Bossier City, Louisiana
|City of Bossier City|
|Elevation||174 ft (53 m)|
|Area||41.6 sq mi (107.7 km2)|
|- land||40.8 sq mi (106 km2)|
|- water||0.8 sq mi (2 km2), 1.92%|
|Density||1,473.94 / sq mi (569.1 / km2)|
|Mayor||Mayor Lorenz James "Lo" Walker|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
As of the 2010 census, Bossier City had a total population of 61,315. The 2011 estimate is 62,745. Bossier City is closely tied to its larger sister city Shreveport, located on the western bank of the Red River. The Shreveport – Bossier City metropolitan area is the center of the region known as the Ark-La-Tex.
In the 1830s, Bossier City was known as Bennett's Bluff. Bennett's Bluff was named after William Bennett, who with his wife Mary Ciley and his business partner James Cane, owned a plantation near the Red River, in now south Bossier. The Cane & Bennett Trading Post had printed paper money and was successful, even though both Cane and Bennett died before the Civil War. Ciley remarried Cane after Bennett's death. The plantation then became known as Cane's Landing. Cane’s Landing had a ferry, and served as a shipping point. The post was run by the widowed Mrs. Cane. Steamboat loads of cotton, corn, and sweet potatoes were shipped to markets in the south and east, from the plantation port. Later on Cane's Landing would become known as Cane City.
In 1843, a section of land was divided out of the Great Natchitoches district and Claiborne Parish areas and was called Bossier Parish. The section of land was named in honor of Pierre Evariste John Baptiste Bossier. Pierre Bossier was a former creole general, who became a cotton farmer in Bossier Parish. He is considered one of the first settlers in the area.
In the 1840s, the Great Western Migration began and the parish grew in population. Many early settlers passed through the region on their way to the wild west. By 1850, over 200 wagons a week passed through Bossier City. Some of these settlers stayed, attracted by the soil and river valley. In 1850, the census listed the population at around 6,962.
During the American Civil War, companies of Confederate soldiers left Cane's Landing aboard steamboats for the distant battlefields. Mrs. Cane hosted hundreds of Confederate officers and troops who were heading off to war. Mrs. Cane’s plantation was fortified to protect Shreveport by three batteries with Fort Kirby Smith in the center. The others were: Batteries Price, and Walker & Ewell.
Fort Smith stood near the now Bossier High School and protected the area from an eastern invasion. The Civil War hit Bossier Parish in 1861 and ended in Shreveport four years later, when the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered.
Shed Road, the first all-weather turnpike in the American South, was constructed in the 1870s and operated from 1874–1886. It extended for nine miles (14 km) from Red Chute to the Red River. There was a plantation at the end of the elevated and covered roadway, which was reached by a ferry boat. The covered road made the transportation of goods easier before the arrival of the railroads.
Classification as a city
Anna B., granddaughter of James and Mary, felt the area would prosper and began promoting the idea of a riverfront city. Anna B. and J. J. Stockwell sold lots in 1883. The area grew quickly, as did transportation through it.
Cane City was said as being incorporated by former Governor Newton C. Blanchard and renamed as the Village of Bossier City. It has grown from an area of one square mile to a city containing over 35 square miles (91 km2) and 25,000 acres (100 km2). Continued growth led to Bossier City’s classification being changed from village to town by Governor John M. Parker. Later, Governor Earl Kemp Long issued a proclamation classifying Bossier City a city.
The golden spike, commemorated the completion of the east-west Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad. It was driven at Bossier City on July 12, 1884, by Julia "Pansy" Rule. It is the first such spike to be driven by a woman. The north-south Shreveport and Arkansas Railroad was completed on April 6, 1888. The Louisiana-Arkansas Railroad was completed on November 2, 1909. The Dixie Overland Highway from the east to west coast was built in 1918. These railroads and highways combined to make Bossier City a hub for future activity.
The discovery of petroleum crude oil, to the south, in 1908, thrust Bossier City into the nationwide oil boom. Bossier's central location to the rural oil fields made it a major player in the oil patch. Several international oil companies are located here. The advantages brought by black gold fueled many civic, social and economic improvements.
A fire on June 23, 1925, consumed one-half of downtown Bossier City. Local citizens were unable to battle the blaze. The loss spurred civic improvements including a modern water system, capable of fighting such fires, a new City Hall, a modern fire alarm system, modern sidewalks and the first city park.
