Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana History and Genealogy
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Background: About thirty years ago your host was browsing a used book store and came across an original book titled Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana. I bought it for $1.95 if memory serves me. I wanted to transcribe it. Spacing, format and some clean up was done to fit our webpage design. The following is not a reproduction of the original. Please report typing errors.
The act of April 10, 1805, divided Louisiana Territory into twelve parishes, Orleans, German Coast, Acadia, La Fourche, Iberville, Pointe Coupee, Attakapas, Opelousas, Natchitoches, Rapides, Ouachita and Concordia. Avoyelles was established in 1808. The Constitution of 1812 established three parishes out of original Orleans. In the fall of this year De. Sibley reported to Congress on the topography and people of the Red River Valley.
The original parish comprised all the territory in the ecclesiastical parish of St. Francis, or an area 120 miles long by seventy broad, Caddo, Claiborne, Webster, Bossier, part of Lincoln, Sabine, De Soto, Bienville, part of Winn, Red River, and part of Grant, all were organized out of Natchitoches. Natchitoches, in 1880, raked third in number of inhabitants and fifth in cotton production of all the upper parishes. South of the old town and outside the bottom the uplands partake of a pine hill character, except on Bayou Kasatchie. Of its total area, 1,290 miles, long leaf pine hills cover 600, oak uplands 300, and Red River bottom lands 300 square miles. Of 58,969 acres cultivated in 1879-80, there were 26,784 acres in cotton, which yielded 15, 320 bales, or .57 bales per acre; 813 pounds of seed cotton, or 271 of cotton lint; 17,871 acres of corn; 197 of sweet potatoes, and 28 of sugar cane. Joseph Henry of Willow, stated that the cotton plant reaches eight feet in height, and that fresh land produces 2,000 pounds of seed cotton, and after fifteen years of cultivation yields 1,800 pounds.
The alluvial land produces one bale and the hill land a half bale of cotton per acre. The statistics for 1889 are as follows: Cotton, acres, 32,783; cotton, bales, 20,115; corn, acres, 1,605; potatoes, bushels, 56,000; hay, acres, 4,000; hay, bales, 110,1000; alluvial land, acres, 230,018; pine and oak land, acres, 548,702; cultivated land, acres, 79,633; uncultivated land, acres, 523,060; government land, acres, 196,037; yellow pine, long and short leaf, feet, 1,300,000,000; cypress, feet, 500,000,000, and hardwood, feet, 2,000,000,000. Assessor Stafford in his very careful review of the assessment of 1890, fixes the total taxable property at $2,787,260 which is less than that of 1889. The poll tax is $4,400, $1,000 more than that of last year, and the taxes accruing from all sources at 16 mills, State and parish, are $49,030. The decrease in the taxable property is due to the fact that the assessment of the railroads was reduced from $7,500 to $6,000 a mile.
In 1785 the population of Natchitoches was 756, the figures being obtained for Capt. Gen. Galvez. The total population of Natchitoches in 1810 was 2,870, including 1,213 Caucasians, 181 free Colored, and 1,476 slaves; in 1820, 7,486 or 4,725 Whites, 415 free Colored, and 2,326 slaves; in 1830, 7,095 or 3,802 Whites, 532 free Colored, and 3,571 slave; in 1840, 14,350 or 7,042, 357 free Colored, and 6,651 slaves; in 1850, 14,228 or 5,466 Whites, 881 free Colored, and 7,881 slaves; in 1860, 16,699 or 6,306 Whites, 958 free Colored, and 9,434 slaves; in 1870, 18,265 or 7,312 Whites, and 10, 928 Colored; in 1880, 19,722 or 7,642 Whites and 12,080 Colored.
For 1890 the State statistics show 5,569 White male and 7,942 Colored male, 3 Indian male, 4 Chinese male, and 5,295 White female and 7,513 Colored female inhabitants, or a total of 26,326. There are 2,068 White and 2791 Colored voters; 5,612 Colored and 3,782 White children of school age; 2,110 farm owners and 3,090 farm laborers. The United States census for 1890 places the population of the parish at 25,836.
The village of the Boluxa Indians (near Colfax) stood where the river divides into two branches, forming an island about fifty miles in length and three to four in width. On the right hand ascending was the stream called Rigolet de Bon Dieu (now Red River), on which there were no settlements in 1812. On the left hand (now Cane River), was the boat channel to Natchitoches, and on this branch, for twenty four miles, were several rich plantations. Above the old River Cane settlement the river divided again, forming an island thirty miles in length, called Isle Brevel. This island was subdivided by a bayou, which crossed it from one river to the other. The middle or Cane River was called Little River, and was the boat channel. The westward channel, old river or false river, was navigable; but, owing to the lowness of its banks there were no settlements visible in 1812. The river passed through Lac Occasee (where Prudhomme now is), and above, at Natchitoches, the two channels met, while the Rigolet du Bon Dieu, now the main channel, left the present Cane River at Perot's plantation, one mile below Grand Ecore Bluffs, six miles up the stream from Natchitoches.
When De Soto came here in 1540 the Chickasaws were the most ferocious of all the tribes, and Red River deserved its name then as it does now. The gallant discover died at the mouth of this river, conferring the command on Muscoso de Alvarado. After the death of the chief, the Spaniards essayed to reach Mexico, but had not yet arrived at the mountains when Quiqualtanqui, chief of the Indian confederacy, opposed their advance and drove them back to the Gulf, reduced in number to 300 men. July 7, 1678, the venerable Marquette and the daring Joliet entered the Mississippi and floated down to the mouth of the Arkansas. In 1682 La Salle sailed down the Mississippi to its mouth. His second voyage, on which he discovered the Indian village where Natchitoches stands, resulted in his unfortunate death in 1687. A few years later the French and English hastened to claim part of the Spaniard's discovery, and the "Pelican," under Iberville and Bienville, silenced forever the British ships which attacked her. In March, 1699, the two captains with Pere Anastase (who was on La Salle's expedition of 1682) entered the Mississippi and explored the country to the Red River. Prior to 1694 the Spaniards established a colony of Canary Islanders at and around Adayes.
In 1718 the Marquis de la Jonquiere, and the officers appointed under Crozat's charter arrived in Louisiana. Lamotte Cadillac, one of the principal officers disappointed in trading with the Gulf Spaniards, determined to push French commercial enterprise into the interior of Mexico and to hold back the Spaniards. He established the post at Natchitoches, sending thither St. Denys with thirty Canadians and a number of Indians. This was in 1714, but St. Denys left only a few Canadians there, and pushed westward to the Presidio del Norte on Rio Bravo. In 1715 Du Pisne was sent to build a fort on Natchitoches Island. In 1716 St. Denys returned to Natchitoches, received supplies there from the Canadians and set out for the village of Adayes were thirty warriors resided. Fording the river they very soon arrived at the Adeyches village, where there were ten cabins. The Catholic mission was at this point, and near by was the house of two friars, the barrack of three soldiers and the cabin of the devout housekeeper of the convent. Thirty miles farther up was the first village of the Assinais, where a church was attended by two friars, and some distance away was the first Spanish Presidio, a captain, a lieutenant and twenty five troops. Immense herds of buffalo were seen.
When La Harpe arrived at Natchitoches with his fifty men he found Commandant Blondel in charge, with Father Manuel, of the Adayes Mission, as his guest. On an island near the fort were 200 members of the Natchitoches, Dulcinoes and Yattassee tribes. La Harpe went as far as latitude 33° 35', and erected a post there, 250 miles from Natchitoches. In 1718 St. Denys was commandant. After a short investigation, he learned that the Marquis de Gallo, governor of Texas, was in the vicinity with 400 cavalry and $50,000 worth of goods, and had begun to burn brick for a fort. Again he brought diplomacy to aid him, and received a promise from De Gallo that the French territory would not be occupied.
Biloxi was settled by the French under Iberville in 199, Natchez, settled by the French under Iberville and De Touti in 1700; Fort St. Louis, settled by the French under Bienville in 1701; Mobile, settled by the French under Bienville in 1710; Fort Rosalie, settled by the French under Bienville in 1716; Natchitoches Fort, erected by the French under Bienville in 1717; New Orleans, settled by the French under Bienville in 1718.
At this time (1699) the Natchez numbered 600 warriors. In 1700 Bienville arrived at Natchitoches and Yattassee, forty miles above, where St. Denys subsequently had a post. They attacked Natchez Post, and in January, 1730, attacked the settlers at the Yazoos. St Denys, who was commander at Natchitoches in 1730, won the respect of the Texan Indians. Against this post the Natchez directed their strength, but their approach was discovered. After diplomacy failed them to gain possession of the post, they burned a French woman in sight of the fort. At this time St. Denys had forty French soldiers and twenty settlers inside the stockade, and forty Natchitoches warriors close by. Driven to vengeance by the sight of the burning woman, he made a sortie, killed sixty savages, wounded a greater number and rove all to flight. Later the Avoyelles, Tunicas and other small tribes became allies of the French. In December, 1730, the Red River expedition set out under Salverte, brother of Gov. Perier. The third and last stand of the Natchez was made at Battle Ground plantation, on Sicily Island, Catahoula Parish, La., forty miles across the swamp for Natchez, Miss. Here they were found by Gov. Perier, January 20, 1732, and many of them torn to pieces by the artillery.
That night a heavy rain storm came up to end the butchery, as it were, and in the darkness the remnant of the tribe escaped, leaving the wounded warriors, an aged woman and some no combatants in the stockade. The refugees reorganized under Chief of the Flour, and attacked Natchitoches early in 1831. The old post, called by the Yankees Fort Claiborne, was surrounded by a deep ditch. In the northeastern section was the cemetery, and there in 1827, the last interment was made. An iron cross marks the grave and date. In January, 1707, M. de La Motte's expedition arrived at Natchitoches, but six years before this the church of San Miguel at Adayes, near Robeline, was established. During the century ending in 1816, Adayes disappeared, and the newer town on Cane River could only boast of 150 houses. On March 29, 1823, the church, presbytery and Rost's house were burned. On March 17, 1838, fire destroyed the new church here, being the second fire in the history of the town. The fort at Bayou Pierre Bluffs, near Grand Ecore, was a substantial set of structures covering one acre and surrounded by a stone wall. Parts of the wall and house foundations are still to be seen. On the Natchitoches and San Antonia trace evidence of a fort exist, and throughout the country bordering the old western trails the crosses of the missionaries or the swords of the soldiers of ancient days are unearthed at intervals.
The Sanchez grant at Los Tres Llanos, where Louis Latham resided in the twenties, was one of the oldest Spanish grants by Gov. Lavois, who resided at Adizes. Sanchez' son was eight six years old in 1820, when District Judge William Murray took testimony in the case. In June, 1772 the inhabitants were driven out of Adizes, by Gov. Rippardo, leaving their crops and three sick families behind.
In 1770 Pierre and Julien Besson settled on the Ecore Rouge, six leagues above Natchitoches, granted by Athanase Mazieres, commandant at this post. The Michael Crow claim on the Sabine, was presented in 1797. His father, Isaac, married the widow Chabineau, and purchased lands on the east bank of the river from Vincente Michele, on the Natchitoches road. In September, 1769, Chevalier de St. Denys, commandant, granted to Marie de St. Denys, wife of De Soto, a tract in this vicinity.
Athanase Poisot claimed lands at Three Cabins, and also Prairie Nabutscahe, under a deed given by chief Antoine and other Indians of the Hyatasses, approved by Vaugine in 1784. This land is near the large bayou flowing into Natchitoches. In 1790 Andrew Rambin purchased from the Indians, Cayacaille and wife, some lands in this parish, and in 1778 a lot in the town from Chevalier Poiret.
In 1813 Richard K. McLaughlin, representing twenty six claimants each for a square league in Natchitoches, signed the claims in presence of justice Marcel De Soto. The fraudulent methods were exposed by De Soto soon after, and the claims set aside.
In 1787 Francois Grappe purchased from Cahada or Cajahdet, and Indian of the Caddo tribe, a tract at Lake Bastiano, on the road from Campti to Little Caddo. Pierre Gagnier bought lands on Lake auk Meures from John Sohano and other Chesteaur Indians at Natchitoches. In 1790 Hypolite Bourdelin bought lands from the Indian chief, Dehuste, of Natchitoches, under whom the tribe was remove from the post to the lake named, ten leagues above the post, after the death of Chief Tomac.
In 1787 Estwan Mird, governor, granted lands to Francois Bossier, at the old Yatasse village. Lands were also granted to Nanet Larnodier and Alexis Grappe. In 1812 Pierre Elie, Berthelemi Shamberg and Hypolite Bordelon, testified that John B. Roujot and Madame F. Lemaitre owned, successively, the lots in Natchitoches village, claimed by Maria Louise Villfranche, wife of Gaspard Badin at the time. The names of Marie J. Crette, widow of Louis Anty, Gaspard Lacour, Alexis Cloutier, Pierre Labombarde, Louis Dearbonne, Baptiste Trichel, Armand Lauve, Jean J. Poillet, Louis Vascoeu, of Black Lake; P. Villedaigle, J. F. Lavasseur, F. Mercier Madam Rouquiere, Marie B. Chamard, John M. Pierro, of Rigolet du Bon Dieu; Antoine Rachal, Michel Du Roy, Geago Rami, Manuel De Soto (died in 1799, after freeing his old slave, Papillon, then aged fifty-two years). Pierre Kairey, Jacques Vercheve, Alexis Cloutier, on river Aux Cannes, opposite the Old Village, bought from Miguel Rosalie Craz, in 1808; Joseph Taurus, Paul Coutant, B. L. Estage, Old River; Eben Leech, Spanish Lake; J. B. Morin, Marie A. Dupre, Joseph Rabalais, J. B. Boisnette, Joseph and Dominie Mettoyer, Little River; Nicholas, a free Negro (Bunch of Canes), Marie Palige and Marie Perine (free mulatto woman) Drunkard's Bayou; P. T. Mettoyer, Bayou Blue; Marie R. Frederique, Florentine Conan, Marcellet Martin, Pierre Charrio, F. Laurent and S. B. Wiley (Campti), Augustin (a free Negro) above Grand Ecore; Jose de la Vega, John Quinnity, John Young, Young's Bayou; Joseph Hill, Little River; Pierre Schilletree, Old River; Valery Anty, Baltazar Brevel, John Litton and Joseph Santes, Bayou Tortoise; Louis Courtesse, Paul Prudhomme, Neuville Gallien, Leandre Lasso, Widow Antoine, Bayou Tete du Cheval; Pierre Sans Quartier, Bayou Pierre; Gregoire Gizernac, Lachobiere Island; Joseph Procelle, Bayou Dearbonne; Jean Legur, Bayou Deyet; the Martins, Bermudas; J. B. Piedfirme, Lac Poule de Eau; B. Ratbois, Antoine Lenoir, Remy Lamber, Saline Lake, eight leagues above Post; Antoine Dubois, P. Bonvellon, near Grand Marsh; U. Ortise, A Le Blanc, Baptiste Plaisance and M. Levasseur, near Post; Ambrose Le Campti and James Teal, Prairie Yanecoocoo; Etienne La Caze, John A. Agues and A. Langlois, River Tahon; J. B. T. Grillet, near Campti; Pierre Gagne, Rene Perrault, Jean Narces, Louis Sydic, Felicite Guillory and E. Derouen, four on Rigolet du Bou Dieu; Paul Poisseau, Attahoo River; Asa Beckham, Bayou Tortoise; J. M. Leando, sold to James F. Porter; Pierre Captain, a Christian Indian, resided on du Aux Cannes, near Antys settlement, in 1780; James Bludsworth claimed the Rouquiere lands, opposite Petite Ecore; Pierre Mailleux, Gilbert Closseau, Jean Francois Hartzog, Littler River, 1794; he kept a store on Cane River, distant one and one half leagues; William B. Quirk, Rio Pedro; Roger McPike, Bayou Nantache; Edmond Quirk, Bayou Dien Domini; John Walker built a hunting cabin on Bayou Castor, in 1801, sold to John and Sarah Thompson; L. Robinson, Bayou Boine, seven miles west of post, and one mile above the old town of Adayes; Therese Lamalthie, Elizabeth David, Maria F. Hemell, Old River; Placide Bossier, Clear Lake; John Smith, Bayou Jeat; B. Savoy, Brosse Island. [Please report typing errors.]
