Sunday, May 17, 2009

East Carroll Parish Businesses in 1890

(newspaper of Sept. 6, 1890)
[Supplement to the Carroll Banner]
In the 1st Ward
Henderson Store.
J. & Stein Company, Proprietors
J. P. Alexander
Outpost Store
Mr. Charles Langham
Muir’s Store.
Robert Nicholson, Proprietor
In the 2nd Ward
Goodrich Store
Jonas Bloch, Proprietor
Melbourne Store.
H. C. McQuaide, Proprietor
Mounds Store.
J. W. Dunn, Proprietor
Stamboul Store.
S. H. Mobberly, Agent.
Bank Store.
John W. Cook & Co., Proprietors
Atherton Store.
Capt. Keene and E. W. Constant
H. K. Barwick & Company.
Dessona Store.
John W. Cooke & Co., Proprietors.
Alsatia Store.
J. Stein & Co., Proprietors
In the 3rd Ward
W. H. Fisher Store.
McGuire’s Livery Stable.
John McGuire, Proprietor
Dan O’Sullivan, Agent
Red Star Store.
Dave Dreyfuss, Executor.
Louis Anet.
Practical Swiss watchmaker. Next door to Hamley’s butcher shop.
Blue Store.
J. W. Cooke, Proprietor.
E. J. Hamley.
Proprietor of the old established butcher shop on Levee Street.
Braxton House.
Keeps a first class butcher shop on Lake Street, between Pittman Brothers and McNeal’s. “Brack” is a steady working colored man, who has been employed in the above business since about ten years ago, and almost everything in the meat line can be found there.
Gillis Franklin.
Dealer in dry goods, groceries and general plantation supplies,
Lake Street.
McLaughlin’s Store.
Formerly owned by T. J. Burell.
J. C. Pittman & Bro.
Mrs. A. C. Ryan.
N. Fousse.
Successor to William Keegan. Tinner. Lock and Gun Smith. He came here in September, 1886 and from that time to this has been kept stirring. He makes a specialty of repairing boilers and machinery of all kinds. His shop is on the levee, opposite Pittman’s store.
S. A. McNeal.
Midland Store

Proprietor G. H. Sutton. This plantations is generally called the Island, as it is surrounded by the lake in high water times. This store does a wholesale and retail grocery business, and also handles a large assortment of dry goods. Sutton is one of the most successful colored men in the parish; and by his enterprises and proper bearing, has won for himself a good name among the white people with whom he is acquainted.

