ON THE D’ARBONNE

Weekly Times Democrat (New Orleans)

Saturday, June 9, 1883

BUSINESS POINTS ON THE BAYOU AND ITS TRIBUTARIES

Stein’s Bluff, Shiloh and Other Landings-Their Trade, Social Features and Other Matters of Interest

On Board the Times Democrat Steamboat Susie B

Farmerville, May 28, 1883

On Friday morning last the Susie B. left Ouachita City and proceeded 30 miles down the Ouachita to hunt for the mouth of Bayou D’Arbonne. 

One mile down is WALNUT GROVE LANDING and store owned b John C. Mills who does a large general merchandise, advancing and shipping business.  He carries a $4000 stock, does about $30,000 business a year and has heretofore, shipped 500 bales of cotton per annum.  The landing is one of the largest shipping points in this section of country, 3000 bales being annually shipped for the surrounding country, principally for De Siard Island and the gum swamp and in the fall, as high up as LIND GROVE and BASTROP, on Bayou Bartholomew.  Mr. Mills also has a tract of 900 acres, almost entirely cultivated in cotton, averaging three quarters of a bale to the acre. 

Three miles below Ouachita City is the plantation of A.L. SMITH, 280 acres in cotton and 50 in corn.  His residence and grounds are among the most significant on the Ouachita. 

Six miles below Ouachita City is PARKS LANDING, owned by J.W. PARKS.  He has 200 acres in cotton and 50 in corn, the former averaging a bale to the acre.

BAKER’S LANDING, owned by S.B. BAKER, is six miles further down.  It is the principal shipping point for the vicinity, 400 bales having been shipped here during the season.  Mr. Baker is a young man, but recently returned from college and though he found the plantation in a dilapidated condition, has improved it sufficiently to make 200 bales of cotton.

The next landing below is PORT UNION owned by W.P. SMITH.  It is 22 miles from Farmerville and about 1500 bales of cotton from that town, Spearsville and surrounding country are annually shipped hence.

At two o’clock on Friday afternoon the mouth of THE D’ARBONNE was reached and rain and darkness overtaking us about 30 miles upstream the Susie B. tied up for the night.

Early on Saturday morning the Susie B. Continued her course up the bayou and at ten o’clock FARMERVILLE LANDING, 75 miles from the mouth was reached.  Four long blasts of the whistle and the roar of the Times Democrat’s artillery woke up the echoes of the bluffs and woods, and in a short while a numerous throng of ladies and gentlemen of Farmerville, laden with floral offerings for the little “SUSIE” and accompanied by the Farmerville Brass Band of 11 performers, came aboard.  The lines were again cast loose and the tiny craft bore its burden of beauty and gallantry up stream.  The sweet strains of the band added not a little to the pleasure of the excursionists, and the fact that the members perform so well after hardly two months organization is very credible to their leader, Professor B. Craggy, late director of the Fireman’s Silver Cornet Band of Vicksburg.

In about 45 minutes STEIN’S BLUFF, the head of navigation, six miles above the Farmerville Landing was reached.  Here the hospitalities of the bluff were tendered the crew and excursionists by Mr. and Mrs. Simon Stein.  An hour of dancing and merrymaking quickly passed by and the Susie B. returned to the Farmerville Landing.

STEIN’S BLUFF is situated on the Big Cornie Bayou, a tributary of the D’Arbonne, running into it a mile above Farmerville Landing.  It is the property of DANIEL STEIN of Farmerville who has a store and warehouse here, managed by his brother, Simon Stein, with J.K. RAMSEY in charge of the warehouse and landing and EUGENE STERN of the books.  A general merchandise receiving and forwarding business of about $75,000 a year is transacted.  A $30,000 stock is carried and this season 6709 bales of cotton have been shipped to V. and A. MEYER & COMPANY, New Orleans-3000 on the account of the house.  The trade is principally from the country west of the Bluff, extending 30 or 40 miles back.

There is telephone communication with the Farmerville Store and the Landing and Mr. Stein owns the telegraph wire between Farmerville and Monroe, commencing at the latter place with the Western Union.

Daniel Stein is considered the great merchant of Northern Louisiana and in his eventful career has exhibited qualities that make their possessor eminent in any sphere of life.  He is the life and the inspiration of this entire region.  It is probable that had he never established himself in Farmerville the town would not have attained one-tenth the prosperity and importance it glories in today.

The house is D.STEIN & CO.  of which he is the senior and active partner, is probably the largest country firm in Louisiana and one of the largest in the South, if not in the Union.  Last year their freight bills alone amounted to $30,000.  

