GROWTH REQUIRES ACTION.
It is exceedingly gratifying to every citizen of Lafayette that the town has made such progress in the last few years, and we all wish and hope for a steady continuance of its growth. But merely wishing and hoping is not a dependable quantity as regards accomplishment.
To assure a continuance, energetic effort directed with a special object in view must be applied and applied persistently until the desired and is attained.
And as a stimulant to action we must not forget that it is not possible to stand still. Towns like all other mundane things, must either go forward or backward. No exertion is required to slip down hill, gravity will attend to that. But going up demands push, not spasmodic push, but never ceasing push, if we want to see Lafayette grow, we must not entertain the idea that the town has so many advantages it is bound to grow, whether we act or not. That kind of an idea has wrecked many a promising town with just as many colors to its rainbow as Lafayette has. And we especially should not become so absorbed in our rainbow that we can't see the cloud rising on the horizon in the shape of railroads threatening to surround us and curtail our territory. This requires action and vigorous action at that. Instead of allowing ourselves to be surrounded and cut off we must secure additional railroad facilities and increase our territory. The Baton Rouge road is offered us and we must get it. We simply can't afford the folly of failing to promptly and fully meet the condition required for securing it.
Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1905.
THE ROAD QUESTION.
To the Honorable Police Jury of the Parish of Lafayette.
...Gentlemen: Having had a great deal of practical experience in working public roads under different systems in different countries, I most respectfully take the liberty of suggesting for your consideration the outlines of a progressive system for working our public roads, which if your honorable body sees fit to adopt I think will work extremely well in this parish. The times are rushing ahead with such gigantic strides that it requires every department in the parish to be on the move to keep pace with them on the road system. I think that you have started out in the right direction by first widening and draining the roads thoroughly, one of the most important moves that you could have made. We hope that you will not stop or look back until you have given us one of the best and most up-to-date systems for working our public roads that can be found in the State. Every intelligent man must see that our past system of working the roads is a failure, and far behind the times. Our parish is so large and extends over so large an area of country, all needing good roads at the same time that it is impossible for one board of works to look after the whole parish, when most needed, and do justice to every ward. Therefore I would respectfully suggest that the parish be divided into eight road divisions No. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and so on the same as wards. And that each ward or road division shall have the right to receive the full proportion of its pro rata share of all the road taxes collected in the parish. And that each ward or road division shall have the full control of the road work to be done in its own ward under the laws and rules laid down by the Police Jury, independent of any other ward. If any ward sees fit to contract with one man to do all the road work required in the ward for a certain sum not exceeding its share of the road tax it should have the right to do so - or if they think kit best to let part of their roads out to work by contract and part by job or day work they should have the right to do so.
I think that it is quite necessary after we have had a long spell of rain and floods that has carried after we have had a long spell of rain and floods that has carried away the bridges and culverts in many places so that the people can't get out to town or market with their crops, that each ward should have the right to go ahead and at once and repair its own roads without waiting to consult anybody outside of the ward. I am quite well aware that many of the measures that I have suggested are in operation now, but not sufficiently organized to work well.
If your honorable body should see fit to adopt the above system of organization it will be necessary for each ward to organize a board of works composed of the three drainage commissioners, the road overseer and the police juror representing the ward, who will be the chairman. The Board should meet at some convenient place every three or four months or in case of emergency at the call of the chairman, to discuss the best methods of working the roads in general and roads that require immediate attention. The board should report the proceedings of each regular meeting to the Police Jury. I think that the time has come for some such a change to be made.
Yours Respectfully, J. NICKERSON.
Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1905.
DONATED. - Eighteen Miles of Right-of-Way for Baton Rouge-Lafayette Road.
From the Baton Rouge Times.
Senator Wilbert has donated eighteen miles of right of way for the Baton Rouge-Lafayette branch of the Southern Pacific road, or about half the distance from Port Allen to the Atchafalaya river. If a few more land holders will follow this public spirited example, the road should be operating within a year or a year and a half.
It were superfluous to say that the right-of-way so cuts a small property as to virtually destroy it, the owner should be compensated; but a hundred-foot right-of-way through a big property enhances the value so much as to enable the owner to have more value left, after giving away a strip, than he had before giving a way a part.
From the Baton Rouge Times and in the Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1905.
Bank of Lafayette to Erect a Handsome Building on its Lot on Pierce Street.
The bank of Lafayette has let out the contract for its new building corner of Pierce and Congress streets to Reynolds and Taylor, of New Iberia, for $9,375. The building to be delivered Dec. 1 or sooner if possible.
