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Minden, Louisiana

Minden
City
City of Minden
The combined Minden City Hall and Convention Center opened on Broadway Street in 1970.
The combined Minden City Hall and Convention Center opened on Broadway Street in 1970.
Coordinates:
Country  United States
States  Louisiana
Founded 1836
Government
 • Government

Mayor - Marvin Thomas "Tommy" Davis (R)
Police Chief - Steven Wayne Cropper (I)
City Judge - Charles Sherburne Sentell, III (I)
Ward Marshal - Jack "Randy" Shelley (D)
Current City Council by district:
A - Wayne Edwards (D)
B - Fayrine Kennon-Gilbert (D)
C - Vincen "Cheeze" Bradford (D)
D - Michael Scott Toland (R)
E - Lawson Benny Gray (I)

Annual budget - $31 million (2015-2016)
Population (2010)
 • Total 13,082
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 71055
Area code(s) 318

Minden is a small city in and the parish seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, United States.[1] is located twenty-eight miles east of Shreveport in Caddo Parish. The population has been relatively stable since 1960, when it was 12,786. It was 13,082 at the 2010 census. The 2000 population had been 13,027; growth over the decade was hence .4 of 1 percent. Minden is 51.7 percent African American.[2]

Minden is the principal city of the Minden Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Shreveport-Bossier City-Minden Combined Statistical Area. It is a regional trade center for the neighboring parishes of Bienville and Claiborne, from which Webster Parish was carved in 1871.

Minden has possessed a United States post office since 1839.[3] The current postal building, a 10,000-square-foot structure at 111 South Monroe Street, was completed under a $285,000 contract awarded in 1959 to McInnis Construction Company of Minden.[4]

The community has been served by a newspaper since the 1850s. The current publication, the Minden Press-Herald, is located on Gleason Street south of Broadway. The building was formerly used by a grocery store. The Press-Herald became a daily newspaper on July 18, 1966, but was earlier published as two weekly papers, the Minden Press on Mondays and the Minden Herald on Thursdays. For a time there was also the Webster Signal-Tribune and other publications.[5]

On October 15, 2012, an ordnance bunker at nearby Camp Minden exploded, but the blast was contained with minimal damage. Camp Minden is the site of the former Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant, once the major area employer.[6] In December 2012, police began the removal of 2,700 tons of explosives from Camp Minden, leading to evacuations in the nearby town of Doyline.[7]

In 1959, Minden was named the "Cleanest City in Louisiana."[8]

Contents

  • History 1
    • Early settlement 1.1
    • Civil War 1.2
    • Coldest state temperature 1.3
    • Will Life 1.4
    • 1933 tornado 1.5
    • George N. Turner 1.6
    • 1946 lynching case 1.7
    • Hank Williams married in Minden 1.8
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Economy 4
    • Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Minden 4.1
    • Theaters 4.2
  • Education 5
  • Notable people 6
    • Politics 6.1
    • Sports 6.2
    • Others 6.3
  • In popular culture 7
  • Gallery 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

History

Louisiana and Arkansas Railway depot in Minden, c. 1904
The Federal Building at 111 South Monroe Street in Minden has since 1959 housed the post office. From 1916 to 1959, the United States post office was located on Main Street in a building later occupied by a bank. It moved in 1959 to the Federal Building. Previous to 1916, the post office in Minden had been located in leased locations.[9]
The Minden Coca-Cola Bottling Plant is a distribution center at 412 Pine Street across from Minden Cemetery

Early settlement

Among the original settlers in the Minden area was Newitt Drew, a Welshman originally from Virginia, who built a gristmill and sawmill on Dorcheat Bayou in south Webster Parish in what became the since defunct Overton community. Minden itself was established in 1836 by Charles H. Veeder, a native of Schenectady, New York, who named it for the city of Minden in Germany.[10] Veeder left Minden during the California Gold Rush and spent the rest of his life practicing law in Bakersfield, California.[11]

