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Catahoula Parish, Louisiana facts for kids

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Catahoula Parish
Parish of Catahoula
Historic Marker Signs at Ferry Place and Peck Mounds.
Historic Marker Signs at Ferry Place and Peck Mounds.
Map of Louisiana highlighting Catahoula Parish
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Map of the United States highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Founded March 23, 1808
Named for Tensas word for big, clear lake
Seat Harrisonburg
Largest town Jonesville
 • Total 739 sq mi (1,910 km2)
 • Land 708 sq mi (1,830 km2)
 • Water 31 sq mi (80 km2)  4.2%
 • Total 10,407
 • Estimate 
 • Density 14.083/sq mi (5.437/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 5th

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


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%
2018 (est.) 9,608 −7.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Catahoula Parish racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 5,738 64.43%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 2,275 25.54%
Native American 34 0.38%
Asian 26 0.29%
Pacific Islander 6 0.07%
Other/Mixed 213 2.39%
Hispanic or Latino 614 6.89%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 8,906 people, 3,364 households, and 2,421 families residing in the parish.

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


Catahoula Parish School Board operates local public schools.

Notable people

  • William B. Atkins, former member of both houses of the state legislature; resident of Jonesville
  • Leo Boothe, longest serving District Judge of Catahoula Parish and Concordia Parish. (1991-2015)
  • J. C. "Sonny" Gilbert, late state senator and state representative
  • Ralph E. King, Winnsboro physician who represented Catahoula Parish in the Louisiana State Senate from 1944 to 1952 and again from 1956 to 1960
  • Moses J. Liddell was appointed by President Grover Cleveland as a judge for the Supreme Court of the Montana Territory
  • St. John Richardson Liddell, Confederate general in the American Civil War, owned large plantation in Catahoula Parish
  • Charles A. Marvin, late judge based in Webster Parish
  • Sara T. Mayo, physician and humanitarian reformer
  • David I. Patten, late state representative
  • Joe Raymond Peace, football coach
  • William S. Peck, Jr., politician
  • William S. Peck, Sr., politician
  • Dan Richey, former member of both houses of the state legislature
  • Chris Shivers, two-time (2000, 2003) PBR World Champion bull rider

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Parroquia de Catahoula para niños

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