Friday, April 26, 2013

Mary Allye Steele (1900-1969)

Mary Allye Steele was born in Sicily Island on March 4, 1900 to the marriage of Isham Alfonso "Al" Steele and Mary Virginia "Mollie" Blackman.

She was the second child born to this marriage and was a sister to Edna, Clara Lucille and Lena Juanita Steele.

On March 29, 1926, Allye married Bruce Edmonds who was born on January 23, 1904 in Whelen Springs, Clark County, Arkansas.

Allye and Bruce originally lived in a little house on the street that runs behind the current location of the Post Office.

After the deaths of Al and Mollie, they moved into the old Steele house located behind the bank.

In the 1950s Allye and Bruce swapped houses with their only child, Bruce Alfonso Edmonds and his wife, Mildred Bynum Edmonds who were living with four of their children in a smaller house next door.

Allye had a great love for animals which was always evident by the number of cats and dogs she took in and tended.

Some of the most beautiful roses could be found growing along the fence row beside her house.  On the opposite side of the house were huge Magnolia trees with sweet smelling blooms and large branches upon which her grandchildren loved to play.

Allye's other hobbies included playing bridge with friends and playing the piano.

She once attempted to teach her youngest granddaughter how to play the song, "There is No Place Like Home".  While this granddaughter never became a concert pianist, she did take the song to heart.

Mary Allye Steele Edmonds passed from this life on August 12, 1969.  She is buried alongside her husband, Bruce Edmonds, in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bruce Edmonds (1904-1974)

Bruce Edmonds was born on January 23, 1904 in the township of Beech near Whelen Springs, Clark County, Arkansas.  He was the eleventh child born to the marriage of William Newell Edmonds and Laura Smith.

Bruce was a brother to Mary, William Adonis, Willis Powell, Samuel Jackson, Fannie Pearl, Paul, Silas, Alphonso Hilliard "Punch", James Thomas, Charles "Charlie" Douglas, and Martha Rebecca Edmonds.

The 1910 U. S. Census shows the family living in Ward 3, Union Parish, Louisiana.  By 1920, the family had relocated to Ward 5, Allen Parish, Louisiana.

On July 8, 1920, Bruce enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed at Camp Pike, Arkansas where he served as a Pvt. 1st Class, Spec., Service Battery, 18th Field Artillery.  He was Honorably Discharged on July 7, 1921.

After completing a year of service at Camp Pike, Arkansas, Bruce was inducted into the United States Army on July 20, 1921.

He was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and served as a Pvt. 1st Class, Spec. 3 in the Service Battery of the 18th Field Artillery.  

Bruce was Honorably Discharged from the United States Army on July 19, 1924.


On March 29, 1926 he married Mary Allye Steele in Franklin Parish, Louisiana.

The ceremony was performed by Rev. W. H. Rickey.  Witnesses were C. C. Wright, Mrs. C. L. Enright and Octavia Rickey.


Bruce was working as a Railroad Section Foreman in 1927 and by 1930, he was a time keeper for a pipeline construction company.

In 1937, Bruce was operating Bruce Edmonds Service Station in Sicily Island.

In 1940 he worked as an auditor for Public Works Administration Projects.  This job took the family to Alabama and Texas for several months at a time.

By 1944, Bruce was working as a cashier in the Sicily Island State Bank.

In 1948 he was elected to serve as Sicily Island's representative on the Catahoula Parish School Board.  He would be re-elected to serve in this role for twenty-six years; missing only one board meeting during his many years of service.

Bruce and Allye were the parents of one child, Bruce Alfonso Edmonds.

Bruce Edmonds passed from this life on January 21, 1974.  He is buried alongside his wife, Mary Allye Steele Edmonds, in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mildred Annette Bynum (1926-2012)

Mildred Annette Bynum was born on July 22, 1926 in Lamar County, Mississippi to the marriage of John Buel Bynum and Flora Jane McIver.   She was a sister to Jessie Lois, Johnnie Louise and James "Jimmie" Wilder Bynum.

She graduated from Clem High School in 1943.  After high school graduation, she enrolled in Pearl River Junior College in Poplarville, Mississippi where she appeared on the cover of the October 10, 1944 edition of the school newspaper, The Cadet.


She graduated from Pearl River Junior College with Special Honors in Business Education on May 25, 1945.

Mildred later received her teaching degree from Mississippi Southern.

She taught in several different schools in Mississippi; including a term at Prentiss High School and Woodville High School.  In 1948, Mildred interviewed with Aubrey Brooks and Cameron Coney at a restaurant in the Eola Hotel in Natchez, Mississippi.  They offered her a teaching position in Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana and she accepted.

After moving to Sicily Island, she met Bruce Alfonso Edmonds who had recently returned home from serving in the U. S. Army.  Mildred and Bruce were married on July 9, 1950.
Five children were born to this marriage between the years of 1951 and 1960.  Mildred was blessed with seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
With grandchildren, Mikey and Allye

She retired from the Catahoula Parish School Board where she was a teacher and longtime bookkeeper and the Executive Secretary to a number of Parish Superintendents.

She had a beautiful smile

A quick wit and an infectious laugh
A kind and gentle soul

And boy, could she cook!
Most importantly, she was Mama

Mildred Annette Bynum Edmonds passed from this life on January 25, 2012.  She is buried alongside her husband, Bruce Alfonso Edmonds, in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.

The Memory Jar

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bruce Alfonso Edmonds...A Life of Public Service

Bruce Alfonso Edmonds was born in the village of Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana on June 3, 1927 to the marriage of Bruce Edmonds and Mary Allye Steele.

Though he was the only child born to this marriage, he was surrounded by many Steele, Smith and Chisum cousins.  

He was received into full membership of the Methodist Church in Sicily Island on April 14, 1940.
Known as "Son" to his family and "Little Bruce" to others, Bruce spent most of his life on Sicily Island.  His father's work took them to Alabama for several months in 1941 and to Texas for another several months in 1942.

After graduating from Sicily Island High School in 1944, Bruce enrolled at Louisiana State University for a short period of time before his induction into the United States Army on August 28, 1945 at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas.

 In 1946, he was stationed at the USMA Army base, West Point, New York where he was assigned to the Armored Detachment 1802d Special Regement as a Medium Tank Crewman.

He received an Honorable Discharge on November 25, 1946.

Upon his discharge from the Army, he returned to Sicily Island where he met and married Mildred Bynum who had moved from Mississippi to teach school in Sicily Island.  Bruce and Mildred were married on July 9, 1950.

While working as a lineman for the local Rural Electric Association, Bruce began a career of public service that would span over thirty years.

1958-1960  Town Council Alderman, Sicily Island

1960-1970  Police Jury Member, Ward 2, Sicily Island; two years as President

1970-1983  Registrar of Voters, Catahoula Parish

1984-1990  School Board Member, Ward 2, Sicily Island

Bruce and Mildred raised five children; all of whom graduated from Sicily Island High School.  They were blessed with seven grandchildren.

Bruce Alfonso Edmonds passed from this life on July 24, 2002.  He is buried alongside his wife, Mildred Bynum Edmonds, in the Old Pine Hill Cemetery in Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.