Sabine Parish, Louisiana
History and Genealogy LA AHGP
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Background: About thirty years ago your host was browsing a used book store and came across an original book titled Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana. I bought it for $1.95 if memory serves me. I wanted to transcribe it. Spacing, format and some clean up was done to fit our webpage design. The following is not a reproduction of the original. Please report typing errors.
Sabine Parish is bounded on the north by the parishes of De Soto and Natchitoches, on the east by Natchitoches, on the south by Vernon and on the west by the Sabine River. The country is one of rolling oak uplands with a long leaf pine district in the southeastern corner. The total area is 1,008 square miles, of which the central prairie occupies 200. The long leaf pine 150 and the oak upland 658 square miles. There were 18,524 acres cultivated in 1879-80, of which 5,952 acres were under cotton; 7,971 acres under corn; 191 in sweet potatoes and 85 acres in sugar cane. There were 2,313 bales of cotton produced, or .39 bale per acre, of 555 pounds of seed cotton or 185 pounds of cotton lint. In 1889-90 the producing area and the products were nearly doubled. The population in 1890 (State census) is 10,529, comprising 4,216 White males and 3,983 females, 1,101 Colored males and 1,229 females. There are 684 men subject to military service. The population in 1880 was 7,344, of which number 5,486 were White and 1,858 Colored. In 1870 there were 4.592 White and 1,847 Colored, and in 1860, 4,115 White and 1,713 Colored. In 1850 there were 3,347 Whites and 1,168 slaves.
There are several kinds of land in Sabine, but, these in cultivation are what are generally termed uplands. Even the extreme uplands, a light gray sandy soil, produce well, and the hammock and creek bottom lands are very fertile, yielding, with proper cultivation, all that can be well gathered. The parish is literally threaded with streams of pure water, some of considerable size and others smaller.
The bayous San Patricio and St. Miguel run from the north center of the parish through Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8 to the Sabine River. Bayou Cie or Scie is a short stream flowing into St. Miguel. Bayou La Nana runs from Ward 4, through Ward 3, into the Sabine River, as also does Bayou Toro. Bayou Negreet runs into the Sabine. The White Sulphur Springs, in the northwestern corner of Sabine, one and one-half miles from the Sabine River and thirty miles from Mansfield, have been visited by invalids from the earliest times. Two miles east of Many are other medicinal springs, while the sulphur springs near Bayou San Patricio and the tar spring win some favorable notice. The saline springs and salt works in the southwestern townships were developed during the war.
A fair lime rock is found in the Fort Jesup neighborhood, and in very early days a lime kiln was constructed there. In 1823, when the United States troops cleared the land for the fort, this kiln was discovered, and therein was burned the lime used in building the foundations of the houses. Not, far from the salines, iron ore is found, while lignite exists in several localities. Deer are still here and the skilled hunter is generally rewarded for his labor. The bear and panther are visitors, but the catamount is a resident. In January, 1890. Louis Buvens killed a large catamount near Many, and hunting this animal has become a favorite pastime. The rattlesnake and moccasin are the only dangerous reptiles here, but snake bites are seldom heard of. In August, 1890, two children of Mrs. P. Williams, residing near Many, were found playing with a large rattlesnake. In July, 1888, there was not a mortgage on record in this parish, but during the last few years a few mortgages, given as security for lands, are on record.
The settlement of this division of the State dates back to the second decade of the eighteenth century, when the great trails from the rapids of Red River and from the post at Natchitoches were opened into Mexico.
Nolan's Trace, between Alexandria and San Antonio, parallels the Natchitoches and San Antonio trace, four miles south. The great camp ground at Fallen Springs, four miles south of Many, is still remembered as the place where many murders and robberies were committed, and today searchers come hither to explore for lost treasures. There is now in possession of Leo Vandegaer a part of a silver cross, found by W. G. Lewing, four miles southeast of Many in 1888, and a part of a counterfeiter's outfit found near Carter's Ferry some years ago. Where the cross was found ruins of burned buildings are noticeable. On every side souvenirs of Spanish occupation fire brought to light, and as years pass by history and fable people the Sabine country with the extremes of good and bad in the Spanish character.
On November 14, 1795, Jacinto Mora was granted 207,300 acres on the east side of the Sabine River, twenty-five leagues distant from the village of the Lady of the Pillar, of Nacogdoches, Tex., known as Los Ormegas. In July, 1805, this tract was sold by Mora to Ed Murphy, William Barr, Samuel Davenport and L. Smith, and in December the tract was legally conveyed and the name Santa Maria Adelaida de Ormegas given to it. The Le Nana grant to Ed Murphy (twelve miles square) was made in 1797, and both grants were recognized by the United States in 1847. The neutral strip between Spanish and French America was settled at a very early day. Many stories are related of the inhabitants of this ancient No Man's Land, filling it with desperadoes of all races and later by regulators and moderators. Samuel Davenport, in his evidence before the Land Commission in 1824, stated that the neutral territory comprised all the country east of the Sabine and west of the Calcasieu River, Bayou Kisatchie to the mouth of Bayou Don Manuel, southeast of the latter bayou, Lac Terre Noir and Arroyo Honda and south of the Red River to the northwest line of Louisiana. He was a resident of-Nacogdoches, Tex., from 1798 to 1813. Jose M. Mora and Gregoria Mora the tax collector were born there, and John Carter, another witness, resided at Natchitoches. In November, 1824, the Rio Honda claimants presented evidences of settlement. In 1797 a square league was granted to Jose M. Mora, sixteen leagues from Natchitoches, at a place known as The Head of the Name of God.
The residents on the Rio Hondo in 1805 were John Yocum, M. Yocum, James Wilson, Philip Winfree and A. Winfree in Township 4, Range 12; James Walker, Nicholas Jacks and Hugh McNeely in Township 5, Range 11; Jacob Leahy, Thomas Arthur, Thomas Gray, C. Antheny and Benjamin Winfree in Township 5, Range 12; Green Cook in Township 5, Range 13; Edmund Quirk, William Quirk, Thomas Gray and Joseph Montgomery in Township 6, Range 12; Samuel Holmes and Benjamin Morris in Township 6, Range 10; John H. Thompson and Benjamin Billis, Township 7, Range 10; Jose Antonio Manchaca, Township 7, Range 12: Jacques Lepine, David Case and widow La Lena Faded, Township 7, Range 13; Manuel Gonzales, Jean Baptiste Perot, Andrew Bassum, Thomas Wilson, Jose Maria Procella (heirs of James Denney and Manuel Bustamento), Township 8, Range 10; Louis Latham, F. Gonzales and Jose Reus, Township 8, Range 11; Antonia De la Sarda, Jose Estrader, Peter Patterson, John Cortez, Widow Ganissieu Parrierd, Township 8, Range 12; Robert McDonald, Louis Latham, Henry Quirk, Henry Stoker, Dennis Dios, William P. Davidson, Manuel Chorion, James Kirkham, Hugh McGuffin and Maria Sanchez, Township 8, Range 10; Michael Early, John Litton and Asa Backum, Township 9, Range 12; Francisco Rosalis, Jose Bascus, Jose Autonia Rodriquez, John Maximillian and the Widow Interest Toval, Township 8, Range 12, and Gilliam Bebee, Township 8, Range 13. In 1819-24 the above named proved their claims, and after the survey of 1832 located their claims anew. The only relics of the first homes on the Rio Honda were explored four years ago by Surveyor Vandegaer. In 1841 the sales of the Yates & McIntyre lands in Sabine reached importance. Thomas Ford, J. Tynes, Williamson Maines, John Scritchfield, Mary Langford, B. Dally, James Lesley, W. H. Edmundson, Hosea Presley, William M. Polk, William and B. K. Ford, Henry Hall, N. H. Bray, Samuel Eldridge, S. S. Eason, W. G. Painter, J. G. Sibley, Elizabeth McDonald, C. Cherrington, Peter Buvens, J. Anderson, John Graham, A. Arthur and D. G. Etherege were among the first buyers of the lands of these speculators. [Please report typing errors.]
The number of slaves in Sabine Parish in 1861 was 1,729, valued at $844,450, while the total assessed value of all property was only 11,466,640. On this valuation a Confederate States war tax, amounting to $7,334.49, was collected, Thomas Franklin being supervising assessor. The owners of six or more slaves in that year are named as follows; E. L. Armstrong, 17; S. L. and Allen Arthur, 13; Wade Anderson, 8; T. A. and Mary Armstrong, 14; J. H. O. Antony, 14; Minerva Allen, 9: W. M. Antony, 14; John G, and Francis Buvens, 12; A. Barr, 11; M. L. Branch, 50; Theo. G. Boyd (succession), 31; D. A. Blacksher, 11; G. B. Burr, 8; Beck and Harris, 21; M. W. Burr, 7: Wallis Cooper, 7; C. Carroll, 10; Nathan and j Mary Cook, 21; James Cook, 19; P. M. Carter. 12; Maria Childers, 60: W. W. Chapman, 57; Rebecca Conerly, 14; A. M. Campbell, 23; John Caldwell, , 19; John Carroll, 7; Joseph C. Coleman, 9; F. Button, 10; E. C. Davidson, 24; J. D. Estes, 15; W. H. Edmerson, 21; Milton Evans. 7; L. P, Ederington, 21; W. C. Faircloth, 17; J. M. Gibbs. 15; Daniel E. Gandy, 17; Lydia Godwin, 23; E. A. Hainsworth, 8; Mrs. Rembotias (succession), 36; Allen Holland, 23; Matthew Jones, 12; D. O. Hay, 7; John Kennedy, 6; Isaac Kirk, 6; S. G. Lucius, 7; Blueford Lewing, 11; Joseph Lynch, 0; John Maximillian, Sr., 6; Louis May, 14: Joseph F. Montgomery, 25; P. P. Massey, 8; Mark McAlpin, 8: John McGee, 14; A. S. Neal. 16: Voluntine, Nash, 10; C. E. Nelson, 7; R. Oliphant. '5; Care i Palmer, 7; Mary Province, 9; M. L. Price, 8; Auu E. Pullan, 28; John Presley, 24; Mary Quirk. 17; F. Eollins, 6; Isaac Eains, 14; Solomon Royston, 6; John R. Smart, 30; V. P. Smart, 10; Mrs. Susan B. Smart, 7; John P. Sibley, 17; D. W. Self, 6; R. B. Stille & Co., 10; Joseph D. Stille, 24; John H. Stephens, 8; T. B. Stephens, 0; M. K. Speight, 20; Stephen Smith, 6; Nancy Stoker, 26; William Stoker, 6; W. W. Sibley (administrator). 19; R. L. F. Sibley, 10; Mrs. Mattie Smith, 8; John H. Thompson, 28; M. B. Thompson, 16; C. B. Thompson, 6; John A. Thompson, 12; B. R. Truley, 19; Jesse Wright, 33; E. A. Winfree, 8; Nancy Williams, 6; H. L. Williams, 14; L. G. W alters, 8; Madison West, 21; James A. Woods, 14 and C. P. Waldrop, Sr., 19, In 1864 another assessment was made, by the Confederate officials, when W. W. Chapman was found to possess sixty-nine slaves, valued at $32,200. Aaron S. Neal had twenty-one slaves taxed, while the greater number of owners named above held their slaves and paid the war tax as levied that year.
