De Soto Parish, Louisiana History and Genealogy
De Soto Parish - LA AHGP
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One of the finest of the oak upland districts of the South is De Soto Parish. Running across it, diagonally, is the divide between the Sabine and Red Rivers, and on this divide Mansfield is located. On the Red River side the country is hilly, and very productive in the valleys between the Dolette Hills. Lakes and bayous are numerous, and skirt the river bottom lands on the west. Of the total area, 856 square miles, there are 836 of oak uplands, 60 of red-lands, and 20 square miles of Red River bottom lands. In 1879-80 there were 82,239 acres in cultivation, of which 37,807 acres produced 11,298 bales of cotton, or .3 per acre; 426 pounds of seed cotton, or 142 of cotton lint. There were also 31,080 acres in corn, 733 in sweet potatoes, and 34 sugar cane. The Grand Cane district on the Sabine Slope is very productive, yielding as much as 1,400 pounds of cotton seed per acre.
The statistics for 1889-90 show 142,550 acres in cultivation, or 70,000 in cotton, producing 16,250 bales; 65,000 acres in corn, (Ed Norris, of Ward 2, is credited with raising 154 bushels of corn to an acre, in 1888. A surveyor and nine citizens certified to this extraordinary yield.) yielding 521,000 bushels, and 2,000 in oats, yielding 20,000 bushels. The assessed value of real estate is $1,137,195, and of other property $425,508, or a total of $1,562,703.
In 1890 the State census placed the population at 18,091, including 1,804 inhabitants credited to Mansfield. The number of Caucasians is 5,821, and Negroes 12,270; of which number 2,762 are White, and 5,999 Black, females. The population in 1880 was 15,603; 5,116 White and 10,487 Colored. In 1870 there were 14,962, or 5,111 White and 9,851 Colored; in 1860, 4,777 White, 8,507 slWes, and 14 free Colored, or 13,298; in 1850 the population was 8,023, comprising 4,450 slWes, 24 free Colored, and 3,549 Caucasians. In 1889 there were 2,526 inhabitants liable to military duty.
De Soto is a hill parish. The soil is a light, sandy loam, with a clay foundation, well timbered with every variety of oak, hickory, pine, ash, beech, gum, etc., and well watered, either by springs or wells. The drainage of surface water into Red River on the east, and the Sabine River on the west, is perfect. Timber is abundant for all purposes, and even the magnolia grows wild here, particularly in the Grand Cane neighborhood. In the southeastern part of the parish, embracing a scope of territory perhaps ten miles square, are the Dolette hills. (The full of Iron. Near B. S. Lees house a rich ore was found in 1887, which showed 57.44 of peroxide of iron.) On April 24, that year, the Mansfield Coal & Iron Company was organized, with M. Ricks, Boling Williams, W. P. Sample, B. F. Jenkins, O. H. P. Sample, Max Kahn, T.O. Burwell, H. C. Stokes and F. M. Grace, directors. This company did some work, but the experts pronounced the ore a first class lignite coal, and further operations were postponed.
These hills are too broken for successful cultivation, except in small tracts, but are covered with pine timber, a fine native grass for grazing, and, according to late geological examination, rich in coal and iron. The Bayou Pierre, known as Nadier in 1784, section is one of great promise. For years this great tract of rich alluvium was allowed to remain a waste of waters, but in June, 1890, the Bayou Pierre Drainage Company was organized and entered on the work of redeeming the lands, under supervisor G. B. Williams. He reported September 1, 1890, on the work of removing obstructions and lowering the falls, giving the following locations:
Number 1 falls at mouth of Bulls Bayou and bed of logs; No. 2, rapids at mouth of Flat River, 200 feet long, 50 feet wide; No. 3, bed of logs at or near King's landing and short falls; No. 4, falls 100 feet in length, 35 wide and raft of logs; No. 5, Hardenburg Falls 400 feet long, 60 feet wide; No. 6, Red Bayou Falls, 350 feet long, 55 feet wide and raft of logs; No. 7, Marl Ledge, three stumps and raft of logs, and No. 8, Rock Ledge, 200 feet long, 30 feet wide.
In October, 1885, a similar work on a smaller compass was begun. Johnson & Son, under contract with Messrs. Marston, Stringfellow, Frierson, Russ, Stephenson, and Murrell, went to work to blow out the falls in Grand Bayou. The modern idea of drainage will yield up about 100,000 acres to the cotton planter, and he proof against the overflow of the back lands.
Throughout the parish springs of purest water are found, while in Special localities, mineral springs exist. De Soto Springs, six miles west of Mansfield hWe been known from the earliest times. There the invalid soldiers were quartered after the battle of Mansfield. In 1867 Dr. Reeves purchased the property from Mrs. C. G. Alexander, and in 1873 established an infirmary there. The water contained sulfur, magnesia and nitre in about equal quantities. The water stands at 600 through. out the year. One hundred and eighty feet from there is a smaller spring, while a quarter mile north are the Wagner Springs. In 1885 a well was bored on the M. Ricks farm, three miles west of Mansfield and deepened to fifty feet in 1889, when a flow of strong mineral water was struck. A sample of it was sent to Tulane University by William Ricks, and the chemical department reported on it as follows: Ferric (iron) Carb., 6.248; CM. (lime) Carb., 4,069; CM. (lime) Sul., 3.9177; CM. (lime) Chl., .725; Mag. Chl., 11,766; sodium Chl., 16,845;. sodium Snip., 12.292; Pot. Sulp., 1,978; Alumini., 772; silica, .460. At Mansfield in rear of the Alliance store; an old spring exists, but owing to the custom of using well or cistern water, this valuable spring is neglected if not forgotten.
In the history of the older parishes the names of the tribes who inhabited the eastern part of De Soto as well as of those claiming lands in the neutral zone are given. Like all other sections of the Red River country the Spanish soldier or explore or farmer came hither, but not until the close of the last century were permanent settlements effected. After the United States became owner, a number of squatters located here, and when the lands were surveyed, many of the first settlers made purchases.
The treaty with the Caddo Indians was negotiated July 1, 1835, by Jehiel Brooks, representing the United States, and Tehowahinno, Toockroach, Tehowainia, Sanninow, Highahidock, Mattan; Towabinneh, Aach, Sookianton, Sohone and Ossinse chiefs and warriors of the Caddos. By this treaty they ceded the lands bounded on the west by the north and south lines separating the United States from the Republic of Mexico between the Saline and Red River, on the north and east by the Red River, on the south by Pascagoula Bayou to its junction with Bayou Pierre, thence to Wallace Lake and up Cypress Bayou to the international line. For this cession $40,000 in cash or goods was paid within a year, and $10,000 per annum for the succeeding four years. Other chiefs signing were Tarshar, Trauninot, Satiownhown, Tennehinun, Chowabah, Kianhoon, Tiatesun, Tehowawinow, Tewinnun, Kardy and Tiohtow. In 1801 those Indians gWe to Francois Grappe and his three sons four leagues of land, which the treaty of 1835 approved and located same four leagues on Red River and one league on Pascagoula Bayou. To Larkin Edwards, the old and poor interpreter, one section of land was given by this treaty to be located by himself. [AHGP Webmaster's note: the 'h' and 'b' were difficult to distinguish one from the other from the text.]
In 1700 Bienville arrived at Natchitoches and after a short stay pushed up the river forty miles to the Yattassee village, where St. Denis established a temporary post some years after.
