Bossier Parish, Louisiana History and Genealogy
Return to Louisiana Main Page
Return to Bossier Parish Main Page
Bossier Parish is one of the finest cotton divisions of Louisiana. The soil is varied, but is generally good. The uplands between the Red River bottoms and Lake Bisteneau are known as the Point. This tract varies in in soil and elevations, but produces abundantly. The post oak flats which are found extending from the northern line of the Point into Arkansas, are cultivated at a few points, while in the southern portion there is a tract of White, unproductive prairie. The total area is 773 square miles, of which 553 are oak uplands, 80 red lands and 220 square miles bottomlands. In 1879-80 there were 69,420 acres cultivated, of which 37,133 acres were in cotton; 20,153 in corn; 175 in sweet potatoes and 7 in sugar cane. There were 25,078 bales of cotton produced, averaging .08 bale, 909 pounds of seed cotton or 323 of cotton lint per acre.
The census returns of 1890 show a total population of 21,485, 2,235 White males and 1,952 females; 8,795 Colored males and 8,503 Colored females. There are 1,765 men liable to military duty, and 1,398 White and 6,495 Colored children of school age, or 7,893 children. The population in 1880 was 10,042, 3,252 Whites and 12,793 Colored. In 1870 there were 3,505 Whites and 9,170 Colored , or 12,675; in 1860, 3,348 Whites and 8,000 slaves, total 11,348; in 1850, 2,507 Whites and 4,455 slaves, or a total of 6,962. Joe Adger, enumerator for the Sixth Ward of Bossier, found a Colored woman, Silvey Belcher, one hundred years old. She was brought hither from South Carolina forty years ago by Capt. Hughes. There is one Indian resident.
In 1853 the real and personal property was valued at $4,203,340. There were 656 voters; 3,130 Whites, 14 free Negroes and 5,648 slaves. In 1858 the total value was $5,646,810; voters 909; Whites 3,546; slaves 7,19.5 and free Negroes 11. The total tax in 1859 was $21,250.17, of which $6,560.88 was derived from the tax on the assessed value of slaves, $3,940,100. In October, 1861, the total tax levy was placed at $23,755.40. The 9,209 slaves wore valued at $4,500,900, and for them $7,001.50 were paid in taxes. There were 21,094 bales of cotton made, 251,094 bushels of corn produced. The mill-tax realized $7,452.51 and the poll tax $874. In 1809 the total value of real and personal property was $2,423,885, and the tax levy $12,208.57; 20,363 acres in cotton yielded 8,612 bales, and 17,915 acres in corn yielded 251,778 bushels. Bossier is conspicuously a cotton parish, her soil and climate being peculiarly adapted to its growth. Hero the Cottonwood , the true index of the cotton belt, springs up with rapidity and tights for life with the tenacity of the old field pines of Carolina and Georgia. The alluvial lands average about seven miles in width, and are equal to the best lands in this or any other country. The hills, that is all lands other than the alluvial lands, and a term often misleading to strangers, are rich, productive and timbered with hardwood and pine. They produce grains and grasses of all kinds. The timber of the parish is largely oak, pine, cypress, walnut and gum, with all the other smaller growths intermixed, such as holly and boxwood.
The hill country, in which the Whites predominate, has school-houses and churches, while the Colored people of the Point section and the river country also take much interest in both. The parish is not wanting in minerals, for from Rocky Mount northward there is a heavy deposit of iron ore. The salt works of Lake Bistineau in Bossier were in operation in November, 1861. By boring shallow wells to the brine the water was found and evaporated by the sun process. Near Bellevue is a vein of brown coal or lignite about thirty miles long running east and west by one or more in breadth and two to four feet thick as discovered by well-diggers. Information from this source (well diggers, as no exploration has been made) has led many to believe that there is a strong probability of finding a heavier vein of better coal at a greater depth, and possibly coal oil. In close proximity to this coal is found a very black marl which has been proven to be a remarkably fine fertilizer. Strata or beds of different kinds of marlcan be found on Bodeau Bayou and other streams leading to said bayou, near Bellevue. On the north side of town (Bellevue) there is some fine iron ore, the finest of the geodic formation. As to the extent and value of this formation no exploration has determined, the surface deposit being all that has gained any notice.
Evidences of occupation by a prehistoric people are found here as in the other parishes of this congressional district. An almost unbroken line of levees protects the river lands from Benton to Red River Parish. In consequence of these levees and the removal of the raft, the channel of the river has been widened and scoured out by the increased velocity of the current, so that a possibility of the recurrence of the overflows of 1866 and 1867 was thought to be impossible, but, as explained in the history of Caddo Parish, some of the bottom lands were submerged in May, 1890, when Red River reached the highest recorded watermark.
The river (meandering) frontage is about 180 miles. Bodeau Lake and Bodeau Bayou, Cypress River and Lake Bisteneau which form part of the eastern boundary, water the uplands of this parish. This system of bayous has long been associated with Bayou Dorchette in their beginnings.
Dorchette, perhaps, is the longest bayou in Louisiana. It rises in the northeast portion of Hempstead County, Ark., and making a devious route south now empties in Lake Bisteneau, measuring in its tortuous course about 150 miles. But Dorchette, it is said, once emptied into Red River, so says the story left by the hunters, who in the early part of this century were in the habit of traversing this part of the State in their annual excursions to the hunting grounds of Arkansas. A party of these hunters were on their return south when a terrific rain storm drove them into camps on the banks of this bayou. In the midst of the storm, which raged for several days, they felt a peculiar tremor of the ground, which was accounted for, when the storm shortly afterward cleared, by beholding, where the narrow channel of the bayou was now stretched out, the wide waters of Lake Bisteneau, the swampy bottom of the bayou with its timbers had sunk beneath the outspread waters of the newly formed lake. This was about the time when the prolonged earthquake which so completely changed the east regions of Missouri from old Madrid to the mouth of White River in Ark., causing thousands of acres and whole sections of the country of the two States to sink many feet, often below the bed of the great river, hence the swamp lands in Arkansas, and the many such lakes in that section.
Fifty years ago Dorchette was noted for its great stock of fish and its lowlands and hills, and their abundance of game. Now the game and the fish have nearly all disappeared, and to hurry up the destruction the dynamiter, utterly indifferent to the complaints of dwellers on the bayou, goes to the bayou and with impunity hurls in the murderous cartridge, thereby killing hundreds, nay, thousands of young and small fish, also large oat, huge turtles, and other habitants of the waters.
Prior to 1828, when Claiborne was organized as a parish, all this territory belonged to Natchitoches. From 1828 to 1843 Bossier formed a part of Claiborne. The incoming of the pioneers followed the establishment of Claiborne Parish; but prior to 1840 the inhabitants numbered only a few hundred persons. The surveys were completed by this time. Township 14, Range 10, now south of Bossier (part of Red River), was surveyed in 1826 by James McCauley, and in 1830 by the Walmsleys, but the field notes were not approved until 1842. In 1837 Webster and McCollam surveyed part of Township 14, Range 11, but McCauley surveyed it all in 1820; Township 15, Ranges 11 and 12, were surveyed in 1837, by Webster and McCollam; Township 10, Ranges 10 and 11, were surveyed in 1838, by the same persons; Township 17, Range 10, in 1830, by Stephen Howard; Township 17, Range 11, by L. S. Bearing, in 1830; Township 17, Range 12, in 1837, by G. A. Alexandre; Township 17, Range 13, by the same; Township 18, Ranges 9 and 10, west by William L. S. Dearing, in 1832; Township 18, Range 11, by same, in April, 1830; Township 18, Range 12, by same and G. A. Alexandre, in 1837; * From sketch by D. W. Harris.
Township 18, Ranges 13 and 14, by same, in 1838; Township 19, Ranges 9 and 10, in 1831 by W. L. S. Dearing; Township 19, Range 11, by same, in 1830; Township 19*, Range 12, by same in 1830; Township 19, Ranges 13 and 14, in 1837 by G. A. Alexandre; Township 20, Range 10 west, by Dearing and Alexandre, in 1830; Township 20*, Range 11, by same in 1830; Township 20, Range 12, in 1835-30; Township 20, Range 13, by same, in 1835-30; Township 20, Range 14, in 1837, by Alexandre; Township 21, Ranges 9 and 10, by Dearing, in 1829; Township 21, Range 11, by same in 1832; Township 21, Range 12, in 1838, by same; Township 21, Range 13, by Alexandre, Jones, Cranston and Hunter, in 1835-37; Township 21, Range 14, by same, in 1837-38; Township 22, Range 10, by Dearing and Cranston, in 1837, 38; Township 22, Range 1.1, in 1830-38, by same; (in this township is part of Manuel O'Garte's Spanish grant); Township 22, Range 12, in 1838-39, by Cranston; Township 22, Range 13, by Cranston, in 1838; Township 22, Range 14, in 1837, by John Williamson; Township 23, Range 10, by Dearing and Hunter, in 1835-38 (John Cook surveyed the north line of State from Mississippi to Red River in 1806); Township 23, Range 11, in 1851, by Thomas Hunter; Township 23, Range 12, by Dearing, in 1837; Township 23, Range 13, by Cranston, in 1837; Township 23, Range 14, by same, in 1839.
During the decade ending in 1850, the White population increased to 2,507, and the slaves from zero to 4,455, so that within seven years after the organization of the parish, the people had built up a society, resembling in almost every particular, that which they left in the Trans-Mississippi State.
The newcomers were from Mississippi, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia. They sought a better land, and found it, and being accustomed to Southern life and methods, did not take long to transform a great area of the beautiful wilderness into gardens and cotton-fields. The pioneers were not castle-builders; their wants were not extravagant, and to reward their courage in coming into the forest and their economy, the first harvests from the virgin soil brought to all of them wealth.(In Townships 19 and 20, Range 14, is the island surveyed in 1840 by Terrell, and claimed by Pedro Columbo.)
The slaves, few at the beginning, were increased in number: the work of clearing the forest was pushed forward, until, in 1801, over 9,000 slaves were required to work the plantations. A succession sale of the estate of Lewis F. Steele, deceased, held at Bellevue December 29, 1860, conveys an official idea of what slaves were in those days. After the sale of real estate and personal property on the 28th, the following-named slaves were put up for sale, with mules, ponies, oxen, cows, hogs, sheep, farm products and furniture: Charles, aged about fifty years; Stewart, about thirty-seven years; Jane, aged twenty years, and her son, Lang, eighteen months; Black Mandy, a girl of fourteen years; Dick, a man aged fifty-five years; Ed, aged about thirty-four years; John, a yellow boy, aged sixteen years; Milly, a Black girl, about fifteen years; Yellow Mandy, a girl about thirteen years, and Owen, a Black boy, about twelve years.
The patrol system was always necessary, although the underground railroad of the abolitionists was never extended to the Red River country in Louisiana. The patrols were, in fact, a volunteer police force, formed to keep order among the Negroes, and inflict the penalties against them for breaking the well-defined rules. The Caucasian simply directed the Negro labor, through overseers.
Dueling was not unknown here. In 1855 a duel between Fess Pickett and Aaron Bryan was fought at Bellevue, resulting in the death of the latter. The trouble originated during a ball held in the court-room. Quarrels arising under similar circumstances have often brought the friends of the principals into that field where only death could satisfy the honor of the combatants. The old times had their faults, but the fact that the planters and their slaves enjoyed peace and plenty up to 1861, remains. On the cessation of hostilities both were poor, the one robbed of his property, and the other of the assurance of clothing, food and hours for pleasure, as well as labor. Society was changed, and up to 1878 the uneducated freedman and his unprincipled directors managed public affairs. In that year the reins of authority were placed in the hands of the Caucasian, and during the last decade the people have made marked progress.
Bossier Parish was established February 24, 1843, within the following boundaries: From mouth of Loggy Bayou; thence along western shore to Lac Bisteneau; thence along the lake shore to Bayou Dorchette; thence along the Bayou shore to the Arkansas line ; thence west to the Red River and down the river to the place of beginning. The business of the new parish was carried on in a desultory manner until June 4, 1845.
In July, 1843, William Crowley presided over the police jury with B. J. Williams, Joseph Graham, William M. Burns, William Crowley and Isaac Lay, members, and James C. Scott, clerk. Andrew J. Lawson was appointed attorney at $50 per annum, and J. A. W. Lowry, constable. The first session of the jury was held June 19, 1843, but many of the transactions were repealed at the July meeting. Ebenezer Hearne, Patrick B. Cash, Andrew Jones, Peyton Pinckard, James Johnson, Thomas McCall, William Arick, P. C. Hansborough and B. Doles were appointed captains of the several patrol companies. This meeting was held at E. C. Long's house July 6, 1843. B. J. Williams was appointed treasurer, R. J. B. Lowry, collector. on July 8, 1843, the act of the first session calling the parish site Fredonia, near Bodeau Lake,: was repealed and the name Society Hill adopted (east half of the northwest quarter of Section 5, Township 19, Range 11). On August 14, 1843, Messrs. Crowley, Burns and J. A. W. Lowry were appointed to superintend the survey of the parish site and the erection of a log-house 25x30 feet. This was changed to a frame, and the house was erected by A. Kindall. On this day the ordinance naming the site Society Hill was repealed and the name Bellevue adopted.
William K. Beck was granted $242.75 for recording documents relating to Bossier as transmitted from Claiborne. James O. Scott was allowed $18 for services as clerk up to September 4, 1843. In January, 1844,
O. T. Sutton's name appears as juror with those of Jacob G. Currey and Roswell Elmer; R. J. B. Lowry was sheriff, and in June, 1844, William M. Burns was authorized to sign the ordinances as clerk. At this time the building of a jail was agreed upon. In June, 1845, J. A. W. Lowry was elected clerk by John M. Sandige, William K. Beck, William Crowley, W. M. Burns and O. T. Sutton, police jury; and Beck was chosen president, and served until June, when John Craig took his place as juror and Crowley as president. In June, 1847, a new set of officials was installed. Vincent Walker was president of the jury, with Andrew O. H. Magee, Caesar Wallace and A. H. Christian, members, and N. 8. Currier, clerk. In 1848 John M. Sandige was elected juror, and O. H. Magee president. A. H. Christian was a member in 1849, at this time an estimate of moneys required for county purposes for the year was presented, showing a total of $3,150. In June, 1849, M. Abney presided, with John Coates and David Hameter as new members; V. Walker was treasurer. In June, 1850, Messrs.
John Slack and Leroy Templeman appear as new members. S. M. Purniss was chosen clerk and S. P. Steele was sheriff. T. M. Port was chosen president in June, 1851, with W. M. Burns, J. Slack, J. Coates and James A. Hearns, members. In January, 1852, Thomas P. Crawford was chosen clerk. In 1852 William M. Burns was president, with Coates, Noah Phillips, Alford and Slack members. In 1853 James Ford was president, with Jackson Burnham, J. W. Alvord and John Slack, members. In August of this year the contract for building a new jail was entered into with Hogge and Bryan; J. W. Alvord was appointed treasurer. In November, 1855, the old jail house was sold to W. A. Kelly. In 1855-56 James Ford was still president, with William Arick, J. W. Alford, P. H. Hartzog and J. R. Davis, members. In 1857 E. L. Strange was a member with A. M. Rogers, W. A. Kelly, W. Arick and James Ford.
David J. Elder was clerk, but was succeeded that year by W. H. Hill, and in 1858 C. C. Bates was a juror. In June, 1859, the name of R. C. Lancaster appears as juror. In 1800 W. C. Hargis, W. Arick, W. S. Edwards, J. Ford, John Slack and J. ,T. Turnley formed the police jury. The jurors, elected in May, 1861, were William C. Hargis, G. B. Sligh, James T. Turnley, William S. Edwards, president, Joseph N. Bryan and R. R. Roby.
Toward the close of July, 1861, this body appropriated $35,000 for the benefit of the soldiers and the support of their families. James Ford was chosen clerk. In September E. S. Sanderson was present as juror; David J. Hooks in 1862 with R. R. Roby, T. R. Gilmer, George B. Sligh and James Ford. Russell Jones was a member in 1863, with C. W. Arnold, S. A. Boggs, T. Applewhite Ford and Edwards. During the year 1863-64 little business was done and this little was mainly performed by the two last-named jurors. In July, 1865, Gov. Wells appointed the following- named as officers of Bossier: Thomas N. Braden, clerk; Philo Alden sheriff (died November 6, 1866); M. P. Long, recorder: William Hargis, Charles W. Arnold, W. E. Edens, W. S. Edwards, James Ford, and Thomas Applewhite, members of police jury; William Hargis, John Coates, J. J. Swindle, W. A. Kelly, James Ford, and George N. Collins, justices of the peace. A. B. George was appointed attorney for the Eleventh District. In 1866 J. WT. Rabb and Thomas Player took the places of Edens and Arnold.
Nothing whatever was done by the police jury in 1865. In January, 1866, the jury considered the question of building a jail in place of the house burned in 1863; the estimates for the year were placed at $5,050 by a committee, of which President Edwards and Jury Clerk Hill were members. From February 15, 1800, until July 12, 1869, there is no record. In February, 1866, the police jury advertised for proposals to build the new jail proposed the month previous. This building was erected by Judge Watkins for $11,000 that year, and was used until burned January 22, 1886. In the burning of the old jail the Negro incendiary was destroyed with it. The police jury organized in July, 1869, with James N. Piatt, president; R. B. Taylor, clerk, and Ed R. Moore, treasurer, and R. T. Vinson, John M. Tyra, Isaac D. Edwards and W. W. Hartman, members, appointees of Gov. Warmoth.
The Bossier elections of November, 1870, resulted in the choice of L. W. Baker, parish judge; B. P. Oneal, sheriff; W. R. Head, coroner. D. Cady Stanton was supervisor of registration; C. S. Abell and D. Cady Stanton, representatives; Samuel N. Thomas, senator; R. T. Vinson, C. McClenaghan, J. N. Cooper, J. W. Walker, J. N. Piatt, I. D. Edwards, P. B. Callaway, T. Oakly and J. H. Marks, police jurors. In March, 1871, John L. Lewis was appointed district judge; L. B. Watkins, attorney; C. E. McDonald, parish judge; A. G. Harper, clerk of court; P. E. Heath, recorder; G. W. Warren, sheriff; William Life, coroner, and R. S. Lewis, collector. The estimates made in September, 1870, for annual expenses amounted to $10,100. In November, 1871, Piatt was still president, with R. Sibley, I. J. Dillard and W. H. Rasco, new members. The name of J, J. Swindle appears as juror in September, 1872.
In 1872 the first election of police jurors for Bossier was held. Thomas Smith (Colored ), John J. Swindle, I. N. Piatt, R. E. Wyche and Rufus Sibley were elected to serve. In April, 1873, T. H. Hutton was elected clerk; G. W. Durdin, treasurer, and N. A. Durdin, president. G. H. Walker, Arthur Hawkins and William Burke were active members of the board. Bossier in 1874 gave majorities to the following candidates: George L. Smith for Congress; J. D. Harper, Senate; L. W. Baker and Samuel Thomas, representatives; B. F. Fort, parish judge; B. P. Oneal, sheriff; A. Hawkins, coroner; Sol. Ely, T. Miller, E, Thomas, J. J. Swindle, T. Lyles, J. G. Allen and I. A. Dillard, police jurors. There were 622 White and 1,754 Black voters. Little attention appears to be given to this election, as the jurors of 1873 acted up to September, 1874, when R. E. Wyche was chosen president; T. N. Braden, clerk; William H. Scanland, treasurer, and Dr. Swann, physician. Subsequently Durdin was president and Hill clerk. In March, 1875, J. J. Swindle presided, with J. G. Allen, Teague Miller, Sol. Ely, J. W. Walker and Emperor Thomas, members, and J. A. Snider, treasurer. The estimates for 1876, made in October, amounted to 116,900. In January, 1877, B. P. Oneal, Spencer Mims, E. N. Thomas, J. V. Kilgore and T. Miller took their seats as jurors elect, and named Oneal president; J. A. W. Lowry, W. G. McDonald, parish attorney, and B. F. Fort appeared to have some direct connection with the jury at this time. A. Hawkins was treasurer and W. H. Hill, clerk. In July W. B. Prather, M. E. Bush, Thomas Lyles, N. C. Brownlee and L. B. Phillips qualified as jurors. A motion to declare the elective offices vacant was lost.
