October 5, 1939
We present the Centennial Edition, marking one hundred years of civilization in Union Parish. It is not perfect, for it was made with human hands; but it is as perfect as we could possible make it. It is not a complete history in every detail, but it is as near complete as it is possible to make it with the information obtainable. Many missing links in the chain of colorful history of the parish were encountered, because the old people whose memory reached back to pioneer days are gone. There are defects in it. Typographical errors may have crept in here and there; but we have tried hard to keep them down to a minimum.
Many months ago, the management of The Gazette conceived the idea that an edition of the paper, commemorative of the founding of this civilization and the creation of Union Parish and the Town of Farmerville among the serene hills hereabout , should be produced and preserved as a mark to hand down to posterity, and we undertook the work. The measure of success attained is not for us to say, but we hope our readers will at least find something interesting and worth while in the edition. There are mistakes in it, perhaps; but if we have displeased anyone, we ask forgiveness. We hope the reader will overlook them and seek out what we sought so hard to give — as good a history of the parish as possible.
Due acknowledgment is made to all who so generously assisted us in compiling copy for the edition, in obtaining old pictures and histories of the several communities and churches. All this is deeply appreciated, for, without it, the edition would have been impossible.
The paper also acknowledges a debt of thanks to the many advertisers who so generously took space in the edition, making it possible for us to defray the unusual expense incurred. To any who did not so cooperate, we extend the same feeling of good will and friendship, believing that their sentiments, too, are bound up with all the rest in a desire properly to celebrate our one hundredth anniversary.
And now, let everybody celebrate! Let the regular every-day grind of business and toil give place to relaxation and joy for a day and let old friendships be renewed and old times discussed. Let us remember on this great occasion that we are at home here; that we are in the House of our Fathers; that this is our House, and that we pause here and turn aside from the fretting hindrances of the flesh to count up our blessings and to open the food gates of our hearts in grateful expression for what they did for us in coming to what was a wilderness a century ago and establishing a civilization which is our birthright and which has engaged the admiration of the outside world. The structure has risen, we fancy, far above their expectation. It is still sound, for it was laid on a sold foundation. Christianity and virtue were the inscriptions on the cornerstone. They still stand out bold to the world to be read of all men. They cannot be obliterated. Education, obedience to law, a deeply religious conscience, the free school, honesty and integrity — these constitute the rich legacy bequeathed to us by our Fathers and which we, in turn, shall transmit untarnished to our children and our childrens’ children.
In the suspicious Present, across which a glorious Past salutes a promising Future, Union Parish stands today, gathering up the trophies of a century. Union parish is glad today. Her heart beats fast as she stands erect, her face toward the rising sun, breathing the pure air of a virtue and conscience worthy of her sires, and looks ahead.
This old Mother bids to her board today her children; those yet abiding in her bosom, and those who have cast their homes afar. From wherever they have wandered, she beckons them back today to again rejoice with all of us on her sacred soil. And, with all her children about her, she turns her face reverently to Heaven and thanks a Divine Providence for having vouchsafed unto her His blessing and His special care.
Then, when we have followed the sun in his course on this Centennial Day, after honoring the Fathers of a century ago; when we have exchanged the parting word and turned our faces toward our several places of abode, let us, solemnly, resolve to rededicate ourselves to the sacred principles cherished by the men of 1839. Let us brush aside the mists of a hundred years and go back and drink from the fountain at the source of our existence. Let us resolve ever to hold high the standard of morals, virtue and patriotic citizenship which they raised here. Let us resolve ever to follow, in the future as in the past, the path of simple honesty, righteousness and good neighborship, holding high the light and blazing out the way up which all communities must come in God’s appointed time.