A Brief History of DeRidder, Louisiana

DeRidder ca. 1907. Photo courtesy of the City of DeRidder.

DeRidder is a small city in, and the parish seat of, Beauregard Parish, Louisiana. DeRidder was named for Ella de Ridder, the sister-in-law of a Dutch railroad financier. The town was named for her by her brother-in-law who brought the first railroad to Southwest Louisiana. Prior to that, the little town was known as Schoval. The railroad was built from Kansas City to Port Arthur and came right through DeRidder about 1896. The railroad workers had used this spot for a camping place for the workmen, and people wanted to live near the railroad, so 160 acres of land was bought for the town site. Immediately following the purchase of the town site, a ramble of rough houses were hurriedly built out of rough lumber. By 1898 the town consisted of nearly 300 people and a number of shack homes, about five small stores, and a sawmill. Timber was the prime industry of the area, with the longleaf pine being the primary tree used in the industry. In 1903, DeRidder was finally incorporated as a town (City, n.d.).


(No date). City of DeRidder. Retrieved from cityofderidder.org.

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