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floodway plan in every way within our power and to fight the said plan to a finish. Be is further
“Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be handed to the Morehouse Enterprise, Shreveport Times, Monroe News-Star, Monroe Morning World, Times Picayune, Commercial Appeal and copies hereof be forwarded to the President of the United States, the United States Army Engineering Corps, the Mississippi River Commission, the Senators and Representatives of the State of Louisiana in the United States Congress, and to the heads of all interested departments of the United States Government. "Adopted at Bastrop, La., on April 2, 1935.
'BASTROP KIWANIS CLUB,
ISAAC CHAPMAN." The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Smith. Are there any questions?
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You have been living along the Boeuf all of
Mr. Smith. I have been living in Morehouse Parish all my life. Mr. WITTINGTON. Are you living near the Boeuf?
Mr. Smith. I am living in Bastroup now. That is up on the hill, about 18 miles from the Boeuf.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. That is the reason I asked. Have you lived along the Boeuf and been in the overflow area yourself?
Mr. Smith. All of my agricultural interest is in what is known as the Boeuf Basin."
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You are in the lands that were overflowed in 1927!
Mr. SMITH. Yes, sir.
Mr. W'ITTINGTON. How far is your farm-I assume you have a farm, or your home, or whatever it is—from the Boeuf 'River?
Mr. Smith. At the nearest point it is about 6 or 7 miles.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. But it is in the aluvial country of the Boeuf River?
Mr. Smith. The alluvial section; yes, sir.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. How wide is the Boeuf Basin there through Morehouse Parish from the hills over to the east?
Mr. Smith. That would depend. When you get down on the south end
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Take Oak Ridge, now.
Mr. Smith. I would judge it was on an average of some 10 or 15 miles.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. What is your parish site?
Mr. WHITTINGTON. How far is it east of Bastrop, now? How wide is the valley ?
Mr. Smith. You go east from Bastrop 8 miles and you go down to what we call the foot of the hill. From there over to, I suppose, the Oak Grove neighborhood is somewhere around 15 or 18 miles.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. How wide is the Boeuf Valley there?
Mr. Smith. That is about 15 or 18 miles; when you get onto the foot of the hill you are in the valley.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Where is your river gage on the Boeuf?
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You do not know where the Government gage in that area has been maintained ?
Mr. Smith. No; I do not know about that.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. But you do know that the highest water that you have ever had there was in 1927?
Mr. Smith. Yes, sir; that is, since I have been living there. All of our section of the country, Mr. Whittington—we are on a ridge, and we have always maintained small levees. Of course, we would have an occasional break. In 1927 those levees went out just as if they were not there, and our entire farming land went under, including my particular property, that had never gone under. When I was a boy we operated on one side of Lake Irving, and we used to swim our cattle across this lake over to this property that we own now, to take care of them during the high water. That land was never known to have gone under until 1927, and there was not a foot of it out in 1927.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Have you drainage districts in that area that probably have contributed to a change in the directions that high waters go?
Mr. Smith. Only such as the highways that have been constructed, but that has not changed the direction of the water. The only drainage that affects us is the drainage up there in southeast Arkansas. Mr. WHITTINGTON. You have no drainage districts in your parish? Mr. SMITH. No, sir.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Nor in any of the parishes? What is the parish north of you?
Mr. SMITH. Ashley County. We are in the north parish. We are right on the Arkansas line.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You have not any drainage districts in your parish, but there are drainage districts, as has been testified, in the Arkansas County above?
Mr. SMITH. That is what throws the water down on us in such volume.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. They have made a lot of changes in the way the water used to go, too, have they not?
Mr. Smith. Oh, yes, sir; they certainly have.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. In every major flood the waters came down the Boeuf Basin, prior to 1921, did they not?
Mr. SMITH. Oh, yes; always down the Boeuf Basin.
Mr. Smith. Eight miles from Bastrop, but from my property it is about 25 miles.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. How far is Mer Rouge from where you live! Mr. SMITH. About 8 miles.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. What is the name of that lake near where you live?
Mr. Smith. Lake La Fourche. I am on Lake Irving. The Boeuf River runs out of Lake La Fourche—what we call the cut-off leads into Lake La Fourche, and then Lake La Fourche leads right on down, connected by a small creek we call St. La Fourche and empties into Lake Irving. Lake Irving empties out into what we call the
La Fourche bottom. The water goes on south through the La Fourche bottom.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You have a fine country. That is all.
Mr. Quinn. What is the average price per acre of your farm land in Morehouse Parish?
Mr. SMITH. Our land in Morehouse is assessed on "A" and “B”
Mr. Quinn. I am not talking about assessments.
Mr. Smith. Oh, I misunderstood you. I would judge that the average value of your good upland farmland there would be around $50 or $60 an acre.
Mr. QUINN. When was that price established ? Mr. SMITH. That is established from time to time. Mr. QUINN. A recent sale? Mr. Smith. During this depression there has been land that was foreclosed on. Mr. QUINN. When was that price established, recently or when? Mr. SMITH. That is over a period of time. Mr. QUINN. What is your assessment down there?
