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Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
Parish of Natchitoches
Natchitoches Parish Courthouse (completed 1939 as a WPA project)
Natchitoches Parish Courthouse (completed 1939 as a WPA project)
Flag of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
Flag
Official seal of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana
Seal
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Region Central Louisiana
Founded April 10, 1805
Named for Natchitoches people
Parish seat Natchitoches
Largest municipality Ashland (area)
Natchitoches (population)
Area
 • Total 3,360 km2 (1,299 sq mi)
 • Land 3,240 km2 (1,252 sq mi)
 • Water 120 km2 (47 sq mi)
 • percentage 9 km2 (3.6 sq mi)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 39,566
 • Estimate 
(2018)
38,659
 • Rank LA: 30th
 • Density 11.760/km2 (30.459/sq mi)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code 318
Congressional district 4th
Natchitoches Parish Library IMG 1956
The Natchitoches Parish Library.
Magnolia Plantation; Natchitoches Parish, LA IMG 3472
Hidden by trees, the Magnolia Plantation is located in the Cane River Creole National Historical Park.
Creston Baptist Church near Campti, LA IMG 2104
Creston Baptist Church is located at the intersections of the highways leading to Ashland, Goldonna, and Readhimer.

Natchitoches Parish (French: Paroisse des Natchitoches or Les Natchitoches) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 39,566. The parish seat is Natchitoches. The parish was formed in 1805.

The Natchitoches, LA Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Natchitoches Parish. This is the heart of the Cane River Louisiana Creole community, free people of color of mixed-race descent who settled here in the antebellum period. Their descendants continue to be Catholic and many are still French-speaking. The Cane River National Heritage Area includes the parish. Among the numerous significant historic sites in the parish is the St. Augustine Parish (Isle Brevelle) Church, a destination on the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail, founded in 2008.

Including extensive outbuildings at Magnolia and Oakland plantations, the Cane River Creole National Historical Park interprets the history and culture of the Louisiana Creoles. It is also on the Heritage Trail.

History

Natchitoches Parish was created by the act of April 10, 1805 that divided the Territory of Orleans into twelve parishes, including Orleans, Iberville, Rapides and Natchitoches. The parish boundaries were much larger than now defined, but were gradually reduced as new parishes were organized to keep up with population increases in the state. Caddo, Claiborne, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Bienville, Jackson, Sabine, Red River, Winn, and Grant parishes were eventually formed from Natchitoches' enormous territory. Natchitoches Parish has fifteen border revisions, making it second only to Ouachita parish in number of boundary revisions.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 1,299 square miles (3,360 km2), of which 1,252 square miles (3,240 km2) is land and 47 square miles (120 km2) (3.6%) is water. It is the fourth-largest parish by land area in Louisiana. The primary groundwater resources of Natchitoches Parish, from near surface to deepest, include the Red River alluvial, upland terrace, Sparta, and Carrizo-Wilcox aquifers.

Adjacent parishes

Major highways

  • I-49.svg Interstate 49
  • US 71.svg U.S. Highway 71
  • US 84.svg U.S. Highway 84
  • Louisiana 1.svg Louisiana Highway 1
  • Louisiana 6.svg Louisiana Highway 6
  • Louisiana 9.svg Louisiana Highway 9
  • Louisiana 117.svg Louisiana Highway 117
  • Louisiana 119.svg Louisiana Highway 119
  • Louisiana 126.svg Louisiana Highway 126
  • Louisiana 153.svg Louisiana Highway 153
  • Louisiana 155.svg Louisiana Highway 155
  • Louisiana 156.svg Louisiana Highway 156
  • Louisiana 174.svg Louisiana Highway 174
  • Louisiana 480.svg Louisiana Highway 480
  • Louisiana 485.svg Louisiana Highway 485
  • Louisiana 486.svg Louisiana Highway 486
  • Louisiana 494.svg Louisiana Highway 494
  • Louisiana 1226.svg Louisiana Highway 1226
  • Louisiana 3163.svg Louisiana Highway 3163

National protected areas

Name
Cane River Creole National Historical Park
Kisatchie National Forest (part)
Red River National Wildlife Refuge (part)
Saline Bayou

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 7,486
1830 7,905 5.6%
1840 14,350 81.5%
1850 14,228 −0.9%
1860 16,699 17.4%
1870 18,265 9.4%
1880 19,707 7.9%
1890 25,836 31.1%
1900 33,216 28.6%
1910 36,455 9.8%
1920 38,602 5.9%
1930 38,477 −0.3%
1940 40,997 6.5%
1950 38,144 −7.0%
1960 35,653 −6.5%
1970 35,219 −1.2%
1980 39,863 13.2%
1990 36,689 −8.0%
2000 39,080 6.5%
2010 39,566 1.2%
2018 (est.) 38,659 −2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

2020 census

Natchitoches Parish racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 18,898 50.37%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 14,857 39.6%
Native American 284 0.76%
Asian 166 0.44%
Pacific Islander 19 0.05%
Other/Mixed 1,801 4.8%
Hispanic or Latino 1,490 3.97%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 37,515 people, 14,659 households, and 7,538 families residing in the parish.

