L To R, Josh Perkins, Elmer Willis, Solomon Doyle, Mae Ashworth Willis, Nora Ashworth Griffin, Shelby Ashworth

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Evans Ashworth {The Race Is On}

This man died well before my time. I grew up hearing some stories about him. But the one that I remember best is this one. First let me say, I believe this is nothing but the truth about him. The reason for that is that my Great Grandmother knew this man well and so did Elbert Mcloud. So there is first had account of this. Evans was known for his speed. That man could out run anything at any distance. People said ever since he was able to walk, he ran ever where. No matter where he went, he ran.
Back in his day as they say. At least once a month families would gather at a certain house and the would cook all day and dance at night. During the day while the cooking was going own, there were many contest held to see who was better than any one else at something. One of the events was racing horses. This is where Evans was at his best, he would race the horses and there riders. It was said when he was grown he still ran ever where. He had even taken to caring a quirt "horse whip", They say when he ran he would actually whip his self to make him run faster.
The horse race back then was ran this way. You lined up on the starting line, someone would fire a shot into the air to start the race. The first thing you had to do was turn your horse in a complete circle around a post in the ground, then take off. It took a second or two to get the horse turned around and then take off. All Evans had to do was spin around on one foot and take off. When they reached the other end, they had to slow down in order to circle the post at the other end of the race track. Evans would place his arm out in a cloths line fashion in order to hook the post with that arm. His feet would come up off the ground as he was spun around that post with his arm. Once around the post, his feet would hit the ground running. Never once losing his speed or his lead over the other man and the horse They say he was hardly ever beaten in a race.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Old CV Logging Camp Fight , Another View

Thanks is in order for a new Internet friend, David Thompson, that was gracious to share with me a second report that he had found in the Atlanta Georgia newspaper, "The Atlanta Constitution" about The CV Logging Camp Fight that took place at the Smokey Cove settlement here in South West La. in August of 1891.
There was no way to copy and paste the article here at this site. So I have taken the time to transcribe it word for word and post it here to enable everyone to read the full article.

The Atlanta Constitution
Atlanta, Ga.
Wednesday Morning, August 5, 1891

The photos of the two men posted with this story are my two GG Grand Fathers. Owen Ashworth is in the top photo. Josh Perkins is in the bottom photo.


The Redbones and the Whites have a hostile meeting in the woods along the Calcasieu River--- The Bloody Battle and the tragic results.

Lake Charles, La. Aug. 4, 1891

Lock Moore and Co's logging train camp was the scene of the most fatal fight between two factions ever recorded in the annals of Louisiana Sunday Night.
Seven men were killed and thrice that number wounded in the conflict. The scene of the conflict was visited here this morning. The following was learned as to it's cause and fatality.
The Scene Of The Tragedy

The logging camp where the battle was fought is situated on the Calcasieu River, twenty miles north east of this place in a sparsely settled, but heavy timbered country. Five hundred men are employed in the camps by Lock, Moore and company, lumber manufactures. Four hundred of these men are a nationality known as REDBONES. They live in a semi barbaric state, spending their time in pilfering from their neighbors and gambling. They derive their name from being descended from a tribe of Indians which once inhabited the territory on the Calcasieu River.
During the past half century the tribe has retrograded so that today is can claim no nationality as it's own. Being illiterate, cowardly, indolent, their presence has caused a great deal of fear in West Louisiana and several times have the law abiding citizens endeavored to rid the country of them by lawful means.
The remaining one hundred employees living at these camps are white men from Texas and this state also, who are industrious and prosperous. On that account the REDBONES have a bitterly hated them, and at times threatened the lives of the whites. This feeling has existed for years and during that time the whites have been fearful of their lives.

Friday night the climax was reached when a member of the REDBONES slapped the face of a little buy of a white man and at the same time told it;s father that should he be found in the camp the next morning, it would be at the peril of his life.Threats were also made against the entire population of the place. The whites being in the minority, took steps towards self-preservation, and at the same time dispatched a messenger to Lake Charles asking for assistance. Saturday being the day it was thought the factions would meet, not a man could be found willing to work. In consequence the camps never closed.


