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Acadia Parish, Louisiana facts for kids

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Acadia Parish
Parish of Acadia
Acadia Parish Courthouse
Acadia Parish Courthouse
Map of Louisiana highlighting Acadia Parish
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Map of the United States highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
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Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Founded June, 30, 1886
Named for The Acadians
Seat Crowley
Largest city Crowley
Area
 • Total 657 sq mi (1,700 km2)
 • Land 655 sq mi (1,700 km2)
 • Water 2.3 sq mi (6 km2)  0.4%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 57,576
 • Density 87.63/sq mi (33.836/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Acadia Parish (French: Paroisse de l'Acadie) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. At the 2020 U.S. census, the population was 57,576. The parish seat is Crowley. The parish was founded from parts of St. Landry Parish in 1886, and later an election was held to determine the parish seat, ending when Crowley beat Rayne and Prairie Hayes. Acadia Parish is included in the Lafayette metropolitan statistical area.

History

The name of the parish is derived from the former French colony of Acadia in Canada (which consisted of the modern provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and much of Maine) many of whose French-speaking inhabitants were deported to France and then migrated to Louisiana in the Great Upheaval (see Cajuns).

The parish itself was formed from the southwestern portion of St. Landry Parish. On Wednesday May 19, 1886, a bill was introduced in the house entitled "An act to create the parish of Nicholls, and to provide for the organization thereof." The title was later changed to read: "An act to create the parish of Acadia." Father Joseph Anthonioz, the first pastor of the Catholic Church at Rayne, is credited with having suggested the name, Acadia Parish. The bill passed the house on June 11, the senate on June 28, and was approved by Governor Samuel D. McEnery on June 30. On October 6, an election was held to affirm the creation of the parish, with 2,516 votes for and 1,521 votes against the creation. The population of the new parish was anywhere from 10,000 to 12,000. Acadia Parish population in 1890 was 13,231.

After a close election held on March 1, 1887, Crowley was chosen as the parish seat, gathering 698 votes to Rayne's and Prairie Hayes' 560 and 519, respectively. The election also determined the first officers in the parish: Elridge W. Lyons, first sheriff of Acadia, and R. T. Clark, first clerk of court. The first courthouse was therefore constructed in Crowley and completed on June 30, 1888, and continued to be used until May 1, 1902, when it was destroyed to make way for the second building.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 657 square miles (1,700 km2), of which 655 square miles (1,700 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) (0.4%) is water.

Major highways

  • I-10.svg Interstate 10
  • US 90.svg U.S. Highway 90
  • Louisiana 13.svg Louisiana Highway 13
  • Louisiana 35.svg Louisiana Highway 35

Adjacent parishes

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 13,231
1900 23,483 77.5%
1910 31,847 35.6%
1920 34,820 9.3%
1930 39,326 12.9%
1940 46,260 17.6%
1950 47,050 1.7%
1960 49,931 6.1%
1970 52,109 4.4%
1980 56,427 8.3%
1990 55,882 −1.0%
2000 58,861 5.3%
2010 61,773 4.9%
2020 57,576 −6.8%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2013

At the 2010 United States census, 61,773 people were residing in the parish, and 58,861 people at the 2000 United States census. In 2019, the American Community Survey estimated 62,045 people lived in the parish. The 2020 census determined 57,576 people lived in the parish.

According to the 2019 American Community Survey, the racial and ethnic makeup of the parish was 77.4% non-Hispanic white, 17.4% Black and African American, 0.1% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Asian alone, 0.3% some other race, 2.8% two or more races, and 2.6% Hispanic and Latin American of any race. In 2010, 79.5% were White American, 18.1% Black and African American, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.6% some other race, and 1.3% of two or more races; 1.7% were Hispanic or Latin American of any race.

Among the population in 2019, 73.8% were aged 18 and older, and 14.9% aged 65 and older; 7.0% were aged 5 and under. The median age was 36.7, and 27.4% were of French heritage; 9.3% were German, 4.2% English, 4.1% Irish, 0.5% sub-Saharan African, 0.4% Scottish, 0.1% Norwegian, and 0.1% Polish in ancestry. Among the population in 2010, 43.7% were of French, French Canadian or Cajun, 10.8% American, and 8.0% German ancestry. Approximately 10% of the parish spoke a language other than English at home.

There were 22,236 households spread among 26,435 housing units. There was a home-ownership rate of 71.1% with an average of 3.31 people per household; an estimated 32% of the population living in the parish were never married, and 26.2% of households had children under the age of 18 living in them. The median gross rent was $662, and the median household value was $118,000. The median monthly cost with a mortgage was $1,083, and $312 without a mortgage.