In July, 1764, Director General Dabadie granted to J. B. Dubois, near the La Cour de la Prelle Islands at Ecore, 480 superficial arpens on the right bank of a branch of Red River, called River Cane.
In 1795 there were granted to Francis Rouquiere 1,600 arpents on Grand Batture Island in Lac Terre Noire, one and one half leagues from Natchitoches Post.
In August, 1787, 280 superficial arpents at the extremity of the Grand Ecore, near the lands of Joseph Martin, were granted to Francois Varcocu.
The Bernarda Pantaloon claim for four square leagues, twenty or twenty-five miles northwest of Natchitoches village, was founded on the grant by Commandant Ugarte, of Nacogdoches, in 1798; Dr. Sibley was witness for claimants. The village of Tapalocote, on the Arroyo del Durasno, and the stream called Tierra Blanca and Spanish lake are mentioned among the boundaries. John Sibley's claim for the old Francois Morvant lands, seven leagues from Natchitoches, on the Bayou Pierre road, was sustained by a deed from Patrick Murphy, sheriff of Natchitoches in 1814.
In 1820 Felix Trudeau testified before Parish Judge Charles Slocum, of Natchitoches, that the claim of Emanuel Prudhomme for fifty one acres on Red River, opposite the post of Natchitoches (lodged in the name of Widow Chaiqneau), was cultivated in 1796, when he came and was one of the first settled plantations in the parish. In 1782 the widow petitioned for title, and this petition was endorsed by M. de Vaugine, then commandant. At this time also the petition for title by Madame Widow St. Denys was recommended.
The slave holders of Natchitoches in 1862, who paid taxes on ten or more slaves, are named in the following list. Such names as Gen. Bossier, Ben Gagnie, Dr. Normand, and other large owners of slaves in pioneer days, do not occur in this list, as they had passed away long years before, while others took their slaves to Texas in 1862: C. C. Anthony, 29; Giles Berry, 24; James Beasley, 17; W. O. Breazeale, 56; J. W. Butler, 36; Breazeale, Payne & Harrison, 114; Mrs. M. N. Breazeale, 12; F. G. Bartlett, 44; Michael Boyce, 84; J. P. Breda, 21; J. D. Blair, 51; J. J. Blair, 45; Mrs. S. Bossier, 10; M. C. Buckstone, 15; Inil Brown, 11; Mrs. L. A. Buard, 57; J. L. Bullard, 11; C. B. Baird, 16; B. H. Baird, 14; O. P. Blanchard, 100; J. C. Brooks, 25; T. D. Brown, 24; A. W. Baird, 36; J. R. Bosley, 28; Hardy Bryant, 170; E. S. Blackstone, 13; Mary Brown, 30; D. & W. W. Brown, 80; J. R. Bosley, 24; J. W. Brown, 26; M. Bundanis, 12; L. F. Bordelon, 21; Hilaire Bordelon, 11; J. G. Campbell, 17; F. L. and M. F. Clanton, 36; Joseph Clark, 29; S. M. Cade, 49; Etienne Chelletre, 10; W. R. Cowser, 10; N. D. Calhoun, 107; W. S. Campbell & Co., 22; Emile Chevalier, F. M. C., 10; Noel Condet, F. M. C., 25; A. Chaler, 14; Terence Chaler, 66; P. O. Chaler, 15; Jean Conant, F. M. C., 10; Chopin & Benoit, 42; Cockfield & Benoit, 49; A. Carnahan, 18; J. M. Compere, 15; J. B. Cloutier estate, 29; M. Carroll, 28; J. M. Dixon, 12; Widow Mary Dixon, 11; A. Deblieux, 11; L. Duplex, 20; J. A. Ducournau, 20; E. V. Deblieux, 36; J. N. Deblieux, 36; F. M. Dickerson, 10; Widow E. B Daniel, 20; Mrs L. F. Davis, 27; Widow Adolphe Dupre, 21; F. Derlouches, 10; L. G. Derbonne, 10; R. L. Duncan, 16; E. Davion, 10; J. H. Ellzey, 10; William Ellzey, 42; Joe Ezenack, 9; T. J. Foster, 18; E. B. Fleming, 46; G. Fontenot, 16; widow of Edward Frederic, 22; Honori Frederic, 13; Ben. Federic, 11; Azenor Farson, Sr., 10; W. D. Gooch, 21; widow of Louis Gentry, 27; widow of F. Gonin, 18; George Gurney, 26; Mrs. E. J. Gallien, 10; L. A. & C. E. Greneaux, 22; Dezzelin Gallion, 16; Marco Givanovitch, 128; Richard Grant, 17; J. P. Grappe, 25; T. T. Hollis, 18; M. Henderson, 16; J. F. Hendricks, 11; Hypolite Hertzog, 56; widow of Richard Hertzog, 37; Joe Henry & Co., 56; R. E. Hammett, 20; Matthew Hertzog, 39; S. M. Hyams, 62; e. L. Hyams estate, 87; T. C. Hunt, 29; W. F. Howell estate, 23; Mrs. L. Hailey, 10; Thomas Hunter, 69; S. M. Hart, 13; Widow J. B. T. Huppi, 15; Emile Hertzog's heirs, 18; Widow J. F. Hertzog, 78; Henry Hertzog, 51; Widow M. L. Hanrut, 59; S. D. Harper, 73; B. M. Hines, 33; widow of H. Harville, 18; A. G. Jordan, 79; F. Johnson, 16; Joseph Janin, 40; B. F. Jones, 12; W. S. Ketcheart, 12; Jacob Kile, 14; R. R. King, 40; J. C. Leopold, 10; Mrs. F. Lynch, 14; J. S. Levy, 8; John La Place, 8; Ambroise Lecomte, 233 (valued at $119,800, taxed, $199.67); Mrs. Eugenie Lemee, 68; Ursin Lambie, 26; Mrs. Valsin Lambie, 26; F. Lecomte, 37; Gasparite Lacour, 18; Benoist Lavispierre, 15; Theodore de Lattin, 18; Marcel Laplante, 10; Finnin Lattier, 22; F. B. Lee, 14; H. M. N. McKnight, 52; L. Marcy, 14; L. Moreau, 12; J. B. Moreau, 16; William Matthews, 16; Joseph and H. H. Martin, 17; W. P. Morrow, 17; J. L. McLaurin, 52; Reine McFier, 15; J. B. Marontini, 11; Widow Louis Morin, F. W. C., 10; Widow Alex Moreau, 23; Jerome Messie, 25; N. P. Metoyer, F. M. C., 12; P. G. Metoyer, 26; Widow J. B. Metoyer, F. W. C., 18; Franqullen Metoyer, F. M. C., 10; T. F. Metoyer, F. M. C., 15; widow of August Metoyer, F. W. C., 16; Widow of J. B. A. Metoyer, F. W. C., 23; A. P. Metoyer, F. M. C., 18; widow of Ben Metoyer, 120; Benj. Metoyer, 35; (twenty tree years before this Dr. Norman was a slave owner); Amelia Owings, 29; Widow Lucy Oliver, 14; D. A. W. Patterson,11 ; James E. Prothro, 32 ; Joshua Prothro, 28 ; Joseph E. Prothro, 23 ; Achille Prudhomme, 78 ; W. A. Ponder, 25 ; A. W. Pearre, 17 ; A. H. Pierson, 31 ; S. C. Prothro, 26 ; Charles Perot, 14 ; Phanor Prudhomme, 146 ; Adolphe Prudhomme, 26 ; Theophite Prudhomme, 22 ; J. B. Prudhomme, 91; Narcisse Prudhomme, 110; St. Ann Prudhomme, 72; John Prudhomme, 80; G. & E. Prudhomme, 49 ; Neuville Prudhomme, 51; Leetan Prudhomme, 50; Isaac Plaisance, 19; F. Plaisance, 18; Omer Perot, 11; John L. Perot, 28; Cyriac Perot, 23; L. Q. C. Puckett, 13; C. J. C. Puckett, 20; J. P. Packer, 20; James B. Porter, 19; Luke Poche, 10; Watson Read, 25 ; Francois Ronbieu, 40; widow of Francois Ronbieu, 46; L. B. Rachal, 26; Victor Rachal, 42; L. J. Rachal estate, 20 -there were five free Colored males and one free Colored female of this name who owned two to five slaves each, and there were thirty three tax payers of this name in the parish; J. B. O. Rouquier, 13 ; W. B. Robinson, 13; Widow C. N. Roques, F. W. C., 10; Emile Rost, 69; J. W. Roper, 17; J. W. Reynolds, 12; J. F. Scarborough, 11; T. M. Smith, 44; William Smith, 23; Jerry Smith, 19; C. E. Sompayrac, 63; J. S. Stephens, 12; Strong & Morse, 30; A. H. Stathart, 15; William Sprowl, 15; W. B. Stewart, 23; Jonathan Sprowl, 11; A. B. Sompayrac, 33; Damas St. Germain, 10; A. Samptte, 16; Ca. A. Sarpy (Colored), 17 ; John B. Smith, 43; J. F. St. Amans , 15; C, E. St. Amans, 13; B. St. Amans, 66; Jerome Sarpy, Jr. (Colored), 13; S. O. Scruggs, 27; Edward Severin, 12; Joseph SoLdini, 15; S. S. Simmons, 12; John Simms, 77; Richard H. Turner. 10; Marcellin Tauzin, 35; T. E. Tauzin, 10; Strong, Walcott & Morse, 30; John N. Smith, 162; Ambroise Sompayrac, 100; Jules Sompayrac, 33; J. E. Tanzin, 11; J. M. B. Tucker, 10; T. B. Turner, 23; W. A. Tharp, 22; Mrs. T. E. Tauzin, 10; Severin Trichel, 20; Leo Trichel, 14; Lucien Trichel, 16; J. B. Trezziur, 14; H. V. Tessier, 12; Gabriel Vienne, 10; Adolphe Vienne, 17; widow of Emile Vinne, 10; G. W. Whitfield, 10; Philip Wagley, 10; G. S. Walmsley, 46; H. P. Walsh, 12; Warren William, 18 ; widow of F. E. Williams, 31; William Williams, 10; Rawle Williams, 19 ; E. Whitted, 10, and William Whitted, 12. [Please report typing errors.]
There were 11,579 resident tax payers and 82 non resident tax payers in 1862. The non-resident slave owners were: A. L. Abbott, 17; Berry & Thompson, 43; D. A. Blacksher, 58; B. M. Braimer, 19; W. M. Burns, 34; John Carahan, 16; J. W. Foster, 13; John Frazier, 63; W. D. Gooche, 23; T. B. Hale & J. R. Williams, 14; John Jordan, 67; John R. Jones, 28; King & Blacksher, 17; J. L. Lewis & J. D. Harper, 73; Morse & Butler, 29; E. L. Patterson, 19; J. B. Planche, 81; G. W. Sotne & Cr. Johnson, 21; J. T. Thorn, 52; G. W. Thompson, 36 and William Wyche, 35.
The first session of the district court was held at Natchitoches Post, July 19, 1813, with Josiah S. Johnson, of the (then) Sixth district, presiding, A judgment for $878.18 3/4 was returned in favor of M. Murphy against Augustus Langlois. In November, of that year, Isaac McNutt, William Murray, J. Winship, Isaac Baldwin and Robert K. McLaughlin were admitted to the bar, and James Wallace was given special permission to practice. Isaac McNutt was the appointed district attorney. Nine persons were sentenced to one year's imprisonment for taking a prisoner from the jail. On March 13, 1814, Mr. George Strickland, a United States soldier at Fort Claiborne, was sentenced to death for the murder of Ross McCabe. Judge Johnson ordered him to be taken to the place of execution between 11 o'clock in the morning and 4 o'clock in the afternoon, closing in the old form, "and that you be hung by the neck, between the heaven and the earth, until you be dead, dead, dead, and may the Lord have mercy on your soul."
Edward Love was indicted for the murder of James Crawford in 1817 but acquitted; while in 1819, Samuel Sims was sentenced to a ten year term for perjury. In July, 1817, James Dunlap was judge, vice Johnson, recused; P. Bludworth was coroner, and L. S. Hazelton, sheriff. Henry A. Bullard was judge in 1819, but Judge S. Lewis tried the suit of the Civil Parish vs. The Ecclesiastical Parish, and decreed that all the territory claimed by the Civil Parish, with the exception of a comparatively small area, belonged to the claimant. In June, 1820, William Murray succeeded Judge Bullard. In November, 1823, the suit of Post vs. Catholic Congregation was tried. This grew out of the fire of March 29, 1823, the plaintiff claiming $2,000 for loss of his house near by and other property. It appears that in August, 1822, Padre Magney left Natchitoches, and no other priest took his place until after the fire. Meantime a Negro named Joe, who had been beadle [Webmaster's note: Beadle is a parish officer having various subordinate duties, as keeping order during services] for twenty years before, looked after the buildings.
