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Evangeline Parish, Louisiana facts for kids

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Evangeline Parish
Parish of Evangeline
Evangeline Bank and Trust Co. Building, Ville Platte, Louisiana
Evangeline Bank and Trust Co. Building, Ville Platte, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting Evangeline 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 1910
Named for Acadian heroine of the poem "Evangeline"
Seat Ville Platte
Largest city Ville Platte
Area
 • Total 680 sq mi (1,800 km2)
 • Land 662 sq mi (1,710 km2)
 • Water 17 sq mi (40 km2)  2.5%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 33,984
 • Estimate 
(2018)
33,443
 • Density 50.0/sq mi (19.30/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 5th

Evangeline Parish (French: Paroisse d'Évangéline) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,984. The parish seat is Ville Platte.

History

The parish was created out of lands formerly belonging to St. Landry Parish in 1910. The majority of the area were originally settled by colonist French directly from France, and former colonial Canadian marines (coureurs de bois) previously from Fort Toulouse, Alabama to Fort Kaskaskia in the Illinois country and including later Napoleonic and 19th-century French and European French-speaking soldier and immigrant families.

The early generations born in colonial French colonies, which included the enormous Louisiana Territory ('Upper and Lower' Louisiana) was known as "la Nouvelle France" and included this region, then under Spanish rule, and whose citizens were originally called Isleños.

Many people of Evangeline are primarily of French, English & Spanish descent in Colonial Louisiana. Some of the major families included Fontenot, Brignac, Ardoin, Bordelon, Vidrine, LaFleur, Chataignier, Dupre, Berza, Manuel, Ratelle, Fuselier, Landreneau, Andrepont, LeBas and Gobert, along with many others.

People of Canary Islands Spanish heritage can be found to have settled in the Parish, bearing names like Ortego, Rozas, De Soto and Casaneuva. Many English colonists that came to collect Louisiana territory married into French families, and some prominently held the surnames of Young, Reed, Langley and Buller.

A few Acadians such as Francois Pitre and his wife had settled the area between Evangeline and St. Landry parishes, preferring the rich pre-American and pre-Civil War era Cajun planter's lifestyle over that of the humble and isolated existence of their Acadian Coast cousins.

The parish was named Evangeline in honor of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's narrative poem, Evangeline. Evangeline Parish is mentioned in the Randy Newman song "Louisiana 1927", in which he described the Great Mississippi Flood which covered it with six feet of water. It was from this poem that founding father, Paulin Fontenot was to propose the namesake of "Evangeline" for this parish, allegedly foreseeing an emerging American tourism centered upon the Acadian saga.(See Ville Platte Gazette, Sept. 2010) In 19th-century American literature, she would gain popularity through Hollywood's interest, and thus began the embryonic 'Acadian-based' tourism which sprang up in St. Martinville.

Ville Platte, Louisiana, the capitol seat of Evangeline Parish, was itself so named by one of Napoleon Bonaparte's former soldiers, Adjutant Major, Marcellin Garand (1781-1852), of Savoy, France. (See Napoleon's Soldiers In America, by Simone de la Souchere-Delery, 1999).

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 680 square miles (1,800 km2), of which 662 square miles (1,710 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44 km2) (2.5%) is water.

Major highways

  • I-49.svg Interstate 49
  • US 190.svg U.S. Highway 190
  • US 167.svg U.S. Highway 167
  • Louisiana 10.svg Louisiana Highway 10
  • Louisiana 13.svg Louisiana Highway 13
  • Louisiana 29.svg Louisiana Highway 29

Adjacent parishes

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 23,485
1930 25,483 8.5%
1940 30,497 19.7%
1950 31,629 3.7%
1960 31,639 0.0%
1970 31,932 0.9%
1980 33,343 4.4%
1990 33,274 −0.2%
2000 35,434 6.5%
2010 33,984 −4.1%
2018 (est.) 33,443 −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Evangeline Parish racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 21,162 65.42%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 8,609 26.61%
Native American 45 0.14%
Asian 183 0.57%
Pacific Islander 2 0.01%
Other/Mixed 1,013 3.13%
Hispanic or Latino 1,336 4.13%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 32,350 people, 12,172 households, and 7,739 families residing in the parish.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 33,984 people living in the parish. 69.0% were White, 28.3% Black or African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% Native American, 1.0% of some other race and 1.1% of two or more races. 2.3% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 40.0% were of French, French Canadian or Cajun ancestry and 9.1% identified as having American ancestry.

Communities

Map of Evangeline Parish Louisiana With Municipal Labels
Map of Evangeline Parish, with municipal labels

City

Towns

Villages

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated places

Education

Public Schools in Evangeline Parish are operated by the Evangeline Parish School Board.

  • Bayou Chicot Elementary School (Grades PK-8) (Ville Platte)
  • Chataignier Elementary School (Grades PK-8) (Chataignier)
  • James Stephens Montessori School (Grades PK-6) (Ville Platte)
  • Mamou Elementary School (Grades PK-4) (Mamou)
  • Vidrine Elementary School (Grades PK-8) (Ville Platte)
  • Ville Platte Elementary School (Grades PK-4) (Ville Platte)
  • W. W. Stewart Elementary (Grades PK-4) (Basile)
  • Basile High School (Grades 5-12) (Basile)
  • Mamou High School (Grades 5-12) (Mamou)
  • Pine Prairie High School (Grades 9-12) (Pine Prairie)
  • Ville Platte High School (Grades 5-12) (Ville Platte)
  • Evangeline Central School (Grades 4-12) (Ville Platte)

Evangeline Parish is also served by the Diocese of Lafayette with one school:

  • Sacred Heart School (Grades K-12) (Ville Platte)

Additionally, Evangeline Parish is served by one unaffiliated private school:

  • Christian Heritage Academy (Grade K) (Ville Platte)

Evangeline Parish is served by one institutions of higher education:

  • South Louisiana Community College service area, C. B. Coreil Campus (Ville Platte

Notable people

  • Amédé Ardoin, Creole singer and Cajun accordion virtuoso
  • Winston De Ville - noted genealogist and publisher of hundreds of articles and numerous books
  • Eric LaFleur, lawyer and Senator and sponsor of several important bills and represented historic Senate Resolution #30
  • Bernard LeBas, a Ville Platte pharmacist who has represented Evangeline and St. Landry parishes in the Louisiana House of Representatives since 2008
  • Walter L. Lee - Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court, 1956-2012
Black History Month on Kiddle
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