Webster 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, and wanted to transcribe it. I'm getting around to doing something about it. Spacing, format and some "clean up" was done to fit our webpage design. The following is not an reproduction of the original. Please report typing errors.
Webster Parish is marked by the bottom lands of Bayou Dorcheat and by Bayou Bodeau. Between the bayous a level tract extends from Lake Bistineau into Arkansas. The total area, as given in the United States statistics of 1880, is 0.12 squares miles. This is divided into 430 square miles of oak uplands, 137 of Bayou Dorcheat alluvium, and 45 square miles of Bayou Bodeau alluvium. In 1880 there were 42,402 acres in cultivation, of which 10,401 were under cotton, 14,824 corn, 385 sweet potatoes and 120 sugar cane. There were 6,255 bales of cotton produced, or .38 bale per acre; 543 pounds of seed cotton, or 181 pounds of cotton lint. The true area, as recorded In 1888, is 504 square miles.
Parish statistics are very deficient, and the following from the records are only given to show the general situation in 1890: Acres cultivated, 53,270; acres uncultivated (taxed), 240,900; acres in cotton, 19,420; bales, 15,010; acres In corn, 17,000; bushels, 100,000 (reported). No record is kept, and The Negros never know anything about what The acreage or crop is, which makes the figures unreliable. The average production of cotton is .80 of a bale per acre, or 320 pounds of lint, and this is reliable. The assessed value of real property is $370,082; personal, 1773,952; the State and parish tax is 13 mills, and city tax 3 mills; total, 101 mills.
The population in 1880 was 10,005 of which 4,323 were white and 5,082 Colored. In 1890 the number of inhabitants is 12,551, of whom 1,200 are subject to military duty. Of this total there are 6,351 males and 5,200 females, or a total of 12,551. of whom only 48 are foreign born. There are 2,409 voters, and 4,451 children between six and eighteen years of age. The population of Minden is 1,320.
The timber resources are valuable, it being estimated by a former parish surveyor, who is well acquainted with it, at not less than 60 square miles of pine, 1,920,000,000 feet; 60 square miles of gum, 2,304,000,000 feet, and not less than 2,000,000,000 of hardwood, including cypress, oak, birch, etc.
The Bayou Dorcheat, which passes through the parish from north to south, a distance of over thirty miles, and makes its way into Red River through Lake Bistineau and Loggy Bayou, is navigable for six mouths in the year fur a good class of Red River boats to a point opposite to and within two and a half miles of Minden. the parish site, giving boating facilities equal with Shreveport on time and freight rates. The construction of the Minden Tap Railroad doses off river trade as effectually as low water. Land has no fixed price; from $1 to &10 per acre are about the ruling prices. In August, 1885. Prof. Johnson, a Government geologist; E. R. Boyle, of the Democrat Tribune, and Prof. Enderle, of the Times-Democrat; explored the Red Hills, seventeen miles north of Minden, and reported the existence of good iron ore over an area of ten square miles.
The post offices are Buckhorn, Cotton Valley, Dorcheat, Doyline, Dubberly, Lanesville, Minden C. H. Pleasanton, Sarepta, Shongaloo, Sikes Ferry and Timothea. Shongaloo, where a Masonic lodge was carried on from 1800 to 1880, is one of The old settlements.
Isaac Alden is said to have been the first English- speaking settler of Webster. He came in 181 1 and located eight miles east of Minden, thus escaping the call issued by Jackson at New Orleans. He died after the war of 1801-05. A half-breed, Richard Fields, settled near Germantown, twelve miles away, at the same time, and they were the only human occupants of the wilderness up to April, 1818, when the Murrells, Wards, Mournens, Duties and Doolies arrived. They made a temporary settlement, but were driven to higher land, and in August of that year we find John Murrell, his wife, six children, a pack-horse, two dogs and a rifle introducing the civilization of the times east of Minden, beyond the present parish line. During the winter of 1818-19 a settlement was made at Small Creek or Flat Lick by the Aliens. Dan Moore, William Gryder, Newt. Drew, and perhaps two others located there. In 1827 a post-office was established there, under the title Allen's Settlement Post office, with John Murrell master. This position he held until his death in January, 1847.
Isaac Alden was justice of the peace for the territory north of Campti to Arkansas and from Ouachita River to Texas, In the fall of 1818 John Murrell buried one of his boys near his home, while in 1822 one Fred Villire, Sr., was buried at the old Murrell plantation. Isaac Murrell was the first white child born north of Campti, the date being March 20, 1819. James A. Conley taught the first school. Hopkins' store, managed by Fashier, was soon after established, but In 1823 Fashier disappeared with Hopkins' money. The Baptists erected the first church house at Flat Lick, but the houses of the settlers named as well as of the Nelsons near Athens, and Pranks in Brushy Valley, were previously used for religious purposes. In 1826 the first regular cotton crop was raised by J. McCrady tit Flat Lick. His store was there, and his gin-house and press were constructed that year. Russell Jones, Sr., built The second and John Murrell the third gin house.
In 1839 William Dyer was sheriff; Rush Reynolds, deputy; Peets, parish judge, and Copes clerk, at Overton. Messrs. Lawson, Evans, Alcott, Scott, Drew, Vaughan, were lawyers; Sanders P. Day, hotel keeper; Morrow, Berry & Co., Abner Drake, Drury Murrell, John Chaffe, Thompson & Morrow, Y. P. & J. E. Reynolds, general merchants; Messrs. Pennall, Quarles and McFarland. physicians; Capt. Hiram Wilson ran a steamboat on Lake Bistineau , and Stephen D, Pitts was a cotton broker, while five miles from Minden were Davis Long's sulphur springs.
Old Mrs. Smith, a widow, was the first person buried in The Minden Cemetery. It appears she was first interred near Murrell's tan yard, but on the suggestion of Veeder the body was transferred to the present grounds.
William Wilson, who died August, 27, 1886, was said to be the oldest resident of the Parish at that time, being ninety-four years old. He was a soldier of the War of 1812.
Jesse Sikes, who settled on Sikes Ferry in 1816, is still living in the house which he built in 1820. John Murrell, who came about 1816, is living on the old Military Road. When the Texas colony of Indiana passed here, in 1834, they stayed at Murrell's on November 4, 1884, and this pioneer measured the corn.
The first slaves were brought into the district about 1820, and within the succeeding thirty-four years increased beyond the thousand mark. The fortunes of war reduced the nominal slave to a reality in slavery, and to day thousands of acres of the old plantations are lying out under rank weeds or young forests, making the Caucasian poor, indeed, compared with the past, and the freedmen poorer still in the uncertainty of his new position.
D. Harper. H. L. Martin, J. M. Paxton, James Crow, Jacob Lewis, the Leonard's, Newitt Drew, were large slave owners In Webster. The greater number of the Caucasians owned from two to nine slaves, but the large owners were few in this part of old Claiborne.
Lee Ham, a celestial, was the first of his race to settle at Minden. He came In the fall of 1888, and at, once established a little store and restaurant in a house opposite the old Reynolds Hotel, leased from T. R. Gerin. John Chuney came later, others followed, and then came in the inevitable laundry man, John Lee. The almond-eyed citizens are aristocrats In their own way.
The first purchasers of United States lands in Township 17 north, Range 8 west, were Thomas Gray on Section 0, and William Stiles on Section 10, in 1838; Samuel Laird on Section 2, William A. Jones on Section 51 and 15, in 18351. In Township 1.7, Range 9, large parcels were purchased in 1830; Nancy and Mary Saps purchased on Section 20, In 1837; James Walsh and Richard H. Thompson on Section 21, in 1836; Dawson and Dorsey on Section 30, the same year; Samuel Clark on Section 31. In 1843 the first lands in Township 17. Range 10 were sold to Martin Wood on Section 3. to J. J. and Joseph D. Byran on Section 6, William E. Kellogg on Section 19, Isaac Alden on Section 24, Owen H. Magee and John Gregg on Section 30; in 1844-45 Stephen Applewhite, Martin Martin, Micah Miller, C. A. Kellogg, and VV. B. Young were buyers. In Township IS, Range 8, buyers came in between 1850 and 1800, but in 1840 John Pressnall owned 38 acres on Section 7, Jephtha Fallen 80 acres on Section 6, and Joab W. Laird 40 acres on Section 18. Between 1850 and 1800 the great body of the land was taken up.
In 1837-39 some entries were made In Township 18, Range 9, Newitt Drew on Section 5 (Overton). Joshua Jones on Section 2. David C. Pratt on Section 5, George R. Reemeton Section Id, Thaddeus W. and Robert Eyas on Section 1 I. Between 1840 and 1800 almost the total area passed to private owners. John M. Crawford and John C. Cole, who purchased in Township' 18, Range 10 in 1840, were preceded as land buyers by Robert and John L. Hodges and Simeon Thompson. Township 19, Range 8 was first entered In August, 1837, by William and Catherine Lee. In 1838 351 John and Hiram Given, John Miller, Peter G. Olliver and Ben Rowles purchased here.
The first entries In Township 19, Range 5, were made July 12, 1833, Friend McMahon, Jr., on Section 28; July 30, 1833, by Newitt Drew on Section 32; Thomas Young on Section 32, same date: July 28, 1833, by Richard Nickerson on Section 24, and on July 30, 1833, by Abel Crown over on Section 5, and by Russell Jones, Jr., on Section 18 in 1830: Robert, Cannon purchased also In 1830; Quinton Dines on Section 21, In 1837; James Hiler, Jacob Peacow, Nancy and Caroline Deck, in 1837; John T. Morrow, Richmond Handle, Wimfry B. Scott, H. McFarland, William Shepherd, James Berry (Section 13), Charles Ritchey, James Mason. Elkin Juggle Jones, Reuben Drake, Mary Deck, John M. Fallon, Dillinghast Vaughan, Henry Springer, William H. Drake, William Hoddy. Hiram Wilson. Josiah Wilson, Thomas Young, Lewis Million, Jene Million, William S. Pennall, Charles Y. Long and Phillip Alden, in 1839. William Berry purchased on Section 33, in November, 1834.
The first entries in Township 19, Range 10, were made by Reuben Drake and John Bauskett on Section 1, John W. Hughes on Section 3, Nathan Pickett and William Ferriday on Section 7. James Surget on Section 5), Solomon High and Emulous P. Bry on Section 15, Robert Davis on Section 17, James M. and Micah Pickett on Section 20, Andrew Lawson and Peter G. Thompson on Section. 2(5, Algernon S. Robertson on Section 29, Harrison Presnall, Duncan McDougall and John Stamps on Section 30, in 1836.
Township 20, Range 8 west, was first entered on Section 22 under the act of June 19, 1834, by Peter Grounds in 1838; Adam and Jacob Miller, Micah and James W, Miller and Benjamin Nugent also entered lands in 1838; Tandy and John Pate, in 1839. Prom 1851 to 1858 a large number of buyers is recorded.
Township 20, Range 9. was first entered in 1840 by Amoldus Venderhorst Montgomery, on Section 25; Joseph D. Long, Section 31, and Joel Waters, Section 1. In 1843 William A. Drake, Section 8: in 1844, Stephen Butler, Section 8, and Simeon Williamson, Section 32.
Township 20, Range 10, was entered by William Crowley and Mary Brown In 1837, on Section 32; Stephen C. O'Neal, in 1839, on Section 28; William Crowley, Section 31, while Township 21, Range 5, shows: Stephen Butler on Section 1. In 1840; James Shaw, in 1843; James McCarty, in 1844, on Section 2; Martin Wood, in 1843, and Micah and William Martin in 1840, on Section 24; Zene Grounds and Willis Doles in 1844 on Section 26; Joel W. Murrell in 1843 on Section 30; Josiah Butler purchased on Section 35 In 1844.
Township 21, Range 10, was first entered in 1839, but Thomas A. Glass and Winna Eliza Vest were the only owners until 1850, when the immigrants began to pour in. In 1851 John Chaffee entered a large area here, and in 1859 Alfred Goodwill purchased several tracts.
Township 2.1, Range 11, was bought up in 1858, 1859 and 1860 in large tracts like Township 22, Range 9 west, which passed into private ownership from the United States during the same years. Township 22, Range 10, was first entered In 1848 by William S. Denman. In 1849 a large area was selected by the State of Alabama under the act of July 4, 1830, but the greater area was sold from 1852 to the beginning of the war.
Township 22, Range 11, was taken up in 1858-59, with the exception of the small tracts entered by Samuel Davis on Section 14 in 1852 and by John W. Strange in 1854 on Section 13. Township 23, Range 9, was entered in 1859-60, and Township 23, Range 10, in 1859-61, with the exception of part of Section 36 pre-empted in 1854 by Francis Lyman. In each of the townships given in this paragraph the State located lands under The several acts of Congress. In 1853 Andrew J. McDonald located lands on Section 27, Township 23, Range 1 I, and some years later The Gambles, Cassons. Daniels, Coyles, Carruths, Reeves, Johns, Livermans, John and Charles Chaffe, Leriza Taylor, Henry J. Taylor, J. H. Murrell and others entered tracts In this township. In 1839 Jackson Hash and Timothy Hash entered a one half section on Section 3(5. A cotton field, the property of Capt. Goodwill, two miles west of Minden, near Phillip Thorp's house, marks the site of Overton.
The act, establishing Webster Parish was approved February 27, 1871. The boundaries extended from Bayou Bodean on the Arkansas line, south along The eastern bank of that, Bayou to line between Townships 20 and 21, thence east on that line to intersection of line between Ranges 10 and 1 1; thence south on that range line to line between Townships 15 and 17; thence east across Lake Bottineau, on the same line to line between Ranges 8 and 5); thence north three miles; thence east to Black Lake, northerly along western bank of lake to the confluence of the prongs of Black Lake; thence north find up main prong or Crow's Creek to line between Townships 151 and 20; thence west to halfway point on line between Ranges 7 and 8 and the line between Ranges 8 and 51; thence north three miles; west to line between Ranges 8 and 9, north on range line to Arkansas line, and thence to The point of beginning. The parish was divided into six wards. This territory, as is evidenced by the boundaries, was detached from the parishes of Bossier, Claiborne and Bienville.
In 1837 a division of Claiborne Parish was suggested, but the idea met with such opposition that the dividers gave their attention to obtaining the seat of justice, Newitt Drew favoring Overton, and C. H. Veeder, Minden. Newett Drew succeeded, but In 1840 Veeder influenced the Legislature to appoint locating commissioners who would favor Minden. The commissioners were so slow in their action that their terms expired and influences favorable to Overton triumphed, so that the court-house was erected there and Minden had to remain an ordinary town, and the whole parish a part of Claiborne, Bossier and Bienville until 1871, when the act of February 27 fixed the original boundaries.
In 1871 the first police jury was organized in the old town hall, subsequently burned. D. B. Doyle and Dr. G. J. Wise were members of the jury, and John G. Warren, clerk. The records of this period disappeared with the early reconstructionist, and no memory at Minden is able to give the names of the precise actors in jury affairs.
The first record of the police jury, in possession of J. J. Carter, clerk, is dated January 12. 1874. Simeon Gray, of Ward 5, was then presiding with Alfred McCarty, representing Ward No. 1, Alford Gibson (Colored) No. 2, Joseph P. Jackson (Colored) No. 3, and Willis Ford (Colored) No. 4.
T. M. Turner was clerk, and Dr. Harper, treasurer. On the date given $312.50 were allowed to eleven poor persons in the parish, while a large sum was appropriated to pay sheriff and attorney fees in criminal cases for advertising in the Minden Democrat in 1872, for election commissioners in 1872.
On January 14 the court-house building committee, S. B. Miller, Isaac Murrell (the first male child born in Webster), John C. Loy, S. W. Culpepper. and W. A. Drake, reported their settlement with T. B. Neal, the contractor. The jury granted $2,000 to him, and held $400 until some parts of the contract would be fulfilled. The report of Collector Gruber for 1873 was presented, showing 120,084.04 accounted for, of which $15,106.88 were collected. In 1874 the parish printing was done by the Herald, J. B. Walthall. In November, 1874, J. M. Lewis was elected to McCarty's place on the jury. January 18, 1875, the newly elected jurors were installed: Christopher Chaffee, president, William Sandlin, J. J. Wise, William L. Coyle and O. L. Noles. William Mansfield was chosen clerk, vice Turner, resigned. This jury estimated the expenditures for the year at $12,000, and a tax levy of 28 mills was ordered. The jurors fixed their own pay at $4 per day and 5 cents per mile traveling expenses. In May, 1875, Dr. B. T. Mosley was chosen parish physician and W. Mansfield was re-elected clerk. In September Dr. Harper was appointed physician. In January, 1876, the estimate for the year was reported at $13,025.
The tax levy was 27 mills for 1870, 2 school, 12.5 ordinary, 6 road and bridge and 6 court house. L. Q. C. Puckett was tax-collector in 1875, and C. C. Chaffe, treasurer. Toward the dose of 1876 M. J. Moss was acting clerk, but In April, 1877, S. F. Goode was appointed by the new jury. J. J. Carter was chosen president; Irvin Talton, N. J, Sandlin, W. L. Coyle and James Reagan being the other new members. T. M. Turner was treasurer. and W. D. McDonald, collector. In November, 1878. Thomas W. Randle, of Ward 4, signs the record as president. J. F. Taylor represented Ward 2, and John Slack of Ward 1, with Sandlin and Talton, formed the board. S. F. Goode was re-elected clerk; T. M. Turner, treasurer; M. C. Mosley, attorney, and Dr. Harper, physician, for 1879. The parish printing contract was sold to George W. Tompkins. In April, 1880, J. J. Career was elected president, John Slack, N. J. Samuel in, J. L. Taylor and E. F. Lewis being the members. W. H. Schneider, of the Democrat, was elected public printer, the election being necessary, owing to the bid of the Tribune being similar in terms to that of the Democrat. In July the clerk and treasurer were authorized to purchase a safe.
In February, 1881, the report of the liquor election in Ward 5 was made. This shows 86 votes for sale and 30 against. In May, 1881, Jackson Sikes took the place of Juror Slack; Sheriff Reagan was tax-collector. In June, 1882, Dr. G. J. Wise appears as juror. At this time the proposition to build a branch railroad south from Minden to Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific Railroad line was considered in its relation to the parish. Walton Ford, of the Tribune, was appointed printer. J. S. Cheshire was physician, and T. M. Turner, treasurer. In 1884 N. J. Sandlin, of Ward 3, was president; G. J. Wise, W. L. Coyle, H. A. Barnes and M. N. Walker represented the other wards. The liquor election in Ward 3, as reported in September, shows 105 against and 5)1 for the sale of liquors. In October there were 9 votes for and 84 against the sale of liquor in Ward 2, and 110 for and 134 against in Wan! 4. In 1885 the same jurors managed the parish affairs.
J. D. McIntyre was treasurer. In December of this year the jurors relinquished the right of the parish to cross the railroad at the Douberly side track. The same jurors were present In July, 1SN6. T, M. Turner was chosen temporary clerk; J. J. Carter was appointed clerk in December following, vice Goode. The claims against the Vieksburg, Shreveport & Pacific Railroad, which were presented on its completion iff September, 1884, were considered by the jury in April, 1887. At this time the railroad company, through General Attorney Stubb, agreed to an assessment of $3,500 per mile and $1 per acre on improved lands subject to The understanding that the taxes demanded for 1885 and 1880 would not bear penalties. This agreement was accepted to continue in force until 1894. The act amending the act of 1882 for the protection of deer was passed in 1887. In July, 1888. Dr. Wise, Isaiah Ratcliff, James M. Miller, C. B. Heflin and J. E. Hodges formed the new jury, with J. M. Miller, president, and J. J. Carter, clerk. The estimates for the year were placed at $10,900. In December the question of providing a tire-proof record vault was considered favorably, and a contract was made with the Diebold Company through Agent Garretson in February, 1889, for $4,250. In May this improvement was completed and accepted by the jurors. The liquor election, as reported November 29, 1889, shows 124 votes against and 23 for sale of liquor in Ward 1 (Shangaloo), and 50 against and 30 for in Ward 1, Sikes' Shop.
The first district court of Webster Parish, Eighteenth District, was held November 6, 1871, Judge L. B. Watkins presiding. The grand jurors were: J. M. Lewis, Perry Jordan, O. M. Butler, Alex Mashaw, P. P. Bates, W. B. Powell, E. W. Hodges, W. A. Armour, Jim Robertson, W. L. Murrell, A. G. Morgan, G. B. Denman, H. A. Perrott, Henry Jackson and James H. Smith. Dr. A. G. Harper was clerk and G. W. Warren, sheriff. I n 1872 E. B. Taylor was deputy clerk. In January, 1873, Richard W. Turner qualified as judge; a year later the grand jury reported favorably on the new court house building. In October, 1875, John McKinney and Marshall Henderson were indicted for the murder of Mercer. on the 15th, McKinley was found guilty of manslaughter and Henderson guilty of murder. In October, 1877, S. B. Miller, A. J. Colbert, J. M. Doyle and Calvin Wells were appointed jury commissioners.
Grant Gamble was indicted for killing deer in 1878, and Anderson Ames for the murder of Clem. Franks in April, 1879, and found guilty. The petition of G. W. Warren, contesting the election of William D. McDonald as clerk of the district court, was presented. Gentry was declared elected clerk some time later, and resigned the office of jury commissioner, leaving William Reagan to be appointed thereto. In 18751 the number of the district, was changed from the eighteenth to the second, and R. C. Drew elected judge; J. A. W. Lowery, district attorney; J. W. Reagan, sheriff; and W. D. McDonald, clerk, qualified. In April, 1880, tin indictment was returned against a woman for receiving seed cotton in The night an innocent affair in itself, but made a crime after the war, owing to the wholesale stealing of seed cotton carried on. Up to and including this term indictments for carrying concealed weapons and failure to work The roads were common, showing that in the parish, at least, a disposition to carry out the laws was manifest. In April, 1880, The death of the late sheriff, W. N. Collins, was officially noticed, the members of the bar signing the resolutions, being A. B. George, J. D. Watkins, C. E. McDonald, W. G. McDonald, J. F. Taylor and T. M. Fort, with District Attorney M. C. Mosley, parish attorney; S. D. Spain, district clerk; William Life, coroner; and George McWeaver, recorder. In November, 1881, indictments for manslaughter were returned against J. W. Walker and Webb Gamble; for murder against Malinda Campbell and William Lemons.
