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FIGHT TO FINISH NEAR LAKE VILLAGE, 1864

LINDBERGH'S NIGHT FLIGHT

CLAIBORNE W. SAUNDERS OBITUARY, 1875

SHORT HISTORY OF LAKE VILLAGE

   
 

 

LINDBERGH'S NIGHT FLIGHT

Reprinted from the Sesquicentennial Edition

April, 1973 was the fiftieth anniversary of a celebrated event in the history of Lake Village...The first night flight of Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh.

In his book, We, published several years later, Lindbergh described his visit to Lake Village: After circling Lake Village I landed in a field several miles from town. The nearest building was a clubhouse and soon the keeper and his family had arrived beside, the plane. They invited me to stay with them as long as I wished, but the keeper persistently, refused to accept a flight in return for his hospitality. I carried only a handful of passengers that afternoon. The flying territory around that part of the country was fairly good and there were a number of fields available for planes to land in. Consequently an airplane was no longer the drawing attraction that it was farther in the interior.

I staked the plane down much earlier than usual and went over to the clubhouse.

Evening came on with the clearness of a full moon and open sky. The landscape was illuminated with a soft yellow light; an ideal night for flying. I decided to see what the country looked like from the air at night and jokingly asked my host to accompany me. For some reason he had no fear of a night flight although I had been unable to persuade him to go up with me in the daytime. What his reaction would have been, had he known that I had never flown after dark before, is a matter of speculation.

We untied the plane, removed the canvasses from engine and cockpit, and after a few minutes spent in warming up the motor, taxied down the field and took off for a moonlight flight down the Mississippi and over Lake Village.

Later in the evening after the ship was again securely staked to the ground, and we were sitting quietly in the clubhouse, my host stated that he had never spent a more enjoyable quarter of hour in his life.

It was some three years following his visit here that The Lone Eagle made his celebrated non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic from New York to Paris.

The clubhouse Lindbergh mentioned in his book is the home now owned by the Paul Steinle family on North Lake Shore Road. A monument placed there in 1934 by the Chicot Delphian Society still marks the spot of the flight. The keeper Lindbergh referred to was a Mr. Henry from Pine Bluff who operated the building as an inn. The building previously has been the clubhouse of the Lake Village County Club, which became a defunct organization a year or so after its establishment.

 
 

 

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FIGHT TO FINISH NEAR LAKE VILLAGE, ARKANSAS

by

Weed Marshall, Mayview, MO

From a copy of the Confederate Veteran, April 1911

I have seen in the Veteran reports of fights in a small way during the Civil War, stating that they were the most destructive and fatal of the war. I report one for the list.

On February 2, 1864, Capt. Tuck Thorp, of Company E, Elliots Battalion, of Joe Shelbys brigade, had a detail of twenty-four men and went to Lake Village, Chicot County, Ark. Two of the twenty-four were sent back.

On the 14th, Valentine Day, a citizen came to Captain Thorp and told him that the Federals from Vicksburg had come up the river to the Tecumseh plantation, belonging to Joe Johnson, of Indian War fame, after forage. As we were well armed and half bushwhackers anyway, Captain Thorp told us of the situation and left us to vote go or no. Go every fellow voted. He told us that if any man did not want to go he need not, but if he went he was expected to take care of himself after the fight commenced.

There were three quarters on the plantation. We did not know the Yankees were at but one. We had to go by a gin house and negro quarters to get to the place from which they were hauling corn. We went two or three miles through canebrakes, then came to a blind road in the woods, and the next we knew we were at a fence with a big gate, with a cotton gin to the right and a cotton platform just in front. A Yankee soldier standing on the platform fired at us. Instantly Dan Ingram, Weed Marshall, and Pat Marshall fired at him, all shots missing. He went through the doorway into the gin house. They then ran out into the cabin yard, formed in line, and every one of them, thirty-two in number, fired at once with Austrian rifles.

