Notice of Death – Oct. 27, 2023

William Arnold Fritz

Oct. 24, 1930 – Oct. 23, 2023

Minden, La.

Graveside service: 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, West Lake Cemetery under the direction of Rose Neath Funeral Home, Minden.


Briana Michelle Lewis

July 18, 2001 – Oct. 25, 2023

Springhill, La.

Visitation: 5 until 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, Bailey Funeral Home, Springhill.

Funeral service: 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, 2023, Bailey Funeral Home.

Burial: Springhill Cemetery, Springhill, La.


Gary Glynn Daniel, M.D.

June 6, 1932 – Oct. 23, 2023

Minden, La.

Visitation: 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, Rose Neath Funeral Home, Minden.

Funeral Service: 11 a.m. immediately following visitation.

Burial: Noon Minden Cemetery.


Edith Marie Hannah “Edie” Barkas

March 19, 1936 – Oct. 18, 2023

Minden, La.

Visitation: 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 First Methodist Church, Minden.

Funeral service: 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 First Methodist Church, Minden.

Burial: 3 p.m. Hamilton Cemetery, Dubach, La.


Robert Aldine Posey

Nov. 16, 1934 – Oct. 18, 2023

Coushatta/Bossier City

Visitation: 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, Bellaire Baptist Church, Bossier City, La.

Funeral service: 1 p.m., following visitation.

Burial: Springville Cemetery, Coushatta.

Webster Parish Journal publishes paid complete obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are no charge.)

Webster Parish woman dies in accident Wednesday

By Pat Culverhouse

A Webster Parish woman apparently died instantly early Wednesday when the vehicle she was driving struck the rear of an 18-wheeler on U.S. Hwy. 371 just inside the southern city limits of Springhill.

Springhill Chief of Police Will Lynd said Brianna Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene of the 7 a.m. accident. “It looks like she died on impact,” Lynd said.

Lynd said Lewis was driving a 2017 KIA and was not wearing a seatbelt. Speed is believed to have been a factor in the collision, the chief said.

Louisiana Congressman is new House Speaker

Mike and Kelly Johnson and family.

By Webster Parish Journal Staff

Congressman Mike Johnson a Republican member of Congress proudly serving Louisiana’s Fourth District, is the GOP’s newest Speaker of the House. By noon Wednesday Johnson had become speaker-elect with 220 votes to Democrat Hakeem Jeffries’ 209. Johnson took the oath of office shortly after.

Johnson, whose wife Kelly is from Webster Parish, represents the nearly 760,000 residents of 16 parishes in the northwest and western regions of the state. Mike was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives on December 10, 2016, by the largest margin of victory in his region in more than 50 years and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress.

“The first bill that I’ll bring to this floor in just a little while will be in support of our dear friend Israel,” Johnson said during his first remarks after being elected House Speaker. “We’re overdue in getting that done.”

District E Minden City Councilman Andy Pendergrass said he is “thrilled” with the Republican choice.

“This not only returns a measure of stability to the United States Congress, but it is also a proud moment in national history for the State of Louisiana and specifically, Northwest Louisiana,” Pendergrass said. “I certainly believe that pine tree and red dirt wisdom is just what the doctor ordered for Washington D.C.”

Pendergrass described Johnson as a true patriot who will serve the nation well in this leadership role. 

“The Rich Men North of Richmond have gone down the wrong path for too long,” he said. “My prayer is that God’s hand would be ever present on Mike’s heart and mind as he faces difficult decisions and self-important people on a daily basis. 

“I remember being in a group of several men standing in our cowboy boots on some red dirt underneath some pine trees, years before his political career, listening to Mike lead a devotional about integrity before we ate lunch,” Pendergrass continued. “It blows my mind that God knew back then, that one day that Christian southern gentleman would be the first ever Speaker of the House from the State of Louisiana.”

Pendergrass said he chooses to believe the tide is turning.

“Mike said in his acceptance speech, ‘let the enemies of freedom around the world hear this loud and clear, the People’s House is back in business.’ Look alive Northwest Louisiana, the Speaker of the House is our friend, our neighbor, and our brother in Christ Jesus. Godspeed Mr. Speaker.”

Minden Police Chief Jared McIver said Johnson was instrumental in helping his officers receive further training with Arizona/Mexico Border Patrol in June.

“Afterward, he (Johnson) came by the police department and talked with us for a long time about what our officers learned,” McIver said. “He was very helpful.”

With two decades of previous experience in Constitutional law, Mike serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and is the chairman of its Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government. He also serves on the Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, and on the House Armed Services Committee. His district includes important military installations, including Barksdale Air Force Base, headquarters of the Air Force Global Strike Command, and Fort Johnson (formerly Fort Polk) and the Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center, as well as the Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden Training Site and other assets.

Johnson is a dedicated husband and father of four and an attorney who has devoted his life and career to fighting for the fundamental freedoms and traditional values that have always been a priority to the people of Louisiana. He spent nearly 20 years successfully litigating high profile constitutional law cases in district and appellate courts nationwide and is widely recognized as a leading defender of the right to life, religious liberty, free speech, the Second Amendment and free market principles. In his law practice, he drafted landmark legislation for many states and municipalities and provided legal counsel to members of Congress, governors, state legislatures, city councils, school boards, law enforcement agencies, ministries and non-profit organizations around the country.

The eldest son of a Shreveport firefighter who was critically burned and disabled in the line of duty, Mike learned early on the values of hard work, honor and sacrifice. He has a practical understanding of the challenges that small business owners face because he, like his parents and grandparents, is one himself. Mike has also been a college professor, conservative talk radio host and columnist, a media spokesman for America’s largest religious liberty organizations, a constitutional law seminar instructor, and a board member for national organizations and numerous community groups and ministries.

Mike earned his Juris Doctorate from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in 1998 where he was selected as a member of the Moot Court Board and National Moot Court Team and was elected class president and president of the Christian Legal Society. He earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University in 1995, where he was selected to Leadership LSU and the Order of Omega Honor Society, Kappa Sigma Fraternity and served as president of the LSU Interfraternity Council.

Mike and Kelly, a former school teacher from Webster Parish and now a Licensed Pastoral Counselor, have been married since 1999 and have four children, Hannah, Abigail, Jack and Will. Today, they reside in Bossier Parish. Kelly (Lary) is from Sibley. Her family owns Hercules Service Parts LLC.

