Livingston Parish history books are great presents

Unearth Your Roots with Clark Forrest

Unearth Your Roots with Clark Forrest

Diggin’ Up Your Roots is a column about Livingston Parish history and genealogy with excerpts from the Edward Livingston Historical Association (ELHA) monthly newsletter by editor Clark Forrest.

History Lovers,
A reminder that the reprinted Livingston Parish History Book would make a great Christmas, birthday or anniversary present or anyone interested in the history of our parish. Books are available at Crowder’s Antiques, 114 N. Range Ave., Denham Springs, 225-665-5551; or email email

Remembering our Veterans

Thanks to our Veterans Day speakers Robert Reynolds and Lt. Col. Michael Verrett (ret’d) who gave a team presentation on the veterans whom they have interviewed for their forthcoming book. LC Verrett covered the conflict between Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and General Douglas MacArthur in planning the attack on the Japanese-occupied island of Peleliu. They hope to have their second book on veteran reminiscences finished in 2018 and will return for their another presentation to ELHA on Nov. 15, 2018.
An additional reason for liking Robert Reynolds is that his maternal grandmother was Hilda Watts who married John A. “Hook” Simpson. This makes him kin to half of Livingston Parish.

Livingston Parish veteran Berlin Efferson died in WW I

The price paid by residents of Livingston Parish to the WW I effort is often recorded in obituaries. One follows from 1 Oct 1943: (Holden, La., Sept. 26) Berlin Efferson, 47,
died Saturday in Independence. He was a veteran of World War 1, losing an arm in the Meuse-Argonne combat. He was a native of Livingston Parish; son of the late J. B. and Martha Tate Efferson. Funeral services were in Holden Monday with interment in Holden cemetery. Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Anna Ledet Efferson; five daughters, Mrs. Margaret Watkinson of Shreveport, Evelyn Fayard of Holden, Elda Lee, Anna Mae and Daisy Lee Efferson; one son, Charles Efferson of Holden; three brothers, Ernest and Whitt Efferson of Baton Rouge and Duncan Efferson of Holden; two sisters, Mrs. Ada Mizell and Mrs. Maggie Lott of Holden. (Source: The Hammond Vindicator, 1 Oct. 1943, p. 7, available at

Livingston Parish in WW II

Same price, but a different war, recorded in another obituary as follows:
20 Aug 1943; p. 5: Earl Byrd, 22, of Holden, was killed in the Battle of Guadalcanal. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Byrd; a native of Holden. He joined the Navy in September of 1939 and served on a destroyer. Besides his parents, he is survived by a brother, Richard E. Byrd of Baton Rouge, and two sisters, Viva Mae and Esther Byrd.
Source: The Hammond Vindicator, 20 Aug. 1943, p. 5 available at

Don Ellzey’s column “Area sons remain ‘over there’”

The Hammond Daily Star, 11/11/2017, pp. 4A-5A * This article includes a list of those veterans killed in action as well as those who died of wounds and disease. He notes the following:
Leander J. Kinchen – A native of Springfield, who died Nov. 1, 1918, only 10 days before the Armistice. American Legion Post No. 47 of Ponchatoula is named for Kinchen….”

Corp. Leander John Kinchen, 1892-1918: WW I Soldier KIA in France. Although Leander was born in Galvez, Ascension Parish, he and his family were living in Livingston Parish by the time he enlisted on 11 Dec. 1917. His address was Springfield. Corp. Kinchen is buried in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Lorraine, France. His parents are buried in the Springfield Cemetery. To see Leander’s Find-A-Grave entry, just enter his name and date of death hat and click on the names of his parents. His parents entries were created by Judie Blahut McIntyre. She is commended for her many Find-A-Grave contributions.

Pvt. Hobart McKinley Kinchen, 1896-1918: WW I Soldier Died from Lobar Pneumonia at Camp Beauregard, LA. [Could the cause of death have been the Spanish Flu?]. Pvt. Kinchen was born near Albany, LA, on 20 Oct. 1896. He was inducted on 5 Sept 1918 at Springville, LA, and died on 13 Oct 1918 at Camp Beauregard, LA. His body was shipped to Albany by railroad. There was no Albany to Holden highway paralleling the railroad in 1918. The road to the Kinchen Cemetery, the burial location, was a circuitous route through the woods. (The Kinchen Cemetery is located midway between these two communities and south of Highway 190 on the Dubois Road.) So Hobart’s uncle, Ben Kinchen, asked the locomotive engineer to stop near the cemetery for the body to be removed. The engineer explained that there was no flag stop near the cemetery so the railroad rules would not permit him to stop the train. Ben then explained that if he didn’t stop, he would be shot. The engineer understood the revised rule and stopped the train.

Hobart and Leander are Third Cousins. So far, all Kinchens that I’ve found in Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa Parishes are related when one goes back far enough. :)

The Louisiana Maneuvers

Captain Richard Moran, delivered an informative lecture on “The Louisiana Maneuvers 1940-1944: The Anvil That Shaped the United States Army,” at SLU’s Pottle Auditorium Nov. 9. Captain Moran, curator of the Louisiana Maneuvers and Military Museum at Camp Beauregard in Pineville, LA, invites you to visit.
He recommends these You Tube Videos about the Army Railroad Training unit which operated a RR between Camp Claiborne and Camp (now Fort) Polk: and

Note: Season 4 of PBS “Finding Your Roots” has begun. See it each week on Tuesdays at 7 pm on LPB.

If you are interested in the history of our parish and want to hear interesting speakers and discussions with like-minded people, you might want to join the Edward Livingston Historical Association. Membership will also bring great articles in the printed ELHAgram newsletter. Member Devon O. Williams, nephew of George Milton, has written an excellent series of articles (from China) on The Piney Woodsman newspaper of Livingston Parish. You’ll thank Devon when you have a chance to read them for his contribution to preserving this aspect of the history of the parish by recognizing the role that newspapers have played (and are playing) in the parish’s history. Annual membership dues are $10 person/$15 family. If interested in becoming a member, attend a meeting or email Clark Forrest at

“Unearth Your Roots” is a column about Livingston Parish history and genealogy with excerpts from the Edward Livingston Historical Association (ELHA ) monthly newsletter, Clark Forrest, editor. ELHA meetings and membership are open to the public. Meetings are held at the Main Library, Iowa St,. in Livingston on the third Thursday of each month (with occasional exceptions) at 6 pm. Annual membership dues are $10 person/$15 family. Members receive ELHA’s quarterly printed ELHAgram. If interested in becoming a member, attend a meeting or email Clark Forrest at