Story of Old Minden Girls College

2014

The Bossier Banner for February 11, 1932 ran an interesting story about the Minden Girls’ College.

“One rainy afternoon, being lonely and thinking of various things to while away the dreary hours—it dawned on me to search through some old letters and relics of other days. Among the things I found a picture, a group of college girls of the old Minden Female College, taken during 1882.”

“How quickly my mind went back to years ago; faces long since forgotten were recalled, yesterday long passed returned, with a smile. I cherish the hallowed memories of those happy school days. Memories are the choicest blossoms in life’s garden. Some lasting friendships were cemented there, as were some romances budded, blossomed and terminated in marriage.”

“Lelia Wyche and Henry Carter’s romance started during college life. There were the parents of Mrs. Jim Edwards, of Haughton. Maggie Lindsey and Jim McDade’s courtship blossomed there and they later married. Mrs. Joe Elston is a daughter of this union. Nona Griffin and Luther McDade later married. Both are long deceased. Kate Stroud and Eva Devereaux were counted the prettiest girls in college. Mattie Johnson was musician of the college. On Friday nights she played for us to dance—only girls, mind you. She and I would go to the music hall during study hours and when the bell would tap she would play ‘Flash,’ my favorite piece. Abbie Chase was the wittiest girl. When she was critic all would shun her, but she was on her job. Dear Virginie Carlous, what a French scholar, how she loved to help us out in our French. Leila Burnett was our good girl. It was while I attended church with her that I found my Savior.”

“Our nightly visits to each others’ rooms when our parents sent us something, or some prank to play on some one! Mrs. Thatcher would come to us, but was always so sweet to us. Carrie Connell, Willie Sandidge, Abbie Chase and I swiped a whole pie and ate it, not because we were hungry (Mrs. Thatcher seta nice table) but just school girl pranks. No one ever missed the pie, or, at least, nothing was ever said about it.”

“Dear old Col. Alexander. We were glad to recite glad to recite our lessons to him; would do as we pleased, have our books open and would to him for help on our debates and compositions. In a few minutes he would dash off several pages for us.”

“Miss Mattie Connell [from Fillmore] was our beloved teacher, friend and chaperone. She had a hard time with us about talking to the boys. Sometimes she would head the procession, sometimes in the rear; then again in the middle, but anyway, we managed to talk to them.”

“What a thrill we had from our Christmas tree and masquerade party. The boys could not tell who we were.”

“The college was set upon a hill, nestled among giant oaks overlooking the beautiful city of Minden. Colonel’s home was on one side, where groups of girls would visit him. The music hall was off to one side, where our gatherings were held.”

In the remainder of the article the author, Mrs. J. N. Watson of Princeton, identified those who were pictured. To find out who they were, 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 amiddlet@state.lib.la.us