Monday, June 29, 2015

Saul Wheat of St. Helena Parish, Louisiana

Melisa Wheat Richardson
& husband Alexander Richardson
Saul Wheat was born in St. Helena, Louisiana in 1875. He was married to Corrine Wheat. They were the parents of Booker, Rosa, Beatrice, Melissa, Bernice, Myrtle, Bertha, Henry, Roy, Mattie and Hattie.

Saul passed away on September 5, 1954 in Independence, Louisiana at the age of seventy-nine. After carefully examining the Freedmen Bureau records, I came across a labor contract for Saul Wheat. I wanted to share the record with my cousins who are Wheat-Harrell's and Wheat-Richardson.

The Harrell family married twice in the Wheat family. My maternal great uncle Palmer and Manila McCoy's daughter Doris Harrell married Henry Wheat. Theodore Harrell who was also my maternal great uncle married Rosa Wheat. One of Saul and Corrine's daughter Melisa Wheat married Alexander Richardson, my maternal grandmother's brother.

Freedmen Labor Contract- Saul Wheat
The contract states that Saul entered into a labor contract with Marin Henry on Jan 1st, 1866. Also on the labor contract was Abraham Bickham 42, Susan 30, Nathan 17, Tom 144, Sandy 12, Anna 10, Rayford 4, Emma 6, Martha 2, and Saul Wheat was 24 years old. Looks like they were farming 60 acres of land for which Bickham agrees to pay 4 bales of cotton weighing 170 lbs furnish himself.

Henry Wheat
Its not very clear what Saul's relationship was to Abraham Bickham. Its is clear that Abraham was the man in charge of the land and labor contract agreement. Once the Wheat family left St. Helena, Louisiana., they settled in a small town called Amite. My maternal great grandmother Emma Mead Harrell purchase land right next the Wheat family. The land still remains in both families until this very day.

Yellow Water Baptist Church in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana

Yellow Water Baptist Church
Yellow Water Baptist Church is located on Fred Clark Rd in Tangipahoa Parish. The church is said to be at least one hundred years old. Fred Clark Rd was named for Fred Clark, son of Benjamin and Jane Clark.

Benjamin Clark was the brother of Caroline Clark Kimble-Daniels, who was once married to Walter Kimble. Milton Miller affectionately known as "Uncle Joe" who is eighty two years old. Uncle Joe said the church was also the school for colored children. It was the very first school that he attended as a young child. He  recalled his grandmother walking him to school.

One of the things he wanted the family to know is both wives of Walter Kimble; Caroline Clark and Janie Battie raised their families together.  Uncle Joe was blessed to have two grandmothers and he called them both grandma.

Behind the Yellow Water Baptist Church is the Clark Family Cemetery were many of the Clark family members are buried, including Caroline Clark Kimble-Daniels and to his knowledge at least one of the her three children with Walter. They could get to the burial because of high grass and wild brushes.

Source: Milton "Uncle Joe" Miller & Kimble Family-Louisiana

My Maternal 3rd Great Grandfather Robert Harrell Freedmen's Bureau Records

Alexander Harrell, the son of Robert Harrell
A couple of months ago, my friend, colleague and Blog Talk Radio Show host Bernice Alexander Bennett called me with great news. She located my maternal 3rd great grandfather, Robert Harrell and his family in the Freedmen's Bureau Records Labor Contract for St. Helena Parish. I knew that they were sharecroppers, but I had no idea who's plantation or place they sharecropped on. Bernice and I have ancestral lineage that connects both of us to St. Helena and Livingston Parishes, Louisiana.

My mother kept this photograph of Alexander Harrell hanging up in her home before Hurricane Katrina. Years earlier she let me take it to the local printing shop to have copies made. It was one of the photographs she lost during the hurricane. It was a good thing I made copies of the photograph.

I was excited and filled with joy just knowing that piece of the puzzle has been solved. The record listed his names, his wife and children and the name of the woman they leased the land from. The following information is found on the record:

Date: February 27, 1866
Location: Saint Helena Parish
Leasor: Eliza Andrews

Contract with Sandy Lee 25, Robert Harrell 42, Darkis Harrell 30, Delia Boy 18, Aleck Harrell, Anna Harrell 8, Ciller Drandy 64 dependent, Charley Boyd 2. All of the above are family with the exception of Sandy Lee. They are to received quarters and food. School clause omitted. Sandy are to receive as compensated one third of one fifth of the entire crop.

Robert Harrell for himself and family to receive two fifth of the entire crop raised. Food and medical attendance to be furnished the laborers by Eliza Andrew at cost price, the amount of which to be deducted from their respective shares. Contract to commence Feb 27, 1866 and end Dec 1866.



Friday, June 26, 2015

Civil Rights in Independence, Louisiana

Department of Justice Files
On July 22, 1964 a racist incident took place in Independence, Louisiana. Unknown persons in a parked car pulled alongside of Loria L. Davis, Joanee Darken & Jeffery H. Schwarts, shots was fired in their automobile as they were on their way from the voter registration clinic at Hammond, LA.

If any of these individuals are still alive. I would like to document their stories.

Civil Rights Case in Montpelier, Louisiana

Department of Justice Files
Several years ago I was looking in the Department of Justice files at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., I came across a complaint that was filed with the Department of Justice on August 18, 1964.

There was an unknown objects thrown at the school bus windshield near Rocky Hill School in Montpelier.

My family lineage is deeply rooted in Montpelier, La., dating back before 1853. My maternal 3rd great grandfather Thomas Richardson was born in St. Helena, LA., A lot of my family members are buried at Rocky Hill cemetery and some of them attended Rocky Hill School. I haven't met anyone who have spoke about this incident that took place in Montpelier, LA., on August 18, 1964. Just thinking about an unknown object that was thrown at the bus full of children is frightening. We are graceful and thankful that no one was hurt or killed.

If anyone in Montpelier can recall this incident please contact me.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Chicken Coop Made from Pallets

Growing up on the old family homestead in Tangipahoa Parish where we grew our own food and raised livestock. My grandmother had a chicken coop for her laying hens. My brothers and I would help her gather the fresh yard eggs. For two years I have been talking about building a chicken coop and now I'm finally getting a chicken coop built thanks to Wallace.

I went online and saw the chicken coops built out of pallets. So Wallace and I decided to build one out of pallets. For the past few weeks Wallace and I have been busy gathering the pallets, removing all the nails and pulling the wood apart. 

I called the local hardware store and asked them if I could have them. They told me to take all I wanted. We spent several weeks preparing the wood. Our plan was to use as much recycle material that we could fine. We did purchase the wire, screws, nails, latches, hinges and wood life cooper coat to treat the wood. 


We spent a lot of time on the internet looking at difference models. After we figured out the model we wanted to used and what would be the best way to build it we got started. Wallace wanted to build six nesting boxes for the laying hens. 

He measured the run for the hens, he thought the old girls sure have some room to run around and to hang out. He wanted to really make it easy for me to move about to clean the coop, he's making it where I can walk into the chicken coop and hose it off rather easy. The manure from the chicken will be used to fertilized the orange trees and garden. 


Wallace is very creative and I can see him building me a greenhouse out of pallets. There only problem, "he didn't want me to take photographs." But of course I had to document from start to finish. Beside it nice to see how it begin and the finish product. 

This summer my grandchildren will get to gather the fresh yard eggs right out the yard. I hope that we can the hens that lay the blue and green eggs. 

 We'll keep you posted as we move along.