Alleged gang members make court appearances

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Two more alleged gang members made court appearances this week.

Kawasaki C. Bradford and Decory Bridges are charged with criminal street gangs and patterns of criminal street gang activity. Bridges is also charged with attempted second degree murder. His trial is scheduled for December 11 in 26th Judicial District Court.

Assistant District Attorneys Hugo Holland and Jimbo Yocom will try the case. Patrick Jefferson is defense attorney for both men.

Obituary: Gary G. Daniel M.D.

Beloved long-practicing physician, Gary Glynn Daniel, M.D., 91, of Minden, LA passed away at his home on October 23, 2023. Dr. Daniel was born in Alberta, Louisiana, on June 6, 1932, to Roxie Alabama Guin Daniel and Jake Wilmer Daniel. Graduating from Minden High School, he received a football scholarship to Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR, where he met the love of his life, Gloria Stueart. 

Completing his undergraduate studies, then marrying in 1955, attended Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans, LA, graduating in 1960.  Following graduation, he served his country, completing his internship at the prestigious Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, DC.  Upon completing his internship, he was assigned the post of Chief Division Surgeon for the 2nd Armored Division, at Fort Hood, TX, earning the rank of Captain.

Upon separating honorably from the U.S. Army in 1963, he returned to his hometown of Minden, where he proudly served the city and surrounding communities as a most skillful physician and surgeon.  He was dedicated, caring, and one of the few “old school doctors” who understood the critical importance of taking time to get to know their patients.  His practice was always a combination of complete subject matter knowledge and delivering it in an understanding and caring manner. He was much loved.

Dr. Daniel retired in 2003 from his medical practice, even though he never stopped providing care to family and friends.  In addition to his practice, he was active and involved with the Minden Medical Center, Webster Bank and Trust Co., and the Minden Housing Authority. Additionally, Daniel was the Coroner for Webster Parish from 2000 to 2004, and Deputy Coroner for many years previously. Dr. Daniel spent 43 years as a physician, during which time he also successfully raised various breeds of purebred cattle on his farm in Heflin, LA; was an accomplished private pilot; was a self-taught saw-miller; enjoyed his own sawmill, woodworker; and accomplished fisherman. 

Dr. Daniel is survived by lovely wife Gloria Stueart Daniel of Minden, children Leslie and Byron Rainer of Minden, Ben Daniel of Heflin, and James Daniel and Tara Inhofe of Tulsa, OK.  He always enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren.  To them, he was always a font of knowledge on any subject being discussed.  He was a true Renaissance man.

His grandchildren include Michael and Heather Daniel of Heflin, LA; Charlie and Sarah Daniel of Bossier City, LA; Matthew Black and wife Anna Krause of Williamsburg, VA; Gabrielle Inhofe of London, UK; Caitie Daniel of Chicago, IL; Ingrid Rainer of Austin, TX; and Laurel, Mary Celeste, and Amelia Daniel of Edmond, OK. 

His great grandchildren include Riley and Kingston Daniel of Heflin, LA; Chase Daniel of Minden, LA; Olivia George and Harper Daniel of Bossier City, LA.  He is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family of Dr. Daniel wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to Dr. Michael Chanler, Minden Medical Center, along with the wonderful nurses, counselors, chaplain, and administrators at Passages Hospice. The family offers their special thanks to his caregivers Precious Edwards, Melba Benjamin, LaKita Edwards, Kyeisha Edwards, and Barbara Boswell.

Memorial services are to be held at Rose Neath Chapel in Minden, Reverend David Dietzel officiating. Visitation will take place at 10:00am, with services to be conducted at 11:00am, Saturday, October 28, 2023. Graveside services to follow at Minden City Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Memphis, TN. 

The random ‘I love you’

Sometimes, actually a lot of the time, I am randomly hit with the sudden urge to just tell my kids, “I love you.”  

We may be driving down the road in the car, sitting around in the living room, eating out at a restaurant or doing homework at the kitchen table. This voice will pop up in my head, (not sure if it’s my own voice or someone else’s) saying, “Tell them you love them.”  

And I will. 

Almost always, I am met with, “I love you, too.” 

I am not sure if I get this urge because they need to hear it, or because I need to hear it back, but probably a mixture of both.  

And we go on about whatever it is we are doing at the moment. 

This particular “I love you” is different from the “I love you” that I say when I am dropping them off at school or right before bedtime. Even though, I mean it just as much on those occasions. Sometimes those get lost in the hectic morning drop-offs or at the end of the day when we are all spent from school, work, chores, etc.  

Those random reassurances are needed on both ends.  

We are human and whether it is a romantic relationship, friendship or parentship, we need to hear it more than just once in a blue moon or in those moments where you are “supposed” to say it or when it is expected I should say.  

I never ignore this voice when it overtakes my mind, and my mom never did either.  

She was the same way, we would be driving down the road and she would look at my sisters and me in the rearview mirror and say, “I love you.” We may have been singing along to a song or sitting in complete silence, but she wouldn’t hesitate to turn the radio down or break that silence to utter those words.  

And I never ignored her. “I love you too, mom,” would leave my mouth and my heart would swell. I hope it is the same for my girls. 

I think it is because now they randomly tell me, too.  

I have now been a mother for almost a whole decade, and I cannot think of a day that has passed without me letting them know that I love them. I say it when I am frustrated with them, when I am happy with them and every chance I get in between. 

And sometimes it is tough love. 

On the days when they get in trouble for whatever reason and I must lecture them or punish them, I truly believe they understand that I am doing it out of love and because I want them to do better and be better. That’s my sole purpose as a mother after all.  

It is just as important (if not more important) that they hear “I love you” during those hard days – the days that they are grounded, the days they don’t make the team, the days where they make an “F” on a school project, the days when they fail. It will never be a question.  

Telling your kids that you love them is important. Yes, they are just words, but they are very much needed along with all the cuddles, care and affection. So, do not shy away from that random voice in your head. It is there for a reason. Say it often and show that you mean it just as much.

(Paige Nash is a wife, mother, publisher of Bienville Parish Journal and Claiborne Parish Journal and a digital journalist for Webster Parish Journal, She is also a 2023 15 Under 40 finalist who loves her children, no matter what.)

Springhill City Water Rates to Increase

Special to Journal Services

After years of (Springhill) City subsidizing the water department through funds from the general fund, the city council has agreed to rate increases to help the water system become financially sustainable, meeting the requirements required by the State of Louisiana.  

