Vernon Parish, Louisiana: Wikis

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

1,342 sq mi (3,474 km²)
1,328 sq mi (3,441 km²)
13 sq mi (34 km²), 0.98%
Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

52,531
40/sq mi (15/km²)
Founded March 30, 1871
Named for Mount Vernon
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Vernon Parish (French: Paroisse de Vernon) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Leesville and as of 2000, the population was 52,531.

Vernon Parish is part of the Fort Polk South Micropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Fort Polk South–DeRidder Combined Statistical Area.

Contents

History

On March 30, 1871, the Louisiana General Assembly passed an act designating the creation of Vernon Parish, by taking territory from the parishes of Natchitoches, Rapides, and Sabine. There are four stories surrounding the naming of the Parish, none of which have any authentic records as proof. The first is that it was named in honor of Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington. The second claims that it was named after a race horse owned by Joe Moore, one of the members of the committee chosen to name the parish, who claimed that by naming the parish after his fast horse the committee would insure the growth of the parish to be as fast as his horse. The third was that it was named after a popular teacher who had been an officer in the Royal Navy, only mentioned as "Mr. Vernon". This was not to honor him, but to avoid disputes among the parish founders whom each wanted to name the parish after themselves. The final story is similar to the second and claims that the committee had been arguing over the name while drinking in a store, and in an attempt to preserve his precious whiskey and profits, the host suggested the committee stop a local man with a mule pulling a cart and that they should name the parish whatever the man said. The man answered them "I calls him Vernon, 'cause he's the fastes' mule in de country."[1] Originally the area comprising Vernon was apart of a tract of land that was in dispute between the United States and Spain, this land was called the "Neutral Strip." As a result of this dispute the area became a haven for outlaws. Prior to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the only persons who came to the area were a few French and Spanish settlers. It was also during this period that Dr. Burr established the community of Burr Ferry. This community was known as the "Gateway to Louisiana". Also located near this community, there still stands an artillery site (now called the "Confederate Breast Works"), which was manned by the Confederacy to guard against Union movements along the "’Nolan Trace" during the Civil War.

Vernon Parish Map, 1895.[2]

Leesville has been the parish seat of Vernon since the parish was created, though it wasn't incorporated until February 15, 1900. The city, although founded by Dr. Edmund E. Smart, was named by Senator R. Smart, his father, in honor of General Robert E. Lee. At the time of Leesville's founding, the site was the home of a plantation owned by Dr. Smart. The house from that plantation may still be found today at the corner of Lula and First street.

In the late 1890s the timber industry, which was the dominant industry in the parish from its creation, began to boom with the arrival of the Kansas City Southern Railway in 1897, which is still in operation today.

In the period after World War I, Vernon became the site of two socialist based communities; the Llano Del Rio Cooperative Colony[3] (which became New Llano) established in 1917 and the Christian Commonwealth Colony. These colonies attempted to attract economists and sociologists for the purpose of conducting an experiment in communal membership and the sharing of labor duties. Of the two colonies the Llano Del Rio was the largest with over 10,000 people and was also the longest surviving community. Both colonies failed in the 1930s when the depression hit.

In 1941, the United States Army opened Camp Polk, shortly after the 1939-40 maneuvers. Camp Polk quickly surpassed the timber industry as the dominant force in the parish's economy, which became evident in the parish seat of Leesville when its population jumped from 3,500 to 18,000 after the camp opened. The Camp receives its name from Leonidas Polk, the first Episcopal Bishop in Louisiana, known as the "Fighting Bishop of the Confederacy" and served as one of the major training camps during World War II. Today, now called Fort Polk is the 5th largest military installation in the nation, containing approximately 200,000 acres (800 km²). With the constant movement of soldiers and their dependents in and out of the parish. Vernon experiences a unique blend of culture from numerous states and countries creating a true "melting pot."[4] Hodges Gardens??? Fullerton Sawmill ghost town???

Geography

The parish has a total area of 1,342 square miles (3,474 km²), of which, 1,328 square miles (3,441 km²) of it is land and 13 square miles (34 km²) of it (0.98%) is water.

