Louisiana Map Legend

A Look Inside Southwest Louisiana Biographical and Historical

As we announced last March we are expanding our American County Histories collection. The first addition, The Southeast, includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. This expansion project is moving quickly along and many of the new volumes are now online and fully searchable through the powerful Accessible Archives search engine.

This title, Southwest Louisiana Biographical and Historical, is one of the first to come online for Louisiana.

Preface

This volume goes forth to our patrons the result of months of arduous and conscientious labor. None so well know as those who have been associated with us the almost insurmountable difficulties to be met with in the preparation of a work of this character.

Since the inauguration of the enterprise a large force has been employed in collecting material. During this time most of the citizens have been called to contribute from their recollections, carefully preserved letters, scraps of manuscript, memoranda, etc. Public records have been searched, newspaper files have been overhauled, and former citizens have been corresponded with for a verification of the information thus obtained. In the conflicting statements of individuals, and the discrepancies and incompleteness of public documents, we have given preference to the preponderance of authority.

While we acknowledge the existence of errors, as are to be found in all books, we claim to have come up to the standard of our promises, and given as accurate a work as the nature of surroundings would permit. The facts incorporated in the biographical sketches have, in most cases, been secured from the persons whom they represent; hence the publishers disclaim any responsibility as to the matter they contain.

Whatever may be the verdict of some, we feel assured that all just and thoughtful people will appreciate our efforts, and recognize the importance of the undertaking and the great public benefit that has been accomplished in preserving the valuable historical matters of the country, and biographies of many of the citizens, that perhaps would otherwise have passed into oblivion.

To those who have given us their support and encouragement we acknowledge our gratitude, and can assure them that as years go by the bock will grow in value as a repository, not only of pleasing reading matter, but of treasured information of the past that will become an enduring monument.

The Publishers
March, 1891

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I

Introductory — Southwest Louisiana — Its Beauty and Fertility — Geology — Why the Farmer should Understand the Soil he Cultivates — Resources — General Elevation — Climate — Indians — The Attakapas Country — Its Name Derived from a Powerful Tribe of Indians — A Legend of the “Noble Red Man” — Lake Catahoula — The Western Company — Spanish Occupancy — The Settlement Rapidly Increases Under It — Marriage Under the Spanish Veil — A Trip to New Orleans — Incidents of the Voyage — Louisiana Ceded back to France — Summary, etc.

CHAPTER II

Parish of St. Landry — Boundary and Topography — Timber and Soils — Water Courses — Resources, etc — Crop Statistics — Early Settlement — Something of the Pioneers — The Creoles — Indian Possession — More Pioneer History — Parish Organization — St. Landry as the County of Opelousas — Where the People Voted — Roads and Railroads — Agriculture — Sugar Making — Rice Culture — Churches and Schools — Opelousas — Its Growth and Business — Other Towns of the Parish — The Press — The Bench and Bar — Pioneer Doctors — Scattered Threads — The Military, etc.

CHAPTER III

Parish of St. Martin — Introductory and Descriptive — Early History — Its Territory Lopped Off to Form Other Civil Divisions — The Civil War — Soldiers of St. Martin — Dark Days of Reconstruction — Crop Statistics — Resources, etc. — Parish Government — Schools — From 1811 to 1861 — Calamities that Visited the Town — Manufacturing Statistics — Fire Department — Stores, etc — Catholic Church — The Story of Evangeline — Vigilance Committees — Battle of Queue Tortue — Pioneer Bar of St. Martin — Breaux Bridge, etc.

CHAPTER IV

Parish of Iberia — General Description — Water Courses, etc — Residences and Plantations — Prairie au Large — Grand Cote and Petit Anse Island — A Pisgah View — The Avery Salt Mines — Indian Relics — Joe Jefferson’s Island — Lake Peigneur — A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey — Early Settlers — First Americans — The Acadians — Organization of the Parish — First Court House — Public Improvements — The Medical Profession — Yellow Fever Epidemics — Old “Felicity” — Lawyers — Educational — New Iberia Laid Out — Industries — The Oil Mill — Churches, Newspapers, etc. Jeannerette — Other Towns of Smaller Note, etc.

CHAPTER V

Parish of Calcasieu — Introductory — Topography and Description — Settlement — Reese Perkins — His Magisterial Services — An Incident — The Pioneers — Organization of the Parish — The Seat of Justice — Development of Resources — Fruit Culture — Figs — Rice Growing — Lumber Interests — Evening on the Calcasieu — Railroads — The Watkins Road — Churches and Schools — Lake Charles College — Lawyers and Doctors — Lake Charles Settled — Incorporated — A Go-Ahead Town — Rice Mill — Saw Mills and Lumber — The Press — Country Towns — The Sulphur Mine — Many Things of Many Kinds, etc.