The REDBONES, heavily armed themselves and walked through the village, defiantly insulting the whites as they passed. As night approached, the REDBONES assembled at a small saloon, owned by a white man and began drinking. The whites became fearful and congregated at one place, hourly expecting the attack from the REDBONES. The night waned and nothing was done. At Daylight eight of the white men returned in the direction of the saloon and were meet at the door by a body of REDBONES, numbering eleven, who accosted them and began abusing them. The leader of the REDBONES attempted to shoot one of the white man with a Winchester rifle, which failed to work.


This was a signal for the beginning of a general fusillade which lasted some thirty minutes. The first shot was fired by a white man, who's life at that time was saved by the failure of Jesse Dyson Winchester failure to operate. The ball struck Dyson above the left eye piercing his head, killing his instantly.
Jesse Ward of the white fraction, fell dead during the first volley from the REDBONES. His body was riddled with bullets.Four of the white men being unarmed, they attempted to escape, three of whom did, the fourth being shot through the shoulder as he reached the woods.
The volley from the remaining four white men made a telling effect upon the forces of the REDBONES, five of the total number engaged {Eleven} being killed while only one white man suffered death from them.


The REDBONES, after standing the fire of the whites thirty minutes, retreated into the woods to reconnoiter. The whites also retreated in the direction of the white settlement for the same purpose.
On the arrival of the surviving members of the white fraction, at their, settlement, the fight was made known and women and children became frantic, well knowing their numbers to be in the minority and themselves at the mercy of the REDBONES.
Another messenger was dispatched to Lake Charles post haste for Doctors and Officers, the former to attend to the wounded, of whom there were three, the latter to protect their homes from the ravages of the enraged half breeds. The expected renewal of the battle of the morning did not materialize, the whites remaining huddled together during the day and the half breeds ambushed, eagerly awaiting an opportunity to shoot the whites on sight.


An old man by the name of Swan, seeing no one, attempted to walk from his house to the river, but had gone but a few steps when his body was riddled with bullets. Dupree, {The Saloon Owner} also returned to his home and was shot through the body by someone ambushed. His little son, scarcely eight years of age, seeing his father fall, attempted to reach him and was shot through both legs. Thus matters remained until the following morning, when officers and Doctors from Lake Charles arrived.


The two white men killed the day before were picked up by the officers and removed to an old house where an inquest was held, from which they were buried. The dead and wounded of the REDBONES fraction also remained on the field until the following morning, when they were removed by the survivors of the party and an additional number of about two hundred followers. Five of their numbers were picked up and interred, and thrice that number of wounded removed into the thickets where they are now concealed.
The survivors of the white party who were engaged in the fight came here today and surrendered to the sheriff of this parish.
They will have a preliminary trial tomorrow, when it is thought they will be discharged. No arrest has been or can be made of the REDBONE faction, they having concealed themselves in the dense thicket where death would surely meet the officer pursing therein. More trouble is expected and should an attempt be made to corral the mob, a great loss of life will be the result.

LAKE CHARLES, La. Aug. 10th


The Forces Watching The "REDBONE" Outlaws

Sheriff Reid and posse returned this morning from the logging camps, where a battle was fought with fatal results between the white employees and a band of Outlaws last week.Since the fight the outlaws have organized and concealed themselves in a dense thicket in the vicinity, and sent daring messages to the white people, threatening to kill anyone entering therein.
The sheriff accompanied by twelve brave assistants, has been in the vicinity for the last forty eight hours awaiting an opportunity for action. Last night it presented itself, when three of the outlaws left their place of hiding in search of food. The posse being concealed, the outlaws walked in only a few feet of them and were captured without the firing of a shot by the posse.
Their names are OWEN ASHWORTH, JOSH PERKINS, DEMPSE ASHWORTH. The first named ASHWORTH is known to be the murderer of the first white man killed in the fight, while JOSH PERKINS is accused of killing old man Swan.
Six white men have received notifications from the outlaws known as "REDBONES" to leave. Each of them have families, who were compelled to leave them at the mercy of the outlaws. Public feeling is running high and should they again attack the whites, the result will be very disastrous to their forces.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Grandpaw Josh Perkins FBI Files

