MISSION OF THE BASTROP-MOREHOUSE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The mission of the Bastrop-Morehouse Chamber of Commerce is to "help Morehouse Parish to be a great place to live, work and play". This mission is accomplished through the efforts of a supportive chamber membership and various groups throughout the parish all working toward the same goal.
HISTORY OF THE BASTROP-MOREHOUSE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The first resemblance of a chamber in Morehouse Parish was formed in 1921. The name of the organization at that time was The Business Men's Progressive League. It was formed because there was a specific project which called for a unified community effort. This project was to obtain railroad services from Monroe through Bastrop and on to Hamburg, Arkansas. This group had 4 important points they advertised through the newspaper: the advantages of living in Bastrop, Bastrop was a growing community, Bastrop was a livable town and that Bastrop was interested in its people. It does seem that our goals are much the same today as they were 91 years ago. The railroad project was completed and therefore The Business Men's Progressive League disbanded until 1924. At this time, the group formed again to discuss the further developments of railroads, building a bridge across the bayou and road improvements. P.M. Biddison was elected as the president and annual membership dues were set at $25 for individuals and $100 for businesses. It is interesting to note that today's membership dues are only $60 for individuals and a minimum of $160 for businesses.
From 1924 to 1926 a great deal was accomplished by this group. The underpass was built on South Washington and the streets of Madison, Washington, Hickory and the street around the courthouse were all paved. The citizens found that working together as a Chamber, they could accomplish most anything.
In 1949 a formal charter was drawn up and The Business Men's Progressive League became the Bastrop Association of Commerce and Industry. It stated in these Articles "that the purpose and objects for which the Association is organized are the advancement of the civic, commercial, economic, industrial and agricultural interests for the town of Bastrop, the Parish of Morehouse and the surrounding trade area".
The registered office of the Association in 1949 was listed as City Hall in Bastrop. Sol Snyder was elected as President, Jacob Seligman as Vice President and Calvin Scott as Secretary-Manager. Other Board of Directors at this time were M.V. Orr, David Snyder, George Orr, Carl Turpin, Lula Mae Jones, W.H. Todd, Edna Ables, W.C. Hornsby, Dr. O.L. Tugwell, Lester Bennett, D.N. Smith, Ben Berry, Howard Templeton, W.J. Quenan, Dick Norris, Arlie Williamson, J.O. McConathy, Earl Mallory, F.L. Billington and Fred Marlatt.
The Chamber remained listed under the name of Bastrop Association of Commerce and Industry until an amendment of the Articles of Incorporation in 1983. At this time, the Chamber as we know it today, the Bastrop-Morehouse Chamber of Commerce was formed.
For 91 years the Chamber has continued its journey of helping to make Morehouse Parish a great place to live, work and play. It all started with a group of concerned individuals back in 1921 that wanted to help our parish to prosper. Today, that dedication continues. The Bastrop-Morehouse Chamber of Commerce is proud of its 91 years of service and will continue the vision of the original founders of the Chamber.