Pleasant Hill, Sabine Parish, Louisiana
The above is
the charter name of one of the most substantial of the small
towns of Sabine parish. The original town of that name was
across the boundary of DeSoto parish, but near the line of
DeSoto and Sabine. It was settled somewhere about 1840, and one
tradition is to the effect that the first settlers hailed from a
certain Pleasant Valley, in Alabama, and revived old memories,
as far as possible in their new surroundings, by naming their
new home Pleasant Hill. It was here the noted battle of Pleasant
Hill was fought during the Civil War. This was a bloody and
strongly contested battle between the Confederates under General
Dick Taylor and the Federals under General N. P. Banks. The
Confederates, flushed with victory at Mansfield the previous
day, were here confronted by Banks' army, reinforced and greatly
strengthened by a division of hardened troops under the veteran
general, A. J. Smith. The result was one of the sternest and
bloodiest small battles of the Civil War. Not so very small,
either, as Banks' army was supposed to number 40,000 men; and
Taylor's army, though smaller, was somewhat in proportion to its
opponent. One of the most stirring scenes of that battle,
doubtless, was the charge of Tom Greene's Texas cavalry across
the old race track field, their surprise and sudden repulse by
Federal infantry concealed in the woods beyond; and the second
and more determined charge of the same cavalry, then dismounted,
over the same ground, then strewn with dead men and horses;
which last desperate effort was successful, though with heavy
loss, while their opponents paid for their temerity with the
loss of half their commands. These events belong to a former
generation, and we conclude reference to them with the following
extract from a poem written in commemoration of one of the many
gallant Louisianians who lost their lives among those then
unpleasant hills, amid the forest flowers of that fateful
"No sounds but
sounds of peace arouse
The echoes of the forest now;
The vales are furrowed by the plow,
Upon the hills sleek cattle browse.
The dogwood still, each spring,
Clad as in spirit robes, with smiles
Of snowy radiance lights the aisles
Of pine, then drops its flowers like
building of the Texas and Pacific railroad, in 1882, Pleasant
Hill performed the unusual feat (for a town) of shifting its
base and making Sabine, instead of DeSoto, its domicile from
that time. Since moving to its new location it has enjoyed a
steady and healthy growth. (The railroad station is called
Sodus). While its population of less than 1,000 still makes it,
strictly speaking, a Tillage instead of a town, it has several
mercantile houses, a couple of banks, several nice churches, a
promising high school, called, for courtesy, a college, recently
installed in a new and magnificent brick college building; a
cotton gin, and is surrounded by a good agricultural country
that is being developed by some of the most progressive farmers
in West Louisiana.
reorganization of Pleasant Hill in Sabine parish, its first
mayor was H. S. Kennedy, now deceased; a citizen, by the way,
who is worthy of mere than passing notice. The charter is dated
February 28, 1893, when H. S. Kennedy was mayor, H. Youngblood,
H. H. Kenndy, R. L. Armstrong, Jr., W. C. Davis and S. E.
Galloway councilmen, and H. H. Parker, marshal. In 1894, S. E.
Galloway was mayor, and H. L. Davis, R. L. Armstrong, Jr., J. M.
Fuller, N. W. Parker, councilmen and H. H. Parker, marshal, J.
M. Fuller was mayor in 1895 and W. B. Adkins in 1898. In 1904,
George S. List was mayor and J. P. Edmondson, clerk. In 1906, J.
J. Browne was mayor and G. W. Browne, clerk, W. B. Adkins is the
present mayor, having served since 1909, Frank H. Tarver, clerk,
and other members of the council are T. W. Hardy, G. F. Keene
and A. A. Hammond. W. H. Bartlett is marshal.
which furnishes trade for the merchants of Pleasant Hill
embraces portions of Natchitoches, Sabine and DeSoto parishes
and a large annual business is transacted.
The Bank of
Pleasant Hill was organized in 1904, with a capital of $10,000.
The directors are H. H. Kennedy, J. J. Browne, T. W. Hardee, P.
M. Gaddis, S. Y. Jordan, J. W. Ramsey and W. B. Adkins. H. H.
Kennedy is president and Frank H. Tarver, cashier. This bank has
been very prosperous and besides paying good dividends to its
stockholders, has earned and added to its resources a surplus of
$11,000. It occupies a substantial brick building, and the
equipment is fully in keeping with modern banking methods. The
officers are .capable and courteous and are always anxious to
serve their patrons with the accommodations customarily accorded
by similar financial institutions. Frank H. Tarver, the popular
cashier, is a competent business man. He is a native of
Bienville parish, acquired his education in the schools of that
parish and came to Pleasant Hill in 1897 to take his present
Bank of Pleasant Hill was organized about four years ago with a
capital of $15,000, A, A. Hammond, a prominent and substantial
business man, is president. The bank owns a neat brick building
which, with the fixtures, is valued at $5,000. C, E, Smith is
the efficient bookkeeper and acting cashier.