In 1795 Pedro Dolet or Dolette, of Bayou Pierre, made a settlement on the margin of Bayou Adayes or Adaise. The ceremony as detailed in the State papers consisted of pulling grass, making holes in the ground and throwing dust in the Mr. The De Sotos also proved their settlement in the Bayou Pierre country early in the eighteenth century and other French and Spanish settlers selected places for homes. During the decade ending in 1840 a large number of people from the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama came in, and when the parish was established in 1843, each congressional township claimed its complement of resident land owners.
Dr. Thomson, who now resides across the dry line in Texas, has been a subject of two monarchs Spanish and French; a citizen of two republics, the United States and Texas, and resided in three parishes, Natchitoches, Caddo and De Soto, without moving his home.
The slWe owners of the parish, who paid taxes on nine or more slWes in 1861, with the number of slWes owned by each, are given as follows: Ten thousand tales of slWe days might be related, many droll in the extreme, several conciliatory tales of happy days, and some horrible stories of the patrol companies, of refugee slWes and their hunters; of the slWe traders and buyers are all told, many brimful with merriment, some chivalrous and some shocking. Tales of the Regulators are full of horrors, while those of the Moderators, (men organized to regulate or check the Regulators) tell of excess after excess. It is well for De Soto that the days of discord hWe passed away forever.
The act to create the parish of De Soto was approved March 27, 1843, and on June 3 the first meeting of parish officers (commissioned by the governor) was held at Screamerville, where is now the Samuel Ivey dwelling and plantation.
The first record of the police jury is dated June 5, 1843, when John A. Gamble, Charles A. Edwards, John Wagner and Simon De Soto qualified before Judge Welsh. John E. Hewitt subsequently qualified. John Wagner was chosen president, Jacob D. Wemple, clerk; Cesaire Flores, assessor; Jeremiah Keefe, C. Wade, Hampton Haislip and James E. Cunningham, constables, and C. A. Edwards, treasurer. Horatio Chambliss was appointed captain of patrols for Ward No. 1; Thomas Abington, No. 2 (later Isaac Dykes); William E. North, No. 3; George Haden, No. 4, and Louis Lafitte, No. 5. The sum of $200.48 was ordered to be paid Gamble and Edwards, being the amount paid into the land office by them, for the quarter section on which Mansfield stands, and on the same day the name Mansfield was suggested by Thomas Abington and was adopted. On July 10 a price, $50, was set on front lots and $30 on back lots, the terms of payment being from one to four years. The first road, Mansfield to Sam Williams house and thence to Rambins Bayou, was authorized at this time. In August James C. Woods qualified as juror, and $158 was paid for record books. In December James Cox qualified as juror, vice Maj. Hewitt. The first court-house was received from the contractors in January, 1844. William Crosby and Jesse Pugh received moneys for the construction of those log houses.
On January 2 Thomas P. Hall was appointed to survey the site of Mansfield into lots; Horatio Chambliss, the purchaser of Logan's Ferry, gWe bond on the 15th; June 3 James E. Cunningham was appointed assessor and collector; August 26 Dr. William Long was appointed clerk, and November 26 the committee of settlement with Caddo reported the value of public buildings to be $9,000, and on this report J. G. Jones, R. B. Smith and T. D. Gary, of Caddo, agreed on $825 as De Soto's share. In February, 1845, 5. W. Beatty's Bid, $950, or $800 if $250 were advanced, for building the jail was reported on fWorably.
The transactions of the jury from 1845 to 1861 were of a commonplace character. In 1845 J. D. Wemple was chosen clerk; three years later the parish was divided into thirteen districts for school purposes. In November, 1850, the court-house was received from Contractor Johnson. G. M. Eldridge succeeded John Wagner as president in July, 1854, and he was succeeded in 1855 by H. Sloane. Dr. Frierson was elected president in 1856, and served until the election of John Wagner, in 1859.
In March, 1861, $1,500 was appropriated to buy corn for the destitute of the parish, and ward relief committees appointed. This destitution was caused by drought and overflow. In June, 1861, captains of patrol companies were appointed, boundaries of school districts were changed, and a heWy tax was authorized for soldiers' relief and war purposes. A grant of $1,500 to the De Soto Blues was made, and $500 appropriated for the purchase of ammunition.
In July the jurors were constituted a committee of relief. In August, 1861, the members of the jury were John Wagner, R. M. Sample, 1; G. W. Eldridge, 2; J. H. East- ham, 4; W. White, 8; J. B. Norman, Samuel Johnson, W. T. Fortson, B. S. Lee. In August $1,500 was granted to the Keatchie Highlanders, $1,500 to Capt. Hollingsworth's company (Marshal Guards), and $4,000 for clothing and provisions for the soldiers of the field. This latter large sum was to be expended under the direction of President Wagner, A. M. Campbell and A. H. Thomas, and the Ladies' Aid Society. In September $1,500 was granted to another company, $176 to Capt. Jordan's company, and $180 to twelve men in Capt. W. B. Millican's cWalry company. The appropriations given and a mention of a $10,000 appropriation for war purposes, are the only grants made in 1861, other than the moneys distributed among the soldiers' families. S. E. Guy was a juror in January, 1862; $500 was granted to purchase uniforms for the Henry Marshall Guards, and February 27 the jury promised the citizens of Mansfield to make every reasonable provision for the relief of soldiers' families. April 7 scrip for $20,000 was authorized. This was issued in bills ranging from 10 cents to $3. May 21 a further issue of $10,000 was made. T. M. Gatlin qualified in June, 1862 and J. L. Vircher in August. Capt. O. L. Durham and J. H. Sutherlin were appointed to inquire into the wants of De Soto volunteers in service. In October C. M. Pegues' treasury report was adopted, his bond canceled and J. D. Wemple installed treasurer. In November Gatlin and Eldridge were appointed delegates to the Red River defense convention, at Shreveport, with authority to subscribe $20,000 for defenses of the river.
In January, 1863, there were twenty-seven captains of patrol appointed; the $20,000 appropriated for Red River defenses provided for, and a new issue of scrip for $3,000 authorized. In May, 1863, a parish tax of 33 1/3 per cent, and a special tax of 51 2/3 per cent, were ordered to be levied. The names of W. J. Polk and W. W. Tatum, with Messrs. Wagner, Eldridge, Guy, White, Vircher, Johnson, Gatlin and Norman appear as jurors in June, 1863; scrip for $2,000 was authorized at this time. In October Treasurer Wemple reported $26,018 in the treasury. A petition to the Legislature asking that $1,443 overpaid by T. J. Williams on the taxes of 1860, be refunded, was adopted. In January, 1864, canceled bills or scrip amounting to $20,900 were destroyed; in May, 1864, the estimate for the current year was placed at $10,550, and a tax of 33 1/3 per cent was ordered. In June Red River defense exchange bills for $2,260 and ordinary scrip for $3,738.70 was destroyed, and about $55,000 in soldiers relief drafts were reported canceled. The treasurer was ordered to exchange all the old Confederate bills for new issue, and the president authorized to purchase $2,000 worth of medicines for distribution.
