(Maude VanFossen, Parish Historian) Banner-Democrat, Oct 20, 1961) From sheriff's records and bond books the following facts are obtained:
Duke G. Clary was the 1st sheriff of Carroll / East Carroll parish. His deputy was J. N. Donohue.
In 1835, Felix Bosworth, parish judge and president of the Police Jury, with Bardee Segrest, James D. Kerr, Silas R. Gilmore, and Horace Prentice, gave bond for Clary's faithful and accurate collection of taxes imposed by the Police Jury. During Nov. 1836, Clary as principal and Zachariah H. Dorsey and Silas R. Gilmore again made bond to the Police Jury for collection of taxes.
As no newspapers were published in the parish prior to 1845, property was "exposed for sale by sticking up advertisements for the term of 30 days, at the courthouse door and at three other public places in the parish". The purchasers had to secure the true and faithful payment of the property.
Clary and his deputy, Donohue, served in their respective offices until February 1838, when Thomas R. Patten became the sheriff. Donohue continued on as his deputy. Early in June of 1839 John D. Harding began to sign all land sales with William A. Cloman as deputy. Harding gave bond to A. B. Roman, Governor of Louisiana, for the sum of $4,071.65 for himself or his deputies, for faithfully, according to law, collecting the state taxes within the parish of Carroll.
On Nov. 20, 1840 Charles H. Webb, coroner, conducted a sheriff's sale, "there being no acting sheriff". Harding's succession was brought up for settlement in early 1843, so it is possible that he died while in office. His estate, totaling $44,070.92 included his residence and 344.85 acres, in Bunch's Bend, which went to his sister, Mrs. Margaret Barker, with William G. Holmes, testamentary executor of his last will and testament.
Term of George W. Gant began on April 20, 1841 with James G. Fitzerald, the deputy. Gant's bond was made on Oct. 4, 1841, with Govy Hood and William Benjamin his securities for $4,211.91. Gant had been in office for only a few months when he obtained a license to marry Miss Theodosia C. Phillips. The parish judge, Felix Bosworth, officiated at the ceremony.
Gant served as sheriff until March 4,l 1843 when the office was taken over by James C. Drew, with James G. Fitzgerald continuing on as his deputy. It was James C. Drew and wife, Amy Laura Larche, who had sold Holly Place (now Hollywood, fronting on Lake Providence at Tensas Bayou, consisting of 700 acres), for $22,400 to Felix Bosworth, parish judge. Drew's term of office records two forward moving events-printing of the Carroll Watchman and Dr. Lemuel lGustine filing medical board certificates. Term of office for Drew and Fitzgerald was until June of 1846 when Edmund R. Travis became sheriff. Samuel Pennington was elected coroner in 1846. In 1844 the Police Jury, Jeremiah Yellott Dashiell, president, ahd elected Travis as collector of taxes and his bond was set at $5,000.00. James L. Mayfield served Travis as deputy for most of his years, but Francis M. Hays is listed as deputy in 1849.
William Lucky Knox became sheriff during January 1850 with John T. Sibley his deputy. John D. Easton and Eli Harris also served as deputies. M. Kaufman, coroner for 1851, conducted the sale in suit of Lydia Dowell vs. William L. Knox, the sheriff.
It was Sheriff Knox, who in 1857 sold the large two-story dwelling house and two acres of land situated in Fauxburg-Chambliss, succession of Napoleon E. Larche to Anderson M. Waddill. In the suit of R. H. May vs. John T. Sibley, the house and land seized in Fauxburg-Chamblis, lyinbg on the south side of Washinton Street, was bounded east by Freemont Hall and west by General Sparrow's law office. Knox continued to serve as sheriff until the end of 1857.
