Rich Past. Bright Future.
Rich Past.
Bright Future.

Sometimes referred to as the “Diamond in the Forest,” DeSoto Parish is located in Northwestern Louisiana.  Some of it’s first inhabitants were the Caddo Indians and over time the area became a neutral ground between Spain and the United States.

In 1682, the explorer LaSalle claimed all the land drained by the Mississippi River and its tributaries in the name of France. This area included about half of what is now DeSoto Parish.



Following the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 the land also became a haven for those fleeing from the law.​
Visit the No Man’s Land website.

In the 1820s, communities began to develop. The first was Cow Pens and the second was Screamerville. Both are now just a part of the parish’s written history.
By 1835, the US bought the land that is now DeSoto Parish from the Caddo Indians for a few installments adding up to $80,000. Forty thousand dollars in cash or goods was paid in one year’s time and $10,000 was paid annually for four years.
Logansport was founded in 1830 and a ferry was established on the Sabine River. Soon after, a railroad was opened through the area to assist businesses and travelers in the sale of cotton. The result brought in a mixture of new business and outlaws looking to escape and hide from outside authorities.



Mansfield was established in 1847 and the battle for the Parish Governmental seat began. Citizens were divided between the northern area of Screamerville and the southeast area of Augusta to be the government seat. In the end, Screamerville claimed the victory among voters and the first parish courthouse and college building were erected in the early 1850’s. Eventually the Parish seat was selected by the Louisiana Legislature and established in Mansfield.

In April, 1864, Mansfield gained a permanent niche in American Civil War history, when Confederate General Richard Taylor decisively defeated nearby a Union army, advancing along the Red River.


Just outside of Mansfield a civil war museum can be found. By 1908, Mansfield began its legacy as a major logging and lumber city when a number of the industries, mills and factories were founded.
Today, DeSoto Parish is alive and thriving!  Population has grown from 8,000 to nearly 30,000 since the horse-and-buggy days of 1850. Small business is thriving with family owned stores popping up all over the Parish. Here you will find cultural festivities, holiday events, parades, trail-rides, and numerous school functions…just to name a few.

We have some of the top-rated and most sought after schools in the state of Louisiana. From our educators to cooks, doctors, law-enforcers, bankers and our oil field workers, DeSoto is a close-knit family of amazing, hard-working people. If you find yourself in the area, much has changed, but you will still likely be greeted with a handshake and a smile.

For more history on our individual towns, check out our Gallery page.