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Cheneyville, Louisiana
Town
Town of Cheneyville
Cheneyville, Louisiana.jpg
Location of Cheneyville in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Cheneyville in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Rapides
Area
 • Total 1.02 sq mi (2.63 km2)
 • Land 1.02 sq mi (2.63 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
66 ft (20 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 468
 • Density 460.63/sq mi (177.82/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s) 318
FIPS code 22-14660

Cheneyville is a town in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, United States. It is part of the Alexandria, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 625 at the 2010 census.

History

The town was named for settler William Cheney.

Cheneyville is significant in the history of the Restoration Movement associated with Alexander Campbell. In 1843 most of the membership of a Baptist congregation, under the leadership of William Prince Ford, who had been influenced by Campbell's writings, became a Church of Christ. The Cheneyville Christian Church is the oldest congregation associated with the Restoration Movement in Louisiana. In 1857, Campbell visited the congregation and was favorably impressed by its fellowship between the races.

Ford is also known as the original slavemaster of Solomon Northup, the main character in the feature film, Twelve Years a Slave. Northup was an African-American who had been born free, but kidnapped in Washington, DC and sold to Ford in New Orleans in 1841.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, Cheneyville has a total area of 1.0 square mile (2.6 km2), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 498
1920 678 36.1%
1930 835 23.2%
1940 913 9.3%
1950 918 0.5%
1960 1,037 13.0%
1970 1,082 4.3%
1980 865 −20.1%
1990 1,005 16.2%
2000 901 −10.3%
2010 625 −30.6%
2020 468 −25.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Cheneyville racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 121 25.85%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 320 68.38%
Other/Mixed 22 4.7%
Hispanic or Latino 5 1.07%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 468 people, 275 households, and 156 families residing in the town.

Notable people

  • State Senator C. H. "Sammy" Downs lived in Cheneyville, where his son, the retiring veteran Rapides Parish District Attorney, James C. "Jam" Downs, was born. Sammy and Jam Downs also lived in Alexandria, where they practiced law. Jam Downs currently lives in a restored farmstead in Lecompte.
  • Wilbur Dyer, state representative from south Rapides Parish from 1974 to 1980
  • Historian Sue Eakin, author and editor of Twelve Years a Slave, is interred at Cheneyville in the Trinity Episcopal Church Cemetery.
  • Robert J. Munson, state representative from Cheneyville, 1956 to 1973; interred at Trinity Episcopal Cemetery
  • Leroy Augustus Stafford, a Rapides Parish planter and brigadier general in the Confederate Army who was mortally wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in May 1864, was born in 1822 at Greenwood Plantation near Cheneyville. His son, David Theophilus Stafford, also a Cheneyville native, was the sheriff of Rapides Parish sheriff from 1888 to 1904 and subsequently the Louisiana adjutant general from 1904 to 1912.
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