Mr. SMITH. It runs from $10 to $40 an acre, according to the class. On the same farm you may have “A”, “B”, or “C” ments, and that runs from about $10 to $40.
Mr. Quinn. How does Morehouse Parish compare with the value
Mr. QUINN. You are assessed form $10 to $40 an acre and your average price is $50?
Mr. SMITH. No; I would not say an average price; no. Mr. QUINN. That is what I understood you to say. Mr. SMITH. Your good farm land, I said. Mr. QCINN. $50 an acre? Mr. SMITH. Your good farm land would rụn around $50 or $60 Mr. QCINN. Then the assessment on good farm land would be about 40 Percent?
Our assessment runs on an average—I mean Parish-wide, now-about 40 to 50 percent.
Mr. QUINN. That is assessed valuation?
Mr. Quinn. I know there is no value, because there is no demand. I understand that. I mean in normal times.
Mr. Smith. On the other hand, though, there is land in that parish that you cannot buy, that they will not sell at any price. Mr. Quinn. But on a sale under normal conditions what would it
Mr. SMITH. No.
Mr. SMITH. You can go out under normal conditions and buy land on an average of right around $30, $40, or $50 an acre. It depends on the location.
Mr. QUINN. That is all.
Mr. FERGUSON. There have been several resolutions offered here by police juries, Kiwanis Clubs, and so forth, from over in the Boeuf Basin. To your knowledge have there been any similar resolutions endorsing the Markham plan from the area that is going to be in the new floodway?
Mr. Smith. No, sir; none that I know of, no.
Mr. FERGUSON. If only a limited amount of money would be spent, say that the Government did not have all this money to spend, if that levee from that point there at Eudora to up along the south bank of the Arkansas should be brought up to the 1914 grade, do you think it would take care of a flood equal to the 1927 flood ?
Mr. Smith. That would just be merely a thought on my part. It would not be from any scientific standpoint. That is perfectly true.
Mr. FERGUSON. The common idea of this work is to take care of the superflood when you get that big flood. But if the present works were completed and the cut-off were completed, do you think that they would take care of a flood as big as the 1927 flood ?
Mr. Suru. Possibly, but I would not say that. There was an enormous amount of water came down there in 1927.
Mr. FERGUSON. That is all.
Mr. MCCLELLAN. Mr. Chairman, if the committee will permit me, I would like to ask Judge Gillison just one question in that connection. I think it might give us some information.
STATEMENT OF J. C. GILLISON, OF LAKE VILLAGE, CHICOT COUNTY,
Mr. MCCLELLAN. Judige, in view of the condition you described the fuseplug levee to be in, when you speak about building it up to its 1914 grade and section I am just wondering—I do not knowif it would be necessary to set it back some distance.
Mr. GILLISON. Yes, sir.
Mr. MCCLELLAN. It will probably be necessary, if you build it up there, to set it back in a few places! Mr. Gillison. I think they recognized that.
The CHAIRMAN. At the present time, is the fuseplug levee up to the grade and section from begining to end?
Mr. Gillison. No, sir.
Mr. Gillison. No, sir. I am county judge, and I have nothing to do with the levee board or the levee district.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Does your levee board ever report to the district engineer down there officially that that levee is not up to the grade or that there have been any slides or caves ?
Mr. GILLison. Oh, yes, sir. Mr. Adams, who is a member of the State Board of Engineers of Louisiana, is here. The Tensas Basin has long made joint use of Mr. Adams and the Tensas Basin people in the South Arkansas Levee District. He is the engineer of that district. He goes over that levee all the time. He recognizes that condition, I am sure. You can get all the information from him. I do not know.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. I want to ask one question of you because I recognize you are a good lawyer:
Has the levee board asked the district engineer to do any work down there that he has declined to do or has refused to do?
Mr. GILLISON. No, sir; I do not know that they have ever asked him anything that he has declined to do. But you know they are about half out of funds, too. They have to do and get along with just as little as they can to keep in shape. We have been begging them that that is part of their levee, to at least restore that to the 1914 grade and section. Only a few months ago we brought a good deal of pressure to bear upon them. They did go down there and start to repair this Carmichael break that I am telling you is 84, feet lower than the levee on your side. It is sunk, and it is broken all to pieces, slough.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. How long has that levee been there in that condition?
Mr. GILLISON. Three or four years.
Mr. GILLISON. No. We have plead with them and begged them and done everything we could to get the Government to do something to it. Only since this Congress convened have they agreed to do anything, and we brought all the pressure we had and could not do anything.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. You mean to say the district engineer has done no work in there since 1928 prior to the time this Congress convened?
Mr. Gillisox. The district engineer?
Mr. WHITTINGTON. They have done nothing in there prior to the time this Congress convened?
Mr. GILLISON. No, sir.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Did you hear the testimony of Major Oliver the other day?
Mr. Gillison. No, sir. I do not know that I heard it all. I heard him testify.
Mr. WHITTINGTON. Did you hear him testify he brought that levee up to the 1914 grade? Mr. GILLISON. No, sir. Mr. WHITTINGTON. Except in the part where he is now working. Mr. GILLISON. No, sir.
Mr. McCLELLAN. Did you hear him say that they did not begin that work until just recently?