The town of Keachi was first incorporated in 1858. It was named after an Indian group that was related to the Caddo tribes. The spelling of the town’s name has been changed many times and there are still several spellings in use: Keatchie, Kechi,Keachie, etc. Folklore has it that the word means big cat, black cat , panther or cougar.
Early settlers (after the Indians) were mainly families of Scots-Irish descent from other southern states moving west. They were farmers who cleared the rolling hills and planted cotton and other crops. Many were slave holders and early census records showed a population ratio of about 2:1, Negro to Caucasian. Commerce from Keachi moved down the Red River at Shreveport or the Sabine River at Logansport. Early family names included Gatlin, Fullilove, Mason, Gamble, Foster, Graves, Fisher, Hungerford, Williams, Rochelle, Crawford, Talbert, Hollingsworth, Schuler, Storey, Swearingen, Moseley, Harris, Peyton, Scheller, McMillan, Spell, Rich, Lee, Horn, Paxon, Moore, Spilker, Hall, Horn, Cathey, Eells, Lacy, Flagg and others.
Many of these families and their descendants still live in the area. Several of the homes, churches and other buildings built by the settlers in the 1800’s are still standing and many are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
(for more info see: www.rootsweb.com/~ladesoto/nrhp,htm ) At one time Keachi was a prosperous community with a hotel near the train depot, a female college and a main street with at least 10 commercial buildings. Two of those are standing today; the Fullilove General Store and the Masonic Lodge. The Keachi Cemetary is the resting place of many early settlers and also has an interesting grave house, a custom thought to have been adopted from the Indians. It is located just north of the main crossroads on McCann road. Another interesting site is the Confederate cemetary located just west of town. During the Civil war, wounded from the battle of Mansfield were brought to the nearby Keachi Female College which served as a hospital. Both Union and confederate soldiers are buried there.
Today Keachi is a quiet town with about 250 residents. Community members enjoy gathering several times a year for traditional family activities such as music programs, hunter’s chili cookout/hayrides, July 4th celebrations, and cemetery cleanup days. An active historical group meets regularly and sponsors several of the activities.