In March, 1878, the new party succeeded and elected W. R. Prather president, J. H. Keyser, clerk, and re-elected W. H. Scanland, treasurer, who resigned in December, 1878. In January, 1879, E. S. Dortch was chosen president, W. R. Prather, T. Lyles, J. J. Mears, W. B. Boggs and John Rains, qualified; R. E. Wyche was appointed sheriff, and T. N. Braden, judge. In April, 1880, T. N. Braden was elected clerk and W. B. Boggs president. la July 1,617 votes were cast for removal of seat of justice and 1,054 for non-removal. In 1881 W. B. Boggs, John J. Mears, Thomas Lyles, John W. Rains, E. S. Dortch and W. R. Prather qualified as jurors, with John J. Mears, president. J. H. Keyser was appointed clerk, and has held this position down to 1890, except for one year (1882), when Mr. Boggs was the incumbent. In 1888 he was appointed attorney for the jury. The Bossier Parish site election of September, 1882, resulted in 1,692 votes for Canis and 1,510 votes for Beaton.
The act of the Legislature of 1881-82 removing the seat of justice from Bellevue was not thoroughly understood in its relation to the constitution of 1879. In 1883 J. W. Rains presided, with E. S. Dortch*, W, R. Prather, J. R. Gavitt, W. B. Boggs* and Thomas Lyles* were jurors. The last named was president in 1884 and E. S. Dortch also filled the chair, and in 1885, when the prohibition question was brought before the people, D. E. Griffrin* and W. M. Abney* took the places of Messrs. Prather and Cavitt. J. A. Sewall* and S. J. Cochran were also members in 1884-85. in April, 1885, B. A. Kelly was chosen treasurer. In April, 1880, W. H. Scanland was appointed printer. The jurors whose names are marked * above were the jurors in 1887. The present police jury, appointed in 1888, comprises W. M. Abney, president; E. S. Dortch, former president; H. Barnacastle, J. A. Sewall; J. W. Jetere, F. M. Barnett and J. T. Manery.
The recorders of the parish since its organization are named as follows: William K. Beck, 1843, and Nelson J. Scott, 1844, judge and recorder; J. C. G. Key 1840; and Robert J. Looney, 1850, recorder only; J. L. Cox, deputy, 1852; T. M. Fort, recorder, 1852; Austin Miller, 1854; Milton P. Long, 1862; H. W. Clark, 1866; E. K. Russ, 1871; L. W. Brasher, 1873; Rev. W. D. Stayton, 1875, and T. D. Williams (col.), 1878; A. R. Thompson, clerk and recorder, 1880, with T. N. Braden, deputy, and B. A. Kelly, clerk and recorder, 1889-90. The election of September 7, 1888, on the question of removing the seat of justice, resulted in 1,512 for removal and 400 against removal, or a majority of 1,112. Owing to some constitutional or legal flaw in presenting the subject, Bellevue holds the courthouse.
The first term of the parish court for Bossier was held September 25, 1843, Judge William K. Beck, presiding, and W. C. Copes, temporary clerk, R. J. B. Lowry, the first sheriff, appointed J. A. W. Lowry, deputy, and the court adjourned to January 3, 1844, but there is no record of court until April 8, when the same judge and deputy sheriff appeared with Nelson J. Scott, deputy clerk. Another adjournment to May 13 was had and the case of Otis Peck vs. Andrew Jones decided in favor of the plaintiff. The case of Bushrod Jenkins vs. Newton Edwards was transferred to the probate court of Caddo, owing to the death of the defendant. In August, 1844, Nelson J. Scott, parish judge, with Thompson W. E. Kellogg, clerk, opened court. The parish court appears to have transacted the business of the district court up to November 16, 1846, when Edward R. Olcott, judge of the Seventeenth District, opened court and adjourned to the 17th. The judge recused himself in a law cases, owing to his being connected with the cases as counsel, and ordered trial before Judges Taylor or Copely. R. J. B. Lowry was sheriff. on this day C. T. Singleton was indicted for murder. In May, 1847, Judge Taylor of the Sixteenth District, presided, but Judge Olcott was present in October and in November the first admission to citizenship was entered.
In May, 1850, C. A. Bullard, of the Sixteenth District, opened the term, and he or Judge Olcott presided alternately for some years. In May, 1852, Wilson Tucker was found guilty of murder by a jury of whom Joseph Winston was foreman. On June 28, 1853, Andrew Lawson took his seat as judge. In May, 1854, Harmon A. Drew took his seat. Roswell Elmer, the surveyor of the parish, qualified before him. In March, 1857, T. T. Land of the Eighteenth Circuit presided here. R. W. Arnett was admitted to this bar and Thomas N. Braden was clerk. In 1858 William B. Egan was judge of the Seventeenth Circuit and A. A. Abney was clerk.
In December Roland Jones, of the Eighteenth Circuit, presided. During the years of the war he was judge of the Tenth Circuit, and presided over the courts here until March, 1805. On September 4, that year, James J. Weems opened court, but on the 8th Provost-Marshal Berry arrested the judge and sheriff. A meeting of the bar was at once held, and resolutions denouncing this act of tyranny were signed by George Williamson, Thomas T. Land, Richard W. Turner, T. M. Port and L. B. Watkins. Matters appeared to be settled by December 4, 1865, as Judge Weems presided on that day and to the close of the term on December 9. in March, 1866, John B. Griffin was appointed district attorney in the absence of Mr. Scales. In October, 1868, Judge A. B. Levissee presided, with Maj. J. S. Ashton, district attorney. J. A. Snider, E. J.
Looney and T. M. Fort presented to the new judge a series of resolutions recognizing his judicial qualities. L. Lewis was judge of the Eighteenth District in March, 1871. L. B. Watkins, elected judge of the Eighteenth District in November, 1872, presided here in January, 1873. In September of that year Richard W. Turner opened court, but adjourned sine die on account of yellow fever. In November, however, a mass of business was transacted. I u 1875 Stewart Collins was indicted for murder. In April, 1880, R. C. Drew, of the Second District, presided here and was district judge until January 12, 1888. on June 4, of that year J. T. Boone, who qualified as judge of the Second District in May, opened court.
The roll of attorneys in 1890 embraces the following names: J. A. AV. Lowry, T. Alexander, J. H. Keyser, W. H. Wise, A. D. Land, R. J. Looney, J. A. Snider, J. H. Shepherd, E. H. Randolph, E. B. Herndon, Joannes Smith, J. E. Reynolds, J. S, Young, P. A. Thatcher, M. C. Elstner, J. T. Watkins, A. J. Murf, M. H. Carver, L. K. Watkins, E. C. Drew, T. C. Barrett, W. H. Bristol, J. R. Phipps, John Young and J. B. Slattery.
Among the many tragic affairs inquired into by The grand jury of Bossier since the fall of 1860, only a few deserve notice. James Lemontine was sentenced to a life term in the penitentiary for killing Lloyd Steidham in 1800. Sheriff Alden took him to Baton Rouge in September, in company with Davidson (one of the Republican presidential electors), who was sentenced to a seven years term for Negro stealing. In March, 1800, Dr. Joseph Hunter, of Bossier, shot the free Negro barber on the steamer Lecompte. The tragedy of May 13, 1866, resulted in the killing of E. J. Campbell by De Witt C. Applewhite. In July a man named Dodd was killed twelve miles west of Bellevue.
In September, 1868, the formal trial of Gen. Isaac Williams (Colored ) and forty-eight others, charged with riot, was begun before Justices William J. Bush and James Ford. E. J. Hamilton testified that a party of forty or fifty freedmen, most of them armed, was stationed at the P. V. O'Neill farm near Fillmore on August 24, 1868, when he, as one of Sheriff Hill's posse, arrived there to arrest some of the party on the charge of being armed against the Whites. The citizens composing the posse numbered 150 at first, but increased to 200 or 250 before the freedmen surrendered.
The prisoners were brought to the jail of Bossier Parish. Spencer Mims, a freedman, testified that he heard Gen. Williams say he meant no harm, but that if the people of Bossier Point who threatened him were to carry out such threats, they would have to kill him among his men. Dan Jones and Ben Sanders were captains in Gen. Williams' command. Twenty of the men charged were held to the district court.
On September 28, 1868, some freedmen were charged with robbing a man named Gibson, of Columbia County, Ark., a few miles above Shreveport and then chaining him to a tree. Two young men (James Brownlee and Beverly Ogden) coming along, released Gibson and were shot by the Negroes. Ogden died within a few hours and Brownlee some time after. The report of the outrage was carried into Shreveport, when several citizens set out to capture the desperadoes. On arriving there they saw about 300 freedmen assembled, and after a little parley began a skirmish which resulted in the death of several freedmen. On the approach of the United States troops, the Negroes dispersed.
D. Charles Mims, who shot James McClenahan (his brother-in-law) and James Wooley on May, 23, 1871, near Fillmore, was discovered in Columbia County, Ark., on June 2, brought to Bellevue and on the 4th twenty masked men took him from the jail to a point on the lower Shreveport road, a mile from Bellevue, where they hanged him. On October 1, Nancy Robertson, a Colored woman, (said to have bewitched a Colored man, Charles Steele, the Colored witch doctor), was murdered October 1, 1871, at Bossier Point. Anthony Williams was arrested for this crime. Cyrus Logan (Colored ) was murdered near I. Dillard's plantation June 1, 1872, and L. G. Sholar near Harrison's place in January, 1874. The murder of a Hebrew peddler took place near Bellevue in April, 1871. Henry Solomon, who with Chapman escaped from the Bossier Parish jail, was recaptured in January, 1882, at Shreveport and returned to Bellevue. There he attempted to burn the jail, and the people, considering his desperate character, hanged him in the corridor of the jail on January 25, 1882.
The sentence of death on Jack Chapman (col.) for the murder of John Williams (col.) was confirmed by the governor, and was to be carried into effect at Bellevue August 4, 1882. The murder was perpetrated on the Cash plantation in Bossier Parish October 24, 1881. A respite, however, was granted, but the sentence was carried into effect September 22, 1882. The shooting affair of August, 1882, at Bellevue resulted in the death of Ernest Wyche at the hands of Ford Edwards. In April, 1890, the case of the State us. J. M. Adkins, charged with killing A. J. M. Roy, near Collinsburg March !8, was presented. After hearing the evidence Judge Boone admitted Adkins to bail in the sum of $1,000. The duel has claimed more than one victim in Bossier, while among the Colored population a. death by violence is often recorded.
The liberty accorded to the conquered people in 1865 was of a most questionable character. The fact of calling a Colored United States volunteer infantryman a 'Nigger' was a crime which the officials of the army and Freedman's Bureau could not tolerate; while any attempt on the part of the Whites to carry out the laws as then understood was an offense of a serious character. On September 4, 1865, Judge Weems opened the fall term of court for the Tenth District, John, a freeman of color, was found guilty of larceny and sentenced to one year in the penitentiary. On the 8th, as Judge Weems was about to open court, Capt. Berry, provost-marshal of Freedman's Bureau for Bossier, arrested him as well as the sheriff and placed both in jail. on that evening a meeting of the bar adopted a series of resolutions to be submitted to the district military commander, the president of the United States and to the governor of the State. The instigators of the arrests were suspended and ultimately discharged from the United States service, and Judge Weems was liberated.
October 26, 1865, an order was issued prohibiting interference with the courts. Political memoranda is not the least interesting part of history. The Bossier elections of November, 1857, show 475 votes for J. M. Sandige and 172 for W. H. Sparks for Congress; 449 for E. E. Herring and 120 for Gammon for Legislature; L. F. Steele was elected sheriff, being opposed by R. Jones, Philo Alden, John W. Strange and Caleb Swindle; Austin Miller was elected recorder, John G. Allen, assessor, and J. L. Biggs, coroner.
In November, 1859, T. O. Moore (D.*) received 485 votes and T. J. Wells (Opposition) 175 for governor; J. M. Landrum (D.) received 548 and (*D, Democrat;) It, Republican; 1, Independent, and O, Opposition. M. A. Jones (O.) 130 for Congress; A. B. George (Ind.) was elected district attorney; B. W. Pierce (D.) had a majority of thirty votes over R. J. Looney (I.) for senator; J. R. Evans (D.) and R. K. Coombs (I.) were chosen representatives; Philo Alden, sheriff; A. A. Abney, clerk; J. M. Doyle, assessor, and R. C. Lancaster, coroner.
The vote of Bossier for President in November, 1860, shows 489 for Breckinridge, 243 for Bell and 53 for Douglas. The delegates from Bossier who signed the ordinance of secession on January 26, 1801, were T. J. Caldwell, H. McFarland. In April, 1801, R. J. Looney was elected judge, and Land associate judge for the new district, of which Bossier formed a part.
The elections of 1861 in Bossier show 510 votes for Jefferson Davis and A. H. Stephens, president and vice-president; 347 for Henry Marshall, and 108 for John L. Lewis for Congress; John L. Hodges received 405 out of 477 votes for senator; A. A. Abney 495, T. J. Caldwell 416, and R. C. Lancaster 134, for representative; Philo Alden was chosen sheriff; Milton P. Long, recorder; J. M. Doyle, assessor; John H. Braden, coroner. The elections in Bossier November, 1865, resulted in 113 votes for Wells and 70 for Allen, candidates for governor; Young 195, and Ray 87, for Congress; A. A. Abney 209; Pearce 122, W. B. Egan 179, for senator; J. A. Snider 172, and John Maples 139, for representative. Henry Gray succeeded Senator Abney in 1866.
In May, 1866, Philo Alden was elected sheriff of Bossier; Thomas N. Braden, clerk; H. W. Clark, recorder; L. C. Rasberry, assessor, and J. R. Griffin, district attorney. The total vote cast was 466. The Bossier election of May, 1866, point out the election of Thomas N. Braden, district clerk; Philo Alden, sheriff; Holland W. Clarke, recorder; L. C. Rasberry, assessor, and Joseph L. Biggs, coroner.
The vote of Bossier in April, 1868, was as follows: For new constitution 987, contra 760; for Congress, W.J. Blackburn (R.) 984, Wilkinson (D.) 770; for district judge, J. I. Weems (D.) 682, A. B. Levissee (Ind.) 731, Dowden (R.) 329; for State senator, William Luper (R.) and Lindsey (R.) 934; J. C. Egan (D.) and W. P. Blackman (D.) 707; for representative, B. C. Wrenn (R.)and John Pearce (R.) (col.) 902 (confirmed), J. A. Snider and J. A. Herron 703; for district attorney, Ashton 700, Benton 980; for parish judge, L. W. Baker (R.) 945 (confirmed), Thomas M. Fort 742; T. N. Braden (D.) was elected district clerk; William McDonald (D.) sheriff (refused, when E. K. Russ was appointed); H. W. Clarke (D.) recorder; J. L. Biggs (D.) coroner (opposed by J. P. Jackson (col.) who received 330 votes) and L. C. Rasberry, assessor; A. B. Levissee, elected judge of the district were confirmed. The police jury named in Gen. Buchanan's promulgation were R. B. Patterson, J. W. Rabb, William S. Edwards, James Ford and Thomas Applewhite. After the refusal of McDonald, men named Clarke and Luper were appointed sheriff but did not serve. The Bossier election of November, 1808, resulted in 1,035 votes for Seymour and Blair and one for Grant and Colfax. Ryan, the Democratic candidate for Congress received 1,635 votes and Newham (R.) one vote.
The Greeley electors in 1872 received 950 votes, Grant 554. John R. Griffin carried the parish for district attorney; J. W. McDonald, for senator; W. H. Scanland and L. D. Sandige, representatives; B. P. Fort, parish judge; T. N. Braden, clerk; Jos. E. Edger, sheriff; John H. Keyser, recorder, and John Hammond, coroner. There were 590 White and 1,792 Black votes registered. Aleck. Boarman was elected member of Congress. These officers elected were generally counted out and new ones appointed, Col. Turner being appointed district judge, T. W. Puller, attorney.
In November, 1872, the people of Bossier elected a full set of Parish officials; but the Legislature ignored such action and made the following appointments: L. W. Baker, judge; J. W. Walker, clerk, B. P. Oneal, sheriff; L. W. Brashear, recorder; Peter McDaniel, coroner; J. C. Head, collector; N. A. Durdin, T. H. Hutton, Arthur Hawkins and William Burke, police jurors. Abell and Stauton took the places of the elected representatives, when the fusion legislature was dissolved. The elections of Bossier in 1878 show majorities of over 1,350 for J. B. Elam, congressional candidate, and 1,403 for W. H. Scanland, the sole candidate in Bossier for senator. J. C. Vance had 1,155 and B. P. Oneal 269 votes for representative; T. N. Braden was elected parish judge; E. E. Wyche, sheriff and J. W. Martin, coroner. There were 385 votes cast for New Orleans and 148 for Baton Rouge in the contest for State capital.
In 1876 there were 889 votes recorded for Nicholls (D.), and 1,724 for Packard (R.), candidates for governor. L. A. Wiltz (D.) received 1,530 and Beattie (R.) 278 in 1879. In 1884 there were 2,342 votes for McEnery (D.), and 686 for Stevenson (R.), and in 1888 P. T. Nicholls (D.) received 4,213 and Warmoth (R.) 95 votes. The total vote registered was 4,625, 1,100 being White. Twenty-five Whites and 3,425 Africans could not write their names.
The Civil War may be said to have begun here late in 1860. The people of Bellevue considered the political situation on December 3, 1860. A moderate substitute for the radical resolution offered by Loudon Butler was proposed by John M. Sandige, but failed to be supported. At Collinsburg on December 1, a meeting resulted in the same way, and the appeal for rebellion or secession was responded to. The mounted riflemen of Bossier Parish organized December 10, 1860, with E. G. Randolph, captain; E. C. Andrews, J. J. Knight and W. J. Fish, lieutenants; A. B. Hughes, E. Sanderson, T. G. Pegues and R. G. Lester, sergeants; W. A Stroud, W. P. Tigner, P. C. Broom and Samuel Clark, corporals. There were seventy-three men enrolled. [A few months later Randolph's volunteers were reported at the front.] W. H. Scanland, writing in May, 1860, of the Abolitionists and reports of Southern secession, quotes Shakespeare thus: I will he hanged if some eternal villain, Some busy and insinuating rogue. Some cogging, cozzening slave to get some" office Have not devised this plot.
