29 April 2014

Dempsey Boyd Trotter Facundus (1899-1960), part 1

Dempsey Boyd Facundus is a mystery in some ways.  I am not sure I will ever find all the answers. Here are documents I have found in order of chronology.

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The 1900 U.S. Census has Dempsey B. Trotter in Greensburg, St. Helena, Louisiana in the family of William and Nancy (Narmie) Trotter. He is listed as 'son'. His age is listed as 7/12. The census was taken on June 6th so his birth date listed fits a November birth date, however the census has him being born October 1899 in Louisiana. Both of his parents were also born in Louisiana.

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The 1910 U.S. Census has Demsy Troter in Kern County, California with Walter and Kate Facunduz (Facunduz). He is listed as 'Boarder'. His age is listed as 9, since the census was taken on September 12 this also fits a November birth date. The census taker lists his and his parents birthplaces as unknown. He attended school in 1909.

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His 12 September 1918 World War I Draft registration card has him living in McKittrick, Kern County, California. His signature on the card reads Dempsey Boyd Facundus. His birth date is listed as 16 July 1899 making him 19 on the paperwork. His occupation is listed as Oil Worker for the Standard Oil Company. His Nearest relative is listed as Mrs. Kate Facundus, 'Aunt' living in Taft, Kern, California. He is medium height and build with blue eyes and dark hair.

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The 1920 U.S. Census has Dempsey Facundus in McKittrick, Kern County, California,  a boarder in a residence with four other boarders. His age is listed as 21 and he is single. Since the census was taken on January 29th he would actually be a year younger. He can read and write. He and his parents were all born in Louisiana. His occupation is listed as Oil Worker at St Oil.

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His 28 November 1925 Marriage License and Certificate has his name as Dempsey Boyd Facundus native of Louisiana, age 25. This age is accurate because it is five days after his 25th birthday. He is listed as a resident of Long Beach, Orange County, California. His wife is listed as Minnie Catherina a native of Arkansas, age 18, resident of Long Beach, Orange, California. The License was issued 27 November 1925 and the wedding was preformed 28 November 1925 in Santa Ana, Orange, California.

1926 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 1519 E. 10th Street in Long Beach, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minnie G. Facundus.

1927 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 421 Rose Pl. Street in Long Beach, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus.

1930 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 1919 Alamitos Ave. Street in Long Beach, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus.

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The 1930 U.S. Census has Dempsey Facundus (Denprey Facgundas) in Long Beach, Los Angeles County, California, as head of household. He rents his home, he is age 30 and is listed as 26 at age of first marriage. He was born in Louisiana and his parents were both born in Indiana. His occupation is listed as Rotary man at Ext?? Oil Fields. He is enumerated with his wife Minerva and son Edward ages 22 and 2 4/12.

1935 City Directory has Dempsey Facundus living at 55 Lincoln in Fresno, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva Facundus.

1936 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 55 Lincoln in Fresno, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva Facundus.

1935 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 76 Buchanan in Fresno, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva Facundus.

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A 21-26 April 1937 Passenger and Crew List for the S.S. Carabobo shows Dempsey B Facundus traveled roundtrip from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico thru to La Guaira, Venezuela. Lists his birth date as 23 December 1899 in Greensburg La.

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A 12-17 May 1939 Passenger and Crew List for the S.S. Uruguay shows Dempsey Facundus traveled roundtrip from Trinidad to New York. Lists his place of birth Guinsburg La. on 12 December 1899. His address is listed as 3213 Calla Rosebus St. Santa Barbara, Cal.

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The 1940 U.S. Census has Dempsey B Facundus in Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County, California, as an absent head of household. He is age 40, born in Louisiana. In 1935 he lived in Coalinga, Fresno, California. His occupation is listed as Oil Driller and he did this job all of last year. He is enumerated with wife Minerva and sons Edward and William.

1941 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 450 Paseo Del Descanso in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus.

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A 21-29 July 1941 Passenger and Crew List for the Motorship Gulfwing shows Dempsey Boyd Facundus traveled roundtrip from Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela to Philadelphia, Pa. Lists his place of birth Greensburg, Louisiana on 23 December 1899. His address is listed as Box 16, Galeta, California.

1942 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 450 Paseo Del Descanso in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an Oil Worker. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus.

1956 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 5757 Armitos Ave in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation sanitarian at the Goleta Sanitary District. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus. Also listed on the page are his sons Edward, a well driller, and William, an attendant at the Goleta Service Station, and their wives.

1957 City Directory has Dempsey B Facundus living at 5757 Armitos Ave in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an employee at the Goleta Sanitary District. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus. Also listed on the page are his sons Edward, a well driller, and William, an attendant at the Goleta Service Station, and their wives.

1958 City Directory has Dempsey Facundus living at 120f Magnolia in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an employee at the Goleta Sanitary District. His spouse is Minerva Facundus. Also listed on the page are his sons Edward (Don B.), a mechanic, and William L., an attendant at the Goleta Service Station, and their wives.

1959 City Directory has Dempsey D Facundus living at 70 Tecolote Ave in Santa Barbara, California. His occupation is an inspector at the Goleta Sanitary District. His spouse is Minerva G Facundus. Also listed on the page is his son William L., an attendant at the Goleta Service Station, and his wife.

The California Death Index lists Dempsey B Facundus. His Social Security Number is 546-03-9678. His birth date is listed as 20 November 1899, in Louisiana. His death date is 14 July 1960, in Santa Barbara.

Find-A-Grave record #68127864 shows Dempsey Boyd Facundus, birth November 23, 1899 in Livingston Parish, Louisiana; death July 14 1960 in Santa Barbara, California. There is also a link to his wife, Minerva Genieve Catherina Laskey. He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Santa Barbara.

25 April 2014

History of My Life by Emma Irene Facundus Trotter

History of My Life by Emma Irene Facundus Trotter
written [by Emma] in December 1942

I was born February 11, 1868 in Gillsburg, Amite County, Mississippi. My parents were James J. and Jane Wall Jones Facundus.

My father, James Jacob Facundus, was born the 8th of March, 1837, in Livingston Parish, Louisiana (near Springfield). He was the son of George and Mary Ann McKie Facundus. My grandfather, George Facundus, was born and raised in Livingston Parish, near Springfield, Louisiana, and was the son of Jacob Facundus. Where Jacob Facundus was born or what his nationality was, I do not know; because my father, James J. Facundus was left an orphan and he did not know much about his grandfather. Some said that he was a Spanish ship-builder and others said that he was of french-american descent.

My grandmother, Mary Ann McKie, who was born, raised and married in Livingston Parish, Louisiana, was the daughter of James McKie and Ann Bookter who came to Louisiana from South Carolina.

My mother, Jane Wall, the daughter of Charles Wall and Patsy [Ann] Sibly, was born, raised, and married in Gillsburg, Amite county, Mississippi (the exact date of her birth is unknown because a fire destroyed family records, but she thought that she was born about June 1835). Her father (and my grandfather), Charles Wall, came to Mississippi from South Carolina with his parents when he was a small lad. The parents of my grandmother, Patsy Sibly, came to Mississippi from North Carolina.

