PA674  Minden, La. Railroad Station, Crowds greet "The Shreveporter"   

                                     on maiden trip December 30, 1928. Photographer: Grabill #16680

                                    Photos Courtesy of La. State University - Shreveport

                        One University Place, Shreveport, La. 71115 - 2399  

                                                            ------

                              P3006 MINDEN, LA FIRST LOCOMATIVE  1885  (F-308)

Transportation - Land - Rail

Compliments of La. State Univerrsity - Shreveport Archives & Special Collections, One University Place, Shreveport, La.  71115-2399

L & A Railroad Building After the 1933 Tornado

The City was bypassed by the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad
survey in 1882 so they built their own railroad to connect with the trunk line.
The Minden Railroad and Compress Company was chartered on Aug. 22,
1882. It would connect with the rail at what is now Sibley. The VS& P Line
was finished in July, 1885. The Minden Tap was under contract by the
VS&P by November, when the road opened. By 1887 the Lanesville Junction
was known as Sibley. It was able to handle the fifteen minute shuttle without
any difficulty. The driving force behind the Minden Tap was F. H. Drake.

The first locomotive of the Minden Tap was bought second hand from the
Queen and Cresent Route and named the Ross Meehan and was a fifteen
minute run between Minden and Sibley without any problems in 1887.

A logging road operating eight miles west of Minden built around 1907/8 by
F.H. Drake and associates; called the Minden East and West Railway Co.
had a Louisiana Charter dated Mar. 7, 1907, to connect Minden to Shreveport.
William Buchanan had acquired this property through his Stamps company
Mar. 10, 1909. Rehabilitation and extension began on Jan. 1910 to extend
the tracks from Minden to Shreveport. The bridge had been completed in
March 1907 was already in use.

The principal shops of the L&A were located initially at Stamps. In 1923 and
1924 they were relocated to Minden, with the addition of a hundred foot
turntable, a six stall roundhouse and a large, brick shop building. Additional
shops would be completed at Shreveport in 1926. The shops at Minden
were modern and represented an investment of $1.5 million in 1923 - 1924.
Passenger service was somewhat colorless but provided the local service
needed along the routes.

A new passenger train between Shreveport and Hope named the Shreveporter
would provide food and an overnight sleeper. The only stops would be in Minden,
Cotton Valley and Stamps. For the inaugural run on December 30, 1928 engine
number 1928 was cleaned and lacquered in olive green with gold trim was
purchased from the Missouri Pacific. The train had been made up to look
slick and shiny for publicity purposes to be delivered to the L&A by the flagship
train of the Missouri Pacific, the Sunshine Special. It arrived at Minden shining
like a new dollar and was greeted by a large number of officials, employees
and citizens of the town.

World War II in December 1941 found L&A busy with the wartime efforts.
Trains were crowded with people and overloaded with mail and express
shipments. A new station designated Doyline, 4.4, miles West of Minden
on the Shreveport line the Louisiana Ordnance Plant was also under
construction. This installation, the "ammunition plant," would take high
explosives and load the shells of various types. Also, many of the freight
trains were rehabilitated at Minden.

The Belle schedule between Kansas City and new Orleans was speeded up
to eighteen hours, which made two train sets workable. The older passenger
equipment was rehabilitated for use in secondary trains April 3, 1949, schedule
showed three trains each way between Shreveport and New Orleans! This
thrice-daily schedule included restoration of passenger trains to the L&A high
line, with number 5 and 6, the Flying Crow, stopping at Minden, Sibley and
Winnfield; and nine other stations that had accommodations. This was a day
train that carried coaches and a diner lounge. The third train, numbers,
9 and 10 was on the old Belle schedule which provided overnight sleeper
accommodations between Shreveport and New Orleans.

L&A was the biggest industry in the town of Minden in 1936 when the big four
brotherhood went on strike; engineers, firemen, conductors and trainmen who wanted
to share in profits which were accruing to the railroad after they cut wages in 1931 and
1932. This caused labor relations to be strained. The strike lasted about two months.
Merchants passed notices they would not ship on the railroad.

In 1952 the Minden north yard was the gathering yard for pulpwood, and extra freight
trains were often used to move the cars to the Cullen area. During one month some
1,500 cars of paper and chemical products to be delivered to the International Paper
Company. This activity utilized fifty L&A employees, including four train crews, using
two-switch engines, each on two-shift schedules. Paper and forest products were
important to the economy of Minden and Webster Parish.

The "Little railroad out of Sibley" was the Sibley, Lake Bistineau and Southern
Railway, which extended about thirty miles south of Sibley into timber properties
of the R. A. Long family of Kansas City. Its mill, at the town of Yellow Pine, five
miles south of the junction of the L&A and VS&P lines, is a perfect example
of the tap line case studied by the ICC. By hauling lumber for only five miles
on its own tracks, the Long Bell Lumber Company enjoyed a favorable division
of the total freight charges for lumber shipments. Northbound cars of lumber
were handled by the L&A.

Jimmy Rodgers was well known as the "Singing Brakeman". He went to work
for the railroad at the age of 14. The years with the trains harmed his health &
he died of tuberculosis on May 26, 1933. Railroad workers could have asked
for no better hero/star.

According to J.W. Carraway, Douglas Cheshire always wore a Katy hat like
the one Jimmy Rodgers wore in this picture. Mr. Carraway would fire an engine
for Mr. Cheshire before he became an engineer. Peggy was just a little girl
then. Mr. Carraway is eighty years old at this writing. He lives with his wife,
Ernestine in Sarepta, Louisiana. They have no children of their own.

He could only name two other L&A engineer's who are still living today.
Mr. Webster Nation and Arch Bradford.

J.B. Stephens is still living. He will be eighty-three in July. He went to work
for the L&A in 1949/50 as a fireman. His favorite memory was the sound
the passenger train would make on the potato run between Minden and
Stamps.

