According to his descendants, his full name was Alexander Cobb Lindsey, yet he appears in numerous documents as A.L. Lindsey, and he signed his name that way on signed documents of his that are extant. On the 1860 federal census, he was enumerated in the household of his parents Mark and Mary Ann Harrison Lindsey in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, as A.C. Lindsey. In 1870, he is listed on the federal census in the household of his parents at Coushatta Chute in Natchitoches Parish as Alex Cobb Lindsey. The 1870 census lists Alex, along with his twin brother Carry Samuel Lindsey and their older brother Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, as a laborer on his father’s farm aged 11 years old.
Why numerous documents give Alexander Cobb Lindsey’s name as A.L Lindsey is not clear to me. Perhaps in addition to the middle name Cobb, which the 1870 census clearly documents, he had another middle name that he preferred to use as an adult — or he added another middle name to his name in his adult years. If so, I have no record of a middle name other than Cobb.
Marriage of Alexander Cobb Lindsey and Mary Ann Green, 1876, Red River Parish, Louisiana
Alex Lindsey married in the year preceding his mother’s death in Red River Parish on 13 August 1877. On 2 November 1876 at Coushatta, Alex married Mary Ann Green, daughter of Ezekiel Samuel Green and Camilla Birdwell, at her father’s house in Coushatta. Mary Ann’s mother had died in 1866, and after having married Camilla’s sister Hannah in 1867 following the death of Hannah’s first husband Hardin Harville, Ezekiel S. Green had married on 13 January 1876 in Red River Parish to Mary Ann Wester, daughter of Daniel Campbell Wester (abt. 1830 – abt. 1874) and Mary Ann Nobles. After Daniel C. Wester died about 1874, Mary Ann Nobles Wester married Alex C. Lindsey’s uncle John Wesley Lindsey in 1878. As we’ve also seen, Alex C. Lindsey’s sister Emma married Daniel Campbell Wester (1852-1901), a nephew of the Daniel Campbell Wester whose widow John Wesley Lindsey married.
The marriage of Alexander Cobb Lindsey and Mary Ann Green was witnessed by Jarrott Hankins and W. Curry, with Red River Parish judge A. Ben Broughton officiating. Arthur Ben Broughton appears on the 1880 federal census listed as a planter in Red River Parish who was born in 1837 in Alabama. Ben Broughton married Jane E. Moore in Bossier Parish 20 September 1865. In testimony given before the federal committee of the U.S. Congress investigating violence in northwest Louisiana during the Reconstruction period in the 1870s, A.B. Broughton’s name appears repeatedly, with some affiants identifying him as a local Republican leader supporting the Reconstruction government, and others stating that he was moving away from the Republican party to the Property Holders’ Union League.
The Jarrott Hankins who witnessed the marriage of Alex Lindsey and Mary Ann Green was Jarrott or Jarrett Milton Hankins (1853-1925). He was a pioneer settler of Campti in Natchitoches parish who spent much of his adult life in the community of Fairview Alpha on the border of Natchitoches and Red River Parishes, where he is buried in the cemetery of Zion Baptist church. In 1902, he was made postmaster of Alpha. There may well have been some connection between Jarrott/Jarrett M. Hankins and the family of Mary Ann Green’s father Ezekiel S. Green, who owned a sawmill at Campti where the Hankins family was living at the time Alex and Mary Ann Green Lindsey married.
The W. Curry witnessing Alex Lindsey’s marriage to Mary Ann Green was Isaac William Curry (1857-1950). On 7 December 1877 in Red River Parish, he married Catherine A. Wester who seems certainly to be a member of the same Wester family into which Alex Lindsey’s uncle John Wesley Lindsey, his father-in-law Ezekiel S. Green, and his sister Emma married, but I have been unable yet to determine her precise connection to that family.
Alex and Mary Ann and Their Family Following Their Marriage
I am unable to locate the family of Alex and Mary Ann Green Lindsey on the 1880 federal census. As I have noted in a previous posting, I also cannot find Alex’s youngest brother Mark Jefferson Lindsey (1862-1927) on the 1880 census. He was unmarried when their father Mark Jefferson Lindsey (1820-1878) died in 1878. I think it’s likely Alex and wife Mary Ann, who had children Samuel Mark and Veta Pearl born before 1880, would have taken his unmarried younger brother to live with them after Alex and Mark J.’s father died. For whatever reason, Alex and Mary Ann and their family, as well as Alex’s younger brother Mark, seem to have vanished from the 1880 federal census, though I have every reason to think all were living in Red River Parish.
Following his marriage to Mary Ann in 1876, various documents show Alex farming, then later adding a career as a country doctor to his agricultural pursuits. Though I find an 1891 conveyance listing showing him selling land, all federal censuses from 1900 through 1920 show him farming rented land. It seems unlikely to me that, after marrying and as he raised a family, he ever farmed land that he himself owned until the very end of his life, when the 1930 census shows him owning his farm. (I cannot locate Alex on the 1940 federal census.) For the 1891 conveyance listing showing Alex selling land in Red River Parish, I have only the index listing of this record in the index to conveyance records in Red River Parish. I have not read the actual conveyance record: the parish conveyance index shows A.L. Lindsey selling J.V. Barnes land in section 24, township 13, range 9 west on 23 October 1891.
At some point in 1896, Alex Lindsey signed (as A.L. Lindsey) a petition in Red River Parish for the construction of the Kansas City, Watkins, and Gulf railroad. In 1891, William Henry Perrin wrote in his Southwest Louisiana Biographical and Historical that the completion of the Kansas City, Watkins, and Gulf railway, then being constructed from Lake Charles north to Alexandria, would give southwest Louisiana access to much-needed railroad resources, permitting Kansas City and the northeast to ship products to the port of Lake Charles more effectively than ever before. As Perrin wrote his book in 1891, the road for the new railway was already graded to Alexandria and laying of track had begun. On 26 January 1897, the U.S. Congress enacted an act authorizing the Kansas City, Watkins, and Gulf railway company to build and maintain a bridge across the Red River at Alexandria.