A year before Veeder arrived, a group from Phillipsburg (now Monaca), Pennsylvania, led by the Countess Leon, settled seven miles (11 km) northeast of Minden in what was then Claiborne Parish. For nearly four decades, this Germantown Colony operated on a communal basis.[12] It was dispersed in 1871, when Webster Parish was severed from Claiborne Parish.[13] The "Countess" moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where she died in 1881.[12]

One of three Utopian Society settlements in this area, the Germantown Colony was the most successful and lasted the longest, having peaked at fifty to sixty pioneers but usually with fewer than forty followers. The settlement had been planned by the countess’ husband, Bernhard Müller, known as the Count von Leon. He died of yellow fever on August 29, 1834, at Grand Ecore, four miles (6 km) from Natchitoches, before he reached Webster Parish.[14] Leon and his followers attempted to build an earthly utopia, socialist in practice, while awaiting for the Second Coming of Christ. For his religious views, Leon had been exiled from Germany. He intended to plant the settlement in Webster Parish to coincide with the latitude of Jerusalem, 31 degrees, 47 minutes. The colonists worshiped under oak trees at the center of the colony. They supported themselves from farming, with a concentration on cotton.[12] The settlement is preserved at the Germantown Colony and Museum.

A second museum in Minden, the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, named for Dorcheat Bayou, is located downtown at 116 Pearl Street near the post office. It preserves the cultural history of the city and parish from the 19th century.

Civil War

Statue of a

During the American Civil War, a large Confederate encampment, which housed some 15,000 soldiers was located east of Minden. At the time Minden was a supply depot for the troops. Some thirty Confederate soldiers who died in the Battle of Mansfield and another engagement at Pleasant Hill are buried in the historic Minden Cemetery located at Pine and Goodwill streets and Bayou Avenue. A modern cemetery, Gardens of Memory, opened in 1957 off the Lewisville Road north of Minden.

In 1862, Confederate General Richard Taylor, son of Zachary Taylor, issued orders to round up deserters. According to the historian John D. Winters of Louisiana Tech University, near Minden were seen "many robust-looking men claiming to be 'discharged soldiers.'" General Taylor reported that a "'large number of persons liable to military service . . . , deserters, enrolled conscripts who have failed to report, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five, are to be found throughout the state.' He ordered militia officers and parish sheriffs to arrest all men who could not prove legal exemption or absence from military service because of furlough or parole. Liberal rewards were offered for the apprehension of such men."[15]

Governor Henry Watkins Allen tried to make the state self-sufficient during the war. A factory for the manufacture of cotton and wool cards was erected at Minden and in full operation by the end of the war.[16] In 1864–1865, divisions of General Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac, hero at Mansfield, and Maj. Gen. John H. Forney established winter quarters near Minden.[17]

Coldest state temperature

On February 13, 1890, Minden recorded the state's all-time coldest temperature, −16 °F (−27 °C) degrees during the height of the Great Blizzard. Another −16 °F (−27 °C) reading was recorded in Minden on February 2, 1899.[18] The humid subtropical climate, however, is usually mild in winter and mostly hot in summer.

Will Life

William L. "Will" Life (June 23, 1887 – October 1972) was from 1925 until his death the owner of the large Webb Hardware store in downtown Minden. A member of the Minden City Council,[19] Life was sometimes known as the "father of modern Minden" because of his civic leadership.[20]

Life attended the former Minden Male Academy, which was located at what is now Academy Park, the forerunner of Minden High School. He graduated from Minden High School in 1905 and was a member of the 1904 basketball team. He resided in Minden his entire eighty-five years except during World War I, when he served for three years in the United States Army Signal Corps. On June 23, 1972, four months before Life's death, Mayor Tom Colten proclaimed "Will Life Day" in Minden. Life is interred at Minden Cemetery.[20]

