|City of Monroe|
|Nickname(s): Twin City|
|Motto: "One City, One Future"|
|• Mayor||Jamie Mayo (D)|
|• City Council|
|Elevation||72 ft (22 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||49,156|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CST (UTC-5)|
|ZIP Codes||71201, 71202, 71203, 71207, 71208, 71209, 71210, 71211, 71212, 71213|
Monroe (historically French: Poste-du-Ouachita) is the eighth-largest city in the U.S State of Louisiana. it is the parish seat of Ouachita Parish. In the official 2010 census, Monroe had a population of 48,815. The municipal population declined by 8.1 percent over the past decade; it was 53,107 in the 2000 census. After a recheck in 2012, the Census Bureau changed the 2010 population from 48,815 to 49,147. Mayor Jamie Mayo, however, maintains that the Monroe population is more than 50,000 and indicated that he will pursue a continued challenge to the count.
Monroe is the principal city of the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the parishes of Ouachita and Union. The two-parish area had a total population of 170,053 in 2000 and an estimated population of 172,275 as of July 1, 2007. The larger Monroe-Bastrop Combined Statistical Area is composed of both the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Bastrop Micropolitan Statistical Area. The CSA had a population of 201,074 in 2000.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Neighborhoods
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Economics
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Entertainment
- 8 National Guard
- 9 Crime and Poverty
- 10 Education
- 11 Media
- 12 Notable people
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The settlement formerly known as Fort Miro adopted the name Monroe in honor of the steam powered paddle-wheeler James Monroe. The arrival of the ship had a profound effect on the settlers—the singular event in the minds of local residents that transformed the outpost into a town. The ship is depicted in a mural at the main branch of the Monroe Library on North 18th Street. Therefore, credit is given to James Monroe of Virginia, the fifth President of the United States and, with Robert R. Livingston, one of the negotiators of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France, for whom the ship was named.
During the American Civil War, Monroe and Opelousas, the seat of St. Landry Parish in South Louisiana, had Confederate training camps. They were established after the fall of New Orleans to the Union in 1862. Conscripts were soon sent to both camps.
In 1862, Monroe and Delhi in Richland Parish became overcrowded with unwelcome refugees from rural areas to the east. They had fled the forces of Union General U.S. Grant, who moved into northeastern Louisiana and spent the winter of 1862–1863 at Winter Quarters south of Newellton in Tensas Parish. He was preparing for the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, not completed until July 4, 1863. Historian John D. Winters reported "strong Union sympathy" in both Delhi and Monroe. As the refugees moved further west toward Minden in Webster Parish, many of the existing inhabitants, themselves very poor, refused to sell them food or shelter and treated them with contempt.
Union boats came up the Ouachita River to Monroe to trade coffee, liquor, dry goods, and money for cotton. "Confederate officers were accused by a citizen of encouraging the trade and of fraternizing with the enemy, eating their oysters, and drinking their liquor." As the war continued, deserters and stragglers about Monroe became "so plentiful that the Union Army sent a special detachment" from Alexandria to apprehend them.
In 1913, Joseph A. Biedenharn, the first bottler of Coca-Cola, moved to Monroe from Vicksburg, Mississippi. His home and gardens at 2006 Riverside Drive in Monroe now operates as the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens. Until Biedenharn's breakthrough, Coca-Cola had been available only when individually mixed at the soda fountain. Biedenharn and his son, Malcolm Biedenharn, were among the founders of Delta Air Lines, originally Delta Air Service.
Collett E. Woolman, the Ouachita Parish agent originally from Indiana, pioneered crop dusting to eradicate the boll weevil, which destroyed cotton in the Mississippi River delta country in the early 20th century. Woolman originated the first crop-dusting service in the world. The collapse of cotton production contributed to the Great Migration of the early 20th century, when hundreds of thousands of African Americans left the rural South for jobs in northern and midwestern cities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.6 square miles (83.9 km²), of which, 28.7 square miles (74.3 km²) of it is land and 3.7 square miles (9.6 km²) of it is water. The total area is 11.46% water.
Regional cities and their distance from Monroe, Louisiana include:
Monroe has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa). Rainfall is abundant, with the normal annual precipitation averaging over 51 inches (1.3 m), with monthly averages ranging from less than 3 inches (76 mm) in August to more than 5 inches (130 mm) in June. Severe thunderstorms with heavy rain, hail, damaging winds and tornadoes occur in the area during the spring and summer months. The winter months are normally mild, with an average of 35 days of freezing or below-freezing temperatures per year, with ice and sleet storms possible. Summer months are hot and humid, with maximum temperatures exceeding 90 degrees an average of 91 days per year, with high to very high relative average humidity, sometimes exceeding the 90 percent level.
