Visions of Vernon: Vernon Parish’s Founding Fathers, Leonard – Loving

Published 12:29 pm Thursday, August 26, 2021

Edwin Lovelace

William Murray Lyles

William Henry Lott

Leonard – John Henry Leonard (AL 1844 – LA 1912) was the only Leonard homesteader in Vernon Parish. He was the son of Calvin Wade (AL 1820 – Unk. 1891) and Lucretia Hinson (AL 1822 – Unk. 1903) Leonard. He is a mystery. According to Alabama marriage records, he married Sarah Hartley in 1865 in Butler County. In 1900 he was not enumerated in Sarah’s household in Butler County, but was living in Ward Two of Vernon Parish in the household of Adaline Smith Leonard (LA 1869 – LA 1935). A Louisiana marriage license could not be found. John homesteaded 160 acres in 1905 on LA HWY 111 east of Anacoco on East Anacoco Creek on Benefield Road. He and wife Adaline are buried in Mitchell Cemetery in Anacoco with nineteen other Leonard burials. Sarah’s burial could not be found.

Lewis – The Lewis family homesteaded fourteen parcels containing 1,040 acres from 1860 to 1914 in Simpson, Hicks, Alco, and Pickering. The two founding fathers were Isom Lewis (SC 1809 – LA Bef. 1860) and Allen Lewis (GA 1822 – LA 1902). Isom’s family settled in Central Vernon Parish and Allen’s family settled in East Vernon Parish. Possibly the two families were related because their family trees go back to North Carolina.

Isom came to Louisiana from Mississippi between 1854 and his death in 1860. He was the son of Howell (NC 1782 – MS 1860) and Nancy Copeland (SC 1787 – MS 1860) Lewis. He married Mary McLemore (TN 1813 – MS 1884) in 1830 in Lawrence County, Mississippi. Isom was enumerated once as a farmer in 1850 in Jones County, Mississippi. He did not homestead any land in Vernon Parish, but his grandson and nephew, Lafayette C. Lewis (LA 1882 – LA 1957) and John Howell Lewis (MS 1856 – LA 1918) claimed land in Cooper and Elmwood in the

Pickering community. Isom’s burial is unknown. Lafayette is buried in Cryer Cemetery in Pickering and John is buried in Lewis Cemetery in Beauregard Parish.

The other founding father of the other Lewis family was Allen Lewis. He was the son of James (NC 1794 – GA 1836) and Eliza Feraby (NC 1795 – Unk.) Lewis. He married twice to Elender Sellers (GA 1824 – GA 1855) in 1841 in Georgia and Margaret Nessmith (GA 1835 – LA 1895) in 1855 also in Georgia. Allen came to Louisiana from Georgia between 1857 and 1859. In all enumerations he was a farmer. Before the Civil War in 1860 and 1861 he claimed 360 acres in Simpson. In the Rapides Parish slave census he was listed as a slave owner but number of slaves was not given. In the Civil War he served in Co. I, 6th LA Cav. Regt. Allen’s children Matthew, Jacob, and Henry claimed land in Simpson, Hicks, and Alco. Allen is buried in Pine Island Cemetery in Simpson with second wife Margaret and son Matthew. Henry is buried in Welcome Cemetery in Simpson and Jacob is buried in West Carroll Parish.

A second Lewis served in the Civil War. William Henry Lewis (LA 1832/36 – MS 1862), son of John and Emily Lewis, died in a Civil War hospital at Aberdeen, Mississippi, burial unknown.

Liles/Lyles – The Lyles surname is sometimes spelled Liles. The founding father of the family was Mark Lyles (SC 1807 – LA 1899). He was the son of John K. and Lydia Lyles of South Carolina. Mark married Mary Christener (SC Abt. 1816 – LA 1859) around 1830 in South Carolina. Between 1847 and 1850 he moved to Rapides Parish. In all enumerations he was a farmer except 1860 when he was a school teacher. He died in 1899 in Rapides Parish, burial unknown.

Mark did not homestead land in Vernon Parish but son, John Michael Liles (SC 1837 – LA 1918) did. John married Ellen E. Burr in Sabine Parish in 1861. In the Civil War he served in Co. C, 27th Inf. Regt., but was released on January 20, 1863 after a substitute was hired. His

occupations were bar keeper in 1860, retail merchant in 1870, dry goods merchant in 1880, and nurse hand in 1900. In 1873, 1879, and 1882 he was employed as Burr Ferry’s postmaster. He was also part owner of the steamboat Neches Belle. In 1860, 1883, and 1884 he homesteaded 160 acres in Huddleston in Ward Four and Burr Ferry in Ward Three. John and Ellen are buried in Plunkaway Cemetery in Burr Ferry with six of their nine children.