Gamble was acquitted, also Malinda Campbell. In November, 1884, John Figgins and E. M. Hawkins, et al.,- were charged with murder. Hawkins was acquitted. In April, 1885, James F. Martin was indicted for murder, also Ed McDonald. In this last case a nolle proseque was at once entered. In November, 1885, Henry Jackson was charged with murder. James F. Martin was acquitted. November 23 Jackson was found guilty of the murder of R. A. Brittain and sentenced to death. In November, 1886, Hannah Robertson was arraigned on the charge of murder, but the jury failing to agree, a new trial was entered, but the charge was dropped. The death of Col. T. M. Fort was appropriately noticed in a series of resolutions drafted by J. P. Taylor, J. E. Reynolds and J. T. Watkins. A true bill was returned in April, 1888, against Noel Jackson for murder. In November, 1888, Judge J. T. Boone opened court. In December Jackson was found guilty, while William Lemons, formerly mentioned, was acquitted in February, 18851. March 5, 1889, resolutions on the death of James P. Taylor were presented by D. W. Stewart and adopted. In February, 1890, Ed Oliver was indicted for the murder of Ed Jones.
The pioneer lawyers were E. Olcott, Tillinghast Vaughan, D. L. Evans, G. W. Peets and Andrew Lawson. The present roll of attorneys contains the names of J. A. W. Lowry, E. C. Drew, C. E. McDonald (now a preacher), D. W. Stewart, J. D. Watkins (retired), J. T. Watkins, L. K. Watkins, J. E. Reynolds, R. P. Webb, John Young and J. A. Murff. The names of J. A. Rich and J. A. Snider appear on au older register.
The parish court was organized April 4, 1871, with S. G. McKennie, parish judge. In November, 1872, R. B. Taylor was elected, and on February 24, 1873, opened the parish court. He was succeeded by W. L. Franks, February 23, 1875, and he, in turn, by R. C. Drew, In February, 1877. who served until the office was abolished, under the constitution of 1879.
Criminal offenses were numerous and serious in this parish, particularly during reconstruction days. At Overton there were four Negros hanged, in 1830 or 1837, for the murder of their master, McIntyre. Jacob Busch (White), who cut off a man's head at Mount Lebanon, was also hanged. Col. Berry and others pursued this desperado into Arkansas, and captured him in Busch's brother-in-law's house. Rev. W. B. Scott, a Methodist, attended him. The murder of Simon Doyle was perpetrated July 21, 1881, at Harrison's store, in The northern part, of the parish. on July 21, 1885, Cicero Green and John Figures were killed within the jail at Minden. The latter murdered Bunk Coyle, and was awaiting trial, while the former was a shrewd desperado who played peek-a-boo with the law for some years.
The Minden mail stage was robbed July 27, 1882, near Clark's Bayou. In August the fragments of the letters were found by a negro, and given to Ed McDade, the postmaster at Fillmore.
In 1870 there were 890 votes cast for Nicholls (D.), and 858 for Packard (E.), candidates for governor. In 1879 Wiltz (D.) received 588 and Beattie (E.) 574. In 1884 McEnery (D.) received 588 and Stevenson (E.) 840, while in 1888 Nicholls (D.) was credited with 1,506, and Warmoth (R.) with 325. The registered voters in April, 1888, numbered 2,463, of whom 1,146 were Caucasians, There were 50 whites find 1,249 Africans who could not write their names.
In 1871 Frederick Heath was elected representative. He was succeeded by Clarence Pratt, who subsequently fought a duel with Robert Lewis, two miles south of Minden, and was wounded. In 1874 W. W. Carlos was chosen and re-elected in 1870. In 1878 J. J, Carter was elected and W. H Scanland chosen senator. In December, 1879, Irvin Talton was chosen representative, and Judge Watkins and John Vance, senators. G. L. P. Wren was elected In 1884 and re-elected in 1888, when Col. Vance (now assistant attorney general) and John L. Phipps were chosen senators.
In 1871 E. H. Gruber was appointed assessor and collector, followed by L. Q. C. Puckett; William McDonnell was appointed collector about 1870, and Sanders Richardson, assessor. He served until 1879, when Col. Berry was appointed assessor, the sheriff Being collector. J. W. Reagan being The first sheriff under the constitution of 1879. D. W. Pratt succeeded him in 1888. Webster gave 954 votes to Greeley and 024 to Grant for President; 987 to McDonald and 611 to Blackburn for senator; 978 to Shultz find 615 to Heath for representative; 1,000 to Watkins and 001 to Turner for district judge In the celebrated contest known as the Grant-Greeley campaign. In 1875 W. W. Carlos was chosen representative; S. D. Spann, clerk, and George A. Palmer, recorder. In November, 1878, Webster recorded the following votes: State senator. W. H. Scanland (D.) 1,128; representative, J. J. Carter 618, G. W. Warren 503; parish judge, R. C. Drew 7 IN, W. L. Franks 342; sheriff, W, N. Collins (D.) 707, T. F. Green 355; coroner, William Life; police jury, T. W. Randle, president, Irwin Talton, N. J. Sandlin, James S. Taylor and John Slack; treasurer, T. M. Turner; clerk, P. S. Goode, and physician, A. G. Harper.
The elections of December, 1879, resulted as follows; Senator, Watkins 595, Vance 542; Webb (G. B.) 683, Tilley (G. B.) 710; constitution, for 1,003, contra 135; debt, ordinance, for 1,097, contra 109; district judge, Drew 539, Turner 732; district attorney, Lowry 577, Fuller (572; representative, Talton (G. B.) 080, Wise (D.) 520; district clerk, McDonald 044, Warren 035; sheriff, Spann 484, Reagan 774; coroner, Harper 509, Cheshire 710. In 1888 Vance Phipps received 1.500 votes for senators; Wren, 1,135; Franks, 222, and Hicks, 424 for representative; J. T. Boone, 1,558 for district judge; Lowry, 1,575 for district attorney; D. W. Pratt, 1,144 and G. M. Talton, 681 for sheriff: J. H. Tillman, 1,200 and G. W. Warren, 013 for district clerk. The Minden Ins was the name of a newspaper published at Minden In 1848. This was undoubtedly the first journal issued within the area now embraced in Webster Parish, but who the publisher was no one can remember, nor would the Ins be mentioned had it not been referred to in one of the old records of Bienville Parish. The Minden Herald was edited by W. Jasper Blackburn and issued early in the fifties, continuing until January, 1855. During the war W. J. Blackburn was arrested for printing Confederate money for Lambright A Co. He was tried at Shreveport, when eleven were for death and one against. Mr. --- Jew, was Confederate district judge, and remembering that Blackburn called him a circumcised Jew, was determined to hang him, hut through the mediation of friends he was pardoned.
The Minden Gazette was established in January, 1855, as successor of the Herald, by N. C, Blackburn. The office was in a two story brick building where is now the Eagle Eye. The Minden Monitor was established before the war, it is said, by one Cregg. In June, 1859, this was the official journal of the city and it continued publication until May, 1800, when N. J, Sandlin purchased the office.
The Minden Advertiser was founded in May, 1800, by N. J. Sandlin on the ruin of the Monitor. on his leaving for the seat of war in 1861 the office was closed. The Public Sentiment was established in July, 1806, by Walter Scott and Clarence Pratt, the duelist, who died in Texas. This paper continued publication for only a short time.
The Minden Democrat was established in August, 1868, by A. G. Tompkins & Bro., with H. A. Drew and A. B. George, editors. In January, 1879, W. H. Schneider became proprietor. The Democrat and Tribune were consolidated April 10, 1887, and the title Democrat-Tribune adopted.
The North Louisiana Index ceased publication at Minden in 1873. The press on which it was printed was made at Chris. Chaffee's foundry, was removed to Bellevue in 1873, but carried back to Claiborne in 1878 by Dr. Walthall. The New Herald was also issued here for a short time during reconstruction days.
The Webster Tribune of Minden was established November 6, 1878, by J. M. Scanland. In February, 1880, S. M. McCranie and C. E. McDonald became owners. Later that year S. M. McCranie was sole owner. In October, 1881, Walton Fort purchased the office and T. M. Fort was appointed editor. In 1888 E. L. Berry was publisher and W. Stewart, editor of the Tribune. Cox's Educational Monthly was established in 1888 by A. L. Cox.
The Eagle Eye is the successor of the Democrat Tribune. On July 10, 1889, G. L. Wren purchased the office from Moses Fort, but, Mr. Berry's lease not expiring until January 1, 1890, he was de facto partner in the office up to that time, when Mr. Wren assumed sole control.
The names of the registered physicians of the parish, with location, name of institution, granting diploma and date of diploma, are given as follows: Dr. Wills, Dr. Penned, Dr. Williams and Dr. Daniel McFarland were the first physicians. Albert G. Harper, Minden, New Orleans School of Medicine, 1809; Daniel McFarland, Minden, Cincinnati Medical College, 1836; Thomas J. Vance, Minden, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, 1858; James E. Baine, Bushwood, New Orleans School of Medicine, 1869; William D. Harper, Homer, Tulane University of Louisiana, 1885; John S. Cheshire, Minden, New Orleans School of Medicine, 1856; Samuel M. Grigsby, Doyline, Medical College of Alabama, 1887; James D. Middlebrooks, Cotton Valley, Atlanta Medical College, 1882; Charner A. Scaip, Sarepta, Louisville Medical College, 1889; Charles E. Reynolds, Dorcheat, Memphis Hospital Medical College, 1889; Dr. T. S. Parham of Cotton Valley. The physicians who registered in 1881-82, by virtue of over five years practice, are William C. White, Robert Williams and George D. Stoien, all of Minden.
The enrollment of white pupils in Webster for 1877 was 127; for 1878, 1,070; for 1879, 053: for 1881, 847; for 1882, 1.104; for 1883, 986; for 1884, 088; for 1,885, 728; for 1886, 837: and for 1887, 502. The number of Colored pupils enrolled in the years given is as follows: 230, 727, 538, 553, 349, 318, 328, 320, 396 and 555. Within the last three years a marked increase in Colored pupils is noticeable. The editor of the Eagle Eye, referring to the condition of the schools in August, 1890. says: "The superintendent has visited all the different public schools in the parish, and qualifies his experience and observation with total dissatisfaction. He declares that there are too many schools for the number of children attending. In many places school-houses are situated too close together, there being instances cited where three school-houses were within a five-mile scope, whereas one in the center of the community would be sufficient. Another objection the superintendent raises is the paltry salary paid to competent teachers."
E. Etter went out with Company G, but ultimately entered The Virginian Army. The Minden Blues organized in April, 1801, with John L. Lew is, captain; B. F. Simms, T. B. Tompkies, and W. Blackwell, lieutenants; J. H. Webb (captain for a short time), B. F. Simms. T. H. Moreland (died in 1889), and G. W. Doffin, sergeants; James Phillips, M. F. Montgomery, J. P. McGee and J. H. Curry, corporals. The full force was ninety men.
On June 8, the command left for New Orleans, and on July 7, left for Manassas with Beauregard's army as Company G, of the Eighth Louisiana Infantry. In April, 1802, The command re enlisted and elected B, P. Simms, captain (died in August, 1802), S. Y, Webb, N. J. Sandlin, and G. L. P. Wren, lieutenants. At once entering on that campaign which drove Banks across the Potomac, Company G served under Taylor find was present when the fiery Meagher dashed against the heights of Fredericksburg.
The Minden Blues served their cause well until April 9, 1865, when the surrender of the Confederate Army released them from service. The record of casualties shows the following killed in battle: B. Bell, William Burnham, G. Burnett, John Bailey, Ed Bailey, James Collins, George Collins, Miles Cue, William Crichton, Kit Kimball, Jesse Morris, W, McNeally, Marshal Montgomery, Russell Montgomery, John Mouzingo, James McKee, John Rawles, Peril. Simmons, Lowry Simmons, Oscar Simmons, James Segar, Robert Scott, J. S. Williams, Charles Williams and I. C. Walker. The troops who died from wounds were Joseph Loftin, Perry Murrell, John Murrell and Lafayette Thompson. The men who died during the war were Capt. Simms, Thomas Berry, George Crichton, John Geren, George Kimball. Simeon Murrell, Gillam Morrow, Abe McKennie, Henry Monzingo, John Pinkard (prison Elmira, N. Y.), Ed Pratt and William Rawles. The men who escaped with wounds were Miles Beach, Dal Beck, Joseph Collins, W. O. Garrison, Stephen Kemp, Thomas King, C. B. Pratt, E. Rodriquez, N. J. Sandlin, E. A. Smith, G. L. P. Wren and G. W. Walker. Private troops discharged: A. Alumnus, J." Boykin, E. L. Burson, Ed Montgomery, William Martin, Pat Malone, James Mauds, James Nolan, Gus Nunn, M. O'Neal, N. Barksdale, G. Boon, Col. Butler, B. Bailey, Marion Canfield, M. S. Cox, W. A. Crawford, John Crichton, G. Doffin. T. Dawson, J. Fincher. J. Godley, Bus Gentry, W. S. Genan, Josh Grounds, John Grounds. D. Hadley, J. Hutchins. E. J. Hamilton, G. Howell, J. Kingery, R. Long, J. Lancaster, John Leary, W. S. Lewis, P. Lewis, A. L. Lewis, Jansen Morris, T. Moreland, Pat Murphy, J. Mason, T. Morrow. W. Morrow, William Morrow, J. McIntyre, B. McFarland, Henry McCoy. — O'Neal, G. G. Pinkard, James Phillips, Frank Rawles, Al Simmons, Moses, Ed and Solomon Strickland, Samuel Shaw and brother, Walter Scott, Thomas Tooly, Ephraim and Judge Thomas, E, West, M. Walker, N. H. Walker and L. B. Watkins. Only seventeen of all enrolled returned to the parish.
The Claiborne Grays, Nineteenth Louisiana Infantry, Company D, was formed in October, 1861, at Minden and Athens, the former town giving fifty men and the latter thirty men. On October 20 The command left en mute for Camp Moore, and there, before muster in, was joined by thirty men. The fortunes of the Nineteenth were shared In by Company D, until May 4, 1805, when the Federal, Canby, forced a surrender. The soldiers of Company D, who died on the field of battle are named as follows: Sergt. D. H. Britt, J. M. Geren, J. A. Harris, Green Hall, D. M. Lightsy, I. L. McIntyre, A. C. Morris, William Pool, Robert Scott, A. K. Wilson and G. P. Wise. P. L. Minchew was killed by ti citizen of Jackson, Miss. The men who died of wounds received in battle or from other causes, during service, were W. D. Allums, Samuel Beaston, D. J. Cannon (settler of Nineteenth), C. B. Carr, W. T. Colbert, T. J. Hall, E. W. Hans, L. Kemp, W. B. Lewis, F. J. McIntyre, Micah Miller, C. Shoemet (suicide by drowning), Maj, W. B. Scott. A. L. Wilson and W. B. White. Many of the above named died at Tupelo, Miss., in 1802. The men who survived the war were J. H. Bonard, D. B. Breazeale, Frank Bridges, A. H. Blackwell, Sergt. T. M. Berry, Second-Lieut. John Brown, D. B. Cargill, Sergt. O. B. Childress, J. H. Childress, Robert Cooper (did not serve owing to old age), W. H. Collins, W. S. and W. P. Culbertson, J. M. Dance, J. C. Davis, Jacob Gall, J. P. and T. E. Givin, G. N. Giddens, Dr. or Dock Goodson, James Goodson, W. D. and David Green, E. W. Hardy. W. II. Hargrove, J. W. and R. C. Harris. H. W. Howard, W. B. Hussy, T. J. William, F. S. Jones, B. F. Johnson, John Langford, J. M. Lewis, Charles Murphy, W. F. McClelland, A. D. Mason, W. G. Mosley, S. S. McDaniel, H. McFarland, Capt. Maurice Miller, William, W. D. and T. M. Newsome, Capt. Samuel Newman, Sergt. Samuel Rochester, Musician G. Rhymes, D. M. Sanders, James Seehon, I. C. Stanley (was not mustered in), John Sullivan, J. J. Sprawls, Second-Lieut. W alter Scott, Second Sergt. John Shuttleworth. J. L. Tedder, Second Junior Lieut. J. A. Walker, B. H. Wren, A. D. Wren, D. C. Wilson, T. J. Winfrey, H. L. Woodard and T. S. Young; two soldiers, Louis Groll and Peter Wernett were missing in action.
The Minden Rangers (cavalry) completed organization in March, 1862, and early in April reported for service at Corinth, Mississippi with F. D. Wimberly, captain; W. C. Patillo, lieutenant; A. G. Harper, second lieutenant, and Joseph Hamilton, third lieutenant. J. Y. Webbs, the first sergeant, was promoted captain on the reorganization of the company; J. J. Carter, third lieutenant; J. H. Simmons, orderly, and L. B. Watkins, first lieutenant. The roster contains the following names: P. P. Bates, John and S. W. Bennett, Jeff Blackman, Dr. Brantly, D. C. and J. M. Canfield. M. Cahill, S. W. Culpepper, William Crocker, John Clinton, James and Stephen Darby, W. A. Davis, T. Duford, John Dunn, William Eastland, E. G. Evans, E. H. Fay, B. F., J. D and William Fuller, T. J. Geren, J. G. Grounds, T. J. Grossway, Sim Gray, John H. Garrett, Thomas Garion, S. Gallagher, Al and William Jones, J. M. Kiler, John Lackey, J. L. Lasseur, Jules Lancaster, James Leary and J. C. Loy. Nathan M. Martin, Second-Lieut. Alex Martin, William Mayberry, A. McClendon, J. McArthur, J. G. McKennie, J. J. McKee, Nacy Meeks, A. C. Metchew, G. W. Giles, S. A. Louis, J. J. Abram, White and Thomas Monzingo, Peter and P. Y. Morrow, Daniel Mullins, N. Murphy, Thomas and B Nelson, A. W. Newsome, T. B. Noel, Avery and A. Nolan, A. B. Oliver, M. Pierce, Louis Peters, Thomas and Robert Randle, Isaiah and Richard Ratcliff, Dr. and J. H. Simmons, William and Milton Smith, Thes. Stanley, J. J. Stewart, J. D. H., D. M. and N. B. Taylor, R. E. Thompson, H. H. Ward, Lieut. L. B. Watkins, Irby White, J. C. Wimberley and Cicero Wafer.
In 1865 Col. Foley, of Illinois, commanded the Colored troops in Webster, and had the camp near J. W. Berry's house, where he ordered 100 log houses erected. On the evacuation of this post Col. Berry had the houses burned, except one, in which a widow had taken up her quarters. Foley's office was in W. A. Drake's dwelling, where the Drake store now stands. On one occasion D. W. Canfield was brought up as witness against a Colored soldier, and in his evidence used the term nigger. Col. Foley interrupted him, saying, "Mr. Canfield, be careful after this to say soldier." Custom set this caution at naught, and he used the ostracized term again, but. seeing his error at once, looked at Foley and said, "Beg your pardon, Colonel."
In the pages of the general history reference is made to the pioneers of this city. In 1822 the gunsmith, Deck, settled near by, and shortly after Adam L. Stewart settled here, but the town site formed, practically, part and parcel of the wilderness up to 1837, when Charles H. Veeder, a native of Schenectady, N. Y., born there October 1, 1790, and a soldier of 1812, established his store here and determined to make the place the center of trade and justice for Claiborne. In 1838 his influence won from the State an appropriation to be used in erecting a building at, Minden for academic purposes, and subsequently aided the preachers in organizing the Minden Academy. His efforts to rob the malarial town of Overton of the parish seat, were unsuccessful, and, like the ordinary pioneer of Western New York, he looked toward the horizon and wished to settle there. He did not, carry out this wish immediately, preferring to see more of the Central and Southern States. He moved to California In 1849, and after a residence of twenty-six years there died in 1875. Augustus D. Jones, of Farmerville, La., writing April 3, 1879, on the founder of Minden, says that on July 4, 1870, he read the declaration at Baskerville, Cal., as he did fifty years before for his fellow soldiers of the Revolution. In 1838, J. W. Berry, whose title of colonel dates back to 1855, revived the mercantile interest here. Wilson & Wells, W. A. Drake, Sr.. Myers Fisher, John Chaffe, Foster Robinson, Berry & Thompson, Harvey Drake, William Oliver, J. H. & D. Murrell, were also early merchants.
Early In 1837 C. H. Veeder proposed to Reuben Drake a method of settling the differences which then existed between them in the matter of title to lands. Both were the principal proprietors. The proposition made was this: "That for 120 acres of the 320 yon have attempted to locate I will give yon either 120 other acres near to Minden, I taking my choice, or for the 120 acres I will pay yon back The money yon have advanced, and I will wait for your answer until Monday next." Veeder gave as his reason for this proposition his desire to escape trouble which might interfere with the welfare of Minden, where already he had induced Wilson and Wells to place $2,000 worth of goods in one building, and where he had erected two buildings at a cost of $000, each of the three buildings being on one of The eighty acre tracts which Drake had receipts for. The pre-emptors of the same tracts also had some title to them, and herein consisted the trouble. These pre-emptors, on proving their claims, would undoubtedly cause the Drake entries to be canceled and leave a shadow on The title. June 10, 1837 the troubles were settled. Veeder transferred the west half of the southeast quarter of Section 22, Township 19, Range 9 west, or 79.94 acres to Reuben Drake in exchange for the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 27, Township 19, Range 9, both half quarters bordering on Minden.
Drake was to have surveyed the land fronting on the parallelogram beginning at Wilson & Co. town lot, on which their store stood, to Veeder, Cortis & Co. plantation. Veeder was to have the first choice, and each was to take alternate lots. A relinquishment to title for the parallelogram was also provided for, as well as donations for school and church purposes. It appears that Veeder had advanced $200 cash, and $300 notes to the preemptors. Col. Frazer, Thomas Gibbs, Dr. J. Gibbs and Reuben Drake were the original proprietors. Drury Murrell took Col. Frazer's place, and W. A. Drake purchased Reuben Drake's interests, while The Murrell and Gibbs estates have passed into other hands.