The second oldest record of the district court in possession of Clerk Hyams is dated May, 1824, William Murray as judge and George Smith, deputy clerk being present. The estate of Gary and Shadrack Thomas was assigned to Mr. J. G. Hotham for the use of their creditors, the pay of the assignee being $100, subsequently the debtors were discharged from all liabilities under the insolvent law. On May 4 the cases known as the Town of Natchitoches vs. Tauzin, Lennon and Jackson, Coe & Loupart and Landreaux were tried, and a jury of whom A. Bludworth was foreman, returned a verdict that the buildings of defendants were on public property and should be removed. Parish Judge J. C. Carr took Judge Murray's place in special cases during this term. In November, 1824, Charles Provots was indicted for murder and found guilty. Benjamin Bullett, the sheriff with others, was ordered to pay $800 for a slave. In November, 1826, S. Lewis succeeded Murray as judge, and C. E. Greneaux, clerk, succeeding M. Bronaugh. In January, 1833, C. E. Grenueax succeeded John C. Carr as parish judge, and served until 1846. Judge Carr was parish judge as early as 1807, ex-officio recorder, clerk, and president of police jury, and a man of all work under the American regime.
E. K. Wilson, judge of the Seventh District, was present in 1836 and Henry Boyce of the Sixth in December. In April, 1840, George R. King of the Fifth District presided here. In April the trail of Francois M. Normand was begun the Judge refused a jury de meditate lingue. The charge of murder against him was without the shadow of a foundation; but the jury found him guilty of manslaughter, recommending him to mercy. This jury move round the town at will during the dinner hour and by other methods brought the court into contempt.
The November term of 1840 was opened by Judge J. G. Campbell of the Tenth District, who with George R. King of the Fifth District transacted court affairs here until April, 1843, when Henry Boyce of the Sixth District presided, Judge Campbell, however, held court here that year and in 1844-45 and 1846. In August of 1846 James Taylor, judge of the Sixteen District was present, and served here until 1851, when Charles A. Bullard was commissioned. Judges Olcutt and Jones tried many special cases here during Taylor's term. In 1853 Chichester Chaplin was commissioned judge of the Sixteenth district and served uninterruptedly up to December, 1864. In April, 1865, no court was held, but the fall term was presided over by Judge Michael Ryan of the Ninth District. William B. Lewis, of the same district, opened court in March, 1866, and John Osborn in December, 1868. He was succeeded in 1874 by H. C. Myers, but in 1875 C. Chaplin was commissioned and served until June, 1877, when Judge David Pierson was commissioned to preside over the Seventeenth District.
Edward D. Turner was judge of the parish court of Natchitoches in 1806, when Isaac Baldwin, Josiah S. Johnson and William Murray were admitted to the bar. George McTier was interpreter; Patrick Clark, crier. In 1810 John C. Carr signed the records as probate judge. In May, 1813 P. D. Caillean Lafontaine was parish judge, followed by John C. Carr, who served until January, 1833, when C. E. Greneaux succeeded him. The latter served until the office was abolished in 1845-46. On October 5, 1868, W. H. Hiestand presided as parish judge; in 1870, H. C. Myers, D. H. Boult, Jr., in 1874; J. E. Breda in 1875; P. A. Simmons in 1877 and in January, 1879, J. M. B. Tucker presided. He held the office until March, 1880, when the constitutional term ended.
A. W. Hamilton was clerk in 1867, and John A. Barlow, deputy clerk. Mayor James Cromie a Federalist, was clerk in 1868, with a. E. Lemee, deputy. J. Jules Bossier then followed as clerk in 1871, with L. A. Bossier as deputy. In 1873 H. P. Meziere was clerk, and John A. Barlow deputy, who has been in the clerk's office as deputy since that year. Edward Ezernack was clerk in 1875, W. H. Tunnard, 1877; in 1880, George W. Kearney was elected clerk and served until his death in June, 1885, when Henry M. Hyams, the present clerk, was appointed to fill vacancy, and subsequently elected.
The members of the bar of 1890 are T. C. Armstrong, Phanor Breazeale, J. Ernest Breda, H. Bernstein, E. E. Buckner, C. Chaplin, Thomas P. Chaplin, M. H. Carver, W. A. Carter, J. F. Carter, M. J. Cunningham, J. H. Cunningham, M. L. Dismukes, C. F. Dranguet, William H. Jack, W. G. MacDonald, M. F. Machen, James C. Morse, M. C. Moseley, Amos Ponder (Many), Siles D. Ponder, Charles V. Porter, D. C. Scarborough (District Attorney), J. M. B. Tucker, James B. Tucker, John M. Tucker and L. B. Watkins. (J. F. Smith, of Many died in 1890). The students who expect to be admitted to the bar are S. J. Henry, B. H. Litchenstein, R. L. Caspari and Briant Tauzin.
In 1818 Patrick Murphy was sheriff; 1814, Bartholmie Fleming; 1815, James Loccard; 1818, L. S. Hazelton; 1823, Benjamin Bullitt; 1830, W. R. Johnson; 1832, Henry Jones; 1835, Benjamin F. Chapman; 1838, David S. Burnett; 1839, John A. De Russy; 1841, Benjamin V. Cortes; 1846, Theophele E. Tauzin; 1847, Samuel M. Hyams; 1854, Francois Vienne; 1800, William S. Campbell; 1861, Joseph W. Norris; 1864, P. C. Roger; 1865, Theophile Bossier; 1866, James C. Hughes; 1808, Samuel Parson; 1872, R. E. Burke; 1875, Virgel A. Barron; 1877, D. H. Boult; 1878, Louis A. Deblieux; 1880, Samuel P. Raines; 1884, G. L. Trichel, with Charles E. Trichel, deputy. J. H. Cosgrove qualified as public printer in 1880.
In 1815 S. H. Sibley qualified as clerk of the district court, and appears to have held this office up to 1832. In January, 1833, F. Williams filed his bond as clerk, and in 1837 S. M. Hyams qualified as clerk of the district and probate courts; in 1846, C. E. Greneaux; 1847, William P. Morrow; 1851, C. E. Greneaux; 1853, William P. Morrow; 1858, L. A. Greneaux; November, 1860, Benjamin Joseph Bouis, and A. W. Hamilton in 1865. The clerks from 1867 to the present time are named above.
Thomas P. Jones qualified as recorder, October 1, 1846; William Payne in 1858, George W. Kearney, 1866; Charles F. Christy, 1868; L. H. Burdick, 1870; George W. Kearney, 1872; L. D. C. Lafontaine was recorded in 1813, succeeding J. C. Carr; Charles Slocum in March, 1819; J. C. Carr, 1821, and C. E. Greneaux, 1833.
Louis F. Martin was surveyor in 1834, and John H. Mable, coroner; D. F. Tabor was auctioneer in 1837, and J. L. Gillispie, surveyor; Isaac Holmes, coroner in 1839; James D. Cannon in 1843; George W. Morse, surveyor in 1844; F. Williams, coroner, 1846, and D. F. Tabor, 1847-52; Simon Cockerel, coroner, 1852; J. A. Wolfson, auctioneer, 1855; T. Bossier, coroner, 1858; T. M. Hart, auctioneer, 1858; J. W. Walker, surveyor, 1859; P. C. Rogers, coroner, 1860, and T. Bossier in 1864.
Edward O. Blanchard filed his bond as major of the Eighteenth Louisiana Militia in 1837; G. W. Reese, quartermaster, and S. M. Hyams, adjutant. In 1842 P. E. Bossier, major general of Second Division Louisiana Militia, took the oath; Dr. Charles Hamlin, coroner, 1866; Harry Percy, surveyor, 1866; William H. Boult, 1869; Philip Breda, coroner, 1873; Denis V. Murphy, auctioneer, J. S. Stephens, coroner, 1890; H. Percy succeeded W. H. Boult, and served until 1886.
The oldest record of the police jury was found in the office of Ambroise H. Lecomte, justice of the peace, September 25, 1890. It is a venerable volume without cover or pretensions, written in French, and dating back to October 20, 1846. B. St. Amans was then president and F. Williams, clerk; T. M. Brown, S. H. Benoist, S. S. Bossier, N. Furlong, R. E. Hammett, S. M. Hyams, G. W. Morse (inventor of Morse rifle), and H. W. Powell were members of the jury, and later the names of Lestan Prudhomme, T. Thompson, Landry Delouches, and W. T. Walmsley appear. A. H. Pierson was parish attorney. Two slaves, Victor and Hypolite, were emancipated on petition of Michael Boyce and Ambrose Sompayrac, who gave bonds for their departure from the State. The Chronicle was then the official paper. Michael Boyce, James Taylor, P. A. Morse, C. E. Greneaux and T. H. Airey were appointed school directors. The last named parish treasurers, Jules Sompayrac and Jesse Wamack were-elected jurors in 1847, and in October the expenses for the current year were estimated at $11,100. In June, 1848, H. Y. Waddell, William Williams, S. S. Bossier, William Townsend, James McKnight, L. Delouches and L. Prudhomme were jurors. T. H. Areaux was chosen constable, and the other jury officers were re-elected.
In June, 1849, M. L. Squiers, W. A. Strong, Sylvan Delouches, B. St. Amans, W. Smith and Tally D. Brown were-elected or re-elected, while in 1850 James Lester and J. W. McDonald were new members. The unusual benevolence of a legislator is recorded in June of this year. John A. Ragan, representative, donated his mileage to the parish to be used in the purchase of books and papers for the use of orphan scholars. The estimate of expenses was $5,500. In June, 1851, H. Y. Waddell succeeded St. Amans as president. H. T. Jones, D. H. Boult, J. W. Wray and A. Carnahan qualified as jurors, while in 1852 D. H. Boult succeeded Waddell. A. P. Scission and Leonard Trichel qualified with other old members re-elected. In July the parish was redistricted into seven wards, and in September the question of voting aid to the New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad Company was ordered to be submitted to the people.
In June, 1853, President Boult with S. S. Bossier and L. Prudhomme old members, and J. Knight, A P. Scisson and Syl. Trichel, Leonard Trichel, Thomas C. White, T. M. Spurgeon and J. R. Bosley formed the jury. J. Lester, J. J. Rains and G. Fontenot are named in 1854, with H. P. Gallion and F. B. Metoyer. In 1855 A. M. Baird, H. H. Haithorn and Peter Arihart qualified as new jurors, and in 1856 W. P. Owings, and J. B. Fleming qualified. J. B. Smith was elected attorney vice A. H. Pierson. At this time a road from Campti to Sparta was authorized, and also a road from Springville to Coushatta Point was declared a public road. The estimate of expenses for the fiscal year was placed at $10,000, and with this entry the old record book closes. In September, 1855, the record ceased to be kept in the French language, and the old clerk, F. Williams, continues the minutes in the English language until 1856. In 1858 John Colton, presided, followed in 1860 by W. O. Breazeale; in June, 1861 by P. M. Backen; in June, 1860, by W. O. Breazeale; in 1864, P. M. Backen. In 1838 J. F. Cortes, V. Lambre, John Freeman, Chmo Vascoco and Edmund Smith were jurors.
The first post bellum record of the police jury in possession of H. P. Breazeale, clerk of the jury, is dated December 20, 1865. P. M. Backen was president, with F. Jennings, Hyp. Hertzog, G. Fontenot, J. M Bishop, L. Trichel and L. Marcy, members. C. L. Walmsley was treasurer, and A. E. Lemee, clerk. The liabilities of the parish were estimated at $22,158, exclusive of interest; but the exact amount of bonds and promissory notes issued for war purposes could not be ascertained. An issue of 8 percent bonds, payable in ten years from April, 1866, was authorized. In June, 1866, a new jury, with William Payne, treasurer, qualified. The members were B. H. Baird, W. C. Ross, R. E. Hammett, E. S. Blackstone, William A. Ponder, J. D. Addison, Jacob Kile, G. Fontenot, B. W. Bullitt and Hosea Pickett. C. Chaplin, Sr., was appointed attorney, and R. E. Burke, treasurer. In 1867 A. E. Lemee was attorney; and the estimate of expenses for the year 1867-68 was placed at $16,000, the same as for 1866-67; William Trichel; Henry Dallas, Emile Silvie, Joseph Martin, P. H. Hamilton, J. R. Hornsby, J. B. Vienne and R. L. Faulkner (public school teacher) were the new members in 1868. The estimate of expenditures was place at $20,000. V. A. Barron presided in 1869, vice Martin and Theo. Monette was a member.
In 1870 A. E. Lemee was elected treasurer; J. J. Bossier succeeded him as clerk the year before and C. A. Bullard succeeded him as attorney. M. P. Blackstone was president and Charles Le Roy (Colored) was treasurer in 1871. In August, the estimate of expenditures was placed at $35,600. In October of this year the Immigration Bureau was established with H. C. Myers agent, and J. J. Bossier secretary, Justine Coudet (Colored) was a juror at this time with J. B. Vienne (Colored) and President Blackstone. The reform association suites against the jury were commenced. John Dumas qualified as juror in 1872. In June, 1873, P. A. Simmons was chosen president, and he with F. Jennings, W. W. Breazeale, J. Addison, V. A. Barron, Ed Mitchell and N. P. Metoyer formed the board. John La Place succeeded Bossier as secretary, but soon after gave place to J. A. Barlow. The re- districting of the parish into five wards was effected in August, 1873, and in September, the ordinance prohibiting all Red River steamboats (except the Grand Ecore packets) from landing at any place in the parish, was adopted.
In 1874, Samuel Black and John Holmes are named as jurors, and Charles Le Roy treasurer, but later Willis Holmes held that position, and V. A. Barron, president. Joseph Ezernack was treasurer in 1873, and W. H. Boult, assistant. Joseph P. Johnson was clerk in August, 1874. V. A. Barron, W. A. Ponder, R. E. Hammett and J. C. Metoyer were jurors, and in November the names of W. C. Ross, F. Jennings and H. R. McClendon appear and William Payne qualified as juror. In April, 1875, Joseph Ezernack was chosen president, A. E. Lemee appointed treasurer, vice Holmes, but declining Dr. A. P. Breda was elected, W. H. Tunnard was clerk; Carroll Jones, J. A. Clamons, F. A. Mezierre and L. G. Barron were jurors. The clerks and treasures' records were then held by Johnson and Holmes, and a request for their prompt transfer to the new officials was made and a notice of the Payne Police Jury was placed on record. The petition of Col. Burke, M. H. Carver, Leo Caspari and James E. Keegan, to order an election on the question of granting $100,000 aid to the New Orleans & Pacific Railroad was not entertained.
