Springhill, Louisiana

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Springhill is a city in northern Webster Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,439 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Minden Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

Webster Parish was first permanently settled about 1818. According to genealogical findings, William Farmer, Samuel Monzingo, J. A. Byrnes, and Joseph Murrell were the first settlers in the area. These settlers formed an area that was initially referred to informally as "Piney Woods." In 1894, though still unincorporated, what would eventually become Springhill took the name "Barefoot, Louisiana" on the notions of a Mrs. Maxwell, who assigned the name based on her observations that many men in the community went to work without shoes. The town that is today Springhill was finally incorporated in 1902. The first mayor was N.B. Taylor, who followed a year thereafter by B.D. Wilson.[1]

Recent mayors included Charles Emmett McConnell (1954–1958), Jesse L. Boucher (1958–1962), James Allen (1962–1974), M.A. Gleason, Jr. (1974–1978), Johnny D. Herrington (1978–1986 and 1995–2006), a brother-in-law of Boucher, James Curtis Smith (1987–1994), and Carroll Breaux, who assumed office on January 1, 2007.[1] Breaux, an Independent, is the first non-Democrat to serve as Springhill mayor. He unseated Herrington, 973-782, in the nonpartisan blanket primary held on September 30, 2006.[2]

The 1979 film Five Days from Home, which was directed by and starred George Peppard, was filmed primarily in Springhill. Peppard's third wife, Sherry Boucher, is a Springhill native.

Timber Industry

Springhill's close association with the timber industry began in 1896 with the arrival of the Pine Woods Lumber Company. The Pine Woods Lumber Company's venture in what was soon to be Springhill began a relationship with the timber industry that defines the town to this day, as evidenced by the local high school's mascot which is the "Lumberjacks." The town prospered due to the timber company and became a bit of a boom town. The Pine Woods Lumber Company went out of business during the depression and Springhill quickly surrendered its boom town status as the population dwindled. The Pine Woods Lumber Company's facility was purchased by the Frost Lumber Company which eventually sold out to Springhill Lumber Company. The Springhill Lumber Company later became Anthony Forest Products and remained in the timber industry in the Springhill area until 1972. The most significant local economic force in Springhill's timber industry, however, was established with the construction of a massive paper mill in 1937 by International Paper. The construction of the paper mill greatly expanded the regional economic importance of Springhill and further cemented the town's ties to the timber industry. Though technically within the town of Cullen, which borders Springhill, the facility is and was generally associated with Springhill. The later addition of a wood products plant and container (box) plant by International Paper further established Springhill as one of the most important manufacturing and processing centers in Northern Louisiana. In 1979, International Paper closed the paper mill, which along with a significant general downturn in the petroleum industry which was soon to follow, had a significant effect on the economy, population and future prospects of the community. Though the paper mill was closed, International Paper maintained its wood products and container producing facilities continuing IP's presence in the area. During 2006-2007, however, IP sold the wood products plant to its main rival, Georgia Pacific, and liquidated its significant land holdings in the Springhill area leaving the container division (box plant) as the last remnant of International Paper's presence in the Springhill area.There is a new sawmill, crosstie trimming and end-plate plant on the north border of Springhill. Its called Tucker Lumber Company. It goes to show you Springhill is still tied to the timber industry.

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