Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Prof. J. E. Johnston
Just a few days before school opened in Bossier Parish, The Bossier Banner recalled several
early school teachers in the parish. The September 8, 1938 issue named some of the first school

“… Jim Manry, veteran newspaper writer, who resides in Plain Dealing, writes in to suggest that
the proper authorities take steps to secure the pictures of two pioneer Bossier Parish school
teachers [and] have them framed and displayed in the proper schools so that present and future
generations of school pupils might ‘know them.’”

“As [Manry] says: Miss Birdie Scott, daughter of the late Dr. J.J. Scott, a one-time resident of
Red Land, up in North Bossier, was the first teacher in Bossier City. As some ten students was
considered the minimum number to make up a class at that time, Miss Scott had to exact tuition
from her pupils, since she began her class with but five.”

“Miss Birdie is now Mrs. Blackman, beloved wife of the late Dr. R.H. Blackman, of

“Bossier City’s second teacher was Miss Mary Gilmer, a resident of Plain Dealing. Her school
was located at the foot of the old V. S. and P. bridge, then used by the railway and for vehicular
traffic and before her death she often told many amusing stories of the children’s actions when
the late Dr. T. E. Schumpert would drive over the bridge, in full view of the school children, in
his automobile, the first one in this section and the first one to be seen by the students. ‘They’d
crowd into the door and windows to catch a glimpse of the “gasoline buggy,”’ Miss Gilmer said.
This was about 1886. Miss Mary taught in Plain Dealing for many years, before her passing.”

“Another bit of interesting history of education in Bossier Parish concerns Plain Dealing High
School, which was founded by the late S. J. Zeigler and the late Prof. J.
E. Johnston. The first day
of school there were 14 students to enroll. Now there are nearly 1000 attending this school
which is steadily growing.”

The archival collection of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center contains quite a lot of
information about the growth of schools in Bossier Parish. Pay us a visit to learn more!

By: Ann Middleton

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