A second Liles homesteader, John K. Lyle, Jr. (VA Abt. 1817 – VA 1890), moved to West-Central Louisiana and homesteaded forty acres in 1905 on LA HWY 111 between Beech Grove and Burr Ferry in Ward Three on Murrey Branch. He returned to Virginia where he died in 1890.

Three Lyles have served in government, two in the military and one in parish government. In the Civil War Mark Liles (SC 1843 – VA 1863) served in Co. B, 1st LA Inf. Regt. He died in 1863 in the Battle of Spotsylvania, Virginia, burial unknown. In World War II Clyde Liles (LA 1918 – FRA 1944) died as a 2nd LT. in the 339th AAF Fighter SQ in Hallines, France. He is buried in Plunkaway Cemetery in Burr Ferry. In parish government William Murray Lyles (TX 1883 – TX 1967), from Delma, Texas, served as Vernon Parish’s district attorney from 1916 to 1920. He died in El Paso, Texas and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

Littleton – William Virgil Peter “Pete” Winters Littleton (AL 1879 – LA 1950) was the only Littleton land claimant in Vernon Parish. Peter was born in Alabama to Louiza Jane Littleton (GA 1841 – AL Unk.), no father listed. Records disagree as to Peter’s father, either James Winters or James Moore. Louiza’s father was Peter Littleton (GA 1812 – Unk. 1893), a surname that he will choose later in life. In 1880 he was enumerated as Peter Moore in Jackson County, Alabama. In 1900 his surname was Littleton, his mother’s maiden name. In 1910 he was enumerated as a Littleton in Calhoun County, Arkansas as a blacksmith. Peter married four to

six times. Four of his marriages were Emaline Prater in 1904 in Trussville, Alabama; Mary Simmons in 1911 in Jefferson County, Alabama; Dosia Moaten in 1911 in Union County, Arkansas; and Icy Brown in 1942 in Vernon Parish. By 1920 he lived in Ward Three of Vernon Parish as a farmer. In 1920 he homesteaded about 160 acres on the Sabine River at the end of Miller Road on Damrel Creek. In 1930 he lived in Ward Six of Union Parish as a farmer and in Pickering in 1940 as a blacksmith. Peter died in 1950 in Leesville and is buried in Cooper Cemetery in Pickering with wife Dosia.

Lively – The only Lively homesteader was African-American Dolly Brown Lively (LA Abt. 1875 – LA 1955). She was the wife of William Lively (GA Abt. 1866 – Unk.). In 1930 and 1940 William and Dolly lived in Ward Two of Vernon Parish as farmers. Dolly Lively and Dolly Brown formed Multi-Patentee Group # 9 in 1910 and claimed 120 acres on West Anacoco Creek under the north end of Lake Vernon. Neither William’s nor Dolly’s burials could be found.

Lockwood – Charles B. Lockwood (AL 1859 – OK 1916) was the only Lockwood land claimant in Vernon Parish. He was the son of Alanson (CT 1815 – TX 1891) and Nancy Phillips (GA 1832 – TX 1883). He married Florence King (TX 1876 -OK 1942) in 1893 in Red River County, Texas. In 1898 he was Cooper’s postmaster and a bookkeeper in 1900. He lived on eighty acres he claimed in 1900 where the present day Vernon Parish Landfill is located. In 1910 Charles lived in McCurtain County, Oklahoma as a hotel keeper. He died in 1916 in Choctaw County, Oklahoma and is buried there in Springs Chapel Cemetery. His wife Florence remarried Richard Andrews in 1933 and she is buried in the same cemetery in 1942.

Loftin – The Loftin surname is also spelled Lofton. The surname claimed nineteen acres from 1896 to 1902 containing 1,102 acres west of Evans on the Sabine River. The family’s founding father was Benagh A. Loftin (MS 1820 – LA 1895). Benagh was the son of Asa (NC 1784 – MS

1860) and Rachel Hager (MS 1797 – MS 1850) Loftin. He married once to Sina Stennett (MS 1821 – LA 1892) in 1841 in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. In the Civil War Benagh served in Co. D, 2nd MS Inf. Regt. (CSA). He came to Sugartown, Louisiana between 1866 and 1874. His only enumeration record was 1880 in Sugartown as a farmer. Benagh died in 1895 and is buried in Evans Cemetery. Sina is buried in Whitaker Cemetery in Beauregard Parish.

Benagh did not claim any land in Vernon Parish but brother, sons and grandsons did. Sons Leonard and Murdock and grandson Albert claimed land in the Evans community. Brother Thomas, sons William N. and Wilson W., and grandsons Albert and Solomon claimed land west of Evans on the Sabine River.

Long – Irvin Griffin “Babe” Long (LA 1860 – TX 1938) was the only Long homesteader in Vernon Parish. He was the son of John and Tilda Addison Long. Babe married Lula Dixon (LA 1871 – TX 1963). He claimed 160 acres in 1896 on Brushy Creek in Haddens on the Sabine River. Because he had no enumeration record, little is known about him. He moved across the Sabine River to Burkeville, Texas in Newton County where he died in 1938. Babe and Lula are buried in Shannon Rose Hill Memorial Park in Tarrant County, Texas with 41 other Long burials.