The Jewel Head Metallic Coffin

From “Between the Rivers”, Florence Stewart McKoin
There is an Indian mound - or was - in West Carroll Parish, located east of Oak Grove on the Jewel Head farm where Highway 2 crosses the Macon River to Lake Providence. According to Mr. Head, this mound was about 60' high and covered nearly one acre. He employed Henry Tyson to clear land and level this mound so the area could be cultivated. This took place some fifteen or twenty years ago (1951 or 1955). Mr. Tyson uncovered an iron casket, without seams on either side or bottom, indicating it was made in a mold several centuries before. When the lid was removed the remains faded like ashes; however, they were able to tell it was a white man with grey, reddish hair. He had on an apron with the Masonic emblem. The buttons on his coat indicated an officer of some army.
This casket was reburied with no one knowing the age, where he came from, or who was in it. Mr. Head believes this type casket was once made in England. It was narrow at the head and feet, wide at the shoulders, to exactly fit the man. Several have speculated that the man was with an expedition on the Mississippi River and died in the vicinity of Lake Providence. The Indians, being friendly, allowed his comrades to bring him across the swamp, no doubt dry at the time, and bury him in their burial ground, where high water never came.
Joe Kelly, who viewed the remains in the casket, believed the man was the husband of a rich heiress, who came to this area where she had acquired a large tract of land . He saw this land record in the Clerk of Court Office, and he could be right about the man in the casket. No one will ever know for sure.
Several years later while the highway department was building a new road along Macon River, graves were unearthed with mussel shell in them. These were on the edge of the old mound, and Mr. Head believes these were Indian graves as they were filled the depth of several inches with mussel shells, used probably for preservation.
We will never know what history this mound or those at Poverty Point held as many have been completely destroyed, but one thing we can be sure of, the Indians were here many hundreds of years before the white man came.
In 2007 I made a trip into East Carroll Parish, doing more research and taking pictures along the way. My sister, Sherryl Miller, and her husband, Jack and I, all made the trip together. We decided that we would like to get a bunch of the ‘Oak Grove tomatoes' to take back to Lonoke with us as we were traveling along the backroads along the river. As we approached Highway 2 at the bridge, on the East Carroll side of the Macon River, we noticed the sign “Jewel Head Farm Produce” just ahead of us. We decided this would be a good place to get our tomatoes, and then I thought about something I'd read and started scrambling through my notes seeking to find something I'd written down that clicked with the surname contained on this advertisement sign. Yes, it was the same location contained in my notes. Finding what I was looking for - I wondered if this could possibly be the same family concerning the metallic coffin that was discovered many years earlier and hoping that the owner of the produce stand had some family connection. The produce owner told me that HE was the son of Mr. Jewel Head of whose land the coffin was found. I asked him to please tell me his recollection of it, and he graciously responded with his story. He had remembered almost as clear as if it were yesterday. He had seen it as a young child, when it was unearthed, and his description of it. (same as in above story) and their decision to return it to the ground. “After I grew up I asked my mother about the coffin.” he said. “But I was not sure of the particular spot of where it had been layed to rest. Mom took me out in the yard and showed me right where she remembered it was placed. She had a bush in the yard at that time... and the coffin had been placed along side of it. Though the bush was no longer there she knew that it was right at 15 feet straight out from our back door, and I was able to dig it up again. I recovered the Masonic emblem, but the mud and water had seeped in and destroyed everything else inside. I cleaned up the coffin and stored it in a building on my property here.”
After telling me the story of the metallic coffin I was then privileged to be able to view this wonderful historic relic. Above is a picture I took of it.

Some East Carroll Inventors

The Rust Brothers, Mark and John
- the mechanical cotton picker -
Around 1929, the Rust brothers came to Hollybrook, La. to work for Mr. Tib Mitchiner and Mr. Oscar Ameringer. During their spare time the brothers worked on an invention at the Amacker’s seed-house. They eventually developed a motorized cotton picker that could pick five bales of cotton a day. In 1934, it was tested at an experiment station in Mississippi and was eventually adopted by all large-scale farmers.
BIOGRAHIES: “Alphy Pittman Surles helped back the Rust brothers in their development of the cotton picker.” From “A Place to Remember”, by Georgia Pinkston.

George T. Hider
In 1937-’38, a local planter perfected a “May-pole Tractor”. In the center of the cotton field, a twelve-foot tower was erected with a drum 12 ¼ inches in diameter atop it. A cable leading from the drum was connected to a tractor. When the tractor was started and placed at the outer edge of the field (or at the center), the cable winding around the drum guided the tractor steadily around the field. A field as large as 120 acres could thus be plowed, planted, and cultivated.
Mr. Hider, a graduate in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, a planter, ginner and former bank Vice-President, failed to obtain a patent from the U. S. Patent Office, but he did patent his invention in Russia, Germany, France, and Great Britain.
Mrs. Hider is further credited with another important agricultural development. A cotton dryer for gins was tested at Transylvania, and Mr. Hider was asked by ginners in Madison Parish to devise and install one like it for them, which he did. ("Aside", Mr. Hider adds, “Almost burning the gin up, in the process!”)
Mr. Hider in 1929 went to Peru to install several for ginners there. This idea never was patented, but it is widely used today with modifications.
BIOGRAPHIES: “Mr. Hider won national recognition with an automatic device which controls a tractor by remote control.” From “A Place to Remember”, by Georgia Pinkston.

W. E. “Pop” Patrick (from newspaper)
Mr. Patrick, a farm owner on Route Done, in 1970 invented a special sprayer mounted on farm machines to automatically spray the grass or weeds that stand higher than the cotton or bean crops. The sprayer saves both money and time since spraying can be done simultaneously with cultivation. The sprayer is patented and is sold by the Patrick Sprayer Corporation. E. W. Patrick, President. It is widely used in the Louisiana-Mississippi-Arkansas area, and is comparatively inexpensive.

Taylor, F. M. (from newspaper)
We are informed that our friend F. M. Taylor, Agent, has invented a self-adjustable corn prop.