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Minden is a city in and the parish seat of Webster Parishmarker, Louisianamarker, United Statesmarker. It is located twenty-eight miles east of Shreveportmarker, the seat of Caddo Parish. The population, which has been stable since 1960, was 13,027 at the 2000 census. It has possessed a post office since 1839.

Minden is the principal city of the Minden Micropolitan Statistical Areamarker, which is part of the larger Shreveport-Bossier City-Minden Combined Statistical Area.

Downtown Minden with the signature water tower in the background

The city is served by the newspaper, the Minden Press-Herald, which officially dates only to July 18, 1966, as a daily publication. It was previously two weekly papers, the Minden Press and the Minden Herald. A newspaper has existed in the community since the 1850s. The newspaper office is located on Gleason Street south of Broadway Street in a building once occupied by a supermarket.


Minden has an elevation of . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it (0.75%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 13,027 people, 5,166 households, and 3,430 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,095.2 people per square mile (423.0/km²). There were 5,795 housing units at an average density of 487.2/sq mi (188.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.34% White, 52.17% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.61% of the population.

There were 5,166 households, out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city of Minden, the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years, higher than the state median age of 34.0 years. For every 100 females there were 84.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,175, and the median income for a family was $31,477. Males had a median income of $28,401 versus $19,199 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,114. About 21.0% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.3% of those under age 18 and 20.1% of those age 65 or over.


Among the first settlers in the Minden area was Newitt Drew, a Welsh originally from Virginia marker, who built a gristmill and sawmill on Dorcheat Bayou in south Webster Parish in what became the since defunct Overton community. Minden itself was established in 1836 by Charles H. Veeder, a native of Schenectadymarker, New Yorkmarker, who named it for the city of Mindenmarker in Germanymarker. Veeder left Minden during the California Gold Rush and spent the rest of his life practicing law in Bakersfieldmarker, Californiamarker.

A year before Veeder arrived, a group from Phillipsburgmarker (now Monaca, Pennsylvaniamarker), led by the "Countess von Leon", settled seven miles northeast of Minden in what was then Claiborne Parishmarker. For nearly four decades, this Germantown Colony operated on a communal basis. It was dispersed in 1871, when Webster Parish was severed from Claiborne Parish. The "Countess" moved to Hot Springsmarker, Arkansasmarker, where she died in 1881.

One of three Utopian Society settlements in this area, the Germantown Colony was the most successful and lasted the longest, having peaked at fifty to sixty pioneers but usually with fewer than forty followers. The settlement had been planned by the countess’ husband, Bernhard Müller, known as the Count von Leon. He died of yellow fever on August 29, 1834, at Grand Ecoremarker, four miles from Natchitochesmarker, before he reached Webster Parish. Leon and his followers attempted to build an earthly utopia, socialist in practice, while awaiting for the Second Coming of Christ. For his religious views, Leon had been exiled from Germany. He intended to plant the settlement in Webster Parish to coincide with the latitude of Jerusalemmarker, 31 degrees, 47 minutes. The colonists worshiped under oak trees at the center of the colony. They supported themselves from farming, with a concentration on cotton. The settlement is preserved at the Germantown Colony and Museummarker. A second museum in Minden, the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, named for Dorcheat Bayou, is located downtown at 116 Pearl Street. It preserves the cultural history of the city and parish from the 19th century.

During the American Civil War, a large Confederate encampment, which housed some fifteen thousand soldiers was located east of Minden. Minden was a supply depot for the troops. Some thirty Confederate soldiers who died in the Battle of Mansfield and another engagement at Pleasant Hillmarker are buried in the historic Minden Cemetery located off Pine Street. A modern cemetery, Gardens of Memory, opened in 1957 off the Lewisville Road north of town.

On February 13, 1890, Minden recorded the state's all-time coldest temperature, minus-16 degrees during the height of the Great Blizzard. The humid subtropical climate, however, is usually mild in winter and mostly hot in summer.

During the Great Depression, one of the two Minden banks failed, and a fire destroyed a major section of the downtown in 1931. Five banks now exist, Minden Building and Loan, Capital One, Regions, Citizens, and Richland State. On May 1, 1933, a tornado destroyed some 20 percent of the residences in Minden.

The Hunter family for decades operated the Coca-Cola Bottling Company outlet in Minden. While soft drinks were produced at the facility into the 1960s, the facility is now a distribution center. It is located across from Minden Cemetery.

Artist Ben Earl Looney was born in the Yellow Pine community in south Webster Parish and graduated from Minden High School in 1923. He taught art throughout the United States in a career from the 1920s until his death in Lafayettemarker in 1981.

Minden businesses

Minden has a large number of businesses and an active Chamber of Commerce, which maintains offices near the intersection of Broadway and the Sibley Road. Two former executive directors of the chamber were elected mayor, Tom Colten in 1966 and Paul A. Brown in 1989.

The Webster Parish Courthouse, completed in the late 1950s, is located a few years west of its former location, which became a parking lot for the new Minden City Hall/Civic Center in the early 1970s.


Northwest Louisiana Technical College has been located since the 1950s in a residential section off Constable Street in Minden.

Renovated Minden High School (2007) on College Street

Minden is served by the Webster Parish School Board, an elected body which maintains administrative offices on Sheppard Street. Minden High School, located at the intersection of Sullivan and College streets, completed major renvoation in 2007. The original school dates to the turn of the 20th century.

There is a vocational technical school in Minden, Northwest Louisiana Technical College, located on Constable Street near the sites of the Webster Parish fairgrounds and Griffith Stadium, a baseball field, where the former Minden Redbirds semi-professional team played.

