Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Court House in Benton 1915
Bossier Parish Library Collection, 0000.001.011
In its August 15, 1918 issue, The Bossier Banner addressed the controversy over moving the Bossier Parish seat from Benton to Bossier City.

“In today’s issue of The Banner we publish the law authorizing an election on the question of the removal of the parish seat from Benton to Bossier City. One of the arguments for the removal is that the present Court House is somewhat dilapidated, and a new building will not cost much more than would the repairs to the present one. This is a mistaken impression as to the condition of the present building. Though it has stood for twenty-five years, it can be repaired for about $10,000, and these repairs need not be made for several years. It cost $40,000 to build and furnish it, and the cost of the jail was$20,000. That was when materials were comparatively cheap, and labor plentiful, and also comparatively cheap.”

“Now, both materials and labor are difficult to get, and the prices on both have advanced from 50 to 100 per cent. Consequently, a new Court House, as substantial as the present one when built, would cost at least $80,000. This would total $120,000. But it is by no means certain that either the necessary labor or materials can be had during the present war. The Government is calling into service every able-bodied laborer for the various industries necessary to prosecute the war, and it is also taking over all materials needed in the various war industries. As stated, it is very doubtful if the materials and labor can be had at present and there is no doubt about the increased cost.”

“The election will be held on September 10th. Under the law ‘if two-thirds of the qualified electors of the parish vote for the removal of the parish seat, the President of the Police Jury shall declare Bossier City to be the parish seat.’ Otherwise, the proposition is lost. There are 895 voters registered and it, therefore, requires an affirmative vote of 599 to remove the parish seat.”

The courthouse referred to in this article had been built in 1893. It served until 1972 when the current courthouse was completed. The 1972 building cost $2,412,587.79 and the furnishings cost $251,583.71.

To learn more about all the Bossier Parish courthouses and see photographs visit the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center.

By: Ann Middleton

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