By Jessica Gorman
Adam Lackey Stewart is typically only mentioned in Webster Parish history as the man from whom Charles Veeder purchased the site that became Minden. It has always been implied that no one lived on the site until it was purchased by Veeder. However, I don’t believe that to be the case.
Adam L. Stewart, born in 1797, was a native of Guilford County, North Carolina. By 1830, he was living in Claiborne Parish with his wife Elizabeth and their two young children, Napoleon and Margaret. Adam had purchased the Southwest ¼ of Section 22 Township 19 North Range 9 West consisting of approximately 160 acres. Today, Main Street and Broadway run diagonally from the northeast corner to the southwest corner of that property.
Elizabeth soon died and Adam remarried to Margaret McMahon. Their daughter, Elizabeth, was born here in January 1832. The family only remained in Claiborne Parish a few more years before Adam sold his property to Charles Veeder in July 1835 and moved to Texas. That property was then developed into the town of Minden.
The conveyance record indicates that “improvements” were present on the property. This suggests the presence of structures. Based on this evidence, considering that Adam and his family lived here for approximately seven years, and the absence of any indication that he owned other property in Claiborne Parish, I believe that the Adam Lackey Stewart and his family were likely the first known, although not permanent, settlers on the site of Minden.
(Jessica Gorman is the Executive Director for the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Webster Parish Historian, and an avid genealogist.)