Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Haughton's Early Days

The Village of Haughton
This unique picture of Haughton, Louisiana, was taken in 1910, from atop the church bell tower. A wagon loaded with a bale of cotton proceeds to the railroad depot. the three-story building in the center is the Crume Hotel. At the far left is the store of T.H. Lawrence, which was the last surviving building, until 1997, when it was dismantled. the white house on the right would burn in the 1950s. Behind it is the Edwards' home, which would burn in the 1990s. Fire has been a strong enemy of Bossier Parish's early homes and towns. Emma Patillo Collection: 0000.003.033-2

When William Purvis Haughton moved his family to Bossier Parish, he had no idea that the land he pioneered along with the Lawrence family would one day be named after him and would continue to grow as it has. Haughton's beginning goes back roughly forty years before it was officially designated as such on Sept. 1, 1884, when the VS&P railroad changed the community known as Lawrenceville to Haughton.

The name change was because when the railroad came through Lawrenceville, the train station was named Lawrence Station, but there was already a Lawrence Station in Mississippi. Dr. Paul Andrew Lawrence, the son of pioneer David Lawrence and son-in-law of William Haughton, chose to change Lawrence Station of Lawrenceville to Haughton Station. And the community from that point forward has been known as Haughton.

Being chosen as a location for a railroad station set into motion a significant growth spurt for Haughton. During the summer of 1884, the railroad was built through the community. The Bossier Banner reported on July 10, 1884, "Lawrenceville, situated ten miles south of Bellevue, on the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad, is having quite a boom in business and improvements. There is life and bustle everywhere, and our new railroad town evidently has a bright future before it, in which well directed industry and liberal investments will surely be well rewarded. Success to the new town and its progressive citizens."

A few days later, the first U.S. Post Office opened with Luther E. McDade as postmaster. Of course, the post office name changed from Lawrenceville to Haughton a little over a month after the community's name was changed. The second postmaster was Milus W. Haughton, son of William.

The community continued to grow, and when talks of moving the Parish seat from Bellevue started, the citizens of Haughton wrote a letter to the editor of the Bossier Banner with their bid to be chosen for the new location. The letter was dated May 7, 1885, and was published a week later. It reads as follows:

"As there is a great deal of talk about the Parish site removal, and some little bidding for the Court House, the citizens of Haughton and vicinity desire to be heard. We will give ($3,000) three thousand dollars and one lot of ground for the parish site. Our land ranges in value from $125 to $1000 per lot; and we will give a suitable lot worth at least $500. If parties do not believe that we are in earnest, let us be awarded the parish site and the cash will be forthcoming. In the early days of Rome the crown was put up to the highest bidder, and the money this derived was given to the people. — In this, we propose to assist the people of Bossier in building a new Court House and jail. If any other community offers this amount we may raise our bid, but think that those who get the advantage of the parish site, should pay for that advantage. We are willing to do so."

The letter continues with boastings of the fruitfulness of the land, its commercial advantages, and schools. The amount of cotton they shipped out in 1884 was 3,000 bales, and the fact that they paid more for cotton than any other place. Pointing out that "everything argues in favor of Haughton. We have six business houses, boarding houses, livery stables, saw mills, and everything that constitutes a first-class village, with the ambition of a town — Within the present year Dr. Lawrence, Messrs. McClanahan, Davis, Grounds, Bullock and Odom, have built residences, and Messrs. Bryan, Radcliff, Bodenheimer, McKinney and J.F. Edwards are constructing residences. If any town, or neighborhood in the parish can beat this showing of a town less than a year old, we would like to hear from them, especially if they will offer more for the Court House."

That same year a Baptist church house and Methodist church house were erected. P.B. Holt became the editor and proprietor of the first newspaper, the “Haughton Democrat.” The village held its first election that fall, where the people elected Henry Bodenheimer as their first Mayor and for Trustees, Dr. Paul Lawrence, J.F. Edwards, J.W. Elston, D.H. Cale, D.E. Griffin, and J.G. Grounds. Come Christmas time; the people put up a community Christmas tree in the schoolhouse where they gathered on Christmas Eve. The first telephone was installed in June of 1889.

The village of Haughton continued to grow. With a population of over 1,000 inhabitants, Governor Edwin Edwards, through proclamation, reclassified the Village of Haughton to the Town of Haughton in Sept. 1975. Currently the largest town in Bossier Parish, and once it reaches a population of 5,000, it will be eligible for reclassification as a city.