Just at this moment Ben Krigler, an old, thoughtful soul, had opened the gate, and Capt. Tuck Thorp, Weed Marshall, Dan Ingram, Pat Marshall, and Dave Hammond cleared the gate, all others following close up. We drew our Colt navies and dragons, with which every man was well supplied. The enemy started to run--just the thing they should not have done. In two minutes after clearing the gate not a Yankee was alive. Not satisfied with the work done by our pistols, we took their own guns, the Austrian rifles with four square bayonets, and pinned each one to the ground.

As stated, there were thirty-two of them and twenty-two of us. This account may be verified by any survivors of the following citizens--fine Southern people--who lived there then: Joe and Lycurgus Johnson; their sister, Mrs. Julia Johnson, widow of Governor Johnson, of Louisiana; her niece, Miss Linsie Adams, Miss Amy Goodloe, afterwards Mrs. Josh Kregg; Misses Ella and Mollie Russell; and John and Charles Sanders, of Lake Village. These are the names and residences of my comrades who engaged in the fight: Capt. Tuck Thorp and Tom Thorp, dead; Alex and Len Patterson, Odessa, Mo.; Weed Marshall, Mayview, Mo.; Pat Marshall, Odessa, Mo.; Dick Krigler, Sedalia, Mo.; Ben Krigler, address unknown; Dan Ingram and Dan Franklin, dead; Levy Nichols, Denver, Colo.; Art Whitsett, Holden, Mo.; David Hammonds, Paris, Tex.; Jesse Jobe, Eudora, Ark.; James Kincheloe, Pleasant Hicklin, and Bill Wayman, Odessa, Mo.; James McElroy, Neosho, Mo.; James Ward and Nick Coyl, dead.

Every soldier did his part well. All were Missourians and one thousand miles from home. God bless them. We never had a man or horse scratched. A saber captured was inscribed: Presented by Friends to Thaddeus K. Cock, 1st Mississippi Regiment, for Bravery.

 
 

 

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OBITUARY

Died, October 30, 1875, at Patria, in this county, Claiborne W. Saunders, in the 85th year of his age.

The ground on which a good man has trodden is hallowed; when centuries have passed, his words and his deeds are still re-echoed to his childrens children.

The venerable subject of this notice had, in the long course of his life (exceeding as it did the Psalmists prescribed limit of three score and ten years), won to himself the respect and affection of a large circle of friends.

His life was replete with the vicissitudes of joy and sorrow, common to this terrestrial sojourn, but if a calm and well ordered existence, characterized by strength and moderation, are sufficient to insure that peace which passeth all understanding, surely it was his.

Mr. Saunders was born December 11, 1790, near Lynchburg, Va.

When a mere youth he moved to Huntsville, Alabama - then a part of the Mississippi territory - where he engaged in mercantile pursuits, which he abandoned, however, by reason of discouraging reverses, and engaged in the (to him) more congenial pursuit of agriculture.

In January, 1814, he married Miss Eliza J. Norment, of North Carolina. The young couple commenced the battle of life in a new country, subjected to all the privations and hardships incident to pioneer life; but, with a firm purpose and steadypatience, overcame obstacles and surmounted difficulties, which, in these days of mechanical aids and steam agencies, sound like fables of achievement.

In the year 1814 Mr. Saunders visited Chicot county, and purchased of Judge John M. Taylor the plantation on the river, upon which he spent the remainder of his life, and upon which he died.

As a planter he was eminently successful, and as a citizen he was useful, performing all the duties imposed upon him as such with zeal and cheerfulness.

As a friend he was true and warm-hearted, and enemies he had none.

But it was the more sacred and closer relations of life, as husband and father, that the brightest characteristics of his nature shone.

The period of his married life reached nearly sixty-one years. His aged and estimable widow is still living amid their children, honored and revered by all whose good fortune it is to know her.

There was, in Mr. Saunders, an inherent manliness, which the trials of his life but seemed to strengthen and perfect. Above all, his soul was filled with a firm and child-like faith in Him that doeth all things well, that cast about him a halo of gentle patience well becoming the hoary locks of his many winters. For forty-six years he was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, carrying into active practice the charities taught by his faith.

