1940-01-28 Passing of Youreeka
TOUR MORXIXO NEWSPAPER THE SHREVEPORT TIMES. 8TTREVEPORT, LA.-SUNn LA.-SUNn LA.-SUNn AY. JAXT'ARY , 191(1 Passing of 'Youreeka' Recalls Brilliant Social Era of Another City's Hospitality Was Centered A round Mansion of Yourees Magnificent Coming Out Parties and Other Functions Held Where Stately New Gas Co. Building Rises By MAUDE TIMOX HELM SHREVEPORTERS of long standing are finding more than ordinary interest in the $750,000 office building near-ing near-ing near-ing completion at 1515 Fairfield avenue. The new home now of United Gas company, the spot is still hallowed ground to old friends of the late Captain and Mrs. Peter Youree, whose magnificent residence, "Youreeka," stood for half a century at this address. The new structure towers seven stories to take an important important place in the local skyline. Its semi-suburban semi-suburban semi-suburban location location is gratifying proof that Shreveport, in the span of one hundcd years, has marched rapidly toward its present place as a Southern metropolis. metropolis. Older citizens, many of them descendants descendants of pioneer North Louisiana Louisiana families, experience conflicting conflicting emotions as they view the latest achievement along Shreveport's forward-pushing forward-pushing forward-pushing forward-pushing commercial frontier. True, theirs Is the natural healthy vision of a great city of the future. But this vision is Intermingled with their wistful memories of a smaller city of the past. A past In which now-demolished now-demolished now-demolished "Youreeka" was a show-place show-place show-place and the center of the town's famed aoelal activities. 'Youreeka' Grew Gradually Peter Youree was a captain in the Confederate army. Soon after the Civil war he came to Shreveport from his home in Missouri. In the middle 1870's, he married lovely convent-bred convent-bred convent-bred Susie Scott, whose family had moved from Tennessee and established established Scottsville near Marshall, Texas. The- The- Yourees came to Shreveport and began housekeeping on Jordan street, a block west of Fairfield. The lltt'e house In which they spent their early married life 1b still known M "Rose Cottage." Here, their two children, children, a son and a daughter, were born, "Youreeka" was not the product of some brilliant architectural design, but the gradual outgrowth of a series series of changes to keep pace with the growing responsibilities and Increasing Increasing hospitalities of its owners. The original dormer-windowed dormer-windowed dormer-windowed structure twice changed styles before settling down to a glorious career as a stately white Southern colonial beauty beauty spot widely known as "Youreeka." Noted for Hospitality Later residents recall only the latter, latter, which crowned a gentle slope of green acres where glossy magnolia trees mingled their fragrant blossoms with the bristly needles of tall pines, and the thorny burs of the sweet gum. Mocking birds sang here the year 'round; and tourists, when "Youreeka" was pointed out to them, knew that they were in the Deep South of song and story. Through the fabled Gay Nineties and the first two decades of the Twentieth Century, "Youreeka" was noted Southwide for its lavish hos- hos- pltalitles. Many of Its brilliant entertainments entertainments have never been equaled even In a more sophisticated day, and In city now several times tht size It wag then. One of these affairs which stands out vividly In the memories of several several friends of the Yourees, was the unique ''baby party" with which the sub-deb sub-deb sub-deb daughter of the bouse was honored. Guests were requested to come attired as Infants. When the company had assembled, the honoree was wheeled Into the parlors In her perambulator, "attended by a "nurse" In uniform. The attendant was Mrs. John Scott, aunt of the young host ess. Player Piano Shipped In Susie Rose, from all accounts, must have been a beautiful baby In her exquisite handmade dress and dainty cap, as she cooed a greeting to friends between her sips of milk from a realistic nursing bottle. One of the highlights of this same party was the player-piano player-piano player-piano a thoughtful friend had shipped to Shreveport especially for the occasion, occasion, front Atlanta. It was the first of these mechanical Instruments ever seen here, and attracted widespread Interest. The Yourees' chlna-weddlng' chlna-weddlng' chlna-weddlng' celebration celebration on their 20th anniversary Is another event still recalled here. Festoons Festoons of colorful Japanese lanterns were strung through the trees, and swayed overhead on the wide verandahs verandahs of "Youreeka." Hundreds of friends attended the reception and remained for an elaborate banquet and the anniversary ball. Guests followed an old custom and presented presented their host and hostess with handsome handsome gifts of china. A Brilliant Coming Out Still talked about as porhaps the most formal and magnificlent affair ever held in Shreveport, however, was the brilliant "coming-out" "coming-out" "coming-out" party with which the Yourees presented their beautiful daughter, Susie Rose, and four other local belles, to society. Guests conducted down that Impressive Impressive receiving line heard the names of Susie Rose Youree, now Mrs. R. Lloyd of Dallas, Texas; Bel-more Bel-more Bel-more Utz, now Mrs. B. A. Kobler of 759 Olive street, Shreveport: Florence O'Leary, now Mrs. Robert Ward, also of Shreveport; Robbie Lindsay (Mrs. Walter Stewart, of Memphis, Tenn.) and Emily Kretz (a niece of Mrs. raps"! . . i "-"'j "-"'j "-"'j , 3 J f " Til .Si close family friends on the subject. "Do you think' that Captain and Mrs. Youree would themselves have chosen this fate for their beautiful 'Youreeka'?" was our question. "I'm very certain this would have been their wish," was the prompt reply; reply; "two people who loved Shreveport Shreveport as they did. and contributed so much to its social and economic development, development, would have applauded any movement which meant progress for the community in which they chose to live their long, useful lives." And, knowing personally many of the countless constructive activities In which both engaged themselves during their lifetimes, we