In February, 1876, lots for White and Colored school buildings were donated, and in July a memorial to Gov. Kellogg asking him to take immediate action in the case of Amos Wright, H. Redmond and William Henry (sentenced to death in 1875 and then in the parish jail) was adopted. In January, 1877, M. B. Florens and J. B. Fleming appear as jurors, with President Ezernack, Secretary Tunnard and Carroll Jones. In June William Payne, president; R. E. Jackson, A. V. Carter, W. B. Butler, L. Chopin, W. C. Ross. H. J. Weaver, with Ezernack, Jones and Fleming were members. A. E. Lemee was treasurer, J. H. Cosgrove, secretary, and C. P. Blanchard, constable. In 1878 F. Jennings was a juror, and in January, 1879, William Payne, W. O. Braezeale, R. W. Freeman, P. E. Prudhomme, J. O. Williams, H. R. McClendon, S. G. Dowden, H. H. Haithorn, A. Maronovich were jurors, and M. L. Dismukes, clerk.
In April, 1880, Jules E. Messi was chosen clerk, R. E. Hammett, Thomas Smith, J. N. Burkett and Charles Wheeler, with Messrs. Payne, Haithorn, Braezeale, Dowden, Maronovich and Jennings, formed the jury. W. O. Braezeale presided in 1881. P. E. Prudhomme was a member in 1882, and F. P. Chaplin and F. Jennings in 1883. In March, 1884, Joseph Henry was appointed Word's Fair commissioner from this parish. In July J. C. Trichel, J. H. Normand, Jr., J. T. Smith, W. O. Braezeale and T. L. Grappe appear as new members of the board. S. D. Ponder was chosen clerk in April, and served until January, 1886, when H. P. Braezeale was elected. H. B. Walmsley was chosen treasurer, to succeed A. E. Lemee at this time, and in December a number of delegates to the agricultural convention was appointed. W. S. Greneaux was elected treasurer in August, 1887, and in April, 1888, J. J. Rains took the place of F. Jennings, deceased. In August of this year W. B. Butler represented Ward 4, and Adolph Lemee, Ward 10.
The assessors from 1847 to 1869 are named as follows: F. Vienne, 1847-54; L. G. DeRussy, 1854; M. C. Brosset 1856; J. J. Rains 1860 ; G. P. Rains, 1860; W. J. Robins, 1865; C. J. Smith, 1868; D. H. Boult, 1869; W. H. Redmond, 1874; J. P. Johnson, 1880; Henry Safford, 1889.
The treasurers, from 1849 to 1889, are named as follows: T. H. Airey, 1849-55; L. R. Walmsley, 1853; C. L. Walmsley, 1860; R. E. Burke, 1865; Joseph Ezernack, 1869; A. E. Lemee, 1870; Charles LeRoy, 1871; Joseph Ezernack, 1874; Wilis Holmes, 1874; A. P. Breda, 1875; A. E. Lemee, 1877; W. S. Greneaux, 1887.
The collectors from 1861 to 1875 were; H. F. Trichel, collector of war tax, 1861; John E. Murphy, 1863; Morris Lisso, by Confederate appointment, 1864; D. H. Boult, 1867; W. P. Morrow, 1874; c. J. C. Pucketts, 1875.
In 1871 the tax Reform Association was organized, with M. Boyce, president. M. H. Carver and Leopold Caspari were appointed a committee to appeal from the findings of the district court to the Supreme court. Other steps were taken to check the unlimited issue of warrants. In some matters this association was successful, checkmating the judgment creditors through Arbitrators Joseph Henry, William Payne and R. E. Burke.
In the report of Parish Treasurer Lemee, in September, 1877, he showed that judgments, or parish paper, amounted to $164,663.28; parish paper floating debt $24,561.04, and paper absorbed by taxes, form 1871 to 1875 inclusive, $7,317.18; or a total of $286,541.45.
The duel between W. L. McMillen and George Williams was fought in January, 1836, and resulted in McMillen's death. David Burnett was present as the friend of McMillen, and Adolphe Sompayrac as the friend of Williams, with Dr. F. Johnson, surgeon.
On September 14, 1839, Gen. Pierre E. Bossier, through his friends, Sylvester Bossier, Victor Sompayrac and P. A. Morse (Democrats), challenged Gen. Grancois Gaiennie, of Cloutierville, to fight a duel. The latter's friends, L. G. De Russy, F. B. Sherburne and J. G. Campbell (Whigs), accepted the challenge and designated rifles as the weapons. On September 18, 1839, the persons named, with Dr. F. Johnson, Dr. Dingles, T. E. Tauzin, Phanor Prudhomme and John F. Cortez, were present at "The Savannah," in rear of Emile Sompayrac's plantation. The first fire was delivered ineffectually by Gaiennie, and the second effectually by Bossier, who killed his opponent.
In connection with the Bossier Gaiennie troubles it may be added that eleven citizens lost their lives: Sylvester Rachal, killed by M. Busy (a clerk for Dr. Normand); Brevile Perot, killed by Gaiennie's overseer, who was also killed on Lecompte's race track at Cloutierville, being among the number. Col. Prickett, who was killed in a duel early in the forties, is buried on the spot, one and one half mile from Natchitoches, on Sibley Lake. Tauzin challenged one of the officers at Fort Jesup to a duel, and the meeting did actually take place, John e. Cortex was Tauzin's second. Capt. May, the wild officer of Fort Jesup, was accustomed to ride over to Natchitoches daily. His duels were many. In September, 1865, the grand jury of Natchitoches presented the Freedman's Bureau as a nuisance. Lieut. Pope, of the Nineteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, on duty there, committed suicide in January, 1866.
In September, 1878, a convention of the Democratic party was held at Natchitoches, and the Negroes, under A. Rayford Blunt, determined to hold a counter convention. The White citizens were prepared for hostilities, and before Blunt could carry out his designs, himself and men were captured. Next morning a rescuing party, 300 armed Negroes, was met at the dirt bridge by the White guards, and driven back.
In November, 1878 a number of citizens were arrested on information sworn by J. R. Hornsby, charging them with interfering with him as a voter for M. M. Wells, candidate for Congress. The men arrested were Ernest Masson, Dr. S. O. Scruggs, J. Buard, J. C. Johnson, William Airhart, Sr., J. B. Rachal and W. Cockfield. A. Deblieux, then sheriff elect, and John Hertzog, could not be found by the deputy marshals.
In January, 1879, eleven United States marshals arrived at Natchitoches, with warrants for the arrest of sixty six citizens; thirty three of the indicted citizens went at once to New Orleans, where, on march 7, eight were acquitted. The State hailed the verdict with enthusiasm.
In November, 1879, the Union Greenback Labor party of Natchitoches nominated Mortimer Perot and Jacob Kile for representatives; John A Raggio, for sheriff; E. Masson, for clerk of the district court; Dr. Jules Janin, for coroner; J. H. Cunningham, for District attorney, and C. Chaplin, for district judge.
James S. Flournoy represented Natchitoches, Sabine, De Soto and Caddo in 1859 in the Senate. William M. Levy and F. Robieu represented Natchitoches in the House; D. Robson and O. White, Caddo; Henry Phillips and L. L. Tompkins, De Soto, and E. C. Davidson, Sabine. Dr. J. W. Butler was a representative of Natchitoches before the war. Natchitoches recorded 754 votes for Breckinridge; 534 for Bell and 106 for Douglas. A. H. Pierson, of Natchitoches, signed the secession ordinance of 1861. W. H. Jack was representative from Natchitoches during the secession. Jacob Kile and Jules Sompayrac were representatives in 1865, with J. B. Elam an Dr. S. O. Scruggs, senators. In 1868 W. C. Melvin (White) and Charles Le Roy (Col.) Were chosen representatives, and J. R. Williams (White) and J. B. Lewis (Col.), senators. Henry Raby (Col.) And M. Blackstone (White) were chosen in 1870. Blackstone was killed during a secret meeting of the Republican executive committee in 1871 and L. R. Barron was chosen to fill vacancy. Rayford Blunt (Col.) And J. B. Elam were senators. In 1878 the Democrats elected M. J. Cunningham and W. C. Ross, representatives, and W. D. Sandiford and Boling Williams, senators. They were succeeded by M. J. Cunningham and B. W. Marsden, senators, and J. H. Cosgrove and R. L. Jackson, representatives.
In 1884 Joseph Henry and J. Fisher Smith were chosen senators, the latter served until his death in 1890, and the former holds office until 1892, Leo. Caspari and Dr. A. E. Cassidy (died in 1887) were elected representative in 1884, and in 1888 Leo. Caspari and W. A. Ponder were elected. The latter died in 1890. The vote cast for Francis T. Nicholls (D.) In 1876 was 1,776, and for S. B Packard (R.), 2,004. In 1879 Louis A Wiltz (D.), received 1,356 votes and Taylor Beattie (R.), 516. In 1884 there were 2,203 votes cast for Samuel D. McEnery (D.), and 535 for John A. Stevenson (D.). The vote for governor in 1888 shows 3,373 for Francis T. Nicholls (D.), and 285 for Henry C. Warmoth (R.). The number of register voters in April, 1888, was 5,294, 2,314 being White. Of the Whites 875 and of the Africans 2,523 were then unable to write their names.
In 1803 a company of United States troops, under Capt. Turner, garrisoned Natchitoches while one Freeman, in charge of an exploring party, ascended Red River, above the post, until he encountered the Spanish troops, when he quietly returned. Shortly after a post was established within fourteen miles of Natchitoches, on the Nacogdoches road. At this time Spanish troops, when he quietly returned. Shortly after a post was established within fourteen miles of Natchitoches, on the Nacogdoches road. At this time Spanish troops held the territory to Red River, so that Col. Cushing, with three companies and four guns was ordered to occupy Natchitoches.
In January, 1815, Capt. R. H. Sibley's company of militia joined Col. James Bludworth's Eighteenth Louisiana Regiment, and was present at Camp Villero, below New Orleans. The men failed to arrive prior to January 8, and thus missed participation in the crowning defeat of the British.
John J. La Place, aged seventy-eight, of Natchitoches and John S. Umphrey -aged forty-six of Rapides were pensioners of the War of 1812, in 1840.
Gen. U. S. Grant, who, as lieutenant of the Fourth United States Regiment, was stationed at Camp Salubrity, two miles from Natchitoches, in 1844, was well known here, among his friends being A. Deblieux. It is related that he proposed marriage (through Col. Voce) to a lady of this city (now Mrs. Sullivan), but met with a prompt refusal. Col. Voce, then commanding, told her that his young lieutenant would one day be the first man in the United States.
In 1846 Gov. Johnson called for six months' men to serve in the war against Mexico, and among the first to respond were the citizens of Natchitoches. S. M Hyams raised a company for the Fifth Louisiana Volunteers, and was commissioned captain. The same year this company was mustered out. At the meeting of the Mexican War veterans, held in April, 1879, the commission of E. Valery Deblieux, as lieutenant of the second company of Col. B. Peyson's National Guards, was read. Among the residents entitled to claims were Theodore Hertzog, Samuel Parson, W. P. Morrow, E. J. Cockfield, J. J. A. Martin, James Allen, M. C. Brosset, E. Lavasseur, Emile Vienne, Capt. Samuel M. Hyams and William Airhart and Dr. R. C. Richardson, all of Natchitoches; Josiah S. Scarborough and John Rockwood, near Many, and Ben Prevots, of Mansfield. L. Duplex was constituted a member.
The Veterans Association, of Central Louisiana, was organized in August, 1887, with H. V. McCain, of Grant, president; R. C. Jones, of Winn, David Pierson, of Natchitoches, J. F. Smith, of Sabine, and C. C. Nash, of Grant, vice presidents; J. M. McCain, of Winn, secretary; W. E. Russell, of Natchitoches, treasurer; G. L. Trichel and T. Haller, of Natchitoches, J. F. Kelly and W. A. Strong, of Winn; W. W. McNeely and D. W. Self, of Sabine; J. F. Pierson and J. W. Sandiford, of Red River, members of this executive committee.
Company D, Pelican Rangers No. 2, organized in Natchitoches Parish, was mustered in with the Third Louisiana Infantry May 17, 1861. J. D. Blair, who resigned the captaincy in 1861; S. D. Russell, first lieutenant, promoted to colonel; W. E. Russell, second lieutenant, promoted to captain; S. M. Hyams, Jr., second lieutenant, elected lieutenant-colonel of a Calvary regiment; B. P. Morse, first sergeant, chosen second lieutenant in May, 1862; H. B. Walmsley, second sergeant; F. W. Airey, third sergeant, afterward captain in another regiment, and J. H. Peters, fourth sergeant, were the first officers. This company suffered severely at Vicksburg; T. Cobb, H. V. C. Edmondson, W. W. Gandy, and R. C. Hammett being killed, or died of wounds there; O. La Plante died at Iuka from wounds, and J. Williamson at Oak Hills.
Company G, Pelican Rangers No. 1, was mustered in with No. 2; W. W. Breazeale was captian until September 24, 1861; W. O. Breazeale, fist and G. W. Halloway, second lieutenant, both of whom resigned before the close of October, 1861, L. Caspari, the second junior lieutenant in October, 1861, and captain in February, 1862. W. B. Butler, the first sergeant was elected captain May 8, 1862, and P. L. Prudhomme, second lieutenant; J. C. Trichel was third, J. A. Derbonne, fourth, and F. F. Chaler, fifth sergeant; the latter died at Maysville, Ark., September 14, 1861. P. Bossier was chosen third lieutenant in May, 1862; B. B. Breazeale, fifth sergeant; F. Gaiennie, first lieutenant; James Kile, third lieutenant; James W. Moss, second lieutenant, and K. Espy, assistant surgeon. The list of deaths, as given in Tunnard's report, is as follows: Placide Bossier, at Oak Hills, V. Bordinave at Castillian Springs, October 2, 1862; C. F. H. Schroeder at Elk Horn; John M. Tauzin, at Iuka, and B. F. Warner at Elk Horn.
The Lecompte Guards were organized in April, 1861, with William M. Levy, captain; R. E. Burke, first lieutenant; J. F. Scarborough, second lieutenant; S. B. Robertson, third lieutenant. This command was mustered into the Second Louisiana Infantry, and served until the close of the war; only seventeen men remained to be muster out; of this number, very few are now living. The sergeants were T. P. Chaplin, G. P. Rains, L. D. Johnson and G. W. Kearney; the corporals, W. A. Hollon, E. J. Miles, J. S. Kearney, and A. W. Hamilton; Smith Noel was standard bearer, and Dr. C. Hamlin, surgeon. This command left on the steamer "Rapides," April 27, 1861, 107 strong. Capt. W. M. Levy, editor of the Natchitoches Chronicle, and captain of the Lecompte Guards, was promoted colonel of the Second Louisiana Infantry, vice De Russy, resigned, in August, 1861; at this time J. H. Reid commenced to recruit his select cavalry company.