CHAPTER VI

The Parish of Cameron — Boundaries and Description — The Coast Marsh — Future Development of Cameron — What Railroads Will Do For It — Settlement — Organization of the Parish — Legislative Act for Its Creation — A Correspondent’s Impression of the Country and Its Capabilities — Orange Culture — A Fruit Country Unsurpassed — What the People May Make of It — Climate, etc — The Medical and Legal Professions — Churches and Schools — A Parish Well Supplied with Moral Influences, etc.

CHAPTER VII

Parish of Latayette — General Description — Darby’s Opinion — Geology and Soils — Beau Basin — The Cote Gelée Hills — Products, etc
Stock Raising — Health of the Parish — Early Settlement — The Moutons — Other Pioneers — A Character — An Incident — Lafayette Parish Created — Characteristics — Lafayette vs. Vermilionville — The Acadians — Railroads — Schools, etc — Bench and Bar — District and Parish Judges — Present Bar — Medical Profession — Board of Health — War Record — The Townot Lafayette — Railroad Shipments — Carencro — Other Towns — Queue Tortue Section — General Summary, etc.

CHAPTER VIII

Parish of St. Mary — Topography, etc — Belle Isle — Geological — Lands Overflowed and not Overflowed — Sketch of Daniel Dennett — Resources of the Parish — Crop Statistics — In the Good Old Times, etc — Number of Slaves — Rice — Fruit Growing — Strawberries — Tobacco — Climate and Health — Cote Blanche Island — Early Settlement — Moralizing on the Pioneers — Characteristics — An Incident — Another — Organization of the Parish — Police Jurors — “Nigger” Rule — The Early Courts and Bar — Military — The Town of Franklin — Manufacturing Industries — A Port of Entry — Morgan City, etc.

CHAPTER IX

“A Tale of Acadia” — Introductory — A Glance at Acadia Parish — Prairie on Fire — Resources — A Western Editor’s Impressions of Southwestern Louisiana — Early Settlement — A German Colony — Joseph Fabacher — An Ode to the German Emigrant — Introduction of Rice Culture — Making Hay — Organization of the Parish — Act of the Legislature — Incorporation of Parish — Officials — Court Houses and Jails — The Town of Crowley — Laying Out of Same — Other Towns — Schools and Churches — The Acadia College — General Summary, etc.

CHAPTER X

Parish of Vermilion — Topography and Description — Soils, and Crops — Agricultural Statistics — Fruit Culture — Pecan Island — Shadowy Traditions Concerning It — Ghosts of Dead Men — Opinion of an Ex-Governor — Settlement of the Parish — Act Organizing It — Town of Abbeville — Change of the Parish Seat — The Catholic Church — Seat of Justice Finally Located — Abbeville Incorporated — Business Men’s Directory — Perry’s Bridge — Military History — The War of 1812 — Soldiers in the Late War — Schools — The Bench and Bar — Benevolent Associations, etc.

APPENDIX

Facts of Interest to the Reader — Evangeline — Constitution of the State — The Acadians — Lafitte the Pirate — Lafitte the Patriot — Battle of New Orleans, etc.

INDEX

BIOGRAPHICAL

ACADIA PARISH
CALCASIEU PARISH
IBERIA PARISH
LAFAYETTE PARISH
ST. LANDRY PARISH
ST. MARTIN PARISH
ST. MARY PARISH
VERMILION PARISH

ILLUSTRATIONS

ANDING, H. W. (Part II)
BROUSSARD, J. T. (Part I)
BRYAN, J. W. (Part I)
DUSON, C. C. (Part I)
FRANCEZ ROMAN (Part II)
GRAY, H. M. (Part II)
MCGINLEY, B. F. (Part II)
MOORE, E. O. (Part II)
OPELOUSAS FEMALE INSTITUTE, (Part I)
SMITH, J. P. (Part I)
THOMPSON, J. J. (Part I)
WARE, JNO. M. (Part I)

Extra

Louisiana and Mississippi routes of Broutin, de Verges, and Saucier

This map of the Mississippi River Valley from Memphis to the Gulf of Mexico as far east as Mobile includes interior streams, routes, European communities, and Native American settlements and nations, fortifications … Map concentrates on the surveys of Broutin, Vergés, and Saucier in Mississippi and Alabama …

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