Alex Lindsey and others living in the vicinity of Coushatta in Red River Parish would have had an interest in the new railroad since it linked to the Texas and Pacific Railway that had been chartered in 1871 and on which construction began in the 1880s. The linking of the two railway systems gave people in Red River Parish a new way to market their agricultural and other products.
While farming, Alex Lindsey also involved himself in local political matters with a lively interest about which his children and grandchildren were still telling stories at family reunions in my childhood and adolescence. The Louisiana Populist newspaper of Natchitoches dated 27 March 1896 states in its Red River Parish news column that Alex “Lindsay,” Frank Wren and Simmons Thomas had aligned themselves with the local Populist party. The same article accuses the Democratic party of seeking to suppress the African-American vote and of trying unsuccessfully to get the Populists to work with the Democrats in that effort.
The Populist Party or People’s Party was an offshoot of the Farmers’ Alliance movement of the 1880s, which tried to forge bonds between small farmers across racial lines, many of them renting land and sharecropping. Both the Farmers’ Alliance and the Populist Party were left-wing agrarian enterprises seeking to organize farmers and farm workers to challenge the control exercised over their lives by an elite group of wealthy landholders with large tracts of land. As the guide to the Louisiana Populist newspaper at the website of the Louisiana State University library states,
The People’s (or Populist) Party in Louisiana was founded in October 1891 to represent the interests of farmers and laborers in rural communities and to encourage pro-labor legislation. In addition to supporting national monetary reform (“free silver”), Louisiana Populists also called for reform of the state’s electoral and political system, which was then dominated by the so-called Bourbon Democrats.
This essay goes on to note that one of the leaders of the Populist Party in Louisiana, Hardy L. Brian, established the Louisiana Populist in Natchitoches in 1894, and the paper then became one of the most important third-party newspapers in the state.
A note about the Frank Wren mentioned in the March 1896 article stating that Alex Lindsey and Frank Wren had become members of the Populist Party in Red River Parish: I think this is the same John Franklin Wren whom Dick Kellogg, a first cousin of Alex Lindsey, murdered in June 1900 at the store of Marshall Hunter, another first cousin of Alex Lindsey and Dick Kellogg.
Alex C. Lindsey and his family are on the 1900 federal census in ward 7 of Natchitoches Parish living at Provencal, where Alex’s sister Emma and husband Daniel Campbell Wester lived from 1890 to the end of their lives. In 1900, Ezekiel S. Green, Alex’s father-in-law, his wife Mary Ann Wester Green, and their children were also living in Natchitoches Parish about 10 miles west of Alex and Mary Ann Green Lindsey, near Robeline close to the border of Red River and Natchitoches Parishes.
The 1900 census notes that the family of Alex Lindsey (A.L. Lindsey in the census enumeration) was living at Provencal Village, and he was farming on rented land. The census states that he was born in March 1858 of Alabama-born parents, and had been married 24 years. Wife Mary Ann was born in October 1862 in Louisiana of Alabama-born parents. (In fact, Mary Ann’s mother Camilla Birdwell was born in Jackson County, Alabama, but her father Ezekiel S. Green was born in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.) The census states that both Alex and Mary Ann are literate, and lists 9 children in the household, stating that the couple had had 9 children of whom all were living.
The information about the number of children born to Alex and Mary Ann by 1900 is not correct. By 1900, Mark and Mary Ann had had the following children: Samuel Mark; Veta Pearl; Robert Randle; Edward Eugene; John Wesley; Benjamin Dennis; Aaron Bloomer; Clarence Edgerton; Camilla Green; Myrta/Myrtis Lee; and Mary Emma. Of these, all children from Robert to Emma are listed in Alex and Mary Ann’s household in 1900, with the census noting that Robert and Ed were working on their father’s farm, while John, B.D., and Bloomer were in school.
By 1900, Alex and Mollie’s (to give Mary Ann the name by which she was actually called) oldest daughter Veta had married and their oldest son Sam, who is listed on the census at an unspecified date in June living with his wife Ava in the house of John P. Lawson in Red River Parish and working on Lawson’s farm, was evidently living with and working for the Lawson family when his father’s family was enumerated on 2 June in Natchitoches Parish. Sam would marry Ava Frances Nix on 17 June in Bienville Parish.
A picture of Alex C. Lindsey, wife Mary Ann, and some of their children taken about 1902-3 outside their house in Red River Parish shows Mary Ann holding their last child, son Emmitt, with daughters Camilla and Emma standing next to her, and with Alex holding daughter Myrtis/Myrta Lee in his lap. Standing behind his parents (who are seated) is their oldest son Sam holding his daughter Rockel. An unknown boy who is not a family member is also in the photo.
An April 1902 photo of members of the Farmers’ Union in Holley Springs, Red River Parish, shows Dr. A.L. Lindsey as a member of the group. The photo was published in the newspaper Coushatta Citizen on 27 July 1978 and is reproduced in the book Mark Lindsey Heritage. Alex’s membership in the Farmers’ Union illustrates his continued interest in movements seeking to unite middle-class and small farmers, to improve their economic prospects at a time of large disparities in wealth in the South between an elite group of large landholders, and large numbers of struggling farmers with small landholdings or who were renting land and sharecropping. As Rebecca Edwards states, the Louisiana Farmers’ Union and groups affiliated with it in other states “sought to ameliorate debt, poverty, and low crop prices by educating and mobilizing rural men and women, engaging in cooperative economic organizing, and asserting their power in electoral politics.”