James W. Carraway is now eighty years old. He was a minister for 50 yrs.
He recorded music for Zondervan Publishing House before Stamps
bought them out. He once sang with the Minden quartet with Elvis
McCollum, Paul Castle and Mervin Jones. Marie McCullum Played
the piano.

Daniel Webster Nation worked for the L&A railroad between 1941-1983.
His favorite memory was of the steam engine days when a train
was tuned up just like a Singer sewing machine when it would run
smooth and just right.

When I asked him about the potato train, he told me it was red hot.
He also told me it had eighteen cars and it was the best passenger
train they had.

Nation said the toughest part of being an engineer was the "Hog Law".
This was when you had to work between twelve to sixteen hours.

Railroad engineers, Albert Talton and Webster Nation both graduated
from Minden High School with Juanita Agan in 1939. She graciously supplied
me with some additional information to our railroad history.

Daniel Webster Nation had a very colorful career as an engineer. Mrs. Agan,
well known for her Cameos of Minden, wrote a cameo on his life during
World War II as an engineer in France. He had quite an adventure.

George Calvit was an engineer and mechanical foreman. He was married
to the late Dorothy Colclasure.

There was Gurvy Shepherd Sr., and according to his reputation, he was
considered to be the "best." He had two sons buried in the Minden City
Cemetery in Section F who served in World War II. The best whistle
blowers were said to be Walter Breithaupt and Walter Newsom.

T. Odell Roberts is still living. He was married to Ethel Moore who was
born 12 June 1923. She died around 1998 and is buried in Bossier City, La.
She was the daughter of engineer Tom Moore.

John Henry Green was also an engineer. His son Carlos, was the Green
in Green-Kleinegger Funeral Home."

Mr. A. B. Nation was involved in an accident before his demise when
some railroad cars slumped down on him in Shreveport. After his death
his widow, Tiny, remarried to the brother of the famous Willard Cox. They
became famous when they won awards for their music in the movie "Brother
Where Art Thou" which starred George Clooney.

Mrs. Hart married Dr. Claude Baker as her second husband. After his
demise she then married one of the Carmen, H.C. "Skeeter" Hough and
lived near Harris, La.

The railroad workers were like one big happy family. One engineer, Lonnie
Davis was called "Old Hogger."

Harold Turner, another engineer, was called "House Cat" by the other
engineers.

Rupert Krouse also worked as an engineer for the railroad.

The Roadmaster would go up and down the track and check for broken rail
to see if it was in good shape. He was over the section gangs. I am still
trying to find out who the L&A Roadmaster was. Perhaps a reader will know.

At least three of the engineer's were members of the Shrine organization.
They were C. T. Baker, J.W. Carraway and M. Douglas Cheshire.

J.W. Carraway is Uncle to the famous country music singer Trace Adkins.
the son of Peggy Carraway and Aaron Adkins who raised him in Sarepta,
Webster Parish, Louisiana. In one interview Trace credited his success to
his Uncle J.W. Carraway, a gospel singer and his grandfather who was
a great bass singer for the influence they had on his musical success.

When I asked Mr. Carraway what his favorite memory of the L&A railroad
was the told me it was the camaraderie of the engine men. If one of them was
sick or was down on their luck they would all throw in and come to their
rescue.

He also told me about having a toy train in his home. He asked a stencil man
to put L&A Railroad on each train. He enjoys listening to the whistle of the trains
and collecting railroad memorabilia. Railroad buffs would find a lot of information in
the Louisiana & Arkansas Railroad. The Story of the Regional Line by James R.
Fair.

George L. Frye worked for the Railroad in 1951, after the KCS L&A had been purchased they later moved to Shreveport. Mr. Frye was one of those who transferred to Shreveport along with U.H. Gardner, Jesse L. Miller and Albert Talton. Mr. Frye is interred in the Gardens of Memory on row 12 in the Garden of the Lord''s Supper in section 2. He was born 1901 and died in 1994. Buried next to him is Thelma R. Frye born 1904 died 1975.

Jessis B. Miller is interred in the Gardens of Memory, In section 2 in the Garden of Prayer on row 4. He was born 3 Sep. 1880 and died 28 Nov. 1965. Buried beside him is Onie C. Miller born 9 Dec. 1889 died 11 January 1965.

PARTIAL LIST OF EMPLOYEES L  &  A RAILROAD MINDEN, LA. CIRCA 1931 AND A FEW YEARS FORWARD. Submitted by Hosea D. Booth via Charles Liles.

Dwight Blake, a popular Minden band director of ten years worked for the railroad. He was a cornet player. He sometimes played his instrument with his left hand while directing with his right.

Jim Brockman....Painter

M. C. "Mac "Booth....Watchman...There is a marker in the Minden City cemetery in Section E. for Machen C. Booth born 31 December 1882 died 29 August 1943. Interred next to him is Bertha Dick Booth born 04 Jan. 1911 died 25 Oct. died 1972. Next to her is a marker for Ira C. Booth born 09 Mar. born 09 Mar. 1915 died 20 Apr. 1978.

J. Dee Booth...Painter There is a marker for Jones D. Booth interred next to Machen C. Booth in the Minden City Cemetery in Section E.  born 19 Jan. 1909 died 07 Nov. 1962. His marker reads: (La PFC CO A 776 TD BM WWII)

Hosea D. Booth - Material Hustler and Apprentice Carman generously furnished this information while living in Waxahachie, Texas in August, 2003.

Coby Councill - Coppersmith and Pipefitter Foreman - Minden City Cemetery - Section E Date of Birth is not given - Died 19 Feb. 1936 Interred beside Clemmie E. Councill born 20 May 1888 died 6 May 1974.