On November 26, 1860, a meeting held at Rooky Mount decided on war, and resolved to organize "The Minute Men of Bossier Parish. J. W. Rabb, as president, and W. T. Crawford, as secretary, signed the resolutions. The Red River Volunteers of Bossier organized in January, 1861, with Loudon Butler, captain; John D. Worthy, S. W. Vance and B. P. Knight, lieutenants; C. P. Wilson, R. T. Stinson, James Doles and L. D. Arick, sergeants; A. J. Haynes, Elias O'Neill, George E. Gilmer and L. B. Mallory, corporals, and R. B. Taylor, ensign. The total strength was sixty-eight men. Toward the close of January, 1861, a company of militia was organized with William Harrison, captain; Joshua Hill and John R. Griffin, lieutenants; Ross Byrd, John D. Braden and J. W. McBride, sergeants; Austin Miller, A. M. Allord and Philo Alden, corporals; John W Hill and A. W. Spurlin, musicians. The total strength was forty-two men. This company comprised James Ford, B. F. Fort, F. M. Malone, T. M. Fort, J. M. A. Scanland, W. A. Kelley, J. W. Hill and R. C. Lancaster and others. Thus was war begun here before the official tocsin of the Confederate army was heard outside Fort Sumter. Following this signal military organization was pushed forward. The Bossier Rangers organized on May 16, 1861, with Thomas W. Fuller, captain; A. M. Alford, J. W. McBride, B. H. Kilgore, lieutenants; W. S. Jones, R. W. Hodges, A. H. Hollingsworth and P. H. Edwards, sergeants.
In June, 1861, Col. E. R. Boon, Second Regiment, Second Brigade, Fifth Division Louisiana Militia, made the following appointments on the staff of the Second Regiment: J. N. Bryan, adjutant, succeeded by A. B. Hughes; A. B. Hughes, quartermaster, succeeded by W. M. Sentell; A. A. Abney, paymaster; Dr. L. H. Fisher, surgeon, succeeded by J. H. Hunter; Dr. F. M. Abney, assistant surgeon, succeeded by T. A. Snider; W. H. Scanland, sergeant major, succeeded by A. B. Skannal, and J. C. Adger, quartermaster-sergeant, succeeded by P. R. Doyle. There were eight muster beats established with a captain and lieutenants for each: No. 1, Capt. D. I. Hooks, and Lieuts. Dr. H. McFarland and G. A. F. Pool; No. 2, Capt. P. V. O'Neill, Lieuts. E. P. Connell and James E. Carraway; No. 3, Capt. Joshua Hill, Lieuts. J. A. Edwards and G. B. Wallace; No. 4, Capt. Charles H. Gray, Lieuts. D. H. Johnson and James E. Edwards; No. 5, Capt. A. K. Sears, Lieuts. James L. Taylor and C. G. Colye; No. 6, Capt. N. A. Cooper, Lieuts. M. O. Cavett and John J. Swindle; No. 7, Capt. J. W. Rabb, Lieuts. William M. Sentell and George Winham; No. 8, Capt. Thomas Player, Lieuts. John Dalrymple and J. J. Knight. Edwin H. Fay was commissioned brigade major; Charles Chaffee, quartermaster; John W. Pennall, paymaster; William C. Patillo, brigade surgeon; R. W. Turner, B. P. Jenkins, J. L. Walker and T. E. Paxton, aides-de-camp; P. V. O'Neill was colonel, J. W. Rabb, lieutenant-colonel, and J. L. Maples, major.
In July, 1861, the total strength of Capt. Randolph's Bossier Volunteers, who left Shreveport in June, 1861, was 104 men and nine servants. The same month the captain was promoted lieutenant colonel of the Ninth Louisiana Infantry, and later colonel.
The Vance Guards of Bellevue, who suffered heavily at Shiloh in April, 1862, organized August 17, 1861, with R. W. Turner, captain; E. C. Andrews, A. B. Broughton and M. C. Cavett, lieutenants, succeeded in May, 1862, by B. B. Mattock, T. M. Lusk and A. J. Hunter; James A. Edwards, B. B. Mattock, Levi Franks, O. B. Alford and W. R. Head, sergeants; C. C. Nowell, J. W. Walker, R. M. Spurlin, Nathan Joiner, corporals, and Julins A. Martin, ensign. This company left for the front September 25, with the above-named officers. The total strength was 106. The Robins Greys of Bossier organized in September, 1861, with Capt. Loudon Butler, E. E. Robins, J. L. Maples and A. B. Skannall, lieutenants.
The Bossier Cavalry organized in March, 1862, with T. W. Fuller, captain; Frank J. Smith, N. W. Sentill and J. T. Nuckolls, lieutenants; B. H. Fuller, J. L. Taylor, W. H. Scanland and T. M. Swearingen, sergeants; M. A. Dickson, R. T. Stinson, W. Marks and Alfred Walker, corporals. The total strength was eighty-one officers and men. On April 2, this command left for the front, and was attached to an Alabama regiment in Armstrong's cavalry brigade. Up to April 26, 1862, Bossier furnished 514 men to the army. In June, 1862, this company reorganized with William Harrison, captain; George M. Sandige, N. W. Sentill and A. M. Alford, lieutenants.
Thirteenth Louisiana Battalion Cavalry was organized in Bossier Parish during the year 1863, with three companies. The total enrollment was 240, under Maj. R. E. Wyche. In 1864 this battalion was reorganized, and the three companies under Maj. K. J. Caldwell were merged into the Eighth Louisiana Cavalry, under Col. B. W. Clark. The Marks Guards, Company B, Twenty-ninth Louisiana Infantry, was organized in May, 1862, with J. W. Rabb, captain; T. W. Abney, W. M. Sentill and J. H. Marks, lieutenants; P. V. O'Neill, J. L. C. Graham, Austin Miller, J. R. Cavett and J. C. Wood, sergeants; W. O. Burns, J. Marion Doyle, P. C. Broom, W. E. Dortch and J. L. Byrd, corporals. The total strength was 113 men.
The Bossier Volunteers, Company D, Ninth Louisiana Infantry reorganized in May, 1862, with J. J. Hodges, captain; E. J. Hancock, E. Skannall and J. H Nattin, lieutenants; J. W. Rabb, J. D. Hodges, E. Sandlin, J. H. Gladney, E. N. Culolm, sergeants; J. M. Sentill, T. K. Robey, W. A. Stroud and J. B. Sugg, corporals. In July this company was in Stonewall Jackson's command and lost heavily.
In October, 1886, the survivors of Company B, Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, assembled at Red Land, J. N. Bryan, presided. The members present were Col. J. W. Rabb, Timothy Oakley, J. M. Doyle, Frank M. Barrett, J. W. Barrett, William P. Mason, J. M. Russell, M, H. Brock, G. B. Dunnan, A. J. Spurlin, P. C. Broom, Samuel J. Boggs and Thomas M. Love.
The Ladies' Military Aid Society of Bossier was presided over in 1861 by Jennie Hancock, with Maggie Moore, secretary. The executive committee comprised Mattie Maples, Mollie Jones, Kate Hodges and the officers named.
The Bossier Times was issued September 17, 1857, by W. C. Mitchell and Ed A. Lowry, from the office of the police jury. In April, 1858, Mitchell sold his interest to R. J. Looney, on August 6 Lowry purchased Looney's interest, and on September 3 Mitchell became sole owner. on its suspension, June 17, 1859, A. A. Abney, T. M. and B. P. Fort became owners of the material, and held it until the Banner was established.
The Washington hand press used in printing the Times belonged originally to the Columbian of Mansfield, and is now in the Banner office. The Bossier Banner succeeded the Times July 1, 1859, W. H. Scanland, who conducted the Times for nine months prior to its collapse under Mitchell, becoming owner. Mr. Scanland, in his salutatory, says: 'We are politically, morally and religiously a filibusterer, and go in soul and body for the South. The South, right or wrong, is our motto.
In the Banner of February 15, 1861, Scanland's apostrophe to the stars and stripes, bidding the old flag farewell forever, is given. This is a piece of beautiful word painting, though the farewell proved only temporary. On May 11, 1861, Richard W. Turner issued his salutatory as temporary editor, owing to the editor's departure for the war.
After Capt. Turner entered the army, T. M. Port took charge of the office, and was succeeded September 6, by the owner. On September 27, 1862, the last ante-bellum Banner was issued. On July 16, 1865, it was revived by the editor, Mr. Scanland, who continued the volume and issue number of 1862. He called the suspension a long nap, but thanked Providence that he was alive and kicking, and able to argue still. On August 3, 1865, the Banner office was closed, by Capt. C. R. Riggs, under orders of Col. Foley, of the Sixty-first United States Colored Infantry. The captain arrived the night before with a company of Colored troops, and called early next morning to close the office, and succeeded in doing so without trouble. On August 25, Capt. Riggs' order required 126 residents of Bossier to come before him and make depositions in the matter of government cotton, or cotton said to be sold by them to the Confederate government. In September, 1875 the Banner began using the Union sheets, and from November 15, that year, to March 17, 1876, issued a bi-weekly edition. In October, 1878, half the material of the Banner office was moved to Minden, to be used in the publication of the Webster Tribune, then owned by W. H. Scanland.
In November, 1875, B. C. White, the official printer of Caddo, under governor's orders, was also appointed official printer for Bossier, under the same rule. The Bossier Sentinel was established by Dr. J. B. Walthall (sub-contractor for official printing), in November, 1875, but the legality of a sub-contract was questioned, the Sentinel collapsed, and the Banner was the official journal until April, 1876, when Walthall received the contract in his own name, and revived the Sentinel. on January 1, 1877, the Printing Law was repealed, but the new paper continued in existence until December, 1878. The material for this paper was brought from the North Louisiana Index office at Minden, in 1873, and the Minden Herald of 1874. The press, made at Chris. Chaffee's Blacksmith shop at Minden, was brought hither, but in December, 1878, was taken to Claiborne by Dr. Walthall. The Plain Dealer, published at Plain Dealing, has now entered its third volume. The editor, T. E. Price, has made a useful journal of this, and it claims a wide patronage in Northern Bossier and Caddo.
academicals institutions which have come down from ante-bellum days rendered the common school system unnecessary, and today it is only accepted fully by the
The Bellevue Academy Association was organized June 10, 1859, with W. A. Kelley, president, and B. W. Turner, secretary.
The enrollment of White pupils in the schools of Bossier, from 1877 to 1887 inclusive, is shown as follows: 85, 704, 361, 270, 475, 563, 587, 508, 789, 2,475 and 600. The enrollment of Colored pupils for the same years, was 51, 1,166, 807, 222, 450, 758, 419, 429, 852, 3,745 and 1,178. In June, 1890, there were 1,398 White and 6,495 Colored children of school age.
The physicians of the parish are named in the following list, and location and date of diploma given: James Smythe Milling, Dixon Cross Roads, Medical College of the State of South Carolina, 1854; William Jefferson Mobley, Bellevue, University of Louisiana, 1860; George Arthur Wise, Benton, University of Louisiana, 1876; Henry Thomas Dillard, Shreveport, Bellevue Hospital Medical College, 1875; Paul Lawrence, Bellevue, University of Louisiana, 1867; Willie Jewett Arnold, Bellevue, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, 1883; James Franklin Mooty, Bellevue, New Orleans School of Medicine, 1860; James White Ogden , Benton, University of City of New York, 1877; Norwood Kincaid Vance, Benton, University of Maryland, 1882; Elisha Jones Hall, Midway, University of Louisville, 1875; Clifford Hill Irion, Rocky Mount, University of Louisiana, 1884; William Jasper Baird, Red Land, Missouri Medical College, St. Louis, 1808; Thomas Jefferson Heard, Haughton, Atlanta Medical College, 1881; Braxton Wise, Benton, University of Louisiana, 1883; Jones B. Hargrove, Knox Point, Medical College of Alabama, 1880; William M. Abney, Collinsburgh, Tulane University of Louisiana, 1888; Robert Cummings Campbell, Benton, University of Louisiana, 1807; Hugh Elmo Atkins, Knox Point, Tulane University of Louisiana, 1889; John Barkley Bidler, of Rocky Mount, registered under the act of 1882 by virtue of long practice.
The Bossier Agricultural Society organized July 2, 1887, with W. G. Burt president, R. H. Curry vice-president, B. R. Nash, secretary, and fifty-four members, gives promise of doing for the parish what the Homer Pair Association and Shreveport Association are doing for their divisions of the State.
Bellevue, in latitude 32° 19' north and longitude 10° 26' west, was selected as the seat of justice of Bossier Parish in February, 1843, and named Freedonia. In July of that year the name Society Hill was adopted, and shortly after the present euphonious title was given. In the chapters devoted to the transactions of the police jury and of the courts, much of the early history of the town is related. Again, in the pages devoted to journalism and other subjects, names and incidents connected with the building up of Bellevue are mentioned, so that little remains to be written upon these subjects. The town was surveyed on the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 5, Township 19, Range 11, and laid out after the fashion of the period , a parallelogram 200 feet wide with the court-house near the northern end. In the case of Bellevue this main street takes the form of a grand boulevard. Trees which offered shade in 1843 are monarchs of this town, forest today; while other trees, which were set out by order of the police jury, or the council of the old town, forty years ago, vie with those which nature had hitherto raised there in venerable appearances and usefulness. On the west side of the parallelogram in the neighborhood of the court-house, are the mercantile houses, while on the east side is the Smith House, one of the most pleasant hostelries in all this section. The Banner office and Col. Snyder's law office are on the east side, and the old Kelly House, now a residence, also stands there. The homes of the people are ranged along this thoroughfare or adjacent to it, and, with their flower gardens and lawns, lend to the old town an Arcadian beauty.
The town was incorporated shortly after its foundation, but the work of the council was desultory in character. The establishment of a newspaper in 1857 did not lead to progress in this direction, but on the coming of the Banner, interest in town organization revived. In 1859 Bellevue was presided over by W. H. Hill, mayor; T. M. Fort, secretary; J. J. Carstarphen, J. M. Jones, T. M. Fort and W. A. Kelley, aldermen. New ordinances were adopted at this time, patrol companies authorized and the work of the council and officers systematized. The political turmoil of 1859-60 and the commencement of hostilities in 1861 disrupted the municipal organization. The Bellevue election of May, 1866, resulted in the choice of W. H. Hill, mayor; A. A. Abney, Ben F. Fort, J. C. Head and J. J. Carstarphen, aldermen. For years the principles of the charter were carried out, but now are unobserved. The Bellevue fire of November 18, 1872, originated in J. H. Lofton and John Fogg's grocery store, and destroyed that building, with L. C. Rasberry's store, also Col. Haynes and John C. Head's stores. Two hundred feet across the street coals of fire were carried to Mrs. Smith's hotel, the houses of Dr. Swann and Mrs. Kelly, and 300 yards to Capt. Fort's house, but the buildings were saved.
Bellevue Lodge No. 95, P. & A. M., was organized U. D. July 12, 1850, with Andrew Lawson, W. M.; A. J. McDade, S. W.; L. P. Steele, J. W.; I. S. Furniss, S. D.; H. P. Hollingsworth, J. D.; C. B. Taliaferro, Sec.; John M. Perkins, Treas., and S. M. Furniss (now of Knox Point), Tyler. The officers were installed by Bobert Hodges. Dr. J. A. Snider, C. A. Boone, P. P. Bates, J. S. M. Lowry and others were present at the second meeting. On January 21, 1851, a charter was granted, which was taken away from the society December 23, 1857, and restored February 21, 1866. The masters of the lodge since 1851 are named as follows: J. G. McDade, A. J. McDade, A. A. Abney, 1853-57. In April, 1866, A. A. Abney presided. J. L. Biggs was chosen W. M. in December of that year; J. A. Snider in 1868; W. H Scanland in 1871; John C. Gordy, 1873; J. A. Snider, 1874; W. J. Mobley, 1875-77; J. A. Snider, 1878; J. A. W. Lowry, 1880; J. A. Snider, 1881-83; W. J. Mobley, 1884; W. H. Scanland, 1885, and J. A. Snider, 1886-90. In April, 1853, T. M. Port was secretary, and served until the lodge closed in 1857. In April, 1866, he was again secretary. T. W. Braden, December, 1866; T. M. Fort, 1868; W. H. Hill, 1870; P. C. Hodges, 1873; W. H. Hill, 1874-84; J. A. W. Lowry, 1885-90. The membership in April, 1890, was twenty-five.
Cypress Lodge No. 98, Collinsburg, chartered in 1850, and re-chartered in 1858, and Red Land 157, chartered in 1857 are still in existence; Fillmore 163, chartered in 1858, ceased work in 1879. Three lodges of K. of P. were organized in 1879-80, one at Plain Dealing in May, 1879; one at Haughton in April, 1880, and one at Rocky Mount in October, 1880. Bellevue Council 1120, A. L. of H. elected the following-named officers for 1884: W. H. Scanland, Com.; T. N. Braden, V. C.; J. A. W. Lowry, O.; W. H. Hill, Sec; R. J. Holt, Col.; W. J. Mobley, Treas.; E. M. Carstarphen, C; R. T. Doyle, G.; B. F. Oneal, W.; E. E. Wyche, Jr., Sent.; L. B. Kelley, J. H. Lofton and J. B. Oneal, trustees. This lodge was organized May 5, 1883, by Dr. J. J. Scott.
In 1823 Louisiana Methodism was represented by eighty-nine Whites and ten Colored members. Twenty-three years later the first Methodist Conference was introduced, and from 1846 may be said to date the growth of this denomination. From 1829 to 1833 Rev. William Stephenson preached throughout this section, but the Baptist and English Church people of Bossier were slow to accept the new religion, and not until 1855 was there a church-house erected at Bellevue. This house was rebuilt after the war, and is now known as the Union Church. The old church house, at Fillmore (Hickman's), however, was in existence prior to 1852, for in that year the following-named were members of the Methodist class: Elizabeth Taliaferro, Mrs. Andrew Lawson, Mrs. Col. Taliaferro, Henry Pope and wife, Sarah A. Lowry and Maggie and Sally, Evaline Castarphen, Virginia Fort, J. L. Biggs, Elizabeth E. Biggs, William S. Edwards and wife and Lousie Spurlin. The number of White members in South and North Bossier Circuits is 393. There are four church buildings and one parsonage. On the Sunday-school roll are 232 names.
The Colored churches are numerous and the membership large and enthusiastic. In 1850 Robert Martin established two Baptist societies in Bossier, west of the Bodeau and two between the Bodeau and Dorchette. Elder A. Winham assisted in this work.
Union Grove Christian Church may be said to be one of the organizations of John Scarborough prior to the war. The preachers, Kelly, Cooper, Northum, Vandyck, Crawford, Breedlove and J. B. Davis came since 1866. in the fall of 1883 Union Grove Society built a house also in Bossier Parish, and in January, 1884, the last-named preacher was called.
The yellow fever of 1873 brought death to J. S. Walker, J. L. Perkins, Col. J. J. Hodge's wife and child, of Bossier Parish. The cause was found at Shreveport, for, with very little regard to quarantine methods, the terrible epidemic shuns the uplands of Bossier, and with the exceptions noted and perhaps two others, left the people to enjoy their usual health.
Haughton is one of the new railroad towns fourteen miles east of Shreveport, and the shipping point for Bellevue, ten miles northeast. Years ago all that was here was a forest, broken only by the just-completed roadway, a box-car for a station, and a saloon; two years after, it was incorporated, and now there is a population of about 400, steadily increasing. There are ten business houses, each having a large trade, and new firms are being added to the list at short intervals; two saw-mills, one of which has a plane-mill in connection, a grist mill, a public cotton gin, a chair factory, one commodious hotel and two boarding-houses, a large and well stocked livery stable, and a Methodist and a Baptist Church. There are 2,500 to 5,000 bales of cotton shipped from here every year, the former the lowest and the latter the highest number in several years; 125 cars of lumber, 100 to 150 carloads of cordwood shipped per year. The freight receipts amount to $14,400 per year.
