Downtown Many facing west
|Elevation||276 ft (84.1 m)|
|Area||3.1 sq mi (8 km2)|
|- land||3.1 sq mi (8 km2)|
|- water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%|
|Density||923.4 / sq mi (356.5 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|Website: townofmany.com[dead link]|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (May 2013)|
On March 21, 1843, the Louisiana Legislature under the administration of Governor Alexandre Mouton passed Act 46, which carved up the large Natchitoches Parish and created the new parishes of Sabine, DeSoto, and Bossier. Act 46 specified that the seat of government for the newly created Sabine Parish would be named Many, in honor of Colonel James B. Many, one of the most popular and colorful officers serving at nearby Fort Jesup.
Colonel Many became commander at Jesup in 1823. There, he served as a genial host for many cotillions, band concerts, parties and gatherings which glamorized the social life of the post where civilians were always welcome. Legislative Act 46 further empowered the governor to appoint a sheriff and a parish judge for Sabine. The judge would be assigned to create 5-7 wards and to authorize an election for the selection of an equivalent number of police jurors.
The act also specified that the parish judge would then call a meeting of the newly elected members of the jury for the "purpose of locating a seat of justice and causing to be erected the necessary public buildings." The act specifically stated that the parish seat would have to be located within three miles (5 km) of the center of the parish.
William R. D. Speight was named as the parish judge, and he created seven wards. Elected to the police jury were T. Arthur, B. R. Biles, W. Estes, Robert B. Stille, J. R. Smart, A. Savell and S. S. Eason. As instructed by the legislature, the new governing authority of the parish now had to determine exactly where the new parish seat would be located. As the first and still only permanent settlement in Sabine Parish, and the only place resembling a town, Fort Jesup seemed to be the likely candidate to become the parish seat. But because it was a federal military reservation and lacked a few miles from being centrally located in the parish, officials were forced to look for a different site for the parish seat.
The area that today is downtown Many was next targeted as the parish seat of government. The focus on the area was likely due to the popularity of a country tavern, inn and store that went by the name of Baldwin. Baldwin's tavern and Baldwin's Store were located along the El Camino Real at a point where some minor roads intersected. The store and tavern had become a popular stopping place for the many travelers of the El Camino Real.
Once the area where the Town of Many would be situated was determined, the parish government needed land on which to locate the town. Four prominent citizens of the area stepped in to make that determination simple. William R. D. Spieght (parish judge), I. K. Eason, G. W. Thompson and Samuel S. Eason donated to the police jury 40 acres (160,000 m2) on which to locate the town. Although some buildings were being constructed, it was not until donation of property (located around Baldwin's Store) that the town officially had land of its own. The land was described in an 1890 account as being adjacent to Peter Buvens land, "beginning at the fork of the road east of Hosea Presley's house and along the Speight Road."
After the land donation, some 30 citizens petitioned the Police Jury to lay out the town on the new parish land, sell lots and make arrangements for the construction of public buildings, particularly a courthouse. In a December 1844 plat of the town by surveyor G. W. Thompson, the town is shown as having a public square and eight streets. The Town of Many was incorporated on March 3, 1853. (The town was reincorporated in 1877) A town jail was built in 1859, but the parish courthouse would come much later, in 1880.
The parish police jury appointed five commissioners to govern the town. They were John Baldwin, Alexander Byles, M. Fulchrod, Henry Earls and John Waterhouse. The commissioners' first order of business was to open for sale the lots in town. On December 31, 1844, Robert Partott and William Edmunson purchased the first lots in town, at a cost of $39.50 each. Purchasing land in the town soon after were J. B. Stoddard, P. H. Dillon, William Taylor, S. S. Eason, and John Baldwin. They were followed by L. Stevenson, L. M. Rogers, B. K. Ford, C. Chaplin, T. McCarty, Tabitha Baldwin, J. S. Elam and G. E. Ward. In 1847, another important transfer of lots was made. For $20, lots were deeded for the construction of a Masonic Society Hall and a Methodist church. The transaction was between John Baldwin, Robert Stille and G. E. Ward, (commissioners of the Town of Many); John Caldwell, John D. Tucker and Robert A. Gay, (of the Masonic Society); and Abraham Roberts, William D. Stephens, Robert D. Wright, William Mains and Dr. Henry McCollen, (trustees of the Methodist Church).
