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Claiborne Parish, Louisiana facts for kids

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Claiborne Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting Claiborne Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the USA highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded March 13, 1828
Seat Homer
Largest town Homer
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

767 sq mi (1,987 km²)
755 sq mi (1,955 km²)
, 1.6%
 - (2015)
 - Density

23/sq mi (9/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Named for: William C. C. Claiborne

Claiborne Parish (French: Paroisse de Claiborne) is a parish located in the northwestern section of the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish was formed in 1828, and was named for the first Louisiana governor, William C. C. Claiborne. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,195. The parish seat is Homer.


John Murrell moved his family from Arkansas to the Flat Lick Bayou area about 6 miles west of present-day Homer in 1818, and they became the first known non-natives to permanently settle in Claiborne Parish. As more settlers moved into the area, the Murrell house served as a church, school and post office. When the state legislature created Claiborne Parish out of Natchitoches Parish in 1828, all governmental business, including court, began being held in the Murrell house. This continued until the new parish's police jury selected Russellville (now a ghost town located northeast of Athens) as the parish seat. As the population began swelling in what was then the western part of the parish, the seat was moved to Overton (another modern ghost town found near Minden) in 1836, because of its position at the head of the navigable portion of Dorcheat Bayou. Due to flooding and health concerns, the parish seat was moved to Athens in 1846, but in 1848 fire destroyed the courthouse and all the records in it. Soon thereafter the Claiborne Police Jury chose the present site for the parish seat, which came to be named, Homer.

John Ardis Cawthon of Louisiana Tech University studied several Claiborne Parish ghost towns in his book of local history, Ghost Towns of Old Claiborne. He recalls the words of a relative, George Washington Dance, "When the courthouse moved, the glory departed. The village is now an old worn-out field."

Much of the area history is preserved in the Herbert S. Ford Memorial Museum, located across from the parish courthouse in Homer.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 767 square miles (1,990 km2), of which 755 square miles (1,960 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) (1.6%) is water.

Major highways

  • I-69.svg Future Interstate 69
  • US 79.svg U.S. Highway 79
  • US 167.svg U.S. Highway 167
  • Louisiana 2.svg Louisiana Highway 2
  • Louisiana 9.svg Louisiana Highway 9

Adjacent parishes

National protected area

  • Kisatchie National Forest (part)


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 1,764
1840 6,185 250.6%
1850 7,471 20.8%
1860 16,848 125.5%
1870 20,240 20.1%
1880 18,837 −6.9%
1890 23,312 23.8%
1900 23,029 −1.2%
1910 25,050 8.8%
1920 27,885 11.3%
1930 32,285 15.8%
1940 29,855 −7.5%
1950 25,063 −16.1%
1960 19,407 −22.6%
1970 17,024 −12.3%
1980 17,095 0.4%
1990 17,405 1.8%
2000 16,851 −3.2%
2010 17,195 2.0%
Est. 2015 16,295 −5.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the census of 2000, there were 16,851 people, 6,270 households, and 4,338 families residing in the parish. The population density was 22 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 7,815 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 51.80% White, 47.37% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,270 households out of which 29.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.10% were married couples living together, 17.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.80% were non-families. 28.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the parish the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.40 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $25,344, and the median income for a family was $32,225. Males had a median income of $29,161 versus $20,102 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $13,825. About 21.40% of families and 26.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.30% of those under age 18 and 23.20% of those age 65 or over.


Map of Claiborne Parish Louisiana With Municipal Labels



Unincorporated communities


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