Most people thought of Minden as primarily a "white-collar" town. Being the parish seat was responsible for that. There were a lot of legal things happening at the courthouse. The parish school offices were there. And then we had the hospital, too. We needed plenty of lawyers, administrators, and doctors.

Well, I started asking a friend about other businesses in Minden. He isn't that much older than us - he was born in 1930 - but he remembers things I didn't. For starters, he talked about businesses between the railroad shop and the Sibley Road, before the by-pass was built. There was a livestock auction barn with live auctions every Tuesday that he associates with Gary Gant. There was a Minden Cotton Compress. After the cotton was ginned and bailed, it was compressed for shipping. Later Hollywood/Maxwell - the ones who made unmentionables - used that building. There was a cotton gin across the Sibley Road from the compress. Between the compress and the railroad were the water plant and the light plant.

The Simms Mattress Factory was on the Sibley Road, also Sanitary Dairy. The dairy started as a Co-op. The names he came up with were Lunsford Dairy, Lumpkin Dairy, Don Hinton, and Leroy Miller as manager.

Down near the L&A shops was the Cotton Oil Mill. Not only did they process the oil, they also processed the left-overs, making cotton seed hulls and cotton seed meal or pellets. Most all the farmers used it one way or another. It made good cattle feed and was also used sometimes as fertilizer. There was a large black cat painted on the end of the tin building for Black Cat Fertilizer.

Minden was a town that could make money from dirt. There was Madden Sand and Gravel, which included trucking and construction. There was Clement-Braswell with sand and gravel, but also dump trucks. I didn't know they actually put those things together in Minden, but my friend says they did. Then there was Dunham tanks. Anybody know what they did with their tanks? I wonder what Winch-Lift did.

And money was below the dirt. Oil and gas was all around Minden. Gulf Oil had a large tank farm and compressor station on land that had formerly belonged to the Connell family. He sold the land to Gulf about 1921. Barnwell Oil and Blackburn Oil were in Minden.

And money grew on the dirt. Remember Woodard & Walker? How much lumber did they produce from the Minden area? There was also Pace lumber, near Heflin for a while and later on the Caney Lake Road. Near the Shreveport Road overpass, there was a Hollomon's saw mill. In addition to all the trees, he remembers a few commercial farmers. There was Archie and Marion Davis, the Roland brothers on the parish line, the Shadows Dixie Nursery, and Dr. Smith's Peach Orchard.

And Minden made provisions to dig in the dirt - we had the penal farm! Enough said.


                                   P2473 Minden Cotton Oil & Ice Company

                                 Compliments of LSU Archives and Special Collections - One University Place, Shreveport, La. 71115-2399

Turn the sack inside out and find the black cat....

Compliments of Larry Mays

Anybody Remember These?

                                                               MINDEN COTTON OIL & ICE CO SACKS

Elsie Hock gave me the sack & I took the pictures.  And yes, I still have the sack, plus another half sack with the Black Magic label on it.
Thirty-five or forty years ago I visited the Hocks & Elsie had a Black Magic fertilizer sack at the back door for a foot wipe.  I scolded her & told her it was an antique & shouldn't be abused like that.  The next time I visited, it had been washed & made into a wall hanging, complete with fringe.  I still have it somewhere, but it's packed up & I can't find it.  A couple of years ago she came across the one in the picture & the half-sack & gave them to me because of my previous interest.
In the days before gimme caps, Minden Cotton Oil & Ice Co. gave away straw hats with the Black Magic logo on them.  Daddy had one he wore doing yard work that I can still see in my mind's eye hanging on a hat rack by the back door.  I wish I knew that there was one of them still around.
Larry Mays