How the community of DUNN got it’s name

Dunn is a small community on Highway 80 five miles west of Delhi.

Often, people that live in Richland Parish might joke that when God created the heavens and earth, it began in Start, LA and finished in Dunn, LA.

Both communities are located in Richland Parish, roughly 20 miles apart, and are located along I-20, Hwy 80, and the original Vicksburg and Shreveport Railroad.

According to Terry Dunn;

“Dunn, LA was named after his Great Grandfather, William Preston Dunn. He was an engineer for the railroad and his route was from Vicksburg, MS to Shreveport, LA. He was raising 13 children at the time.”

He also stated

“On his run home he would stop near and area that was full of game and kill the supper for the night. He was always lucky and would manage to come home with meat for the table.”

It soon became common knowledge and when anyone came in from the home office in Kansas City that wanted to hunt they would take to them to Dunn’s lucky spot, which eventually was named Dunn.

About 1840, a road was cut through the canebrake and swamps of this region, which is currently located in Richland Parish.

Stagecoach service began on this road in 1849. Horses were changed at Charles Carpenter’s house near Dunn. This house, unique for the thickness of sheathing and lining that encased its log walls, became famous as an inn during the 1850’s.

Ferries were an important adjunct to this early road. Franchises for the operation of ferries were auctioned to the highest bidder. All ferries on Bayou Macon and the Boeuf River charged “two-bits for horse and rider, a dime for foot passengers, and 12 1/2 cents a wheel for wagons and carriages.”

The post office was established at Dunn in February 1900 with William W. Crow as postmaster.

Leeper, C. D. (2012). Louisiana place names: Popular, unusual, and forgotten stories of towns, cities, plantations, bayous, and even some cemeteries. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

2 replies »

  1. Thank you for researching and sharing all of this historical information. This is very interesting.

  2. Dunn was the location of our family home from 1959 until 1975 after the death of my Father.

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