Two Texas residents killed in crash on Interstate 20 in Webster Parish

Just before 10:30 p.m., Sunday, November 28, Troopers assigned to Louisiana State Police Troop G began investigating a two-vehicle fatality crash on I-20, west of U.S. Hwy 371. This crash claimed the lives of 44-year-old Omar Gonzalez of Mission, Texas and 47-year-old Myphuong Thi Truong of Georgetown, Texas.

 The initial investigation revealed that prior to the fatal crash, a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee, occupied by Myphuong Thi Truong and 62-year old Leslie T. Truong of Georgetown, Texas, was traveling westbound on I-20.  As the Jeep was traveling westbound, it collided with a deer in the roadway. After impact, both occupants exited the vehicle while it was still in the roadway.  

 Shortly after the initial crash, 41-year-old Rafael Escobar Lopez of Waxahachie, Texas, was driving a 2016 Toyota Tundra westbound on I-20 and stopped his vehicle in the roadway behind the Jeep.  As the Jeep and the Tundra were stationary in the left lane, a westbound 2021 Toyota 4Runner, driven by Gonzalez, struck the rear of the Tundra.  This impact caused the Tundra to impact with both Myphuong Thi Truong and Leslie T. Truong as they were standing in the roadway.

 Myphuong Thi Truong suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead on the scene.  Leslie T. Truong was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.  Lopez and two passengers in the Tundra were unrestrained and suffered minor injuries.  Gonzalez, who was not restrained, was transported to Minden Medical Center where was pronounced dead.   


Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash; however, routine toxicology samples were taken from all drivers and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

Santa is at Webster Parish Library today

Santa Claus is coming to town! Bring your kiddos by the Stewart Center at the Webster Parish Library in Minden from 4:30 t0 7:30 p.m. today (November 30) to meet him, but don’t forget your camera. You’ll want to grab a quick picture for those Christmas cards. Furbabies are welcome too.

Grab some ‘reindeer’ food while you’re here!

Information to know:

1. Don’t forget your camera!!

2. All furbabies must be well-behaved and be on a leash.

3. Line up will start at the Stewart Center entrance.

Join us for a jolly good time!!

Letter from Dorcheat Museum director

Dear Supporters of the Dorcheat Historical Museum,

With the upcoming holiday season approaching, we hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and happy.  The old saying “The Times We Are A Changing” has never been more evident.  We have some changes coming up for 2022!  Let me begin by telling you about the perfect person I have found to help carry on our mission statement as a docent / and hopefully a future museum Director / Jessica Gorman of Minden.  Jessica first came to the museum several years ago asking if I minded that she do some work in the Minden Cemetery as far as cleaning headstones and checking on things.  She is an avid genealogy researcher and knows so much about Minden’s past history.  She has even read all the books that we offer at the museum!  She isn’t 100% sure yet….. but I am working on her! 

One thing the Pandemic has shown us is written in Ecclesiastes 3; For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.  We have lost some wonderful people the past few years due to illness and age…( I feel like I have personally lost so many of my go-to people when I needed answers about Webster parish history), some of us have gotten back to our roots with planting gardens and canning food, we have hunted more wild game so we don’t depend on the supply chain, we have seen our country and city seem to be chaotic at times and then at others pull together to stand up for what we know is right and true, we have cleaned out and gotten rid of excess baggage,  we have watched as parts of history have been destroyed and removed all across our country and Minden,  we have not been able to embrace loved ones and gather as what we deemed NORMAL and we mourned for that feeling of togetherness, we have been pushed and pulled via the internet to speak out and then just go and hide away from it all, we are all looking for the time to LOVE and that is ALL THE TIME.  We pray for NO WARS… but we know those lurk on the horizon.  They say history repeats itself ….we have seen good times and bad.  History is not there for us to change.  It is there for us to learn from.  I hope you will continue to support the museum in every way that you can.  I hope that you will continue to help us keep Webster parish history alive for future generations.  That is what a museum is all about….preserving that history GOOD AND BAD!  Seems so many want a museum and things to do in Webster Parish…. but so few are willing to support it.  We ask that you not be that person.

