Although Webster Parish was not founded until 1871, the settlement of the area began as early as 1818 in southern parts of the parish as well as in areas east of the parish's lifeline, Dorcheat Bayou. The town of Minden had been the economic center of the old Claiborne Parish since the 1840s and would go on to become the seat of Webster Parish. While Minden and the southern part of the parish had a varied economic base and a relatively slow and steady growth, the northern end of the parish experienced a much different pattern of expansion. Settlement in the areas of Springhill and Cotton Valley did not begin in large scale until the arrival of the railroad around 1900, but the timber industry and the oil boom caused these areas to develop rapidly. Pictures of the growth emerging from the Cotton Valley Oil Field and the presence of International Paper in Springhill give the reader a glimpse of how northern Webster Parish emerged during the twentieth century. Additional photographs of people, homes,and businesses throughout the parish complete the story of life in a long-ago era, a time marked by a growing prosperity in a young and optimistic America.
- 2000 John Agan.
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