Ville Platte, Louisiana

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Coordinates: 30°41′21″N 92°16′39″W / 30.68917°N 92.27750°W / 30.68917; -92.27750
Ville Platte, Louisiana
City
Name origin: ville platte, French ('Ville' being French for 'city' and 'platte' meaning 'flat')
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Evangeline
Elevation 72 ft (21.9 m)
Coordinates 30°41′21″N 92°16′39″W / 30.68917°N 92.27750°W / 30.68917; -92.27750
Area 3.1 sq mi (8 km2)
 - land 3.1 sq mi (8 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 8,145 (2000)
Density 2,665.4 / sq mi (1,029.1 / km2)
Mayor Jennifer Vidrine
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Postal code 70586
Area code 337
Location of Ville Platte in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Website: http://www.vpla.com

Ville Platte is the parish seat of Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The population was 8,145 at the 2000 census. Its name is derived from the French ville plate, or "flat town."

Walter L. Lee, the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court from 1956 to 2012, is retired in Ville Platte.

History[edit]

Marcellin Garand.jpg

The area around Ville Platte appears to have been first settled during the last half of the eighteenth century, when Louisiana was under Spanish rule. The earliest record of settlement in the immediate area of Ville Platte was in the 1780s.

Popular legend states the founder of Ville Platte was Marcellin Garand, an adjutant major in the Army of the French Empire, during the time of Napoleon. In 1824 Garand obtained one of the first two lots that were platted in what is now Ville Platte; a Doctor Robert Windex obtained the other lot. Those lots were obtained from the estate of William O'Donegan. This appears to be the actual beginning of, or the founding of the present town of Ville Platte.

The first post office in Ville Platte was established in 1842 with Marcellin Garand as postmaster from 1842 to 1848.

Ville Platte is also the home of Chicot State Park, which is Louisiana’s largest state park, visited by thousands of people from all parts of the U.S. The park covers 6,400 acres (26 km2) of rolling hills and water in South Central Louisiana and has large numbers of deer, racoon, and other wildlife.

Geography[edit]

Ville Platte is located at 30°41′21″N 92°16′39″W / 30.68917°N 92.27750°W / 30.68917; -92.27750 (30.689140, -92.277534).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.1 square miles (7.9 km²), all of it land.

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 8,145 people, 3,169 households, and 2,047 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,665.4 people per square mile (1,027.7/km²). There were 3,513 housing units at an average density of 1,149.6 per square mile (443.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 40.53% White, 58.67% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.23% of the population.

There were 3,169 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.9% were married couples living together, 24.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 33.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.17.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.9% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 19.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 85.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $12,917, and the median income for a family was $18,056. Males had a median income of $29,798 versus $16,563 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,672. About 43.5% of families and 50.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 68.9% of those under age 18 and 32.5% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Public schools in Evangeline Parish are operated by the Evangeline Parish School Board. Three campuses are located in Ville Platte - James Stephens Montessori School (Grades PK-4), Ville Platte Elementary School (Grades PK-4), and Ville Platte High School (Grades 5-12).

There is also one private school in Ville Platte, Sacred Heart High School, a Roman Catholic school.

The famous St. Landry Parish Sheriff Cat Doucet was educated in Ville Platte.[4]

Culture[edit]

Ville Platte has significant Creole and claimed Cajun cultural associations (cuisine, music, language etc.). It lies at the northern point of the "French Triangle" with a significant francophone population residing in the city as well as the parish. It is one of the birthplaces of the Afro-creole Zydeco music that has become one of the signatures of Louisiana culture throughout the world, as well as, the Choctaw metis tradition of 'viande boucanee' or smoked meat. See reference Evangeline Parish for appropriate historical and cultural information. See "Louisiana's French Creole Culinary & Linguistic Traditions: Facts vs. Fiction Before And Since Cajunization," by John laFleur & Brian Costello w/ Dr. Ina Fandrich, 2013

Government[edit]

Former U.S. Representative T. Ashton Thompson was born in Ville Platte in 1916. He died in office in 1965 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Gastonia, North Carolina. His death paved the way for Edwin Washington Edwards to assume Louisiana's 7th congressional district seat.

City Officials 2011-2015: Mayor: Jennifer Vidrine

Former Mayor: Bill Jeanmard, 2007-2011

Members of the City Council:

  • C. J. Dardeau
  • Mike Perron
  • Rev. Freddie Jack
  • Donald Sam
  • Taranza Arvie
  • Carol Alfred

City Clerk: Shelley Fruge'
Deputy Clerk: Cliff Fontenot

Chief of Police: Romeo J. Hargrove, III

Points of interest[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Doucet, Daly Joseph "Cat"". lahistory.org. Retrieved December 15, 2010. 

External links[edit]