To learn more about Haughton, visit the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center at 2206 Beckett Street, Bossier City. Be sure to follow us @BPLHistoryCenter on FB, @bplhistorycenter on Tiktok, and check out our blog, http://bpl-hc.blogspot.com/.

By: Amy Robertson

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Barksdale's Little League

Source: The Observer, Aug. 23, 1957
Often referred to as America's national pastime, baseball has been enjoyed in America by player's, and spectator's alike since the game was modernized in the 1840s. In the 1920s, the American Legion formed a baseball program for teenage boys, and schools started baseball programs. But opportunities to play baseball were virtually non-existent for pre-teens until Carl Stotz of Williamsport, PA, founded Little League Baseball.

It all began in 1938 when Stotz was watching a bunch of kids trying to play baseball on a regulation diamond, with inadequate equipment and without the benefit of coaching and organization. He had the idea to organize a league for the youngsters, but first, he had to work out the details. So, Stotz gathered several neighborhood children and experimented with different equipment and field dimensions during that summer. He enlisted help from members of the community, and the first game was played in 1939.

Little League is a scaled-down version of organized baseball to fit youngsters between the ages of eight and twelve. The playing field is two-thirds the size of the regulation diamond, with bases 60-feet apart, and pitchers stand 40 feet and 4 inches from the home plate. The games are limited to six innings compared to nine innings in the Minor and Major Leagues. The bats and balls are the exact sizes as those used in the Major Leagues but lighter. In the interest of safety, steel cleats were banned from the league, causing sporting goods manufacturers to make special rubber sole shoes for kids.

In the beginning, they had the National Little League Tournament, now known as the Little League World Series. Its popularity snowballed, and by 1950 at least 37 states were competing for national honors in the Little League. The Little League World Series had played to capacity crowds for the previous two seasons.

Source: The Observer, Jan. 11, 1957
It's unclear to this writer exactly when Bossier Parish formed its first Little League team(s). But, in 1957, Barksdale received the first Little League franchise in Louisiana from the National Little League headquarters in Williamsport, PA., to play that year. "The franchise was presented to Col. Ralph J. White, base commander, by Master Sgt. James Lovejoy, 1956 president of the base Little Leagues. The colonel was deputizing for Col. Robert H. Borders, newly elected president for 1957 who was unable to receive the franchise in person because of TDY commitments."

Tech. Sgt. Rufus Bohannon was named vice-president of the league that year. The previous year he and Master Sgt. Delmar Cook coached the championship 3rd Triple S Wildcats to their second straight base title. That year nearly 167 boys signed up for Little League baseball, with an even greater number expected for the coming season. Five teams made up the league, and they were eligible for the state, district, regional, and World Series playoffs.

This week is National Little League week, and eighty years ago today, the first Little League game was played. Since then, Little League Baseball has become the world's largest organized youth sports program. It has grown from three teams to nearly 200,000 teams in all 50 U.S. States and more than 80 countries. In 1974 Little League Softball was created. The primary goal was to give the children a game that provides fundamental principles teaching sportsmanship, fair play, and teamwork. Valuable lessons that can be carried out throughout one's lifetime.

To learn more about sports in Bossier Parish, visit the Bossier Parish Libraries History Center at 2206 Beckett Street, Bossier City. Be sure to follow us @BPLHistoryCenter on FB and check out our blog, http://bpl-hc.blogspot.com/. We are excited to announce that we are now on Tiktok; follow us @bplhistorycenter.

By: Amy Robertson

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Bossier Parish’s 20th Flagaversary


Flags have been used since ancient times and were originally used mainly in warfare. Today, flags are used as a symbol, a signaling device, or for decoration. One of the most popular uses of a flag is to symbolize a nation or country. In the United States, every state, territory, and federal district has a unique flag, representing the uniqueness of each.

While every state territory and federal district honors the United States flag, you can think of state flags like a first name and the U.S. flag as the last name. Each flag has deep symbolism that speaks to the history of the state, territory, and federal district—each utilizing different styles and design principles.

Each state is made up of municipalities, counties/parishes, cities, towns, and villages. Some of these municipalities have a flag, and others do not. Those which do, display a variety of regional influences and local histories to show pride and symbolize some unique aspect of the area. Louisiana has 64 parishes and 303 municipalities, but like most states, not all of them have a flag.

Twenty years ago, Bossier Parish adopted its first official flag through a contest that was open to middle and high school students throughout the parish. The contest was in response to a Lincoln Parish schoolteacher's campaign to have all parishes adopt an official flag. Police Juror Jeff Rogers initiated the contest, and in announcing the contest, he said, "We won't limit the type of design or colors because we want to use the creativity of students."