Mr.  McCommas - Blacksmith Shop Foreman - Section F. Minden City Cemetery There are three McCommas graves in the Minden City Cemetery: They are as follows: Robert Lee McCommas  (1877 - 1959) Ethel McCommas (1899-1979( and Plar McCommas (1879-1957)

Frank Garner - Painter

Henry Hansen - Storeman, Driver, etc. I found nothing under that spelling but under Henry Hansen I found under the Minder Cemetery under sections I, J & k there are quite a few Hansons: I will list them. Earnest James Hanson born 6 Jan. 1906 died 11 Dec. 1973, Henry J. Hanson born 10 Aug. 1879 died 15 Dec. 1963. He shares a marker with Laura May born 11 Oct. 1879 died 15 Jan. 1968. Thomas J. Hanson was born 3 July 1910 died 8 Feb. 1964 PFC 3014 Bse Unit AAF WWII.  The last grave is for Johnnie M. Hanson born 28 Dec. 1914 died 29 Oct. 1987.

Dub Dennis - Pipefitter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Dick Butler ..Machinist

Mr. Searles..Shop Foreman (Minden and Baton Rouge) I wonder if this is Jessse Benton Searles  interred in the Garden of Memories Cemetery on row 4, Section 1, Garden of Prayer, the father of Hathia and Tommy? If so, His monument reads Jesse Benton Searles (1877-1944) wife Hathia Becker (1880 - 1958)

Yes, my grandfather was Jesse Benton Searles.  He was foreman at the boiler plant for the railroad shop which was across the road from the train station.  Those old shop buildings were there for years--even after we left high school.  The Searles lived up the hill from the shop in a house next to the Millers.  I forget the name of the street.  Pops always spoke highly and fondly of the Miller family.  I'm sure they were part of the Miller families that are still around.  Will research more if needed.   My mom and dad are buried in Moss Point, MS where Mother's family is from.  Granny, Annie Louise Florit Swan, my grandmother who lived with us is buried there.  I do not remember the name of the cemetery, but have put in a call to Tom and Hathia for the answer.   Jesse Benton Searles wrote poetry, some of which was published in a Railroad Magazine.  His wife, Hathia Hipathia Becker (last name changed from Von Bocker on immigration) is buried in the Minden Gardens of Memory Cemetery. Grandpa Searles was originally buried in the old cemetery.  I think his body may have been moved to the Gardens of Memory Cemetery when Grandma Searles died.  Aunt Mary (Searles) and Jenny Searles (Margaret's mother) are buried in the old cemetery off Fort St.  Cecile Searles Johns                                                                                                                                                                                                          Setpember 14, 2003

Salty Haynes - Electrician Foreman

Hal Miller - Round House Foreman - There is a Hallie L. Miller in the Garden of Memories on row 12, section 1 in the Garden of Prayer. He was born in 1889 and died in 1968. Married 20 June 1915 to Ella M. born 1887 died 1975. Also in the Miller plot is a new grave for Eugene Lee Miller without a marker. There is also a double monument for Jessie L. Miller born 23 June 1918 died 10 Aug. 1992 MSgt US Army WWII and Virtie M. born 18 Dec. 1915 Beloved Wife.

Pop Hayes - Wood Mill Foreman   ? (The only Hayes I find is for Melvin J. Hayes in the Garden of Memories born 22 Sep. 1917 died 7 Oct. 1994) Pvt. US Army WWII.) This marker is on row 12, Garden of the Lord's Supper

Albert Anige "Big Enough"     

Nick Boudreaux - Carman  - ? In the Gardens of Memory, on row 3, section 1 Garden of the Good Shepherd there is a marker for Nicholas Boudeau and Rosa Lee. Could this be the same person? If so, the monument reads? Nicholas born 22 sep 1896 died 9 Dec. 1971.  Rosa Lee born 13 Jan. 1903 died 19 Jan. 1989.

Briscoe Nation - Car inspector - Gardens of Memory , Section 2, Garden of the Good Shepherd, row 6;   A.B. Nation, Jr. (1917 - 1981) Mason  Esta M. (1920 - 2000) Eastern Star

Jimmy Life - Crane operator  

Jimmy Smith - Carman ? (There is a marker for one Jimmy M. Smith in the Gardens of Memory on row 5, section 1 in the Garden of Faith with a wife named Faye Dutton. If it is the same person he was born 15 August 1921 and died 3 Dec. 1975. Faye Dutton was born 8 December 1920.

Doyle Hurley - Carman  (1909-1952 ) Minden City Cemetery (See below*

Mr. Formby - Wheel Restoration, Steam Engine Driver Wheels - Section F of the Minden City Cemetery has a double marker for Edward R. Formby born 26 Feb. 1881 died 25 Sep. 1945 and Lenora F. Formby born 25 Nov. 1883 and died 8 Jun. 1956.

Len Tinnell - Steam Engine Hustler - Worked until he was about 80 years old.  There are quite a few in the Old Minden Cemetery but only one with the initial L and I list it with a shudder. The grave is in section C. It is for R. L. Tinnell born 30 May 1869 died 24 Aug. 1955. Buried next to him is: Hulda E. Tinnell born 6 Nov. 1872 died 29 Oct. 1957.

Cat Parker - Also a musician - -played in the band in the Minden park. Can anyone provide us with his  given name?

Ludy Hurley - Union Representative Could his name be Louis? If so, I find a grave marker in the Garden of memories for Louis S. Hurley Born 7 April 1888 died 25 Jun. 1966 with wife Eula Mae born 3 Mar. 1891 died 24 Aug. 1961. Rpw 10, Section 1, Garden of the Good Shepherd.

Jim Jones - Carman - Rode a bicycle to work.

Bill Wakefield - Boilermaker  There is a monument in Section D of the Minden City Cemetery for William Ide Wakefield born 09 October died 16 October 1996.

Walter Briethem-Engineer - He could blow a steam engine whistle which was well known and eerie. He was asked not to blow it passing Camp Beauregard. It was something to hear. There is a marker for Walter H. BREITHAUPT (1886-1949) in section F. of the Minden City cemetery.  