In March, 1865, W. C. Peyton was a member of the police jury, and in May, 1865, William M. Allen, J. B. Perham, J. W. Stephenson and J. H. Tucker were appointed the last captains of the last patrol companies. Boling Williams was appointed collector, authority to build a new jail given and a special tax of 160 per cent ordered to be levied on property, trades and occupations to be applied on the building of this jail. Shelly & Campbell were the contractors, the price being $7,190. A. J. Leach and T. W. Brodnax were members of the jury at this time. In July, 1866, the names of Reuben Mundy, W. R. Prather, R. R. Riggs, with Wagner, ( In 1866 a party of citizens arranged to rob the president of the police jury, who held in his possession a good deal of scrip and moneys. Going to his home about midnight, they engaged the Negroes in a quarrel with the object of bringing out Mr. Wagner. The ruse was successful, and taking the old President to a secluded spot some distance away, returned to rob the house. Meantime the Negroes had given the alarm, and M. Surrey, a Frenchman, who was a guest of Wagner, determined not only to defend the house, but also to rescue the host. On his way through the darkness he saw the robbers approach and open fire, killing one and wounding two others. He sWed Wagner and the public moneys.)
Norman, Brodnax, Peyton, R. B. Frierson and Vircher appear as jurors. The jail building was accepted at this time. G. W. Sample, W. J. Horn, J. W. Edens or Evans appear as jurors in January, 1867, and R. J. Bowman was appointed attorney. A. T. Stephen son represented Ward 2 and Jesse G. Steele, Ward 6, in July. 1869; S. P. Dubos was elected treasurer, and Dr. Godfrey continued as physician, and in November the Keatchie Swamp Turnpike Company gWe bonds for performing their duties in constructing toll roads. In November N. S. Moore represented Ward 1. The Baptists were permitted to hold services in the court house, in April, 1870, pending the completion of their new church house.
J. H. Sutherlin resigned the office of clerk in September, after serving since 1854, and was succeeded by J. D. Law, and Dr. Godfrey resigned the office of physician. In May, 1871, the estimate of expenditures for the year was placed at $12,500. In July, 1871, H. L. Dean, T. M. Cook and T. J. Williams, Jr., qualified as jurors vice the jurors counted out, A. J. Nelson, G. W. Williams, with T. J. Williams, president. J. D. Law was appointed clerk and S. F. Walker physician.
The estimate of expenditures for 1873 made in June, 1872, amounted to $14,100. The levy was placed at 8 mills for parish purposes. The State tax on $1,000 in 1873 was $14.50, and the parish tax $10 or 24.5, mills, while in 1872 it reached 29 1/2 mills. In 1871 the State tax on $1,000 was $24.50, and the parish tax $4 or 28.5 mills. In making the valuation at that time it was the proportion of $19,310 in 1871 to $5,260 in 1890, or about four times as much, yielding $358.23 taxes in 1871 and $73.45 in 1890, the State tax being about four times as much as the parish tax. Comparing the tax with the valuation in 1890, the State tax was then nine times as much as it is now. In January, 1873, T. J. Williams, Jr., B. F. Chapman, O. L. Durham, N. S. Moore and E. R. Best, qualified as jurors. Reuben Mundy was appointed attorney, and R. T. Gibbs, physician. This jury ordered the minutes of the last meeting of the old jury to be stricken out, and adopted the rules of decorum. The expenses for 1874 were estimated at $13,000, and a tax levy of 10 mills ordered. In March, 1874, John Wagner with Durham, Moore and Williams, were appointed by Kellogg, jurors. Dr. West was appointed physician, Du Bose was continued treasurer, Law, clerk, and Williams, president.
In June an estimate of $13,500 was made for 1875. In May, 1875, T. J. Williams, A. J. Fortson, F. Y. Dake and E. R. Best were appointed jurors; A. J. Bell was appointed physician. J. L. Williams and A. R. Williams were employed as experts to examine the accounts of former Tax collector R. A. DeWeese. The expenses for 1876 were estimated at $14,500. Samuel F. Smith qualified as juror in June, 1875. In December the proposition to subscribe $100,000 to the New Orleans & Pacific Railroad secured 201 votes, and was opposed by 159.
The expenditures for 1877 were estimated at $11,350. In January, 1877, R. R. Riggs, N. S. Moore, J. H. Williams, J. P. McElroy and Simon De Soto presented their commissions as jurors from Gov. Nicholls; J. P. McElroy was chosen president, and S. F. Walker, physician. In April L. B. Wilcox succeeded Dr. S. P. Du Bose as treasurer, and in November S. B. Foster succeeded Law as clerk. In March, 1878, the new jury qualified: N. S. Moore, president; J. H. Williams, W. J. Horn, D. W. Prude, Jacob Williamson, R. R. Riggs and J. P. McElroy were members. They were succeeded in January, 1879, by E. B. Brown, James King, G. W. Martin, Dr. Frierson, Samuel Hobgood, S. E. Guy, N. S. Moore and D. W. Prude. The estimate of expenditures for the years 1879-80 was $10,950. The jurors present in May, 1880, were M. J. Scott, John J. Gardner, L. M. Rambin, with Guy, Ring (W. S.), Frierson, Williams and Moore of the old board. N. S. Moore succeeded Guy as president. Expenditures were estimated at the same sum as in 1879, but in 1881 the estimate was placed at $9,350. D. Eatman took Juror Scott's place in August; G. W. Cummins took Moore's place in May, 1882, and S. E. Guy followed Moore as president. In March, 1884, John T. Smith, W. B. Peyton, S. E. Guy, J. J. Gardner, D. Eatman, Dr. W. S. Frierson, L. M. Rambin and J. H. Williams formed the jury. Dr. Frierson was chosen president. In July, 1885, resolutions on the death of S. E. Guy were recorded. Messrs. Peyton,* Frierson,* Gardner,* Rambin* and J. H. Williams,* with George J. Pitts, C. F. Lafitte and S. T. Williams were jurors in 1886, while in 1890 the members whose names are marked * above were still on the board, with M. Ricks of Ward 4, and G. B. Williams of Ward 5. In March, 1890, a great petition was presented, asking that the question of voting aid to the Gulf & Kansas City Railroad Company be submitted to the people. The jury granted this petition and fixed a day for an election, when 900 votes were cast for, and 478 against, granting such aid.
The first record of the parish court of De Soto is dated June 5, 1843. James Welsh, parish judge, presided. Louis Demas Bossier qualified as sheriff, and Cesaire Flores as deputy. Judge Welsh qualified before Judge W. Jenkins, of Caddo, May 2, 1843. Dr. William Long, an Irishman, the first court clerk, qualified before Judge Welsh, May 26; M. C. Williams, G. W. Airey, J. A. Gamble, Simon De Soto and T. D. Hailes, justices of the peace, May 5; C. W. H. Haislip and Jerry Keefe, as constables, June 17; J. E. Cunningham, as deputy sheriff, and Jacob D. Wemple, as deputy clerk, on June 5, 1843. The first cases were presented August 7: JWis Andrews vs. Samuel Will- lams, and J. C. Porter & Co. v& Moses C. Williams. Judgment by default in the first case, and dismissal in the second resulted. S. P. Jones and J. B. Elam were the attorneys present.
The district court journal opens May 2, 1844; J. G. Campbell was judge, and W. L. Tuomey district attorney. The grand jury comprised C. A. Edwards, Isaac Hesser, Hosea Ibarbo, Rosemond Chamard, Thomas P. Hall, E. D. Anderson, George G. Haden, Robert Haden, George T. Phelps, Nauflet Sandefer, James Somerill, Philip Flores, H. Wagley, Lertin Rambin and Felix Hesser. On May 14 one William D. Murphy, a native of Kildare County, Ireland, petitioned to be made a citizen, and his prayer was granted.