For the 2nd year we were not able to do our fundraiser but did a mail-out instead earlier this year.  That mail-out did great…but we are still short for the year on where we need to be!  We usually take in around $30,000 at our event.  This money is what we have always used to operate from during the year.  Not having the gala two years in a row puts us at an even bigger disadvantage financially as we move forward for the coming years.  This year I (Schelley Francis) turned 62 and have signed up to receive my Social Security starting in 2022.  This will put us in a better position to continue forward, by cutting our overhead.  As always, we are very mindful of how our money is spent.  Each year we like to have enough to move forward without jeopardizing what we already have in savings.  We know many of you are in the same situation and respect that.  You still have time to make a difference at the museum for 2021 and starting 2022.  We will greatly appreciate any help you can offer financially. 

I would like to have an exhibit of the History Keepers that would include John, Dr. Longino and Mrs. Campbell.  I think, without these three people, much of our history would be gone forever.  I would love to honor them in our building that needs to be completed.  My goal is to finish that in the next few years, but without donations that exceed our basic needs that will not be possible.  

Remember we are a 501 C3 nonprofit.  You can now go online and donate to the museum. is our new website and makes donating so easy.  If you are a business take a look at being highlighted on on sponsor page.  For mail in donations please use the following address Dorcheat Museum P.O. Box 1094 Minden, LA 71058.


Schelley Brown Francis                                                                    Louise Baird Snook

Dorcheat Museum Director                                                              Dorcheat Museum Board President

McDaniel to speak to Minden Lions

Guest speaker for Thursday’s meeting of the Minden Lions Club will be entrepreneur Sara McDaniel. Sara, age 44, is probably best known for her restoration of the dilapidated McDonald Street home now known as Simply Southern Cottage. 

She is a real estate investor and has become a social media influencer across multiple platforms – her Instagram account alone currently has 154,000 followers. Sara and her cottage have been featured in multiple print and online magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, Cottages and Bungalows, Southern Lady, Southern Living and HGTV Magazine. A native of Springhill, Sara is a strong ambassador for all things Webster Parish and serves as a commissioner for Webster Parish Tourism.

Sara will be speaking on the topic, “Dreaming of a Revitalized Minden.” She will talk about how she and her friend, Rachel Miller, connected over their old homes and how their visions of making Minden even better has come to pass through downtown murals and an upcoming HGTV renovation series, “Hometown Kickstart,” which will showcase three Minden revitalization projects. Sara will also tease some upcoming projects for 2022 and beyond. You don’t want to miss this!

The Minden Lions Club meets Thursdays at noon at the American Legion Memorial Home, located at 119 Pine St. in Minden.

Couple arrested on domestic abuse charges

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a Springhill location last week when a couple reportedly engaged in a fight.

Robert R. Wells, 50, of Frierson was arrested for domestic abuse battery and Danielle Marie Ball, 20, (no photo available) of Monica Lane, Springhill, was arrested for domestic abuse aggravated assault.

Sheriff Jason Parker said deputies encountered Wells in the front yard of the Monica Lane residence.

“After speaking with him, they talked to Mrs. Ball who said Wells pushed her through a window and threw items at her,” Parker said. “Deputies determined that Wells had committed domestic abuse battery.”

Parker said Wells told deputies Ball pulled a knife on him and tried to stab him.

“She admitted to having the knife in her hand,” said the sheriff.

Both were transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

Springhill Police arrest Haynesville woman on drug charges

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Springhill Police arrested a Haynesville woman Friday on multiple drug charges.

Phyllis Denise Pardue, 58, of Reed St., is charged with possession of Methamphetamine, possession of Marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and disturbing the peace by public intoxication.

Police Chief Will Lynd said SPD received a call regarding an intoxicated person causing a disturbance ad a convenience store on N. Arkansas St.

“Upon arrival, Ofc. Silvers made contact with employees who pointed to Pardue as the female causing the disturbance,” Lynd said. “The officer said Pardue appeared highly intoxicated, swaying heavily and speaking in an erratic manner.”

When asked if she had anything on her person, Pardue reportedly pulled 2 clear plastic bags containing suspected Methamphetamine from her right front pocket.

“She further stated she had a bag of Marijuana in her person,” Lynd said. “A detailed search of her purse revealed rolling papers.”

Pardue was transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center.

Arrest Reports

November 22

Dana Amanda Avette Lewis, 47, of the 1000 block of Hwy. 19 S., Magnolia, Ark., was arrested by Cullen Police for aggravated criminal damage to property.

Detravious Nelson, 22, of Haughton, was arrested by Springhill Police for simple felony burglary.

