|Elevation||82 ft (25 m)|
|Area||4.1 sq mi (10.6 km2)|
|- land||4.1 sq mi (11 km2)|
|- water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%|
|Mayor||John Lemoine (D)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
Marksville is a small 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.
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.
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. He was a Sephardic Jewish trader 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. 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 Cajun peoples. Many of the families have been there since the city was incorporated. These families include Gaspard, Sylvan, Trahan, Malveaux, and Zachary.
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.
"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."
Marksville is located at (31.126595, −92.066073).
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.
As of the census 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.
- Marksville Elementary
- Aaron Broussard, Jefferson Parish politician impacted by the political effects of Hurricane Katrina
- F.O. "Potch" Didier, Sheriff of Avoyelles Parish (1956–1980); once spent seven days in his own jail after conviction of malfeasance in office during a political feud. He successfully campaigned for re-election from his own jail.
- Edwin Edwards, four-term Governor of Louisiana
- Elaine Schwartzenburg Edwards, US senator in 1972
- Harvey Fields, state senator for Morehouse and Union parishes from 1916 to 1920, member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission from 1927 to 1936, Marksville native and ally of Huey Pierce Long, Jr.
- H. Claude Hudson, civil rights activist and founder of Broadway Federal Savings and Loan
- Jeannette Knoll, associate justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court since 1997; long-time Marksville resident
- Raymond Laborde, mayor of Marksville (1958–1970), state representative (1972–1992), Edwin Edwards' commissioner of administration (1992–1996)
- Adolphe Lafargue (1855-1917), newspaper publisher, lawyer, state legislator from 1892 to 1899, and judge from 1899 to 1917, native of Marksville
- Alvan Lafargue (1883–1962), physician and mayor of Sulphur, Louisiana, from 1926–1938, was born in Marksville. Lafargue's paternal grandfather in 1843 founded the still-published Marksville Weekly News.
- Malcolm Lafargue (1908-1963), U. S. attorney in Shreveport from 1941 to 1950; defeated U. S. Senate candidate against Russell B. Long in 1950, native of Marksville
- Chad Lavalais, former LSU and NFL football player
- James Nelson Lee, judge of the 12th Judicial District Court in Marksville, 1978-1985; resident and former city judge in Bunkie
- John H. Overton (1875–1948), U.S. senator, native of Marksville
- Gaston Porterie, former Attorney General of the State of Louisiana
- Charles Addison Riddle III, District Attorney since 2003; former State Representative, 1992-2003
- Joseph Tabarlet, former mayor of Jonesboro, Louisiana, born in Marksville
- Little Walter Jacobs, blues musician, 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
1020th Engineer Company (Vertical) of the 527th Engineer Battalion of the 225th Engineer Brigade is located in Marksville.
Small communities in the area
- "Marksville (city), Louisiana". quickfacts.census.gov. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
- "Paragon Casino and Resort-the Tunica Biloxi Tribe". Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- "Marksville, LA" www.citytowninfo.com
- "Jewish Names on the U.S. Map" www.jewsinamerica.com
- John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p. 299
- Winters, p. 378
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Harvey Goodwyn Fields, Sr.". findagrave.com. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
- "M. E. Lafargue, Former District Attorney, Dies – Succumbs in Sleep Here at Age 54; Services Saturday". Shreveport Journal. March 28, 1963. pp. 1–A, 4–A. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
- Jodi Belgard (August 7, 2014). "Retired Bunkie judge Lee dies at 90". The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
- "Tabarlet, Joseph Odell". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.org). Retrieved December 28, 2010.