RECORD: McManus, Jane Parker, Pioneers West of Appalachia, 1976, 1984, Page 90.
RECORD: Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands, Andrew B. Booth, published by The Reprint Company Publishers, Spartanburg, SC, 1984, p. 70.
Miles Gibson Parker, third child of Isaiah and Dicy (Calcote) Parker, was born 11 Dec. 1837 in Mississippi. He moved with his family to Louisiana while still a small child.
As a young man, Miles Parker met his future bride, Sarah Ellen Williamson, when she was but 10 years old. He knew immediately that this was the girl with whom he wanted to spend his life, and told everyone that when she grew up, he was going to marry her.
When the Civil War broke out, Miles enlisted. War records show he enlisted in New Orleans on Aug. 2, 1861. According to his enlistment papers, Miles was 5'3" tall, had blue eyes, dark hair, and a light complexion. He was a farmer and was single. Miles served in Company B, 1st Nelligan's Louisiana Infantry, nicknamed the "Red River Rebels." Miles was later promoted to 5th Sergeant on 28 Apr 1862, and his military records listed the battles in which Miles participated, which were some of the bloodiest battles of that war, occurring in and around Virginia and West Virginia. As listed on the records, they were:
Battle of Manassas (second) 30-31 Aug 1862
Chantilly - 2 Sep 1862
Harper's Ferry - 15 Sep 1862
Sharpsburg - 17 Sep 1862
Chancellorsville - 2-3 May 1863
Paynes Farm - 27 Nov 1863
Wilderness - 5 May 1864; Spootsylvania - 12 May 1864
Yellow Tavern - 19 May 1864
Cold Harbor - 2 Jun 1864
Harper's Ferry (second battle) - 6 Jul 1864
Monacacy - 9 Jul 1864
Snicker's Gap - 20 Jul 1864
Kernstown - 25 Aug 1864
Shepherdstown - 1 Sep 1864
Smithfield - 10 Sep 1864
Winchester - 18 Sep 1864
Fisher's Hill - 22 sep 1864
Cedar Creek - 19 Oct 1864
Hatchers Run - 5-6-7 Feb 1864
Miles was among the prisoners of war paroled at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 10, 1865. He was a member of the Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee.
Returning to Rapides Parish after the Civil War, Miles married the young Sarah Ellen Williamson, who was at that time only 15 years old.
In 1874, Miles Parker was the first elected sheriff of the newly-formed Vernon Parish and his term lasted until 1878. As the parish did not have a jail during that early period, Miles sometimes brought his prisoners home. Once Miles tied a prisoner, whom his wife called the "little Red Man' (for a red shirt he was wearing) to the foot of the bedstead. The "Little Red Man" was gone the next morning; either he was let loose or escaped.
Miles owned and operated a store in the Simpson area, and taught some of the earlier students in Simpson; but his main livlihood was farming. The Parkers had 14 children, and were fortunate that only one child died at birth. During one of her pregnancies, a fall from the corn crib in her sixth month caused Ellen to go into labor prematurely, and twin sons were born, each weighing about 1-1/2 pounds. Ellen was determined to save her babies. Although baby Williard lived only a few hours, Grover survived. He was so tiny that one of his older sister's wedding rings could be placed around his arm all the way to his shoulder.
Miles and Sarah Ellen remained in the community now named Simpson, in Verson Parish, Louisiana, for the remainder of their lives.
RECORD: 1900 Census, Vernon Parish, LA
Miles G. Parker, born Dec. 1837, 62, married 31 years, born MS, farmer
Sarah E. Parker, born Dec. 1851, 49, married 31 years, born LA
Frank Parker, born Oct. 1877, 22, born LA, teacher
Sarah A. Parker, Sept. 1880, 19, born LA, farm laborer
Marry M. Parker, July 1883, 16, born LA, farm laborer
Arthur E. Parker, June 1885, 14, born LA, farm laborer
Bertha E. Parker, Oct. 1887, 12, born LA, farm laborer
Miles G. Parker, Jan. 1890, 10, born LA, farm laborer
Liddie Parker, Sept. 1893, 8, born LA
Ellen E. Parker, Oct. 1895, 4, born LA
Robert O. Parker, Mar. 1898, 2, born LA
Sarah Ellen Williamson married Miles Gibson Parker on November 19, 1867 in a "Triple Wedding Ceremony", which was the social event of the decade and was talked about for years afterward.
