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Town of Colfax
Town
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Grant
Elevation 95 ft (29 m)
Coordinates 31°31′11″N 92°42′30″W / 31.51972°N 92.70833°W / 31.51972; -92.70833
Area 1.5 sq mi (3.9 km2)
 - land 1.5 sq mi (4 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 1,659 (2000)
Density 1,111.3 /sq mi (429.1 /km2)
Founded 1869
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 71417
Area code 318
Location of Colfax in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Colfax is named for former Vice President Schuyler M. Colfax

Colfax (pronounced "Coll-fax") is a town in and the parish seat of Grant Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The town was founded in 1869, named for President Grant's vice-president, Schuyler Colfax (pronounced "Cole-fax"). Colfax is part of the Alexandria, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,659 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Both the town and parish were established in 1869, with the parish named for President Grant. Colfax is of historical importance because of the Colfax Riot of April 13, 1873, more recently termed the Colfax Massacre by contemporary historians Eric Foner and Nicholas Lemann. The events at the parish courthouse resulted in the largest number of African American fatalities in a single occurrence between whites and blacks during Reconstruction. A contemporary report by the US military documented 3 whites and 105 black victims by name, as well as noting 15-20 unidentified bodies found in the Red River.[2] Because of the disproportion in the numbers of deaths between the two sides, and documented accounts of at least 50 black prisoners being executed while under control of white militia, 20th century historians have called it a massacre. The event is also of importance because it marked a time when blacks organized to defend themselves and their political rights.

This Reconstruction-era incident arose out of the disputed gubernatorial election of 1872, in which both sides certified their slates of local officers. It was part of a background of violent competition and political unrest.

A 1950 historical marker erected by the state commerce department identified it as the Colfax Riot and said that the massacre "marked the end of carpetbag misrule in the South." Because of similar insurgent paramilitary violence in other areas of the state, especially during campaigns and elections, federal troops remained in Louisiana until 1877.

In 2007 the Red River Heritage Association was founded to collect and interpret the history of Reconstruction, especially in the Red River area and Louisiana. They are raising funds to restore a bank in Colfax near the former courthouse site to use as a museum, archives and interpretive center.

Geography

Colfax is located at 31°31′11″N 92°42′30″W / 31.51972°N 92.70833°W / 31.51972; -92.70833 (31.519783, -92.708446)[3] and has an elevation of 95 feet (29.0 m)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 1,659 people, 600 households, and 408 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,111.3 people per square mile (429.9/km²). There were 709 housing units at an average density of 474.9/sq mi (183.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 30.98% White, 67.81% African American, 0.06% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.54% of the population.

There were 600 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.3% were married couples living together, 32.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.0% were non-families. 30.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the town the population was spread out with 29.1% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 18.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 77.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 73.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $17,500, and the median income for a family was $20,000. Males had a median income of $25,313 versus $14,310 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,155. About 36.3% of families and 41.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 59.0% of those under age 18 and 25.3% of those age 65 or over.

Education

Colfax residents are zoned to Grant Parish School Board schools. The former Colfax High School was consolidated into Grant High School in Dry Prong.

Notable natives and residents

References

External links

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