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Erath, Louisiana
Town
Town of Erath
Location of Erath in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Erath in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Vermilion
Area
 • Total 1.76 sq mi (4.55 km2)
 • Land 1.76 sq mi (4.55 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation
7 ft (2 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 2,028
 • Density 1,154.24/sq mi (445.72/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s) 337
FIPS code 22-24180

Erath is a town in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 2,114 at the 2010 census, and 2,030 at the 2020 population estimates program. It is part of the Abbeville micropolitan statistical area.

History

Erath is named after August Erath (b. March 18. 1843) who came from Switzerland to New Orleans in 1860 and was bookkeeper in the breweries. Later, he moved to New Iberia in 1876 and erected a brewery there. He was later mayor of New Iberia and began to develop land in the Erath area. Although August Erath never lived in Erath, he was close to railroad officials, which brought forth a great business venture for him. Later, Erath built a seltzer water factory in New Iberia and an ice plant in Abbeville. In 1884, he started a hardware business and purchased land located in this area.

In 2005, the storm surge forced inland by Hurricane Rita flooded most of the town. Water in most parts of town was up to six feet deep.

Geography

Erath is located at 29°57′36″N 92°2′7″W / 29.96000°N 92.03528°W / 29.96000; -92.03528 (29.959939, -92.035220).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 215
1910 575 167.4%
1920 713 24.0%
1930 895 25.5%
1940 1,408 57.3%
1950 1,514 7.5%
1960 2,019 33.4%
1970 2,024 0.2%
1980 2,259 11.6%
1990 2,428 7.5%
2000 2,187 −9.9%
2010 2,114 −3.3%
2020 2,028 −4.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
Erath racial composition as of 2020
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,694 83.53%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 129 6.36%
Native American 6 0.3%
Asian 89 4.39%
Other/Mixed 58 2.86%
Hispanic or Latino 52 2.56%

At the 2000 United States census, there were 2,187 people, 819 households, and 580 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,453.7 people per square mile (562.9/km2). There were 884 housing units at an average density of 589.6 per square mile (228.3/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 89.12% White, 6.22% African American, 0.18% Native American, 3.52% Asian, 0.32% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more race; Hispanic or Latino Americans of any race were 0.69% of the population.

By the 2020 United States census, there were 2,028 people, 934 households, and 655 families residing in the town. According to the 2019 American Community Survey, the racial and ethnic makeup of the township was 89.4% non-Hispanic white, 4.0% Black and African American, 6.4% Asian alone, and 0.2% some other race; 6.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latin American of any race.

In 2000, were 819 households, out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 25.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 26.2% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.2 males.

According to the 2019 American Community Survey, the median household income was $38,295, up from $27,836 at the 2000 U.S. census. Males had a median income of $54,762, up from $28,750 in 2000; females had a median income of $30,345, up from $19,118 in 2000. An estimated 16.6% of the population lived at or below the poverty line.

"Henry" Hub

Erath is home to Henry Hub, an important junction of natural gas pipeline systems. Natural gas prices in North America are more or less set at this junction.

The "Henry" hub is so named for its location in the Henry hamlet of Erath, which was named after the Henry High School that stood there until recently. This school was named for its benefactor, William Henry, who originally immigrated from Germany as William Henry Kittenkat circa 1840, then dropped the surname. There are Henry descendants in the area to this day.

It was customary for benefactors to sponsor schools; there were quite a few similarly sponsored schools in Vermilion Parish around that time. Being that long ago and in a rural area, with schools sometimes sponsored even in homes, there was great variation in what was offered to how many, and it often changed over time. Records say that the Henry school was founded in 1877, and apparently became a high school in 1896 because it celebrated its centennial in 1996.

In 1992, the Vermilion Parish school district reorganized the schools. Students transferred to Erath High, and Henry High became an elementary school. Then on September 24, 2005 (less than a month after Hurricane Katrina), Hurricane Rita smashed the parish and ruined the school. The area was also hit hard two years later by Hurricane Ike, and the main building was finally razed around March 2009. Likewise, St. John Catholic Church across the street had its rectory damaged; it is being replaced with a new building elevated to meet new flood standards as of early 2014.

When land for the Henry school was bequeathed, it was stipulated for education into perpetuity, or to be returned to the heirs. The gymnasium was salvaged and is still used by the school district to this day. A Google Earth comparison of, for example, Feb. 28, 2006 to April 23, 2012 at the intersection of Highways 330 and 689 shows a parking lot where the main school was, and the church's rectory gone, but the gymnasium in clear use.

Economy

Erath is home to Henry Hub, an important junction of natural gas pipeline systems. Natural gas prices in North America are more or less set at this junction.

The "Henry" hub is so named for its location in the Henry hamlet of Erath, which was named after the Henry High School that stood there until damage from flooding due to Hurricane Rita forced its closure and demolition. This school was named for its benefactor, William Henry, who originally immigrated from Copenhagen, Denmark as Ludwig Wilhelm Kattentidt, circa 1840, then dropped the surname and used his father's middle 'Heinrich' for his surname of Henry. There are Henry descendants in the area to this day.

It was customary for benefactors to sponsor schools; there were quite a few similarly sponsored schools in Vermilion Parish around that time. Being that long ago and in a rural area, with schools sometimes sponsored even in homes, there was great variation in what was offered to how many, and it often changed over time. Records say that the Henry school was founded in 1877, and apparently became a high school in 1896 because it celebrated its centennial in 1996.

In 1992, the Vermilion Parish school district reorganized the schools. Students transferred to Erath High, and Henry High became an elementary school. Then on September 24, 2005 (less than a month after Hurricane Katrina), Hurricane Rita smashed the parish and ruined the school. The area was also hit hard three years later by Hurricane Ike, and the main building was finally razed around March 2009. Likewise, St. John Catholic Church across the street had its rectory damaged; it is being replaced with a new building elevated to meet new flood standards as of early 2014.

When land for the Henry school was bequeathed, it was stipulated for education into perpetuity, or to be returned to the heirs. The gymnasium was salvaged and is still used by the school district to this day. A Google Earth comparison of, for example, Feb. 28, 2006 to April 23, 2012 at the intersection of Highways 330 and 689 shows a parking lot where the main school was, and the church's rectory gone, but the gymnasium in clear use by child sports organizations and other groups.

Notable people

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