Jess Earnest - Engineer  

Malcolm Liles - Carman (1902-1982) **(See below)

A. D. Evans - Store Room Clerk  born 3 Nov. 1909 died 25 Apr. 1985 md. 22 Jul. 1933 to Opal Brooks born 26 Dec. 1912. Interred in the Gardens of Memory, Row 7, Section 1, Garden of the Good Shepherd.

Reuben Emory  Lites - Engineer - (1885-1964) Interred in Gardens of Memory

Haskell Brooks -Carman

Doss Wroten - Car Inspector

Joe Almone or Almond? Carman

Clarence C. Garnett - Wheel Room Machinist

Billy Kelly - Machinist

Dale Dennis - Drill Press Operator  (There is a William D. in Section F of the Minden City Cemetery born 1901 and died 1971 who married Aline W. born 1903 and died in 1967. I did not find anyone named Dale.) Also in Section H. there is a Samuel D. Dennis born 28 Feb. 1906 who died in 1953. Interred next to J. Aubrey Dennis born 27 Sep. who died 13 May 1950. Also interred nearby is Inez H. Dennis born 7 Apr. 1899 died 21 Apr. and died 21 Apr. 1989. I have found no other clue's to offer the reader.

Herman  Ratliff - Pipefitter There is a double monument in the Gardens of memory for Herman I, Ratcliff born 29 October 1905 died 18 December 1968 and Rae M. Ratcliff, on row 4 section 2, Garden of the Lord's Supper. The dates for Rae M. are blank.

 


RAILROAD TOP MANAGEMENT 

Grover Cleveland Powdrell General car foreman: born  05 Nov. 1894 died10 Jun. 1956 Minden City Cemetery, Section D. interred next to him is his wife; Meda Colvin born 22 October 1900 died 13 Nov. 1988. Also interred in their family plot appears two relatives, possibly brothers (?) Artie Maggie Powdrill born 14 Oct. 1892 died 16 Oct. 1910 and Richard Elmer Powdrill born 11 Feb. 1884 died 02 August 1956.


Leonard C. Colvin (1908  - 1962 ) Lenora Hartsfield (1912 -      ) Minden City Cemetery, Section H

William M. Mattingly (1893-1970) Francis Marion born 2 Feb. 1896 died 8 May 1973 Row 15, Gardens of Faith.

CARMEN

Howard Gay died on August 31, 1986. His wife, died four months later on December 24 on her youngest daughter's birthday. Mr. & Mrs. Gay are interred in the Gardens of  Memory Cemetery. The eldest daughter  Flois married Tom Fitzgerald and has a son and daughter and two grandchildren and lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Sharon married Kay Richard Winstead and has a son and a daughter and two grandchildren and lives in Texas. There are not enough words in the dictionary to describe this kind man and his wonderful family. They were loved and respected by all who knew them. A week did not pass by that Mr. Gay did not ask if I had heard from my Dad or if we needed something. They were terrific neighbors. 

Ellis Giddings lived on the Sibley Road in Minden, La.                                   

My Favorite Carman Was "My Dad" Ben Gresham



Ben Allen "Nip" Gresham 02 Mar. 1902 01 Nov 1977 Bernice, Louisiana. He
is interred in the Evergreen Baptist Church Cemetery in Union Parish, La.


H.C. Skeeter Hough lived in the Harris Community until his death. He first married Ella Mae and was the father of Dorothy, Jeannie and Prentiss Hough. His second wife was Mrs. Gladys Baker who was still living in 2003.

C. Doyle Hurley 22 Mar. 1909 - 19 Aug 1952 Minden City Cem. Section A. (In the A.B. Nation family Plot)*
ALWYN DOYLE HURLEY:  When the war began Mr. Hurley tried to join the Seabees but the railroad would not release him. He worked there as long as his daughter, Mrs. Waurynne Hurley Neeley could remember. A.B. Nation is deceased. Caston Nation also worked for the railroad.                                                                                                                                                        (Submitted by Waurynne Hurley Neeley)
Dorothy  Nation Hurley
Graveside services for Mrs. Dorothy Lee Nation Hurley, 89, were held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24, 2002, at Minden Cemetery with the Rev. Bill Ichter officiating. Services were under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden.
Mrs. Hurley, a native and resident of Minden, passed away Friday, Feb. 22, in Homer. She was a retired nurse’s assistant at Schumpert Medical Center and a member of First Baptist Church in Minden. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was born Sept. 5, 1912 in Minden, the daughter of Alexander Briscoe Nation and Ethel Sanders Nation.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Alwyn Doyle Hurley; her parents; two brothers, Oree Bert Nation and Alexander Briscoe Nation Jr.; and three sisters, Fern Booth, Lois Stanley and Helen Logan.
She is survived by one son, Gary Neal Hurley and wife Nita of Diboll, Texas; one daughter, Carol Waurynne Neely and husband Martin of Springhill; two sisters, Virginia Nation of Arcadia and Evelyn Moak of Wilmington, Del.; four brothers, Caston Nation and wife Della of Greenville, Texas, Donald Eugene Nation of Sibley, Patrick Cary Nation and Daniel Webster Nation and wife Kathryn, all of Minden; four grandchildren, Brenda Grissom of Springhill, Keith Welch of Heavener, Okla., Kevin Hurley of Diboll, Randy Gill of Speeley, Calif. and Colin Hurley of Diboll; seven great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
 

Malcolm A.Liles (1902 - 1982) Gardens of Memory - Section 1, Row 10, Garden of Prayer there is a double marker for Malcolm A. and Leora B. Liles (1910-2000).**

.............

ENGINEERS

C. T. Baker Gardens of Memory - Row 12, Section 2 Garden of the Good Shepherd - Double marker for Charles T. Baker (1914 - 1981) mason and Arnell M. (1914 - 1999) Eastern star. They were the parents of three or four daughters, Annetta, Ellen, and Carolyn.

