Zwolle, Louisiana

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Zwolle is a town in Sabine Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,783 at the 2000 census.



The first inhabitants of the bowl shaped area of land upon which the town of Zwolle is situated were the Mound Builders. Lured here for protection from storms, the "bowl" offered them protection. Prehistoric people built the dome-shaped mounds that line the banks of Bayou Scie and Bayou San Miguel, which form a hollow circle around the townsite. Like all other Mound Builders, they are believed to be ancestors of North American Indians found occupying the territory when the Europeans arrived.

The first English-speaking settlers arrived in Sabine Parish in 1824, via Natchitoches. These pioneers came chiefly from Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas. In 1871, many more of these settlers moved in and acquired land under the homestead act. [1]

Arthur Stilwell built the Kansas City Southern Railroad from Kansas City to Port Arthur, Texas. He had reached Van Buren, Arkansas in 1893 when he ran out of funds. Stilwell went to Zwolle, The Netherlands and met with a rich coffee merchant Jan De Goeijen (John De Queen). De Queen sold a $3,000,000 stock issue for Stilwell's railroad. De Queen was impressed with St. Joseph Catholic church, a product of the early Spanish missionaries which stood overlooking the town. De Queen was permitted to name it after his hometown and birthplace of Zwolle, a riverside city of currently over 115,000 population in the Netherlands.[2] The charter for the town of Zwolle was granted June 12, 1898.

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