The incorporation of Minden took place in 1854 and on May 8 of that year the aldermen elect met to organize. J. W. Berry, C. H. Ardis and William Hardy were present and The latter was chosen clerk. C. H. Ardis presided as the mayor elect. Henry Carleton refused to qualify.
Louis Million, Wiley Clayton and E. A. Green were appointed to hold a special election for mayor. W. T. Hardee was elected and he with John Chaffe, J. D. Watkins and the aldermen named were present on May 22, at early candle lighting within the office of Greene & Harris.
J. W. Berry, J. D. Watkins and C. H. Ardis were appointed a committee on laws, and Chaffe and Hardy on survey of Minden city limits. A new deed from Col. J. L. Lewis and wife, granting the cemetery to the town, was demanded and nine ordinances were adopted. In June Louis Million was elected constable. on this date a wise motion prevailed; this was an order to The clerk to keep a file of the Minden Herald. In July John Chaffe was appointed treasurer. G. L. Trott took J. W. Berry's place as alderman. A patrol force was appointed with George W. Cheatham, captain, Henry Carleton, W. W. Barrington, John Little and W. H. Carperton, members. The loan of the seminary bell was obtained and permission given any or everyone to ring it in case of fire.
In October, 1854, A. Landsberg asked to be relieved of his liquor tax; Williamson Jones was allowed $31.02 for surveying the town limits and S. W. Davis 12.50 for hanging the bell. Mayor Hardee resigned in November, and Henry Carleton was elected. In January, 1855 the terminus of Dale's Lane was reported as the site for the town prison and at the same time the prison was reported ready for the inspection and reception of the aldermen. In May W. Jasper Blackburn was chosen mayor, Drury Murrell, Morris Langhorn, William Shields, W. H. Caperton and A. B. George, aldermen, and the last named was appointed secretary.
In June the old limits of the town of Warsaw were embraced in Minden, under the act of March 9, 1855; in July John T. Griffin was elected marshal ; six patrol companies were organized, and the following captains appointed: W. H. Caperton, Isaac Murrell, Henry Carleton, Dave W. Canfield, John H. Rich and William Oliver. In December the question of license or no license was decided In the affirmative, and a license tax of $150 was authorized in April, 1850. In May, 1856, A. B. George was chosen mayor, with John Chaffe, J. M. Morrow, Dan McFarland, James D. Harper and C. H. Ardis, aldermen; John Chaffe was secretary. In November, 1850, a term of excitement caused the appointment of seven patrol companies, the captains being M. O. Cheatham, Willis Gilcoat, David W. Canfield, David Hardy, John T. Griffin, George W. Simms and Wade Barrington. In May 1857, F. D. Wimberly took McFarland's place, this being the only change in the board of aldermen.
The new member was chosen secretary, and Ardis, treasurer. G. W. Simms was elected marshal; Col. John L. Lewis presented the claims of the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Texas Railroad Company for depot grounds opposite Minden; Drury Murrell's tan yard just west of Dr. Morgan's house), at Minden, was declared a nuisance, and he was ordered to remove it within thirty days. In November, 1857, there were fourteen ladders and thirty buckets ordered to be purchased for the Hook and Ladder Company. In December other supplies were authorized, and the following named nominated tis captains of patrol companies: John Chaffe, Dr. John McKemmey, M. Montgomery, Dr. D. McFarland, John C. Loy, W. Shuttleworth, John F. Quinn, J. K. Greggs, Dr. W. Rossman, John Lancaster, Dr. J. H. Murrell, B. T. Griffin, Oscar Sherwin, W. C. Maples, A. Landsberg, D. W. Canfield, A. J. Reynolds, A. Goodwill, Ed Etter, Jack Hodges, P. P. Bates, Taylor Jones, W. B. Scott, William Life, J. W. Lancaster, P. Bonner, Ed E. Pratt, C. A. Lucas, T. Moreland, James Yost, Dr. Fleming, M. Genner, Jesse Waggoner, Ben Neill, J. W. McDonald, E. A. Lancaster, William Hardy, Chris Chaffe, W. A. Smith, W. C. Rockwdl, Robert Pennall, Dr. J. W. Quarles, A. Spencer, W. A. Drake, J. B. Hamilton, Al. B. Sherwin, Henry St. John, Albert Peabody, H. Hursey, N. J. Sandlin, F. Robinson, Marion Canfield, Stephen Life, and all of the persons hitherto named in this record of the council.
In February, 1858, W. A. Drake donated to the city the Male Seminary property; trees were ordered planted on the parallelogram. In May, 1858, C. H. Ardis succeeded J. M. Morrow as treasurer; E. A. Lancaster qualified as mayor, with J. M. Morrow, J. D. Harper, Isaac Murrell, F. D. Wimberly and Walter Rossman, aldermen. In June, 1859, Messrs. Lancaster, Morrow, Harper, A. B. George, C. Maples and A. Goodwill, qualified as mayor and aldermen. The latter acted as clerk.
A. B. George was elected attorney and A. Goodwill clerk. The Minden Monitor was then The official journal. From December 20, 1859, to December, 1800, the aldermen seem to have attended to city affairs regardless of the political troubles of the period; trees were planted, the cemetery improved, the police service improved. L. B. Watkins was clerk, but A. Goodwill made the record. In March, 1850, Lancaster was mayor, with C. H. Ardis, F. D. Wimberly, J. Y. Webb, L B. Watkins and A. Goodwill, aldermen; and under The auspices of this council the ladies of the town gave a concert, the proceeds of which were to be devoted to further cemetery improvements. In August, 1860, a committee of vigilance and police was appointed, J. Chaffe, J. G. Lewis, T. W. Randle, D B. Hamilton, J. Geren, J. C. Loye and A. Goodwill being members, and in November the office of captain-general of patrol was created; under this order A. Goodwill was chosen. On April 25, 1851, the sum of $250 was appropriated to purchase ammunition for the protection of the town. The new board comprised Mayor Lancaster, Aldermen J. H. Murrell, J. D. Watkins, T. W. Randle, C. H. Ardis and J. C. Loy, the two last named being appointed treasurer and clerk, respectively. A committee was appointed to inquire of Mr. Chaffe whether he invested $150, appropriated by the old board, in powder, shot and lead; and captains of patrols were appointed. Later the question of loaning money to the Claiborne Grays was settled by giving $300 on a note signed by J. W. McDonald and E. T. Jones. Sam Newman resigned the office of marshal. In October, 1862, Mayor Lewis with Messrs. Morrow, Randle and George transacted business: J. H. Murrell being secretary until March 5, 1803.
From March, 1863, to July, 14, 1865, there are no records. On The latter date Mayor Lancaster, with J. C. Loye, T. W. Randle, J. G. Lewis. W. C. Patello and A. B. George qualified. P. Robinson was appointed treasurer, rice D. Murrell. In September the mayor was authorized to exchange $45 Confederate money for the new issue of State money. In October, 1805, T. W. Randle signs the record as mayor, and A. B. George as secretary, but in May they are re-elected as mayor and alderman, with Messrs. George, McFarland, Webb and Reynolds, aldermen, and James B. Dugger, marshal. In August, S. D. Gustinie is a member of the board, and holds office In 1807. In January, 1868, Alderman J. Y. Webb, Dr. McFarland, A. J. Reynolds and A. B. George were present. A notice of the resignation of Mayor J. Walter Scott, and Alderman F. D. Wimberly appears at, this time.
In July, 1868, E. A. Lancaster is mayor, followed on June 1, 1869, by Thomas W. Randle. At this time the pioneer clerk, William Hardy, holds the position which he filled so well in 1854. S. B. Miller, Chris. Chaffe, A. J. Reynolds and A. G. Tompkins, with the mayor and clerk, were all appointed by Warmoth, then governor. In September this board purchased a house and lot from Charles Chaffe, for $750, and Reynolds and Randle were appointed a committee to superintend the building of a jail on such lot. K. C. Patton was captain of police al this time. In August, 1870, S. G. McKemie was mayor, with G. W. Warren, William Hardy. S. B. Miller, C. Chaffe and W. D. Shea, aldermen. J. G. Warren was mayor in 1871, and Dr. Harper a member of council, vice Warren. On Warren's resignation, as mayor, in May. 1872, John Miller was appointed; Chris Chaffe, Dr. Harper, S. B. Miller, George Bowles and William Hardy, being aldermen. In July the council was asked to donate the town hall lot to the parish, but the request was peremptorily declined. On October 7, a second resolution offered this town hall to the parish, The consideration being that one room In the court-house to be built thereon be reserved for the city.
This last, resolution failed to be ratified by The voters on October 14, 1872. it receiving only forty-seven, while opposed by 106 votes. John L. Hart, an appointee of Gov. Warmoth, was then mayor with the aldermen who served in 1872. In January, 1873, $500 reward was offered for the arrest and conviction of incendiaries connected with the fire of December 30, 1872. In March a case of smallpox was reported, and measures taken to guard against the spread of the disease. A board of health was established in April with Messrs. Hart, S. B. Miller and Dr. Harper, members. The new council comprised S. F. Goode, mayor; Dr. McFarland and T. M. Turner, new members, with Messrs. Harper, Miller and Bowes, of the old council; T. M. Turner was chosen clerk, vice William Hardy, who was appointed treasurer. on September 10 the ordinance to quarantine the town was adopted, and continued In force until October 1. In 1874 Ely Bobo took T. M. Turner's place as alderman; Isaac Sylvester was appointed marshal; William Hardy, reappointed treasurer; S. B. Miller, chosen secretary, and T. K. Font le Roy, captain of police. In April, 1875, the purchase of twelve fountain pumps, to be used in case of fire, was authorized. The election of May, 1875, resulted In the choice of T. M. Fort, mayor; J. J. Carter, T. E. Geren, P. W. Paul, S. W. Culpepper and William Life, aldermen; William Hardy, treasurer, and P. Claffey, marshal. On the organization of the new council T. R. Geren was elected clerk. In June, 1876, C. S. Smith qualified as mayor, and J. P. Scriber, as marshal, otherwise the officials were unchanged, and remained unchanged until June, 1877, when T. T. Wooten, T. M. Turner, and Frank Sherman replaced Culpepper, Life and Carter. The council elected in 1878 was presided over by P. W. Paul, as mayor; the aldermen Being Ben Wade, William Life, T. E. Geren, William Manly and W. A. Crawford. Marshal Scriber and Treasurer Hardy were re-elected.
In May, 1879, the governor issued commissions to P. W. Paul, mayor, T. E. Geren, W. Life, W. J. Beams, vice Manly, W. A. Crawford, and T. B. Neal, vice Wade, aldermen; J; W. Wooley, marshal, and J. Y. Webb, treasurer. The Minden elections of May, 1880, resulted in the choice of P. W. Paul, mayor; John W. Wooley, marshal; W. Life, W. A. Crawford, T. R. Geren, T. B. Neal and W. J. Reams, aldermen, and J. Y. Webb, treasurer. The same officials were re-elected in 1881, 1882 and 1883. In May, 1883, the question of a 5 mill tax, to be levied annually for ten years, to aid in building the Minden Railroad and Compress Company's road from Minden to the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific, near John G. Lane's house, was submitted. A vote was taken June 10, 1883, and resulted in a majority for the special tax. C, S. Smith was mayor at this time, vice Mayor Paul, resigned. In January, 1884, the small-pox scare reminded the council of duties almost forgotten, and measures were taken to battle with the threatened epidemic. In May, 1884, William A. Crawford was elected mayor, defeating C. S. Smith by a vote of 159 to 87. John W. Wooley, marshal; T. Crichton, S. B. Miller, H. A. Barnes, W. J. Reams and George Bowes, aldermen; J. Y. Webb, treasurer, and W. J. Reams, secretary. Minden elected in May, 1885, W. A. Crawford, mayor; W. J. Reams, H. A. Barnes, S. B. Miller, George Bowes (Colored) and T. E. Geren, aldermen; E. L. Berry, marshal, and J. Y. Webb, treasurer. In May, 1880, W. A. Crawford was re-elected mayor; F. H. Drake, J. T. Mims, N. I. Barnes (acting mayor), E. L. Shepard (Colored) and T. R. Geren, aldermen; G. E. Bailey, marshal; J. Y. Webb treasurer, and T. E. Geren, clerk. In 1887 E. H. Canfield was mayor; Messrs. Barnes, Mims, Geren, W. J. Beams and Frank Humphries, aldermen; T. R. Geren, clerk, and J. O. Monzingo, marshal.
In 1888 A. G. Chaffe was chosen mayor to succeed E. H. Canfield; W. J. Beams, F. J. Moess, F. H. Drake, J. Y. Webb, Jr., and T. R. Geren were elected alderman, and A. S. Harrell, marshal. In May, 1889, T. Crichton and J. M. Miller, with Reams, Moess and Geren formed the council, Mayor Chaffe still presiding, and G. W. Adams, marshal. In February, 1890, Pat Claffey qualified as chief of police. The present council organized June 2, 1890, with J. J. Holmes, mayor; J. M. Miller, Walton Port, George Life, T. Crichton and T. R. Geren, aldermen, and the latter, clerk. At, this meeting the committee appointed in April, 1890, reported, stating that the oldest map of the town was compared with the official map, and that a street, now obstructed by M. S. MacKenzie's cotton yard, is found marked under the name of Green Street. Acting on this report an ordinance providing for the reopening of .Green Street was adopted. This ordinance led to the law proceedings now pending between M. S. MaeKenzie and the city, Watkins and Watkins representing the corporation, and A. J. Murff, the complainant. The demand for opening has only been made recently, and the right to vacate is denied by the owner of the property.
The postmasters at Minden since 1837 were Myers Fisher, a son-in-law of Veeder; J. W. Berry was appointed in 1839; Baker, 1842. Prior to the Mexican War, W. A. Drake, 1840, was master, with Harvey Drake, deputy; followed by E. Etter, 1847; Mrs. Yost later, Mrs. Etter, 1853; Trott, before the war; E. E. Lancaster, 1859; Dr. J. D. Harper. John T. Tompkins, J. C. Wilkins and Dr. Harper. John T. Tompkins was in office in 1809, when J. C. T. Chaffe came, then J. C. Wilkins was master, J. C. T. Chaffe was appointed in 1877, and has since been commissioned, and is now the incumbent under commission issued by the Hayes administration.
The tire of December 30, 1872, resulted in the destruction of the business center from the site of the present Goodwill Store, south to the Drake Store, namely Hart's two-story building, formerly Wimberley's store; William Oliver's store; P. Robinson's store, where is now Capt. Webb's store; S. B. Miller's grocery, where is now the office of the Eagle Eye and Miller's jewelry store; Berry & Warren's general store, where Leary & Crichton's store now is; William Holmes' and Culpepper's house, where the Jones' saloon now is, while the grocery store which occupied the site of the present Hill store was blown up to save the Drake building.
A year prior to this The brick store of Chaffe Shea & Loye, which stood on the site of the present S. J. Webb store, was burned, but the walls were left standing. The restored walls form the present building. Gall, the Dutchman was burned out, as it was in his building the tire originated. Lansburg's saloon was destroyed and some smaller houses. On another occasion Gall's store and the old Town Hall were burned.
The explosion of powder took place in the house occupied by Dr. Morgan at present. It was then the property of John Chaffe, and to destroy this building a negro slave named Armstead, cook for the Chaffe household, stole a keg of powder from the warehouse, and placing it in The parlor under John Chaffe's bedroom, with an ax on top of the keg), he made a powder fuse and sot it on tire. In a very little while there was a loud report, and the ax went through The ceiling find the roof; but left the proposed victim untouched.
Owing to the windows giving way, the force of the explosion was lost on the house, and comparatively little damage done to property or injury to life. A meeting of citizens was called immediately, who examined The building, and arrested about 100 slaves. After a day or two Armstead acknowledged the crime, stating that he was urged to this measure by Chaffe's statement that "a nigger's life was no more to him than a chicken's life." Armstead was then regularly arrested and tried before two justices of The peace and a jury. He was found guilty, taken north of The present courthouse, about three quarters of a mile and hanged by the sheriff. This tree was cut down by S. F. Goode, when he took up his residence. Some years before this, in 1838, Sam, a slave of James E. Williams, was hanged on the same tree for assaulting a white lady.
The midnight fire of January 18/19, 1884, at Murrell's Point, two and one half miles from Minden, destroyed 1,145 bales of cotton belonging to Loye, Chaffe and Co.. J. Y. Webb & Son, P. Doyle, Leary & Crichton, M. S. MacKenzie, Goodwill, T. B, Neil and resident planters.
The fire of December 22, 1888, originated in the Chaffe livery stable, and resulted In the destruction of all the improvements on his grounds, including a new residence. The Taylor Hotel and the dwellings of J. J. and H. M. Carter, J. H. Tillman and Mrs. Brown were saved through the exertions of The people.
Crawford's Hall, 100x30 feet, two stories, was completed In 1878. The Goodwill building, covering 18,000 square feet, was opened in September, 1880. At The time, this was stated to be the largest mercantile building in The State. Minden Lodge No. 51, A. P. & A. M. was constituted in 1845 with W. S. Pennall, W.M.; E. L. Horn, S. W.; Philo Alden, J. W.: S. P. Day, Sec.; E. J. B. Lowry, Treas.: E. E. Bates, S. D.; J. H. Brown, J. D.; S. S. Allen, Tyler; John L. Hodges, Perry Wimberley, James Ford, J. Hayden, James E. Williams and Robert Hodges being members. A charter was issued April 19, 1845, and under it the same officers were elected. Of all named, James Ford alone lives, residing west of Dorcheat, being the senior citizen in settlement and age of Ward 3. In September, 1845, the name of J. W. Berry appears as temporary senior warden, and in 1840 as temporary worshipful master. In point of membership he comes next to James Ford. Perry Wimberly, who lived ten miles south, was the first violent death, being killed by his son. In December, 1847, Robert Hodges of Bossier Point, was chosen master. In September, 1848, the deaths of Titus Kellogg at Sharon Church and T. Sutton are noticed. W. S. Pennall, who killed himself, was buried May 13, 1849. J. W. Berry was master in 1850, and John Little is named as postmaster and as worshipful master in 1851. Charles Chaffe was master in 1852; A. E. Clemmons, 1853; S. L. Slack, 1854. John Little was killed in Sherwin's steam saw-mill in February, 1854, where is now the foundry. Dr. H. McFarland was master in 1855; M. Langhorn, 1850; William Lee, 1857 (at this time Bates or Gilcoate filled the Tyler's office, which was held by S. S. Allen for twelve years); J. W. Berry was master In 1800 with S. S. Allen, Tyler. Hurley Ratcliff served as temporary master in The absence of Col. Berry. During the War Gen. Polinack's division camped east of Warsaw, and the regimental lodge met in the Minden lodge room.
Under the present room, three men were tried for desertion, convicted and shot. They are buried on The Reagan plantation. Their captain was shot at Camden Ark. In 1806 Goodwill, Paxton and Burnett signed resolutions on the death of R. R. Robey. John L. Hodges' death is also noticed. Col. Berry served as master until January 1, 1855, when W. E. Paxton was elected; but Col. Berry was re-elected in 1870, and served until December, 1872, when T. M. Fort was elected. J. J. Carter in 1874-75; P. H. L. Hargrove in 1876; James P. Taylor, 1877; Thomas O. Benton, 1878-80; T. E. Geren, 1881-82; J. J. Carter, 1883-84; T. E. Geren, 1885-90, who presided over the lodge in August, 185)0. J. W. Berry has served as secretary since January 1, 1873, except for one year, when Parson McGee kept the records. The membership is fifty. The lodge building was erected in 1847, from plans by Thomas I. Wierman.
Minden Chapter, E. A. M. No. 17, dates its new charter to March 7, 1887. It was first chattered February 10, 1853, but worked U. D. for at least a year prior to issue of the old charter. The first record book of the chapter was destroyed in the fire which burned the Berry store in 1871 or 1872. The oldest record now existing dates back to 1809, and from it the following items of history tire taken: In 1869-72, D. B. Doyle was H. P. Dr. Whitfield's death was noticed in 1872. D. B. Hamilton was H. P. in 1874; D. B. Doyle, 1875; S. W. Culpepper, 1870: J. J. Carter, 1877; D. B. Hamilton, 1879; J. C. T. Chaffe, 1880; J. F. Taylor, 1882; D. B. Hamilton was elected In 1884, and the record for December, 1885, points out the election of J. C. T. Chaffe, H. P., and J. W. Berry, Sec. The latter has served as secretary since 1873. Owing to the decrease in membership the chapter is now sleeping. The old Odd Fellow lodge has long since ceased to exist. One of the old members, Moess, is still a resident, of this town.
Webster Lodge No. 4, K. of P., Minden, was instituted in March, 1879, with the following named officers in lodge rank: D. B. Hamilton, T. O. Benton, f J. C. T. Chaffe, f P. H. L. Hargrove, J. M. McBride, J. C. Loye, W. D. English, J. W. Wortz, J. Bayondoffer and F. J. Moess. The other charter members were H. Peiser, J. C. Wilkins, W. D. McDonald, A. Fischer, AS'. A. Crawford, A. Zodiag. George English, William Kahl, M. G. B. Thomas, S. S. Doyle, Abe Levy, H. Loop and E. Sugden.
The names marked are deceased, while these marked f have been enrolled as past chancellors. Among the members who filled this position are T. E. Geren, J. J. Carter, T. B. Neal, J. D. McIntyre, W. A. Sugg, S. J. Harrell, W. J. Reams and J. F. Hill. Messrs. McBride, Geren, Sugden, McIntyre, Wilkins and Sugg have served as K. of R. & S., J. C. Wilkins holding that office for the past seven years. There are now (August, 1890), twenty-five members with hall in Neal's brick building.
Endowment Bank, Section 321, has lost four members since organization, viz.: M. C. Smith, S. S. Doyle, J. T. Tompkins and W. N. Collins. In 1838 an appropriation of $1,500 was granted by the State on representations of Charles H. Veeder and others, to erect a building for educational purposes. The house was completed, named Minden Academy, and Rev.. R. T. Boggs placed in charge. The affair was primitive even fifty-two years ago, but the State appropriation gave to it a nominal importance. Henry M. Spofford succeeded as teacher of the male and female pupils, followed successively by Messrs. Burke, a layman, and the preachers William Brooks and W. H. Scales. In 1850 the mixed character, as well as the name changed, and the Minden Female Seminary was brought into existence. A house was erected for the uses of a boys' school, W. A. Drake, Sr., subscribing $1,500 toward its construction.
