I was born in Manila, Arkansas, in 1952, and was raised in Lake Providence, La.. I had a really terrific childhood. I was usually out riding one of my horses, swimming at the dock, across from the Ship-AHoy, skating at the rink over the lake, fishing, playing softball, or basketball, anything outside of the house.
My Dad, Buddy, was a crop-duster, 1st working at Fleeman's Airport in the 1950's, Wilson's in the 60's, and later at Charlie Davis' Flying Service. My Mom, Jeri, did waitress work at most of the eating places in town. She started at the Old 400 Club, Nellie’s [Newton] Café, and Zimmerman’s Restaurant, and even later working at the 16 Hour Grocery store.
Mom and Dad later had their own convenience store called the Hitching Post, along with my brother Bobby, and his wife, Juanita [nee Husbands, from Oak Grove, La.], which was on the ‘other’ side of the lake at the 4-Way stop. When in my 11th grade of school my sister, Sherryl, [married to Jack Miller of Oak Grove, La.] wanted me to help her gather the headstone inscriptions from the old Lake Providence Cemetery. Since she had become interested in local history, I didn‘t give it a second thought.
That summer I worked at the concession stand in the Lake Theater where I met Gordon Harrison, from Monticello, La, and after school the following year we married moving to Houston, Texas where I raised two children: Lori Ann & George. I traveled back and forth ’home’ visiting my family and making some trips to Lonoke, Arkansas visiting my sister and helping her with her Fish Frys, Motorcycle Rallies, Quilt Raffles, etc., making money to help start the new Lonoke County Museum she was putting together of which she was Curator. She was living and breathing genealogy, and history was in her blood. After 21 years of marriage I divorced.
My work at Sears kept me busy and then at work I met and married my second husband. We lived in Eureka Springs, a very beautiful tourist town. Still traveling to help Sherryl from time to time we would talk about all the history that was in and around the Lake Providence area and I began to get anxious about finding out more on East Carroll Parish. It was during this time she reminded me of the headstone inscriptions that we had done so many years before. She told me that she had given that list to Mrs. Howard, of L. P.. and if I had that it would be a start for me. I sought out to find Mrs. Howard to see if she still had a copy and hoped to get a copy of them for myself. Not only did Mr. Howard still have a copy but in my amazement Mrs. Howard gave me the original copies of our work. It was a small miracle! My marriage to Scott Schmitz only lasted 9½ years.
I had started working at the closest Wal-Mart store which was in Berryville, Arkansas. But when I could I was helping my sister with her Museum benefits, and I would go over to Lonoke. But what happened during this visit to my sister’s was the best of all. During one of our chats about my typing out the L. P. inscriptions that she told me that she had saved her hand copied 1850, 60, 70, & 80 [whites only] Census records of East Carroll Parish, of which I never knew she even had done. I could hardly believe it… WOW… what a start I had. I saved years of copying there!
It was during one of these benefits, the ‘Cajun Festival’, where I was cooking the Seafood Gumbo, when my sister introduced me to R. B. Moore, a local genealogy researcher. I made many more trips over and decided later to transfer to the Cabot, AR.. Wal-Mart. I was “overseer” for a cabin on the outskirts of Lonoke where I lived until R. B. & I married in 2003. Now, everything concerning East Carroll Parish I am collecting, and hope that if you have anything of historical value concerning the wonderful parish of East Carroll that you would like to share it. I would love to hear about any of your local Northeast Louisiana ancestors.
My name is Sandra Guthrie Moore.
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