FRANKLIN PARISH EARLY YEARS
|Desoto was probably the first white man to view that part of Louisiana which is now Franklin Parish. By consulting a map of his travels, it can be seen that one of this camping places was on Deer Creek, at or near where Gilbert now stands. Franklin Parish had its birth in an accident which happened on Little Boeuf River more than a century and a half ago. Two keelboats, laden with machinery, ran aground. The machinery in one was said to be able to gin cotton at the breathtaking rate of four bales a day. In the other was a massive, hand wrought contrivance of iron and steel that could "cut more cypress boards in a day than 50 men." After backbreaking efforts to free their boats from the sandbar which held them fast, the boatmen decided to pitch their camp on the banks of the Little Boeuf River when they were. This camp became a settlement which grew rapidly through the industry of its founders.|
Franklin Parish was created on March 1, 1843 from portions of Ouachita, Catahoula and Madison parishes through the efforts of Senator John Winn. The parish was named "Franklin " in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Land for a centrally located parish seat, Winnsborough (later Winnsboro) was purchased in 1844. It was designated as the parish seat of government in 1846 and was incorporated on March 18, 1902 by Governor William Wright Heard.
When the Village of Winnsboro was officially incorporated in 1902, the man appointed to serve as the first mayor was Captain William Phillip Power. A native of Quebec, Canada, and a teacher, Power came to the United States at the age of 21. He later served as captain of a Missouri Cavalry Company in the Confederate Army.
In 1865, he
married Susan Desha
and settled in Winnsboro. The couple
built their home in downtown Winnsboro across the street from what was later
to become the site of the present day
Power became publisher of The Franklin Sun and served his community as postmaster, politician and a lay Methodist minister. He and his wife had no children of their own, but opened their home to many orphaned children during their lifetime.
City records show the telephone came to Winnsboro in the year 1905; electricity, in 1914; and water and sewer service, in 1923, In 1924, a volunteer fire department was formed. In 1938 a bond issue to build the present municipal building was approved, and the following year citizens agreed to the purchase of the Landis municipal park property. Most of the community's streets were hard surfaced after 1950. On the fertile lands of the parish, cotton became king, and agriculture, the mainstay of the parish economy.
Maps of Louisiana Parishes 1840 - 1873
In 1840 Louisiana Parishes Looked some what like this
In 1843 Franklin Parish was created on from portions of Ouachita, Catahoula and Madison Parishes.
In 1868 Richland Parish from Franklin, Carroll, Morehouse, Ouachita. Franklin gained from Tensas Parish.
In 1873 Franklin gained from Catahoula Parish. Witch is today the Parish boundaries.
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