In parish government Effie Long served as LaCamp’s postmaster from 1923 to 1929.

Lott – William “Bill” Henry Lott (MS 1852 – LA 1884) was the founding father of the Lott family in Vernon Parish. He was the son of William (MS 1834 – TX 1923) and Rachel Lott (MS 1833 – TX 1880) Lott. Bill married Sarah Mathis (MS 1857 – LA 1888) in Mississippi. He came to Louisiana between 1860 and 1870. In all enumerations he was a farmer. He died young at the age of 32 and is buried in Brack-Hunt Cemetery on present day Ft. Polk with wife Sarah who also died young at the age of 31.

Bill did not homestead any land in Vernon Parish but wife Sarah, daughter Lucretia, and son Floyd did. In 1902 Floyd claimed 160 acres. In 1912 Sarah, Lucretia, and Floyd formed a partnership (Group #57) and claimed 160 acres. All Lott homesteads were on present day Ft. Polk.

William and Sarah are buried in Brack-Hunt Cemetery on Ft. Polk. Floyd is buried in Leesville Cemetery. Lucretia married Robert Koonce and is buried in White Rock Cemetery in Shelby County, Texas.

Lovelace – Edwin Tolliferro Lovelace, Sr. (TN 1855 – TX 1932) was the only Lovelace land claimant in Vernon Parish. He was the son of Thomas (VA 1807 – MO 1870) and Serenda Lewis (VA 1811 – Unk.) Lovelace. He moved to Texas in the 1870s then to Vernon Parish in the late 1890s or early 1900s. While in Texas Edwin married Sallie Pierson/Pearson (TX 1861 – TX 1942) in 1888 in Hardin County, Texas. In all enumerations he was a farmer. Edwin claimed forty acres in 1904 on present day Hazel Jeane Road between Neame and Pickering. In 1920 he lived in Tyler County, Texas where he died in 1932 and is buried in Greenlawn Memorial Park in Jefferson County. Sallie is buried in Warren Cemetery in Tyler County, Texas.

Lovett – Dr. Thomas Lovett (AL 1829 – Unk. 1876) was the founding father of the Lovett family in Vernon Parish. His parents are unknown. He married Elleanor “Ellen” Knight (GA 1828 – Unk.). Dr. Lovett moved to Louisiana between 1855 and 1860. In 1860 he was a physician with an Alexandria post office address. Because 1860 was his only enumeration, little is known about him. In 1860 his wife was enumerated in her father’s household, which was her last enumeration. Their son, John A. Lovett (FL 1852 – TX 1924), served as Loretta’s postmaster in 1879, which became Beauregard Parish in 1913.

Dr. Lovett did not claim any land but wife Ellen and son John did. John claimed eighty acres in 1884 and his mother Sarah claimed 520 acres in 1885 in the Knight community in the southwest corner of Vernon Parish. Ellen also claimed forty acres in 1885 in the Evans community. It is unclear why her claim exceeded the 160 acres limit.

Dr. Lovett died in 1876 in Vernon Parish and is buried in Hinson Cemetery in Ward Three with babies Della and Wirt. Wife Ellen’s burial is unknown. Son John became a doctor also and is buried in Liberty City Cemetery in Liberty County, Texas.

Loving – John Wesley Loving (MS 1837 – LA 1913) was the only Loving homesteader in Vernon Parish. He was the son of Elijah Nelson (TN 1814 – GA 1860) and Elizabeth Loving (?) (MS 1815 – Unk.) Loving. John moved to Louisiana from Mississippi between 1846 and 1849. In 1874 he married Susan Ella Moats (LA 1856 – LA 1900) in DeSoto Parish. In 1880 he was a carpenter in Jasper County, Texas. In 1907 John homesteaded eighty acres in Monks Hammock on Koonce Creek. John died in Natchitoches in 1913 and is buried in Beulah Methodist Church Cemetery in Marthaville with his wife Susan.

John and brother Daniel L. (MS 1841 – Unk. 1890), fought in the Civil War. John fought in Co. H, LA Inf. Cres. Regt. (CSA) and Daniel fought in Co. C, 18th LA Inf. Regt. (CSA). Their Civil War records stopped in 1862 due to desertion (John) and sickness (Daniel). They appear on Union rolls in 1st Bn., LA Cav. Scouts (USA). Why did the brothers join the Union? Perhaps the death of little brother James (LA 1851 – Unk.) who joined Co. I, 16th LA Inf. Regt. and died of typhoid at Corinth, Mississippi causes them to change sides.

This article originally appeared on Leesville Daily Leader: Visions of Vernon: Vernon Parish’s Founding Fathers, Leonard – Loving