In 1845 F. R. Houston was district attorney, and later C. Chaplin filled the position in the absence of Houston. A number of indictments for assault and battery were presented this year, and in December the certificate of the Supreme Court, admitting Elisha Basse, an attorney, was presented. Robert E. DWis was indicted for murder at this time.
Sabine, De Soto and Red River form the (then) new Ninth Judicial District. The judges of the district courts who presided at Mansfield since 1844, are named as follows: James G. Campbell, 1844; James Taylor, Sixteenth District, 1846; E. R. Olcott, Seventeenth District, special, 1848; Bullard, Sixteenth District, 1850; Roland Jones, Seventeenth District, special; H. M. Spofford, Eighteenth District, special, 1853; H. A. Drew, Seventeenth District, special, 1854; T. T. Land, Eighteenth District, special, 1854; William B. Egan, Seventeenth District, special, 1857; DWid Cresswell, Eighteenth District, 1857; Roland Jones, Eighteenth District, 1860; A. B. Levisee, Tenth District, 1868; C. D. Bullock, special, 1871; R. J. Looney, 1873; C. Chaplin, 1875; J. H. Sutherlin, special, 1876; DWid Pearson, Seventeenth District, 1877; J. L. Logan, 1880; E. W. Sutherlin and W. P. Hall, special, 1880; S. L. Taylor, First District, 1881; J. B. Elam, special, 1881;. C. M. Pegues, special, 1882, and W. P. Hall, in 1884; Judge Hicks, special, 1884.
The members of the old and present bar are named as follows: S. P. Jones, J. B. Elam (died in 1885), W. L. Tuomey, F. R. Houston, C. Chaplin, Elisha Basse, W. J. Hamilton, W. F. T. Bennett, James Welsh, John H. Townsend, J. H. Sutherlin, J. H. Kilpatrick, A. R. Mitchell, R. J. Looney, Sam Wells, J. L. Logan (died in 1886), C. M. Pegues, C. D. Bullock, R. Mundy, John L. Scales (died in 1880), J. F. Bell, W. H. Wise, W. P. Hall, Edgar W. Sutherlin, J. C. Pugh, J. B. Lee and Henry T. Liverman.
The office of district clerk was held by Dr. William Long in 1843-45; J. D. Wemple, 1846-54; J. H. Sutherlin, 1854-67; W. B. Taylor, 1868-71; W. C. Reynolds, 1872-80; L. M. Howard, 1880-84, and G. H. Sutherlin, 1885-90.
The sheriffs were L. D. Bossier in 1843; H. H. Womack, 1846; Ben Youngblood, 1850; J. H. Dillard, 1852; T. J. Williams, 1858; J. W. Elam, 1863; Boling Williams, 1865; Robert T. Carr, 1868; w. p. Sample, 1874; J. J. Yarbrough, 1879, and L. H. Huson, 1888.
The recorders of the parish were James Welsh in 1843; M. W. Holman, 1846; John H. Quarles, 1848; W. McMichael, 1850; W. R. Jackson, 1851; S. F. Smith, 1854, followed by W. R. Jackson and D. M. Heriot, who was serving when the office was abolished. J. Douglass, D. D. C. C., signs the record of deeds in April, 1880, for the district clerk, who is ex-officio recorder under the constitution of 1879.
The assessors in the order of service were James E. Cunningham, Cesaire Flores, H. Harville, L. B. Camp, Ben Youngblood, Samuel F. Smith, J. H. Sutherlin, W. K. Brown, Hilaire. Flores, J. B. Moore, J. P. McElroy, S. H. Town. send, T. W. Brodnax and R. A. DeWeese. D. M. Heriot is the present assessor.
The superintendents of schools hWe been T. P. Hall, G. S. Hart, A. S. Flower, A. H. Thigpin and J. Douglass.
The coroners were J. J. Clow, 1847; A. R. Mitchell, 1850; E. G. Betts, 1851; J. G. Steel, 1854; W. S. Donaldson, 1867; 5. F. Walker, 1880-88, while the office of surveyor has been held by J. L. Cole, J. Wemple, S. L. Wagley and J. W. Pitts.
In 1851 T. T. Williamson received a majority vote for representative and Isaac Morse for Congress. In June, 1852, J. B. Elam was elected delegate from the senatorial district, but D. F. Roysden at tended, and D. B. McMillan, from the parish, to the Constitutional Convention.
In 1847, when C. M. Pegues came, Henry Phillips was representative and served in both houses until 1860. Joseph B. Elam, Jacob D. Wemple, William T. Fortson, D. B. McMillan, L. L. Tompkies and D. A. Blackshire were early representatives. Samuel Clark was senator, succeeded by Henry Marshall. In 1861 J. B. Elam was representative and with Dr. Chapman was Re-elected in 1863. Henry Marshall was elected a member of the Confederate Congress in 1861. J. B. Elam and T. M. Gatlin were chosen in 1865. In 1860 there were 634 votes recorded for Breckinridge, 364 for Bell and 2 for Douglas. J. B. Elam, Y. W. GrWes and Henry Marshall signed the ordinance of secession as representatives of De Soto. In the convention of 1864 De Soto was not represented, but in that of 1868 M. H. Twitchell was the representative. In 1879 M. J. Cunningham and R. B. Stille represented the district and E. W. Sutherlin and B. F. Jenkins, the parish. William W. Pugh was speaker of the House from 1856 to 1859; C. M. Pegues was clerk in 1879; Mortimer Carr was speaker in 1870-73. This Carr represented De Soto in 1868-70, although he never saw the parish.
The Starlight campaign was introduced in 1871-72. Wiggins (Colored) and Bill Peyton (White) were representatives, vice Elam and Stephenson counted out, and Maj. Twitchell, senator. In 1872 Wiggins died and Robert T. Carr was chosen to fill vacancy. In 1872 Carr (White) and DWe Johnson (Colored) were elected. John L. Scales and Charles Schuler were elected in 1874, and Twitchell was declared senator. In 1873 the ballot boxes were taken to the Starlight plantation by Twitchell and DeWeese and J. D. Wemple and John Wagner, elected representatives, were counted out. They would not permit any White man to be present.
In 1876 George I. Pitts and James T. Means were chosen representatives and Joseph M. Cunningham, vice Blunt, senator; B. F. Jenkins and S. S. Potts in 1878; S. C. Hall and W. C. Harris Were elected in 1880; J. H. Sandiford and Boling Williams were elected senators in 1878; George Graham and W. H. DWis were chosen in 1882; E. W. Sutherlin and B. W. Marston, senators; B. F. Jenkins and W. C. Harris were chosen representatives, and Joseph Henry and J. Fisher Smith (succeeding Sutherlin) senators in 1886.
In January, 1866, a number of citizens was arrested by Federal troops, charged with being accessories in the murder of a Colored woman of De Soto in November, 1865. This was followed by several arrests for alleged political offenses. In 1868 the Negroes attempted to terrorize the people and assembled in force at stated times. On one occasion, while the public square was filled with the new citizens, J. B. Hewitt and John Sheppard, then devils in the Times office, equipped a roller mold on R. J. Bowman's patent wheels, in cannon shape, and turned it on the crowd, scaring them into dispersal.
