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By: Raymond Powell

From time to time it is interesting to write about an outstanding person that helped to establish and contribute to the formation of DeSoto Parish. There are many but none surpassed John Wagner who served as the first President of the DeSoto Police Jury. John Wagner was a self-made man of high intellect and character. He was born in Pennsylvania on March 31, 1802 of Dutch/American parents. At the age of 16 he traveled by boat to New Orleans and then up to near Alexandria. There he learned cotton growing and found that he could get credit to purchase land from lenders in New Orleans. With this knowledge he patented land about three miles south of present Grand Cane. With his ability and work ethic he soon became a large land owner of some 60 sections.


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