In July, 1852, W. A. Drake, D. Murrell, J. Gibbs and T. Gibbs donated eighty and two-thirds acres to the Male Academy. The old school was reopened under its new name in September, 1850, by John Garvin, J. D. Watkins having charge of the Minden Male Academy with A. B. George assistant teacher. In 1853 The title, Minden Female College, was adopted and S. L. Slack elected president of the trustees as well as principal. During his administration new buildings were erected. In 1850 J. F. Ford was chosen president and served until the beginning of 1862. The boarding-ball and concert-ball were built during his term. Rev.. Dr. Bright served from 1802 to 1871, when Rev.. T. B. Russell was appointed principal. On his resignation, in 1872, Miss Mildred Boyle was appointed to that position. In 1870 Thomas O. Benton was placed in charge as president, serving until February, 1879, when George D. Alexander was appointed to serve until 1880. Mayor A. L. Cox was elected president by the trustees, and served until 1888, when Prof. P. B. H. Shearer, who presides at present with Prof. Garrison, S. D. Spann, Mrs. Du Bose, Miss Weisler, Mrs. Shearer and Mrs. Wren forming the faculty. The average attendance in 1890 is stated to be about 100.
In 1880 T. M. Fort was succeeded as secretary by T. E. Geren. Dr. Hamilton, the president of the board was succeeded by J. J. Carter. According to the present record book Dr. Hamilton served from 1870 to June, 1885, when he moved to Shreveport. The first record of the Minden Methodist Circuit dates back to February 9, 1850, when the first quarterly meeting was held at Pleasant Grove Church. Joel Sanders was P. E . ; R. R. R. Alexander, P. C.; David Lawrence, L. E . ; Oats Caraway, L. D., and William Hardy, C. L. and R. S. Jacob Miller was appointed circuit, steward. In 1857 A. E. Goodwyn was preacher, succeeded in 1859 by P. M. Goodwyn; R. Handle was P. E. The classes comprised Minden, Cross Roads, Bossier Point, Flat Lick and Oak Grove, and the annual income was $1,325. In 1860 New Hope Church, Kinnon's Chapel and Mount Zion classes (four miles northeast) are mentioned. Rev.. S. S. Scott was preacher. There was a class at Hickory Grove in 1865. John A. Miller was P. E. in 1860, and T. B. White preacher in 1867. The income of the circuit was $1,763. Samuel Armstrong was elder In 18(58, and S. S. Scott, supernumerary (now of Texas Conference). In 1869 T. J. Upton was pastor, Pine Grove being then in The circuit. N. A. Cravens preached here in 1870, and S. S. Scott was P. E. in 1871, followed by N. M. Skipworth, P. E., and W. P. Kimball, preacher. In 1873 H. O. White preached here, and Mr. Scott was P. E. J. A. Miller was preacher in 1874, followed by M. C. Manley, the blind preacher, in 1875. At this time mention of the class at Curry's Schoolhouse is made, and also of a class at Oak Ridge.
In 1877 James E. Bradley was preacher, and later J. H. Stone was P. E. In 1878 Millwood Class is named. Prior to this time G. L. P. Wren generally served as secretary of the conference. In 1SS1 J. A. Parker was P. E., and John A. Miller, preacher; A. A. Cornett, P. E., and J. M. Brown, P. C., were here in 1882. J. A. Parker was preacher In 1883-84. In 1885 John T. Sawyer was P. E.. and J. J. Billingsley. P. C., succeeded in 1887 by Robert Randle, P. E., and Christian Keener, P. C. In December, 1885, William Hardy signed the records as recording steward for the last time. In September, 1880, William A. Sugg signs as K. C. and in December, 1880, Walton Fort, the present E. C , signed for The first time. In 1888 H. O. White became pastor, followed by Rev.. J. W. Medlock. The new classes are known as Brushwood, Evergreen and Lane's Chapel (Sibley). The total income is about $1,200. The church-house was erected in 1844, on lots donated by W. A. Drake.
The Baptist society was organized on December 29, 1844, by Rev. W. J. Larkin, presiding, and L. L. Washburn, clerk; Elizabeth B. Sligh (now of Athens), Phoebe Brisel (died at Minden), William Drew (died before the war), and Thomas Lovel (died before the war) being the constituent members. The pastors of this church, in the order of service, are named as follows: G. W.
Baines, 1845 (J. T. Morrow, clerk); James Buys, October, 1849; A. E. Clemmons, September, 1850; H. Lee, October, 1854; J. C. Foster, January, 1857; J. B. Hartwell, September, 1857; N. P. Moore, June, 1858; W. C. Crain, September, 1860; W. Bayliss, December, 1802; W. E. Paxton, February, 1866; H. Z. Ardis, January, 1873; E. Kirtley, January, 1874; W. H. McGee, February, 1877; W. C. Frily, March, 1885; T. B. Harrell. November, 1883, and G. M. Harrell, December 27. 1885. Mercer Canfield was clerk in 1847 (killed at Mansfield), succeeded by D. W. Canfield in 1845); A. B. George was clerk in January, 1853; John Geren, clerk, September, 1853; E. S. Virnal, March, 1854; C. H. Ardis, August, 1855. Clerk John Geren died In 1863. John D. McIntyre was dork In 1872; James F. Taylor, clerk. January 1875; S. W. Tullos, 1878; W. P. Leary. November, 1883.
A Colored minister of the gospel, of Rehobeth Church, Mount Lebanon, preached at Minden in 1849. In Mr. Harrell's charge are the churches at Coushatta and Bellevue, as well as at Minden. The membership at Minden is stated to be 113, at Coushatta, 35, and at Bellevue. 20. There is a small society at Houghton, of which Mr. Hinson has charge. At Minden is a Colored Baptist Church, and around the parish seat are many Colored societies of this faith. Among the old members now living are Mrs. Drury Murrell and D. W. Canfield, who are still residents. The building now used as a house of worship was erected about 1840-47, but has often been subjected to repairs. The lumber was obtained from the Canfield mill, one and one-half miles east. The building committee comprised James Canfield, James Boyes, J. H. Cunningham, John Geren and J. T. Morrow. The older organizations at Overton, Providence, Mount Lebanon, Athens and other places are referred to in the history of Claiborne and Bienville Parishes. on Flat Lake, Township 20, Range 8, a little Baptist Church building was erected prior to 1844, the Grounds and others residing in the neighborhood.
A Cumberland Presbyterian congregation was gathered at Minden in 1849 by Mr. G. N. Clampitt, who addressed them on the special advantages of that denomination. In 1852 the Givens family settled on the edge of the present parish, all members of this church. In 1852 a society was organized at Shongaloo by Mr. Clampit, and in 1855 W. B. Scott, a Methodist preacher of Minden, joined the Presbyterians. H. B. McMahon also aided in spreading the gospel around old Russellville, and in 1858 organized a society there known as Salem Church, and also one at Minden, which was lost during the war. In October, 1870, the Salem Society was revived, together with other churches, so that by 1877, of the sixteen societies belonging to the Louisiana Presbytery, eight were in Webster and Claiborne. In 1878 P. E. Leach was appointed preacher, with headquarters at Haynesville, while In 1880 G. R. Stewart took up his residence at Salem. During the war H. B. McMahon, John Nevens (a refugee from Missouri, in charge of State papers), and R. M. Searcy were active workers in this section, while preceding the war the names of W. Forhenberry and W. Harton appear In connection with evangelistic work.
Presbyterianism was introduced at Overton in 1838 by A. R. Banks, a preacher from Arkansas, who addressed a small congregation in the courthouse. In 1839 he and John Boggs preached at Minden, and by means of conversation won a few adherents. Mr. Boggs made a stay of twenty months here, teaching school and preaching. Not until 1854, however, was there au organization here, for on February 12 of that year John E. Davidson was installed pastor by Revs. J. F. Ford and S. P. Heline. The first pastor lived near Athens, Claiborne Parish, that year. From 1850 to 1804 Rev. J. F. Ford was preacher here, having presided over the seminary from 1850 to 1862. Dr. Bright succeeded him, and he was followed by Rev. J. T. Davidson, of Homer, who supplied the pulpit occasionally up to his death in 1881, In fact he was connected with all the Presbyterian Churches in the old Claiborne District from his coming in 1852 to the time of his death. Evangelists McInnis in 1876, and Dr. Bright in 1877, did some effective work. In 1883 Dr. McNeal Turner came to supply the churches.
The church house at Minden was completed and dedicated in 1889, by Rev. Mr. Van Lear, the contract Being made in April, 1888, between W. H. Adams, builder, and Rev, J. T. Sails, who filled the pulpit, W. D. English and P. H, Drake, The committee. The total cost was $2,501, all of which was subscribed prior to April, 1888. The only male members in 1890 are Harvey Drake, P. H. Drake and W. D. English. The total membership is ten. The lot was donated by Harvey Drake, some, years ago, in accordance with the wishes of W. A. Drake, although not a member. In early years a few Catholic families settled in the parish, and from 1857 to 1867 were visited by missionary priests from Shreveport. In 1867 a small chapel was erected just north of the Baptist Church, and here the services of the church are held once a mouth by one of the priests of Shreveport. In 187!) Father Gentile held the services of the church at Minden. On July 23 of this year the spirited letter of P. W. Paul in re this church, appeared in the Tribune. The English Protestant Episcopal Society existed without organization as tar back as 1853, when Capt. Goodwill, the Chaffes and other settlers of English nativity were visited by ministers of their faith. In 1870 the church house just east of the courthouse was erected. Regular services were held for some time, but in later years the visits of ordained ministers are made at long intervals. There are three Colored church buildings with large congregations, one Baptist and two Methodist.
The Colored Gentiles hold revival services often, and by this means win great numbers to their several beliefs. What religion has accomplished for these African men and women is a subject on which their own philosophers hold varied views. In 1884 a Young Men's Christian Association was organized here. In 1885 the members elected Samuel G. Webb, president; Walton Fort, secretary, and George S. Carroll, treasurer, shortly after the organization fell, and has not been revived.
Minden has a good trade, shipping 10,000 bales of cotton, principally to Shreveport, though much goes direct to Now Orleans. It is only two and one-half miles from Bayou Dorcheat, which is navigable for light craft, though not used since the Minden Tap has connected it with the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific, five miles away.
The Minden Tap road was completed October 27, 1885. Except $8,000 borrowed in New Or leans, the people of Minden subscribed The whole sum. The Official Railway List gives the gauge as 48 in, mileage 5; locomotives 1, and passenger cars 1. The Vicksburg Shreveport & Pacific freight oars are used. The office of superintendent was abolished in April, 1888. This was first held by Cecil Fleming, and subsequently by M. N. Coe. The president chosen in 1880 was Alfred Goodwill. The present officers are Thomas Crichton, president; F. H. Drake, vice-president; J. J. Holmes, secretary; W. P. Leary, treasurer, and E. T. Boyle, agent and auditor. The Tap Railroad is remarkably well managed.
The great, Cotton Compress comes next in importance as an industry. No sooner was it complete than the old town, which lagged for a time, resumed her wonted activity. On August 15, 1890, the Crow Brothers sent in the first bale of cotton to Minden. It weighed 440 pounds, and was purchased by McKenzie at 13 cents per pound. He purchased the first bale twelve times in the last fourteen years. On August 13, 1888, Capt. Webb purchased the first bale from Nat Turner, at 11 cents per pound.
The blacksmith shop established by Chris Chaffe in 1850 is still in existence, the livery stable was started soon after, then the foundry and machine shop, and next the harness, carriage and repair shops. This pioneer mechanic is still a resident of the town. A printing press was turned out of this foundry before or during the war. The city is not, without its inventors, A. S. Harrell's cotton chopper, and the Webb Compress are evidences of progress in invention.
James I. Allen, merchant, Sarepta, La. This well-known and prosperous business man is a native- born resident of Webster Parish, his birth occurring In Ward No. 2, on August 3, 1858, and is the son of William Allen, who was born in Walker County, Ala., about 1826. William Allen was one of the following children: Martha, Patience, Eliza, Polly A., John, William, Joseph, Benjamin and James. James I. Allen, was reared to mature years, and received his education In The common schools of Webster Parish. He was the second In order of birth of ten children, viz. : Walter D. (president of the Masonic Female Institute of Bonham, Tex.), Mattie C. (widow of James W. Coyle of Webster Parish), Thomas W., Joseph J., Trebia (now Mrs. A. B. Martin of Webster Parish), Percy Q. (deceased), Pleasant D., Gent and Win. E. In 1882 Mr. James I. Allen was united in marriage, to Miss Luda W. Adams, also a resident of this parish, and the fruits of this union have been one child, Grover Cleveland. Mr. Allen is one of the wide-awake, thorough going business men, and by his pleasant, agreeable manners he built up a good trade.
Cyrus Bilker enjoys the reputation of Being a substantial and progressive farmer, and is intelligent and the roughly posted on public affairs. He was born in Walker County, Ala., on October 31, 1820, to William and Delilah (Binning) Baker, the former a native of South Carolina, and the latter of Alabama. The father removed to Alabama, where he was married, and in that, State passed from life, when his son, Cyrus was a child, July 15, 1859, having been a farmer and carpenter by occupation. He grew to manhood in Alabama, remaining with some relatives until he was old enough to work, then worked as a farm laborer by the month. He removed to Texas in the fall of 1859, and for some time conducted a blacksmith and repair shop in Nacogdoches County. In 1862 he enlisted in Company G, Eighth Texas Infantry, and was in the war until the final surrender, being in the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. From the close of the war up to 1869 he was engaged in farming, then moved to Louisiana, and located in what is now Webster Parish, and has made two farms since his residence here. Since 1881 he has resided on his present farm of 440 acres, of which 150 acres are under cultivation, improved nicely with good buildings. Ho was married in Alabama, in 1854, to Miss Elizabeth, a daughter of Joshua Henson, she was born in Alabama, and has borne Mr. Baker these children: William (who is grown and married), John T., Maggie, Cyrus J., Mattie, L. W., Theodosia and Thomas P. Mrs. Baker and her three daughters are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Baker is an honorable, upright citizen in every respect, and has kept the name he bears, stainless before the world.
Col. Joseph W. Berry, assessor, Minden, La. One among the few remaining early settlers of this part of Louisiana is the man whose name appears at the head of this sketch. He was born in Bloomington, Ind., on June 12, 1818, and his father, Judge Joseph Berry, was a native of the Old Do minion. The Judge comes of old Virginia stock. He moved to Kentucky with his parents, there was reared to manhood, and when a young man went to Tennessee, where he was married to Miss Mary Campbell, a native of the Big Bend State. He served in some of The old Indian wars and was captured by the Indians In Ohio. He served in Capt. Price's company find Gen. Wayne's command. In 1812 Mr. Berry settled in Illinois, near Vincennes, and moved to Monroe County, Ind., In 1813. He was fairly educated, a man of good judgment and was a lawyer by profession. He was elected judge of Monroe County, Ind., and held his first court in a log cabin. In 1834 he started to move with forty families to the Lone Star State and died on the road, near Minden, in November of that year. His wife had died in Bloomington, Ind., in 1825. Col. Joseph W. Berry remained in his native State until sixteen years of age, and received a good education at New Harmony College. He came south with his father In 1834, located In what is now Webster Parish and worked on a farm and in a saw-mill for about three years.
In 1837 he entered a store as d e r k at Overton, the old county seat, and In 1838 be came to Minden, where he clerked for several years. He was here In 1837, and saw this town surveyed and laid off. He engaged In merchandising in Minden in 1841, and continued in the dry goods business for thirty-two years. In 1851 his superior intelligence and fine ability became recognized by the numerous friends he had gathered around him. and he was elected a member of the Legislature, serving two years. So great was his popularity that he was re-elected to the same office In 1855 and re-elected again In 1860. being a member of that body when the State seceded. In 1863 he was commissioned colonel of Claiborne's regiment and afterward served In Gen. Gilbert's staff. He entered the service In 1861 was commissioned enrolling officer for Claiborne Parish, and afterward served as quartermaster. He was elected to the Confederate Legislature in 1854, and was a member of that body when the news reached the House of the surrender of Gen. Lee, the Legislature adjourning on receipt of this news. In November, 1865, Mr. Berry again engaged In merchandising, which be continued up to 1872, at which time he met with a very severe loss by fire.
He did not again engage In this business, but carried on his farm, he and his partner being the owners of a large tract of land and about fifty-three slaves previous to The war. In 1880 Mr. Berry was appointed assessor of Webster Parish and has served now for ten years In that capacity. He has taken a prominent part in polities, has served as a delegate to numerous conventions and was in the Legislature under four different, governors. Mr. Berry was married first in Rapides Parish. La,, in 1846, to Miss Camellia C. Hadley, a native of Louisiana, and was retired and educated in that State. Three children were born to this union: W. H., F. P. and Caroline E. (wife of J. T. Mims, a business man of Minden). Mrs. Berry died in October, 1853, and Mr. Berry afterward married to sister of his former wife, Miss J. E. Hadley, also a native of this State. There are four children born to this marriage: J. C. (married and is a telegraph operator at Monroe), E. L., J. L. find Nettie (who is a graduate of Minden College). Mr. Berry is a Royal Arch Mason, has served as worshipful master of the Blue Lodge ten years and king and scribe of his chapter. Mr. Berry has been and still is a very active man. He is well posted on the general questions of the day, is a thorough business man and is as pleasant a gentleman as one would care to meet.
John T. Boyet has been interested in agricultural pursuits in this section of the country since 1859, and is the owner of a tine plantation, which he has brought up to its present state of farming perfection through his own management and energy. He was born In Stewart County, Ga., September 23, 1839 to John Boyd, who was born In the Old North State. At an early day the latter removed to Georgia with his father. John Boyet, Sr. and became a prominent citizen of Marion County, serving as high sheriff of that county for a number of years. He was a soldier in the War of 1812. John Boyet, the father of the subject of this sketch, grew to manhood in Stewart County, and when a young man went, to Marion County, where he married Miss Eliza Chapman, a native of Pike County, Ga. After farming in that State for a number of years he removed to Louisiana In 1855), and located on the farm on which he now resides in Webster Parish, and on this farm his wife passed from life In 1888. John T. Boyet, whose mime heads this sketch, grew to mature years In this parish, and up to 18(51 made his home with his father. In March, 1862, he enlisted in the Confederate Army, being mustered into The Twenty-seventh Louisiana Infantry at New Orleans, and served until the war was over, being In a number of important engagements: Chickamauga, Grand Bluff, Port Gibson, Baker's Creek, Black River and The siege of Vicksburg. He received two wounds, one in the shoulder by a piece of shell, and a gunshot wound in the thigh. After his parole and return home from Vicksburg he began farming, and made one crop, at the end of which time he received notice of his exchange, was ordered to his regiment, which he joined In Alexandria, where he was held in reserve until the close of the war.
After the surrender he returned home, and once more proceeded to make a living by the cultivation of the soil. He was without means, but succeeded in renting a piece of land, and by this means and by working as a farm hand for some three years he managed to save some means, and purchased a piece of land on time for $1,500. He was compelled to labor very hard for three years, but at the end of that time his farm was his own. He then purchased enough more land to make his acreage 500, and after farming this place for ten years he bought the farm where he now resides. The home tract consists of 500 acres, with about 300 hundred under cultivation, and besides a fine new house which is on his place, he has convenient and fair outbuildings. He lost, by fire a handsome residence a few years ago, but has since rebuilt. By his own earnest endeavors he has acquired his present property, a fact that speaks well for his ability as a man of business. He was married in this parish in February, 1867, to Miss Virginia Draper, a daughter of Philip Draper. She was born and reared in this parish, and here her children have been born, their names being: Sarah V. Eliza, Philip M., Henry C. Maude, Thomas C. and an infant son. Francis S. died at the age of seven years, and two children died In infancy. Mr. and Mrs.. Boyet tire members of Fellowship Church, and are well known throughout this region as hospitable, charitable people, and excellent and obliging neighbors.
Noah H. Boyet is a merchant and farmer, and both callings have been remarkably successful. He is a native of Georgia and was born In Marion County on March 23, 1845, coming to this State and county with his parents in 1859, and from here enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862, when but seventeen years of age. He served in the Twenty-seventh Louisiana Infantry until the dose of The war, participating In the siege of Vicks burg and in several skirmishes. After the dose of The war be returned to Webster Parish and turned his attention to tilling the soil, an occupation that received his attention exclusively for a number of years. In 1880 he engaged In the dry-goods business, his establishment being near the south line of the parish, but upon the building of the Vicksburg, Shreveport & Pacific Railroad Mr. Boyet started a branch store at Dubberly. In 1885 he moved to this place, and here has followed merchandising up to the present time. He has a large store-room and an excellent line of goods, which he disposes of at very reasonable rates. He purchased a strip of land near the town, erected thereon a substantial residence, and has it otherwise well improved. Mr. Boyet, commenced the battle of life empty handed at the close of the war, but by the free exercise of brain and brawn and a judicious amount, of economy he has accumulated a competency. Although his school days were very limited he has acquired a fair business education, and is sufficiently versed in The affairs of every-day life to become a successful man of business. He was married on January 10, 1868, to Miss Mary Ann, a daughter of David Lard, she being a native of Louisiana and of Webster Parish.
Mr. Boyet and his worthy wife have had a family of eight children born to them: Daniel W., Benjamin, Shelly B., Anna, Louisa, Elizabeth, James B. and Mandil. Mr. Boyet has always been the roughly public spirited, and at all times has shown himself to be honorable in every particular, and a keen and far seeing business man.
Edward C. Bright, surveyor and civil engineer, Minden, La. Mr. Bright is a native of Tennessee, I his birth occurring at Brownsville, on February 10, 1840, and his father an eminent divine, the Rev. J. E. Bright, was a native of Virginia. He was a man of superior natural endowments, of classical education, and was a graduate of Ann Arbor, Mich. He was a minister in the Presbyterian Church, and also a prominent educator. He ministered to The : spiritual wants of his fellow-men until his death In 1878. His wife died the same year. He was married In Tennessee, to Miss Sarah Bell Slack, a native of New Jersey, where she was reared and educated, and the daughter of Rev.. Elijah Slack who was a noted chemist and mathematician. Edward C. Bright passed his boyhood find youth in Tennessee, secured a good education at La Grange College, where he had advanced to the junior year, when the breaking out of The war put an end to his studies. He was one of the first to enlist in the Confederate Army, joining the same on April 17, 1861, at Jackson, Tenn., in the Fourth Tennessee Infantry, Company F, and soon after was promoted to orderly sergeant, which position he held while in active service. He was in the battle of Shiloh, where he received a gunshot wound in his arm and was disabled. He soon after returned to Tennessee, and thence, in the winter of 1863, to Louisiana.
