Monroe, Louisiana facts for kids

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Monroe, Louisiana
Monroe de Louisiane
City
City of Monroe
Francis Tower
Francis Tower
Official seal of Monroe, Louisiana
Seal
Nickname(s): Twin Cities of Northeast Louisiana
Motto: "One City, One Future"
Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Parish Ouachita
Incorporated (town) 1845
Incorporated (city) 1906
Named for James Monroe
Elevation 72 ft (22 m)
Population (2010)
 • Estimate (2014) 51,236
 • Urban 62,238
 • Metro 170,053
  Urban area includes Monroe-West Monroe
Demonym(s) Monroeian
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CST (UTC-5)
ZIP Codes 71201, 71202, 71203, 71207, 71208, 71209, 71210, 71211, 71212, 71213
Area Code 318
Website City of Monroe

Monroe (historically French: Poste-du-Ouachita) is the eighth-largest city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. it is the parish seat of Ouachita Parish. In the official 2010 census, Monroe had a population of 48,815. The municipal population declined by 8.1 percent over the past decade; it was 53,107 in the 2000 census. After a recheck in 2012, the Census Bureau changed the 2010 population from 48,815 to 49,147. Mayor Jamie Mayo, however, maintains that the Monroe population is more than 50,000 and indicated that he will pursue a continued challenge to the count.

Monroe is the principal city of the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the parishes of Ouachita and Union. The two-parish area had a total population of 170,053 in 2000 and an estimated population of 172,275 as of July 1, 2007. The larger Monroe-Bastrop Combined Statistical Area is composed of both the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Bastrop Micropolitan Statistical Area. The CSA had a population of 201,074 in 2000.

Monroe and the neighboring city of West Monroe (pop. 13,250), located just across the Ouachita River, are often referred to as the Twin Cities of northeast Louisiana.

History

Monroe, LA, Convention Center IMG 1292
Monroe Convention Hall across from City Hall; designed by Hugh G. Parker, Jr., of Bastrop, Louisiana
St. Matthews Catholic Church, Monroe, LA IMG 1299
St. Matthews Catholic Church in downtown Monroe

The settlement formerly known as Fort Miro adopted the name Monroe, during the first half of the 19th century, in recognition of the steam-powered paddle-wheeler James Monroe. The arrival of the ship had a profound effect on the settlers; it was the single event, in the minds of local residents, that transformed the outpost into a town. The ship is depicted in a mural at the main branch of the Monroe Library on North 18th Street. Therefore, credit is indirectly given to James Monroe of Virginia, the fifth President of the United States, for whom the ship was named.

During the American Civil War, Monroe and Opelousas, the seat of St. Landry Parish in south Louisiana, had Confederate training camps. They were established after the fall of New Orleans to the Union in 1862. Conscripts were soon sent to both camps.

In 1862, Monroe and Delhi in Richland Parish became overcrowded with unwelcome refugees from rural areas to the east. They had fled the forces of Union General U.S. Grant, who moved into northeastern Louisiana and spent the winter of 1862–1863 at Winter Quarters south of Newellton in Tensas Parish. He was preparing for the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, not completed until July 4, 1863. Historian John D. Winters reported "strong Union sympathy" in both Delhi and Monroe. As the refugees moved farther west toward Minden in Webster Parish, many of the residents, themselves very poor, refused to sell them food or shelter and treated them with contempt.

Union boats came up the Ouachita River to Monroe to trade coffee, liquor, dry goods, and money for cotton. "Confederate officers were accused by a citizen of encouraging the trade and of fraternizing with the enemy, eating their oysters, and drinking their liquor." As the war continued, deserters and stragglers about Monroe became "so plentiful that the Union Army sent a special detachment" from Alexandria to apprehend them.

In 1913, Joseph A. Biedenharn, the first bottler of Coca-Cola, moved to Monroe from Vicksburg, Mississippi. Until Biedenharn's breakthrough, Coca-Cola had been available only when individually mixed at the soda fountain. Biedenharn and his son, Malcolm Biedenharn, were among the founders of Delta Air Lines, originally Delta Dusters. His home and gardens at 2006 Riverside Drive in Monroe have been preserved and are now operated as the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens and are open to the public.

Collett E. Woolman, the Ouachita Parish agent, was originally from Indiana. He pioneered crop dusting to eradicate the boll weevil, which destroyed cotton throughout the Mississippi River delta country in the early 20th century. Woolman originated the first crop-dusting service in the world.

