natchez, Miss., born in 1815. The bitter, after graduating at the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, in 1837, returned to Natchez, Miss. In 1838 he removed to Rapides Parish, La., and purchased a plantation on Bayou Rapides, where Maj. Seip now resides. The father died in 1855 leaving four children, three daughters and one son. The mother was born in Nashville, Tenn., in 1817. Her father, Thomas Martin, was an Irish patriot, having been compelled to leave his native land on account of his connection with the revolution of 1798. The mother is still living and makes her home with her son, Maj. Seip. The paternal grandfather of our subject, Dr. Frederick Seip, was a very prominent man in his profession, and for many years his name was a household word in the city of Natchez. Maj. Frederick Seip received his preparatory education in Louisiana and New Jersey, and graduated from the College of New Jersey at Princeton, in the class of 1800. Returning home in the fall of 1800 he remained there until his enlistment in the Confederate Army, and his first service was as a private in the Alexandria Rifles, Crescent Regiment.
He was afterward made lieutenant of his company, and operated with his regiment in Tennessee and adjoining States. Afterward he was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department and served on the staff of Gens. Taylor and Buckner, and later on as adjutant and inspector general on the staff of Gen. J. L. Brent with the rank of major, which position He held until the close of hostilities. He was at Alexandria at the time of the surrender. After the war he devoted his time to the plantation, and in 1805 was married to Miss Adelia, daughter of Hubbard and Adelifi (Thomas) Flint. Mr. Flint was a very prominent citizen and planter of Rapides Parish. Mrs. Seip died in 1878, and in 1882 Maj. Seip married Miss Emeline, daughter, of James and Susan (Martin) Flint. The result of this union was the birth of three children. Maj. Seip has long been recognized as one of the leading citizens of Rapides Parish. He is a man of broad intelligence and liberal views, but is not one to push himself into public notice. His strong, good sense and his fine abilities became recognized, however, and in 1877 he was appointed police juror from his ward, serving ten consecutive years as its president. In 1888 the Major was elected to the State Senate, and has proven himself worthy of the trust reposed in him by his constituents, having been identified with the leading measures brought before the Legislature in both sessions. On the lottery measure, which greatly agitated the people during the last session of the Legislature, Maj. Seip took a very decided stand against the lottery. The Eighteenth Senatorial District may well be proud of the gentleman who so ably and conscientiously represented them. Although fifty years of age Maj. Seip is remarkably robust and youthful in his appearance, and his prospects for a brilliant career are yet more brilliant.
P. J. Sleet is one of the prosperous general merchants of Rapides Parish, La., and in the management of his affairs has shown excellent judgment and superior ability. He was born in Virginia on February 28, 1850, being a son of George A. and Lucy C. (Samuel) Sleet, both Virginians, being reared, educated and married in their native State. In 1861 they moved to De Soto Parish, La., and throughout the greater portion of his life followed the occupation of an architect and mechanic, there being many handsome and substantial structures in this parish that bear testimony to his genius and taste. During the war he was quartermaster at Pleasant Hill, being too old for regular service, and in 1867 died at Shreveport, having lived a more than ordinarily useful life. He was born in 1818. His widow still survives him, her birth having occurred in 1822. P. J. Sleet attended the schools of De Soto Parish, but after the death of his father, as he was the eldest son, the duty of supporting the family devolved on him, and for this purpose be quit school. In 1882 he removed to Rapides Parish and opened a mercantile establishment, where he is doing a very large and paying business, the patronage of the surrounding country being at his command. He has ever proved himself the soul of honor, and this, together with his agreeable and accommodating manners, is the secret of his success, for He is undoubtedly one of the most popular business men in this section of the country. His marriage, which took place in 1872, was to Miss Lucretia E., daughter of John and Eliza (James) Reynolds, but three years after her marriage she passed from life, leaving Mr. Sleet with one daughter to care for. In 1876 his second marriage took place, his wife being Azile, daughter of C. C. and Lorenia (Goff) Wainright, native Alabamians, who are now residents of this parish. To his second union four children have been bor, two sons and two daughters. Mr. Sleet is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Fellowship Lodge No. 117, also the K. of H , and E. A. C. No. 44, Alexandria, La. He was the fifth of thirteen children born to his parent, five daughters and eight son, only six of which family are now living.
Dr. Thomas V. So Relle, physician, Lena, La. Dr. So Relle one of the many prominent and successful physicians of Rapides Parish, who have ministered to the sick and afflicted of that parish, was born in Alabama, in 1824. His parents, S. J. and Mary E. (Hardy) So Relle, were born in Georgia and South Carolina, in 1803 and 1806, respectively. S. J. So Relle came with his parents to Alabama in 1817, and although he never attended school, he studied at home, and became quite thoroughly educated in the English branches. He taught school for some time, and in 1823 was married to Miss Hardy, after which, for a few years, he followed farming. Selling out his farming interest, he began merchandising at Wetumpka, Ala., where he continued until 1848, and then removed to Texas. There he resigned farming, continuing at this for two years, and then sold out. He was preparing to open a store at Port Lavacca in 1852, when he contracted yellow fever and died. Mrs. So Relle had died previous to this, in 1840. Dr. Thomas W. So Relle received a good academic education in Alabama, and afterward attended school in Baltimore and Norfolk, Va. He then graduated at the Eclectic Medical School of Cincinnati, Ohio, and after completing his course, operated at Olney, Ala. In 1845 his marriage with Miss Miriam Ford, daughter of Rev. John and Jane (Head) Ford, was consummated. Her parents were born in South Carolina and North Carolina, in 1790 and 1791, respectively. The father was a minister in the Baptist Church, and was also quite an extensive planter. The father died in 1839, and the mother in 1863. After marriage Dr. So Relle removed to Mississippi, where he resided at different places in the State for twenty years, although he spent four years of that time in Texas. He entered the Mississippi State Militia, but was detailed home to render medical services. In 1869 be removed to Rapides Parish, La., purchased a farm, and practiced his profession twelve miles west of Boyce, In December, 1888, he removed to Lena, where he has since made his home. He is quite a popular physician, and has a good practice. He is now justice of the peace, and socially, is a member of 'the A. F. & A. M. Mrs. So Relle is a member of the Baptist Church. They are the parents of eleven children, five sons and six daughters, four sons and three daughters living, and all, with the exception of one residing in Rapides Parish.
