St. Landry Parish, Louisiana: Wikis

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Saint Landry Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting Saint Landry Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Seat Opelousas
Largest city Opelousas
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

939 sq mi (2,432 km²)
929 sq mi (2,405 km²)
10 sq mi (26 km²), 1.08%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

87,700
94/sq mi (36/km²)
Founded 1807
Named for Saint Landry
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

St. Landry Parish (French: Paroisse de Saint-Landry) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is at the heart of Acadian/Cajun culture and heritage in Louisiana. The parish seat is Opelousas. In 2000, the population of the parish was 87,700. As of 2008, the population estimate was 92,178.

St. Landry Parish is part of the Opelousas–Eunice Micropolitan Statistical Area as well as the LafayetteAcadiana Combined Statistical Area.

Contents

History

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French and Spanish Territory

The land which became St. Landry Parish was inhabited since at least 10,500 B.C., as deduced from excavations of three prehistoric dwelling sites. By the 15th century, the Appalousa Indians settled in the area situated between Atchafalaya River and Sabine River (at the border of Texas-Louisiana). The Appalousa were a warlike tribe, preying on their neighbors to keep their own territory.

The first European recorded in the Appalousa territory was the French trader Michel de Birotte. He came in 1690 and negotiated with the Appalousa nation. Nine years later in 1699, France named Louisiana as a colony and defined the land occupied by the Appalousa as the Opelousas Territory. The area south of the Opelousas Territory between the Atchafalaya River, the Gulf of Mexico and Bayou Nezpique, occupied by the Attakapas Indians (Eastern Atakapa), was named Attakapas Territory.

In 1720 France established the Opelousas Post slightly north of the contemporary city of Opelousas.[1] It was a major trading organization for the developing area. In addition France established the Attakapas Post (near the present St Martinville) in the Attakapas Territory. France gave land grants to soldiers and settlers to encourage development. Most settlers were French immigrants. Tradition holds that Jean Joseph LeKintrek and Joseph Blainpain, who had formed a partnership to trade with the Opelousas Indians, came in the early 1740s. They brought with them three enslaved Africans, the first Africans to live in the area.

Some natives sold pieces of land to the settlers. After the Eastern Attakapas Chief Kinemo sold all the land between Vermilion River and Bayou Teche to the Frenchman Gabriel Fuselier de la Claire in 1760, the Opelousas exterminated the Attakapas (Eastern Atakapa).

France ceded Louisiana and its territories to Spain in 1762. Under Spanish rule, Opelousas Post was established as the center of government for Southwest Louisiana. By 1769 about 100 families were living in Opelousas Post. Between 1780 and 1820, the first settlers were joined by others coming from the Attakapas Territory, from the Pointe Coupée Territory, and east from the Atchafalaya River area. They were joined by immigrants from the French West Indies, who left after Haiti/St. Domingue became independent in a revolution by the slaves and free people of color. Most of the new settlers were French, Spaniards, French Creoles, Spanish Creoles, Africans and African Americans.

The group coming from Attakapas Post included many Acadians. These Acadians were French who migrated from Nova Scotia in 1763, after expulsion by the English in the aftermath of the defeat of France in the Seven Years' War (known in North America as the French and Indian Wars). They were led by Jean Jacques Blaise d’Abbadie. Jean Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie was Governor of the territory from 1763 to 1765. The French community built St Landry Catholic Church in 1774, dedicated to St. Landry, the Bishop of Paris in the 7th century.[2]

On April 10, 1805, after the US acquired the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the post was named as the town of Opelousas and established as the seat of St Landry Parish.

Purchase by the United States

The United States gained control of the territory in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase. Americans from the South and other parts of the United States began to migrate to the area, marking the rrival of the first large English-speaking population and the introduction of the need for more general use of English.[1]

St. Landry Parish was officially established on April 10, 1805 by a legislative act, becoming the largest parish in the Louisiana state. The new parish was named after the Catholic Church located near the Opelousas Post. The church had been named in honor of St. Landry, the Bishop of Parish in 650. [1] The parish's boundaries encompassed about half the land of the Opelousas Territory, between the Atchafalaya River and Sabine River, between Rapides Parish and Vernon Parish, and Lafayette and St. Martin Parishes. Since then, the area of the parish has decreased, as six additional parishes have been created from its territory. These include Calcasieu, Acadia, Evangeline, Jeff Davis, Beauregard, and Allen.[1]