An estimated 1,120 businesses operated in the parish, and the median household income was $43,396; the mean income was $61,465. The parish had a 52.6% employment rate, and 24.2% of the total population lived at or below the poverty line in 2019.

National Guard

C Company 3-156TH Infantry Battalion resides in Crowley, Louisiana. As part of the 256th IBCT this unit deployed to Iraq twice, 2004-5 and 2010.

Communities

Map of Acadia Parish Louisiana With Municipal Labels
Map of Acadia Parish, with municipal labels

Cities

Towns

Villages

Census-designated places

Other unincorporated communities

More information on these communities can be found at http://www.acadia.lib.la.us/newpage1.htm

Education

Acadia Parish is served by Acadia Parish Schools.

  • Acadia Parish Head Start - Church Point
  • Church Point Elementary (grades PK-5) (Church Point)
  • Church Point Middle (grades 6-8) (Church Point)
  • Church Point High (grades 9-12) (Church Point)
  • Acadia Parish Head Start - Rayne
  • Central Rayne Kindergarten (grades PK-1) (Rayne)
  • Martin Petitjean Elementary (grades 1-3) (Rayne)
  • South Rayne Elementary (grades 4-5) (Rayne)
  • Armstrong Middle (grades 6-8) (Rayne)
  • Rayne High (grades 9-12) (Rayne)
  • Acadia Parish Head Start - Crowley
  • Crowley Kindergarten (grades PK-K) (Crowley)
  • North Crowley Elementary (grades K-5) (Crowley)
  • Ross Elementary (grades K-5) (Crowley)
  • South Crowley Elementary (grades K-5) (Crowley)
  • Crowley Middle (grades 6-8) (Crowley)
  • Iota Elementary (grades PK-5) (Iota)
  • Iota Middle (grades 6-8) (Iota)
  • Iota High (grades 9-12) (Iota)
  • Acadia Parish Head Start - Estherwood
  • Branch Elementary (grades PK-8) (Branch)
  • Egan Elementary (grades PK-8) (Egan)
  • Estherwood Elementary (grades PK-7) (Estherwood)
  • Evangeline Elementary (grades PK-8) (Evangeline)
  • Mermentau Elementary (grades PK-7) (Mermentau)
  • Mire Elementary (grades PK-8) (unincorporated Rayne)
  • Morse Elementary (grades PK-7) (Morse)
  • Richard Elementary (grades PK-8) (unincorporated Church Point)
  • Crowley High (grades 9-12) (unincorporated Crowley)
  • Midland High (grades 8-12) (unincorporated Midland)

Acadia Parish is also served by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette with five schools:

  • St. Francis School (grades PK-8) (Iota)
  • Rayne Catholic Elementary School (grades PK-8) (Rayne)
  • St. Michael Elementary School (grades PK-8) (Crowley)
  • Our Mother of Peace Elementary School (grades PK-8) (Church Point)
  • Notre Dame High School (grades 9-12) (Crowley)

Additionally, Acadia Parish is served by one unaffiliated private school:

  • Northside Christian School (grades PK-12) (Crowley)

Acadia Parish is served by two institutions of higher education:

  • Louisiana State University, Eunice (Eunice)
  • South Louisiana Community College service area: Acadian Campus (Crowley)

Acadia Parish Library operates branches in the parish.

Notable people

  • Bill Cleveland, Crowley real estate developer and member of both houses of Louisiana state legislature from 1944 to 1964; defeated for third term in state senate in 1964 by Edwin Edwards
  • Francis Dugas, state representative from Lafourche Parish from 1956 to 1960, was born in Rayne in Acadia Parish in 1919.
  • Paul B. Freeland coauthored Acadia Parish, Louisiana: A History to 1900. His collection of photographs and memorabilia of the Crowley area can be accessed from the archives of the Acadia Parish Library in Crowley.
  • George Stanley, sculptor for the design of the Oscar statue and the Muse Sculpture at the Hollywood Bowl
  • Mary Alice Fontenot, journalist and author of children's books and books on Louisiana history
  • Sidney Brown, a musician from Church Point (28 October 1906 - 6 August 1981) who was known as one of the first accordion makers and repairmen in Louisiana. Brown also has the distinction of having recorded the third-best selling Cajun music album of all-time (Noir Chaussette's "Two Step/Pestauche Taunte Na Na").
  • John Breaux, a retired U.S. Senator, is a native of Acadia Parish.
  • Edwin Edwards, a former Louisiana governor (four terms), lived and worked in Acadia Parish for many years. His political career began on the Crowley City Council.
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