1933 tornado

1933 Disastrous year at Dorcheat Historical Association Museum in Minden

During the Great Depression, one of the two Minden banks failed. Five banks now exist, Minden Building and Loan, Capital One, Regions, Citizens, and Richland State. On May 1, 1933, a tornado destroyed some 20 percent of the residences in Minden. Thereafter, a fire destroyed many homes and much of the business district, including the large Goodwill Building, established in 1882 by Alfred Goodwill, which once housed the largest general store in Louisiana.[21] During the national bank holiday of 1933, the funds of both Minden citizens and businesses were frozen, making recovery from the tornado and the fire more difficult. Later, a summer flood destroyed a third of the crops in the area. Because of these quadruple tragedies, 1933 has been called the "Year of Disaster" in Minden.[22][23]

Ben F. Turner, Sr. (1883–1934), was the [24]

George N. Turner

Unrelated to Ben or Happy Turner, George N. Turner (1919–2013) of Minden won two Bronze Star medals and the Oak Leaf Cluster as a member of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. One of the Bronze Stars was for "bravery above and beyond the call of duty".[25] Turner was engaged in combat during World War II at Omaha Beach and the siege of Bastogne. He received a battlefield commission from General Maxwell D. Taylor and was discharged with the rank of captain. After his military service, Turner was the first and long-term office manager of the Minden branch of the Louisiana Department of Labor Workforce Commission, usually called "the employment office." In 1977, he won the Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Service Award, named for Charles E. Dunbar, an attorney who established the civil service system in Louisiana state government.[26] Upon retirement from state civil service, Turner, a widely known figure in the community, completed at the age of sixty-five his college degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. For sixty-two years, he was a deacon of the First Baptist Church of Minden.[27]

1946 lynching case

The 1946 beatings and attempted lynchings of John Cecil Jones and Albert Harris, Jr., African-American men, were instances of violence against black veterans in the post-war years. The events were covered up by Minden police, the Webster Parish Sheriff's Department, the coroner's office, and several well-known individuals in the community. The crime was the only lynching in Louisiana that year. J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, investigated the case and wrote: "We had incontrovertible evidence of a multiple-agency cover-up." [28]

John Cecil Jones was an honorably discharged veteran of World War II and a cousin of Albert Harris, Jr. A woman in rural Webster Parish complained that black men had trespassed on her property. O.H. Haynes, Jr., then a sheriff's deputy, questioned both Jones and Harris about the alleged crime. He released Harris to a mob in nearby Dixie Inn, Louisiana, who took the young man to a rural area where he was bound, covered, and beaten by several other men.

Fearing for his son's life, Albert Harris, Sr. sent him out of the state after he returned home. Deputy Sheriff Haynes went to the house to retrieve Harris, Jr. Learning that Harris, Sr., had sent the son away, Haynes broke the senior Harris' jaw. Harris, Jr., was eventually delivered to Haynes' custody. The police arrested John Cecil Jones, the cousin and veteran, at his workplace in Cotton Valley.

Both men were jailed, where they were tortured and beaten multiple times by Haynes and another deputy, Charles Edwards. On August 8, 1946, Haynes released both men to a white mob in front of the old jail. The mob took the men south of Minden, where they beat and tortured them, leaving them for dead. Jones died from the beatings and torture, but Harris, Jr. somehow survived.[28]

The following excerpt is from the report of Webster Parish Coroner Dr. Thomas A. Richardson on the death of Jones:

Head shows numerous bruises, face is blackened from trauma, laceration on right side of head between right ear and occiput (back of head), eyes were degenerated, face and neck show numerous bruises, left shoulder was burned, arms were darkened from being bound, severe blow on right-side back and shoulder, numerous bruises on the back, chest and ribs were thrashed and beaten and caved in to the point where the skin had been sheared off, they slashed his scrotum, knees and legs were badly bruised, calves and arms were darkened, hands and feet had sand on them as if they had been in water, green fluid exudes from the mouth when pressure is applied to the abdomen; body found on [Minden businessman] Frank Treat's pond."[28]

According to R. Harmon Drew, Sr., then the assistant district attorney for Bossier and Webster parishes, jail records had been manipulated. According to the FBI, Dr. Richardson tampered with and concealed evidence taken from the crime scene, including a mechanical pencil and a wristwatch.[28]