The two groups constructed a two-story building, and the upper floor was used for Hamill Lodge, while the lower floor for Methodist services. In 1852, lots on which to build a church were donated by Daniel R. Gandy to Anthony McGee and Noah Martin, trustees of the Baptist denomination. Among other lot owners in the original town, up to 1869, were Eli Self, J. F. Smith, K. G. McLemore, Wiley Weeks, G. C. DeBerry, James Garner, Joe Hobbs, William Cook, G. G. Garner, B. Campbell, Littleton Cook, George Densmore, Louis Levison, Louis Vanshoebrook, John Waterhouse, G. W. Gibson, Isaac Rains, G. E. Jackson, J. B. Stoddard, Dr. E. Thigpen, James Brown, Abe Harris and J. B. Vandegaer.
Although the parish police jury had planned to build a courthouse in which public offices would be located with money from the sale of lots in the new town, a courthouse was not constructed in Sabine Parish until almost 40 years after the parish was created. That left Baldwin's Store to continue initially housing many of the parish's public offices and later, the Methodist and Baptist churches would be used for parish offices. The first sessions of court in Sabine were held in the Methodist Church, and the Clerk of Court's office was later located in the Baptist building.
Construction on the first Sabine Parish courthouse was completed in 1880, at a cost of $11,000. The first census for the Town of Many, taken in 1880 by Leo Vandegaer, revealed a population of 147 citizens (The first census taken for Sabine Parish was in 1850, and showed a population of 3,347 whites and 1,168 slaves.)
A sense of history in Many ever-present, in that the Louisiana-Texas east-west transportation corridor of years-gone-by, mirrors a picture of activity that passed through Sabine country long before the Town of Many was settled. Later the corridor became known as El Camino Real, translated in Spanish as Royal Highway or King’s Highway. The term El Camino Real referred to all main government roads in both Spain and Spanish America during the colonial period, so there is more than one El Camino Real in Spain and Spanish America.
Climate is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Many has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
|Climate data for Many, Louisiana|
|Average high °C (°F)||14
|Average low °C (°F)||1
|Precipitation cm (inches)||13
|Source: Weatherbase |
923.4 people per square mile (356.4/km²). There were 1,272 housing units at an average density of 406.5 per square mile (156.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 48.18% White, 47.42% African American, 1.70% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.70% of the population.
There were 1,073 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.6% were married couples living together, 23.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the town the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 10.8% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 82.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.3 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $20,000, and the median income for a family was $24,329. Males had a median income of $28,500 versus $15,870 for females. The per capita income for the town was $12,153. About 28.4% of families and 35.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 46.7% of those under age 18 and 26.3% of those age 65 or over.
Public schools in Sabine Parish are operated by the Sabine Parish School Board. The town of Many is zoned to Many Elementary School website (Grades PK-3), Many Junior High School (Grades 4-8), and Many High School (Grades 9-12).
Many also has a Sabine Valley Vocational-Technical School.
- Cliff Ammons, former Louisiana state representative and the "father of Toledo Bend Reservoir", was on the faculty of Many High School from 1948-1967.
- Frank Estes Cole, former football coach at Many High School who served in both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature between 1944 and 1960
- Charlie Joiner, former National Football League wide receiver and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was born in Many.
- Henry Putney Beers, The Western Military Frontier 1815-1846, Philadelphia: 1935, p. 68
- All information found in the history section may be found at the Town of Many's[dead link] official website. The history is incomplete as it does not include the 20th century.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Climate Summary for Many, Louisiana
- "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on August 3, 2013.
- "Clifton R. "Cliff" Ammons". findagrave.com. Retrieved December 24, 2010.
- "Cole, Frank Estes". A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.org). Retrieved December 19, 2010.
- "Charlie Joiner". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 27 May 2011.