Charles Wall, my grandfather, was a cotton-plantation owner, He had a large plantation and many slaves. I can remember hearing my mother tell about him and her life on the plantation. My grandmother, Patsy Sibly Wall, died, leaving several small children. Although my grandfather remarried later, the care of the children and the house was given to Mammy Celia and Mammy Matilda, two good-hearted negresses. Their skins were black, but their teeth were white as ivory and they had hearts of gold and the children loved them. Even when the children were grown and married, these two good souls went to their homes to help them when they were needed and especially in times of sickness. I can remember very well when one of these Negro-mammys from my grandfather's plantation came to care for my mother when my sister, Cassie, was born and I was five years old.

Visiting my grandfather's plantation is one of my earliest recollections. It had a long lane down through it. I can still remember how it looked with the plantation-house on one side of it and the negro cabins on the other side. The white folks lived on one side of the long lane and the Negroes lived in small cabins on the other side. Grandfather Wall always treated his slaves kindly and many of them stayed with him and continued to live on the plantation after they were freed. Each married negro had his own cabin and garden spot for his family, The work to be done was assigned out: one negro was the plantation blacksmith, who kept all the tools in repair; one was the plantation fisher and hunter. He provided fish which were caught in the rivers nearby and had charge of the animals which were turned loose to run in the swamps. He had a hunting dog and a horn which when blown, brought the hogs together. Hog-killing was an exacting business, for often one hundred hogs were slaughtered at one time in the fall of the year. Their meat was cured with salt and then smoked in smoke houses and packed away in corn husks for winter use.

After the Civil War Grandfather's plantation, like many others, was devastated and he, saddened by the war and its after-effects, soon died. Later the plantation-house was purchased by the Gill brothers. They used it for a store and a Post Office, and the town became known as Gillsburg after them. I can remember when they had their store there. As a small girl, I was quite interested in their activities. Once they got a shipment of dry-goods which had been brought from Greensburg in wagons, without covers, in a rainstorm. Upon its arrival it was all wet, and the Gill brothers unwrapped the bolts of cloth and had them strung outside in the yard and on the fences to dry.

My mother, Jane Wall, married Josephus Jones. He was fatally stabbed in an Election Day fight. Election Days in the South were usually very exciting, and many times gun-play and fights at the polls resulted in death.
Pvt. Francis M. Carter - On October 4, 1858 (Election Day) Josephus Jones was stabbed in front of Wall's store in Gillsburg, Mississippi. Francis M. Carter was accused of this stabbing and the subsequent death of the victim on the following day. The Liberty Advocate published a report on the 14th of October, 1858 about this event. It was said that Mary Spurlock Jones spent $3,000 dollars trying to have him hanged. He was instead given a jail sentence, though it would appear to be a short one, from looking at the birth date of his second child — William Monroe Carter on September 7, 1860. Francis M. Carter served in the 33rd Mississippi, Company B.
To this union the following children were born: Mary Francis Jones, born October 2, 1852; Aldolphus Eugene Jones, born May 31, 1854; Charles Henry Jones, born April 29, 1856 - died August 28, 1859; and Jane Jones, born July 14, 1858 - died August 7, 1858.

On the 8th of March 1860 James J. Facundus and Jane Wall were married. After their marriage they lived on a farm in Amite County, Mississippi, where the following children, including myself, were born: Charlie Facundus, born May 17, 1861; James David Walton Facundus, born April 4, 1866; Emma Irene Facundus, born February 11, 1868; Rosa Ellen Facundus, born February 21, 1870; Cora Cassandra Facundus, born October 13, 1873; & Elzy Varner Facundus, born February 27, 1876.

When I became old enough to go to school I walked about three miles with my brothers to the one-roomed schoolhouse which we attended. Later we lived for two years at Amite City, Louisiana. Here I spent much time reading the Bible because it was one of few books we had in our home.

While we lived in Amity City, we children went to school in a larger building which had a double chimney in the middle of the room. We had two lady teachers. One of them, Mrs. Abbey, told me that I would have to have a reader. I told my father and he bought me one called "An Independent Reader". I always treasured this book because it had so many poems in it. I always loved poetry and I think I memorized every poem the book contained. I can still remember one called "The Acorn" as clearly as when I first learned it. It went like this:

The Acorn

Long ago in the changeful autumn,
When the leaves were turning brown,
From the very top-most branches
Fell a little acorn down.

And it tumbled by the pathway
And a chance foot trod it deep,
In its shell, where all the winter.
In the ground it lay asleep.

With the white snow lying over
And the frost to hold it fast;
Till there came the mild spring weather
When it burst its shell at last

First shot up a spangling tender,
Scarcely seen above the ground;
Then a mimic little oak tree
Spread its tiny arms around.

Many a rain and night dew nursed it,
Summer hot and winter long,
And the bright sun shone upon it
While it grew up tall and strong.

Now it stands like a giant
Casting shadows broad and high,
With huge trunk and leafy branches
Reaching up toward the sky.

Here the cattle come for shelter
In the noon-tide hot and bright,
And among its leafy branches
Is where the wild birds rest at night.

After we had lived in Amite City about two years, a yellow-fever epidemic broke out along the railroad so father moved us out to a farm where he felt we would be safer. Mr. Lock Boyd was our first man teacher there. We went to his school after we moved out to this farm which my father had rented. Later father bought his own farm which was near Greensburg. As children, we always did our part on the farm and helped with whatever work there was to be done.

I recall vividly the "log-rollings" which used to be held. When the heavily-timbered lands were cleared for farming, "log rolling" was given. Previously the landowner had chopped the bark off the trees. (Called "girdling", the farmer cut a band of bark off, which killed the tree.) When the trees were dead, all the neighbors were invited to help clear them from the land. Sometimes fifteen or twenty men came to help cut and roll the ten or twelve foot logs into piles and burn them. The women in the family would cook for three or four days to prepare food and on the day of the "log rolling" a hot dinner was served to the workers. In the evening a dance was held in the home and the people who weren't staunch Baptists danced to violin and accordion music - for dancing was forbidden in the Baptist Church.

I met Samuel Thomas Trotter, a young man who was staying with my friend, Helen Story. The Story family only lived a short distance from our home. We became good friends and later became engaged. Samuel went to work on the sugar farms for two winters before we were married. He was the son of James and Ruth Glasscock Trotter and was born February 15, 1860, in Greensburg, Louisiana. His father, James Trotter, was born about June 1813 and his mother, Ruth Glasscock, was born August 18, 1815.

Samuel Thomas Trotter
We were married on February 4, 1886, in my home. Reverend Robert Stewart performed the marriage ceremony. After our marriage we made our home on a farm which my husband worked. While we lived there the following children were born: Samuel Adrian, born November 3, 1886; James Lloyd, born April 1, 1888, - died December 1, 1888; Arnold DeWitt, born October 12, 1889; Daisy Irene, born July 25, 1894; Maston Sitman, born August 29, 1897 - died November 21, 1921; and Arthur Dahl Swenson, born March 12, 1900.