In the 1930s, construction began on Barksdale Air Force Base. The first unit assigned to Barksdale was the 20th Pursuit Group. Before World War II, Barksdale was a training school for the Army Air Corps. During the war, Barksdale trained pilots, navigators, and bombardiers. Later the base became one of the key bases of the Strategic Air Command in the new Air Force. Barksdale is the headquarters for the 8th Air Force. The land that base is built was purchased by local residents who donated the land to the U.S. Army.
In the 1890s, Cane City had a population of about 600. Bossier City now has a 2011 estimated population of nearly 63,000. First a cotton-exporting river landing, next a railroad town, then an airbase and oil-boom town, Bossier City is now known for its tourism and recreational gaming.
Three casinos in the city have financed a number of municipal projects, many completed during the administration of former Mayor George Dement. Recent improvements include the CenturyLink Center, Louisiana Boardwalk, Benton Road Overpass, and the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway, located along the eastern side of the Red River. Dement also procured Amtrak service between Bossier City and Dallas, Texas. Dement was succeeded as mayor in 2005 by his administrative assistant and former mayoral opponent from 1989, Lo Walker, the first Republican to hold the city's top executive position.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.6 square miles (108 km2), of which, 40.8 square miles (106 km2) of it is land and 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) of it (1.90%) is water.
- Cross on the Hill—There is a 199-foot cross near the intersection of I-20, I-220, and Highway 80 in Bossier City. www.crossonthehill.com.
As of the census of 2010, there were 68,315 people, 25,200 households, and 14,901 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,382.6 people per square mile (533.8/km²). There were 23,026 housing units at an average density of 563.9 per square mile (217.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.44% White, 22.74% African American, 0.57% Native American, 1.73% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.95% of the population.
There were 23,197 households, out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. Nearly 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city of Bossier City, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $36,561, and the median income for a family was $42,642. Males had a median income of $30,632 versus $22,174 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,032. About 11.4% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.9% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.
Bossier City residents are zoned to Bossier Parish Schools. Public schools in the area are listed below:
- Apollo Elementary School
- Bellaire Elementary School
- Benton Elementary School
- Bossier Elementary School
- Carrie Martin Elementary School
- Central Park Elementary School
- Curtis Elementary School
- Elm Grove Elementary School
- Legacy Elementary School
- Meadowview Elementary School
- Plantation Park Elementary School
- Platt Elementary School
- Princeton Elementary School
- T. L. Rhodes Elementary School
- R.V. Kerr Elementary School
- Stockwell Place Elementary School
- Sun City Elementary School
- W.T. Lewis Elementary School
- Waller Elementary School
- Benton Middle School
- Cope Middle School
- Elm Grove Middle School
- Greenacres Middle School
- Haughton Middle School
- Plain Dealing Middle/High School
- T.O. Rusheon Middle School
- Airline High School
- Benton High School
- Bossier High School
- Haughton High School
- Parkway High School
- Plain Dealing High/Middle School
"Bossier City" is a song by David Allan Coe, in which he sings, "And it sure smells like snow in Bossier City...". Also, Johnny Rodriguez recorded a song called "Achin' Bossier City Backyard Blues" in 1972.
Sports, gambling, and entertainment
Bossier City and Shreveport now share an all women's flat track roller derby team named the Twin City Knockers. The team is the newest competing sport in the area being founded in January 2010. Games known as bouts are hosted at Hot Wheels skating rink located in south Bossier.
The CenturyLink Center (formerly CenturyTel Center) in Bossier City was the home of the Bossier–Shreveport Battle Wings af2 arena football team, as well as the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs of the Central Hockey League. The arena has hosted top performers, including Britney Spears and Aerosmith, as well as rodeos, ice shows, and children's entertainment.
The city hosts three riverboat casino gambling resorts along the east bank of the Red River: Horseshoe, Boomtown, and Diamond Jack's. Horse racing and gambling on slot machines is also available at Harrah's Louisiana Downs, which opened in 1974.
- Malouf Abraham, Jr., a retired allergist and art collector from Canadian, Texas, was stationed at Barksdale A.F. B. in the middle 1960s.
- Robert Adley is a Bossier City native and businessman who is a Republican member of the Louisiana State Senate. A former Democrat, Adley also served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1980-1996. He resides in the parish seat of Benton.
