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Franklin, Louisiana
City of Franklin
Historic lampposts lining Franklin's Main Street
Historic lampposts lining Franklin's Main Street
Location of Franklin in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Franklin in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish St. Mary
Incorporated 1820
 • Total 10.49 sq mi (27.17 km2)
 • Land 9.92 sq mi (25.70 km2)
 • Water 0.57 sq mi (1.48 km2)
10 ft (3 m)
 • Total 6,728
 • Density 678.09/sq mi (261.82/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 337
FIPS code 22-27155

Franklin is a small city in, and the parish seat of, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 7,660 at the 2010 census. The city is located on Bayou Teche, southeast of the cities of Lafayette, (47 miles (76 km)) and New Iberia (28 miles (45 km)) and 22 miles (35 km)) northwest of Morgan City. It is part of the Morgan City Micropolitan Statistical Area and the larger Lafayette-Acadiana combined statistical area.


Franklin, named for Benjamin Franklin, was founded in 1808 as Carlin's Settlement, and became the parish seat in 1811. The town was incorporated in 1820. Though early settlers included French, Acadian, German, Danish and Irish, the town's culture and architecture is heavily influenced by the unusually large numbers of English that chose to settle there after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Numerous large sugar plantations arose in the area, and with the development of steamboating, Franklin became an interior sugar port. Franklin's First United Methodist Church was established in 1806, making it the first Protestant church established in the state of Louisiana.

Sugar plantations

By the 1830s, Bayou Teche was the main street of Acadiana, with one plantation after another. The area's sugar cane planters were among the South's wealthiest agriculturists. This is reflected in the grand plantation homes and mansions they built in Franklin and the surrounding countryside. Most of these magnificent structures are still standing and well preserved, giving Franklin its unique architectural flavor. Franklin's Historic District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and encompasses over 420 notable structures.

Civil War

During the Civil War, the Battle of Irish Bend, also known as Nerson's Woods, was fought near Franklin on April 14, 1863. Though eventually forced to retreat, the badly outnumbered Confederate forces commanded by General Richard Taylor cost the Union troops, under General Cuvier Grover, significant losses. Four hundred men were killed or wounded in the confrontation, including Confederate Colonel James Reily, a factor in halting the Union drive to invade Texas.


Franklin is located at 29°47′30″N 91°30′30″W / 29.79167°N 91.50833°W / 29.79167; -91.50833 (29.791759, -91.508253) and has an elevation of 10 feet (3.0 m).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.5 square miles (27.2 km2), of which 9.9 square miles (25.7 km2) is land and 0.58 square miles (1.5 km2), or 5.44%, is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 891
1870 1,265
1880 1,702 34.5%
1890 2,127 25.0%
1900 2,692 26.6%
1910 3,857 43.3%
1920 3,504 −9.2%
1930 3,271 −6.6%
1940 4,274 30.7%
1950 6,144 43.8%
1960 8,673 41.2%
1970 9,325 7.5%
1980 9,584 2.8%
1990 9,004 −6.1%
2000 8,354 −7.2%
2010 7,660 −8.3%
2020 6,728 −12.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Franklin racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 2,389 35.51%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,700 54.99%
Native American 53 0.79%
Asian 39 0.58%
Other/Mixed 247 3.67%
Hispanic or Latino 300 4.46%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 6,728 people, 2,743 households, and 1,466 families residing in the city.


Teche Theater (founded 1939 as a cinema and revamped for live theatre in 1993):

  • Earl Long in Purgatory (2004) (John "Spud" McConnell)
  • Driving Miss Daisy (2005) (Diane Wiltz, Tyra Yarber,and Ed "Tiger" Verdin)
  • A Soldier's Play (2006) (Tyra Yarber, Ed "Tiger Verdin and Averis Anderson)
  • Fiddler on the Roof (2006) (Larry Deslatte and Allison Jones)
  • November (2009) (Ed "Tiger" Verdin and Ricky Pellerin)


St. Mary Parish School Board operates public schools:

Elementary schools:

  • W. P. Foster Elementary School
  • LaGrange Elementary School

Secondary schools:

  • Franklin Junior High School
  • Franklin Senior High School

Not Operated by St. Mary Parish School Board:

Private schools:

  • St. John Elementary School
  • Hanson Memorial High School

Notable people


  • Ned Romero, actor
  • Jerome Bonaparte "Black Jack" Ward, actor who appeared in over 140 cowboy movies from 1927 to 1946.

Politicians and civil service

  • C. C. Aycock, the only three-term Lieutenant governor in modern Louisiana history; former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives
  • Joshua Baker, Governor of Louisiana 1868
  • Carl W. Bauer, Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1967 to 1972 and of the Louisiana State Senate from 1972 to 1976
  • Ralph Norman Bauer, Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1940 to 1948; leader of the impeachment forces in 1929 against Governor Huey Pierce Long, Jr.
  • Donelson Caffery, Louisiana State Senator, United States Senator, lieutenant in the Confederate Army
  • Patrick T. Caffery, Louisiana State Representative and United States Representative grandson of Donelson Caffery
  • Murphy J. Foster, Governor of Louisiana from 1892 to 1900, also a U.S. Senator
  • Murphy J. Foster, Jr., Governor of Louisiana from 1996 to 2004; former member of the Louisiana State Senate
  • Henry Johnson, Governor of Louisiana from 1824 to 1828, also District Judge for St. Mary Parish 1811
  • Sam S. Jones, state representative for St. Mary Parish since 2008
  • Alexander Porter (June 24, 1785 – January 13, 1844) was an attorney, politician, and planter in St. Mary Parish who served as U.S. Senator from 1833 to 1837. He had served a term in the Louisiana House from 1816 to 1818, and on the Louisiana Supreme Court from 1821 to 1833. He built Oaklawn Manor.
  • Gaston J. Sigur, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under the Reagan Administration


  • Wallace Francis, football player, wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills and the Atlanta Falcons
  • Ernie Ladd, football player for Grambling University under Eddie Robinson, professional career San Diego Chargers, Houston Oilers and Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs (1970); professional wrestler known as "The Big Cat"
  • Leonard Marshall, football player for the New York Giants
  • Warren Wells, Pro football player for the Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Franklin (Luisiana) para niños

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