October 5, 1939
In the year 1837, when the early settlers of the parish were treading and weaving their ways into what is now Union Parish, Francis W. Turpin pushed his was westward from the Ouachita and settled in the northwest corner of the parish.
Close upon his heels came other settlers and soon around the cabin that Turpin built, settled other immigrants situated close enough to be called neighbors.
The little community with which settlers who grouped around the first cabin, the influx almost ceased. Then, from 1845 to 1848, came a steady stream of settlers among whom were Quincy and Needham Bryan, John Odom and Martin Hendrick. Then, almost on their heels cam Alexander and William Spears to build the settlement’s first store and, in a short time, to have a settlement called Spearsville.
Upon the construction of the first stores in Spearsville, with a trading point assured, people began to settle more closely to this store, of which a land deed was recorded in those early days.
William Spears, prospering and deciding his westward wanderings were over, built a permanent home. Constructed of hand-planed lumber, wooden pegs and square nails, the house is supposed to have been erected in 1856.
This house is still standing, along with one built by Isaac Griffin in 1858.
In 1854, remarkably early for such a settlement, a Masonic Lodge was organized. Called the Thomas Jefferson Lodge No 113, the group was active for a good many years, but eventually lost the charter of the lodge. It was restored, however, and the old Lodge re-established with the same name and number, by order of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana, in 1937.
This group of Masons constructed a meeting place and it was there that the first churches were organized and met. The Baptist Christian and Presbyterian denominations met on the first floor of the building. Today, Spearsville has two churches. In July, 1870, the present Baptist church was organized with property bought from William Dean estate. The structure that now stands was built in 1907. The town also has a Christian church today.
Education in the settlement had an early start, but it wasn’t until the establishment of a school in 1870 with good old Professor W. L. Hodge as teacher, that any sort of recognition was mentioned the school system. The organization developed into the Everett Institute in the later schools.
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