Pineville, Louisiana in the 50’s and 60’s

Entrance to Louisiana College campus in Pineville, Louisiana.


I was born in 1944 in West Lafayette, Indiana and moved to Pineville, Louisiana, before my 2nd birthday in 1946, so my dad could teach chemistry at Louisiana College.

My first memory of Pineville was starting the first grade at Pineville Elementary in 1950 and walking the mile to school. I did ride the bus in the second grade, until the day I didn’t get off, at my stop and wound up in Libuse, Louisiana, which was about a ten-mile walk back home. Needless to say I never rode a bus to school after that incident. The bus driver was Harold Price, who drove a school bus many years.

I remember being in the class of Mrs. Eva Price, if I recall her first name right. One of my best friends in first grade was Robert Cavanaugh, who would later run track for Pineville High School and LSU. Then later Dr. Cavanaugh would become the chancellor of LSU in Alexandria and was responsible for it becoming a four-year college.

One thing I remember about the first grade is the ten-cent lunches. The price has probably gone up to 15 cents some 63 years later.

The second grade through fourth grade years sort of ran together, with no standout memories from those years. I do remember my second grade teacher being Mrs. Frankie Reed, third grade teacher being Mrs. Clarice Ellis and fourth grade teacher was Mrs. Effie O’Neal.

My fifth grade teacher was Mrs.Mabel  Powell and my main memory of that year was that I played my first Little League game the last day of school. I played for Bates Insurance Co. team that year and made a shoestring catch in that first game off of a ball hit by Luther Richardson. Think I was more surprised, than  anyone else that I caught the ball.

Mrs. Scivique (sp) was my sixth grade teacher if I remember right, but can’t remember her first name. Grady Harper was my seventh grade teacher and I think Robert Cespiva was my eighth grade teacher, but not sure of that.

1957 was a year that stood out, since that was the year Hurricane Audrey hit the Pineville area that June. I can remember Jim Gaines of KALB radio giving the latest reports about the hurricane. One memory is that we had no power for three days and my dad went to Jimmie Hoyt’s to buy some dry ice.

1957 Trip To Maine

My most vivid memory of 1957 didn’t take place in Pineville, since my dad and my older brother took a trip to Maine that summer. The trip was an education in itself, as we stopped at tourist stops like Rock City and can remember the signs saying SEE ROCK CITY on the roofs of barns along the way. We also saw many Burma Shave signs on the trip.

Stopping at Mount Vernon was one of the highlights, while  Washington, D.C. was the place that I remember best. We went inside the Capitol building and saw Congress in action, saw the U.S. Mint making bills and visited the National Archive building. We also visited the White House, Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. The Smithsonian Institution was particularly interesting, where we saw the Spirit of St. Louis hanging from the ceiling. The last place I remember seeing was the Library of Congress.

Having been an avid baseball fan it was a thrill to see a major league game in Connie Mack Stadium, which was my first game to ever see. Saw future Hall of Famers like Roberto Clemente and Richie Ashburn in the game that, plus another Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski hit a home run that landed on tin roof above us in left field bleachers.

We also went to the planetarium in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and saw the Liberty Bell.

New York City was a place I will never forget and have not been there in the last 56 years. The main thing I can remember is seeing drunks lying on sidewalk in the Bowery District. That is something a 12 year-old kid always remembers.

We drove on to Beverly, Massachusetts, which was our next destination, since my Dad was there for the American Chemical Society convention there. I remember stopping at a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant with the famous orange roof and was impressed that they had 31 flavors of ice cream.

While in the area we were able to see the House of Seven Gables and Cape Cod.

The convention dealt with such topics as radiocarbon dating of trees and many other topics, that a 12 year-old would never comprehend.

Then we went on to Maine to see my Uncle John for the first time and I think the only time. It would be the only time to see my Maine relatives, since my cousin Jim would die in Vietnam in the 60’s, while piloting a helicopter and was shot down.

We stopped in Millville, New Jersey to pick up my Dad’s mom and while there saw my Grandpa Godfrey for the first and only time, while he was in the hospital. That reminds me of the times pranksters would call his grocery store and ask if he had Prince Albert in cans and then when he said yes, they would say then let him out.

The first and only stop on the way back home was Warsaw, Kentucky and Dad drove almost non-stop from there to Pineville, since school started the same day we got back home.

Random Memories

I don’t remember this but my mom told me I had gotten out of the A&P Grocery store at the age of three and walked down to the Murray Street Bridge. George Huffman a Pineville policeman, according to my mom said when he took me off the bridge that he was going to put me in jail, if it ever happened again. I probably didn’t even know what a jail was at that time, since we wouldn’t even have a television till six years later.

We didn’t have a television till I was about 9 years old and the only reason we got one was because, of my sister’s eye doctor prescribed it for her, so she could use both eyes and we had a polaroid screen on one side to make her use her “lazy” eye.

