Bossier City, Louisiana facts for kids

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Bossier City
Suburban city
City of Bossier City
A central plaza of the Louisiana Boardwalk with the Horseshoe Hotel and Casino in the background
A central plaza of the Louisiana Boardwalk with the Horseshoe Hotel and Casino in the background
Flag of Bossier City
Flag
Motto: "Union, Justice, Confidence"
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parishes Bossier
Founded 1907
Area
 • Suburban city 111.8 sq mi (290 km2)
 • Land 109.7 sq mi (284 km2)
 • Water 2.1 sq mi (5 km2)  1.89%
 • Metro 2,698 sq mi (6,987.8 km2)
Elevation 174 ft (53 m)
Population (2010)
 • Suburban city 61,315
 • Estimate (2015) 68,094
 • Rank US: 518th
 • Density 1,382.6/sq mi (533.8/km2)
 • Metro 446,471 (US: 113th)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 318
Website City of Bossier City

Bossier City (/ˈbʒər/ BO-zher; French: Ville de Bossier) is a suburb of Shreveport, Louisiana, United States, located in Bossier Parish.

As of the 2010 census, Bossier City had a population of 61,315. The 2013 estimate was 66,333. Bossier City is located on the eastern bank of the Red River and is closely tied to its larger sister city Shreveport on the opposite bank. The Shreveport – Bossier City metropolitan area is the center of the region known as the Ark-La-Tex.

Bossier City is not the parish seat. The parish courthouse is located instead in Benton, about 12 miles (19 km) to the north of Bossier City.

History

19th century

In the 1830s, Bossier City was the plantation Elysian Grove, purchased by James Cane and his 2nd wife Mary D. C. Cane. James and his first wife, Rebecca Bennett, came to the area with Rebecca's brother, William Bennett and his wife Mary Doal Cilley Bennett. They first had the trading post across the river on what was then Caddo Indian Land, a portion called "Bennett's Bluff". The trading post partners and Mary D. C. Bennett's father, Samuel Bennett, became a 1/7 partner in the new Shreve Town, which eventually became Shreveport.

Elysian Grove plantation was on the Red River, at the intersection of the Texas Trail on the Red River where the trading post ran the ferry crossing between what was to become Shreveport and Bossier. The plantation loading and unloading dock later became known as Cane's Landing in the old ferry log books. For a very short time, Cane's Landing was known as Cane City. Mary D. C. Bennett Cane and her family were one of the earliest settlers in the area, and Mary gave birth to the first white baby of the area, a son, William Smith Bennett Jr., who died at an early age.

In 1843, a section of land was divided out of the Great Natchitoches district and Claiborne Parish areas and was called Bossier Parish. The section of land was named in honor of Pierre Evariste John Baptiste Bossier, a former Creole general, who became a cotton farmer in Bossier Parish. He is considered one of the first settlers in the area.

In the 1840s, the Great Western Migration began, and the parish grew in population. Many early settlers passed through the region on their way to the wild West. By 1850, over 200 wagons a week passed through Bossier City. Some of these settlers stayed, attracted by the soil and river valley. In 1850, the census listed the population at around 6,962.

Civil War

During the Civil War, companies of Confederate soldiers left Cane's Landing aboard steamboats for the distant battlefields. Mrs. Cane hosted hundreds of Confederate officers and troops who were heading off to war. Mrs. Cane's plantation was fortified to protect Shreveport by three batteries, with Fort Kirby Smith in the center. The others were Batteries Price, and Walker & Ewell.

Fort Smith stood near the now Bossier High School, and protected the area from an eastern invasion. The Civil War hit Bossier Parish in 1861, and ended in Shreveport four years later when the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered.

Shed Road

Shed Road, the first all-weather turnpike in the American South, was constructed in the 1870s and operated from 1874 to 1886. It extended for 9 miles (14 km) from Red Chute to the Red River. There was a plantation at the end of the elevated and covered roadway, which was reached by a ferry boat. The covered road made the transportation of goods easier before the arrival of the railroads.

Classification as a city

Anna B., granddaughter of James and Mary, felt the area would prosper and began promoting the idea of a riverfront city. Anna B. and J. J. Stockwell sold lots in 1883. The area grew quickly, as did transportation through it.

Cane City was said as being incorporated by former Governor Newton C. Blanchard and renamed as the village of Bossier City. Blanchard named a Shreveport businessman, Ewald Max Hoyer, as the first Bossier City mayor. Hoyer continued to reside in what is known as the Bliss-Hoyer House in Shreveport's Highland neighborhood. Bossier City has grown from an area of one square mile to a city containing more than 40 square miles (100 km2). Continued growth led to Bossier City's classification being changed from village to town by Governor John M. Parker. Later, Governor Earl Kemp Long issued a proclamation classifying Bossier City a city.