There is a K. of P. lodge (instituted April 6, 1880), with a fine hall and thirty members, and a Masonic lodge will soon be organized. South of Haughton is one of the finest agricultural countries in the State, and Bossier Point'' has made many a fortune in the old days, and is still the valuable land it was then. There are two schools for White pupils and one for Colored children at this point. Plain Dealing, on the St. Louis, Arkansas & Texas Railroad bears the same relation to the northwestern townships of the parish that Haughton does to the southeastern townships. In the spring of 1887 there was not a sign of village life here. In July, 1888, lots were offered for sale, and it is said $12,000 was realized from this sale, and in 1890 the town was incorporated, and on April 5, the following named officers were elected: Mayor, W. B. Boggs; councilmen, Prof. J. E. Johnston, W. H. McClenaghan, S. H. Cochran, L. S. Kronenberg and T. Z. Barnett. In April, 1890, the contract for building a house of worship for the Baptists was sold to J. A. Bowles for $750. The house was completed in July and opened in August of this year. The Plain Dealing Academy preceded the church, and the newspaper, then edited by P. B. Holt, led the march of improvement.
Benton is an old name given to a new railroad town south of Plain Dealing. On June 23, 1877, the Masons of Cypress Lodge 89, completed their building at the old town. Alden's Bridge and Arkana are also new railroad towns. Rocky Mount, on the proposed line of the Gulf Railroad, is an old village with new pretensions. Centre Lodge No. 21, K. of P. was organized here October 30, 1880, and other evidences of progress have since been manifested. In January, 1874, Rocky Mount Grange was organized with twenty male and ten female members. J. B. Campbell was chosen master, and I. H. Martin, secretary. The Grange disappeared, but modern times has brought fourth the Alliance to take its place.
Bodeau Bridge Company, incorporated in June, 1870, with W. H. Scanland, R. T. Stinson, J. A. Snider, J. R. Griffin and W. H. Hill, directors, for the purpose of bridging the lake at Bellevue Ferry. Bodeau Bayou was called in olden times Bayou Beattie.
Red Land was one of the ancient towns of the parish, but now it is a waste like Overton in Webster, or Russellville and Athens in Claiborne. Churches and store-houses have been moved away. The only remaining monument of Red Land's mercantile glory was consumed by tire on the last night of March, 1890, when the J. J. Swindle building, occupied by the general store of Henry J. Boggs, was swept away. The hall of Red Land Lodge No. 148, F. & A. M. (organized in 1857), was in this building and was a total loss, including all the furniture and records since its institution, about thirty years ago. The Red Land post office was also destroyed, including all supplies and records since 1879. The Red Land Seminary was established January 3, 1859, with S. A. Boggs, John G. Allen, Augustus Martin, B. H. Nelson, James Engram, M. Martin, E. D. Wyche, Dr. J. J. Scott, J. B. Madding, John B. Campbell, and John Hamiter, trustees. This board was instructed to purchase the forty acres on which the school building then stood, and erect thereon a larger house. The building then erected now stands alone among the older trees, keeping company with the cemetery where sleep many of the pioneers of this section.
Fillmore, south of Bellevue, is another village of a past age. Before the war it was a thriving business center. Churches and schools were fostered, and the old time post office distributed a large mail; but all this is changed, and empty buildings only remain to tell of village greatness. The Bossier Academy at Fillmore was opened September 24, 1860, by John B. Gretter, principal, and Miss S. E. Sawyer, assistant. Tuition cost from $12.50 to $20 per session of five months, and board $10 per month. Fillmore Lodge No. 163, A. F. & A. M. (organized in 1858), surrendered its charter in 1879. In the vicinity many great plantations are now clothed in pine instead of cotton, and no place portrays more completely the affects of war than the ancient village and its surroundings. Collinsburg is one of the old towns still existing. The post offices of Bossier Parish in 1859 were: Bellevue*, James M. Jones, master (late J. P. Lofton was master); Bisteneau, William P. Boon; Bossier Point, James H. Brown; Collinsburg*, G. W. Sentell; Cotton Valley, John Holley; Fillmore, William E. Hamilton; Knox Point*, S. E. McKinley; Orchard Grove, Thomas Nettles; Plainville, Asa H. Hearne; Rocky Mount*, James T. Talbert; Jones Bayou, N. P. Scopeni' s store and Sentell's store.
Of all the above only the four marked * are post office points today. The new offices being Alden's Bridge, J. P. Elder, master, vice J. Pickett; Ansel, Mrs. McLelan vice Kate E. Strand; Ash Point, and Benton; Carterville, H. J. Boggs vice N. B. Boggs; Dixie, Haughton, Love's Mill, Midway, Oak Hill, Pickett, Red Land and G. B. Abercrombie has been a general merchant of Haughton, La., since 1886, but was born in Montgomery County, Ala., in 1852 to John B. and Penny F. (Patterson) Abercrombie, the former of whom was born in South Carolina in 1812, and the latter in Georgia in 1821, their marriage taking place in the State of Alabama, where Mr. Abercrombie died in 1863. The mother is now a resident of Texas, and is a worthy member of the Methodist Church, of which her husband was also a member, he being a farmer by occupation, and at one time tax assessor of Montgomery County. He was a member of a reserve corps in the Confederate army, and was a son of Abner Abercrombie, who died in Montgomery County, Ala., being a direct descendant of Gen. Abercrombie of colonial times.
The subject of this sketch is the sixth of thirteen children, six now living, and was reared on a farm with but little chances for acquiring an education, his schooling not amounting to over five months. In 1865 he came with a cousin to Claiborne Parish, La., and in 1866 to Bossier Parish, where he worked as a farm hand for two years then attended, school for five months at Fillmore. He then clerked in different stores until 1870, when be made a crop in Morehouse Parish, and in 1871 returned to Bossier Parish, where he was elected deputy sheriff, and worked in The different county offices for some time. In 1872 he was married to Josie, daughter of L. W. and Martha Baker, who came to Bossier Parish from Alabama in 1846, and here are still living. Mrs. Abercrombie was born here. In 1876 Mr. Abercrombie was appointed district clerk to fill an unexpired term, and after serving one year began farming, which he continued until 1880, when he established a mercantile house at Red Chute, removing the same, in 1886, to Haughton. He was once justice of the peace for three years in what is now Webster Parish, from 1873, and socially belongs to the I. 0. O. F., Meath Lodge No. 21, of Shreveport, the I. O. R, M., Pontiac Tribe No. 12, and Friendship Lodge No. 13 of the K. of P. at Haughton. He is the owner of considerable real estate, all of which he has earned by his own efforts.
W. M. Abney is an honorable and useful member of society residing in Bossier Parish, La., and as he was born here on March 2, 1846, he has a large circle of friends and acquaintances by whom he is respected and honored. His parents, Asbury A. and Catherine (McDade) Abney, passed from life in this parish in 1866 at the age of forty-nine and in 1857 at the age of thirty, respectively, he having been born in the Palmetto State, and she in Alabama, their marriage taking place in the latter in 1844. They moved the following year to Bossier Parish, and here he was chosen to represent the people in the State Senate and for fully ten years he was active in public life, being for a number of years clerk of the district court. He was admitted to the bar in Shreveport, and until his death followed this calling and merchandizing in Bellevue, and was very successful in both. He was a heavy loser by the war and did not live long enough afterward to regain what he had lost. He served one year in the late war as lieutenant in the Thirteenth Louisiana Battalion, and for some time was in the Trans-Mississippi Department. He was a self-made man in every sense of the word, was a man strictly honorable in all his dealings, and was looked up to and respected by all who knew him.
After the death of his first wife he married again, his second union being to a sister of his first wife, her death occurring in Red River Parish. Mr. Abney was a Methodist, an R. A. M., and inherited the French and English blood of his parents. The subject of this sketch was the eldest of six children and although he was given good advantages for acquiring an education, he left school to enter the Confederate army, having been an attendant for six months in the military department of the State University of Louisiana at New Orleans. In March, 1864, he joined the Eighth Louisiana Cavalry and was a faithful soldier to the cause he espoused until the final surrender. In April, 1865, he was transferred to the ordnance department, afterward to the engineers department.
While in the ranks he was in several skirmishes, among which may be mentioned Mansfield and Monett's Ferry. Soon after the close of the war he commenced the study of medicine under Dr. Cook, of Bellevue, and in 1866-67 attended the medical department of the State University, and again entered this institution in 1887-88, graduating in the latter year. He practiced his profession until 1869, when he gave it up on account, of ill health and began keeping books for M. W. Sentell & Co., at Collinsburg, remaining in their employ four years, and farmed the balance of the time until 1887, when he entered college, as above stated, and since graduating has practiced his profession with success. In 1884 he became a member of the police jury of Ward 3, and has since continued as a member. He is quite well fixed, financially, and is the owner of 400 acres of land near Collinsburg, a considerable portion of which is under cultivation. In 1872 he was married to Miss Susan T. Marks, a daughter of Nicholas Marks. She was born in this parish and she and the Doctor are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The former is trustee of the North Bossier Circuit, is chairman of the board, and is a Democrat, politically. Socially he is a member of the K. of P. and belongs to the A. F. & A. M.
John M. Arnold is a prosperous and intelligent planter of Bossier Parish, La., but the Stats of his birth was Georgia, where he first saw the light of day in the year 1842. His parents, G. W. and Salina (Sims) Arnold, were born in South Carolina and Georgia, about 1816 and 1818, respectively, their marriage taking place in Oglethorpe County, of the latter State, in 1838, where they made their home until 1860, then moved to Bossier Parish, La. Here the father purchased a good plantation, and devoted his attention to its management, becoming one of the substantial men of that calling in this section of the country. He ever showed himself to be a man of honor in all his business transactions, and at the time of his death did not owe a dollar. He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity in Georgia, and passed from life in the State of Louisiana, in 1868, his widow dying in 1872. The mother's father, John Sims, was a well-known farmer of Georgia, and at the breaking out of the Rebellion was the owner of 5,000 acres of land and eighty slaves. John M. Arnold received the advantages of an academic education at Newnan Academy, Newnan, Ga., and was attending this institution when the war came up, at which time he responded to the call of the Confederacy for troops, enlisting in Company H, First Georgia Regiment, under command of Col. Ramsey, of Augusta, Ga. During his experience as a soldier he operated in all the States lying between the Potomac and Rio Grande Rivers, and was a participant in the battles of Manasses, Laurel Hill, Corinth, Farmington, Iuka, besides all the principal engagements of Northern Mississippi and, south of Nashville, Tenn.
He was honorably discharged from his first commands March 16, 1862, but shortly afterward joined an independent cavalry company, and in 1864 was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department, and was made first lieutenant of Company C, Sixth Louisiana Cavalry, taking part in the engagements with the Federal fleet, from Alexandria to Loggy Bayou, where he assisted in sinking the New Pall City. He was in command of a company at Mansfield when orders were received to surrender, after which he returned to his old home in Louisiana, and in the month of May, 1860, began farming where he now resides. His plantation comprises 440 acres of fertile land in the Red River Valley, and on this he raises the principal products of the South. He was married in this parish in 1874, to Miss Lou J., daughter of John and Mary (Cowan) Brownlee, both of whom were born in South Carolina, but have been residents of Louisiana since 1848. Mr. Arnold's family consists of four children, three sons and one daughter. He is one of the honorable citizens of this community, and has served as assessor and register for six years, of Ward No. 2. He is a Mason, being a member of Cypress Lodge No. 189.
James W. Atkins of the general mercantile firm of J. D. & J. W. Atkins, who are also planters at Knox Point, La., was born in Neshoba 'County, Miss., in 1800, and is a son of Judge Joseph W. and Eleanor J. (Savage) Atkins, natives of Tennessee and South Carolina, respectively. They were married in Mississippi, and in that State Mr. Atkins passed from life, a worthy member of the Methodist Church, and a successful planter. He was in public life for many years and held nearly all the county offices, including judge of the county court, and during the Rebellion was a colonel in the commissary department. His father, William Atkins, died in Tennessee when he was a small boy, and he was then taken to Virginia, and was reared in that State. Judge Atkins was a Royal Arch Mason, and is still survived by his widow who is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. James W. Atkins was the ninth of their fourteen children, ten of whom are living, and his early education was received in the common schools, but graduated in 1880 from T. A. Ledden's Commercial College, of Memphis, Tenn., after which he at once came to Knox Point, and for three years clerked for his brother, J. D., who had been a merchant of that place for several years.
In 1883 they became associated in business, and have since conducted affairs under the firm name of J. D. & J. W. Atkins. James W. came to this parish with no capital and no mercantile experience, and began business on a small scale, but from time to time they have increased their business until they now have the most extensive and complete establishment of the kind on Red River. In 1889 they handled about 3,300 bales of cotton, and did a business which amounted to $75,000. Besides this, J. W. and another brother, J. B., own a large plantation in Red River Parish, where they also operate and own a large store under the firm name of J. B. & J. W. Atkins. James W. Atkins was married in 1883 to Miss Lucy, daughter of James W. Elmore, a Virginian, but who is now living at Friar's Point, Miss,, a wealthy planter, Mr. and Mrs. Atkins have two little children, a boy and a girl. They attend the Methodist Church, of which they have been members for some time.
W. J. Baird, M. D. Since locating in this parish Dr. Baird has shown himself eminently worthy of the confidence and trust reposed in him by all classes, and has proven himself to be a physician of decided merit. Unlike the majority of the boys of his day, he acquired more than a common school education, and was given the advantages of Oakland College, his opportunities being thoroughly improved while in that institution, for from an early age he displayed an eagerness for study and a desire for a professional life. He was born at Port Gibson, Claiborne County, Miss., in 1840, and at the age of twenty years turned his attention to the study of medicine, his preceptor being Dr. Medlet, but from 1859 to 1861 he attended the Missouri Medical College of St. Louis, graduating in the latter year, after which he almost immediately joined the Confederate army, being assigned to duty as assistant surgeon of the Army of Tennessee, remaining in the service thus actively employed until nearly the close of the war, when he was taken prisoner, and for nearly one year was retained at Alton, Ill.
After his release he commenced practicing at Franklin, Mo., but in 1868 came to Shreveport, La., and a short time after to Rocky Mount, then Red Land, where he has deservedly built up an extensive practice. His skill is too well known to comment upon, and his practice is very widespread and lucrative. His marriage with Miss Lucy Fulenwider, a young lady of finished education and high accomplishments was celebrated in 1872, she being a native of North Carolina, and to them three children have been born: Alice, Harry and William. His daughter Alice after spending the last two years in St. Vincent Convent, Shreveport, receiving premiums in all her studies, especially music, is now in school at Gadsden, Ala., and bids fair to prove herself one of the most learned of the Southern girls. The Doctor is a member of the State Medical Association, also the Bossier Parish Medical Society, and socially is a member of the K. of P., and in his political views is a Democrat.
Henry Barnacastle, of the firm of Baruacastle & Murff, general merchants and druggists at Houghton, established their business in September, 1889. Mr. Barnacastle was born in Bertie County, N. C., in 1830, a son of James and Harriet (Barber) Barnacastle, who were also born in the same county of North Carolina, where they married and lived until 1848, when they removed to Florida, in which State Mr. Barnacastle died in 1852, his widow afterward removing to Mississippi, where she passed from life during the war, both being members of the Baptist Church, and the former a planter by occupation. Beverly Barnacastle, the paternal grandfather, was of Irish descent, and died in Bertie County, N. C. The Grandfather Barber was a sailor by calling, and the most of his life was spent on the ocean, his death occurring while at sea. Henry Barnacastle was the third of nine children, and in his youth became familiar with farm life, obtaining a common school education. Since 1849 he has been a resident of Bossier Parish, and here he was married in 1856 to Miss Patience P., daughter of Henry and Rhoda Herring, natives of Georgia, who removed to Bossier Parish in 1850, and spent the rest of their lives here, Mr. Herring dying before the war and his widow about 1885, the former being a farmer by occupation and one of the early settlers of this region.
Mrs. Barnacastle was born in Twiggs County, Ga., and has born Mr. Barnacastle four children, one son and three daughters. Mr. Barnacastle farmed until 1806, then engaged in merchandising at Old Fillmore, where he continued four years, then removed a few miles south, and when Haughton was established he removed to that place, where he has since been in business, being one of the leading merchants of the place. In 1862 he joined Company B, Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, and operated in Lower Louisiana until the close of the war, being in several severe skirmishes, and surrendered at Shreveport, after which he returned to the farm. He was justice of the peace some years, and since 1888 has been a member of the police jury from Ward 6. In 1880 he took the census of Wards 6 and 1, and for one year was mayor of Houghton. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Bellevue Lodge No. 95, and was master of Fillmore Lodge some years. He was made a Mason in 1854, and Royal Arch Mason in 1865.
Franklin M. Barnett is a member of the police jury of Bossier Parish from Ward 4, but is a native of Madison County, Ala., his birth occurring near Huntsville, April 4, 1829. His father and mother, Zachariah and Mary F. (Mattison) Barnett, were born in Abbeville District, S. G., but were married in Alabama and resided there until the father's death in 1840, when about thirty-five years of age. The mother came to Louisiana with the subject of this sketch in 1857, and passed from life in this parish. The school days of Franklin M. Barnett were spent in Lauderdale County, Ala., but after the death of his father he devoted his time and attention to making a living for his mother and his brothers and sisters. He has resided on his present farm four miles east of Bed Land since coming to this State, and by the exercise of industry and intelligence he is now in a prosperous condition, financially.
In February, 1863 he joined the Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, Col. Gray's regiment, with which he served until the close of the war, being in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. He was discharged at Shreveport in May, 1865, and farming has since been his principal occupation, but some attention has also been given to Blacksmithing and wagon making. He is a skillful mechanic, and has been employed by people in all directions. He is a prominent and well-known citizen, and in 1888 was elected a member of the police jury, and is now discharging the duties of this office. He was married in 1850 to Miss Mary J. McAdams* of Alabama, who died in 1865, leaving seven children, four now living: T. Z. (a book-keeper at Plain Dealing), Eliza J. (wife of J. L. Cochran, a planter of Lafayette County, Ark.), L. F. (a missionary Baptist minister and farmer residing near his father), and Alice M. (wife of J. M. Lester, also a tiller of the soil in Lafayette County, Ark.). Those deceased are: James W., who died at the age of twenty-one years; and Rufus G. and John M. who were both young at the time of their deaths. On December 24, 1865, Mr. Barnett was married to Miss Huldah E. Cochran, a daughter of Edmond B. Cochran of Alabama, by whom he became the father of the following children: Aaron A., Essie E., Eddie A., Addie J., Luda C. and Dr. J. Allen C. died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Barnett are members of the Missionary Baptist Church, and he is a Mason and a member of Red Land Lodge No. 148. He also belongs to the Farmers' Alliance, and is a Democrat politically.
W. P. Belcher is accounted a successful planter of Bossier Parish, and deservedly so, for all his operations have resulted profitably. He was born in Abbeville District, S. C. in 1833, being the eldest of seven children, six sons and one daughter, born to Robert E. and Mary (Norwood) Belcher, the former being born in Abbeville District in 1811, and his wife in the same place a few years later, their deaths occurring there in 1851 and 1845, respectively. The father was a lawyer and planter and a son of Rev. Washington Belcher, a Virginian by birth, who afterward went to South Carolina, where he died, having followed the calling of a Baptist minister. His wife, formerly Miss Mary Bennett, was born in Maryland and died in South Carolina, also. The Belchers were of English descent, and were among the early settlers of New England, one of whom was one of the colonial governors of Massachusetts.