Southern Monroe (south of U.S. Highway 80) This area contains the Pecanland Mall and the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo.
- Atkinson Quarters
- Bryant's Addition
- Burg Jones Lane
- Grayling Bend
- Hollywood Heights
- King Oaks
- Lincoln Park
- New Town
- Oak Manor
- Oregon Trail
- Pine Bayou#1
- Pine Bayou#2
- Renwick's Addition
- Robinson Place
- Standifer Ave SAC Town
- West Parkview
North and East Monroe Metro Area (north of U.S. Highway 80) The University of Louisiana at Monroe and the headquarters for CenturyLink can be found in this area. This list includes communities located outside Monroe City limits.
- Bayou Oaks
- Betin Heights
- Booker T (Notable residents of this neighborhood, including Office of Juvenile Justice Northern Regional Director Carolyn B. Lewis, are described as "Bookertorian.")
- Cypress Point
- Forsythe Park
- Garden District
- Marie Place Addition
- North Pointe Plantation
- Northgate Estates
- Northside Terrace
- Pargoud Place
- Parkview Heights Subdivision
- Pecan Bayou
- Plantation Park
- Point Place
- River Oaks
- Sholar's Addition
- Town & Country
- Treasure Island
- Village North
As of the census of 2000, there were 53,107 people, 19,421 households, and 12,157 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,851.8 people per square mile (714.9/km²). There were 21,278 housing units at an average density of 741.9 per square mile (286.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city in 2000 was 61.13% African American (63.9 percent black in 2010), 36.78% White (33.4 percent in 2010), 0.13% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.01% of the population.
There were 19,421 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.4% were married couples living together, 25.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54, and the average family size was 3.26.
In the city, the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 15.0% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,864, and the median income for a family was $33,263. Males had a median income of $31,840 versus $22,352 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,933. About 26.3% of families and 32.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.3% of those under the age of 18 and 21.6% of those 65 and older.
According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the metropolitan area are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Ouachita Parish School Board||3,015|
|2||St. Francis Medical Center||2,500|
|5||University of Louisiana at Monroe||1,200|
|8||City of Monroe||1,110|
|9||Greenwood Regional Medical Center||900|
Monroe was the headquarters of Delta Air Lines during the second half of the 1920s. As it expanded, it moved. Monroe Regional Airport serves the city. The airport has three main runways and is served by American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines.
Greyhound Bus Lines provides transportation from Monroe to many cities across the nation. The city of Monroe has the oldest municipally owned transit system in the nation. Created in 1906 as a four-line street railroad, the Monroe Transit System (mtsbus.org) now provides 13 fixed bus routes covering most areas of the city, and 3 demand-response buses serving the disabled.
The Monroe Civic Center has multiple facilities. The main complex is the Civic Center Arena. This arena provides 44,000 square feet (4,100 m2) of exhibit space along with 5,600 seats. The arena may have larger capacities up to 7,200 seats. The arena houses events such as banquets, circuses, and rodeos. The civic center also has the B. D. Robinson conference hall, Monroe Convention Center, equestrian pavilion, and the 2,200-seat W. L. Jack Howard Theatre, named for W. L. "Jack" Howard, the Union Parish native who served as the mayor of Monroe from 1956 to 1972 and again from 1976 to 1978.
Monroe is the home of the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo, which collectively maintains over 500 animals. The zoo also offers boat rides and a catwalk, in addition to other seasonal activities.
The Monroe area is home to several museums, including the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum, The Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, Chennault Aviation & Military Museum, the Masur Museum of Arts, and the Northeast Louisiana Delta African-American Heritage Museum, one of the 26 site recently identified for the state's African American Heritage Trail.
Monroe is home to the Louisiana Motor Speedway, located near Interstate 20, and Twin City Dragway.
Monroe hosts Deltafest.
- Bayou Desiard Country Club
- Chennault Golf Course
- Frenchman's Bend Country Club
- The Links at Muny, Forsythe Park
- Pecanland Mall has major anchor stores: Belk, Dillard's, JC Penney, Sears, and Burlington Coat Factory. The largest mall in North Louisiana, it has 280 other specialty stores. The mall also has a Cinemark 10-Movie Complex, Food Court and a Center Court. In mid-town Monroe, The Shoppes on Tower shopping center, Twin City Plaza, Twin City Shopping Center and Eastgate Shopping Center provide a range of stores and amenities.
