Cotton Gins & Saw Mills
These are from DeBow's Review Vol 12 ca 1852 --- Historical and Statiscal Collections of Louisiana,
Parish of Catahoula. Keep in mind this was written in 1852.
The first water saw-mill in the parish was bulit on Hemphill's Creek, in 1806, for Mathew Stone, oy Jam)es Brownlee. It was about five miles from the bay where Captain G. Spencer's saw-mill now stands.
The next was put up where Spencer's mill now is, by Brownlee,
Elias Carter and John Clarke, for themselves, in 1808-9. They accidentally
found the situation one Sunday evening, and soon bought the land around there
firom Edward Bullen, without intimating their designs to him, or any one.
They went to work under many disadvantages, and soon raised the mill, and
set it going.
The first saw gin and gin house in the a parish was put up for John Henry, on what is now know as the
Troy place, at the mouth of Little River, about four hundred yards up from the junction of the two rivers. The exact date
of it's building cannot be ascertained, but it was 1804 or 5.
The next gin was put up for Edward Lovelace on Sicily Island, at the head of Lake Looah, in 1807. He and his brother
got out the house timbers and did most of the work in framing, covering, etc. They were nearly two years building the
house and getting the machinery completed. Shadrach Taylor made the running gear and the wood work of the gin-stand;
while James Wright made the saws and all the iron work. This gin stood for many years, cotton being taken to it from
Catahoula and Breuff praries by boats, as late as 1835.
James Stokes built a gin in the town of Harrisonburg, in 1813, which was burnt down by an incendiary in 1819.
The first gin on Little River after Henry's was put up for Dr
John McBride Thompson, in 1834, by McClennon and
Cornwall; the running gear was made by Peter Row.
The first gin put up on Black River, in this parish, was for
P D Mason, in 1837, by Ferrill and McCamish; Peter Row
made the running gear. The house is still standing on the place now owned by J Metcalf, four miles below Trinity.
Zacharias Taliaferro built a large double mill on Gray's Creek, in 1816-17.
The first "steam-engine" was put up on Black River
in 1839, by R C Martin and Henry Shriver. This mill, or the machinery,
was moved in 1849 into a large house in Trinity, so as to be in a more central place. It is now owned by H Shriver and John M Phillips.
Joseph R Carter had a "tan-yard" in Catahoula prairie as early as 1812.
Jacob Lanius had one in 1816, near Harrisonburg.
Moses McDaniel and Joseph Francis established their tannery here in 1844, and still carry on their business.
Lacey, and Henry Gutherie, and Charles Craig, were "hatters" here from 1810 down to 1820. If a person would funish either of them with 16 fox-skins, or the same number of raccoon-skins, they would make a hat which would last, with constant wearing, for ten years.
Rezin Bowie put up a whiskey-distillery on the Bayou Bushby
in 1803, and make several barrels of whickey every year for
some time. After cotton began to attract attention, he quit the still and raised cotton.
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