Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana
|Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana|
Location in the state of Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
|Founded||March 31, 1807|
|Named for||Avoyel Native Americans|
|• Total||866 sq mi (2,242 km2)|
|• Land||832 sq mi (2,156 km2)|
|• Water||33 sq mi (86 km2), 3.84%|
|• Density||50/sq mi (19/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Avoyelles (French: Paroisse des Avoyelles) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Marksville. As of the 2010 census, the population was 42,073.1 The parish is named for the Avoyel Indian tribe.
Avoyelles Parish is known for its French-speaking history, with traditions in both music and food. Being the highest point of the twenty-two "Acadiana" parishes, it is very famous for its brand of Cajun music and its gumbo, a kind of soup made popular in this area. The area was first settled by Native Americans around 300 BC. Today on the banks of the old Mississippi River channel in Marksville, three large burial mounds, a museum and a National Park commemorate their civilization. Tunicas from the Natchez tribes east of the river conquered and assimilated with the Avoyels nearly two centuries ago and are currently the largest Native American group in Avoyelles.
Spanish and African traders were probably the first foreigners to arrive in the area by 1750. In late the 18th century European families from Quebec, Canada, as well as Normandy and other parts of France, Scotland, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Spain arrived and established the towns and villages that exist today. Their direct ties to Europe set them apart from the Acadians (Cajuns) of southern Louisiana. Later, blacks serving under Napoleon and those loyal to France in Haiti and the French West Indies settled in Avoyelles. Arriving as refugees, they were taken in by the Native American and European families of the area. The blending of these three cultures created a distinct Louisiana Creole culture noted in the local language, food and family ties.
Today, the Avoyelles Parish culture conveniently falls under the larger umbrella of "Cajun," because of the perceived similarities in speech, food, and various folk traditions. However, there are very few families in Avoyelles with Acadian roots. In the 1800s until the mid 1900s, local Confederate units and local newspaper reports in "The Villager" always referred to the Avoyelles French as Creoles.
The parish has a total area of 866 square miles (2,242.9 km2), of which 832 square miles (2,154.9 km2) is land and 33 square miles (85.5 km2) (3.84%) is water.
- La Salle Parish & Catahoula Parish (north)
- Concordia Parish (northeast)
- West Feliciana Parish (east)
- Pointe Coupee Parish (southeast)
- St. Landry Parish (south)
- Evangeline Parish (southwest)
- Rapides Parish (west)
||La Salle Parish and Catahoula Parish||Concordia Parish|
|Rapides Parish||West Feliciana Parish|
|Evangeline Parish||St. Landry Parish||Pointe Coupee Parish|
As of the census5 of 2000, there were 41,481 people, 14,736 households, and 10,580 families residing in the parish. The population density was 50 people per square mile (19/km²). There were 16,576 housing units at an average density of 20 per square mile (8/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 68.47% White, 29.49% Black or African American, 1.01% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 0.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.64% reported speaking French or Cajun French at home, while 2.12% speak Spanish.
There were 14,736 households out of which 36.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.70% were married couples living together, 15.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the parish the population was spread out with 26.80% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 29.00% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 13.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 96.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.90 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $23,851, and the median income for a family was $29,389. Males had a median income of $27,122 versus $18,250 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $12,146. About 21.70% of families and 25.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.50% of those under age 18 and 25.00% of those age 65 or over.
- Center Point
- Marksville (parish seat)
- Cottonport Elementary
- Bunkie Elementary
- Lafargue Elementary
- Marksville Elementary
- Plaucheville Elementary
- Riverside Elementary
- Avoyelles High School
- Bunkie High School
- LASAS (Louisiana School for the Agricultural Sciences)
- Marksville High School 7
1020th Engineer Company (Vertical) of the 527th Engineer Battalion of the 225th Engineer Brigade is located in Marksville, Louisiana. The 1086TH Transportation Company of the 165TH CSS (Combat Service Support) Battalion of the 139TH RSG (Regional Support Group) resides in Bunkie, Louisiana.
- A.V. Coco, prominent Marksville area lawyer (1881-1888), Judge of the District Court for Avoyelles, Rapides and Grant Parishes (1888-1896), member of the Constitutional Convention of the State of Louisiana (New Orleans, 1898), Louisiana State Attorney General. Page text.8
- F.O. "Potch" Didier, flamboyant sheriff of Avoyelles Parish, 1956–1980
- Edwin Washington Edwards, four term governor of Louisiana.
- Elaine Schwartzenburg Edwards, first wife of Edwin Edwards and appointed U.S. Senator from August–November 1972
- Donald E. Hines, Bunkie physician, president of the Louisiana State Senate from 2004 to 20089
- Jeannette Theriot Knoll, associate justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, a native of Baton Rouge and a resident of Marksville
- Alvan Lafargue, Marksville native, physician, and the mayor of Sulphur from 1926 to 1932.
- Adras LaBorde, longtime managing editor and political columnist of the Alexandria Daily Town Talk
- Raymond Laborde, mayor of Marksville (1958–1970), state representative (1972–1992), commissioner of administration (1992–1996)
- Charles Addison Riddle III, District Attorney, 2003-current,10 former state representative, 1992-2003. Son of Charles Addison Riddle Jr., former District Attorney and grandson of Charles Riddle, former state representative 1932-1940
- Norma McCorvey, "Jane Roe" in the landmark Roe v. Wade lawsuit.
- Felix Eugene Moncla, Jr., United States Air Force pilot who mysteriously disappeared over Lake Superior in 1953.
Entertainers, Artists and Authors
- Sue Eakin, historian, author of Avoyelles Parish: Crossroads of Louisiana11
- Alcide "Blind Uncle" Gaspard, early recording artist of traditional Cajun music.
Ruth McEnery Stuart, Marksville Solomon Northup, spent most of his 12 years of kidnapped slavery in Avoyelles Parish until he was freed by Marksville officials in 1854. Published his memoirs into a best selling book before the Civil War.
- Little Walter, Marion Walter Jacobs. Hamonica player. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Gerard Dupuy"Cajun Stump Jumper", Cajun fiddler.
Sports notables from Avoyelles: Moon Ducote, Cottonport, set records on Tulane Football team
Tommy Neck, Marksville, LSU great.12 Chad Lavalais, Marksville, LSU football national championship team13 D'Anthony Baptist, Marksville, Arizona pro team Al Moreau, Marksville, set world's record in track, 1938
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- "Philip Timothy, "Ex-governor [Edwin Washington Edwards] tops list of colorful parish politicians"". Alexandria Daily Town Talk, March 18, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2009.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- [Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Avoyelles 1890-1990, compiled by Randy DeCuir, page 31-32; Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the State of Louisiana (8 Feb 1898)], additional text.
- "Membership in the Louisiana Senate, 1880-Present". senate.la.gov. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- "Obituary of Sue Lyles Eakin". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, September 19, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- Heinrich, P. V., 2008, Woodville 30 x 60 minute geologic quadrangle. Louisiana Geological Survey, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- Snead, J., P. V. Heinrich, and R. P. McCulloh, 2002, Ville Platte 30 x 60 minute geologic quadrangle. Louisiana Geological Survey, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.