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WILLIAM D. MERCER (1834-1910) was a successful planter and businessman in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, after the Civil War. He operated a plantation of about 1,145 acres near Taylortown on the east bank of Red River about twelve miles southeast of Shreveport in Bossier Parish. Mercer was born January 13, 1834, in Butler County, Alabama. He was the fifth of seven children born to William Mercer and Delilah Ganby, who had emigrated from South Carolina to Alabama shortly after their marriage. William D. Mercer was self-taught, having attended school no more than six months. He left his parents' home at the age of eighteen and came to Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, at the age of twenty. Very soon after, he moved to Caddo Parish where he joined Company B, Second Louisiana Cavalry in 1862 and took part in several skirmishes. At the closed of the Civil War, Mercer returned to farm life in 1871 and married Louella Locke in Bossier Parish in 1872. "Miss Ella" was the daughter of Edward B. Locke, who had moved to Louisiana from Mississippi before the Civil War and died shortly after the war ended. William and "Ella" Mercer had eight children, some of whom became community leaders in their own right. In addition to becoming a very successful cotton planter, Mercer operated a general mercantile establishment in Taylortown. William D. Mercer died June 8, 1910, and was buried in the Bethlehem Cemetery in Haughton, Bossier Parish, Louisiana.

Laura Lyons McLemore

Bibliography: Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana. (Nashville and Chicago: The Southern Publishing Company, 1890; reprint, North Louisiana Historical Association, 1976), 138-39; "James Henry Mercer," History of Shreveport and Shreveport Builders. Vol. 2 (Shreveport, LA: J. Ed Howe, 1951).


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

"MERCER, WILLIAM D." Handbook of North Louisiana Online (http://www…….), accessed …………. Published by LSU-Shreveport.

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