An article titled "Plain Dealing — Yesterday — To-Day" appeared in the June 9, 1932 issue of The Plain Dealing Progress. The article is unsigned, but was possibly written by Rupert Peyton.
In 1888 the Cotton Belt Railroad was laid in Plain Dealing and a depot was erected. The sign for the depot bore the name “Guernshein.” Shortly after, the name was changed to Plain Dealing to perpetuate the name of the 5,000 acre plantation which covered the area where Plain Dealing was located. In the same year, lots for the town site were sold, bringing a total of $12,000. B.W. Boggs was elected Plain Dealing’s first mayor when the town was incorporated in 1890. Fire destroyed the town twice, once in 1903 and again in 1906.
Early Plain Dealing merchants and some of their businesses includedthe following: S.J. Zeigler, a general merchandise store; John J. Swindle, a drug firm; mercantile firms of Nattin & Campbell and Cavett & Doles (where the post office was located); S.J. Cochran; E.F. Kirtley and Kelly Brothers. Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Smith operated the first hotel, and the wife of Mr. Grisdale, the first railroad section foreman, operated a section rooming house.
Along with the railroad, the first school was established in 1888. The Plain Dealing Academy had an enrollment of 56 students. Classes were held in a frame building that, by 1932, had been replaced by two brick buildings with an enrollment of 700 pupils.
Plain Dealing’s first bank was founded in 1906. P.B. Holt was the editor of the first newspaper, The Plain Dealer. The first church was a Methodist church founded in 1888, with a Baptist church following closely. By 1932, a Presbyterian Church was cooperating in the spiritual development of Plain Dealing.
The 1200 residents of Plain Dealing in 1932 numbered among their businesses: the mercantile firms of W.W. Oglesby and W.H. Martin; three drug companies; The Jewell Café and The Home Bakery and Café; A.W. Heifner Hardware Company; S.J. Caldwell Motor Company; three filling stations; offices of Southern Cities Distributing Company; Southwestern Gas and Electric Company; Bell Hotel; one recreational parlor; two tailor shops; one newspaper plant; one ice plant; two gins; one wholesale house and telephone exchange. Typical village roads had been transformed into model streets including gravel and paving.
Early doctors of Plain Dealing included Dr. Davis, Dr. W.J. Baird, Dr. Blackman, Dr. W.F. Bell and Dr. T.N. Keoun.
In 1932, the oldest citizens of Plain Dealing in terms of continuous residence were Mrs. Roy Bolinger who moved to Plain Dealing with her parents when she was three years old, and W.E. Swindle who moved to Plain Dealing when he was a small boy. Next in line for the honor of oldest resident was Mrs. Mollie Banks Gray who moved to Plain Dealing in 1897.
For histories of other Bossier Parish towns and villages, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.