Sabine Parish was established March 27, 1843, when Gov. Mouton signed the act defining its boundaries and providing for its government. The first record of the police jury is dated June 19, 1843, when the minutes of an adjourned meeting are recorded. T. Arthur, B. P. Biles, W. Estes, J. Lebo, E. B. Stille, J. E. Smart and A. Lavell were present as jurors: John Baldwin, treasurer, and S. S. Eason, secretary; John Lebo presided. A road from Hugo Wallace's house to the parish site was authorized. On June 20 a resolution postponing the sale of town lots at the original seat of justice was carried, the cause being the dissatisfaction expressed at the location.
The question of location was then taken up, and the Legislature petitioned to pass an act empowering the people to select a seat of justice in July. 1844. The Herald and the Reporter of Natchitoches were selected as advertising mediums. E. F. Presley was appointed assessor, John Q. McDonald, constable, and in September the following named administrators of public schools were appointed: Thomas Ford, D. E. Gandy, N. J. Alford, Hosea Presley and Voluntine Nash. In May, 1844, J. A. McLanahan replaced Arthur as juror; Hosea Presley was elected treasurer, Nathaniel Fashier, constable and George W. Thompson, surveyor. The line between Sabine and Rapids was ordered to be surveyed. In July, 1844. the jury considered that the electors had approved the original location of the seat of justice, and named Many in honor of Col. Many, then commanding at Fort Jesup. In November, John Ayres, B. P. Biles, A. Brown and James Kinner, qualified as jurors with the bitter president; the deed to the parish site was approved, and a building committee appointed. In 1845 E. K. McDonald, M. Fulcrod, J. B. Elam, T. G. S. Godwin and A. H. Redding qualified as jurors; A. Brown was president.
In 1846 J. B. Elam was president; in 1848, Joseph McNeely; in 1849, Daniel Richey; in 1851, H. S. White; in 1852, Matthew Jones; succeeded by Moses K. Speight; E, F. Presley, secretary. In July, 1859, the new jail was received from the contractor, Marion F. Carter, and the balance of the $1,500 ($465) was ordered to be paid to him. In June, 1860, J. A. Weeks, H. W. Scoggins, J. J. Horton and E. M. Cassel, qualified as jurors. In March, 1861, the question of disbursing the share of the $30,000 appropriated by the State toward the relief of the sufferers from floods and droughts was considered, and President Speight was authorized to draw upon the State treasurer for $1,500.
On May 6 the police jury held the next meeting, but beyond the provision made for the distribution of corn, from depots at Cobble Landing and Grand Ecores, little else was done. In June the election of Allan Holland, G. G. Garner and Silas Roberts is recorded. M. K. Speight, was chosen president and A. R. Mitchell clerk. The office of examiner of teachers for public schools was abolished, but restored next day, and A. R. Mitchell chosen examiner. E. C. Davidson was re-elected treasurer, and in August W. H. Boyd was chosen to represent Ward 10.
On August 13, 1861, steps to raise moneys for military purposes, and for the equipment of volunteers, were taken, and $1,250 appropriated to the Sabine Volunteer Company. Of this, $250 was appropriated for Capt. J. T. Jordan's company, then being organized. Acknowledgments were tendered Gov. Moore for his kindness in assuming for Sabine Parish the cost of uniforms and equipment, for the Sabine Rifles, and to N. H. Bray for equipping the Sabine Rebels. Twelve hundred dollars was appropriated to Capt. Smart's company in October, 1861. At this time $500 was granted to Capt. McAuretor's company, then at the front.
In January, 1862, the employment of a drillmaster was authorized. In April, 1862, the sum of $7,500, in parish warrants, was authorized. This was to be issued in scrip of $1, $2.50, $5, $10, $20 and $25. A further grant of $7 per month to the wives and mothers of soldiers was made, while to each child of men in service a grant of $2 per month was given. J. A. Weeks succeeded Mitchell, as clerk, at this time. Messrs. Weeks, Sam Webb, Garner, Munson, Scoggins, Gibbs, F. M. Chambliss, Holland and Speight were members of the jury.
In June, 1862, the estimate for the current year was placed at $6,940. Isaac Wright and Roberts were elected jurors in August. The warrants for $1,025 issued to Capt. Isaac Wright's, Sabine Independents in April, 1861, were canceled in June; a further issue of $10,000 in scrip was authorized in October, and the estimate of expenses for 1863 placed at $13,940. Bounties amounting to $2,486 and Volunteers Family Relief, to $3,311 were ordered to be paid. A statement was requested from Capt. D. W. Self, relating to the disbursement of the funds set apart for equipping his company; another issue of $10,000 in scrip was authorized, and a small payment is recorded to S. L. Holland, captain of the Sabine Guards, and in June, 1863. warrants for $7,210 were issued to the ten members of the police jury for the use of families of volunteers. There is no record of transactions in 1804. On August 13, 1865, M. K. Speight, of Ward 2, was continued as president; N. H. Bray, represented Ward 1; A. R. Mitchell. No. 3; L. Barbee, No. 4; W. Ferguson, No. 5; Benjamin Boyd, No. 10; H. S. Kennedy, No. 7; H. W. Scoggins, No. 8: A. C. Leach, No. 9, and Samuel Webb, No. 10. J. F. Smith was chosen clerk, E. C. Davidson, re-elected treasurer, and M. K. Speight, Jr., collector. This election was set aside and Davidson resigned, and N. H. Bray chosen treasurer. In June. 1800, John Parrott represented Ward 3; E. L. F. Sibley. No. 4; Jacob Tyler, No. 6, and William Tynes, No. 10. W, W. McNeely was chosen clerk. In October, H. W. Scoggins was re-elected from Ward 8, and V. A. Montgomery was collector and sheriff. The jury of 1808 comprised Messrs. Speight, Bray, Kennedy and Tyler, with the newly elected members, Harmon Carter, Edmund Duggan, William Junk, John Jacobs, W. A. Youngblood and John Tynes; E. C. Davidson was chosen parish attorney. In June, 1860, M. P. Hawkins qualified as juror from the Fourth and John Franklin from the First Ward. On June 7, 1869, the treasurer ceased to be custodian of the school fund, from which the sum of $309 was due him. This balance he requested the jury to insure payment of. In October, 1809, the names of A. E. Addison and C. P. Darnell appear as jurors. An item of $37 for advertising in the Red River News, and $15 for rent to the trustees of the Methodist Church appear at this time. In January. 1870, Jeff. J. Salter was appointed collector; in June. Alfred Lout and Thomas Wiley were new members of the jury, and two State cadets and two medical students were selected by the jury to attend the respective colleges.
The State appointed police jury qualified October 2, 1871. John Caldwell was chosen president, with M. P. Hawkins, Alfred Litton, Thomas A. Armstrong and D. W. Self, members; W. W. McNeely was elected clerk, James P. Smith, treasurer, and E. F. Presley, attorney. At this time the Methodist Church house was rented for court-house purposes at the rate of §05 per year, and W. W. McNeely was granted a small sum as rent for his office up to that date. In July, 1872, the question of settlement with the new parish of Vernon was discussed. R. W. Sibley was chosen parish physician, J. B. Vandegaer, parish treasurer, and in October, F. A. Fuller, surveyor. J. F. Garner was assessor at this time and E. F. Walters, sheriff, succeeded by Alfred Lout. In December, 1872, Edmond Duggan was president with John Carroll (died in 1873), J. H. Tynes, Alf. Litton (resigned in 1873), and James M. Gibbs, Sr., members; R. W. Sibley was chosen clerk. In July, 1873, J. H. Caldwell was appointed treasurer. The question of building a court-house was definitely settled in October, when a one-per cent tax on the assessment of 1872 was authorized for building purposes. R. B. Stille. W. H. Aldredge, John Davis, A. Hogue and A. Harris were appointed a building committee. An item of $112 for advertising in Red River News appears on the records of this period.
In July, 1874, R. G. Brown qualified, vice Carroll, but the appointee vice Litton did not present himself. On January 4, 1875, M. K. Speight, Sr., Edmond Duggan, R. G. Brown, H. H. Cullen and S. T. Sibley formed the board. Speight was elected president; E. A. Forbis was elected treasurer (to fill vacancy); James F. Garner was assessor and collector. In January, 1876, Edmund Duggan was elected president, and the estimate of parish taxes placed at $4,240. A tax levy of 14.5 mills was made, but this was increased to 29 mills immediately after, the latter 14-J-mill levy being submitted to a vote. In October, 1870, the trustees of the Baptist Church were granted $25 as rent for their house during the year 1875. In January. 1877, R. M. Armstrong was president; Wade Anderson, D. W. Carroll, G. W. Addison and J. M. Gibbs, Sr. were jurors. On June 4, the ultimatum of the board of school directors, asking that a tax for common school purposes not exceeding 2 mills, be levied. E. F. Presley, then secretary of the school board, drafted this requisition. F. D. Self, then State tax collector, was enjoined from collecting until a satisfactory bond would be entered into.
On June 7. 1877, E. F. Presley was elected treasurer, and, in October, attorney, and on July 2 the parish was redistricted into eight wards, under authority of the act of April 10, 1887. This act of July 2 did not come into force immediately, for, up to January 1, 1879, the same jurors managed parish affairs. On January 6, W. W. Arthur, Ward 1, president; T. J. Stringer, Ward 2; D. W. Carroll, Ward 3; Daniel Vandegaer, Ward 4; W. H. Farmer and H. H. Gallons, Ward 7; C. B. Darnell, Ward 5; and W. L. Shull, Ward 8, formed the post-reconstruction jury. E. W. Sibley, clerk, and E. F. Presley, treasurer, were continued in office. In August, 1879, the courthouse building project was revived and an ordinance for a 8-mill tax for three years adopted. This ordinance was sustained on December 2 of that year, and plans for a building were received. W. W. McNeely was appointed treasurer, and P. P. Bridges was elected juror, vice H. H. Callens, deceased. The new member was chosen president. At this time the old mercantile building known as Baldwin's Store was occupied by the county officers, the rent being $5 per month. In January, 1880, the proposition of Editor.