Hiram A. Bradford 1 Feb 1889 - 02 Aug. 1971 Minden City Cemetery, Section B.  Buried beside him is his wife Nelia Jane Mann Bradford born 01 Feb. 1889 - 10 Apr. 1982 Interred next to her is Talmadge C. Bradford born 08 August 1915 died 22 August 1936. Also buried next to Hiram Bradford is Donell Waters born 05 Mar. 1917 - 17 Jun. 1965.                                         

Walter Breithaupt 1886 -1949 Minden City Cemetery Section F.

Jimmy Durrett - Gardens of Memory. Row 12, Section 1, Garden of Faith. There is a double marker for Louis Dean Durrett and Martha Yocom which reads: Louis Dean Durrett Lovingly known as Jimmy born Feb. 2, 1919 and died 2 Junne 2001. Martha Yocom has Dolly written under her name but her date's are blank. The children's name's are Billy and Darlene: Grandchildren are: Brandi & Dusty:  Also engraved on the monument WT2 US Navy Seabees World II Separate  Military Marker

Lynn T. Gruner born 21 Jan. 1909 died 29 Jun. 1995 married Margaret W. born 23 Jul. 1915; The monument reads: Beyond the shadows, sweet heaven we'll see.

R. E. "Big Boy" Lites 6 Apr 1885 - 27 Dec 1964 Gardens of Memory, Row 2, Section 1, Garden of Faith: There is a double marker for Reuben Emory Lites born 6 April 1885 died 27 Dec. 1964 and Maggie Thompson Lites born 7 Jan. 1888 died 28 Dec. 1962. Also buried in the Lite family plot is: Hartford H. Lites born 29 Aug. 2909 - 28 Sep. 1997  Sgt. U S Army WWII. ***

Homer Mendenhall Gardens of Memory, Row 1, Section 1, Garden of the Good Shepherd, is a double marker for Homer & Opal Mendenhall. Homer Orlando Mendenhall born 17 July 1914 died 19 December 1995 married Wednesday 13 August 1936 to Opal Yates born 7 April 1916 died 15 Mar. 2003.

Thomas O. "Tom" Moore 26 Dec 1892 -12 Sep 1973 Pvt. Air Service WW1 Minden City Cemetery Sections (I,J & K) Interred beside him is his wife; Hazel Florence Robertson Moore born 15 Jan. 1907 died 13 Aug. 1966. Also buried in the family plot is a son; Thomas O. Moore Jr. born 19 March 1931 died 05 Nov. 1950. His marker reads: (PFC 21st. INF, 24 INF Div. KOREA PH) There is also a marker for Gloria MOORE Curry. No dates are given. Also in the Moore plot is son-in-law Ray Quaid.  He & Hazel were the parents of Ethel Elmira, Betty Jewel, Gloria Grace, Helen Marie, Thomas Omer, Jr., George Burton, Lucy Ann, Freddie Wilkins, and Peggy Lou Moore.

A. B. Nation - A Briscoe Nation born 22 Feb. 1886 died 11 Nov. 1933 Section A in the Minden City Cemetery beside his wife Ethel S. Nation born 22 May 1891 died 7 May 1963. He was a Minden City Councilman before his demise. His death was a tragedy and a great loss to the entire City of Minden. 

William F. Newsom 1893 - 1952 Minden City Cemetery Section G. Interred beside him is his wife; Trudie E. Newsom (1895 - 1973)

Dug Pullig 20 Jun 1889 - 30 Apr 1983 Minden City Cemetery Section G. Interred beside him is Lizzie M. born 15 Nov. 1891 died 16 Sep. 1972.

Bobby Ray Quaid was born 15 March 1931 and died  27 Nov. 1997 (Sections I,J & K in the Moore plot) married  17 April 1954 to Lucy Ann Moore. They were the parents of three beautiful daughters, Donna Joan "Joni", Kelly Kane, and Bobbie Lou Quaid.

Gurvey Shepherd 12 Aug 1892 - 29 Aug 1963 Minden City Cem. - La Cpl Co A 12 Engrs WW1 Section F. w/o Gurvey Shepherd is Chona Lucky born 18 Dec. 1893 died 25 Aug. 1989 There are also two sons interred nearby: Gurvy Shepherd Jr. born 11 Mar. 1923 died 08 Jun. 1956 - LA Cpl. 5 AF Service Comd. WWII , John H. Shepherd born 16 Feb. 1915 died 12 Oct. 1950  La. 1st A.S. Troop Carr. Sq. WW II

"Skeeter" Stamps
 

Donnell Waters 05 Mar 1917 - 17 Jun 1965 - Minden City Cemetery (Section B - See Hiram Bradford)

 Ed Wroten
 


Paymaster - Pearl Hart Baker wife of Dr. Baker 

Trainmaster - Fred Grimmet looked after all the moving stock on the railroad.

J. C. Agan, Sr., was a woodwork machinist - There is a marker in the Gardens of Memory cemtery for John Clarence Agan Sr. (1887-1969) and Nina E. (1894-1964) Row 18, Section 3 Garden of Prayer.

The wrecker & big hook operator - Coy Booth There is a marker for Coy Dexter "Pop" Booth born 2 Aug. 1915 married 29 June 1935 to  Fern "Merci" Nation born 16 Jan. 1915 died 4 Dec. 2001. They are interred in the Gardens of Memory on row 11, Section 3 Garden of Prayer next to John Wayne Glaze.

M. A. Walker put in cross ties to keep the trains from having accidents before his demise. He and his wife lived on Police Street and were members of the Parkway Baptist Church for many years. They are interred in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in row 14, Garden of Prayer section 1. He has a picture of a train on his monument. Mr. Walker was born 9 Sep. 1911 died 23 Sept. 1998. He is interred beside his wife, Nona E. born 22 Sep. 1907 died 28 Dec. 1990.

1971-1972 Firemen who were later Promoted to Engineer

Bill Thomas
Eddie Jones    
Roy Rogers
Benjamin Rogers
Danny Milam
Sammy Hutchins who graduated from Heflin High School
Curtis Merritt

Freight Clerk
Liles Leora B. 1910  - 2000 was a freight clerk (Double Marker for Malcolm A. & Leora B. Liles in the
Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden, LA, Row 10, Section 1 Garden of Prayer. They were the parents
of Betty and Charles Liles.