RECORD: Jane Parker McManus, Pioneers West Of Appalachia; Privately Printed 1984; p Page 284
Quoted from McManus
"When Nathan arrive in Simpson in 1866, the area was exactly as he imagined a paradise would be, so this was where he decided to make his home. In a short time, he met and married one of the Jackson daughters, built his home and went into business. At one time he operated a grist and rice polishing mill on Caney Creek about 5/8 mile south of the present day Hwy 8. Since the early settlers grew rice in the rainy marshland south of Simpson, Nathan used the mill operated by water power to remove the husks off the rice. He also used the water mill to saw lumber which was plentiful in the adjacent forests."
When he was but a lad of 15, Nathan Harville enlisted in Company F, 12 Alabama Infantry, and fought for the southern cause.
RECORD: CSA penison record, 17 Sep 1913:
Enlisted in the Civil War Jan 186_ near the Orange County VA Court House in CO F, 12th Alabama Infantry. He suffered a slight scalp wound...Was paroled near Richmond, VA, due to illness. Reported as absent/sick on the rolls for July 1864. Last reported for Sept/Oct 1864. Applying for pension based upon old age disability. Lives with wife, Mary Jane, age 64 and children(4 boys 1 girl) ages, 41, 38, 35, 33 and 23. Owns 4 acres and a house valued at $150.00. (This application was rejected)
1 Jan. 1917 (Approved 14 Mar 1917) Second enlistment was in Company A, 4th Alabama State Reserves. Was enroute home to Montgomery, AL when he enlisted for the second time. Affidavit of M. F. Roberts says he served with Nathan in the reserve unit, and that they were disbanded at Columbus, GA. when they heard of Lee's surrender.
Notes from me (Joyce Parker Hervey)
According to recollections of my aunt, Luna (Parker) Kenny, granddaughter of Nathan Harville, he was not an ideal family man. He would get the wanderlust from time to time and leave his wife and family at home and just take off for two to three weeks at a time, never telling anyone where he was going or what he was doing. This made his wife bear most of the burden of raising a faily.
RECORD: Just Folk: The Crowell Family of Louisiana, Joyce Parker Hervey, 1984, privately printed, page 320
Born on the 19th of April in 1879, in Walton County, Georgia, Jesse Moses Young was the sixth child of seven children born to James Harrison Young and his wife Mary Frances (Greer) Young. He was named for both his grand-fathers.
When Jesse was about six years old, his mother left Georgia and moved to Louisiana with several of her brothers. Jesse did not see his father again for about 24 years, when he came to Louisiana to visit them about 1909.
Jesse married Mary Ann Rebecca Pace on August 17, 1897. Their marriage was recorded in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, at Arcadia, but they lived in Claiborne Parish, near Hurricane. Their children went to school and to the Baptist Church at Hurricane. Jesse farmed and kept boarders to support his family. He was described by his daughter-in-law, Leola (Crowell) Young as tall and thin, with a moustache. He was an easy-going man, and he worked hard. Early in his marriage, Jesse and Mary separated, because he had a drinking problem. Mary told him she would not be reconciled with him until he quit drinking. Perhaps she was aided a bit by fate, for one night Jesse had a vivid dream that he had died and gone to Hell. He could hear his hair singeing as he walked through the eternal flames. When he awakened he swore that he would never drink again.
Jesse developed heart trouble while he was still a relatively young man. He moved his family to Texas, around the Joaquin and Logansport area several times, but the climate in Texas did not agree with him and he had to take his family back to Louisiana. They were in Texas when their eldest son Audris finished the 8th grade (about 1914).
When Audris was seventeen years old (about 1918), the Young family again were living in Texas. After the U. S. entered World War I, Audris decided he wanted to be in the army, so he lied about his age and joined. His mother was so upset and made such a fuss about it, that Audris' father went to the Army post and brought Audris home after he had been gone only one month.
Jesse was seriously ill with a heart ailment and was under doctors orders not to do anything that required physical exertion. He was not to walk fast or too far, and most especially, he was not to work. During the Depression of the early 1930's, there was scarcely enough money to buy his medicine. Their son, Jack, worked at the C.C.C. camp and sent money to them when he could. If the money did not come, Jesse did without the medicine.
In the winter of 1935, on January 9th, Jesse and his youngest son Preaus were cutting some small pine trees to make posts for a fence around their garden, when Jesse suffered a heart attack, fell over and died immediately. His wife, who was a rather large woman ran to him, having to crawl under a barbed wire fence to reach him, but he breathed only one time after she reached him.
