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Jeanerette, Louisiana
City of Jeanerette
St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Jeanerette
St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Jeanerette
Sugar City
Anthem: Markae' DEQ
Location of Jeanerette in Iberia Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Jeanerette in Iberia Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Iberia
 • Total 2.36 sq mi (6.12 km2)
 • Land 2.31 sq mi (5.98 km2)
 • Water 0.05 sq mi (0.14 km2)
16 ft (5 m)
 • Total 4,813
 • Density 2,085.36/sq mi (805.09/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 318 - -225 - Louisiana 337
FIPS code 22-38075

Jeanerette is a city in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, United States. Known as "Sugar City", it had a population of 5,530 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 467 from the 2000 tabulation of 5,997. It is two thirds African American, many of them Creoles of color. Jeanerette is the part of the Lafayette metropolitan statistical area; its parish is also one of the 22 included in the Acadiana region, which has had a high proportion of Francophones.


Early years

In the 18th century, the land on which Jeanerette now lies was originally procured from the Spanish government by Pierre Zerangue. Zerangue received an “order of survey and settlement” from Spain for 1,052 acres (4.26 km2). Under Spanish law, if a person occupied a piece of property for two years, they could apply for title to the land under an “order of survey settlement.” Nicholas Provost secured the property from the present-day experimental farm to the St. Mary Parish line. He engaged in sugar cultivation, based on slave labor, until his death in 1816.

The town derived its name from John W. Jeanerette, a native of South Carolina who moved to the developing area in the 1820s. First he worked as a tutor for a planter's family, as did numerous educated young adults from northern states, then opened a store and saloon. Having saved some money, about 1830 Jeanerette purchased Pine Grove Plantation, formerly known as Beau Pré (meaning Lovely Meadow/pasture).

Jeanerette offered a portion of his house to be used as a mail depository for the local inhabitants. Later Jeanerette was appointed as the town's first postmaster (he dropped his middle initial.) The name Jeanerette afterward stuck for the post office and town.

During the 19th century, to the north along the Bayou Teche was a settlement of free Creoles of color, now known as Grand Marais. The free persons of color were descended from African and European ancestors, and were often still French speakers into the 20th century.

Civil War

During the American Civil War, Confederate forces under Generals Richard Taylor and Henry Sibley withdrew from Franklin and on April 14, 1863, reached Jeanerette, twelve miles (19 km) south of New Iberia.

A soldier, Arthur W. Hyatt, describes the difficult march:

"Thus we had marched about twenty-six miles in fifteen hours and fought a battle in the bargain. But such terrible hard marching I never witnessed before. Our feet are all blistered and swollen, and we have had scarcely anything to eat – what with hunger, thirst, mud, rain, marching, fighting, dust, etc., etc., we are perfectly worn out." The night after Hyatt's report, the "weather turned unusually cool, and the men got very little sleep."

As Taylor retreated, his army grew smaller. Winters explains that "a number of his men lived in the area through which they now traveled, and many of them slipped away to visit their families. Many of the Louisiana men were conscripts and were serving under duress." Many of the forces deserted with their arms and remained at their homes. Taylor lamented the lack of discipline among the troops. Quite a few from Sibley's Texas brigades also deserted and returned home.

The successful Union general, Nathaniel P. Banks, bivouaced near Jeanerette. Winters reports that some of the Union forces "confiscated a large batch of Louisiana rum . . . and made things lively. . . . After a struggle, the drunk and riotous men were quieted and the weary troops . . . settled down for the night."


Jeanerette was incorporated as a town in 1878 and Joseph E. Provost became the first mayor; its economy was based on the cypress lumber and sugar industries. Its nickname has been "Sugar City". Although its major growth was after the Civil War, it has some surviving antebellum houses in the city and region.

Sugarcane continues as a key factor in the economy. There were until the 21st century three active sugar mills. The one located in the city was closed, dismantled, and its equipment sold in the first decade of the 21st century. Jeanerette is the home of manufacturers of equipment for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of sugarcane. Today, additional sources of income include oil and natural gas, salt, carbon black, a garment distribution center, and fishing.

