FAMILY HISTORY OF WILLIS FRANKLIN LINDSEY

Written by Margaret Florence Moffett
Provided by Edna Liggin

Among the early settlers of Ruston was the family of Willis Franklin Lindsey. He brought his family down from Shiloh, Louisiana, in 1895. Shiloh was a thriving little town situated between Bernice and Farmerville. The Lindsey family was quite large by today’s standards. There were three boys and four girls; the youngest child, Johnny, was born after they settled in Ruston. Willis Farnklin Lindsey purchased ninety acres covered with virgin timber just north of the present Ruston High School building. This virgin timber was cut and sold to the inhabitants of the new town of Ruston.

Mr. Lindsey built a small cabin to reside in until the big house could be built. He later added several cabins as rentals. When strangers came to town and inquired about a place to live, they were referred to “Lindsey’s Quarters.”

W. F. Lindsey married Cicily Anna McLaurin, whose father was the postmaster at Shiloh, Louisiana. While they lived there, the young children were allowed to visit their grandfather in the Post Office, where they reveled in admiring the large sheets of beautifully colored stamps. They also enjoyed having their Grandfather read to them from the many out-of-town, as well as out-of-state newspapers that came to the office. The oldest little girl, Ora used to tell everyone she wished to work in a post office when she grew up. Instead of working for “Uncle Sam”, she married “Mr. Sam” Griggs and reared three children. After the children were grown, she went into business for herself. She and her cousin Mrs. Nettie Nicholson put in the first “Baby shop” in Ruston. They called it the Juvenile and Gift Shop. A short time later, when Mrs. Nicholson decided to move to Texas, Mrs. Griggs assumed ownership and continued to run the shop successfully for many years.

While the Lindseys lived in Shiloh, their house was next door to the Harris Hotel, operated by Mr. Sebrin Harris, father of Mr. Young Harris, who later built the Harris Hotel in Ruston. Their two neighbors across the street, rather, across the “patch” — for there were no streets as such in old Shiloh—just little trails or wagon roads — were Dr. Bob Brooks and Dr. Charlie Brooks. The Shiloh Baptist Church was just a short distance away. It is easy to understand why the children felt as if they were moving into the jungle when they saw all the trees around their little cabin. One of the little daughters, Willie Florence, when asked what she thought of their new home, is reported to have replied, “We better not get sick! The doctor will never find us!”

Willis Franklin Lindsey ran a small grocery store in Shiloh, but decided he wished his children to attend the Ruston College, which later made way for Louisiana Tech University. This prompted his move to Ruston. The two oldest girls, Ora and Pearl, took the…..

*****I found this in a box of chipping that belonged to my grandmother. If anyone has the rest please e-mail it to me so I can post it. ShilohtoCanaan@gmail.com.

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