Whitfield Jack of Shreveport (brother of State Representative Wellborn Jack), Barry Booth, A. S. Drew, and Harmon Caldwell Drew were defense attorneys for Haynes, Edwards, and the other defendants. R. Harmon Drew was defense counsel for the Minden Police Chief, Benjamin Gary Gantt (died 1948). He was not indicted by the grand jury, although multiple witnesses' testified that various city police officers had escorted the mob vehicles to the Minden city limits. Newspaper writer Paul Corvin likened city police at the time to the Gestapo but did not write such accordingly out of fear for his life.[28]

Eugene H. Lowe, Jr., the American Legion post vice-commander, likened local law enforcement personnel to outlaws. His sentiments echoed those of the reporter Paul Corvin.[28] Eventually, Harris, Jr., fled Louisiana. The NAACP and the FBI became involved in the case and seeking justice for Harris and Jones. The federal government indicted deputies Haynes and Edwards and four others, who were tried for violating the civil rights of Jones and Harris, Jr. Ultimately, an all-white jury did not convict any of the six defendants.[28]

Hank Williams married in Minden

Country singer Hank Williams, Sr., married Billie Jean Jones Eshliman in Minden on October 18, 1952. The next day, the couple repeated the vows in two separate public ceremonies. Less than three months later, Williams was dead. A judge ruled that the wedding was not legal because Billie Jean's divorce did not become final until eleven days after she had married Williams. Billie Jean later married Johnny Horton, another notable singer. Horton died in 1960 and is interred at Hill Crest Cemetery in Haughton in Bossier Parish.[29]

Geography

Minden has an elevation of 253 feet (77.1 m).[30] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.0 square miles (31 km2), of which, 11.9 square miles (31 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.75%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census[33] of 2000, there were 13,027 people, 5,166 households, and 3,430 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,095.2 people per square mile (423.0/km²). There were 5,795 housing units at an average density of 487.2 per square mile (188.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.34% White, 52.17% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.61% of the population.

There were 5,166 households, out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city of Minden, the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years, higher than the state median age of 34.0 years. For every 100 females there were 84.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,175, and the median income for a family was $31,477. Males had a median income of $28,401 versus $19,199 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,114. About 21.0% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.3% of those under age 18 and 20.1% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Minden has numerous businesses and an active Chamber of Commerce, which maintains offices near the intersection of Broadway and the Sibley Road. Two former executive directors of the chamber were elected as mayor, Tom Colten in 1966 and Paul A. Brown in 1989.

Minden was a stop on the former Louisiana and Arkansas Railway. The local depot, located where Main Street turns into the Shreveport Road, was constructed in 1923. By the 1950s, it was converted into a freezer locker plant, used primarily for the storage and sale of meat. The building was razed in the spring of 1982.[34]

The Webster Parish Courthouse, completed in the spring of 1953, is located west of its former location. The latter site was paved in the early 1970s to serve as a parking lot for the Minden City Hall/Civic Center. Governor Robert F. Kennon, a former resident and mayor of Minden from 1926 to 1928, spoke at the dedication ceremony.[35]

In February 2014, the Fibrebond Corporation, which builds concrete shelters, announced a $2.5 million capital expansion project which will revive an inactive container mill adjacent to the company's existing manufacturing site in Minden. The expansion will create 225 jobs, which will pay $3,000 gross per month. Some twenty-five additional jobs will also become available temporarily for the pending construction work at the site.[36]

Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Minden

Larry B. Hunter (1896–1971) and his wife, the former Gladys Powell (1899–1973), a native of Sibley, for more than fifty years operated the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Minden, at 412 Pine Street. The company was founded by Larry Hunter's father, William S. Hunter, a native of New Orleans, as North Louisiana Bottling Works in 1901. The company did not acquire a franchise to bottle Coca-Cola until 1905. When William S. Hunter died in 1919, Larry Hunter, at the age of twenty-three, became head of the company.[37]

While soft drinks were bottled at the facility into the early 1980s, the former bottling plant is now only a distribution center. The present brick building, constructed in 1926, is the third building to serve as home to the company. It is located across from the Minden Cemetery.

