Barnes - *C.W.
Batchelor - Fred A. Blanks
- Lloyd and Francis Belt -
Capt. Blanks was born in Lowndes county, Ala., in 1833, and at the age of seven years came to this city with his father, sister and brothers. After remaining here a short time the family removed to Columbia, Caldwell parish, La., then a mere settlement, and Fred Blanks was placed in a private school in the village to prepare himself for college. This school he attended until he was about sixteen, when he was sent to the Centenary College at Jackson, La., where he remained for three sessions.
Leaving college, he returned to Columbia, and went into the mercantile business with his father Mr. R.A. Blanks, in which he continued up to the breaking out of the war, when he enlisted in the Twelfth Louisiana Regiment, and was appointed First Lieutenant of the Caldwell Invincibles (sic). He served as a soldier with credit to himself and his company for one year, and then resigned and returned to his home in Columbia, where he was made enrolling officer for the parish. He was afterwards elected to the Legislature, and made a most faithful representative of the people of Caldwell parish.
At the close of the war he again entered the merchantile (sic) business in Columbia, and continued in it until 1867. In that year he commenced his steamboat life by purchasing an interest in the steamer Ouachita Bell from his brother, Capt. J. W. Blanks, who had been on the river for several years.
Capt. Blanks succeeded as a steamboatman from the start, and during his career as such made quite a snug fortune. He obtained his first license as captain in 1871, and afterwards comanded the steamers Ouachita Belle, IDAHO, Tallaquah, Lottawana, Ruth, Vicksburg, Bannock City, Bastrop, Fred A. Blanks, H. Hanna Blanks, John H. Hanna, and a number of others.
Of a majority of the above named boats he was the principal owner. About twelve years ago the Ouachita River Line was formed with Capt. J.W. Blanks as President, and the following year Capt. Fred A. Blanks was elected as its head. Following the Ouachita River Consolidated Line about five years ago. Capt. Fred Blanks, was also elected President of this concern and held the position up to the time of his death.
Capt. Blanks married when about 20 years of age, the lady of his choice being Miss Zenobia Oliver, a stepdaughter of Mr. N. M. Davis, a Baptist minister of Memphis. To them one child was born, but died at the age of four years. The deceased had been a resident of this city for a number of years, and being of liberal views, was ever ready to lend his assistance in improvements which were for the public good. He was always noted for his sterling qualities and acts of charity, and his loss will not only be mourned by his family and friends in this city, but by the people of the entire Ouachita Valley.
His benevolence and unselfishness may be inferred from the fact that he adopted at different times eleven children, all of whom are now of age except three-two boys and a girl, the eldest being 14 years old. No man was more universally beloved and respected than "Capt. Fred," as he was famillarly (sic) called, and his memory will long live in the heart of those who knew him. The deceased was a Master Mason in good standing. He leaves a wife, the children above named and two brothers.
Sept 19, 1999
In September, 1849, he came to Shreveport, La., and secured employment as a clerk in a warehouse, being engaged in billing and shipping, his employer being E. C. Hart (now deceased). He remained with him until 1853, then began steam boating on the Upper Red River and down to New Orleans, and in time became commander of the steamers "Marion", "Newsboy" and "Trent". He continued to follow this calling with fair success until 1861, then enlisted in the First Louisiana Regiment of Caddo Rifles, and served the cause he espoused faithfully until November of that year, when he put in a substitute and went to New Orleans and purchased the steamer "Trent", expecting the blockade to be raised, and fitted her up for that purpose. The blockade failing, he ran his boat in the service of the Confederate government until some time in 1863, when he sold the "Trent", and was afterward appointed by Jefferson Davis as pilot of the gunboat "Missouri", which had been built at Shreveport. This boat he took to Alexandria, to defend the forts at that place, and was there kept until the final surrender, the Captain receiving his parole on this boat. He then became pilot of the steamer "Cotton", that took the generals in command of the trans-Mississippi Department to the mouth of Red River, where the final terms of surrender were made, their names being Buckner, Price, Maj. Means and Lieut. Carter. After surrendering, the boat "Cotton" was given up to the Federal officers at Shreveport.
Capt. Boisseau then returned to Shreveport, La., and embarked in the wholesale grocery and cotton business, the firm of Walsh & Boisseau became sole proprietor, and as such has since continued. He has seen Shreveport grow from a village to its present admirable proportions, and he has always identified himself with its interests in every way. he owns about 6,000 acres of fine farming land, controls as much more, and is the owner of some valuable business buildings in the city, which are located on Front and Milan Streets, and several choice residence lots, which he offers for sale on the most reasonable terms. He is one of the heaviest tax-payers in the city, is doing well in every enterprise in which he is engaged, and is one of the substantial and honored citizens of this section, for he is public spirited, upright in every worthy particular, and is kind, generous and manly at all times. He has never been an aspirant for office, buy has paid strict attention to the details of his business, and as a result, is one of the wealthy men of this section. He is a member and director of the Cotton Exchange, and is also one of the directors of the Commercial National Bank.
He was married in 1866 to Miss Josephine E. Boisseau, of Virginia, by whom he has a family of four sons and three daughters: Joseph, Jr., Nettie P., Elizabeth S., Richie W., James H., Richard W. and Robert C. Mrs. Boisseau is a worthy member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and socially he belongs to the Masonic fraternity and the K. of P.
June 27, 1999 From site visitor Suzanne
"Captain Broadfoot, Retired Pilot, Dies Captain Leslie R. Broadfoot, 60, 1415 South Third Street, member of a family of river pilots, died Saturday afternoon at 1:10 o'clock after a long illness. Capt.Broadfoot was widely known among rivermen on the Ohio and other inland rivers, and operated as a master and pilot with the Fowler and other lines for many years. He was forced to retire several years ago because of ill health. He is survived by a daughter, Miss Anita H, Broadfoot, and sister, Mrs. Ethel Broadfoot Hoffman, Captain Nelson M. Broadfoot, of Paducah, his cousin. Private funeral services will be held Monday morning at 10:30 o'clock at Roth funeral chapel.
Friends may call at Roth's preceding the rites. Burial will be in Oak Grove cemetery. Pallbearers will include Forest Crutchfield, Sam Felts, Harley Robinette, Ralph Bishop, Harry Lloyd and William Findley."
The obituary was a clipping from a newspaper. The paper's name and date were cut away
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