Last week I wrote about a tattered fragment of the Bossier Democrat brought to the office of the Bossier Banner. It was discovered while the home of F. M. Britt was being remodeled. A whole copy of the paper was also discovered in the walls. The date of the whole copy was even older than the fragment—June 30, 1886. The editor of the Bossier Banner continued the description of the contents of the old paper in the October 30, 1932 issue.
The old paper published an official directory which showed Congressmen from the 4th and 6th Districts, judges, parish officers, police jury members, justices of the peace and constables.
The Bossier Democrat was up to date on local society news. “Preaching at Fillmore next Sunday at eleven o’clock and in Haughton that night, by Mr. Johns, of Bellevue, reads a local paragraph. We well remember Mr. Johns. At that time he was a student minister, residing in the home of Rev. J. M. Blacker, resident Methodist minister at Bellevue.”
“Miss Lizzie Fort, one of Bellevue’s fair daughters, is visiting relatives and friends in Haughton this week, as a guest of her sister, Mrs. D. E. Griffin.”
At this point in the article the Bossier Banner editor explained that Miss Lizzie was the daughter of B. F. Fort, a Bellevue attorney, noting that both Miss Lizzie and her father are both deceased. Miss Lizzie was remembered as a “handsome and lovable woman of brilliant mind.”
“Quite a number of the young folks from Haughton and vicinity are in attendance at the tournament, barbecue and ball at Lovely Point, in this parish, about twenty miles south of here, on Red River.”
“One paragraph taken from a contribution from some point in Webster Parish reads: ‘While in Bellevue last week to attend the school exercises, I went with Maj. Wyche to his and Mr. Biggs’ stock farm, near Bellevue, to look at the fine Jersey cattle recently purchased by these enterprising gentlemen, and was pleased to find such fine looking cattle. Would that more people of this country engage in the raising of fine stock. I have for six years experimented in this section with a cattle farm, and find that they do better here than in Texas, where I lived and dealt in stock for thirty years previous to settling here.”
“There was a ‘Male and Female Academy’ at Haughton, with G. D. Moore its principal and Miss Carra Barnacastle his assistant.”
“Many of the Banner’s readers remember the well-known Chandler chairs. An advertisement stated ‘The Chandler Chair is the Best.’ And they were good chairs, too. They were made in Haughton by J. I. and W. L. Chandler, according to the advertisement.”
“There were two saloons in Haughton at that time: The Golden Rule was owned by D. E. Griffin; The Favorite by J. B. O’Neal, with Juba C. O’Neal its manager.”
“The Democrat was not Haughton’s only newspaper. Mr. Holt [an editor of the Democrat] removed his plant to Plain Dealing soon after the building of the Shreveport branch of the Cotton Belt, and for some time published a weekly newspaper there while the town was young and ‘booming.’ During January 1891 Mr. J. P. Kent, at present connected with the Banner, established a weekly newspaper at Haughton—The Enterprise. He published it for a little more than a year and then suspended—and thus ended Haughton’s newspaper ventures.”
Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org