June 7, 1899
Bernice, La., June 2, 1899
Thinking possibly that a few notes from this place will be of interest to your readers I send you this letter. While it may not be good reading for some few of envious minds, yet I think after mature thought all the people of our parish will feel glad over having such a little city as this will be. While it makes one feel sad to view the blackened street of the village of Shiloh and to feel keenly the loss of bygone prosperity, yet we rejoice in the thought that over its remains there has sprang a new and we trust a better city. The people who gave Shiloh its name for business standing, and for the highest social and moral lives, will be here to start this little city onward. On the eighteenth day of May in the midst of the pine forest there we sold property of the value of about $8,000, and since that time sales have continued to go up until about $15,000 worth of property has been sold.
On the above day no sounds were to be heard, only the noise of the railroad crews. Now comes the hum of the saw mill, cutting 80,000 feet of timber per day, and not able to supply the demand. The teamsters whip is heard hauling the logs from off the streets and lots to the saw mill, where it is converted into timber, and brought back to stand again upon the same land in nice new houses.
The noise from the work of carpenters is heard from every corner. Houses are rearing their heads as though by magic. Capt. Henderson walks about with a smile of satisfaction playing over his countenance, that reminds us of the father who is smiling on his newly born babe, “twins at that”. Capt. Henderson is taking a great interest in the town and has donated lots upon which both Baptist and Methodist churches are to be built, and has also donated three of the choicest blocks in the town for public uses – for park, school and city. He has also reserved a lot upon which some one will erect a first class hotel that will be managed in a first class manner. The captain will not foster or assist any enterprise unless strictly up to date in appearance and of clean and unquestionable morality. With such a start and backing as this place has, how can it fail to grow? Surrounded with the best element of farmers in North Louisiana and South Arkansas; Bernice is here to live and grow – to what proportion time will tell. We have the very best of water; so good, in fact that the captain has been accused of putting a carload of ice in the wells on the day of the sale. However, he takes the joke nicely, and says the beauty of it is the water is still as cold as on the sale day. Come and see what is being done. One of the best things of all is this place has been free from “Old Tige”. The people in this section, both country and town, are wanting to see the color of a “blind tiger’s” eye and we warn him that there is a trap set for him and should he wander into these woods his name will be “Dennis”.
**** I am not sure about “Dennis” at the end. If anyone knows about that, please comment.