C. C. Swayze, joint agent and operator for Texas Pacific, and the Southern Pacific Railroads at Lecompte, La., was bom in Opelousas, St. Landry Parish, La., in 1867, and in that town remained until fifteen or sixteen years of age, learning telegraphy in the home office, after which he went to work in the office at Franklin, St. Mary's Parish, for the Southern Pacific Railroad, but at the end of one year was transferred to Cheneyville, two years later to Moreland, where he remained one year, since which time he has been in Lecompte, and has discharged the manifold duties of his present office very creditably. This is one of the live best business places on the road, and the company with which he is employed does a monthly business of $5,000, ships 7,000 bales of cotton each year and 250 or 300 carloads of sugar. All this business is attended to by Mr. Swayze, which keeps him fully occupied. He is very popular with the company; and being a young man of much self-reliance, independence and intelligence, he is bound to make a success of his life, if he makes a proper use of the talents given him, which he gives every promise of doing. Like his sire and grandsire before him he is a stanch Democrat. He is devoted to every interest of his employers, and as his worth and services are fully appreciated, he could get any position he chose on the road. The liberal salary which he receives has not been foolishly squandered, but with his earnings he has purchased a fine tract of land in St. Landry Parish. He is a son of C. C. and Susan (Hill) Swayze, the former of whom was born in St. Landry Parish, La., and received his education in Chapel Hill University, N. C. He also graduated in law, but never followed the profession, his attention after leaving college being devoted to his father's sugar interests.
He was an active Democrat in politics until James G. Blaine was a candidate for the presidency, when he became presidential elector and candidate for Congress on the Republican party ticket, being a candidate on the sugar issue. He failed in business and died in 1890, at the age of fifty-five years. His father, C. L. Swayze, was born in Mississippi, but at an early age came to Louisiana, and became one of the leading attorneys of the State. He was an ardent secessionist, a member of the Confederate Congress, and was one of the signers of the articles of secession. He died the year after (he dose of the war. C. C. Swayze, Sr. served throughout the Rebellion in the Confederate Army, the most of the time being under Stonewall Jackson, and was wounded in the bloody battle of Gettysburg. His widow still survives him, being a resident of Opelousas, and his five children are named as follows Caleb (who is in (he railroad business at Mobile, Ala.), Wilmer, Lilly (the only daughter), and Lionel. This family are all prominent Episcopalians.
Capt. Joseph W. Texada was born near where he now resides in 1831 to Capt. John A. and Lucy (Velsh) Texada. the former of whom was born in Mississippi about 17851. and the latter in Kentucky in 1794. The father was educated in the common schools of his native State, and when a young man came to this parish, and was married here in IN 12, giving his attention to cotton planting soon after his marriage, and continuing it during the whole of his life. He was a captain in the State Militia, which was called out during the War of 1812, and during that time was under Jackson at Now Orleans. His father, Manuel Garcia Texada. was born in Castile, Spain, but his mother was a Tennessean. He died in 1809, and his wife in 1845. The subject of this sketch is the eighth of eleven children, eight sons and three daughters, and be and his sister, Mrs. Dr. Robert Cruikshank are the only ones of the family now living, she being also a resident, of Rapides Parish. Capt. Joseph W. Texada graduated from the college of New Jersey, at Princeton, in June, 1852, and was is a classmate of Don Cameron of Pennsylvania; Congressman Phelps, of Maryland; James T. Jones, of Alabama (also a congressman): Col. Charles C. Jones, of Georgia, and others. After his return home from college be was married to Margaret, daughter of Dr. John Pintard Davidson, both natives of the State of Louisiana. Dr. Davidson was one of the most eminent physicians of the State at the time of his death, which occurred at New Orleans in March, 1889, his wife having passed from life in 1805. After his marriage Mr. Texada devoted his time to planting, and has since been a resident of his present fertile farm. In 1800 he was elected a member of the Lower House, of the State Legislature, serving one term, and he is now a member of the police jury of this parish.
He is a Royal Arch Mason, and in his religions faith claims to be an Episcopalian. In 1802 he joined the Confederate Army as a private in Crescent Regiment, under Col. Marshall J. Smith, find was in the battle of Shiloh, but afterward returned to the Trans-Mississippi Department, being commissioned captain in the Eighth Louisiana Cavalry in 1893 serving as such until the close of the war, taking part in the engagements tit Mans field and Pleasant Hill, besides numerous skirmishes, and surrendering at Alexandria. He and his wife are the parents of two children; J. W.. Jr. (who farms with his father), and Davidson Ker. Lewis M. Texada, planter, Boyce, La. The Texada family has resided in Rapides Parish. La., for many years and is one of the representative families of this community. The parents of our subject, Lewis E. and Pleasant (Hunter) Texada, were both born in Rapides Parish, La., the father in 1818 and the mother in 1831, and both reared there. The father completed his literary education and graduated in the law school of the University of Virginia, after which he returned to Louisiana and the same year was married to Miss Annie B. Lyon, of Charlottesville, Va. Mrs. Texada being fin invalid, Mr. Texada could not devote his time to the practice of his profession and consequently he purchased a farm, where his son, Lewis M., now resides.
