The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1892
The soil of Union parish for the most part is a rich, sandy loam, varying in color and tenacity in different localities. There is some red land, a moderate area of outcropping
of iron rock. Less than one-fifth of the parish is cleared for cultivation, the remainder being covered with timber. The first settlement was probably made in the vicinity of
Ouachita City, and soon a store was established there, kept by a Mr. Jones. Dr. Sam Larkins, a retired physician, settled at Marion. Col. John Hill was one of the early settlers at that point; others were James Powell and Elias George. This settlement was probably made about 1835. Dr. John Taylor practiced there. Sam Taylor and Livingston were merchants there in the early forties. There were five brothers of the Taylor family and a goodly number of the Powells, all of whom settled in that region.
Spearsville settlement was probably made about 1842 or 1843. Mr. Spears and his oldest son began merchandising there, and afterward laid off a town. Early settlers of Spearsville were the Braziels, of whom there was a large family; Henry Barnes, Colonel Morgan and Mr. Pounce were other early comers to that section. Joe Goyen was also an early merchant in Spearsville. A large family of Cobbs lived near the Arkansas line, some of them perhaps living in Arkansas.
The vicinity of Shiloh was principally settled by families of Fuller and families of Hurds. Tribbs and Wade were early merchants there, and were followed by a merchant named Clark. Woods and Taylor were early settlers in the northeastern part of the parish.
The parish of Union was not created until 1839. It was formed out of a portion of the northern part of Ouachita parish. Parish buildings were erected and a town laid out and named Farmerville. The officials of the parish in 1891 are: James M. Smith, clerk of court; B.F. Pleasant, sheriff; James A. Manning, treasurer; Henry H. Hill, surveyor; Dr. C.H. Jameson, coroner; Dr. C.H. Jameson, parish physician; David M. Ramsey, returning officer; Robert W. Goyne, assessor. The population of Union parish, as given by the census of 1890, is 17,304.
Cotton, corn, peas, oats, wheat, rye, sweet and Irish potatoes, sorghum and sugar cane, pumpkins, turnips, melons, etc., are raised. The total acreage of Union parish is 411,073, of which 71,815 are cultivated; Cane, 234 acres; cotton, 34,367; corn, 33,254; oats, 2,090; potatoes, 1,120; sorghum, 750. The parish produced in 1890, 209 barrels of molasses, 15,160 bales of cotton, 256,785 bushels of corn, 9,760 bushels of oats, 32,960 bushels of potatoes and 242 barrels of sorghum.
The religious sentiment of the people is Protestant. Nearly the entire population attend religious services. The Methodist and Baptist churches predominate. There have been established in the parish eighty-eight public schools, the greatest number in any one parish in the state; there are eighteen private schools, making a total of 106 schools in the parish.
Among the towns of this parish, Farmerville ranks first both in size and commercial importance. It has a population of 612. The first house in the town was built by Mr. Brit Hunicutt. Shiloh, the second town in size, is located in the western part of the parish; it has a population of 312.