Increases will begin in October of 2023.

Representatives from the Louisiana Rural Water Association (LRWA) explained why the adjustments are necessary.  According to the studies done by the LRWA, from a public health, environmental, and growth standpoint, the system must generate enough revenue to be self-supporting, “Springhill has reached a point where they cannot continue to fund operations of the water system from other city funds or they will lose opportunities for grants and other funding from the federal government to help maintain the system,” said Ken Terry, Compliance Assessment Manager for LRWA.

More than 10 million dollars has gone to the maintenance and upgrade of the system over the last 10 years.  The system has addressed environmental and public health concerns while maintaining compliance with DEQ and EPA regulations. In addition, the mayor, alderman and some city employees have attended or will attend water management training for the water system to help with the scoring of the water system letter grade by the Louisiana Department of Health.  

“Springhill’s current rates simply have not covered costs and we can’t continue to fund the system at the expense of other major infrastructure projects,” said Ray Huddleston, Mayor.  “If we are to meet the requirements outlined in Act 98 adopted in 2021, we are required to make our water and sewer system financially sustainable.”

A large portion of the costs associated with the water system are the USDA loans that had to be taken out to cover the costs of the new water lines that the DEQ and EPA required the city to replace. These loans are paid back through funds generated by the water system. 

Residential fees will be a base rate of $30 monthly which includes the first 1,000 gallons and $6.50 per every 1,000 gallons thereafter. Commercial rates will increase to $60 base rate which includes 1,000 gallons and then $10 per every 1,000 gallons thereafter.  Residents outside city limits will increase to $41 including 1,000 gallons and then $8 per every $1,000 gallons.  The ordinance is available on Facebook or at Springhill City Hall.  The ordinance allows for a 2 percent per year increase each year for the next 4 years allowing the city to cover the increasing cost of maintenance, supplies and required chemicals.   

The city has already spent roughly $2 million to subsidize the system over the past 5 years and must make the system self-sustainable to avoid the prospect of the system being taken over by the state to bring it into compliance with the law.  

The only thing that will increase are the water rates for the city.  Sewer and Garbage will remain the same.

Put me in, coach

By Jake Chapman

Aside from the President of the United States, there is probably no one more beloved or hated than a head football coach.  He can either be celebrated as a living legend or reviled as a stain of the community.  Everyone loves them when they are winning.  If they lose a few games, or just one big game, and there are For Sale signs in the coach’s front yard.  In our microwave, “win now or else” society it can be tough.  At the NFL and NCAA ranks, we regularly see coaches that are unceremoniously dismissed after one season.  Or in some cases, they are fired because they can’t win “the Big One.”  I know I’ve personally seen the Minden community drop the beloved Crimson Tide like a bad date to the prom after they lose one or two games early in the season.  But I digress.

When it comes to high school football, one doesn’t have to look very far within the state of Louisiana before you find coaches that have earned that legendary status.  According to a 2022 Geaux Preps article, John T. Curtis, coaching 50+ years at the school that bears his name, is only the second coach ever in the country to win more than 600 games.  Curtis has won TWENTY-EIGHT Louisiana State Championships and has been State Runner-Up TEN times.  That’s wild. 

Lesser known in these parts is the St. Thomas More (Lafayette, LA), Jim Hightower, entering his 50th year coaching with 460 victories. Then there is thirty-six-year veteran, Lewis Cook, from Notre Dame (not THAT Notre Dame.  The one in Crowley, LA) with 392 wins.  The next two on the all-time wins list in Louisiana are somewhat local guys.  Coach Alton “Red” Franklin racked up 365 wins in his 35-year tenure at Haynesville.  He is second to John T. Curtis with eleven State Championships.  Then rounding out the Top-5 is the late Don Shows from West Monroe with 345 wins.  Shows won eight State Championships in his thirty-two-year career. 

These guys are the exception, not the norm.  Although every bleacher bum, cyclone fence-hanger and armchair quarterback has-been expects it of their local team’s coach, not every high school can boast of these otherworldly accomplishments but must endure the gloriously victorious years along with the heart-wrenching ones.  This holds true for my beloved Crimson Tide.   While this current season isn’t one for the record books, I think you will see that things aren’t as bad as they seem when you consider the bigger picture.

Minden’s head coach is unknown from its earliest football playing year in 1909 until 1914. The first head coach’s name mentioned at Minden High School was Melvin “Stubb” Johnson.  He coached the local team for four seasons from 1915 until 1918 posting an 11-7-1 record.  

The next four seasons, Minden was plagued with “one-and-dones” with Albert Harrington (1919, 1-4 record), Dan Stewart (1920, 2-3-2 record), and (first name unknown) Spencer (1922, 3-3-1 record).  Sandwiched in that group in 1921 was Ernest “Red” Woodard.  Woodard led Minden to a 9-1 record finishing as the State Runner-up.  That year Minden outscored their opponents 284-7.  The ONLY score they allowed that year was in the State Championship game versus Warren Easton.  The final score was (drum roll) 7-0.

Following that group was another smattering of head coaches.  Minden’s 1917 first team All-State Quarterback, Prentiss M. Hough, returned to coach four seasons at Minden from 1923 to 1926.  Then Pete Dutton (1927, 4-4 record), (first name unknown) Hearron (1928, 3-6 record), Newton C. Helm (1929-1930, 8-9-1 record), and Clarence Geis (1931-1935, 20-24-1 record).  

Alvin “Cracker” Brown coached the freshly minted Crimson Tide from 1936 to 1939 with a record of 24-13-2 and winning Minden’s first State Championship in 1938.  Minden’s record was 11-1 and they outscored their opponents 406-70.  They shocked the state beating Opelousas on their home turf 34-6.  According to a Ville Platte Gazette article, the locals weren’t just shocked on the field, but also in their pocketbooks when the local betting ring lost an estimated $5,000 (more than $100,000 today).  Minden covered the 16-point spot, too, by the way.

Joe Oliphant coached the Crimson Tide from 1940 to 1950 with a two-year gap in 1943 and 1944 while he served in World War II.  There was no football played at MHS during that time. Coach Oliphant had previously served as an assistant coach to Alvin “Cracker” Brown during his tenure.  While Coach Oliphant earned a sub .500 record of 30-46-5 as head coach, he had already captured the hearts of the Minden High School community.  His name lives on as it is attached to the award given to the best Male Athlete each year at Minden High School.  

