The combined Minden City Hall and Convention Center opened on Broadway Street in 1970.
|Elevation||253 ft (77.1 m)|
|Area||12.0 sq mi (31.1 km2)|
|- land||11.9 sq mi (31 km2)|
|- water||0.1 sq mi (0 km2), 0.83%|
|Density||1,095.2 / sq mi (422.9 / km2)|
|Mayor||Marvin Thomas "Tommy" Davis (R)
Police Chief - Steven Wayne Cropper (I)
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
Minden is a small city in and the parish seat of Webster Parish, Louisiana, United States.  is located twenty-eight miles east of Shreveport (in Caddo Parish). The population, which has been stable since 1960, was 13,082 at the 2010 census. The 2000 population had been 13,027; growth over the decade was hence .4 of 1 percent. Minden is 51.7 percent African American.
Minden is the principal city of the Minden Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of the larger Shreveport-Bossier City-Minden Combined Statistical Area.
Minden has possessed a post office since 1839. The current postal building at 111 South Monroe Street was completed in 1959.
The community has been served by a newspaper since the 1850s. The current publication, the Minden Press-Herald, is located in a building previously occupied by a supermarket on Gleason Street south of Broadway Street. The Press-Herald became a daily newspaper on July 18, 1966, but was earlier published as two weekly papers, the Minden Press on Mondays and the Minden Herald on Thursdays. For a time there was also the Webster Signal-Tribune.
On October 15, 2012, an ordnance bunker at nearby Camp Minden exploded, but the blast was contained with minimal damage. Camp Minden is the site of the former Louisiana Army Ammunition Plant, once the major area employer. In December 2012, police began the removal of 2,700 tons of explosives from Camp Minden, leading to evacuations in the nearby town of Doyline.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Demographics
- 3 History
- 4 Minden businesses
- 5 Education
- 6 Notable residents
- 7 Hank Williams married in Minden
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 Minden gallery
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Minden has an elevation of 253 feet (77.1 m). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.0 square miles (31 km2), of which, 11.9 square miles (31 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.75%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 13,027 people, 5,166 households, and 3,430 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,095.2 people per square mile (423.0/km²). There were 5,795 housing units at an average density of 487.2 per square mile (188.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.34% White, 52.17% African American, 0.31% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.21% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.61% of the population.
There were 5,166 households, out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.6% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the city of Minden, the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years, higher than the state median age of 34.0 years. For every 100 females there were 84.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,175, and the median income for a family was $31,477. Males had a median income of $28,401 versus $19,199 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,114. About 21.0% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.3% of those under age 18 and 20.1% of those age 65 or over.
Among the original settlers in the Minden area was Newitt Drew, a Welshman originally from Virginia, who built a gristmill and sawmill on Dorcheat Bayou in south Webster Parish in what became the since defunct Overton community. Minden itself was established in 1836 by Charles H. Veeder, a native of Schenectady, New York, who named it for the city of Minden in Germany. Veeder left Minden during the California Gold Rush and spent the rest of his life practicing law in Bakersfield, California.
A year before Veeder arrived, a group from Phillipsburg (now Monaca, Pennsylvania), led by the Countess Leon, settled seven miles (11 km) northeast of Minden in what was then Claiborne Parish. For nearly four decades, this Germantown Colony operated on a communal basis. It was dispersed in 1871, when Webster Parish was severed from Claiborne Parish. The "Countess" moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where she died in 1881.
One of three Utopian Society settlements in this area, the Germantown Colony was the most successful and lasted the longest, having peaked at fifty to sixty pioneers but usually with fewer than forty followers. The settlement had been planned by the countess’ husband, Bernhard Müller, known as the Count von Leon. He died of yellow fever on August 29, 1834, at Grand Ecore, four miles (6 km) from Natchitoches, before he reached Webster Parish. Leon and his followers attempted to build an earthly utopia, socialist in practice, while awaiting for the Second Coming of Christ. For his religious views, Leon had been exiled from Germany. He intended to plant the settlement in Webster Parish to coincide with the latitude of Jerusalem, 31 degrees, 47 minutes. The colonists worshiped under oak trees at the center of the colony. They supported themselves from farming, with a concentration on cotton. The settlement is preserved at the Germantown Colony and Museum.