Kind as a neighbor, hospitable and generous in the way peculiar to his day and generation, he was an object of esteem by all who came in contact with him.

The record of his allotted three score years and ten is a pure and an honorable one, and the farther allotment of fourteen years was a crowning proof of the assurance: Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. With humbleness and resignation he looked forward to the close of his long life, well satisfied that the morning succeedeth the night.

Owing to advanced age and feeble health, Mr. Saunders had long since retired from the active pursuits of life into the quiet retirement of the family circle, but he will long be held in kind remembrance by all who knew him.

His remains were interred in the family burying-ground, in Lawrence county, Alabama, a spot reserved by him for many years as the last home of himself and family.

After a pure and well spent life his spirit has gone where Virtue triumphs and her sons are blest.

(Editors Note: Patria was in Chicot County, Arkansas, above the north end of Lake Chicot, in the Luna area.)

 
 

 

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SHORT HISTORY OF LAKE VILLAGE

Copied from a Lake Village Tourist Information Booklet Dated April 1987 and published by James Quick Print. The writer, Bill James, was at one time a resident of Lake Village He also owned and operated the local newspaper. He recently passed away and he will be greatly missed.

 

When Chicot County was founded in 1823, Villemont, located near the mouth of Little Boggy Bayou, was the county seat. Bordered on the [east] by the Mississippi River, Chicot County was settled by pioneers who poled their way down from Missouri on river rafts to find a home in the wild, swampy wastelands of extreme southern Arkansas.

River packet boats delivered some supplies, mail, and stocks of merchandise for the early merchants, and people came to the river port town from as far away as 60 miles to pick up mail and other needed items.

Villemont was one tough town. River boatmen, gamblers, thieves, and murderers were among the 500 people who populated the town at the height of its popularity in the early 1840's. William B. Patton was the first sheriff and he built a jail house before any other county building was constructed. He and the Coroner, Richard Latting, were the only county officials at first, and they were kept busy taking care of the more violent crimes that took place almost every day.

As though in judgement of the town, the current of the Mighty Mississippi began to eat into the banks at Chicot Point, slowly crumbling the county seat into the River. Finally, in 1847, all that remained of Chicot County's first seat of government caved into the rushing waters and the town was known no more.

In 1847 the county seat was moved to a few miles down river to a settlement known as Columbia. At that point a new courthouse, jail, and other county offices were constructed and Columbia became a thriving town for a few years before the greedy, unrelenting currents of the River again claimed a town and in 1885 the county courthouse fell into the river and was swept away.

This made the county officials a little nervous, and when they selected the site for the third county seat, they decided to get back away from the banks of the River. Moving inland almost 15 miles, they selected Masona, on the Bayou Macon, as the county seat. This didn't work out too well, because it was too far from river activity, and in 1857 it was decided to make Lake Village the official and permanent seat of the county.

Lake Village was one of the oldest towns in Chicot County and was located on the banks of beautiful Lake Chicot, named by LaSalle when he first came down the Mississippi River in 1686 and was impressed by the beauty of the lake and surrounding territory "Isle de Chicot" which means the Island of stumps, so-called because of the many cypress knees which he mistakenly thought were stumps.

Because of its seclusion, the town was a popular place for the river boatmen and other travelers to stop by for a few days of relaxation. West of Lake Village was a vast area of swampland where people could "disappear" any time they wished to merely by traveling a few hundred yards from town. Those who didn't know their way around could easily get hopelessly lost if they didn't exercise a great amount of caution. These swampy wastelands were great hunting and fishing grounds where hunters and trappers could find everything from bear to bobcats.

Lake Village was incorporated in 1857, but no city government was established because the county government was located within the city limits and the town was formed around the county governments. By 1890 there were two large general stores, several lawyers, two or three doctors, two hotels, and at least seven saloons. Other businesses included a drug store, two livery stables, a newspaper office, and a hardware store.

 
 

 

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