The maternal grandfather, Williamson Norwood, who was also of English descent, was born and died in Abbeville District, S. C, and although he was reared in poverty he became one of the wealthiest planters of his district by his own efforts. The subject of this sketch, although reared on a farm, was given excellent educational advantages, and graduated from the South Carolina University at Columbia in 1855. He then spent a short time in Kansas, after which three years were devoted to the cotton business in Augusta, Ga., at the end of which time he returned to his home. When the first gun was fired in the late war he joined Capt. J. M. Perrin's company, First South Carolina Infantry, State Troops, and was at the fall of Fort Sumter, and after three months' service he came to Arkansas, but soon after returned and joined Company D, Seventh South Carolina Infantry, and served with the Army of Northern Virginia until Nov. 1861. In January, 1862, he came to Louisiana, and the same month of the following year he became a member of Company P, Fifteenth Arkansas Regiment of Infantry, and was captured at Port Hudson after a long siege of fighting.
After being paroled and exchanged he joined what was known as William Harrison's Cavalry, with which he served until the close of the war as quartermaster-sergeant, surrendering in Mansfield in May, 1865. In February, 1862, he was married in Arkansas to Miss Ella S. Du Bose, daughter of Dr. E. E. and Caroline Du Bose, natives of South Carolina, from which State they moved to Alabama, thence to Arkansas, where they resided until their respective deaths. Mrs. Belcher was born in Glennville, Ala., and died in 1865, having borne one son, Robert E. After the war they resided in Arkansas for three years, but afterward made their home in different parts of Northwestern Louisiana. in 1874 he rented a part of his present farm, and is now the owner of 657 acres, it being one of the most fertile farms on Red River, and all of which he has earned since 1874, as he came here with only $120. He has over 500 acres cleared and raises from 350 to 400 bales of cotton annually. He is one of the substantial planters of the region, and is truly a self-made man.
Lewis C. Biggs is a farmer and stock dealer residing near Bellevue, and was born near the same place in 1857, being a son of Joseph L. and Elizabeth R. (Bryant) Biggs, the former a Tennessean, born in 1814, and the latter born in South Carolina, their marriage taking place in Mississippi. Some time in the forties they took up their abode near Bellevue, and here the mother was called to her long home in 1882, her husband still surviving her. He is a tailor by trade, and after serving a short time in the Confederate army, he was detailed home to make clothing for the Confederate soldiers. He has served several years as coroner of Bossier Parish, and was also for a short time sheriff by virtue of his office as coroner. He is a member of the A. P. & A. M., Bellevue Lodge No. 95, and is a member of the Methodist Church, as was his wife. Lewis C. Biggs is the third of their five children, and in his youth was reared to a knowledge of farm life, his literary education being received at Bellevue and at Homer College.
He was married in 1881 to Miss Mary Lou, daughter of Maj. Robert E. Wyche and Catherine (Hamiter) Wyche, who were born in Alabama and Georgia in 1829 and 1830, respectively, their marriage taking place in Bossier Parish in 1854. The Major was a successful planter, and during the Rebellion commanded a battalion known as Wyche's Battalion of the Confederate States army. His home was in Upper Bossier Parish until 1878, when he was elected to the position of sheriff, and filled the duties of the same until his death, which occurred September 26, 1889. He was a member of the A. F. & A. M., the K. of P., the A. L. of H., and he and his wife were Methodists, she being a daughter of John Hamiter, who came from Georgia when she was a little girl, being one of the early settlers of this region. He died here in 1866, a well-to-do farmer, his wife's death having occurred some time prior to his. Mrs. Biggs was born in Bossier Parish, and her union with Mr. Biggs has resulted in the birth of five children, three of whom are living. Since the war Mr. Biggs has lived in Bellevue, but is the owner of 500 acres of fine farming land, and in connection with tilling the soil is largely engaged in stock raising. He filled the position of constable four years, was deputy sheriff some years, and, socially, is a member of the A. L. of H., Bellevue Lodge No. 1120. His wife is a Methodist.
Samuel A. Boggs came to this locality in 1844 from his native county of Madison, Ala., his birth having occurred there May 25, 1816, his parents, Samuel O. and Mary (Kent) Boggs, being born, reared and married near Savannah, Ga. They moved to Madison County, Ala., when it was a new country, and there continued to reside until the father's death, which occurred at the age of eighty-four years, the mother being about the same age at the time of her death, she dying at the home of a daughter in Talladega County. Mr. Boggs was a planter all his life, was a soldier in the War of 1812, also in one of the Indian wars, and he and his wife were members of the Methodist Church. His father, Joseph Boggs, came from Ireland to the United States prior to the Revolution, and he became a member of the Continental army and was captain of a company, being in a number of hard-fought battles. Samuel A. Boggs was the tenth of eleven children born to his parents, nine of whom grew to maturity and married, he being the only one now living. He spent his school days in Alabama, and in 1836 or 1837 he joined a company to help gather together the Creek Indians before their removal to the reservation prepared for them west of the Mississippi River. Soon after this he commenced to farm in Alabama, and by energy and economy he soon gained a good start, and in 1844 he gathered together all his possessions, and came to Louisiana, and started to opening a farm in the wilderness.
He has always resided within two miles of where he first located, and has opened up a great deal of land. His marriage, which occurred in 1838, was to Miss Jane Cavett, a native of Madison County, Ala., who died December 3, 1861, her birth having occurred in 1822. She became the mother of seven sons and one daughter, five sons and the daughter now living: Alexander C. (who is engaged in saw-milling in the Choctaw Nation), Samuel T. (a member of the well-known mercantile firm of Martin, Boggs & Hughes), Moses J. (who is managing the home place), Henry Luther (is a merchant of Plain Dealing), Jefferson D. (is a clerk in a railroad office in Texas), and Mary L. (who is the wife of Thomas Martin, a planter of Caddo Parish), Arthur (died at the age of thirty-nine years on Red River), James C. (died when a child in Alabama), and Richard V, (who belonged to a Louisiana regiment, and died in St. Mary's Parish). Alexander C. was also a soldier in the Confederate army, and lost his right arm at Atlanta.
The mother of these children was a member of the Baptist Church. In 1863 Mr. Boggs wedded Louisa (Fowler) Davis, widow of J. J. Davis, she being born in the State of Tennessee. She had, by her first husband, one child, A. G. Davis, who recently died, leaving a widow and four children. He was a planter by calling, was also a successful educator and was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church at the time of his death, which occurred when he was thirty-four years old. Mr. Boggs and his wife are Missionary Baptists, and he has been a member of the same for the past forty-one years, this being the first church established here. He has been a Democrat all his life, and for six years prior to the war was a member of the police jury. He has always been noted for his great strength, and, although seventy-four years of age, he is yet hale and hearty.
W. B. Boggs is the efficient mayor of Plain Dealing, Bossier Parish, La., but was born in Benton County, Ala., October 8, 1854, a son of Samuel J. and Lucinda E. (Barnett) Boggs, who came from Alabama to Bossier Parish in 1857, locating in Ward 4, where the father has since resided, his wife having died soon after coming here. W. B. Boggs was educated at Red Land, in this parish, where there was a good local school, and when twenty-one years of age he turned his attention to mercantile pursuits, entering the employ of J. J. Swindle, with whom he has since been associated, a partnership being formed in 1878. They continued at that point until 1884, when Mr. Boggs formed a partnership with S. H. Cochran, their establishment being at Red Land, but in 1888 he again became connected with Mr. Swindle, their drug establishment being one of the finest at Plain Dealing, and in his business career he has always been successful. From 1878 till 1888 he was a member of the police jury from Ward 4, Bossier Parish, and was president of that body in 1880, and clerk in 1882. In 1886 he was a candidate for representative, and later made the race for State senator.
From, 1884 to 1888 he was a member of the school board and of the Journal Club of the House of Representatives, but since the last election he has been mayor of Plain Dealing. In 1888 his friends once more wished him to make the race for representative, and, as before, he lacked only a few votes of election. He has always taken a deep interest in the political affairs of the day as one of the leaders, and has at all times voted and worked for the success of the Democratic party. He became a notary public in 1882, and was postmaster of Red Land from 1879 until recently, when he handed in his resignation, the same not yet having been accepted. November 18, 1880, he was united in marriage to Miss E. Estella Swindle, a daughter of J. J. Swindle, of this parish, and to them three children have been horn: Mattie E., John S. and W. B., Jr. Mr. Boggs is a Mason, and in 1883 and 1887 represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge of the State. He is also a K. of P. and has held all the offices in the Grand Lodge from inner guard to grand vice chancellor, with the exception of grand keeper of the record and seals and grand master of the exchequer, and is now a member of the Farmers'' Alliance. Mr. Boggs' father has been a very successful farmer, and is now fifty-seven years of age. After the death of the mother of W. B., the father married again, and in religious faith is a Missionary Baptist. He is also a Mason and a K. of P., and has represented the K. of P. lodge in the Grand Lodge of the State. He served in a Louisiana regiment during the Rebellion, and was in a number of battles.
Newton C. Brownlee was born and reared in the parish in which he is now residing, his birth occurring November 25, 1852. His father and mother, John A. and Mary J. (Cowan) Brownlee, were born and spent their youthful days in South Carolina, their marriage taking place in that State in 1848, and their removal to Bossier Parish, La., dating the same year. Mr. Brownlee purchased a large plantation here and until the day of his death, in 1861, was one of the well-known planters of this section. His widow survives him, and is a worthy member of the Presbyterian Church. Newton C. Brownlee received his early education in the schools near where he now resides, and in 1871 began life for himself as a planter, on a farm of 300 acres, about 100 acres of which were under cultivation. He is now the owner of 700 acres, 300 of which is a highly fertile and well cultivated tract, finely improved with buildings, etc. He was married in 1877 to Miss Louda, daughter of G. W. and Salina (Sims) Arnold, and to their union a family of two sons and three daughters has been born. Under Gov. Nicholls' first administration, from 1876 to 1879, Mr. Brownlee was a member of the police jury and was also a member of the local school board, proving himself a very able and competent man for the position. He has shown his approval of secret organizations by becoming a member of the Masonic fraternity, Cypress Lodge No. 189, and Louisiana Lodge of the A. O. U. W. He is the second of a family of five children born to his parents, four sons and one daughter.
Orlando B. Childers. The agricultural affairs of Bossier Parish, La., are ably represented by the subject of this sketch, among others, who is an honorable, upright gentleman in every respect, his word being as good as his bond. He was born in Stewart County, Ga., in 1839, his parents being Winfrey and Nancy (Hawkins) Childers, their births occurring in Georgia, in 1804 and 1812, respectively, their marriage taking place in Stewart County, of that State. About 1842 they removed to Alabama, and from there two years later to Natchitoches Parish, La., and in 1862 to Bossier Parish, and in 1877 to Comanche County, Tex., where the mother died in 1881. Mr. Childers then returned to Bossier Parish, and hero spent the remainder of his days, dying in 1884, both he and his wife having been members of the Missionary Baptist Church, his occupation having been that of a farmer. Orlando B. Childers is the third of nine children, three of the family now living, the others being Samuel E. and Daniel, of Natchitoches Parish. Orlando was reared on a farm in Natchitoches Parish, until he was five years old, but his schooling during his youth and early manhood did not exceed a few months.
In 1861 he joined Company D, Nineteenth Louisiana Infantry, Army of Tennessee, and was in the engagements at Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, the Atlanta campaign, Franklin, Nashville, Spanish Fort and Meridian, Miss. He was slightly wounded at Atlanta, but was otherwise uninjured during his service. After the close of the war he returned home, and in 1866 was married to Miss Sophia, daughter of John Hall, but her death occurred in 1873. Two years later Mr. Childers wedded Josephine, daughter of Adolph Lattier, who was born in Bossier Parish, his father, Francis Lattier, being one of the early settlers of this region. Mrs. Childers was born in this parish, and here her children, seven in number, five sous and two daughters, were also born. Mr. Childers is the owner of 262 acres of land, 100 acres of which are cleared and under cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Childers are worthy members of the Catholic Church, and are highly esteemed by all who know them.
Walter T. Colquitt. This well-known and successful young agriculturist of Bossier Parish has resided on his present farm of 350 acres, situated four miles above Shreveport since 1881, and now has nearly the entire tract under a fine state of cultivation and improvement, his annual yield of cotton being from 225 to 270 bales. On his property he has erected a good steam cotton-gin and plantation store, and he has the full satisfaction of knowing that what he has, has been earned by his own efforts. He was born in Lee County, Ala., in 1861, being the youngest of three sons, and remained with his father after coming to Bossier Parish, attending the common schools of his native State, until fourteen years of age. At the age of twenty, he began doing for himself with the abovementioned results, and is now accounted, and justly so, one of the leading agriculturists of this section. He is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and has always shown himself to be public spirited, enterprising and honest. His two brothers are William Homer and Robert Kellam Colquitt, sons of Francis Marion and Mary E. (Kellam) Colquitt, who were born in Georgia, March 21, 1828, and Alabama, December 29, 1834, their deaths occurring in Bossier Parish, La., and Alabama, July 28, 1884, and June 23, 1865, respectively.
They were married in Alabama, and after the mother's death, the father, in 1876, came to Bossier Parish, where he followed planting until his death. He served as an officer throughout the Rebellion, and was a warm supporter of the cause of the Confederacy. He was a Mason, socially, and was a prominent member of the Baptist Church, was fairly educated, an able writer and a deep thinker. He was very genial in all his ways, and was loved by all who knew him for his many worthy traits of character. The mother's father, Judge Robert Kellam, was a prominent politician of Alabama, a farmer by occupation, and died in that State.
Wilson Covington has been a resident of Bossier Parish, La., since 1841, and his example of industry and earnest and sincere endeavor to succeed in life, is well worthy the imitation of the rising generation. He was born in Tippah County, N. C., March 29, 1831, and is a son of Miles and Margaret (Weeks) Covington, who were also born in that State, and came to Bossier Parish, La., in 1841, locating near Red Land, near where the subject of this sketch now resides. Here both parents died, he in 1859, at the age of sixty-one years, and she in 1861, when seventy years of age, both Baptists, the former having been a farmer throughout life, and as such was successful. He was considered one of the best and most practical farmers in this section, was very persevering and industrious, and as a result accumulated an abundant share of this world's goods. Although at first a Whig in politics, he afterward became a Democrat, and remained such the rest of his life. He first removed from his native State to Alabama, then made a six weeks overland trip to this parish, at which time there were very few people here, there being only four families within a radius of four miles. Of nine children born to himself and wife, Wilson is the sixth. When twenty-one years of age he began farming for himself, and is now the owner of a good farm of 380 acres, a considerable portion of which is under cultivation and well improved with excellent buildings. He raises some stock, but makes a specialty of cotton and corn. In March. 1862, he joined the Third Louisiana Cavalry, and remained with the same until the close of the war, participating in many sharp skirmishes.
In May, 1865, he left the command at Alexandria, La., and came home, and here, in 1870, opened a dry goods store at Red Land, being a member of the firm of Swindle, Crawford & Co. This firm was afterward dissolved, and Mr. Covington and Mr. Crawford became associated in business, and remained thus associated for five years, since which time Mr. Covington has devoted his attention to farming exclusively. In 1852 he was married to Mrs. Helen (Moore) Montgomery, a daughter of Charles Moore, of Arkansas, in which State she was also born. They are members of the Baptist Church, and he is a Democrat in his political views and belongs to the Farmers' Alliance. Hon. Robert H. Curry is the present representative of Bossier Parish in the General Assembly of the State, but was born in Fairfield District, S. C , November 26, 1842, being the son of Robert P. and Mary Caroline (Parr) Curry, the former a native of South Carolina, and the latter of Warrington, Va. Mr. Curry, Sr., was a lifelong Democrat, and was a farmer by occupation, dying in South Carolina in 1884, at the age of eighty-four years. His wife died when the subject of this sketch was a boy of six years.
Our subject's only schooling was received in the country schools of Fairfield District. Leaving the school room and his books in the early part of 1862, he joined Company F of the Twelfth South Carolina Infantry. His first engagement was at Port Royal, S. C, and when that place was taken by the Federals, he managed to escape, and served the remainder of the war in the Virginian army under Gens. A. P. Hill and Stonewall Jackson, being in all the principal battles up to the engagement of Spotsylvania, where he was captured and held fourteen months a prisoner, four months of which time he was held as a hostage, being confined in a cell 4x6 feet, not seeing the light of the sun during these long months of solitude. At Fort Delaware, under command of Gen. Scheoff, U. S. A., being a prisoner in close confinement, he was by order of the Secretary of War, paroled and released just before the fall of Petersburg. On his arrival at home, the booming of Sherman's artillery greeted his ears. Not being permitted to bear arms, under penalty of death (condition of parole), he assisted the sheriff in preserving the record of his district. His father's home being devastated by Sherman's raid, he determined to unite with his command again and risk the consequences, which he did the evening before the surrender near Farmville, Va. He was severely wounded by a musket ball at the second battle of Manassas in the right ankle, which makes him a cripple at the present writing. After The close of the war he spent some months superintending a merchant-mill owned by his uncle, Henry W. Parr. In the fall of 1865 he came to Bossier Parish in company with several citizens of Fairfield, one of whom, Mrs. Margaret (Martin) Bell, soon afterward became his wife.
She died of heart disease in the fall of 1881, leaving three children: Carrie (who was educated at the Minden Female Seminary), Robert Turner (educated at Thatcher Institute, Shreveport, acquitting himself with honors, now a student of law), and Maggie E. Curry (now a student of Kate P. Nelson Seminary of Shreveport). January 8, 1888, Mr. Curry wedded Miss Mollie B. Banks of this parish, and by her has one son, Glenn Hamilton, named for a schoolmate and war comrade. Mr. Curry has been a consistent supporter of Democratic principles, and in 1887 his party showed their appreciation by electing him to the State Legislature, the last session of which will be ever remembered in this State on account of House Bill No. 214, providing for an amendment to the Constitution re-chartering the Louisiana State Lottery.
Mr. Curry's name is enrolled as one of the thirty-two that opposed the bill in the Lower House of the General Assembly. Mr. Curry, being a farmer, has always been interested in agricultural affairs, encouraging and assisting in all agricultural organizations, being an active member of the Grange, the Alliance, and others, often being chairman of the executive committees of these organizations, also a member of the Democratic executive committee of the parish. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and socially belongs to the orders of A. L. of H. and the K. of P. William N. Doles was born in Bossier Parish, La., forty-three years ago on June 9, to Willis D. and Mary P. (Shaw) Doles, the former a Virginian by birth, and the latter a native of Louisiana, their marriage taking place in the latter State, the father having come here in 1840, when a young man. He has always been a planter, is a Democrat, politically, and served in the Creek War in Georgia and Florida. On coming to Bossier Parish, he was one of the first permanent settlers, and for some time had charge of the Cottage Grove plantation. Although eighty years of age, he is yet quite hale and hearty.
The subject of this sketch is one of their five children, and his education was obtained in the schools of Bossier and Clarksville, Tex., but after remaining there for two sessions he left school to join the Confederate army and for fifteen months served in Col. Bird's battalion, First Mississippi Cavalry, and did courier service most of the time. He was paroled at Shreveport, June 8, 1865, after which he engaged in the mercantile business near Dixie, remaining there four years, when he went to Lafayette County, Ark., and was engaged in farming five years. He then returned to Bossier Parish and purchased eighty acres of land, on which he has since resided. He has taught school nearly every year since 1885, and is considered an excellent educator and a good disciplinarian. In January, 1889, he received the appointment of Tax assessor of Bossier Parish, and has successfully filled the same up to the present time. He was married, in April, 1868, to Miss M. F. McLeigh, of this parish, and by her is the father of six children: E. M. (aged nineteen), August L. (aged seventeen), Mamie E. (aged fourteen), Carrie Belle (aged twelve), Lillian M. (aged ten) and William N., Jr. (aged eight). Mr. Doles and his wife are Presbyterians, and he belongs to the following social organizations: A. F. & A. M., K. of P. and the Farmers' Alliance. He has always voted the straight Democratic ticket, and is a believer in tariff and revenue reform.