Each school held a contest and selected its winners. These winners became semifinalists in the parish-wide contest. The semifinalists were whittled down to three finalists by a Police Jury committee. Then, the full Police Jury selected the grand prize winner, announcing the winner in June of 2001.

The winner was Jennifer Hankins, a Benton High School senior. A Shreveport Times article that announced her as the winner stated that she "worked on her piece for two weeks, completing it with a little help from her family and art teacher, Rose Ann Holomon." Hankins had just started taking art a couple of years before and loved painting with oil pastels. Holomon stated that "Hankins possesses raw talent that can take her into art professionally."

Hankins' flag design won because it best represented the parish. The flag has a green background with a white triangle going from the hoist to the end of the fly. The middle is an outline of the sun with deep red-orange rays along its border, symbolizing the warm climate. In the sun's center are other symbols of the area, including water, a crawfish, the parish seal, an outline of Bossier Parish pinpointing the Parish Seat of Benton, and the dogwood flower.

When announcing the contest, Rogers, stated "The winning student artist will receive a savings bond of at least $100 and will have his or her flag design displayed in a case in the courthouse's main hall. A plaque will list the winner's name and the school the student attends."

What do you want to know about Bossier Parish's history? Or, perhaps you have important information or artifacts about Bossier Parish History that you would like to share. Donations are a large part of our collection and are vital in helping us preserve Bossier Parish's history. Visit, call or email the Bossier Parish Library History Center for help with your research. We are at 2206 Beckett Street, Bossier City, 318-746-7717, history-center@bossierlibrary.org.

By: Amy Robertson

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

This Month In Bossier Parish History

                   June: Though the Years





Jun.2, 1960:  One of the oldest land-marks was being torn down in Plain Dealing, the two story home of  Mollie Banks Gray.

Mollie Banks Gray Hotel built about 1890.
Two story house in Plain Dealing, La with trees obscuring front.   Section on right projects forward.  Porch with gingerbread to the left.  Picket gate.

1997.062.028 Turnley Collection



Apr. 13, 1947: Mollie Banks Gray's 85th birthday. Includes J.T. Manry and unidentified friends

2003.026.020 Corley Collection








Jun. 1921: Weekly news form a 100 years ago
  • Haughton Town Council was busy trying to get things in shape, visible results were repair of the well and work of the roads.
C.1900’s   This unique picture of Haughton, Louisiana, was taken in 1910, from atop the church bell tower.A wagon loaded with a bale of cotton proceeds to the railroad depot. the three-story building in the center is the Crume Hotel. At the far left is the store of T.H. Lawrence, which was the last surviving building, until 1997, when it was dismantled. the white house on the right would burn in the 1950's. Behind it is the Edwards' home, which would burn in the 1990's. Fire has been a strong enemy of Bossier Parish's early homes an towns.
000.003.033 Pattillo Collection

  •  A fusillade  (series guns firing) of shots and ringing of the church bells gave warning of fire at the Boggs' home.


Benton Boggs Home.
Home of Benton Boggs, 1st mayor of Plain Dealing. Queen Anne-style house with elaborate gingerbread and unusual cap on chimney.
North West Corner of Palmetto Ave. and Perrin St. Plain Dealing, Louisiana. 

1997.062.072 Turnley Collection




  • The Brushy boys challenge the Linton boys to a ball game, final score 62 to 2, in favor of Linton

Top Photo—Linton School: Emma Scarborough Lawson, Marie Lay Bumgardner, Belle Dalrymple Jenkins,  Anna Pilkinton Finnis (?),  Evie Thomas Richardson, Ida Jones,  Bob Bumgardner, Charlie Jones, Wilburn Dalrymple, Alton Dalrymple Smith, Ethel Dalrymple Ryan, Sadie Lay Dooley, Gladys Bumgardner Birdwell, Claudia Bumgardner Boylston,  Mary Belle Dalrymple Lane,  Ula May Denning Copeland, Robert Jones
1998.081.005     Young Collection

Bottom Photo—Old Brushy School
2001.025.026Rodgers Collection





  • Lyles Wyche was employed at the Transcontinental Oil Company.


