Pieces of Our History: Everyday Natchitoches in the Early 20th Century

By Kevin Shannahan

Kevin’s Gallery

The week’s installment of Pieces of Our History comes from The Millspaugh Collection, part of NSU’s Cammie G. Henry Research Center’s amazing collections.

Giles Weedon Millspaugh was born on July 12 1901 and graduated from the then St. Mary’s Academy in 1917. He went on to obtain a degree in pharmacy from Tulane University. He is best known as the founder and long time owner of Millspaugh’s Drug Store in Natchitoches, running the store until his death in 1976. Giles Millspaugh was an avid photographer who took many of the photographs in the collection. Others were brought to him by friends, customers and visitors to his drugstore.

The photographs show a familiar world through a historical lens. There is a photo of Trinity Episcopal Church-but Second Street is unpaved and there is a cart being pulled by a team of oxen in front of the church. It was taken in 1909.There is a photograph on a 1906 May Day procession in front of Immaculate Conception Church and another shot of the church taken in 1898. Cattle grazing on the riverbank, a flooded second street and a group of men pushing a stuck car out of the way in 1954 are all part of the gallery. Take a look and see your city in a different light!


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One thought on “Pieces of Our History: Everyday Natchitoches in the Early 20th Century

  1. Kevin, good job, hope you do more. I used Millspaugh drug store while I was attending NSU. He was very good in helping poor students. Nice man.

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