Keithville, Louisiana

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Coordinates: 32°20′00″N 93°50′11″W / 32.33333°N 93.83639°W / 32.33333; -93.83639
Keithville, Louisiana (de Keith la Ville)
Unincorporated community
Official name: Hamlet of Keithville
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Caddo
Elevation 200 ft (61 m)
Coordinates 32°20′00″N 93°50′11″W / 32.33333°N 93.83639°W / 32.33333; -93.83639
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 71047
Area code 318
Location of Keithville in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Keithville is an unincorporated community in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies to the south of Shreveport along U.S. Route 171. Although it is unincorporated, it has a post office, with the ZIP code of 71047. Along with a large elementary and middle school, Keithville has several gas stations which also serve as restaurants along with a farmers co-operative store. The area mainly serves as a suburb of Shreveport. It has grown in recent years from "white flight" from the city. However Keithville remains a rural farming community. Keithville residents are known to have very strong family ties . A large number of residents are employed in the oil and gas industry because of the inclusion of Keithville in the Haynesville shale region.[1]

History[edit]

Keithville came into existence when two railroads, the Southern Pacific and the Houston-Shreveport, met on properties of the Keith brothers in the early 1880s.[2] One of the Keith brothers was State Representative Perry Polk Keith, who served four terms from 1912 to 1928.[3]

Perry Keith was born near Macon, Georgia but settled in virgin territory in Caddo Parish when he was three months old with his parents, Henry David Keith and the former Mary Jones. On February 23, 1871, he married the former Narcissa Miller (died 1910) of Caddo Parish.[2] Their children were William Henry Keith (1875-1951), Daniel Wesley Keith (1875-1929), Perry P. Keith, Jr. (1877-1945), David Keith (Perry's twin who died an infant), Mary Slaughter Keith (1880-1931, never married), James Hardy Keith (born and died in 1883), Anna Beulah Keith Darby Cranfield (1885-1966, remarried after death of first husband) of Plaquemine, Louisiana, and Ray Cleveland Keith, who died soon after birth in 1889.[4]

A Democrat, Keith served in the state House alongside David B. Samuel, later a long-term Shreveport city judge, and Lee Emmett Thomas, the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Caddo Parish and later from 1922 to 1930 the mayor of Shreveport.[3] As a legislator, the taciturn Keith is believed to have made no speeches on the House floor during his entire tenure. Instead he became a "cue giver" whose judgment affected the votes of many of his colleagues on critical issues. As chairman of the House Finance Committee during the administration of Governor John M. Parker from 1920 to 1924, Keith worked to maintain state finances on a sound footing and to treat all state agencies and commissions with fairness in regard to budgetary constraints.[2]

The Methodist Keith donated the land for construction of what is now the Keithville United Methodist Church at 11145 Old Mansfield Road. Construction was begun in 1904 by Tom Hudnall, and the first service was held on October 4 of that year. The dedication took place in December 1905. The church installed a brass bell in its steeple. Originally used on a locomotive, the bell came from a plantation in Coushatta in Red River Parish.[5] Keith was also active in the Masonic lodge, the Shriners, and Woodmen of the World.[2]

Prior to his legislative years, Keith served eight years each on the Caddo Parish School Board and the parish governing body called the "police jury," revamped in 1984 as the Caddo Parish Commission.[2]

Keith died at the age of eighty-seven after an illness of more than three months. Death came in the same modest house in which he had lived since 1854, when he was seven years of age. Services were held at the Keith residence, with ministers from Shreveport and Grand Cane in DeSoto Parish officiating. Interment was at Keithville Cemetery.[2]

One of Keith's great-nephews, Perry Roy Keith, Jr. (1924-1998), was a journalist who worked for both the defunct Shreveport Journal and the Shreveport Times.[6] This Perry Keith, a son of Perry R. Keith, Sr. (1893-1932), and the former Rhoda Hunt (1899-1962),[6] was the commander of the Shreveport post of the American Legion for 1977-1978.[7]

Geography[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Education[edit]

The Caddo Parish School Board operates public schools.

  • Keithville Elementary/Middle School [1]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections operated the Forcht-Wade Correctional Center in Keithville,[8] located in the Eddie D. Jones Nature Park.[9] It closed in July 2012.[10]

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zip Code Lookup
  2. ^ a b c d e f Perry Polk Keith: Caddo Pioneer, former Member of Legislature, Noted for Strong Qualities, Shreveport Times, February 7, 1935, p. 1
  3. ^ a b "Members of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Daniel, son of David Keith of Georgia". keithclan.net. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Keithville United Methodist Church". lscuo.org. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Perry Roy Keith". findagrave.com. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Past Commanders, American Legion Lowe-McFarlane Post No. 14". lowemcfarlanepost14.org. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Forcht-Wade Corr. Center." Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Accessed September 14, 2008.
  9. ^ Johnson, Kristi. "Caddo commissioner wants ex-prison back sooner than later." Shreveport Times. October 1, 2012. Retrieved on October 25, 2012.
  10. ^ "Forcht-Wade Correctional Center." (Archive) Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections. Retrieved on October 23, 2012.

External links[edit]