Herman Bell was the first Black Justice of the Peace in Ouachita Parish in 1873.


Immediately following the Civil War, which ended in Ouachita Parish in 1865, blacks became the predominate force in the electoral process. Many southerners would not take the vow of loyalty to the United States and were stripped of their voting rights. The result was that many former slaves became judges, councilmen and state officials. Among them was Bell who handpicked by the Republican Party to serve as a Justice of the Peace in Monroe in 1873 under the protective eye of Federal Troops that still guarded the interest of the Union in the area.