E. S. Dortch, a leading planter and police juror of Ward No. 1, and postmaster at Ash Point, La., was born in Claiborne County, Miss., September 15, 1841, being a son of Edward and Nancy (Wooldridge) Dortch, the former born in East Feliciana Parish, La., in 1798, and Claiborne County, Miss., in 1805. They were married in Mississippi in 1838, and there made their home until about 1843, when they came to Bossier Parish and settled near Fillmore, the mother's death occurring here in 1858 and the father's in 1880, both having been members of the Methodist Church for many years. They were among the pioneers of this section, coming here when the country was almost a wilderness, inhabited by bears, deer, turkeys, wolves, and numerous Indians. Their nearest trading point and post office at that time was Minden, over thirty miles away. Here they improved two good farms. The paternal grandfather, Nathan Carroll Dortch, was born and spent his life in North Carolina, but the mother's father, Col. William Wooldridge, died in Mississippi, having been a colonel in the War of 1812, and with Jackson at the battle of New Orleans.
Edward Dortch was married twice, his last wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, bearing him four children, of whom E. S. was the second child and only son. He was reared on a farm during the pioneer days of Bossier Parish, and received the greater part of his schooling at Minden. In 1861 he joined Company D. Ninth Louisiana Infantry, Army of Northern Virginia, and was wounded in the second battle of Bull Bun, but was also in the fights at Chancellorsville, Antietam, seven days fight around Richmond, Wilderness, Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, Malvern Hill, Cold Harbor and numerous others. He was captured at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House, and for about two months was a prisoner at Fort Delaware. He surrendered with Lee at Appomattox Court House, and returned home, where he clerked for three years in a store at Knox Point, holding the position of book-keeper for five years at Fillmore.
In 1876 he was married to Miss Susie P., a daughter of David Piatt, a native of South Carolina, in which State he was married, and about 1841, or 1842, came to Bossier Parish, La., where both died, the father in 1885, and the mother in 1859, the former having been a well-to-do farmer. Mrs. Dortch was born in this parish and died September 19, 1885, having been an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. She has two daughters who are now living. Since his marriage Mr. Dortch has resided on his present farm, which comprises 420 acres, situated about twenty miles below Shreveport, and also owns 500 acres in another tract, all of which has been earned by his own efforts. He raises about 200 bales of cotton annually, and for the past fourteen years has conducted a general mercantile store on his plantation, which has proved a profitable source of revenue. Since 1878, he has held the office of justice of the peace, and ten years of this time he has also been a member of the police jury, being president of that body for a number of years, and never missing a meeting. He was once a delegate to the Democratic State Convention at Baton Rouge, and has also been a member of the congressional convention at Natchitoches. He is one of the men who has helped to build up Bossier Parish, and has ever had the interests of the section at heart.
Lawson K. Hodges is a planter living on Red River, in Ward 1, of Bossier Parish, La. He was born in 1840, the second son of Gen. John L. and Mary B. (Hamilton) Hodges, who came at an early day from Georgia to this parish. Mary B. Hamilton was the daughter of William Hamilton, one of the most distinguished Georgian pioneers in the State of Louisiana. Gen. Hodges was one of the most eminent gentlemen of North Louisiana, a statesman and a patriot, who commanded universal respect, and exercised a powerful influence for the benefit of his district. He was one of the most extensive planters on Red River at the opening of the war. His wife died in 1853 and he in 1800, leaving four sous and three daughters. Their eldest son was killed while gallantly fighting at the second battle of Manassas. Lawson K. Hodges, after leaving college at the early age of nineteen, went to planting on his own responsibility, and by prudence, skill and financial ability has added largely in acres by purchase to his inherited plantation.
Today he is one of the most successful, progressive and respected planters of the Red River Valley. No gentleman of his ward wields more influence in all political matters, and none stands higher in public estimation. His annual cotton crop amounts to from 200 to 250 bales, and his plantation is a model for good cultivation, fine improvements and most excellent management of his laborers. In 1875 he was most happily united in marriage to Miss Annie D. Alexander, a daughter of Col. George D. and Palmyra G. (Hunter) Alexander, of Arkansas. Her father, Col. Alexander, still living, is one of the oldest and most distinguished educators of the South and West.
He is the only surviving one of the three pioneer educators, who emigrated to the State of Arkansas, and is one of the most-noted lovers of the gun and dog, having a world-wide reputation from his numerous hunting sketches, contributed to the best sporting journals of the world. Mrs. Annie Hodges is a lady, refined, elegant and cultured, noted for her kind attentions to the sick, her charities, and her devotion to flowers, and her model housekeeping. They have but one living child, a lovely, intelligent and amiable daughter, just entering her teens, and now a pupil in the '' Kate Nelson Seminary'' of Shreveport. Mrs. Hodges is a member of the Baptist denomination, as were the parents of her husband, who, though not a member, yet is of that religious belief. There is not a pleasanter place to visit than "Gold Dust," their cozy residence, embowered among the rarest of flowers, where Mr. and Mrs. Hodges dispense their generous hospitality.
W. H. and C. B. Hodges, brothers of L. K. Hodges, whose sketch appears above, were also born in Bossier Parish, La., the former in 1851 and the latter two years later. They were given the advantages of the common schools near their home, and being boys of energy, enterprise and determination, they began doing for themselves at an early age, and are now deservedly ranked among the most successful planters of the parish, for by their own exertions they have become the owners of about 1,500 acres of valuable land, of which some 400 acres are in a fine state of cultivation, devoted principally to the cultivation of cotton, the annual yield being about 250 bales. Like their brother, they possess fine executive ability, and are shrewd financiers, knowing the full value of money, and the proper use to which to put it. They are progressive in their ideas, thrifty and industrious, honorable in every particular, and consequently fully deserve the success which has attended their efforts. W. H. Hodges is still single, but C. B. was married to Miss Llewella Lockwell, by whom he is the father of five children. He is a member of the K. of P. of Shreveport.
W. J. Hughes is a native of Fairfield, S. C. where he was born in 1837, being a son of W. J. and Elizabeth (Brown) Hughes, both of whom were born in Chester County, S. O., the former in 1804, and the latter in 1814. They were tillers of the soil and worthy members of the Presbyterian Church. The grandfather, W. J. Hughes, fought under Marion in the Revolutionary War, and was a Virginian by birth, being born in 1708. The great-grandfather, W. J. Hughes, was born in Ireland. W. J. Hughes obtained an academic education at Alexandria, Calhoun County, Ala., and from 1857 to 1800, was a clerk in a wholesale grocery house, and a retail dry goods store. In the last named year he removed to Bossier Parish, La., and farmed on rented land until the opening of the war, when he joined Company D, Ninth Louisiana Regiment, under Col. E. G. Randolph, his operations being wholly in the State of Virginia, being present at the battles of Newtown, Winchester, Cross Keys, Gaines' Mill and in the seven days' tight around Richmond.
On June 9, 1862, he was promoted to the position of quartermaster of his regiment, and at the time of the surrender he was on detached service at Salisbury, N. C , under York. on September 20, 1866, his marriage with Mary, daughter of Daniel and Malinda (Martin) Clark, took place, and in time a family of four children gathered about their hearthstone: William C. (engaged in merchandising in partnership with his brother), John P., James A. (engaged in farming at home), and Belle (at school in Shreveport, La.). Upon his return from the war Mr. Hughes borrowed some capital and engaged in merchandising at Rocky Mount, in which he did remarkably well, and now has one of the largest stocks of general merchandise and farming implements in this section. For the past ten years his business has amounted to about $30,000 annually, and besides this he is interested in two other mercantile houses in Bossier Parish, and is the owner of 3,400 acres of land in Ward 5, 120 acres in Ward 4, has a half interest in 1,000 acres in Red River land, in Ward 3, on Red River, and one-half interest in 1,400 acres of Red River land in Caddo Parish, all of which is the result of his own efforts and owing to his shrewdness and ability as a financier. Mr. Hughes is the second of four sons born to his parents, the names of his brothers being: John T. A., R. P. (both of whom are farmers of Alabama), and James M. (a clerk in W. J. Hughes store).
Dr. C. H. Irion. Among the people of Bossier, as well as the surrounding parishes, the name of Dr. Irion is almost a household word, for he has been an active practitioner of this section since 1884, and during his career as a practitioner of the healing art he has won an enviable reputation. He was born in Avoyelles Parish, La., in 1861, to Hon. A. B. and Caroline (King) Irion, both of whom were born in this State, the former in 1833 and the latter in 1836. The former was a graduate of the University of North Carolina, in the class of 1853 or 1854, and after leaving college began practicing law at Marksville, La., a calling he followed until the breaking out of the late war, when he espoused the Confederate cause and served until near the close, when he was elected to the State Legislature and returned home to enter upon his duties. After the cessation of hostilities he resumed the practice of his profession, and in 1880 was elected, by the Legislature, as circuit judge of the district, of which Rapides, Avoyelles, Saint Landry and Calcasieu Parishes compose a part, and served four years. Immediately upon the expiration of his term he was elected to Congress from the Sixth District, serving faithfully and efficiently one term.
He was married in 1859, his wife being a member of a prominent Louisiana family. His father, Robert R. Irion, was born in Virginia in 1808, and with his parents removed to Louisiana about 1823, his father being George Irion, a major in the Revolutionary War. Dr. C. H. Irion was educated at home by private tutors, but his knowledge of medicine was acquired in Tulane University, Louisiana. He is now one of the leading physicians in this parish, and gives every promise of becoming eminent in his profession, for he not only gives each case a thorough diagnosis but studies each with interest and intelligence. He was married in 1887 to Miss Kate Stafford, by whom he has two children, a son and a daughter. He is a member of the K. of P., and in his political views is a Democrat, being a member of the Democratic Executive Committee of Bossier Parish. His wife is a daughter of Gen. Leroy A. and Catherine (Wright) Stafford, natives of Louisiana. The former was killed on May 9, 1864, at Chancellorsville, the same field on which Gen. Jackson was killed. His widow survives him, and is a resident of Rapides Parish.
W. C. Keith, a planter of Ward 5, was born in South Carolina in 1820, being the second of six children, four sons and two daughters, born to Littleton and Mary (Coker) Keith, both born in the Palmetto State, in 1798. They were also married in that State, followed the occupation of farming there, but Mr. Keith died in Alabama in 1833, and Mrs. Keith in Bossier Parish in 1872, both being members of the Baptist Church. The boyhood days of W. C. Keith were spent on a farm in Alabama, but in 1865 he removed to Bossier Parish, La., and purchased the farm of 300 acres on which he is now living, which is a finely improved tract, with 250 acres in an enviable state of cultivation. He was married in Troy, Ala., in 1851, to Miss Martha A. E. Urquhart, a daughter of Henry S. and Martha (Scott) Urquhart, both native Georgians. The father was a judge of the county court of Pike County, Ala., for a period of several years, and in that State passed from life in 1884, his wile dying in Georgia in 1842, he being a member of the Baptist Church and she of the Presbyterian Church. W. C. Keith is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Bellevue Lodge No. 95, and also belongs to the Farmers' Alliance at Rooky Mount. To himself and wife a family of six children have been born, four sons and two daughters, only one of whom is now living: J. L. (who is married, and lives on a farm in Ward 5), and Emma A. (a daughter, married a Mr. McKinney, and at the time of her death, in 1880, was the mother of five children).
Beverly A. Kelly, clerk of the district court, ex-officio recorder and notary public, at Bellevue, La., was born in what is now Webster Parish, La., July 9, 1851, to William A. and Martha A. (De Loach) Kelly, who were born in South Carolina and Georgia, in 1815 and 1821, respectively, their marriage taking place in Montgomery County, Ala., and resulting in the birth of eleven children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the sixth, two sons and two daughters now living. In 1843 or 1844 William A. Kelley removed with his family to Union Parish, and two years later to what is now Webster Parish, being then part of Bossier Parish, and in 1850 to Bellevue, where he conducted a hotel and managed a wagon shop until his death, in 1868. He was a member of the police jury for some years, and was parish treasurer during the war, and until 1867 or 1868 after the war.
He was a member of the F. & A. M., a Methodist, but his widow, who died in 1886, was a Baptist. The subject, of this sketch was reared and educated at Bellevue, the parish seat of Bossier, and for three or four years following his sixteenth year was in a printing office, after which he clerked and kept books in a store for five or six years, and during 1870 and again in 1870, he held the office of deputy clerk. In 1880 he engaged in the mercantile business for himself at Bellevue for seven or eight years; and the same year he was elected parish treasurer and ex-officio school treasurer, which positions he filled until 1890. In December, 1889, he was appointed district clerk for Bossier Parish, and these positions he filled to the satisfaction of all concerned. In January, 1878, he was married to Eudocia, the daughter of Judge Benjamin P. and Virginia E. Fort, natives of Georgia, who came to Bossier Parish about 1851, their deaths occurring here in 1881 and 1887, respectively. Judge Fort was a successful lawyer, and filled the positions of parish judge from 1874 to 1878, and parish treasurer for some years before the war. The wife of Mr. Felly was born in Bossier Parish, in 1853, and her union with Mr. Kelly resulted in the birth of five children, one son and two daughters now living. Mr. Kelly has 245 acres of improved land, and about 400 acres unimproved on Red River; also several tracts of hill land, and has the satisfaction of knowing that this property has been earned by his own efforts. He is secretary of the Farmers' Alliance, but belongs to no church denomination.
He is a member of the K. of P., having filled several positions in the order, including that of chancellor commander. He is a member of the L. of H , and fills the position in his lodge of commander. Mr. Kelly has worked himself up in the positions he has filled by his own efforts mainly, as he had but little educational advantages. On account of the death of his father, he was necessarily taken away from school at the early age of sixteen years, and what information he acquired since was by self application.
Dr. Paul Lawrence is one of the very foremost of the professional men of Bossier Parish, and is a physician of acknowledged merit throughout this region. He was born in Lowndes County, Miss., in 1839, being the son of David and Susan (Riggs) Lawrence, both of whom were born in South Carolina, he in 1800, and she about ten years later. Their marriage took place in their native State, and from there they moved to Mississippi, where Mrs. Lawrence died when Paul was a lad. Mr. Lawrence was married 'again, and in 1849 came to Bossier Parish, where he followed the occupation of a farmer and was a local Methodist minister until his death, which occurred in 1805. He was a member of the A. P. & A. M. at Minden, and was a son of Nathaniel Lawrence, a South Carolinian who died in Mississippi when over eighty years of age, being of Irish descent.
The Doctor is one of two sons and two daughters, and in addition to assisting his father on the home farm in his youth he attended Fillmore Academy, and in the winter of 1860-61, was an attendant of the medical department of the University of New Orleans. At the breaking out of the war he left this institution to join the Confederate army, and enlisted in Company B, Nineteenth Louisiana Infantry, Army of the Tennessee, and was at Shiloh, Chickamauga, where he was wounded in the shoulder at Dalton, and at New Hope Church, where he lost his right leg in May, 1864, and was soon after taken to relatives in Mississippi, where he remained until the summer of 1805, at which time he returned home and resumed the study of medicine.
In 1867 he graduated from his former alma mater and at once began practicing near his old home in Bossier Parish, in which locality he won the confidence and respect of all who know him. He was married in 1870 to Miss Mary J., daughter of William P. and Harriet Haughton, the former a South Carolinian and the latter born in Tennessee. They removed first to Mississippi, and about 1840 or 1847, settled where the town of Haughton now is. Here he died in 1850, and his widow in 1878, both Methodists, and he a farmer and teacher by occupation. Mrs. Lawrence was born on the farm on which she is now living, being the mother of two sons and seven daughters. The Doctor is the owner of 1,300 acres of land in two tracts, the most of which he has earned by his own efforts, and his residence is handsome and comfortable. He and wife are members of the Methodist Church, and socially he belongs to the K. of P., Friendship Lodge No. 13, of Haughton. The Doctor has a younger brother, Thomas H., who served in the same company and regiment that he did during the war, and escaped without a wound. He is now a farmer in Panning County, Tex.
Capt. Thomas Lyles is a farmer and merchant, residing in Ward No. 5, Bossier Parish, La., but in 1837, was born in the Palmetto State where his parents, Thomas M. and Eliza (Peay) Lyles were born, the former in 1813, and the latter in 1817. Mr. Lyles was a graduate of the South Carolina College at Columbia, and was an extensive planter of that State prior to the war, being the owner of several hundred slaves. He and his wife still reside in their native State, and are members of the Baptist Church. Maj. William S. Lyles, an uncle of the subject, of this sketch, was a member of the convention that adopted the ordinances of secession at Columbia, and prior to that time, represented Fairfield County in both houses of the General Assembly of the State for several terms.
Capt. Thomas Lyles graduated from the same institution from which his father graduated, being a member of the class of 1858, and after finishing his education, came to Bossier Parish, La., purchased a valuable plantation, and commenced the culture of cotton on an extensive scale. At his country's call he entered the infantry service, becoming a member of the Ninth Louisiana Regiment, under Col. Randolph, and after operating in Virginia for about nine months he was taken with a very severe case of typhoid-pneumonia, from which he did not recover for six months. on account of disability he was temporarily discharged, but at the end of one month re-entered the service, and was with the Twentieth South Carolina Regiment on Sullivan's Island, and participated in the defense of Battery Wagener on Morris Island during the famous siege of said battery. Later he was transferred to Virginia and served under Gen. Early in the valley campaign, after which he returned to Charleston, and was there when it was evacuated, and surrendered with his command at Greensboro, N. C. He then returned to his former home in Louisiana, where he resumed farming, continuing this alone until 1880, when he began merchandising at Midway, and has followed these occupations up to the present time. He has become well known throughout this region, and has served as police juror of Bossier Parish for several consecutive terms, and was also a member of the school board for several terms.
Thomas M. Love is at present actively engaged in operating a saw-mill, a grist-mill and a cotton gin in Bossier Parish, three miles northeast of Plain Dealing, on the Shreveport & Camden road. He has resided here, with the exception of fifteen years, from 1861 to 1876, since 1857, at which time he came from Benton County, Ala. He was born in Shelby County, of that State, July 15, 1835, a son of Fieldon and Cynthia (Langley) Love, who were born in Abbeville District, S. O., and Shelby County, Ala., respectively. Fieldon Love removed to Alabama when young, and in that State made his home until 1868, when he came to Lafayette County, Ark., dying here the same year, at the age of sixty years. His wife died in Alabama during the war, being a little younger than her husband. He was a tiller of the soil until he was elected to the office of sheriff of Calhoun County, Ala., and discharged his duties in such an efficient manner that he continued to be re elected until he had served eleven years; prior to that time he had served as constable for some time. He was a prominent and popular citizen, and he and his wife were both honored and respected by all who knew them.