Crime and Poverty
Despite its relatively small size, Monroe suffers from higher than average levels of crime and poverty. Some studies have placed Monroe as the 14th most dangerous city in America for crime rates, and the 6th poorest city (per capita) in America. It was ranked 3rd worst small city for crime (among cities whose populations are less than 200,000).
- Career Technical College
- Louisiana Delta Community College
- University of Louisiana at Monroe
The City of Monroe has its own department of education that is set off from the larger Ouachita Parish School System. It is known as the Monroe City School System. The department consists of three high schools, three junior high schools, and 18 elementary schools.
- Barkdull Faulk Elementary
- Berg Jones Elementary
- Carver Elementary
- Clara Hall Elementary
- Cypress Point Elementary
- J.S. Clark Magnet School
- Lexington Elementary
- Lincoln Elementary
- Madison James Foster Elementary
- Minnie Ruffin Elementary
- Sallie Humble Elementary
- Carroll Junior High
- Martin Luther King Junior High (MLK)
- Ouachita Junior High School
- Robert E. Lee Junior High (Lee)
- Carroll High School
- Neville High School
- Wossman High School
Schools out of the Monroe City Schools District
- Grace Episcopal School
- Jesus the Good Shepherd
- New Vison Academy
- Ouachita Christan School
- Our Lady of Fatima
- River Oaks School
- Saint Frederick High School
Monroe is served by a Gannett newspaper, the Monroe News Star, formerly an afternoon daily owned and operated by the late father-son team of publishers, Robert Wilson Ewing, I, and John D. Ewing. When the Ewing's Monroe Morning World ceased publication, the sister publication, the News Star, became the city's morning-only newspaper.
Monroe is also served by two African-American weekly newspapers: The Monroe Free Press and the Monroe Dispatch. The Free Press was founded in 1969 by Roosevelt Wright, Jr.; its web presence began in 1996 and is located at http://monroefreepress.com. The Dispatch was founded in 1975 by Irma and Frank Detiege.
The Ouachita Citizen, based in West Monroe, is a weekly newspaper that provides all-local coverage of events in Ouachita Parish, including Monroe, West Monroe, Sterlington and Richwood. Locally owned, the newspaper has been in operation since 1924. The Ouachita Citizen can be found online at www.ouachitacitizen.com. It was purchased in 1996 by the late Sam Hanna, Sr., and his son, Sam Hanna, Jr., who remains the publisher.
- KBMQ 88.7 Contemporary Christian
- KBYO 92.7 Hit Music "Fun Radio"
- KEDM 90.3 National Public Radio/University of Louisiana at Monroe HD radio
- KHLL 100.9 Christian
- KJLO 104.1 Country
- KJMG 97.3 Urban Adult Contemporary
- KLIP 105.3 Classic Hits
- KMVX 101.9 Mix
- KMYY 92.3 Country
- KNBB 97.7 Sports
- KQLQ 103.1 Contemporary Hit Music
- KRVV 100.1 Urban Contemporary
- KXRR 106.1 Rock (100,000 Watts)
- KZRZ 98.3 Adult Contemporary
- KLIC 1230 NewsTalk
- KMLB 540 Talk/Sports
- KRJO 1680 Urban Gospel
Emergency alert stations:
- KMLB-KNOE 540 AM
- KNOE 101.9 FM
- KNOE TV 8
- Brian Bateman (PGA Golfer, 2007 Buick Open Winner)
- Benoit Benjamin (Former NBA Center for the Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Bubby Brister (Former Denver Broncos Quarterback)
- LaceDarius Dunn (basketball guard with Bnei HaSharon in Israel)
- Billy Joe Dupree (Former Tight End for the Dallas Cowboys)
- Lenny Fant, ULM (Basketball coach, 1957–1979, first ULM coach to win three hundred games)
- Chuck Finley – (Former MLB All-Star California Angels, Cleveland Indians & St Louis Cardinals Pitcher. Ex-spouse of Tawny Kitaen)
- Ralph Garr (Former All-Star MLB player)
- Gerrod Henderson (American basketball player for the Anwil Włocławek 2007–09)
- Cardia Jackson, ULM Warhawk linebacker and Green Bay Packers linebacker)
- Bradie James (LSU and Dallas Cowboys Linebacker)
- Shawn King (Former ULM/LSU and Carolina Panthers Defensive End)
- Paul Millsap (Power forward for Louisiana Tech University and the Utah Jazz)
- Rudy Niswanger (LSU and Kansas City Chiefs Center)
- Joe Profit (Former Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints Running Back)
