Minden, Louisiana

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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."[1]

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.

Former Minden Mayor Tommy Davis took office in 2013 after his victory in a special election to complete the year remaining in the term of Bill Robertson, who died in office. Davis was elected to a full term in 2014 but did not run again in 2018, when he was succeeded by a former political rival, Terry Gardner.

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

Confederate soldier statue removed from park in Minden

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.[2]

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."[2]

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Notable people

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  1. Caleb Daniel (January 4, 2018). Report: Minden state’s 2nd safest. Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on February 16, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Will Phillips (June 29, 2020). Confederate Memorial removed from Jacqueline Park. The Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved on July 6, 2020.