Being on Cactus Jack with Jack McCall hosting the show on KALB TV was one of my memories from this period and being in the Cub Scouts was another and I can remember riding in the Alexandria Christmas Parade one year.

George Huffman was part of another memory, when we thought our cat may have had rabies, so he tried to shoot at it with a shotgun under the house, but missed and the cat lived happily ever after.

My folks liked to go to Berwick’s Drug Store in downtown Pineville. The dilapidated building was not like Walgreen’s stores of today, but they must have had good prices on prescriptions.

Plane Crashes During Little League Game

One night we were playing a Little League game at Sandy Canyon, when I heard someone say “That plane’s going to crash” and we could see the plane heading downward and it landed near the Memorial Cemetery for veterans about a block from Main Street in downtown Pineville.

Pineville Elementary Burns Down

Pineville Elementary burned down shortly after I finished the eighth grade. This photo shows the firemen battling the blaze:

The story as it appeared in the Alexandria Daily Town Talk the next day:

Will never forget riding the mile from home to the fire that night. News traveled fast back then, even without any media coverage to speak of.

Fast Thinking Commercial Spokesman

Will never forget Larry McHale of KALB TV, who was ordinarily a newsman, but was advertising the virtues of a certain brand of cigarettes. Then in the middle of the commercial he starts coughing and thinking fast said “Just the thinking of those other brands makes me cough”.

Daredevil Over Red River

One memory that stands out is when a motorcyclist ran across the Red River on a some kind of contraption, that enabled him to ride a motorcycle. Anyone there that day is welcome to give their version of what happened that day.

College Drive Baptist Church Founded in 1947

Think we were living on Lawrence Boulevard, when College Drive Baptist Church was founded in 1947. It is now 66 years old and was located close to Louisiana College. I can remember J. Taylor Walworth as the founding pastor, when we joined in 1948. He is one of the few people in my life that never changed and looked the same shortly before his death many years later.

Can remember when Harvey McGraw was the education superintendent and a Sunday, which had 237 people present in Sunday School. It was a different time back then when fewer Louisiana College students had their own car, so they naturally walked to the church, which was closest to the college. As the years went by and more students had their own vehicles attendance started to fall. Students then could drive to the bigger churches in Alexandria and Pineville.

Starting Pineville High School in 1958

It was a huge change going from elementary school to high school and it took time to get used to moving from class to class all day at Pineville High. Went to summer school for three years, but graduated from Pineville High in September of 1962.

State Football Champions in 1960

The highlight of my high school years was when the Pineville High Rebels won the state football championship in 1960. Coach Jimmy Keeth and assistant Coach Vernon Beall led the team to a year, that the coaches and players will never forget. I think Coach Gene Millet was also a coach that year, but not positive. There has not been another championship football team from Pineville High School in the last 53 years making that year even more special.

Said Goodbye to Pineville in October of 1962

I joined the United States Army Reserve in 1962 and went to Fort Polk, Louisiana for basic training. Finished basic shortly before Christmas, then about two weeks later boarded a train at the Missouri Pacific station for Indianapolis,Indiana and headed for the brutal Indian winter, with snow on the ground in Indianapolis, when I arrived in January of 1963.

Returned home again from the Adjutant General School in Indianapolis in April of 1963. It didn’t take long to get tired of going to Army Reserve meetings, so joined the Regular Army for a three year enlistment in May of 1963 and would only come home in October of 1964 and 1965, before being honorably discharged in May of 1966 after a tour of duty in Hawaii and Vietnam.

Town Talk Employment

It was later in 1966, when I would be employed by the Alexandria Daily Town Talk, not having any idea that I would be working there for 36 years with two years working for the Monroe Morning World from 1974-1976 leaving Town Talk for an $8 a week raise, but Monroe paper had me working so much overtime, that I earned $5,000 more than I had earned with Town Talk the year before. Elvis Presley, indirectly helped me get the job in Monroe. We were in Monroe to see Elvis Presley and happened to drive by the newspaper and I wound up mailing in a job application, which was accepted.

More Memories of Pineville in the 50’s and 60’s

I remember we didn’t worry about how hot it was, because we didn’t know what air conditioning was and didn’t have one till the late 60’s. We only had one television station the first few years, before Alpine Cable came to town.

We would go out Highway 28 on our bicycles, since there was not much traffic. Nowadays it would be foolish to try to ride a bike on that same road today.

I can remember the Star Theater on Main Street catching on fire and Chief Crazy Horse and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde were on the marquee that day.

Think it was still in the 60’s when Louisiana College ended their football program, due to lack of attendance at the games. I can remember the names of some players from back then like Clayton and Harry Bullard, Bill Mount, David Corley, Harry Ingalls, Frank Mobley, Gene Southern, Jim Jossick and Moose Munyan and of course Hamburger Harrison.