- Cassidy Riley (Professional Wrestler WWE TNA)
- Phil Robertson (Former Quarterback for Louisiana Tech Bulldogs)
- Johnny Robinson (Former LSU and Kansas City Chiefs safety)
- Bill Russell (Former NBA center for the Boston Celtics)
- Ben Sheets (Former MLB All-Star Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics & Atlanta Braves pitcher, played at NLU, now ULM)
- Sammy White (GSU and Former Offensive Rookie of Year Receiver Minnesota Viking)
- Andrew Whitworth (LSU and Cincinnati Bengals Offensive tackle)
- Jonathan Wilhite (Auburn and New England Patriots Cornerback)
- Aeneas Williams (Former St. Louis Rams Free Safety)
- Pat Williams (Former NFL Defensive Tackle for the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings)
- Larry Wright (GSU and Former NBA guard for the Washington Bullets)
- Hamid Drake – jazz drummer and percussionist
- Doug Duffey – singer, songwriter, pianist, bandleader, music arranger, record producer, music publisher, poet, diarist, photographer and visual artist.
- Carl Fontana – jazz trombonist
- Kevin Griffin—lead singer of Better Than Ezra
- Andy Griggs – country music singer
- Rickey Minor – African-American music director, composer, music producer, and music director and bandleader for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
- Frank Ticheli – internationally known composer, conductor, Professor of Music, University of Southern California
- Leon "Pee Wee" Whittaker – African-American trombonist who played with the Rabbit's Foot Minstrels from Monroe between 1935 and 1950
- Edwards Barham, former member of the Louisiana State Senate from Morehouse Parish
- Robert J. Barham, director of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission; former state senator from Morehouse Parish
- William R. Boles, Sr. (1927–2008), attorney and former Democratic member of the Louisiana State Senate
- William Denis Brown, III (1931–2012), attorney, businessman, and state senator, floor leader in first term of Governor Edwin Washington Edwards
- William Derwood Cann, Jr. (1919–2010), World War II lieutenant colonel; interim mayor of Monroe from 1978 to 1979
- Marcus R. Clark (born 1956), associate justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court; former district court judge
- James L. Dennis (born 1936), Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- Jimmy Dimos, former Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives and retired judge
- John C. Ensminger (born 1934), Monroe businessman, state representative (1972–1991) and state senator (1991–1992) from Ouachita Parish
- William C. Feazel (1895–1965), interim U.S. Senator in 1948; member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1932–1936; father-in-law of Shady R. Wall
- Lee Fletcher (1966–2009), Republican political consultant
- H. Lawrence Gibbs (1919–1993), member of both houses of the Louisiana Legislature
- John S. Hunt, III (1928–2001), Monroe attorney and former member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission
- Marcus Hunter (born 1979), member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 17 in Ouachita Parish
- Neal Lane "Lanny" Johnson (born 1940), former Ouachita Parish school superintendent and member of the Louisiana House from 1976–1980 from Franklin and Tensas parishes; first All-American in basketball at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, then NLSC
- Kay Katz, former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives and former Republican National Committeewoman from Louisiana
- Robert Kostelka, Republican state senator and former judge
- Scott Leehy, Republican judge of the Fourth Judicial District
- Sam Little, Republican former state representative from Morehouse Parish and portions of Ouachita, West Carroll, and East Carroll parishes
- Jamie Mayo, Democratic mayor of Monroe since 2001
- Vance McAllister, businessman and runoff candidate in Louisiana's 5th congressional district special election, 2013
- Newt V. Mills, U.S. representative from Louisiana's 5th congressional district from 1937 to 1943, resided in Monroe.