Enter, the Golden Age of Minden Football.  Following Oliphant was George Doherty.  Coach Doherty only coached at Minden for six years, but they were influential.  So much so that Minden donned the moniker “Domus Victorum” (Latin: “Home of Champions”) during this time.  Doherty won 73% of his games with 50 victories on his ledger, which his third all-time (50-18-2).  Doherty won three District Championships (1953, 1954, 1956) and two State Championships (1954, 1956).  Coach Doherty’s name co-habits with former principal, W.W. Williams, on an annual award recognizing a community leader for their support of Minden High School.  My tag team partner on Friday nights, Mark Chreene, and I are both proud recipients of this award.  

The Domus Victorum kept rolling with Elton Kelly.  Coach Kelly matched Oliphant’s longest tenure of nine years from 1957 to 1965.  Kelly has the most wins at Minden with 63 coincidentally winning 63% of his games (63-36-4).  Kelly led the Crimson Tide to either the District title spot or runner up in every year he coached except for 1961 and 1965.  The 1961 sophomore-laden team took their lumps with a 1-9 record but would go on to have the only undefeated record in Minden history in 1963 (14-0) on their way to Minden’s fourth State Championship.  Coach Kelly also has an annual award in his honor.

The next decade was pretty rough on the Crimson Tide faithful. Coaches Billy Roach (1966-1969), Joe Stewart (1970-1972) and Jerry Fausett (1973-1976) had a combined record of 40-67-2 with no playoff appearances.  

However, the next decade the Tide would return to their winning ways.  Charles Herrington coached six seasons (1977-1982) with a record of 46-23.  He mirrored the efforts of Elton Kelly either winning the District Championship or finishing as runner-up in all his seasons except for one.  Herrington won the District Championship three consecutive seasons from 1979 to 1981.  The Tide was 30-8 during that stretch and won the State Championship in 1980 in “The Pit”.  

Coach Steve Brasher would carry the mantle after Herrington.  Brasher coached from 1983 to 1991, matching the 9-year stints of Oliphant and Kelly.  Brasher posted a record of 58-41 with the most success coming in the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons.  During that time Minden’s went 28-7 and won the District Championship twice and was runner up the other season.  Everyone wonders what might have been after losing a heartbreaker in 1986 to Wossman by one touchdown in the 2nd round of the playoffs, a team they’d beaten earlier in the season 21-7.  That was their only loss that season.  

History repeats itself.  Just as it did following Doherty and Kelly, Minden once again fell on several years of tough sledding following the success of Herrington and Brasher.  Once Brasher departed, Minden had its first and only African American coach in Stepfret Williams, Sr.  “Coach Step” was head coach for only one season in 1992 finishing with a record of 3-6.  Following Coach Step was Ronnie Whatley, a long-time assistant dating back to the late 1970s.  Whatley would have the longest tenure at Minden High School coaching for 11 seasons from 1993 to 2003.  Coach Whatley coached a record 114 games, but unfortunately, didn’t win very much with a record of 34-80.  Whatley had no greater season than a 5-6 record, of which he had three.  He led the Tide to four playoff appearances, but after the Tide’s only winless season ever in 2003, Coach Whatley decided to hang up his head coach’s whistle. 

After Whatley came journeyman head coach, David Feaster.  Coach Feaster (2004-2006, 25-11 record) led a scrappy bunch of players to three consecutive playoff appearances including a run to the State Semi-Finals in 2006, their only loss was to the “University of Bastrop” in the final game of that season. 

The next few years Minden had three more coaches experiencing .500 football: Alan Ensminger led the team for one season to a respectable 4-6 record but failed to make the playoffs.  “Coach E” currently serves as the Defensive Coordinator for the Crimson Tide.  Following Ensminger was Eric Middleton (2008-2009, 11-11 record) and Randy Peters (2010-2012, 15-18 record) both earning two playoff appearances during their short stays in Minden.  

Which leads us to the current era.  Spencer Heard began his tenure in 2013 and is currently in his 11th season as head coach, tying Ronnie Whatley for the longest reign as head coach.  This season Heard surpassed Whatley’s mark for most games coached at Minden with the meter still running.  

During the Heard era, Minden has a record of 62-55, which brings Heard to 2nd place in wins and needs just two more victories to surpass Coach Kelly to become the winningest head coach in Minden History.  This could happen by the end of this season.  Heard has also made more history at Minden with eight consecutive playoff appearances from 2014 to 2021 with two Quarterfinal exits.  Heard won the District Championship in 2014 and was runner-up in 2016.  While he may not have the number of District Championships or a State Championship to his name, Heard achieved something no other Minden coach has – Coach of the Year (2014).  The Louisiana Sport Writers Association established the award in each classification in 1962.  You’re wondering about 1963, aren’t you?  Minden’s only perfect season and State Championship year?  The Class 3A winner was Lynn LeBlanc.  He coached the LaRose-Cutoff team that Minden beat in the State Championship game. 

So, it’s true this season hasn’t been great.  There are boo-birds and mully-grubbers aplenty when things aren’t going well.  But I hope you can see the bigger picture. There are ebbs and flows to each season, but Minden has had a consistently competitive program over the past decade-plus.  

The Domus Victorum might have dust on it and the paint may be chipped.  And to an ever growing number of folks in the community, it has been put away in the cellar.  Perhaps one day Minden will rise to the top again.  But if history teaches us anything, it’s tough to stay there.  Come back down to reality and “pledge anew to Minden, dear old Minden High” win, lose or draw, no matter the cost.  The school and football program will be better for it, and then you can say you were there when…

4 p.m. Friday is deadline to enter

Week 8 winner Marcus Gibson accepts his $100 winnings from Under Dawgs Sports Grill owner Claudine Thomas.

It’s your turn to sign up and hopefully win $100 playing Webster Parish Journal’s Football Pick’em Contest.

Each weekly winner over the life of the contest will be on the receiving end of $100 and have their photo taken at our title sponsor Under Dawgs Sports Grill, the gathering place featuring a home-field atmosphere. 

With no Thursday games on the schedule, you have until 4 p.m. Friday to get in your picks for this week’s games.

Anyone 18 and older is eligible to participate. All it takes is an email address and a combination of skill and a little luck. Each week, parish high school teams, as well as area colleges and some pro teams are listed in the contest. And just like the Journal, there’s no cost to enter.

Signing up for the contest only takes a couple of minutes. Log on to and follow the instructions.

Minden’s German Heritage?