I remember George Huffman and Gus Perry from the Pineville Police Department and for some reason those are the only names I can recall.

Will never forget T.C. Brister who owned a sporting goods store letting me pay $6 for a $6.50 Nokona baseball glove, because that was all the money I had with me.

Can remember going to the display window of Jimmy Walker’s Appliance to watch television at night. I can remember visiting neighbors who had a television, which only got a New Orleans station and the picture was mostly snow, but a better picture would appear from time to time.

Trips to A&W Root Beer stand in Alexandria were a special treat. Those frosty mugs filled with root beer always hit the spot.

It is good to know that the same Martin Library we used to go to in the 50’s and 60’s is still operating many years later.

Remember well walking to Jack’s to buy the Sporting News baseball newspaper for a quarter on way home from high school.

Can remember the KALB radio record hops with the Big Bopper appearing a year or two before his death in a plane crash,which also killed Buddy Holly in Iowa.

Who can forget Mr. Pendergrast walking down the street with his top hat? There were rumors that he was rich, but not sure if he was or not. He sure didn’t live like a rich man.

Hope this article revives memories of what it was like growing up in Pineville in the 50’s and 60’s.






Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

73 thoughts on “Pineville, Louisiana in the 50’s and 60’s”

      1. And T.C. Brister was my father. Andrew, I knew your father quite well as I was a medical technology major at LA College and he taught me Chemistry. At the beginning of every class meeting he always gave a one question test and you either made a 100 or a 0, depending on whether or not you knew the answer… sure was hard to pull up a 0 grade if you ever got one…kept us students studying. I remember one summer when I took Organic Chemistry with him and how hot it was in that lab. with no air-conditioning.
        Mrs. Berwick (of Berwick’s Drug Store) was my aunt. Don’t remember the building looking quite that old.
        Thanks for your article…brought back a lot of memories.

      2. Kathleen,

        Your father was one of the best examples of living a Christian life that I have known. My father was known for being very strict with his grades. It was just like him to give tests that resulted in 0 or 100 test results. He will be 99 in November and still gets around OK, but no longer goes to church because of a problem with his health. He says he watches 3 church services every Sunday morning on TV. He lives in Greeneville, Tennessee and when he goes outside his back door he can see the Smoky Mountains. The street he lives on is named Smoky Mountain View. He taught at Tusculum College for about 20 years. They dedicated a laboratory in his honor in 1993 and students of his came from as far as California to be there for the occasion. He taught chemistry, physics and calculus at a high school academy, after leaving Tusculum and think he was about 82 at the time. We lived in Tennessee from 2007-2010, so got to see him from time to time and now we live in DeRidder, Louisiana. Thank you for commenting on the article.


    1. Reviewing all the comments , I was equally surprised to know the Bristers did not know of the “connection” to the Tudors through Aunt Mary Beall Holmes. W.C. Beall had seven children among who were Mary , mother of Elaine and ,Ollie , mother of my dad , Robert Beall Tudor. My grandfather , Simon, was recruited by LC from Ky. where all the rest of my Tudor relatives live , historically.

  1. Reading this was great fun, Andrew. I don’t believe I’ve seen a picture of P’ville Elementary School in a long time. That big ol’ school terrified me as a little girl beginning first grade. So many of your memories brought up a lot of mine; life was simple then, wasn’t it. I rode my bicycle to Girl Scout meetings, to the Brister twin’s house, to Norma Branch’s house, and to Pat Brister’s. And, of course, to the library. I’d forgotten what those buildings on Main St. looked like. Very enjoyable; thanks again.

    1. Margaret, Thanks for sharing. I was surprised that about the only photo of Pineville Elementary School was from the fire. There are very few Pineville photos online of places we remember from the 50’s and 60’s.

  2. Margaret, one of the Brister twins is my mom and she made the post by Kathleen above. She now lives in Plano Tx while her twin sister lives in Clinton Ms. Their older sister (also Margaret) I believe lives in Louisville Ky.

      1. Andrew, I (Kathleen) moved to Clinton, MS in 1987, so we (twins) were living in the same town for almost 20 years. It was so much fun when I first moved there because everywhere I went, all of Marleen’s friends and acquaintances looked at me with such confusion, not knowing if I was Marleen and not knowing if they should speak or not.
        I was glad to hear that your father is still living and can see the Smokey Mts. from his back door…that must be wonderful. When I look out my 3rd floor windows, I see a Cinemark theater and Central Expressway, however there is a “green” area too and the expressway is in the distance.
        Sounds like your father has had a very full and rewarding life.
        Thanks for the kind remarks about my dad. He was always happy to help others.