In 1870 the Radicals appointed two or three polling places in the parish. George Washington, a genial Negro, was candidate for representative, but Mortimer Carr was elected. This strange result was effected through the gullibility of George Washington. It appears Carr was present at Starlight plantation and gWe out the Radical tickets. In doing so he would assure the Negroes that George Washington was the candidate, cautioning them at the same time not to show the tickets as their enemies might undo their votes.
George Washington was also present, and in his most courteous way would tell the Negroes to step up to "Mista" Carr's box and get their tickets. Dr. Chapman and some White men from Mansfield went to Starlight through curiosity, and the Doctor, suspecting that something was wrong, got young Hewitt to snatch a few tickets, and thereon the name of Mortimer Carr was printed. George was very much irritated, and told the Negroes to stop voting, but Mortimer had carried his point, and, with the boxes in possession of his friends, he was declared elected, and ultimately chosen speaker of the House. The evening of that election it was moved and seconded to attack the Starlight plantation institution, and put press, ballots, Radicals and all in the river; Col. Hollingsworth was to lead. The expedition was ready, and would hWe carried out the plan had not Joseph B. Elam prevailed upon the daring men to hWe patience.
In 1872 the Knights of the White Camelia League were organized for protective purposes, with Dr. Du Bose, president. About this time the plan of holding elections in the court room at Mansfield was abolished, and a window in the clerk's office selected as the place for recording the votes. This dissatisfied the Negroes, who left town in a body, but returned armed. At the same time a company of United States cWalry, under Maj. Hutchinson, came in. J. B. Elam made a conciliatory speech and the cWalry dispersed the Negroes. The cWalry arrived in time to prevent a bloody riot, for both Negroes and Whites were well prepared to try their strength; while at Pleasant Hill John E. Hewitt notified the settlers to be prepared for battle.
In March, 1864, Banks entered upon his raid, although the Confederate, Taylor, learned of the proposed raid in February, and advised Kirby Smith thereof. The latter commenced to bring in his detached commands, and when Gen. A. J. Smith came up Red River and Banks up the Teche the Confederate forces were well prepared. The Federals captured Fort De Russy, just below Alexandria, and then proceeded up the valley, Taylor's command falling back gradually. At Mansfield, on April 8,1864, he resolved to fight, and sent a message to Kirby Smith to that' effect. He posted his 9,000 men one-quarter of a mile from the town and sent the gallant Mouton with the Louisianans forward to begin the attack. The Federals held the steep hill over which ran the public road, and capped it with Nimm's battery, and this battery Mouton sought to capture. He lost many officers in this twenty-five minutes' attack, among them Armand, of the Creole regiment.
The Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry pushed forward, led by Polignac and Mouton, and captured the battery. Mouton was killed while trying to sWe thirty-five Federal prisoners (or, as some would hWe it, after a flag of truce was hoisted) by one of the men he would hWe sWed, but the surviving officers led the pursuit of the Union troops to Pleasant Hill. At Pleasant Hill, on April 9, the Federals were reinforced and gWe battle until darkness enabled them to withdraw. Kirby Smith arrived on the field that night with his command, too late, of course, to participate in the honors, but not too late to prevent Taylor and Polignac from following up their victory. At Mark's Mills Smith won a questionable victory over Steele; Taylor returned to pursue Banks, but the wily Federal escaped, and his assistant, A. J. Smith, when on the point of losing 10,000 men, got away across the Atchafalaya, after burning Alexandria. De Soto was represented in the field by the Pelican Rifles, De Soto Blues, Keatchie Warriors, Henry Marshall Guards, Elam Guards, Dixie Rebels, Shelly's Battalion (Eleventh Louisiana), Company A. Capt. J. D. Yarbrough, Jordan's command and the Young Greys, while at home was Capt. Hatcher's Home Guards. Recruits from this parish were found in almost every Louisiana command.
At Mansfield Gen. Mouton, Cols. Armand, Beard and Walker, Maj. Canfield, Lieut.-Col. Clark, Col. Noble and many other officers fell. The Federal loss at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill was about 2,300 killed and wounded, and the Confederate loss 2,200. The Federals lost 2,500 taken prisoners at Mansfield, 20 guns, colors, small arms and 250 wagons, while at Pleasant Hill the losses were increased. T. J. Williams acted as guide during the movements here against Banks.
John E. Hewitt, who at the age of thirteen years witnessed the terrible scenes at Mansfield in April, 1864, prepared an historical paper on the subject. From this paper the following memoranda are taken: The town hall, the Methodist Church and the Mansfield Female College buildings, as well as many residences, had been hastily converted into hospitals for the Confederate wounded, while the Campbellite Church and most of the storehouses were prepared for the wounded Federal soldiers. The old Baptist Church had been set aside for the most serious cases, and there Confederate and Federal soldiers lay side by side waiting the aid which the surgeons of both armies could offer. At dark, on the evening of the 10th, one of the nurses lighted a candle, and holding it in one hand attended the patient with the other; but the delirious patient struck down the candle, and the light catching the loose cotton used as bedding set it on fire, and in a moment the flames filled the building. To sWe the wounded from death by burning, the men who were in Mansfield rushed in, and by carrying the patients through the fire or casting them out of the windows sWed about 200 soldiers from a horrible death. As the rescuers were about to abandon the work a young Creole Confederate soldier suffering from slight wounds and a young Union surgeon arrived upon the scene and answered the wild calls for help from within. The fatigued rescuers joined them, and another dozen of men were sWed from the flames.
The battlefield was designed by nature for the terrible war scene which opened and closed there on April 8,1864. Though now partly overgrown with young trees, openings remain where the greatest carnage was effected, and from Honeycutt Hill to the last position held by the Federals all the land is in cultivation.
The Logansport Advertiser was the pioneer journal of De Soto Parish. It was issued some years prior to 1849 by Peter Shearer.
The Mansfield Advertiser was established in April, 1849. Volume I, No. 6, is dated May 19, that year, and bears the signatures of W. I. Hamilton and J. W. Parsons, editors.
The Columbian was subsequent]y published by W. F. T. Bennett, at Mansfield, as stated in the history of Bossier. In 1858 W. B. Abington was editor, and J. F. Smith, of Sabine, who died in 1890, agent for that parish and Natchitoches.
The Pelican was published here in 1861, and in April, 1861, the estimate of Parish expenses for the year ending in 1862 ($9,150) was published therein. Peter Clarkson, the publisher, agreed to do the parish printing for $200 per annum.
The Mansfield Times was issued by Clarkson & Duke, in 1865. They continued its publication until 1870, when the Reporter was founded.
The Mansfield Times of October 30, 1869, then conducted by Clarkson & Duke, noticing the death of a Colored man at the hands of Dick Defee, and in the presence of four or five young White men, asked the good citizens of the place to break the necks of the young ragamuffins.
The De Soto News was established by Twitchell, at the Starlight plantation, in 1868-69, twenty-five miles from a post-office. It was issued in a stable and was the official journal of the parish until J. E. Hewitt employed J. B. Elam to proceed against the News, as it was not a newspaper in the legal sense. Mr. Elam succeeded in the suit and the contract was given to the Reporter.
The Mansfield Reporter was established January 1, 1870, by J. B. Hewitt and J. T. McClanaban. The former sold to the latter in 1871, but McClanahan sold his interest to Mr. Hewitt in 1872, and he was sole proprietor until 1875, when the office was sold to Dr. S. M. Potts. Early in 1878 the Reporter returned to Mr. Hewitt and was consolidated with the Democrat. In 1875 the Reporter was a semi-weekly journal.
