Natchitoches Parish (French: Paroisse des Natchitoches or Les Natchitoches) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 39,566. The parish seat is Natchitoches. The parish was formed in 1805.
Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
|Parish of Natchitoches|
|Founded||April 10, 1805|
|Named for||Natchitoches people|
|Largest municipality||Ashland (area)|
|• Total||3,360 km2 (1,299 sq mi)|
|• Land||3,240 km2 (1,252 sq mi)|
|• Water||120 km2 (47 sq mi)|
|• percentage||9 km2 (3.6 sq mi)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||LA: 30th|
|• Density||12/km2 (30/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Website||Natchitoches Parish Government|
The Natchitoches, LA Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Natchitoches Parish. This is the heart of the Cane River Louisiana Creole community, free people of color of mixed-race descent who settled here in the antebellum period. Their descendants continue to be Catholic and many are still French-speaking. The Cane River National Heritage Area includes the parish. Among the numerous significant historic sites in the parish is the St. Augustine Parish (Isle Brevelle) Church, a destination on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, founded in 2008.
Including extensive outbuildings at Magnolia and Oakland plantations, the Cane River Creole National Historical Park interprets the history and culture of the Louisiana Creoles. It is also on the Heritage Trail.
Natchitoches Parish was created by the act of April 10, 1805 that divided the Territory of Orleans into 12 parishes, including Orleans, Iberville, Rapides and Natchitoches. The parish boundaries were much larger than now defined, but were gradually reduced as new parishes were organized following population increases in the state. The parishes of Caddo, Claiborne, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Bienville, Jackson, Sabine, Red River, Winn, and Grant were eventually formed from Natchitoches' enormous territory. Natchitoches Parish has had fifteen border revisions, making it second only to Ouachita parish in number of boundary revisions.
During the antebellum period, numerous large cotton plantations were developed in this area, worked by enslaved African Americans. The parish population was majority black and enslaved by the time of the Civil War. There was also a large mixed-race population of free Creoles of color. Among the institutions they founded was the St. Augustine Parish (Isle Brevelle) Church, built in 1829. It is a destination on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail.
In May 1861 free men of color in the area known as Isle Brevelle began to organize two militia companies. Other free men of color of Campti and that area enlisted in the Confederate Army later in the war; and it is believed that they were accepted into a predominately white company because of their longstanding acceptance in the community. Many of the free people of color were related to longtime white families in the parish, who acknowledged them.
After the war, during Reconstruction and after, there was white violence against freedmen and their sympathizers blacks in the aftermath of emancipation and establishing a free labor system. Most planters continued to rely on cotton as a commodity crop, although the market declined, adding to area problems. In the late 19th century, a timber industry developed in some areas.
Since the late 20th century, the parish has developed considerable heritage tourism. It also attracts people for fishing and other sports, including spring training on Cane River Lake by several university teams.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 1,299 square miles (3,360 km2), of which 1,252 square miles (3,240 km2) is land and 47 square miles (120 km2) (3.6%) is water. It is the fourth-largest parish by land area in Louisiana. The primary groundwater resources of Natchitoches Parish, from near surface to deepest, include the Red River alluvial, upland terrace, Sparta, and Carrizo-Wilcox aquifers.
|Cane River Creole National Historical Park|
|Kisatchie National Forest (part)|
|Red River National Wildlife Refuge (part)|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American (non-Hispanic)||14,857||39.6%|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,490||3.97%|
As of the 2020 United States census, there were 37,515 people, 14,659 households, and 7,538 families residing in the parish.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 39,566 people living in the parish. 54.3% were White, 41.4% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.9% of some other race and 2.1% of two or more races. 1.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 39,080 people, 14,263 households, and 9,499 families living in the parish. The population density was 31 people per square mile (12/km2). There were 16,890 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the parish was 57.85% White, 38.43% Black or African American (42 percent in 2010), 1.08% Native American, 0.44% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.92% from other races, and 1.27% from two or more races. 1.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 14,263 households, out of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.30% were married couples living together, 17.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% were non-families. 27.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the parish the population was spread out, with 26.00% under the age of 18, 17.90% from 18 to 24, 24.30% from 25 to 44, 19.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 90.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.80 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $25,722, and the median income for a family was $32,816. Males had a median income of $29,388 versus $19,234 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $13,743. About 20.90% of families and 26.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.70% of those under age 18 and 19.00% of those age 65 or over.
Until the late 20th century, Natchitoches Parish was reliably Democratic in most competitive elections. But the party affiliations have changed, and like most of the Deep South, have a distinct ethnic and demographic character. Since African Americans achieved certain gains under civil rights legislation and have been enabled to vote again since the late 1960s, they have supported the Democratic Party. Most white conservatives have left that party, and affiliated with the Republican Party, as has been obvious in parish results in presidential elections since 2000. These results reflect the demographic breakdown of the parish, where whites comprise a slight majority.
The last Democrat to win in Natchitoches Parish at the presidential level was native son of the South, Bill Clinton from Arkansas in 1996, who received 8,296 votes (54.7 percent), compared to Republican Robert J. Dole's 5,471 ballots (36.1 percent). Ross Perot of the Reform Party attracted 1,053 votes (6.9 percent).
In his first and disputed election of 2000, Bush topped then Vice President Al Gore in Natchitoches Parish, 7,332 (49.4 percent) to 6,924 (46.6 percent). Patrick J. Buchanan as the Reform Party nominee, received 271 votes (1.8 percent).
U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona won Natchitoches Parish over Barack Obama in the 2008 general election, 9,054 votes (53.1 percent) to 7,801 votes (45.7 percent). The 2004 presidential results in Natchitoches Parish were similar to those of 2008 and 2012, with U.S. President George W. Bush prevailing over U.S. Senator John F. Kerry, 9,261 (54.6 percent) to 7,398 (43.6 percent).
In 2012, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won the parish with 9,077 votes (52.6 percent) to U.S. President Barack Obama's 7,942 votes (46 percent). At the parish-level, former State Representative Rick Nowlin, a Republican, became the first elected president of the new Natchitoches Parish government, which replaces the former Natchitoches Parish Police Jury system. Nowlin received 9,283 votes (59.2 percent) to the Democrat Gerald "Jerry" Longlois' 6,393 (40.8 percent). Natchitoches Parish cast 73 percent of its ballots for Republican U.S. Representative John Fleming, who faced opposition only from a Libertarian Party candidate.
Parish schools include: Cloutierville Elementary & Junior High School, East Natchitoches Elementary & Middle High School, Fairview Alpha Elementary & Junior High School, Frankie Ray Jackson, Sr. Technical Center, George L. Parks Elementary & Junior High School, Goldonna Elementary & Junior High School, L.P. Vaughn Elementary & Junior High School, Lakeview High School, M.R. Weaver Elementary, Marthaville Elementary & Junior High School, Natchitoches Central High School, Natchitoches Magnet School, NSU Elementary Laboratory School, NSU Middle Laboratory School, and Provencal Elementary & Junior High School.
It is in the service area of Bossier Parish Community College.
|Assessor||Dollie C. Mahoney|
|School Board Superintendent||Grant Eloi|
A Troop 2-108TH CAV is headquartered in behind the local college and the airport. This unit has deployed twice to Iraq, first as part of the 1-156TH Armor Battalion in 2004-2005 and then as part of the 2-108TH CAV SQDN in 2010. Both times this company sized element deployed with the 256th Infantry Brigade.
|Natchitoches Parish Detention Center||299 Edwina Dr., Natchitoches, Louisiana||71457||16+|