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Stephen F. Austin State University

Bellevue In 1875 (June 2014)

Bellevue in 1875
By Ann Middleton

In its June 23, 1875 issue The Bossier Banner postulated that census figures might not reflect the position that Bellevue should occupy in the statistics. Only men, women and children appear in the statistics, whereas it requires more than inhabitants to constitute a town or city.

In addition to the population of Bellevue, it has sixty-seven homes-not all dwellings-but among which are a Court house and jail, and where is the other town in the parish that has more, or is ever likely to have the later? We have an Academy with a Principaless [sic] eminently qualified to train the youthful mind. One store that can furnish anything called for, from a needle to an anchor, at cost prices, freight added-freight tolerable heavy sometimes! One Grocery, where you will b[e] FRANK-ly told that too much will make drunk come. One Hotel, that asks no odds of the St. Charles, in the way of substantials. One preacher, ready to tie the knot, and see that same is Recorded! Two Doctors, that will cure you of all the ills flesh is heir to-if they can-if they can't, why you go under. Four Lawyers-always waiting to be gracious-they are waiting yet. One printing office-the man who runs it is too modest to blow his own trumpet-but "hangs out his Banner" every Thursday morning. We have three dogs-one black cur, one terrier and one "yaller dog." We defy any town in the State to do as small a business in the dog line; but in bovines and cats we can beat the universe. On a fair count we have about 200 of the former-including Mr. Rasberry's oxen, judging by their tracks in the morning, after a slight shower, 1400 more or less-and a small steer! Cats! We defy any man to take their census, unless he were to imbibe a quart of benzene, locate himself on the Court house roof of a moonlight night, and count the number of spits and me-ows. To sum up, we have a very pleasant, quiet town, and birds that make sweeter music than anywhere else. There is one winging now, that would put Jenny Lind to the blush.

Bellevue was the parish seat until 1890 when the Police Jury moved the courthouse records from Bellevue to Benton after much contention. To learn about other old towns and villages of Bossier Parish pay a visit to the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.