By Jessica Gorman 

You may be surprised, and maybe even disappointed, to learn that Minden’s heritage is, in fact, not German. But wasn’t Charles Veeder German? Wasn’t Minden named for Minden, Germany? In short, no. Neither of these claims is true. So, how did this myth come to be? 

Charles Veeder was born in New York. All early sources state this fact clearly and with absolutely no references to German ancestry. This is also confirmed by historical documentation. So, when was the claim to German heritage made? I can’t be certain, but it seems to begin in the 1930s. 

Early sources, namely Isaac Murrell and Pike Reynolds, both residents of Minden before Charles Veeder left for California, stated in the 1800s that Minden was named for a town in New York. Minden, New York, established in 1798, is a township which includes a hamlet known as Mindenville. No explanation is given for precisely why he would have chosen to name in Minden in this way, but one similarity between the two places was the presence of a nearby German settlement known as Dutchtown. Minden, New York is believed to be named for Minden, Germany. It has been suggested that because of this, Minden is indirectly named for Minden, Germany. However, Charles Veeder had no connection to Minden, Germany. Therefore, he had no intention of naming it for that place.

The earliest reference I find to Minden being named for Minden, Germany is in April 1937, just over one hundred years after the founding of the town. The Webster Review stated that Veeder “named the town after Minden, Westphalia, Germany.” This mistake seemed to grow. The following year, the same publication claimed that “a German from Germany gave the city its name of ‘Minden’ after his native Minden, Westphalia, Germany.” From this point forward, most mentions of the founding of Minden contain some iteration of these claims.

However, at no point did anyone ever seem to feel that Minden’s heritage was German. After all, Veeder was only here for a relatively short period of time. This seems to hold true until the 1980s and the advent of the Germantown Festival. The first festival was held in October 1981 to “honor Germantown and the area’s German heritage.” Within just a few short years, however, this was changed to “Minden’s German heritage.” One year, the mayor of Minden, Germany was even invited to attend the festival but chose to decline. 

So, what about Veeder? Different claims have been made over the years. These include that Veeder was from Germany, his parents were from Germany, or that his great-grandparents were from Germany. So, what’s the truth? Unfortunately, none of these are true. The Veeders were not from Germany at all. They were Dutch and had been in New York for nearly 150 years before the birth of Charles. His ancestor, Simon V. Veeder, immigrated from Holland to what was then New Netherland in 1652. In 1664, Simon was among the first settlers of Schenectady where Charles was born in 1796.

Coincidentally, as I was working to put things into context and form a timeline, I found articles written by Mrs. Thomas Lorraine Campbell, past Webster Parish Historian. I had forgotten about these articles, but as I read them, I began to remember that I had seen them before, years ago. They were written in the 1980s, shortly after “Minden’s German heritage” began to be marketed. She tried to make it known that Minden’s origins had no ties to Germany. It seems that nobody listened. 

The truth is that “our German heritage” belongs solely to Germantown. Instead of laying claim to their heritage, we should acknowledge that we have simply borrowed it. We should value the Germantown Colony Museum and support the efforts of the Friends of Germantown to preserve this historic site. 

(Jessica Gorman is the Executive Director for the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, Webster Parish Historian, and an avid genealogist.)

Tech, Tourism Commission partner for Miller Quarters branding

Special to Journal Services

The Webster Parish Convention and Visitor’s Commission (CVC) is partnering with Louisiana Tech University’s School of Design to brand Miller Quarters Park, a beautiful 11-acre community nature spot in Minden fit for festivals, families, and fun for all groups.

Tech students enrolled in the Fall quarter Identity Systems Design class are getting a hands-on opportunity to create the visual identity for the park. These future designers are working closely with the Tourism Commission to create a mark that both embraces the important historic significance of the property and illustrates the promising future of Miller Quarters Park to serve as a bridge in the community.

“We are excited to again partner with Louisiana Tech University and let the students set the stage for the look and feel for Miller Quarters Park,” Ty Pendergrass, CVC chair, said. “This is the second phase of our partnership with Louisiana Tech. We are excited to work hand in hand to develop an identity system that will stay true to the history of Miller Quarters, while building a bridge for the future.”

The Webster Parish project includes an identity system for the park that will consist of a primary mark system, signage/wayfinding elements, a web interface, and more.

“The Louisiana Tech School of Design is thrilled to collaborate with the Webster Parish CVC to create a new identity system for Miller Quarters Park,” Tech’s Tom Futrell, Department Chair, Graphic Design, said. “Our team of graphic design students is passionate about connecting the community to the park and making it a special experience for all visitors.”

“The elements we hope to develop at Miller Quarters are a reflection of our community’s culture and lifestyle,” Serena Gray, executive director of Webster Parish CVC, said, “and I believe that the Louisiana Tech design students will help us, through storytelling and unique design, tie together where we’ve been and where we’re going as an attractive destination to locals and visitors alike.”

The mutually beneficial collaboration will provide cost savings and offer hands-on experience for the next generation of graphic designers in the region.

On U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson’s election as U.S. House Speaker

Mike Johnson’s election today as U.S. House Speaker marks the culmination of a meteoric rise in the U.S House of Representatives, the result of his diligent but often low-key work advancing conservative constitutional principles and doing so in a respectful and inoffensive manner.

In a highly partisan, if not often toxic, U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Johnson first spearheaded the introduction of a “Commitment to Civility” resolution and he has remained committed to maintaining civil and courteous interaction among members of Congress, often in the face of heated policy and political disagreement.  His demeanor and comportment certainly contributed to his gaining the support for Speaker of his fellow members of the often-rambunctious House Republican Conference.

He has now entered into an office the responsibilities and obligations of which are nothing less than monumental.  And, while it is impossible to quantify the benefit his service as Speaker will provide Louisiana, it would be difficult to overstate the positive impact. 

All of this is to say nothing of the fact that the Speaker post is second in the line of presidential succession.  If the president dies or becomes incapacitated, the VP is first and then the Speaker of the House.

I am convinced that the same skills and ability that brought Rep. Johnson to this point—accompanied by his deep faith—will see him through.  I offer him my congratulations and my prayers.

(Shreveport attorney, Royal Alexander, worked in D.C. in the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 8 years for two different Members of Congress from Louisiana.  He has witnessed up close several Speaker races.)

Upcoming Events

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Every Saturday in October

7 p.m. Halloween Movie Nights. Lake Bistineau State Park. Family friendly movies. Bring a chair or blanket. Park admission is $3 per person, 3 and under, 62 and older, free.

