EAST CARROLL’S TOURNAMENT OF KNIGHTSRing tournaments began before 1860 and lasting till @ 1900, becoming old fashioned. “A PLACE TO REMEMBER.-- By Georgia Pinkston
[Carroll Democrat, November 2, 1889]
A Delightful Day, and a Grand Ball At Night.—
"The titling at the Tourney has been a prominent source of public rivalry and enjoyment for many years in East Carroll—always attended by large gatherings from far and near of the fairest and best of our people. Last Tuesday was no exception to the Knightly festivities. Our town was crowded with gaily dressed people, the sky was clear and bright and cheerful anticipation of pleasant time seemed to lighten up the faces of everyone.
At noon precisely, sixteen Knights in charge of Captain. W. H. Harvey, escorted by Grand Marshal Dr. Frank E. Artaud, left town for Arlington accompanied by a large concourse of citizens, with visitors from the State of Mississippi and several from the adjoining parishes, as also from adjoining counties in Arkansas. [sketch of knight by Sandy Guthrie Moore]
“When the titling ground was reached, an immense crowd had gathered to witness the struggle for the prizes offered by the Association, which were as follows; first prize, $100; second prize, $75; third prize, $50; fourth prize $25; Total, $250.
“The judges selected to determine the result of the contest were T. P. Leathers, of New Orleans, Judge Baird of Morehouse, Hon. J. M. Kennedy of Providence. The time keepers were Messrs. Douglas of Tensas, and Searles of Vicksburg, Mississippi. The scorers were Dr. W. E. Long of Providence, and herald was C. A. Donnally of East Carroll.
“Morgan’s well-known Vicksburg band was in attendance on the ground and discoursed many melodies.
“When everything had been duly prepared, Capt. Harvey, in company with the other Knights formed a line before the Judges’stand and listened to a brief, but eloquent oration delivered by Sir Knight Ransdell, who was introduced to the Knights and assembled crowd by Judge J. M. Kennedy. Immediately after, an introductory title was had, preparatory to the actual contest.
“The distance from start to arch ring was 100 yards, time was 9 seconds, with 1¼ inch ring. Three rings were tilted for in the run, and four runs for each Knight, or a chance for twelve rings.
“Pending the preliminaries the wind rose in fitful gusts and by the time the actual tilting began the rings were seen occasionally to swing to and fro to such an extent as to make it quite difficult for each swift advancing Knight to capture the much coveted circles.
“Given below are the names of the Knights, their nicknames or non-de-plumes, and their totals as rendered by the Judges.
George Douglas Knight of “Laura Lee” 10 rings
Archie Douglas T. P. Leathers” 9 rings
M. P. Erwin “California” 8 rings
Nolen Harvey “Young America” 6 rings
Mr. Pigee “Poultry Hill” 5 rings
F. X. Ransdell “Red Scarf” 5 rings
And four rings for each of the following:
Flournoy Davis “White Scarf”
F. M. Kerlin “Kentucky”
W. C. McRae "Lake”
W. H. Davis “Belle Meade”
Mr. Higgins “Last Chance”
W. H. Harvey "Don Carlos”
Hugh Montgomery “Desona”
And For each of the following:
Jesse D. Tompkins “Black Cap” 2 rings
George F. Blackburn “Shelburn” 1 ring
Robert Moore 0 rings
"The best time made was six and a quarter seconds by Knight of“Laura Lee”, Mr. George Douglas of Tensas Parish. He also combined the best score and the best time, winning the first prize.
There were several graceful and alert riders in the Tourney, among them we noticed as the most perfect in horsemanship Nr, Nolan Harvey of Madison Parish; and we cannot avoid expressing our admiration of the riding of the little boys, Master Hugh Montgomery, bareback and every other way, who took the four rings with the rest of them.
"The young people particular regarded the Tournament Ball as the grand feature of the festivities, and they were not much at fault in that regard. The evening programme opened with the crowning of the Queen of Love and Beauty, Miss Alma Eglley, by Mr. George Douglas. The queen had been selected from the many bright and beautiful young ladies present. Placed upon her head was a white floral circle, emblematic of innocence and purity.
“Mr. Archie Douglas placed a floral wreath around the brow of Miss Naricsse William (later Mrs. W. D. Brown) as first Maid of Honor; and Miss Emmy Richards was selected by Mr. Nolan Harvey as Third Maid of honor, and the ball was then opened with the “Coronation Quadrille” composed of the Queen, her Maids of Honor and the four victorious knights. After this, the evening’s festivities began in real earnest, and the large gathering in the capacious room entered heart and soul into the enjoyment of the ‘Tournament Ball.
“There were at one time one hundred and five couples on the floor moving around to the magic measure of Morgan’s string band, and to attempt a description of the entrancing scene would be futile. The grand array of inspiring youthfulness and unfeign-able beauty would have bewildered even older heads than ours. Surely ‘a thing of beauty is a joy forever, and the remembrance of the Tournament Ball of Oct. 29, 1889 will live a long time in the minds of those who participated in the joyous festivities.”