The Tribune was established in the fall of 1871 by J. B. Hewitt, who purchased the Times office from Clarkson & Duke (Mr. Clarkson moved to Coushatta and purchased the Citizen there). On the completion of the deal, which brought the Reporter into the hands of its junior founder, the Tribune was consolidated with it and this name disappeared.
The De Soto Democrat was founded in 1877, by J. B. Hewitt. The first press was purchased from the Republican Journal, at Natchitoches, the editor of which, Coley Pierson, was killed during the riots of 1876. A small quantity of the type was also purchased there. Mr. Hewitt conducted the Democrat up to January, 1890, when the office was leased to A. M. Hewitt, the present editor. The circulation is about 1,500.
The Mansfield Herald was established in the fall of 1882, by J. L. Williams, owner, J. T. McClanahan, editor, and Dick Cotey, publisher. After a few months the editorship was conferred on George E. Head, who held that position until its suspension, in 1885. J. E. Hewitt purchased the office, and later sold the material to Mangham, for his new venture at Gibsland.
The Pelican Banner was issued in 1890, by Don B. Sorelle, Vol. I, No. 17, bearing date August 22,1890.
The News was issued at Logansport, in 1890, by J. H. Chatham. Vol. I, No. 83, is dated September 4, 1890.
At Grand Cane, the Item was issued some years ago, by J. J. McClanahan, and in 1889 he established the Post there.
In January, 1887, there were seventeen lodges of the Farmers' Alliance in existence, claiming 280 members. Toward the close of the month they made a contract with Jackson & Gullatt to supply them with about $35,000 worth of goods during the year. In April the Alliance consolidated with the Farmer's Union, and organized as the Farmers' Cooperative Union.
In September, 1888, the Farmers Union organized the Farmers' Supply Company, with J. B. Dillon,* D. F. Roach,* E. R. Best (president),* A. H. Thigpin, J. O. Franklin,* J. McNabors (secretary), A. M. Hewitt, B. B. Powell (treasurer), and R. H. Smith, directors. The names marked * are still directors, with A. A. Fair, secretary, B. F. McGee, J. P. McElroy, G. B. Williams and D. C. Ethridge. W. B. Hewitt is manager, and J. E. Hewitt, treasurer. The company carry a stock of $20,000. In 1888-89 they controlled 4,000 bales of cotton.
In October, 1887, there were twenty Alliance lodges in the parish, and three years later the farmers were, in fact, political and commercial rulers of De Soto. The De Soto Live Stock Association was organized May 31, 1890, with Dr. H. C. Stokes, president, and J. B. Lee, secretary. This association completed a race-track in the fall of 1890, and it is proposed to establish fair grounds. Among the members are E. B. Rogers, W. W. Harrington, B. F. Samuels, W. L. Minter, E. N. Foster, C. E. Jenkins, W. T. Scott, J. E. Williams, B. D. Cooper and J. E. Hewitt.
The Mansfield Railway & Transportation Company was organized in 1881, with B. F. Jenkins, president; Boling Williams, secretary, and M. Ricks, treasurer. The latter has been treasurer since that time. Boling Williams succeeded B. F. Jenkins, and O. H. P. Sample followed Williams as secretary. The cost of the road is said to be about $25,000. In March, 1882, the rails for the road arrived, and the permanent way was completed May 23. On that day a locomotive was sent up to inaugurate traffic. It was decorated by the ladies, and then attached to a train of flat cars, upon which a great number of people took seats, and trWeled to the junction. William Durham was conductor, and J. C. English, engineer. On the 24th freight traffic was inaugurated. Boling Williams, B. F. Jenkins and O. H. P. Sample, sending forward one carload of cotton. That day also the first freight was received, one carload of meal and flour for B. F. Jenkins, one for Ricks & Williams, a carload of meal for O. H. P. Sample, one of corn for Sample, and one for Williams, and two cars of miscellaneous goods for several other persons. On January 17, 1883, the first locomotive exploded near the Pacific Hotel, and was totally demolished; three men and one woman were killed; Mrs. Inglin died a day later, Engineer Shackleford was cut in two, a Negro brakeman's head was blown off, and the Negro fireman was blown 150 feet, and several persons were injured and the depot damaged.
In the fall of 1885 the Shreveport & Houston N. G. R. R. was completed, and Logansport grew from a little village into a bustling town.
The town of Mansfield dates hack to 1843. The location was selected as the seat of justice, and the name suggested June 5, 1843, by Thomas Abington, an admirer of an Irish peer named Mansfield. The population of the town, within its original or corporate limits, is 604, but the town proper contains 1,804 inhabitants.
The deed of the southwest quarter of Section 9, Town 12, Range 13, to De Soto Parish, was acknowledged at the town of Grand Cane before Parish Judge James Welsh, June 5, 1843, by Charles A. Edwards and John A. Gamble. The consideration was $200.47, which was paid by John Wagner, president of the police jury. In 1845 lots were sold on the town site of Mansfield to James Welsh, John J. Clow, Squire Pate, W. J. Massingale, P. W. Caspary, Caleb Pate, Daniel Lee William Crosby, C. E. Hewitt, J. D. Wemple, E. J. Cockfield, George Gaskins, J. Jones, S. M. Quarles, L. B. Singleton, Elisha Basse, C. Flores, C. W. H. Haislip, Louis Phillips, H. Pressy, W. H. Terrill, Methodist Episcopal Church, William Craig, William Sebastian, E. D. Anderson, H. C. Angee, J. Y. and E. W. McCalla and D. J. Land prior to 1879.
The town of Mansfield was incorporated April 15, 1847 [Act 128. page 93, laws 1847]. The supplemental act of March 17, 1852, conferred judicial powers on the mayor, while the two acts of 1856 provided for a poll tax and the regulation of liquor selling, and that of 1857 for the election of officials. The bill of incorporation was drafted by J. B. Elam, then a member of the Legislature and, it is said, he was first mayor. The mayors since 1850 are named as follows: A. R. Mitchell, 1850; William Chalmers, 1853; A. M. Campbell, 1854; James E. Cunningham, 1855; J. B. Elam, 1856; R. Mundy, 1857; C. M. Pegues, 1858; J. C. Porter, 1859; W. F. T. Bennett, 1860; J. H. Shepherd, 1861; Jason Meadors, 1866; W. B. Taylor, 1874; M. Ricks, 1876; B. T. Carr, 1877; James Constantine, 1878; B. T. Carr, 1880; B. W. Sutherlin, 1882; John Pugh, 1883; George B. Head, 1885; Thomas M. Tramel, 1886; M. Ricks, 1887, and Jason Meadors, 1889-90.
Dr. William Long was the first post-master, succeeded by S. M. Quarles, who was master in 1847. In 1857 Henry Buck, of Buck & Thomas, was postmaster. George Draughon followed as appointee of the Confederate post-master-general, in 1861, but on the re-establishment of the United States office, in September, 1866, Philip Allen was appointed, but was followed by Maj. Allen. William Taylor succeeded Maj. Allen in 1873 and is now incumbent.