Presley, of the Southern, to do the public printing at a discount of fifty per cent on the legal rate of advertising, was met by the radical one of J. H. Caldwell & Co., of the Sabine Index, to do the same work gratis and pay the parish 30 cents for the privilege. The jurors agreed to accept the wild proposition of the Index people. In May, 1880, W. W. Arthur was chosen president, and J. H. Mitchell, clerk (succeeded in January, 1881, by E. W. Sibley). On May 5, 1880, J. T. Lunt entered into a contract to erect the court-house for $2,500, and had it completed the following year. The old jail and lot were sold to A. H. Hogue in August for $112.50. In August. 1881, W. T. Alford represented Ward 3, vice D. W. Carroll, In January, 1882, A. W. Estes was appointed clerk, vice Sibley (resigned); specifications for a jail building were adopted, and, on March 7, the contract was sold to J. T. Lunt for $1,600. In August, 1882, H. S. Kennedy represented Ward 7.
In June, 1883, J. M. Stoddard qualified as juror from Ward 7, and he with Messrs. Arthur, Stringer, Alford, Vandegaer, Darnell and Parmer of the first six wards, and W. L. Shull of Ward 8, formed the board. The new member was chosen president in January, 1884, succeeded in June by R. A. Forbis, of Ward 4, who with T. J. Stringer, Ward 2, W. T. Alford, Ward 3. J. W. Conerly, Ward 1, Henry Ferguson, Ward 5, William Aten, Ward 8, H. H. Cassel, Ward 0, and John Graham, Ward 7, formed the board at that time. In June, 1884, A. W. Estes was elected treasurer, vice W. \V. McNeely, who filled that position since 1879, The prohibition ordinance was recorded in January, 1885; in April, the name of W. M. Webb as juror, and the death of H. Ferguson are recorded. In April, 1886, W. T. Alford was elected president, vice Forbis, resigned. Alford was succeeded in January, 1888, by Jehu Graham; but in June of that year the newly elected jury organized, with R. A. Forbis, president, A. W. Estes, clerk and treasurer, and the following named members: H. S. Elzey, T. J. Stringer, H. M. Gandy, W. M. Webb, H. H. Cassel, J. M. Fuller and William Tyler. At this term a tax of 7 mills for parish, and 2 mills for school purposes was authorized. The levy for 1890 is 6 mills for State, and 6 mills for parish purposes.
The first record of the district court is dated December 25, 1843. George R. King, of the Fifth District presided; Samuel S. Eason was clerk; Silas Shelburne, sheriff; A. W. Rogers, deputy sheriff; William Stoker, coroner; E. P. Presley, assessor, and John Baldwin, treasurer. Robert B. Stille, H. Presley, John S. Wells, R. K. McDonald, Joseph McNeely, A. Bradley, Patrick Rogers, and Joseph White were justices of the peace. The first grand jury comprised Henry Hall, Robert Brown, Nicholas Jacks, Thomas Ford, Daniel McNeely, John Martin, Redmond Carter, Daniel R. Gandy, Hosea Presley, Cornelius Dallashide, Robert B. Stille, William Langton, Lesley Barbee, George W. Edwards and Solomon Royston. Seventeen civil cases were continued to the 26th, when a few were disposed of. On December 27 ten indictments were returned, three for larceny, six for assault and battery, and one for selling liquor to a slave. On December 28 Francisco Negrovemis, a native of Catalonia, Spain, renounced allegiance to that country's monarch, and Nathan H. Bray gave notice of his intention to treat the ruler of Great Britain and Ireland in the same manner. In May, 1844, James Campbell of the Tenth District opened court. Daniel R. Gandy was sheriff, and Elias F. Presley, deputy sheriff. At this time the prisoners had to be taken hither from Natchitoches for trial, as Sabine had no jail. In December, 1845, C. Chaplin qualified as district attorney, to succeed W. L. Tuomey. James Taylor presented the commission of Gov. Johnson, in November, 1846, as judge of the Sixteenth District, and in May, 1847, Judge E. E. Ollcutt, of the Seventeenth District presided, vice Judge Taylor of this district. In August. 1850, Charles A. Bullard of the Sixteenth District was present. He presided here until September, 1853, when Chichester Chaplin took his place, with William T. Hamilton, district attorney. In November, 1854, Judge Land, of the Eighteenth District interchanged with the district judge, and appointed A. R. Mitchell, district attorney. S. H, Waples was admitted to practice law here in April, 1856, and some years later B. F. Presley began practice.
From November, 1861, to April, 1863, there was no attempt made to hold court. Judge Chaplin presided. He was again present in November, 1864. In April, 1866, Judge William B. Lewis, of the Ninth District, opened court and continued to preside here until 1869, when Judge John Osborne was commissioned judge of the Ninth District and presided until November, 1873. For the two succeeding years there is no record of court, nor was there a regular term of court held. In November, 1875, Judge Chaplin was present and transacted the business of the court here until July 5, 1877, when David Pierson, of the Seventeenth District appointed John Davis, E. A. Forbis, William M. Antony and Daniel W. Carroll jury commissioners, and ordered the sheriff to call a special jury for the term of September. W. P. Hall was district attorney. The district is now known as the Eleventh; Judge Pierson still presiding with D. C. Scarborough district attorney. The docket has always been very light on the criminal side.
On May 10, 1878, Porter Brown was hanged here for aiding Ben Goodloe to murder Dr. H. W. Evans. Joseph Elijah Brown was hanged April 12, 1889, for a more serious crime. Other criminals have been summarily punished by the people, and not a few have been sent to prison under life sentences. The old bar comprised W. L. Tuomey, Joseph B. Elam, Chichester Chaplin, Chester Chaplin, Jr., W. T. Hamilton, S. H. Waples, E. C. Davison, A. R. Mitchell (now residing in Vernon Parish), J. F. Smith (died in 1890), E. P. Presley (now residing at Many), R. A. Hunter (now of Alexandria), George Head, T. C. Armstrong (now of Sodus), W. D. Carter (now of Sherman, Tex.), Amos L. Ponder (came in 1886), and W. G. McDonald (who settled in Many in 1890).
The journal of the parish court dates back to July 3, 1843, when William R. D. Speight, parish judge, presided. On July 7 the suit of G. Landrum vs. J. E. Roca was presented and C. A. Bui lard was appointed curator ad hoc to represent the absent defendant. S. S. Eason was clerk. In March, 1846, the district judge acted as judge in probate affairs. In July, 1849, E. F. Presley signs as clerk, and E. A. Gay as recorder. Some time after the abolition of the first parish court, G. Landrum, above named, killed Judge Speight opposite the hotel. In October, 1868, M, D. Edmondson opened the parish court with W. W. McNeely clerk. In March, 1871, W. W. McNeely presided as judge, and held this office until February, 1877, when J. C. Armstrong qualified. He was judge up to 1880. when the office was abolished under the new constitution.
The principal officers of the parish since 1843 are named as follows: District clerks: S. S. Easom, 1843: Hosea Presley, 1846; E. F. Presley, 1810; Eli Self, 1852: J. A. Weeks. 1855: J. C. Sibley. 1858; J. D. Stille, 1861; W. W. McNeely, 1865; R. W. Sibley, 1873: W. W. McNeely. 1884; W. E. McNeely, 1890.
Sheriffs—Silas Shelburne, 1843: D. E. Gandy, 1844; K. J. McLemore, 1850; R. A. Sibley, 1851; Alex Barr. 1860: Alfred Lout, 1873; Bailey Lout, 1883; Frank D. Self, ; D. W. Self, : J. W. Conerly, 1888.
Treasurers—Hosea Presley, 1843; John Baldwin, ; R. P. Sibley, 1853; W. D. Stephens, 1850; E. C. Davidson, 1856; N. H. Bray, ; James P. Smith, 1871; J. B. Vandegaer, 1872; J. H. Caldwell, 1873; W. W. McNeely, 1879; John Vandegaer, ; A. W. Estes, 1884: E. A. Forbis, 1875; E. P. Presley, 1877.
Assessors—E. F. Presley, 1843; Charles Elam, - : K. J. McLemore, - G. E. Ward, 1850; L. B. Gray, 1850; D. W. Self, 1860; J. H. Caldwell, 1877; W. W. McNeely, 1880; Leo Vandegaer; J. A. Tramel,
Representatives —W. B. Stille, C. Chaplin, J. H. Stephens, E. C. Davidson, John R. Smart, - Hicks, E. F. Presley (1802-64), E. B. Stille, J. F. Smith, R. M. Armstrong and D. W. Self. In January, 1861, E. C. Davidson signed the ordinance of secession as delegate from this parish. Surveyors—G. W. Thompson (1843), Peter Munson, John J. Biles, Carroll Miller and Daniel Vandegaer.
Recorders—E. A. Gay, 1845; John Baldwin, 1851; John Davis, 1866; John B. Vandegaer, 1872-77; A. W. Estes, 1877, followed in 1880 by R. W. Sibley, who, as district clerk, became ex-officio recorder under the constitution of 1879.
Coroners—H. P. Welsh, 1840; N. H. Bray, 1851; V. A. Montgomery, 1852, and Dr. J. C. Armstrong, who has held the office for many years. The soldiers who went from the present parish of Sabine to participate in the Mexican War were: John L. Lockwood, W. B. Dupree. John Jones, James Craig. Hugh Dowden, L. C. T. Sanders, James Sanders, W. H. Hollaway, Jordan Munson and W. S. Summers. Of the number the two last named are dead.
Capt. McArthur's company was the first company raised in Sabine Parish for the Civil War. This was followed by Capt. J. T. Jordan's company (North Louisiana Cadets), Capt. N. H. Bray's company, Capt. Smart's company, Capt. Isaac Wright's Sabine Independents, a militia company, Capt. D, W. Self's volunteers and Capt. S. L. Holland's Sabine Guards. All the men of Sabine capable of military duty were in the field. In 1865-66 Capt. Carey was commandant at many. He was comparatively mild in his treatment of the Whites, and few, if any, complaints of his administration are made. The early anti-secessionists, such as E. P. Presley and the Stille's, won for their secession neighbors a measure of security, which would otherwise have been absent. The Sabine Southern was issued May 2, 1878, by W. P. Hutchison. His salutatory pointed out his true Democratic principles. On September 7, 1878, E. F, Presley and Henry Potts issued their salutatory as editors and proprietors, but from 1879 to September 4, 1890, Mr. Presley was owner and editor. On the date mentioned he sold the office to his sons, E. P. Presley, Jr., and H. M. Presley.