One of the
largest mercantile establishments in the town is that of T. W.
Hardee and P. M, Gaddis, the style of the firm being Hardee &
Gaddis. They entered business in 1907. Mr. Hardee is a native of
of Alabama, while Mr. Gaddis was born and reared in Sabine
parish. Both are young men and acquired their education at the
old Fort Jesup high school. They are wide-awake business men and
as citizens are in line with every progressive movement in their
town and parish.
S. V. Jordan
conducts an up-to-date mercantile house, and enjoys a good
trade. He was born and reared in the Pleasant Hill community.
Captain J. T. Jordan, who served in the 12th Louisiana Infantry
during the Civil War, was his father, and John Jordan, one of
the first settlers of this section and who owned stores and land
in DeSoto and Sabine parishes, was his grandfather. He was born
December 23, 1866, and received his education at Old Pleasant
Hill. For fourteen years he followed railroad work, spending
several years as station agent in his home town, resigning that
position about six years ago to enter the mercantile business.
In 1906, Mr. Jordan married Miss Anna Davis, daughter of H. J.
Davis, a pioneer settler in the community.
Mercantile Co., Ltd., was organized in August, 1910. This
corporation is composed of B. F. Ramsey, president; E. W.
Lafitte, vice president, and J. A. Lafitte, All are young men.
They were born and reared in DeSoto parish, where they acquired
their education in the public schools and were engaged in
agricultural pursuits until they began their present business.
This firm carries an immense stock of general merchandise and by
their courtesy and splendid business methods have built up a
Mercantile Co., Ltd., has a large store and carries everything
in general merchandise and does an immense business. This
company began business in 1910, the corporation being composed
of Dr. J. C. Armstrong, president; H. H. Kennedy, vice
president, and F. H, Tarver. S. C. Glaspie, a competent business
man, is the store manager. He was born and reared at Marthaville,
where he attended the public schools, and acquired his knowledge
of the mercantile business in the store of Robinson & Kennedy.
He has efficient assistants in the Mutual Mercantile Co.'s store
in the persons D. L. and T. L. Dykes, who are proud to claim
Sabine parish as the place of their nativity.
Bridges, who is also interested in other enterprises, conducts a
mercantile business in Pleasant Hill. T. A. Rains is the
courteous and genial salesman for this store; he was born and
reared in Sabine and his ancestors were among the pioneers of
runs a mercantile business here which was started in 1904, Mr.
Graham is also justice of the peace for his ward and during his
life has taken a prominent part in the public affairs of the
parish. He was born near Many, December 25, 1840 (George W.
Graham being his father). The family moved to Arkansas in his
early life, but Jehu Graham later removed to Rapides parish and
finally returned to Sabine after the war and was engaged in
farming until he embarked in his present business. He served
several years as a member of the Police Jury and was president
of that body when the present jail and court house were
citizens who have taken an active part in the business life of
the town, James B. Brown deserves mention. He has been
identified with the lumber Indus try of this section for thirty
years, was the promoter of the Roberts Brown Lumber Co., and is
now interested in a mill in Webster parish. Mr. Brown has been
also engaged in farming and mercantile pursuits. He was married
in 1889 to Miss Lula Kennedy, and they have a pretty home and
One of the
two recognized high schools of Sabine parish is located at
Pleasant Hill. The erection of a large modern school building
has just been completed, which shows that the people are
determined to keep awake in the matter of education. The faculty
for 1912-13 was as follows: Prof, J. C. Whitescarver; principal;
Miss Kathleen Moore, assistant; Miss Alice Petty, 6th and 7th
grades; Miss Hattie Champion, 4th and 5th grades; Miss Verrie
Ross, 2nd and 3rd grades; Miss Gertrude Waller, primary; Miss
Margaret McGee, music and art. Prof. Whitescarver is an educator
of splendid ability. He is a native of Missouri and a graduate
of the University of Nebraska. He has been instructor in the
schools of four states and at the Meridian University. The
physicians of Pleasant Hill are Drs. Mumford and Armstrong.
Pleasant Hill Lodge No, 230 F. & A. M, was organized at
Old Pleasant Hill after the war, and was moved to the new town
in the '80s. The present officers are P. M. Gaddis, W. M.; L. T.
Dykes, S. W.; I. W. Jennings, J. W.; Jehu Graham; treasurer; F.
H. Tarver, secretary. The Texas and Pacific railroad maintains a
local division at Pleasant Hill and the road does a large
business at this point.
Among the prominent farmers of the
A. D. Ashby
M. T. Bostick
S. M. Bostick
F. P. Cobbs
J. A. Cranford
J. J. Fike
C. J. Gaddis
J. J. Grantham
L. A. Horn
L. S. McLeroy
J. C. Phillips
T. S. Ponder
D. E. Stephens
now have the convenience of free rural mail delivery.
Source: History of Sabine Parish,
Louisiana, by John G. Belisle, Sabine Banner Press, 1913.