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Franklin, Louisiana
Historic Lampposts on Main Street - Franklin, Louisiana.jpg
Historic lampposts lining Franklin's Main Street
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish St. Mary
Elevation 10 ft (3 m)
Coordinates 29°47′30″N 91°30′30″W / 29.79167°N 91.50833°W / 29.79167; -91.50833
Area 27.2 km² (10.5 sq mi)
 - land 25.7 km² (9.9 sq mi)
 - water 1.5 km² (0.6 sq mi), 5.51%
Population 7,660 (2010)
Density 298.1 /km² (772.1 /sq mi)
Incorporated 1820
Mayor Raymond Harris, Jr. (No party)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 70538
Area code 337

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. It is part of the Morgan City Micropolitan 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%
2015 (est.) 7,302 −4.7%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,354 people, 3,026 households, and 2,181 families residing in the city. The population density was 806.5 people per square mile (311.3/km²). There were 3,352 housing units at an average density of 323.6 per square mile (124.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 47.47% White, 50.00% African American, 0.63% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.30% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.79% of the population.

There were 3,026 households out of which 36.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 22.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.72 and the average family size was 3.26.

In the city, the population was spread out with 30.4% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years, more than a year older than the statewide median age of 34.0 years. For every 100 females there were 81.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,844, and the median income for a family was $30,625. Males had a median income of $32,188 versus $16,935 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,943. About 24.5% of families and 27.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.6% of those under age 18 and 15.6% of those age 65 or over.


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)
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