History of Plain Dealing

Plain Dealing was settled by George O. Gilmer in 1839 with the establishment of Plain Dealing Plantation. The town and plantation were both named for honesty and integrity. The Bossier Banner published a letter by G. E. Gilmer in July 22,1937 saying, ”The name Plain Dealing is typical of the character of the (plantation’s) founder. It is said of him that he never traded or bartered, but he sold the products of his farms and bought his needs in the regular channel of trade.”

The Plain Dealing Plantation originally contained five thousand acres of Red River land, which George O. Gilmer divided into three large plantations and gave to his children. Other settlers from areas such as Mississippi, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia followed, setting up communities within a 10-mile radius of present Plain Dealing. The early settlement years revolved around farming.

S.J. Zeigler, a prominent businessman, came to Bossier Parish around 1870 when he married a descendant of the Gilmers who had inherited the Plain Dealing property. When the St. Louis Southwestern Railway proposed to build a branch line from Lewisville, Ark., to Shreveport, Zeigler realized a town was needed to serve the Bossier area and selected the Plain Dealing site.

Lots for the town were sold on July 25, 1888. Despite being known temporarily as Guernshein, after the name of a prominent railroad company stockholder, the town’s name was soon changed after the Gilmer Plantation. The town was chartered April 24, 1890, with a total population of less than 100.

The first mayor of Plain Dealing was W. Benton Boggs, who took office on April5, 1890. He was one of the first and largest buyer of lots in the land sale. He went on to become a state senator and was an organizer and president of the town’s first bank, chartered in 1904.

Plain Dealing’s mayor from 1908-11, M.C. Wright, installed the town’s first electric light and power system. In 1925, Clarence Bolinger purchased the power plant and installed the first natural gas system. In 1928, the village of Plain Dealing was charted as an incorporated town. Curbs and gutters were added to the streets, concrete sidewalks replaced planked walks. The water and sewer system were installed in 1929.