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A Map of Busy Life (March 2012)

Map of Busy Life
By Ann Middleton

The Bossier Banner, in its June 30, 1881 issue, continued to look back on the early days of Bossier Parish by re-publishing news items from some of the final issues of The Bossier Times. Aside from a "few free fights in the evening," the November 1857 elections passed quietly. The Police Jury appropriated $1250 to bridge Red Chute and Flat River on the road to Atkins landing. The newspaper carried a card for the organization of a light infantry company, and the editors advised all to "pitch in and learn the art of war." H. R. L. Winfrey advertised for hands to work his steam mill. In December W. W. Sloan opened a photograph gallery and T. F. Guinn advertised that he would open a school at the Edwards school house 1 ½ miles from Bellevue. There was also the card of T. W. Abney, Principal of the Cottage Grove Male and Female Seminary. The Court House would be hosting a grand Christmas Ball. Messrs. Oakley and Kelly advertised a blacksmith shop.

In early January 1858 The Bossier Times announced that it s office had moved from the Court House (Police Jury room) to an office near Mrs. S. A. Lowry's residence. Those needing to navigate from Bodcau to Shreveport could now do so by a keel boat that had been built for that trip. Cottage Grove Female Seminary, Mrs. L. M. Ricks, superintendent, also had an advertisement. Fires in February partially destroyed the roof of W. A. Kelley's hotel and an out-house of Jacob Bodenheimer. March 15th brought a terrific rain that uprooted trees and unroofed houses. James Fuller began the second session of the Bellevue Male and Female School on May 11th; Bugg & Due opened their dancing school on May 21st; Buckley and Co.'s circus came to town on May 28th. In June Lysander Rathbun let "all the world know" that the Arcade would no longer permit credit, nor would Timothy Oakley give any more credit. A Bossier Times editorial of July 31st called for a shoemaker of "strictly sober habits." Everything was reported suffering for rain and a great deal of sickness prevailed in the parish. On August 6th the paper reported no rain for near six weeks. In November many deer were found dead in the woods, dying from black tongue; A. D. and D. G. Wedge opened an ambrotype gallery and, in the issue of December 3rd, the editor acknowledged the receipt of two cats by stage from an unknown friend. February issues reported that by February of 1859, Bossier's population entitled her to two Representatives in the Legislature. Mabie's menagerie and circus came to Bellevue on April 15th. Richard Whitehurst's home, a stage stand near Benton , was robbed of $7.75 in cash and sundry promissory notes. J. W. McBride advertised the arrival of fresh groceries at his store in Bellevue . On June 17th The Bossier Times suspended publication. It is no wonder that, in the June 30, 1881 issue of The Bossier Banner, the editor titled his article about the early history of Bossier "A Map of Busy Life; It's Fluctuations and its Vast Concerns."

However, Bossier Parish wasn't long without a newspaper because on Friday, July 1, 1859, the first issue of The Bossier Banner appeared. To learn more about the history of Bossier newspapers and what they reported, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center .