Will Adger, Sr. opened a general mercantile store in 1916. In 1939, W.E. Adger Jr. joined his father in business and operated the store until his death in 1989 when it remained open under new ownership. In the early 1900s other stores owned by families like Cox, Byers, Douglas, Lay and Adger were built and operated along Main Street and developed the town into a bustling community with a railroad depot, post office, bank, barber shop, drug store, ice house, gas station, and cotton gins - as well as a telephone office located in a home. The services of skilled craftsmen, such as blacksmiths, were very important to a farming community in the first half of the century.
Realizing the need for a religious influence in the village, in 1900, early settlers established Gilliam Methodist Episcopal Church, which was destroyed in the cyclone of 1908 and rebuilt after the storm as First Methodist Church. This building was replaced by the current brick building and in 1968, after a denominational merger, became the Gilliam United Methodist Church. The Linda Lay Memorial Baptist Church in Gilliam was organized June 6, 1919, with 12 charter members, and named in honor of Mrs. I.P. (Linda) Lay who had been a strong supporter in the development ofthe spiritual life of the town. There was an elementary school in the town until 1940, when it was consolidated with the Belcher School which served all 12 grades.
Cotton was once "King". This crop is now joined with fields of corn and soybeans. With cotton being the principal crop of the area, several gins were located in Gilliam throughout the decades. The early gins located on farms were replaced by larger mechanized gins still operating today.
This early cotton press has been preserved by the Red River Crossroads Historical Association near Old Cotton Gin, Lynn Plantation the Crossroads Museum in Gilliam.
The small town atmosphere and friendly people make Gilliam a pleasant place to live or visit.
Erected by Red River Crossroads Historical Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1890.
Location. 32° 49.639′ N, 93° 50.694′ W. Marker is in Gilliam, Louisiana, in Caddo Parish. Marker is on Main Street north of 2nd Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12801 Main St, Gilliam LA 71029, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Caddo Prairie Crossroads (a few steps from this marker); Town of Gilliam (a few steps from this marker); TS&N/T&P Railroad
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 7, 2021, by Jason Armstrong of Talihina, OKlahoma. This page has been viewed 25 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 7, 2021, by Jason Armstrong of Talihina, OKlahoma. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.