The "golden spike" commemorated the completion of the east-west Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad. It was driven at Bossier City on July 12, 1884, by Julia "Pansy" Rule. It was the first such spike to be driven by a woman. The north-south Shreveport and Arkansas Railroad was completed on April 6, 1888. The Louisiana-Arkansas Railroad was completed on November 2, 1909. The Dixie Overland Highway from the East to the West Coast was built in 1918. These railroads and highways combined to make Bossier City a hub for future activity.

The discovery of crude oil, to the south, in 1908, thrust Bossier City into the nationwide oil boom. Bossier's central location to the rural oil fields made it a major player in the oil patch. Several international oil companies are located here. The advantages brought by black gold fueled many civic, social and economic improvements.

A fire on June 23, 1925, consumed one-half of downtown Bossier City. Local citizens were unable to battle the blaze. The loss spurred civic improvements including a modern water system capable of fighting such fires, a new City Hall, a modern fire alarm system, modern sidewalks and the first city park.

In the 1930s, construction began on Barksdale Air Force Base. The first unit assigned to Barksdale was the 20th Pursuit Group. Before World War II, Barksdale was a training school for the Army Air Corps. During the war, Barksdale trained pilots, navigators, and bombardiers. Later the base became one of the key bases of the Strategic Air Command in the new Air Force. Barksdale is the headquarters for the 8th Air Force. The land that base is built was purchased by local residents who donated the land to the U.S. Army.

In the 1890s, Cane City had a population of about 600. Bossier City now has a 2012 estimated population of over 64,000. First a cotton-exporting river landing, next a railroad town, then an airbase and oil-boom town, Bossier City is now known for its tourism and casino gambling.

Three casinos in the city have financed a number of municipal projects, many completed during the administration of the late Mayor George Dement. Recent improvements include the CenturyLink Center, Louisiana Boardwalk, Benton Road Overpass, and the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway, located along the eastern side of the Red River. Dement also procured Amtrak service between Bossier City and Dallas, Texas. Dement was succeeded as mayor in 2005 by his administrative assistant and former mayoral opponent from 1989, Lo Walker, the first Republican to hold the city's top executive position.

Geography

Bossier City is located at 32°31′4″N 93°41′29″W / 32.51778°N 93.69139°W / 32.51778; -93.69139 (32.517651, -93.691397) and has an elevation of 174 feet (53.0 m). The city lies primarily on the banks of the Red River, and has a largely flat topography. The northern city limits are noticeably more hilly than the rest of the city. Many small waterways flow through the city such as Flat River and Red Chute Bayou, which provide drainage for many areas of the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.2 square miles (111.8 km2), of which 42.4 square miles (109.7 km2) is land and 0.81 square miles (2.1 km2), or 1.89%, is water.

Climate

Bossier shares most aspects of its climate with its sister city of Shreveport. The city has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot, humid summers and mild winters. During the warmer months, the city is prone to severe thunderstorms which feature heavy rain, high winds, hail, and occasional tornadoes. The city has a slightly above average rate of tornadoes when compared to the US average. Due to the flat topography of the city and the prominence of smaller waterways that are prone to backwater flooding from the Red River, the city occasionally experiences severe flooding events. A notable occurrence of severe flooding occurred in March 2016 after torrential rains caused a rapid rise of many local waterways, displacing upwards of 3500 people from their homes across the area. Freezing and ice storms occasionally occur during the winter months.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 202
1910 775
1920 1,094 41.2%
1930 4,003 265.9%
1940 5,786 44.5%
1950 15,470 167.4%
1960 32,776 111.9%
1970 43,769 33.5%
1980 50,817 16.1%
1990 52,721 3.7%
2000 56,461 7.1%
2010 61,315 8.6%
Est. 2015 68,094 11.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
2013 Estimate

As of the census of 2010, there were 61,315 people, 25,200 households, and 14,901 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,382.6 people per square mile (533.8/km²). There were 23,026 housing units at an average density of 563.9 per square mile (217.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.44% White, 18.74% African American, 0.57% Native American, 2.73% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.95% of the population.

There were 23,197 households, out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. Nearly 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city of Bossier City, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,561, and the median income for a family was $42,642. Males had a median income of $30,632 versus $22,174 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,032. About 11.4% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.9% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.

Military

Bossier City is the location of Barksdale Air Force Base, home of the 2nd Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force, and 307th Bomb Wing. It was established February 2, 1933, and is one of the area's largest employers. Barksdale encompasses 22,000 acres (89 km2) and hosts the majority of the B-52 Stratofortresses used by the United States Air Force.

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