The Hunters subsidized the Minden Redbirds, a semi-professional baseball team, and also built a regulation sized baseball field for the team; establsished the former Hunter's Park, which included Minden's first public swimming pool, and Hunter's Playhouse that hosted weekly dances for area teenagers. These were the first public recreational facilities in Minden for young people. The playground and playhouse operated from 1940 to 1965. A memorial statue in commemoration of Larry and Gladys Hunter's gifts to the city of Minden is located outside the Coca-Cola facility at the corner of Pine and Goodwill streets in Minden.

In 1950, Gladys Hunter became the first woman ever to be elected to the Webster Parish School Board, on which she served for two six-year terms. In honor of her legacy the company funds a scholarship to be awarded each year to a deserving graduate of Minden High School.

A collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia is on display at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum at 116 Pearl Street in Minden.

Theaters

In the mid-20th century, Minden had two film theaters and a third drive-in facility. To promote the film industry, in 1951, theater owners Edgar Beach Hands, Jr. (1905–1972), and Ruth Cobb Cheshire Lowe (1906–1991) hosted several film stars in a visit to the city. One was a future Robert Stack of the later ABC television series The Untouchables. Jesse White, best known for Maytag commercials, also visited.[38] By the late 1970s, Minden had no theaters. Its last was the West Plaza Twin Cinema, a building still standing off the Homer Road. In the 21st century, several motion pictures have been filmed in the city and the surrounding areas of Webster Parish. Numerous cities and towns smaller than Minden still have maintained the demand for a theater.

Though it has no theater, Minden is the city of license for CW affiliate KPXJ, Channel 21.

Education

Main building at new Northwest Louisiana Technical College campus off the Interstate 20 service road; groundbreaking was held on September 6, 2013, with Governor Bobby Jindal, among others, cutting the ribbon.[39]
Renovated Minden High School (2007) on College Street

The Webster Parish School Board maintains administrative offices at 1442 Sheppard Street. Minden High School, located just north of the downtown, completed major renovation in 2007. The original Minden High School located adjacent to the current campus dates to the turn of the 20th century.

Northwest Louisiana Technical College, a vocational technical institution, was formerly located on Constable Street near the Webster Parish fairgrounds and Griffith Stadium, a baseball field, where the former Minden Redbirds semi-professional team played. Governor Earl Kemp Long had included a trade school for Webster Parish in his 1948 platform, and State Senator Drayton R. Boucher and State Representative C.W. Thompson set about getting the initial $175,000 in funding through the legislature.[40]

In the summer of 2013, Northwest Technical College was relocated to a new and expanded site on the Interstate 20 service road. State Senator Robert Adley, who represents Webster and Bossier parishes, successfully sponsored SB 204, which will provide $251.6 million in financing and construction for twenty-nine projects at various technical college campuses across the state, including the new Minden facility.[41]

Elementary schools in Minden include E. S. Richardson, J. L. Jones, and J. E. Harper schools. In a cost-cutting move, the board in 2011 closed William G. Stewart Elementary School (built 1949), and the structure was quickly razed thereafter, leaving behind only a vacant field on Middle Landing Street.

The middle school, Webster Junior High School, is located on East Union Street at the site of the former historically black Webster High School, which closed in 1975, with desegregation into Minden High School. The previous junior high school, Theresa M. Lowe Junior High School located at 109 Clerk Street near the fairgrounds, was closed after desegregation and converted into an alternative school. Theresa Lowe (1907–1959), namesake of the former junior high school, graduated from Rayville High School in Rayville in Richland Parish in northeastern Louisiana and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. She taught seventh grade at the former Minden Junior High School and was a leader in the Louisiana Teachers Association, since renamed Louisiana Association of Educators. Two of her brothers practiced law together in Springhill. Charles McConnell was also the mayor of Springhill from 1954 to 1958, and Nathaniel Julius McConnell, Sr., was the city judge there from 1956 until 1986.[42][43]

The private academy known as the Glenbrook School, located on Country Club Circle off the Lewisville Road, began in 1970 within the First Baptist Church of Minden.

The Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary, which offers bachelor's, master's, and doctor of theology degrees, is located off the Homer Road in east Minden. The theologically conservative institution was opened in 1952 by the then pastor L. L. Clover of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, which is located adjacent to the seminary.

The main branch of the Webster Parish Library is located on East and West Street in Minden in a newer structure which opened in 1996. The $3 million library project, which included renovation of the previous plant to the right of the new structure, was funded through a 20-year bond issue. In a 17 percent turnout in a special election held in October 1993, voters approved the bond issue, 2,600 to 957.[44]

Notable people

Politics

  • Jack Batton (1913–1996), mayor of Minden, 1978–1982; former city council member; merchant and civic leader, Democrat
  • J. D. Batton (1911–1981), sheriff of Webster Parish 1952–1964, brother of Jack Batton, Democrat
  • William Jasper Blackburn (1820–1899), mayor of Minden, 1855–1856; newspaper publisher; later U.S. Representative (1868–1869), Democrat-turned-Republican[45]
  • Thomas Cameron "T. C." Bloxom, Jr. (1929–2014), sheriff's deputy (1956–1983), candidate for sheriff (1983), city fire chief (1971–2008), police chief (1990–2010), widely known civic figure in Minden, native of Mansfield, Democrat[46]
  • Dorothy A. Brown (born 1953), Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, 2000–present
  • Bruce M. Bolin (born 1950), state representative from Webster Parish, 1978–1990; state district court judge, 1991–2012, Democrat[47]
  • James E. Bolin (1914–2002), state representative, 1940–1944; state district court judge, 1952–1960; Louisiana appeal court judge, 1960–1978, Democrat[48]
  • Jesse L. Boucher (1912–2004), real estate developer and former mayor of Springhill, taught at Minden High School in the late 1930s, Democrat[49]
  • Parey Branton (1918–2011), Shongaloo native and resident, represented Webster Parish in the Louisiana House from 1960 to 1972, Democrat[50]
  • Henry L. Bridges (1874–1939), mayor (1928–1932 and 1934–1936), Democrat[51]
  • John Calhoun Brown (1879–1964), interim mayor (1942–1944), Democrat[52]
  • Ronnie Broughton (born 1941), member and former president of the Webster Parish School Board; state chairman of the Constitution Party for Louisiana[53]
  • Pierce E. Burton, Jr. (1930-2015), farmer and cattleman who served for fifty years as a Webster Parish justice of the peace, Republican[54]
  • Harvey Locke Carey (1915-1984), lawyer and politician, married into the Drew family; lived briefly in Minden; died in Minden, Democrat[55]
  • J. J. Carter, 19th century state representative, mayor of Minden, school board member, and parish police juror, Democrat[56]
  • J. Frank Colbert (1882–1949), mayor (1944–1946), state representative (1920–1925), and member of the Webster Parish Police Jury (1912–1920), Democrat[57]
  • Tom Colten (1922–2004) served from 1966 to 1974 as mayor. He later headed the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development under three governors of both parties, Republican.[58]
  • Joe Cornelius, Sr. (born 1942), African-American former interim mayor of Minden, Democrat
  • Scott Crichton, judge of the Louisiana 1st Judicial District Court in Shreveport, 1991–2014, incoming associate justice for Louisiana Supreme Court, January 1, 2015; reared in Minden through the eighth grade, Democrat-turned-Republican[59]
  • Floyd D. Culbertson, Jr. (1908–1989), mayor from 1940 to 1942, Democrat[60]
  • John T. David (1897–1974), the mayor of Minden from 1946 to 1955, when he resigned after two misdemeanor convictions for bootlegging. He was thereafter elected to three terms on the Webster Parish Police Jury, Democrat.[61]
  • Tommy Davis (born 1942), mayor of Minden, winner of special election held on October 19, 2013, Republican[62]
