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Montgomery, Louisiana
Town
Town of Montgomery
U.S. Post Office in Montgomery, Louisiana
U.S. Post Office in Montgomery, Louisiana
Location of Montgomery in Grant Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Montgomery in Grant Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Grant
Area
 • Total 2.07 sq mi (5.36 km2)
 • Land 2.07 sq mi (5.35 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation
154 ft (47 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 622
 • Rank GR: 2nd
 • Density 301.06/sq mi (116.23/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
71454
Area code(s) 318
FIPS code 22-51620

Montgomery is a town in the far northwestern portion of Grant Parish, which is located in north-central Louisiana, United States. The population of Montgomery was 726 at the 2010 census. The town has a poverty rate of 37 percent and a median household income of just under $22,000. The median age is just under forty; the population in 2010 was 78 percent white.

Montgomery is part of the Alexandria Metropolitan Statistical Area though it is forty miles north of Alexandria. Founded in 1712, even before New Orleans, Montgomery is situated on U.S. Route 71, close to the boundary with Natchitoches and Winn parishes. It is located on the eastern bank of the Red River.

Downtown Montgomery, LA IMG 1645
Downtown Montgomery facing east
Revised Montgomery High School, Montgomery, LA IMG 1872
Montgomery High School
J.D. Boston VFW Post, Montgomery, LA IMG 2440
The VFW post is named for James D. Boston, Jr. (1916–1986), a World War II prisoner of war and later a history teacher at Montgomery High School.
First United Methodist Church of Montgomery, LA IMG 1856
First United Methodist Church in Montgomery
Revised First Baptist, Montgomery, LA IMG 7499 1
First Baptist Church, 739 Old Jefferson Highway, lost its oldest member in 2013; Ilda Bishop Cardozier, the long-term president of the Women's Missionary Union, died at the age of ninety-eight.
Revised Hargis Baptist Church, Montgomery, LA IMG 1818
Established in 1904, the Southern Baptist-affiliated Hargis Baptist Church has worshipped in this building since 1978. Located east of Montgomery, Hargis also has a church cemetery; pastor Dr. Marvin Jones (2015).
Northside Baptist Church of Montgomery, LA IMG 1642
Northside Baptist Church (founded 1958) now worships in this facility at 330 Bienville Street in Montgomery just off U.S. Highway 71; pastor Kevin Billiot (2011).

1950s political tale

In the 1950s, Montgomery was known as one of the smaller communities in the state which could draw considerable crowds to political gatherings. William J. "Bill" Dodd, veteran Louisiana politician, in his memoirs Peapatch Politics: The Earl Long Era in Louisiana Politics, recalls a 1955 gathering in which he "eulogized" Huey Long, Earl Long, and attorney general candidate Jack P.F. Gremillion. Dodd satirized Gremillion's World War II record: "Why he almost got killed himself when an enemy shell plowed into one of his most vital organs; if you don't believe Jack Gremillion earned his Purple Heart, he will show you the scars he has to prove it." The scars were on Gremillion's rear end, much to the embarrassment of the successful candidate. From Montgomery, the Long train headed to the parish seat of Colfax.

Geography

Montgomery is located at 31°39′58″N 92°53′12″W / 31.66611°N 92.88667°W / 31.66611; -92.88667 (31.666001, -92.886539) and has an elevation of 154 feet (46.9 m).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.4 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 160
1890 144
1900 158 9.7%
1910 174 10.1%
1920 224 28.7%
1930 383 71.0%
1940 495 29.2%
1950 695 40.4%
1960 866 24.6%
1970 923 6.6%
1980 843 −8.7%
1990 645 −23.5%
2000 787 22.0%
2010 730 −7.2%
2020 622 −14.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Montgomery racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 402 64.63%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 145 23.31%
Native American 6 0.96%
Pacific Islander 2 0.32%
Other/Mixed 59 9.49%
Hispanic or Latino 8 1.29%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 622 people, 261 households, and 114 families residing in the town.

Community life

Montgomery-area churches include First Baptist, Northside Baptist, and Hargis Baptist, all Southern Baptist in affiliation, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Mount Vernon Baptist Church, St. Luke A.M.E. ( African Methodist Episcopal) Church, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, a United Methodist Church, and a Pentecostal congregation. Northside was located on the main highway during the 1990s. The new church building burned and was rebuilt on the same site at 330 Bienville Street. Hargis Church is located in the Hargis community east of Montgomery.

The Reverend Kevin Billiot is both the pastor of Northside Church and the part-time police chief in Montgomery, for which he earns $20,000 a year. Police officers make $7.50 an hour. "When I arrived here as police chief in April (2011), we didn't have uniforms. We didn't even have badges. We had two badges we shared among ourselves" and wore polo shirts with embroidered badges, Billiot explained."

Current Montgomery Mayor Vera "Susie" Waters, who is paid $265 per month, but also works as office manager for two pharmacies, said that small-town finances "aren't in good shape right now. Any kind of equipment we purchase, we rely strictly on grants. When we can get a donation of equipment it's just a wonderful thing."

Notable people

  • A. Leonard Allen, late U.S. representative, once taught school in the Verda community east of Montgomery.
  • Jesse C. Deen, state representative from 1972 to 1988, lived in Hargis and went to Montgomery High SChool.
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