In 1714 Louis Antoine Juchereau de St. Denis navigated up the Red River on his trade mission from what is now Mobile, Alabama to Mexico. Because of a massive log jam St. Denis had to leave the river.
He landed near a village of the Natchitoches (nak-a-tosh) Indians. St. Denis continued overland to Mexico but left a few men to guard their provisions and trade with the Native Americans. Their rustic huts became Fort St. Jean Baptiste, The Fort with the surrounding river land is the oldest continuous European settlement in the entire Louisiana Purchase Territory. Francois Dion Duprez d’Herbonne (Derbonne), Barbara’s ninth generation grandfather, was commissioned in 1716 by King Louis XV of France “Keeper of the King’s Store House and Paymaster of the Militia” at Fort St. Jean Baptiste.