Each week as I comb through issues of old newspapers for articles that I think will be of interest to readers of The Bossier Press-Tribune, I often find tidbits of Bossier Parish history that are brief but certainly worthy of sharing. Following are several of those tidbits from the early twentieth century in Bossier Parish.

In the July 31, 1924 issue of The Bossier Banner the Alden Bridge correspondent reported that “There was quite a bit of excitement here last Friday morning when the last freight train that passes about four o’clock a.m. was brought to a stop and a call whistle or the lo[c]al agent for the railway company sounded. Upon investigation it was found that the train’s crew had cut loose from a tank car of crude oil that was on fire. It was left on the main line about 75 feet from the lumber yard and sheds. The engineer and other members of the train crew proceeded to the depot, leaving a gasoline tank car attached to the car of burning oil. Quite a number of our people got up and left home, expecting the tank of gasoline to explode. All returned to their homes in about an hour.”

“Mr. Dunnam, upon investigating, telephoned at once to Mr. Weaver and Mr. Goode of
Shreveport (interested in the saw mill plant here) and they came on to the scene as fast as motor power could bring them. Buckets were gotten out and much dirt was also thrown on the fire. As soon as the blaze was under control the engine was backed up and the tank of gasoline was pulled away. It was no doubt a very close call to a serious fire and perhaps, loss of life. The oil continued to burn until the supply gave out—about the middle of the afternoon.”

“The planer night watchman, Mr. A. Shores, was on the job with a hose and wet everything down to keep it from catching. Trains were detoured on a sidetrack and were only delayed a few minutes.”

On November 10, 1932 The Bossier Banner reported that “The Bossier City Lions Club is considering advocating a change in the name of the town of Bossier City to ‘Barksdale,’ in recognition of the fact that Barksdale Field is located near its boundary. A committee of Lions is considering the change and will report to the body of the club at an early date. If the body approves, the City Council will be asked to consider changing the name.”

An article in the November 5, 1936 issue of The Bossier Banner informed its readers that “It has just been learned that Keeler McCartney, of Winnfield, a senior in the School of Journalism, Louisiana State University, has been assigned to visit Benton shortly in an effort to obtain useful information for a term paper on the history of journalism in Benton. He will use the files of the Banner, as well as other sources of information, in compiling the history.”

“Twenty-eight students have been assigned papers on the history of journalism in the various towns of the state, by Prof. Marvin G. Osborn, director of the School of Journalism.”

“The history of American journalism in 75 towns has been completed by previous classes, Mr. Osborn says. When data for all Louisiana papers has been completed, a complete history of journalism in Louisiana will be written.”

“McCartney is circulation manager on the staff of ‘The Reveille,’ L.S.U. student paper, and is prominent in extra-curricular activities on the campus.”

The Bossier Parish Library Historical Center has an archival collection that comprises wide-ranging documents, photos and objects that help to tell the story of Bossier Parish. Visit us soon and learn more about our Parish’s history.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or amiddlet@state.lib.la.us

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