  3. Sounds like being a twin gave you and your sister some unique problems. You are fortunate to have a theater that close. Our closest theater to us is about 28 miles away in Leesville. Yes, my dad has had a rewarding life and was married to my mom for 28 years and to his new wife for the last 43 years, for a total of 71 years of married life. I know your dad left a good impression on a kid in the fifth grade.

  4. Andrew, enjoyed the memories so much. I remember all of those things and all of those people. I remember going to a birthday party for you at the city park in Alex. I rode with your family in a car that had doors which opened from the middle. My dad managed the A&P for 26 years until his death in 1968. That plane crashed about one block from our house. Good trip down memory lane.

    1. Charles, Glad that you enjoyed the blog about the 50’s and 60’s. I remember your dad well, from him working at A&P. You were extremely close to where the plane crashed. I had surgery for duodenal cancer last October at the Houston VA Hospital and was in the hospital for 32 days. Am cancer-free as of today, but this cancer has a history of returning, so living one six months to the the next, when I have my next CT scan in June. We live in DeRidder, Louisiana and attend Calvary Baptist Church in Merryville, where Rev. Jim Miers is the pastor. My brother Pete was a bag boy at A&P in the late 50’s. Great to hear from you again.

    2. Charles, I can vaguely remember that birthday party you mentioned. I didn’t realize you were so close to where the plane crashed. I was playing a Little League game by Sandy Canyon when that happened. I will never forget someone saying “That plane is going to crash”. We could see the plane falling down toward the ground.

  5. Andrew I had Mrs. Ellis for third grade in 1958. We would walk to the Martin Library a couple times a weed and pull pennies out of the parking meters that people put there in case their time expired before they returned to their car. We used the pennies for the gum ball machine at the library. I remember Jacks Market very well and Rex Market where my mom shopped. My dad worked for the state and was a member of the bridge crew that maintained the Murray Street bridge and others. I remember looking down Main Street in Pineville on Sunday. It was as if it were a ghost town.

    1. I had Mrs. Ellis for third grade in 1953. That was nice of those folks to leave you pennies, in the parking meters for the gumball machines.

      Had went to Jacks so many times over the years.

      You were right….Not much going on down Main Street on Sunday afternoons. I remember we used to go to Jimmie Walker’s store on Main Street, to watch TV before we had a TV at nights.

      Thanks for posting your memories.

    1. I can picture Mr. Pendergrass still today. He lived about two blocks from us, and I remember seeing him in downtown Pineville making his rounds. Heard he had a lot of money, but not sure if that was true.

  6. If I’m not mistaken, the 1960 football championship is not just the only one in Pineville HS history but it’s also the only one in Rapides Parish history.

  7. Andrew , great article. Talk about stir memories. My first cousins Diana and Carolyn (Atkins) were in town this week and we made similar trips down memory lane Hollis Fulton was my first grade teacher , Mrs. Frankie Reed , the Second , Felice Lane briefly the Third but became a “Mrs. Normand” and Fourth , Mrs. Effie O’Neal who always called me Robert to the point I gave up correcting her and answered to Robert the entire year and to my classmates mirth, transferred to the newly built Woodland for Fifth and Mrs. Stagg “little people” , and Henry Gahagan who supported DeLesseps Morrison , and Sixth Mrs. Oberia Garrett Estrada , Seventh , Mrs. Johnnie Mae Asher , and Eighth Mrs. Lorraine Barron Hoffman , the latter the spouse of then Mayor George Hoffman . All of these teachers exemplary and excellent by any standard of any generation! Principal , was Miss Lessie Moore , of course , who suffered no fools gladly and broke the glass ceiling. From the Fifth through Eighth grades rode our bicycles and I started at edge of our “district” on Military Hwy. and picked up Sandy , Georgianne , CJ , Pinky , Woody and more on way to school and parked bikes without locks ! I represented Mrs. Berwick and still represent her estate. Her brother Freddie Blum ran a nursery at end of College Blvd. My first cousin once removed ( through the Bealls) Elaine Brister wrote the history of Pineville. Your article has prompted me that I should record mine also. I have a beautiful picture of Pineville Grammar in my office lobby. Come see me !

    1. Michael, Thank you for the kind words about the article and for posting some of your memories. I remember well a lot of the teachers you mentioned. I remember Mrs. Reed lived on Oakland Street if my memory is correct. You have a great memory to remember the first names of so many teachers. Names like Mrs. Frankie Reed, Mrs. Felice Lane, Mrs. Oberia Estrada and Mrs. Lorraine Huffman were a big part of our lives, even though I missed having Mrs. Hoffman as a teacher. We lived on Burns Street and one side went to Pineville Elementary, and the other side to Woodland. I remember the fight song of Pineville Elementary when we played Woodland football team –

      Potato chips crunch crunch crunch
      Woodland Woodland that’s our lunch

      My parents bought their prescriptions at Berwick Drug Stores. Shame stores like that didn’t stand a chance, when the chain drugstores came to town. My mother told me that one time there were 13 gas stations from the bridge to the last station on Military Highway. None of them exist today.