The Mansfield Female College was founded in 1854, by Rev. H. C. Thweatt and Rev. W. E. Doty, two Methodist ministers. The foundation of the main college house was begun that fall, and the large frame house, now used for school exercises, was completed and the first classes called. In March, 1855, the college was incorporated. In 1856 the large brick building was completed, the brick being manufactured close by. In 1860 Rev. C. B. Stuart succeeded Mr. Thweatt as president. On October 6, that year, the buildings and grounds were sold by the sheriff to Louis Phillips, for $8,694.65; but, in 1864, he deeded the property to Bishop Keener, of the Louisiana Methodist Conference, for $6,000, and in 1865 the college was reopened. In September, 1874, Rev. Thomas Armstrong succeeded Mr. Stuart as president, and in June, 1880, Rev. J Lane Borden was appointed president. In June, 1883, Rev. F. M. Grace succeeded Borden, who was killed, and in 1887 Dr. McVoy became president. The alumnae of the college up to September, 1890, number 186. In September, 1890, the thirty-eighth annual session was opened with each department in charge of a qualified teacher. After the, battle of Mansfield the college buildings were given up to hospital purposes, and continued to be so used until 1865.
The Methodist Episcopal Church South was founded here in 1844. Ten years after, when Mrs. Moss came, Mr. Pipes had charge of the church here and at Pleasant Hill, where the Greening class existed. At Mansfield the Campbells, Louis, Edwin and Hilliard Phillips, and their wives; the Bells, Mrs. Rawles (later Mrs. Crosby), Mrs. Lewis, Edward DWis, Mrs. Helper, Mrs. John Pegues, were members. John L. Scales came shortly after John Meek. Of the old members, Mrs. Moss, J. W. McElroy and wife, R. W. Jackson, Mrs. Greening and Mrs. Bell are living. In 1853 conference was held here, and in 1858 the second meeting was held here. The present preacher, Mr. White, was then in charge. Dr. Thweatt was president of the college then, and the church building (frame) stood on the site of the present house, which was built after the war.
The Colored Methodists erected a house of worship on the Pleasant Hill road, and after 1866 made this place a religious and political rendezvous. In August, 1890, a great conclWe of Africans was held here. It is related that hundreds of preachers were engaged in evangelical work, day and night, during this revival term.
Mansfield Baptist Church was constituted by Z. Worley and A. W. Jackson, June 28, 1851, and joined the association in 1851, reporting eleven members. W B. Benson was chosen clerk. J. P. Buckner was pastor in 1853, succeeding James Backus; A. W. Jackson, in 1855; D. R. W. McIver, 1856-62; followed with W. F. Herrin, clerk. Brother Scott was pastor in May, 1863, followed that year by J. H. Tucker, who was here during the war; in 1866 Elder Hartsfield, who served until 1876, when T. W. Ebeltoft took charge. In 1880 C. W. Tompkies was called as pastor, but the following year G. W. Hartsfleld returned to this charge. T. E. Alford is the present pastor.
In May, 1852, the contract for building a church house was sold to E. DWis, for $1,850, and the house was completed in August. This old building was converted into a hospital on April 8,1864, and burned shortly after.
The Presbyterian Church was built in 1872-73. Mr. Harrington is preacher.
Christ Memorial Church (English Protestant Episcopal) was organized by Rev. John Sandals, who, prior to the war, was vestry missionary, and pastor until his death, in 1867. Among the first members were Dr. R. T. Gibbs, D. M. Heriot, Mrs. J. B. Elam, Mrs. Gibbs, Mrs. Heriot, Laura Crosby, Mrs. Pegues, Mrs. A. J. Collis, Susan Crosby, Dr. Donaldson, Mrs. Donaldson and a few others. Rev. Messrs. Cameron, Hall, Prosser, Turner and W. K. Douglass were rectors here successively, the latter until July, 1890. In 1880-81 the present church building was erected by Contractor F. W. Steinman, at a cost, complete, of about $3,000. Mr. Hall the rector, was building superintendent, and expended much labor on this work.
The old Catholic Church building was taken down a few years ago, when the Carmelite Church was established at Carmel, about eight miles east of the town.
The Traders' Bank was organized May 8, 1890, with W. B. Hewitt, G. B. Williams, B. F. Jenkins, W. P. Sample, A. F. Jackson, R. T. Gibbs and J. J. Billingsley, directors. J. B. Hewitt was chosen president, and Noble W. Williams, cashier. It is organized under the State law, with $30,000 paid-up capital. Work on the new bank building commenced September 1, on the site of Hewitt & Co.'s private banking house. The cost of the building, vault, etc., is estimated at $6,000.
In the fall of 1890 the firm of Rives & Hewitt (Green Rives, W. B. Hewitt) entered on the work of establishing a steam cotton-gin, grist-mill and cotton oil-mill. A large frame building was erected on Jefferson Street for this purpose, and a forty horsepower engine placed therein. It is not the purpose of the company to introduce oil pressers until 1891, but the other departments of the mill were ready for work in September, 1890.
Keatchie, sometimes written Keatchi, Keitche, Keachi, is an old college town named after some lazy Indian of fifty years ago. A reference to the chapter on pioneers will point out the names of the early resident land owners in this vicinity, while in other chapters many names and some important incidents connected with the village are given. During the war this section sent forward a large number of old and young men to recruit the De Soto legions in the field, and even before the injudicious attack on Fort Sumter was made the modern warriors of this old Indian land were prepared to defend their property and homes against Northern fanaticism. In 1865 G. W. Peyton established a mercantile house at this point. Hungerford and Mason, W. B. Peyton, E. Schuler, P. N. Scarborough, J. M. Peyton and others established their houses since the war. In September, 1866, the post-office was restored, and Miss H. Schroeder placed in charge.
Keatchie Church, formerly known as Good Hope, was organized in 1852, with eighteen members, and A. J. Rutherford, pastor. In 1864 Rev. J. H. Tucker was pastor; in 1867, Peter Crawford, followed in 1868 by Mr. Tucker. The church is practically connected with the college. Keatchie Chapel Church was organized with T. N. Coleman, J. F. Greer, Rev. J. H. Buchner, A. S. Hamilton O. A. Coleman, Mrs. Julia L. Coleman and Miss Pennie Cummins of the college faculty, members and held services in Welcome Hall. The old Keatchie Baptist Church protested, and charged the new society with obtaining letters fraudulently and a denominational war was waged for some time. The trouble extended to the college or originated there, but matters were amicably settled, by the removal of Rev. Mr. Coleman.
The Methodist Episcopal building at Keatchie was dedicated in September, 1879, by Rev. G. M. Liverman, the pastor.
In August, 1856, the question of establishing a Baptist college at Keatchie ( It was thought best by publishers to follow the orthography of the Post office Department.) was discussed and the names of twenty-three $100 subscribers advertised by the agent, A. J. Rutherford. The Baptist Union Male and Female College at Keatchie was incorporated October 12, 1857, but the title to the property was in the name of the Keatchie Female College. In 1885 Rev. T. N. Coleman was president, but failed to be re-elected. During his presidency he purchased land adjoining the college and erected buildings thereon to which he gWe the name Keatchie Business College. In September, 1885, he changed this to Keatchie College, and discovering that the original charter had never been recorded, he placed all documents on record and became the owner of the college name and faculty. Later the old trustees compromised, leasing him the college for one year. The institution ceased to be a Baptist one. In November the Keatchie College Advocate was established to advertise his claims. After a period of trouble the college was re-established on its old principles, and Rev. C. W. Tompkies, called to preside. There were 155 pupils registered in 1890. The board of directors comprises Joe Williams, Dr. Moseley, T. H. Gatlin, O. L. Durham, I. W. Pickens and C. W. Tompkies, of De Soto, with J. M. Bowles, president, and J. H. Prescott, of Shreveport. O. L. Durham is president of the hoard of trustees, and J. M. Bowles, of the board of directors, while Dr. Moseley is secretary of both bodies.