Oct. 26

4:30 p.m. Ghostly Gathering Trunk or Treat, Mack Memorial Library, Springhill, La.

5:30 until 8 p.m. Wiggin’ Out, Under Dawgs Sports Grill, 605 Main Street. Home Federal Bank matches 10 percent of sales.

Oct. 27

4 until 6 p.m. Commodity Distribution, First Baptist Church, 208 N. Arkansas St., Springhill, La. Must bring a photo ID and proof of residence.

4:45 p.m. National Night Out/Meet the Panthers event located in downtown Doyline. On top of celebrating National Night Out, Meet the Panthers is also held annually. It recognizes student athletes and hamburger plates are sold to raise funds for letterman jackets. At this event around 4:30 or 5 the sports teams will be announced.

Oct. 28

6 until 9 p.m. Minden Rec Annual Fall Festival.

6 p.m. Pretties & Pajamas, Women Helping Others (W.H.O.) fundraising event. Bingo, dinner, silent auctions, raffles, door prizes. Tickets $50 individual, $400 reserved table of 8. For more information, visit

Oct. 29

3 until 5 p.m. Fall Festival. North Acres Baptist Church and Greater St. Paul Baptist Church, 1852 Lewisville Rd., Minden, Trunk or Treat, fun games, a bounce house, Cotton Candy, popcorn, and Sno-cones. Public is invited to attend.

Oct. 30

5 until 7 p.m. Glenbrook Fall Fest

5:30 p.m. Ghostly Gathering Trunk or Treat, Minden Branch, Webster Parish Libraries.

Oct. 31

5 until 7 p.m. Trunk-or-Treat Fest, Beech Springhill’s Baptist Church, 15910 Hwy, 80, Minden. Games, trunks, free food, gallons and face paint. Special presentation at 6 p.m. by Luke the Gold Retriever.

Nov. 2

10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Greater Minden Chamber Job Fair and Resource Expo 2023. Minden Civic Center. Sponsored by Chamber, Coordinating & Development Corporation, City of Minden, Louisiana Workforce Commission. Open to the public.

Nov. 3-4

Main to Main, Vendors that wish to set up on City of Minden property can register online at  There is a $10 fee for setting up downtown.

Nov. 4

9 a.m. until 10 p.m. Hunt for W.H.O. Big Doe contest, 390 Johnny Mouser Rd., Shongaloo. Registration ends at 10 p.m. Nov. 3. Benefits Joey Gore who was injured in a traumatic car accident in 2003. Gore is dependent on a wheelchair and his chair accessible vehicle is in desperate need of repair, now. He has not been able to visit a doctor in-person since before Covid.There is a $50 entry fee, cash prizes. Fish dinner $15/plate. For more information, call 318-455-7578 or 318-578-1288. Also message Facebook page.

10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Mission Baby Bazaar Craft/Bake Sale. First Baptist Church gym, Minden. Blessing families that are adopting/fostering children. Handmade crafts, silent auction, bake/casserole sale, hot dog or jambalaya lunch. All proceeds go to the children. For more information, contact Martha Tucker @ 318-207-1079 or Tammy Burton @ 318-469-8742.

Nov. 11

8 a.m. VFW Post 2885 and Auxiliary will be having a Buddy Poppy drive and bake sale at Walmart beginning at 8 a.m. until all sold. The money raised at this event will go to help veterans in the area.  

Arrest Reports

The following arrests were made by local law enforcement agencies. Minden Police Department (MPD), Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office (WPSO), Louisiana State Police (LSP) and others which are named.

Oct. 24

Ladorious Marquel Burks, 22, of the 100 block of Oak Tree, Minden, was arrested by WPSO for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Earnest Drew, 30, of the 7500 block of Hwy. 371, Sibley, was arrested by WPSO on a warrant for disturbing the peace.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Weekly Filings

The following civil suits were filed with the Webster Parish Clerk of Court the week beginning Oct. 19, 2023. All civil suits are public record.

Oct. 19

Accelerated Inventory Management LLC vs. Bambie McEachern, monies due.

Discover Bank vs. Deborah D. Oswalt, monies due.

Oct. 20

Christy Turner vs. Trey Turner, divorce.

Kelli Rena Calhoun vs. Allen Michael Calhoun, divorce, w/children.

Oct. 23

Lakeview Loan Servicing LLC vs. Charmonie Parker, executory process.

Sara Ruybal vs. Jesse Ruybal Jr., protective order.

Lapresious D. Dixon vs. Dantavion D’Coddy Harris, custody.

Oct. 24

Republic Finance LLC vs. Starla Allen, monies due.

Sara Ruybal vs. Jesse Ruybal Jr., custody.

Portfolio Recover Associates LLC vs. Tyler Coe, monies due.

Michelle Wesley vs. Derrick Dwayne Ware Sr., custody.

Louisiana Community and Technical College System vs. Ashton Brook Wynne, monies due.

Teddie Michael Moore vs. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., damages.

Oct. 25

Brittany McCoy vs. A’devies Sanders, protective order.

Republic Finance LLC vs. Mary L. Coleman, judgment executory.

Joshua Quackenbos vs. Cierra Jasmine West, divorce.

Notice of Death – Oct. 25, 2023

Gary Glynn Daniel, M.D.

June 6, 1932 – Oct. 23, 2023

Minden, La.

Visitation: 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, Rose Neath Funeral Home, Minden.

Funeral Service: 11 a.m. immediately following visitation.

Burial: Noon Minden Cemetery


Edith Marie Hannah “Edie” Barkas

March 19, 1936 – Oct. 18, 2023

Minden, La.

Visitation: 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 First Methodist Church, Minden.

Funeral service: 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023 First Methodist Church, Minden.

Burial: 3 p.m. Hamilton Cemetery, Dubach, La.


Robert Aldine Posey

Nov. 16, 1934 – Oct. 18, 2023

Coushatta/Bossier City

Visitation: 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023, Bellaire Baptist Church, Bossier City, La.

Funeral service: 1 p.m., following visitation.

Burial: Springville Cemetery, Coushatta.

Webster Parish Journal publishes paid complete obituaries – unlimited words and a photo, as well as unlimited access – $80. Contact your funeral provider or . Must be paid in advance of publication. (Above death notices are no charge.)

