Information about the background of the parish is found on the St. Tammany Parish Government's website, on its history page. To view the original webpage, CLICK HERE.
The following are some of the important individuals and families who have contributed over the last 200 years to making St. Tammany Parish what it is today.
John Wharton Collins donated the land and founded the town of Wharton, which eventually became Covington. He is buried on the corner of the cemetery directly across from Covington City Hall.
John Slidell was a U.S. Representative and Senator. He was born in New York, and married Mathilde Deslonde – a Creole beauty from St. John the Baptist Parish. After the Civil War he moved to France, where he is buried. Slidell owned property in Mandeville and Covington. The city of Slidell in St. Tammany Parish was named in his honor by his son-in-law, Baron Frederick Emile d'Erlanger.
Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville (Bernard de Marigny) was a French Creole American nobleman who was born in New Orleans. He owned the Fontainebleau Plantation, a sugar mill he named after the vast royal park, palace and forest near Paris. The word means ‘beautiful fountain water’ in French. He later founded the town of Mandeville with some of the land he owned. Marigny was a well known gambler, and he is thought to be responsible for bringing the game of craps to Louisiana, as well as giving it the name. Marigny was also known for his dueling. He is reported to have been involved in over 15 duels.
John A. Parisy was the first veterinarian in St. Tammany Parish, in 1887. He was primarily a horseshoer and horse doctor. From Mr. Kentzels Covington by Carol Sanders Jahnke
Dr. George Boudreaux compounded a diaper rash ointment in 1970. It was derived from Dr. “Pappy” Talbot’s original recipe for his pharmacy on Covington’s 21st Street. The ointment became known as “Boudreaux’s Butt Paste”.
Joseph and Audrey Champagne started an Anheuser-Busch franchise in 1957. Joel continues his parents business today. The company recently built a new operations center in Madisonville. Champagne beverage distributes Anheuser-Busch, Corona and Monster Products.
The Jahncke Family has played an important role in Covington. Carol Jahncke gathered the information for and wrote the book Mr. Kentzel's Covington Jahncke Street in Covington was named after the family that donated the shells for the road, which is now an important paved thoroughfare in old Covington. In Madisonville, the Jahncke Shipyard built ships for the US Navy during WWI.
Charles Sidney Fuhrmann was the namesake behind the current Fuhrmann Auditorium in Covington. He was a painter and writer who was very active in bringing the culture of St. Tammany Parish to the public. There were two Fuhrmann Theaters, one in Mandeville and one in Madisonville, which advertised in The Farmer between 1946 and 1952.
The Fritchie family has had many important figures in the Slidell area of St. Tammany Parish. The Salmen-Fritchie House was originally built by Fritz Salmen in 1895. Fritz was one of the founders of Slidell. Gus Fritchie, Sr. was the first Judge of the Slidell Courthouse, and served from 1964 until his death in 1971. His son Gus was his successor, and served until 1989. Charles J. Fritchie, Jr. was the author of the first book on Slidell history – Notes on Slidell History The Fritchie name has been ascribed to many landmarks in eastern St. Tammany Parish, including Fritchie Park in Slidell, Fritchie Barn in Pearl River, and Fritchie Marsh.
The Salmen family is one of Slidell’s most important families. Fritz Salmen, who started the Salmen Brick and Lumber Company, was one of the founders of the city. He built and owned the Slidell Store Co. in the early 1880s. The original building still stands today at the corner of Front Street and Cleveland Avenue in Slidell. The land currently known as Camp Salmen was donated by the family. Salmen High School in Slidell was named after the family as well.
The Blossman family has been and continues to be involved in the banking industry in St. Tammany Parish. Richard S. “Dickie” Blossman, Jr. is president and CEO of Lacombe Central Progressive Bank. A.R. “Fred’ Blossman of Covington started the First National Bank in Covington.
The Haik family had the Haik Bar in Covington in the 1940s. They also owned and operated the Haik Department Store on Columbia Street. Haik Park in Covington is named after this family.
The Smith family opened H.J. Smith and Sons General Store in Covington. “Red” Smith and J. Lewis “Deed” Smith are the sons of Henry James Smith
The Houlton family played an important role in the early years of St. Tammany Parish. Charles and William Houlton were originally from Duluth, Minnesota and bought Jay’s Sawmill and the Otis House from W.T. Jay. They were active in the lumber industry in St. Tammany in its early years. An area of St. Tammany called Houltonville can still be seen on some maps.
Francois Cousin built an important structure near Slidell, located on Bayou Liberty. The house is a French Creole Cottage, likely built between 1778 and 1790. It is the oldest structure in St. Tammany Parish. Cousin, born in 1745 in New Orleans, managed his father's lumber and brick making business interests in St. Tammany Parish. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mike Williams attended LSU beginning in 1970 on a football scholarship. Williams attended Covington High School before signing with LSU, where he played cornerback. He went on to play in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and the Los Angeles Rams.