The building will be two stories in height with an ornamental cupola on the corner. It is to be built of pressed brick with terra cotta ornamentation. The interior will be tastefully furnished and a large vault and all necessary facilities. Entrance to the bank will be at the corner through a vestibule, on each side of which will be a large stone column. When completed the building will be a handsome addition to the town. Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1905.
Stereo Opticon Received. - The Sontag Lafayette Concert Band received the fine stereoopticon ordered some time ago. It is one of the finest machines on the narket. It is the intention of the Band to give two concerts a week. Thursday and Sunday nights and at each concert entertaining and instructive stereoopticon views will be shown. The first concert will be given next Sunday night. The price of admission will be 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children. Those holding season tickets willk be charged 15 cents and children 5 cents. Laf. Adv. 7/19/1905.
New Oil Co. - The Southwestern Oil Co., of Houston, have opened an office here with John I. Bell in charge. They handle illuminating and lubricating oil, and are located in the building near the High School formerly the Denegre ginnery.
Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1905.
MARRIED. - Wednesday Mayor C. O. Mouton and Miss Leonie Labasse of New Orleans were quietly married in that city. Mr. and Mrs. Mouton returned to Lafayette Sunday. Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1905.
Burglars Captured. Sunday night Sheriff Lacoste and Officer Chargois and Veazey, while looking for a negro wanted in Vinton, found two negroes in the east end of the railroad yard acting suspiciously. They arrested them and on searching them found two bundles of clothes, five pairs of shoes, four razors, forty knives and a box of combs, evidently stolen. The negroes confessed to having stolen the goods from a store in Gueydan. The Vermilion authorities were notified and Monday Sheriff Boudreaux came and got them. Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1905.
The Cane Crop.
[La. Planter and Sugar Manufacturer.]
An excess of rain is still being reported from the sugar district and some dry weather is desired by our sugar planters in order that the final working may be given to their cane crops. The last two or three days have shown an improvement in the weather conditions, and advantage is being taken of this to get actively to work in the fields and a continuation of dry weather for a few days longer will materially assist our sugar producers and enable them to accomplish the work of laying by the crop. From the La. Planter and Sugar Manufacturer and in the Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1905.
New Grader for the Roads.
The council has purchased an Austin road grader to be used in working the streets.
Laf. Adv. 7/19/1905.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of July the 19th, 1902:
The Power of a Newspaper.
The power of a newspaper to aid a town is well recognized in some communities and they show it by a liberal support. As cases in point: Kaplan is a small town on the Abbeville-Rayne branch of the S. P. railroad, which has just been started. To assist the building up the town a paper was felt to be a necessity, and so the residents subscribed $5000, to start one. The same thing was done at Estherwood, a small town near Crowley. Crowley was started the same way, and the people know that their confidence in printer's ink is not misplaced. That is why they have always supported their papers and they have two splendid ones because they are supported. Two weeks ago the Crowley Signal was organized as a stock company with a capitol of $50,000, and the Crowley News, which we consider one of the brightest papers in the country, is also backed by heavy capital. In the town of Breaux Bridge the merchants showed their hearty appreciation of their paper by signing an agreement to patronize only those wholesale houses that give their local paper an advertisement. Such practical support given to home given to home papers is more than repaid by the papers which all do much and often for the upbuilding of their homes. The people of Lafayette should like other progressive towns should remember the services that their papers render the town and on all occasions, give their hearty support, financially and otherwise.
Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1902.
Fourteenth of July. A large number of the French residents of Lafayette celebrated the Fourteenth of July, the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, by decorating their homes and places of business with French flags and by social gatherings which toasts were drunk to the prosperity of France, and many pleasant memories recalled of the days in the old country.
Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1902.
Cumberland Telephone Co. Fined.
The railroad commission has fined the Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Company $2000 for permitting Marcus Levy, one of the company's subscribers at Gibson, to charge more than legal rates for use of his telephone. Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1902.
Struck By Lightning.
Friday afternoon of last week a young negro man by the name of Ceaser Martin was killed by lightning while plowing in the field two miles north of town. After striking him the bold shattered the plow handles, split the beam of the plow and passed into the ground without injuring the two horses pulling the plow. Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1902.
Monday night about twenty-five young men met at Falk's Hall and organized a military company. The following officers were elected temporarily; Jerome Mouton, Captain; J. R. Domengeaux, First Lieut., Louis Guerre, Second Lieut. Another meeting will be held at Fire Co. No. 1 on next Monday night at 8 p. m. and it is expected more will join. A cordial invitation is extended to all the young men of the town to be present and enroll with the company. It is greatly desired to have a full company. Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1902
From the Lafayette Advertiser of July 19th, 1890:
Selected News Notes.
Oh yes! The weather has been warm; but what else could do the work on the crops? The health of the community is comparatively good notwithstanding.
