The Naming of “Lucknow and Mhoon’s Landing,” as written in “By the Boeuf with Beth,” ca., 1963
The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana
08 Jun 1963, Sat • Page 7
The romantic names, Lucknow and Mhoon’s landing, lured me to Ward Six this week. I’m delighted that I went! I saw and learned more in my recent jaunts to the west side of the Boeuf, than I’ve known in all the years we’ve lived so close to Ward Six, on the east side of the Boeuf.
I’d heard reference to Mhoon’s landing from every “old-timer” I talked with about Boeuf River. I had to see it. Sunday, I visited the Oliver Lowerys over on Clear Lake and they took me to see Mhoon’s landing. We took the gravel road that winds along the wooded bank of the river on one side, while on the other side of the road, beautiful fields of cotton, soybeans and corn are a vivid green, on up the road there on your left, you’ll see that all that remains of what was once a charming country home.
The house was built during the Civil War by Dr. Lewis, the brother-in-law of Mrs. James Mhoon. Mhoon’s cotton gin and Mhoon’s landing were not far from the house. At the landing-place, we walked through tall weeds to the river. (And I got chiggers.) Here the Boeuf is low and muddy with a surprising visible current in the water’s flow. This popular landing of past years is now a quiet and peaceful place. I’d seen the location of Mhoon’s landing and my curiosity was satisfied. But, how did the post office get the name Lucknow?
From Mrs. Rowena Mulhern Westmoreland, I learned this tender story. It was the birth of a little baby girl that prompted her father, James Mhoon, to say, “Well, we’ve got luck now!” That was his comment when his brother became the father of the little girl. About that time, the post office was established at the Mhoon place. A name was needed. Elated with the arrival of the little girl, someone said, “that’s it: let’s name it Lucknow!”
You’ll find Lucknow on your Louisiana map today. And in the National Archives and Records Service in Washington, is this post office record: Lucknow, Richland Parish, La. Established on July, 1898; Discontinued July 31, 1925. Postmasters: James A. Mhoon, appointed July 8, 1898; Armstead R. Kilbourne, June 11, 1918; Bertha B. Earle, January 17, 1920. When the Mhoon’s moved away, Carl Earle took over the post office and it was moved to his store on the edge of Clear Lake.
I went by to visit Mr. and Mrs. Earle and asked if they recalled any amusing post office incidents. Mr. Earle told this one about the mail-order business that was so popular at the time. A common occurrence would be an inquiry by a patron, asking if his package had arrived. After unpiling about 40 packages, the patron’s package would be found with a COD tag attached.
Satisfied to find his package was in the post office, the patron would reply, “I’ll pick it up Saturday.” Now, you know Mr. Earle didn’t think that an amusing incident then! Before I left, Mrs. Earle took me for a visit to her beautiful rose gardens. And then to the brooder house where she has a battery brooder with flocks of different age guineas in each cage. My favorites were the cunning little baby ones in the bottom cage. Oh the wonders of farm life.The Richland Beacon-News, Rayville, Louisiana
08 Jun 1963, Sat • Page 7