Did You Know?

Did You Know?

The histories of DeSoto Parish and Mansfield are interesting and additional facts are constantly found. An example of this very thing is the surveying of Mansfield and where the names of the streets came from. Of course DeSoto Parish was formed April 1, 1843 when Governor Mouton, Father of Gen. Mouton of the Battle of Mansfield fame, signed Act 88 of the first session of the Sixteenth Legislature of the State of Louisiana. DeSoto was not named to honor the Spanish explorer Ferdinand DeSoto, as many believe. It was named after Marcel DeSoto, who led the first group of European settlers to a settlement known as Bayou Pierre. Marcel was the son-in-law of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, founder of Natchitoches. As a review, the first president of the Police Jury was John Wagner who lived west of Grand Cane and south of Screamerville. He was also selected by the Jury to execute deeds during the 1843 - 54 period. On June 5, 1843 the Jury purchased 160 acres of land (SW/4 of Sec. 9, T12, R13) that John A. Gamble and C.A. Edwards had purchased from the State of Louisiana designated as the town site for Mansfield. The two men purchased the 160-acre town site for $200.47, which was sold to the Jury for the same price. The Jury employed Thomas P. Hall to survey the 160 acres. The northwest corner was on the west bank of the ravine with the remaining portion being on the east side of the ravine. The Hall survey has been lost; however, it is believed to have been made about March 4, 1844 because Judge Welsh made the first purchase of 5 5/8 acres in the S.W. Corner on that date.

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