The Sabine Index was established in 1879 by Levi Stewart, J. H. Caldwell, John Blake and others. They were all contributors and opponents of the Southern. This opposition was carried to the extremes referred to in the page devoted to the transactions of the police jury, but like all extremists they exhausted themselves in little over a year. In September, 1890, the establishment of an anti-lottery journal was seriously entertained. The White pupils enrolled in Sabine in 1878 numbered 870; in 1879, 897; in 1883, 542; in 1884, 820; in 1885, 2,196; in 1886, 1,993 and in 1887, 2,313. The Colored enumeration for the same years is shown as follows: 150, 184, 315, 160, 333, 604 and 345. In the report, made by Supt. Amos L. Ponder (January. 1890), the parish is credited with 3,330 school children, Ward 4, containing 772 of the total number. In 1850 William D. Stephens was superintendent of free schools, and in 1851 E. A. Campbell held this position.
The physicians of the parish since 1840 are named as follows: Henry McCullen (the first physician at Many), James C. Armstrong, Dr. Goodloe (who resided on the west side of the Sabine), Dr. West (died in Texas), Dr. Cater (died in 1869), Dr. March (died in 1878), Dr. Nelson, Dr. Coleman, Dr. Thigpin, Dr. Elliot Smith, and during the war. Dr. Word, Dr. Collins (killed at Robeline, in 1888), Dr. Addison, Dr. Mills, Dr. Smart, George Dallas Armstrong, John Roily Franklin, Thomas Alexander Armstrong, Samuel Houston Cade, Thomas Welsh Abington (1861), Rezin Lawrence Armstrong, Jr., James Everett Mumford, Joseph Walker Speight, J. M. Middleton, John Nash, Thomas Trained, F. W. E. Truly, W. E. Curtiss, N. C. Stone, L. W. Watkins, Joseph Edward Wall, John Foster, Joseph David Heard, John James Hatcher, Armistead Greenwood Dunn, Reddich Walter Sibley, Wiley Strickland Leggett.
The Farmers Co-operative Association, of the Farmers Union organizations, known as Central, Spring Ridge, Union, Wallace, San Patricio, Bayou Scie, Sardis, Oak Grove, Progress, Magnolia, Red Land, Buffalo, Rocky Springs, Red Bayou, Holly Springs and Emmanuel, organized November 22, 1888, with the object of establishing a place of business or supply store at Pleasant Hill. The Sabine Farmer's Supply Company was incorporated November 19, 1888, at Fort Jesup, with E. A. Forbis, John Mcllvain, Van Peters, P. B. Peters, T. J. Smith, J. E. Franklin, George T. Daily and W. E. Alford, directors. The Farmers' Commercial Co-operative Association was chartered March 11, 1889, with the following named directors: John S. Carroll (president), F. J. Davis (secretary), A. C. Lamberth (treasurer), W. S. Brown, J. M. Seever, J. W. Gandy, D. P. Gandy, G. W. Miller and J. H. Parrott. The capital stock was placed at $15,000, and the place of business in Ward 3. The store was located at Robeline.
The lumber manufacturing industries are few and insignificant compared with the great field and advantages which the parish offers. The saw mills are Leach's on Mill Creek; Nash's mill and James Leach's mill, in Ward 1; Peters in Ward 4; C. B. Darnell's in Ward 5; Robert's in Ward 3; Palmer's in Ward 2; Pugh & Son's in Ward 6; Taylor & Galloway's in Ward 7; Shuel's in Ward 8. The settlement of the town of Many and Fort Jesup dates back to the thirties. It was a wilderness when Fort Jesup was an important, military post, and was unknown when the Spaniards settled westward on the Sabine and eastward on Bayou Adayes. Twenty years after Port Jesup was established politics suggested the establishment of Sabine, De Soto and Bossier, and brought a new town into existence in each of the three divisions. Many was one of these creations, and to it was given the name of a popular officer at old Fort Jesup.
On May 17. 1843, W. R. D. Speight, I. W. Eason, G. W. Thompson and S. S. Eason donated to the parish of Sabine forty acres adjoining the line of Peter Buven's lands, beginning at the forks of the road east of Hosea Presley's house and along the Speight road. The plat, as surveyed December 21, 1844, by George W. Thompson, shows the public square and eight streets. The, first commissioners of the town were John Baldwin, Alex Biles, M. Fulcrond, Henry Earls and John Waterhouse. On December 31, 1844, they sold Lots 1 and 2 in Block 7, to Robert Parrott and William Edmondson for $39.50. Lots were also sold to J. B. Stoddard, P. H. Dillon, William Taylor, S. S. Eason, John Baldwin and later to L. Levinson, L. M. Rogers, B. K. Ford, C. Chaplin, T. McCarthy, H. McCallen, H. Hall, T. George, S. J. McCurdy, Tabitha Baldridge, J. B. Elam, G. E. Ward and B. Carpenter. In 1849 Baldwin, Stille and Ward, commissioners of Many, deeded to John Caldwell, John D. Tucker and Robert A. Gay for use of the Masonic society, known as Hamill Lodge, and to Abram Roberts, William D. Stephens, Robert D. Wright, William Maines and Henry McCallen, trustees of the Methodist Church South society Lots 19 and 20, in Block 7. The consideration was $20, and they erected a two-story building, the lower floor to be used for religious, and the upper for Masonic, purposes.
In October, 1852, D. E. Gandy donated to Antony McGee, Noah Martin and other trustees of the Baptist Church eight lots in Block 11. The first house built on the site of Many was the log house of John Baldwin, located where J. D. Stille's residence now stands. Additions were made to this house from time to time by E. B. and William Stille, who purchased the lot and house from Baldwin, and resided there up to 1879, when J. D. Stille purchased it. The old buildings (log and frame) were torn down in the fall of 1890, to give place to the present house. This building was the hotel in Baldwin's time, and was used as such up to its removal. The first store building, erected by John Baldwin, is still standing fronting the public square, and used as a cotton house by J. D. Stille. The second log house was constructed by Dr. McCallen. I t was his drug store and office and also Stille's general store, although the whole concern was only 1,728 cubical feet over a clay floor.
The first postmaster was John Baldwin, followed by E. H. Stoddard. Henry McCallen came next. Later William B. Stille was appointed and held the office until 1870, when Robert B. Stille was appointed. The latter died while a delegate to the constitutional convention of 1879, and John B. Vandegaer, the present master, was commissioned. In May, 1878, G. W. Small was mayor, and John Blake, clerk of the town of Many. J. B. Vandegaer, A. H. Hogue, E. B. Stille and J. P. Smith were councilmen. In 1880 J. B. Vandegaer was chosen mayor, and served until the council ceased to meet. Under the charter he is still mayor. J. D. Stille and Daniel Vandegaer were also members. Many Lodge No. 97 was a prosperous lodge from 1850 to 1872, when the charter was surrendered.
Kisatchie Lodge, at Mount Carmel, in 1859 continued in existence. Little Flock Lodge at Wineburg, in 1807, surrendered charter in 1878. The Church of San Miguel, at Adayes, within a mile of Robeline, was presided over in 1715 by Father Joseph Margil. The Church of Las Cabezas, on Bayou Scie (Vallecillo), is another old church, about equal distant from Many as that at Robeline. Then followed another church on Bayou Scie, called Nuestra Senora de la Guadalupe (the log buildings were standing in 1880). and in 1880 the Church of Nuestra Senora del Sagrado Corazon was erected, by Father Aubree. The Church of St. John at Many was erected by him in 1870, at a cost of about $2,000, on lands (14 acres) donated by W. H. Jack, of Natchitoches, P. Giauque, of Cincinnati, and Daniel Vandegaer. Among the members of the church at Many, in 1870, were the families of John Davis, John Buvens, Francis Buvens, John B. Vandegaer and Daniel Vandegaer, and to these families the building of the neat house of worship must be credited. The present congregation numbers about 250. The school (denominational) was established in September, 1887, with Miss Emma Curry, teacher, This lady presided here until 1889, when Miss Aimee Hertzog:, the present teacher, came. The enrollment shows forty pupils.
Port Jesup was established as a frontier post in 1823. The adjutant's office was erected on the divide between the Red and Sabine Rivers, near the Natchitoches and San Antonio road, and here many of the officers, who in later years took part in the Mexican and Civil Wars, held command. Old Rough and Ready, Jefferson Davis, James Shields, Capt. May (the wild rider), Col. Many, Capt. Bragg, Gen. Grant and the gallant Phil Sheridan, were here, either as commandants or visitors. Shawnee Town and other trading villages were established outside the military reservation, along the Mexican trace, all making a settlement which became notorious from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Terrible tragedies were enacted in this vicinity in early years, and a thousand stories connect it with the romantic period in history. Sabine Lodge No. 75 (Masonic) was chartered March 4, 1850. In 1874 the life members were J. C. Armstrong and Leslie Barbee, past-masters, and J. H Martin.
The members were T. A. Armstrong, W. Y. Bainhill, J. H. Bozeman, T. Beck, S. D. Crump, S. M. Crump, J. Clark, A. E. Cassidy, C. B. Fleming, M. P. Hawkins, A. Harris, W. M. Lynch, J. T. Lynch, J. J. Mimms, J. P. March, E. P. Royston, J. E. Rogers, W. Stoker, H, P. Welch, J. W. Walker and J. W. Winn. The large Masonic hall was erected in 1877-78. Port, Jesup Masonic Institute was chartered May 5, 1887, by Lodge 75. On the spot where the college stands, Gen. Taylor had his quarters, and the water well, excavated by his orders, is today the supply well of the college. The directors of the institute in April. 1890, were J. P. Smith, president; J. M. Franklin, vice-president; L. Barbee, treasurer; T. J. Smith, W. D. Broughton and J. F. Vidler. T. E. Hardin was then president of the college.
Sodus is a modern railroad town in the northeast corner of the parish. Here are the Gooch, Davis, and Farmers' Co-operative Company's stores, and Dardy's hotel. Several substantial dwelling houses have been erected, and the town gives every evidence of progress.
William M. Antony, farmer and cotton ginner of Ward 2, of Sabine Parish, La., was born in the town of Negreet in 1827, being; a son of Christopher and Mileberry (Cook) Antony, who were born in Virginia and Georgia, the former in 1781, and the latter in 1805. When a small lad C. Antony was taken to Kentucky by his parents, and in that State he remained until about grown, when he went to Arkansas and was married in that State.