Here be carried on agricultural pursuits and here Mrs. Texada died in 1849. in 1850 Mr. Texada married Miss Hunter, mother of subject. He represented Rapides Parish in both houses of the Legislature several terms, was one of the leading members, and has au enviable State reputation. He was always identified with any measure that was for the good of the section He represented. He lacked only three votes of receiving the nomination for lieutenant governor on the ticket with Gov. Wilkes, but was defeated by the famous New Orleans ring. He was a Master Mason, and he and Mrs. Texada were members of the Episcopal Church. His death occurred in August, 1884. Lewis M. Texada is also a native of Rapides Parish, La., and was born in the house where he now resides, in 1853. He completed his education at Lexington, Va., and since then has devoted his entire time and attention to tilling the soil. In 1880 he was married to Miss Blanche Preot, daughter of Prof. Aruand and Elizabeth (Hammatt) Preot, natives respectively of Lyle, France, and Petersburg, Va., and born, the first in 1820 and the last in 1830. Prof. Preot came to the United States when twenty- one years of age and in 1839 was married to Mrs. Texada's mother, after which, in 1840, he took charge of the Buckingham Female College as one of the principals. He was afterward a professor in Farmville Female Institute and was (hen made president. In 1870 he removed to Danville, Va., where he was associated with the Methodist and Roanoke Female Colleges until 1873, when his death occurred. Mrs. Preot is now residing in North Carolina with her daughter. Mrs. Texada is an accomplished find finely educated lady, having attended several different institutions of learning, completing her education at Petersburg Female College. in 1888 Mr. Texada was appointed by Gov. Nicholls as a member of the police jury from his ward, and in that capacity has been of much benefit, to the people. He is the father of four children, all daughters. Mr. Texada is the second of eight children, four sons and four daughters.
Benjamin Turner, the subject of this sketch, is a general merchant of Pineville, La., and was born near that town, in the parish of Rapides, on December 6, 1839. His father, also named Benjamin Turner, was a native of New York City, being the second of three sous, the eldest named Samuel, and the youngest Levin. Before he was quite grown, Benjamin left home to seek his fortune in the world, and never returned to the home of his widowed mother again. His mother's maiden name was Hannah Brower, whoso ancestry can be traced back to among the first settlers of New Amsterdam, now the city of New York. Her husband was drowned in New York Bay, while out on a sailing excursion during a storm, leaving a widow and (be three children above named. Benjamin, after visiting various places, finally located in Louisiana, and engaged in the mercantile business at Franklin, Vermilionville (now Lafayette) and Plaquemine. At Vermilionville, in March, 1830, he married Miss Nancy Bradley, who was born in Kentucky, but her father, when she was quite young. removed to Tennessee, and settled near Nashville, where the family remained until Nancy was grown, when her father, Terry Bradley, embarked on a flatboat, the primitive mode of traveling on the Western rivers in those days, and, with his family, proceeded down the Cumberland and Ohio Rivers into the Mississippi, and, after making short, stops at (different landings on his route, He debarked at Plaquemine, where he located for a while with his family.
Benjamin Turner, the elder, after meeting with reverses in business, concluded to remove to Alexandria, La., coming there in 1838. Shortly afterward he removed to the pine woods, near the town of Pineville, where he died of congestive fever on September 17, 1839, leaving a widow and two daughters: Bithiah and Ava Rilla, his sou. Benjamin, not being born until the December following. Thus left a widow, with her young and helpless children to raise and educate, with no means of support save what she acquired by her untiring industry and perseverance, with Christian patience she struggled with adversity, and succeeded in raising two of the children, Bithiah and Benjamin, the second one, Ava Rilla, having taken sick and died in 1844. Benjamin, the subject of this sketch, grew to manhood, receiving in his youth the advantages of au education obtained from public and private schools at Pineville and Alexandria, his last tutor having been the late H. S. Losee, a scholarly gentleman, who afterward became ti prominent lawyer of the latter town. At the age of fourteen years Benjamin devoted part of his time to learning telegraphy, but did not remain at that business long. During this portion of his life he clerked for his brother-in-law, the late C. W. Boyce, and at the age of sixteen years he bought a lot of ground and erected a house on it for himself and mother, which house, after having undergone several alterations and improvements, he occupies as his residence at this day.
In 1857, his brother-in-law having quit merchandising, became the proprietor of the Red River American, a newspaper published in Alexandria, La., in which office Benjamin went to work and learned to be a printer in 1860. Mr. Boyce having disposed of the American, established another newspaper in Alexandria, called the Constitutional, of which our subject became the publisher and assisted as local editor. At this post he remained till July, 1861, when he went to work to help raise a company for the war from Rapides Parish, called the Westbrook Guards, to which he was elected second lieutenant, which company proceeded via New Orleans to Camp Moore, La., a camp of instruction, where, after a few weeks" training in military duties, it was mustered into the Confederate service and organized as Company E, in the Eleventh Infantry Regiment, Louisiana Volunteers. This command was shortly afterward ordered to Union City, Tenn., where it remained but a few days, when it was ordered by Gen. Polk, then in command of the Army of Tennessee, to enter Columbus, Ky., that place being considered a great strategically point, whose high "iron banks" commanded a fine view of the Mississippi, looking toward Cairo. At this place our subject was elected first lieutenant, to till the vacancy occasioned by the appointment of Lieut. Cazabat to be quartermaster of the regiment. Shortly after his promotion he participated with his command in the battle of Belmont, on the opposite side of the river, in which engagement the regiment gained some renown and earned for itself the name of the Bloody Eleventh. While the battle was raging fiercely, and disastrously to the Confederate side, the Eleventh was sent across the river in a transport, and by executing a timely flank movement, succeeded in turning the tide of battle, and drove the Federals, under Gen. Grant, to their gunboats and transports, on which they hurriedly embarked and steamed off up the river to Cairo. After the evacuation of Columbus, in March, 1862, his regiment was sent to New Madrid, then to Island No. 10, and Fort Pillow. While camped on the Tennessee side, opposite Island No. 10, he was promoted to captain, in place of Capt. Westbrook, resigned.