Elementary schools include E.S. Richardson, William G. Stewart, J.L. Jones, and J.E. Harper schools.

The middle school is located at the site of the former historically black Webster High School, which closed in 1975, with desegregation into Minden High School. The previous junior high school, Theresa M. Lowe Junior High School located near the technical college, was closed after desegregation and converted into an alternative school.

There is also the private Glenbrook School off the Lewisville Road toward Shongaloomarker, which began within the First Baptist Church in 1970.

The Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary, which offers bachelor's, master's, and doctor of theology degrees, is located off the Homer Road in Minden. The theologically conservative institution was opened in 1952 by the pastor L.L. Clover (1902-1975) of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.

Notable residents




Hank Williams married in Minden

Country singer Hank Williams, Sr., married Billie Jean Jones Eshliman in Minden on October 18, 1952. The next day, the couple repeated the vows in two separate public ceremonies. Less than three months later, Williams was dead. A judge ruled that the wedding was not legal because Billie Jean's divorce did not become final until eleven days after she had married Williams. Thereafter, Billie Jean married another singing giant, Johnny Horton. Horton died in 1960 and is buried in Hillcrest Cemetery in Haughtonmarker in Bossier Parish.

Minden gallery

Image:First Baptist Church of Minden, LA IMG_0827.JPG|
First Baptist Church of Minden was once pastored by George Washington Baines, maternal great-grandfather of U.S.
President Lyndon B.

Image:First United Methodist Church in Minden, LA IMG 0819.JPG|
First United Methodist Church across from the water tower in downtown Minden

Image:Eastside Missionary Baptist Church in Minden, LA IMG_0569.JPG|
Established as a mission in 1955MVI_2564_St._Paul_Catholic_Church_in_Minden.jpg, Eastside Missionary Baptist Church (pastor Richard Methvin), located at Park Highway and Germantown Road, completed major renovation in 2008.

Calvary Missionary Baptist Church (pastor James A.
Crain) is located at 1400 Homer Road.

Image:Minden, LA, Presbyterian Church IMG_0621.JPG|
The Minden Presbyterian Church is located within walking distance from Baptist, Episcopalian, and United Methodist congregations.

Image:St. John's Episcopal Church in MInden, LA IMG_0623.JPG|
St. John's Episcopal Church in the Minden Historic District

St. Paul Catholic Church at 410 Fincher Road in Minden

Image:Good Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church in Minden, LA IMG_0829.JPG|
An African American congregation, Good Samaritan, is located on the Shreveport Road at the former site of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, since relocated to the eastern end of the Homer Road.

Image:Saint Rest Baptist Church in Minden, LA MVI_2558.jpg|
Saint Rest Baptist Church, another African-American congregation in Minden

Image:Main Street in Minden, LA IMG_0821.JPG|
Main Street in Minden facing west

Image:Webster Parish Library IMG_1367.JPG|
The main Webster Parish Library operates on East and West Street in Minden, with branch libraries located throughout the parish.

Image:Uptown Barber Shop in Minden, LA IMG_1672.JPG|
A barber shop has operated for decades at this Main Street location in Minden.

Image:Academy Park in the Historic District of Minden, LA IMG_0579.JPG|
Academy Park in the Minden Historic District is located on the site of the former Minden Male Academy.

Image:Dorcheat Museum in Minden, LA IMG_0912.JPG|
Dorcheat Historical Association Museum is located downtown at 116 Pearl Street.

Image:Citizens Bank, Minden, LA IMG_0211.JPG|
Citizens Bank operates in downtown Minden next to Clyde Stanley's Karate School.

Image:Regions Bank in Minden, LA IMG_0618.JPG|
Regions Bank in Minden occupies the site of the former Minden Bank and Trust Company across from the Webster Parish Courthouse.

Image:MBL Bank in Minden, LA IMG_0915.JPG|
Minden Building and Loan (MBL) Bank on Main Street

Image:Skipper's Soda Fountain in Minden, LA IMG_1674.JPG|
Skipper's Soda Fountain, which opened downtown in Minden in 2008, has historic pictures on its walls.

Image:Western Auto, Minden, LA IMG_0213.JPG|
Western Auto dealership in Minden operated by John P.

Image:Holland Crawford Insurance, Minden, LA IMG_0209.JPG|
The Holland Crawford Insurance agency clock has long been a mainstay of downtown Minden.
The company was founded by Castle O.
Holland and his son-in-law, Wayne S.

Image:Revised photo of Minden Medical Center, Minden, LA IMG_0820.JPG|
Minden Medical Center ranks among the "Top 100" Hospitals in the nation.

Image:Neta's in Minden, LA IMG_0214.JPG|
Neta's Bar-B-Q on the Shreveport Road has existed since the 1950s.

Image:Turner's Pond veterans display, Minden, LA IMG_1444.JPG|
Minden honors veterans in an impressive display on Turner's Pond near E.S.
Richardson Elementary School.

Image:Historic bell, Minden, LA IMG_1455.JPG|
This historic downtown bell given to the City of Minden by the Powell family of Blazer Construction Company hang from the former Webster Parish Courthouse from 1905-1951.

Image:Dorcheat Bayou IMG 1530.JPG|
Historic Dorcheat Bayou between Minden and Dixie Innmarker is a popular fishing area.

Image:Revised photo of Minden Cemetery, Minden, LA IMG_2349.JPG|
Historic Minden Cemetery has graves from the American Civil War era.

Image:Gardens of Memory Cemetery, Minden, LA IMG 1450.JPG|
Gardens of Memory Cemetery


External links

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