      My dad Dr. Paul Godfrey is 101 now and living in Tennessee. He taught 24 years at Tusculum University in Greeneville, Tennessee, and then taught in a high school academy till in his 80’s. Taught college and high school chemistry for 60 years.

      George Huffman came to our house once when police chief, and tried to shoot a rabid cat under our house.

      Did some research and see Chep Morrison died 2 years, after I graduated in 1962 at the age of 52. He and his son Randy died in a plane crash in Mexico.

      When Earl Long ran against Morrison for governor in 1956 he called him “Ole De la Soups”.

      We live about 85 miles from Pineville now, and I go up there a few times a year, for appointments at the VA hospital. Had cancer surgery at Houston VA in October of 2012, and have had seven cancer-free CT scans since then.

      Thanks again for sharing your memories. This website has had 1.2 million visits so far. You may find some more stories of interest.

    2. Hi Michael Tudor,
      I was there, too, and what great memories we have of our childhood days in Pineville. The last I remember of you was your pool party.
      Best regards,
      Sharon Hoornstra

      1. Hi Sharon, I had Mrs. Price for first grade in 1950, Mrs. Reed 2nd, Mrs. Ellis 3rd, Mrs. O’Neal 4th, Mrs. Powell 5th.

        Hope you contact Michael Tudor. Hope he is OK since doesn’t answer my emails.

        Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone Get Outlook for Android ________________________________

      2. Andrew:

        So glad to hear from you. I retired at end of year and only email I have left I will confirm with you. Text me at 3184191115 and I ll confirm it. Would love to catch up.

      3. Hi Andrew,
        I am a bit longer and attended Woodland elementary. What a great site you created. Thanks for your work!

      4. The site has 1.8 million hits.

        Sent via the Samsung Galaxy Note9, an AT&T 5G Evolution capable smartphone Get Outlook for Android ________________________________

      5. Sharon : Much to catch up on. Much ! My son lives in house on Oakland behind your former house on Jewel ! Trying to respond to Andrew but must run to event right now .

      6. Sharon: Did you finish the 8th grade with us at Woodland in Lorraine Hoffman’s class? I haven’t heard your name since. The pool was built that Summer. Y’all had a small pool which apparently got filled in ? As I recall you family owned and managed the first 7/11 in community ?? Plus I have a bone to pick with you about something which sent me to Miss Lessie for a “talkin”. 😊 I would rather continue in less public forum and you can text number I gave Andrew and we can hopefully continue from there . 8th grade forward ! 😊

  8. Beware. You have me engaged on the one thing which will engage me. I as a rule don’t do social media. Was well aware your father taught chemistry at Louisiana College and one of those academic pillars which made that small Baptist college so respected in academia . Folks like Dr.G Earl Guinn ,the President , of course , who like Lessie Moore did not suffer fools lightly , but was an intellectual and preacher without peer, and Dr. Raymond Nichols and Dr. Whittington , and Dr. Cavanaugh and Dr. Ivy Gravit , Dr. McMillan , Dr. Mary D. Bowman and Dr. Sarah F Anders to name a few. All public figures to some degree so I don’t hesitate to name especially with praise. And think of the peer group of state Baptist preachers during the 50s and 60s like Dr. R. Houston Smith , Dr. G Avery Lee , Dr. Perry Sanders , Dr. Leonard Sanderson , , Dr. Robert Lee and on and on. The Greatest Generation in SO MANY ways. And congratulations from one cancer survivor to another.

  9. I can understand your wariness of social media. I waste way too much time a day posting baseball news on the internet. I am a baseball stataholic.

    Had great respect for Dr. Whittington and am a good friend of Rut Whittington. I remember Dr. Bowman and Dr. Anders. I started at Pineville Elementary with Robert Cavanaugh in 1950, so knew the Cavanaughs well, and was very impressed with his parents. Really liked Dr. R. Houston Smith, who more than likely was the best pastor ever at Pineville First Baptist Church.

    Glad to know you are a cancer survivor. I lost 45 pounds in 3 months, and throwing up blood,so knew something was wrong. It took the VA awhile to figure out what was wrong, so they finally put me on an ambulance from Pineville to Houston and it took another two weeks for doctors there to determine it was cancer. You probably know my oncologist Dr. Clement, who was in charge of my aftercare and chemotherapy. He stopped the chemotherapy, when I was having bad side effects about 2 months into the chemotherapy.

    I never went to college, but instead joined the Army and was stationed in Hawaii for two and a half years, then sent to Vietnam in January of 1966, and was over there till May of 1966, when my three years were up. Not a place to re-enlist, though they tried to get me to.