The wrecker & big hook operator Booth  Coy Dexter "Pop" 08/02/1915 Booth  Fern Nation "Merci" 01/16/1915  - 12/04/2001 and is interred in the Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden, LA

 

RAILROAD MEMORIES BY A Carman

Christopher Reynolds Langheld

 I did work for the railroad in Minden, but I worked as a carman helper and finally as a
carman.
I went to work for the L&A Oct. 10, 1950 and was married Oct. 14, 1950 to Gladys
Hutchins. I worked a few years and was laid off with a lot of others. I was called back
until the shop moved to Shreveport and combined with the KCS Shop. I worked at
Winchlift Trailer Co and various other jobs until I got back to work with the KCS-L&A
in Shreveport. We had no uniforms that would distinguish us from anyone else. We were carpenters,welders, woodworkers and anything else that needed to be done. It seems that I drove rivets most of my time. I worked with Earl Glaze and did not know that he had died until I read in in this column. George Calvit was a carman when I knew him. I see you have him listed as an engineer.
Maybe he did not go to Shreveport when the others did.
L.C. Colvin and Coy Booth were my foremen. I worked with "Skeeter" Hough, Ronnie
Alford, Maxie Downs, two Merritt boys from Sibley, and many others that I can't remember
at the moment.
I was eventually laid off at Shreveport and worked as vacation relief for Alexandria, and
finally went to work as an Electronic Technician for the army. I had to move to Huntsville,
Ala. in 1966 to keep a job because the Air Defense Units in La. were closing. Then in
1970 I was laid off at Huntsville and moved to Ozark Al. where I retired in 1989.

 

Doyle Lowe - Carman
This is my Uncle Doyle Lowe who moved to Minden and got a job with the L&A Railroad. The name was Oliver Doyle Loe; yes, LOE, not LOWE. However, the clerk who filled out his employment papers misspelled his and Dewey's name, and they said it was easier to change their name and change their employment record, so the name became LOWE. Doyle was born 24 August 1901 in Nevada Co, AR, and after moving to Minden, lived on the Sibley Road in the same house the rest of his life. He was married to Jewel Dillard before moving to Minden, and they had a baby who died at birth and was buried in a little cemetery in Nevada Co., AR. Jewel died long before Doyle and was buried there also. Doyle died 23 November 1983 in Shreveport, where his son, Doyle Jr., lives, but was returned to Bluff Springs for burial with Jewel and their infant.                                 

Submitted by Earlene Mendenhall Lyle

 

Dewey Lowe - Carman
Dewey was a brother to Doyle, and he and his wife, the former Eva Esther May, moved to Minden at the same time as Doyle and Jewel. He also went to work for the railroad. At birth, Dewey was named Admiral Dewey Loe; the railroad also changed his name to Lowe. Dewey was born in December 1899 in Parker Township, Nevada Co, AR. His wife died 25 January 1961 and was buried at Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden. At some point after Esther's death, Dewey married Theo Miller. Dewey died 27 September 1981 and was buried at Gardens of Memory Cemetery.

                                                                                                                                                                              Submitted by: Earlene Lyle

 

John Earl Glaze - Carman
Funeral Services will be held for John Earl Glaze, 66, of Minden on Saturday, February 13, 1988 at 11 a.m.
Rev. Don McCormick will officiate at the services at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. Interment will follow at the Gardens of Memory under the direction of Rose-Neath Funeral Home. Mr. Glaze, a native of Lillie, La. passed away on Thursday, February 11 at 12:15 a.m. following a sudden illness. A resident of the Minden area for the past 41 years, he was retired from KCS Railroad as a carman. A veteran of World War II, Mr. Glaze was a member of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church and a trustee for Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute  and Seminary.
Survivors are his wife, Mrs. Mildred Glaze of Minden; two sons and a daughter-in-law, John Wayne Glaze of Minden of Minden and Jerry and Gwen Glaze of Benton, Ark; two sisters; Mrs. Kenneth Thompson and Mrs. Geneva Giles, both of Springhill; and two grandchildren, Mrs. Debbie Ballard and John Scott Glaze.
Memorials may be made to Louisiana Baptist Institute and Seminary.
Row 11, Section 3, Garden of Prayer next to Coy Booth and John Wayne Glaze. The marker reads: John Wayne Glaze 14 March 1940 16 Oct. 2001  There is a double marker for John Earl Glaze & Mildred S. John Earl born 28 Jan. 1922 and died 11 Feb. 1988 PFC US Army WWII  Mildres S. born 24 Nov. 1922 Beloved Wife and Mother.

Submitted by Ann Mays Harlan

 

HAROLD J. BROOKS  

 published in the Baton Rouge Advocate July 5, 2000 A loving husband, father and grandfather, he went to be with the Lord at 10:45 p.m. Monday, July 3, 2000, at 10:45 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. He was a retired railroad engineer with more than 40 years of service for Kansas City Southern. He was 74, a resident of Baton Rouge and a native of Minden. He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. Visiting at Greenoaks Funeral Home, 9595 Florida Blvd., from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and after 8 a.m. Thursday Thursday. Religious services in the funeral home chapel at 10 a.m. Thursday, con-ducted by the Rev. Allen Johnson. Interment in Greenoaks Memorial Park. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Janie Davidson Brooks of Baton Rouge; three sons and daughters-in-law, James D. "Jimmy" and Lisa Brooks of Houston, Larry D. and Colette Brooks of Mandeville and Gerry S. and Debbie Brooks of St. Francisville; two sisters, Ora M. Callaway of Houston and Oleta Gridley of Baker, and seven grandchildren, Brittney and Bradley Brooks, both of St. Francisville, Ashley and Nicholas Brooks, both of Houston and Ryan, Lauren and Brett Brooks, all of Mandeville. He was preceded in death by his parents, Mahlon O. and Chlora M. Smith Brooks; two brothers, Hartwell A. and Haskell O. Brooks; and a sister, Opal Evans. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Baker. Special thanks to Dr. Michael Castine and the entire staff of medical oncology. Memorial donations may be made to a favorite charity.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Thomas Cage
Funeral services for Mr. Thomas " Jack" Jackson Cage, 78, were to be held at 11:30 a.m. today, Nov. 19, 2003, at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Minden with the Rev. Mike Benefield officiating. Burial will follow at Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden.
Mr. Cage, a native and resident of Minden, passed away Monday, Nov. 17, in Minden. He was an engineer for KCS Railroad.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Genice Cage of Minden; cousins, Evelyn Leachman of Sibley, Mary Miller of Minden, Tommy Cage of Dixie Inn, and Ricky Cage of Minden.
Pallbearers were to be Barney Dowden, Alan Lee, Grady Lee Jr., Bruce Lee, Tommy Cage, James Thompson and David Maxey.
 