During these years my father and brothers were given contracts to build houses on the land in Springfield, Louisiana, that had formerly been in the Facundus Farm. They worked under the name of the Facundus Brothers Contractors and Builders. I remember when Daisy was a baby, that Tom Easely, who was working with them, was reported to have dug up a pot of gold. For a time everyone was searching for, and hoping to uncover, some buried treasure along the river which was near the Facundus Property.

One day in 1896 I saw two men who traveled up and down on the country road that ran past our farm. They passed by our place several times and each time I saw them , my curiosity was aroused, I wondered what they were doing. Finally, one evening they came to our home and asked for a nights lodging. My husband wasn't home, but after I learned that they were missionaries. I invited them to come in and wait until he came form work.

We decided to give them lodging for the night and, being missionaries of the L.D.S. church, they told us of the principles and beliefs of their church. After that night they came to our home many times and we held fireside conversations in which we discussed the Gospel. They gave us a card bearing the Articles of Faith. When I read the 8th Article of Faith which states, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly, we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." I felt some doubts. This was because I was a staunch believer in the Bible. But when Elders Swen L. Swenson and William Martin explained the Article of Faith more fully to me, my testimony of the truthfulness of their message made me anxious to become a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints [sic]. I think that I must have been converted from the very first, and I could hardly wait until the day I was baptized. On May 24, 1896, I was baptized by Elder Swenson and conferred a member of the LDS church by Elder Martin on the same day.

My husband took longer to consider this new-found faith but he too was baptized July 5, 1896 by Elder Martin and confirmed the same day by Elder Swenson. We found great joy in the Gospel even though we were the only ones of our families to accept it and join the Church. My folks were not bitter against the "Mormons" as so many people were in those days; yet they did not see fit to partake of the manifold blessings which have been ours since that day when we cast our lot with the saints.

After we had joined the Church we felt the spirit of gathering. I was especially desirous of coming to Utah, which was the gathering place of the saints. From this time on we always invited the Elders to stop with us. At one time I recall there were eight missionaries who come to our home. They were on their way to a conference. We could accommodate only four, so the other four went back to Brother Thomas' to stay. He  wasn't a member of the church but he was kindhearted and liberal. By the time we came to Utah there had been thirty-five different Elders who were entertained at various times in our home.

At last, in June of 1900, we left our home and dear ones and our friends and came to Utah to live. Elder Swenson, the man who had brought us the message of the gospel, wanted us to settle in Pleasant Grove, where he promised Mr. Trotter a job in his store. Elder Arthur Dahl, a missionary that we had grown to love before we came to Utah, influenced us to come to Goshen, the place where he lived. After we arrived here, Mr. Dahl, who was leasing the Ercanbrack Farm on the creek, gave my husband work on the farm. This kind of work was more to his liking. After we came to Goshen two more children were born. They were Core Estella (born June 28, 1902) and Hoyt Mocus (born November 13, 1905 - died November 19, 1942).

For a time we lived in a house at the top of town; later we moved to the home in which William Burraston now lives. When Mr. Dahl went to Canada to settle, my husband got other jobs. He drove the milk wagon for the Goshen Creamery, worked as watchman on the tracks, and drove a peddling-wagon to Eureka for William Finch while he was on his mission.

In 1907 I returned to Louisiana for a visit because my mother was seriously ill. She lived about one week after I reached there and died March 23, 1907. My father died a little over a year later on June 19, 1908.

In 1911 Mr. Trotter obtained the position of school custodian. He was the first man to put a fire in the Goshen school furnace and the custodianship of Goshen Buildings has been in the family ever since. From 1913 to 1925 we lived in the old schoolhouse which had been remodeled into a dwelling place.

On December 1, 1915, Mr. Trotter and I received our Endowments in the Salt Lake Temple and were sealed to each other. In the last few years I have done all the temple work for my family that has been possible for me to do.

On October 15, 1913 our oldest son, Samuel Adrian, and Maude Diana Hansen were married. They had the following children:
  1. Rene Charles Trotter - born September 19, 1914 at Provo, Utah; married Noreen Conley - has one son, Charles Rene Trotter, born January 14, 1940 at Payson, Utah.
  2. Della Trotter - born July 10, 1916 at Provo, Utah; married Albert Hudson - Two children, Raydel and Jollean.
  3. Wayne Thomas Trotter - born October 16, 1917 at Provo, Utah; married Delma Hines - two daughters, Charmane and Katherine, who died in infancy, one son Thomas Michael, born May 10, 1942 at Maywood, California.
  4. Stanley Howard Trotter - born July 7, 1920 at Castle Gate, Utah. Before being drafted into the army, he earned his civilian pilot's license at Spanish Fork & at Tucson, Arizona. At present, he is a Staff Sergeant, gunner & bombardier-navigator; stationed at Daniel Field, Augusta, Georgia. He also received training at Camp Kearns, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; & Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Our oldest daughter, Daisy Irene, was married to Emil Jacobson on October 22, 1913. They have made their home in Provo, Utah, and have the following children:
  1. Fawn Irene Jacobson Wyatt - born January 5, 1915 at Provo. Her husband is now in the Army and she and her son, David Neal Harris, born September 10, 1935, at Provo, are with her parents in Provo. She works at the Geneva Steel Plant.
  2. (Ensign) E. DeWitt Jacobson - born September 21, 1916 at Provo. He is a Naval Flier and is now attending college at Burlington, Vermont, for Northeast Airlines.
  3. Elder Keith T. Jacobson - born January 28, 1920 at Provo. He is serving a mission for the LDS church, laboring in the Southern Louisiana Mission, and is serving as a District President.
  4. Mack Arden Jacobson - born October 1, 1923 at  Provo. He entered the services November 17, 1942 and is presently stationed at the U.S. Naval Base at Farragut, Idaho.
  5. DeAnn Jacobson - born May 9, **** at Provo. She is in the fourth grade at the BYU Training School.

On June 14, 1916 our third son, Arnold DeWitt Trotter, was married to Louisa ("Louie") Price. They have the following children:
  1. Philip DeWitt Trotter - born March 2, 1917 at Goshen. He is now a clerk in the Intelligence Department, 25th Division, U.S. Coast Guard, Kodiak, Alaska.
  2. Dorothy Trotter - born October 6, 1919 at Provo. She married Virgil Pershing Howe and lives in Los Angeles. They have one son, Michael DeWitt.
  3. Edythe Trotter - born November 12, 1921 at Goshen. She is Head Floor Girl at the Kress Company.
  4. James Lowell Trotter - born January 7, 1926, died November 5, 1926.
  5. Richard Junior Trotter - born August 20, 1923 in Goshen. He is in the Armed Services.
  6. Paul Arnold Trotter - born September 25, **** at Huntsville, Weber County, Utah. He is attending Lincoln Junior High School and his hobbies are electronics and raising pets.
  7. Anna Louisa Trotter - born June 5, **** at Ogden, Weber county, Utah. She is attending Lincoln Junior High and is active in 4-H. Her name is a namesake for Louisiana, being Louisiana re-arranged.

