DeSoto Parish, Louisiana
|DeSoto Parish, Louisiana|
Location in the state of Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
|Named for||settler, Marcel DeSoto|
894 sq mi (2,317 km²)
877 sq mi (2,272 km²)
17 sq mi (45 km²), 1.93%
29/sq mi (11/km²)
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
It is a typical misconception that the parish was named after Hernando de Soto, the Spaniard who explored the future southeastern United States and discovered and named the Mississippi River. The parish was in fact named after the unrelated Marcel DeSoto, who led the first group of European settlers there, to a settlement historically known as Bayou Pierre. The parish's name is also commonly misspelled following the explorer's name as "De Soto Parish," but it is properly spelled following the settler's name as "DeSoto Parish."
The Battle of Mansfield was fought in DeSoto Parish on April 8, 1864. General Alfred Mouton was killed in the fighting, but his position was carried forward by Prince de Polignac, a native of France. The battle is commemorated at the Mansfield State Historic Site four miles south of Mansfield off Louisiana Highway 175. The Confederate victory prevented a planned Union invasion thereafter of Texas.Mansfield, also known as the Battle of Sabine Crossroads, a Confederate victory, occurred with one year and one day left in the duration of the war. Mansfield was quickly followed by the Battle of Pleasant Hill to the south.
The parish has a total area of 894 square miles (2,315.4 km2), of which 877 square miles (2,271.4 km2) is land and 17 square miles (44.0 km2) (1.93%) is water.
Major highways 
Adjacent parishes 
- Caddo Parish (north)
- Red River Parish (east)
- Natchitoches Parish (southeast)
- Sabine Parish (south)
- Shelby County, Texas (southwest)
- Panola County, Texas (west)
|Panola County, Texas||Red River Parish|
|Shelby County, Texas||Sabine Parish||Natchitoches Parish|
National protected area 
As of the census of 2010, there were 32,000 people, 12,562 households, and 7,012 families residing in the parish. The population density was 29 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 11,204 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 55.97% White, 42.16% Black or African American, 0.51% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. 1.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
|DeSoto Parish Census Data|
There were 9,691 households out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.70% were married couples living together, 18.60% 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 11.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the parish the population was spread out with 28.40% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 26.30% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 90.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.00 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $28,252, and the median income for a family was $33,196. Males had a median income of $30,780 versus $20,182 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $13,606. About 21.00% of families and 25.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.80% of those under age 18 and 24.90% of those age 65 or over.
Unincorporated areas 
Public schools in DeSoto Parish are operated by the DeSoto Parish School Board.
Notable people 
- Terry Bradshaw (1948-) professional football player, sportscaster, singer, and actor
- Richard Burford (1946-) Louisiana State Representative
- Vida Blue (1949-) professional baseball player
- Sherri Smith Cheek Buffington (born 1966) represents DeSoto Parish in the Louisiana State Senate
- Joe Henry Cooper (1920–1980) Louisiana State Representative
- John H. Eastman (1861-1938) Mayor of Shreveport
- Joseph Barton Elam (1821–1885) United States Congressman
- Charles Wheaton Elam (1866–1917) Louisiana State Representative
- Lieutenant General John Spencer Hardy (1913-2012) United States Air Force
- Major General T.B. Herndon (1902–1964) United States Air Force
- Albert Lewis (1960-) professional football player
- Walter M. Lowrey (1921-1980), historian at Centenary College of Louisiana
- Garnie W. McGinty (1900-1984), Louisiana historian, was a school principal in DeSoto Parish in the 1920s.
- O. E. Price (1924-2006) judge
- Mack Charles Reynolds (1935–1991) professional football player
- O.C. Smith (1932–2001) singer
See also 
- Means, Emilia Gay Griffith, and Liz Chrysler. DeSoto Parish. Arcadia Publishing, 2011, p. 8.
- Brochure, Mansfield State Historic Site, 15149 Highway 175, Mansfield, Louisiana 71052
- John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, pp. 340-347
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- United States Census Bureau. "Louisiana Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". Retrieved 2008-02-02.