It was a hot day in Arcadia in July 1922. 4 1/2 year old Christine Wagner and her three year old playmate, Lucille Davis, waited impatiently as their mothers rehearsed a play on the second floor of the Arcadia High School. The girls became thirsty and remembered the large fountain in front of the building. The girls descended the stairs and wandered to the fountain to get a drink. Lucille climbed upon the edge of the fountain’s large concrete basin, lost her footing, and fell in. The water was several feet deep and Lucille had not yet learned to swim. Christine tried to reach for Lucille, but was unsuccessful. Christine realized time was running out and ran back upstairs “as rapidly as her chubby legs would carry her.” Even before she entered the auditorium, young Christine was yelling for help. The women, busy on the stage, stopped the instant they heard Christine’s shouts. Lucille’s mother raced downstairs and pulled Lucille’s lifeless body from the water. The frantic mother worked for several moments until she resuscitated the child. Had Christine waited another moment to go for help, it might have been too late for Lucille. Her presence of mind was “rare indeed for a child of her age,” and Christine was called Arcadia’s Child Heroine.
Also in Arcadia 100 years ago this week…
J.S. Andrews, the owner of the only herd of registered Jersey dairy cows in the parish at the time, began a regular twice-a-day milk service in town when he purchased a brand new “real milk wagon.” It was said to be the first milk service in the history of the town. The Bienville Democrat reported that Mr. Andrews was the “fancier of fine cows,” which he always kept in the best of condition. Mr. Andrews provided “nothing but whole milk in its original riches and purity.”
Source: Bienville Democrat, July 13, 1922, p.1.
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