- Robert E. "Bob" Barton, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives (1996–2000)
- Walter O. Bigby, attorney; member of the Louisiana House (1968–1979), called the "Dean of the House"
- Sherry Boucher, former Hollywood actress and Realtor in Bossier Parish
- Henry Newton Brown, Jr., judge of the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeals (1992-2012) and district attorney of Bossier and Webster parishes (1976-1991), resides is a long-term resident of Bossier City.
- Henry Burns is a freshman Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 9 (Bossier Parish). He owns the Wooden Spoon bakery in Bossier City. A Haughton resident, he is a former member of the Bossier Parish School Board.
- George Carlin was stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base and held a job in Shreveport.
- Herman "Wimpy" Jones, a state senator from 1956–1960, also served briefly on the Bossier City Council and Planning Commission and operated the Southern Kitchen restaurant.
- Jared Leto was born in Bossier City on December 26, 1971. He is an actor (featured in various movies such as Requiem for a Dream, Lord of War, Fight Club, Mr. Nobody and American Psycho, among others) and is also the frontman and rhythm guitarist of the popular hard rock band 30 Seconds to Mars.
- Shannon Leto, drummer of 30 Seconds to Mars and older brother of Jared Leto, was born in Bossier City on March 9, 1970.
- Judi Ann Mason, born and reared in Shreveport-Bossier, Hollywood screenwriter and producer, wrote "Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit"
- Billy Montgomery, though a native of Natchitoches, represented parts of Bossier Parish in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1988-2008. He is a Democrat-turned-Republican.
- Enoch T. Nix, banker, member and president of the Louisiana State Board of Education
- Rupert Peyton, journalist, historian, former Louisiana state representative from Caddo Parish
- Alex Porteau, a professional wrestler who worked for both WWE and WCW, was born in Bossier City in 1969.
- O. E. Price, municipal, district, and state appeal court judge from Bossier City
- Buddy Roemer, former United States Representative from Louisiana's 4th Congressional District (1980–87) and Governor of Louisiana (1988–92)
- B.J. Ryan is a closer in Major League Baseball for the Toronto Blue Jays of the American League. Previously, Ryan played for the Cincinnati Reds (1999) and Baltimore Orioles (1999–2005).
- Jeffrey D. Sadow, political scientist, columnist, professor at Louisiana State University in Shreveport
- Eddy Shell was in 1967 a founding faculty member Bossier Parish Community College and a Republican member of the Bossier Parish Police Jury from 1992 until his death.
- Jane H. Smith is the first woman principal, school superintendent, and state legislator from Bossier Parish.
- Jeff R. Thompson, state representative; successor to Jane Smith
- David Toms, a professional golfer, graduated from Airline High School.
- Lorenz Walker is the Mayor of Bossier City.
- Todd Walker, a professional baseball player, graduated from Airline High School.
- Randy Walker, a professional American football player who played for the Green Bay Packers in 1974, graduated from Bossier High School and later Northwestern State University. Walker still holds many punting/kicking records at both schools.
- V.V. Whittington was the president of defunct Bossier Bank and Trust Company and a Louisiana state senator from 1928–1932.
Bossier City is the location of Barksdale Air Force Base, home of the 2nd Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force, and 307th Bomb Wing. It was established February 2, 1933 and is one of the area's largest employers. Barksdale encompasses 22,000 acres (89 km2) and hosts the majority of the B-52 Stratofortresses used by the United States Air Force.
- "Bossier City, Louisiana (LA) Detailed Profile" (notes),City Data, 2007, webpage: City-data.com.
- "Census 2000 Data for the State of Louisiana" (town list), US Census Bureau, May 2003, webpage: Census.gov.
- City of Bossier City Centennial
- City of Bossier City
- "Amanda Crane, "'Mr. Bossier' turns 91"". bossierpress.com. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "Lo Walker to seek third term as Bossier City mayor, April 12, 2012". KTBS-TV. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- United States Census Bureau. "CENSUS OF POPULATION AND HOUSING". Retrieved January 14, 2012.
- United States Census Bureau. "Table 3. Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places in Louisiana: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011 (SUB-EST2011-03-22)". Retrieved January 14, 2012.
- Bossier Parish Schools.
- "2005 Red River Classic PRCA Rodea Cancelled". CenturyTel Center, 2005. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
- "O.E. Price obituary". Shreveport Times, February 24, 2006. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Bossier City, Louisiana|