Did You Know?

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Did You Know?

While serving as First Vice-President of the North Louisiana Historical Society on April 4, 1964 this writer submitted the following article on the Ole Log Courthouse Bell. This article slightly condenses and updates that original. Hardly had DeSoto Parish been

Hardly had DeSoto Parish been organized when the Police Jury saw the need for a bell to summon people into court. In 1843 a bell was ordered from Philadelphia to be placed in front of the newly constructed log courthouse at the corner of Washington Ave. and Franklin St. The courthouse square was left vacant because a larger Courthouse would be needed in the near future. The Bell did service for many years and if it could speak it would reveal the history of DeSoto Parish. It would tell of the trials, debates and elections that became history here.

Mr. John Hewitt, one of Mansfield’s early historians and an observer of the Battle of Mansfield, also owned the local newspaper of that time the Mansfield Enterprise. He told this writer about the Ole Bell. It was positively identified by Mr. Jason Meadows, a young boy whose job it was to ring the bell for courtroom summons. Mr. Hewitt says, “The Ole Bell is unquestionably one of the oldest relics in the whole area, the Red Man had not taken his departure from this locality during its days.” There was an Indian Village that had been abandoned at the foot of Hungerbella Hill. During the Civil War the Ole Bell was used at the Boys Academy located in front of the N.W. Jenkins home now owned by Dr. Jeffrey Evans.



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