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Following is an excerpt from The History of LaSalle Parish:

The cemetery is surrounded by a pipe fence and there are two markers, both having been placed there long after the cemetery was abandoned. I would estimate the location as some 250 yards behind and across New Union Creek from the present church. No doubt, the people who settled were from what was then called The Chickasaw Community as well as folks from the Tullos area and one wonders why it was located where it was as opposed to where the present church and cemetery are located? I am sure that there was a reason dictated by the ease of access but that information is lost in this day and time, as are many historical facts.

We know that many of the first families of the church, in this case the Russell and Tullos families homesteaded land in an area some two miles East of the location as evidenced by a plat I made of the homesteaders settling there. As a matter of fact, James D. Russell on the 20th. of August 1907 purchased from the Federal Government the 40 acres where the present church and cemetery are located. Which means that prior to that date, the only legal owner to that property was the government. Makes one wonder what transpired during that day and time? But the location of the old church and cemetery is on land homesteaded 5 June 1841 by William Campbell and Catherine Sells. That 160 acres is the SE Quarter of Section 30, T 10 N – R 2 E. Others homesteading or buying land from the government in Section 30 were Mansfield M. Craddock in 1903, Teril C. Robinson in 1901 and William T. Russell in 1907. Following is a copy of the land patent for William Campbell and Catherine Sells:


 Following is the plotted location of the old cemetery and church site with directions:

There are two tombstone markers in the cemetery and I can find no record that either homesteaded or purchased from the government, land in the area. That seems odd to me but they may have purchased from another individual which I suspect is the case; possibly from the William Campbell and Catherine Sells homestead. A trip to the Clerk of Court Office in Jena seems warranted to check that out. Pictures of those two markers as well as a photograph of the cemetery fence:


Old New Union Cemetery Fence

John Tullos Jr. was the son of John Sr, (born Georgia) and Margaret (Fletcher) Tullos with Margaret being born in Delaware.  John Jr. married Miss Pendarvis, given name unknown but she was sister to Benjamin Henry Pendarvis who married Anna Mae “Thankful” Tullos first, sister to John, Jr. So, brother and sister married sister and brother. Complicated but it happened many times in the olden days, no doubt dictated by the close proximity of families and limited transportation to find mates other than neighbors. Annie Mae “Thankful” passed away prior to 1858 when Ben married Anna Elizabeth Cox, daughter of Zachariah Cox and Anna Elizabeth Randall, he the first recorded pastor of New Union. Anna Elizabeth, prior to marrying Benjamin Pendarvis was widow Baldridge with two sons.

John Tullos and Miss Pendarvis had 4 known children; Harriet born 1838, Henry “Harry” born 2 May 1841, Elizabeth born 1843 and Lucinda born 1845.  Henry married first, Leticia Tippen and I believe she died in Jackson Parish prior to 1869 when he married Leticia’s sister, Sarah Jane Tippen. Sarah and Henry are buried at New Union Cemetery.

Biographical data on Thomas C. Russell:

1880 United States Federal Census

Name:   Thomas C. Russell
Home in 1880: 4th Ward, Catahoula, Louisiana
Age:    39
Estimated birth year: abt 1841
Birthplace:    Louisiana
Relation to Head of Household:        Self (Head)
Spouse's name: Elizabeth
Father's birthplace:   Mississippi
Mother's birthplace:   Mississippi
Occupation:    Farmer
Marital Status:        Married
Race:   White
Gender:        Male
Cannot read/write: Household Members:    
Name    Age
Thomas C. Russell      39
Elizabeth Russell      33
Ann J. Russell 13
Mary Russell   6
Margret Russell        6
Alice F. Russell       4
William Thomas Russell 2


Thomas C. Russell
Birth: 1841 [1838] in Louisiana, United States
Death: 1881 [1880]
Father: Elijah Russell
          1793 – 1870
Mother: Sallie Guest
          1780 – 1803
Spouse: Elizabeth Tullos
          1847 – 1915
Children: Fannie Russell
          Lavinie Russell
          Ann J. Eliza Russell
           1865 – 1915, buried New Union Cemetery
           Married John Henry Haddox, Apr 17, 1890, Caldwell Parish
          Josephine Russell
           1874 – 1910
           Married Joshua K. Powell, Jan. 31, 1897, Catahoula Parish
          Margaret Pauline Russell
           1874 –
           Married Mansfield M. Craddox, Jan. 9, 1890, Caldwell Parish [possibly divorced since they were living apart in the 1930 census]
          Alice Florence Russell
           1876 – [said to have died young]
          William Thomas Russell
  1878 – 1951 [never married]

I want to elaborate on some of the above: Thomas C. was married to Elizabeth, daughter of John Tullos, Jr. and Miss Pendarvis. Elizabeth was born 29 October 1843 and died 4 January 1915. She is buried in the New Union Cemetery. And Thomas and his father-in-law John Tullos, Jr. share a common cemetery; the Old Union, I guess it would be called. Thomas C. was a brother to George Guest Russell; sons of Elijah and Sallie (Guest) Russell. There are conflicting reports on the birthplace of Elijah; some say England and others say Mississippi. Since he was born in 1793, my guess is that would have been early for a Mississippi birth so I say it was if not England, somewhere further East.

John Henry Haddox was first married to Idonna Luella Pendarvis, daughter of Benjamin Henry and Anna Elizabeth (Cox) Pendarvis and there is somewhat of a mystery there, IE: my data base shows that Idonna was born 16 October 1867 and married John Henry on 18 December 1884. It also shows that she died on that marriage date but I believe that is in error. At any rate, she apparently died young and my best guess was in childbirth as John Henry then married Ann J. Eliza Russell on 17 April 1890 in Caldwell Parish.

Also as indicated earlier, Mansfield M. Craddock homesteaded or purchased land in Section 30 from the Federal Government and married Margaret Pauline Russell – born 23 March 1874 and died 12 February 1961. Her headstone lists her name as Craddox and as a loving mother and grandmother. That seems to be proof that she had children that lived into adulthood but she also had two that died young; Moelse and Nathan, both buried at New Union. There is also buried at New Union, Carl Craddox 1899/1957 – of the right age to have been her son.

That about wraps up this tale of the Old Union Church and Cemetery unless and until more information is forthcoming.

E. Forrest Cook
                                                                                                                                          April 13, 2010


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