Back in 1846 when William M. Deeson and wife, Eliza V. Ledbetter, sold land to James and Tarlton Railey "it was understood and agreed between the parties that in the event of a war between the U. S. and England, payment of the principal of the notes may be postponed until peace is declared between the two governments, but the interest accruing shall be punctually paid even in the event of war". (E 153) Now it is 1862 and all legal transactions are brought to a standstill by the Civil War. After the sale of Jan. 4, 1862 by Sheriff S. D. Oliver there is not another recording in the sheriff's ledger until A. G. Lane sheriff, and deputy, J. S. Richards, sell lot 15 in square five on Second street in the town of Floyd. Manyh descendants of those early settlers want information on the "the old Presbyterian chuurch in Monticello", byut only one record has been found fy this historian and it reads "having a front of 48 yards immediately behind the Monticello church and extending back to Monticello Bayou". Prominent names of these years are Edward J. Delony, W. G. Wyly, Creed T. Motley, J. S. Herring, and J. W. Dunn, all in the town of Floyd.
The short term of Lane and Ricards was succeeded by W. T. C. Anderson, sheriff, on April 7, 1866. One must remember that these are reconstruction years and Anderson, too, had a short term, serving only to July 7, 1866 when W. W. Collins took the office with J. W. Draughonb, the deputy.
The axe begins to fall--wife buys in husband's property at sheriff's sale; brother buys in for brother, husband buys in for wife, viz; Emily A. Bass bids in land of husband Oliver H. P. Keller, for sum of $3,737.50, for which "she paid cash in hand on the spot". Willie Ann Bradley, wife of George M. Langford bought in lot one of square No. 7, on Mulberry Street in Floyd; Henry L. Deeson bought in Holly Grove, property of W. M. Deeson, purchased from Mrs. E. Fitzgerald; the William T. Oliver property was bought in by William Day Oliver. In this year of 1866 George M. Langford, coroner conducted the sale in the suit of William Caraway vs. George W. Bryant. Sheriff Collins conducted the sale of the Pacific Hotel fronting on lands known as the Railroad Reserve or Avenue, in the town of Delhi, then in Carroll parish. Another interesting sale was that of Villa Vista and Candy plantations, containing in all 3,400 acres, with W. G. Wyly the purchaser, for the price and sum of $650 (1857 ledger, p. 282). It was too, in 1866, the town of Lake Providence was laid out by engineer C. W. Babbitt.
Collins' term continued until September of 1868, when George A. Sheridan took office, with J. W. Draughon and C. A. Hedrick his deputies. By April 3, 1869 Draughon was signing all papers as sheriff. One of his first was sale of property owned by William J. Corley "on which the town of Oak Grove is now situated". Another sale of interest was of Panola Plantaion, fronting on old river in Bunch's Bend, consisting of 2,400 acres of the original 3,535.69 acres. It was first the succession property of Wiley Davis and was sold to William G. Conner and then to R. W. Williams.
After Draughon, who served until early 1871, came A. J. Parlin, with W. B. Dickey, the deputy. It is of interest to note here that the parish court house was back in Providence by Nov. 4, 1871, on Levee Street, and the official journal was the "Carroll Republican" Some carpetbaggers had come back to locate, evidently. Deputies for Parlin included to the former sheriff Sanders D. Oliver, and B. H. Lanier. In 1872 Parlin seized and sold th propoerty of Charles H. Webb, Sr., located at the corner of Hood and Lake Streets, lying 105 feet lying along Hood with all buildings and improvements thereon. (1869 Sheriff's Record, p. 67) Parlin was married to Miss Stella P. Picton and they on Levee St.
Parlin's term was up by Jan. 6, 1873, when Nicholas Burton took office with W. W. Benham and Silas Fulgum his deputies. Carrollton Planation, succession of Masshac Ross, with 1,274.06 acres, came under Burton's hammer and was sold to Alexander H. Embry and Charles M. Pilcher, who executed several "paraphed" notes. Burton served until the spring of 1875. It was in that year that lots in Arlington addition or Fauxburg-Arlington began to be sold; it was listed as an addition to the new town of Providence as surveyed by J. R. Barbour, surveyor. Other sales of great interest during 1875 were Airlie Plantation, formerly owned by Dr. James G. Carson; the Stowers' Erin Plantation, to G. W. Sentell & Company; Point-Look Out, of 3,020 acres for $3000., and the old courthouse and two and a half acres, on which it stands, in the town of Floyd in 1876.