We have needed rain for several days past. The dust gets oppressive at times in town; and especially so since we have had so many of our country friends in to see us during the week, whose stirring ways managed to raise the dust.
Our crops in this parish are magnificent, and each day of the fine weather that we have been enjoying has added just that much to the prosperity. From the present outlook Lafayette parish will be on a boom this fall.
Miss Henriette Crouchet, of Rayne, is the guest of Mr. J. Vigneaux and family.
If it fails, money refunded; Preston's "Hed-Ake."
Miss Aline Levie, of New Orleans, was a guest at the Rigues Hotel last week.
Hon. Overton Cade was in town last Thursday, and dropped in to see us.
We are glad to note that the practice of whitewashing, which we have been advocating so long, is becoming general in our village. This is right, keep it up.
Our town is crowded with vegetables, melons and produce; and despite the fact that this is the Summer season. Lafayette is by no means a dull place.
An Ice-cream festival will be given on the premises of the Lafayette Presbyterian Church, on the 24th of July for the purpose of enabling the Church to place around the building and yard a suitable enclosure. All are invited to be present and assist.
Mr. W. G. Vleck, General Superintendent of the S. P. Railroad, came up from New Orleans Wednesday night in his special car "Tuscon," and met Division Superintendent W. F. Owen in consultation at the Crescent Hotel.
Mrs. Maurice Martin, with two of her little girls, called at our office Wednesday evening with some remarkably fine ears of corn, grown this season by Mr. W. D. Owen, who is working Mr. Mouton's place near town. Mr. Owen has gained a reputation in our parish for being a fine agriculturist, and his energy is doing much to show the capacity of the country for production.
The many friends of Mr. Charles D. Caffery are glad to welcome him home again after his arduous and efficient labors as Secretary of the Senate.
Mr. C. C. Higginbotham has purchased the fixtures and other appurtenances of the barber shop formerly occupied by Mr. Eugene Vidal, and intends operating the place in connection with his depot business, as a "down town" shaving saloon.
At the residence of Mr. J. T. Dowdell in the town of Lafayette, on Monday the 14th day of July, 1890, WILLIAM J. CAFFERY, aged 36 years.
At the residence of her parents, John and Noemie Vandergriff, in the town of Lafayette, La., on Thursday the 17th day of July, 1890, at 9:30 o'clock, a. m., EDNA, aged 5 months and three day.
From the Lafayette Advertiser of July 19, 1879:
It has been out intention for some time to call attention to the public to our roads and the expediency of repairing them at this time. That they are in absolute need of repair, is patent to say every one who rides over them. Experience has shown the utter uselessness of a dependence upon the proper authorities, and unless our citizens take it in had themselves we will never have good roads.
The different roads in the immediate vicinity of town are especially in need of repair. Since the Police Jury and road oversees will do nothing, it devolves upon those living in the vicinity of those roads to repair them. We have good reason to believe that they will receive them. We have good reason to believe that they will receive the hearty co-operation of the business men and merchants of the town, and now that the crops are laid by the planters could devote their entire attention to the work. It is useless to wait for relief from the Police Jury. There is but one way by which good roads can be secured and that is by the volunteer efforts of the planters aided by our merchants. We suggest that a meeting be held to consider this matter - say, the 26th inst., at the Court House.
We appeal to our people to give this matter their serious attention.
Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1879.
Two-Year Mudhole. For two years there has been a mudhole on St. John street, near Mr. Godard's, that would almost bog a mosquito and was at least forty feet wide. Last Saturday this hole was filled, the street graded, the ditches opened and the crossings repaired. Work was done, which good judges say, if it had been let out at contract it would have cost the town between forty and fifty dollars. A warrant for four dollars paid the bill.
At the solicitation of the committee on streets, Messrs. Gerac Bros. furnished a wagon and driver, Mr. Theodule Hebert, Jr., did the same. A. J. Godard, Daniel Alexander, Frank Conway (Aleck), and others furnished labor gratis. The work was all done quietly and without parade.
The City Council and citizens are and ought to be grateful for such evidences of public spirit.
OUR RAILROAD. - The second locomotive has arrived, and several hundred tons of steel rails, etc. Track laying has commenced, east and west of Lake Charles depot. The general manager of the railroad company advertises in the Houston Daily Telegram for one hundred track men. Work goes right along. From the Lake Charles Echo.
News Notes 7/19/1879.
We were favored with a copious shower of rain last Thursday. It was very much needed, but we fear it came too late for a portion of the corn crop.
B. A. SALLES informs his friends and the public that he will have ice cream and fresh cakes for sale every Sunday, at his saloon on Lafayette street.
Mr. E. ANGELLOZ, of Morgan City, will open a first class Grocery in this place on the 10th of August next.