The Natchitoches Rebels were organized September 9, 1861, with John D. Wood, captain; W. P. Owings, Theodul Latier and Emile Cloutier, lieutenants, S. B. Shackleford, T. J. Foster, Felix Sers, J. C. H. Nemitts, and E. B. Roper, sergeants; Joseph Gallion, A. B. Cunningham, J. A. Clark and L. T. Fontenot, corporals, and W. A. Jenkins, musician. Among the privates were L. L. Lynch, P. Rabelais, M. Vickers, and C. Vircher, who died in October, 1861. Two member of the Hertzog and six of the Rachal families served in this command. On January 24, 1865, a resident of Natchitoches wrote a poem, entitled "Unmarked Graves," dedication the verses to the women of the South. From this poem the second verse is given thus:
Let Beauty's soft tears, like the dews of the night,
Or the diamond's bright rays,
reflecting the light,
Fall on those lonely graves,
love's token so pure,
Which memory keeps green,
while time shall endure.
While Fame shall proclaim,
with his deep, brazen voice,
Names of heroes who, in the land of their choice,
Fell in the strife, on the field of their glory
Their lives an offering to song and to story.
Company A, Special Militia Force, Fifth Military district, was organized in April, 1890 and mustered in May 7, with C. E. Greneaux, captain; C. Perison and R. L. Caspari, lieutenants; C. Chaplin, Jr. , and E. L. Hyams, sergeants; Aaron Morris, b. F. Draunguet, J. Johnson and P. S. Walmsley, corporals. There were fifty five private soldiers mustered in.
During the pioneer days of the parish readers were supplied by newspapers and periodicals, both French and Spanish. When the first paper was printed in the English language here can not be ascertained. In 1848, when Mr. Duplex settled here, the Chronicle was published by Thomas C. Hunt.
In 1860 the Natchitoches Union, printed in French and English, was issued by Ernest Le Gendre for the Union Publishing Company. On the editor's death in 1862 L. Duplex took charge as editor; but in 1864 the Federals issued it for one week and removed two presses and the material. On Banks being driven away, Mr. Duplex refurnished the office and carried on L. 'Union until 1872, under the tile Natchitoches Times, when the publication ceased. In 1876 the office was sold to J. H. Cosgrove. The press was sold in 1877 to the Winnsborough Sun.
On April 5, 1864, the Natchitoches Daily Union was issued from the government printing office, Lieut. Thomas Hughes was editor and Sergt. H. R. Crenshaw & Co., publishers. A beautiful word painting of the happy condition of the people before the war was drawn, the leaders who led them into Rebellion denounced and promise made that only one flag should wave in the North and South. Among the poems of the war period were the "Marseillaise du Sud," dedicated to the chasseurs a pied des Natchitoches, by E. L. Caporal; "Aux Volontaires," was written in May, 1861, by Malle; "The Soldier's Dirge" in 1864, and "Farewell to the Lafouche Guards" in 1861. During or after the visit of Ex-President Davis, "The Saddest Run of the Storm," written by Mary E. Bryan for the Spectator.
Natchitoches Spectator was issued December 5, 1867, by J. M. Scanland. On September 22, 1868, Mr. Scanland issued his valedictory and Mr. Cromie purchased the office and filled all contracts from the Red River News Republican, 1874.
The Red River News was established by James Cromie in 1808. L. H. Burdick became owner in 1870 and continued publication until June, 1874.
The Record was issued here later, and in 1875 D. W. Hubley published the Republican.
The Peoples Vindicator was issued June 17, 1874, by J. H. Cosgrove, as a Democratic journal, this was the first Democratic paper since the Times suspended. In 1881 the office was sold to Phanor Breazeale and publication suspended. On March 29, 1884, the office of the Vindicator was sold to C. V. Portor.
The Daily Vindicator was published in 1876 by J. H. Cosgrove; but owing to the heavy expense of associated press
dispatches, this great enterprise was surrendered after six weeks.
The Natchitoches Register was issued in June, 1880, by John E. Hewitt.
The Democratic Review was established May 13, 1883, by C. V. Porter. In
1887 Thomas J. Flanner was editor and in May 1888, J. H. Cosgrove became proprietor. In 1883 the "Race Problem" was written by Mr. Cosgrove and subsequently he contributed to the press of this Sate many of the ablest, matter of fact papers on political and social affairs. He brought the
Review into the front rank of Louisiana journals.
The Enterprise was issued here in 1888 by H. P. Breazeale.
The Robeline Reporter was established in February, 1883, by S. M. Potts & Son, who published it until 1884, when J. M. Porter and W. A. Laurent became owners. Later that year the latter sold to W. A. Carter, who a short time after purchased Porter's interest. In 1886 the Reporter became the property of the Robeline Publishing Company, W. A. Ponder, superintendent, and A. B. Carter, editor. After a few months Dr. J. H. Cunningham became editor, and during his illness Mrs. M. E. Cunningham became editors. On the latter's death in 1886, C. R. Lee controlled the office, but publications ceased for a short time, when I. F. Carter revived it. In 1887 Hickson Capers purchased the office, and in February, 1889, when the Publishing Company resumed ownership, another suspension followed until R. M. McIntosh purchased the office, but in 1889 A. V. Carter became owner and changed the name to the News. In January, 1888, R. W. Ferguson was editor and D. W. Hubley, publisher. The valedictory of A. V. Carter as editor, of the Robeline News and of Carter & Son as proprietors, appeared May 30, 1890, and in the same issue, a stirring salutatory was issued by S. C. Presley. J. E. Howe, now connected with the News, entered the office in February, 1883. Martha's Bulletin was issued at Marthaville in 1888, with W. A. Gilbreath publisher. On September 12, 1890, the name was changed to the People's Republic, and Lee & Gilbreath were editors. The size of the paper was doubled at this time.
The enrollment of White pupils in the schools of Natchitoches from 1877 to 1886, inclusive, is as follows: 655, 954, 771, 371, 546, 1,371, 1,422, 1,123, 4,108 and 915. The number of Colored pupils enrolled for the years 1878 to 1886 inclusive, is shown as follows: 438, 601, 422, 381, 455, 1,404, 614, 2,613 and 662. In 1888 there were 5,172 children reported attending school and in 1889, 4,788. This parish is one of the most liberal patrons of education in the State. In early years private schools of a first class character were carried on here, and in 1884 the State recognized the claims of this parish to the normal school. (Vide history of town.) [Webmaster's note: The word Vide is an instruction in a document to look for a citation that follows.] Peter Duke was superintendent of free school in 1849; J. H. Stephens in 1850, and later H. P. Breazeale.
In January, 1838, Dr. D. M. Heard presented his diploma as physician of 1831, I. W. Bulter his of 1832, Philip Breda his of 1836, and John F. Williams his of 1838. Dr. Normand, of Cloutierville, and other old physicians did not register. Under the law of 1882 the following named registered their diplomas: Penn Crain, Josephus F. Griffin, Charles Hamlin, Joseph S. Stephens, Jules V. Janin, John W. Thomas, Sherman B. Crocheron, Zachery T. Gallion, Joseph A. Leveque, James A. Root, William B. Powell, James E. Thomas, Alexander P. Breda, James Duerson, John A. Lovett, Joseph S. Stephens, Jr., Theophile Goudaux, James N. Lee, John D. Addison, Christopher C. Nash and Samuel H. Scruggs. The old physicians who registered were Lamarque A. Lambert, Andre V. Couty, Thomas B. Sellers, Daniel L. Gillen, Elias I. Persigner, Albert E. Cassady, William W. Pitts, Randolph H. Anderson, Eli Hongo and John F. Carroll.
The town of Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement in Louisiana, and with the exception of the ancient Spanish town of Adayes, the oldest without qualification. It is thought by many that Natchitoches is the oldest town in the United States, but this not the case. St. Augustine, Fla., was founded by the Spaniards in 1565; Port Royal, N. S., by the French, 1605; Jamestown, Va., by the London Company, 1607; Quebec, by the French, 1608; New York, by the Dutch, 1614; Plymouth, Mass., by the Puritans, 1620, and Baltimore by the Irish, 1632. Other settlements followed along the North Atlantic coast, and not until later in the seventeenth century was there an actual settlement made in Louisiana, and that was of Adayes, near Natchitoches, a quiet little Indian village in 1694, when the Islanders arrived for the Canaries. After the death of De Soto, Muscaso ascended Red River, but beyond noticing the Indian occupants of the valley, he left no other record.
In 1694 a few members of the colony of Islanders, with a few Spaniards and Mexicans came hither. In 1717 St. Denys located a few French Canadian families on the island of Natchitoches, and in January, 1717, M. De la Motte took possession of the place. In 1717, when De la Harpe returned to the post he found Commandant Blondel in charge and was so well pleased with the condition of affairs, that he wrote to Father Marsello, then superior of the Texan Missions, assuring him that his people could find all kinds of European goods at Natchitoches. Darby, in his history (published in 1817), speaks of Natchitoches on the right bank of Red River. In March, 1823, a fire originating in the old church destroyed sixty five of the old buildings. Coulon de Viller and Roujot were commandants prior to 1774. Vaugine and other officers, referred to in the general history of the parish were here, but the kindest and ablest of the French or Spanish officials was St. Denys, whose name will be forever identified with the settlement and progress of this portion of Louisiana, for to him is due the crushing defeat of the blood thirsty Natchez at this post in 1731.
In Previous pages many direct references are made to the early land owners around the post, and even lot buyers in the town are named. Incidents in its progress from 1731 to the fire of 1823 are unobtainable, save in a legendary or uncertain form, but the ecclesiastical history is not wanting for in no place can be found a more perfect record than in the archives of the old parish house of the present Cathedral. From the settlement of 1714 to 1724 the mission was attended from Adayes by Rev. Anthony Margil or missionary priests.
The first baptism recorded is that of Francois Gaspar Barbier, September 3, 1727, by the Capuchin friar, Francois Balliss. Brothers Luis de Quintanillo and Maximin were here in 1729; Rev. Clampe, a capuchin, [Webmaster's note: The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an Order of friars in the Catholic Church] in 1730, and in 1734 Father Pierre Vitry, a Jesuit, took charge of the parish. Revs. Jean Francois, Marmoulet, Archange, Barnabie, Ragobert, Eustache, Ame, Valentin, Anassthase, Varnird and Infant, all capuchins, administered the sacrament of baptism prior to 1765. Father Stanislaus came in 1765, and was succeeded in 1775 by Father Luis de Quintanillo and he, in 1788, by Rev. Francois de Cladar. Father Dalvaux came in 1786 and, with Revs. De Veles and Pavie was rector [Webmaster's note: Rector refers to Priests who preside over missions or quasi-parishes] in fact up to August, 1807, when Rev. L. Bubst was appointed. Rev. J. Huerta was here in 1810, and J. M. Sora in 1813, Rev. J. Francisco Magnes was appointed and remained until August, 1822, when the church was without a pastor (the buildings were burned March 29, 1823).
On October 8, 1814, the claim of St. Francis Church was presented to the commission. Louis Buard established the fact that for eighty years the priests, wardens and singers of St. Francis held those lands, and that no other ones ever made establishment thereon, as church lands were held scared. The claim for four and four tenths arpents, [Webmaster's note: "Arpent" is a French measurement. 84 arpents equal 245 chains. A square mile equals 725 arpents or 640 acres. One arpent is equal to .085 acres.] of land on the right bank of a small bayou near the village was reported favorably. Prior to this, on December 13, 1811, Rev. Father Dagobert deeded to the police jury of Natchitoches, 118.18 acres without consideration.
In 1778 Andre Rambin purchased a lot in the town from Poiret, also Charles Paire, Nicholas Lauve, and others named in the general history.
Capt. Isaac Wright who, in 1824, commenced steam boating between Natchez and Natchitoches, states that there was a large Mexican trade carried on there. The Mexicans would come in with hundreds of pack mules, loaded with specie, buffalo robes, tongues and peltries and return with dry goods and notions. In 1826 he and Capt. Gurney came down the Rigolet du Bon Dieu in a skiff. It was than a small bayou about thirty feet wide and continued so until 1832, when the waters cut a wide channel. Up to that time Cane and Little Rivers were the navigable streams, forming this part of Red River. Loggy Bayou was at the foot of the great raft and there, in 1832, 500 or 600 Norwegians, in charge of Dr. Baum, were landed.
Postlewait's Salt Works, at the Saline, were established in 1805 and a large salt trade was carried on between this and Mississippi points, but years before this the Indians from the Mississippi came hither at stated times to procure salt.
In 1836 a merry company passed through Natchitoches: David Crockett, John Featherston, "Happy" Johnson, Ephriam Tully and Matthew Despallie. In describing the last named, the gambler, Greene, says:
"He was a villainous bully. He drew on me at Alexandria, in 1833, but I was expecting it, and shot him with a derringer. I hurried away, supposing he was killed, and was assisted in my escape by J. Madison Wells' father, who kept me at his plantation for several days. I am not sure whether it was Matt, or his equally bad brother, who was killed by ex governor Wells."
Rezin P. and James Bowie were residents of Opelousas Parish. Nassau, or Little Nas, a native of Natchitoches, who slept outside the Alamo during the battle of March 6, 1836, was the only male who escaped the fate of the besieged. Mary Britton and her infant were spared by the Mexicans.
The United States Land Office at Natchitoches was established July 7, and opened October 12, 1838, by Receiver Benoit Laurents and Register Patrick O. Lee. William Parmer made the first entry the southwest quarter of Section 13, Township 7, Range 11, Natchitoches. W. T. Walmsley was register in 1843. In November, 1842, John Tucker signs the receiver's books, followed in July, 1847, by J. M. B. Tucker. John F. Payne was register in 1847. In June, 1849, Hugh Y. Waddell was commissioned register. John La Place was receiver in September, 1849, followed in September, 1853, by J. B. O. Buard; J. B. Cloutier, register. Thomas C. Hunt was in office, as receiver, in the fall of 1855, and in July, 1860, John La Place was reappointed receiver and S. M. Hyams register, succeeding W. W. Lester special agent. In 1862 Mr. La Place surrendered the office to Felix Metoyer, appointee of the Confederate land commissioner. In July, 1867, Col. D. Seigler, register of the Natchitoches Land Office, returned and later the old archives were brought hither. Receiver Lancaster also arrived during this month.
In June, 1871, J. Jules bossier was appointed receiver and H. C. Myers register, and in June, 1874, A. E. Lemee was commissioned. John La Place, who served in the office during his father's administration, re-entered the office in 1882, and is the present deputy. L. H. Burdick succeeded Myers in July, 1872, and served until August, 1875, when L. Duplex took charge. In May, 1885, W. E. Russell was commissioned register, and in February, 1888, Willis Holmes succeeded him. On August 25, 1890, L. Duplex was reappointed register.