With Charles Hicks as sheriff, following Nicholas Burton, he conducted the sheriff's sales until Feb. 8, 1877, when John W. Scott is found in that office. Scott continues to serve, and is in the sheriff's office when the minutes are headed State of Louisiana, Parish of East Carroll, May 19, 1877, with sale of the Chambliss of Hagaman lots in the old town of Provcidence, to Victor M. Purdy, for $376.37.
Sanders D. Oliver had served as sheriff from early 1858 to early 1862, but we are back to give him another term with first sale date Feb. 2, 1878, and in returning we wish to again bring up more on Fauxburg-Arlington with sale of Robert G. Campbell lot No. 5, in block No. 8, fronting on Patten Street. Another Street in that division was named Warren. The succession of J. W. Dunn had a front on Church Street. Oliver's term of office was up by April 19, 1879, and John Asberry (a Negro) began to serve, with Oliver, his deputy. He sold one acre of land with buildings and improvements thereon, situated on the north siode of Lafayette Street, being the southern boundary of Fauxburg-Arlington in and adjoining the old town of Lake Providence, being the property purchased by D. L. Morgan from Horace Holmes, also the printing press, Peerless job press, type and outfit used in printing the Carroll Conservative, whereupon David L. Morgan defendant became the purchaser for $117.45. Asberry's term was overy by July 17, 1880, when Marcus Shelby Powell's fierst sale was a portion of Edgewood Plantation on Lake Providence belonging to Peter C. Burke to Timothy Byrne became the purchaser. This plantation was first purchased by Morgan and Byrne from Henry Freill.
Sanders D. Oliver has several land sales listed in early January 1858. His deputy was Richard H. Dollerhide. It was in 1861 that Oliver sold an undivided half interest in a lot of ground and the improvements in the town of Caledonia, olf the succession of Amos Lawton to Levi P. Lawton. Oliver also conducted the sale of "The Sparrow House" to S. W. Davis, for $1,372.53 son in 1874. The deputy sheriffs were a. g. Belden, George W. Foster, and T. J. Powell.
John Cortez Bass, Sr. is holding office on Oct. 8, 1885. We are now coming within the memory of present day residents, as Bass was the father of our fellow townsman, Mrs. Fannie Bass Kilpatrick and of Mrs. A. P. Tugwell (wife of the state treasurer, Pat Tugwell) His oath as sheriff was given July 2, 1885 by William Rous, clerk of the 8th District Court. The deputies were Yancey Bell, Sanders D. Oliver, John W. Scott, Isaac R. Keller, Nathan Reinstine, and T. D. McCandless. The elections then were evidengtly held annually as Bass again, takes oath as sheriff on June 29, 1886, with deputies S. T. LeMay, Jeff Dunn, S. B. Kennedy, W. A. Blount, R. J. Walker, George S. Owens, C. Hamilton, E. E. Bass, James McGuire, and W. H. Hunter. Bass served until June 8, 1892.
J. W. (Jim) Dunn's first act as sheriff was the handling of the succession of Mrs. Minerva Sparrow for the interest of her daughters, Mjrs. Fannie Ashbridge, Mrs. Kate Foster, and twin daughters of the late Mrs. Decker. In listing the succession there was interest in mention of vacan ground lying between the blacksmith shop of Z. Goldenburg and the Episcopal Church, on Church Street; the Ashbridge house and lots in Arlington addition, and plantations Arlington, Hopewell, a portion of Eyrie, the Island or Midland and lower Island Plantation with sale to William H. Chaffee & Co., New Orleans, for $12,745.61. Numbering among the deputies were Yancey Bell, William K. Slpurlock, James Beard, T. J. Powell, John R. Brown, T. J. Powell, John R. Brown, J. S. Guenard (special deputy), J. E. Tillery, T. S. Delony, F. M. Taylor, and W. S. Maguire.