A second museum in Minden, the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum, named for Dorcheat Bayou, is located downtown at 116 Pearl Street near the post office. It preserves the cultural history of the city and parish from the 19th century.
During the American Civil War, a large Confederate encampment, which housed some 15,000 soldiers was located east of Minden. At the time Minden was a supply depot for the troops. Some thirty Confederate soldiers who died in the Battle of Mansfield and another engagement at Pleasant Hill are buried in the historic Minden Cemetery located at Pine and Goodwill streets and Bayou Avenue. A modern cemetery, Gardens of Memory, opened in 1957 off the Lewisville Road north of Minden.
In 1862, Confederate General Richard Taylor, son of Zachary Taylor, issued orders to round up deserters. According to the historian John D. Winters of Louisiana Tech University, near Minden were seen "many robust-looking men claiming to be 'discharged soldiers.'" General Taylor reported that a "'large number of persons liable to military service . . . , deserters, enrolled conscripts who have failed to report, between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five, are to be found throughout the state.' He ordered militia officers and parish sheriffs to arrest all men who could not prove legal exemption or absence from military service because of furlough or parole. Liberal rewards were offered for the apprehension of such men."
Governor Henry Watkins Allen tried to make the state self-sufficient during the war. A factory for the manufacture of cotton and wool cards was erected at Minden and in full operation by the end of the war. In 1864-1865, divisions of General Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac, hero at Mansfield, and Maj. Gen. John H. Forney established winter quarters near Minden.
Coldest state temperature
On February 13, 1890, Minden recorded the state's all-time coldest temperature, −16 °F (−27 °C) degrees during the height of the Great Blizzard. Another −16 °F (−27 °C) reading was recorded in Minden on February 2, 1899. The humid subtropical climate, however, is usually mild in winter and mostly hot in summer.
William L. "Will" Life (June 23, 1887 – October 1972) was from 1925 until his death the owner of the large Webb Hardware store in downtown Minden. A former member of the Minden City Council, who was defeated in 1938, Life was sometimes known as the "father of modern Minden" because of his civic leadership.
Life attended the former Minden Male Academy, which was located at what is now Academy Park. He graduated from Minden High School in 1905 and was a member of the 1904 basketball team. He resided in Minden his entire eighty-five years except during World War I, when he served for three years in the United States Army Signal Corps. On June 23, 1972, four months before Life's death, Mayor Tom Colten proclaimed "Will Life Day" in Minden. Life is interred at Minden Cemetery.
During the Great Depression, one of the two Minden banks failed. Five banks now exist, Minden Building and Loan, Capital One, Regions, Citizens, and Richland State. On May 1, 1933, a tornado destroyed some 20 percent of the residences in Minden. Thereafter a fire destroyed much of the business district and many homes. During the national bank holiday in 1933, the funds of both Minden citizens and businesses were frozen, making recovery from the tornado and the fire more difficult. Later, a summer flood destroyed a third of the crops in the area. Because of these quadruple tragedies, 1933 has been called the "Year of Disaster" in Minden.
Ben F. Turner, Sr. (1883–1934), was the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway express agent in Minden and the volunteer fire chief. During the 1933 fire, he sustained a heart attack and hence died the next year of cardiac failure. Oddly, Ben Turner's grandfather had died in 1835 while fighting a fire at a brush arbor meeting in Georgia. Ben Turner's son, Harold Martin "Happy" Turner (1911–1988), was a well-known boarding house, restaurant owner, and civic booster in Minden.
