Did You Know?

Did You Know?

A number of historical buffs have wondered how the early settling of the parish was done and how the settlers were organized. Generally speaking the northern part of the Parish was settled by slightly more affluent families and earlier than the southern portion. For this article let’s trace the southern portion south of present day U.S. Hwy 84 from Mansfield to Stanley, La. This road, one of the five major east/west roads of Louisiana known as the “Lone Star Road” or “Three Slash Road” because it was marked by 3 slashes on the trees lining the trail to mark this road.

The history of the area is a part of DeSoto Parish formed by Act 88 of the 16th La. Legislature in 1843. It was part of the “No Man’s Land” since it was claimed by France and Spain yet neither provided laws to protect it. The desire of free land drew the early settlers from the Carolinas, Alabama and Georgia. Traditionally a large group of ten to twelve families came as a convoy with women and girls riding in wagons pulled by mules or oxen. Maximum travel for a day was 15 or 20 miles. The men, boys and livestock followed the wagons with a couple of riders out front to guard against Indians or robbers.

As the area became settled with a road south to a ferry crossing the Sabine River called Myrick Ferry, thus the road for many years was know as Mansfield/Myrick Road. An interesting thing about roads of the early 1800’s was that the police jury appointed a leader along the road to be an overseer whose job it was to get people who lived along the section of the road to maintain it. The Myrick Ferry road was about nine miles long to the Sabine River and was graveled in about 1925 and later blacktopped in 1948. Until that time it was very rough.

 

 

 

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