C.1910’s: Three boys (Harry, Lyles and J.W. Wyche) standing by their calf-drawn wagon.  A dog sits in the wagon.
Location, north Palmetto Ave looking north east from Cham Wyche house. 
1997.062.062      Turnley Collection







  • William Bounds motored over to Minden.
These are the 5 sons of William Arthur Bounds and Nancy Elizabeth Watt. 
William Henry Bounds born 1890, James Murph Bounds born 1892, Walter Albert Bounds born 1893, Howard Franklin Bounds born 1985, and Chiga A. Bounds born 1897.
The boys had six sisters.
2012.059.049








June 17th: Happy National Mascot Day!
    Recognizing the luck they bring to teams, franchises, and more, National Mascot Day celebrates            these iconic figures on June 17th each year.








Airline Vikings: Percy Ashley
1978: Airline High School Yearbook















Benton Tigers (Beth Sirman and Kathy May)
1970: Benton High School Yearbook












Bossier Bearkats: Judy Nichols and Mary Compton
1958 Bossier High school Yearbook

 







Haughton Bucs: Charity Rankin
1992 Haughton High School Yearbook













Parkway Panthers: Cindi Allbritton and Cathi Disbrow
1973: Parkway High School Yearbook










Plain Dealing Lions: Connie Walker
1969 Plain Dealing Yearbook











Jun.30, 1929: A year after the original Cottage Grove Church was destroyed by fire, the first service in the new building was held on Jun.30, 1929.  The new building was made possible by the contributions of Mr. John H. Milling, family members and the community of Cottage Grove.  



Photograph of original church at Cottage Grove taken 6/20/1928. This church burned and was replaced with small brick church. Cemetery can be seen in background.

2001.052.083  Saucier Collection



C.1950’s-1960’s: Cottage Grove Memorial Presbyterian Church 

2003.026.027Q Corley Collection






Wednesday, May 26, 2021

First Asian American Enlists as Cadet at Barksdale

At the beginning of World War II, there were only 55 enlisted pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps. At the end of 1941, the Army lowered cadet education requirements allowing enlisted men to apply to flight training. Instead of needing a college degree, those with a high school diploma were allowed to enlist for flight training. Between 1941 and 1942, over 2,580 enlisted men became pilots.
Staff Sergeant Samuel "Jake" Mardock


During that time, Samuel "Jake" Mardock, Jr. proudly became the first Chinese to be accepted as a flying cadet at Barksdale. The following announcement appeared in "The Shreveport Journal" on Thursday, Jan. 29, 1942, with the heading, "Chinese Enlists As Flying Cadet: Sam Mardock, Jr., of Tyler Accepted for Army At Barksdale Field."

"Sam Mardock, Jr., 26-year-old Chinese, of Tyler, Texas, Wednesday became the first of his race to be accepted at Barksdale Field as a flying cadet.

"'Now maybe I'll get a crack at those Japanese,' Sam said when informed that he had met cadet requirements and been accepted.

"Julian, 24-year-old brother of Sam, was accepted recently at a Texas air base for army cadet training, 'and when they lowered cadet educational requirements I didn't lose any time getting at Barksdale to try and make it myself,' Sam said.

"Barksdale's first Chinese cadet is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Mardock of Tyler, both of whom were born in China, where they have many relatives.

"' But we don't hear from them much anymore, because of the war the Japanese are making,' Sam said.

"He took civilian flight training in 1938, and has more than 200 hours of flying to his credit. He attended Tyler Junior college. His brother, Julian, is a graduate of the University of Texas."

Sam and his brother Julian were among the first Chinese-Americans to train and become official American Aviation Corp Pilots for the United States Army. After receiving "winged commando" training, Staff Sergeant Sam Mardock was stationed at Luke Airfield, AZ. During his time in service, he piloted small planes and gliders and was an aerial gunner.

The Mardock family was the first Chinese family to settle in Tyler, TX, in the late 1800s. Samuel Mardock, Sr. immigrated to the United States at 13 or 14-years-old working as a farmhand where he learned to speak, write, and read English. Then, he found work on the railroad, which eventually brought him to Texas. He settled in Tyler as a pioneer, started a restaurant, and eventually was able to bring his wife over from China.

According to asianpacificheritage.gov, there are more than 300,000 living Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander American veterans. The Mardock brothers are no longer living but are remembered for their service to their country during WWII.

What do you want to know about Bossier Parish's history? Or, perhaps you have important information or artifacts about Bossier Parish History that you would like to share. Donations are a large part of our collection and are vital in helping us preserve Bossier Parish's history. Whether researching or interested in adding to our collection, visit, call or email the Bossier Parish Library History Center. We are at 2206 Beckett Street, Bossier City, 318-746-7717, history-center@bossierlibrary.org.

By: Amy Robertson