About the same moment that Jesse died, his daughter-in- law, Leola Young, Audris' wife, was in her house at Watson's sawmill, not too far from Jesse's house. She had been doing the laundry and had a big pile of clothes in the middle of the floor. She turned towards the locked door and saw a vision of Jesse flash in front of the door for an instant. A little while later, Mr. Watson came to the house to tell them that Jesse had died.
RECORD: Just Folk, The Crowell Family of Louisiana, Joyce Parker Hervey, privately printed, 1984.
After her husband (Jesse's) death, Mary lived with her children, particularly with Hattie. She was a great story teller. Her granddaughter, Pauline Young, remembers sitting around the fireplace in their home at Hurricane (about 1934-1938) listening to "Grandma" tell stories about growing up in the woods where the wild animals, especially the panthers, howled at night.
Mary spent her last years living in Dubach with her daughter Gladys (Young) Jones. Gladys had divorced her husband when her children all left home, and was happy for her mother to stay with her. When Mary became sick and needed constant care, she was moved to the Meadowview Nursing home in Minden. She suffered a stroke in May 1964 and did not regain consciousness. She died about a week afterwards, on May 12, 1964, and was buried at the Hurricane Cemetery next to her husband. Several of her children are buried nearby.
Mary's obituary appeared in a newspaper: "Mrs. Mary Young Succumbs at 82. Special to the Journal. RUSTON. Mrs. Mary Young, 82, died at 3:15 a.m., today in Meadowview Nursing Home at Minden following a lengthy illness. She was a native of Natchitoches and a member of the Baptist Church. Funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Hurricane Baptist Church, Arcadia, with the Rev. D. A. Doughty officiating. Burial will be in Hurricane Cemetery, Arcadia under direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Ruston. Survivors are three daughters, Mrs. Bertha Boyd, Bossier City, Mrs. Gladys Jones and Mrs. Hattie Colvin, both of Dubach; four sons, E. A. Young, Taylor, Dewey Young, Arcadia, Dallas Young, San Antonio, Tex., and Jack Young, Stockton, Calif.; and 29 grandchildren."
RECORD: Just Folk: The Crowell Family, Joyce Parker Hervey, 1984, Privately Printed, page 120:
James Griffin, who was called by his middle name Griffin, was the first of 10 children born to Warren and Sarah Crowell.
It was a poor beginning for a young boy to be sent to the cotton and corn fields daily instead of to school. Griffin told his children that he did not get past "Baker" in the "blue-back speller".
Griffin was eventually taught to read by his second wife, after they were married, but he was never able to write legibly. He had a natural ability to do figures in his head, and was not taken advantage of in his financial affairs.
By the age of 23, Griffin had met and married a young girl named Mattie Vaughn, who had come to Louisiana from Alabama with her parents, J. E. and Nancy A. Vaughn. Mattie was about 15 years old when they married. They rented a house at Vienna, Louisiana, in Lincoln Parish, close to Griffin's parents.
By October 1900, when their first born, Carrie, came along, life must have been full. Griffin worked as a farmer and also did some cutting and hauling of timber, while Mattie stayed home to care for Carrie. One chilly day in February 1901, while Griffin was away, Mattie was going about her chores and caring for Carrie, who was in a rocking chair by the fireplace. Mattie's long skirt brushed against some live coals and caught fire. By the time she realized what had happened, she was too much in flames to put them out or to remove the burning clothing. She went to the bed and wrapped herself in some quilts to try to put out the flames on her back, and the bed caught fire. The blankets surrounding the baby's chair also caught fire. When her efforts to put out the fire failed, Mattie ran outside screaming for help and drew water to try to quench the flames. Griffin's younger brother, William, was the first one to come to help, but Mattie was already too severely burned for him to save her. He did, however, rescue the baby. Mattie died that night, February 4, 1901, at age 16. She was buried at the Pine Grove cemetery near Vienna, Louisiana.
The loss of his young wife followed by only six months another loss in young Griffin Crowell's life. A younger brother, Melton, age 19, had developed what the doctor's called congestive heart failure (could it have been appendicitis?) and died suddenly. Before his death, Melton had been engaged to marry Mary Powell, daughter of Abraham and Henrietta Powell, who had come to Louisiana from Edgefield County, South Carolina.