Thanks to Carolyn Boies for finding and sharing this with everyone over at redboneresearchgroup. This came from the web site Footnote.com. Report made by: Thomas Buckley Place where made: Lake Charles, La
Date when made: 6-26-18

In Re – James C. Perkins – Lyman Perkins – Deserters, U.S.A.,
Joshua Perkins – Harboring Deserters.


Went to Singer in order to get information on the above subject, report on which was made by me for 6-24-18. Met Deputy Sheriff T.A. Wood, who told me that James and Lyman Perkins were in the vicinity of their father at home Saturday night, Mr. Wood saying that a posse surrounded the house, but that the two boys managed to get away in an automobile. This automobile is said to have been driven at the time by Seebe Rogers, who is at present out of Singer and expected back in a few days. Mr. Wood believes that the two boys are now at the home of one of their relatives about thirty miles from Singer.
He also said that on the night that the house was surrounded he met Almond Perkins, a brother in law at 10:30 having made an engagement in the afternoon with the brother in law, who said that he would turn James and Lyman Perkins over to him. Mr. Wood said that Almond Perkins told him that he had met the tow deserters, but said that they refused to give themselves up, also saying that they said they would be shot rather than be sent to the penitentiary, Almond Perkins saying that both boys were armed with rifles and are desperate.
Sheriff Wood also informed that Norah Ashworth, who resides a short distance from the Perkins home saw the two boys last Friday night, 6-21-18 at the home of their father and that the father had brought several packages of tobacco to them. Nora Ashworth has been furnishing all the information about the deserters to Sheriff Wood, but the girl’s mother is very friendly to the Perkins family. I was going to visit Norah Ashworth in order to get a statement from her which would justify me in swearing out an affidavit against Joshua Perkins on the charge of harboring his son James, but Sheriff Wood advised that by me calling on this girl to get her evidence, it would probably result seriously for her, Mr. Wood saying that the Perkins boys would not hesitate to do her an injury.
The girl however, according to Mr. Wood will testify against the farther of the two boys to prove that he was harboring them and she is willing to appear against the boys or the father at anytime. On this information I thought it advisable not to visit this girl and put her in jeopardy.
Joshua Perkins, the father of the boys has already been in the Louisiana State Penitentiary on three occasions and it is said that he has killed seven men during his time, and is considered a dangerous character.
The section where the boys are located is known as the sabine swamp and it is difficult to locate them, as the majority of the people in that section are relatives of the Perkins and no doubt the two deserters receive warnings when anyone approaches.
I think it would be advisable to make an affidavit against Joshua Perkins, the father, as this girl Norah Ashworth can furnish the evidence that the father was harboring the boys, when she is called on. The father however denied that the boys have been about his place since last March, but it is evident that he is not telling the truth.
Thomas Buckley Lake Charles, LA 6-26-18

AT Singer, La

Was informed today by Sheriff Reid, at Lake Charles that Joshua Perkins, who resides five miles from Singer, La, was arrested and placed in jail, at Lake Charles 6-22-18. Perkins was arrested on a warrant sworn out, at the District Court, at De Ridder, charging him with aiding and harboring deserters from the U.S. Army, the warrant being sworn out by Mr. L. D. MeCollister, DE Ridder, La. Perkins has two sons, James C. and Lyman Perkins, who deserted from the army, at Camp Beauregard, Alexandria, La.
I talked with Joshua Perkins in the Jail, at Lake Charles where he told me that his two sons had came back from the camp sometime during December, 1918, (I think it should be December 1917) , James C. Perkins going to his father’s home where he remained about two days, the other brother Lyman going to his, Lyman’s home, as the latter is married, Lyman remaining about two days, when a stranger came in an automobile called the boys who got into the automobile, one of the party saying they would be in Houston, Tex. By daylight. The father of the boys saying that is the last he heard or seen of them.
According to Deputy Sheriff Harmon, who made the arrest he Harmon was informed that a Miss Nellie Ashworth, who resides near the home of the Perkin’s had told Deputy Sheriff Wood, at Singer that the two boys were seen frequently in the vicinity, and that they are still believed to be in that section. It is also said that there are two or three other deserters in that locality. I will visit Singer as soon as possible to get further information on this subject.

