Marksville, Louisiana

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Coordinates: 31°07′36″N 92°03′58″W / 31.12667°N 92.06611°W / 31.12667; -92.06611
City of Marksville
City
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Avoyelles
Elevation 82 ft (25 m)
Coordinates 31°07′36″N 92°03′58″W / 31.12667°N 92.06611°W / 31.12667; -92.06611
Area 4.1 sq mi (10.6 km2)
 - land 4.1 sq mi (11 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 5,702 (2010)
Mayor John Lemoine (D)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code 318
Location of Marksville in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Marksville is a city in and the parish seat of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,702 at the 2010 census, an increase of 165 over the 2000 tabulation of 5,537. It is 43 percent African American.[1]

Louisiana's first land-based casino, Paragon Casino Resort, opened in Marksville in June 1994. It is operated by the federally recognized Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe, which has a reservation in the parish.[2]

History[edit]

Marksville is named after Marc Eliche (Marco Litche, as recorded by the Spanish), a Jewish-Italian immigrant who established a trading post after his wagon broke down in this area.[3] He was a Sephardic Jewish trader[4] from Italy, believed to be from Venice. His Italian name was recorded by a Spanish priest as Marco Litche, and as Marc Eliche by French priests after his trading post was established about 1794. Marksville was noted on Louisiana maps as early as 1809, after the United States acquired the territory in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.[5] Eliche later donated the land that became the Courthouse Square. It is still the center of Marksville.

Marksville today has a population made up of numerous Creole and Cajun peoples. Many of the families have been there since the city was incorporated. These families include Sylvan, Trahan, Malveaux, and Zachary. Louisiana Creole language and Louisiana French are both spoken in Marksville.

Marksville became the trading center of a rural area developed as cotton plantations. After the United States ended the African slave trade in 1808, planters bought African-American slaves through the domestic slave trade to use as workers; a total of more than one million were transported to the Deep South from the Upper South in the first half of the 19th century. Planters typically bought slaves from the markets in New Orleans, where they had been taken via the Mississippi River or by the coastwise slave trade at sea. Solomon Northup, a free black from Saratoga Springs, New York, was kidnapped and sold into slavery; he was held for nearly 12 years on plantations in Avoyelles Parish, and was freed in 1853 with the help of Marksville and New York officials.

During the American Civil War, Marksville late in 1862 hosted Confederate soldiers from Texas. According to historian John D. Winters, they

"built wooden huts to shelter themselves from the icy winds and rain. At night, after the usual camp routines, the men amused themselves around their campfires with practical jokes and group singing or sat listening to the music of a regimental band. Some of the soldiers often gathered under an arbor of boughs to dance jigs, reels, and doubles to the music of several fiddles. On the opposite side of the camp, another arbor served as a church. There at night with the area lighted by pine knots, men listened to the exhortations and prayers of the preacher and sang favorite hymns."[6]

Marksville came under Union control in 1863 as part of Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's Red River campaign. It was occupied by Union troops for the remainder of the war. [7]

Geography[edit]

Marksville is located at 31°7′36″N 92°3′58″W / 31.12667°N 92.06611°W / 31.12667; -92.06611 (31.126595, −92.066073)[8].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²), of which, 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²) of it is land and 0.24% is water.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 5,537 people, 2,036 households, and 1,400 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,358.0 people per square mile (524.0/km²). There were 2,198 housing units at an average density of 539.1 per square mile (208.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.98% White, 48.59% African American, 0.80% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population.

There were 2,036 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 22.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 79.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,750, and the median income for a family was $25,681. Males had a median income of $24,896 versus $15,865 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,546. About 32.0% of families and 34.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 50.1% of those under age 18 and 25.4% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

All primary public schools are run by the Avoyelles Parish School Board. It operates 2 schools within the city of Marksville. The school board website is [2].[10]

Elementary[edit]

  • Marksville Elementary

High school[edit]

Notable people[edit]

National Guard[edit]

1020th Engineer Company (Vertical) of the 527th Engineer Battalion of the 225th Engineer Brigade is located in Marksville.

Small communities in the area[edit]

References[edit]