    A soldier I worked with wrote me two months after I left telling me a mortar shell had hit our post office tent, and killed 2 and injured 7. If I had still been there I may have been one of the casualties. Worst of all, my replacement was killed.

  10. does anyone know anything about the Berwick Home? I think I have the name correct. It is that huge estate on Military hwy. It is very grown up and it has the gate with brick entrance.
    I have wondered about that home for years

      1. According to public records the property is owned by the decreasd Berwicks only child who lives out of state. The home was mostly destroyed by a fire many years ago .Law enforcement watches the property at the request of the child to try keep trespassers out and the property is not for sale . Mr. Berwick was owner and operator of Berwicks Drugstore from the 20s thru the 50s located across from Star Theater and Bristers Hardware on Main Street. Mrs. Berwick’s brother owned and operated Blums Nursery at the corner of Main Street and College in that time frame.

      2. I noticed some interesting postsabout T.C. Brister who had the Hardware Store and was a state representative , I believe? More questions : Did he live on Oakland street? When my oldest son bought a house in that neighborhood , there was only one person still living in the neighborhood when iwas growing up there. Also: Elaine Holmes Brister was the daughter of Mary Beall the sister of Ollie Beall Tudor Gayer , my paternal grandmother. Elaine was my dad’s first cousin and mine once removed . George Beall was another of Aunt Mary’s siblings hence my similar kinship to Uncle George and Aunt Vernon’s progeny two of whom are local, Vernon and Tommy. As far back as I can remember as a child my “Papaw” Tudor hosted the Beall family reunion at 1405 Military Hwy and later after his passing and my brother’s acquisition ,he continued the reunions. As a little boy I remember fondly Carmen Beall, a P.E. teacher organizing all of us kids into various games in that huge front yard!

        Excuse the digression. But Elaine was married to a man named “Commodore” Brister who as I remember was killed in an automobile accident before my birth. I am sure someone of the Brister clan can tell me if and how related to T. C. Brister. My mother ( who was one of the Price siblings and how I am related through her sisters and brothers to Atkins, Bates, Josserands, Prices et al) more than once shared her respect and admiration for Elaines raising her two children and going into work force self employed when that was not done. Mother often smiled at Elaine’s out spokeness for which many Bealls are known for. Mother related well to that. But enough nostalgia for a Sunday afternoon.

      3. I have heard of Elaine Brister before and especially her book about the history of Pineville. However, this was the first time to know she was married to Commodore Brister, before he was killed in an automobile accident. Thanks for writing such interesting posts, since I am learning a lot from your posts.

      4. Happy to. I thought I had written about Elaine before. If not, one more interesting fact about her. She was the first female ever elected to the Rapides Parish School Board and when the Supreme Court decided in Brown vs. Board of Education that segregated schools were illegal she publicly declared that our school board should comply with the law of land . You can imagine the negative local reaction. She received threats and declined to run for re election. One of Elaines good friends and co workers at First Baptist Church Pineville was Lessie Moore, the first female principal of a Rapides Parish school whose appointment was due to support of D.C. Bates , a school board member and deacon at First Baptist Church. That church of which I was a member and have wonderful memories had enormous influence in Pineville at that time.

  11. Maybe one final factoid of genealogy: Aunt Mary Beall Holmes is the great great grandmother of L. C. Football Coach Dennis Dunn

    1. Mike, in a post earlier, you had asked if T. C. Brister lived on Oakland St……Yes, he did….he was my father and I lived there until the day I married. Commodore Brister was my Father’s brother and I know his death in the car accident pained him all his life. Daddy always said that he had left Commodore in charge of the hardware store that day and he told him not to leave the store, but he did….so sad.

      And, yes, my Father served in the State House of Representatives for 3 terms. I remember making many trips to Baton Rouge and we would stay in the old King Hotel…..the last term he served was when I was an adult and was able to vote for him as we were living back in Rapides Parish at the time.

      About the Berwick’s, Martha Berwick was my Mother’s sister so we visited them a lot on Sunday afternoons. I remember so many times at night when my parents left us with them at the Drug Store when they attended functions and Aunt Martha always had bottled cokes and candy bars for us….so we loved going there…..then we would ride with them in that big black Buick out to their home on Military Hwy….Uncle Berwick had a gun he kept under the seat….it was scary going out there in the woods at night…..and people thought he had drugs out there. Their daughter, Cecillia, still owns the property…she lives in Texas.

      I have a copy of Aunt Elaine’s book about Pineville….I’m so glad she wrote it.

      1. Your father made an impression on me that I will never forget, when he let a kid like me buy a baseball glove for $6 even though the price was $6.50. Kids never forget acts of kindness, and I still remember that kindness 62 years later.

      2. Thank you so much for that information. Our oldest son , Chris , purchased the remodeled cottage on corner of Oakland and Lallah.( Where did T,C, Brister live on Oakland?)

