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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of Ruston
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Lincoln
Elevation 331 ft (100.9 m)
Coordinates 32°31′47″N 92°38′26″W / 32.52972°N 92.64056°W / 32.52972; -92.64056
Area 18.2 sq mi (47.1 km2)
 - land 18.1 sq mi (47 km2)
 - water 0.1 sq mi (0 km2), 0.55%
Population 20,546 (2000)
Density 1,136.4 /sq mi (438.8 /km2)
Mayor Dan Hollingsworth
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 71270
Area code 318
Location of Ruston in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Ruston is a city in and the parish seat of Lincoln Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The population was 20,546 at the 2000 census. Ruston rests on the eastern border of the Ark-La-Tex and is the home of Louisiana Tech University. Its economy is built to cater to its college population. Ruston in known throughout the northern portions of the state as the home for the annual Squire Creek Peach Festival.

Ruston is the principal city of the Ruston Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Lincoln and Jackson parishes.



Ruston is located at 32°31′47″N 92°38′26″W / 32.52972°N 92.64056°W / 32.52972; -92.64056 (32.529674, -92.640466)[2] and has an elevation of 331 feet (100.9 m)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.0 km²), of which, 18.1 square miles (46.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.44%) is water.


As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 20,546 people, 7,621 households, and 4,244 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,136.4 people per square mile (438.8/km²). There were 8,397 housing units at an average density of 464.5/sq mi (179.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.94% White, 38.92% African American, 0.17% Native American, 2.41% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.29% of the population.

There were 7,621 households out of which 26.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.0% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.3% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population consisted of 20.8% under the age of 18, 31.6% from 18 to 24, 21.3% from 25 to 44, 14.9% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24.0 years, far below the state median age of 34.0 years. For every 100 females there were 92.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,001, and the median income for a family was $37,394. Males had a median income of $33,408 versus $20,413 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,573. About 22.1% of families and 32.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.1% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over.


Louisiana Tech - Enrollment of 11,710 in 2005. Doctoral institution focusing on technical and professional disciplines.

Louisiana Center for the Blind - Training center for blind teenagers and adults operated by the National Federation of the Blind

Culture and Recreation

Most cultural activities are offered by Louisiana Tech. There are many shops downtown that one can visit. There are many restaurants chains and the new eight-screen Celebrity Theater has increased the level of activities in the city of Ruston. Other university-based opportunities exist at Grambling (6 miles) and Monroe (35 miles). Northern Louisiana is largely rural and does not offer the amenities of an urban center.

Early in 2007, the City initiated a plan that will serve as a blueprint for Ruston’s future growth and development. Community engagement resulted in a set of core principles reflecting citizens’ shared values and beliefs. These guiding principles will provide the blueprint for future City projects and initiatives; all planning activities will be designed to ensure that we reach the unifying goals and objectives of our community.

“Ruston 21 will evaluate the assets we have, what we want our community to be, and ways to achieve our goals. It will look citywide at residential development and neighborhoods, recreation planning, transportation issues, economic development, infrastructure concerns, our quality of life, and working collaboratively with Louisiana Tech University,” said Mayor Dan Hollingsworth.


The current mayor is Dan Hollingsworth.


During the Era of Reconstruction, following the Civil War, word soon reached the young parish near what is now Ruston , that the Vicksburg , Shreveport and Pacific Railroad would begin to run across north Louisiana , linking the Deep South with the Wild Wild West. Robert E. Russ donated 640 acres to the town and this area was eventually known as Ruston (shorthand for Russ town). In 1883 commercial and residential lots were created and sold for $375 a piece; and soon the sawing of lumber and clacking of hammers could be heard throughout the area. As the town began to take shape, new churches, businesses, civic organizations and schools were being established. Cotton farming fueled the economy and in 1900 a second railroad, running north and south, was built through Ruston . This brought even more business and industry to the area and the population continued to provide a foundation for the local economy. By the outbreak of World War I in 1917, Ruston was well established as a center for learning, a place of civic pride and as an area of economic prosperity throughout the region. Ruston continued to grow steadily during the post-war prosperity of the late 1940's. The GI Bill, which sent war veterans to college, helped fuel the local economy, causing tremendous growth at the local universities and brought many new families to Ruston . By the late 1950's, it was decided that a new interstate highway was to be built that would run through the northern fringe of the city. Completed by the early 1970's this coast-to-coast highway made Ruston more easily accessible, much as the railroad had done a century before. In the 1980's, the state of Louisiana economy slowed down as the oil industry went into a recession. Ruston , however, continued growing steadily due to the rapid expansion of local colleges, Louisiana Tech and Grambling State . The city also had its centennial celebration during this decade, and emphasis was put on revitalizing the historic downtown district. A joint effort between the city and the Louisiana Main Street Program, the Louisiana Department of Historic Preservation and beautification projects restored Ruston 's historic downtown to the hustling and bustling center of the community. More than 15 historic buildings have been placed on the National Register and has helped draw the community closer to its roots. The city now has a new airport to serve existing business and industry, and the timber, poultry and cattle industries continue to expand. The universities have achieved unparalleled success in many fields and Downtown also continues to offer people a variety of retail shops and fine eateries. The city now stands poised for further growth and prosperity. As Robert E. Russ envisioned, it is a place for friends and neighbors.

Pop Culture References

  • Jack Kerouac references Ruston in his book "On the Road."
  • Ruston is the hometown of Jeff Mangum, frontman of the indie band Neutral Milk Hotel. Jeff Mangum attended Ruston High School and was a DJ at Louisiana Tech's radio station KLPI.
  • Ruston is also the hometown of Robert Schneider, front man of Apples In Stereo. Schneider also attended Ruston High School.

Notable people

  • Ketryn Y. Anderson, clergyman, reared in Ruston


External links



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