George N. Turner
Unrelated to Ben or Happy Turner, George N. Turner (1919-2013) of Minden won two Bronze Star medals and the Oak Leaf Cluster as a member of the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. One of the Bronze Stars was for "bravery above and beyond the call of duty". Turner was engaged in combat during World War II at Omaha Beach and the siege of Bastogne. He received a battlefield commission from General Maxwell D. Taylor and was discharged with the rank of captain. After his military service, Turner was the long-term office manager of the Minden branch of the Louisiana Department of Labor Workforce Commission, usually called "the employment office." Upon retirement from state civil service, Turner, a widely knownm figure in the community, completed at the age of sixty-five his college degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. For sixty-two years, he was a deacon of the First Baptist Church of Minden.
1946 lynching case
A racially-tinged beating and lynching case in 1946 led to a parish-wide cover-up involving Minden police, the Webster Parish Sheriff's Department, the coroner's office, and several well-known individuals in the community. The crime was the only lynching in Louisiana that year. J. Edgar Hoover himself is quoted in FBI documents as having said: "We had incontrovertible evidence of a multiple-agency cover-up."  John Cecil Jones was an honorably-discharged veteran of World War II and a cousin of Albert Harris, Jr. A woman in rural Webster Parish was the catalyst of a trespassing investigation that involved both Jones and Harris, who was questioned by a sheriff's deputy and subsequent sheriff, O.H. Haynes, Jr., about the alleged crime. Harris was released to a mob in nearby Dixie Inn, taken to a rural area and bound, covered, and beaten by several other men. Albert Harris, Sr., feared for his son's life and sent him out of the state. Deputy Sheriff Haynes went to retrieve Harris from his house. When he arrived and discovered that Harris, Sr., had sent the son away, Haynes broke the senior Harris' jaw. Harris, Jr., was eventually delivered to Haynes' custody. John Cecil Jones, the cousin, was picked up at his workplace in Cotton Valley. Both were jailed, tortured, and beaten multiple times by Haynes and another deputy, Charles Edwards. On August 8, 1946, Haynes released both men to a mob in front of the old jail. The two were driven south of Minden. Jones received the brunt of the beatings and torture. Both were left for dead.
This is an excerpt from the report of Webster Parish Coroner Dr. Thomas A. Richardson on the death of Jones:
Head shows numerous bruises, face is blackened from trauma, laceration on right side of head between right ear and occiput (back of head), eyes were degenerated, face and neck show numerous bruises, left shoulder was burned, arms were darkened from being bound, severe blow on right-side back and shoulder, numerous bruises on the back, chest and ribs were thrashed and beaten and caved in to the point where the skin had been sheared off, they slashed his scrotum, knees and legs were badly bruised, calves and arms were darkened, hands and feet had sand on them as if they had been in water, green fluid exudes from the mouth when pressure is applied to the abdomen; body found on [Minden businessman] Frank Treat's pond."
According to R. Harmon Drew, later a state representative but then the assistant district attorney for Bossier and Webster parishes, jail records had been manipulated. According to the FBI, Dr. Richardson tampered with and concealed evidence taken from the crime scene, including a mechanical pencil and a wristwatch.
Whitfield Jack of Shreveport (brother of State Representative Wellborn Jack), Barry Booth, A. S. Drew, and Harmon Caldwell Drew were defense attorneys for Haynes, Edwards, and the other defendants. R. Harmon Drew was defense counsel for the then Minden Police Chief Benjamin Geary Gantt, who was ultimately not indicted, although multiple witnesses' testimony stated that various city police officers had escorted the mob vehicles to the Minden city limits. Newspaper writer Paul Corvin likened city police at the time to the Gestapo but did not write such accordingly out of fear for his life.
Eugene H. Lowe, Jr., the American Legion post vice-commander, likened local law enforcement personnel to outlaws. His sentiments echoed those of the reporter Paul Corvin. Eventually, Harris, Jr., fled Louisiana, and the NAACP and the FBI became involved in the case. Federal indictments were handed down and deputies Haynes and Edwards and four others were arrested and tried for violating the civil rights of Jones and Harris, Jr. Ultimately, an all-white jury did not convict any of the six defendants.
Minden has a large number of businesses and an active Chamber of Commerce, which maintains offices near the intersection of Broadway and the Sibley Road. Two former executive directors of the chamber were elected mayor, Tom Colten in 1966 and Paul A. Brown in 1989.