JOHN HENRY GREEN

                                                                                                                                                                             My grandfather: John Henry Green was born January, l887 and died in May, l979, two weeks after the death of his eldest son.  We all thought that he died of a broken heart.  He worked as an engineer for the L&A railroad and would come through Minden on his route to El Dorado.  Daddy would take all 4 of us children down to the train and PaPa would blow the whistle for us.  Once he let us blow it.  We would put pennies on the track and his train would flatten them nicely for us.  He prided himself on the fact that he never derailed a train and only hit one animal ( a cow) in all his years of railroading.  He was a very big man and became stone deaf towards the end of his life.  He blamed the loud noise of the train engines and the loud whistles for it but who knows.  He didn't need to hear to watch the Yankees play on television.  

Submitted by Diane Green Sentell                                                                                                                                                                    

 Mr. John Henry Green is interred in the Original Owner's Section of the Garden of Memories established in 1957 established in 1957 Section 1, Row 1 by Carlos S. Green and E. J. Kleineger. Interred in the family plots are:   Harry G. Green (1910 - Blank) and Mary S. (1910-John H. Green (1887-1979) and Alice B. (1886-1983) Carlos S. Green (1908-1908-1979) and Vasta S. (1908-2002)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

MY SPECIAL ENGINEER

HOMER ORLANDO MENDENHALL
with daughters, Earlene and Barbara about 1045


My father (Daddy to us Southerners) was such an important person in my life that it is hard to do him justice by the written word.  What little talent I have in music and love of family lore came from him.  Here are "nothing but the facts, ma'am".

Homer was born 17 July 1914 in Prescott, Nevada Co., AR.  He inherited his parents' love of music and, by the time he was a teenager, was playing the guitar in the family band.  He also was genuinely interested in his family history and has passed that love and that lore on down. 

Homer met his future bride, Opal Yates, at a dance (which her strict, religious mother had forbidden her to attend) where he was playing the guitar.  During a break, he went up to her table to talk to her and it was 'love at first sight'.  Opal left for Dallas, TX the following morning for a 6-week visit with her brother.  Within a week of her return home, Homer and Opal drove to the home of a minister in a nearby town and were married.

Homer made his career with the railroad, beginning with the Prescott & Northwestern (P&NW) in Prescott, AR. 



After several years, he was looking for advancement and a Mr. J. D. Jordan sent him a pass to go to San Francisco to work.  Homer got as far as Shreveport, LA when a fireman named Roundtree told him there was no point in going to California when he could work in Louisiana.  On 1 January 1942, Homer was hired to work for the Louisiana & Arkansas Railway.




Homer, Opal and Earlene, their first daughter, left Prescott, AR, first moving to a small apartment in Cullen, LA.  The apartment opened right onto the sidewalk, next to a cafe, where the family had most of their meals.  Because of the paper-mill smell, most of the short stay in Cullen was spent inside.  After a very brief time in Cullen, the family moved on to Minden. 

In Minden, the family lived in several apartments and small homes before purchasing their first home in Tillman Addition.  In 1945, Homer (still a fireman) made the move to New Orleans, where he worked for a couple of years.  When the opportunity arose to return to Minden and retain his engineer's classification, Homer jumped at the chance to return.  Even though he was an engineer, Homer was unable to hold a day job due to the number of older engineers with more seniority than he.  He worked the "extra board", reporting for work when called, usually nights. 




 

Homer retired from the L&A Railway and spent his time maintaining his home, lawn and vehicles. At least once a year, he and Opal would take a vacation with C.T. and Cherry Baker, going to Branson, MO quite often. He made numerous genealogical trips to Arkansas with his oldest daughter, guiding her to family cemeteries and other points of interest. On 19 December 1955,after a long illness with periods of remission, Homer died of prostrate cancer. He and Opal are buried in the Gardens of MemoryCemetery in Minden.



ENGINEERS WERE NICE PEOPLE - by Mrs.  Lucy Moore Quaid


Mr. Skeeter Stamps was a very nice person. He worked with many of the firemen. Ray also fired for him. Daddy started to work for the L&A in Winnfield. He said he was at the station one day and they mentioned they did not have a fireman for the job going out. Daddy told them he would go and so he did and was hired then and there. If you are talking about Odell Roberts my brother-in-law he went to work for the railroad in Minden, It was about 1947 after he returned from the war. He was in the navy and served over seas. Ray went to work there in 1952. He was a carman first but then changed over to fireman. He was credited with putting out a fire in the yards and was given a reward for it. All the men started out as firemen back then. They had to work all the jobs and then take a written test before they could really go to work. The engineers had to evaluate them on their work.
(Lucy is the widow of Ray Quaid and a  daughter of the late Tom Moore.)