The community of Holley Springs, to whose Farmers’ Union Alex Lindsey belonged in 1902, is named for a Holley family that began acquiring land in Natchitoches Parish prior to 1854, when a Methodist church was built at Holley Springs, with the church taking the settlement’s name. The family descends from Daniel Holley (1785 – 1860/1870) whose family moved from Chesterfield County, South Carolina, to Natchitoches Parish prior to 1854. Holley Springs, which was northeast of Coushatta and no longer exists, fell into Red River Parish after the formation of that parish in 1871. It appears that by 1902, Alex and Mollie and their family may have been living in the vicinity of Holley Springs, where Mollie’s sister Rosa Frances Green is buried in the Holley Springs Methodist cemetery along with her first husband Alsa Harris Holley, son of Zachariah Holley and Margaret J. Sowell. Nothing is now left of the community of Holley Springs or its church except its cemetery. Porter Holley, depicted in the 1902 Farmers’ Union photo along with Alex Lindsey, was Albert Porter Holley, a son of Alex’s sister-in-law Rosa and husband Alsa Harris Holley.
The Bossier Parish conveyance index lists a 6 December 1904 credit deed from A.L. Lindsey to Fannie M. Moore et al. I have not read the conveyance record. Fannie M. Moore (1864-1953) was the wife of James Monroe Moore of Benton in Bossier Parish, and was née Lindsey, the daughter of Franklin M. and Amanda Lindsey — a Lindsey family unrelated to the family of Alex C. Lindsey.
On the 1910 federal census, Alex Lindsey and his family are enumerated in ward 1 of Red River Parish. The census gives Alex’s name as Alexander Lindsey, and states that he is 54, born in Louisiana, with a father born in “U.S.” and a mother in Alabama. He has been married 35 years, and he and his wife have had 13 children, of whom 12 are living. He’s a general farmer on rented land. Wife Mary is 50, born in Louisiana, with a father born in Alabama and a mother born in Louisiana. Both are literate. In the household are children Bloomer, Clarence, Camilla, Mattie (i.e., Myrtis/Myrta), Emma, and Emmett. Bloomer and Clarence are working on their father’s farm. On the same census pages two houses from the family of Alex and Mary Ann Lindsey is found the family of their oldest son Sam. Both this census page and the next enumerate a number of Dupree families. That suggests to me that Alex and Mollie and their family were living near Holley Springs and Martin, where the Dupree families were concentrated at this time.
Missing from Alex and Mollie’s list of unmarried children living at home in 1910 is their son Benjamin Dennis, aged 23 and just above Bloomer in the list of the couple’s children. The 1910 census shows him living in the household of Louella Teer in Red River Parish and working for her as a hired hand. Louella was the widow of Alex’s first cousin Willie Sockwell Ross Hunter, who had died 24 December 1905, leaving Louella a young widow with five young sons to raise. Living across the road from Louella Hunter’s family in 1910 was the family of Lucy Harris Snead, whose daughter Vallie B.D. Lindsey would marry in June 1916. Family stories state that he had hired himself as a hired hand to the Snead family, too, while he was working on the Hunter farm.
The report of the 1910 census that Alex and Mollie were parents of 13 children of whom 12 were living indicates that a child whose name has not passed down in any family records I have seen had been born and died prior to 1910. It’s possible this was a baby who was stillborn or died at birth — but that is just speculation on my part. Henry C. Lindsey’s Mark Lindsey Heritage reproduces a page from the family bible of Alex and Mary Ann Green Lindsey listing the names and birthdates of the twelve children whose names are preserved in family records. The handwriting for all of these birth entries except the one for Alex and Mollie’s final child Emmitt is Alex C. Lindsey’s handwriting. Mark Lindsey Heritage does not indicate who owned this bible in 1982.
Alex Launches a Career as a Doctor-Farmer
By 1910, aged 52, Alex had made plans to launch a career as a doctor, and in the years 1910-1912, he studied medicine in Memphis. In June 1977, Alex and Mollie’s son Clarence told Henry C. Lindsey (see below on the memoir in which this information appears) that his father had gone to the medical school at the University of Tennessee, leaving his large family behind to run the family farm while he was away studying in 1910, 1911, and 1912. University of Tennessee moved its medical campus to Memphis in 1911, so if Alex studied at that institution, I think he may have studied there in 1911-1912, and not in 1910, unless he was originally enrolled in the predecessor of the University Medical School, the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Clarence told Henry Lindsey that his father would spend summers at home helping with the farming while he studied in Memphis in other months.
It appears Alex never received a degree from the medical school in Memphis, since, after Louisiana established a requirement for doctors to register for licensure, he protested that requirement, noting that, like many other country doctors up to that point, he had learned medicine primarily by tutorship with an established doctor. This was long the pattern in much of the U.S. and in the rural South, in particular, where a majority of doctors into the first part of the twentieth century had no medical education beyond their apprenticeship to a practicing doctor.
In an essay she wrote about the Lindsey family for the book entitled Red River Parish: Our Heritage, Alex’s granddaughter Mary Lou Lindsey Prothro, a daughter of Alex’s son Aaron Bloomer Lindsey, recounts a colorful story about her grandfather’s decision to study medicine. Alex was notoriously impulsive and stubborn, and once he had set his mind on something, it was well-nigh impossible to deter him from doing what he had determined to do, though his soft-spoken wife Mollie was uniquely capable of curbing his tantrums and making him see reason, a point I’ll discuss in further detail below. In the case of the decision to study medicine, it appears that, typically, Alex consulted no one prior to making the shocking announcement that he intended to head off to Memphis and go to medical school — leaving his long-suffering wife Mollie, it should be mentioned, to run the family farm and manage six children, five of them teens.
Alex’s sudden announcement that he was headed off to study medicine understandably made Mollie distraught, and according to Mary Lou, for the rest of his life, Alex was fond of telling people, “I left Mollie standing on the front steps, waving and crying, and when I came back she was waving and smiling.”