The Webster Parish Courthouse, completed in 1953, is located just west of its former location, which in the early 1970s became a parking lot for the Minden City Hall/Civic Center.
In February 2014, the Fibrebond Corporation, which builds concrete shelters, announced a $2.5 million capital expansion project which will revive an inactive container mill adjacent to the company's existing manufacturing site in Minden. The expansion will create 225 jobs, which will pay $3,000 gross per month. Some twenty-five additional jobs will also become available temporarily for the pending construction work at the site.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Minden
Larry B. Hunter (1896–1971) and his wife, the former Gladys Powell (1899–1973), a native of Sibley, for over fifty years operated the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Minden, at 412 Pine Street in Minden, Louisiana. The company was founded by Larry Hunter's father, William S. Hunter, a native of New Orleans, as North Louisiana Bottling Works in 1901. The company did not acquire a franchise to bottle Coca-Cola until 1905. When William S. Hunter died in 1919, Larry Hunter, at the age of twenty-three, became head of the company.
While soft drinks were bottled at the facility into the early 1980s, the former bottling plant is now only a distribution center. The present brick building, constructed in 1926, is the third building to serve as home to the company. It is located across from the Minden Cemetery.
The Hunters subsidized the Minden Redbirds, a semi-professional baseball team, and also built a regulation sized baseball field for the team; built Hunter's Playground, which included Minden's first public swimming pool and Hunter's Playhouse that hosted weekly dances for area teens. These were the first public recreational facilities in Minden for young people. The playground and playhouse operated from 1940 to 1965. A memorial statue in commemoration of Larry and Gladys Hunter's gifts to the city of Minden is located at the corner of Pine and Goodwill streets in Minden.
In 1950, Gladys Hunter became the first woman ever to be elected to the Webster Parish School Board, on which she served for two six-year terms. In honor of her legacy the company funds a scholarship to be awarded each year to a deserving graduate of Minden High School.
A collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia is on display at the Dorcheat Historical Association Museum at 116 Pearl Street in Minden.
Theaters have closed
In the mid-20th century, Minden had two film theaters and a third drive-in facility. To promote the film industry, in 1951, theater owners Edgar Beach Hands, Jr. (1905–1972), and Ruth Cobb Cheshire Lowe (1906-1991) hosted several film stars in a visit to the city. One was a future U.S. senator from California, George Murphy. Another was Robert Stack of the later ABC television series The Untouchables. Jesse White, best known for Maytag commercials, also visited. By the late 1970s, Minden had no theaters. Its last was the West Plaza Twin Cinema, a building still standing off the Homer Road. In the 21st century, several motion pictures have been filmed in the city and the surrounding areas of Webster Parish. Numerous cities and towns smaller than Minden still have maintained demand for a theater.
The Webster Parish School Board maintains administrative offices at 1442 Sheppard Street. Minden High School, located just north of the downtown, completed major renovation in 2007. The original Minden High School located adjacent to the current campus dates to the turn of the 20th century.
Northwest Louisiana Technical College, a vocational technical institution, was formerly located on Constable Street near the Webster Parish fairgrounds and Griffith Stadium, a baseball field, where the former Minden Redbirds semi-professional team played. Governor Earl Kemp Long had included a trade school for Webster Parish in his 1948 platform, and State Senator Drayton R. Boucher and State Representative C.W. Thompson set about getting the initial $175,000 in funding through the legislature.
In the summer of 2013, Northwest Technical College was relocated to a new and expanded site on the Interstate 20 service road. State Senator Robert Adley, who represents Webster and Bossier parishes, successfully sponsored SB 204, which will provide $251.6 million in financing and construction for twenty-nine projects at various technical college campuses across the state, including the new Minden facility.
Elementary schools in Minden include E. S. Richardson, J. L. Jones, and J. E. Harper schools. In a cost-cutting move, the board in 2011 closed William G. Stewart Elementary School (built 1949), and the structure was quickly razed thereafter, leaving behind only a vacant field on Middle Landing Street.