November 24

Monica R. Kimble, 44, of Homer, was arrested by Webster Parish Sheriff’s deputies for DWI first offense, improper lane usage and possession of Oxycodone.

Deborah Sweeten Williams, 56, of Harvey’s Barbershop Rd., Dubberly, was arrested by WPSO for domestic abuse battery.

November 28

Jeffery D. Ramsey, 54, of the 900 block of Country Club Circle, Minden, was arrested by Louisiana State Police Troop G for driving while intoxicated first offense and simple obstruction.

November 29

Jayden Richard Mills, 19, of the 300 block of Hickory St., Springhill, was arrested by WPSO on an active warrant.

An Angler’s Thanksgiving

Now that we have carved the turkey and taken a nap while watching the Dallas Cowboys traditional Thanksgiving Day game, we can now turn our attention to Christmas. But before we begin to think about jolly Ole St. Nick, let’s take a look at why I’m so thankful. No one appreciates more than me the opportunities I’ve had over the years to pursue and chase largemouth bass all across the southern United States. As a bass fisherman, I am truly blessed in so many ways. While I’m sure I’ll probably leave something out, here’s my list of what I’m thankful for.

1.    My health… At the age of 60, and still in decent shape, I’m able to get in and out of my boat without busting my butt. I can still make that giant leap onto the front deck and drop the trolling motor in the water. I can fish all day and still feel pretty good the next day, as long as I’m taking my joint supplements and Aleve!

2.    My boat… As a young man growing up, I looked forward to the day I would be launching my 20-foot Ranger bass boat with a 250 HP Yamaha engine on the back and the best Minn Kota trolling motor (Ultrex)… that with the push of a button will lock you down on a brush pile in the middle of the lake.  It is a boat fully carpeted with awesome seats that rides like a luxury car and the best state of the art electronics that could probably help navigate your way to the moon and back.

3.    The best rods and reels…. Another blessing is being a part of an awesome company like Daiwa. They have a tremendous line of rods and reels that I have used for the last six years, that just might be the best on the planet.

4.    My relationships with certain companies…. Over the years, I’ve forged relationships with companies like Ranger Boats, Daiwa, SPRO, Gamakatsu, V&M,  Seaguar fishing line and Santone Lures. Great companies that are staples in the bass fishing industry. What a blessing!

5.    Great tournament organizations … I love competition and today anglers have a multitude of options to choose from. Organizations like B.A.S.S. and Major League Fishing (MLF) offer a wide range of tournaments for all skill levels from high school to college to professional. At no time in history has there been so many bass fishing opportunities that allow anglers to compete.

6.    The best lakes in the country….Take a pen and draw a 150-mile radius around Natchitoches, Louisiana, and you will have circled three of top 10 lakes in the country. Located right here in our own back yard are legendary lakes like Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn and Caddo. But just outside that radius in East Texas sit Lake Fork, Lake of the Pines, Lake Monticello, and I’ll even throw in the Red River, just because of its history of hosting the Bassmaster Classic twice and a place I love to fish.

7.    Friends and fellow competitors…. This is what makes tournament bass fishing special. The friendships and connections I have made through bass fishing is insane. While all of us want to win every time we launch our boats, there’s something special about the relationships you form with fellow anglers that cannot be explained. Just like any other sport, there are “clicks” or groups of guys that will help each other during an event like maybe sharing a technique they’re using or sharing information about a bait they’re getting bites on. Within each of these clicks though, is a word called trust. Bass anglers are a funny bunch when it comes to sharing info and before they will share, trust must be established. Just like a marriage, if trust is broken, that bond is severed forever.

One more thing, as an outdoorsman I’ve had the joy of watching some of the best sunrises and sunsets ever seen. God paints an awesome display each and every day on a giant blue canvas. There’s something special in the air on a tournament morning just before take-off with the sun rising in the east and anglers sitting on the water. It’s an indescribable feeling of how good God is and what a privilege it is to get to do what I do. I’m truly thankful for all of this, and so much more, that I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy during my long bass fishing career. Till next week, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook! Make sure to check out the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show for the latest news and information related to the great outdoors every Wednesday at 11:00 and Saturday mornings at 6:00 on AM 1130 The Tiger or go to to see our latest episode.

Steve Graf

Calling All Schools!

Attention: All Webster Parish Schools – Public and Private – The Webster Parish Journal WANTS YOUR SCHOOL NEWS! Whether it’s an academic or sports accomplishment, or honor rolls’ list, we are dedicated to the future of our parish – the students. Please email your school’s news to We welcome photos, too!

