UNION PARISH POLICE JURY MINUTES

May 15, 1839

Pursuant to an order by Judge John Taylor, members-elect of the Union Parish Police Jury met at the house of William Wilkerson, at the mouth of the Corney Bayou, and presented their certificates of election, the result of a special election held on May 13.

Members elected to seats on the first Police Jury were the following:

Ward 1–John N. Farmer. Election held at the house of Susan Farmer. W. W. Farmer, Justice of Peace, signed the certificate.

Ward 2–Jeptha Colvin. Election held at John Stow’s. Jeptha Colvin signed certificate.

Ward 3–Philip Feazel. Jeptha Colvin signed certificate.

Ward 4–Matthew Wood.

Ward 5–Needham M. Bryan. Daniel Payne and Needham M. Bryan, Managers signed certificate.

Ward 6–Bridges Howard. John H. Guice and David G. Stewart, Commissioners, signed certificate.

Ward 7–D. P. A. Cook. Justice of Peace W. Underwood signed certificate.

On the first motion of the Police Jury, members elected Matthew Wood president pro temp ore and Thomas Van Hook clerk of the first session. A following motion elected Wood president of the Police Jury and authorized him to hold elections from among the Police Jury members for additional parish offices.

William C. Carr was appointed tax collector (subject to $700 bond), Thomas J. Greer, constable, and Thomas J. Seal, constable.

Matthew Wood authorized to purchase three books for the parish records.

Members voted to meet at 9:00 a.m. the following morning.

The site of Wilkerson’s house is now under the waters of Lake D’Arbonne. Before the inundation of the site, it could be reached by travelling about a quarter of a mile down a dirt road to a pen oak flat at the extreme west end of Bayou Street in Farmerville. In years past, that site was known as Fork Ferry, a name derived from the ferry operations at the confluence, or fork, of Bayous D’Arbonne and Corney. Wilkerson is not on the Census of 1840; it is not known whether he was omitted from the census or perhaps had migrated or died. By the mid-1840’s, the German (perhaps Jarman) family ran the ferry at that point.

Susan Farmer was the mother of John N. and W. W. Farmer. A daughter of William Wood, she first married Daniel McCowen (also McCown or McGowen), and they had a son, James, before Daniel presumably died. Then, she married Mills Farmer on February 13, 1812, and besides John and William, they had six other children: Sarah E., Leah, Rachel, Benjamin F., Shephard M., and Isabella. Mills died before 1840, and Susan died October 21, 1843, leaving a considerable estate in slaves and real property.

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