The middle school, Webster Junior High School, is located on East Union Street at the site of the former historically black Webster High School, which closed in 1975, with desegregation into Minden High School. The previous junior high school, Theresa M. Lowe Junior High School located at 109 Clerk Street near the fairgrounds, was closed after desegregation and converted into an alternative school. Theresa Lowe (1907-1959), namesake of the former junior high school, graduated from Rayville High School in Rayville in Richland Parish in northeastern Louisiana and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. She taught seventh grade at the former Minden Junior High School and was a leader in the Louisiana Teachers Association, since renamed Louisiana Association of Educators. Two of her brothers practiced law together in Springhill. Charles McConnell was also the mayor of Springhill from 1954 to 1958, and Nathaniel Julius McConnell, Sr., was the city judge there from 1956 until 1986.
The private academy known as the Glenbrook School, located on Country Club Circle off the Lewisville Road, began in 1970 within the First Baptist Church of Minden.
The Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary, which offers bachelor's, master's, and doctor of theology degrees, is located off the Homer Road in east Minden. The theologically conservative institution was opened in 1952 by the then pastor L. L. Clover of Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, which is located adjacent to the seminary.
The main branch of the Webster Parish Library is located on East and West Street in Minden in a newer structure which opened in 1996. The $3 million library project, which included renovation of the previous plant to the right of the new structure, was funded through a 20-year bond issue. In a 17 percent turnout in a special election held in October 1993, voters approved the bond issue, 2,600 to 957.
- Jack Batton (1913–1996), mayor of Minden, 1978–1982; former city council member; merchant and civic leader, Democrat
- William Jasper Blackburn (1820–1899), mayor of Minden, 1855–1856; newspaper publisher; later U.S. Representative (1868–1869), Republican
- Thomas Cameron "T. C." Bloxom, Jr. (1929-2014), sheriff's deputy (1956-1983), candidate for sheriff (1983), city fire chief (1971-2008), police chief (1990-2010), widely-known civic figure in Minden, native of Mansfield, Democrat
- Dorothy A. Brown (born 1953), Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, 2000–present
- Bruce M. Bolin (born 1950), state representative from Webster Parish, 1978–1990; state district court judge, 1991-2012, Democrat
- James E. Bolin (1914–2002), state representative, 1940–1944; state district court judge, 1952–1960; Louisiana appeal court judge, 1960–1978, Democrat
- Jesse L. Boucher (1912–2004), real estate developer and former mayor of Springhill, taught at Minden High School in the late 1930s, Democrat.
- Parey Branton (1918–2011), Shongaloo native and resident, represented Webster Parish in the Louisiana House from 1960 to 1972, Democrat.
- Henry L. Bridges (1874–1939), mayor (1928–1932 and 1934–1936), Democrat
- John Calhoun Brown (1879–1964), interim mayor (1942–1944), Democrat
- J. Frank Colbert (1882–1949), mayor (1944–1946), state representative (1920–1925), and member of the Webster Parish Police Jury (1912–1920), Democrat
- Tom Colten (1922–2004) served from 1966 to 1974 as mayor. He later headed the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development under three governors of both parties, Republican.
- Joe Cornelius, Sr. (born 1942), African-American former interim mayor of Minden, Democrat
- Scott Crichton, judge of the Louisiana 1st Judicial District Court in Shreveport since 1991, candidate for Louisiana Supreme Court in 2014; reared in Minden through the eighth grade, Republican
- Floyd D. Culbertson, Jr. (1908–1989), mayor from 1940 to 1942, Democrat
- John T. David (1897–1974), the mayor of Minden from 1946 to 1955, when he resigned after two misdemeanor convictions for bootlegging. He was thereafter elected to three terms on the Webster Parish Police Jury, Democrat.
- Tommy Davis (born 1942), mayor of Minden, winner of special election held on October 19, 2013, Republican
- Rita Heard Days (born 1950), a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, is a former member of both houses of the Missouri State Legislature, Democrat.
