Minden is a small city in the northwestern portion of Louisiana and the seat of government of Webster Parish. Its 2010 population was 13,082. The city is located some twenty-eight miles east of Shreveport. The current population is just under 12,000.
Minden was founded in 1836 by Charles H. Veeder, a native of Schenectady, New York, who named it for the city of Minden in Germany. Webster Parish, established in 1871 as a breakaway from Claiborne Parish, is named for U.S. Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts.
For nearly forty years prior to 1871, Minden was the site of a communal colony known as "Germantown". The colony was headed by a woman known as Countess Leon. A museum commemorating this experience operates northeast of the city.
Early in 2018, Minden was ranked the second safest municipality in Louisiana, trailing only Mandeville in St. Tammany Parish in suburban New Orleans. Police Chief Steve Cropper noted that Minden had a safety rating of 79.43 from the website safehome.org. Mandeville had 81.46. Far behind at 31.06 is Alexandria in Rapides Parish. Cropper said that Minden is "really fortunate to be as calm and as safe as it is, considering the fact that we live within thirty miles of a couple of bigger cities that have a lot of issues."
Minden was the early residence of a former mayor and former governor, Robert F. Kennon, a Democrat who served from 1952 to 1956 and lost a comeback bid in 1963 to John J. McKeithen. Prior to his governorship, Kennon was a district and circuit court judge.
Republican former U.S. Representative John Fleming of Louisiana's 4th congressional district is a Minden former physician and businessman who joined the Donald Trump national administration in 2017. He was born in Mississippi. The state senator for Bossier and Webster parishes is Republican Robert Mills. The state representative for Webster Parish is Moderate Republican Royce Wayne McMahen, a veterinarian from Springhill, who is unopposed in the 2023 legislative elections.
The Caney Lakes Recreation Area is located north of Minden. The city is the home of Minden High School, theLouisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary and a branch of Louisiana Technical College, formerly know as the Northwest Louisiana School of Vocational Education.
The local Monday-Friday newspaper is the Minden Press-Herald.
Confederate monument removed from downtown
The statue of a lone Confederate soldier was removed in June 2020 from Jacqueline Park in downtown Minden. The statue which bears the inscription "Lest We Forget," was erected and dedicated on Robert E. Lee's 123rd birthday on January 19, 1930. The removal was handled by a group of historic preservationists and a local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, which owns the statue. The preservationists did not disclose where the monument will be located but indicated that it will be displayed at a new site. The removal was a precaution to stop vandalism in the wake of violence from radical groups.
The UDC expressed "grief that certain hate groups have taken the Confederate flag and other symbols as their own … we are saddened that some people find anything connected with the Confederacy to be offensive."
- Wallace Holly Adams, Minden native who in 1912 helped to select the site of Jennings as the seat of government for Jefferson Davis Parish; attorney and businessman
- John Agan, historian
- Thad Andress, business, civic, and Episcopalian figure in his native Minden
- T. W. Barnes, Pentecostal clergyman
- Jack Batton, businessman and Minden city council member, 1946–1962; 1966–1978; mayor from 1978 to 1982
- J. D. Batton, Webster Parish sheriff from 1952 to 1964
- Bruce Bolin, former state representative and 26th Judicial District judge
- Parey Branton, state representative from 1960 to 1972
- Billy Joe Booth, 1958 MHS graduate who played for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Canadian Football League from 1962 to 1970.