They were members of the Methodist Church and he was a Master Mason, and in his political views a Democrat. He inherited English blood of his father, Tyra Love, who was born in South Carolina, and died in Alabama, having been a soldier in the War of 1812. Thomas M. Love was the fourth often children born to his parents, and was the eldest son in the family. His youth was spent in his native State, and when a young man he commenced working as a mechanic, for which calling he had a natural aptitude, and he soon acquired considerable skill as a Blacksmith, wagon maker and house carpenter. These callings he gave up in May, 1862, to enlist in the Confederate army, becoming a member of Company B, Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, commanded by Col. Gray, with which he served until discharged at Mansfield, this being in May, 1865. He took part in many battles, among which may be mentioned: Milliken's Bend, Richmond, Simsport, Patterson, Mansfield, Pleasant Hill, and numerous others of minor importance. He was never wounded nor taken prisoner, and at the close of the war turned his attention to farming and the milling business, and in both these capacities has been remarkably successful.
In 1880 he erected a mill on his present farm, but was so unfortunate as to be burned out in 1884, but nothing daunted, he immediately rebuilt, and is now conducting affairs on quite an extensive scale. He is the owner of 200 acres of fertile farming land, besides some valuable town property in Bossier Parish, also a good farm in the State of Arkansas. His residence property in Plain Dealing amounts to twelve lots, on three of which are residences and on one a store. He expects to remove to this town in a short time, and will erect a store building on one of his lots. He is the owner of the K. of P. Hall at that place. The first house in the town was made of lumber sawed at his mill.
He was married in 1855, to Miss Irena Barnett, daughter of Zach and Mary Barnett, of Calhoun County, Ala., but she died in her native State, in 1857, having borne three children, all of whom are deceased: Fieldon, Judson and Irena. In 1858 he was married to Miss Jackey Odelia Cochran, a daughter of Edmon Cochran, who was born in Alabama. To them three children have been born: Hattie (wife of John Davis, of Texas), Fieldon and Henry. Samuel, Henry, Judson and Lucius are deceased. Mrs. Love is a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and Mr. Love is a Mason, a K. of P. and has represented both lodges in the Grand Lodge. He is a stanch Democrat in his political views.
John A. W. Lowry is the attorney for the Second Judicial District of Louisiana, and in the conduct of his affairs has shown singular ability and shrewdness. He was born at Bellevue, La., January 12, 1848, his parents being John A. W. and Sarah A. (Miles) Lowry, who were born in the State of Mississippi, their marriage taking place in Natchez of that State. In an early day they removed to East Feliciana Parish, and some time in the thirties came to Bellevue, where they spent the rest of their lives, the father dying in December, 1847, and the mother in 1887, an earnest member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Lowry was of the same family as Ex-Gov. Lowry, of Mississippi. The immediate subject of this sketch was the youngest of three sons and three daughters, and he and a sister are the only ones of the family now living. He was educated in the State University of Louisiana, where he spent four years, after which he spent some time in teaching the young idea how to shoot, but, prior to taking his collegiate course, he had worked at the printer's trade.
In 1872 he began studying law, this being while he was teaching school, and three years later he was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of the State, and has since become well known as an able practitioner throughout Bossier, Webster and Bienville Parishes. He was parish attorney for some years, and in 1880 was elected district attorney, being now actively engaged in discharging the duties of his third term, or tenth year. He was married in 1878, to Miss Elizabeth Eubank, a native of the Lone Star State. Mr. Lowry is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Bellevue Lodge No. 95, being master of the same at one time, but is now secretary. He also belongs to the A. L. of H , No. 1120, Bellevue Council.
William D. Mercer has been highly successful as a planter, and his plantation, which is one of the best in the parish, comprises 1,145 acres, situated about twenty miles below Shreveport, the home farm containing 260 acres. He started out in life for himself with nothing, but now has one of the loveliest homes in this section of the country, and as he is a thoroughgoing and industrious citizen, he raises about 300 bales of cotton annually. He was born in Butler County, Ala., in 1836, being the fifth of seven children born to the marriage of William Mercer and Delilah Ganby, who were born and married in South Carolina, their removal to Alabama being soon after their marriage. The father was a farmer by calling, and followed this occupation in his native State and Alabama until his death, which occurred in the latter State in 1878, his widow following him to his long home the following year, she being an earnest and consistent member of the Methodist Church at the time of her demise. Seth Mercer, the paternal grandfather, died in Butler County, Ala., and the maternal grandfather, Bookey Ganby, died in South Carolina. William D. Mercer unfortunately never attended school more than six months in his life, but by his own efforts, and by contact with the world, he became an excellent and perfectly capable man of business.
He left the shelter of his parents' roof at the age of eighteen years, and when twenty years old he came to Natchitoches Parish, La., moving shortly after to Caddo Parish, where, in 1862, he joined Company B, Second Louisiana Cavalry, and took an active part in numerous skirmishes. At the close of the war he returned to farm life, and in 1872 was married in Bossier Parish to Miss Ella, daughter of Edward B. Lock, who removed from Mississippi to this parish before the war, and died here soon after the close of hostilities. Mrs. Mercer was born in Mississippi, and has borne her husband eight children, three sous and five daughters. The family has resided on their present farm since 1871, and are among the substantial and honored families of the parish, Mrs. Mercer being a member of the Methodist Church. William J. Mobley, M. D. The profession of the physician, when properly conducted, is one of the noblest callings to which a man can devote his life, and to say that Dr. Mobley has made a proper use of the powers given him would be a very mild statement of the case. He was born in Bienville Parish in 1843, a son of William and Martha A. (Williams) Mobley, the former born in South Carolina in 1801, and the latter in Illinois, in 1819, their marriage taking place in Bienville Parish in 1841. The father was a farmer, and in all probability erected the first water mill in that parish.
He died in 1884, but his widow still survives him and makes her home with her son, Dr. William J. Mobley. The paternal grandfather, Michael Mobley, was born in South Carolina, and died in Mississippi, but the mother's father was a native of Wales, and died in his native land when Mrs. Mobley was a child. The Doctor is the second of three children, two sons and one daughter, and was reared on his father's plantation in Louisiana, the advantages of the country schools being given him, and also the college at Mount Lebanon. In 1862 he left college and joined Company C, Ninth Louisiana Infantry, the most of his service being confined to the State of Virginia; but he was in thirty-two important engagements and many skirmishes. He was wounded in the fight at Sharpsburg, and was home a short time on furlough, but afterward surrendered with Lee at Appomattox Court House, and returned, where he devoted his time to teaching school and studying medicine, graduating from the medical department of the New Orleans University (now Tulane University), in 1869. He began practicing in Sparta, but in 1870 removed to Bellevue, where he has built up an excellent reputation and a large and paying practice.
Since 1879 he has also given his attention to the drug business, and in all the enterprises to which he has devoted his attention he has been successful, and is now the owner of 1,000 acres of fine farming land, all of which has been obtained through persistent and honorable endeavor. He has always taken quite an active interest in the political affairs of his parish, and, in addition to being coroner of Bossier Parish for some years, he was secretary of the school board for four years, and was president of the board of examiners of the schools. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Bellevue Lodge No. 95, and was master several times, but is at this time senior warden. He also belongs to the A. L. of H. of Bellevue, No. 1120. He was married in 1870 to Miss Mattie L., daughter of Eldred and Mary Hardy, the former born in South Carolina and the latter in Bienville Parish, the father's death occurring in the latter place. Mrs. Mobley was born in Bienville Parish, and is a worthy member of the Missionary Baptist Church, her husband being deacon and clerk in the same.
B. E. Nash, a highly respected and well known planter of Bossier Parish, La., is a native of the State of Alabama, his birth occurring in 1842, and was the second of eight children, three sons and one daughter now living, born to the marriage of J. Nash and D. M. Horn, the former of whom was born in North Carolina, about 1810, and the latter in Alabama, in 1817. Mr. Nash's ancestors were French Huguenots. His early education was received in South Carolina, but in 1833 he removed to Alabama, in which State he afterward followed the occupation of a merchant. He was married in that State about 1838, but in 1844 removed to Mississippi, where he took up farming, and also operated a saw and grist-mill. He was a member of the A. F. & A. M., the Methodist Church, and passed from life in Mississippi in 1802, his wife's death having occurred in Alabama, in 1853. The subject of this sketch was given common school advantages in Alabama, and being a youth of good judgment he improved his opportunities to the utmost and became au intelligent and well-informed young man.
At the opening of the war he was in the drug business, but gave up this calling to become a volunteer in Company A, Tenth Mississippi Rifles, his company being the first to tender its services to the Confederate government, and he being the first one of his company to volunteer. He operated in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky, the battles which he took part in being: Shiloh, Murfreesboro and the first battle of Jackson, Miss. At Shiloh he was shot in his left shoulder, which necessitated his retirement from the service from April to December 1802, and at Murfreesboro he was wounded in the right leg, the small bone being broken. He was then discharged from the service on account of permanent disability, but afterward when the governor called for three months' volunteers, he once more offered his services, and entered a cavalry company of State Militia, composed of disabled soldiers and boys too young for regular service.
After being disbanded, Mr. Nash went to Texas and entered the cavalry service of the Rio Grande, under Col. Ford, in which he was afterward elected first lieutenant, and still later captain to fill the vacancy caused by the disablement of the regular captain. He was in the last engagement of the war, Palmetto Ranche, and on May 31, 1865, his company was disbanded and he returned to his former pursuit, that of a druggist, following the calling in New Orleans and Shreveport, La. His marriage, which took place in 1877, was to Miss Minnie, daughter of Maj. W. H. and Elizabeth (Adger) Ellison, both born in South Carolina, the former in 1810, and the latter in 1820, their deaths occurring in 1876 and 1873, respectively. Mr. Ellison was a member of the A. P. & A. M., and his wife, as well as himself, was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Since his marriage, Mr. Nash has resided on a farm in Ward No. 5, Bossier Parish. From 1883 to 1888 he served as assessor and registrar of this parish, and was a very efficient official. He is a member of the K. of P., Rocky Mount Lodge No. 21, and is also a member of the Farmers' Union. His wife belongs to the Presbyterian Church, which church their children, who number three, also attend. Three children are deceased.
Capt. John H. Nattin is one of the most extensive planters of Bossier Parish, and since his residence in this parish he has been noted for honorable, upright dealing and intelligence. His birth occurred in Claiborne Parish, La., February 23, 1840, and his literary education was received in Minden, Shreveport and Cottage Grove, La. He lived in Minden and Shreveport about twelve years, after that time labored upon a farm five years. He left his parents on March 25, 1858, to clerk for G. W. Sentell, a merchant of Collinsburg (now a large commission merchant of New Orleans, La.), and later for W. M. Sentell & Co., and then for N. W. Sentell & Co. In 1866 he was admitted as a partner of the last named firm. In 1875 he bought out his partner's interest, and for the past fifteen years has been one of the leading business men of Collinsburg. He still remains at the first place, where he was taught to use the yard stick, which is more than most boys can say.
In 1861, he was one of the first to leave his parish to go to the war and served as a, private the first year. In 1862, at the reorganization of the army in Virginia, he was made second lieutenant, and took part in the engagements at Port Royal, Strausburg, Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Republic, Cold Harbor and Malvern Hill, also three days engagement at second battle of Manassas, and many other skirmishes. He was in more engagements than any officer of his company or as many as any one of the regiment up to the time he was wounded; was shot through the left lung and left arm, and reported mortally wounded in the fight; on the second day he commanded a brigade of skirmishers; Gen. Gordon, with body guard, rode up and was saluted by Lieut. Nattin. An engagement was going on at the time between a rebel and a Yankee battery. It was nip and tuck which would win; first one and then the other had the advantage.
Gen. Gordon rode out in the open field, when the grapeshot began to fall. One struck Lieut. Nattin's sword and one his foot; the one that struck his foot he picked up and was passing it from one hand to the other to keep it from burning when Gen. Gordon rode up. Lieut. Nattin saluted him, which was his last salute to Gen. Gordon. As the latter rode off he remarked to Lieut. Nattin that "it is not so pleasant, now, Lieutenant."The skirmishers were called back and Lieut. Nattin commanded his company the balance of the day. In 1863 he was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department. That fall he raised Cavalry Company D, Sixth Louisiana Regiment, and was made captain of same. His regiment was dismounted afterward, but he was allowed to keep his horse as he was incapacitated for infantry service. He continued in active service most of the time until the close. He was a member of the general court-martial band at Monroe, La., with many able lawyers. He disbanded his company in Louisiana, his record as a soldier from the beginning to the close of the war being excellent.
He is a Democrat, and has been a delegate to several conventions of note, and has always worked faithfully and well for the success of his party. Since 1880 he has been postmaster of Collinsburg, and in 1887 he was married to Miss Mollie Barnes, a native of North Carolina, but moved to Bossier Parish in 1870. They have three children, one girl, Clio, and two boys, N. Harry and George W. Nattin. One son, J. Hall Nattin, fifteen years old, was by the former marriage, his mother's maiden name being Fannie Hall. Mr. Nattin is a member of the K. of P., and by good management and industry has accumulated a good deal of property in Bossier and Caddo Parishes, La., and Lafayette County, Ark. He is the owner of 900 acres of good farming land along the Red River, also owns several hundred acres of good farming and timbered land in Arkansas and Louisiana.
His mercantile establishments are valuable ones; he has one store at Wild Lucia, on Red River, Caddo Parish, La., and the other in Collinsburg, Bossier Parish, La.; the last named he makes his home. Both stores bring him a good annual profit. His father, George W. Nattin, was born in Kentucky or Tennessee, and removed to Port Hudson or Port Gibson, Miss., when a boy, but at an early date settled in Claiborne Parish, La., and opened a mercantile establishment north of Minden, afterward moved to Minden and ran a saloon and grocery store. In 1852 removed to Shreveport, La., and in 1853 removed to Bossier Parish and engaged in farming on Red River, where he died, in 1859, at the age of forty-nine years.
John G. Ogden has resided on his present farm of 270 acres, Anchorage plantation, since 1881, and is one of the thrifty planters of this section. He was born in Warrensburg, Mo., in 1856, being the younger of two sous born to John G. and Jane (White) Ogden , both of whom were born, reared and married at Abingdon, Va., from which place they moved to Warrensburg, Mo., in 1851, in which State the mother's death occurred seven years later, an earnest Christian and a worthy member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Ogden served with Gen. Price's army all through the war as an officer, and in 1865 came to Shreveport, and some years later to Bossier Parish, where he died in 1876, his occupation through life having been that of a merchant. His father, Elias Ogden, was born in New Jersey, but was left au orphan at an early age, and was reared by an uncle at Abingdon, Va., where he was married and followed merchandising. At an early day he removed to Missouri, and after the war came to Bossier Parish, where he died in 1874. He was of Scotch-Irish descent. The mother's father, James L. White, was born and spent his life in Virginia, where he was a wealthy merchant and salt manufacturer.
John G. Ogden received his early schooling in Abingdon, Va., and at the early age of fourteen years began earning his own living, and for some time was employed in feeding his uncle's mules, receiving for his services $150 a year. The following three years were spent as a clerk in a store, after which he acted as his uncle's foreman for three years longer. He is doing well as a planter, and raises about 150 bales of cotton annually. B. F. Oneal, the subject of this sketch, residing in and doing business at Bellevue, Bossier Parish, La., first commenced business as a general merchant in 1878, which has been continuous and satisfactory ever since. He was born on October 28, 1845, in Bossier Parish, La., that portion then forming a part of what is now Webster Parish. His parents, Stephen C. and Sarah (Crownover) Oneal, were natives of Mississippi and Illinois, respectively, and came to what was then Claiborne Parish, later Bossier Parish, when they were small children, and where they were married in 1844, Six children were born to them, the subject of this sketch being the eldest and the only member of the family now living. In 1860 the family moved to Texas, where the mother died soon afterward.
The family returned to Louisiana, and the father, leaving his three children at school, joined the Confederate army and went to Virginia in the early part of the war, dying at Culpepper Court House soon after the first battle of Bull Run, in which he took part. He was a planter and a son of Harry Oneal, who was a Mississippian and who removed to Northwest Louisiana in 1831. He was one of the first settlers of this region, and opened what is known as the Davis farm on French Creek in North Webster. The dwelling place, a large, double-log house, which he built on the place in 1834, is still in excellent, repair and inhabited. He died on the place in 1846. His wife, Mariah (Gipson) Oneal, is still living, and resides at Haughton, Bossier Parish, La. She was born in Copiah County, Miss., January 19,1809, and is yet hale and hearty, showing but little the ravages of time. Her union with Mr. Oneal resulted in the birth of fourteen children, and her descendants now number 170, there being forty-four grandchildren and 112 great-grandchildren.
The Oneals are related to the famous Bowie family, from which the Bowie-knife derived its name, and counties in Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas are named after that noted family. Harry O'Neal's sister, Polly, married Stephen Bowie, and it was her sons, James, Stephen and Raine, who fought the famous San Bor duel. The knife James used with such telling effect was held up by him when wounded, and, calling on his Savior, asked that it be buried with him. Knives of that make, and used as a weapon, have since been known as the Bowie. James and his brothers were called fighting men, but they were not "bullies. It is said they never commenced a difficulty, and in all their intercourse with their neighbors were quiet and courteous, and ever ready to defend the weak side.
They knew no fear when their honor or bravery was questioned. The immediate subject of this sketch, Benjamin F. Oneal, at an early age joined the Confederate army, and left Bossier Parish a member of R. E. Wyche's cavalry company. This was when a call was made by the State for troops, upon Banks' first attempt to send his fleet and army up the Eed River in 1802. He was in several battles and active service in the Trans-Mississippi Department during the greater part of the war. After this he engaged in the livery business at Shreveport and in farming in Bossier Parish until 1870, when he was enumerator of census of North Bossier Parish. In the fall of that year he was elected sheriff of Bossier Parish, and re-elected in 1872 and again in 1874, holding the office of sheriff six years, to 1876; was elected a member of the police jury in 1876, and served two years; was also a member of the school board and treasurer from 1872 to 1874, inclusive, and obtained the first public moneys from the State, about $52,000, and established the first public schools in Bossier Parish after the war. He was married in December, 1874, to Miss Jennie C , daughter of Louis P. and Marthy L. (Sanders) Steele, early settlers of Bossier Parish, La., of which Louis F. Steele was sheriff and tax collector for twelve years, or until his death, which occurred in 1863. Mrs. Oneal is a member of the Baptist Church, and is the mother of eight children, six now living.
Capt. James WT. Onley was born in Sussex County, Va., in 1827, to John E. and Elizabeth (Randolph) Onley, who were born in North Carolina and Virginia, in 1803 and 1802, and died in Bossier Parish, La., in 1875 and 1874, respectively. They were married in Wake County, N. C , and after a few years removed to Virginia; in 1834, to Winston County, Miss., and in 1871 to Bossier Parish, La. The father was a cabinet maker throughout life, and during the Rebellion was a Union man, being postmaster of Buck Horn. He and his wife were Methodists, and he was a son of William Onley, a native of England, his wife having been born in Ireland. They came together to the United States, became acquainted while en route, and were married soon after landing, settling in North Carolina. He died at New Orleans while serving in the War of 1812 under Jackson, his wife's death occurring in Wake County, N. C. Peter Randolph, the mother's father, was a Virginian and died in Columbus, Miss., about 1849.
The subject of this sketch was the third of eight children, and was reared on a farm, receiving but a limited education. In 1843, when but sixteen years of age he left home and went to Texas, where he joined the United States army and fought for the independence of the Texans. He was captured by the Mexicans, and after being kept a prisoner in Mexico for about seven weeks, he made his escape and returned to his home, and feeling the need of a better education began attending school. During his captivity in Mexico he resolved that if the opportunity ever presented itself he would retaliate for his capture, and when the Mexican War broke out he took advantage of the opportunity and joined the First Mississippi Regiment, commanded by Col. Jeff Davis, and fought at Palo Alto, Matamoras and Monterey, and was one of the men that charged the Black Port. After the resignation of Gen. Taylor he joined the Second Mississippi and was with Wood until the close of the war, being discharged at Vicksburg, Miss.