Family stories about Alex C. Lindsey’s medical practice indicate that he was an “eclectic” doctor: that is, he belonged to a school of medical thinking long established in American medicine, which relied on herbal and folk remedies as first-line medicines for almost anything that ailed a body. Mark Lindsey Heritage reproduces a 26 October 1916 order for twelve boxes of Nalther tablets that Alex sent to the M.A. Winter Company in Washington, D.C., signing the order as Dr. A.L. Lindsey, Coushatta, Louisiana. Alex’s grandchildren Henry C. Lindsey and Helen Lindsey told me that they suspect Nalther tablets were the dreaded “Grandpa pills” of their childhood, a medicine their grandfather would dispense no matter what the complaint of a patient happened to be, whose medical ingredients were unknown, but which had a powerful bowel-loosening effect. As Mary Lou Lindsey Prothro writes, “Grandpa pills” were the prescription Alex’s grandchildren most dreaded, since, the morning after the pills were taken, they had the patient running to the outhouse as fast as possible through rain, sleet, or snow. In February 1932, a judgment of the federal Food and Drug Administration declared that Nalther tablets, which were being sold as “Nature’s Health Restorer” with claims that they could cure almost anything, had no therapeutic value and were a concoction of capsicum, spearmint, rhubarb, senna, and aloe.
It’s possible that Alex C. Lindsey’s decision to study medicine was spurred by some connection to a father-and-son doctor team who lived, in the father’s case, in Saline in Bienville Parish, not far from where Alex and Mollie Lindsey lived, and who also practiced medicine in Coushatta. Dr. Edwin Tracy Edgerton (1827-1901), a graduate of Philadelphia Medical College, had a son Clarence Eugene Edgerton (1858-1928), who practiced with his father and was a graduate of Tulane University’s school of medicine. I think it’s entirely possible Alex “read medicine” by apprenticing himself to Clarence Edgerton, since he and wife Mollie named a son Clarence Edgerton Lindsey. I knew this great-uncle only by his nickname as I was growing up — “Uncle Doc.”
Another local doctor who studied medicine in Memphis in the early 1900s was Dr. Lawrence Marion Joyner (1879-1969), who graduated from the medical school in Memphis in 1906. Joyner lived at Chestnut in Natchitoches Parish, and practiced medicine in that parish and nearby Bienville Parish. According to an undated and unpublished biography compiled by his daughter Orie Joyner Tarver, at the time Joyner studied medicine in Memphis, fourteen other Louisiana men were in his class. Lawrence Marion Joyner’s family connects to the family of Alex Lindsey’s daughter-in-law Vallie Snead, who married Benjamin Dennis Lindsey; both were descendants of a Harris family that moved from Twiggs County, Georgia, to Bienville (later Red River) Parish in the first half of the 1850s.
The family of Alex C. Lindsey appears on the 1920 federal census in Red River Parish. The census lists Alex (his name spelled as “Alax”) as 62, born in Louisiana with a Louisiana-born father and a mother born in “United States.” Once again, Alex is enumerated as a farmer on rented land. Wife Wife Mary A. (the name is spelled “Marry”) is 59, born in Louisiana of Louisana-born parents. In the household are daughters Camilla (spelled “Camillar”), who is unmarried, and Myrtis Price, along with Myrtis’s daughter Julia. Myrtis’s husband Walter Grey Price is enumerated separately on this census in Red River Parish in the household of brother J. Doss Price. Both Myrtis and Walter are listed as “widowed” on this census.
A notice that Dr. A.L. Lindsey of Coushatta was visiting his daughter-in-law Mrs. J.W. Lindsey and her children in Shreveport appears in the Shreveport Times newspaper on 20 November 1925. Tragedy had struck the family of Alex’s son John Wesley Lindsey on 21 April 1922 when John died at the age of 35 after being struck in the head by a piece of timber while working in the oil fields of Gilliland Oil Company at Haynesville in Claiborne Parish. John had married Helen Lillie Rushing on 14 August 1915, and the couple had three small sons at the time of his tragic death.
The Final Years
The 1930 federal census shows Alex (listed as Aleck L.) Lindsey and wife Mollie once again in Red River Parish. The census states that Alex is 72, a farmer born in Louisiana of Alabama-born parents. Alex is now farming land he owns. Wife Mary A. is 69, born in Louisiana of Louisiana-born parents. Living with Alex is granddaughter Julia A. Price. Julia’s mother Myrta/Myrtis Price died 19 March 1924 at Pineville in Rapides Parish, and Julia’s father Walter Grey Price died 24 April 1926 at Coushatta, and from that point forward, her grandparents raised Julia. The enumerator of this 1920 census entry was Buren Simeon Snead, whose sister Vallie married Benjamin D., son of Alex and Mary Ann Lindsey, on 10 June 1916 in Red River Parish.
Alex’s pronounced interest in matters political continued into the final years of his life, as evinced by a notice in the Shreveport Times newspaper on 12 January 1932 that he was running for a position in the state legislature from Red River Parish. He did not win election. According to his grandson Henry C. Lindsey, who was my uncle and who remembered his grandfather’s fiery political speeches, Alex employed an unusual method of debating his political opponents. He would ask if they agreed with what a certain bible verse said — e.g., “Surely you agree with what Hosea 15:1 states about this matter?” Since no one seeking election would dream of disagreeing with a biblical text, the opponent would say that, yes, of course, he agreed with that biblical text. At which point Alex would turn to the crowd and say, “You see, ladies and gentlemen, how little learning my worthy opponent has. He is unaware that Hosea has only 14 chapters.”
As I have noted previously, I am unable to locate Alex and wife Mollie on the 1940 census. Alex’s wife Mary Ann Green Lindsey died 26 June 1942 at their home near Coushatta. Her death certificate, for which her husband Alex supplied the information, states that she was born 11 October 1862 in Pointe Coupee Parish, daughter of Zeke and Mary Ann Green (Ezekiel S. Green and Camilla Birdwell are the correct names). The death certificate states that Mary Ann had suffered from chronic bronchitis for 40 years, and the condition was complicated in her final days by her age and malnutrition — her appetite waned in the final weeks of her life.