When the United States entered World War I, our son, Maston, volunteered. He asked for a position as a truck driver and was assigned to company F, Fifth Supply Train in the 5th Division of the U.S. Army. Here he drove a truck which carried army supplies. He was sent across to France with this division in the Spring of 1918and saw months of active service there. My daughter, Cora, and I made a large U.S. flag and sent it to him. He was very pleased with it, and put it on his supply truck. Whenever the French people saw the flag they cheered loudly. After the war ended, a French family who had become his friends asked for a souvenir to remember him by, and he left this flag with them.

He drove on the Fifth Division, or the Meuse Division as it was later called. This division laid its chief Claim to fame in its forced crossing of the Meuse River and the Canal de l'Est in the face of dominating heights that were almost impregnable and as I understand, was the first to cross the bridge after the bridgehead was established. Of the brave feat of this Meuse Division Commander-in-Cheif, John J. Pershing, wrote, "The feat of arms, however, which marks especially the Divisions ability as a fighting unit, was the crossing of the Meuse River and the establishing of a bridgehead on the eastern bank. This operation was one of the most brilliant military feats in the history of the American Army in France."

With the exception of a small piece of shrapnel which lodged in his knee, Maston was not injured; although the end of his truck was demolished and his captain, who was standing beside him, was killed. He reached the rank of Corporal when the Armistice was signed. He came home on the U.S.S. Agamemnon. He had a medal on which was written, "Defense Sector, St. Mihiel, Meuse Argonne."

On August 15, 1921, he and Zelda Steele were married. He took ill and died November 21 of that same year, leaving his bride of three months. Their son, Maston Lavelle Trotter, was born April 10, 1922 at Goshen, Utah. He is majoring in Civil Engineering at the Utah State Agricultural College.

The following Christmas we received the following lovely poem from our friend, Hattie J. Higginson:

Christmas in Heaven

Dear friends, I know your hearts are sad
Since Maston went away,
And you will miss him, oh so much,
This coming Christmas day.
You'll miss his bright and happy smile,
And all his joyous ways,
But he is spending Christmas now
In happy song and praise.

Just wanted on the other side,
He had a work to do;
Perhaps he's hunting up dear friends
Who were beloved by you.
Perhaps Out Father needed him
His gospel to proclaim,
The time is drawing very near
When all must name His name.

Yes, wanted on the other side,
So many of our young
Have passed away the last few years,
Their lives seemed scare begun,
We know not why Out father calls
The young, the brave, the true,
But sometime we will understand
And know our Father knew

I pray the Lord to comfort send
To every stricken heart,
Bind up the wounds, and dry the tears,
Sweet peace to each impart;
For He alone can send the balm
To heat the heart of pain,
So put your trust in Him, clear hearts,
You will not trust in vain.

I pray his parents may be blest,
His brothers, sisters too,
His dear young wife so soon bereft,
Her married days were few;
I pray the Lord to give you strength
To bravely bear the pain,
And trust in Him, with hearts of faith
Till you shall meet again.

So put your trust in God, dear friendly
The time will not be long,
Till you meet your boy again.
So beautiful and strong;
You'll thank the Lord for every gift
That unto you He's given,
When you shall meet, your loved ones greet,
Some Christmas up in Heaven.

Lines composed for Br & Sis. Trotter by Hattie J. Higgerson, Bancraft

Our daughter, Cora, and Leslie R. Olsen of Santaquin, Utah, were married June 28, 1924. They have made their home in Santaquin and have four children:
  1. Carl Dean Olsen - born March 26, 1926
  2. Leslie Lynn Olsen - born February 15, ****
  3. Jean Olsen - born August 4, 1934
  4. Richard Alan Olsen - born March 29, ****
On August 19, 1925, our son, Arthur Dahl Swenson ("Swen"), and LaVon Stewart were married. They have made their home in Provo and have two children:
  1. Dahl Stewart Trotter - born April 14, ****
  2. Carolyn Trotter - born April 10, ****
About twenty years after my father had died, my son, DeWitt, wrote to me asking for Genealogical information. I had very little that I could give him but I got out our family Bible. As I turned the page in search of a card which told of my mother's death, I picked up a paper. I could not remember ever having seen it before. On opening it I discovered that it was a letter that my father had written to me right after we came to Utah. On the back of it was the very genealogical information which I needed and which I had felt certain that I had no way of obtaining. I believe that this information was put there for me at this time, when I needed it. The letter read:

"Magnolia, Louisiana, November 17, 1900

"My Dear Children: I write you today for the first time and hope you do not think hard of us for not writing sooner, but we knew you was [sic] hearing from us all the time through Cassie. We are all well at this time and hope that you are enjoying the same blessing. We still live at the same place and are getting along as usual and I guess you know how that is.

"I hope you and Sam are doing well there and I know you are from what you write. You are among civilized and a Christian people while I consider that we are almost in heathendom and it seems to me that they are getting worse instead of better. And if we could get the rest of the children to go, it would not be long before we would be with you all. I, Jim, would like best in the world to come to see you all and see the country if only I was able to do so. And I have regretted and regret that I was not brought into your church while I had the opportunity to do so. My mind has never changed as that's being the only true church is the Latter Day Saints. And I would like so much to see some of the Elders or all of the Elders that used to visit us so that I could have them preach to us on true Scripture, but I live there they was [sic] not allowed to preach; but I hope that someday, and that soon, that we can come and see all of you. Give our love to all the children and to all the Elders and tell them to write to me. And may God bless them and you all is my best wishes. Write soon and from now on I will try to write often. Tell Sam and Dick (DeWitt) and Daisy howdy for us all.

 "Yours as ever, J.J. and Jane Facundus"
The following genealogical information, which I found on the back of my father's letter, reads:

"No I. Jane Wall now Facundus - I was born and raised and married at Amite County, Miss. My maiden name was Jane Wall. My age is from sixty-five to sixty-seven, I don't know exactly. my mother was Patsy Sibly, her parents came from North Carolina. My father was Charles Wall; his parents came from North Carolina when he was small.
"No. II. James J. Facundus was born in Livingston Parish near Springfield, La. on March 8, 1837 and was sixty-three years old last March. My father, George Facundus, was born and raised in Livingston Parish, La., but my grandfather, Jacob Facundus, I cannot tell where he came from or his nationality as I was left an Orphan and knew nothing of his origin. But my mother was Mary Ann McKie. She was born and raised and married in Livingston Parish, La. Her father, James McKie, came from South Carolina but I cannot tell you their ages as I have not got any record. As to further information, I cannot give it."
On June 23, 1930 I received the following Patriarchal Blessing; given by Patriarch Andrew Steadman:
"Sister Emma Irene, in the Authority of the Priesthood and the spirit of my calling, I lay my hands upon your head and confer upon you a blessing after the Patriarchal Order. The Lord is pleased when we seek His blessings that we may be comforted and buoyed up in the battle of life. You shall have His influence to guide in all your under-takings.