felt that our query had been accorded the perfect answer. "Youreeka," palatial former home of the late Captain and Mrs. Peter Youree once occupied t lie corner at Fairfield avenue and Jordan Street, where the new lulled Gas company building now stand. The Youree mansion was famous for half a century as a center of elaborate Southern hospitality and the scene of lavish entertainments. Youree), who as Mrs. Malone Calloway Calloway lives In Fort Worth, Texas. This was In 1898. The debs "put up" their hair for the gala occasion, and their expensive decollete gowns featured trains which swished importantly. importantly. Like all well-bred well-bred well-bred young ladles of that time, the five girls make their pains-taking pains-taking pains-taking toilettes without benefit of either rouge or lipstick. The only concession to artifice was a discreet use of face powder. "We didn't need cosmetics," one of the group recalled recently; "excitement "excitement colored our cheeks and lent sparkle to our eyes." A Center of Culture Visitors here 50 years ago were always always impressed by the formal trend of the social pattern for a town the size Shreveport was then and ;took home with them glowing reports of the rounds of gaiety In the small village on the western bank of Red river. The Youree family played an Important Important part In the more serious side of life In the community. Their charities and philanthropies are well remembered today, and Included numerous unpubllclzed deeds which are proof of this family's wholehearted wholehearted Interest in the welfare of the underprivileged. "Schools at that time were few and far between," one of their intimates pointed out. "So educational opportunities opportunities were rare. I cannot recall a time, however, when there were not two or more young men or women in the Youree home attending school in Shreveport. Several owed their success success in later life to this chance to acquire an education." Mrs. Youree was herself educated at old St. Vincent's here, and afterwards afterwards "finished" at Sacred Heart convent in New Orleans. Built First 'Skyscraper' Captain Youree gave Shreveport its first "skyscraper," the 10-story 10-story 10-story Commercial Commercial National Bank building. Another Another of his many successive ventures ventures was the former Youree hotel, merged In later years with the Washington, Washington, His business acumen amassed for him a comfortable fortune during during his residence in Shreveport. "He was a handsome man, even In his later years," a local contemporary of the genial host of "Youreeka" remarked remarked admiringly. "When he wore formal clothes, his erect figure and snow-white snow-white snow-white hair and Van Dyck beard gave hi mdlstlnctlon in any company. company. His dancing was perfect, the equal In his advanced age, of many younger men." The Yourees lost their only son, William Scott Youree, who died in early manhood at the turn of the century. To his memory his parents erected the Methodist church at Scottsville, where the Scott private cemetery is located. The daughter has made her home In Dallas since her marriage more than 30 years ago to Alfred Tennyson Lloyd of that city. Yourees Would Approve "Youreeka" passed Into local history history last summer when It was demolished demolished to make way for the erection erection of tho present quarters of United Gas company. "There," sighed some of Shreveport's Shreveport's older residents, "goes the city's most glamorous landmark " We sought out one of the Yourees' GIBSLAND MAN ROBBED OF $258 BROOKS ASKS SHREVEPOK AREA CENSUS Metropolitan Districts Hijacker Begs Ride Anto, Then Takes Pavroll in Arcadia, 'Jan. 27 (Special). Fred Sutton, Gtbsland Supply company employe, was hijacked by an unidentified unidentified man Saturday about 10 a.m. and the $258 Gibsland company payroll payroll taken. Sutton had been to the First National National bank here to draw the payroll payroll money. A man approached him as he left the bank, called him by name and asked for a ride to Gibs-land, Gibs-land, Gibs-land, and Sutton agreed. With them in the car was a Mr. English of Gibsland. About three miles out of Arcadia, the hijacker made an excuse of illness' to change seats with English and climbed In the back seat. A few miles east of Gibsland, the stranger stuck a gun at Sutton's back and ordered htm to turn off at a side road and give up the payroll. The stranger took the car, a 1940 Ford sedan, back toward Arcadia. Sutton soon caught a ride Into Arcadia, Arcadia, and police found his car abandoned abandoned In town. The man has not been apprehended. Would Be Enumerated Under Plan : - 11 'fU Washington. D. C. Jan. J7 (Special). (Special). A request thst the eenM bureau take the census in Shrevepors and Minden as metropolitan areas rather than confine the count to the city limits was made here today by Representative Overton Brook, " of Shreveport. This procedure, he said, "would reflect the true population of thi cities." By this plan, in compiling Its ata- ata- tlstics from the count, the bureau would count the population In areas adjoining these two cities rather than confine the figures to the city limits. Brooks in a letter to the bureau asked that such an enumeration be eara- eara- fully studied and authorized. t "This would truly reflect the alM of the municipallttes, Brooka said. "and it would give the governmene the figures in which It Is interested.' He pointed out that by Including In the statistics of city population only the number of persons llvln? within city limits does not take In the residents of the metropolitan area who live outside the city limits bus are actually a part of the metropoli tan population. The Shreveport Chamber of Com merce has already recommended , to the census bureau that the count of the clty'a population be extended to the surrounding area, which con tains many persons who either work In Shreveport or depend upon It for their source of Income. FIREMEN HANDLE "HOT CASH New port, R. I. (U.R) Firemen here were called on to handle some "hotl money." A short circuit set lira to the interior of an electric cash register, automatically locking ltJ Firemen had to shut off the cum rent before business could be re sumed. No money was lost.