Clista A. Calhoun Center in DeSoto Parish
Clista Andrews Calhoun was the beloved mother of Carolyn Calhoun Huckabay, Riemer Calhoun Jr. and Tommy Calhoun. She was born in southern Arkansas and was orphaned by the time she was 10 years old, with little formal education. In spite of a difficult childhood, Clista is remembered as smart, industrious and full of energy.
Clista married in 1933 and moved with her family to Mansfield, Louisiana. While Riemer went on to serve in the Louisiana State Senate, Clista was active in all community activities serving as president of the church women’s group, the Garden Club and the Woman’s Department Club.
When the town of Mansfield, offered to sell the empty buildings on five acres of land which had housed the original Mansfield Female College, built in the early 1850’s, Clista and her husband Riemer bought the property, making extensive renovations to the main building for their family home.
The three children- Tommy Calhoun, Riemer Calhoun, Jr. and Carolyn Calhoun Huckabay- inherited the property after their parents passed away and donated the building and grounds for use as a museum to the State of Louisiana in 2002. Today, the property has undergone a $1.2 million renovation and reconstruction, and has been renamed to honor Clista. The Clista A. Calhoun Center was completed in September 2012.
When family members gather, only smiles and happy memories fill the room when sharing about Clista and her love of the community. They each know she would have loved to have a place for the community to gather.
Last fall, family members and Friends of the Mansfield Female College Museum approached The Community Foundation about establishing an endowment that would support the new Center in perpetuity. Family members agreed this would be an important step in leaving a lasting legacy in Mansfield, Louisiana. The Clista Andrews Calhoun Center Foundation Fund was established and is the first fund at The Foundation to support DeSoto Parish.
If you would like to donate to the Clista Andrews Calhoun Center Foundation Fund, click here. Make sure to specify the Clista Andrews Calhoun Center Foundation Fund by clicking “Add special instructions” when making your donation. Please call the Foundation at 318-221-0582 if you have further questions.