His regiment remained but a day or two at Fort Pillow, when it was ordered to Corinth, Miss., where the Southern armies were concentrating for the great struggle which culminated at Shiloh. He commanded his company gallantly in this battle, and was severely wounded in the head and left shoulder at about 2 o'clock P. M. in the first day's fight. After the battle be obtained a leave of absence, and returned to his home, and after remaining at home some forty days, till he recovered from his wounds, he rejoined his command, at Corinth. New Orleans having fallen soon after he reached his home, he returned to Corinth by steamer, to Monroe, thence by rail as far as the high water would permit, nearly till the railroad track between Monroe and Vicksburg being then under water; thence from Delhi to Vicksburg in a skiff, with Maj. Tom Ochiltree, who was bearing dispatches from Gen. Sibley to the war department at Richmond. In crossing the river to Vicksburg he discovered the first, Federal gunboat, which had just hove in sight from the naval fleet below, and then was witnessed the preparations which were then just begun for that defense which characterizes her as the " heroic city." On reaching his command at Corinth, he found the Confederate army confronted by that of Gen. Halleck, and picket tiring across the lines was of frequent occurrence, amounting in some instances to pretty sharp engagements. Both armies, however, were very much decimated by sickness at this point, and in the latter part of May the Confederate army, Gen. Beauregard commanding, concluded to evacuate Corinth, falling back to Tupelo, Miss., where it remained for some time, under going a rigid discipline under Gen. Bragg. His command was next sent to Chattanooga, where it was disbanded, by order of Gen. Bragg, and its officers directed to return to their homes, and there to await further orders from the War Department. The
Secretary of War ordered the regiment to be reassembled, and the officers proceeded to Chattanooga for that purpose, when Gen. Bragg would not allow the order to bo executed, and the officers again returned to their homos. After remaining at home a short while, Capt. Turner was assigned to duty by Gen. Dick Taylor, whose headquarters were then fit Alexandria, La., and later on 'he reported to Gen. E. Kirby Smith, at Shreveport, who put him in charge of the courier lines in Arkansas, under Gen. Holmes, and afterward under Gen. Magruder. While in Arkansas he received authority to get up a company of cavalry, to be composed of young men under the conscript age, which he succeeded in doing, and his company was assigned to the First Battalion, Trans-Mississippi Cavalry, under Maj. Thompson J. Bird, a command composed of young men from Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, in which he served till the close of the war, surrendering at Shreveport, in May, 1865. After the war Capt. Turner returned to his home at Pineville, and in the fall commenced merchandising in said town. February 6, 1868, he was married, in New Orleans, to Miss Julia M. Ball, the eldest daughter of Dr. William Ball and Julia Vilson Ball, and the year after his marriage be removed to New Orleans, and for five years and four mouths he was with the wholesale drug house of Ball & Lyons. While there he purchased some property at Sherman and Denison, Tex., with a view of going there to locate, but came here instead, in May, 1874. He again commenced business at Pineville in August, following, and has been quite successful. in 1880 he erected his present large, two story brick building, and three years later he duplicated the building alongside, thus making a commodious, double, two-story edifice, occupied by him as a general store. Besides owning his store buildings and residence, and other property in Pineville, he owns some landed property in Rapides and Grant Parishes, as well as in Texas.
For several years past he has been, and is at present, a member of the town council of Pineville, was a member of the parish school board, under Govs. Nichols, Wiltz and McEnery, of which he was secretary, and then president; he is one of the directors of the Rapides Batik, of Alexandria, La., and takes a lively interest in all matters calculated to promote the welfare of his native parish. He is a member of the K. of H His mother died January 6, 1888, aged seventy-nine years and two days, and his only surviving sister, Mrs. Bethiah Bryce, September 22, 1889. His family, besides his wife, consists of the following children: Julia Wilson (who died at New Orleans, when seven months old), William Ball (now attending Tulane University, of New Orleans), Benjamin, Jr., Charles, Nannette and Walter. The latter died in infancy. The first three were born in New Orleans, and the three younger were born at Pineville. R. L. Walker, planter, Lloyd's Bridge, La. Mr. Walker was born in Vest Feliciana Parish, La., in 1847, and there was reared and educated. He entered the Confederate service in 1862, and was with Gen. Forrest until cessation of hostilities. He was in the battles of Chickamauga, Paducah,Vicksburg and several smaller fights. He had two horses shot under him, After the war he was engaged in planting in Vest Feliciana Parish, until 1809, and then went to Northern Louisiana, settling in Grant Parish. One year later he came to Rapides Parish, settled on his place, and was overseer here for five years. He married Mrs. Mary M. (Marshall) Compton, and since then has been actively engaged in planting. To his marriage have been born eight children: Ruffin, Fannie, Layson, William P., James A., Martha J., Samuel F. and Ralph Kilpatrick. Mr. Walker planted about 300 acres of cotton this year, and has 400 acres in the home estate. He is a son of William P. and Frances C. Walker, the former was a planter and I very successful physician of Philadelphia, Penn. The father was quite an old man at the time of his death. Both parents were of English descent. Mr. Walker's principal products are cotton and corn. He is a prominent citizen, is a thorough business man, and in connection with his planting industry he runs a store on his farm. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity.
George R. Waters is a member of the saw milling firm of Waters & Bringhurst, of Pineville, La., and although his life has been a somewhat uneventful one, it clearly demonstrates what can be accomplished, when a man is possessed of determination and energy. Mr. Waters was born in this parish in 1852, and as the greater part of his life has been spent here, he is exceptionally well known, and naught has ever been said derogatory to his character. His parents, William and Mary J. (Cummings) Waters, were born in this State, and here they were reared and married, the former, however, receiving his finishing education in the State of Kentucky. He was a saw miller throughout life, and was a man of much business tact and shrewdness. He was an Episcopalian in religious belief, and died in 1865. His widow survives him, is a resident of Rapides Parish, and is it member of the Catholic Church. George K. Waters attended the common schools of this parish, but at about the age of sixteen years, he engaged in the saw milling business, a calling he has been interested in up to the present time, and in which he has done well financially. In 1873 he formed a partnership with C. E. Bringhurst, a member of the present, firm of Waters & Bringhurst, and they now operate a mill which has a capacity of 35,000 feet of lumber per day. Mr. Waters has ever been public-spirited, and is interested in all enterprises for the public good. Miss Mary Bradley, a daughter of Terrell Bradley, became his wife in 1878, and by her he has two sons and four daughters. He as well as his wife are members of the Catholic Church. Mr. Waters' father was a farmer of this ward, and also followed carpentering in Alexandria, this receiving his attention, subsequently in New Orleans, in which city he passed from life.