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 39,566 people living in the parish. 54.3% were White, 41.4% Black or African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.9% of some other race and 2.1% of two or more races. 1.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

National Guard

A Troop 2-108TH CAV is headquartered in behind the local college and the airport. This unit has deployed twice to Iraq, first as part of the 1-156TH Armor Battalion in 2004-2005 and then as part of the 2-108TH CAV SQDN in 2010. Both times this company sized element deployed with the 256th Infantry Brigade.

Communities

Map of Natchitoches Parish Louisiana With Municipal Labels
Map of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

City

Town

Villages

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

District

Map of Natchitoches Parish Louisiana With Municipal and District Labels
Natchitoches Parish District Line
  • Natchitoches Parish District 1
  • Natchitoches Parish District 2
  • Natchitoches Parish District 3
  • Natchitoches Parish District 4
  • Natchitoches Parish District 7
  • Natchitoches Parish District 8
  • Natchitoches Parish District 9
  • Natchitoches Parish District 10
  • Natchitoches Parish District 11

Prison

County

Name Address Zip Aged
Natchitoches Parish Detention Center 299 Edwina Dr, Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457 16+

Education

Natchitoches Parish School Board operates local public schools. Parish schools include: Cloutierville Elementary & Junior High School, East Natchitoches Elementary & Middle High School, Fairview Alpha Elementary & Junior High School, Frankie Ray Jackson, Sr. Technical Center, George L. Parks Elementary & Junior High School, Goldonna Elementary & Junior High School, L.P. Vaughn Elementary & Junior High School, Lakeview High School, M.R. Weaver Elementary, Marthaville Elementary & Junior High School, Natchitoches Central High School, Natchitoches Magnet School, NSU Elementary Laboratory School, NSU Middle Laboratory School, and Provencal Elementary & Junior High School.

It is in the service area of Bossier Parish Community College.

Notable people

  • H. Welborn Ayres (1900–1985), born in Ashland, judge of the Louisiana Third Judicial District Court in Jonesboro and the Second Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport
  • Curtis Boozman (1898-1979), member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Natchitoches (two terms: 1952–1956 and 1960–1964).
  • Leopold Caspari (1830-1915), merchant in Cloutierville from 1849 to 1858 and thereafter businessman and banker in Natchitoches. He served nonconsecutively in both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature between 1884 and 1914.
  • Monnie T. Cheves (1902-1988), Northwestern State University professor; member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1952 to 1960
  • Charles Milton Cunningham (1877-1936), educator, lawyer, police juror, state senator, editor of The Natchitoches Times
  • William Tharp Cunningham (1871-1952), planter, lawyer, judge of the 11th Judicial District in Natchitoches and Red River parishes, member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1908 to 1912, born in Natchitoches Parish in 1871
  • Numa T. Delouche (1888-1965), member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Cloutierville from 1944 to 1948, served alongside Sylvan Friedman of Natchez, Louisiana.
  • Caroline Dormon (1888–1971), naturalist, botanist, and preservationist; born and lived on her family estate of Briarwood in Natchitoches Parish.
  • Abraham Dowden, Democratic political figure.
  • Brothers J. Isaac Friedman (1877-1949) and Leon Friedman (1886-1948) served in the Louisiana House from 1908 to 1916 and 1932 to 1940, respectively. Isaac Friedman also completed two years of a term in the state senate (1922 to 1924), following the resignation of Charles Milton Cunningham. Their nephew, Sylvan Friedman was a member of both houses of the state legislature, serving in the House from 1944 to 1952, and the state senate from 1952 to 1972. The Friedmans came from a large Jewish landholding family in Natchez, Louisiana.
  • Thomas Gilcrease (1890–1962), born in Robeline. He moved as a child with his parents in 1899 to the community of Wealaka in the Creek Nation in Indian Territory, now eastern Oklahoma. Later an oilman and an art collector, he founded the Gilcrease Museum, which he later donated to Tulsa.
  • Lloyd Hendrick (1908-1951), member of the state senate for DeSoto and Caddo parishes, 1940 to 1948; born in Natchitoches Parish.
  • Andrew R. Johnson (1856–1933), Louisiana state senator and former mayor of Homer, Louisiana, in 1901 named and sold lots to establish the village of Ashland in Natchitoches Parish.
  • Bob Reese (1929-2004), co-chairman of the Natchitoches Parish Republican Executive Committee, 1968–2004.
  • Roy Sanders (1904-1976), educator who served from Natchitoches Parish in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1948 to 1952
  • Ray Tarver (1921-1972), dentist from Natchitoches who represented Natchitoches Parish in the Louisiana House from 1964 to 1968; reared in Hagewood community in Natchitoches Parish

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