In 1864 he again entered the service as assistant engineer under Col. Douglas, and served in that capacity until cessation of hostilities. After the war, or in 1865, Mr. Bright came to Webster Parish, located in Minden, and was there engaged in surveying and farming for one or two years. He was appointed surveyor of Claiborne Parish, and on the organization of Webster Parish In 1871, he was appointed surveyor of this parish, serving in that capacity nineteen years. He has also worked at civil engineering: on the construction of some of the railroads of Northern Louisiana. He has also served in a number of offices of trust and honor in Minden. Mr. Bright was married in Monroe, on September 10, 1867, to Miss Texanna Phillips, a native of Alabama, but who was reared and educated at Baton Rouge, La., in Mrs. Reed's College. She is the daughter of Dr. Phillips. Mr. and Mrs. Bright, have two children: Mary E. and Johnston E., Jr. One daughter, Aurelia, died at the age of nine years. Mrs. Bright and daughter are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Bright is a prominent business man and makes a specialty of preparing abstracts to title to any land or any farms in Webster Parish.
James M. Canfield, planter, Minden, La. A lifetime devoted with perseverance and energy to the pursuit, of agriculture has contributed very materially to the success which has attended the efforts of Mr. Canfield, a man of substantial and established worth. He was originally from the Palmetto State, his birth occurring in Edgefield District, In December, 1824. He was a son of James Canfield, who was also a native of South Carolina, and who was a son of John Canfield, also a native of that State. The grandfather was of direct English descent, and he was a soldier in the war of The Revolution. James M. Canfield came to Louisiana with his parents in 1830, locating near where Mount Lebanon now stands, and remained there until 1844, when he came to Minden. He located in Bossier Parish in 1849, and in 1854 settled where he now resides. He has followed agricultural pursuits all his life, and has been quite successful in this occupation. He was first married in 1851, to Ann E. Malone, and to this union were born two children. This lady died in October 1, 1865, and in July of the following year he married E. A. Boseman, who bore him one child and died in August. 18(58. In December, 18651, he married Sarah Smith, and to this union were born three children. She died In June, 1880. In February 1882, he contracted his fourth marriage with Carrie S. Applewhite, his present wife. No children have been born to the latter union. Mr. and Airs. Canfield are worthy and consistent members of the Baptist Church. For many years Mr. Canfield has been identified with the Masonic fraternity, but owing to defective hearing he did not attend regularly, and was consequently dropped from the rolls. In 1862 he enlisted under Gen. Beauregard, and served until the close of the war. During this time his hearing became impaired, and has troubled him ever since. He is wide awake and enterprising, and is a substantial agriculturist of the parish.
Benjamin F. Carr is a native of De Kalb County, Ala., his birth occurring October 25, 1848. B. L. Carr, his father, was born in North Carolina, and when a hid, went to Georgia with his parents, where he grew up and married Miss Susan Turner, a Georgian. He afterward moved to Alabama, and after following the occupation of farming there until the fall of 1848, they came to Louisiana, and settled in what is now Webster Parish, and on the land where the subject of this sketch now resides. Mr. Carr owned numerous slaves before the war, and with their help, opened up a very large plantation, on which he made his home until his death, in May, 1879, his widow surviving him a few years, and dying in 1883. Benjamin F. Carr grew to j manhood on this farm, and after attending the Pine Grove' School-house for some time, supplemented this with one year's attendance in Minden , College. In February, 1879, he was married to Miss E. O. Sandlin, a daughter of William Sandlin, a sketch of whom appears herein, and in this parish Mrs. Carr was reared and educated, being an attendant of the Minden Female College. Mr. Carr remained with his father on the farm, and in 1873 took charge of the place, and has successfully conducted it up to the present time. He has about 1,000 acres of land, 500 being under cultivation. on this land is an exceptionally good residence, a gin-house, barn, etc., and the place is otherwise well improved. Mr. Carr is a social and agreeable gentleman to meet, and as a business man is a decided success. He and his wife have two children: Benjamin Bear to and Ruby. Three children are deceased: Ruth (at the age of four years), William S. and Clarence B. (the last two dying in infancy).
Mr. Carr and his wife belong to the Methodist, Episcopal Church, and he is vice-president of the local Farmers" Union, and has always taken a deep interest in the workings of this organization. Hon. John J. Carter is a representative citizen, and few men have attained the prominence in a social as well as a business point of view than has Mr. Carter, who is courteous and pleasant in all his relations with the public. He was born in Pike County, Miss., on May 6, 1832, and his father. Henry Carter, was born in South Carolina. The latter removed to Mississippi with his parents when a child of three years, and his father, Samuel Carter, who was also a native of South Carolina, was one of the pioneers of Mississippi, settling in Pike County of that State as early as 1863. Henry Carter grew to manhood in that State and still resides on the old homestead there. He is eighty-nine years of age. John J. Carter, The second child and eldest son of four children, only two besides our subject now living, grew to manhood in Mississippi, and remained with his father up to 1857. He received a fair education in The common and higher schools, and is mostly self educated since reaching mature years.
He removed to Louisiana in 1857, settled in what is now Webster Parish, and engaged in clerking and book-keeping up to the late war. In 1862 he joined the Minden Rangers, an independent company, and was promoted from private to lieutenant, serving in that capacity until the close of the war. He participated in the fight at Farmersville, Miss., the engagements around Atlanta, and the battle of Franklin, Tenn. He was also in the battles of Nashville, Corinth and luka, Miss. After the war Mr. Carter returned to Minden and engaged In his occupation of clerk and book-keeper. In 1870 be became a partner in the firm of T. B. Neal & Co., general merchants, and continued in this business up to 1878. In that year he was elected to represent Webster Parish in the Legislature, and after the dose of his term he returned to Minden. He has ever taken an active interest in politics of this State and Parish. He has served as a member of the school board, has been police juror, and held many other positions of trust and honor. He has held a commission from the governor of the State since 1877, and has taken an active part and has used his influence to advance the cause of education.
He has worked hard to advance the financial interests of this parish, and has extended a helping hand to all enterprises of a laudable nature. Mr. Carter was married In this parish on July 31, 1860, to Miss Amanda J. Murrell, a native of Illinois and the daughter of Drury Murrell, one of the pioneers of North Louisiana, settling here as early as 1834. Mr. and Mrs. Carter have a family of six children, viz.: Henry M., Jessie L. (wife of Isaac P. Carter), Lizzie D., M. and Mamie and Drury E. Mr. Carter and wife are members of the Baptist Church. He is a Royal Arch Mason, serving as worshipful Master of the Blue Lodge and high priest of the chapter. He has represented his lodge in the Grand Lodge of The State, and at this writing is district deputy grand master. He is also a member of The K. of P., and has served in all the various official capacities of that order. Mr. Carter is at present bookkeeper for the Farmers' Union, and is not only a fine scribe and a good , book-keeper, but is a social and pleasant gentleman to meet.
Christopher Chaffe, proprietor of Minden foundry and livery stable, Minden, La. Among the enterprising, pushing, thorough going and public spirited citizens of Minden and Webster Parish, the above mentioned gentleman ranks among the first. He is a native of England, born in Devonshire County on January 8, 1818, and his parents, John and Johanna (Skelton) Chaffe, were natives of the same country. John Chaffe was a blacksmith and farmer, and carried on a prosperous business until his death in 1848. His widow survived him several years, and died in her native country when eighty-two years of age. Christopher Chaffe learned the blacksmith's trade with his father, and remained with him until twenty-nine years of age, at which time he started out for himself. He remained in his native country until 1850, and then emigrated to the States, locating at Minden, La. where he has since resided. Here he has met with varied success. He built a shop and started In business here in 1851, but au enemy burned his shop in the same year. He soon bought out a foundry, established himself here, and also built a barn in 1854 in order to engage in the livery business.
He has been carrying on a successful business here for years. In 1880 he met with another loss by fire, his gin house being burned, and in 1883 the foundry was burned. In 1887 His residence was burned. He rebuilt the house the same year, but this, too, was destroyed by fire In 1888, together with his livery barn and office. At no time has Mr, Chaffe been discouraged, but began anew with renewed energy and determination, being better fixed to-day than at any past time. He has a large, new, substantial residence, a farm of about 500 acres with 300 acres under cultivation, the gin is kept busy and he is doing ti fair livery business. In 1854 Mr. Chaffe took a mail contract, and started a mail line to Monroe from Minden. In 1856 he also took a mail contract from Shreveport to Vicksburg, and established a daily line. He had several mail contracts during the war, and is still in the Government service as a mail contractor. Mr. Chaffe was married in England on May 29, 1848, to Miss Jane Farley, a most estimable lady, who died here in 1867. She was his devoted wife and helpmate for nineteen years, and was a faithful and consistent member of the Episcopal Church. To his marriage were born six children, viz. : Charles (married, resides in Texas), Arthur (married and resides in Minden), Clarence, Jeanette, Lizzie and Trebly. Mr. Chaffe and family are members of the Episcopal Church.
William M. Coyle is one of the pioneers of Northern Louisiana, who has accumulated a competency by hard work and good management in tilling the soil. He was born in East Feliciana Parish, La., March 14, 1825, to William and Elizabeth (Clark) Coyle, the former a native of Mississippi, and the latter of Louisiana. Mr. Coyle was a farmer, but after a short residence in this State he returned with his family to Mississippi. He came back to Louisiana once more in 1836, and settled in what is now Webster parish, where he opened a farm on which he resided until his death In 1850. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and was a participant in the battle of New Orleans.
His first wife died in Mississippi in 1830. but he afterward married again. William L. Coyle came to this State and parish with his father in 1830. and remained with him until he arrived at mature years. He was first married in 1844 to Miss Nancy Jane Crownover, a native of Louisiana, but she died two years after their marriage. Mr. Coyle purchased the farm where he now lived in 1844, his land now amounting to 000 acres, of which 250 acres are under cultivation. Besides this he owns other lands in the county, making some 3,000 acres all together. He is one of the largest land owners of Ward 2, if not of The parish, and as he began life a poor boy, empty banded, his present possessions are the result of individual effort. He married his second wife in this parish, she being Miss Anna Delafield, a native of Tennessee. He un- I fortunately lost this wife also in 1862, she leaving him with three children to care for. He married his present wife in Arkansas in 1873, her maiden name being Cassandra Fain, a native of and reared In Mississippi. One child was left, him by his first wife; Mary Jane, and the names of these born to | his second union are Sarah Ann (wife of R. E. Cox), John M. (married), and Celestia E. Mr. Coyle has nine grandchildren, one of whom resides with him. He has served on the parish board has been a member of the police jury for three terms, and is an active member of the Farmers' Union, having served as president of the Parish Union, and in the same capacity in the local union. He and his wife and daughters are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
Thomas Crichton, merchant and president and manager of the Minden Railroad, Minden, La. Mr. Crichton is a fair example of what may be accomplished by honesty, industrious habits and good business management. He started out a poor boy and empty handed after the war, but he is now one of the wealthy and highly esteemed citizens of the parish. He was born in the town of Columbus, GA May 27, 1845, and his father, Peter Crichton, was a native of Scotland. The latter emigrated to the States when a young man, located in Georgia, and was there married to Miss Marion Grieve, also a native of Scotland. Mr. Crichton was a farmer and merchant in Georgia up to 1851, when be moved to Louisiana and located in Webster Parish. He was a soldier in the Civil War. and was killed at the battle of Franklin, La.
His widow survives him at this writing. Thomas Crichton grow to manhood in Webster Parish, and he, too, entered the army in August, 1863, Eighth Louisiana Cavalry, and served until the close of The war. He participated with his regiment in a number of small engagements and skirmishes. After cessation of hostilities be returned to Minden, attended school a short time, and then entered a store as salesman, continuing in that capacity for several years. In 1868 Mr. Crichton found it necessary to quit the State on account of his health and went to California, where be remained three years. In 1871 he returned to Minden and again engaged in clerking. Later be entered a warehouse, receiving and forwarding business, and this continued up to the building of the Shreve port & Vicksburg Railroad. Mr. Crichton then embarked in general merchandising under the firm name of Larry & Crichton, the present firm. In 1885, on the organization of the new railroad company, Mr. Crichton took stock in this enterprise, and was one of the first directors. He has bought more stock in this enterprise from time to time, and now is the heaviest holder. He was married In Mansfield August 23, 1883. to Miss Katie Jackson, a native of Louisiana, but who was reared and educated at Mansfield. The fruits of this union were three children: R. Powell, Thomas, Jr., and Katie. In 1886 Mr. Crichton was elected president of this road, and this position he still holds. He has his road in good shape and on a good paying basis, the stock being away above par. Mr. Crichton also owns other valuable property, and he and his partner own several plantations on Red River bottoms. He is a very enterprising and public-spirited citizen, and a gentleman whose social qualities are of the best.
Capt. James J. Crow is successfully engaged in tilling his farm which consists of 160 acres of land, of which 100 acres are in an excellent state of cultivation. He has a comfortable residence, and besides the income from his farm derives a competency from a good grist-mill and cotton-gin of which he is The owner. He was born in Darlington District, S. C, June 11, 1837, and although his father, John Crow, was born in North Carolina, he removed to South Carolina when a young man and was married there to Miss Martha Albright, a native of that State. He removed to Louisiana in 1852, and opened up a large plantation in what is now Webster Parish, and on this plantation resided until his death in 1865, his widow still surviving him and residing on the old homestead. James J. Crow remained with his father until he attained his majority, then began doing for himself.
In 1861 he became a member of the Twelfth Louisiana Infantry, and was promoted from the ranks to captain in 1864. and served as such until the final surrender. He participated in the fights at Belmont, Baker's Creek, Fort Henry and Shiloh, and was in numerous other engagements, but of minor importance: Siege and surrender of Atlanta, Spring Hill, Decatur, Columbia, Franklin and Nashville. After The war had closed he returned to Webster Parish, turned his sword into a plowshare and has since given his attention to farming. After the death of his father he took charge of the home place, and after managing it in an admirable manner for about eleven years he engaged in saw milling and the manufacture of lumber, which calling he continued for about eight years. In 1879 he located on a farm once more and In 1885 bought his present property. His marriage, which took place on February 18, 1871, was to Miss Emma Odam, who was born and reared in Georgia, and both are now members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Crow is a member of the Farmers' Union, is an enterprising and public-spirited gentleman, and a strong believer In the future advancement and development of Webster Parish.
John F. Davis was born in Stewart County, Ga., January 31, 1858, his father, Jonathan G. Davis being a native of the same State. The latter was married in Troup County, to Miss Frances A. Stinson who was also born In Georgia, and in that State he continued to farm and reside until 1859, when he moved to Louisiana, and settled on the farm where his family now resides, which comprises several hundred acres of fine farming bind. He owned a large number of slaves prior to the war, and accumulated a large fortune. He died in 1866, but his widow survives him and resides on the old homestead with her son. To them four sous and two daughters were born, John P. being the eldest living son of the family. He grew to manhood on the home farm, received a good education In the Minden and Homer Colleges, and after the death of his elder brother, James N. Davis In 1880, be took charge of the old homestead and has greatly improved The place. The farm consists of 1,400 acres and about 600 acres of The same are opened and ready for being tilled. John P. owns, individually, a place of 680 acres about six miles west of the homestead and has about 140 acres of the and open and under cultivation. He is a prosperous and successful farmer, is a good business man, and besides is energetic, enterprising, and public spirited, attributes that are very essential In making a first class citizen. He was married in this neighborhood March 5, 1890, to Miss Flora Hodges, a daughter of E. W. Hodges, she Being born and reared in Webster Parish, her education being received in Minden Female College. Mr. Davis and his wife and mother tire members In good standing of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Judge Richard C. Drew, attorney, Minden, Ark. Judge Drew is one of these men, too few in number, who fully recognize the truth so often urged by the sages of the law, that, of all men, the reading and thought of a lawyer should be the most extended. Systematic reading gives a more comprehensive grasp to the mind, variety and richness to the thought, and a clearer perception of the motive of men and the principles of things, indeed of the very spirit of laws. This he has found most essential In the prosecution of, his professional practice.
Judge Drew is a native of Webster Parish, La., born on April 17, 1849, and is the son of Judge E. M. and Sarah (Cleveland) Drew, natives of Kentucky and South Carolina, respectively. The father moved to Louisiana when a young man, and was married here to Miss Cleveland, who was reared In this State. The Cleveland's were among the pioneers of The Creole State. Judge E. M. Drew received a thorough education in his native State (Kentucky), read law and was admitted to the bar there. He was a prominent lawyer of North Louisiana for a number of years, and was in the front rank in his profession. He served as judge of the parish, find also in the Legislature of this State as senator, being a member of that honorable body at The time of his death in 1851. His widow survived him until 1880. E. C. Drew, the subject of this sketch, attained his growth in this parish, received a good education at the Homer College, and after completing his studies there he began reading law under A. B. George, now judge of this judicial district. He was admitted to the bar at Monroe in 1872, and began the practice of his profession in Minden. He was parish attorney for Webster parish four years, and in 1870 be was elected parish judge of Webster Parish, being re-elected at the end of his term, and serving four years in that capacity. In 1879 he was elected district judge of this judicial district, re-elected to this important position in 1884, and has served as district judge here for fifteen consecutive years.
Judge E. M. Drew, Judge H. A. Drew and our subject served as judges of this territory for forty-five years. After the expiration of his term of office Judge R. C. Drew continued the practice of his profession at Minden. He is an able lawyer, one of the best in North Louisiana, and he still takes a deep interest in the political questions of the day. He has served in numerous conventions.
Judge Drew was married in Bossier Parish, November 15, 1880, to Miss Katie Caldwell, a native of Louisiana, but who was reared in this State. She was educated and a graduate of a female college at Paris, Tex. Judge and Mrs. Drew have three children, viz.: Richard C., Katie C. and Harman G. The Judge is a Master Mason, and has served as master of his lodge and other official positions. It is said that, success is the best test of merit in this life, and Judge R. C. Drew is in every way a successful man. There is not a resident in the city who has a larger speaking acquaintance than he, and all of his acquaintances respect and are willing to serve him. Mrs. Drew is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and is a most estimable lady.
Capt. Thomas W. Puller. Among the best known men of Webster Parish is Mr. Fuller, who was born in Houston County, Ga., March 4, 1828, to John M. and Sarah Frances (Walker) Fuller, the former a native of North Carolina and the latter of Georgia, their marriage Being consummated in the last named State. They removed from Georgia to Louisiana in 1838, and after a residence of one year In Red River Parish, they settled in Minden, which place was their home until their respective deaths in 1854 and 1842. At his death he owned a largo plantation in Bossier Parish, on Red River, on which he made from 500 to 800 bales of cotton each year. Capt. Thomas W. Fuller is the only survivor of a family of two sons and two daughters that grew to mature years, and his youth and early manhood were spent In Minden, his early education being acquired In the common schools and Minden College, but was supplemented by a three years' course In the Cumberland University of Tennessee. After finishing his collegiate course he returned to Minden, and after a short time spent in the study of law he was admitted to the bar in 1849.
He then began practicing at Bellevue, and during a five years residence at that place be became widely known, and as he bad a large and paying practice he saved about, $7,000, with which he purchased a farm of 900 acres, which he has cleared, improved and stocked. In 1861 he entered the Confederate Army, becoming a member of a company of Louisiana Cavalry, and served as captain of a company for three years. He participated In a great many skirmishes, but served as an officer's escort the most of the time. After the war he served as district attorney for seven years, and his thorough and exhaustive knowledge of law thoroughly fitted him for the successful discharge of The duties of this position. He has been a worthy tiller of the soil for the past thirty-eight years, and boasts that he has never bought either bread or meat, always raising his own wheat and corn, cattle and hogs. The propagation of horses and mules also receives considerable attention at his hands. About one-half of his cultivated land he devotes to the culture of cotton, and from this his annual profits are large. On March 12, 1850, he was married to Miss Margaret Wafer, a daughter of W. Wafer, of Claiborne Parish. Mrs. Fuller was born and reared In this parish and entered and graduated from The Minden Female College. This estimable lady died January 25, 1880, leaving four children, all of whom are grown and are graduates of good schools and colleges. The names of the children are: Lettisie (wife of T. H. Doyle, a large merchant at Murrell's Point, Webster Parish), Margaret, Thomas W., Jr., (now editor of the Minden Signal, a paper published at Minden, La.; he is a graduate of Centenary College, Jackson, La.), and Cornelia, all of whom are actively engaged in business.
Mr. Fuller is a thorough business man, is an excellent manager and a very pleasant gentleman to meet. He has an extensive library, and now spends his time in the companionship of his books. Thomas E. Geren, a prominent and successful merchant of Minden, La., is a native of Louisiana, born in what is now Webster Parish, on May 9, 1845, and is the son of John Geren, and the grandson of Thomas Geren, one of the pioneers who settled here about 1820. John Geren was born in North Carolina, and came to Louisiana with his father when but a lad. He was reared in Webster Parish, and was married here to Miss Jane Drew, a native of Virginia, but who was reared and educated in Tennessee. She was the daughter of Newell Drew, and aunt of Judge Drew, Jr., whoso sketch appears elsewhere in this work. After his marriage John Drew opened up a large farm, and was the owner of a large number of slaves before the war. His death occurred in 1862. His wife had died in 1850. Of the six children born to his parents, three sons and three daughters, Thomas R. Geren was the third in order of birth, and is the only one besides a sister, Narcissa (who became the wife of Mr. Goodlove, of Arkansas), now living. He was reared to mature years in Webster Parish, securing a fair education, although he is principally self educated, and in 1862 he enlisted in the Minden Rangers, au independent company. He usually served as au escort for some general.