Col. George Owen Watts is the district clerk of Rapides Parish, La., and is one of the representative men of the same, it being with truth said that no more capable man for the position could be found than he. Like all native Kentuckians he is of an energetic, enterprising and intelligent disposition, and in the discharge of his duties he has been remarkably faithful and competent. He was born in Richmond, Madison County, May 17, 1840, being a son of Charles Sinclair Watts, a farmer, and a grandson of Charles Watts, a native of England who came to the United States a short time prior to, or during, the Revolutionary War, settling in Amherst County, Va., branches of his family afterward locating in Westmoreland County, Va., Pennsylvania and Alabama. The mother of the subject was Miss Elizabeth Walker, a daughter of Judge William Winston Walker, of Jamestown, Va., whose ancestors early came to America, they, as well as the Watts, taking sides with the colonists during their trouble with the mother country, afterward settling in Virginia and Maryland. Charles Sinclair Watts was born in 1801 and died in 1874, his wife's birth occurring two years later than his own, and her death in 1887.
George Owen Watts was one of five sons and one daughter born to his parents, and in his native State he attained to man's estate. He was given exceptionally good educational advantages, and in 1861 graduated from the West Point Military Academy, after which be immediately joined the Federal Army, and was given the position of second lieutenant in the United States Mounted Rifles of Gen. Meade's staff, but August 10 of the same year resigned, his resignation being accepted, after which he almost immediately joined the Confederate Army as a private, and was shot after assigned to duty as aide-de camp on Gen. Simon B. Buckner's staff, and was detailed to serve in the Engineer's Corps, and built a portion of the forts at Fort Donelson, and was in charge of the fortification around Nashville, Tenn. He was next assigned to duty in charge of the fortification of Fort Pillow, and was afterward ordered to Vicksburg, and served in the second battle of Corinth in charge of a Mississippi battalion of infantry which had been commanded by Maj. Ward, of Panola, Miss., and after that battle he served as judge advocate of court martial at Holly Springs and Grenada, Miss. He was next ordered to Gen. Earl Van Dorn at Columbia, Tenn., and served as his chief of artillery, but after the death of Wan Dorn he became inspector-general on Gen. Buckner's staff, and was in the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga, and at, Knoxville was inspector-general of Buckner's division.
His next service was in Virginia, but July 8, 1864, he was once more ordered to Gen. Buckner, of the Trans Mississippi Department, as chief of artillery, but surrendered as colonel of cavalry. After the war he returned to his old home in Louisiana, and settled near Alexandria as a planter, and is still the owner of a valuable lot of land near the town. He has always taken a deep interest in political matters, find has been parish assessor by appointment of Gov. Nichols, and has been clerk of the district court for three successive terms, which fact goes to show the success with which He has discharged his duties. He was married, in 1865, to Miss Annie Elizabeth Ogden a native of Rapides Parish, La., and a daughter of Judge Octavins Nash Ogden and Lethenia (Sprague) Ogden, the former a member of a prominent old family of South Carolina. Mr. and Mrs. Watts have two children: Octavins, Nash, Ogden, and Annie Elizabeth. The family are members of the Episcopal Church, and be is one of the vestrymen. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M. and the A. O. U. V. socially.
E. V. Weems, planter, Lecompte, La. Mr. Weems enjoys the reputation of being not only a substantial and prosperous sugar planter, but his name will be remembered in years to come as belonging to a public spirited and progressive man of this community. He is a native born resident of this parish, his birth occurring on May 8, 1847, and was reared to manhood here. His educational facilities were more than usually favorable, for after leaving the common schools he entered the Louisiana State University, a military school located in Rapides Parish before the war, but destroyed during that eventful period. Although but a boy in years, he served eighteen months in the Confederate Army, Second Louisiana Regiment, but was in no active engagements. Previous to the time he enlisted, however, he participated in the battle of Mansfield, La. For a short period after the war Mr. Weems was on a plantation with his father, but in 1873 he became engaged in business for himself. Until 1880 he was engaged part of the time as a planter on leased land, and the rest of the time as an overseer and manager of property for others. While having charge of the Gov. Moore estate he demonstrated his superior ability as a financier by paying off a heavy debt that had been standing against the same. In 1880 he bought a half interest in the Cocoa Bend Plantation, which he has transformed from almost a waste to a model plantation, with a tine residence, etc., and which is in a high state of cultivation.
Mr. Weems has been a sugar planter since 1873, and in sugar, he has made his most money. Only a few years ago he was practically penniless, but to-day he is one of the wealthiest sugar planters of this part of Louisiana. He has 250 acres of sugar cane this year, and also raises some cotton. He is the owner of 2,800 acres of land and that portion not susceptible to cultivation is covered with valuable timber—pine, oak and cypress. In view of the great resource of timber at. hand, Mr. Weems has become a partner in the Lecompte Lumber and Shingle Mill, which he and partners intend enlarging into a vast, concern in the near future. Mr. Weems was married in 1876, to Miss Courtney Wells, daughter of James Madison Wells, ex-governor of Louisiana. To this union have been born five children: Emily S., Clara Mulliken, Lucile S., Lucile E. and Courtney Wells. Mr. Weems is the son of Dr. V. C. and A. (Mulliken) Weems, the father, an early physician of Rapides Parish, and a graduate in medicine of Philadelphia. The father died when seventy- eight, years of age, and the mother died in 1877, when quite aged. The name Weems, is of Scotch origin, and was formerly spelled . The Mullikens were of Irish descent, and they have a large connection round Washington, D. C. Grandfather Weems was also a physician. Mr. Weems has $10,000 lite insurance in the Life Mutual of New York, on the life plan, and has $10,000 on the twenty-year plan in the Pennsylvania Mutual. He is a pleasant, sociable gentleman, and a man of industry and enterprise. He has given his children, of whom he is justly proud, every advantage for pleasure or profit, that money can afford. He usually spends the hot mouths of the year at northern watering places with his family, and when business demands his attention at home, his family goes anyway. Mrs. Weems is at, present (1890) spending her summer at Toronto, Canada. He and family are members of the Romani Catholic Church, but are liberal in church affairs.