- Everett Doerge (1935–1998) was an educator and member of the Louisiana House from 1991 to 1998. He was succeeded by his widow, Jean M. Doerge, also a former educator, a Democrat, and a native of Natchitoches Parish. She was reelected three times to the House. Everett Doerge won the post in the 1991 general election by defeating the Republican Eugene S. Eason of Springhill.
- Harmon Caldwell Drew (1889–1950), District and circuit court judge, Democrat
- Harmon Drew, Jr. (born 1946), Court of Appeals Judge (born 1946), Democrat
- Richard Cleveland Drew (1848–1919), District and circuit court judge, Democrat.
- R. Harmon Drew, Sr. (1917–1995), former assistant district attorney, municipal judge and a Democratic state representative
- Richard Maxwell Drew (1822–1850), district court judge, state representative
- John C. Fleming (born 1951), physician, author; member of the United States House of Representatives, Republican
- Connell Fort (1867–1937), mayor of Minden from 1922 to 1926 and 1932–1934, Democrat
- Thomas Wafer Fuller (1867–1920), state senator from 1896 to 1900, second Webster Parish school superintendent from 1908 until his death in 1920, Democrat
- E.D. Gleason (1899–1959), member of the Louisiana House from Webster Parish from 1952 until his death in 1959, Democrat
- Mary Smith Gleason (1899–1967), succeeded her husband as a member of the Louisiana House, 1959–1960, Democrat
- Jasper Goodwill (1889–1974), mayor of Minden, 1955–1958; started employee health insurance and pension plans, Democrat
- Henry Grady Hobbs (1923-2012), longtime president of the Webster Parish Library Board, instrumental in construction of the Minden main library in the middle 1990s; member of the Webster Parish School Board; benefactor of the Special Olympics; Minden city attorney for eighteen years, Democrat
- Jerry Huckaby (born 1941), a 1959 Minden High School graduate, served in Congress from 1977 to 1993. He represented Louisiana's 5th congressional district, which did not include either Minden or Webster Parish, Democrat.
- Herman "Wimpy" Jones (1905–1967), State senator from 1956 to 1960; founder of restaurant that became the Southern Kitchen in Minden, Democrat
- Edward Kennon, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner, 1973–1984, Democrat (later Independent)
- Robert F. Kennon (1902–1988), was at 23 the youngest mayor ever in the state of Louisiana (1926–1928); Democratic Governor of Louisiana, 1952-1956
- Graydon K. Kitchens, Jr. (born 1936), retired city, ward, and Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court judge, Democrat (later Republican)
- Graydon K. Kitchens, Sr.; (1903-1988), lawyer and politician; former law partner of Robert F. Kennon, member of the Louisiana Tax Commission, Democrat
- Coleman Lindsey, Democratic lieutenant governor of Louisiana, 1939–1940; state senator from Bossier and Webster parishes, 1924–1928 and 1932–1940; judge in East Baton Rouge Parish, 1950-1968
- Cecil C. Lowe (1923-2013), Minden city attorney, 1949-1954; Minden city judge, 1954-1976; judge of the 26th Judicial District Court, 1976-1988; thereafter ad hoc judge of the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal, Democrat
- W. Matt Lowe, mayor of Minden from 1916 to 1920; Webster parish police juror from 1940 to 1954, Democrat
- Charles A. Marvin, district attorney of the 26th Judicial District (Bossier and Webster parishes) from 1971 to 1975), judge of the Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeal for the Second District in Shreveport (1975-1999), Democrat
- Schuyler Marvin, district attorney of Bossier and Webster parishes since 2003, son of Charles A. Marvin, Republican
- Enos C. McClendon, Jr., judge of the 26th Judicial District, 1960 to 1978, Democrat
- J. Frank McInnis, judge of the 26th Judicial District, 1930 to 1953, Democrat
- Leland G. Mims, Webster Parish police juror from 1953 to 1976; jury president, 1956–1973, and president of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana, 1965–1967, Democrat
- John Willard "Jack" Montgomery, Sr., Minden attorney and state senator from 1968 to 1972, Democrat.