They carry a stock of $60,000 to $125,000, transact fully $250,000 general merchandise business and ship from 9000 to 10,000 bales of cotton, all purchased direct from the planter’s wagon to V & A Meyer Co., New Orleans.  The patronage embraces nearly the entire planters of the parish of Union and others from Claiborne and Lincoln parishes and Union County, Ark. 

On February 6 last their fine brick store, 50 by 120 feet, well finished with slate roof, iron shutters and costing $15,000 was totally destroyed by fire, entailing a total loss of over$100,000; insured for $79,000.  Until a larger brick store is erected, the business is conducted in the building formerly used as the warehouse on the opposite side of the street.

Mr. Stein’s partner is Mr. Emanuel Brunner of New Orleans, the junior member of the predecessors of the present firm.  The firm purchases their dry and fancy goods and clothing in New York, Cincinnati and the East; boots, shoes etc. in Boston and vicinity; saddlery and flour in St. Louis; coffee, sugar, molasses and rice in New Orleans.  MR. SHLENKER retired from the house some years ago.

Besides his business interests Mr. Stein is the possessor of 8,000 to 10,000 acres of land, the greater portion of Union Parish and some in Morehouse, mostly improved land.  He also owns Stein’s Bluff, one-third of the real estate in Farmerville and with DAVID T. RAMSEY, owns the Farmerville Landing and warehouse.  Mr. Ramsey is in charge.

SHILOH

12 miles west of Farmerville

The town was settled about 1850 by Dr. ABSALOM WADE, REV. JESSE TUBB, JOHN WILLIAMS and others and named after the SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH in Perry County, Alabama. 

It has a population of 300 whites and 50 colored, about 60 of whom are voters.  Shiloh has wonderfully improved within the past 10 years and transacts a business disproportionate to its size.  Its merchants transact about $200,000 business per annum and handle about 3000 bales of cotton, the shipping point being Stein’s Bluff, eight miles to the east.

There are three general merchandise houses, two family grocery stores, one furniture factory, two blacksmith shops, one shoe shop and one wagon shop.

 J.R. FULLER & CO do principally an advancing business of $75,000 to $100,000 a year with a stock of $10,000 and ship 800 to 1500 bales of cotton to John T. Hardie and Co., V & A Meyer & Co., and Jurey & Gillis, New Orleans.

J.W. HEARD transacts a business of $40,000 with a $10,000 stock and ships 800 bales to John T. Hardie and Jurey & Gillis.

S.J. HARRIS & CO carry on a cash business of $12,000 a year with a $5,000 stock and ship 150 bales to Jurey & Gillis.

There is one church in town, one of the largest in North Louisiana, belonging to the Baptist congregation, of which J.P. EVERETT is pastor.  Services are held on the first and third Sundays of each month.  A fine Sabbath school has been continuously in operation for several years.  J.B. ROBINSON is the Superintendent.

The Methodists also worship in the building on the fourth Saturday and Sunday of each month.  Rev. J.M. JOHNSTON is pastor.

The CONCORD INSTITUTE under the direction of Professor J.B. ROBINSON, JR. has a daily attendance of 93 children of both sexes.

Public school   is   held in the same institution for three months in the year.  There is a colored school about one and one-half miles from town, with a daily attendance of 30 to 40 pupils.

K.M.DAVIS & BRO. operate the SHILOH FURNITURE FACTORY, established in 1873 by S.J. HARRIS & CO.  Their building is 25 by 98 feet and they manufacture about 200 bedsteads and about 1000 chairs a year, with other work in proportion.  They also run a grist mill and cotton gin, doing the largest ginning business in the parish, also carpentering and house building.

DR. J.J. BOOLES is postmaster.

The Farmerville and Homer mail passes through from Homer every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and from Farmerville every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  There is seldom any irregularity and then only in high water.

Your correspondent acknowledges his indebtedness for courtesies bestowed upon the Susie B. and information received to Mr. and Mrs. D. Stein, Dr. W.C. Carr, Mr. and Mrs. Simon Stein, Mrs. L. Selig, Honorable B.F. Pleasant, Professor Floyd, Judge W.R. Rutland and Messrs. O.C. Dawkins, A. Siegel, E. Karlsberg, D.M. Ramsey, Eugene Stern, I.J. Levy, J.M. Smith, Gus Hartman and others of Farmerville and Messrs J.D. Hamilton and S.J. Harris of Shiloh.





Cathy Buckley is a native of Union Parish and lifelong citizen of Shiloh. She served as Principal of Spearsville High School for many years until her retirement. Cathy is now the director of the Bernice Depot Museum and a active member of the Bernice Historical Society.





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