In 1821 be removed to Texas, and a year later to what is now Sabine Parish, La., and here married his second wife in 1820. He made his home in this parish until his death in 1841, being one of its very oldest American settlers at the time of his death. At first, the nearest trading point was Natchitoches, and the region, which was very heavily covered with timber, was teeming with wild beasts and Indians. He was the only one of his family who ever came to this State. His father was Martin Anthony (the name being formerly Anthony), a native German, who came to America prior to the Revolutionary War, in which he and his eldest son, Jacob, took part. The mother's father, Rev. William Cook, was born in Georgia. and was one of the first Baptist ministers of Northwestern Louisiana, having emigrated to what is now Sabine Parish, about 1825, his death occurring here in 1829, after a successful ministerial career. He had been a soldier in the War of 1812.
The subject of this sketch is the eldest of eight sons and two daughters, four of the family now living, all of whom were reared in the wilds of Sabine Parish, receiving such educational advantages as the primitive state of the country at that day afforded. In 1851 the daughter of Aaron L. and Penelope Neil became his wife, her name being Mary Alice. Mr. Neil was bora in Mississippi in 1808, and his wife in Alabama, their deaths occurring in 1872 and 1801, respectively, both passing from life in Mississippi, in which State they had spent the greater part of their lives. Mrs. Antony was born in that State, and her union with Mr. Antony has resulted in the birth of ten children; Thomas R., George C , Marion S., Charles W., Mary E. (wife of J. C. Salter), Mileberry (wife of C. M. Morris), being the only ones now living.
Since his marriage Mr. Antony has resided in Ward 2, and since 1860 has been a resident of his present farm, which comprises 1,300 acres of land, about 200 of which are cleared, on which is erected a good steam cotton-gin, all of which property is the result of his own and his worthy wife's efforts. He was a police juror for some time prior to the war, and for a short time served as lieutenant in the Louisiana State troops and in the Second Louisiana Cavalry, but was soon after detailed to look after matters at home. He has been a member of Little Flock Lodge No. 180, of the A. F. & A. M., for some time, but since 1866 has been a member of that order, holding the rank of worshipful master since 1868. He and his wife are Methodists.
L. Barbee, one of the pioneers and prominent citizens of Sabine Parish, was born in Wake County, N. C, January 16, 1812, and is a son of Mark and Tempey (Garner) Barbee, who were of English and Scotch descent, respectively. The parents were both natives of Virginia, the father born in 1776, and they both emigrated to North Carolina when young. There they were married, and there the father passed the closing scenes of his life. He was a farmer by occupation. They were the parents of six children, three of whom are now living: Polly (born in 1804), and Dorcas (born in 1810). Leslie, the youngest of this family and the subject of this sketch, passed his youthful days in North Carolina, received a fair education, and became familiar with the duties of the farm at an early age. In 1831 he emigrated to Greene County and Sumter County, Ala., and followed agricultural pursuits, and was overseer of a large plantation until 1842, when he emigrated to what is now Sabine Parish.
The country at that time was wild and unsettled, and the few settlers were miles apart. He lived in this manner until 1800, when he engaged in the mercantile business until 1887, but also engaged in tilling the soil. He moved to Fort Jesup, where he purchased another farm in 1800. He subsequently embarked in the mercantile business, and carried this on for eighteen years very successfully. He is also a mechanic, or what may be termed a " Jack of all trades," and is successful in whatever he undertakes. He is now retired from business and is living on the fruits of his labor. Although in his seventy-eighth year, his memory is wonderful and his physical strength very good. He is unusually active for a man of his age, and bids fair to live many years more. He was postmaster at Fort Jesup for about eight years, was a member of the police jury for two years and represented Sabine Parish in the Legislature of 1878-79. He has been a prominent citizen all his life, and is probably the oldest man now living in Sabine Parish. He was married in 1838 to Miss Argenene Pillian, a native of Georgia, and the fruits of this union have been six children: Caroline (wife of M. P. Hawkins), Mary J. (wife of William McNeely), William H., Joseph L., Nellie (wife of W. A. Ponder), and Nettie (wife of A. L. Ponder). Mr. Barbee is a member of the Masonic fraternity and a charter member of Fort Jesup Lodge. He is also a worthy member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
Robert G. Brown, a native born resident of Sabine Parish, was born near where he now resides, on February 18, 1844, and is the second of eight children born to his parents, Charles E. and Martha J. (Pace) Brown, natives of Tennessee, the former born in Maury, and the latter in Montgomery County. Charles R. Brown went with his parents to San Augustine, Tex., while that State was a part of Mexico, but they were forced to leave on account, of political troubles, and he crossed the Sabine River to then Natchitoches Parish, a part of which afterward was organized into Sabine Parish, and remained there until his death in 1852. He was born in 1815. The mother came with her parents to Texas, and from thence moved to Louisiana, and there married Mr. Brown, and here the mother died in 1865. She was born; in 1820. After the death of her husband she married Wade Anderson, a well-known citizen of the community at that time.
He was an old settler and his death occurred on May 11, 1890, at the age of seventy-seven years. Robert G. Brown passed his boyhood and youth in Sabine Parish ( and in March, 1862, he enlisted in the Twelfth Louisiana Infantry, and served in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. He was in the following battles: Champion's Hill, Jackson, Corinth, Dallas, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, and then obtained a furlough to come home. After returning to the army he joined the Nineteenth Louisiana Infantry, and was with this until the close of hostilities. He came home without any means whatever, and had to assist in providing for his mother and stepfather for several years. He also attended school some and besides studied at home. In fact he has always been a student, and is a well informed man on any subject. He started out in life for himself as a farmer, and this vocation he has carried on ever since. In 1873 he opened a store in San Patricio, and has in connection with his farming interests carried this on successfully ever since. The post office, San Patricio, through Mr. Brown's efforts, was established in 1878, and he has been postmaster of the same since. He has been police juror for four years, and was justice of the peace one term. He has operated a steam gin, saw and grist-mill for ten years. He is the owner of 450 acres of land, but one time was the owner of a great deal more. In 1873 he was married to Miss Mary Pye, a daughter of John Pye, and a native of Sabine County, Tex. To this marriage have been born six children: Robert L., Mary E., Dempsey P., Jesse D., John E. and Winnie L. Mr. Brown is a member of the Baptist Church and takes a decided interest in the Sunday school work. In politics he is a Democrat, and is decidedly an anti-lottery man, belonging to the Anti-lottery League. He is an enterprising citizen.
Isaac N. Carter, farmer and cotton-ginner of Ward 3, was born in Natchitoches Parish, La., in 1850, to Harmon and Martha A. (Estes) Carter, natives of Mississippi, who came with their parents to Natchitoches Parish, La., some fifty years ago, where they became acquainted and married. When the subject of this sketch was quite small they came to this parish, and settled at Negreet, where Mr. Carter died, in 1873, and his wife in 1871, members of the Baptist Church, and the former a farmer by occupation. He was also a lieutenant in the Confederate Army during the Rebellion, serving throughout the entire war. His father was one of the very earliest settlers of Natchitoches Parish, and there he passed from life. The maternal grandfather, William Dawson Estes, was also one of its earliest settlers, and is still living in this State. The subject of this sketch was the fifth child born to his parents, three now living, and as he was compelled to labor hard at farm work in his youth, he received but little schooling. At the age of eighteen years he began the battle of life , for himself, and in 1874 was married to Miss Ann ! E. daughter of Louis and Susan Schubrooks, the former of whom was born in Belgium, and died in Rapids Parish, La. His wife's birthplace was the State of Alabama, her death occurring in Sabine Parish. Mrs. Carter was born here, and her union with Mr. Carter has resulted in the birth of five children. Mr. Garter has resided on his present farm of 295 acres for the past fifteen years, and everything about his place shows thrift, enterprise and energy. By his efforts he has accumulated the property which he now owns, and is acknowledged to be one of the most progressive agriculturists of his ward, and has, on his plantation, a good, steam cotton gin and compress mill.
Henry H. Cassel, police member and farmer, San Patricio, La. Mr. Cassel, whoso success in life is mainly due to his own industry and perseverance, coupled with a pleasant, genial disposition, is a native of Choctaw County, Miss., where he was born May 23, 1843. His parents, Eli M. and Sarah S. (Latham) Cassel, were natives of North Carolina and South Carolina, respectively. The parents were married in Mississippi, and resided in Choctaw County of that State until 1852, when they came to Louisiana, locating in Sabine Parish. The father died there, at the residence of our subject, in 1865, when about sixty-five years of age. He was left an orphan at an early age, and was reared by George Earnhardt, sheriff of his native county. He left there when sixteen years of age, engaged in tilling the soil, and this continued up to the time of his death. He was police member soon after coming to this parish, and this continued for many years. He was a devout member of the Methodist Church, and was class leader and steward in the same. It was thought that he was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and it is known that he was a lifelong Democrat. The mother is still living, and makes her home with her son, Henry H.
She was seventy-eight years of age last August, and is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. Henry H. Cassel, the fifth in order of birth of the eight children born to his parents, passed his schooldays in Sabine Parish, and in 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Twelfth Louisiana Infantry, serving until the surrender, of Gen. Lee. He was in the following battles: Corinth, Baker's Creek, Jackson (Miss.), the Atlanta campaign, Franklin and Nashville. He was then taken sick at Charlotte, N. C., and there remained until the close of the war, when he returned home, and resumed his farming, which he has since continued. He had three brothers in the army, who served until the close, and one was wounded at the three days fight around Atlanta, Ga. Mr. Cassel is the owner of 640 acres of land, and has about 100 acres under cultivation. He was a member of the school board for four years, and has now been elected police member two terms. Mr. Cassel was married July 8, 1869, to Mrs. Mary J. Baugh, a native of Shelby County, Tex., and the daughter of Robert and Mary (Golden) Baugh. Four living children were born to this union: Minnie, Effie, Thomas A. and Perry E. Three children are deceased: Robert (who died when seven years of age), Mary E. (when a little over two years), and an infant daughter. Mr. and Mrs. Cassel are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he is deacon and treasurer of San Patricio Church. In his political principles Mr. Cassel is strictly Democratic.