A granddaughter of Alex and Mary Ann who remembered her grandmother’s death, Lucy Mae Lindsey Parker, daughter of Samuel Mark Lindsey and Ava Frances Nix, told me in February 1987 that her grandmother “took to the bed” in the final weeks of her life, and sat in bed pleasantly occupied with her sewing. Knowing how much she had always loved dolls, Alex bought a large doll and propped it on the pillow next to her as she sat in bed sewing and humming hymns to herself.
Mollie’s funeral was held at Armistead Chapel Methodist church outside Coushatta the day after her death, and she was buried in the cemetery of that church, in which Alex would be buried when he died in 1947, and in which his parents Mark J. and Mary Ann Harrison Lindsey are also buried.
Alexander Cobb Lindsey survived his wife Mollie by less than five years. As his obituary in Shreveport Times the following day states, he died 22 January 1947 in Shreveport while visiting his daughter Camilla. The obituary identifies her as Camille Lindsey Mitchell, Camille being the spelling of her name she preferred in her adult life.
Camille was a nurse, and stories told to me by my grandparents and other older family members as I was growing up state that, following Mollie’s death, Alex spent long periods of time visiting first one and then another of his children. One wonders if his choice to visit his nurse daughter in the final days of his life had something to do with her profession.
An obituary published the same day in the Shreveport Journal paper states that his funeral was to be held on the 24th at Coushatta at the Armistead Chapel cemetery, with Rev. Sam Holliday of Coushatta’s Baptist church officiating. This obituary notes that he was a doctor who had been a resident of Coushatta for many years. As noted previously, Alex was buried beside wife Mollie in Armistead Chapel Methodist cemetery near Coushatta, with their children erecting a double tombstone for their parents at some date following Alex’s death.
Memoirs of and Stories About Alex and Mollie
In his book Mark Lindsey Heritage, Henry C. Lindsey, a son of Alex and Mollie’s son Benjamin Dennis Lindsey, published a memoir of his grandfather, whom he remembered well. Henry (or Carlton, as he was called in his family circle) was 29 years old when his grandfather died. This memoir contains valuable information about Alex’s life and character as described by one of his grandchildren. It’s worth reproducing here in full. Entitling his memoir “Alexander Cobb Lindsey — Country Doctor,” Henry C. Lindsey writes,
All of us grandchildren called him grandpaw…. Our grandmother, Mollie Green Lindsey, was Granny to us. Grandpaw was a man who commanded attention and respect because he was “different” from most people we knew in his particular time and locale. He always seemed to be someone special; he carried himself with dignity and reserve even when he might be doing menial work in the field. Unlike most of the Lindseys, he was slight in stature, but always sure of himself and feisty. His speech was usually a little stilted and eloquent. He loved to speak in public and I can remember as a child some of his powerful rhetoric as he spoke to the families when we had memorial day reunions at “Old Chapel” (now Carroll Creek) cemetery.
He was a man who disliked change and clung to 19th century ways and customs like a child who refused to part with a favorite toy. I have heard that when automobiles first came to Coushatta … he would pound them with his cane as he crossed the streets making them stop for him to cross, fighting them off like a Don Quixote attacking a spinning windmill. I remember his long white hair and white moustache, glasses, and deep eyes which squinted.
He farmed, in addition to being a country doctor, but I never remember seeing him in overalls or Khaki clothes. In the field he always wore a white dress shirt (without a collar) and dress trousers. He was different and proud of it. He was a Methodist and didn’t mind telling you so.
In June, 1977 one of his sons, Clarence Lindsey told me about Grandpaw going away to Medical school at the University of Tennessee at Memphis. He decided late in life to do this, leaving his large family behind to run the farm while he was at medical school in 1910, 1911, and 1912. He spent the summers at home helping with the farming.
Grandpaw loved coffee and used to grind his own and drink it from a moustache cup. He loved to sit out on the front porch at night, rock and prop his feet up, hold his grandchildren in his lap, and sing to them. We used to think that he was a little partial to little Alex who had his name. His granddaughter, Julia Price, spent several of her teenage years with them and was a great help to them. He and Granny spent their last years with their son, Blouma.
Although not a Dentist, Grandpaw would pull teeth as a last resort when a “patient” came to him in great pain. We children used to love to observe his dental techniques. For an anesthetic, he would hand the patient a shot of whiskey and after he became relaxed, he would rear him back in a straight chair against the railing, put his knee in his chest, and yank the tooth out. I suppose that this could be called no-frills dentistry; no novacaine, no Xrays, no fillings, and no foolishness; just remove the offending tooth which is causing the pain. Besides, dentistry was not his “bag”; he was a medical doctor. He just loved removing pain.
Speaking of removing pain, about 1928 one of my cousins, Ray Lindsey and I were visiting Grandpaw and Granny on their farm and as we were walking down the hill to the creek to go swimming and as we passed a bee hive a swarm of bees attacked us and we got stung on the arms and when we ran up the hill crying we ran into Grandpaw who quickly grabbed us and applied a quick “poltice” [sic] of a wad of chewing tobacco which he took from his jaw and tied it on tight with a red bandana handkerchief from his hip pocket. In just a few minutes the pain left us and the swelling subsided.
Grandpaw had an uncanny, indirect way of instructing his grandchildren in sex education, of sorts. He would call us into the living room (girls in separate sessions from the boys), and tell us that we were now old enough to learn the difference between boys and girls. He would open a copy of Gray’s anatomy book and tell us to read certain sections and look at the pictures. After we finished he would take the book and say, “Well, that’s the way it is, and don’t forget it.” I remember that I understood only a few of the medical and scientific words in the book but I remember remarking to my brother, B.D., that after that I sure knew from those pictures that girls really are different….