Notice of Death – November 29, 2021

Dorthy Mae Walker
March 13, 1932 – November 28, 2021
Graveside Service: 11 a.m. December 1 in the Doyline Cemetery

Dr. Andrea Nicole (Nikki) Pharr
March 13,1978 – November 24, 2021
A wake will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home of Minden, followed by a Christian funeral service at 11 a.m.

Rhonda Herriage
May 14, 1960 – November 26, 2021
Memorial service at 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at First Baptist Church of Minden.

Missing Minden man found

Delvin Fizer has been located and is safe. 

Fizer, 31, had been missing since around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22. He was reported to be safe Friday, Nov. 26.

His family says Fizer served as a Marine for almost 10 years and they are concerned about his struggle with PTSD and other issues.

Thank you to everyone who saw posts concerning this case and responded so quickly.

Sibley man succumbs to injuries suffered during crash on Thanksgiving day 

A Sibley man has died from injuries following a one-vehicle crash on Thanksgiving day.

According to Louisiana State Police Troop G, just before 6 p.m. Thursday, November 25, troopers began investigating a one-vehicle crash on La. Hwy. 528 just west of U.S. Hwy. 371 North.

This crash ultimately claimed the life of 58-year-old Floyd Gray II.

The initial investigation revealed a 2019 Ford pickup, driven by Gray, was traveling east on Hwy. 528.  For reasons still under investigation, Gray left the roadway, traveled through a ditch, became airborne and overturned. 

Gray, who was restrained, was transported to Minden Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

Friday morning, Gray succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

Impairment is not suspected to be a factor in this crash; however, routine toxicology samples were taken and submitted for analysis. The crash remains under investigation.

Thanksgiving’s ancient origins

Although the American concept of Thanksgiving developed in the colonies of New England, its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic. Both the Separatists who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

As an annual celebration of the harvest and its bounty, moreover, Thanksgiving falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia. In ancient times, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans feasted and paid tribute to their gods after the fall harvest. Thanksgiving also bears a resemblance to the ancient Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot. Finally, historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on America’s shores.

(Special thanks to the History Channel website.)

Thanks for making us thankful

Rocker wants to wish all of you a very happy and family-festive Thanksgiving. This day is, indeed, one that should make us appreciate what we have and who we are.

Many of us have much for which we can be grateful and, just for grins, Rocker would like to share a few thankfuls.

First, we’re thankful for healthy family and friends. These past couple of years has made us realize just how fragile life is on the third rock from the sun. It’s also brought to our attention how many want to control even our health habits. Yep, Rocker believes in following the science, but we don’t agree to follow many of these alleged scientists…especially the self-appointed ones.

How can we possibly express our thanks often enough to the men and women who serve this country in our armed forces? On this Thanksgiving, we can appreciate them and their sacrifice by including them in our prayers as we give thanks for all our blessings. They’re on guard while we’re celebrating. To the veterans, we give thanks for your service. God bless you all.

Rocker gives a special thanks for all members of Congress. Were it not for this group of 535, there’s a strong possibility we great unwashed might be considered the most irresponsible, incompetent meatheads on the planet. Oh, wait. We’re responsible for electing this bunch, right? Can you say culpable? 

Of course, there’s a real need to add many other D.C. types to this thankful list but there’s not enough memory on every smart device in the country to give proper recognition. As one country philosopher said, the only time the country’s moderately safe is when Congress isn’t in session and bureaucrats are out of the office.

Speaking of D.C. types, Rocker wants to offer big thanks to Hunter Biden, son of Hiz Prezzness. If his original works can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars each, that means our dog Koog has a real shot at artistic immortality.

Another group to whom Rocker is extremely grateful resides in Hollywood and its environs. We give thanks every time one of the “stars” pontificates on any subject. When most of these narcissists speak, we’re reminded we are not the dumbest occupants of the universe. These people consider themselves, and their state, the cultural and intellectual center of the world. That makes as much sense as proclaiming Sodom the moral hub of the ancient world. To celebrities, that city could be their trend setter.

We would be remiss if we didn’t give thankful shoutouts to the largest portion of our major media. We’re thankful to MSNBC for airing a report announcing Thanksgiving is really a celebration of white supremacy and genocide. We are thankful to see intolerance, ignorance and bigotry is alive and well at the network. We’ll let their ratings speak to the level of their competence. 