Mandino honored as Young Professional

Haynes Mandino took home the top honor as 15 professionals under the age of 40 were recognized in a special annual event Tuesday. Those 15 were part of more than 40 who were nominated for the honor by peers, family, friends and work families.

Mandino, teacher, coach, volunteer firefighter – just a few of his attributes – took home the 2023 Terry L. Gardner Young Professional of the Year award.

“I urge you all: don’t give up on the youth of this community,” Mandino said. “Love your Lord first, then love your community and your family.”

Mandino is lauded for working with the youth before, during and after school, as well as his church and in a number of other projects.

Others nominated for the award were Jackie Brent, Minden Press-Herald/Bossier Press Tribune; Taylor Parker Brock, Durrett Law & Title; Victoria Chapman, Highland Clinic Oncology & Hematology; Tynesa T. Grigsby, Gibsland Bank & Trust; Jessica Haymon, b1 Bank; Logan Hollingsworth, Hollingsworth Construction; Paige Lasyone, Regions Bank; Paige DeAnn Nash, Webster Parish Journal; Levi Reagan, Minden Family Pharmacy, Kayla Rodriguez, Swanky Creative; Jason Smith, Minden Police Department; Tyler Wallace, City of Minden; Victoria Washington, Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office and Hannah Winget, b1 Bank.

We at Journal Services LLC would like to congratulate our colleague Paige DeAnn Nash for her nomination for this award. We are very proud of her and the work she does not only to bring the news but also to help her family and community.

Claiborne man in court for 4 counts of attempted second degree murder

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A Claiborne Parish man was in court for a status hearing last Friday in connection with Minden’s Ewell Park shooting last spring.

Jamontae Holyfield, 21, of Homer is charged with 4 counts of attempted second degree murder and 4 counts of carjacking. Holyfield allegedly entered a car with persons who were not involved in the shooting and then demanded to be taken to another location.

Holyfield was in 26th Judicial District Court to request bond reduction – which was denied by Judge Lane Pittard – and a status hearing. Assistant District Attorney Hugo Holland will try the case. Holyfield’s attorney is an unnamed public defender. A trial date has not been set.

Holyfield was arrested, along with several others, following the April 2 shooting that injured four people attending an event at the park. Law enforcement officials say the shooting was between two rival gangs.

All suspects in the shooting have been arrested by Minden Police and charged with attempted second degree murder.

They include Holyfield, Jaylon Teal, Reginald D. Moore, Tyler Thornton, Jaques Deontae Burdette and Tekeldrick Webb.

Gibson is Week 8 winner of Pick’em contest

Congratulations, Marcus Gibson, our Week 8 winner of Webster Parish Journal’s Football Pick’em Contest with a perfect score. Gibson was 12 and 0 and didn’t even require the tie breaker.

See Thursday’s journal for a photo awarding Gibson $100 in cash from Claudine Thomas and title sponsor Under Dawgs. 

Celebrity stats:

Pat Culverhouse  10 of 12

Webster Parish Sheriff Jason Parker 9 of 12

 Minden Police Chief Jared McIver 9 of 12

Minden Mayor Nick Cox 8 of 12

Josh Beavers 8 of 12

Curtis Mays 6 of 12

Signing up for the contest only takes a couple of minutes. Log on to and follow the instructions.

Entries will remain open until 4 p.m. each Friday before the listed games.

‘We just got beat by a better writer today …’ 

Just once I’d like to see the tables turned in a sports interview.  

I’d like to hear a sportswriter sort of look down and, not defeated but definitely dejected, mumble into the microphone after a poorly written game story, “I just didn’t have my good verbs today. No movement with my action verbs at all. I was missing early in the story with my helping verbs so I couldn’t really set up what’s been my bread-and-butter action verbs like ‘pitched’ and ‘hit.’ It is what it is, I guess…” 

Just once… 

Part of sports is that familiar give-and-take between players/managers and writers/broadcasters before and after games, familiar and routine as batting practice or pregame warmups. 

Monday night after a Game 7 rout by Texas in the American League Championship Series, baseball’s and Houston’s much beloved Dusty Baker, manager of the defending World Series champs but losers in Monday night’s series-deciding game, deftly dodged questions about some of his in-game decisions, decisions that landed somewhere between strange and bizarre, especially for a future Hall-of-Famer who played 19 seasons and has since managed teams to more than 2,000 wins. 

Dusty said something about fans having been “spoiled around here, as far as winning,” how the Astros have “nothing to be ashamed of,” how they were beaten “by a better team tonight.” And on like that. Which is fine. No excuses, but no real explanations either. 

Just to keep things even, writers should have to do the same now and then. Instead of hanging around the batting cage—let’s say we’re talking baseball here—maybe now and then the manager comes to the press box and says to the writer, “Your game story this morning, it seemed flat. Sally’s story in The Tribune, it was like reading music. Felt like I was at the game. What’s your evaluation of what happened?” 

Writer: “Look, Sally’s a good writer and she was the better typist last night,” the writer says, studying his shoes. “I had some opportunities in my lead and didn’t take advantage of those. As the story went on, I had decent command of my nouns, even the Proper Nouns, but my verbs were all over the place. I let that one adjective get away from me in — I think it was the third graph — and after that it seemed I couldn’t find my rhythm or my butt with both hands. 

“It’s like I told the staff after the paper came out, I’ve got to do my job, sure, but we’ve got to have good layout too, maybe a few graphics … it takes a team. This isn’t a one-man show. But the bottom line is I’ve got to do better. I can’t just throw my laptop out there and expect to win.” 

Coach: “Any thoughts on how home press box proved to be no advantage at all this series?” 

Writer: “That’s writing. That’s just writing. My splitting an infinitive and giving a clause away when I hung that preposition late didn’t help, but I think the fight was there: we just didn’t execute at the level we’re capable of.” 

Coach: “Your pronoun use has been a strong suit all year. Do you think you landed those today?” 

Writer: “My subjective pronouns were as good as they’ve been all year. But somewhere around the eighth sentence, my objective pronouns were flat as a crewcut and the one time I used a possessive case and then a nominative clause, well, those weren’t worth donating to the homeless. Anything else guys?” 

Coach: “Thanks, Writer. Good luck tomorrow.” 

Writer: “Thanks guys. I appreciate y’all. Just wasn’t our day. But we don’t have anything to be ashamed of. Outside of getting the final score wrong … Sorry about that. Wish I had that one back.” 