He participated In the bloody fight at Franklin, a number of engagements on the Mississippi, including the battle of Corinth, served on both sides In the river, and was on active duty until the dose. Returning to Minden after the war be was engaged in clerking for several years, and In 1885 the present firm of Geren & Moreland was established. This firm carries a general stock of merchandise, large and complete in every detail, and are doing an immense amount of business. Mr. Geren is a member of the town council, and secretary of The town board, and is also secretary of the school board of Minden Female College. He has taken a great interest and used his best endeavors toward promoting the cause of education. Mr. Geren was married in this Parish on April 29, 1865), to Miss Abmina Smith, a native of Alabama, but, who was reared and educated in Louisiana, and the daughter of J. B. Smith, one of the early settlers of this Parish. To this union have been born three children: Lucy Clair (wife of J. F. Hill, a merchant of Minden), James H. (a young man In the store)and Watta Hayes. Mr. and Mrs. Geren, with their children, are members of the Baptist Church, and Mr. Geren is a Royal Arch Mason, being at the present time worshipful master of Blue Lodge. He is also a member of the K. of P., having served through the chairs of that order. He he is not only held in high esteem as a business man, but by his pleasant, agreeable manner has won a host of warm friends.
Jasper N. Geren is a tiller of the soil and a pilot, his post office address being Dubberly. He was born in Webster Parish, on the farm where he now lives, November 4, 1848, his father, J. P. Geren, being also a native of this State, his birth occurring In 1817. He grew to manhood in this State, in what is now Webster Parish, and was married here when in his twenty-first year (in 1838) to Miss Margaret Laird, also a native of this State find parish, and a daughter of John Laird. Soon after his marriage Mr. Geren bought land and located where he now resides, and here has resided since along In the forties. His farm of about 400 acres is In a good state of cultivation, and on it is a good large residence find fair outbuildings. Mr. Geren is a member of the Farmers' Union, and takes au active part in the meetings and business of the order, He is a hale, active and well-preserved man of seventy-three years, and to himself and wife two sous and four daughters have been born: Jasper N., Joseph E., Elizabeth (wife of Capt. Joe Morgan). Julia (wife of J. D. Culp), Laconia (wife of Joseph Walker) and Ophelia (wife of J. W. Baird). Mr. and Mrs. Geren lost two sons after they had attained manhood: Rev.. John L. (who was a member of the Baptist Church) and Rev., T. D. (who died while a student in the Clinton Theological Seminary in Mississippi). He is a member of the Masonic order, and he and his wife and children are members of The Baptist Church. Jasper N. Geren grew to manhood on the home farm, and remained with his father until he attained his majority and until after the war. He then went on the Bed Eivtu-, and has been engaged in boating and piloting for a number of years, or from 1867 to 1890. This year be is helping to till the farm.
He is a young man of excellent parts, and at all times endeavors to make the most of his opportunities. Charles J. Gray, farmer, Cotton Valley, La. Mr. Gray is a native of Tennessee, born in Sumner County on September 10, 1837, and is the son of C. H. Gray, a native of Kentucky. The latter grew to manhood In his native State, and when a young man went to Tennessee, where he was married to Miss Catherine S. Hassell, a native of that State. The father was a farmer by occupation, but, in connection carried on the carpenter's trade. In 1853 he left Tennessee and removed to Louisiana, spending the first three years in Bossier Parish. In 1857 they settled in what is now Webster Parish, opened up a farm, and here his death occurred in 1861. His widow survives him at this writing. Charles J. Gray is the second of a family of two sons and one daughter, all of whom grew up and are living. The brother, William A. Gray, resides in Tennessee, and the sister, Matilda J. Gray, resides with our subject. Charles J. Gray came to this State and parish with his parents In 1853, attained his growth hero, and remained with his father until the batter's death. In 1862 he enlisted in the Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, Company B, and served until the final surrender. He enlisted tis a private and was promoted to sergeant.
He participated in the fight of Franklin, La., and a number of skirmishes west of the river. After the war he. returned to Webster Parish and engaged In farming on the old home place where the family located in 1857. He has been on this plantation ever since, and is the owner of 5)20 acres with 400 acres improved. He has a neat farm residence, one of the best in Webster Parish, and aside from the above-mentioned farm he owns a half interest in a 480 tract. Mr. Gray started out empty handed after the war, but has been very successful in all the enterprises he has undertaken.
He was married in this county on December 15, 1875, to Miss Mary E. Davis, daughter of Jonathan G. Davis, and sister of John Davis, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Mrs. Gray was born in Georgia and principally reared in that State, being educated In Minden Female College. To this union were born four children: Aylmer H., Charles Griffin, Mary D. and Mattie S. Mrs. Gray is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Gray is a member of the Farmer's Union and is treasurer of his local lodge. He has taken au active part, in the Union since its first organization.
Dr. Samuel J. Harrell, surgeon dentist, of Minden, La., was born In Tolbert County, Ga., October 15, 1849, to J. D. Harrell, who was born in the Palmetto State, and was taken to Georgia when an infant by his father, John Harrell, who was one of the pioneer settlers of Bibb County, in which region he opened up a farm and resided until his death. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, entering the service when he was a young man of sixteen years, and serving throughout the entire war. He also, during his residence in Georgia, served as sheriff of Bibb County. J. D. Harrell grew to manhood there and after attaining man's estate went to Tolbert County, but was married in Upson County, to Miss Elizabeth Gibson, a native of Georgia, born and reared in Upson County. He went into a shoe establishment after his marriage and continued in that business for several years, after which he located on a farm in Marion County, but removed a few years later to Stewart County, where he resided until his death in May 1879, being still survived by his widow. Their family of three sons and four daughters grew to mature years, Dr. Samuel J., Being their eldest son and third child in order of birth.
S. J. Harrell grew to manhood in Marion County, and was given good advantages in the common and higher schools. In January, 1873, he came to Louisiana and for about three years worked In a saw-mill in Webster County, and on January 25, 1875, was married to Miss Emma Carr, a daughter of B. L. Carr, of Webster Parish, where Mrs. Harrell was born, reared and educated, being a graduate of Minden Female College. After his marriage Dr. Harrell engaged in farming for about four years, at the end of which time he was appointed deputy sheriff of Webster County, and one year later was appointed sheriff to fill the unexpired term. At the close of his term of office he began the study of dentistry, and in 1876 took a course in the dentistry department of The Vanderbilt University, from which he was graduated, having the honor of delivering the valedictory address before a class of seventy-six dental students, forty of whom were graduates. After completing his course he returned to Minden and engaged in the practice of his profession and simply on his own merits has built up a very extended patronage. He is a member of the State Dental Association. His office is tastefully and handsomely furnished and his work is guaranteed satisfactory. He has used his influence to advance the cause of education in this parish, and is a member of The Board of Education of the Minden Female College. Socially he belongs to the K. of P., being past chancellor of his lodge, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a good business man, is at the head of his profession and is very social In disposition. His wife has borne him six children: El win, Cullen, Samuel J. Jr., Douglas, Stella, and Una Lee (a child of thirteen months).
James P. Hill is classed among the younger merchants of Minden, La., but he is none the less successful for that, and is rapidly advancing to the front as one of the leading business men of the place. He was left a poor boy, and has always had to battle his own way in the world, and by means accumulated by his own exertions he obtained a fair practical education. He was born in Jefferson County, Ark., September 13. 1862, his father, Ezekiel Hill, being a native Georgian. He went to Tennessee when a young man, and was married there to Miss T. A. Leech, a native Tennessean, soon after which event he moved to Arkansas and settled in Jefferson County, where he engaged in farming for a few years. He enlisted In the Confederate Army in 1861, and served until his death, being killed in an engagement in 1863. After the death of her husband Mrs. Hill moved to Benton, of which place her son, James P., attended the high school. At the age of fourteen years he went to Texas, and was a cowboy In the northwestern part of the State for about three years. At, the end of this time he entered a good school, and during a one year's attendance of this institution, he acquired a large fund of useful information.
In 1880 he came to Louisiana and located at Minden, where he followed clerking up to 1888, at that time forming a partnership with Mr. Crichton and opening a like establishment of their own. Their stock of goods is well selected and large, and although they are already doing a thriving business, their trade is constantly on the increase. They have established a reputation for good goods, fair dealing and low prices, and this, together with their agreeable and accommodating manners, have built, them up a reputation second to none in the parish. Mr. Hill was married in Minden, November 29, 1888, to Miss Lucy Claire Geren, a daughter of T. E. Geren, whose sketch appears in this work. Mrs. Hill was born and reared in Minden, and in her youth secured superior educational advantages, Being a graduate of the Minden Female College find valedictorian of her class at commencement. She has since taken a musical course at Staunton, Va., and is a thoroughly accomplished and intelligent lady. She is a member of the Baptist Church. Mr. Hill is a member of the K. of P. and is chancellor commander of his lodge he possesses superior business attainments, is strictly honorable In every respect, is public spirited and enterprising and works for, and is deserving of success.
P. Crawford Hodges, In addition to Being au excellent farmer of Webster Parish, La., is also a successful merchant. He was born In Randolph County, Ga., on June 1, 1847, to Hon. Edmond W. Hodges, a native of South Carolina, who removed to Georgia with his father, Matthew Hodges, in tut early day, and In that State grew to mature years, and married Miss Mary McGowan, a Georgian by birth. Mr. Hodges became well known in Georgia, and for several terms represented his county in the State Legislature. He removed to Louisiana in J 858, and settled in Cotton Valley, in what is now Webster Parish, where he opened up a large plantation, being the owner of some sixty slaves before the war. on this plantation be passed from life in July, 1867, his wife having passed from life some two years earlier. For about one year prior to his death Mr. Hodges had engaged in the mercantile business in Cotton Valley.
Their family of four sons and three daughters grew to mature years, but one daughter is now deceased. F. C. Hodges grew to manhood in this parish, and when only sixteen years of age, or in 1864, entered the Confederate Army and served until the dose of the war, in the reserve corps, being lieutenant. After the termination of the war Mr. Hodges returned home and spent some three years in school, then was in his father's mercantile establishment until the death of the latter, when he spent another year in school. In 1870 he and a brother formed a partnership and engaged in merchandising at Cotton Valley, but at the end of one year the brother withdrew and F. Crawford continued alone up to 1875. He then closed out the business and engaged in farming exclusively for five years. In 1880 he again engaged in mercantile pursuits, and this this received much of his attention up to the present time, his stock of goods being large and his patronage quite large. He was married at Minden, La., on December 17, 1873, to Miss Addie Reynolds, a daughter of A. J. Reynolds, now the proprietor of the City Hotel at Shreveport. Mrs. Hodges was born and reared in Minden, and was educated in the Minden Female College. Five children have been born to their union: Floyd E., Mary L., George E., Maggie D. and Andrew J. Mr. and Mrs. Hodges are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and he is a Royal Arch Mason.
John E. Hodges. A history of any community, large or small, is made up, to a greater or less degree, of the lives of its citizens, and it is apparent to any intelligent, observer that the history of this parish is only such as has been made by these who have been identified with its development for some time. Although born in Randolph County, Ga., March 20, 1849, he has been a resident of Webster Parish since 1858, having come here with his parents, Matthew L. and Margaret (McWilliams) Hodges, who were born, reared and married in Georgia. They settled on the farm on which the subject of this sketch is now residing, upon their removal to Louisiana, both parents dying on this farm, The mother in 1858 and the father in 1868. Of the ten children, five boys and five girls, born to them, John E. and one sister are at this date (1890), the only surviving members of the family. The latter, Mrs. Willis, is a widow and makes her home with her brother, John E. He grew to manhood on the farm on which he is now residing, and since the death of his father has had control of the same. There are over 800 acres in the home place, of which 300 acres are under the plow, and on this are good buildings and an excellent cotton-gin. He owns one-half interest in a section of land in Jones County, Tex., and is very independently situated regarding money affairs.
He was elected a member of the police jury in 1888 for a term of four years, and for a long time has taken an active interest in the Farmers' Union of which organization he is a member. He is now assistant lecturer of his parish and lecturer of his local lodge. On March 12, 1879, he was married in this parish to Miss Mattie Houston, a daughter of Samuel Houston, she being a native of Georgia, but reared and educated in this parish. They have one child: Samuel Lee, a bright and surmising lad of seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Hodges are members of the Missionary Baptist Church.
He is clerk of the church of which he is a member. Joseph J. Holmes is one of the prominent business men, and a representative citizen of Webster Parish. He has made a competency by his own indomitable energy, frugality and excellent business acumen. Mr. Holmes was born in Georgia, on October 29, 1849, and his father, William D. Holmes, was also a native of Georgia. The latter was married in that State, to Miss Martha J. Culpepper, a native also of Georgia, and they afterward moved to Alabama. Two years later, or in 1863, they moved to Louisiana, locating in Minden.
He soon after entered the army and was superintendent of transportation for the Trans-Mississippi Department. After cessation of hostilities he returned to Minden and continued business there until his death In May, 1884. His wife died In 1869, J. J. Holmes came to this State and parish, with his parents in 1863, received a thorough education at Minden Male College, and in 1868 he engaged in merchandising in Minden, continuing at this for about eight years. After this (1877) he built a Tyler Morse Compress, the first of the kind in Shreveport, and embarked in the cotton but there for two years. In 1884 he returned to Minden, where he has been engaged in the cotton and mercantile brokerage and insurance business. He has been a very active business man all his life, and has been very successful in all his transactions. Commencing with no means, he has been unusually successful, and is to-day one of the representative and substantial men of the parish.
Mr. Holmes was one of the first to take stock in the Minden Railroad, of which he is secretary and one of the board of directors. He is also secretary of the Minden branch of the Southern Building and Loan Association of Atlanta, Ga., and stockholder in the Bank of Minden, and was elected mayor of Minden in May, 1890. Mr. Holmes has been three times married, his first wife, Miss Mary E. Morgan, be wedded In Red River Parish, La., on December 25, 1875, and she died the following June. Mr. Holmes' second marriage occurred in Minden, to Miss Mary J. Sugden, a native of New Orleans, who was reared and educated there. She was a grand-niece of Sir Edward Sugden, ex-prime minister of England. This most estimable lady died In Shreveport, La., on July 15, 1884, and Mr. Holmes married again In Minden on October 15, 1890, to Miss Nettie Miller, daughter of James M. Miller, whose sketch appears in this history. Mrs. Holmes is a native of Webster Parish, and was educated in Minden Female College. He is quite literary in his tastes, and has written a number of poems of local merit. He is a member of the Episcopal Church.
Jacob J. Hartman, a well known tiller of the soil of this parish, was born in South Carolina on August 23, 1825, to John G. Gospel Hartman and wife, the former also being a South Carolinian, in which State he grew up and married, Miss Christina Mets becoming his wife. In 1825 they removed to Georgia and settled in Crawford County, where Mr. Hartman opened up a farm, dying on the same in 1838. His widow survived him a number of years and came to Louisiana with her family, but passed from life in Webster Parish about 1863. Mr. Hart man was one of a family of seven sons and three daughters that grew to mature years, four sons and two daughters being alive. Jacob J. Hartman grew up a stout healthy boy in Alabama, and remained faithfully with his mother until he attained his majority, after which he followed overseeing for about fifteen years in the State of Georgia. In the spring of 1857 he came to Louisiana, purchased land, and the next year engaged in farming, opening up quite a tract, on which he built a house and which he farmed up to the opening of the war. He at once joined the Confederate Army, becoming a member of Company A, Fourth Arkansas Regiment, under Col. Price, afterward under Gen. Kirby Smith till the fall of Vicksburg, when he returned to the west side of the river and joined Price, participating with this famous general in his Missouri raid, being in the fight at Prairie Grove, Corinth. Murfreesboro, Knoxville, and numerous engagements in Missouri during his term of service. He had removed to Caddo Parish in 1859, and after the war returned there, but came the same year to where he now resides; his farm consisting of 1,400 acres of land with some 300 acres fenced and under cultivation, on which is a good residence and a first-class cotton gin and corn grist mill. This place is thirteen miles from Minden and is a valuable property.
He was married in Webster Parish in 1858, to Miss Georgia Ann Deck, a native of Louisiana, and a daughter of Pinckney Deck. By her he became the father of one son, Wesley (who is a married man). Mr. Hartman's wife died in 1859, and he was afterward married In Bienville Parish to Miss Sylvania Wilkerson. a daughter of Greenberry Wilkerson. She was born in Alabama, but was reared in Louisiana, and in Webster Parish her marriage with Mr. Hartman was celebrated, and has resulted in the birth of four children: Charles, William and Lloyd (twins), and Allen B. Mr. Hartman and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and since its organization in this parish Mr. Hartman has been a member of the Farmers' Union.
William W. Hartman, a brother of J. J. Hartman, whose sketch appears in this work, is also a tiller of the soil, and as such has been successful. He was born in Crawford County, Ga., March 11, 1832, and after residing in his native State until 1857, he came to what is now Webster Parish, purchasing land and opening up a good farm. In 1862 he joined the Twenty-eighth Louisiana Infantry, Melton's company, and served until the close of the war, being In the fights at Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, Yellow Bayou and a great, many skirmishes. He was badly wounded just at the dose of the war by the bursting of a cannon at Alexandria, and was confined to his bed for six months, going on crutches for a year afterward, being then but partially recovered. His attention has been given to farming, and he has been the owner of his present home place since 1867. He has 1,500 acres which includes six farms, about 300 acres of which are under cultivation. He has a good residence on the home farm, also a cotton gin and other conveniences.
He has served one term as police juror, as magistrate one term, but is not an active politician. He was married in Bienville Parish In December, 1861, to Miss Lurany Williamson, who was born in Georgia, but was reared In Louisiana, her death occurring in May, 1887, she having been a daughter of James Williamson. To their union five children were born: James W. (who is grown and married), Ada (wife of Hodges Monzingo), Katie (wife of Henry Morton), Ida L. and William Jacob. . Mr. Hart man is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has been a member of The Farmers' Union ever since its organization, Being president of The local union. He is a Master Mason. John S. Killen has been earnestly and successfully engaged in the occupation of planting for many years, and his earnest endeavors to make a success of life is well worthy the imitation of all. He was born in Darlington District. S. C , Februarys 5, 1820, his father, Hon. John Killen, being a native of Ireland. In his childhood he came to the States with his parents, and in Darlington District, S. C., he grew up and learned the carpenter's trade. He was married in this State, to Miss Louisa Parrott, and with her removed to Georgia, in 1831, settling on a farm In Houston County, but also worked some at his trade. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and for the services he rendered his country he received two land warrants, of eighty acres each. The subject of this sketch located on one of these tracts, in Webster Parish.
Mr. Killen served as judge of Houston County for a number of years, and also served in the State Legislature for one or more terms. He died in 1870, having been married three times, John S. being by his second wife. The latter grew to manhood in Houston County, and in the winter of 1848 came to Louisiana, and located In what is now Webster Parish, where he purchased and opened up a farm of 200 acres near Minden, which land he tilled until 1880. He then bought the property which he now owns, one mile west of Minden, and of the 700 acres of which be is The owner, he has 400 acres fenced and ready for the plow. A part of this farm is some of the oldest improved land in the parish, and has been worked upward of sixty years, but is yet fertile. He has a good residence, gin house, windmill, and all his machinery for grinding feed, cutting wood, etc., is worked by wind power. Although his fruit trees are quite young, they are In good bearing condition, and as he believes in having The best of everything, be is willing to work to bring about the desired result. He hits a herd of pure blooded, registered Holstein cattle, comprising a male animal, four cows and three calves. He is one of the most, progressive men of this region, and possesses sound views on all subjects.
Early in 1861 he enlisted in the Confederate Army, Capt. Webb's company, Minden Bangers, and served until the final surrender. He was married in this parish, October 4, 1849, to Mrs. Sarah A. L. Monzingo, daughter of Jules Monzingo. She was born and reared in Houston County, Ga., and was a schoolmate of her husband when they were boys and girls. The four children born to this union are as follows: Louisa P. (wife of Patton Culbertson), Martha E.(wife of William A. Turner), Ida N. (wife of William Stewart), and Laura A. (wife of Joel Hodges, of Louisiana). They had tour sons, but all are now deceased: John W. (who died at the age of fourteen years), Barsh (died at the age of eighteen months), Sampy (died when about three years old), and William Mack (died In 1885, aged twelve years). Mr. and Mrs. Killen are members of the Minden Baptist Church, and he is an active member of the Farmers' Union. W. Penn Leary, one of the substantial business men of Minden, La., was born In Houston County, Ga., March 25, 1847, both his parents being natives of North Carolina.
The father, Calvin Leary grew to manhood and was married there to Hepsy Loton, afterward moving to Georgia and settling in Houston County, Where, for a number of years he devoted his attention to farming. In 1849 he moved to Louisiana, and settled in what is now Webster Parish, near Minden, where he opened up a farm, reared his family, and resided until his death, in 1882, his wife's death antedating his by twenty-eight years. Their two sous and two daughters grew to mature years, and all are living at this writing. In this parish W. Penn Leary grew to manhood, and when a youth of six teen entered the Confederate Army, becoming a member of Company E, Fifth Louisiana Cavalry, and served until the close of the war on the west side of the river, participating with his regiment and company in several skirmishes, but no important battle. After the dose of the war he re turned home, and attended school for a year and a half, six months In Minden College, and the rest of the time at Mount Lebanon College. After completing his studies at this institution he clerked for a number of years, and formed a partnership in 1877 with Isaac Merrill, with him opening a large and well-stocked mercantile establishment, which connection lasted up to the date of the latter's death, one year later. Mr. Leary next engaged In business with his present, partner. Mr. Crichton, which partnership is the result of an agreement entered into when boys of fourteen years at school. This firm is a substantial and enterprising one, and they are doing a paying business, for their store is large and stocked with an excellent, class of goods, and they are strictly honorable in dealing with their customers.
They have an extensive trade throughout this section, which they have built up from a very small beginning, and are now accounted among the wealthy business men of Webster Parish. Besides their store they also own several hundred acres of land in this parish, and have an interest in some farms on Red River. On the organization of the Minden Railroad Mr. Leary took stock in this enterprise, and was one of the first, and still is a director. He was elected treasurer of the company in 1886, and in this capacity has since served. He was elected president of the Minden Normal in 1885), in which capacity he still serves. He was married on December 21, 1871, to Miss Flavia R. McIntyre. a native of Louisiana, who was reared in Minden, and graduated from Minden College. He and his wife have four children: A. McIntyre, Mattie P., Leslie G., and W. Penn, Jr. The family attend the Baptist Church, of which Mr. and Mrs. Leary are members.
