Wednesday, June 20, 2018


The July 30, 1959 issue of the Bossier Banner-Progress told the story of historic Red Land and
its equally historic seminary/community center.

“Historic highlights of early Bossier Parish and its educational system were vividly revealed on
May 30th during formal dedication of Red Land Seminary, Inc.’s new $6,000 building for
community betterment.”

“A legal child of pioneer Red Land Seminary, a member-owned private educational institution
and first school in Bossier Parish with a history dating back to March 12, 1858, the new Red
Land Seminary, Inc. was re-chartered after much legal research on April 22, 1958, by a small
group of community-spirited men, some of whose grandparents founded the original seminary.”

“Using proceeds derived from oil wells and leases on the ancient 17-acre tract originally patented
in 1858 by Major Robert Wyche, a Civil War veteran and later sheriff of Bossier Parish, the
governing Board of Directors constructed a modern community center with auditorium and a
well-equipped kitchen under whispering pines where forefathers tread with slates and dinner

“About 80 people attended the dedication services and outdoor dinner. Vice-President W. H.
Rogers, Route 2, Plain Dealing, welcomed the group and explained the purpose of the rechartered
Seminary which stands within the shadows of Salem Baptist Church, another historic
landmark of Bossier Parish.”

“W. A. Johnson, secretary-treasurer of the project and a director of another home-owned, nonprofit
service institution, gave the history of the re-chartered organization along with some
interesting highlights of early education in the parish.”

“Guest speaker was Frank Kennedy, attorney for Fair Oil Company which under-wrote the
expenses for the complicated legal research work to re-charter the old Seminary. The Shreveport
lawyer said his searching of moldy records of the parish and state took him back to the original
state legislative act of 100 years ago which first created Red Land Seminary.”

“To understand the significance of the dedication to north Louisiana culture and to Bossier
Parish in particular, here is a gist of the history of Red Land community and the venerable
Seminary, as related by Mr. Johnson, a native of Red Land who taught in various Louisiana
schools for 38 years.”

“After General Andrew Jackson defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans and later
cleared the central South of hostile Indians, countless thousands of mostly small farmers from
the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama rolled westward in wagons in search of new land
on which to establish homes.”

“Shunning the now richer bottomlands because of mosquitoes and uncontrolled floodwaters, they
had established a recognizable community at Red Land by 1830. Long before Shreveport and
Bossier City were founded, Red Land boasted families from every state east of the Mississippi
River and south of Ohio, except Florida.”

“Prior to the founding of Red Land Seminary, it was customary for families to employ private
tutors to [teach] the traditional ‘three Rs.’ if this were impossible, education went lacking. By
1858 community leaders decide[d] that a cooperative effort would improve the educational

To find out more about the old Red Land Seminary and about Salem Baptist Church come to the
Bossier Parish Libraries History Center.

By: Ann Middleton

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