"In a pre-existent state you were valiant in defense of Christ's plan of Salvation, and granted the privilege of being born of goodly parents, and in this Gospel Dispensation when you could have the blessings of the Ever-lasting Gospel. You embraced the Gospel for the love of it, and its principles of truth appealed unto you, for you have always defended truth and sought after righteousness and avoided error.

"Thou hast been enabled to fulfill the measure of your creation with glory and honor, even as you kept your first estate you will keep your second and be added upon.

"Thou hast kept sacred the covenants entered into in the waters of baptism, and the Holy Ghost has testified of things pertaining to Eternal life, and thy soul has rejoiced and been made glad at the things that have been revealed unto thee by the whisperings of the still small voice. Thou hast kept thy covenants entered into in Holy Places, magnified thy calling, given heed to the counsel of the Priesthood, and thou shalt in no wise lose thy reward.

"Thou art of Ephraim and of the faithful house of Abraham and shall receive blessings of old were pronounced upon Sarah, Rachel and Rebecca through that royal lineage and the blessings of posterity shall grant you the richest joys of life. Joys that shall lead on to an eternal reward.

"Be prayerful and the Lord will bless you in every righteous desire.

"You will go up unto the house of the Lord as a savior on Mount Zion, for such a great and wise purposes have you been gathered to mingle with the daughters of Zion of whom much is expected. You shall have unspeakable joy in looking decline of life labor for the salvation of thy dead, for there are many behind the veil who look to thee for salvation.

"The powers of heaven shall protect thee from evil and lead you in paths of peace. And you will joy in looking back over a life well spent, with sacrifices for truth in the earth.

"I seal you up against the power of the adversary and no power seen or unseen shall prevail against thee, even unto the day of redemption. You will yet witness many great events pertaining to the establishing of truth in the earth. I seal you up unto eternal life to be clothed upon with glory and immortality and receive an exaltation in the Kingdom of God and live and reign as a queen and priestess to the most high, when the meek shall inherit the earth. These blessings I seal upon your head in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen."
My husband served as Goshen school-custodian from 1911 until his death on May 26, 1935. Injuries which he sustain in a fall while he was at work at the school caused his death.

He was always a conscientious worker, was well liked in the community and had many friends who loved and respected him. He was always faithful and active as a Latter Day Saint and was a member of the High Priests Quorum at the time of his death. He used to say, "It isn't difficult to live the principles of the Gospel, its only when you half-live them that you have difficulty." Since his death our son, Sam, has carried on his work as school custodian.

I would like the Patriarchal Blessing which my husband received on November 3, 190_ [date given is 1907, but William Price died in September 1906] under the hands of Patriarch William Price:

"Brother Trotter, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I place my hands upon your head and at your request confer upon you a Patriarchal blessing and I confer upon you the blessings of the new and ever-lasting covenant. Thou art a descendant of the house of Israel and if you are faithful to your covenants, keeping the commandments of the Lord, your God, you shall partake of the blessings promised to the covenant people of God and inasmuch as it is your desire to magnify the Holy Priesthood and bring others to a knowledge of the truth, the eyes of your understanding shall be opened and you shall be blessed with the ability to present the truth of the principles of the gospel to many that are yet in darkness.

"Your faith in the promises of the Lord shall increase and according to your faith desires of your heart, you shall be an instrument in the hands of the Lord in performing a great and glorious work of salvation for the living and for the dead. Therefore, try and obtain a knowledge of your progenitors for the Lord has chosen you to bring about their redemption and if you are faithful in the discharge of your duties you shall have great joy, you shall be blessed with a knowledge of principles and truths revealed by the God of Heaven, I bless you with the blessing of health and I bless you with the gift of salvation and eternal life, if you are faithful and prayerful, not one word of this blessing shall fail. I seal them upon you by virtue of my office as a Patriarch in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

On November 19, 1942, our son, Hoyt Mocus, died. I want his Patriarchal Blessing to be recorded here also. It was given to him at Goshen by William E. Potts, Patriarch, on November 4, 1917.

"Mocus Trotter, in accordance with the desires of your parents, I lay my hands upon your head and give unto you a blessing. Though you are afflicted in your body, this affliction is not eternal for the time shall come when you shall stand forth perfect in body. And through the blessings of patience and love given unto you by the constant care of your parents, they have done for you that which you have been unable  to do for your self. And in the Lord's own time and way there shall come unto them the full reward for their love and devotion. You are of Ephraim; and your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life.

"You, yourself, shall be led to rejoice in the Lord, God of Israel. I seal you up to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection relieved of all afflictions both of body and mind. And may the peaceful influence of the spirit of God be and abide with you, that you may have patience in your affliction. Unto this end I bless you and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

Since I joined the Church I have memorized these truths, and they are very precious to me so I wish them included in my history:
  1. "We believe the Bible to be the word of God" (Article of Faith)
  2. "Search the Scriptures," said Jesus, "for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me."
  3. The Bible is a collection of scriptures written by many authors, and contains 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament.
  4. Many books and scriptures referred to in the Bible Narrative are lost to the world.
  5. In ancient times the Bible was divided into 54 divisions, one of which was read in the Jewish synagogue each Sabbath.
  6. The first translation of the scriptures was into Greek, about 1240 A.D. The Bible was translated into Latin & divided into chapters by a Catholic Friar named Hugo de Sancto Caro.
  7. The subdivision of chapters into verses was the work of a famous Jewish rabbi named Mordecai Nathan in about 1445.
  8. The first English Bible was translated by John Wycliffe, about 1380, but was never printed. Several manuscript copies are still in existence and are found in libraries.
  9. The first printed Bible was translated by William Tyndale, assisted by Miles Coverdale, between 1525 & 1530. From that time until 1611 there were many other translations.
  10. In 1604 King James of England called 54 of the learned men of his kingdom to make a new translation. In 1607, 47 of these commenced their work - King James Bible was printed in 1611 & is used today.
  11. The revised version, which is used quite extensively by students today, was revised from the King James version and original sources in 1881. There are many changes, but chiefly in grammar. Through all these many changes the Bible has come to us & we can readily understand why our article of faith reads, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." We can see the need of Jesus' admonition to "search the scriptures" and His words, "Whoso readeth, let him understand."
  12. We will need the spirit of the Lord and the gift of discernment, for the Master said, "If any man will do His will he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God or whether I speak of myself." Read the Bible with a prayerful heart and receive a testimony of its worth. It contains the history of the creation of the world & God's dealing with His Covenant people through many generations. The prophecies of the coming Savior and their internal fulfillment. The life of Jesus Christ on the earth & the history of the Gospel Dispensations. The many prophecies of the Great Apostasy, the Restoration of the Gospel, the gathering & the final consumption of all things at the end of this world.
  13. As literature the Bible is conceded by all authorities to be the best example in the world of scholarly, clean, exquisite English. It is a complete geography of the then-known work
  • For romance, what is more beautiful than the stories of Joseph, Ruth, Esther, David, Daniel and Jonah?
  • For historical drama we find: The reign of the Kings, Saul David, Solomon, and the King.
  • For stories of travel there are the lives of the early Patriarchs, journeying's of the children of Israel, Paul's missionary travels, etcetera.
  • Some of the most beautiful poetry in the world in contained in the Psalms of David the writings of Job, & the songs of Moses, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Simeon, & Mary.
  • For exposition we have the beautiful sermons of the Lord Jesus, and of Peter, James, Paul, and others.
  • For Relief Society work we have the story of Dorcas and the virtuous women in the Old Testament. When in trouble & affliction we can find comfort & consolation in the Bible. What is more beautiful than John 14:15-16?
  1. In order to understand & explain the principles of the Gospel we need ro be familiar with the Bible.
  2. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path", sang a Psalmist. Paul likened it to the "Sword of the spirit which is the word of God." We sometimes sing the iron rod, which is the word of God. Are we holding unto it? Does the word of God prove to us that it is indeed a lamp unto our feet? Can we use the sword of the Spirit to fight the battle of the Lord? Let us read the holy scriptures, both ancient and modern, and listen also to the living oracles, for in them, "Ye think ye have eternal life, and these are they which testify of me."