- Frank T. Norman, mayor of Minden from 1958 to 1966; worked to establish the municipal power plant, Democrat
- E.S. Richardson (1875–1950), Webster Parish school superintendent and president of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, namesake of E.S. Richardson Elementary School, Democrat
- Bill Robertson (1938-2013), mayor of Minden from 1991 until his death, Democrat
- J. Berry Sandefur (1868–1954), mayor of Minden from 1920 to 1922, Democrat
- John N. Sandlin (1872–1957), succeeded John Watkins in Congress, 1921–1937; ran unsuccessfully in 1936 for the U.S. Senate against fellow Democrat Allen J. Ellender
- Robert T. Tobin (1911–2007), a retired educator, served on an interim mayor of Minden in 1989, the first of thus far two African Americans to have held the position, Democrat.
- Abner Drake Turner (1877–1953), a banker, who served as mayor of Minden (1910–1916), Democrat
- John T. Watkins (1854–1925), served in the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana's 4th congressional district, Democrat.
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- Ken Beck (born 1935), defensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers.
- Billy Joe Booth (1940–1972), after playing for Minden High School and Louisiana State University, joined the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League, having played from 1962 to 1970. He died in an airplane crash in Canada. He resided in Harvey, Louisiana.
- Larry C. Brewer (1948–2003), a 1966 graduate of Minden High School, played successfully for Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and joined the Atlanta Falcons after college graduation but was unable to meet the commitment because of an injury. Brewer became a certified public accountant and worked in hospital management until his death of a drowning accident while on a family vacation in Hawaii. He resided in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, near Tulsa.
- George Doherty (1920–1987) was a professional football player (right tackle) who coached Minden High School to two state championships in 1954 and 1956 and then coached at Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State University.
- Louis Dunbar a former center for the Harlem Globetrotters
- Fred Haynes (1946–2006), a 1964 Minden High School graduate, became a champion college quarterback at LSU, where he was affectionately known as the "Littlest Tiger" because of his modest physical size.
- Charles T. "Charlie" Hennigan (born 1935), originally from Bienville Parish, graduated from Minden High School in 1953 and played for Northwestern State University in Natchitoches before joining the newly created Houston Oilers in 1960.
- David Allen Lee (born 1943) is a retired industrial executive in Bossier City in Bossier Parish who holds National Football League punting records during his tenure with the former Baltimore Colts from 1966 to 1978. Prior to his professional duties, Lee played for Louisiana Tech.
- Jackie Moreland (1938–1971) was the first All-American basketball player for Minden High School. He thereafter played for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, the Detroit Pistons, and the former New Orleans Buccaneers. He died of cancer at thirty-three.
- Sammy Joe Odom (1941–2001) was an MHS and Northwestern State football star who played in the 1964 season for the Houston Oilers. He was later the administrator for the De Soto Parish Police Jury in Mansfield.
- Chase Pittman is defensive end for the Cleveland Browns.
- Jimmy Upton (1949–2003) excelled in track and field at Minden High School and thereafter at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and was admitted to three halls of fame.
- Gene Austin was a singer, sometimes called "the first crooner".
- Alan Bean, U.S. astronaut lived in Minden as a child while his father was employed by the United States Soil Conservation Service.
- Arnold W. Braswell, retired United States Air Force general originally from Minden
- James Burton, a popular guitarist who once performed with Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley, was born in Dubberly, Louisiana in 1939 and raised in Minden until he was ten years of age.
- Barbara Colley (born 1947) is a romance and mystery novelist in New Orleans who was reared in Minden.
- Allen Ross Culpepper (1944-1969) - United States Army captain cited or "extraordinary" heroism" in the Vietnam War
- John Jones, an honorably discharged African American former United States Army corporal was jailed in August 1946 under dubious pretenses of loitering. He was released and lynched by a civilian posse, having reportedly refused to give a war souvenir to a white person.
- Countess Leon (1798–1881), founder of the Germantown Colony north of Minden
- Ben Earl Looney (1905-1981) was a painter born in the Yellow Pine community in south Webster Parish. He graduated from Minden High School in 1923 and taught art throughout the United States in a career from the 1920s until his death in Lafayette.
