Fate's Corner shares stories of the Heritage Families on Fort Polk.
My grandmother, Adeline Davis apparently loved young people and enjoyed having them in her home almost every weekend, during the time spanning from 1914 through the early 1920s. She always made sure there was foodstuffs and music available for dancing, parlor games and card games, etc.
Some lifelong friendships were the results of these get together.
My uncle, Willie G. Davis, attended school in Tyler, Texas, where he studied bookkeeping and a special class of telegraphy. He became so interested in the Morse code, that three of his friends also became interested. This interest progressed to the point that they were practicing for hours at a time, and they became very proficient—able to send messages at a rate of 30 words per minute.
Here they were four friends: M.M. Cryer, Carl Hamilton, Kyle Johnson, and Willie Davis — loving to send messages and no way to perform. They decided to erect their own telegraph line.
Where to start? They determined that Gulf Lumber Company located in Sugartown, was abandoning some of their tram railroads and removing the steel rails and cross ties, leaving the telegraph lines in the field and could be gotten free. All you had to do was invest a little sweat equity taking the wire and the insulators down, so they could be used again.
Here was the solution. Start taking the wire down and re-hang starting from the Davis home and going south to the Cryer home, then west to the Edleman home(step-father of Carl Hamilton) and on to the Johnson home.
This means of communication was used for over ten years, enabling messages to be sent to several neighborhoods.
The number of persons using this network changed over the years and finally dwindled out some time in the early 1930’s. The wire and most of the early insulators were still visible in 1941. Then in 1949, I found one insulator growing into the bark of a dogwood tree.
All of the principles in the above project are now deceased.
The above is as remembered and recalled from the memory of a 9-year-old boy. I have recently learned that M. M. Cryer (father of Skip Cryer) joined the Army Cavalry in the 1920s. He applied for Communication School, serving for more than 20 years as a communications and intelligence office. His involvement with the Whiskachitto telegraphy experience probably influenced his decision to seek a career in communications.
The Heritage Family Association is partnering with Fort Polk in planning this year's Heritage Day events, and invites everyone to join them in this year's events. The Heritage Family Association is in charge of the family booths this year, with Vice President Cheryl Perkins coordinating the books.
The Heritage Family Association's goal is to have a good representation of the Heritage Families, their history and descendants with the family booths this year. Anyone who would like to reserve space for a family booth or would like more information on this year's family booths can contact Cheryl Perkins at (337) 239-0537, (337) 353-7363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, anyone interested in becoming a member of the Heritage Family Association can contact one of the following: Skip Cryer at (337) 462-5249, Vernon Smith at (713) 723-0738, Nelta Nolen at (318) 729-2012, Gene Haymon at (337) 353-1080 or Twila Chaney at (337) 238-9388.
Registration for this year's Heritage Day event, to be held on Oct. 26, begins at 7:30 a.m.