Copyright Mount Lebanon Louisiana. All rights reserved.
Originally published 1890 info on Mount Lebanon
Mount Lebanon 300 27' north latitude and 450 57' west longitude, gives evidence or its antebellum prosperity. This old college town, three miles south of Gibsland, is situated in the midst of one of the most favored sections of Northwestern Louisiana. In days before the war it was the center of the wealth and intelligence of a wider area than is now embraced in the large parish of Bienville, and even now, after a complete realization of the losses and disappointments of those days of civil strife, the neighborhood retains much of its old-time character, Over half a century ago the first settlers located here and erected their cabins in this beautiful wilderness. They brought with them the newly inculcated ideas of the Baptist faith from Edgefield, S. C., and so soon as the pioneer cabins were ready to shelter those pioneers, they resolved to organize a Baptist society and erect a church house. On July 8,1837 they carried this resolution into effect, and the mulatto preacher, Henry Adams, and John Hill, a white man, organized their first church here. Elder B. M. Ware succeeded Adams as pastor, and in 1845 came G. W. Bains, followed by James B. Paxton and J. Q. Burnett. In 1849 A. E. Clemmons preached here; in 1853, F. Courtney then Jesse Hartwell, J.Q. Prescott, W. C. Crane, W. C. Boone, A. S. Worrell, W. H. Bayliss, J. E. Paxton and G. W. Griffin, the present pastor. The names of the heads of families who were enrolled as members in 1837 areas follows: Jeremiah Burnett, John Q. Burnett, W. D. Burnett, L. E. Burnett, H. Adams, William Key, Martin W. Key, Samuel Quarles, William Logan, W. A. Logan, Manin Canfield, James Canfield, Marion Canfield, D. W. Canfield, Joseph Candield, J. M. Canfield, J. D. Canfield, Trip]et Cason, Reuben Drake, R. H. Burnett, and Elizabeth Gibbs and Mary Walker. Their organization is the oldest in Bienville Parish. The membership is 145, of whom 88 are females. About 1821 the Pine Hills or Vienna Society, was formed by James Brinson and John Impson, and later, near Downsville a preacher named Head organized a church. About 1823 they came to Black Lake, near Minden, and with John Murell and Newitt Drew established a society. In 1824 a section of Brinson's company of Baptists, who settled four miles east of Mount Lebanon, established a church known as Providence, which was subsequently moved to Athens, and styled New Hope. The Mount Lebanon University was established in 1853, by the Louisiana Baptist Association. Dr Bartholomew Egan, a native of Killarney Ireland, who came to the United States in 1817, and in 1847 settled at Mount Lebanon, assisted in building up the university, and was president of that institution for a number of years. He was surgeon general of the State forces under Gen. Moore, elector on the Davis Confederate ticket, and otherwise was prominent during the Civil War. He died at Shreveport, in 1881. Thomas Jefferson stated that he was one of the ripest scholars of his age. W. E. Paxton, Jesse Hartwell, and others, taught in this institution; until it was closed to educational purposes, in 1903.
In the year mentioned the buildings were placed at the disposal of the army surgeons, and soon it was filled with the sick and wounded of the Confederate army. After the war an attempt to revive the university failed, and not until 1882 were steps taken to re-establish a school there. In 1882 the people of the village and neighborhood restored the buildings, and on September 11 of that year the Mount Lebanon High School was opened, with W. P. Carter, principal, and 115 students attending. On Mr. Carter's death, in 1885, W. M. Reese was chosen principal by the trustees of the now chartered school. The college building was destroyed by fire, March 7, 1886, entailing a loss of $5,000. The first post-office was established in 1830, with T. A. Key, master. C. G. Thurmond was appointed postmaster prior to 1848, and was followed by Hiram Gibbs, about 1857.At the beginning of the war Rev. Hanson Lee was master, giving place to James Rogers in 1862. Ia September, 1866, B. F. Parnell was appointed by the United States postmaster. W. B. Colbert was next followed by W. L. King, the present incumbent. Mount Lebanon was incorporated about 1854 with K. P. McDaniel, mayor, J. C. Egan, G. W. Rogers, J. R. Pitman, W. B. Prothro and C.G. Thurmond, councilmen William H. Logan, marshal, and C. G. Thurmond,clerk. This council controlled affairs until the suspension of municipal affairs, at the beginning of the war. On the reorganization of 1866, W. B. Prothro was chosen mayor, and Ben H. Stall, clerk. The charter was dropped about 1868, owing to failure to elect. Reuben Drake opened the first store at Mount Lebanon in 1836, and with Martin Canfield conducted this store up to 1847. The old building was torn down and the material used in the preseat Canfield barn. Rogers & Gibbs opened a store which is now owned by Jesse L.Baker, but C. G. Thurmond opened the second store, now occupied by Postmaster King. The fourth store was built by John Key, before the war, and now is the Baker Furniture Warehouse. W. H. Pendleton opened a drug store years ago, which is now owned by W. H. Lawley. Mount Lebanon Masonic Lodge No. 113, was chartered in 1852. The charter members were F. Courtney, W. H. Bayliss (deceased), J 0. Egan, Bart Egan (deceased), G. W. Rogers (deceased), W. B. Prothro and C. G. Thurman (deceased). The R. A. M. Chapter comprised the above named members. F. Courtney was the first and R. A. Smith the last high priest when the charter was surrendered.
History: History of Bienville Parish , Bienville Parish Louisiana Source: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana The Southern Publishing Company, Chicago & Nashville, 1890 Submitted by: Gaytha Thompson Date: Oct 1998 ************************************************ Copyright. All rights reserved. http://usgwarchives.net/copyright.htm http://usgwarchives.net/la/lafiles.htm