Carthage History 1936
Mr. and Mrs. Ben Lacy, who had a hotel during these early days on the site of the present residence of their son C. D. Lacy, encountered, many experiences of much color. Mr. Lacy recalls an incident that occurred when he was quite a small lad in the hotel dining room. A heated argument between two half-drunk men they arose to settle it with guns in the presence of some twenty others. Just as they reached the climax, Mrs. Lacy entered with pans of hot biscuits and put to flight these two would-be killers—the only ones left. The other men decided that safety lay in flight.
Again, during the midst of the Civil War the Yankees invaded Carthage and. took all food supplies that could be found. It chanced that Mrs. Lacy discovered that they had not only taken her barrel of sugar but a bale of cotton and loaded them on the wagon ready to drive away. She got her shot gun, that she knew how to use, and again men decided "safety was in flight." She was truly a courageous woman who dared to do to protect her home and family. The hotel of these scenes was burned in 1884.
The "Pioneer Race Track" was on the street from where the Central Baptist Church is now located across the square, east to the present Santa Fe Station.
The old Masonic Hall was the first building used for a school building, the "Academy", was located on the site of Miss Margie E. Neal's home. The first high school was called the Panola Male and Female College and was founded by L. C. Libby. Some of the educators that pioneered Carthagenians' education were as follows: Prof. Grey; Mrs. Forstson; Prof. Rucks; Prof. Scroggs; Mrs. Demetra Hill, who taught in a building, the present site of Brookshire's store; Prof. Chatham, who was also postmaster at one time; Prof. O. P. Carswell, who still resides here; later superintendents were L. C. Libby, Dr. O. H. Cooper, C. L. Turner, and L. M. Logan and many other worthy ones. Another teacher that is much loved and appreciated that still resides here is Mrs. Maurine Frazier Duke, a sister of Prof. Libby. Her work as a primary teacher is one of the best Carthage schools has ever known.
The earliest churches were a Presbyterian on the present site of Mr. Sam Smith's gin, one of the first ministers was Rev. Knox; a Methodist on the same site of the present church, with Rev. Wilson as one of its first pastors, a circuit rider. The First Baptist 'Church was built in 1878 with Rev. J. K. Bellamy one of its first pastors. The Central Baptist Church was organized Thursday, September 6, 1901, with J. M. Wright as pastor. The Christian Church had it's organization in August, 1891 with Rev. Frank Talmadge as pastor.
Among the earliest doctors of medicine were Dr. Chatham; Dr. Cooper, father of O. H. Cooper; Dr. Frank Reagan, father of Mrs. Frank Jordan and Mrs. Matt Whitfield of Beckville; Dr. Vawter father of Mrs. J. W. Cooke.
Some of the earliest citizens that made themselves known beyond their home and bringing special honor to themselves were Capt. DeBerry, the first Secretary of State of the first Democratic administration after the Civil War in 1874 during Governor Coolie's administration; Dr. O. H. Cooper, State Dept. of Education, President .of Baylor University, Simon's College, Prof. in the State University. Earlier even than this Dr. 0. H. Cooper's uncle Tom Rosser, just a farmer lad, received an appointment to West Point, graduated in 1361 and received the rank of general. S. S. Baker, a most capable and truly Christian gentleman endeared himself to his people in many official capacities.