We’re thankful to the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, NBC/MSNBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and countless others for turning elitist blind eyes and deaf ears to events that do not fit their vision of what’s news. Apparently the new credo among outlets such as these is “Ignore for the protection of the ignorant.” To their shock, however, the ignorant are ignoring the arrogant in ever increasing numbers. 

Rocker is ashamed that brothers and sisters in the profession have become opinionists rather than journalists and agenda promoters rather than impartial observers. One of Rocker’s mentors has dubbed this generation of media-ites as “urinalists” because they excrete more waste than information.

Closer to home, Rocker offers a huge thanks to local elected officials for a wealth of gifts that bemuse some while befuddling others. From the perspective of a semi-cynical political and social chronicler,  rivulets of comments often become oceans of commentary.  Actions speak louder than words and in the case of one public body, inaction hits a pitch that can break fine crystal. 

To alterphrase Will Rogers, we don’t make jokes about our government, we just observe and let government make jokes of themselves. Thanks, folks, for the material.

Last, but most importantly, we give thanks for a merciful God who has given us mortal life and, thankfully, eternal life through His Son. We thank Him for giving us a country that, despite what some say, is the greatest on Earth. May we remember that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

From our porch rockin’ chair to your dining room, hope you have a marvelous Thanksgiving. Thanks for listening.

Give thanks like a child

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Monday morning, Pat and I left home a little early so we would have time to stop for breakfast before going to get our Covid booster shot.

Our favorite breakfast place is Hamburger Happiness on Sibley Road, and this past Monday morning, it was more like Hamburger Hoppiness. It was hopping. The parking lot was full, the Table of Knowledge was full (you don’t want to sit with that group unless you are into heavy, political discussions), and there was a large family in the middle of the small restaurant.

We sat in a booth and struck up a conversation with the family. They are from Mississippi, heading to Texas to visit family … a three-year-old daughter with long, curly hair, her new baby brother, parents and grandparents.

I complimented the little girl, Avery, on her shirt because it had Minnie Mouse on the front. We became instant friends, and she preferred to sit in the booth with us than with her family.

We were all served breakfast at almost the same time, and as Pat and I started to dig in, Avery told us to STOP!

“We haven’t blessed the food yet,” she announced.

You could’ve heard a pin drop in that restaurant as that little girl reminded a room full of adults why we are here and why we should be thankful. She prayed the precious “God is good” prayer we all remember from our childhoods.

Such a blessing. This Thanksgiving, find your inner three-year-old and thank the One who blesses us all.

“6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.” Isaiah 11:6 (KJV)

Focus on the blessings

If someone were to ask me what is the one thing for which I am most thankful, I don’t think I could give an answer. 

There are so many things to be thankful for, and like so many of us, I realize there are far more good things in our lives than those that bring us sadness. 

But how do you pick just one? It’s too difficult to choose in our community, so let’s not worry about doing so. That’s the beauty of Thanksgiving Day; it’s the one day a year built around the important idea that we all need to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the good in our worlds. 

So, in no particular order, these are just some of the many things I am thankful for about living in our community. 

  1. I am thankful to all our blessed friends. They always love you no matter your faults and make your day better. 
  2. I am thankful for our business community and how through the pandemic they held on and we all supported each other. We were the true definition of community in the most difficult months. I am still amazed at the dedication of the 50 new business owners during this time and the more than 200 new jobs they created.
  3. I am thankful for our amazing schools and churches with their hardworking teachers and kind congregations. They each serve similar purposes. One is to educate the mind. The other is to educate the spirit. I think, though, that they both do a little of each and help make our young people productive and thoughtful members of the community we love. 
  4. I am thankful for all the things we sometimes take for granted. Food on our tables. Hugs from our loved ones. The beauty of our town during this season and beyond. 
  5. I am thankful for my friends and family, those still with us and those who have moved on to a better place. 
  6. I am thankful for all of our first responders who risk their lives everyday to keep our town and parish safe during dangerous times.
  7. I am thankful for this simple Thanksgiving day, this American tradition to spend with family and friends. 
  8. I am thankful for my faith, my Lord, my Savior, for these blessings and all the others we have been given. 

Looking back on this list, I realize there are many other gratitudes that could be added, but the Lord knows what’s in my prayers of thanks every night. I just wanted to take a brief moment on this special day to share with you what was on my heart and hope you too see all that we have to be thankful for in Minden. 