Mary Powell and Griffin Crowell each felt the loss of their loved ones deeply. In their mourning, they leaned on each other for support and for consolation. Over a period of time their friendship developed into a deeper affection, and they became husband and wife on February 12, 1903--a marriage which was to last more than sixty years.
Vienna, Louisiana was home to Mary and Griffin Crowell for only a few years after they married. Their first children, a set of twins, Leola and Leon, were born there on the Fourth of July in 1904. By the 20th of August 1907, on which date they had a second set of twins, Ethel and Ester, they had moved to Bienville Parish, Louisiana, near Watson's Sawmill on Black Lake, where Griffin worked. Ester did not survive birth; the twins came before the doctor arrived, and she apparently strangled on the amniotic fluid. Leon had died as a toddler back at Vienna.
Besides farming Griffin worked in the burgeoning timber industry. Working as a timber contractor, he cut and hauled logs by ox and wagon to the sawmills around Chatham, Louisiana, for use in building roads, and in construction of buildings.
Griffin and Mary had two more girls, Bertha, born June 1, 1911, and Maudie, born June 9, 1914. Then just a month before their son Shelton was born (March 16, 1916), Griffin purchased 80 acres of land off the Oak Grove Highway near Gibsland in Bienville Parish. Griffin built a house on the land with the help of his brothers. The children, including Lucile, the youngest, who was born May 15, 1918, all walked to the Oak Grove school about two miles away. They attended the Oak Grove Methodist Church, which was located next to the schoolhouse.
In spite of their humble beginnings, Mary and Griffin were people who felt great dignity and took pride in their family and in their work. They felt that owning land had improved their lot in life and was a symbol of their success. They tended to be a bit over-protective with their children, though perhaps this was a natural consequence of having known the deaths of two children in infancy, as well as a wife and a sweetheart.
In 1923, Griffin sold some of his 80 acres of land to his brother, John Clinton Crowell, and John moved his family nearby. His brothers, William Pinkney Crowell and Warren Oliver Crowell, lived near Gibsland also.
In 1930, Mary and Griffin sold their house and the remaining 40 acres. After three bad bouts with pneumonia, which nearly claimed his life, Griffin may not have felt strong enough physically to farm the land. He had only one son, who was not old enough to do all of the work, and, although the girls could work, Mary and Griffin did not want them to work so hard as farm laborers, so they gave up the land and house that had meant so much to them.
For the next twelve years, they moved around, going to various parts of Bienville Parish, while Griffin looked for work at the sawmills. They lived on the Will Dees place about four or five miles west of Arcadia. They lived for a while at the Bear Creek Community (located east of Bryceland and south of Arcadia) near their daughter, Leola Crowell Young, and her family. In about 1942 or 1943, they moved in with their youngest daughter, Lucile Candler, and her family, at Taylor, Louisiana, just off U. S. Highway 80, where they lived for the rest of their lives. They both died in 1964, Griffin on January 28 and Mary on October 31. They were buried in Taylor, Louisiana at the Woodard Cemetery.
Mary Elizabeth Virginia Powell, my great-grandmother, died after I began attending college, so I knew her somewhat, although I never felt close to her. The only times I ever visited her was during large gatherings of relatives, and I always felt like a non-entity around her. Our family lived in Shreveport, about 45 miles from her, so she didn't see us often enough to establish any kind of relationship; whereas, she new other great-grandchildrn quite well.
My memories of her are that she was a very small woman, very weathered and wrinkled in the face, with long white braids that came down to below her seat. She usually had them wrapped around her head several times. She talked in a rather loud raspy voice. She was always busy in the kitchen, cooking or supervising the other female family members.
When I knew her, she lived with my great-aunt Lucile Candler, at Taylor, Louisiana, in Bienville Parish, about a couple of city blocks off highway 80. To get to her house, you had to cross a railroad track that parallelled the highway -- a dusty red gravel road. Alongside the house was a large field, where they usually raised purple-hulled peas and, I suppose, other vegetables, but I especially remember the purple hulled peas. There was no bathroom in the house, but there was the usual outhouse. Along the edge of the gravel road was a ditch that afforded good crawfish hunting if you knew how to catch them without getting pinched.
For about the last couple of years of her life she became senile or perhaps had what is now known as Altzheimers disease. She had to have 24-hour care, and my grandmother, Leola Young, did a lot of the nursing. She and my great-grandfather died within a few months of each other and were buried at Taylor at the Woodard Cemetery.
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