100 Years Ago in Bienville Parish: Lightning Strikes Camping Party

On July 19, 1921, a group of people who were on a camping and fishing trip at Lake Bistineau ate watermelon under the shade of a large tree.  The group  included Mr. and Mrs. John Reeves, their children, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Harris, and  their daughter, Ms. Ola Harris.

Without warning, a lightning bolt struck the tree.  Mr. and Mrs. Reeves were seriously injured but conscious.  Their children were only slightly hurt.  The Harris family lay motionless under the tree. 

Although injured, members of the Reeves family tended to the Harris family.  Mr. and Mrs. Harris were rendered unconscious.  Within a short times, Mr. and Mrs. Harris regained consciousness.  Their injuries were surprisingly minor. 

15-year-old Ola Harris took the brunt of the lightning strike and was killed instantly.  

Source:  Bienville Democrat, July 28, 1921, p.1.


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