I hope we continue to realize we are all human and all have the desire to do what we think is right for our community and those who call it home. Let’s all ask for the strength to keep the power of Thanksgiving alive throughout the year so we can all be the people God wants us to be. 

So, on this November day, I would like to extend to all of you a happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful to serve you as the mayor of what will continue to be the best small town on Earth. 

Terry L. Gardner

Thanksgiving traditions and rituals

In many American households, the Thanksgiving celebration has lost much of its original religious significance; instead, it now centers on cooking and sharing a bountiful meal with family and friends. Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. 

Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate. (History channel website)

Some folks (like at the Culverhouse House) go with a nontraditional Thanksgiving meal, i.e. gumbo, barbecued ribs, grilled chicken wings and whatever everyone else brings for sides and desserts.

We asked our readers for their nontraditional Thanksgiving meals, and we received only one response. But we think you will agree, it’s worth the read.

Deborah Evans Chester

Born and raised in SE Louisiana we had some unusual Thanksgiving dinners, but I think the most unusual was the year we had barbecued goat, baked coon with sweet potatoes, and possum gravy. It was all good. Someone there had a friend along who had grown up in the city…NOLA. When he asked about the food, my cousin told him “Hush city boy and eat your food.” It was hilarious, but the food really was good!

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at The Webster Parish Journal.

Minden Lions go to the dogs

Members of the Minden Lions Club recently made a donation of dog and puppy food to the Webster Humane Association Inc., a local non-profit animal rescue organization. WHA relies on volunteers and foster homes to provide temporary shelter for stray and abandoned pets.

 Pictured (from left) are Lion Jerry Madden, District 8L Governor; Lion Charles Purdy, club secretary/treasurer; Stephanie Gantt, WHA volunteer and donation coordinator; Lion Tracy L. Campbell, club president; and Lion Jake Chapman, immediate club past president.

 To volunteer or to make a donation to the Webster Humane Association, please call (318) 377-7433.

Grandfather’s House

On February 11, 1802, Lydia Maria Francis was born in Medford, Massachusetts.  She went by her middle name, Maria, pronounced Muh-rye-uh.  She was well-educated and after finishing high school became a school teacher.  In addition to teaching, Maria wrote for newspapers and other publications on a wide variety of subjects.  She became something of a local celebrity.  At 22 years old, Maria published her first book entitled “Hobomok” too much success.  Her second book entitled “The Rebels: A Tale of the Revolution”, was set in her home state of Massachusetts.  It, too, was successful.  She wrote a cookbook, “The Frugal Housewife”, which was considered the authoritative cookbook for much of the United States.

Maria’s passion, however, was for the abolition of slavery.  In 1828, Maria married David Lee Child, a Massachusetts lawyer.  Together, Maria and her husband edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard in New York.  As early as 1833, Maria fought for the abolitionist cause with her “Appeal for that class of Americans called Africans,” the first anti-slavery work printed in book form in the United States.  In 1859, when John Brown was arrested for leading an anti-slavery raid in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, Maria wrote to Brown and volunteered to be his nurse.  She sent a copy of her letter to Virginia’s governor who denied her request and reprimanded her for her sentiments.  The author of her obituary contended that Maria’s writings “undoubtedly had a great effect in helping to create the anti-slavery sentiment of New England,” and noted that “her pen never grew weary in the cause of abolition until the unexpected end was reached.”    

Maria is less remembered for her anti-slavery writings and more for a simple poem she wrote about the anticipation she felt at visiting her grandfather’s house near the Mystic River in Medford, Massachusetts.  If you visit Medford today, you can still see Lydia’s grandfather’s house and the Mystic River.  However, the house looks much different than the one from Maria’s childhood.  Maria’s grandfather transformed the small single-story farmhouse into a majestic 2-story home.  Sadly, the lush woodland surrounding grandfather’s house has been replaced by residential housing.  You will probably recognize her poem though it has been altered with the passage of time.  Originally, Maria’s poem spoke of “wood” in the singular usage rather than its plural form, “woods.”  Maria’s poem mentions going to her grandfather’s house, not grandmother’s house, and most of us incorrectly associate it with Christmas.  Lydia Maria Child’s poem recalls a visit on Thanksgiving Day:

Over the river and through the wood,

To grandfather’s house we go;

The horse knows the way

To carry the sleigh

Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood–

Oh, how the wind doth blow!

