Continuing last week’s article about the history of Rocky Mount, “S.M.N.” wrote more in The Bossier Banner’s May 23, 1895 issue.
“Messrs. James Talbert and H.R.L. Winfrey put up the first saw mill on the branch between the school house, and Mr. J.H. Hughes’. Mr. Talbert also erected the first blacksmith shop near Mr. J. H. Hughes dwelling.”
“Dr. Nelson was the first physician in Rocky Mount. After him came Dr. Arnett. He had for his office a portion of Mrs. Hollingsworth’s dwelling, which was afterwards improved by Mrs. Curry. Dr. Tigner was the third doctor, and had for his office a portion of Mr. J. H. Hughes’ house. Dr. Wilson came about 1856.”
The Presbyterians were the first denomination to hold services at Rocky Mount. They organized at the old school house, but before the war they built a church, which is still standing.”
“The Baptist church is a branch of old Cana church, and was built in 1880.”
“Capt. W. J. Hugh has improved Rocky Mount some by having sever[al] small dwellings erected.”
“The Hughes, Leaphearts and Capt. Fish’s family were the leading families of Rocky Mount. Most of the old settlers have passed away and sleep in the Rocky Mount cemetery.”
An unsigned and rather poorly written document in the archives of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center relates the following about Rocky Mount:
Rocky Mount in the very early days of Bossier Parish and before this area was known as Sugar Hill. Indians passed this way following buffalo to water at the Red River where they camped at Coushatta Bluff. Wagons rolled by here on their way to the gold rush in 1849 and to settle the Great West.
The Texas Trail through Canes Landing was muddy and under water a lot of the time because of flooding during the spring and winter months which made it impassable until the building of Shed Road in Bossier. Rocky Mount was in the high ground area and could be used all year round. They would go on to Gilmers’ Ferry on the Red River where they would cross the river and continue west.
Rocky Mount was a farming community and the center of the parish activity although the parish seat was in Bellview[sic]. All roads going north and south, east and west, passed through Rocky Mount during the Civil War era and before.
After the Civil War the community or Rocky Mount continued to flourish until the coming of the railroad in the 1900s.
Many Bossier Parish communities came and then went when the railroad bypassed them. To find out more, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.
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