Minden was established in 1836 by Charles Peeter. Native sons include Gene Austin and Louis Dunbar. The town's name is derived from the German city of Minden. During the Civil War, a large Confederate encampment was located inside of Minden. It housed about 15,000 Confederate soldiers. The town served as a supply depot for the Confederate Army. Close to thirty Confederate soldiers who died in the Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill are buried in the Old Minden Cemetery. In the Great Blizzard of 1899, Minden experienced the coldest temperature ever recorded in Louisiana, when the temperature fell on February 13, 1899 to −16 °F. During the Great Depression, one of the two Minden banks failed and a fire destroyed a major section of the downtown area (1931). On May 1, 1933, a tornado occurred in the town, destroying 20% of the homes.