In 1821 the second educational institution west of the Mississippi was founded in Grand Coteau. In this community south of Opelousas is the Academy of the Sacred Heart, a private Catholic school founded by the French Creole community.[3]

The city of Opelousas has been the seat of government for the St Landry Parish since its formation.[1] After Baton Rouge fell to the Union troops during the Civil War in 1862, Opelousas became the state capital for nine months. The capital was moved again in 1863, this time to Shreveport when Union troops occupied Opelousas.[4][5]

Geography

The St. Landry Parish has a total area of 939 square miles (2,432 km²), of which, 929 square miles (2,405 km²) of it is land and 10 square miles (26 km²) of it (1.08%) is water.

Adjacent parishes

National protected areas

Major highways

Demographics

Census Pop.  %±
1900 52,906
1910 66,661 26.0%
1920 51,697 −22.4%
1930 60,074 16.2%
1940 71,481 19.0%
1950 78,476 9.8%
1960 81,493 3.8%
1970 80,364 −1.4%
1980 84,128 4.7%
1990 80,331 −4.5%
2000 87,700 9.2%
Est. 2006 91,528 [6] 4.4%
St. Landry Parish Census Data[7]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 87,700 people, 32,328 households, and 23,211 families residing in the parish. The population density was 94 people per square mile (36/km²). There were 36,216 housing units at an average density of 39 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 56.51% White, 42.13% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 0.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.7% reported speaking French or Cajun French at home.[9]

There were 32,328 households out of which 36.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.30% were married couples living together, 17.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 25.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the parish the population was spread out with 29.50% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 21.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.80 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $22,855, and the median income for a family was $28,908. Males had a median income of $29,458 versus $18,473 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $12,042. About 24.70% of families and 29.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.70% of those under age 18 and 27.50% of those age 65 or over.

Municipalities and communities

Map of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

Cities

Towns

See also

References

Resources

  • Jack Claude Nezat The Nezat And Allied Families 1630-2007 Lulu 2007 ISBN 978-2-9528339-2-9, ISBN 978-0-615-15001-7

The author is one of the descendants of "Alexandre of Attakapas", Nezat Alexandre, born 1781 in Attakapas Post and died 1824 (Source Hebert).

External links

Geology

Coordinates: 30°36′N 92°00′W / 30.60°N 92.00°W / 30.60; -92.00


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

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Saint Landry Parish, Louisiana
Map
File:Map of Louisiana highlighting Saint Landry Parish.png
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the USA highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded 1807
Seat Opelousas
Largest City Opelousas
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 1.08%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

87700
Time zone Central : UTC-6/-5
Named for: Saint Landry

St. Landry Parish (French: Paroisse de Saint-Landry) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Opelousas. In 2000, the population of the parish was 87,700. As of 2006, the population estimate is 91,528.

Contents

History

French and Spanish Territory

The land which became St. Landry has been inhabited since at least 10,500 B.C., as deducted from three prehistoric dwelling sites that have been excavated in the parish. In the 16th century the Atakapa Indians settled in the area.[1] The Attapakas were a warlike tribe, often praying on their neighbors, the Opelousas Indians, the Choctaws, and the Alabamans. The three neighboring tribes united against the Attakapas, almost destroying the tribe and driving them from their lands in Louisiana. The Opelousas then gained control over the territory.[2]

According to local legend, the first white man to reach the land of St. Landry Parish was a French trader named Michel de Birotte, who negotiated with the Opelousas Indians about 1690. Several years later, the French government of Louisiana established the Poste des Opelousas in the territory, which quickly became a stopping point for people travelling overland from New Orleans to Natchitoches.[1] Although St. Landry Parish is a governmental unit of civil administration, its name comes from a Catholic church parish. The main church serving the needs of the civil parish in the mid to late 1700's was named St. Landry Catholic Church. The 7th century saint Landry was a bishop of Paris.[3]

In the early 1740s the area welcomed its first non-military settlers, Jean Joseph LeKintrek and Joseph Blainpain, who had formed a parternship to trade with the Opelousas Indians, and arrived with their three African slaves, the first Africans to live in the area.

