Bogalusa Enterprise and American

Washington Parish

Incorporated in 1914, Bogalusa is one of the youngest towns in Louisiana. It was founded by Frank Henry Goodyear and Charles Waterhouse Goodyear, lumber barons of Buffalo, New York. In 1906, the Goodyears formed the Great Southern Lumber Company to harvest the rich and largely untapped timber resources of southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. They also ordered the construction of the 90-mile New Orleans Great Northern Railroad to provide access to this region and transportation for processed timber. Known as “Magic City” because of its rapid growth, Bogalusa had about 20,000 residents by 1920 and promoted itself as one of the most progressive cities in the South. The rapid depletion of the area’s timber resources, however, led to the closing of the Great Southern mill in 1938 and the town’s subsequent decline.

In 1918, Clyde S. Moss (1880-1949), editor and publisher of the Bogalusa Enterprise [LCCN: sn88064054], purchased the Bogalusa American and consolidated the two papers to form the weekly, eight-page Bogalusa Enterprise and American. Moss’s career began at his father’s newspaper office in Linton, Indiana. He later worked as a journalist in Tennessee, Texas, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge before moving to Bogalusa in 1914. A tireless booster of his adopted town, Moss reported on Bogalusa’s growth and the ups and downs of the timber trade.

The earliest issues of the Enterprise and American focused on World War I. Topics of discussion included the war’s effect on local industry and agriculture, the registration of unnaturalized German-born residents, plans for a “vigilance corps” to counteract spies and saboteurs, and activities of the Red Cross. The paper carried news of Louisiana soldiers in Europe, original war-related poetry, and anti-German propaganda, such as “The Secrets of the Hohenzollerns,” a multi-issue exposé.

Miscellaneous local news was also reported, much of it related to lumber mills and entertainment venues. The November 25, 1920 issue was a special edition devoted to profiling Bogalusa’s leading businessmen and civic leaders. It also contains many photographs of the town.

Publication of the Bogalusa Enterprise and American continued until 1954.