History of Bossier Parish newspapers

The Bossier Times newspaper began September 17, 1857 by two attorneys named W.C. Mitchell and A. Lowry. They hauled a printing press up from Desoto Parish and began printing their own paper. After two tumultuous years and several changes in ownership, it was taken over in 1859 by its typesetter and "printer's devil", the 17-year-old William Henry Scanland.


     With very little formal education and no financial backing, little "Billy" Scanland began publishing the Bossier Banner on July 1, 1859. It has been published weekly since then, except for a brief time during the Civil War when ink and paper were unavailable and when Scanland himself was serving in the war.  The Bossier Banner is considered the oldest continuously published weekly newspaper in northwest Louisiana.


     The Plain Dealing Progress started circa 1898 in Plain Dealing. Ownership of the paper changed hands until it was purchased by Plain Dealing teacher & school principal, Felix Glynn Phillips. He would eventually buy the Bossier Banner and merge the two papers, creating the Bossier Banner-Progress.


    The Planters Press was the first newspaper printed in the small town of Bossier City.  It began on May 25, 1928 and was primarily dedicated as a voice to and for farmers and planters, hence its name. The paper was owned by Edwin Rice, who had also tried his hand at owning the Bossier Banner prior to the introduction of the Planters Press.


     The last (but not least) entry was the Bossier Tribune. Begun in June of 1940, the paper was based out of Bossier City and competed head on with the Planters Press for years.  On September 8, 1945, T.L. Morris sold it to Larry Freeman, who also published a Jewish newspaper in Shreveport.  The Bossier Tribune and the Planters Press merged in the late 70's to become the Bossier Press-Tribune.


     In the 1990s, Bob Barton, who owned the Bossier Press-Tribune, purchased the Bossier Banner-Progress from Wilton Corley. Corley made sure that the Banner-Progress remained in publication and was sent to those Bossier Parish residents who resided within the town limits of Benton. After all, with over 131 years in publication he didn't want to see it cease.


     In total, the Plain Dealing Progress was published about 50 years, the Bossier Banner 131 years, the Bossier Tribune 69 years and the Planters Press about 40 years.  The Bossier Press-Tribune, which is also published as the Bossier Banner-Progress can boast over 290 cumulative years in newspaper publication.