Jeanerette was the home of dentist and politician Paul N. Cyr, Huey P. Long's lieutenant governor and political opponent. Cyr had a dental office there.


Jeanerette is located at 29°54′59″N 91°40′21″W / 29.91639°N 91.67250°W / 29.91639; -91.67250 (29.916438, −91.672483).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2), all land.

G&M Meat Market with George Stevens
Meat market in Jeanerette sells such regional treats as boudin and cracklins.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 698
1890 1,309 87.5%
1900 1,905 45.5%
1910 2,206 15.8%
1920 2,512 13.9%
1930 2,228 −11.3%
1940 3,362 50.9%
1950 4,692 39.6%
1960 5,568 18.7%
1970 6,322 13.5%
1980 6,511 3.0%
1990 6,205 −4.7%
2000 5,997 −3.4%
2010 5,530 −7.8%
2020 4,813 −13.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
Jeanerette racial composition as of 2020
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,146 23.81%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,417 71.0%
Native American 2 0.04%
Asian 17 0.35%
Other/Mixed 128 2.66%
Hispanic or Latino 103 2.14%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 4,813 people, 1,956 households, and 1,324 families residing in the city. At the 2019 American Community Survey, the racial and ethnic makeup of Jeanerette was 21.1% non-Hispanic white, 77.2% Black or African American, and 1.7% Hispanic or Latin American of any race. Of the population, 1.7% were foreign-born residents from 2015 to 2019. The city had an owner-occupied housing rate of 67.8% and the median gross rent was $725. There were 1,956 households at the 2019 estimates and an average of 2.75 persons per household. The median household income was $34,643 and the per capita income was $17,196. At least 25.4% of the population lived at or below the poverty line.

At the 2000 U.S. census, there were 5,997 people, 2,057 households, and 1,513 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,712.0 people per square mile (1,047.7/km2). There were 2,272 housing units at an average density of 1,027.5 per square mile (396.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 38.34% White, 59.70% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.58% from other races, and 0.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.43% of the population.

There were 2,057 households, out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% were married couples living together, 26.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 24.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.92 and the average family size was 3.46. In the city, the population was spread out, with 31.6% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.9 males. The median income for a household in the city was $22,888, and the median income for a family was $26,810. Males had a median income of $36,170 versus $15,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,871. About 31.2% of families and 34.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.7% of those under age 18 and 23.3% of those age 65 or over.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Jeanerette has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Iberia Parish School System serves Jeanerette. Area secondary schools include:

  • Jeanerette High School (9–12) (in a nearby unincorporated area)
  • Jeanerette Middle School (7–8) (Jeanerette)

Jeanerette Elementary School is public and K–6. In addition St. Charles Elementary School, K-6, is also in Jeanerette.

The school system previously operated Canal Elementary School (K-2) in Jeanerette.

St. Joseph School, a private Catholic school (of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana), served grades K–8 until May, 2011.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs sponsors the Chitimacha Day School southwest of Jeanerette in the Charenton community of unincorporated St. Mary Parish.

Notable people

  • Bret Allain—current District 21 state senator; St. Mary Parish sugar cane farmer
  • Stuart Bishop—born in Jeanerette, he became a State representative for Lafayette Parish.
  • Carol Bourgeois Jr.— Mayor of Jeanerette
  • Terrel Castle—AEK Athens basketball player
  • Ronnie Ross— Lions de Genève (Geneva Lions) Switzerland basketball player
  • Simone B. Champagne— former state representative for Iberia and Vermilion parishes; financial officer of the City of Youngsville, Louisiana
  • Paul N. Cyr, Jeanerette dentist who served as lieutenant governor from 1928 to 1932 under Huey Long
  • Hiram Eugene—NFL player
  • Troy Hebert—former Commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control; former member of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Jeanerette para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Eminent Hispanic scientists
Walter Alvarez
Joel Salinas
Jaime Escalante
Claudia Benitez-Nelson
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