It stings the toes

And bites the nose,

As over the ground we go.

Over the river and through the wood,

To have a first-rate play,

hear the bells ring,


Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river and through the wood,

Trot fast my dapple grey!

Spring over the ground,

Like a hunting hound!

For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river and through the wood,

And straight through the barnyard gate,

We seem to go

Extremely slow,

It is so hard to wait!

Over the river and through the wood

Now grandmother’s cap I spy!

Hurrah for the fun!

Is the pudding done?

hurrah for the pumpkin pie!


1.  The Paxton Record (Paxton, Illinois), November 28, 1872, p.3.

2.  Hartford Courant (Hartford, Connecticut), October 21, 1880, p.2.

Help needed

If you answered yes to the above questions, then we would love to talk with you. 

Webster Parish Journal is looking for a writer to help cover our parish. We want someone who loves to write features about the people who make this community great.

We also need someone who can take on some assignments and perhaps help cover local government.

If this sounds like you, please email We look forward to hearing from you.

Engaged? Getting married?

The Webster Parish Journal “WPJ” will start publishing paid engagement and wedding announcements for couples who reside in the parish, who have relatives in the parish or who are getting married in the parish. (Fees apply.)

This move by the Journal allows couples to showcase their announcement. 

Information for engagement announcements include: 

Digital photograph of the couple 

The couple’s names 

The couple’s hometowns 

High school and/or college of the couple 

Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 

Ties to the parish 

Wedding time, date, and place 

An interesting fact about the couple 

Information for the wedding announcements include: 

Digital photograph of the couple 

The couple’s names 

The couple’s hometowns 

High school and/or college of the couple 

Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 



Ties to the parish 

Wedding time, date, and place 

For engagement and wedding announcement fees and/or to submit information for publication, please email 

Webster Parish Journal publishes obituaries

When the unthinkable happens, and we lose a loved one, everyone wants the support that comes from contact with friends and family.

What would you like the world to know about your loved one? We publish obituaries at the Webster Parish Journal. Ask your funeral director for information, but if you wish, contact us at .

There is a fee of $80 for unlimited words with a photo, and payment is due before the obituary runs. Funeral announcements (date of birth and death, as well as funeral arrangements) are free.

Again, check with your funeral director as you are making arrangements, or contact us. We hope you don’t need us, but we are here for you.

City-wide clean up happening soon

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Some people call it Spring Cleaning, but the City of Minden is doing things differently. It’s time for Fall Clean up Minden campaign, scheduled for November 29 through December 4.   

Mayor Terry Gardner has asked civic groups and churches to pick up all major roads leading to Minden and Walmart to sponsor this event with trash bags for each group. 

 “This is just a litter campaign, not white goods, tires paint, etc.,” Gardner said. “City employees will be cleaning sidewalks and performing heavy weed eating in ditches and bridges.  This will be an abbreviated campaign which will only focus on picking up litter on the main thorough fares leading into the city.”

Committed roads and sponsors are as follows:

Country Club Circle from Homer Road to hairpin curve and Highway 531 to Highway 80 – Calvary Baptist Church & Living Word

Country Club Circle from hairpin curve to Lewisville Road & Longleaf Drive – Dawson Samuel 

Country Club Circle from hairpin curve to Homer Road and north on Homer Road to city limits – Citizens Bank

Country Club Circle from Glenbrook School to Lewisville Road and Lewisville Road from Country Club Circle to Tanglewood – Michael Roy

I-20 exit ramp and Industrial Drive (service road) – Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office

Highway 80 from Highway 531 to downtown – Mayor Gardner & First Pentecostal Church Youth

Elm Street from Richardson School to WP Library & Germantown Road from Richardson School to Fire Station – Donna Sutton and Spencer Creech

Shreveport Road from Smokin J’s to City Limits – Michael Walker

Sheppard St. from Fincher Road to MLK Drive – Wayne Edwards

Lee Street from I-20 to Broadway St. – First Baptist Church

Sibley Road from I-20 to Broadway St. – Evening Lions Club

Pine Street from Main Street to Methodist Camp Road and Methodist Camp Road to Airport – Noon Lions

Lewisville Road heading north to Chateau Normandy Apartments – Episcopal Church (Richard Campbell)

Germantown Road from Country Club Circle to city limits – Andy Pendergrass & Minden Foundation

Tractor Supply Shopping Center, Family Dollar on Homer Road, Dollar Tree Shopping Center – b1 Bank