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Ashland, Louisiana
Village of Ashland
Ashland Village Hall is located next to the United States Post Office building
Ashland Village Hall is located next to the United States Post Office building
Location of Ashland in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Ashland in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Natchitoches
Incorporated 1963
 • Total 27.15 sq mi (70.31 km2)
 • Land 26.99 sq mi (69.90 km2)
 • Water 0.16 sq mi (0.42 km2)
226 ft (69 m)
 • Total 194
 • Rank NC: 7th
 • Density 7.19/sq mi (2.78/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Area code 318
FIPS code 22-03145
GNIS feature ID 2407410

Ashland is a village in the northernmost portion of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. A few residences and a convenience store to the north spill over into neighboring Bienville Parish. The population was 291 at the 2000 census but declined 9 percent to 269 in 2010. The median age was 45.7 years. Ashland is part of the Natchitoches Micropolitan Statistical Area but is located nearly forty miles to the north of the parish seat of Natchitoches.

The Ashland mayor is Donna Holland Horn. The village council consists of two No Party members, Juanita Calhoun and Dorie Harp, and a Republican, Terry Chesser. The police chief is Fred Holland, a Democrat. All of the Ashland town officials were unopposed for new terms in the primary election held on October 2, 2010.

On September 2, 2011, a forest fire destroyed ten houses between Ashland and Creston, but residents escaped personal injury. According to Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Mike Strain, the blaze scorched several thousand acres and was propelled by past drought conditions combined with high winds coming from the aftermath of Tropical Storm Lee in the Gulf of Mexico.


The regional railroad, the Louisiana and Arkansas Railway (1898–1992), owned by William Buchanan, William Edenborn, and later Harvey C. Couch, came through Ashland in 1899. A turntable was constructed on land that was subdivided by Andrew R. Johnson, an Alabama native. Johnson named the community in 1901 after his former city of residence, Ashland in northern Wisconsin. There was a railroad passenger and freight station, equipped with a platform for lifting cotton into the cars. Railroad cross ties were also manufactured in Ashland.

Cotton and corn were the principal crops in Ashland at the turn of the 20th century. The pioneers of Ashland are described in a history penned by H. Welborn Ayres as "fiercely independent", having refused an offer of government grain assistance during the 1896-1898 drought. Joe A. Pullig (1849–1926) operated a general store, later in partnership with William McCain. Pullig's business was near the newly opened United States Post Office, which was managed by the postmaster D. F. "Dave" Williams. Mail at the time reached Ashland by the bayou at Lake Village five miles (8 km) to the west. There was also a Carlile Hotel, long since demolished, which was owned by Tom and Duck Carlile and located east of the railroad track.

No businesses except the convenience store in Bienville Parish exist in Ashland today though there were a half dozen in the 1950s. The Ashland Baptist Church, Village Hall, Masonic lodge hall, and Post Office remain the principal entities. The lack of business in 1979 compelled Welborn Ayres to equate Ashland with "The Deserted Village" of the Oliver Goldsmith poem.

In 2001, Ashland celebrated its centennial with a spring festival, still held during the last weekend of March.


Ashland is located at 32°6′59″N 93°6′53″W / 32.11639°N 93.11472°W / 32.11639; -93.11472 (32.116429, -93.114751).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 27.1 square miles (70 km2). 27.1 square miles (70 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.07%) is water.


Climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Ashland has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Climate data for Ashland, Louisiana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 13.3
Average low °C (°F) 0.6
Precipitation mm (inches) 124
Source: Weatherbase


Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 211
1980 289 37.0%
1990 289 0.0%
2000 291 0.7%
2010 269 −7.6%
Est. 2015 263 −2.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 291 people, 121 households, and 87 families residing in the village. The population density was 10.7 inhabitants per square mile (4.1/km²). There were 149 housing units at an average density of 5.5 per square mile (2.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 86.60% White, 10.31% African American, 2.41% Native American and 0.69% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.72% of the population.

There were 121 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.88.

Revised, New Ramah Baptist Church, Ashland, LA IMG 6262
New Ramah Baptist Church north of Ashland
Revised photo of Ramah Cemetery gate IMG 2107
Entrance gate to Ramah Cemetery
Gate to Hathorn Cemetery, Ashland, LA IMG 7116
Gate to Hathorn Cemetery
Pat's Chapel, Ashland, LA IMG 1632
Pat's Chapel at the Hathorn Cemetery in Ashland
First grave, Hathorn Cemetery, Ashland, LA IMG 2471
First interment, an infant who died in 1862, at the Hathorn Cemetery
Hathorn Cemetery homecoming IMG 0220
Annual Hathorn Cemetery memorial is held the Saturday before the first Sunday in June.
Revised photo Hathorn Cemetery (2011) IMG 5069
Graves at the Hathorn Cemetery
Murrl Hathorn
Murrl M. Hathorn, great-grandson of Squire Hathorn, was president of the Hathorn Cemetery Association from 1978-1979.

In the village, the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $23,438, and the median income for a family was $31,875. Males had a median income of $27,083 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the village was $12,652. About 33.7% of families and 32.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.1% of those under the age of eighteen and 30.4% of those sixty five or over.


The boundaries of the community now extend well beyond the former village proper. Louisiana State Highways 153 and 155 intersect as they pass through Ashland. Highway 153 extends northward to Castor and southward to Campti, and Highway 155 proceeds westward toward Martin and Coushatta, the seat of neighboring Red River Parish.


The village has two cemeteries, the larger Ramah Cemetery, and smaller Hathorn Cemetery.

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