- Jay Morris, state representative since 2012 from Ouachita and Morehouse parishes
- J. Kelly Nix, Louisiana superintendent of education from 1976 to 1984, attending the University of Louisiana at Monroe and thereafter resided in Monroe from c. 1965 to 1972
- James A. Noe, Short-term governor of Louisiana in 1936, founder of WNOE & KNOE radio & TV stations
- Abe E. Pierce, III (born 1934), mayor of Monroe from 1996 to 2000, first African American in the position; Ouachita Parish educator
- Robert E. "Bob" Powell (born 1923), mayor of Monroe from 1979 to 1996
- Melvin Rambin (1941–2001), mayor of Monroe from 2000 to 2001, only Republican in the position since Reconstruction; banker in Baton Rouge and Monroe; interred in Baton Rouge
- Frank Spooner, oil and natural gas producer and Republican politician, moved to Monroe in 1967
- Lawson Swearingen, former Louisiana state senator and president of ULM
- Chet D. Traylor, Associate justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, 1997–2009; Republican primary candidate for U.S. Senate, 2010
- Ralph T. Troy (born 1935), mayor of Monroe from 1972 to 1976
- Shady R. Wall (1922–1985), state representative from 1948–1956 and 1968–1984
- Mike Walsworth, Louisiana state senator from Ouachita and Morehouse parishes
- W. E. Whetstone (1908–1987), former member of the Louisiana State Board of Education
- J. Robert Wooley (born 1953), Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance from 2000 to 2006, spent his high school and college years in Monroe.
- Aubrey W. Young (1922–2010), Drug and alcohol abuse coordinator within the Department of Health and Hospitals, 1965–1999; aide-de-camp to Governor John McKeithen
Willie Robertson CEO Duck commander
- Edmund Graves Brown (1921–2008), executive of the Monroe News Star from 1952–1977; member of the Ewing newspaper family
- Grady A. Dugas (1923–2007), inventor of the "Safer Automatic Wheelchair Wheel Locks"
- Robert Ewing III (1935–2007), Monroe newspaper executive and photographer
- Lloyd E. Lenard, author, originally advertising manager of KNOE Radio, later in the insurance business in Shreveport, former Caddo Parish commissioner
- Sol Rosenberg (1926–2009), steel industrialist; philanthropist; Holocaust survivor
- Collett E. Woolman, one of the original directors of Delta Air Service. The founders were Collett Woolman, C.H. McHenry, Travis Oliver, and M.S. Biedenharn
- Clay Jordan, contestant on Survivor Thailand
- Valerie Mason, September 2008 Playboy Playmate
- Mantan Moreland, actor and comic of the 1930s and 1940s
- Ed Nelson, former Peyton Place co-star and New Orleans native, retired to Sterlington after Hurricane Katrina.
- Parker Posey, American film actress
- Susan Ward, American film and soap opera actress
- Harry W. Addison, writer and humorist
- Henry E. Chambers, Louisiana historian, resided in Monroe, 1894–1896.
- Speed Lamkin, novelist and playwright
- William Y. Thompson, retired historian from Louisiana Tech University
- C. E. Byrd, educator who resided in Monroe from 1889 to 1892; founded C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport
- W. C. Friley, Baptist clergyman; second president of Louisiana College, was a pastor in Monroe in the early 1880s.
- Rowena Spencer, MD; first female pediatric surgeon
- Dennis Swanberg, Christian comedian
- Marc Swayze, comic books writer and illustrator
- George T. Walker, president of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, 1958 to 1976
- Guy Banister, a career employee of the F.B.I. and a private investigator. Alleged co-conspirator in the assassination of John F. Kennedy
- "Cajun and Cajuns: Genealogy site for Cajun, Acadian and Louisiana genealogy, history and culture". Thecajuns.com. December 27, 1915. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
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- John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p. 149
- Winters, pp. 307–308
- Winters, p. 406
- Winters, p. 416
- "Biedenharn Museum and Gardens". goby.com. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
- "Delta Heritage Museum". deltamuseum.org. Retrieved August 18, 2010.
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- "Kansas City Chiefs: Rudy Niswanger". 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
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- Oakland Athletics (2010). "Ben Sheets Stats, Bio, Photos, Highlights". MLB Advanced Media, L.P. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
- "William Denis Brown, III". Monroe News-Star, March 9, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
- "William Derwood Cann, Jr.". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, July 14, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
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- "Biography of Henry Edward Chambers". usgwarchives.org. Retrieved March 15, 2011.
- City of Monroe
- Masur Museum
- Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo
- Monroe Civic Center
- Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum
- University of Louisiana at Monroe
- Monroe News Star
- Monroe Free Press
- African American History in Ouachita Parish
- "Monroe, La.". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
- "Monroe, a city of Louisiana". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.
- NOAA National Weather Service Ouachita River Inundation Map