J. W. Conerly, sheriff and collector, Many, La. The public services of Mr. Conerly since 1888 have been characterized by a noticeable devotion to the welfare of this Parish, and his ability and fidelity in his present position have made a lasting impression on this sphere of public duty. He was bora in Pike County, Miss., on November 23, 1847, and is a son of Dr. John E. and Elizabeth (Tynes) Conerly, natives of North Carolina. When but children (in 1820) the parents emigrated to Mississippi, and were married in Pike County of that State. In 1844 they moved to Louisiana, and located in Sabine Parish (now Vernon), where the father died. He was a physician and practiced his profession through life. The mother is still living on the homestead in Union Parish. Of the twelve children born to their marriage, six sons and six daughters, five are now living: Jane, Harriet, Susan and Martha. There was one child by the mother's second marriage, E. T, Wright, a police juror of Vernon Parish. J. W. Conerly passed his boyhood and youth in Louisiana, and received his education in the common schools of that State. Early trained to the duties of the farm, he continued this occupation after starting out for himself until his election to the office of sheriff. In 1872 he removed to Sabine Parish, purchased a farm of 100 acres, principally under cultivation, and here he remained until 1888, at which time he was elected to his present position. He was a member of the police jury for four years previous to this. In 1870 he was married to Miss Virginia Conerly, a native of Alabama, who bore him two children: Thomas and John. Mr. Conerly was married the second time, in 1882, to Miss Mary Bush, and they have three children, William. Luther and Owen. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and socially is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the Farmers' Union.
Dr. William E. Curtis is a physician and surgeon of acknowledged merit throughout this section. and in the treatment of the cases which have come under his care he has shown a thorough knowledge of his profession, and undeniable skill. He was born in St. Landry Parish, La., in 1832, to William and Sarah (McAlister) Curtis, natives of Mississippi and North Carolina, respectively, their marriage taking place in the former State. from which they moved to St. Landry Parish, La., and in 1834 to what is now Sabine Parish, where Mr. Curtis died in 1863, still survived by his widow, who is now eighty-two years of age. They were, members of the Baptist Church for many years, and Mr. Curtis was a successful planter.
His father, William Curtis, was born in Mississippi, and died in Sabine Parish, La., when the subject of this sketch was a small boy, having been a tiller of the soil, and a soldier during one of the early Indian wars. He was of Dutch descent. The grandfather, John McAlister, was born in Maine, of Scotch-Irish parents. He was a merchant by occupation, a soldier in the War of 1812, being under Jackson, at New Orleans, and passed from life in Sabine Parish, La. Dr. William R. Curtis was the third of nine children, and his youth was spent on a plantation in the wilds of Sabine Parish, receiving such education as the country at that early day afforded. At the age of nineteen years he began the study of medicine, and in 1855 graduated from the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati, Ohio, since which time his practice has been confined to this section. He is one of the oldest physicians in the parish, and his name has become almost a household word, for in his professional capacity he has entered many doors. He was married first in 1863 to Miss Mary Montgomery, a daughter of Joseph and Lavina Montgomery, early settlers of Sabine Parish from Mississippi, their deaths occurring in this State.
Mrs. Curtis was born in Sabine Parish, and died one month and two days after her marriage. The Doctor's second marriage took place in December, 1866, his wife being Emily, daughter of Daniel and Nancy Moore, natives, respectively, of Virginia and Missouri, but in 1836 removed from Texas to Sabine Parish, where they spent the remainder of their days. In this parish Mrs. Curtis was born, and in 1881 her death occurred, she being au earnest member of the Baptist Church. She left a family of three sons and one daughter. By his own efforts the Doctor is the owner of 300 acres of land, and has au abundance to provide for his wants during his declining years. He served as assistant surgeon in the Confederate Army for four years, being a member of the Seventeenth Louisiana, and operated in Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., and is also a member of the Baptist Church.
E. A. Forbis, planter, Port Jesup, La. Mr. Forbis has attained considerable prominence in the material affairs of Sabine Parish, for he is a man of excellent parts, and has shown good judgment and tact in the management of his estate. He was born in Hardin County, Tenn., on December 23, 1828, and is a son of John and Mary (Dill) Forbis, natives of Kentucky and Alabama, ' respectively. The parents emigrated to Louisiana in 1839, located in what is now Sabine Parish, near Port Jesup, and purchased a tract of land on which they lived for some time. He then purchased and moved on the place where his son, E. A., now resides, and there his death occurred in 1868.
The mother died in 1843. He had been married three times and was the father of ten children, six sons and one daughter now living. Of these our subject was the eldest son. He was about only ten years of age when his parents moved to Louisiana, and received such an education as the schools of that day afforded. The country was in a primitive condition and wild game of nearly all kinds abounded. He attained his growth on a plantation, and in April, 1862, he enlisted and served until the surrender. He was in all the principal engagements and was a brave and gallant soldier.
Since the war he has lived where he now resides, and he and his brother own about 1,000 acres with 250 acres under fence, the most of which is in pasture. Mr. Forbis turns his attention almost entirely to raising horses and cattle. Of the latter he has fine Holstein stock, and also has some fine I horses. He is an enterprising citizen, and has been magistrate, constable, parish treasurer, and for six years was a member of the police jury, being president of the same for five years. In fact he has been in office for twenty years. He was married in 1859 to Mrs. Kezia Biles. They have no family. Mr. Forbis takes a pride in his official life, and has done all in his power to develop the country. He has been a member of the , Masonic fraternity since November, 1857, Sabine Lodge No. 75. Christopher C. Forbis, brother of our subject, was but an infant on coming to this country and is interested with the latter on the farm.
Rev. J. M. Franklin, merchant, and pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, P. O. Port Jesup, was born in Natchitoches Parish, La., (now Vernon Parish) on September 14, 1836, and is a son of J. W. and Elizabeth (Meyers) Franklin, natives of Tennessee and Mississippi, respectively. The parents were married in the Creole State in 1834 and located in what was then Natchitoches Parish on a tract of land which they afterward entered. They lived in three parishes and never moved. They were first cut off in Sabine, then Vernon and in the last they reside at the present time. The father has followed agricultural pursuits all his life, and has never held nor has he sought office. When he first came here the country was unsettled and wild beasts were numerous. Many an exciting adventure has he had with wild animals, and he at one time killed a bear with his knife. The bear was hugging his dog to death and ho stepped up and stabbed it through the lungs.
He was very fond of his dogs, and took a great delight in hunting bears, etc. Of the twelve children born to his marriage, ten are now living and are heads of families: Mary (wife of J. P. Mitchell), Nancy (wife of E. Kay)John (a Methodist Episcopal minister and representative of Vernon Parish), Eliza J. (wife of A. Dixon), Elizabeth (wife of P. B. Kay), Lydia (wife of H. W. Presley), Thomas, Leticia and Melissa (twins).The first married John Kane find the second became the wife of Robert Wright. J. M. Franklin, the eldest of the above-mentioned family, was reared and educated in what is now Vernon Parish; was brought up on the farm, and at the age of twenty-two began the study of the ministry. He went through the regular course, graduated, and was ordained in 1872 as an elder. He, moved to Fort Jesup in 1870 and has been a resident of the same ever since. In 1887 he founded the Fort Jesup Masonic Institute, which is now on a paying- basis with an average attendance of about sixty pupils.
He was a liberal donator to the institution, both in money and time, and is a representative man of the parish: In 1862 he enlisted in Company E, Shelby's battalion, which afterward consolidated with the Crescent. He at one time belonged to the medical department, doing hospital duty or being ward master. Since the war he has been engaged in his ministerial duties and is doing much good. For a. great many years he carried on farming and was very successful in this occupation. He was first married in 1856 to Miss Melissa M. Connelly, who bore him one son, John R., who is a practicing physician of Fort Jesup. His second marriage was in 1870 to Mrs. Martha A. Tally, and they have six children living: Mamie L., Mittie P., Hattie, Thomas G., James W. and Henry L., all of whom are attending school but Mamie L., who is married. They lost one child, Ella. Mr. Franklin is a Royal Arch Mason and has been a member of that organization for thirty-three years, taking a great interest in the same. His father and all his brothers were Masons. Mr. Franklin has been postmaster since 1888 and is one of the prominent men of Sabine Parish, having assisted materially in the development of the same. He has also taken a decided interest in educational and religious affairs, and is a hard worker in both causes. His work will ever be fresh and green in the memory of the people of Sabine Parish. His wife is an estimable lady and co-worker with him in all laudable enterprises.
Mr. Franklin is the leading light of Fort Jesup, and is a man of great influence in his community. Politically he is a Democrat, but takes no interest in the same, except to throw his influence to the man he thinks will make the best officer. Harvey M. Gandy is a worthy tiller of the soil, and is a member of the police jury from Ward 3. He is a native of Bibb County, Ala., bora in 1847, and is a son of Harvey M. and Mary Caroline (Martin) Gandy, who were born in Georgia and North Carolina, their marriage and subsequent deaths occurring in Bibb County, Ala., in 1847 and 1854 respectively, both being worthy members of the Baptist, Church at the time of their deaths, Mr. Gandy being a successful tiller of the soil. His father, John Gandy, was a Georgian, and died in Bibb County, Ala., when the subject of this sketch was a small boy. He was of Scotch-Irish descent, a farmer and a minister of the Baptist Church. The mother's father, Robert Martin, was born in North Carolina, and died about 1852 I in Bibb County, Ala., a planter by occupation. The subject of this sketch is the youngest of six children, and he and a brother, D. P., are the only ones now living.
He was reared by au uncle, Wiley E. Gandy, of Bibb County, but received but little early schooling. At the age of fourteen he left the shelter of his uncle's roof and joined Company B, Forty-fourth Alabama Infantry, Army of Virginia, and was in all the leading battles in which his regiment participated, being with Longstreet at Chickamauga, where he was wounded, and incapacitated for duty for some months. He was captured twice, but was paroled immediately each time, and at the close of the war surrendered as sergeant with Gen. Lee at Appomattox Court House. He returned immediately to Alabama, and in 1868 came to Sabine Parish, being married here in 1872 to Miss Mary J., a daughter of Elijah Self, she being born in this parish and dying eleven months after her marriage. Mr. Gandy's second union took place in 1874, his wife being Mary Caroline Sibley, a daughter of William and Minerva Sibley, who were born in St. Helena Parish, La., the former dying in Sabine Parish, La., in 1883, and the latter in 1887. Mrs. Gandy was born in Sabine Parish and died in 1886, having borne a family of six children, four living. Mr. Gandy's third marriage took place in 1888 to Winnie, daughter of J. A. and Matilda Addison, the former born in St. Helena and the latter in Sabine Parish, their marriage taking place here, where Mrs. Addison died and Mr. Addison is engaged in tilling the soil. Mrs. Gandy first saw the light of day in this parish and has borne Mr. Gandy a daughter. The latter has resided on his present farm of 650 acres since 1868, and has 250 acres cleared, nearly all of which he has accomplished by himself. For two years he has been a member of the police jury, and for many years has been a member of the Baptist Church, in which he is a deacon.
