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Catahoula Parish, Louisiana facts for kids

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Catahoula Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting Catahoula Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the USA highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded March 23, 1808
Seat Harrisonburg
Largest town Jonesville
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

739 sq mi (1,914 km²)
708 sq mi (1,834 km²)
31 sq mi (80 km²), 4.2%
 - (2015)
 - Density

15/sq mi (6/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Named for: Tensas word for big, clear lake

Catahoula Parish (French: Paroisse de Catahoula) is a parish in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,407. Its seat is Harrisonburg, on the Ouachita River. The parish was formed in 1808, shortly after the United States acquired this territory in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.



Catahoula Parish was the home to many succeeding Native American groups in the thousands of years before European settlements began. Peoples of the Marksville culture, Troyville culture, Coles Creek culture and Plaquemine culture built villages and mound sites throughout the area. Notable examples include Peck Mounds, and the Troyville Earthworks. The Troyville Earthworks have components dating from 100 BCE to 700 CE during the Baytown to the Troyville-Coles Creek periods.

It once had the tallest mound in Louisiana at 82 feet (25 m) in height; it was the second-tallest mound in North America (after Monk's Mound at Cahokia Mounds). This mound was destroyed to make way for the Jonesville bridge over the Black River.

Historic era

This area was settled primarily by migrants from the southern United States after the Louisiana Purchase, when the US acquired the vast, former French-claimed territory west of the Mississippi River. White migrants to north and central Louisiana were from the South, and were mainly of British descent and Protestant religions. They brought a new influence into Louisiana. Some also brought or purchased African-American slaves to work on larger plantations. Many of these were from the Upper South, which sold slaves through the domestic market. They brought their own cultural influences as well.

The parish was founded in 1808 and originally incorporated a very large area. As population increased in the region, new parishes were organized from the territory first included in Catahoula Parish. The parish was divided by the state in 1910, after La Salle Parish was formed from its old western section. As one of the new parishes organized during early United States settlement of this part of the state, it has had the third most boundary changes since that time. Only Natchitoches and Ouachita parishes have had more revisions of boundaries.

At the start of the American Civil War, James G. Taliaferro, a delegate to the Louisiana state secessionist convention from Catahoula Parish, argued strongly against leaving the American Union. Taliaferro "denied the constitutional right [of a state] to leave the Union and painted a gloomy picture of economic chaos, blighted prosperity, staggering taxation and 'fatal prostration of Louisiana's interests under a southern Confederation,' and he could see no way ahead to prevent final anarchy and war. So 'radical' were the ideas of Taliaferro that the convention refused to print his protest in the pages of [its journal]."

S. McCain]] of Arizona. The 2008 totals mirrored those of 2004, when Catahoula Parish cast 3,219 (65.0 percent) for President George W. Bush and 1,673 ballots (34.8 percent) for his Democratic rival, Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts. Local officials are almost entirely Democratic in affiliation. Republicans rarely contest such elections.

Catahoula Hog Dog

Catahoula Parish lays claim to its namesake Catahoula Leopard dog breed. The Catahoula breed was owned by Colonel James "Jim" Bowie of the Alamo and his brother Rezin Bowie, both of Louisiana. During the early 1900s, Theodore Roosevelt used the Catahoula when hunting. Louisiana Governor Earl Kemp Long also collected these dogs.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 739 square miles (1,910 km2), of which 708 square miles (1,830 km2) is land and 31 square miles (80 km2) (4.2%) is water. It is home to Sandy Lake.

Major highways

  • US 84.svg U.S. Highway 84
  • Louisiana 8.svg Louisiana Highway 8
  • Louisiana 15.svg Louisiana Highway 15
  • Louisiana 126.svg Louisiana Highway 126

Adjacent parishes

National protected area

  • Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 2,287
1830 2,581 12.9%
1840 4,955 92.0%
1850 7,132 43.9%
1860 11,651 63.4%
1870 8,475 −27.3%
1880 10,277 21.3%
1890 12,002 16.8%
1900 16,351 36.2%
1910 10,415 −36.3%
1920 11,074 6.3%
1930 12,451 12.4%
1940 14,618 17.4%
1950 11,834 −19.0%
1960 11,421 −3.5%
1970 11,769 3.0%
1980 12,287 4.4%
1990 11,065 −9.9%
2000 10,920 −1.3%
2010 10,407 −4.7%
Est. 2015 10,147 −2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 10,920 people, 4,082 households, and 2,992 families residing in the parish. The population density was 16 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 5,351 housing units at an average density of 8 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 71.78% White, 27.12% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.19% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. 0.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,082 households out of which 32.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.70% were married couples living together, 14.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.70% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.02.

In the parish the population was spread out with 25.80% under the age of 18, 10.00% from 18 to 24, 26.80% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 100.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.00 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $22,528, and the median income for a family was $27,206. Males had a median income of $26,181 versus $18,427 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $12,608. About 22.60% of families and 28.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.80% of those under age 18 and 20.10% of those age 65 or over.

National Guard

The 1087TH Transportation Company of the 165TH CSS (combat service support) Battalion of the 139TH RSG (regional support group) resides in Jonesville, Louisiana.


Map of Catahoula Parish Louisiana With Municipal Labels
Map of Catahoula Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels



Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

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