- Charles E. Maple (1932–2006), journalist and chamber of commerce official in Minden and several other cities
- Percy Mayfield (1920–1984), blues singer
- Maggie Renfro (1895–2010), an Athens native and Minden resident, was at the time of her death the third oldest person living in the United States.
- Ada Jack Carver Snell (1890–1972) was a short story writer who specialized in the literature of the Cane River of Natchitoches Parish.
- David Snell (1921–1987) was a journalist and cartoonist for the defunct Life magazine.
- Tam Spiva (born 1932) is a television script writer (ABC's The Brady Bunch and CBS's Gentle Ben).
- Stanley R. Tiner (born 1942), the executive editor of The Sun Herald in Biloxi-Gulfport, Mississippi, started his journalism career at the Minden Press-Herald in 1969-1970. The Sun Herald won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for its Hurricane Katrina coverage.
- Robert O. Trout (1904–1995) was a Minden educator and school principal prior to 1947, when he joined the faculty of Louisiana Tech University as a sociologist.
- David Wade, Lieutenant General of the United States Air Force, former commander of Barksdale Air Force Base, state corrections director and adjutant general, born in Minden in 1911
- H.O. West (1900–1981), founder of West Brothers clothing stores, active in company, 1923–1981
Hank Williams married in Minden
Country singer Hank Williams, Sr., married Billie Jean Jones Eshliman in Minden on October 18, 1952. The next day, the couple repeated the vows in two separate public ceremonies. Less than three months later, Williams was dead. A judge ruled that the wedding was not legal because Billie Jean's divorce did not become final until eleven days after she had married Williams. Thereafter, Billie Jean married another singing giant, Johnny Horton. Horton died in 1960 and is interred at Hillcrest Cemetery in Haughton in Bossier Parish.
In popular culture
First United Methodist Church at 903 Broadway across from the water tower in downtown Minden
The Minden Presbyterian Church at 1001 Broadway is located within the Minden Historic District.
The African American Good Samaritan Missionary Baptist Church is located at 1000 Shreveport Road at the former site of Calvary Church.
Saint Rest Baptist Church, another African-American congregation, is located at 611 East Union Street. The Reverend Benjamin F. Martin (died 2012) was the pastor for forty-six years.
The Minden Community House is located at Victory Park in this facility completed in 1987 by the W-M Construction Company of Minden, after the previous contractor, Tarver Brothers of Shreveport, defaulted on the project. The previous community house building was razed.
A barber shop has operated for decade at this Main Street location.
The McDonald-Monk House, built in Victorian style in 1904 at the intersection of Lewisville Road and East and West Street in the Historic Residential District, was added in 1986 to the National Register of Historic Places. The house is named for its builder, the banker J. W. McDonald, and the educator Miriam Robinson Monk (1923-2006), who purchased it in 1968.
Dorcheat Historical Association Museum at 116 Pearl Street near the post office sponsors monthly public lectures.
Minden branch of the Richland State Bank, based in Rayville
Regions Bank in Minden occupies the site of the former Minden Bank and Trust Company across Main Street from the Webster Parish Courthouse.
One of the oldest continuous businesses in Minden is the Western Auto dealership operated downtown by John P. Collins and previously by his grandfather and mother.
The former Holland Crawford Insurance agency clock has long been a mainstay of downtown Minden. The company was founded by Castle Overstreet Holland (1895-1981) and operated until 2012 by his son-in-law, Wayne Scott Crawford (1928-2014).
The Minden Chamber of Commerce office at the intersection of Broadway and the Sibley Road
Neta's Drive In, known for its barbecue, has operated at 1433 Shreveport Road since 1955, when it was an A&W Root Beer outlet.
Fountain behind the Veterans Memorial at Turner's Pond near E.S. Richardson Elementary School
Gardens of Memory Cemetery (established 1957) is located off the Lewisville Road.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Minden, Louisiana.|
- City of Minden, official website
- Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce
- Minden Press-Herald (local newspaper)