NEW FANCY FAMILY FLOUR for sale at John O. Mouton's, corner of Vermilion and Washington streets. Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1879.
ATTEMPT TO WRECK PASSENGER TRAIN.
Failed Because the Express Was Fifty Minutes Late. Extra Freight Instead Runs Into Open Switch.
Engineer Killed, Fireman Hurt and Brakeman Seriously Injured - Local Officers Assisted by Detectives.
Every Effort Being Made to Discover the Guilty Party - Southern Pacific Offers a Reward of $300.
Sunday morning at 3:30 a dastardly attempt to wreck passenger train No. 8 known as the San Antonio express at Landry's switch miscarried, and instead an extra freight running on the passenger's time was ditched, and Engineer William Whelan was killed and Fireman W. H. Brownfield were seriously injured. All were from New Orleans.
At first the accident was supposed to have been caused by a spreading of the rails, but investigation disclosed the fact that some miscreant had broken the lock and thrown the switch, and in order to make sure of his deadly work had removed the light and bent the staff so that it could not be replaced.
Had the passenger train been on time the loss of life would have been fearful. It would have run into the switch at a rate of more than forty miles and hour, which would have resulted in a complete demolishment of the train, with possibly the horrors of fire added to it. But a merciful providence seems to have been guarding the train. First one little thing and then another caused a loss of time.
The passenger train was due at Lake Charles at 12:09 a. m., but arrived a few moments late. Then a washout caused loss of time; a hot box made it still later, and at every station passengers were picked up adding a little more delay, so that when the train reached Lafayette it was fifty minutes late.
A half hour before the passenger train arrived it was decided to run extra freight 670, which was very late, on ahead of the passenger train. The freight was an unusually heavy one, being made up of mostly loaded tank cars of sulphur for export.
Landry switch is about twenty minutes run from Lafayette, and when the freight reached it, it was going at a speed of fully 25 miles an hour. When the engine struck the switch, according to statements made by trainmen to Supt. Shakford, the train leaped from the track and turned over twice. The momentum of the heavy train drove it into the ground and piled five cars of sulphur in a heap beside the switch. The rest remained on the track, but a number of tank cars collapsed and almost every one sprang a leak, and the oil poured out into the ditch.
The crash of the wreck awakening people living near, who rushed to the scene, and whose timely arrival and prompt work prevented fire from the completing the destruction. Some of the oil had taken fire, but effective work soon extinguished the blaze.
Engineer Whelan was caught beneath his engine and killed instantly, his head being fearfully crushed. His body could not be taken out until the wreckage was cleared. Fireman Brownfield was thrown out of the car to one side of the track and was seriously injured. Brakeman Coine, who was riding on the engine, was also thrown to one side but was caught by some of the wreckage. He was badly hurt about the left ankle, one leg broken and his head bruised. The injured were sent to New Orleans for treatment as soon as possible and Engineer Whelan's body as soon as removed the wreck.
No reason is known for this dastardly attempt to wreck the passenger train. The people of the town and parish of Lafayette have always been most friendly towards the Southern Pacific and especially so at this time when they are contemplating giving us connection with Baton Rouge. No one here can imagine any motive for it. Who the miscreants were or what their purpose was is a mystery. The local officers are making every effort to get trace of the criminals and the people are rendering every assistance possible. A number of special detectives are also working on the case.
The investigation carried on by Superintendent Shackford lasted until late Sunday night, and was most thorough. After returning here Mr. Shackford made the following statement.
"The wreck was caused by the malicious tampering with the switch at Landry by some unknown scoundrels. We are forced to believe it was for the purpose of wrecking the through passenger train. We have not the least clue to who the miscreants were. Our special agents, together with the Sheriff and a number of citizens, have been scouring the country surrounding the scene of the accident, but have found no trouble with anyone in this part of the country, and I am at a loss to understand why anyone should make the attempt to wreck the fast train which would have resulted in the death of so many innocent people. It may have been done by someone who had some fancied grudge against the railroad, or else it might have been some crank who had read of train wrecking. Our own men are furious over the attempt, which cost the lives of some of their number, and I believe that they would be willing to go out and shoot the man or men who did it.
"When I arrived at Landry I found that the switch had been broken and opened, and switch light removed. Later I found that the light had been placed in the center of the main track, but that it had been extinguished when removed.
"We got the main track cleared of debris this afternoon, and it is now passable to all trains. It will be several days before the siding can be used, as the track has been plowed up for several car lengths.
"We will continue the search for the scoundrels who committed this horrible act which was evidently intended to wreck the fast train, and at the same time we will use every precaution a repetition of the matter." Lafayette Advertiser 7/19/1905.