Simon Weil is a German by birth, having been born in that country, and like all his countrymen, he is industrious, thrifty and honest. He is a son of Bernhard and Babette (Feith) Veil, who were born in that country in 1805 and 1815, respectively. The father received a good common education in the country of his birth, and for many years was a trustee in the Hebrew Society. He died in Guggenheim, Germany, in 1854 or 1855, his widow passing from lite in Alexandria, La., in 18851, to which place she had moved in 1866. Like his father, the subject of this sketch was given the advantages of the common schools, and wishing to secure a competence for his old age he decided that America would be the best place for the realization of his hopes, and he accordingly came here in 1859. After a short time he began merchandising at Weil Post office, on Bayou Rapides, eight miles west of Alexandria, and in connection with managing his store also engaged in farming in 1867, and has followed both callings with success ever since.
He has a fine farm of 500 acres, 250 of which are in a high state of cultivation, and on this he raises cotton and corn, the yield of the former being about .100 bales per year. His mercantile establishment brings him in some $20,000 each year, in fact, he has proved himself to be a successful financier. He is postmaster of the office named in his honor, and is proving a very competent official. He was married in 1872 to Miss Josephine, daughter of Edward and Athalie (Harnandez) Levi, the father being born in France, and the mother in Louisiana. Mr. Levi was a member of the Hebrew Church, but his wife was a Catholic, and both are now dead, the former passing to his long home in 1882, and the latter in 1865. To Mr. and Mrs. Veil seven children have been born, six sons and one daughter. Mr. Veil's brothers and sisters, numbering five in all, are residents of Rapides Parish, La.
Charles M. Wells is residing on a large and fertile plantation, near Lecompte, and is one of the thriftiest and most successful planters in the parish, everything about his place indicating that a man of intelligence, enterprise and industry is at the helm. He was born in 1846, and in addition to attending the common schools near his home, he attended the Louisiana University, a military school near his home, for some time prior to the war, and in 1864 received a midshipman's birth from Jefferson Davis, on board a vessel built for the Confederacy in England. He and a companion went to England, but the English had grown fearful of trouble with the United States, and concluded not to let the ship go to the Confederate States. Taking advantage of the situation, Mr. Wells entered school in England, afterward France, and at the end of three years returned to his home and friends.
For some time after returning home he did little except to amuse himself, and being very fond of both hunting and fishing, he spent much time with his rod and gun by river and lake, and in the wood lands along the Red and other rivers of Louisiana, trying his skill as a marksman and angler. He finally determined to turn his attention to something more useful, and engaged in planting, and is now one of the most successful men of this calling in the parish. He expects to give his whole time to the raising of sugar cane in the near future, but unlike most people engaged in that business, be advocated that sugar tariff would be detrimental to the sugar consumer. His estate comprises some 1,600 acres of tine land, admirably adapted to the raising of sugar cane or cotton. He was married in 1884 to Miss Florence Blackmail, by whom he has four children: Jeanette, Josephine, Ellen M. and an infant.
Ex-Gov. James Madison Wells, of Louisiana, one of the representative citizens of the State, is a native of Louisiana, his birth occurring twelve miles above the town of Alexandria, in Rapides Parish, on January 8, 1808. He is a son of Levi and Mary E. (Calvit) Wells, the father born in St. Landry Parish, La., in 1704. The latter grew to manhood in his native parish, and was a surveyor by occupation. He located in Rapides Parish in 1798, and was there engaged in planting sugar cane and indigo. He surveyed land here for the Government, and later was elected to the Legislature from his parish several times. He was a member of the Constitutional Convention from this parish to organize find draft the first State constitution for Louisiana. The father died in 1815; he had just returned from the State Legislature, and was a member of that body when the English landed for the War of 1812. The grandfather Wells was an exiled Irishman because of his politics, and finally settled in the country that afterward became Louisiana. Ex-Gov. James Madison Wells was educated at Middletown, Conn., in Capt. Partridge's Military School, and was a classmate of Gov. Seymour, of New York. He read law in Cincinnati, Ohio, for some time, and returned home without finishing his course to take charge of his large slave and landed interest.
He ran his plantation until the breaking out of the war, and then was a heavy loser from the fact that men owing him were unable to pay off their indebtedness when they lost their slaves. Mr. Wells was an outspoken Union man from the first, and was opposed to the war, but voted for Douglas, believing him to be the most available man. He was personally acquainted with him and believed him to be the great intellect of the times. He advocated his principles on the stump and elsewhere, and had to leave this parish to save his life. In fi speech made at this place after the declaration of war, he used these words which have since become proverbial: "The rich man's war and the poor man's fight." He remained here until Bank's expedition, and then the latter told him he was in danger, after which he moved to New Orleans. He went to Washington City to talk to President Lincoln, and his interview resulted in the President telling him that the bottom would soon be knocked out at , and that would end the affair, but good men must perish in the conflict. Mr. Wells was elected governor of the State in 1864, and acted as military governor until the dose of the war. He was removed from the governorship by Phil Sheridan, on account of dispute about levees. He entered the mercantile business while in New Orleans in 1860 and 1867, and he returned to his plantation, bringing back with him many of his old slaves as free men. He remained on his plantation until the latter part of 1867, and being one of the prominent men of the State always elected his choice men for the Legislature.
About 1865 he was appointed by President Grant as surveyor of the port, in the custom house of New Orleans. He was a member of the returning board for Louisiana, and was president of the State returning board of Louisiana at the time of Hayes' election. He could not be turned by the use of money; no bribe could change him from doing the right thing so far as he could discriminate between right and wrong. He still owns the plantation of about 600 or 700 acres of land. He was married in Alexandria to Miss Mary A. Scott, a native of Alexandria, who is still living. They became the parents of fourteen children, nine of whom are still living: Thomas M., James Madison, Jr., Jefferson Johnson, Alexander Carnell, and Samuel Scott, were the sons, and Mary E. (widow of H. T. Burgess), Courtney C. (now Mrs. Weems), Laulette (widow of Charles Snowdon), and Bessie Gordon, are the daughters. The mother of these children is a descendant of the followers of Lord Baltimore, and was of French Huguenot descent.