  • Rita Heard Days (born 1950), a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, is a former member of both houses of the Missouri State Legislature, Democrat.
  • Everett Doerge (1935–1998) was an educator and member of the Louisiana House from 1991 to 1998. He was succeeded by his widow, Jean M. Doerge, also a former educator, a Democrat, and a native of Natchitoches Parish. She was reelected three times to the House. Everett Doerge won the post in the 1991 general election by defeating the Republican Eugene S. Eason of Springhill.[63]
  • Harmon Caldwell Drew (1889–1950), District and circuit court judge, Democrat
  • Harmon Drew, Jr. (born 1946), Court of Appeals Judge (born 1946), Democrat[64]
  • Richard Cleveland Drew (1848–1919), District and circuit court judge, Democrat.
  • R. Harmon Drew, Sr. (1917–1995), former assistant district attorney, municipal judge and a Democratic state representative[65]
  • Richard Maxwell Drew (1822–1850), district court judge, state representative[66]
  • John C. Fleming (born 1951), physician, author; member of the United States House of Representatives, Republican[67]
  • Connell Fort (1867–1937), mayor of Minden from 1922 to 1926 and 1932 to 1934, Democrat[68]
  • Thomas Wafer Fuller (1867–1920), state senator from 1896 to 1900, second Webster Parish school superintendent from 1908 until his death in 1920, Democrat[69]
  • [70]
  • E.D. Gleason (1899–1959), member of the Louisiana House from Webster Parish from 1952 until his death in 1959, Democrat[71]
  • Mary Smith Gleason (1899–1967), succeeded her husband as a member of the Louisiana House, 1959–1960, Democrat[72]
  • Jasper Goodwill (1889–1974), mayor of Minden, 1955–1958; started employee health insurance and pension plans, Democrat[73]
  • O. H. Haynes, Jr. (1920–1996), sheriff of Webster Parish 1964–1980, Democrat[74]
  • O. H. Haynes, Sr. (1888–1969), sheriff of Webster Parish 1933–1952, Democrat[75]
  • Henry Grady Hobbs (1923–2012), longtime president of the Webster Parish Library Board, instrumental in construction of the Minden main library in the middle 1990s; member of the Webster Parish School Board; benefactor of the Special Olympics; Minden city attorney for eighteen years, Democrat[76]
  • Jerry Huckaby (born 1941), a 1959 Minden High School graduate, served in Congress from 1977 to 1993. He represented Louisiana's 5th congressional district, which did not include either Minden or Webster Parish, Democrat.[77]
  • Herman "Wimpy" Jones (1905–1967), State senator from 1956 to 1960; founder of restaurant that became the Southern Kitchen in Minden, Democrat[78]
  • Edward Kennon, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner, 1973–1984, Democrat (later Independent)[79]
  • Robert F. Kennon (1902–1988), was at 23 the youngest mayor ever in the state of Louisiana (1926–1928); Democratic Governor of Louisiana, 1952–1956[80]
  • James Peter Kent (1866-1937), Minden newspaper publisher, mayor of Minden from 1899 to 1903 and state representative for Webster Parish from 1916 to 1920, Democrat[81]
  • John Sidney Killen (1826-1903), farmer and cattleman, state representative in 1871[82]
  • Graydon K. Kitchens, Jr. (born 1936), retired city, ward, and Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court judge, Democrat-turned-Republican[83]
  • Graydon K. Kitchens, Sr.; (1903–1988), lawyer and politician; former law partner of Robert F. Kennon, member of the Louisiana Tax Commission, Democrat[84]
  • A. M. Leary, Minden native, mayor from 1903 to 1905; later director of the Home Owners Loan Corporation in Shreveport, Democrat[85]
  • W. Burch Lee (1883-1938), state representative for Webster Parish, 1914-1916; clerk of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Shreveport, Democrat[86]
  • Coleman Lindsey, Democratic lieutenant governor of Louisiana, 1939–1940; state senator from Bossier and Webster parishes, 1924–1928 and 1932–1940; judge in East Baton Rouge Parish, 1950–1968, Democrat[87]