On March 5, 1839, B. St. Amans, S. M. Hyams, G. W. Russ, H. A. Ely and A. C. Surls qualified as trustees of the town; Mr. R. Anail, clerk; W. L. Tuomey, attorney; Henry White and C. F. Rains, constables and collectors, and S. M. Hyams, surveyor. (No records 1840 to 1868.) In 1861 Felix Mettoyer was mayor. The council elected in April, 1868, comprised Theodore Schuman, mayor; Joe Ezernack, Jacob Israel, Henry Burns (Colored), W. Brady (Colored), John Genoe and Hugh McKenna, councilmen. Burns and Brady resigned rather than take the oath of office. Later that year A. E. Lemee, secretary and treasurer; and W. H. Carver, Jacob Israel, Joseph Ezernack and J. M. B. Tucker were trustees. The Brick culvert and dirt bridge on Second street, over Bayou Amulet were constructed this year by Keyser & McKenna at the cost of $990, while in 1869 other structures were authorized. Philip Meyers was mayor in 1870, and J. W. Little, constable, vice L. Hanson, resigned. The sum of $100 was appropriated to establish a telegraph line between this town and Alexandria. J. Ezernack, J. R. Williams, W. D. Harkins and A. Perini were councilmen, while in 1871, Tilman Watkins, E. Phillips, John Genoe and Samuel Parsons were trustees. Col. William M. Levy was appointed agent of the town to negotiate with the New Orleans & Pacific Railroad Company for building the road via Natchitoches. The law suit growing out of the election of mayor this year entailed a small expenditure. Edward L. Pierson was declared mayor by the district judge, and in September the following named citizens were appointed delegates to the Shreveport Railroad Convention: W. M. Levy, W. H. Jack, Col. R. E. Burke, E. L. Pierson, A. E. Lemee, C. Chaplin, Jr., and C. F. Dranguet. In March, 1872, a night police force was established, and the question of raising $1,000 by special tax to purchase hose for the fire engine was ordered to be submitted to the people.
Natchitoches was incorporated as a city by the Legislature July 5, 1872. The first meeting of the new council was held July 22, E. L. Pierson, mayor; J. A. Ducournau, M. H. Carver, Emile Rivers, Edmond Atkinson, John Genoe and J. C. Trichel, councilmen; A. E. Lemee, secretary and treasurer; C. Chaplin, Jr., attorney; J. H. Cosgrove, assessor, collector and chief of police, and Charles Hamlin, physician. John B. Levy was mayor in 1873; F. McDaniel, chief of police and J. H. Cosgrove, collector. Later, W. H. Redmond was appointed to this office; J. F. De Varga, secretary and treasurer; C. J. Smith, chief of police; L. H. Burdick, of The Red River News, printer, and A. E. Lemee, mayor. J. F. De Vargas was Mayor in 1874; C. F. Dragnet, 1877; Willis Holmes, 1879, Dr. R. S. Calves, 1884-90.
John La Place was elected clerk in 1874; W. H. Barbes, 1878, C. V. Porter, 1881; C. E. Greneaux, 1880. In August, 1881, J. H. Cosgrove was appointed chief of the fire department, and Willis Holmes, assistant chief; W. P. Morrow was chosen assessor in 1874; Lem. Greneaux, 1877; W. E. Russell, 1879; J. W. Little was marshal in 1877; F. P. Raggio, 1879, and W. S. Greneaux is the present marshal.
E. F. Fitzgerald was appointed postmaster in September, 1862. In September, 1866, this office was reopened by the United States, with George Monroe, postmaster; Cloutierville, with Oliver Brosset; Campti, with Reiny Lambre. R. W. Taliaferro was postmaster in 1867. In 1868 Rufus Tabor was incumbent, keeping the office in the old Walmsley building. J. F. de Vargas held the office in 1875. Charles Le Roy and W. D. Harkins held the office successively. The Widow R. E. Burke held the office for two terms prior to 1885, Mrs. Sudduth took possession in February, 1885, with J. E. Breda, deputy. He succeeded Mrs. Sudduth in July, 1890, and is the present incumbent. The first fire was that of 1823, which destroyed the second church building and sixty-five houses. In 1838 the second fire swept away the third church building.
A few small fires are recorded prior to 1864, when the town was saved from the fury of the Federal troops by Bishop Martin. The fire of April 19, 1881, destroyed property valued at $148,385, of which $55,900 worth was insured. It originated in the old Fontenot Hotel, purchased a short time before by Frank McDaniel, who promptly insured it for $7,000. Two blocks were destroyed, the owners of property being C. Chaplin, H. Walmsley, H. Bath, A. Prudhomme, Nelken Lecompte, George Kile, Joseph Henry, Payne, Shaffrach, J. Johnson, J. Ducose, Bullard & Campbell, Hugh Walmsley, Levy & Phillips, H. Litchenstein, Ducournau & Breda. The office of the Vindicator, the property of J. H. Cosgrove, was destroyed, with valuable files, State and National reports, and library. McDaniel was charged with incendiarism, and lodged in jail. The Fontenot House was a tall three story building which was at one time the jail.
The Cathedral Church of St. Francis is one of the historic landmarks of the United States. It was old when the immortal Declaration of Independence founded a great nation, and still a few miles away was the older church of San Miguel. In a former page the history of this church down to 1823 is given. After the fire of that year the work of rebuilding was entered upon, and in 1726 a new house of worship was completed in rear of the parish cemetery. In 1825 Revs. Anduze and Martin came in 1826; Rev. L. Dussausoy and J. B. Blanc came in 1827. Rev. A. Mascaroni was here at this time. Rev. E. D. Haurd came in 1833, Father Franciar being also here, and the latter remained in 1839, when Father V. Yamey took charge of the parish. In 1840 Rev. T. Alabau, P. C. M., Rev. E. Giustiniani and Father Pascual were here. Rev. R. W. Stehle came in 1842; J. M. Maynard in 1844. Father Figari, a missionary, assisted Rev. Giustiniani in 1847, and with Rev. L. C. M. A. Verrina and R. Pascual were priests in 1848.
In June, 1849, Rev. A. Andrieu became pastor. In August 1850, Rev. Aug. Martin with Frederick Cuney, assistant priest, were here. The latter was succeeded by Father Gelot in 1851, and in 1852 P. F. Dicharry, V. G., came. (He remained until 188). Rev. Y. Yaneau, of Marksville, L. Gergaud, who died at Shreveport in 1873, and J. M. Beauibien performed baptismal ceremonies here in 1855. Fathers F. Levouzet and Ch. Lebour in 1856; Y. M. Le Conait, J. L. Galop, C. Sorrentini and J. Gentille were here before the war. Father F. Martin came in 1862, and with Father Levouzet were here up to 1873, when the latter died at Shreveport. Father Martin remained until 1878 with Father Dicharry, vicar general. That year Rev. A. Andries took Father Martin's place, and in 1889 Rev. A. Piegay came as assistant priest. In 1887 Father Andries was appointed vicar general and acting secretary of this extensive diocese.
The churches of the diocese in the parishes treated in this volume are as follows: St. Francis Xaviers, Alexandria, Rev. L. Minard; Sacred Heart, Pineville, Rev. R. Dumas, rector; Bayou Moreauville, Rev. P. E. Simon, Big Bend; St. Joseph's Marksville, Rev. A. Chorin; Bayou Bourbeaux, Bayou Cie, Bayou Dolle; Mansfield, Bayou Pierre and Kingston, attached to the Carmelite monastery; Bayou Pierre and Paraiaie River, attended from Cloutierville; Bellevue, St. Johns, of Big Island, attended from Pineville; Campti, Rev. E. Armaud (succeeding Father Poullain); Clear Lake; St. John the Baptist, at Cloutierville; Rev. J. M. Banulieu, Cotes D'Afrique; Cottonport, Rev. J. Rechatin; St. Vincent's , Fairfield, Rev. Gloster, attendant from Fairfield; Keatchie, attended from Fairfield, N. J. Roulleaux; Fairmont, attended from Pineville; Homer and Minden, attended from Shreveport; Ile Brevelle (Colored) and Old River, Rev. F. Grosse; KeKouen, attended from Natchitoches; Lecompte, attached to Alexandria; Plaucheville, Rev. L. Gallop; Shreveport, Rev. Joseph Gentille; Spanish Lake, attached to Many; Spanish Town, attached to Bayou Pierre; Spring Creek, to Alexandria; Tiger Island, Natchitoches. In the whole diocese are fifty three churches and chapels, and a population of about 30,000 persons.
The division of New Orleans diocese was recommended in 1852. Shortly after this recommendation was carried out, and Rev. Augustus M. Martin elected first bishop of the new diocese of Natchitoches July 29, 1853. He found in all Northern Louisiana a Catholic population of about 25,000, seven churches, four priests and the educational house of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. On his death, September 29, 1875, there were sixty churches, together with the educational and charitable institutions of the Daughters of the Cross, referred to in the history of Caddo, and the Sisters of Mercy. Rev. F. X. Leray, a historical character is the history of Mississippi, was elected bishop in 1877, and had for his diocese of Louisiana north of latitude 31°. In 1879 he was appointed coadjutor of New Orleans, but controlled Natchitoches as administrator apostolic, and on the death of Archbishop Perchi in December, 1883, became administrator of the whole State. He was soon after elected archbishop of New Orleans, and on March 19, 1885, the present bishop, Rt. Rev. Anthony Durier, was consecrated at St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans.
Trinity English Protestant Episcopal Church was established May 23, 1841, by Rev. John Burke. It appears that on March 27, 1839, Bishop Polk visited the town, and on the 30th held the first Protestant services here at the court house. He revisited the town February 21, 1841, and appointed Mr. Burke to this mission in May following, Mrs. Wamsley suggesting such appointment. The officers appointed May 23, that year, were S. M. Tibbetts, S. W.; F. Williams, J. W.; succeeded by E. O. Blanchard, William Hunter, Lewis G. De Russy, Joseph G. Campbell, Victor, Adolph and Ambrose Sompayrac, George W. Lewis, D. M. Heard, Alfred Bludworth, Daniel H. Vail, Martin Fearing and Thomas H. Airey, vestrymen; Thomas P. Jones, clerk, succeeded by E. Hollis. (In December, 1841, the Methodist preachers entered this field, holding services in the court house). Mr. Burke attended the little societies at Greenwood, Shreveport, Alexandria, Donaldsonville, Fort Jesup, Baton Rouge and Franklin, up to 1844, when he resigned. In 1843 a church building was erected here through the efforts of the first pastor.
In December, 1844, Rev. Elijah Guion came here, and remained until June, 1848. For five years the pulpit was filled by visiting preachers, or by the rector of Alexandria. In July, 1853, Rev. Thomas S. Bacon arrive: the corner stone of the present brick church was place April 28, 1857, and the house was completed in 1858. Prior to this a silver Eucharistic service was presented by Gen. De Peyster, of New York, and a tablet to the memory of his daughter was place in the sanctuary, on the left of the altar. Mr. Bacon served the churches of this mission until April 12, 1861, when he resigned, leaving a Mr. Binet to take charge. In April, 1865, a Confederate chaplain, Rev. David Keer, succeeded Mr. Binet, but in March, 1867, the pulpit was found vacant, and the bishop appointed a lay reader. In March, 1870, the pastor of the Shreveport Church came here by appointment, but in December, 1870, Rev. Charles Ritter was appointed rector, and served until April, 1871. Rev. John Sandels came in April, 1872, and remained until his death, in October, 1874. From 1878 to 1883 Rev. Charles A. Cameron was pastor; then the pulpit was vacant for about two years, when Rev. M. T. Turner began his periodical missionary visits. In May, 1887, Rev. W. T. Douglass succeeded him. The church is now without a pastor, but the registers or records are safe in the possession of Mrs. Sullivan, one of the oldest members. The seats or pews were sent hither from Illinois, years ago, while the organ, built in Baltimore, was placed here in 1871. The bell was presented by Gen. De Peyster. The congregation is made up of thirty families.
Union Lodge No. 21, A. F. & A. M., was charted in 1818, and continued in existence until 1828. Phoenix Lodge No. 38, A. F. & A. M., was charter October 6, 1836, with Samuel P. Russell, master; William Long, S. W. ; William P. Jones, J. W. ; W. F. Tabor, secretary; S. B. True, treasurer; J. M. Coons, S. D. ; B. F. Chapman, J. D., and J. Holmes, Tyler. Meetings were then held in Mason's Hall. The masters of this lodge since that time are named as follows: S. P. Russell, 1838; W. P. Jones, 1840 (He presided as temporary master in 1839). There is no record of meetings in 1841-43; B. V. St. Amans, 1844; P. A. Morse, 1845; A. Seegar, 1846; Frederick Williams, 1847; J. B. Smith, 1848; S. M. Hyams, 1851; J. B. Smith, 1853; J. H. Stephens, 1854; J. B. Smith, 1855; John R. Williams, 1856; T. Hunter, 1857; J. B. Smith, 1858; John S. Levy, 1862; William Payne, 1863; F. Metoyer, 1864; C. Chaplin, Jr., 1867; J. E. Breda, 1868; S. M. Hyams, 1869, but Philip Myers presided generally; c. Chaplin, Sr., 1870; S. W. Kile, 1871; C. Chaplin, Sr., 1870; S. W. Kile, 1871; C. Chaplin, 1873; Thomas P. Chaplin, 1875; C. Chaplin, 1876; J. R. Williams, 1880; M. H. Wilkinson, 1882; Thomas P. Chaplin, 1886; C. Chaplin, 1887; Adolph Kaffie, 1888; J. H. Cosgrove, 1889; and Z. T. Gallion, 1890. The secretaries of the lodge are named in the following list: James L. Gillispie, 1838; W. R. Speight, 1839; D. H. Boult, 1840; J. B. Smith, 1846; John F. Payne, 1847; D. H. Boult, 1849; Horatio Sibley, 1850; William Payne, 1851; D. F. Tabor, 1852; William Payne, 1853; T. Hunter, 1856; William Payne, 1857; W. P. Morrow, 1861; C. Chaplin Jr., 1862; J. W. Norris, 1863; L. Caspari, 1864; C. L. Walmsley, 1865; William Payne, 1866; Ed Phillips, 1870; T. P. Chaplin, 1876; Dr. R. S. Calves, 1880; Phanor Breazeale, 1889 and Crokette K. Jones, 1890. The lodge numbers at present forty members with property valued at $8,000.
Cloutierville No. 110 was organized at the mouth of Cane River in 1852; Kissatchie Union No. 195, at Kile's Mills, in 1868, surrendered charter in 1880; Lake Village No. 205 dates back to 1869. It is now known as No. 86
with headquarters at Saline since 1874.
