Bossier Parish was carved out of the Great Natchitoches District on February 24, 1843. It was named after General Pierre Everiste John Baptiste Bossier, descendant of an early settler and a member of Congress when the parish was formed.
General Bossier received his title as a General of the Louisiana militia. He was born in Natchitoches on March 27, 1797, of a Creole family, which was among the first to settle within the present boundaries of the parish.
Early in the nineteenth century came the first settlers from the eastern seaboard. Among them were the Gilmer Brothers, James Blair and George Oglethorpe, who established a large plantation which they named Plain Dealing. Part of this plantation includes the present site of the Town of Plain Dealing and from it came the town’s name.
Bossier Parish contained but a few hundred settlers until 1804. From 1804 to 1850 Bossier Parish’s population increased from a few hundred to several thousand.
The early settlers of Bossier Parish were a sturdy and strong type of people, most of them interested in farming, and for many years Bossier Parish was the leading cotton-producing area of North Louisiana.
They were also interested in education and the parish had two outstanding educational institutions – Cottage Grove Seminary and the Bellevue Academy.
Rocky Mount is one of the earliest settlements of the parish. Most historians in North Louisiana credit Fillmore with being the oldest settlement in Bossier Parish, ante-dating the Civil War period by many years. Other early settlements in the parish were Cane City, which later became Bossier City; Benton, the parish seat since 1888; and Plain Dealing, established in 1838.
The first parish government was established at Fredonia; later the name was changed to Society Hill, and finally before the end of the year, to Bellevue. It continued as the parish seat until 1883, when Benton, which had been incorporated by an act of the legislature in 1876, was selected as the parish seat because of its central location.
The first Bossier Parish Police Jury meeting was called on June 18, 1843. It handled business affairs of the newly formed parish, with William Burns presiding. First term of parish court was held by Judge William K. Beck on September 25, 1843.
In proportion to its population, Bossier Parish sent more soldiers into the Confederate Army than any other parish in the state. Some of the troops of volunteers to fight in the Civil War from Bossier Parish were the Bossier Rangers, Bossier Volunteers, Minute Men of Bossier Parish, Randolph’s Volunteers, Vance Guards, Robin Greys of Bossier, Bossier Cavalry, Thirteenth Louisiana Battalion of Cavalry, the Marks Guards Company B, and Bossier Volunteers Company D.
Fort Kirby Smith was one of four forts and eighteen batteries which formed the Confederate defenses of Bossier City (then Cane City) and Shreveport from 1864-1865. Bossier Parish restored the fort in 1936. The completed park was dedicated on June 9, 1936, during the National Confederate Veterans’ Reunion.
The Bossier Times was the first newspaper and was published in 1857. The Bossier Banner succeeded the Times, July 1, 1859, and has been published continuously since that date. Others following were the Bossier Sentinel, the Plain Dealer, succeeded by the Plain Dealing Progress, and Bossier City’s two current newspapers, the Bossier Tribune and the Bossier Press.
North Bossier boasts one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, and though reduced to diminutive size as mountains go, they still afford awe-inspiring sights common to more rugged terrain. Geologists refer to the Bossier Hills as the Ozark Spur, having been born of the same upheaval that produced the peculiar mountain range in the middle of the Mississippi Valley.
For more historical information, refer to the Bossier Parish Police Jury’s website at www.bossierparishla.gov.
Bossier Parish 4-H – www.lsuagcenter.com/bossier
Facebook – www.facebook.com : Bossier Parish 4-H
Bossier Parish Police Jury – www.bossierparishla.gov
Bossier Parish School Board – www.bossierschools.org
City of Bossier City – www.bossiercity.org
Clerk of Court – www.bossierclerk.com
Tax Assessor – www.bossierparishassessor.org
Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office – www.bossiersheriff.com
Chamber of Commerce – www.bossierchamber.com
Bossier Parish Library – www.bossierlibrary.org