Three years after taking the territory of Louisiana from France, in 1765, the Spanish built a military and trade post at Opelousas, which became the governing center for the entire southwestern part of Louisiana. The large garrison was established slightly north of the modern-day city of Opelousas.[1] Despite the fact that neither the French nor Spanish actively encouraged settlement in the area, by 1769 about 100 families were living near the Opelousas Post. Some of them were soldiers from Spain, Italy and Switzerland who had originally arrived as part of the Spanish military, while others had arrived from England, Scotland, Ireland, and Germany, and a large group of French-speaking Acadian exiles had settles along the banks of the bayous in the area.[4]

Property of the United States

The United States gained control of the territory in 1803 through the Louisiana Purchase, and Americans from various parts of the United States began to migrate to the area, marking the first time that English was used in any widespread way in the area.[1]

St. Landry Parish was officially established by a legislative act approved on April 10, 1805 from the central part of the former Opelousas County, becoming the largest parish in the state. The new parish was named after the Catholic Church located near the Opelousas Post, which was itself named for St. Landry, the Bishop of Parish in 650 A.D.[1] At this time, the parish's boundaries encompassed all of the land between the Atchafalaya and Sabine rivers and between Rapides Parish and Vernon Parish and Lafayette and St. Martin Parishes. In the intervening years the parish has grown smaller, as six additional parishes were created from its territory. These include Calcasieu, Acadia, Evangeline, Jeff Davis, Beauregard, and Allen.[1]

The city of Opelousas has been the seat of government for the parish since its formation.[1] After [[Wikipedia:Baton Rouge, Louisiana|]]Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif fell to the Union troops during the Civil War in 1862, Opelousas became the state capital for nine months. The capital was moved again in 1863, this time to Shreveport when Union troops occupied Opelousas.[5] [2]

Reconstruction was not kind to the area, and in 1868 between 25 and 50 blacks were killed in town when residents rioted against the conditions. This has been cited as one of the worst examples of Reconstruction violence in south Louisiana.[2]

St. Landry Parish became a haven for refugees in May 1927, when heavy rains in northern and midwestern areas caused intense flooding in areas downstream, especially after levees near Moreauville, Cecilia and Melville collapsed. Over 81% of St. Landry Parish suffered some flooding, with 77% of the inhabitants affected. People in more southern areas of Louisiana, especially those communities along Bayou Teche, were forced to flee their homes for areas which suffered less damage. By May 20th, over 5700 refugees were registered as being in Opelousas, which at that time had a population of only 6000 people. When all communities in St. Landry Parish were counted, it was estimated that the parish housed over 21,000 refugees.[6]

Geography

The parish has a total area of 2,432 km² (939 sq mi). 2,405 km² (929 sq mi) of it is land and 26 km² (10 sq mi) of it (1.08%) is water.

Major Highways

Adjacent parishes

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 87,700 people, 32,328 households, and 23,211 families residing in the parish. The population density was 36/km² (94/sq mi). There were 36,216 housing units at an average density of 15/km² (39/sq mi). The racial makeup of the parish was 56.51% White, 42.13% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 0.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 16.7% reported speaking French or Cajun French at home.[1]

There were 32,328 households out of which 36.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.30% were married couples living together, 17.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.20% were non-families. 25.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the parish the population was spread out with 29.50% under the age of 18, 9.20% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 21.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.80 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $22,855, and the median income for a family was $28,908. Males had a median income of $29,458 versus $18,473 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $12,042. About 24.70% of families and 29.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.70% of those under age 18 and 27.50% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

Map of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Hartley, Carola (2003). Imperial St. Landry Parish. LAGenWeb. Retrieved on 2007-03-21.
  2. ^ a b c Opelousas Facts and History. City of Opelousas. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  3. ^ http://www.landrystuff.com/st_landericus.htm
  4. ^ Opelousas. St Landry Parish Tourist Commission. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  5. ^ Opelousas and St. Landry Parish. Louisiana State University - Eunice. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  6. ^ Speyrer, John A.. 1927 High Water in St. Landry Parish. Speyrer Family Association Newsletter. Retrieved on 2007-03-21.

External links

Coordinates: 30°36′N 92°00′W / 30.60, -92.00


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
Facts about St. Landry Parish, LouisianaRDF feed
County names St. Landry Parish, Louisiana  +
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Louisiana  +
Short name Saint Landry Parish  +

This article uses material from the "St. Landry Parish, Louisiana" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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