Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Two issues of The Bossier Banner in January of 1934 told of new developments happening or about to happen in Benton.

In the January 18, 1934 issue an article appeared stating that “Time is opportune for Benton to Make Effort to Gain Landing Field.”

“It is now indicated that the time is opportune for the people of Benton to reach out and secure for the town an emergency landing field.  At least, so believes a local authority  now connected with the parish CWA [Civil Works Administration] office, Bossier City, who urges that our people should awaken to the existing opportunity and who has this week handed in the following contribution:”

“Harry J. Hopkins, Federal Civil Works Administrator, and Harry J. Early, Civil Works Administrator for Louisiana, are both much interested in establishing an emergency landing field in each parish seat in the state, it is authoritatively stated.  Already they have made some special arrangements by which most of the parish seats may obtain an airport.”

“In a communication addressed to W.W. Williams, Parish Civil Works Administrator, last week Mr. Farley pointed out the many advantages Benton would have by obtaining one of these fields.  The matter was taken up with Mr. D.E. Burchett, the Parish Engineer.”

“The people of Benton should awaken to this opportunity and make all arrangements for this airport soon.  If it is wanted.  Engineers located at the aviation department of the Civil Works Administration at Shreveport are available for any advice needed.”

The CWA ended on March 31, 1934, after spending $200 million a month and giving jobs to four million people.  This could likely be the cause that an airport for Benton never came to fruition.

The following week’s issue of the paper related the story of a new saw mill plant near Benton.

Image of a mill shed and rough-cut timber at Billy Davidson's saw mill in Plain Dealing in 1948. (Note: this is not the saw mill written about in this article.) Billy Davidson Collection: 1999.090.022.

“Mr. J.A. Leindecker, Jr., who owns and operates a saw mill plant in Shreveport, is also setting up a small plant on the outskirts of Benton, the capacity of which is not known to the reporter.  The location of this plant is to be on an 18-acre tract just to the west of Benton, which Mr. Leindecker has just purchased from Mr. T.J. Taylor, a resident of our town.  A planer is not to be put in here, the reporter was told.  The owner will turn out only rough lumber at the Benton plant, some of it to be trucked to Shreveport and surfaced.”

“Work on the mill shed was begun the latter part of last week.  It is expected all sheds can be completed and the plant set up and under operation within thirty or forty days.  Some twenty or thirty men will be on the payroll the reporter was told.”

To find out more about what was going on in Bossier Parish towns in the past, visit the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center.

By: Ann Middleton

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