On Sunday, April 25, 2004
from 2:00-4:00 P.M.
at the Spring Street Historical Museum
525 Spring Street Shreveport, Louisiana,
there was a reception honoring the late Julia Pleasants Creswell,
a longtime resident of Shreveport, Louisiana and the great grandmother
of former Mayor James C. Gardner.
Julia was born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1827. She spent most of her adult life
around Shreveport and was a prolific poet, authoring two books of poetry and one novel.
She died in 1886 and is buried in the Greenwood, Louisiana Cemetery near Shreveport.
The reception will feature a first time viewing of Julia's wedding dress
(made in Paris, France) and other wedding garments
worn by Julia and her husband, Caddo Judge David Creswell in 1854.
They were married at Belle Mina, Alabama where Julia lived with her grandfather,
Governor Thomas Bibb of Alabama, after her mother's death when she was thirteen.
Shortly after the wedding the Creswells moved to Desoto Parish, Louisiana.
While there they presented a Bible to the Keatchie Presbyterian
Church where it still remains in the church foyer.
Julia was a renowned author of three published books,
including Callamura, a Civil War novel,
set in northwest Louisiana. It was first published in 1868 by a Philadelphia firm.
At the reception there will be a short poetry reading given by Mimi MacGowan,
of Newport Beach, California, who is the great great granddaughter of
Julia Pleasants Creswell. She will place on short
display some original copies of Julia's manuscripts, old family pictures
and handwritten letters and other family memorabilia yet to be seen in the local area
where the Creswell's lived.
In 1926 the Shreveport Times wrote of the Creswells:
"Husband and wife played leading roles in the early days of Shreveport,
the former an incorruptible judge, the later a poetess who inspired men to
perform noble deeds and look to higher things.
The world is better that she should have lived."
David and Julia Creswell have permanent monuments to their memory in Creswell Street,
Creswell School and several Creswell subdivisions.
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