Ennemond M. Wells deserves honorable mention as one of the successful agriculturists of Rapides Parish, and by his own enterprise and push he has become a well-to-do citizen. He was born in Louisiana on August 3, 1831, the third son of Montford and Jeannette (Dent) Wells, the father being born and reared in this parish, receiving a finished education in his youth, afterward becoming one of the most extensive planters in this section of the State. He was a man who identified himself with every worthy cause, and his sound views on all subjects led him to be elected to the State Legislature in 1826, a position he ably tilled until 1828. His family has always been a very distinguished one, and many of the male members have played a conspicuous part in Louisiana politics. A brother of Montford Wells, J. Madison Wells, was governor of the State, and another brother, T. J. Wells, was the Whig candidate for governor against T. O. Moore. He was an extensive breeder of race horses and was the owner of the world-famed Reel Lecompte, also Prioress and War Path. Mr. Wells' mother was a daughter of Hatch Dent, of Maryland, and a errand daughter of Euneraond Meullion, who was a provincial governor of this country under the first Napoleon. The paternal grandfather of Ennemond M. Wells, Levi Wells, was a man of profound intelligence, sound judgment and practical ability, and as he possessed executive ability of the highest order, he was elected a member of the State Legislature, and in this capacity served for many years. He was a Government surveyor of not e, and many of his maps of this section and State are still in use. After locating in Rapides Parish, at Bayou Rapides, in 1878, he turned his attention to sugar and indigo culture. For further history see sketch of Ex-Gov. J. M. Wells. Ennemond M. Wells was educated principally in Alexandria, Va., and in Princeton, N. J., and upon the completion of his education he returned to Louisiana in 1850, and for some years looked after his father's extensive plantation. In 1858 be was married to Miss Fannie M., daughter of Fenwick and Laura H. (Overton) Brent, the father a native of this State, but a descendant from an old Maryland family. Air. Brent was an eminent lawyer and was a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention of 1845. His father, William J. Brent, was a representative from the Fourth Louisiana District, to a seat in Congress. Mrs. Brent's father and mother were Gen. Walter and Harriet T. (Winter) Overton, the former of whom represented the Fourth Louisiana District in Congress also, and was in command of Fort St. Phillip under Gen. Jackson at the battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. Since his marriage Mr. Wells has given his entire time to planting, is well supplied with worldly goods, and on this property he reared his three children: Alice V., Harriet Overton (wife of David H. Blackman, a son of A. O. Blackman), and Montford.
Jefferson Wells. The family to which the subject of this sketch belongs is one well known to the people of Rapides Parish, as, for many years, one or more of its members have been prominently identified with all its interests. Jefferson was born in this parish, in 1834, to Montford and Jeannette (Dent) Wells, and his knowledge of the world of books was acquired in Benjamin Hollowed Academy of Alexandria, Va. After completing his education he returned home and devoted his time and attention to the management of his father's magnificent and extensive plantation, consisting of about 2,800 acres of cultivated land, and had under his control a working force of about 500 slaves. These, however, were lost during the war, besides nearly till of their landed property. In 1800 Mr. Wells came to the conclusion that it is not good for man to live alone, and accordingly was married to Miss Ida, the accomplished daughter of James Fenwick and Laura H. (Overton) Brent (see sketch of E. M. Wells), the former of whom was born in St. Martinsville, La., in 1815, his father being a member of an old Maryland family. His wife was born in Lexington, Ky., in 1822. Mr. Brent's father, William J. Brent, represented the Fourth Louisiana District in Congress. Mr. Wells has never been an aspirant for office, but notwithstanding this has always been interested in politics, and at all times has given his support to the Democratic party. He and his wife are the parents of four children, whose names are as follows: Samuel Fenwick, Thomas Overton, Alice Maud and T. Jefferson.
John Alexander Williams has attained consider able prominence in the material affairs of Rapides Parish, La., for he is a man of excellent parts, and has shown good judgment and tact in the management of his mercantile business, and nets a fair annual income from his sales. He was born in Minerva, Essex County, N. Y., September 17, 1835, being a son of John and Ann (Harrison) Williams, the former a native of Ireland, and a sea-faring man. He came to America in the early part of his life, and after a number of years located in New York City, afterward taking up his abode in New Orleans. John Alexander Williams was left motherless in his early youth, and in the city of New Orleans, under the care of his father, he was reared to manhood and educated. At the age of eighteen years he left that city and came up Red River, and for eight years made ids home at Lecompte. Four years of this time were devoted to clerking, and the following four years as a partner in a mercantile store, the firm being known as Sharritt & Williams. in 1861 Mr. Williams came to Alexandria, then the terminus of the Red River Railroad, to take charge of the office here, it being the main one on the line at that time, but the breaking out of the war caused him to give up this position to enter the service, enlisting in the Second Louisiana Cavalry in 1862, as acting sergeant-major of his regiment, and participating in the following engagements: Bonte's Station, Donaldsonville, Texarkana, Bisland and others.