Lewis J. Lucky, of the firm of Lucky Bros., merchants of Dubberly, La , was born in Alabama, In Hall County, January 19, 1859. to G. W. and Sarah C. (Tidmore), Lucky, who were born, retired and married in Alabama, moving to Georgia in 1860, settling first in Winn Parish. In August. 1861, he entered The Confederate Army, in which be served until the close of the war, being on detached duty in the commissary department. After peace held been established, Mr. Lucky settled in Bienville Parish, La., and on a farm which he purchased on coming to this region he resided until his death, September 23, 1883, having conducted a country store on his farm from 1880 up to the time of his demise. His widow, two sons and three daughters survive him, Lewis J. being the youngest of the children. He spent his youth on the farm, and although he received a limited early schooling he was naturally bright and intelligent, and from 1880 to 1883 be carried on the mercantile business with his father.
After the death of the latter be was left with very limited means, but continued to carry on merchandising in a small way at The old stand until 1888, after which he formed a partnership with his elder brother, and moved to his present location, where they built a good store and put in an excellent stock of general merchandise, farming implements, etc. They are now doing a business that will average from $25,000 to $30,000 per year. As a business man Mr. Lucky has been quite successful, and is one of the most substantial business men of this section, his establishment being founded on a sound basis. He was married in Bienville Parish December 14, 1881, to Miss Eliza Harris, a native of Claiborne Parish, educated in Arizona, and by her has four bright little children: Ernest, Clyde, Gertrude and Lynn Rivers. Mr. Lucky is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is junior warden of his lodge at Dubberly. Mrs. Lucky is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
James M. Miller, merchant, Minden, La. Among the names which have acquired prominence on the wings of Minden's prosperity is that of the subject of this sketch, who is one of the city's most popular and successful business men. He is a native-born resident of Webster Parish, La., his birth occurring in March, 1846, and is a son of John Miller and the grandson of Michael Miller, who emigrated from South Carolina to Missouri at a very early period. John Miller was born in The Palmetto State, but was reared in Missouri, in which State he remained until 1825. He then emigrated to Webster Parish, La., and was there married to Miss Sarah Wilson, a native of the Blue-Grass regions of Kentucky. Mr. Miller opened a large farm here, owned numerous slaves before the war, and was one of the representative planters. Here he reared his family, and here his death occurred in 1858. His widow survived him many years, her death occurring in 1882. James M. Miller, the next to the youngest of nine sons and three daughters, five sous and two daughters now living, attained his growth in Webster Parish, and remained on the farm with his mother until his majority. In the spring of 1863 he enlisted in the Fifth Louisiana Cavalry, and served until the close of the war, participating in the fights of the Red River expedition besides numerous skirmishes. After the war he returned home.
In youth he had received limited school advantages, but he is a man of observation, and has improved this very materially. He was married in this parish in December, 1865, to Miss Stilly Burnett, a native of this parish, where she was reared and educated, and the daughter of K. H. Burnett. The following year Mr. Miller settled on a farm near Minden, and engaged in tilling the soil which he continued for a number of years. He was one of the first to enter the Farmers' Union, joining the organization in 1885, and serving as secretary for some time. He has always taken an active interest In the business of the Union, and on the establishing of the Union store in December, 1888, Mr. Miller was elected by the lodges to take charge of the business. This was established at the present headquarters, and in their large store they carry a stock of general merchandise, and are doing a good business. This enterprise was established with a capital stock of $0,000, which has been increased to $11,000 paid up stock. Mr. Miller is a thorough business man, and a better manager for the institution could not be found. He is a member and president of the police jury, and has held other official positions in the same. He has never aspired for office however. To Mr. and Mrs. Miller have been born five daughters and two sons. He and wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His eldest, daughter is the wife of J. J. Holmes, whose sketch appears in this work.
D. Samuel Mims is a planter by occupation, and like fill the successful followers of that calling he is industrious, thrifty and persevering. He was born in Darlington District, S. C., May 31, 1840, to D . J. and Maggie (Daniels) Mims, both of whom were born in the same State and district as their son. They came to Louisiana in 1858 and settled within the present boundaries of Webster Parish and on land on which one of their sons is now residing in Ward 1. He passed from life in July, 1883. His first wife died in South Carolina, when The subject of this sketch was a small child, he being one of their seven children, four sons and three daughters. He attained manhood in Louisiana, and in 1864 joined Harrison's cavalry, and served until the close of the war. He had two brothers in the Twelfth Louisiana Regiment, both of whom died while in the service. D. Samuel Mims served west of the Mississippi River, and although he was in a number of hard skirmishes he was in no regular engagement. After the surrender he returned home, and until twenty-one years of age remained with his father, but has since been doing for himself.
He purchased a farm in Ward No. 1, which he continued to till up to 1872, when he purchased the place on which be is now residing, on which, at that time, but few improvements bad been made. It is seven miles north of Minden and comprises 800 acres, of which 300 acres are under cultivation and fenced. On this land is a substantial residence, a good new steam cotton-gin with improved machinery, good outbuildings, etc. Mr. Mims has been exceptionally successful as a farmer, and the most of his flue property has been accumulated by hard work and good management. He was married on September 15, 1868, to Miss Mary Ellen Stewart, a daughter of Dougal Stewart. Mrs. Mims was I born in Alabama, was reared and educated in Webster Parish, and has borne her husband eight children: Lela May (a graduate of the Minden Female Seminary and is now in her second year in The Nashville College, Tenn.), David S., Edna Bell, Mary, Samuel, Grace and Bernice. Mr. and Mrs. Mims are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he belongs to the Farmers' Union and the Masonic fraternity.
James M. Mixon, planter, Cotton Valley, La. This name is not unfamiliar to these in the vicinity of Cotton Valley as well as to these in the county, for he who bears it is numbered among the highly respected citizens of this community. He was born in Louisiana, and with his parents located in Claiborne Parish, when but a child, growing to manhood in that parish. Early In life he went to Texas, followed trading in stock, remaining in that State and Indian Territory until in 1887, when he returned to Claiborne Parish. He immediately engaged with A. K. Clingman as a traveling salesman In the nursery business, and he bought the farm where be now lives in the fall of 1888. He was married to Miss Pinkie Loyd of Lincoln Parish, and the fruit of this union has been one child, Cortez. His father, Thomas Mixon, was a native of Mississippi, and a son of J. Miguel Mixon, who was a native of Scotland. Mr. Mixon is a successful, enterprising citizen, and one of the thorough going, prosperous agriculturists of this parish. The improvements on his place are of a good order and kept in neat condition.
Dr. John W. Morgan, physician and surgeon, Minden, La. Among the people of Webster and surrounding parishes the name that heads this sketch is a very familiar one, for in his professional capacity he has become intimately acquainted with the majority of their inhabitants. He was originally from Greenville District, S. C , his birth occurring on November 7, 1831, and was the son of Hon. Nathaniel Morgan, who was a native of the same State and district. The elder Morgan was married in his native State to Miss Linney Westmoreland, also a native of that State, and both families are descendants of Virginian ancestors. Mr. Morgan was a farmer and merchant, and a prominent man in Greenville District, being elected from that as a member of the Legislature. His death occurred in 1863, when fifty-four years of age.
His widow survives him at this writing. Dr. John W. Morgan was retired in his native district, received a thorough English education, and soon after reaching mature years he began the study of medicine, taking a thorough course of lectures in the winter of 1855-50 at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. The summer of 185(5 he spent studying and practicing with his preceptor, and the following winter he spent at the Charleston Medical College, from which he graduated in the spring of 1857. After completing his studies at this institution he returned to Greenville District, S. C, and practiced his profession there for a number of years. In 1861 the Doctor returned to Charleston Medical College and took a supplementary course. In 1862 he entered the Confederate Army as a hospital surgeon and remained about one year, when he resigned on account of his father's illness. After the death of the latter, the Doctor took charge of his business, settled up the affairs and continued the practice of medicine there. In 1869 he moved to North Carolina, where he remained about one year, and In 1870 he removed to Georgia, where he continued the practice of medicine for about eight years. In 1878 he moved to Louisiana, located In Bienville Parish at Mount Lebanon, and there continued to practice for a number of years. In 1887 he removed to Minden, and has continued The practice here since that lime. He has built up a large and paying practice, which is increasing steadily and profitably. He has also been very successful in his business relations. The Doctor was married in his native State, on October 29, 1868, to Miss Laura Wilmott Perry, a native of the Palmetto State, and The daughter of John Perry. Mr. and Mrs. Morgan have three children: Nat Stark Morgan, Edna and Alma. The Doctor and wife are members of the Baptist Church.
Capt. John E. Ogilvie, a prosperous farmer in this parish, is the youngest son of William Ogilvie and Matilda Blurton, and was born near Nashville, Tenn., in 1826 was one of a family of eight children: George W., James H. (now a resident of Johnson County, Ark.), Elizabeth (wife of William G. Hunt), Mary A. (wife of Charles Warren), William S., Harris B. (of Nashville, Tenn.), John R. find Patrick H. The father, William Ogilvie, was born in North Carolina in 1779. and was a soldier In the War of 1812. He was the son of Harris Ogilvie, who moved from North Carolina to Tennessee in 1787. Harris was the son of Oscar Ogilvie, who was one of three brothers who emigrated to America from England, and settled In North Carolina long before the Revolutionary War. John R. married, in Tennessee in 1847, and in 1850 went to Texas. In 1861 he enlisted in Gen. Hood's regiment, was made lieutenant, of a company, and was afterward promoted to captain. Previous to the late Civil War he was one of a company of citizens that organized to protect their homes and property from the depredations of thieves, and bring the law breakers to justice. The organization spread all over the State of Texas and continued to grow and improve in its methods and plans of operation until it developed into the organization known as the Farmers' Alliance. In 1880 he settled In this State, and being a widower married Judge Baker's daughter. Her paternal ancestors came from England and landed at Baltimore probably a century before the war of 1776 and settled in Virginia. At the beginning of the Revolution Stephen Baker and William Baker, two brothers, were wealthy planters residing near Richmond. About this time William moved to West Virginia, then a wilderness.
When the king's authority was overthrown in the colonies he favored the patriot cause. Not finding it pleasant to live among hostile Indians, led on by the Tories to depredate on the inhabitants, he sent his two sons, John and William, with a large herd of cattle down in North Carolina, and he started back to Richmond with his Negros and the rest of the family, but was never heard of any more. It was thought that he and all his family were murdered by the enemy. The two sons remained with the cattle in North Carolina until they found that they were all being stolen In spite of their efforts to protect them; they became discouraged, and abandoned them and joined the army. William was seventeen years old when he began his career as a soldier under the famous Marion in South Carolina. Bereft of family and property this boy soldier fought the enemy with a desperation that none but these similarly situated can fight. The gallant band to which he belonged soon struck terror to the enemy. He remained with the army until the war dosed. At the dose of the war William married Miss Sarah Arnet, at Charleston, S. C., and settled In Anson County, N. C., where they reared a large family. The following are the names of their children: William, John, James and Peter were the names of his sons; his daughters were Sarah, Elizabeth, Jane, Susan and Jennie. He and his wife lived and died in Anson County, N. C. His four sons dime west and lived to a ripe old age, and died, each leaving a large family. The members of these families are numbered among the aged of the communities in which they live. Mrs. Ogilvie's father is the grandson of the veteran, William Baker, and is seventy-five years old and lives a quiet life on a small farm. He studied law when but a youth, and has held several offices of public trust, and was faithful in the discharge of his duties both as an officer and as a private citizen.
He held the office of probate judge during the stormy period that followed the reconstruction of the State after the late war. Coming into office amid new surroundings, with no precedent to guide him, he showed rare executive ability in the discharge of his public duties and in the management of the conflicting elements with which he had to contend at that turbulent period. Several times when partisan polities ran high, and there were riots almost all over the State, his coolness, courage and good judgment warded off trouble in his parish, and peace and quiet reigned. He established good public schools all over the parish when he was president of the school board, and brought suit against the State school board upon its refusal to allow the pro rata share of the public funds to the parish. He had much trouble and worry over the suit, but, Anally gained it, and saw that, all The teachers were duly compensated for their services. In politics he always evinced more solicitude for the welfare and the happiness of the people than for his own emolument and advisement.
During the times he held office in the two States in which he has lived he has won the friendship of many and commanded the respect, of his bitterest opponents. While others amassed large fortunes by political trickery, he left the arena of politics but little better off financially than his grandfather was at the termination of the War of 1770. Mrs. Ogilvie's maternal great-grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. and served under Gen. Morgan. This family were French Huguenots and fled from the persecutions in France to Holland, and thence to America, landing at Charleston, S. C. His name was Isaac Arlige, sometimes called Aldridge. When the war ended he married at Charleston, S. C, a Miss Millie Ashley, born In Wales, England. The Arlige's and Ashley's were among the early settlers of old Charleston, S. C.
Dr. Thomas S. Parham, physician, Cotton Valley, La. Dr. Parham is a physician of acknowledged ability, and is ever found at the bedside of the suffering and afflicted. He was originally from Georgia, his birth occurring in Meriwether County, in 1830, and was the youngest of a family of three children: James B., and Elizabeth (now Mrs. K. C, Patton, of Webster Parish). The lather, Mat. A. Parham, was born in Baldwin County, Ga., in 1862, and was a son of Parham, who was a native of the Old Dominion, and a direct descendant of English parents. Mary A. Cox, the mother of our subject, is a native of Georgia. Dr. Thomas S. Parham was married in 1854 to Miss Susan J. McGowan, of De Soto County, Miss., and in 1861 he and family came to Webster Parish, La. In 1862 Dr. Parham enlisted In the Twenty-eighth Louisiana Regiment, but was discharged on account of disability. He attended Louisville Medical College, Kentucky, in 1852, and for thirty eight years has given his undivided attention to the relief of suffering humanity. He is well known throughout this section, and in the care and management of cases which have come under his attention he has been remarkably successful. He is the father of four interesting children; Harry L., Minnie, Sarah and Louie B. Mrs. Parham is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Doctor was formerly an old-line Whig, but since the war he has been a close adherent to the Democratic party.
David W. Pratt, sheriff, Minden, La. This prominent and very popular official was born on July 4, 1846, in what is now Webster Parish, La., and his father, Luther Pratt, was a native of the Bay State. The elder Pratt was a well educated gentleman, and when a young man he emigrated to Louisiana, locating in what is now Webster Parish. Soon after he was elected district clerk and served in that capacity for a number of years. He married here a New York lady, Miss Delisa Rathburn, who was reared and educated in New York, but who was a teacher in Louisiana, prior to her marriage. After serving as clerk for several years Mr. Pratt engaged in merchandising at Overton and followed this business at that place and Minden for a number of years. Subsequently he moved to Homer, resided there for a few years, and then returned to Minden, where his death occurred in 1855. His widow died in January, 1888.
Of The three sons and four daughters born to this union, all of whom grew to mature years, our subject and two sisters are the only survivors. The eldest son, Ed E. was one of the first to join the army for the Confederate cause, and he died in Virginia in 1861, soon after enlisting. Hon. Clarence Pratt, the second son, grew to manhood in Webster Parish, and was a man of superior mental endowments. He was elected and served one term in the Legislature, and is said to have been one of its brightest and most active members. He died in Texas in 1869, when in his prime. Fanny, one of the sisters, died when a young woman, and Helen, who is now deceased, was the former wife of Ex Senator John C. Vane, of New Orleans. Her death occurred in 1887. Belle is the wife of Dr. Vance, of Minden, and Alice is the wife of W. A. Sugg, also of Minden.
Isaiah Ratcliff is a Georgian by birth, and like the majority of native-born residents of that country he is thrifty, industrious and public spirited. He was born in Gwinnett County, September 21, 1827 to Joseph and Annis (Johnson) Ratcliff , both of whom were South Carolinians, in which State they were reared and educated, the father being a farmer and mechanic by occupation. He moved to Georgia at au early day, settled in Gwinnett County and afterward in Muscogee County, where he resided until 1836, at which time he came to Russell County, Ala., where he resided for eight years. He moved to Walton County, Fla., for five years; then to Bienville Parish, La., in 1851, and here passed from life on October 27, 1857. While a resident of South Carolina be served as captain of a company of militia, and after coming to Bienville Parish he held the office of justice of the peace. At the time of his death he was sixty-four years of age. Isaiah Ratcliff was reared in three States: Georgia, Alabama and Florida, and when still young he came to Louisiana (in 1849) and settled in what is now Webster Parish within seven miles of Minden, the first two years being spent on a farm. He then turned his attention to carpentering and building, continuing up to the war, and also worked in a cotton-gin factory for some three and one half years, having charge of the wood mechanical part of the work for some time.
In 1862 he became a member of an independent company of cavalry (the Minden Rangers), and served until the dose of the war in Capt. Webb's company, which acted as escort for Gens. Armstrong, Crosby and W. H. Jackson. Mr. Ratcliff returned homo May 28, 1865, and for some time thereafter was engaged in milling. In 1868 he purchased a farm, which he improved, and in 1872 made The purchase of a mill. Later he purchased his present farm of 440 acres to which he moved his mill, building also a cotton-gin thereon. He was appointed find served nearly ten years as a member of the school board and in July, 1888, was elected a member of the police jury and served four years. He is a member of, and takes an active part in, the Farmers' Union, and holds the office of chaplain of the parish union, and of his own local union. He joined the Baptist Church in 1847, and has been a member of it since that time, Being now a deacon. He is a consistent Christian gentleman, and a man possessing many sterling traits of character. He was married in Minden January 12, 1853, to Miss Caroline W. Harrison, a daughter of W. C. Harrison, her birth occurring in Twiggs County, Ga., although she was reared in Louisiana. Mr. and Mrs. Ratcliff have ten children: Allen H, Perry D., Anna (wife of J. W, O'Neal), Elizabeth L. (wife of J. M. Rickerson), Mary P. (wife of Wimberly Baker of Bienville, Parish), Leary, Hattie L., Joseph H., Carrie A. and Bessie Lee. Mr. Ratcliff , his wife and all the children with the exception of two, are members of the Baptist Church.
James W. Reagan, farmer, Minden, La. Mr. Reagan is a man whom nature seems to have especially fitted to be a farmer, for he has met with good success In all his farming operations. He owes his nativity to Itawamba County, Miss., born on December 19, 1841, and his father, A. C. Reagan, was a native of Tennessee. The latter was reared in that State and in Alabama, but when a young man went with his parents to Mississippi. He was married in that State to Miss Rhoda Wood, a native of Mississippi, who died In that State when our subject was a child. Mr. Reagan moved to the Lone Star State in about 1853, settled in Robinson County, and there resided until his death in August, 1888. James W. Reagan remained in Texas until about eight eeu years of age and received good common school advantages. In September, 1861, he entered the army, Twelfth Texas Cavalry, Company K, as a private, and served until the dose of the war, participating in the tight at Yellow Bayou and a great many skirmishes and small engagements. He received a slight wound in the leg at Yellow Bayou. After the war he returned to Texas, and the following year went on a farm.
In the winter of 18(58 he came to Louisiana and located in what is now Webster Parish, where he tilled the soil in Ward No. 1 until elected to the office of sheriff in November, 1879. In the spring of 1880 be moved to Minden, and at the close of his term was re-elected, serving eight consecutive years. He made an efficient officer, and was active and fearless in the discharge of his duty.
At the expiration of his term he went on a farm near Minden, just outside the parish. He is the owner of 108 acres of land adjoining town and on this he has good improvements. He has also served as a member of the police jury and school board, and has done all In his power to promote the interests of his town and parish. He has served as a delegate to Parish senatorial and judicial conventions. He was married here on February 25, 1869, to Miss Amanda Stewart, a native of Alabama and the daughter of David Stewart. To them have been born four children: E. Brown (a clerk in Minden), Alice (a teacher in college), Lillie and Augustus. Mr. and Mrs. Reagan are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the former is a Master Mason.
William Reagan is a Mississippian by birth, and first saw the light of day in Itawamba County on August 28, 1846, being a son of Alexander C. Reagan and brother of James W. Reagan , whose sketch appears In this history. William Reagan removed with his father to Texas in 1851, and in Robertson County grew to manhood, enlisting from there in 1862 in the First Cavalry Brigade and served until the close of the war, after which he returned to his home In Texas, but from there removed to Louisiana in 1867, locating In Ward 1 of what is now Webster Parish, in the month of January.
He purchased his present improved farm in February, 1886, and has cleared and improved it to a great extent, it being now one of the finest kept places in the parish. Of his 410 acres he has 100 acres under cultivation. He was married December 14, 1869, to Mary Frances Anderson, a daughter of W. A. and Lucretia Anderson. Mrs. Reagan was born in Arkansas, but was reared in Louisiana, and has borne her husband six children: Mary Marguerite, Webb P., James W., Sallie L., Claude Douglas and John W. Mr. and Mrs. Reagan are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the former being a member of the Farmers' Union and lecturer of his local union. He also belongs to the Masonic fraternity, being a Master Mason in Minden Lodge. He is a man who at all times endeavors to do as he would be done by, and as a result his friends are numerous.
William Sandlin is a tiller of the soil and as such has won his present valuable estate. He was born in Dooly County. Ga., August 11, 1823, to Jesse Sandlin who was born in the Old North State, but went to Middle Georgia, at the age of eighteen years and settled in Dooly County, after his marriage in Lawrence County, to Miss Nancy Faircloth, a native of Georgia. From this State he came to Louisiana In 1858, and on a farm which he opened in Webster Parish, he resided until his death in 1877, aged seventy-seven years and a few months. His widow passed from life two years later also, aged seventy-seven years. William Sandlin is The eldest of their six sons and two daughters that grew to mature years, three brothers and one sister being now alive. He grew to manhood In Georgia, remained with his father until grown, find in the month of December, 1852, arrived in the State of Louisiana, locating two years later, on the farm on which they are now residing.
