History of Calcasieu Parish

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Six Men Formed Calcasieu

When Calcasieu Parish was created in 1840 from the Parish of Saint Landry, it actually comprised an area of what is now five parishes. On August 24, 1840, a half-dozen men met to organize as representatives for six wards that later became five parishes. Since there was no courthouse or public building, the meeting had to be held in a private dwelling, and the one chosen was the large, rough-hewed home of Arsene LeBleu near present-day Chloe. The first jury men who assembled that day were David Simmons, Alexander Hebert, Michel Pithon, Henry Moss, Rees Perkins, and Thomas M. Williams. They first elected officers and a parish clerk and decided upon a set of simple parliamentary rules which would give their president authority to keep their meetings orderly and progressive.

When it came time to pick a "parish town" (seat), the jury had to do its first real deliberating. Locations nominated were Lisbon (west of the Calcasieu River), Comasaque Bluff (east of the river, later called Marsh Bayou Bluff), Centre (in the center of the parish), and Faulk's Bluff (a point of land above Joseph Faulk's place). In the voting that followed, Comasaque Bluff emerged the winner after the president voted to break a tie between it and Lisbon.

In other proceedings at that historic meeting, the jury men took the easy route in coming up with a slate of parish laws...it simply adopted all of the laws then in force in Saint Landry Parish. Appointments were also made that day of a parish constable, a parish treasurer, two parish assessors, and an operator of the ferry at Buchanan's crossing. The assessors were allowed two months to assess all of the property in the parish and given a salary of $90.

The second meeting of the jury men was held on September 14, 1840, at which time a survey was authorized (of land known then as Marsh Bayou Bluff) for the purpose of establishing a seat of justice and for the erection of a courthouse and jail there.

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