Besides caring for my family I have done dress-making for about thirty-five years of my life. Before I came to Utah I made tailored pants for the college boys who attended Johnson College, which was near where I lived. I did all types of sewing for different ladies who lived in my neighborhood until I became a very good judge of materials. I could tell the equality of goods by the wonderful sense of touch which developed in my fingers. After I came to Utah, I was agent for the Ladies Tailoring Co. and they trusted me with the finest goods for making ladies dresses & congratulated me on my excellent work.

As I was promised in my Patriarchal Blessing, I find increasing joy in my posterity. I am well-pleased with the interest my grandchildren have taken in seeking out the good & lasting things of life. I hope that the Gospel will mean as much in their lives & in the lives of my children as it does to me. I desire to leave my testimony of its truthfulness and to express my thankfulness to my Father in Heaven that I was counted worthy to be a recipient of His wonderful blessings.

I know that the Gospel is true, I think that I knew from the very first time that I heard its truths from the lips of Elders Swenson and Martin. I could hardly wait until I was baptized, for the desire to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints filled my heart. Before and after I was baptized I didn't have any doubt in my mind that this was the True Church; I have felt as satisfied as could be that I had done right. I have always been thankful that we came to Utah to join the body of the saints. My husband and I have always tried to live the teachings of the Gospel in so far as we understood them and to be true latter-Day Saints.

Emma Irene Facundus died on the 6th of August, 1945, in Santaquin, Utah county, Utah. She was buried in Goshen, Utah. She was 77 years of age.

17 April 2014

The Story of the Sensational Shooting in Springfield, part 2

I admit when I first began reading this story I was so excited to find my relatives in the newspaper. I did an initial search and got the main story down. The reporting in the Daily-Picayune seemed accurate but I could see many details that were not consistent. There were also so many people involved that I could not keep straight who was connected to who. In my last post I divided the people involved into three categories however there is some overlap and it is not as clearly cut as it seems.If I were casting a play I about this story, I would have 43 named players as well as 24 named jurors. The names of two of the newspaper reporters are among the those mentioned.

From a genealogy perspective, the most troubling of the names that appear in the story is the name of Walton Facundus. In several of the articles his name changes from Walter to Walton. It isn't until the trials start that his name remains the same. Luckily his brother's name only fluctuates between Charley and Charles. It is clear throughout that Charles and Walton are brothers. J. Shell, L. V., W. J., and M. Eugene Settoon are also all brothers.

It becomes much more difficult to understand the relationships of those on the other side of the feud. I have tried but struggled to draw a tree to show their relationships. Eugene Walker has two sisters, one is married to Ed Johnson, and the other is married to Dr. Powlett. Eugene's father's name is George and his wife's name is Kelly. Ed Johnson has a brother and a sister; his brother is Andrew G. Johnson, his sister is Alice Johnson. Ed Johnson's father is O. A. Johnson.

Using just the newspaper articles I have not found any other relationships. My next step was connecting the story to my relatives. I suspected but what other evidence could I find.

07 April 2014

The Story of the Sensational Shooting in Springfield, part 1

I was so excited when I first read the account in the paper of someone in my family tree involved in a shoot-out and following trial that I did a little jig in my family room. I have been slowing chipping away at my brick wall ancestor, James Trotter. I was doing some research on what I know which is my third great grandfather Samuel Thomas Trotter. Samuel is married to Emme Irene Facundus both of whom were born, raised and married in the same area. I was doing a search on Newspapers.com for the Facundus name. It does not appear to be a very prominent name anywhere in the country but Louisiana. As I found out an interesting crime and trial put their name in the papers and on the map.

It all unfolded like a play. As I was gathering facts from the story, I ended up creating a page that was similar to a characters page in a playbill.