It was in 1893 first mention was made of the The Banner-Democrat, the newspaper now in circulation.
In 1895 the Lake Providence Ice Mfg. Co., excepting terefrom the electric light plant, was sold to Providence Lodge No. 28, Knights of Pythias became the purchaser.
J. W. Dunn was returned to the office of sheriff on July 8, 1896, June 8, 1900, with deputies of those years, T. B. Davis, W. H. McCulloch, J. M. Kennedy, Jr., J. S. Lansworth, Columbus Hamilton, Hugh Montgomery, S. M. Brock, J. G. Purvis, Clark N. Hall, J. P. McClutchen, John Q. Hamilton, D. F. Peck, O. J. Hurley, W. R. Powell, John L. Kennedy, and David W. Gilmore.
The term of 1900 ran to Dec. 11, 1903, giving him 11 years in office, and other deputies were Frank Byerley, Sr., Chris McGinnis, and John B. Palmer.
William E. Dunn, brother of J. W. Dunn, took oath as sheriff on Dec. 11, 1903, and deputies to serve him were Tobias S. Delony, Isaac Bass, Vail M. Pittman, Ben F. Brown, John C. Bass, Jr., W. K. Alston, Charles H. Webb, L. L. Davis, E. H. Mooney, S. M. Angell, E. H. Hauff, F. E. Carson, H. L. Ethel, W. H. Hunter, J. W. Conn, James McCulloch, W. A. Blount, Jr., C. E. Davis, J. J. Erwin, Otto D. Hall, Adrian A. Nelson, H. L. Easterlin, C. H. Hill, H. B. Howser,l George R. Newman, Turner L. Bass, Alex Enolds, Earnest Newman, P. C. Ludlow, C. C. Hall, D. J. O'Sullivan, D. F. Peck, G. G. Dobbins, W. A. Chipman, W. R. Powell, W. L. Huggins, Baker A. Bass, M. P. Walker, Richard Bell, Clarence LaCost, Claud Houston, William Hollingsworth, W. W. Wilson,k George H. Whittington, H. S. Franklin, Frank Lear, T. T. Sullivan, Hugh Oliver, Jr., and J. W. Conn.
Bill Dunn served from December 1903 until W. C. McRae took over for a short term in 1919 to June 2, 1920, when John C. Bass, Jr., took the office. With 11 years for Jim Dunn and approximately 16 years for Bill Dunn, it gave the two brothers some 27 years in the sheriff's office. it was in 1920 that Mrs. Burta Riley Pinkston was appointed as court stenographer by Judge F. X. Ransdell. Mrs. Pinkston also served as office deputy sheriff, along with Jesse Mitchell, McFarland Long, H. S. Franklin, and C. H. Whittington. He serverd more than 16 years when he died in office and Dr. W. H. Hamley, coroner, served until McFarland Long came to office in the spring of 1937. McLong served until the election of 1932 and had as deputies William Y. Bell, Leon Harbin, Charles V. Muirhead, W. B. Ragland, Sr., James W. Gilbert, Carl T. Brown, H. Lynn, Rankin Earle, F. E. Bell, W. M. Mobley, C. L. Jones, and Nell H. Patrick was appointed to serve as office deputy, formerly held by Bell, after his electionas assessor, and took oath of office on Jan. 1, 1945.
Long was succeeded by incumbent John W. Gilbert on May 31, 1952, and his deputies have been Clair Warner, Mrs. Nell Patrick, J. A. Sansone, Jr., Kiley Thames, Jack Higgins, George C. Hammack, Jr., C. B. Barnett, W. B. Ragland, Sr., Carey Mercer, L. E. Posey, Morris J. Coleman, Quinton Fortenberry, Roy W. Sullivan, J. O. Thornton, Jr., and Mrs. Joann Hamilton.