William Henry Scanland, Bossier Banner editor



BORN: Grand Gulf, Mississippi, January 7, 1842.          


PARENTS: John Milton Scanland, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, and his mother, Elizabeth Medora Downs, a native of Warren county, Mississippi, were married at Vicksburg, Mississippi on July 4, 1839.  His grandfather, William Scanland, was born in Boutertourt county, Virginia on September 1, 1771, and was married to Miss Mary P. Steele of Lexington Kentucky on December 20, 1808. His maternal grandfather, Henry Douglas Downs was a native of Charleston, South Carolina, and married Miss Elizabeth Davis of Milliken's Bend, Carroll Parish, Louisiana in 1809. His maternal great-grandfather, Ambrose Douglas Downs, came to America from Aberdeen, Scotland, as a lieutenant in the British navy and participated in the battle of Quebec. He settled in Charleston, where he married Miss Cybel Perkins, daughter of Dr. Joshua Perkins, and during the Revolutionary War was a surgeon in Morgan's brigade.


LIFE: Mr. Scanland was left an orphan in December 1852, at age 11. He spent about a year on a farm in Texas, then came to Shreveport, Louisiana.  On April 9,  1854, he and his brother, John Milton Scanland, became apprentices, or "printer's devils," at the Caddo Gazette.  In September 1858, he came to Bossier parish and on July 1, 1859, established the Bossier Banner. On April 16, 1865, upon the ending of the Civil War, Scanland resumed  publication of the Bossier Banner, never missing an issue.

     He was elected Parish Treasurer in April 1868, and served until January 1869, when he resigned to take his seat in the Louisiana State Senate, having been elected in November 1868. In 1870, he ran for Representative for Bossier, but was defeated by his Republican opponent. In 1872, he was nominated for Representative by acclamation by the Democratic convention and was elected by about 500 majority, but was deprived of his seat in the House by the usurping Kellogg government. He served four years as chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee - from 1888 to 1892.  In April 1, 1891, he moved the Banner from Bellevue to Benton, and on January 2, 1893, moved his family also.


MILITARY: When the Civil War began he joined the "Bossier Boys." This company was the first to leave the parish on May 8, 1861. On account of a controversy between the secretary of war and the governor of the state, the company was disbanded and returned home to enter other companies.  Scanland then joined the "Bossier Cavalry" on April 2, 1862 and served until the surrender.     


SOCIAL: He was named a Master Mason at Fillmore in August 1865 and a Royal Arch Mason at Minden in 1866. He served as Master of Bellevue lodge and District Deputy Grand Master of the Ninth Masonic District two years.


MARRIAGE: On August 1, 1867, he was married at Bellevue to Adelaide Amelia Abney, a native of Bossier and a daughter of Hon. Asbury A. Abney. The Scanlands had eight children.


DEATH: August 30, 1916.