Contact Teddy at 

Doyline parade kicks off NNO/Meet Panthers

Doyline is a small town with a big heart. The public is invited to celebrate National Night Out/Meet the Panthers with a parade kicking off the festivities at 4:45 p.m. Friday, October 27.

Meet the Panthers recognizes student athletes and hamburger plates are sold to raise funds for letterman jackets. At 5:45, sports teams will be announced along with another very special recognition.

The parade and the stage for these events are located downtown Doyline.

Obituary: Edith Marie Hanna ‘Edie’ Barkas

Edith Marie Hanna “Edie” Barkas was born March 19, 1936, in Dubach, Louisiana and went home to be with the Lord in Covington, Louisiana on October 18, 2023, at the age of 87.

She was a devoted wife for 65 plus years to William Matthew “Bill” Barkas of Minden, Louisiana.

She was “Mama” to Jessica Welch (Lavon), Bill Barkas, Jr. (Julie), and Hanna Peshoff (Jeff).

She was “MawMaw” to grandchildren Rachel Welch, Nathan Welch (Sima), Jonathan Welch (Brittany), Meredith Welch, Matthew Barkas (Morgan), Grant Barkas, Will Peshoff, Sarah Didier (Logan), Mary Peshoff, and John Clark Peshoff.

She had 12 great grandchildren—Ronin Welch, Kason Welch, Barron Welch, Ruston Welch, Joseph Welch, Luke Welch, James Welch, Ruth Barkas, Brooks Barkas, Grace Barkas, Vera Didier, and Irene Didier.

She is also survived by her sister, Barbara Hanna Fowler, of Ruston.

Edie was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Barkas, her parents, Jessie Patrick Hanna and Robert Barney Hanna, four brothers, Robert Barney Hanna, Jr., Richard Hanna, Lloyd Hanna, and Charles Hanna, one sister, Lettie Aulds, and three grandsons, Benjamin Barkas, Joshua Welch, and Caleb Welch.

She was a proud 1958 graduate of Louisiana Tech University (then Louisiana Polytechnic Institute) with a degree in Medical Laboratory Technology and remained a faithful Bulldog supporter all her years, holding season football tickets for 55 years. She even attended every Tech home football game so far this season. She graduated from Dubach High School where she was an excellent student and played on the girls’ basketball team.

Edie spent the first several years of her marriage and motherhood as a homemaker, stay-at-home mom, and faithful volunteer for her children’s activities which included Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. Once her youngest child started kindergarten, she began working as a lab tech, x-ray tech, and EKG tech and was employed by various doctor’s offices in Minden. During this time, she served as a Sunday school teacher and youth parent leader and offered her sewing talents whenever a costume was needed for one of her children’s activities.

In her later years and after retiring, she filled her time traveling to see her grandchildren in their various sports, speech and debate, and other extra-curricular activities, working at the election polls, and volunteering at First United Methodist Church in various capacities. She helped with creating the beautiful church seasons banners that are still in use at the church. She and Bill volunteered yearly for the Minden St. Jude’s fund raiser, helping to make and sell beignets She also participated in Bible Study Fellowship.

She was known for her sewing, crocheting, and cooking skills and had a remarkable eye for detail.   She was fiercely loyal and somewhat competitive, which made her a die-hard sports fan, following not only Tech sports, but also NFL football and NBA basketball. She loved her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren dearly, and they knew it. She would hold babies for hours and kept every “creation” her grandchildren gave her. Throughout their years of marriage, she and Bill created a home that was a welcome and safe spot for family, extended family, and friends. She was a believer in Jesus Christ and demonstrated that through serving her family, church, and community.

Services will be Saturday, October 28, 2023, at First Methodist Church in Minden with visitation to begin at 10:00am and the service to begin at 1:00pm. Graveside service will follow the funeral service at Hamilton Cemetery in Dubach.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Jude’s or First Methodist Church, Minden.

Join Webster Parish heroes on the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Team

By Greg Burke

Webster Parish residents no doubt take immense pride in home grown athletes like Lou Dunbar, John David Crow, Charley Hennigan and Jackie Moreland, who have been recognized for their accomplishments through induction into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

For years, the only point of recognition for those honorees was in trophy cases at Northwestern State University’s Prather Coliseum. In 2013, recognition of Louisiana’s greatest athletes took a monumental step forward with construction of the state-funded 27,000 square foot Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches’ downtown historic district.

In addition to being open to visitors and for group tours, the museum has hosted events such as the recent 50th anniversary commemoration of singer Jim Croce’s untimely death after performing at NSU, wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners, meetings, and other functions.

The first-ever Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame “Join the Team” membership drive – which research shows is standard for most hall of fame museums – has been initiated to secure resources which can be used to update and upgrade the museum. State funding underwrites basic operating costs for the museum but there are often inadequate funds to enhance the museum, especially in this age of “bells and whistles” (aka “technology”). Log on to and click the “Join the Team” button or text LSHOFTEAM to 41444 to “Join the Team.” Checks can be mailed to 500 Front Street, Natchitoches, LA 71457.

While today’s technology comes at a cost, the “asking price” for Hall of Fame membership can be as little as $10 per month. Member benefits include official Hall of Fame team member gear, the opportunity to win monthly drawings, discounts on merchandise and other amenities. 2023 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductees Alana Beard – Shreveport (Southwood High School), Duke University, and 15-year WNBA standout – along with two-time LSU national champion and 14-year Major League Baseball pitcher Paul Byrd, are Honorary Co-Chairs of the inaugural membership campaign.

And if that isn’t attractive enough, members who sign up by December 31 of this year will be entered in a January 1 drawing for the “Ultimate 2024 Hall of Fame Weekend Experience,” which includes two tickets to all induction weekend events, a photo with your favorite 2024 Hall of Famer (Drew Brees…Seimone Agustus…Daniel Cormier…or another inductee…your choice!) and exclusive access to some events. The value of that package is close to $1,000!

The initial goal is a very conservative and surely attainable 100 members. This museum is our state’s pride and joy, a legacy locker room for its greatest athletes that celebrates excellence from all 64 parishes, from Ida to Grand Isle, from Lake Providence to Lake Charles. Statewide ownership will ensure that just as Louisiana athletes are among the best from coast to coast, the same can always be said about its Sports Hall of Fame Museum.

Greg Burke is Director of Business Development and Public Relations for the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation. He was formerly Director of Athletics at Northwestern State University for 26 years. Burke can be contacted at