The land was in an uncultivated condition at that time, but he set. himself energetically to work to improve it, and of his 500 acres he now has 150 acres under cultivation, a comfortable house thereon and good cabins for his tenants. He entered the Confederate Army in 1863, was in Harrison's brigade, and during his entire service was on the west side of the Mississippi River, some part of the time being on detail duty. He was at home when Lee surrendered, and on his valuable farm he has since remained, winning good opinions for himself in the estimation of his neighbors as a farmer of perseverance and intelligence. He was married in Early County, Ga.. October 23, 1845, to Miss Deborah Jones, who was born in Florida, but was reared in Georgia, a daughter of J. T. B. and Lena Jones. Mr. and Mrs. Sandlin have eight children; J. B., J. A., E. H , Octavia (wife of Benjamin F. Carr), Emma J.,(wife of William Montgomery), J. T., S. B. and B. H. Mr. and Mrs. Sandlin are members of the Primitive Baptist Church, in which be is a deacon and an earnest worker.
J.J. Jackson Stewart was born in Florida on October 27, 1831, his father, Dr. C. F. Stewart, being a South Carolinian. When the latter was a young man he went to Florida, having been previously married In the State of Georgia, to Miss Elisia C. Brown. After a residence of a few years In Florida, he went to Wilcox County, Ala.; and there practiced medicine for a number of years, also conducting a farm, being quite an extensive slave owner. In 1852 he removed to Louisiana, and bought a large body of land where the subject of this sketch now resides, and on (his farm made his home until he passed from life in 1859, his. widow surviving him until February 13, 1884, when she, too, passed away. J. Jackson Stewart grew to manhood in Wilcox County, Ala., receiving a fair English education, then came to Louisiana with his parents in 1852, remaining under the shelter of the parental roof until the death of his father. In the spring of 1859 he was married to Miss Theodosia Starr, a native of Texas and after his marriage be followed the occupation of farming, continuing up to 1862 when he entered the army, becoming a member of Capt. Webb's Company, of Minden Rangers with which he served up to The fall of 1862, when he joined the Sixth Louisiana Cavalry, with which he served until the war terminated, doing courier duty the most of the time.
After hostilities were over he returned to his home in this ward, find after farming until 1872 he went to Texas, where he was engaged in land surveying for about one and one-half years, then returned to Louisiana. After the death of his father he fell heir to the homestead, and has since been actively engaged in farming it. He is one of the most enterprising and progressive of farmers and raises more cotton and other produce off a given number of acres of land than any other farmer in this part of the State. He raises four-fifths of a bale of cotton to the acre, and that on land that has been tilled for the past fifty years, and sandy upland fit that. He devotes considerable attention to the raising of good stock, and has a herd of about 250 Merino sheep, some good high grade Jersey cows, and a thorough bred registered Jersey bull. He is a member of The Farmers' Union; has been one of its most active members and is now vice-president of the parish union and president of his local union. On September 13, 1868, he lost his first wife, she leaving him with two children: Emma (wife of E. H. Coombs) and Mary B. (wife of O. H. Cooper, ex-superintendent of public instruction in Texas, and now superintendent of the Galveston High Schools). Mr. Stewart lost two children: Harriet J. (who died at the age of three years), and C. P. (who died February 9, 1889, a man of mature years). Mr. Stewart married his present wife, Miss Mary Susan Coombs, a native of Georgia, but reared in Louisiana, a daughter of E. K. Coombs. Mrs. Stewart is a member of The Methodist Episcopal Church, and is a kindly, charitable and true Christian lady. Mr. Stewart is pleasant and agreeable in his intercourse with his fellowmen, and is a firm believer in the resources of Louisiana.
William G. Stewart was born within the present limits of Webster Parish, La., October 25, 1854, to Dougald Stewart, a native of North Carolina, but reared in Georgia. He grew to manhood in this State, but was married in Alabama to Miss Mary Culbertson, a Georgian, and after his marriage farmed in that State for about two years, moving, in 1849, to Louisiana, and settling in what is now Webster Parish, where he bought and opened up a large farm, on which he resided until his death, in November, 1884. He was a soldier in Col. Harrison's regiment, during the Rebellion. His wife died in this parish when William G., their son, was a child, and he afterward married again. The paternal grandfather, John Stewart, was of Scotch lineage, although born in the United States. William G. Stewart received a good education in the common schools and supplemented this with one year's attendance in Homer College, and upon leaving this institution was a wide awake and enterprising young man, well fitted to fight the battle of life alone. After spending some ten months in Texas, traveling over the State, he taught one term of school, then located at Minden and was appointed deputy sheriff and ex-officio tax collector, In which capacity he served from 1879 to 1888, making an exceptionally faithful and able official. In 1888 he moved to a farm which he had previously purchased, eight and one-half miles north of Minden, and there has a farm of 320 acres, with about 150 acres under the plow ,improved in a substantial manner with good buildings, etc.
He was I married in Minden, June 8, 1881, to Mrs. Nora Killen, daughter of J. S. Killen, a prominent, farmer and stockman of the parish, and in this I parish Mrs. Stewart was born, reared and educated, being an attendant of the schools of Minden, and a graduate of the Minden Female College. She has borne her husband four children: Ida N., Albert Sidney, Chester Graham and Ruth (now one year old). Mr. Stewart is a member of the Methodist and his wife of the Baptist Church, and he belongs to the Farmers' Union, is secretary of his local union, and the K. of P. He is a good farmer and is a public-spirited and enterprising gentleman. J. H. Tillman, clerk of the district court, Minden, La. The public services of Mr. Tillman since 1888 have been characterized by a noticeable devotion to the welfare of the parish and his ability and fidelity in his present position are fully recognized. He is a native of Georgia, born in Sumter County August 12, 1819, and when seven years of age he was left an orphan. He was taken by an uncle, Joseph Tillman, who resided in Florida, and had the advantages of academies and higher schools of that State.
He received a fair English education, and remained in that State until 1870, when he came to Louisiana, locating In what is now Webster Parish, where he tilled the soil for several years. He opened up a farm in Cotton Valley, and September 5, 1872, was wedded to Miss Martha A. Davis, a native of Georgia, and the daughter of Jonathan and Frances Davis. Seven children have been born to this union: Willie, Henry, Eva, James, Fanny, John and Frank, the last named but two years of age In 1888 Mr. Tillman was elected clerk of the district court by a nice majority and against a very popular opponent. Mr. Tillman fills this position in a very satisfactory manner, and is the right man in the right place. He is a member of the Masonic order, and is a Master Mason. He is also a member of the Parmer's Union. He is a very cordial, obliging and pleasant gentleman, and is held in high esteem by all. He is a member of the Baptist Church, and his wife is a member of the Methodist Church. Mr. Tillman's parents, Henry and Mary A. (Cowart) Tillman, were natives of Georgia, and The father was a merchant at Hawkinsville for a number of years, or until his death in about 1855, when in the prime of his manhood. His widow survived him two years, and died at Americus in Sumter County in 1857. Elder J. Andrew Walker, Dubberly, La. This worthy and honored minister of the gospel was born in Houston County, Ga., in 1835, and was one of a family of nine children, who grew to mature years. They are named as follows: D. Morgan, Benjamin M. (died at the age of twenty-five years), J. Andrew, Lucinda (now the widow of Robert Woodard), Louisa, Elder Ambrose H., Joseph K., Mark N., and Annie (now Mrs. William T. Woodard).
The father of these children, Neil Walker, was born in North Carolina, in 1865, and died in 1853. He was a son of John Walker, who was probably born in North Carolina in 1786, and who served under Jackson in the War of 1812. John Walker was a remarkably strong man, and lived to be over eighty years of age. The mother of our subject, Nancy (Kemp) Walker, was born in Washington County, Ga., and was a daughter of Benjamin Kemp. Elder J. Andrew Walker came with his parents to Webster Parish, La., in 1848, and here was raised to manhood. He is a self educated man, and began his career as a minister of the gospel in 1870, continuing at this nearly ever since. His marriage to Miss Thamer Pearce occurred in 1859. She died on July 22, 1861. In September of that year Mr. Walker enlisted in the Claiborne Grays, afterward known as Company D, Nineteenth Louisiana Regiment, and at the end of six months' service he was promoted to orderly sergeant, then third lieutenant, then to second, and served In that capacity until the cessation of hostilities. Returning home he engaged in the lumber business, afterward changed to farming, from which he continues to derive the principal part of his support.
He was married, the second time, in 1865, to Miss Susan E. Pearce, who bore him two children: Ida (now Mrs. W. M. McBride), and Lydia (the wife of J. N. Shealy), Politically Mr. Walker comes of old Democratic stock. Religiously he is identified with the Missionary Baptist denomination. Hon. John D. Watkins, attorney, Minden, La. No name is justly entitled to a more enviable place In the history of Webster Parish than the one that heads this sketch, for it is borne by a man who has been usefully and honorably identified with the interests of this parish, and with its advancement in every worthy particular. He was originally from Caldwell County, Ky., his birth occurring on September 27, 1828, and received a thorough collegiate education in his native State, graduating at Cumberland College, Princeton, Ky. He came to this State and parish when a young man, and directly after graduating taught school at Minden for two years, during which time he commenced and devoted his spare time to reading law, and continued studying after the close of his school. He was admitted to the bar in 1854, and just two months previous to this he was appointed district attorney, filling that position for five consecutive years. He held the office of judge of this territory from 1865 to 1869, but was removed from that position by the courts, after a long term of litigation, on account of war disabilities.
In 1864 he was appointed enrolling officer at Monroe, and soon after was made lieutenant-colonel of the battalion. He was also judge advocate of court marshal of the Trans-Mississippi Department for some time. After the war Judge Watkins continued the practice of his profession at Minden, and in 1880 he was elected to the State Senate, serving as chairman of the judiciary committee for four years. The year previous to this Judge Watkins was a member of the constitutional convention and chairman of a caucus of forty members whose report was adopted as the basis for settling the State debt question. The Judge has always taken a prominent part in the politics of his State and parish. He has served as a delegate to numerous conventions, and was elector at large for the State in 1884, casting his vote for Grover Cleveland. Judge Watkins is a man of superior ability, has always kept up with the times in reading, has shown himself to be a man of strong native intellect, sound judgment, sterling principles, and is one of the most popular legal lights of North Louisiana, He was nominated, and made the canvass of his district for Congress, was fairly elected, but was counted out by the then famous returning board.
HiHis first law partner was A. B. George, now of the court of appeals; and his second, his brother, L. B. Watkins, now of the Supreme Court of Louisiana. His third and last law partners are his sons, J. T. (see biography) and L. K. Watkins. The Judge was married in Louisiana In 1852, to Miss M. F. Morrow, a native of Georgia, educated In La Grange of that State, and the daughter of J. T. Morrow. Judge and Mrs. Watkins have two sous, who are named above, both of whom are prominent legal practitioners of Minden. The Judge is a member of the Methodist, and Mrs. Watkins a member of the Baptist Church. He has been a strict temperance man all his life, and during his long residence in Minden he has never taken a drink at the bar, and never was intoxicated in his life. He has always taken an active part, and used his means and influence, to advance the interests of Webster Parish and Minden. His parents, Col. Thomas G. and Nancy L. (Dyer) Watkins, were natives of Virginia and Kentucky, respectively, The father born in 1798. The latter went to Columbia, Tenn., and thence to Kentucky, in about 1820, Being among the pioneers of Caldwell County. He was married in that State, and followed agricultural pursuits until his death, in 1873. His wife received her Anal summons in 1861. Col. Thomas G. Watkins was a prominent man in the early history of Kentucky. He served as colonel of the State Militia, and held other important positions. Of the three sons and three daughters born to this union, Judge John D. Watkins is the eldest, and all are living.
John T. Watkins, attorney, Minden, La. The subject of this sketch is a native-born resident of Webster Parish, and as such is looked upon with great pride by the people of the locality as a representative son of a cultured and refined commonwealth. To live an entire life in one community and still retain the reputation which Mr. Watkins enjoys, is by no means as easy as it is for a stranger to come into a place where he is entirely unknown and by his upright conduct of a short period win the esteem of The public. Of thorough education, a dose student of, and well versed in, law Mr. Watkins has at the same time to a more than ordinary degree, the natural attributes essential to a successful career at the bar and In public. He was born In the town of Minden. La., on January 15, 1854, and is a son of Judge Watkins, whose sketch precedes this. He received a most thorough education In Minden Male Academy, and after completing his course in that institution he took a most thorough course at Cumberland University, Tenn. Unfortunately, Mr. Watkins was obliged to abandon his class a few weeks before graduating from this on account of the dangerous illness of his brother. He was a brilliant orator, and extemporaneous speaker while at school, and has prizes offered by the faculty of these institutions for the best declamation and orations.
These medals were prizes offered for The highest degree shown in declamations and orations both at Minden College and Cumberland University. For his superior ability as a speaker, Mr. Watkins was chosen to deliver the valedictory at the commencement, but owing to his brother's illness, as above mentioned, he had to give us this honor and return home. After completing his studies at college he entered his father's office and read law with him for two years, Being admitted to the bar in July, 1878. He then entered into partnership with his father, and now has been in active practice for twelve years. Although a young man, Mr. Watkins has shown great ability as an attorney, and has successfully handled a number of very important cases. Like his father, be possesses the rare ability of getting at the bottom and of bringing out every point of importance to his case. He has an acute sense of humor, unquestioned integrity, and has liberal, progressive ideas. He is a hard worker and a close student. His brilliant delivery commands and rivets the attention of all and he will, without doubt, before long, stand at the head of the bar of Louisiana.
Mr. Watkins was married In Minden, La., on January 15, 1879, to Miss Lizzie E. Murrell, daughter of Drury Murrell, of South Carolina, and one of the pioneers of this parish. Mrs. Watkins was born and reared in Minden, and is a graduate of Minden College. To this union have been born four children, three of whom are now living: Dana, Willie Kyle and Mary Ella. Mr. and Mrs. Watkins are members of the Baptist Church, where both were baptized and taken into the church on the same day, several years before their marriage. Capt. Juníns Y. Webb, merchant, Minden. La. The business position occupied by Capt. Webb in this community is such, that, in depicting the commercial interests of Minden it would be manifestly impossible to omit mention of an institution that adds so materially to the stability and representative enterprise of that city lives one of the oldest merchants and most public spirited men in Webster Parish. The Captain was born in Marengo County, Ala., on July 22, 1832, and is a son of Samuel S. and Ann M. (Dickens) Webb, both natives of North Carolina. After his marriage Samuel S. Webb moved to Alabama. There he made his home until 1862, when he came to Louisiana, and died in what is now Webster Parish in 1863. His wife died in Mississippi while on a visit to a daughter in 1860. They were the parents of six sons and two daughters, all of whom grew to mature years and became heads of families.
All the brothers, with the exception of our subject, were physicians and very successful practitioners, being men of superior education. Capt. J. Y. Webb passed his boyhood and youth in Alabama, secured a good education in the high schools of his State, and when quite a young man, and before arriving at his majority, he engaged in the mercantile business at Summerville. In October, 1854, while a resident of Alabama, he was married to Miss Anna E. Grigsby, a native of the same State and daughter of Dr. Samuel Grigsby. After his marriage Capt. Webb, continued merchandising in Alabama up to 1855, when he closed out and moved to Louisiana, where he began tilling the soil In Webster Parish. In 1858 he located in Minden, embarked in mercantile pursuits again, and this carried on up to the breaking out of the war. In 1862 he enlisted in au independent cavalry company, the Minden Rangers, composed of some of the best citizens of Minden, a number of whom has since become men of more than local renown. This company served first as Gen. Frank Armstrong's escort, after that with Gen. W. H. Jackson. At, The reorganization of the company in 1863 Mr. Webb was elected captain, serving in that capacity until the close of the war. During the latter part of the service he was on The staff of Gen. Scott, as inspector.
He is considered one of the most reliable business men of Webster Parish. He owns quite a tract of land in this parish, which is very rich with iron ore, some of which the Captain had analyzed, and which showed fifty-two percent of iron of a superior quality. It is said to be of a quality for the manufacture of steel. Capt. Webb is anxious to have this mineral (level opened, but being several miles from the railroad he has not succeeded in getting the proper parties to take hold with him in its development. To Capt. and Mrs. Webb have been born nine children: Ida, Samuel G. (a merchant In Minden), Sally, Junius, Mildred Watson (wife of Standley Watson), John, Eva, Rhydon and Stephen. Capt. Webb and family, with the exception of the youngest child, are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. David C. Wilson, planter, Dubberly, La. Prominent among the successful and enterprising planters of Ward No. 5, is the subject of this sketch, a man respected and esteemed for his many good qualities. He owes his nativity to Alabama, his birth occurring in Chambers County, in 1842, and the eleventh of thirteen children born to his parents. His father, William Wilson, was born on the Emerald Isle, in 1791, and served in the War of 1812.
He came to America with his parents when an infant, and settled with them in South Carolina. He died in 1885, at the age of ninety-four years. The mother, whose maiden name was Venin Whitworth, was a native of South Carolina, born in 1799, and died in Webster Parish, in 1883. The parents moved to Webster Parish in 1851, and there the father engaged in planting. David C. Wilson was reared to mature years in this parish, and was early initiated into the duties of farm life. In 1862 he enlisted in Company D, Nineteenth Louisiana Regiment, and operated principally in Mississippi and Tennessee. The following is a statement which was given to him, signed by Lieut. J. S. Brown, May 8, 1865, and approved by Maj. C. Flournoy. "I hereby certify, on honor, that D. C. Wilson has never been absent from his command without proper authority; that he never shirked from duty, but that he has ever remained with his command, discharging his duty as a brave and gallant soldier. He has been engaged in the following battles: Shiloh, Jackson, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Resaca, New Hope Church, battle of Poor House, Jonesboro, Nashville, Spanish Fort, and many skirmishes, in all of which he acted very gallantly.
His first wife was Miss Litha Martin, by whom he had two children: Nellie and Hamilton. Mr. Wilson has two children by his second wife, who was formerly Miss Ophelia Van Landingham. They are named Allie and Albert. By his third wife, who was formerly Miss Josie Parham, he has one child, Effie Leona. Mr. Wilson has a fine plantation of 360 acres, and has about 125 acres cleared. He is a member of the Farmers" Union, and a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
The following corrections were made to the sketches by the subjects and returned too late to be used in t h e sketches themselves: Page 53: Sketch of M. A. Bonner, A large pension was granted to the Clevelands, by the Government, for the services of Gen. William Cleveland in the Revolution. "Musser University," Ga., should be "Mercer University. Second wife's name should be Mary Z., and the present wife was Mrs. Mary C. Bales. Page 71: Sketch of W. A. Hendrick. He was born in Butts County, Ga., instead of Randolph Count. Page 82: Sketch of Marion McMillan, The name Gray, near the bottom of the page, should be Graves. Page 227; Sketch of J. Marston, His father was born in 1793. The word Nashville before Union Bank should be stricken out. His father died In 1884. Weston Military Institute should be Western Military Institute. Subject started out for himself at the age of twenty-two. He married Miss Emily Hatcher, not Hochard. Of his children, George should be "Georgia. William and Georgia died of yellow fever in 1878. Subject was president of the police jury of East Feliciana Parish for eight years. He was not in the Civil War, owing to his having lost his left arm on the Fourth of July, 1857, while firing a salute.
Page 257: Sketch of W. R. Fonville, Subject did not correct and return
his sketch, and hence the editor is unable to correct the manifest error in
dates, either of his marriage or of his wife's death, or both.
Page 368: Sketch of H. Raphael & Bro., of his children Stella precedes Samuel. Bethic Lodge should be Bethnia Lodge. Miss Johanna Raphael became the wife of Isadora, August 15, 1888, instead of 1879. His brother is named Louis not Lewis. The mother of Howard and Isadora is deceased.
RECEIVED TOO LATE FOR INSERTION IN PROPER PLACE. Leon Gauthier. From The biography of every man there may be gleaned some lessons of genuine worth, for here we discover the secret of success or failure. In the history of Leon Gauthier, one of Avoyelles Parish's active and progressive planters, is found much to commend. He was born in this parish near Mansura January 19, 1822, to Leo and Emilie (Lemoine) Gauthier, The birth of The former occurring in 1796 and his death on February 8, 1846, his most estimable widow passing from life in the month of September, 1852, at Borodino. The father was a successful cotton planter, his land being situated on Bayou Des Glaises, at Borodino, and as a man and law-abiding citizen he commanded the respect of all who knew him. Leon Gauthier, whose name heads this sketch, received an excellent education in a private school in Mansura, in the parish of Avoyelles, his instructor being Jerome Callegari. On October 22, 1839, he was married to Clarissa Gremillion, but she left him a widower on May, 11, 1857, at Borodino, having borne him four sous and two daughters, of which family only one daughter now survives. Her father was Francois Gremillion and her mother, Eulalie Eabalais, both of whom were called to their long home in this parish. Mr. Gauthier's second marriage took place on January 19, 1858, and was to Miss Delphine Scallan, a daughter of Louis and Adel (Gremillion) Scallan, their deaths also occurring in the parish of Avoyelles. By his second wife Mr. Gauthier became the father of nine sous and three daughters, of whom six sons and three daughters survive. Since 1840 Mr. Gauthier has been associated with the planting interests of this section, his operations being at Borodino, near Moreanville, but since the month of May, 1882, be has been the owner of Cedar Grove plantation on Bayou Des Glaises, two miles above Bordelonville, where he is now living with his family. He has held a number of important official positions, has discharged his duties in a highly satisfactory manner and in every respect has been a bean ideal public officer.
In 1851 he was appointed assessor of the parish by F. B. Coco, recorder, was elected justice of The peace in 1852, was elected on the Whig ticket, In 1853 as a member of the State Legislature from the parish of Avoyelles, in which capacity he served during 1854-55 at Baton Rouge, La. In 1860 he was elected a member of The police jury and in 1864 was appointed by Gen. Randolph as Shreveport Confederate tax collector and in July of the same year went to Shreveport on a small steamer, paying $175 in State currency for his passage on board the St. Crispon. On this trip, which took three days and nights, he landed safely at his destination, depositing $125,000 safely in the bank. During the war period he was also public auctioneer, at one time selling a yoke of oxen for $400 in three equal installments. In 1879 he was appointed tax collector for the parish of Avoyelles by Gov. P . T. Nichols, and In 1880 was elected sheriff and tax collector on the Democratic ticket for four years, receiving a majority of 184 votes. He has been true to every trust during his official career, and as a man and citizen has not his superior in this section of the country.
Typing and Format by C. W. Barnum