Joseph M. Latham, a prominent man and one who is in the foremost ranks to advance any cause for the good of his parish, is a native of East Tennessee, his birth occurring on December 27, 1830. He is the son of Lawrence and Elizabeth (Smotherman) Latham, natives, respectively, of North Carolina and Alabama, this worthy couple having been married in the last named State. They moved from there to Tennessee, thence to Clarke County, Miss., and there received their final summons, the father dying at the age of seventy-six, and the mother at the age of fifty years. Mr. Latham was a very successful agriculturist, and was a man eminently respected. He was a member of the Methodist Church, and in politics was a Democrat, although formerly a Whig;. He was married twice, twelve children having been born to his first union and four to the last. Joseph M. Latham was reared to manhood in Choctaw County, Miss., and left that State in 1852, coming to Louisiana, after which he spent one year in Texas.
He rambled all over the State of Louisiana, and at last settled here, satisfied to make this his future home. He started out for himself in poor circumstances, but had the perseverance and energy to succeed, and is classed among the substantial men of the parish at the present time. He is the owner of 180 acres of land, and has a good portion under cultivation. In 1801 he joined the Twelfth Louisiana Infantry, Company A, and served all through the war in a faithful and efficient manner. He was in the following battles: Port Pillow, Cold Water, (Miss.), Jackson, Baker's Creek, Grenada, the Georgia campaign and Atlanta, Ga. He then returned to Mississippi through Georgia, and as soon as he could get money enough he returned to Louisiana. He was married in 1860 to Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Chamblers, of this parish and the widow of L. M. Chamblers, who was killed during the war. To Mr. and Mrs. Latham were bora the following children: Sallie (wife of Robert Graham, a farmer of Sabine Parish), Charlotte (at home), Lorenzo L. (at home), Thomas (deceased), Rebecca, Joseph and Jesse. Mr. and Mrs. Latham are members in good standing in the Methodist Church and he is a steward in the same. In politics he is Democratic. He is one of the representative citizens of Sabine Parish, and always supports and advocates all good enterprises to aid in developing the country.
James M. Leach is a farmer, general merchant and ginner of Ward 3, Sabine Parish, La., and as an honest, worthy and law abiding, citizen he has not his superior in this section of the country. He was born in Bibb County, Ala., in 1852, to William and Sarah (Doss) Leach, who were married in that State, coming, in 1860, to Sabine Parish, Mrs. Leach passing from life here five years later. Mr. Leach is still residing here, engaged in farming, and is, as was his wife, a member of the Baptist Church, and was all through the Confederate Army.
He is a member of Mount Carmel Lodge of the A. F. & A. M., and is now living with his second wife, by whom he has six children. James M. Leach was the third of seven children, and as he was reared to a farm life he did not receive much schooling in his youth. Being thoroughly familiar with farm life, he began following that calling for himself at the age of twenty-one years, and in 1871 was married to Miss Nancy Frances, daughter of William and Hannah Leach, a distant relative.
Mrs. Leach, as well as her parents, was born in Alabama, but in 1870 she was brought by them to Sabine Parish, and here they are still living. To James M. Leach and his wife a family of three sous and three daughters has been born. When first married he settled in the woods, on his present farm, nine miles southwest of Many. It comprises 280 acres, and everything about the place indicates that a man of energy, enterprise, thrift and industry is at the helm, He also owns and operates a good cotton-gin, and for the past three years has been conducting a general mercantile store with good results. Midkiff post office was established at his store a short time since, and of this he is postmaster. He is a member of the Baptist Church, and his wife is a Methodist.
J. F. Lucius is general manager of the mercantile firm of Mrs. M. Lucius & Co., of Negreet, La., the firm having been in existence since 1887. The annual business done by this firm amounts to $18,000, their stock of goods being large, and patrons receive prompt and fair dealings. James F. Lucius was born in this parish in 1860, to Samuel G. and Martha (Moss) Lucius, who were born in South Carolina and Alabama in 1811 and 1830, respectively, their union taking place in this parish in 1850, where the father died in 1867, the latter portion of his life having been spent as a planter. He taught school and followed the mercantile business previous to his marriage. While a resident of Alabama he was once a member of the State Legislature, but after coming to Louisiana took little interest in politics. His widow survives him, and for many years has been a member of the Baptist Church. She is the daughter of Marcellus Moss, who was killed by a mule in Texas in 1848. The subject of this sketch, J. F. Lucius, was the fourth of seven children, three sons and one daughter now living: George W. (of Vernon Parish, La.), Achsah (wife of M. S. Antony), James F. and Robert J. James F. Lucius was reared on a farm, and in addition to attending the common schools, was for some time an attendant at Milam, Tex. In 1879 he and his brothers began rafting on the Sabine River, but at the end of three years they opened a mercantile business at Columbus, La., which they continued in the name of G. W. Lucius until 1885, when they removed to their present place of business, they now being the leading merchants of this section of country. In connection with their general merchandise business they handle cotton largely, and are in all respects a live and wide-awake business firm.
Claiborne Paris McDonald, planter and stock raiser, San Patricio, La. This gentleman is a son of John and Narcissa (Waldrof) McDonald, the father a native of Scotland, who came to this country with his parents when au infant, and the mother a native of Louisiana. The father followed agricultural pursuits all his life, and was married to the subject's mother in Louisiana, where his death occurred when Claiborne was but a boy, and when he was but forty years of age. The mother is still living, and after the death of Mr. McDonald, she married De Brun Bossier, a Frenchman, who died in the army. She is now living with her son, Claiborne. By her first marriage four children were born, only one besides our subject now living: Mrs. Eliza Dukes, wife of Samuel Dukes, of Sabine Parish. Claiborne P. McDonald is a native born resident of this parish, his birth occurring on January 10, 1845, and here he secured a fair education. However, before he bad finished his education the war broke out find he flung aside his books to enlist, joining Company B, Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infant in 1802. He remained with this company until the surrender, and was promoted to sergeant. After the war he attended school for some time and then turned his attention to farming and stock raising. By good management and industry be has been very successful, and is now the owner of 340 acres of good land, with 100 acres under cultivation. In 1873 he was married to Miss Jane C. Pye, a native of Sabine County, Tex., and the daughter of John Pye. Five living children are the fruits of this union: Georgie, Blanchard, Fletie, Josephine, Mary Adeline and Laura Agnes, all daughters.
Those deceased are John P. (who died at the age of four years), and Ada (at the age of three years). Mrs. McDonald is a member of the Methodist Church and a lady of culture and refinement. Mr. McDonald is a member of the Farmer's Union, and is secretary of the local lodge. In politics he affiliates with the Democratic party, and is a prominent man of the parish.
Joshua Malcolm Paul, planter, San Particio, La. Mr. Paul is a typical Louisiana farmer, substantial, enterprising and progressive, and such a man as wields no small influence in the community where he makes his home. He was originally from Shelby County, Tex., born on October 26, 1850, and was reared and educated there. When nineteen years of age he started out for himself as a farmer, and is now the owner of 700 acres of as good land as is to be found in the parish. Ho is one of the most extensive planters in Ward 6, and although he started with limited means, he is now in very comfortable circumstances indeed. He was married in 1879, to Miss Elizabeth Holt, of Sabine Parish, who died in 1884. She was the mother of eight children, four now living, Alice. John, Henrietta and Ozella. Those deceased were William, at the age of six years, and Joshua at the age of four years. Two others died in infancy. In 1886 Mr. Paul's nuptials with Miss Susan Lynch, a native of Natchitoches Parish, were celebrated, and they have two children: Banks and Laura. Mr. Paul is a member of the Methodist Church, and has been steward in the same. He is a member of the Alliance, and in politics is Democratic. He raises considerable stock, cattle, hogs and horses, but in farming makes a specialty of no one occupation.
Mr. Paul is the eldest of five children born to Samuel B. and Mary (Schamburger) Paul, the father, a native of Georgia, and the mother of Alabama. They moved to Alabama at an early date, from there to Texas in 1849, and in 1861 to Sabine Parish, locating near where our subject now resides. The lather was a successful tiller of the soil. While in Shelby County, Tex., he was justice of the peace several years. He was a member of the Baptist Church, and in politics was a Democrat. He died in 1880, at the age of about fifty-eight years, but the mother is still living and is fifty-seven years of age. She is a member of the Baptist Church.
Meredith M. Peters, lumberman, Bolly, La. Mr. Peters is a native Virginian, his birth occurring in Sussex County, December 6, 1848, and his parents, Matthew T. and Elizabeth (Champion) Peters, were natives also of the Old Dominion. The parents emigrated to Louisiana in 1858, located in Sabine Parish, about fifteen miles south of Many, and purchased a farm, where they resided for several years. The father is still living, but the mother died a number of years ago. To their marriage were born nine children, five of whom are now living. Of these Meredith is the eldest son, and was about ten years of age when he came with his parents to Sabine Parish. He was principally educated in this parish, and having been reared to the arduous duties of the farm, he condoned the same until 1884, when he put in a sawmill plant and steam gin where be now resides, and has since carried on the milling business. In June, 1888, he had a post office established at this place, and this is known as Bolly, which is located six miles east of Many. He is the postmaster. Mr. Peters has about ten men in his employ. His sawmill engine is thirty-horse power, and is in use the year round. He gins a great deal of cotton, and, in fact, does a very extensive business, supplying the whole parish with lumber. He also owns 220 acres of land, but pays no attention to farming, devotion his whole time to the lumber business and the cotton gin. He gins about 200 bales of cotton annually. He has made all the improvements on his place since 1884, and these are all of a first-class order. He was married in 1871, to Miss Mary J. Presley, a native of Sabine Parish, and they are the parents of eight children: Amanda, Ida, Eugene, Elias, Mary J., Samuel, Lulu and Meredith, Jr. Mr. Peters is a member of the Farmers' Alliance and is treasurer of the same.
Moses K. Speight is a successful farmer and stock raiser of Ward 2, and is a brother of Dr. J. W. Speight, in whose sketch a short history of his parents is given. He was bora in Henry County, Ala., in 1845, and is now living on the farm on which his parents settled on coming to this country. He was the fifth of their eight children, and in his youth was given fair advantages for acquiring an education, but in 1861, at the age of sixteen, put aside his books to espouse the Confederate cause, becoming a member of Company A, Sixth Louisiana infantry. Army of Virginia, and fought at Winchester, Cross Keys, and in the engagement at Port Republic lost his left arm, June 9, 1862, which closed his career as a soldier. After spending some weeks in the hospital, he returned home, and was here married in the month of December, 1863, to Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Alanson and Mahala (Anderson) Barr, who were born in New- York and Indiana, respectively, their marriage being celebrated in the Lone Star State. Previous to this, however, they bad resided in Sabine Parish, this being as early as 1830, and both died in this parish, he in 1860, and she some ten years before.
