The History of Jackson Parish – The growth of Jonesboro!

Ever wondered when Jackson Parish began to be settled and why it was called such? What about how the town of Jonesboro actually got its name? Maybe you curious about how Jonesboro became the parish seat or even things like how the early settlers made their money or got around back. You are not alone. Over the next several weeks a series entitled “Blast from the Past” will be published exclusively in the Jackson Parish Journal designed to help shed a light on these questions and more. This week – The growth of Jonesboro

In 1910 enabling acts were introduced to the Louisiana legislature providing for the parish seat to be moved from Vernon to Jonesboro. It finally passed and in 1912 the courthouse was built. in 1926, T.H. Bond, was the Sheriff and the District Attorney was W.J. Hammon. His predecessor was Julius T. Long, who filled that office from 1912 to 1920. Judge S. D. Pearce presided over the district court with J.C. Shows being the clerk. The parish treasurer was A.H. May who was not only efficient in the discharge of his official duties but the leading spirit in all matters tending toward the civic uplift of the parish. He particularly devoted his time and talent toward the preparation of constructive publicity about the parish and engaged in the organization of a Chamber of Commerce. A.C. Morris was the parish agent being well versed in the field of agriculture and turning the Jackson Parish Fair into one of the best in the northern tier of the state.

There were two banks in Jonesboro, the Jackson Parish Bank and the Jonesboro State Bank. Through interviews conducted with employees of each, the Shreveport Times published the background of the banks and their financial state in 1926. 

“The Jackson Parish Bank, now under the direction of President A.E. Simington, was established in 1904 with a capital of $12,500.00 and deposits the first year aggregating $50,000.00,” said cashier, Wilbur C. McDonald. “Today our resources total $531,502.05 and deposits come to $468,339.62. During this entire period we have declared annual dividends, even during the World War, of 8% to 25%, In 1912 we declared a dividend of 100% and sold $10,000.00 in additional stock. Our losses have been very small during the period of 1904-1920 amounting to only $250.00.”

The Jonesboro State Bank opened for business in 1913. The bank President was O.E. Hodge, who lived in Ruston and was the largest lumberman in that section. He was also a senior partner of the Hodge, Hunt Company which had reported holdings of over 50,000 acres of timber in four parishes and owners of one the largest mills in the state, located in Hodge.

“We opened with total resources of $24,000.00 and deposits the first year of the same amount,” said cashier, Paul F. Stinson. “Today our resources are $266,159.28 and deposits are $234,978.25. Our capital stock is $15,000.00 and surplus $15,645.00. We now have over 900 accounts and growing every day.”

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