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Major highways

Adjacent parishes and counties

National protected area

Demographics

Census Pop.  %±
1900 10,327
1910 17,384 68.3%
1920 20,493 17.9%
1930 20,047 −2.2%
1940 19,142 −4.5%
1950 18,974 −0.9%
1960 18,301 −3.5%
1970 53,794 193.9%
1980 53,475 −0.6%
1990 61,961 15.9%
2000 52,531 −15.2%
Est. 2006 46,748 [5] −11.0%
Vernon Parish Census Data[6]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 52,531 people, 18,260 households, and 13,713 families residing in the parish. The population density was 40 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 21,030 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 73.70% White, 17.06% Black or African American, 1.46% Native American, 1.58% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 2.50% from other races, and 3.40% from two or more races. 5.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 18,260 households out of which 42.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.20% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.90% were non-families. 22.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the parish the population was spread out with 29.10% under the age of 18, 14.70% from 18 to 24, 31.40% from 25 to 44, 16.80% from 45 to 64, and 7.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 109.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.70 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $31,216, and the median income for a family was $34,680. Males had a median income of $26,451 versus $20,417 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $14,036. About 12.20% of families and 15.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.60% of those under age 18 and 14.80% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

Map of Vernon Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

Notable natives and residents

  • Michael P. Hein, of Leesville, was a former elementary school student, 1989-1991; moved to Orlando, FL and following his 1st year at the University of Central Florida (where he was a member of the Eta Rho Chapter of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity{2001}) he joined the United States Marine Corps. Following his stint in the U.S. Marine Corps (2001-2007), Corporal Hein returned home, completed his B.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida (2008) and is now living in Tampa, FL. His decorations include the Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Select Marine Corps Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Force Reserve Medal (w/2M device), Navy Sea Service Deployment (w/cluster). Michael can be contacted by searching for him on his Facebook page!

Education

See also

References

  1. ^ All four found in "Tall Pines II: A History of Vernon Parish, Louisiana and its People" / Wise, Erbon, Library Of Congress # 87-51644
  2. ^ The map may be found at this website, and is the result of the hard work of Pam Rietsch.
  3. ^ Not to be confused with the Llano Del Rio established in Antelope Valley, California in 1915 and abandoned in 1917.
  4. ^ Information in the History section is a composite of information found on the Center for Cultural Eco-Tourism website and the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce Website.
  5. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Vernon Parish Quickfacts". http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/22/22115.html. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  6. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Louisiana Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". http://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/la190090.txt. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Obituary of Bryan A. Poston, Sr.". Shreveport Times, October 4, 2009. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/shreveporttimes/obituary.aspx?n=bryan-a-poston&pid=133871227. Retrieved October 4, 2009. 

External links

Coordinates: 31°07′N 93°11′W / 31.11°N 93.19°W / 31.11; -93.19


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

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Vernon Parish, Louisiana
Map
File:Map of Louisiana highlighting Vernon Parish.png
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the USA highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the USA
Statistics
Founded March 30, 1871
Seat Leesville
Largest City Leesville
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

 sq mikm²)
 sq mi ( km²)
 sq mi ( km²), 0.98%
wikipedia:Population
 - (2000)
 - Density

52531
Time zone Central : UTC-6/-5
Named for: Mount Vernon

Vernon Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Leesville and as of 2000, the population was 52,531.

Vernon Parish is best known for Fort Polk, a large Army base located near Leesville.

It is also the birthplace of veteran Republican Congressman James O. "Jim" McCrery, III. He was born in Leesville in 1949.

While the parish trends Republican in competitive elections, most of the local officials are Democrats, but party ideology has little importance in local (parish) politics.

Contents

History

On March 30, 1871, the Louisiana General Assembly passed an act designating the creation of Vernon Parish, to be named in honor of Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington, by taking territory from the parishes of Natchitoches, Rapides, and Sabine. Originally the area comprising Vernon was apart of a tract of land that was indispute between the United States and Spain, this land was called the "Neutral Strip." As a result of this dispute the area became a haven for outlaws. Prior to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the only persons who came to the area were a few French and Spanish settlers. It was also during this periood that Dr. Burr established the community of Burr Ferry. This community was known as the "Gateway to Louisiana". Also located near this community, there still stands an artillery site (now called the "Confederate Breast Works"), which was manned by the Confederacy to guard against Union movements along the "’Nolan Trace" during the Civil War.