Our grand-daddy Lindsey in addition to being a little quaint and eccentric in some ways, was a great man of service to humanity in Red River Parish, Louisiana. He felt a true call to be of medical service to sick and suffering people of any race or station in life who needed him. Instead of serving at his convenience as many doctors do today — who will not make housecalls and who will see a patient during usual daytime office hours — he would always respond at any time, day or night, rain or shine. I saw him many times get out of bed on a rainy night, put on his “slicker,” take his doctor’s bag and head for the barn to hook up his favorite horse, Dolly, to the buggy and head off into the lightning and rain to answer a call to help deliver a Negro baby or to try to go and help a child who had a serious case of whooping cough. Many times he would drive up to his house about daylight after being out on a call, eat breakfast and after a short nap, go out and begin plowing or working in his fields. During the years of the great depression, the only remuneration he would get for visiting and treating the sick would be a couple of dozen eggs, a chicken or two, or maybe some vegetables, but he would never complain, knowing that his was a calling for healing sickness and suffering, not just a way of making money. I stand in reverence and respect to this man, my grandfather.
As his grandson’s memoir suggests, Alexander Cobb Lindsey had a strong character that generated memorable stories about him handed down by his children and grandchildren. As I grew up, I heard many of these stories from my father Benjamin Dennis Jr., his brother Carlton (Henry), and their sister Helen Blanche, as well as from my grandparents B.D. and Vallie Snead Lindsey, and from siblings of my grandfather.
My father often told me that his grandfather was a small (small-boned and small in stature), proud, fastidiously dressed man, who was careful about his clothes, and inordinately proud of his tiny feet. When sitting, he’d prop his feet on a pillow for all to admire. My father and his brother and cousins liked to sit on their grandfather’s lap and suddenly yank his moustaches, which would make him sputter with anger.
Many stories I heard as a child noted that Alex had quite a temper, which no one could curb except for his slight, soft-spoken wife Mollie. To warn him to get a hold on his hot temper when he was working himself towards a rage, Mollie would hold up her index finger, look him in the eye, and say softly, “Now, Alex, that’s quite enough,” and the storm would subside.
The family tales also note that Alex had a stubborn streak a mile long. My uncle Carlton Lindsey told me about a time when his grandfather was getting onto a bus to go from Coushatta to Shreveport — to the north and west. But as his family stood waiting to see him off on this trip, the bus he boarded was actually headed to Alexandria — to the south and east. His family members tried to tell him that the bus was headed in the opposite direction from where he wanted to go. He insisted he knew what he was doing, and they let him take the bus, anyway.
Family stories also suggest that Alex may have enjoyed his visits doctoring people around Red River Parish for reasons that went beyond the medical realm to the social. On one occasion, he took the grandson named for him, Alex, in his buggy on a trip to Shreveport. Alex was the only grandchild his father would allow to drive his buggy. After they had reached Shreveport, Alex Sr. asked Alex Jr. to drive the buggy home while he remained in Shreveport. Alex Jr. reported afterwards that the horse had stopped at the house of every widow along the route home.
In a February 1987 interview with me, John Henry Snead, a nephew of my grandmother Vallie Snead Lindsey, told me that Dr. Lindsey was one of the last people in the vicinity of Coushatta to use a horse and buggy. J.H. also told me of Alex C. Lindsey’s intense interest in politics and the dramatic political speeches he was known to give around Coushatta.
In the last several years of his life, after Louisiana state senator Dudley LeBlanc patented the medicine Hadacol, Alex took a fancy to that concoction, which was 12% alcohol, and began to tout its virtues and prescribe it so lavishly that his family members started to wonder if he had bought Hadacol stock. He combined his praise of Dudley LeBlanc’s patent medicine with staunch support for LeBlanc as a political leader.
My grandmother Vallie Snead Lindsey and her family were not fond of “old Dr. Lindsey,” and had unflattering stories to tell about him. My grandparents’ first child, a daughter named Edwina, died 9 months following her birth in 1917. The doctor providing care for Edwina was Alex C. Lindsey. My grandmother never quite recovered from the death of her baby daughter, and to the end of her life, blamed her father-in-law and, as she saw matters, his lack of medical expertise, for Edwina’s death. My aunt Helen Blanche told me, too, that her mother and other of Alex’s daughters-in-law resented that Alex demanded that, even after they married and left home, his sons send a portion of their monthly paychecks to him and Mollie for their support. Helen said that her mother dreaded visits from Alex in the final years in which he traveled from house to house among his children. According to Helen, when her grandfather would arrive at their house, he’d declare, “I want the coolest room in the house” — a bedroom whose door opened onto the porch so that cool night air could flow through during the night. Early in the morning when he awoke long before the rest of the family, he’d get up and sing at the top of his voice, “Nobody Know the Trouble I’ve Seen.”
In February 1987, Vallie Snead Lindsey’s sister Grace confirmed that her family had not liked “old Doctor Lindsey.” They saw him as a little banty rooster of a man, she said, proud and defiant — though it has to be noted that Grace was beginning to be mentally foggy when she told me all of this, and she seemed unaware that “old Doctor Lindsey” was my great-grandfather. According to my aunt Helen, when her parents married, the Snead family objected to Vallie’s marriage to Alex Lindsey’s son B.D. Lindsey, since the Lindseys owned no land and B.D. was working as a hired hand for the Sneads at the time of the marriage.
My father and his siblings often told me that their grandfather had died a virtual pauper, since he performed many medical services for those who could not afford to pay him. This was not unusual for country doctors in the rural South well into the 20th century, when, as Henry C. Lindsey’s memoir of his grandfather Alex notes, the only remuneration doctors received from patients might be a mess of fish, some eggs, butter from the churn, and so on — money never entering the picture.