He also served for some time ;is captain and disbursing officer of the Nitre Mining Corps, and was paroled tit Natchitoches, in April, 1865. After the war he began purchasing cotton, continuing until 1866, when he went into the warehouse business, which received his attention until 1873, adding to it mercantile business, which he carried on till 1880 as i John A. Williams & Co. from 1880 to 1884 as John A. Williams, and afterward as Rogers & Williams, which has continued without interruption ever since. Mr. Williams was married in 1860 to Miss Mary Ann McKinney, but her death occurred in St. Landry Parish, she being in full communion with the Methodist Episcopal Church at the time of her death. She left a daughter, Lizzie, now the worthy wife of V. C. McGimsey, of New Orleans. Mrs. McGimsey has two daughters and one son. In 1869 his second union took place in St. Landry Parish, Miss Clarisse Lastrapes, a daughter of Alphonse and Mary Ann (Bullard) ; Lastrapes, becoming his wife. Mrs. Lastrapes was a daughter of Judge Henry A. Bullard, of the Supreme bench of the State of Louisiana, and of the Bullards of Massachusetts—Pilgrim descendants. Mr. Williams was so unfortunate as to lose his second wife by death, she being a member of the Episcopal Church, and she now rests in Pineville Cemetery. She left a daughter, Mary Aline. Mr. Williams' third marriage took place in 1877, his wife being Miss Celeste Baillio, a daughter of the late Sosthene Baillio, of this parish. They have two sous and two daughters: Effie Harrison, Joseph Aloysius, Martha Ann find John Alexander, Jr. Mr. Williams has been chairman of the executive committee of his parish for two consecutive terms, was a member of the police jury, and has been a member of the Masonic order for over thirty years. He is now, and has been on the board of directors of the Rapides Bank since it began business, and is one of the principal promoters of the enterprise.
W. W. Whittington, Sr., is a man whom nature seems to have especially designed to be a planter, for he has met with excellent success in pursuing that calling, and has been ever ready to adopt new and improved methods in connection with his work. He was born in Snowy Hill, Worcester County, Md. in 1812, in which State his parents, Judge William and Sallie ( White) Whittington, were also born in 1770. Judge Whittington was given a collegiate education, and practiced law in Worcester and adjoining counties for many years. In 1800 he was appointed district judge, and served continuously until his death, in 1820, making a faithful, zealous and conscientious official. He and his wife, who died in 1819, were earnest members of the Episcopal Church. V. W. Whittington received a thorough academic training at Snowy Hill, and after leaving school was engaged in the mercantile business in Philadelphia for three years. In 1830 he removed to Rapides Parish, La., and here two years later was married to Mrs. Ann C. (Holt) Manadue, a daughter of William Holt, and after his marriage he practiced law about six months in Alexandria, La., then gave it up to engage in planting, as this, he thought, would be more con genial to his tastes. He has an excellent plantation, about seventeen miles west of Alexandria, on which he expects to make his home the rest of his life.
In 1840 he was elected to the Lower House of the State Legislature, serving one term, after which, in 1852, he was elected a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. He was one of the electors for Douglas in 1860, and was a candidate for election as a delegate to the convention to decide whether or not the State should secede, he being opposed to that measure. Since the war he has lived quietly on his plantation, but has always been deeply interested in, and ready to support, with influence and purse, worthy measures for the good of his parish. His first wife died in 1849, and in 1853 he wedded Sophronia E., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Roberts, she as well as him self being a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His first union resulted in the birth of four children: W. W., Jr. (an attorney of Alexandria), Robert H. (a planter of this parish), Mrs. Sallie G. Smith and Mrs. Anna C. Sanford, who also reside here. Five children wore born to his last union: John R. (a farmer), Mrs. Emma Hamilton (of Austin, Tex.), Mrs. Eugenia Trimble, Clinton E. (a planter) and Mrs. Mand Texada, all of this parish.
Col. J. C. Vise. In ancient limes the sacred plow employed The kings and awful fathers of mankind, And some have held the scale of empire. Then, with unwearied hand Seized the plow, and greatly independent lived. Mr. Wise was born in St. Mary's County, Md., November 29, 1823, and came to Rapides Parish, La., in the year 1841. He was appointed sheriff in 1849, by Gov. Walker, to fill a vacancy, after which he was re-elected and served as sheriff until 1800. When it became known that war was inevitable, be organized Company B. First Louisiana Regiment, Blanchard's Brigade, Huger's Division, Army of Virginia. In 1862 he was promoted to major of the regiment, and in 1864 was appointed quartermaster general of the State of Louisiana, by Gov. Henry V. Allen, serving in that capacity until the war terminated. In 1879 he was elected to the Legislature and re-elected in 1882, since which time he has been engaged in planting.
William White Whittington, Jr., is a brilliant, and noted attorney of the Pelican State and is a man of advanced ideas, and while pursuing the practice of his profession, takes an active interest in every move that tends to the development of his State. He was born in this parish December 12, 1839, to Hon. William White Whittington, Sr., and Mrs. Ann C. (Manadue) Whittington, nee Holt, the former of whom was born, reared and educated at Snow Hill, Worcester County, Md. [See sketch. ] The paternal grandfather, Judge William Whittington, was a prominent member of the Maryland bar, and served for years with credit on the bench of what is known as the Eastern Shore District of Maryland. Ann C. Holt (Mrs. Whittington) was born in Rapides Parish, La., being a daughter of William Holt. Her eldest son by Mr. Whittington is the subject of this sketch, there being three sons and two daughters in the family, two sons and two daughters now living. He obtained a good early schooling, and supplemented this by a preparatory course in Maryland, after which he entered Princeton College, N. J., from which he was graduated in a thorough literary and classical course in the class of 1862.
Returning to his home at the end of this time he went into the Confederate Army as first lieutenant of au independent cavalry company, and served throughout the remainder of the war. Being a young man of indomitable willpower and good physique he bore the hardships and privations of war well, and no braver soldier or officer ever carried a sword. After his return home from the war he was appointed clerk of the district court of his parish, a position he tilled from 1866 to 1868, and then he engaged in the study of law, being admitted to the bar in August, 1869. He has been active practitioner ever since, and has since been justice of the peace and notary public. As a forcible and easy speaker he has no superior and his wonderful energy has enabled him to overcome at times what seemed insurmountable difficulties. He was married in this parish in 1873 to Miss Emily Walker, a native of Louisiana, and granddaughter of Gov. Joseph Walker, of this State. They have five sons and two daughters: William White, Jr. , Mary Margaret, John Milton Sandidge, George Parnell, Edward French, Robert Holt and Emily Ann. Their eldest child, William W., is deceased. Mr. Whittington is a member of the A. O. U. W. in which order he has held numerous offices.
Typing and Format By C. W. Barnum