        So many wonderful memories of that neighborhood when we all attended Woodland and Lessie Moore was principal. We were the Boomer kids and almost all our parents veterans. My teachers at Woodland were Olive Stagg , Oberia Estrada , Johnnie Asher , and Lorraine Barron Hoffman. Many times I have credited those four women with my critical formative education. They were simply amazing and formidable.

        I am the attorney of record for Mrs. Berwick’s Succession. Had no idea your mother her sister. So she was a Blum. I remember your brother Freddie well as being drug to his nursery by my mother as little boy ! He still had a German accent. Were the Blum siblings born in Germany. My mother liked Freddie because both spoke directly and did not suffer fools gladly.

        Finally n, I think I told you my connection to Elaine Holmes Brister. ? Elaine’s mother was born Mary Beall and sibling of my paternal grandmother Ollie Beall Tudor Gayer.

      3. Michael, this is a reply to your latest comments concerning my family…..My grandfather Emil Blum came to America in 1890 and my grandmother, Marie Harer came to America in 1887. They met in this country and married. Their 3 children, Martha, Fred, and Mary Louise (my mother) were born in different states as they made their way south…finally to Pineville. I didn’t realize that Aunt Elaine had a connection to the Tudor family….interesting. She taught History at La. College for many years. We all went to Pineville Grammar School and had great teachers. I still have a letter that Mrs. Curtis sent me when I was home sick with the measles. Lorraine Hoffman taught me in 7th grade. Yes, Oakland Street was a great place to live back in our growing up years. Many friends to play with. R C. Hale (principal of Pineville High School) and family lived up the street from us. Also Frankie Reed. We walked to grammar school and to high school until we were old enough to drive. So many memories…so long ago…..since you said that your mother would take you to Blum’s Florist, I thought that you might like to see this photo…..

        On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 11:02 AM, Nostalgia and Now wrote:

        > Michael Tudor commented: “Thank you so much for that information. Our > oldest son , Chris , purchased the remodeled cottage on corner of Oakland > and Lallah.( Where did T,C, Brister live on Oakland?) So many wonderful > memories of that neighborhood when we all attended Woodland” >

  12. Mike, I was surprised that Ms. Elaine Brister said we should abide by the law of the land after the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling. I guess that ended her political career. D.C.”Bill” Bates was a proponent for education, and I remember Miss Lessie Moore well.

    1. Andrew, as a Louisiana College graduate of 1947 I remember when your father began teaching at the college. My mother, Elaine Brister, began teaching history there about 1949 and was ultimately dismissed because she lacked a Ph.D. Soon afterwards she was elected to the Rapides Parish School Board where she advocated improving schools for black students. She visited black schools and ate in their lunch rooms. She ran for a second term on the Board but was defeated because of her support of the Brown v Board of Education decision. After her history of Pineville was published, she was awarded the Distinguished Citizen’s Award by the Historical Association of Central Louisiana in 1983. More recently one of three giant live oak trees on the grounds of Huey P. Long Medical Center in Prineville was named in her honor.

      I served as Elaine’s editor on her history of Pineville, Once Upon a River, and went on to write as a columnist for the Roanoke Times in Virginia. Later I authored a book for TCU Press about the history of threadwork. My daughter Ann Bausum carries on the family’s devotion to history and writing as the author of 13 books for readers of all ages about U.S. history, particularly social justice history.

      Elaine Brister’s fondness for Pineville endured for a lifetime. She set an example of leadership, scholarship, and independence that inspires us still.

      1. Dolores, My dad made only $3,000 his first year at Louisiana College. He earned his doctorate from Purdue University in 1954. Your mother should not have been dismissed, since my dad taught at LC several years, before he had a Ph.D. My dad will be 103 if he lives to November. He has 7 family members who lived into their 90’s. His mom lived to 94, his grandma to 92 and his great-grandma to 93. He still knows the table of periodic elements, and he teached into his 80’s at Tusculum College in Tennessee. He now lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

        Supporting Brown v. Board of Education was not a popular stance for her to take, but she stood up for the black people, and lost her election for School Board, for her support of black people.

        Good to know that Elaine Brister received the credit she deserved in later years.

        I read Once Upon A River many years ago, and it was a very interesting read. I can’ think of any other book about Pineville ever being written.

        Wish I could have read some of your columns for the Roanoke Times. My brother Thomas lives in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was great that your daughter Ann continued the family tradition of writing.

        Thank you for taking time to make your comment.

  13. Does anyone have a picture of the house on the Berwick’s Estate? My mother and I have always wondered what it looked like peering past the beautiful but weathered brick and metal gate at the entrance. Many years ago you could almost make out a roofline through the bare trees on winter days.

      1. Kathleen, I tried to post a photo to comment box, but it didn’t work. I think you can post an article in comment box, but tried copying and pasting a photo, but it didn’t work.

