The annual Holiday Open House at the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center will be celebrated this Friday, December 6th at the Historical Center. Pleas join us for old-time music, food, friends and fun.
In its December 1, 1949 issue The Plain Dealing Progress reported on the deliberate burning of Shirley’s Tourist courts in Bossier City.
“The testimony of an insurance agent in the arson trial of R. P. Hogg, Bossier City, Wednesday indicated that Hogg would not have received the major portion of insurance payments following the burning of Shirley’s Tourist courts in Bossier City.”
“W. D. White, of the Pulley-White Insurance agency of Bossier City, testified that the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance company, f[i]rst mortgager of the courts, would have been paid $13,000. The second mortgagee, T. R. Hester, who formerly owned the courts, would have been paid $20,000.”
“This would have left $5,000 which would have gone to Hogg, owner of the courts and holder of five insurance policies totaling $13,000. However, insurance adjusters had estimated the damage at $38,000.”
“Hester, who had been brought into the case by the testimony of J. L. Morris Tuesday, testified that he sold the courts to Hogg on April 1 for $6,000 plus a mortgage note of $20,000 which was being paid off at the rate of $400 per month.”
He told the court that when he sold the property there was an indebtedness of $13,000 on it to the Jefferson Standard Life Insurance company. He said the original debt had been $14,500. Hester testified that he had be3en paid $1,000 by Hogg in four monthly payments.”
“Morris, who has already admitted on the witness stand that he burned the courts early in the morning of Sept. 14, was cross examined by Defense Attorney Whitfield Jack.”
The following December 8th issue of The Plain Dealing Progress reported that R. P. Hogg had been declared guilty by the jury in the arson trial.
“Robert Paul Hogg, 30-year-old Bossier City man, was found guilty by a district court jury at Benton last Thursday on a charge of aggravated arson.”
“He was remanded for sentence by Judge Frank McInnis at a later date. Conviction on the charge carries a sentence of from two to 20 years in jail.”
“The jury returned its verdict at 4:35 p.m., only ten minutes after it had left the courtroom, ending the four-day trial in Bossier district court.”
“Hogg was convicted as charged by the state in connection with the fire that swept Shirley’s Court[s] in Bossier City during the pre-dawn hours of Sept. 14.”
“The state showed that Hogg was the “master mind” of a plan to burn the tourist courts which J. L. Morris testified he carried out. Morris is also charged with aggravated arson.”
“The defense tried to show hat T. B. Hester, former owner of the courts, engineered the plan of fire-setting. Hester has never been indicted.”
“Morris said he accepted Hogg’s proposition because he offered him $1,000, a life-time job and lots of pretty girls, whiskey and cars.”
“The state put numerous witnesses on the stand during the trial; the defense only one. Hogg himself did not testify on the stand.”
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