Ashland, Louisiana

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Ashland is a village located in the northernmost portion of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. It was incorporated in 1963. A few residences and a convenience store to the north spill over into neighboring Bienville Parish. The population was 291 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Natchitoches Micropolitan Statistical Area though it is located nearly forty miles north of Natchitoches.

The Ashland mayor is W. Gahagan Lee. The village council consists of Wayne Best and Carol Doyle, both Democrats, and Vincent Brown, a Republican. The police chief is Fred Holland, a Democrat.[2] All of the Ashland town officials were unopposed for new terms in the October 2, 2010, primary election.



The short line, the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway (1898–1992), owned by William Buchanan, William Edenborn, and later Harvey C. Couch,[3] came through Ashland in 1899. A turntable was constructed on land that was subdivided by Andrew R. Johnson, an Alabama native. Johnson named the community in 1901 after his former city of residence, Ashland in northern Wisconsin.[4] There was a railroad passenger and freight station, equipped with a platform for lifting cotton into the cars. Railroad cross ties were also manufactured in Ashland.[5]

Cotton and corn were the principal crops in Ashland at the turn of the 20th century. The pioneers of Ashland are described in a history penned by H. Welborn Ayres as "fiercely independent", having refused an offer of government grain assistance during the 1896-1898 drought. Joe A. Pullig (1849–1926) operated a general store, later in partnership with William McCain. Pullig's business was near the newly-opened United States Post Office, which was managed by the postmaster D.F. "Dave" Williams. Mail at the time reached Ashland by the bayou at Lake Village five miles (8 km) to the west. There was also a Carlile Hotel, long since demolished, which was owned by Tom and Duck Carlile and located east of the railroad track.[5]

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