  • Cecil C. Lowe (1923–2013), Minden city attorney, 1949–1954; Minden city judge, 1954–1976; judge of the 26th Judicial District Court, 1976–1988; thereafter ad hoc judge of the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal, Democrat[88]
  • W. Matt Lowe, mayor of Minden from 1916 to 1920; Webster parish police juror from 1940 to 1954, Democrat[89]
  • Charles A. Marvin, district attorney of the 26th Judicial District (Bossier and Webster parishes) from 1971 to 1975), judge of the Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeal for the Second District in Shreveport (1975–1999), Democrat[90]
  • Schuyler Marvin, district attorney of Bossier and Webster parishes since 2003, son of Charles A. Marvin, Democrat-turned-Republican[91]
  • Enos C. McClendon, Jr., judge of the 26th Judicial District, 1960 to 1978, Democrat[92]
  • J. Frank McInnis, judge of the 26th Judicial District, 1930 to 1953, Democrat[93]
  • Leland G. Mims, Webster Parish police juror from 1953 to 1976; jury president, 1956–1973, and president of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana, 1965–1967, Democrat[94]
  • John Willard "Jack" Montgomery, Sr., Minden attorney and state senator from 1968 to 1972, Democrat.[95]
  • Frank T. Norman, mayor of Minden from 1958 to 1966; worked to establish the municipal power plant, Democrat[96]
  • E.S. Richardson (1875–1950), Webster Parish school superintendent and president of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, namesake of E.S. Richardson Elementary School, Democrat[97]
  • Robert Roberts, Jr., mayor of Minden 1905-1906, state representative 1908-1914, and state district judge 1920 to 1925, Democrat[98]
  • Bill Robertson (1938–2013), mayor of Minden from 1991 until his death, Democrat[99]
  • John N. Sandlin (1872–1957), succeeded John Watkins in Congress, 1921–1937; ran unsuccessfully in 1936 for the U.S. Senate against fellow Democrat Allen J. Ellender[100]
  • McIntyre H. Sandlin (1870-1955), mayor of Minden 1894 to 1896 and member of the Louisiana House of Representatives 1896-1900, Democrat
  • Nicholas J. Sandlin (1832-1896), farmer, lawyer, journalist, district attorney, police juror, state representative, postmaster, Confederate States Army officer, Democrat[101]
  • E. L. Stewart (1872-1956), Minden lawyer and state representative from 1904 to 1908, Democrat
  • Robert T. Tobin (1911–2007), a retired educator, served on an interim mayor of Minden in 1989, the first of thus far two African Americans to have held the position, Democrat.[102]
  • Abner Drake Turner (1877–1953), a banker, who served as mayor of Minden (1910–1916), Democrat[103]
  • John D. Watkins (1828-1895), educator, lawyer, district attorney, state court judge, state senator, originally from Caldwell County, Kentucky, Democrat[104]
  • John T. Watkins (1854–1925), served in the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana's 4th congressional district, Democrat.[105]
  • G. L. P. Wren (1836-1901), member of both houses of the Louisiana state legislature from 1884 to 1896; farmer in Webster Parish, Democrat[106][107]

Sports

Turner's Pond off the Lewisville Road as photographed from Lakeview United Methodist Church
Plaques of the ten military personnel from Minden who died in the Vietnam War are displayed at the Veterans Memorial on Turner's Pond
Veterans Day parade, 2013, in downtown Minden
Griffith Memorial Stadium on Constable Street is named for B. F. Griffith, Sr. (1867–1960), the Webster Parish sheriff from 1900 to 1908 who is considered the father of the Webster Parish Fair. The stadium hosts baseball games.[108]
The Minden Recreation Center off Interstate 20

Others

In popular culture

On January 9, 2012, MTV premiered the reality television show Caged, about mixed martial artists fighting to gain the means to leave Minden.

Gallery

References

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External links

  • City of Minden, official website
  • Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce
  • Minden Press-Herald (local newspaper)
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