Thomas Buckley Lake Charles, La 7-7-18

IR- James C. Perkins – Lyman Perkins – Deserters, U.S.A.
Joshua Perkins – Harboring deserters


Previous reports made on this subject 6-25-18 and 7-4-18.
Sheriff Reid receiving an order from the District Court, De Ridder to release Joshua Perkins freed the subject 7-6-18.
While in De Ridder I discussed the Perkins affair with Dr. J. A. Knight, Merryville, La. to whom James C. and Lyman Perkins surrendered. Dr. Knight saying that he turned the above over to military authorities, at Camp Beauregard, Alex.
Dr. Knight told me that he will be responsible for Joshua Perkins and that he will see that he is brought to court, or any place the government desires, if it is necessary. As the two boys have been returned to camp, I did not make affidavit against their father Joshua Perkins.

Thomas Buckley Lake Charles, La 7-8-18

In RE- James C. Perkins – Lyman Perkins- Deserters
Joshua Perkins- Harboring Deserters


Received word from Deputy Sheriff Wood, Singer, La. that James C. Perkins and Lyman Perkins, brothers, who resided about four miles from Singer and who had deserted from the Army, at Camp Beauregard, Alexandria, La. surrendered to Mr. Wood and Dr. Knight, of Merryville, La.
The two soldiers gave themselves up on the night of June 30 – 1918, Dr. Knight taking them back to camp in his automobile where they were given in charge of the military authorities.
The father of the two soldiers Joshua Perkins is still in jail, at Lake Charles, where he is being detained on a charge made against him by the stat to wit – harboring deserters.
Since the soldiers have returned Sheriff Martin, at De Ridder, who is the sheriff of Beauregard Parish, where the father and the soldiers reside sent word to Sheriff Reid, at Lake Charles to release the father.

Previous report was made on this matter, latest being 6-25-18


Friday, February 22, 2008

Dancing & Cleaning The Floor

One of the favorite pass times on Bearhead was to spend the day cooking. The women did the cooking and one of the things the men and boys did was racing horses. After eating late in the evening, the dance started.
One other thing, some of the men did, was to have a "snort" or a "shot" of something to drink. Not everyone drank, but a few did. Most of the time they kept their drinks outside and hidden. They hid them in very unusual place, They hid it in the trees. Small pine trees. After I had heard of this method of hiding their drinks, I had asked myself a hundred times, why hide it there? My father in-law had the answer for me. He was at many of this dances, so he knew why. The way they did was this way. They would find a small pine tree and one of them would climb it until it started to bend and they would ride it to the ground. They took some rope or string and tied the bottle or jug to the top of it and let the pine tree go and it would snap back to an upright position, with the jug in the top of it. Seems some of the characters at these dances would try to find the others jugs and steal what the drinks that others had. By putting it in the tree tops, only the ones who put it there, knew which tree it was in.
Back then, there were only two types of floors, it was either wood or dirt. Before the dance started, they went down to the creek and hauled a bunch of sand back to the house . They would spread the sand all over the floor. Then the dance started. With all that dancing and moving about over the floor, it would more or less polish that wooden floor. It would be so clean and shinny, you cold eat off of it.
The main two types of dances were either a "Square or a Jig". A square is what we know today as a Square dancing. A Jig was were you Petty much danced any way you wanted to. I have heard some old timer also called it "Buck Dancing".
My Great Grand Mother use to call these dances. That is one thing that was hard for me to believe. If you had ever heard her talk, it was with a long drawn out accent. I just could never picture her calling these dances because you had to have a pretty fast rhythm and speaking ability. Which, when she just talk, it was with a slow pace in which she spoke.