      2. Andrew, please let me know if you get this picture of the Berwick house from 1965….of course it burned down many years ago. You had mentioned that you would be interested in seeing it.

        Kathleen Brister Martin

        On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 9:05 PM, Nostalgia and Now wrote:

        > Andrew Godfrey commented: “Kathleen, I tried to post a photo to comment > box, but it didn’t work. I think you can post an article in comment box, > but tried copying and pasting a photo, but it didn’t work.” >

      3. And Andrew: Reviewed all the comments today. It was “Effie” O’Neal not Etta. I wonder of there are descendants of any of those teachers we named still in Cenla? Reeds Typewriter was Mrs. Reed’s husband or brother in law , I think.

      4. Andrew, I would love to see a picture of the Berwick house vefore it burned. My husband (Leo Schram) lived next door to the Berwick place until 1995. I would loved to have been a friend to her. She lived alone and I assume she was afraid.

    1. Valerie, somewhere I have pictures of the Berwick house as they were my Aunt & Uncle…..we spent many Sunday afternoons visiting there and I have pictures of picnics we had on the property before the house was finished.

      1. Would love for the town talk to do another article about the Berwick Estate as I can tell alot of people are interested in it.

  14. To: KBM : Not sure why each comment does not have a “Reply” box. but I clarified , hopefully how my father , Robert Beall Tudor , was first cousin to Elaine Holmes Brister ? Elaine has two first cousins still living that I know of , Tommy Beall, Vernon Beall; ,Bessie Dear Beall Hall. Dennis Dunn , the LC football coach , is Mary Beall Holmes great or great great grandson. The Beall graves are located next to the Tudor graves in Greenwood. I always leave flowers at both sites on All Saints Day.

    1. I was curious if anyone ever seen the older photos of the Berwick home on Military that was mentioned in past comments. I’ve lived in Pineville over 30 years and have always heard how beautiful it was. My Mom was a Coutee. She graduated from Pineville in the mid ’60s. She has told me stories about the Berwick’s being kind to my Grandparents. My Grandfather was very sick once and Mr. Berwick opened the pharmacy in the middle of the night to make him some sort of elixir to drink lol. My Mom said whatever it was it helped him get well within a few days. She often told me about their house although she never seen it in person I don’t think. Just what she could behind the gates.

      1. Tara,

        I remember a Thelma Coutee. Don’t know if that was your mom, but she may have been a relative. If I remember correctly, she graduated from Pineville High in 1962.

        We went to Berwick’s Drug Store a lot.

        I am not sure where to find photos of the Berwick house on Military Highway.

        Thank you for commenting,

    1. Thought you knew the story ?! LC wanted to start an athletic program and a LC professor taught Summer school at Georgetown College in Ky. A rising junior there named Simon Tudor was an outstanding student athlete in all sports. He was as sophomore All Ky football center . Simon’s Tudor ancestors had literally immigrated to Ky. with Daniel Boone and founded Boonesburg , Ky. They were tobacco farmers and some merchants. Simon on of 11 siblings. He was recruited to LC as player coach and formed and played on the basketball , football, and baseball teams. I have a composite picture of him as coach player on all three initial teams . He transferred to Centenary for one semester to do same service there , then back to graduate at LC. He married the Captain of the girls basketball team . one Ollie Beall ! My grandfather taught a couple years then started in house building business with his father in law W.C. Beall and built many of subdivisions surrounding LC quickly transitioning into a partnership with Roland family then a partnership with J.E Ratcliff in 1926 . Tudor and Ratcliff built Neville High School during the Depression and had to take IOUs from Monroe School system when complete . Became solely Tudor Construction when m,y dad came back from WW II. My grandfather passed away in 1956 at age 69. I spent much time as little kid at my Mamaw and Papaw Tudors (and Prices across the street!) and have wonderful memories of my first 11 years. I remember his optimism , humor and generosity. And his competitiveness with Mr. Honeycutt across Military Hwuy. to bring in the first tomatoes. More information than you wanted , I am sure.

      1. We lived in College Hill Subdivision about 4 blocks from LC on Burns Street, so it is possible that our house may have been built by Simon Tudor and W.C. Beall. We moved to Holloway Drive from Lawrence Boulevard about 1948, and then moved to Burns Street in 1952. Our house payment was $55 a month. Didn’t realize that your grandfather had been a teacher. You can give me more information than I want, since I am very interested in history of Pineville and the families that made that history.

  15. Just changed Etta to Effie for Mrs. O’Neal. Thanks for the catch. That was about 63 years ago, so my memory is a little shaky. It is ironic that Tudor and Ratcliff built Neville High School during the Depression, and that many years later Pineville High would play them in the football playoffs of 1960, when Pineville High would go on to win the state championship that year, which is now 57 years ago.

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