May 24, 1899
Bernice is a newly laid-out town in the western part of Union Parish, about 4 1/2 miles northwest of Shiloh, on the line of the recently constructed southern extension of the Arkansas Southern Railroad. The officials of this road purchased 160 to 200 acres of land there and established the town, selling lots at public auction last Thursday. The sale was largely attended by citizens from Farmerville, Ruston, Arcadia and the country surrounding Shiloh, as well as from various points in southern Arkansas, the crowd numbering about 2000 people.
The business lots are 28 x 140 feet, while the residence lots are 75 x 150 feet. The blocks comprise twenty business lots and eight residence lots. Most of the former lots brought good prices, showing that the buyers have strong faith in the new town. Mr. T. A. Heard bid the highest price – $270 – for a business lot, and one block brought nearly $3000. Most of the former Shiloh merchants bought real estate in Bernice, which goes to show that they expect to move there and enter into business.
Bernice is now a veritable wilderness. The writer was cautiously driving through a new-cut road, and ran right upon sixth street before he knew he was in sight of the town site. But in a few months it will present quite a different appearance. New houses will be going up on all sides. Bernice has a good country surrounding it. The people in that section, as a rule, are thrifty and prosperous and we believe that new town has a bright future.