Farmerville has a surprising lack of farmers. Well, farmers in the agricultural sense. The misleading name actually came from one of the founders of the town.
The first man to buy a lease of land in what is now Union Parish was John Honeycutt. John was a trapper, so the area was perfect for him. John got his lease from the Spanish government way back in 1790, and he settled in. A few years roll by with John scratching out a living doing his trapping thing when a roving band of Native Americans came through. They told John that there was another family that had settled in the area. When John went to meet the new neighbors, he was pleasantly surprised to find a settler named Feazel living with what could only be described as a house full of girls. The story says that John eventually asked Feazel for the hand of one of the girls. Typical guy.
People came from all over the South to settle in the area, and Union Parish was carved out of northern Ouachita Parish in 1839. Naming the parish seat proved to be a difficult matter. Matthew Wood donated the land for the town, but didn’t want the town to be called Woodville. (Maybe he thought the name would be too mainstream.) The name was decidedly named after the Farmer family. On May 17 of that year, the first Union Parish police jury made the ordinance to officially name the town Farmerville. It wasn’t until 1842 that the town received a charter and was incorporated.
There isn’t much trapping going on in Farmerville anymore, but the outdoors still plays a huge role in the area. Lake D’Arbonne is an artificial lake which started with a $1 000 000 appropration in 1957 and was completed in 1963 with a cost of about $3 000 000 (just over $22.7 million in today’s dollar). The lake covers 15 280 acres with 100 miles of shoreline and is 15 miles long. It’s fed mainly by Little Corney Bayou and Corney Bayou, but Bayou D’Arbonne, Middle Fork Bayou, and Little Bayou D’Arbonne are also contributing sources. Lake D’Arbonne boasts plenty of fishing and water sports along with camping at the state park.
A long history that revolves around the outdoors and the new lake can lend itself to a great future for the area. I had the opportunity to talk with Katie Knight, local country music artist and Farmerville native. Katie said that she loves her home town. “It’s a small town with a small town feel. Everybody knows everybody.” I asked Katie about how growing up in Farmerville has helped her songwriting. She says it gives her a perspective to work with. She knows what it’s like to live in such a small town and imagines what it would be like to live in a big city. To learn more about Katie Knight and her music check out her website.
Farmerville is hosting one of NCLAC’s very special Super Saturday Arts Camp on Saturday, June 15. At this exciting one day camp, your kids will participate in visual and performing arts. The camp will take place at the First Assembly of God on 900 S Main St.
Registration for this even is only $20 by June 5 and $25 after June 5. This includes supplies and a snack. Camp is from 9am – noon. If you’ve got a youngster that’s currently in 1-6 grade and you think they would enjoy a day full of fun arts based activities, click here to download the registration form. You could also call the NCLAC office at 255.1450 to register.