Natchitoches Lodge No. 89, K. of P., was instituted June 7, 1889. The officers installed in July, 1890, were : H. M. Hyams, C. c. H. Levy, V. C. ; J. E. Breda, P.; R. S. Calves, K. of R. and S. ; H. M. Levy, M. of E., and N. Smith, M. of A.
The Thirteen Club elected the following named officers in June, 1890: J. S. Stephens, Jr., president; J. C. Trichel, Jr., V. P. ; Clarence Pierson, secretary, and Simeon Simon, treasurer. This club has elegant quarters in the Review building.
The Free Sons of Israel of Natchitoches were incorporated under the act of March 30, 1871. The object of this association was to subscribe funds to be employed in the erection of a synagogue and keep the burial ground in good order.
In 1879 the Methodist Episcopal church building was erected, Rev. T. J. Hough being then preacher. The Baptists began their building that year during the pastorate of Rev. V. G. Cunningham, but pending its completion held services in the Fireman's Hall. The Baptist, Methodist and South African Colored churches were in existence.
The Lutheran Benevolent Society was chartered December 7, 1882, with King Mickelbury male director; Mary Badgers, female director; Ad. Witherspoon, Hubbard Sharp, John Goings, Andrew Murdock, William Yarbrough, G. W. Duncan and Joseph Bennett, trustees. The officers included 12 male, and 12 female stewards and preachers; 3 marshals, 12 pilgrims and 12 mourning women.
In June, 1879, Rev. Walters, of the African Baptist Church, attempted to erect a church in the center of Buard Street, although the street had been open for thirty five years.
Rev. Darius Logan, presiding elder of the African Methodist Church for the district from Natchitoches to Washington, was stationed at Colfax in 1883.
St. Joseph College was established in 1856 by Bishop Martin, at Natchitoches, in the buildings formerly built and occupied by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, in 1846. Miss Tauzin (living), Josephine Geanty (deceased) Augustinia Deslouschs (living), and Aurelia Anty, now Mrs. Jules Normand, were the first pupils in 1846-47. In September, 1888, five sisters for the Convent of Divine Providence, San Antonio, Texas arrived at Natchitoches for the purpose of establishing a day school. The old convent buildings were restored. The State Normal School was established by the legislative act of 1884, which provided for an annual grant of $6,000. The buildings were erected by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart for educational purposes; but were purchased by the people for the purposes of this State school. The grounds embrace 105 acres. Dr. Edward Sheib was president of the normal school faculty. The school opened November 1, 1885, with thirty six students, among whom were Della Ezernach, Edgar Tharp, Albert Dietrich, Elisha Breazeale, Millie Hughes, Maude Breazeale, Bertha Bahn, Pauline Haller, Bertha, Annie and Samuel Levy, Mary c. Sullivan, Cecile Deblieux, Nena Kearney, Emma Tessier; Hannah Aaron, Kate L. Trichel, Sam D. Kearney, Richard Percy, G. W. Barnes, Robbie Barnes and Madison R. Lay, all of Natchitoches Parish; Benny Rosenthal, of Alexandria; W. L. Ford, of Winn; Florence and Fannie Coffee, of De Soto; Lizzie Fortson, of Caddo; Lelia Hightower, of Homer, and Ida Corbett, of Spanish Lake, were also. on the list of first pupils. About this time a presentation of 2,000 books was made to this school by John Morris, of New Orleans. The faculty in 1889 comprised Thomas D. Boyd, A. M., president, professor of psychology; A. L. Smith, methods and general pedagogue; Charles H. White, natural sciences; Miss Mary E. Washington, geography and calisthenics; Miss Mary Odalie Ezernack, physiology and hygiene; Miss Lizzie Carter, language; Miss Nellie Hughes, history; Miss Emma Oswalt, arithmetic; Miss Annie Burris, music, and Misses Emma Oswalt and Bessie Russell, principals of the practice school. C. H. Ling, of Cornell University, and R. L. Himes, of the Pennsylvania Normal, were added to the faculty in September, 1890.
The Bank of Natchitoches was incorporated in July, 1890, with the following named stockholders; H. M. Hyams, 1 share, $100; H. Safford, 1 share, $100; J. H. Cosgrove, 5 shares, $500; L. Levy, 1 share, $100; P. F. L'herisson, 1 share, $100; J. C. Trichel, 1 share, $100; Hill & Jones, 1 share, $100; J. A. Ducournau & Son, 1 share, $100; H. Kaffie & Bro., 5 shares, $500; Henry M. Levy, 1 share, $100; S. Nelkin, 2 shares, $200; M. L. Dismukes, 1 share, $100; D. C. Scarborough, 2 shares, $200; M. H. Carver, 1 share, $100; L. Caspari, 1 share, $100; D. P. Doak, 250 shares, $25,000; Thomas Doak, per D. P. Doak, 50 shares $5,000; W. C. Doak, 50 shares, $5,000; Joseph Henry, 5 shares, $500; J. W. Cockerham, 1 share, $100; J. S. Stephens, 3 shares, $300; Phanor Breazeale, 1 share, $100; H. P. Breazeale, 1 share, $100; P. S. Prudhomme, 1 share, $100; Z. T. Gallion, 1 share, $100; Mat. Hertozog, per A. E. Lemee, 3 shares, $300; A. E. Lemee, 105 shares, $10,500; C. E. Greneaux, 1 share, $100.
The building & Loan Association was organized in March, 1890, with W. H. Jack, president: David Pierson, vice president; D. C. Scarborough, attorney; C. K. Jones, secretary and treasurer, and Messrs. Stephens, Lemee, Hyams, Asher and Porter, directors.
The Louisiana society of sons of the revolution was organized My 16, 1890, with William H. Jack, president; T. J. Cross, secretary; W. H. Pipes, treasurer, and Jacob McWilliams, registrar. There are thousands of descendants of the men who fought with Rochambeau and Lafayette in the State, whose names should be enrolled on the records of this association.
The Southern H. & B. Association was organized in March, 1890, with J. C. Trichel, senior president; H. Simon, vice president; G. L. Trichel, secretary and treasurer; Chaplin, Brazeale & Chaplin, attorneys, and C. S. Searing, local agent.
The Home Cooperative Cotton Seed Oil Company was incorporated February 14, 1890, the articles of association being signed by D. Pierson, J. S. Stephens, C. Chaplin, Charles H. Levy, D. C. Scarborough, J. C. Keyser, P. F. L'herisson, J. C. Trichel, A. E. Lemee per J. C. Trichel, M. L. Dismukes, N. T. Smith, S. Nelkin, R. L. Caspari, C. V,. Porter, G. L. Trichel, D. A. Blacksher, Clarence Pierson and E. E. Buckner.
The Union Brick Manufacturing Company was organized April 3, 1890, through the efforts of J. H. Cosgrove and C. K. Jones. The work of construction was begun in the summer, and in September the brick yards were completed and the first brick burned.
The Natchitoches Ice company was organized October 15, 1890, with A. E. Lemee, president; A. Kaffie, secretary and treasurer, and the following board of directors; A. E. Lemee, Adolphe Kaffie, P. F. L'herisson, H. Simon and J. A. Ducournau, Jr. The company is organized with a capital stock of $10,000, 100 shares at $100 each, and has for its object the manufacture of ice, cold storage and bottling business.
The Red River Hedge company (unlimited) was successfully organized in Natchitoches on September 8, 1890, by Col. George Moorman. The following are the officers and directors of the institution: Col. A. E. Lemee, president; Capt. A. E. Sompayrac, vice president; J. A. Prudhomme, second vice president; J. T. Trichel, treasurer; H. M. Hyams, secretary; J. H. Hill, general manager; D. C. Scarborough, attorney for the company. Among the directors are M. J. Cunningham, J. C. Trichel, Hon. L. Caspari, Gen. J. H. Cosgrove, J. T. Wallace, J. E. Deloche, Capt. C. E. Greneaux, E. J. Gamble, A. R. Cockfield, S. Nelson and others.
The opera house was opened October 2, 1887, Charles Gayarre lecturing on Mirabeau and the French Revolution. The Natchitoches Opera House company was organized in April, 1890, with D. C. Scarborough, president; J. C. Trichel, Sr., vice president; P. L. Asher, secretary, and J. S. Stephens, Jr., treasurer; H. M. Levy, C. V. Porter and Dr. Z. T. Gallion, directors.
The hotels are the Normand, the Prothro, Mrls Garza's and the new Adams House. The present Normand House was erected by Eduardo Cloutier in 1858, at the cost of $22,000. During the war he sold this property to H. Schuman for Confederate money. The Ambroise Lecompte residence, now occupied by the United States offices' bank, and the Adams Hotel, is one of the oldest, as it is the largest, of the old residences of the city. The residence of Richard Hertzog is another of the large residences of olden times. There are two other large brick residences, one now owned by Matthew Hertzog and the other by Joseph Henry, which came down from early days.
The Natchitoches Land & Railway Company was incorporated November 23, 1885, with L. Caspari, W. H. Jack, D. W. Kile, A. E. Lemee, David Pierson, D. c. Scarborough, J. A. Ducourneau, Jr., and H. B. Walmsley, incorporators and members of the first board of directors.
In June, 1887, the ordinance providing that a 5 mill tax be levied for ten years as a grant to the Natchitoches Railroad Company was adopted, and in August of that year work on the Tap Railroad was begun. In September W. E. Westerfield was superintendent of construction, Engineer Varnum was in charge, Parker was contractor, and Burns, engineer. In December the first excursion train passed over the road. In October, 1889, the following named directors of this railroad company were-elected: L. Caspari, Joseph Henry, A. E. Lemee, W. J. Behan, W. B. Ringrose and H. H. Baker.
In 1883 "The Rogers," Capt. Grant, and "The Lilia," Capt. Teal, were engaged in the Cane River trade between its mouth and Natchitoches. In 1884 Capt. Teal's new boat was launched at the mouth of Cane River and named "The John Teal." "The Ranger," Capt. Wood engaged in this trade in 1885, and in April, 1886, the "Marco," Capt. H. McKnight, ran up the river.
The Merchants & Planters Protective Union was organized August 5, 1880, with L. Caspari, president; H. A. Walmsley, V. P.; A. Ducournau, secretary, and Jules Ducasse, treasure. S. W. Kile, J. A. Prudhomme, J. J. McCook, S. Nelkin, J. H. Stephens, J. D. Stelle (Sabine) and M. H. Levy, directors.
Prudhomme is located on Old River, where the Natchitoches Railroad connects with the Texas & Pacific Railroad. It is in the midst of a wonderfully productive country, convenient to the parish seat. The chances for an important railroad town in the future are fair for the bed of the ancient Lake Ocassee.
Robeline, named after one of the early settlers, is a modern railroad town. As related in the history of this parish and Sabine, settlements were made close by as early as 1694-1711. Joseph Clark, an hospital steward at Fort Jesup, resigned and selected lands northeast and southwest of the present Robeline depot on which to build a log house. He settled at Fort Jesup about 1823, and married a woman at that post. James H. Gallion bought land southwest of the railroad except thirty acres above the present depot, which was entered by Judge Chaplin in 1881 or 1882. The Chaplin family may be said to originate at Fort Jesup, and when Mrs. Clarke died, Judge Chaplin became heir to the property. Clark's log house tavern stood where A. Dover resides, and J. H. Gallion's log dwelling where W. M. Cook's dwelling is, and his log store house where L. Daniel's store is located. James E. Keegan settled three miles west in 1853, W. A. Ponder five miles west in 1853, J. H. Cox close by, preceded them. Rauscheck, a Russian, who was discharged at Fort Jesup, located three miles southwest, and Philip Wagley resided on the site of the city, near Lake Clark. Stokers and other pioneer families of Sabine located along the old Mexican trail, but comparatively little progress was made until the railroad was built.
In 1881 the New Orleans & Pacific Railroad survey was made and the road built. May 1, that year, Robeline was surveyed for C. Chaplin, and additions made by N. Stamper, but not until September were town lots staked. James E. Keegan moved his large home from the plantation into the new town; K. B. Wilson opened a saloon opposite James McCook's store of later days; N. A. Stamper's store room was built in August, 1881; Hughes & Carter's grocery was opened soon after, and they were followed by Hopkins & Barber, and John Decker. C. J. Smith opened the second salon; William Edwards the first livery; M. Brown the third hotel, and Mrs. Howe the fourth hotel; James McCook;'s dry goods store was established later, and Walter D. Hopkins opened the railroad office; but in December, 1881, he vacated the office, leaving $1,500 to be accounted for. The years 1882 brought several new traders hither. The Gays opened a general store, A. E. Cassady a drug store, Nash & Sons, L. Daniel and the Lees general stores, and B. D. Loper a saloon.
In 1883 general stores were opened by F. J. Cook & Co., M. C. Fisher, W. W. Page and Mrs. E. C. Lovett, a livery stable by T. E. Dodd and a grocery by Martin Brown. The older traders made many improvements. Hill & Calwell's cotton market store, John Blake's large store, Cox & Thomas' and the Lindsey store were all brought into existence. In 1884 Stamper's steam mill and gin was constructed and Hogue entered the firm of Gay Brother. During this year the business center began to change from the Boulevard to Texas Street. In 1883 the academy was erected and school opened in March, by R. W. Freeman, but prior to this one F. Truly taught school in the new town. The old public school building erected in 1888 is now used for the purposes of public and private academy. It is proposed to erect a new house on a lot offered by F. C. Blacksher. In September, 1890, J. E. Keegan, M. G. Buvens and F. C. Gay were appointed a committee to secure teachers, and F. C. Blacksher, L. B. Gay and W. W. Page to secure pupils for the new school: W. C. Cox presided with J. E. Buvens secretary. The officers of the board are J. B. McCook, president; M. F. Buvens, secretary and W. W. Page, treasurer. September 1, Prof. J. Fuller Hailey was engaged to teach.
The register of the Methodist Church at Robeline dates back to June 14, 1883, when Rev. Ben. Jenkins, Jr., the Freemans, Mrs. L. Collier and Mrs. M. F. Burdick signed the record book. R. A. Davis, Mrs. S. L. Carter, the Caldwells and Mrs. Presnell signed later that year. Mr. Upton succeeded H. Capers, and rev. A. D. McVoy, Jr., succeeded Rev. R. S. Isbell as pastor. The present number of members is sixty five. The church building was erected during Mr. Isbell's administration. The Colored Methodist Church was established here in 1884 by Rev. H. Wallace.
The Baptist Church dates back to 1884, when the house of worship at Spanish Lake was moved to Robeline. Rev. W. M. Reese was the first pastor.