 


A. BRISCOE NATION - Mourned and loved by the Railroad Community

Mr. Nation was born 22 February, 1886 and departed this life on 11 Feb. 1933 and departed this life on the 11th day of November 1933 in Minden, Webster Parish, La. He was married to Ethel S. born 22 May, 1891 and died 7 May, 1963.They are buried in Section A of the Old Minden Cemetery. Buried nearby is Oree
B. Nation born 22 Feb. 1910 - died 17 Apr. 1936. He was survived by his widow & 12 children, most of them of school age. Alexander Briscoe, Jr.,Caston,  Oree Bert, Patrick Cary, Daniel Webster, and Donald Eugene,  Dorothy Lee, Evelyn, Virginia, Fern, Lois and Helen.He was also loved and mourned by the Railroad community which made up of 1,215 of the 6,185 people living in Minden in 1930.

The Story of Wylie P. "Doc" Newman - Railroad Engineer


Wylie P. "Doc" Newman was born in 1894 in Red River Parish, and named for his grandfather, B. Wylie Newman, who had served the Confederacy in the South Carolina Infantry. Doc lived in Winnfield, Winn Parish, when his father went to Texas, as the expression was in those days. Many of the men who went to Texas never made provision for the families they left behind, and Doc's father was one of the many.
In the 1960's, Doc shared this story with his niece. He was about thirteen, when his father left. There were four children younger than Doc and an older sister as well. The father had called Doc and his older brother Jim into the room and said, "Boys, you will have to be the men of the family until I come back." Doc was still wearing knickers, as younger boys did at that time. He walked into town, bought his first pair of long pants to go looking for a job. He went to the railroad, lied about his age, was put on the payroll - and never looked back. He married the former Daisy Harp, adopted her young daughter, and loved them with all his heart. They made their home on Buchanan (perhaps named after the railroad management) and gladly called Minden their home.

William Preston Newman was born 27 May, 1994. Died 23 Aug. 1971. Daisy Harp Newman was born 19 Apr. 1906 and died 5 Feb. 1970. The Newman's are interred in the Gardens of Memory Cemetery on row 10, section 1 in the Garden of Prayer.

                            My Favorite Engineer

                   

                 Submitted by: Peggy Cheshire Baldwin

The only engineer I knew personally was Mr. M. Douglas Cheshire. He grew up the son of a prominent family in Springhill, in Webster Parish, La. He was a handsome man in his younger years and was popular with the ladies. Ruth Cobb and Douglas were in elementary school when they became childhood sweethearts. Even the railroad worker's thought he looked like Jimmy Rodgers but with a more distinguished look. I was often a guest in the Cheshire home on Pearl Street when I was a teenager growing up in Minden, Louisiana. Their home was family oriented and I was treated like I was part of it. He never refused when Peggy would ask if she could use his car. He was the kindest man I have ever known. Funeral services were held Thursday, January 3 p.m. at the Green-Kleinegger Funeral Home in Minden, La. with the Rev. A.E. Brown officiating. Burial was in the Minden Cemetery. Mr. Cheshire died on January 7, 1959. He would have been 53 years old on May 17. He was an engineer for the L&A railroad at his passing. He was also a member of the Banks Sunday School Class and the Methodist Church of Minden. He was found unconscious after being robbed in front of Edmond's Grocery store near the Sibley Road in Minden, Louisiana. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Ruth Cobb Cheshire; daughter, Mrs. Peggy (Thomas) Baldwin and one grandchild, Debbie Baldwin; His mother, Mrs. Anna J. Cheshire of Minden; four sisters, Mrs. Martha House of Minden, Mrs. Zephyr Balcum of Jacksonville, Texas, Mrs. Bessie Carter of Ida and Mrs. Jessie Williams of El Dorado, Arkansas.



MR. JAKE DANIEL lived in a house on Dixie Inn's back street across from the play ground. Later they moved to the Oak Ridge subdivision. Mr. Daniel would run the steam locomotive engines down at the gravel pits. At that time Gifford-Hill owned a steam locomative and cars. Mr. Daniel is the tall man on the right. The man in the middle was his fireman.  Holding the oil can on the left is the brakeman. Notice the load of logs on the back of the train. Mr. Jake Daniel was a son of Jackson Daniel, a railroad engineer from Levins, Arkansas who worked for the logging camps down below Castor. Mr. Daniels is interred in the Ebenezer Cemetery in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

                              CHRISTOPHER "BUBBA" LANGHELD NEVER KNEW THESE PEOPLE

     I don't know any of these people.  Not surprising, because we never knew anybody from te road crews in 1927-28.      There are some things I see though.  It is an early steam engine on an unimproved track.  I don't think I ever saw one this old in service.  From the looks of it, I would say it is a switch engine at a logging site.  Reasons:  It is fired by wood.  I am not sure, but the ties look like hand-hewed ties.  The ties are not graveled into place, therefore it must be a temporary road.  The stump next to the track seems to bear this out.  It would not be near a permanent track.  The load of logs are bound down wagon style, indicating the picture was before my time..  I would guess, from the condition of the picture and the quality of it, that this was taken in the early 1900 era or even earlier.  Therefore, find out what timber operations were supported by the railroad back in those days, and you might find the names of the people in the picture.  This might even be a timber company locomotive not owned by the L&A or any railroad company.  The engine does not wear a number unless it the number "3" on the front of the boiler, which would seem to bear this out.  Look for timber companies big enough to own an engine, and if they did, then they would probably build and maintain the track, delivering the timber to a mill in the vicinity or delivering cars to a railroad such as L&A.      Now that you have read all of that, most of which you can also see, aren't you inpressed?   Bubba Langheld                                                                                                                                                        Mrs. Juanita Agan wrote in her Cameo's of Minden that the 1930 City Directory indicted that about 1215 of the City's 6,285 residents were employees of the L&A Railroad Company.

Driving down depot hill, do you remember the sounds of the hammers in the railroad yards as the rails were placed on the track? How many times were you late getting home on a given Friday or Saturday night because the eleven o'clock train was blocking the railroad track? We sometimes wondered if it would ever move? Sometimes the train would have both Highway eighty and Bayou Drive intersections both blocked.