Though my grandmother could speak harshly of her father-in-law, I never heard her or any of Alex and Mollie’s daughters-in-law speak of Mollie with anything other than the highest praise. “An angel on earth” was a phrase I often heard them apply to her. My father often told me that when his uncle John Wesley Lindsey was killed at work in 1922, and the news was brought to his mother Mollie, she responded that she had feared something of the sort would happen when he took that dangerous job — but what could she do to change God’s will? She was, I was often told, a very devout Methodist who took her faith seriously.
Henry C. Lindsey appends to his previously cited memoir of his grandfather Alex a brief remembrance of Mollie, which states,
We all loved and respected Molllie Green Lindsey, our grandmother. She was an angel on earth, as she is now in heaven. She was a picture of peace, tranquility, and composure on all occasions. She had such grace and good will toward others that they felt good and at ease. When she read the bible and discussed it, I understood and believed because I knew that she lived it.
Though it was not always spelled out in family stories, an implication of all the stories about Alex’s high temper and stubbornness was that Mollie had much to put up with living with her feisty, unpredictable little husband. A granddaughter of John Wesley Lindsey, Marilyn Lindsey Cope, has told me that her father, Alex’s favored grandson Walter Alexander Lindsey, told her that his grandfather insisted on having his meals served to him in courses: that is, he would eat one item at a time, chicken first, followed by mashed potatoes and gravy, with corn following. As he finished one serving, he’d look at his empty plate and say to his long-suffering Mollie, “Now, Mrs. Lindsey, it’s time for my next course,” and off to the kitchen she was expected to trot to fetch it.
Another story recounted in Mary Lou Lindsey Prothro’s essay on the Lindsey family in Red River Parish is the story of what happened when Louisiana passed a law requiring licensure of doctors who had previously practiced medicine without a license. The new law required that doctors pay a fee to receive their license. As she notes, her grandfather refused to comply with this law and was jailed in the parish jailhouse in Coushatta. While in jail, he sent for Mollie and asked her, “’Mollie, what do you think I should do? Spend thirty days in jail or pay the thirty dollars?’ Still ignoring the schooling required, Mollie said, ‘Just sit in jail, Alex, all they are after is your money.’ And the legend goes that he did just that.” One has to wonder if it may have been a little vacation for Mollie to have Alex cooling his feet awhile in the jailhouse. Mary Lou’s essay does state that her uncle Clarence told her that his father finally paid the required fee and received his license to practice medicine.
According to Mary Lou, as a devout Methodist, Mollie was not averse to “taking a little spirits when needed,” and she would make brandied peaches for Christmas each year, putting the jars aside in the hope that Alex would not discover them and drink the brandy before Christmas. If the peaches survived until Christmas, each of Alex and Mollie’s sons would be given a cup of the brandy at Christmas dinner, with the grandchildren receiving the peaches as a special treat.
At the funeral of my grandfather B.D. Lindsey in February 1976, his brother Clarence (“Doc”) told me of a time my grandfather was determined to saddle one of the family’s horses and ride into town. He patiently saddled the horse, climbed on, and the horse immediately bucked and threw him.
This did not deter him, even when he and the horse repeated the cycle several more times. All the while, his mother Mollie was sitting on the porch sewing and watching from underneath her sunbonnet. That evening at supper, B.D. complained of back pain, and his mother listened smiling to herself, but saying nothing at all, since she did not embarrass her son by telling him and the rest of the family that she knew what had caused B.D.’s back pain.
As I have noted in a previous posting, I don’t have any information about why Mark Jefferson Lindsey and wife Mary Ann Harrison chose to name a son Alexander Cobb Lindsey. There were Cobb families in Union Parish at the time Alex C. Lindsey was born, and a number of Cobb me belonged to the same Masonic lodge in that parish to which Mark belonged when his son Alex was born, though none was named Alexander. Nor (as stated above) do I know why Alex C. Lindsey also had the middle initial L, and signed his name with that initial.
In a subsequent posting, I will give a brief account of the children of Alexander Cobb Lindsey and Mary Ann Green.
 His tombstone in Old Armistead Chapel Methodist cemetery, Coushatta, Red River Parish, Louisiana, states that he was born 10 March 1858 and died 6 February 1947. Re: the date of death, his death certificate states that he was born in 1858 (no day or month given), and died 22 January 1947. His obituary in Shreveport Times (23 January 1947), p. 9, col. 5, states that he had died the previous day at the home of his daughter Camille Lindsey Mitchell in Shreveport, where he was visiting from his home in Coushatta. It gives his age as 89. The death certificate says he was born in 1858 in Red River Parish, which was not formed until 1871. His family appears from various records to have been living in Union Parish at the time of his birth.
 See ibid.
 See ibid.
 1860 federal census, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, Orchard Grove post office, ward 6, p. 729 (dwelling and family 291; 13 August).
 1870 federal census, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, Coushatta Chute, ward 13, p. 531 (dwelling 22, family 19; 24 June).
 1880 federal census, Red River Parish, Louisiana, 1st and 5th ward, p. 6C (dwelling and household 103; ED 42; June 1880, no day given). The name is given as Benjamin Broughton.
 See, e.g., the 1876 Congressional committee report of John L. Vance and William Woodburn to the U.S. House entitled “Coushatta Affair,” in Index to Reports of Committees of the House of Representatives for the First Session of the Forty-Fourth Congress, 1875-6 (D.C.: Gov’t. Printing Office, 1876), pp. ix, 647, 670, 684, 710, 716; and John L. Vance and William Woodburn, “The Coushatta Affair,” in The Louisiana Democrat(Alexandria) (28 June 1876), p. 1, col. 5.
 See his obituary, “Pioneer of Campti Resident of Campti Section Dies,” Shreveport Journal (17 March 1925), p. 4, col. 4.
