The History of Farmerville
In the year 1790, the first grant of land in the territory of Union Parish was made by the Spanish government to a trapper, John Honeycutt. He settled in the land that was full of wildlife and ideal for his trade. After he had received his land grant, he began to eke out his living here with only Indians as his neighbors.
Then, one day a few years later, after he first entered this section, he met a roving band of Indians who told him of another family that had settled in this territory. Putting his coonskin cap on his head, and with his flint-lock in the crook of his arm, Honeycutt set out to follow the Indians' directions. He found an old settler by the name of Feazel with a "house full of girls." The story goes that he asked the father for the hand of one.
From Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas came the adventurers. Soon there were home sites along the Bayous D'Arbonne, Corny and DeLoutre, in the "Ouachita Settlements" section, as the Union Parish Territory was designated. Many coming from Alabama up the Ouachita River from Fort Miro to claim their future homes disembarked at the spot which became known as Alabama Landing, a name that still survives. A well-known location for fishing, boating and picnicking, it is about twenty-five miles east of Farmerville.
Not until 1839 was Union Parish created out of the northern part of Ouachita Parish, and in that year a town was laid out for the parish seat. There was some argument as to the name of the town. Matthew Wood, a first settler and president of the first police jury, donated the land, the highest spot in the parish, and many wanted to a call it Woodville in his honor. Wood, however, did not wish this, and the town was named Farmerville after a family of that name, probably Miles Farmer, local planter and elder in the Baptist Church, who had helped organize the Concord Baptist Association in 1832. He was the father of J.N. Farmer, police juror and W.W. Farmer, the latter of whom was a surveyor, justice of peace, lawyer, and later lieutenant governor of the state. A monument was erected by the Louisiana Legislature in 1855, and it currenty stands at his grave in the Farmerville Cemetery.
On May 16, 1839, the first step toward the establishment of a parish government was made. The first police jury, composed of J.N. Farmer, Jeptha Colvin, Phillip Feazel, Matthew Wood, Needham Bryan, Bridges Howard, and D.P.A. Cook, met at the home of William Wilkerson, which was located one mile west of Farmerville at the mouth of Bayou Corney. This point became known as Forks Ferry.
The first leaders of the parish had the difficult task of setting up the parish government and selecting the town site at this first meeting. The police jury named Matthew Wood as president, Thomas Van Hook as clerk, W.C. Carr as sheriff, and Claiborne M. Smith as recorder. Thomas Van Hook was the first district court clerk, and John Taylor was appointed the first judge in the parish. They made a resolution at this first meeting which said, in effect, that the parish seat must be located within five miles of the geographical center of the parish. As has been stated, Matthew Wood donated the land for the town and the courthouse.
In the second meeting, held on May 17, 1839, the policy jury passed the following ordinance: "Be it Ordained by the Police Jury of Union Parish, Louisiana, that the seat of justice in and for Union Parish, Louisiana, shall be called by the name Farmerville."
Although Farmerville was organized and plotted in 1839, it wasn't until the general assembly of 1842 that the town was granted a charter and incorporated. It operated under this charter with several amendments until the charter of 1870, under which the town operates today.
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