He once more returned to his home and entered school, but in 1850 or 1851 was engaged in boating on the Tombigbee River, after which he spent seven years as an apprentice at engineering in the city of Louisville, Ky., and in the meantime, in 1856, was admitted as a first-class engineer. He then followed his calling on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers until 1861, having been licensed as a pilot in 1859. In 1861 he went to Illinois, where he was engaged in saw milling one year, then returned to Kentucky and farmed until the close of the war, removing in 1866 to Shreveport, La., where he built the steamer W. E. Hamilton, which he owned and operated on Red River. In 1868 he was licensed as a captain, and in 1870 as a pilot on Red River, but the same year he left the river and removed to his present farm about thirteen miles northeast of Shreveport, on the Bellevue road, which comprises 881 acres of fine land, all the result of his own industry. He was married in 1858, to Susan, daughter of Elias and Elizabeth Oneal, both of whom were born in McCracken County, Ky., their marriage also taking place there. The mother died in Missouri after the war, and Mr. Oneal was assassinated in Shreveport in 1871, an incident familiar to Northwest Louisianans. He was a farmer in early life, but at the time of his death was a merchant of Shreveport. Mrs. Onley was born in Ballard County, Ky., and she and her husband are among the first citizens of this community, being kind, neighborly and generous.
Thomas G. Pickett, although just in the prime of life, has made his way to the front ranks among the energetic farmers of Bossier Parish, and owing to the attention he has always paid to each minor detail he has accumulated a fair share of this world's goods. He was born in the parish in which he is now living, his birth occurring in 1846, and was the eleventh of twelve children born to Nathan and Catherine (McIntyre) Pickett, who were born in South Carolina, but were married in Mississippi, and from that State came to Bossier Parish, La., first settling in the Point, but afterward in different parts of the parish. Mr. Pickett was a worthy tiller of the soil, and died in 1855, his wife having passed to her long home two years earlier, both members of the Christian Church.
Thomas G. Pickett inherits Scotch and Irish blood of his father, and his youth was spent on the latter's plantation in Louisiana, his education being received in Yazoo County, Miss. At the age of sixteen years he joined Company E., Twenty-eighth Mississippi Cavalry, and was in all the engagements of the Tennessee campaign and the Georgia and Atlanta campaigns, receiving a wound in the engagement at Atlanta. He surrendered at Gainesville, Ala., in May, 1865, then spent the following year in Mississippi, at the end of which time he returned to Bossier Parish, where he was married in 1874 to Miss Eula, daughter of Sidney and Sallie Pope, who came thither from Bossier Parish before the war. Mr. Pope died, however, in Texas during the war, but his widow is now living in this parish, the widow of James D. McDade.
Mr. Pickett was so unfortunate as to lose his wife in 1880, she having borne him two sons, one son now living. Since his marriage Mr. Pickett has resided on his present farm of 1,400 acres, of which about 475 acres are under cultivation, two thirds of which he has cleared himself. The most of his property has been obtained by his own efforts, and the cotton he annually raises, which amounts to about 300 bales, brings him in a handsome sum for his labor. For some time he was engaged in merchandising with E. S. Dortch, but since 1889 he has been following this calling on his own account, his establishment being located on his plantation and is well fitted up. His wife was a member of the Methodist Church.
G. A. P. Poole has been a tiller of the soil throughout life, and the attention he has given to each minor detail of his calling has placed him in the front ranks of the agriculturists of this section, He is a Tennessean, his birth occurring in Giles County, Tenn., in 1830, but his parents, Armstead and Sallie (Craddock) Poole, were born, reared and married in South Carolina, but afterward removed to Tennessee, and about 1837 to Marshall County, Miss., where the father passed from life the following year. His widow afterward married a Mr. Arnold and removed to Texas, in which State she passed from life in 1858, a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Poole was of Irish descent, a farmer by occupation, and being an upright and honorable man commanded the respect and esteem of all who knew him. David Craddock, the maternal grandfather, was a farmer, a soldier in one of the early wars, and died in Mississippi. The subject of this sketch is the eldest of two sons and three daughters, he and two sisters, who reside in Texas, being the only members of the family now living.
His youth was spent on his father's farm, and after securing a common school education he began farming for himself at the age of eighteen years, and from 1849 to 1854 he followed this calling in the State of Texas, at the end of which time he came to Bossier Parish, where he was married, in 1857, to Mrs. Jane E. Bryant, a daughter of William and Sarah E. Bates, who came to Bossier Parish in 1838, purchasing land on Red River, but locating at Minden, where he spent the rest of his days as a wealthy planter, dying before the war, he and his wife being members of the Methodist, Episcopal Church. After his marriage Mr. Poole settled on a portion of his present farm, which then consisted of 200 acres, but by good management and industry he has now become the owner of 3,000 acres of land, nearly all of which is tillable, about 1,300 acres being under cultivation, and about two thirds of which he has cleared himself. He raises from 600 to 700 bales of cotton annually, and raises corn enough for home use. He is one of the oldest settlers now living in his present neighborhood, and is one of the most extensive and successful planters in the Red River Valley. From about 1859 he served four years as justice of the peace, and after the expiration of his term he joined the Twenty-second Louisiana Infantry, and when that command crossed the Mississippi River he joined the State Guards, of which he was a member until the close of the war. To him and his wife a family of eight children was born, one son and five daughters now living. Lewis M. Pruitt belongs to that sturdy and independent class, the farmers of Louisiana, and none of the followers of this calling possess more genuine merit or a stronger character than Mr. Pruitt.
He was born in Monroe, La., in 1856, being a son of Jesse and Susan (Bales) Pruitt, the former born in Mississippi and the latter in Louisiana, their marriage taking place in Monroe of the latter State. The mother died when Lewis M. was about two years of age, and in 1863 he was taken to Shreveport by his father, but was left an orphan the following year, his father having been a planter throughout life. Lewis M. Pruitt was the second of five children, and he and a sister are the only ones of the family now living. He began herding cattle when about ten years of age, but afterward followed teaming, and worked as a farm hand for some years. In 1878 he was married to Mrs. Jane Bagwell, a daughter of Benjamin Mitchell, who died in Union Parish. Mrs. Pruitt was born in Mississippi, and her union with Mr. Pruitt resulted in the birth of two sons and two daughters.
Since his marriage Mr. Pruitt has lived in his present neighborhood, and for the past six years has resided on the farm of 1,100 acres, on which he is now living, in which he owns an interest and of which he has cleared 300 acres since it has been in his charge, 100 acres having been cleared prior to that time. He raises annually about 150 bales of cotton, and has in operation an excellent steam cotton-gin. He is a member of the A. O. U. W., Lodge No. 9, of Shreveport, and also belongs to Alpha Lodge No. 2501 of Shreveport. Mrs. Pruitt is a member of the Baptist Church, and a worthy and estimable lady. Their home is nicely located in Ward 1, on Red River, in Bossier Parish.
Lemuel R. Sapp is a general merchant and farmer of Ward 6, and being a native of the same, born in 1851, he is well known throughout this region, and is esteemed and respected by all who know him. He is a son, of William and Saleta (McCall) Sapp, who were born in Franklin County, Miss., and in 1837 came to Bossier (Claiborne) Parish, and married December 5, 1839. Mr. Sapp soon after entered a large tract of woodland, on which he died when the subject of this sketch was about oue year old. His widow is still living on that farm twelve miles northeast of Shreveport, and has been a member of the Methodist Church since 1854. They were among the first settlers of Northwest Louisiana, at which time there were no roads and but very few White settlers, the woods abounding in wild animals and Indians. Overton, their nearest post office, was then but a small trading point. The mother's father, Mr. McCall, died in Texas. Lemuel R. Sapp is the youngest of six children, and he and his sister, Mrs. Lucinda Pope, are the only ones at present living. He was reared on the farm on which he was born, and on this farm has spent the most of his life, the principal part of his education being received in the Fillmore Academy. He was married in 1875 to Miss Emma C., daughter of Berry and Mary Sandefur, Georgians, who at an early day came to what is now Webster Parish, La., the father's death occurring in the war, his widow still surviving him. Mrs. Sapp was born in Webster Parish, and Mr. and Mrs. Sapp are the parents of two sons and three daughters. Mr. Sapp has a good farm of 160 acres, and has 100 acres in an excellent state of cultivation. He has also been engaged in merchandising for the past, four years, his business being a successful one.
Hon. Jacob A. Snider, attorney at law of Bellevue, La. One of the best known names at the Bossier Parish bar, and now one of the leading and solid men of Bellevue, is Mr. Snider who was born in Albemarle County, Va., October 18, 1826. His parents, Dr. Jacob and Celia (Hart) Snider, were born in Chambersburg, Penn., and in Albemarle County, Va., May 3, 1794 and October 8, 1797, respectively. After their marriage in 1822 they removed in 1834 to Philadelphia and in 1837 to Grenada, Miss., where the father was called to his long home September 28,1851, his widow afterward removing to Bossier Parish, where she died on December 1, 1873. The father was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, in which his wife was also a member, and for many years was a successful physician, his medical education being secured in Baltimore, Md., and academic in Dickerson College, Carlisle, Penn. He was a surgeon on board a privateer in the war between Spain and Buenos Ayres, in service of the latter in her contest for independence.
His father, Jacob Snider, was born in Pennsylvania of parents of German descent, and died in Chambersburg, Penn., having served in the capacity of sheriff of Franklin County for some time. Andrew Hart, the mother's father, was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, and when a young man came to the United States and until his death followed the occupation of farming and merchandising in Albemarle County, Va. Hon. Jacob A. Snider was the third of eight children born to his parents, and his early education was received in Grenada, Miss., and in Maryville College, Tenn., his education in the law being obtained in the Transylvania Law School of Lexington, Ky., from which institution he was graduated in February, 1847. Prior to this, however, he had been admitted to the bar in Kentucky, but his first practice was done in Grenada, Miss., where he also edited a paper from 1851 until 1855. in the latter year he was married to Cordelia Lake, who was born in Dorchester County, Md., and died in 1859 at Grenada, Miss., having borne two children, one daughter now living. His second union took place in 1871 to Mary E. Ross, a daughter of Dr. John B. Ross, who was born and died in Maryland, a Presbyterian minister of considerable prominence.
Mrs. Snider was born in Albemarle County, Va., and died on December 21, 1889, having become the mother of eight children, four of whom survive her. Since 1861 Mr. Snider has resided in Bossier Parish, but has been a resident of the town of Bellevue since 1866, where he has practiced his profession with success, being one of the leading lawyers of Northwestern Louisiana. He has always been an active and prominent politician, and, in 1863 was elected to the State Legislature, serving one term, at the end of which time he was re-elected and served one more term. He also served at one time as parish treasurer, and has filled other local positions of honor and trust. He was for ten years president of the Democratic parish committee, and was well and favorably known throughout the State. He was president of the convention in 1876 that nominated Gov. Nichols. He is a member of the A. P. & A. M., Bellevue Lodge No. 95, and has been master of the same many years.
John Franklin Strayban is a representative of a very old family of Bossier Parish. He was born near where he now lives, October 10, 1854, being a son of James P. and Lucretius Jane (King) Strayban, the former born in Bossier Parish, and the latter in Montgomery, Ala. The father is still living and is a resident of this parish. He was reared here and has been a tiller of the soil throughout life, and during the early part of the late war he joined a Louisiana regiment of infantry, and served until the close, being a participant in many battles. He was in the siege of Vicksburg, and was slightly wounded once. His wife, who died July 11, 1870, was about forty years of age, and was a member of the Baptist Church, and after her death he married Mrs. Patterson, a widow, who is still living. Mr. Strayban is a Mason, a member of the Farmers' Alliance, and politically is a Democrat. The place on which his people located on coming here, which was at a very early period, was known as Rough and Ready.
To Mr. Strayban's first union five children were born, of whom the subject of this, sketch was the eldest. He received his education in the neighborhood in which he now resides, and at the death of his mother he left home and commenced farming for others, but purchased, in 1883,160 acres of the farm which he now owns, and, although it was heavily covered with timber, he has it now cleared, and has added 1,160 acres to his original purchase, of which 250 acres are under cultivation. In 1883 be started to operate a mill which was already on the land, and has been very successful in its management up to the present time. He has erected some splendid buildings on his property, a residence that would do credit to any community, and all other buildings to correspond. In 1873 he was married to Miss Fannie Patterson, a daughter of Robert Patterson. She was born in Alabama, and her union with Mr. Strayban has resulted in the birth of six children: Ruth E., John R., Connie, Snider, Carroll and Roxie. Mary and James died while very young, and Sallie was accidentally killed by the discharge of a gun. Although a Democrat in principles, he usually votes for whom he considers the best man, irrespective of party, and socially belongs to the K. of P. He is a wide-awake and enterprising citizen, and such men as he are valuable acquisitions to any community.
A. R. Thompson is the sheriff and tax collector of Bossier Parish, La., and was born in Fairfield County, S. C., in 1850, being a son of Alex and Dorothy (Herron) Thompson, both of whom were born in the Palmetto State. They were married there, and there the father died in 1856, his wife passing to her long home in 1889, nearly seventy-five years of age, in Bossier Parish, La., to which place she had come in 1866. The subject of this sketch and a daughter, who died shortly after her father, are the only children born to this union, and he was reared on his father's farm and received a country school education, but in 1866 came with his mother to Bossier Parish, La., and here he has made his home ever since, marrying, in 1873, Miss Maggie, daughter of Joseph E. and E. G. Adger, who were born in South Carolina and Ireland, respectively, coming to Bossier Parish in 1858, where the death of the former occurred in 1881, his widow being still alive and in good health, aged about sixty-five years.
Mrs. Thompson was born in South Carolina, and died in the month of June, 1887, at Bellevue, La., in her thirty-third year, having borne four children, one son and two daughters now living, viz.: William A., Lila A. and Mamie A. Thompson. In addition to farming, Mr. Thompson has managed a warehouse on Red River, but discontinued these callings in 1880, being elected to the position of clerk and ex officio recorder of this parish, serving by re-election until November, 1889, when he was appointed sheriff to fill the unexpired term of R. E. Wyche. Mr. Thompson has been reasonably successful in all his business operations, and is now the owner of 2,090 acres of land in different tracts, all the result of persistent and intelligent labor. Socially, he is a worthy member of the A. F. & A. M., Cypress Lodge No. 89, of Benton, having been master of the same for some time, and also belongs to the K. of P. at Dixie, and the A. L. of H., Bellevue Lodge No. 1120.
T. J. Tidwell, a Tennessean by birth, was ushered into this world in the year 1838, being a son of Isaiah and Nancy (Brewer) Tidwell, the former born in South Carolina about 1808 and the latter in Georgia in 1812. The father obtained a good common school education in his native State, and in 1820 removed to the State of Tennessee, where he made his home until 1800, at which time he removed to Arkansas, in which State he and his wife passed from life in 1801 and 1802, respectively, the former having been a worthy tiller of the soil throughout life, and the latter an earnest member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In Madison County, Tenn., the subject of this sketch received the rudiments of his education, his youth and early manhood being spent with his father in tilling the soil, and this occupation received the greater part of his attention until the opening of the war. In the month of June, 1801, he joined Company A, Fifth Arkansas Regiment, under Col. David Cross, and during the first year of his service operated in Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi, at the end of which time he returned home and joined Gen. Hindman's command, afterward being in the States of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
He was at the bloody battle of Shiloh, also Mansfield, Prairie Grove, Jenkins Perry and Helena, after which he joined the Engineer's Corps, and remained with them until the close of the war. At the time of the surrender he was at Palestine, Tex., and after remaining in that State a short time he came to Bossier Parish, La., which place he reached in the month of June, 1865. After farming on a rented plantation for about five years he was married to Mrs. Emma (Arnold) Hilton, a daughter of G. W. and Selina (Sims) Arnold, and the same year of his marriage moved to the place where he now resides, which is a portion of the Arnold estate. To them a fine family of five children has been born: Lina, Mary Emma, Washington S., Thomas A. and Sallie L. Mr. Tidwell is a member of the A. P. & A. M., Cypres Lodge No. 89, and the A. O. U. W., Charity Lodge, of Shreveport.
Samuel Whit Vance. In no part of Louisiana is agriculture in a more flourishing condition than in Bossier Parish, and Mr. Vance is considered one of its most successful young planters, he being a member of a prominent old family of this parish. He is the second of three children, two sons and one daughter, born to Samuel Whit and Sallie E. (James) Vance, who were born in South Carolina and Alabama, respectively, and were married in Bossier Parish, La., settling first at Plain dealing, and afterward where the subject of this sketch is now living, on which place Mr. Vance died in 1877, having been a prosperous planter. Socially he was a member of the A. P. & A. M. at Benton, and a son of Mr. Daniel Vance, who died in South Carolina. Mrs. Vance is still living, and is a true Christian lady and a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Samuel Whit Vance was born at Plain Dealing, La., in 1864, and his youth was spent in learning the "hailing" of a farm and in attending the school at Shreveport. Upon leaving school he spent three years in a store on Shady Grove plantation, and since that time has resided on the farm on which he is now living, which comprises several thousand acres of excellent farming land, on the cultivated portion of which he raises some 400 bales of cotton annually.
Jasper Bunyan Whittington was born in Pike County, Ala., October 9, 1849, being a son of Robert and Matilda (Keith) Whittington, the former born in Columbus, Ga., in 1822, and the latter in Pike County, Ala., in 1834. Mr. Whittington, as well as his wife, was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church, and in his native State he passed from life in 1858, his widow still surviving him, being a resident of Bossier Parish, La. Jasper Bunyan Whittington was taken to Georgia at the age of five years, but after his father's death returned with his mother to Alabama, and in 1861 emigrated to Bossier Parish, La., where he worked for the support of his mother and her family of four children, of whom he was the eldest. In 1863 they moved on the Alden place, on Cypress Bayou, six miles east of Red River, on the Rocky Mount & Carolina Bluff road, which place was given them free of rent by Mrs. Ruth Hughes, who then owned The place, and here they made their home until 1868, when Mr. Wittington and his brother-in-law, J. J. Wilcox, purchased 160 acres of land on which the former is now living. He has increased his acreage to 280, and has 100 acres in an excellent state of cultivation.
Having made this purchase while a minor, he paid for it before he attained his majority, and expected to live with his mother and her family on the place, but before this idea was put into execution he was united in marriage to Sallie, a daughter of James and Nancy (Fowler) Keith, which fact was so displeasing to his mother that he deeded the farm he had just paid for to her and went to work on his mother in law's place, which he successfully tilled until 1875, when he removed to Grimes County, Tex., his wife dying shortly after locating there. After tilling the soil in that State for one year he returned to Louisiana and took charge of an uncle's (Keith) farm, which he conducted in a successful manner for one year. His second marriage took place November 17, 1876, his wife being Anna, daughter of Rev. Robert and Indiana (Dillard) Martin, both native Georgians. In 1876 a cotton gin and grist-mill, in which Mr. Whittington was largely interested, caught fire and burned to the ground, leaving him almost destitute, but the following year he erected a cotton gin on the place where he now resides, which he has continued to operate; he then purchased eighty acres of land, which is part of his present farm. In 1880 he once more took charge of his mother's affairs, and was her adviser and confidante for two years, at the end of which time she gave him eighty acres of land, and he is her agent at the present time. He and his wife are members of the Baptist Church, and are the parents of five sons and two daughters, his first union resulting in the birth of one daughter.
Typing and Format by C. W. Barnum 2011