In 1888 a lot on which to erect a Catholic Church building was purchased. Moneys were subscribed for this purpose, and in the fall of 1890 definite steps were taken to erect a house of worship. Since the beginning of Robeline, services have been held here once every month by Father Aubree, of many.
The first meeting of the council of Robeline was held March 14, 1883, under charter of February 1, 1883. J. E. Keegan was then mayor with C. R. Lee, L. B. Gay, J. M Moorman, J. V. Nash and L. Daniel, councilmen. In 1884 N. A. Stamper was mayor with J. B. Clifton, L. H. Burdick, M. C. Fisher, W. W. Page and B. D. Slay, councilmen.
They were followed by L. Daniel, mayor; J. E. Keegan, J. B. Clifton, W. C. Cox, J. H. Caldwell and G. J. Cook, in 1886 and 1887. L. Daniel, in 1888; W. C. Cox, in 1889, and J. E. Keegan, in 1890. L. Daniel was first clerk, succeeded by J. B. Clifton, G. J. Cook and E. M. Lindsey, who has served for 1886 to the present time. In 1886 M. H. Carver, W. A. Ponder, M. Brown, H. Manhein and E. M. Lindsey were councilmen; I. H. King replaced Carver in 1887; W. M Prothro, J. E. Keegan, R. W. Freeman, M. F. Buvens and E. M. Lindsey were council men in 1888. In 1889 G. L. Jackson took King's place, while in January, 1890, W. W. Page, F. C. Blacksher and J. F. Carter with M. F. Buvens and E. M. Lindsey form the council. The latter is also secretary and treasurer. The town is without debt and claims a little money in the treasury. The state census places the population at 415.
The first postmaster at Robeline was N. A. Stamper, in August, 1881. The office was then named Leolia after his daughter. On October 6, 1882, when J. M. H. McCook took possession of the office, it was know as Robeline.
The officers of the W.C.T.U. in August, 1888, were Mrs. James H. Hill, Mrs. W. C. Cox, Mrs. R. W. Freeman, Mrs. R. S. Isbell, Mrs. John Dunkleman and Mrs. J. H. Caldwell, in the order of Union rank. Little or nothing was accomplished by this society, but in 1890 a reorganization was effected with Mrs. R. W. Freeman, president; Mrs. Belle Carter, secretary, and Mrs. John Dunkleman, treasurer.
Cloutierville was founded in 1822 by Alex. C. Cloutier, with the object of making it the seat of justice for the new parish, which he petitioned to have established. The prospects were fair enough to warrant the erection of a large house for parish purposes, and also a large church building for Catholic worship, at that time the only worship know in Louisiana. (Vide [i.e. means "see".] general history.)
Marthaville is credited with only 290 people, but since the school attendance numbers 135 this must be far short of the actual population. It is probably 350 to 400. There is a large saw mill and planer mill here, which ship 2.000.000 feet of lumber per year, the trade principally being in Texas. They have capacity of 25,000 feet per day, and are always running. The timber is at the door, and there is enough to run the mill for years. The school is the official pride of the town, though as a business point it is a very promising one. The town was first settled by the Rains family in 1851 and in 1852 others came into the neighborhood, such as the Crumps and Berrys. Prior to 1851 the Crumps and Berrys located one mile distant from the present town, and in 1852 the Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians established Mount Pisgah Union Church.
In 1853 a school house was constructed at Marthaville, and in 1855 a post office was established with J. J. Rains, master, and the name given in honor of his wife. Here also was the stage station of the Alexandria dn Shreveport stage line as established that year. In 1857 a daily mail service was established. During the Bank's invasion a half hour's battle was fought here with the Confederate troops under Green. From 1881 to 1883 G. W. Small, the first merchant here, carried on a large trade. The town was incorporated in 1884. In 1883 J. J. Rains became his partner. In 1882 the Bonds & Jordan store was built, but in 1883 the house was burned. J. J. Rains did business there in 1882-83, but in the latter year established a store at Negreet with J. W. Law, manager and one at Broad well's with W. A. Oliphant, manager. J. T. Hanson & Co. Established a store here in 1884. H. E. Hanson was first railroad agent in 1881, followed by Charles Hanson in 1884. The saw mills of Hanson & Brazier and J. J. Rains, Berry & Ingram's brick kilns, Waugh & Gentry's shingle mill and the old Rains gin were early industries.
Grant's Point is the modern name given to the point at the mouth of Cane River. Frank Beaudry established a store here in 1865, as successor of the old ante-bellum French store of Madame Boulard. Owing to some difficulty with the people she was driven out. This action led to a suit against several persons in Grant Parish, and this suit led to a verdict for $5,000 damages against Meredith Calhoun. Morentine & Calhoun established their store on the Rapides bank of Cane and Red rivers in June, 1865. They ewer followed by Morentine & Rachal and L. C. Serr & Co. T. Monk Wells, son of J. Madison Wells, located on Natchitoches bank, opposite Colfax, in May 1883, where he proposed raising sugar cane. His store was on the Rapides bank of Cane River.
Provencal is an incorporated town of about 400 inhabitants. Joseph H. Stephens is mayor, justice of the peace and member of the parish school board.
Eight years ago there was no town here. Then the store of Stephens & Gregory was opened. In 1883 Samuel Nelkin established his store here. The former firm purchased the town site in 1886 from Green & Brogan, the original owners, for whom it was surveyed. In 1886 the Methodist Episcopal Church house was erected, and in 1889 the Baptists erected their building. Where the lands have not been cleared they are covered with a heavy growth of beech, ash, oak, pine, gum and other trees useful for house building or furniture. Four saw mills and planer mills, with a capacity of 15,000 feet per day, are right at the town.
In July 1890, the Provencal Land & Improvement Company was organized. Among the members being the following named: Joseph Levy, S. Nelkin, J. T. Myrick, J. C. Wiggins, Mrs. Annie Crain, J. C. Nalley, S. E. Nalley, T. W. Hawthorne, W. R. Gibbs, D. W. Hall, D. McCorquedale, S. Moses, J. M. Killen, J. A. Ellzey, S. G. Long, A. T. Foster, J. D. Salter, J. F. Carroll and J. C. Thomason. The fire of November 21, 1888, resulted in the destruction of property valued at $15,000. It originated in the Commercial Hotel, then owned by Dr. J. D. Addison, and spreading to the Stephens & Gregory bar room. Brown's Hotel, John Trichel's small building and S. Nelkin's store, swept them all away. Immediately after the fire the work of rebuilding was entered upon and to day the general stores of S. Nelkin, Joseph Levy, R. W. Gregory, W. W. Farris, D. W. Hall & Co. And M. W. Carroll tell of its progress. The hotels of Mrs. Israel and Dr. A. J. Roquemore are well ordered hostelries.
Grand Ecore was surveyed in 1836 for Samuel Russell, and in 1854 was selected as the starting point of the mail coaches for Shreveport. In August, 1880 a post office was established with H. Manhiem, master.
The DeRussy Cemetery, on the Grand Ecore Road contains some old time obelisks. The Alexander lot close by was tenanted in 1855, during the yellow fever epidemic.
Campti is one of the oldest towns on Red River. In 1827 it was the outfitting point for the upper country Claiborne and Arkansas. In 1805 Francois Grappe was appointed interpreter by the Natchitoches Indians in selling a portion of their old Spanish grant of 1790, on Lac de Mure above Campti to Hypolite Bordelin. The latter paid $90 for this grant. The United States commissioners did not confirm Bordelin's claim, holding that the grant to Chief Tomac in 1790 was only provisional.
In 1864 Banks troops destroyed every house at Campti except R. Raphael's store on Front Street. This was burned in 1888. The Campti fire of January 30, 1874, destroyed the Coughlin buildings, then occupied by Raphael & Brother. For years prior to April, 1884, J. G. Readheimer was postmaster at Campti. That month L. Perot was appointed by the Republican administration, but in 1885 Mrs. McDaniel was commissioned. Marion Cauley's saw mill, above Campti, is the only manufacturing industry on the Coushatta and Natchitoches road.
In 1864 the residence of A. Lecomte at Magnolia plantation was destroyed by the Federal troops. In July, 1878, Matthew Hertzog the present owner, captured a White mocking bird in the ruins. This plantation is one of the oldest as it is one of the largest in Louisiana.
Traditions, dating back to the last century, govern, in a measure, the Creoles of today. The war into which they were led by politicians, brought ruin to some of the oldest families, and the era of plunder, introduced after the failure of the Rebellion, humiliated, if it did not destroy, the high spirit of the others. Young women, educated in the great convent schools of the land, young men, taught in the colleges of the Eastern States and France all raised up in elegant luxury, and with expectations as large as their desires had replace their parents in the control of the South. To each the vicissitudes of social change were unknown until the blithe of civil war feel upon their country, and withered up the social and industrial systems which they had known from childhood. The war days passed away, and the Creoles had to adopt the new order of affairs or die of inactivity. The greater number were equal to the emergency and entering the race for progress, buoyant as only Creole can be, won by earnestness and honor where experienced men failed through chicanery. With all this success, the changed condition of affairs is evident. Where the homes of prosperous planters of former days stood, is now the forest. The overseer and the slaves are memories. Men of today, who thirty years ago had promise of inheriting great wealth, labor in commercial or professional circles, always genial like their fathers, and proud like them. A few plantations exist under the old names, such as Magnolia plantation, and farms resembling those of old obtain; but the romance of olden days is gone.
The State officers of Louisiana, who resided in Northwest Louisiana at the time of appointment or election, or who have since such appointment or election become residents, are named as follows: Thomas O. Moore, governor, 1860-64; James Madison Wells, acting governor, 1864-66, and governor 1866-68, Henry M. Hyams, lieutenant governor, 1860-64, and Charles W. Boyce, president pro tem. of the Senate, 1864; John M. Sandige, speaker of the House, 1854-55; W. W. Pugh, 1856-59; Charles H. Morrison, 1860-61; Mortimer Carr, 1870; John c. Moncure, 1879, and Henry W. Ogden, 1884. Aristides Barbin, Henry B. Kelly and W. A. Strong served as secretaries of the Senate; Peter J. Trezevant and C. M. Pegues as clerks of the House; H. A. Bullard was Secretary of State in 1838, and W. A. Strong, 1877-84; Isaac E. Morse was attorney general, 1853-55; A. S. Herron elected in 1865, but removed by Federal authority; James C. Egan, 1880-84, and Milton J. Cunningham, 1884-88. In 1850-52 Charles E. Greneaux was State treasurer, and Robert A. Hunter, 1855-59; Louis Bordelin served as auditor in 1850-54; Col. W. H. Jack is present superintendent of education; Henry A. Bullard was appointed judge of the Supreme Court in 1832, and served until 1845; George K. King was appointed in 1846; James G. Campbell was elected, and served until 1854; Josiah L. Cole, 1855-59; Thomas T. Land, 1858- 62; Albert Voorhies, 1859-62; Thomas C. Manning (appointed), 1863-64; William P. Hyman (chief justice), 1865-68; R. B. Jones (associate justice), 1865; Thomas C. Manning (chief justice, 1877-80; William B. Egan (associate justice), 1877-80; William M. Levy, 1880-86; Thomas C. Manning, 1882-86, and Lynn Boyd Watkins, 1886-98; Thomas C. Manning was subsequently appointed United States minister in Mexico; George R. King was one of the judges of the court of errors and appeals in criminal matters during his existence form 1843-52; J. C. Moncure and A. B. George were appointed judges of the circuit court of appeals for the First Circuit in 1880 and A. B. Irion and J. M. Moon for the Third Circuit. Alex Borman is judge of the United States District court for Western Louisiana.
The presidential electors from Northwest Louisiana since the position became an elective one in 1828 are named as follows: Placide E. Bossier (D.) 1828, W. H. Overton (D.) 1832, Placide E. Bossier (D.) 1836; Seth W. Lewis (W.) 1840; Thomas W. Scott (D.) 1844, James G. Campbell (W.) 1848; Thomas O. Moore (D.) 1852-56; William M. Levy (D.) 1860 (no vote cast for President in 1864); W. F. Blackman (D.) 1868; Thomas C. Manning and A. H. Leonard 1872 (vote of Louisiana not counted); W. A. Seay (D.) Counted out, and A. B. Levissee (R.) Counted in; Oscar Joffron, of Avoyelles (R.), was also elector this year, 1876; Thomas C. Manning (D.) and W. H. Jack (D.) 1880, J. D. Watkins and W. H. Jack 1884. The representative in the Confederate Congress from Northwest Louisiana was Henry Marshall, of De Soto. Henry Boyce was elected to the United States Senate in 1866, but was not admitted. Henry M. Spafford was treated similarly in 1877, and died the same year, while Thomas C. Manning was denied his seat in the Senate in 1880. The representatives of the district of Northwestern Louisiana in Congress were Thomas B. Robertson, 13th, 14th and 15th Congress; Thomas Butler, 16th; Josiah S. Johnson, 17th and W. L. Brent, 18th Congress. The 19th Congress claimed two representatives from Louisiana, W. L. Brent and Edward Livingstone, who also served in the 20th.
The 21st Congress had three Louisianans enrolled on the list of members, H. H. Gurley, W. H. Overton and Ed D. White. In the 22nd were H. A. Bullard, Philemon Thomas and Ed. D. White, all of whom served also in the 23rd; Henry Johnson, E. W. Ripley and Rice Garland represented the State in the 24th and 25th; Ed White, T. W. Chinn and Rice Garland, in the 26th; John B. Dawson and John Moore represented Central and Northern Louisiana in the 27th; Dawson, of the Third District, and Bossier, of the Fourth District, in the 28th,; John H. Harmanson and L. E. Morse in the 29th, 30th, and 31st; A. G. Penn and John Moore, in the 32nd; John Perkins, Jr., and Roland Jones, in the 33rd; T. G. Davidson and John M. Sandige, in the 34th, 35th and 36th Congress (not represented in the 37th, 38th and 39th;) J. P. Newsham, Fourth and W. Jasper Blackburn, Fifth, in the 40th and 41st Congress; Alex Bowman, vice James McCleary deceased, and Frank Morey, 42nd; G. L. Smith and Frank Morey, 43rd; William M. Levy and W. B. Spencer, 44th; J. B. Elam and John S. Young, vice J. E. Leonard, deceased, 45th; J. B. Elam and J. F. King, 46th; Newton C. Blanchard and J. F. King, 47th, 48th and 49th. The former was re-elected in 1890. The Sixth District was represented in the 45th Congress by E. W. Robertson; A. S. Herron was in the 47th, and on his death E. T. Lewis was elected; Alfred B. Irion represented the Sixth in the 44th Congress, of which Congressman Price is now representative, and Congressman Boatner represents Northwestern Louisiana.
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