George Walker Father of Eugene Walker, paymaster of Southern Pacific Road, Father-in-Law of Ed Johnson,
Eugene [Gene] Walker “Bud”
a popular and plucky young Orleanian, shot five times by Charles Facundus, Shoots Walter Facundus twice, brother-in-law of Andrew Johnson, used Johnson’s shotgun to shoot Walter, abt. 30 years old, married with no children, clerk at Southern Pacific Road, son of George Walker, married to former Miss Johnson, sister is married to Dr. Powlett, other sister is married to Ed Johnson, Recovered at the Hotel Dieu, indicted by a Grand Jury for shooting with intent to kill,
Kelly Walker Wife of Eugene Walker,
O. A. Johnson Father of the Johnsons,
Edward [Ed] T. Johnson
Beaten by Facundus brothers, lives in Springfield, has 2 year old son, brought Walker a shotgun, arrested by Sheriff Miller, married to Eugene Walker’s sister, son-in-law of George Walker, Held in Jail in Amite City, release to sick wife Aug. 5th, returned Aug. 6th, indicted as accessory to the shooting, brother-in-law of Dr. Powlett
Mrs. Edward T. Johnson Witnesses the fist fight, sister to Eugene Walker, has 2 year old son, pregnant at time of shooting, reported sick Aug. 5th,
Miss Alice Johnson Witness of shooting, sister of Ed Johnson, testified in trial, boards at Eugene Settoon’s home,
Andrew G. Johnson Brother to Edward T. Johnson who was beaten, owns Johnson, Greban & Co. [dry goods],
John Turnage witness from own home, brother-in-law of Edward Johnson, said Johnson handed Walker the shotgun,
Rose Simeon 16 years old, sister-in-law of John Turnage,
Eddie Simeon Testified at both trials of Walker and Johnson, 14-year-old boy at time of shooting,
Walton Facundus [Sketch] Brother to Charles, Shot twice by Eugene Walker, carpenter, had knife in gunfight, married with six children, in bed 30 to 40 days, was not at Sunday School,
Charles [Charley] Facundus
Brother to Walter, Shot Eugene Walker five times with his pistol, carpenter, arrested by Sheriff Miller, built house for George Hartman, son Charles Facundus Jr.  about 8 years old, indicted by a Grand Jury for shooting with intent to kill, lives in Shell Settoon’s home, Sunday school teacher,
Charles Facundus Jr. at scene just before shooting,
Henry Smith Witness at church, sawmill hand, lives 200 yards from church, married to Mary, brother-in-law of John Turnage,
Mary Smith married to Henry, at church at time Walker came up to them with shotgun, saw Johnson give gun to Walker,
Hon.  J. S. [Shell] Settoon witness of shoot-out, competing store owner, oldest brother, member of legislature 1888-1890, indicted as accessory to the shooting,
L. V. Settoon brother of Shell, helped Walter Facundus into his home after he was shot,
W. J. Settoon another brother of Shell, helped Walter Facundus into his home after he was shot, testified at trial, saw walker shoot Walton Facundus, saw Johnson had shotgun to Walker, at Dr. Pickett’s when heard the first shooting,
M. E. [Eugene] Settoon “Doudy” 4th brother of Shell, testified in trial, saw Johnson bring the gun, saw Walker shoot Facundus, Alice Johnson Boards at his home,
John Bradley Testified that Walker was planning on attacking the Facunduses.
Sheriff Miller Arrested Charles Facundus and Edward T. Johnson, of Livingston,
Sheriff McMichael Amite City Jail,
Deputy Sherrif Jo Lovitt Amite City, accompanied Ed Johnson to attend his sick wife in Springfield,
Judge Robert J. Reid [Sketch] Of Amite City, preliminary trial, Trial of Walton Facundus,
Judge William Duncan Attorney for Charles Facundus & J.S. Settoon,
Judge S. D. Kemp Attorney representing Eugene Walker and Ed Johnson in first trial.
Duncan S. Kemp Son and partner of Judge S.D. Kemp, attorney for Walker and Johnson.
Joseph A. Reid “Joe” [Sketch] Attorney for Eugene Walker and Ed Johnson, works with Kemp & Kemp,
District Attorney Bolivar Edwards
Prosecutor in Charles Facundus Trial,
Dr. S. L. Powlett Treated  Eugene Walker at Edward T. Johnson’s house and Walter Facundus in his own home, owns drug store, wife is Eugene Walker’s sister, parish coroner, brother-in-law of Walker and Johnson, indicted for selling whisky at drug store, store is vandalized by gang after trial, 70 years-old in 1894, high Mason, Pythian and Odd Fellow,
Dr. J. B. Pickett attended to Walton Facundus at Walton’s home, from Springfield,
Dr. Hollister also attended to Eugene Walker, from Ponchatoula,
Dr. Hamilton Lewis latest to be in charge of Eugene Walker’s recovery,
Dr. McCorkle Walton’s physician in Springfield, from Ponchatoula,
George Hartman House was built by Charley Facundus,
First Walker-Johnson Jury Foreman S. A. Garrison, W. T. Mixon, J. D. Barnett, Eli Courtney, J. W. Collins, W. S. Jones, Robert Anderson, E. G. Durbin and L. W. Moore, Louis Sevecque, Elijah Sibley, and William Peak
Second Walker-Johnson Jury E. Y. Brashear, E. C. Curtis, A. R. Lavigne, J. E. Bentley, Prosper Vicknair, John Harris, Elihu Wilkinson, S. Tomholder, S. Milton,
Mrs. Davidson Walton Facundus supposedly went to her house and asked for a gun before being shot. Facundus testified in the second trial that he went into Mrs. Davison’s home to put up a ball he had been playing with and not for a gun.
Wallace Davidson Son of Mrs, Davidson, affiliated with Facunduses,
Louis Shanks Owned field adjacent to the shootings, grows peas, corn, sugar cane or potatoes, in house at time of first shooting, helped carry Facundus into home after he was shot,
Mr. Steele Reporter for the Daily-Picayune, seems to be sided with the Johnson-Walker side of dispute.

Amite City, LA Stronger Jail
Centerville Seat of Livingston Parish, jail, location of courthouse.
Springfield The residence of the Facundus brothers and location of shootings, population approx. 150.
Thomas Sawmill The only industry in Springfield.
Hotel Dieu Located in Ponchatoula and where Eugene Walter is taken to heal from his wounds.
Old County Courthouse In Centerville, the little courtroom, which is about 20 by 30 feet, was crowded with members of members of the bar, the principals in the affair, the witnesses and quite a number of spectators. One-third of the room at the North end is cut off by a wooden railing, and behind this sit the judge, clerk, D. Leftwitch, and his assistant, M. Cooper, and the lawyers. The interior is the same as that usually seen in a country courthouse, whitewashed walls and wooden benches forming the main features.
Louis Shank’s Field Adjacent to shoot-out and through which Walton Facundus tried to escape from Eugene Walker when he had the Shotgun. The field was planted with peas, potatoes, and corn.

July 18, 1894 Ed Johnson makes a remark about the house that Charles Facundus built.
July 19, 1894 Fist Fight between Facundus brothers and Ed Johnson.
Sunday, July 29, 1894 Shoot-out between Facundus brothers and Eugene Walker.
August 8, 1994 Shell Settoon received anonymous letter from New Orleans says that 40 men would come up from the city to take him and Facundus out to the woods and kill them.
October 5, 1894 Eugene Walker and Charles Facundus are indicted by a Grand Jury for shooting with intent to kill. Ed Johnson and J. S. Settoon are also indicted as accessories to the shootings.
October 9, 1894 9:30 a.m. The trial against Eugene Walker and Ed Johnson begins.
October 12, 1894 10:00 a.m. A mistrial is declared with 7 jurors for acquittal and 5 for conviction. Court then adjourns till April.
Friday, November 9, 1894 Dr. Powlett’s Drugstore is demolished by a gang of people. A note left at the scene reads, “Nov. 9, 1894. W. L. Powlett: You are hereby notified to leave this parish, as if it is prohibition, and we will not have whisky sold any longer in any part of it. Also, you are not any friend to any church or society. You are the cause of all the hell of your neighborhood. Your life is in our hands and we will take it for the debt. Thirty days will fix up your business—if not, death, hell and destruction will move you. A FRIEND.” The relatives of Dr. Powlett set a $1000 reward for the identification of the parties who were guilty of the vandalism.
April 10, 1895 Several trials are held with concerned parties in the feud. The biggest of the group being the trial of Charles Facundus and Shell Settoon who are acquitted.
June 24, 1895 Charles Facundus is involved in another shout-out with Edmund Rabie following a fist fight between Rabie and John Turnage.

Charley Facundus
Walton Facundus
Ed Johnson
Eugene Walker
Scene of Shooting of Eugene Walker
The shooting of Walton Facundus
The Old Courthouse
Livingston Parish Jail

The scene is set in the small town of Springfield, Livingston Parish, Louisiana. Growth within the community not only brings more people but also new businesses. The established store owners and their families take exception to the new competition and sides are taken between the new residents and businesses and those that were previously established.  There are four stores, two owned by the Settoon brothers, the newest one by Andrew Johnson and a drug store by Dr. Powlett. The Facundus brothers are carpenters by trade and buy all of their supplies from the Settoon brothers’ stores. This brings us to the current conflict.