The collapse of cotton production contributed to the Great Migration of the early 20th century, when a total of 1.5 million African Americans left the rural South for jobs in northern and midwestern cities. They were also escaping the oppressive racial conditions and violence under Jim Crow and the disenfranchisement that excluded most blacks from the political system.

Howard D. Griffin (1911-1986) purchased a boat dealership in 1936 while he was a student at what became the University of Louisiana at Monroe. By the 1960s, Griffin's company had become the largest outboard motor dealership in the world. He also sold motorcycles. From 1965 to 1985, Griffin and his wife, Birdie M. Griffin (1915-1985), operated their seasonal Land O' Toys store on South Grand Street in Monroe. The motto was "Land O’ Toys; Loads of fun for girls and boys; Bring the kids and look around; The biggest toy deal in the town." Once Christmas was over, the toy store was quickly phased out, and the outboard motors returned to the showroom. From her childhood memories, Sherry Lynn Mason recalls the Land O' Toys: "I loved that store. Every time [my father] took me there, we were waiting for his outboard motor to be fixed across the street. It was a magical place to me!” Amy Berry Baker recalls, "It wasn't Christmas until we went to Howard Griffin ... magical for kids," according to an article in The Monroe News-Star. Mrs. Griffin died December 15, 1985, and the store close permanently a few days after Christmas of that year. In March 2011, the remaining abandoned building burned. All that remains are the memories of the former customers, now all adults. Cheri Chadduck recalled, "Memories are completely magical, and I am so grateful for my childhood recollections of time there."

Geography

First Baptist Church, Monroe, LA IMG 1300
First Baptist Church in downtown Monroe
Chapel at LA Baptist Children's Home in Monroe, LA IMG 1310
Frank "Buddy" Flowers Chapel at Louisiana Baptist Children's Home in Monroe
Washington Plaza in Monroe, LA IMG 1296
Washington Plaza in downtown Monroe

Monroe has an elevation of 72 feet (21.9 m).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.6 square miles (83.9 km²), of which, 28.7 square miles (74.3 km²) of it is land and 3.7 square miles (9.6 km²) of it is water. The total area is 11.46% water.

Regional cities and their distance from Monroe include:

City Distance (miles)
Alexandria, Louisiana 96
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 187
Dallas, Texas 284
El Dorado, Arkansas 66
Houston, Texas 336
Jackson, Mississippi 120
Lafayette, Louisiana 184
Lake Charles, Louisiana 194
Little Rock, Arkansas 176
Natchez, Mississippi 97
New Orleans, Louisiana 282
Shreveport, Louisiana 99
Vicksburg, Mississippi 78

Climate

Monroe has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa). Rainfall is abundant, with the normal annual precipitation averaging over 51 inches (1.3 m), with monthly averages ranging from less than 3 inches (76 mm) in August to more than 5 inches (130 mm) in June. Severe thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail, damaging winds and tornadoes occur in the area during the spring and summer months. The winter months are normally mild, with an average of 35 days of freezing or below-freezing temperatures per year, with ice and sleet storms possible. Summer months are hot and humid, with maximum temperatures exceeding 90 degrees an average of 91 days per year, with high to very high relative average humidity, sometimes exceeding the 90 percent level.

Climate data for Monroe, Louisiana (Monroe Regional Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 82
(27.8)
89
(31.7)
91
(32.8)
97
(36.1)
104
(40)
108
(42.2)
108
(42.2)
108
(42.2)
107
(41.7)
98
(36.7)
90
(32.2)
83
(28.3)
108
(42.2)
Average high °F (°C) 57.3
(14.06)
61.6
(16.44)
69.7
(20.94)
78.0
(25.56)
85.4
(29.67)
91.5
(33.06)
94.1
(34.5)
94.2
(34.56)
89.0
(31.67)
79.3
(26.28)
68.5
(20.28)
59.0
(15)
77.4
(25.22)
Average low °F (°C) 35.6
(2)
39.4
(4.11)
46.2
(7.89)
53.6
(12)
62.8
(17.11)
69.6
(20.89)
72.0
(22.22)
71.1
(21.72)
64.4
(18)
53.0
(11.67)
44.3
(6.83)
37.3
(2.94)
54.2
(12.33)
Record low °F (°C) −1
(-18.3)
−2
(-18.9)
18
(-7.8)
32
(0)
39
(3.9)
51
(10.6)
56
(13.3)
51
(10.6)
35
(1.7)
29
(-1.7)
19
(-7.2)
5
(-15)
−2
(-18.9)
Precipitation inches (mm) 5.01
(127.3)
4.63
(117.6)
4.72
(119.9)
4.50
(114.3)
5.19
(131.8)
4.68
(118.9)
3.57
(90.7)
3.18
(80.8)
3.63
(92.2)
4.78
(121.4)
4.84
(122.9)
5.29
(134.4)
54.02
(1,372.1)
Snowfall inches (cm) 0.6
(1.5)
0.1
(0.3)
0.1
(0.3)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.9
(2.3)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.9 9.4 9.2 7.7 9.4 9.1 8.4 7.4 7.1 8.2 8.5 9.8 104.1
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.3 0.4 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 1.0
Source #1: NOAA
Source #2: The Weather Channel (extreme temps)

