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Saint Helena Parish, Louisiana facts for kids

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Saint Helena Parish
Map of Louisiana highlighting Saint Helena Parish
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Map of the United States highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Louisiana
Founded 1810
Named for Saint Helena
 • Total 409 sq mi (1,060 km2)
 • Land 408 sq mi (1,060 km2)
 • Water 1.1 sq mi (3 km2)  0.3%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 27/sq mi (10/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 5th, 6th

St. Helena Parish (French: Paroisse de Sainte-Hélène) is a parish in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 11,203. Its seat is Greensburg. The parish was created in 1810.

St. Helena Parish is part of the Baton Rouge, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The parish is one of the eight "Florida Parishes," areas that were once part of colonial West Florida. It was annexed to the Territory of Orleans in 1810, after the short-lived Republic of West Florida capitulated to the United States. In 1832, the southern section of the parish was taken to form Livingston Parish; the courthouse was moved from Montpelier to Greensburg, where it remains today. St. Helena lost another portion of land in 1866, which was added to land from Washington and Livingston Parishes in 1868, to form Tangipahoa Parish.

From 1964 to 1984, St. Helena Parish was represented in the Louisiana State Senate by the Democrat businessman W. E. "Bill" Dykes. In 1983, as a casualty of redistricting, Dykes bowed out of contention in a race which would have pitted him against long-term Senate President Sixty Rayburn of Bogalusa, Louisiana.

In recent years, St. Helena experienced a series of scandals involving parish officials. In 1997, Sheriff Eugene Holland was found guilty of misuse of government funds and property and using prison inmates for personal labor. His replacement, Chaney L. Phillips (born c. 1950), served for only a year as sheriff before he was convicted of fraud and money laundering that he had committed while serving as the parish assessor. He was given an eight-year prison sentence on conviction in 1998 of having placed a political supporter on his assessor office staff; the individual performed no duties. Phillips was assigned to the Federal Correctional Institution in Englewood, Colorado. He did not serve the full eight years; he was released on May 23, 2003.

Ronald "Gun" Ficklin took over the sheriff's office from Phillips in 1998, but on February 5, 2007, Ficklin himself pleaded guilty on multiple counts involving his role in operating "chop shops" — reselling stolen automobiles and parts — using state prisoners to staff these activities and as a pit crew for his race car.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 409 square miles (1,060 km2), of which 408 square miles (1,060 km2) is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) (0.3%) is water.

Major highways

  • Louisiana 10.svg Louisiana Highway 10
  • Louisiana 16.svg Louisiana Highway 16
  • Louisiana 37.svg Louisiana Highway 37
  • Louisiana 38.svg Louisiana Highway 38
  • Louisiana 43.svg Louisiana Highway 43
  • Louisiana 441.svg Louisiana Highway 441

Adjacent parishes and counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1820 3,026
1830 4,028 33.1%
1840 3,525 −12.5%
1850 4,561 29.4%
1860 7,130 56.3%
1870 5,423 −23.9%
1880 7,504 38.4%
1890 8,062 7.4%
1900 8,479 5.2%
1910 9,172 8.2%
1920 8,427 −8.1%
1930 8,492 0.8%
1940 9,542 12.4%
1950 9,013 −5.5%
1960 9,162 1.7%
1970 9,937 8.5%
1980 9,827 −1.1%
1990 9,874 0.5%
2000 10,525 6.6%
2010 11,203 6.4%
Est. 2015 10,567 −5.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,203 people residing in the county. 53.3% were Black or African American, 44.9% White, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.5% of some other race and 0.8% of two or more races. 0.9% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

As of 2000, there were 10,525 people, 3,873 households, and 2,784 families residing in the parish. The population density was 10/km² (26/mi2). There were 5,034 housing units at an average density of 5 persons/km² (12 persons/mi2). The racial makeup of the parish was 46.53% White, 52.42% Black or African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. 0.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,873 households, out of which 34.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.90% were married couples living together, 18.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.10% were non-families. 25.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the parish, the population was spread out with 29.00% under the age of 18, 9.10% from 18 to 24, 26.10% from 25 to 44, 23.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 92.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.60 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $24,970, and the median income for a family was $29,950. Males had a median income of $30,218 versus $16,853 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $12,318. About 22.80% of families and 26.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 35.50% of those under age 18 and 23.20% of those age 65 or over.


Map of St. Helena Parish Louisiana With Municipal Labels
Map of St. Helena Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

Brushy Creek Crater

St. Helena Parish contains the only meteorite impact crater reported from the state of Louisiana. This suspected impact crater is a roughly circular depression about 1.2 miles/2 km in diameter. Shocked quartz and intensely fractured quartz have been recovered from fractured and possibly altered sediments comprising its rim. Its age is estimated to be between 11-30 ka. It lies about 5.8 miles/9.3 kilometers southwest of Greensburg, in the southwest corner of the parish. Louisiana Highway 37 cuts through the northern edge of this feature.

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