Logansport, on the Sabine River, was founded in 1830. For years it was a celebrated trading point, but the establishment of new towns in Louisiana and Texas, the removal of the Red River Raft, and establishment of Shreveport, abolished much of its old-time prosperity and left it poor indeed. Immediately after the War of 1861-65 A. M. Garrett established his business house and carried on trade without local opposition for twenty years. On the completion of the Shreveport & Houston Railroad in 1885, new traders located here, and in 1886-87 and 1887-88, the receipts of cotton jumped to 7,800 bales annually, and in 1889-90, there were no less than 10,441 bales marketed here. Besides this a considerable quantity of ribbon cane molasses is brought here from the Texas counties, to the cultivation of which the farmers are paying greater attention. Another great element of wealth is the lumber interests, which are being rapidly developed, mills are being established every few miles along the Houston, East & West Texas Railroad and off of it. At this place the old mill was replaced by one of the finest in the South, capable of handling 75,000 feet or eight to ten carloads per day.
In 1888 the officers of the town were E. Price, mayor; A. M. Garrett, W. J. Hicks, S. Kemp, H. A. Mize and A. Odom, councilmen, and J. Thomas Hall, marshal. One common school for White pupils and a Union church existed then. In 1890 W. C. Hardy was mayor, L. Middleton, marshal, and C. C. Chatham, comptroller. Mount Vernon Lodge No. 83, A. F. & A. M., was presided over by James K. Pyle, with L. H. Adams, secretary; the New Baptist Church was erected under the supervision of Rev. A. A. Owns, of the Missionary Baptist Society; Rev. A. A. Cornett, was pastor of the Methodist Church. The News was issued this year by J. H. Chatham, No. 33, of Volume I, being dated September 4,1890, and a hotel building erected. The River Lumber Company is an association of modern business men who intend to render their mills equal to the advantages which the country and great forests afford, and in connection with the mill reservoir, the council entertain the idea of establishing a system of water-works. In March, 1887, the first steamboat seen at Logansport since the days of Civil War arrived, Capt. Isaac Wright.
Bethany Church at "Lick the Skillet," on the Texas line in De Soto, was organized in March, 1852; by A. J. Rutherford. Near by was the gaming hall in Louisiana, and the drinking hall in Texas. In December, 1851, Revs. E. B. Reynolds, Jesse Lee and A. J. Rutherford made a raid on Lick the Skillet," captured the hearts of the debauchees and made them Baptists. In 1857 G. W. Rogers was pastor, but before the war the membership merged into the societies at Providence and Boggy Bayou.
Grand Cane is the name given to an incorporated town six miles distant from Mansfield, in latitude 32d 4' north, and longitude 16d 42' west. The name is derived from that bestowed upon the neighborhood years ago by the early trWelers. The surrounding country presents the appearances of alluvial lands, though forming the summit of a plateau, which slopes into Grand Cane Creek and to the Red River. The site of the town was a cane brake, through which the explorers had to cut a road, and to-day, after a half-century of cultivation, the lands in the vicinity are very fertile.
In 1849 an anti-missionary Baptist society was organized here, and continued in active existence up to 1855, but ceased to be represented in the association in 1859 or 1860. The Baptist Society took its place, and the Grand Cane Baptist Association is to-day one of the influential religious societies of the State. The Methodist Circuit of Grand Cane comprises 169 White members. There are two Methodist Church houses in the circuit, and one Presbyterian house here.
On the completion of the railroad in 1881, the village became an important business center. The Peyton Store was established that year by G. W. Peyton. In 1882 E. S. Hicks & Bros. opened their store here; in 1883 Jones, Chaffin & Co. established their business, and later founded a store west of the railroad; good & Foster's store dates to 1884, and P. E. Allen's drug store to 1884-85. The high-school building and church houses with a long line of mercantile buildings, dwellings, sawmill, cotton gin and tradesmen's shops constituted the town. Around it are the homes of some of the earliest settlers of the parish.
Pleasant Hill Village was on the mile wide plateau on the Mansfield & Fort Jessup Road, College Hill being its most elevated point. Here on April 9, 1864, the battle commenced near Mansfield, before the day was closed, and the Federal forces driven down Red River.
Pleasant Hill Lodge No. 86 was organized March 4,1850. Among the first masters were S. D. Chapman, John Jordan, J. J. Fike and Joseph W. Foster. T. J. Hopkins and J. D. Brown were recorded as dead in 1874.
The Baptists organized Emmaus Church here in 1854, but allowed it to collapse in a few years. The Methodists had a church house here before the war. Beyond facts of it being a depot on the old Grand Ecore and Shreveport stage route in 1854, a post office for a large section that year, and ten years later a battle-ground, there is little to place on record. The new town of Pleasant Hill has appropriated the name.
Oxford is a new railroad town. Here, on August 29, 1890, a male and female college was established under direction of the Red River Presbytery. The officers are: President, Judge N. M. Smith, of Jackson, and secretary, Thomas Steele, of De Soto. The college starts with the donation of half the town lots in Oxford, twenty in number, and $1,000 in cash from Thomas Steele, and $1,000 from a citizen of Ohio. Pelican is the name given to a new town, fifty-two miles southeast of Shreveport. It was surveyed in August, 1889, while the old saw mill stood there. Before the close of twelve months a new saw and plane mill, stores, and a 400 bale cotton market were brought into existence, and in September, 1890, the new high-school building was opened. The Pelican Banner referred to in the press article was issued in 1890.
The German colony settled seven miles east of Mansfield in April, 1888, on what is known as Bond's plantation. Father P. Anastase Peters purchased 1,040 acres here from Ricks & Williams on Bayou Pierre, for this colony in April, and P. Berthold Ohlenforst, agent, took legal possession. In August the building of the Carmelite monastery here was begun. A two-story building, 40x90 feet, was erected that year, and in 1890 the convent schools were built. The post-office is named Carmel and Rev. Father Peters is postmaster.
Blanchard post office was established in January, 1887, at the Womack farm, in Bayou Pierre Point. Smyrna Church was organized in March, 1878, with fourteen members, and in July, 1880, a house of worship was dedicated by Rev. W. C. Dunlap. Pipes Chapel, near Peter Ricks house, was dedicated for Methodist worship in January, 1882.
In 1850-52 Elder A. W. Jackson organized a number of Baptist Churches, among them being the old Patience Church, Friendship, Evergreen, Hazelwood, New Hope and Longstreet, nearly all of which hWe disappeared. Salem, organized in 1870, at a point between Kingston and Summer Grove, is in existence, with Bethsaida, Gum Springs, Logansport and Spring Ridge Churches. Evergreen Church, near Kingston, dates back to April 20, 1852, when twelve members signed the articles. In 1856 D. R. W. McIver was pastor. On his death, in 1863, Moses C. Williams was called, and in 1864 R. H. Scott. In 1876 he was charged with sin and deposed. Messrs. Hartsfield, Ebeltoft and Tompkies presided here successively.
Kingston is an old settlement or village which Lost its commercial importance long ago. In 1854, J.M. Prather was appointed post-master here. Starlight plantation and other historic points are referred to in the general history.
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