Neighborhoods

Southern Monroe (south of U.S. Highway 80) This area contains the Pecanland Mall and the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.

  • Atkinson Quarters
  • Bryant's Addition
  • Burg Jones Lane
  • Charmingdale
  • Grayling Bend
  • Hollywood Heights
  • King Oaks
  • Lamyville
  • Lincoln Park
  • New Town
  • Oak Manor
  • Oregon Trail
  • Parkview
  • Pine Bayou#1
  • Pine Bayou#2
  • Renwick's Addition
  • Richwood
  • Robinson Place
  • Standifer Ave SAC Town
  • Tanglewood
  • West Parkview

North and East Monroe Metro Area (north of U.S. Highway 80) The University of Louisiana at Monroe and the headquarters for CenturyLink can be found in this area. This list includes communities located outside Monroe City limits.

  • Bayou Oaks
  • Betin Heights
  • Booker T
  • Brierfield
  • Cypress Point
  • Downtown
  • Forsythe Park
  • Garden District
  • Lakeshore
  • West Monroe

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 435
1870 1,949
1880 2,070 6.2%
1890 3,256 57.3%
1900 5,428 66.7%
1910 10,209 88.1%
1920 12,675 24.2%
1930 26,028 105.3%
1940 28,309 8.8%
1950 38,572 36.3%
1960 52,219 35.4%
1970 56,374 8.0%
1980 57,597 2.2%
1990 54,909 −4.7%
2000 53,107 −3.3%
2010 48,815 −8.1%
Est. 2015 49,598 1.6%
Source: US Census data
St. Francis North Hospital, Monroe, LA IMG 2858
St. Francis North Hospital is located off U.S. Highway 165 in north Monroe.

As of the census of 2000, there were 53,107 people, 19,421 households, and 12,157 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,851.8 people per square mile (714.9/km²). There were 21,278 housing units at an average density of 741.9 per square mile (286.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city in 2000 was 61.13% Black (63.9 percent black in 2010), 36.78% White (33.4 percent in 2010), 0.13% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.01% of the population.

There were 19,421 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.4% were married couples living together, 25.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54, and the average family size was 3.26.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 15.0% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,864, and the median income for a family was $33,263. Males had a median income of $31,840 versus $22,352 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,933. About 26.3% of families and 32.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.3% of those under the age of 18 and 21.6% of those 65 and older.

Transportation

Monroe was the headquarters of Delta Air Lines during the second half of the 1920s. As it expanded, it moved to Atlanta.

Monroe Regional Airport serves the city. The airport has three main runways and is served by American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Greyhound Bus Lines provides transportation from Monroe to many cities across the nation.

The city of Monroe has the oldest municipally owned transit system in the nation. Created in 1906 as a four-line street railroad, the Monroe Transit System now provides 13 fixed bus routes covering most areas of the city, and three demand-response buses serving the disabled. Monroe can be accessed from I-20, U.S. Highway 165, Louisiana Highway 15, U.S. Highway 80, and I-420 (proposed). the main railroads: Kansas City Southern (kcs), Union Pacific BNSF and Norfolk Southern (NS), serve freight traffic.

National Guard

Monroe is home to the 528th Engineer Battalion of the Louisiana Army National Guard. This unit is part of the 225th Engineer Brigade which is headquartered in Pineville, Louisiana at Camp Beauregard.

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