Vernon Parish Map, 1895.[1]
Leesville has been the parish seat of Vernon since the parish was created, though it wasn't incorporated until February 15, 1900. The city, although founded by Dr. Edmund E. Smart, was named by Senator R. Smart, his father, in honor of General Robert E. Lee. At the time of Leesville's founding, the site was the home of a plantation owned by Dr. Smart. The house from that plantation may still be found today at the corner of Lula and First street.

In the late 1890's the timber industry, which was the dominant industry in the parish from its creation, began to boom with the arrival of the Kansas City Southern Railway in 1897, which is still in operation today.

In the period after World War I, Vernon became the site of two socialist based communities; the Llano del Rio Cooperative Colony[2] (which became New Llano) established in 1917 and the Christian Commonwealth Colony. These colonies attempted to attract economists and sociologists for the purpose of conducting an experiment in communal membership and the sharing of labor duties. Of the two colonies the Llano del Rio was the largest with over 10,000 people and was also the longest surviving community. Both colonies failed in the 1930's when the depression hit.

In 1941, the United States Army opened Camp Polk, shortly after the 1939-40 maneuvers. Camp Polk quickly surpassed the timber industry as the dominant force in the parish's economy, which became evident in the parish seat of Leesville when its population jumped from 3,500 to 18,000 after the camp opened. The Camp receives its name from Leonidas Polk, the first Episcopal Bishop in Louisiana, known as the "Fighting Bishop of the Confederacy" and served as one of the major training camps during World War II. Today, now called Fort Polk is the 5th largest military installation in the nation, containing approximately 200,000 acres (800 km²). With the constant movement of soldiers and their dependents in and out of the parish. Vernon experiences a unique blend of culture from numerous states and countries creating a true "melting pot."[3]

Geography

The parish has a total area of 3,474 km² (1,342 sq mi). 3,441 km² (1,328 sq mi) of it is land and 34 km² (13 sq mi) of it (0.98%) is water.

Major Highways

Adjacent parishes and counties

Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 52,531 people, 18,260 households, and 13,713 families residing in the parish. The population density was 15/km² (40/sq mi). There were 21,030 housing units at an average density of 6/km² (16/sq mi). The racial makeup of the parish was 73.70% White, 17.06% Black or African American, 1.46% Native American, 1.58% Asian, 0.30% Pacific Islander, 2.50% from other races, and 3.40% from two or more races. 5.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 18,260 households out of which 42.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.20% were married couples living together, 10.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.90% were non-families. 22.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the parish the population was spread out with 29.10% under the age of 18, 14.70% from 18 to 24, 31.40% from 25 to 44, 16.80% from 45 to 64, and 7.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 109.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.70 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $31,216, and the median income for a family was $34,680. Males had a median income of $26,451 versus $20,417 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $14,036. About 12.20% of families and 15.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.60% of those under age 18 and 14.80% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

Map of Vernon Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

Notes

  1. ^ The map may be found at this website, and is the result of the hard work of Pam Rietsch.
  2. ^ Not to be confused with the {{subst:#ifexist:Llano del Rio|[[Llano del Rio|]]|[[Wikipedia:Llano del Rio|]]}} established in {{subst:#ifexist:Antelope Valley|[[Antelope Valley|]]|[[Wikipedia:Antelope Valley|]]}}, {{subst:#ifexist:California|[[California|]]|[[Wikipedia:California|]]}} in 1914 and abandoned in 1917.
  3. ^ Information in the History section is a composite of information found on the Center for Cultural Eco-Tourism website and the Greater Vernon Parish Chamber of Commerce Website.

Coordinates: 31°07′N 93°11′W / 31.11, -93.19


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Vernon 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 Vernon Parish, LouisianaRDF feed
County names Vernon Parish, Louisiana  +
County of country United States  +
County of subdivision1 Louisiana  +
Short name Vernon Parish  +

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

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