 The 1880 federal census gives E.S. Green’s occupation as “lumber”: 1880 federal census, Red River Parish, Louisiana, wards 1 and 2, p. 12 (dwelling and family 107; ED 42; June, 1880). Family information passed on among his descendants states that E.S. Green owned a number of sawmills, including one at Campti. A Red River Parish conveyance record dated 29 May 1881 shows E.S. Green buying from Benjamin E. Jones, both of Red River Parish, a saw- and gristmill in township 12, range 9, with 300 acres of land. As he purchased the property, E.S. Green produced a 30 July 1872 letter showing that T.E. Paxton, deceased, had owned the land, and that the deed was in Paxton’s succession. J.D. Roach and A. Benjamin Broughton witnessed the sale (Red River Parish Conveyance Bk. C, p. 230, #253).
 See Gwen Bradford Sealy, Lest We Forget (priv. publ., Shreveport, Louisiana, 1983), p. vi.
 William Henry Perrin, Southwest Louisiana Biographical and Historical (New Orleans: Gulf, 1891), pp. 144- 145.
 U.S. Congress, Acts of Fifty-Fourth Congress, Session II, chapter 93, 1897, p. 497; online at website of the U.S. Congress Law Library.
 D.G. Freeman, “From Red River Parish,” Louisiana Populist (Natchitoches, Louisiana) (27 March 1896), p. 2, col. 5.
 1900 federal census, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, ward 7, p. 2 (dwelling 25, family 26; ED 77; 2 June). Alex is enumerated as A.L. Lindsey.
 Ibid., ward 3, p. 19 (dwelling 390, family 394; ED 72; 26 June).
 Henry C. Lindsey, Mark Lindsey Heritage (Brownwood, Texas, 1982), p. 60, reproduces this photo.
 Ibid., p. 64.
 See F. Ray Marshall and Lamar B. Jones, “Agricultural Unions in Louisiana,” Labor History 3,3 (1962), pp. 287-306
 See Joye Thorne, “Irene McWilliams Holley and Lockett Beecher Holley,” Red River Parish: Our Heritage, ed. Red River Parish Heritage Society (Bossier City, Louisiana: Everett, 1989), p. 229; and “Holley Springs,” whose author is not named, in the same source, pp. 584-5.
 Bossier Parish Conveyance Bk. 23, p. 405.
 See her obituary, “Mrs. F.L. Moore of Benton Dies; Rites Here Sunday,” in Shreveport Journal (14 June 1952), p. 2, col. 5.
 1910 federal census, Red River Parish, Louisiana ward 1, p. 28A (dwelling and family 411; ED 95, 12 May).
 1910 federal census, Red River Parish, Louisiana, ward 2, p. 20A (dwelling and family 364; ED 16; 14 May).
 Mark Lindsey Heritage, pp. 65-6.
 See William D. Lindsey, William L. Russell, and Mary Ryan, A Family Practice: The Russell Doctors and the Evolving Business of Medicine, 1799–1989 (Fayetteville: Univ. of Arkansas Press, 2020), pp. 180-1.
 On this point, see ibid., pp. 12-4, 109-110; W. David Baird, Medical Education in Arkansas 1879–1978 (Memphis: Memphis State Univ. Press, 1979). pp. 2–3; Steven M. Stowe, Doctoring the South: Southern Physicians and Everyday Medicine in the Mid-Nineteenth Century (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 2004), pp. 19–20; William Frederick Norwood, Medical Education in the United States Before the Civil War(Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1944), pp. 32-41; and William Frederick Norwood, “Medical Education and the Rise of Hospitals: II: The Nineteenth Century,” JAMA 186,11 (December 1963), p. 134.
 Mary Lou Lindsey Prothro, “The Lindseys of Red River Parish,” in Red River Parish: Our Heritage, p. 310.
 Mark Lindsey Heritage, p. 62.
 Mary Lou Lindsey Prothro, “The Lindseys of Red River Parish,” in Red River Parish: Our Heritage, p. 310.
 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration, “19172: Misbranding of Nalther Tablets,” in Notices of Judgment Under the Food and Drug Act, 19001-19025 (Washington, D.C.: USDA, 1932), pp. 117-8.
 Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana (Nashville: Southern Publ. Co., 1890), p. 160. See also the Richard Edgerton Genealogy Database, a collaborative Edgerton family database online at Rootsweb.
 On 4 February 2008, Donna Aynesworth sent me a copy of Orie Ludie Joyner Tarver’s biography of her father — an unpublished typescript. Orie Tarver lived in Coushatta. See also Lawrence M. Joyner’s obituary, “Dr. Joyner Rites Today,” in Shreveport Times (8 April 1969), p. 27, col. 6, noting that he had practiced medicine in Natchitoches and Bienville Parishes for 55-60 years.
 1920 federal census, Red River Parish, Louisiana, ward 2, p. 2 (dwelling 29, family 30; ED 121; 7 January).
 Shreveport Times (20 November 1925), p. 2, col. 4.
 1920 federal census, Red River Parish, Louisiana, ward 2, p. 159B (dwelling 143, family 145; ED 41-4; 16 April).
 Shreveport Times (12 January 1932), p. 5, col. 6.
 Louisiana Department of Health, Division of Vital Records, Red River Parish Death Certificates 1942, #1620.
 See her obituaries, “Mrs. Mary Ann Lindsey,” Shreveport Journal (8 July 1942), p. 16, col. 2; and “Funeral Services for Mrs. A.L. Lindsey Held Saturday,” Coushatta Citizen (3 July 1942).
 “Dr. Alex Lindsey,” Shreveport Times (23 January 1947), p. 9, col. 5.
 “Dr. Alex Lindsey Rites at Coushatta,” Shreveport Journal (23 January 1947), p. 2, col. 4.
 Mark Lindsey Heritage, pp. 62-A and B.
 Old Chapel and Carroll Creek are other names by which the Old Armistead Chapel Methodist cemetery in which Alex and Mollie are buried has been called.
 Mary Lou Lindsey Prothro, “The Lindseys of Red River Parish,” in Red River Parish: Our Heritage, p. 310.