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Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana facts for kids

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Tangipahoa Parish
Parish of Tangipahoa
Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in Hammond
Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in Hammond
Map of Louisiana highlighting Tangipahoa 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 March 6, 1869
Named for Acolapissa word meaning ear of corn or those who gather corn
Seat Amite City
Largest city Hammond
 • Total 823 sq mi (2,130 km2)
 • Land 791 sq mi (2,050 km2)
 • Water 32 sq mi (80 km2)  3.9%
 • Total 133,157
 • Density 161.79/sq mi (62.47/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 1st, 5th
Ponchatoula Creek Southeastern footbridge
Footbridge across a tributary of Ponchatoula Creek leading to North Oak Street Park on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Tangipahoa Parish

Tangipahoa Parish ( French: Paroisse de Tangipahoa) is a parish located in the southeast corner of the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 121,097. The parish seat is Amite City, while the largest city is Hammond. Southeastern Louisiana University is located in Hammond. Lake Pontchartrain borders the southeast side of the parish.

The name Tangipahoa comes from an Acolapissa word meaning "ear of corn" or "those who gather corn." The parish was organized in 1869 during Reconstruction.

Tangipahoa Parish comprises the Hammond, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the New Orleans-Metairie-Hammond, LA-MS Combined Statistical Area. It is one of what are called the Florida Parishes, at one time part of West Florida.


Tangipahoa Parish began in 1869, when it was carved from Livingston Parish, St. Helena Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and Washington Parish. It was flooded in 1932.

The name comes from the Tangipahoa River and the historic Tangipahoa Native American people.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 823 square miles (2,130 km2), of which 791 square miles (2,050 km2) is land and 32 square miles (83 km2) (3.9%) is water. Lake Pontchartrain lies on the southeast side of the parish.

Most of the parish south of Ponchatoula consists of Holocene coastal swamp and marsh—gray-to-black clays of high organic content and thick peat beds underlying freshwater marsh and swamp.

Adjacent counties and parishes



Amtrak's daily City of New Orleans long-distance train stops in Hammond, both northbound (to Chicago) and southbound. It serves about 15,000 riders a year, and Hammond-Chicago is the ninth-busiest city pair on the route.

The historic main line of the Illinois Central that carries freight through the parish is now part of CN. It continues to be busy.


  • I-12.svg Interstate 12
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Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 7,928
1880 9,638 21.6%
1890 12,655 31.3%
1900 17,625 39.3%
1910 29,160 65.4%
1920 31,440 7.8%
1930 46,227 47.0%
1940 45,519 −1.5%
1950 53,218 16.9%
1960 59,434 11.7%
1970 65,875 10.8%
1980 80,698 22.5%
1990 85,709 6.2%
2000 100,588 17.4%
2010 121,097 20.4%
2019 (est.) 134,758 11.3%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2019

2020 census

Tangipahoa Parish racial composition
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 79,825 59.95%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 39,770 29.87%
Native American 409 0.31%
Asian 942 0.71%
Pacific Islander 23 0.02%
Other/Mixed 4,946 3.71%
Hispanic or Latino 7,242 5.44%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 133,157 people, 46,526 households, and 31,420 families residing in the parish.

National Guard

The parish is home to the 204th Theater Airfield Operations Group and the Forward Support Company of the 205th Engineer Battalion. This 205th Engineer Battalion is a component of the 225th Engineer Brigade of the Louisiana National Guard. These units reside within the city of Hammond. A detachment of the 1021st Engineer Company (Vertical) resides in Independence, Louisiana. The 236th Combat Communications Squadron of the Louisiana Air National Guard also resides at the Hammond Airport.


Map of Tangipahoa Parish Louisiana With Municipal Labels
Map of Tangipahoa Parish, depicting municipal boundaries




Census-designated place

Other unincorporated places


The parish is served by the Tangipahoa Parish School System. Southeastern Louisiana University is located in Hammond.

On seven occasions, the American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, along with other defendants, for having allegedly sponsored and promoted religion in teacher-led school activities.

School Board

The elected school board governs and oversees the Tangipahoa Parish School System (TPSS). The board appoints the superintendent of schools, who leads the school system and oversees is functioning. The current superintendent is Melissa M. Stilley. The president of the board is Sandra Bailey-Simmons, and the vice president is Tom Tolar.

Melissa M. Stilley, superintendent

Janice Fultz Richards (D), District A

Tom Tolar (R), District B

Robin Abrams (R), District C

Glenn Westmoreland (R), District D

Brett Duncan (I), District E

Randy Bush (R), District F

Jerry Moore (D), District G

Sandra Bailey-Simmons (R), District H

Rose Quave Dominguez (R), District I

The Board has a long history of racial discrimination in the hiring of teachers. In 1975, it was ordered to ensure one-third of the teaching staff were Black. Both the Board and the Court ignored the mandate for more than thirty years. During the period from 1998 to 2008, the Board hired fewer Black teachers than any other school system in the state. In 2010, a second ruling strengthened the first.

Notable people

  • Chris Broadwater, current District 86 state representative, resides in Hammond
  • Nick Bruno, president of University of Louisiana at Monroe
  • Hodding Carter, 20th-century journalist
  • John L. Crain, president of Southeastern Louisiana University
  • John Bel Edwards, current Governor of Louisiana; former Minority Leader of Louisiana House of Representatives; former District 72 state representative, resides in Amite
  • Lucy Fleming, singer
  • C. B. Forgotston, political activist
  • Barbara Forrest, critic of intelligent design
  • Tim Gautreaux, writer
  • Dennis Paul Hebert, state representative for Tangipahoa Parish, 1972-1996
  • Bolivar E. Kemp, U.S. representative, 1925–1933
  • Bolivar Edwards Kemp, Jr., Louisiana Attorney General, 1948–1952
  • Wade Miley, professional baseball pitcher
  • James H. Morrison, represented Louisiana's 6th congressional district from 1943 to 1967
  • Kim Mulkey, college basketball player, United States Olympic Team, Baylor head women's basketball coach
  • Rufus Porter, professional football player
  • Henry "Tank" Powell, state representative from 1996 to 2008
  • Billy Reid, fashion designer
  • Weldon Russell, former state representative from Tangipahoa and St. Helena parishes
  • Jackie Smith, former professional football player, St. Louis Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys, NFL Hall of Famer
  • Irma Thomas, Grammy-winning singer
  • Harry D. Wilson, Louisiana state representative and state agriculture commissioner; pushed for the establishment of the town of Independence in 1912
  • Justin Wilson, chef and humorist
  • Robert Alford, professional football player, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals
  • Harlan Miller, professional football player, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins
  • Kevin Hughes, professional football player, St. Louis Rams and Carolina Panthers
  • Donald Dykes, former professional football player, New York Jets and San Diego Chargers
  • Earl Wilson, former major league baseball player for Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres
  • LaBrandon Toefield, former professional football player, Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers
  • Devonta Smith, professional football player, Philadelphia Eagles, 2020 Heisman Trophy Winner, Alabama Crimson Tide football.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Parroquia de Tangipahoa para niños

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