The Facundus brothers cut down a number of trees about 300 yards from the store of Ed Johnson completely blockading the roadway. A grand jury indicted them for blocking a public roadway.  The brothers proceeded to build a barn on the road blocking access to Johnson’s store, Shell Settoon was Parish overseer of roads and had cleared trees to open an older unused road to divert the traffic.

While in the store owned by Andrew Johnson, Ed Johnson makes a remark that a house that Charles Facundus built for George Hartman was crooked. The next day Charles and Walton Facundus approach Ed Johnson about his comment and a fist fight ensues. At one point Johnson is pinned against a tree and according to some witnesses the brothers give Johnson a drubbing. Mrs. Johnson hears the commotion and come to assist Johnson back home.

As days went by, both parties’ tempers wore off and the matter had almost been forgotten. The day of the shooting, Eugene Walker came to town by buggy to visit with the Johnson Family. While on a walk with Edward Johnson and his two-year-old son, Walker saw Charles Facundus on the other side of town. Johnson left for home with his son and Walker approached the Charles and asked what had previously happened with Johnson. The conversation turned heated and Charles Facundus and Eugene Walker began to fire five shots apiece at each other. Charles benefited by the presence of a tree and none of Walker’s shots hit their true mark instead embedding in the tree. Walker was not as fortunate and all five of Charles’ shots found a part of Walker’s body, although none inflicted a fatal blow.

The Daily Picyune reports that, “There is one point, however, on which all unite and that is in praising the remarkable display of nerve made by Walker. Little as he is, weighing only 90 pounds, he made men weighing twice as much as he does run before his empty pistol.”

The gunshots brought more witnesses to the scene as well as Walton Facundus and Edward Johnson who was carrying a shotgun. There is a disagreement as to how Eugene Walker obtained Edward Johnson’s shotgun but the result was that Walker was unable to shoot Charles Facundus. Charles had retreated to his brother’s home after emptying his pistol and shot from the porch twice at Walker with his own rifle.

Walton saw Eugene with the shotgun and threw his hands in the air and said, “I’ve got nothing, I am not in it”. Walker feared being shot again by Charles and took aim and shot twice instead at Walton Facundus, who was running away through a field, and hit his mark. Witnesses at the scene say that Eugene Walker believed he would die of his afflictions and wanted to take a Facundus brother with him to the grave.

Eugene Walker was taken to the home of Edward Johnson and was treated by Walker’s brother-in-law Dr. S. A. Powlett. Walton Facundus was taken to his home by the Settoon brothers and was examined by Dr. Pickett. Neither man was expected to live through the night. Walton with a shot through his lung seemed to be more severely injured. Sheriff Miller reached Springfield shortly after the duel and placed Charles Facundus and Edward Johnson into custody as a precautionary measure to prevent any further shedding of blood.

Both Eugene Walker and Charles Facundus are indicted by a grand jury for shooting with the intent to kill. Ed Johnson and J.S. Settoon we also indicted for accessories to the shootings. J. S. Settoon was also indicted for trespassing on Ed Johnsons’ property behind his store.

The Trials
The two shootings are treated separately in court. With witnesses, victims and shooters testifying at each other’s trials.

The first trial against Eugene Walter and Ed johnson, the testimonies account for the actions of those involved but they are not allowed to mention the earlier duel. The case ends in a mistrial, 7 for acquittal and 5 for conviction. This is a blow to the Facunduses and Settoons because it will permit Walker and Johnson to testify in the case against Charles Facundus and J.S. Settoon. Had the accused been convicted they would not have been permitted to testify. At the end of the trial Charles Facundus and J. S. Settoon swore an affidavit against Walker for carrying a concealed weapon.

Between trials, Dr. Powlett’s Drugstore is demolished by a gang of people. A note left at the scene reads, “Nov. 9, 1894. W. L. Powlett: You are hereby notified to leave this parish, as if it is prohibition, and we will not have whisky sold any longer in any part of it. Also, you are not any friend to any church or society. You are the cause of all the hell of your neighborhood. Your life is in our hands and we will take it for the debt. Thirty days will fix up your business—if not, death, hell and destruction will move you. A FRIEND.” The relatives of Dr. Powlett set a $1000 reward for the identification of the parties who were guilty of the vandalism.

The trial of Louisiana vs. Charles Facundus and J. S. Settoon had the same result as the first trial. Both were acquitted by a hung jury. The state relied mainly on the testimony of Eugene Walker and could not support the testimony because there were not as many witnesses to the shooting.

There were several other cases connected to the feud. Both Charles Facundus and Eugene Walker were indicted for carrying concealed weapons.  Both men plead guilty. Shell Settoon was charged with trespassing on a piece of property behind Ed Johnson’s store. When the case was called it was proven that “the trespass was in the nature of his duty.” Shell, a former member of the legislature, was appointed overseer of the roads in the Parish and he was clearing trees from a lesser used road. The Facundus brothers were also indicted for willfully obstructing a roadway when they built a barn in the road leading to Johnson’s store, they were also acquitted for the crime. Elias Rogers and James Martin were charged for trespassing on Walker’s land and were later acquitted. James martin filed a civil suit against Ed Johnson for trespass.  Besides pleading guilty to carrying a concealed weapon the Facundus brothers were acquitted of all charges.

In April of 1985, a second trial was convened for Eugene Walker and Ed Johnson. After two days of trial both men were again acquitted for the shooting of Walton Facundus. After the trial ended, Eugene Walker and Charles Facundus were sentenced for their crime of having a concealed weapon. Walker was sentenced to one day in the Livingston Parish prison and a fine of $10 plus the costs of court, amounting to about $30.

Charles Facundus left town the night before sentencing and forfeit his bond of $1000.

The Aftermath
Dr. Powlett moved to Ponchatoula and leaving his practice and drugstore in Springfield.

In June of 1895, Charles Facundus is involved in another shooting. Edmund Rabe, age 23 of Chicago, was taken to the charity hospital after being shot in the back, the bullet having severed Rabe’s spinal cord and penetrated one of his kidneys. Rabe said that he was fist fighting with John Turnage and the shot happened while they were rolling on the ground. He did not see Facundus shoot him but knew he had done it. Turnage was a witness in the Walker-Facundus duel in 1894.  Turnage and Facundus claim that Rabe was reaching for a gun during the fight. Turnage tried to run away and Rabe leveled the gun on him and the gun accidently went off hitting Turnage’s hat. Rabe then turned his pistol on Facundus and others standing nearby. Rabe shot his gun twice in the direction of the group with one shot hitting the ground near Facundus and the other near a  young daughter of Judge Kies. Facundus claims he ran to his home retrieved his gun and then returned shots at Rabe. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Charles Facundus.