Redbone Home Remedies

The following is a list of some of the old home remedies I remember.
For bee or wasps stings you applied some tobacco juice to the bite and this helped kill the pain.
To keep babies from getting colic you smoked them. What you did was to build a fire and hold the babies in the smoke for a few seconds to smoke them. This kept them from getting colic.
Two ways to cure an ear ache is this. The first way was for someone to take a puff of a cigarette or a pipe and blow the smoke into the ear that was hurting. The other way was to take a string of a black persons hair and place it inside the ear. Everyone believed it was the oil in the hair that made the hurting stop.
One I remember well is this . As usual kids being kids would often argue and fight. Well our parents believed this really worked or just got a kick out just seeing us running races to the bathroom. I can just hear those dreaded words right now. "I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS FIGHTING AND ARGUING, WHAT YOU KIDS NEED IS A GOOD CLEANING OUT!!!!!!!!!" hhhhhaaa And a cleaning out it was. I remember well it was either castor oil or black draught. Believe me, after a dose of either one of them, you weren't interested in fighting with anyone for about six months.
Most folks who smoked rolled their smokes. The type paper they used, you could take it and burn it and it would drip an oil. You took this oil and placed it on ringworm's and that cure those.
When you stepped on a nail or glass, the first thing they did was soaked your foot in coal oil or kerosene. Then later on Epsom salt. They soaked ever thing in Epsom salt. Ever ting from sprang ankles to using it to get rid of red bugs.
There were and still are certain bushes that grow wild here in South West Louisiana, their scientific name I do not know, for as long as I can remember we were taught they were Murcul {Mur Cull} Bushes. These bushes were cut and place under the house in the yard and even in the house to get rid of fleas. I promise you this works very well to this day.
If one could afford it, they used moth balls to keep snakes away. They also planted gourds around the house and barns to also keep them away. There is just a certain odor these two things put out that a snake hates and want go near.
When a person was cut or stepped on an object that would cause one to bleed. One way to stop bleeding was to apply pressure to the cut or wound. If the bleeding was still continuing, the adults would instruct us kids to run and gather spider webs. This would stop the bleeding when nothing else would.
In almost ever family and community, there was at least one person that had the gift as it was called. That is where one person could "talk warts off of anybody. You would go to this person and he or she, would get you to point out where you had the wart and they would then go across the room and open the bible and recite a certain passage or Scripture. With in one week the wart was gone totally. Then again other people would tie a string around the wart and then recite a saying. You then took and threw away the string and when the string rotted the wart would be gone also. If you have ever had a crick in the neck you know just how painful it is. But there is a sure fire way to get rid of it and fast. Just have a person who is left handed rub and massage your neck for a while and the pain and crick well no longer be there. I have seen this work, my wife's father was left handed and people would come just to have him rub there neck. It worked ever time.
Everyone grew catnip in there flower beds. This was used when kids and babies couldn't go to sleep. Our parents would pull some of this catnip and boil it and make what they called catnip tea. Believe me, you slept very well after a dose of this.
They also went in the woods and dug up sassafras roots and boil it to make tea to drink. That is some of the best tea there is to drink. This root was also used to fire a pit to cook meat and bar-b-que. It would flavor the meat to the point where it would be rather sweet. The root when dried and ground up to a fine powder was used to put on Gumbo. That is still made and used to this day. It is known now as Gumbo File.
One remedy that I know works is this. If you ever had a boil come on you. All you had to do to get rid of it over night is this. Just take an Irish potato and a ripped rag of some sort. When you got ready for bed you cut the potato in half. You then placed the flat side of the potato against the boil then tied it in place. The next morning the boil would be completely gone or almost gone. I have done this procedure many times in my life.
There are many many more that I will address later. There were many drinks, liquid mixture's to drink, rubs to apply. You name it and they had a cure for it.