- Larry Brewer, Minden High School and Louisiana Tech football star
- Henry L. Bridges, mayor from 1928 to 1932 and 1934 to 1936
- Ronnie Broughton, Webster Parish School Board member; state chairman of the Constitution Party
- John Calhoun Brown, businessman and interim mayor from 1942 to 1944
- Paul A. Brown, mayor from 1989 to 1990, when he was seriously injured in an accident on the Minden High School football field
- Noel Byars, educator and mayor from 1983 to 1989, when he was recalled from office
- Harvey Locke Carey, former U.S. Attorney
- J. J. Carter, former mayor and state representative
- L. L. Clover, clergyman
- Tom Colten, first Republican mayor; served from 1966 to 1974
- Joe Cornelius, Sr., African-American interim mayor in 2014
- Floyd D. Culbertson, Jr., mayor from 1940 to 1942, when he resigned to enter military service
- Allen Ross Culpepper, Vietnam War hero
- Tommy Davis, mayor from 2013 to 2018
- Major de Pingre', journalist-turned-businessman
- Everett Doerge, educator and state representative, 1992 to 1998
- Jean Doerge, educator and state representative, 1998 to 2012
- Harmon Caldwell Drew, district attorney and circuit court of appeals judge
- Harmon Drew, Jr., state district and circuit judge with office in Shreveport
- R. Harmon Drew, Sr., former state representative and city judge
- Richard Cleveland Drew, circuit court of appeal judge
- John Fleming, former U.S. representative and coroner; formerly served in the Department of Health and Human Servioces in the Trump administration
- Thomas Wafer Fuller, state senator, school superintendent, and newspaper publisher
- Alexander Banks George, state senator, mayor of Minden, circuit court judge in mid-19th century
- E. D. Gleason, state representative, 1952 to 1959, died in office
- Connell Fort, mayor from 1922 to 1926 and 1932 to 1934
- Terry Gardner, incoming 2019 mayor of Minden; founder of The Gardner Group
- Ray Germany, basketball player and coach
- Jasper Goodwill, mayor from 1955 to 1958
- Fred Haynes, football star at Minden High School and LSU, the latter from 1966 to 1968
- O. H. Haynes, Jr., sheriff of Webster Parish, 1964-1980
- O. H. Haynes, Sr., sheriff from 1933 to 1952
- Cleone Hodges, college professor in North Carolina; daughter of Sheriff Haynes, Sr.
- Bill Ichter, Baptist clergyman
- Edward Kennon, Shreveport real estate developer born in Minden in 1938; died in 2023; member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, 1973-1985
- Jenny Moreland Kennon, Shreveport real estate developer born in Minden in 1939; second wife of Edward Kennon
- Robert F. Kennon, governor from 1952 to 1956
- Graydon K. Kitchens, Jr., retired state court judge
- A. M. Leary, mayor from 1903 to 1905
- David Lee, punter for the former Baltimore Colts
- Coleman Lindsey, state senator and lieutenant governor from 1939-1940
- Ben Earl Looney, artist
- Cecil C. Lowe, former district court judge
- W. Matt Lowe, mayor from 1916 to 1920
- Joshua Barrett Madden, Iraq War hero
- Royce Wayne McMahen, current state representative
- Charles Maple, journalist and chamber of commerce official
- Charles A. Marvin, district attorney and judge
- Schuyler Marvin, district attorney
- Leland Mims, police jury president
- Mary Williams Mims, educator and rural sociologist
- Harold Montgomery, three-term state senator; resident of Doyline in south Webster Parish
- John W. "Jack Montgomery, former one-term state senator and assistant district attorney
- Frank T. Norman, businessman, artist, and mayor from 1958 to 1966
- J. E. "Pat" Patterson, businessman and mayor from 1975 to 1978
- Lane Pittard, state district court judge
- A. T. Powers, clergyman
- Gene Reynolds, former state representative
- E. S. Richardson, educator; namesake of E. S. Richardson Elementary School
- Bill Robertson, mayor from 1991 until his death in office in 2013
- David Snell, journalist for the former Life magazine
- E. L. Stewart, attorney and state representative
- Jesse Stone, civil rights figure; graduate of the former Webster High School
- Jimmy G. Tharpe, clergyman
- David William Thomas, mayor from 1936 to 1940
- C. W. Thompson, state representative for Webster Parish, 1944 to 1951; resident of Doyline
- Lizzie P. Thompson, interim state representative, 1951-1952, first woman representative for Webster Parish
- Robert T. Tobin, educator and first African-American interim mayor, with service through most of 1989
- Robert O. Trout, former Minden educator; later sociologist at Louisiana Tech
- Jimmy Upton, Minden High School and University of Louisiana at Monroe track and field champion
- Lynn Kyle Watkins, appeals court judge
- H. O. West, owner of a chain of thirty-three department stores
- Clarence D. Wiley, Webster Parish clerk of court from 1956 to 1976
- Butch Williams, former parish school superintendent
- W. W. Williams, Sr., former parish school superintendent, father of Butch Williams
- G. L. P. Wren, farmer who represented Webster Parish in both houses of the legislature in the late 19th century
- Marcus D. Wren, pioneer of the dairy industry