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 Peter Sandifer

 From: Pike County, Mississippi History, 1798-1876 by Luke Ward Conerly, pp. 63-65:

"In 1812 Peter Sandifer came from South Carolina on pack horses and first settled at "Thick Woods" near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and from there he came to Magees Creek and settled a few miles below China Grove on the west side of the creek below Conerly's mills, through which lands the "Possum Trot" road runs. This was in 1820. During that year the noted Pacific-Atlantic hurricane, commencing on the Pacific Ocean, passed through the country to the Atlantic somewhere in North Carolina. It made a swipe through Pike County, striking it from Amite County along a little stream, which derived its name, Hurricane Creek, from that circumstance. It struck in and swept over the old McCay settlement near Muddy Springs, where the Spinks brothers live, following a course a little south of Holmesville and through below China Grove where Peter Sandifer had settled. It was about one half mile wide and did great damage outside of its central line by the side currents, destroying timber and other things as it passed. It wiped Sandifer's improvements off the face of the earth. Neighbors were far apart in those days, but it was customary to help each other in all cases of emergency, so the Magees and Thornhills, lower down on the creek, and others were summoned to his aid. On account of the abundance of bear and panthers, wolves and wild cats, it was unsafe to leave women and children unprotected. In this instance, as well as others, they took their wives and children, their guns and dogs, along with them. When they reached Sandifer's the men went to work to put a new house, some cutting blocks and some pine poles and peeling them, and some riving boards, and the women to making preparations for their meals."

"There was a spring some distance away, which afforded water, and the children were sent there for water. When they reached the spring a large black bear had possession of it. The children were greatly frightened upon meeting the bear so suddenly and their screams brought out the entire fighting force with their guns, knives and dogs. The bear, however, was undismayed and stood his ground against the big pack of trained dogs, and a genuine battle ensued. It was difficult to shoot the bear without endangering the lives of the valuable dogs engaged in the conflict, so the men let the fight go on until finally the bear picked up one of the most valuable dogs and proceeded to caress him vigorously while folded in his massive arms. The dog screamed for dear life, and this was too much for the owner and he and others rushed in with their big knives and the battle became on of exciting interest until bruin succumbed at last from loss of blood."

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