The city of Natchitoches (pronounced NACK uh tush) was established by French traders in the village of the Natchitoches Indians in 1714. Possession of the area passed back and forth between France and Spain, and in 1800 a "Neutral Strip" including the western part of the modern parish was established to ease relations between the two countries. This thirty to forty-mile wide "no-man's land" became a refuge for outlaws and fugitives who preyed on settlers moving to Texas. In 1812 Louisiana became a state. However, ownership of the Neutral Strip was not settled until 1819 when Spain conceded it by treaty.

The geographical area includes both swamps and rugged hills covered with magestic pines. Spring-fed creeks form waterfalls over soapstone ledges and sustain a wide variety of wildlife. The earliest European settlers were, of course, French and Spanish, but English, Scotch, Irish, and German settlers from the east coast colonies arrived in the late 1700s/early 1800s.

13 Mar 1930 (from Natchitoches Genealogist, Apr 1987 issue, p. 31, extracted by S. C. Hefner) Blanchard Funeral Home Records (Natchitoches):

Miss Corrine SIMMONS, age 76, born in Louisiana. Relative of Mary and Clara Simmons, sisters. Parents: Pierre Adolph SIMMONS, born in Georgia, and Mary Ann COMBS, born in Louisiana. Interment in Catholic Cemetery, Natchitoches.

8 Jun 1930 (from Natchitoches Genealogist, Apr 1988 issue, p. 35, extracted by S. C. Hefner)
Blanchard Funeral Home Records (Natchitoches):

Mrs. Mary SIMMONS, age 82, sister of Clara SIMMONS of Natchitoches Parish.
Parents: Pearce Adolph SIMMONS (b. GA) and Mary Ann COOMBS (b. Natchitoches).
Interment: Catholic Cemetery, Natchitoches

22 Dec 1935 Simon Bewell COMBS married Cleo RHODES in Provencal. (provided by Susan Hefner)

Note: "Bewell" moved to Natchitoches Parish in the early 1930s. He was born to Mark and Dora DAVIS Combs in Miller County Arkansas in 1913. His parents moved to central Louisiana in 1928. Bewell stayed with relatives so that he could finish school. However, after his brother was murdered, he decided to join the rest of the family. He rode his horse from Ravanna to Shreveport and stayed with a wealthy great-uncle Davis (whose land is now part of Barksdale Air Force Base). Then he and his uncle loaded his horse into the back of a truck and drove down highway 20. When they reached the Natchitoches area, the Red River had flooded out of its banks. Bewell unloaded his horse, saddled it, and continued. He tried to stay on the road because he was unfamiliar with the area, but the task was made difficult by the high water (which reached his stirrups at times) and strong currents. However, he made the twenty-something mile trip to Boyce and reached his parents' home the same day.

He went to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Kisatchie National Forest. He met Cleo RHODES, the daughter of Christopher Newton and Mattie JONES RHODES, because the family lived very close to the work camp. They married, and their first child was born in the Rhodes's log cabin near Bellwood in 1938. They moved to Shreveport when Bewell got a job helping with the construction of Barksdale Air Force Base. Later Bewell became a Baptist preacher, but he helped support his family as a barber and rancher.

5 Sep 1936 (from obituary clipping provided by S. C. Hefner, from unnamed newspaper)

Mrs. Dora COMBS

Mrs. Dora COMBS, 61, former resident of Ravanna, Ark., died at her home in Cloutierville, La., at 3 a.m. [torn]day, following a heart attack. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at the Concord Church near Ravanna. Burial will be in the Concord Cemetery.

The deceased had spent most of her life in southwest Arkansas, having moved to Louisiana several years ago.

She is survived by her husband, M. F. COMBS; one son, S. B. COMBS of Cloutierville; two daughters, Mrs. Rodney CARROLL, Boyce, La., and Miss Reba COMBS, Cloutierville, and four brothers, J. E. DAVIS of Shreveport; S. [torn] DAVIS, Rodessa; J. A. DAVIS, Brad[torn], Ark., and John T. DAVIS, Ida, La.

Note: "M. F." is Mark Franklin COMBS, the son of Thomas Jackson Combs. "S. B." is Simon Bewell COMBS. Another son, Newell was murdered in Ravanna in 1931.

St. Matthew Cemetery

(from the Louisiana GenWeb Archives)

Lucy COMBS 9 May 1882 - 28 May 1950

Choctaw Island Baptist Church Cemetery

(from the Louisiana GenWeb Archives)

Houston COMBS 20 Nov 1872 - 1 Jul 1959
Mary Louise COMBS 30 Aug 1884 - 18 Aug 1961

Bellwood Cemetery

(provided by S. C. Hefner)

Simon B. COMBS 28 Jun 1913 - 12 Feb 1982

Important: All Records collected for this county may not have been added here as yet
See also the Combs Research Mailing List Archives
Return To Combs Counties (Combs &c. Records Index)

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