Mrs. Speight was born in Augustine, Tex., and she and Mr. Speight are the parents of eight children, five sous and two daughters of whom are living. Mr. Speight's farm comprises 720 acres, of which about 70 acres are cleared. In addition to his farm work he has been justice of the peace ten or twelve years, has taught school, and has done a general collecting business. He is a member of the Farmers' Alliance, and he and his wife are Baptists. Dr. Joseph W. Speight is a practicing physician and surgeon at Columbus, La., and is one of the very foremost of the professional men of Sabine Parish. His ability is acknowledged by his professional brethren, and to his skill and talent the gratitude of hundreds is due. He was born near where he now lives in 1852, to Moses and Martha (Smith) Speight, their births occurring in Macon, Ga., and Alabama, in 1812 and 1816, respectively, their marriage being consummated in the latter State. About 1845 they emigrated to Louisiana, and settled on a woodland farm, near where Columbus post office now is, here spending the rest of their lives, the former dying in 1870, and the latter in 1863, she being a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Speight was for many years a justice of the peace, was president of the police jury for a number of years, and socially belonged to Little Flock Lodge No. 180, of the A. F. & A. M.
While a resident of Georgia, Joseph W. was the clerk of a county of that State, a position to which he was elected at the age of seventeen years, and he three times represented Henry County, Ala., in the State Legislature. Although he was left an orphan at an early day, he was a man of much intelligence and possessed business qualities of a high order. The paternal grandfather, John Speight, was of German descent, and died in Georgia, a planter. The maternal grandfather, Sion Smith, was also a planter, and passed from life in Alabama. The subject of this sketch was the youngest of five sons and three daughters, four of which family are still living, and he was reared on a farm, receiving a good academic education in Louisiana and Texas. In 1879 he began the study of medicine with Dr. S. H. Cade, and in 1883 graduated from the, Alabama Medical College at Mobile, after a two year course. He has since practiced in the neighborhood of his birthplace, his patronage being very extended. Nannie E., the daughter of John and Margaret Godwin became his wife in 1887. The father was bora in Georgia, and the mother in Claiborne Parish, La., the former moving from his native State to Louisiana, in 1838, and the following year to what is known as Sabine Parish.
He and his wife are still living and since 1854 he has been postmaster of Columbus. Mrs. Speight was born on the farm on which she and the Doctor are now living. He is a member of Little Flock Lodge No. 180, of the A. F. & A. M., and is secretary of Lodge No. 130, of the Farmers' Alliance. He is a Baptist and his wife a Methodist. The Doctor is the owner of 240 acres of tine land, find the income from this, together with his practice, amounts to a handsome sum annually, $2,500. Moses K. Speight, his brother, enlisted in the Confederate Army, at the age of sixteen years, and made a bravo soldier, and was in many engagements, losing his left arm at the battle of Port Republic.
Joseph D. Stille, merchant, Many, La. One among the important establishments in this city is that conducted by Joseph D. Stille, who is numbered among the influential business men of the place. He was originally from New Jersey, his birth occurring in Gloucester County, March 4,1828, and when about ten years of age he went to Philadelphia; when he was about fifteen years of age he was apprenticed to Charles Alexander, of the Philadelphia Daily Chronicle, Weekly Messenger, Vade Mecom and Godies Lady's Book. In fact, Mr. Alexander was at that time the best known publisher in the east, but he died a drunkard.
Mr. Stille served until twenty-one years of age, and at the same time had two brothers, Morton A. and John, who served an apprenticeship in the same office. Morton A., after serving his time, became manager of the Mount Holly Herald. New Jersey, worked in various places, and was a tine newspaper man. He died in Philadelphia. John became foreman of the Saturday Courier, of Philadelphia, and continued with the same until the paper was merged into other purposes. Afterward he was connected with the Philadelphia Press, where he was engaged at, the time of his death.
William, another brother, died in Many, La. He came here in 1837, was a very prominent politician and leader of the Whig party for years, doing more for Sabine Parish than any two men in it. He was a member of the Legislature at various times and mayor of Many at the time of its incorporation. Robert B., the eldest brother, came to Sabine Parish at the same time as William. Previous to coming here he was a clerk in New Orleans'. He was surveyor of the Old Fort in that city in 1849, and was for some time in the auditor's office. He was also a politician and bitterly opposed to secession. Joseph D. remained in Philadelphia for some time and was on the Catholic Herald, of that place, for a number of years. He occupied various positions until 1849, when he left New York and came to Many, Sabine Parish, and became the junior partner in the firm of E. B. Stille & Co., remaining with the same until the Civil War. He was appointed clerk of the court and afterward elected, filling that position for six years, but at the same time was interested in mercantile pursuits. In 1856 he removed to Texas, and after the death of his brother, Robert, in 1869, he moved back to Many. He was administrator of the estate of R. B. Stille. and at the sale bought all the property of the deceased, both personal and real, and became the successor of R. B. Stille & Co. He has since continued the mercantile business. He was councilman for Many a number of years, and has been president of the school board since 1884. In fact Mr. Stille may be called the father of public enterprise, having been identified as a prominent citizen since 1850.
He is the largest real estate owner in the parish. He owns about 13,000 acres of land, mostly agricultural land, and also owns two-thirds of the property in Many, besides valuable land in Texas. He raises some stock of a high grade, Jersey cattle, etc., and is the wealthiest citizen of Sabine Parish. Mr. Stille was married in 1855 to Miss Hattie B. Smith, a native of Warren County. Miss., and the sister of Senator Smith, who died recently in Sabine Parish. The fruits of this union were the following children: Annie E. (wife of N. A. Williams), William B. (merchant), Joseph D., W alter D., Elliott O. and Norrie A. Mr. Stille was married the second time in 1882 to Miss Julia E. Pierson, a native of De Soto Parish, and they have two children; Lillian and Mary A. Mr. and Mrs. Stille are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is a member of the Masonic and I. O. O. P. orders. While he was living in Philadelphia Mr. Stille was associated with all the principal actors j of that day, viz,: Warren, Weems, Hathaway, Booth, I and William E. Burton, the celebrated comedian. J. B. Vandegaer, merchant, Many, La. Mr. Vandegaer is an example of the success attending hard work and honest dealing, and his trade is solidly established and reaches over the surrounding country. He is of foreign birth, having been born in Brabant, Belgium, on March 2(1, 1835, and is a sun of Gaspar and Johanna (Broweer) Vandegaer.
The parents left the land of their birth in 1855, took passage on a sailing vessel at Antwerp, and landed at New Orleans after a sixty-four day voyage. They immediately went to Rapides Parish, La., settled on Spring Creek, and there the father died in 1861. The mother is yet living, and resides in Sabine Parish. The father was a blacksmith by trade and carried it on the principal part of his life. They were the parents of eight children, six of whom now survive; Arnold, Teresa, Felicitie, Melanie and Daniel. J. B. Vandegaer, the third in order of birth of the above mentioned children was reared in Belgium, and received his education in the common schools of that country. He learned the blacksmith's trade of his father. He was twenty years of age when coming to this country, and he remained in Rapides Parish until 1859, when he moved to Many, carrying on his trade at that place until 1867. He was three years in the late war and served his adopted country faithfully and well. He afterward gave up his trade and engaged in merchandising, which he has since carried on very successfully. He has a large stock of goods, and the firm is J. B. Vandegaer & Son. Mr. Vandegaer has been postmaster since 1878, was recorder of the parish for four years and treasurer for one term.
He was also president of the school board for six years, and has been prominently identified with the interests of Sabine Parish for years. He has also been justice of the peace for eight years, filling all the duties incumbent upon that office in a satisfactory manner. He took a trip to Europe in 1887, and on his homeward voyage he was on the ill-fated ship :'Knickerbocker" that was caught in a terrible storm between New York and New Orleans. For two days and nights the ship was at the mercy of waves, the whole crew giving her up as lost, and it, was reported abroad that she was lost. Mr. Vandegaer's experience during that time was one that he will ever remember, and one that he does not care to repeat. It was a very narrow escape. He was married in 1859 to Miss Maria J. Buvens, a native of Belgium, by whom he has three children; Leo (a partner in the store and a prominent young man), Felieitia (deceased) and William H. Mr. Vandegaer with his wife and family is a member of the Catholic Church. The paternal grandparents of our subject also came over to this country in 1858, and located in Rapids Parish, where they both received their final summons. Leo Vandegaer was assessor of Sabine Parish for five years, was a census taker in 1880, was clerk of the court for about six months, and has been clerk in the sheriff's office since a boy. He has been twice married and has one child by his first marriage, Maggie, and one child by his second. He is also a notary public.
W. M. Webb, police juror, Darnell's Gin, La. Mr. Webb, one of the leading and prosperous citizens of Sabine Parish, La., was born in Marengo County, Ala., and is the son of Seaborn and Elizabeth (Pruitt) Webb. Seaborn Webb came from South Carolina to Alabama with his parents at au early date, was married in that State, and in 1870 moved to Louisiana, settling in De Soto Parish. Later he moved to Sabine Parish, where his death occurred in 1881. He was born on December 25, 1815, and his wife, who was born on February 8, 1810, died in 1867. After her death he married Adaline Breazeale, of Alabama. She is still living.
The father was a successful farmer, but lost very heavily during the war. He was a life long Democrat. The Webb family was of Irish descent. W. M. Webb (one of the three children born to the first union), M. F. (a farmer of Sabine Parish), and Mrs. Sarah J, (wife of Dr. J. E. Wall, of Logansport, De Soto Parish). W. M. Webb spent his school days in Alabama, and came with his father to Louisiana in 1870. He commenced farming in De Soto Parish, and was also engaged in merchandising at Greening's Ferry for eighteen mouths. Since coming here he has also been engaged in merchandising for some time. He has been a member of the police jury five years, and has been chairman of the finance committee two years. He has also been a member of the school board for two years. He is the owner of 652 acres of land, principally valuable timber land, but has some under cultivation. On October 20, 1881, he was married to Miss Mary Ophelia Hooker, who was born near Texarkana, Miller County, Ark. The fruits of this union are three children, viz.: Isaac B., Thomas Cleveland and Carrie B. In his political views Mr. Webb is a stanch Democrat, and is always working for the success of that party. He was postmaster at Darnell's Gin for throe years and still gets his mail at that place.
Typing and Format by C. W. Barnum 2011.