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Vivian water tower
|Elevation||256 ft (78 m)|
|Area||5.2 sq mi (13.5 km2)|
|- land||5.2 sq mi (13 km2)|
|- water||0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%|
|Density||782.1 / sq mi (302 / km2)|
|- summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
Vivian, is a town in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, United States and is home to the Red Bud Festival. The population was 4,031 at the 2000 census. It was founded as a railroad stop in North Louisiana and named after the daughter of an locomotive engineer.
From 1938 to 1946 and again from 1962 to 1966, the Vivian mayor was Earl G. Williamson, a political mainstay in northern Caddo Parish who also served on the then police jury from 1933 to 1972 and again from 1979 to 1980. State law at the time permitted Williamson to occupy both posts. Williamson was succeeded as mayor in 1966 by Jimmy Wilson, a grocer and banker, who served until 1972, when he won his only term in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Wilson was the Republican candidate for the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana's 4th congressional district in 1978 and 1980.
Jasper "Jake" Smith, III (born 1935), a son of the late State Representative Jasper K. Smith, was reared in Vivian and recalls his hometown fondly in the 1940s in his memoir, Dinner with Mobutu: A Chronicle of My Life and Times:
Vivian is fifty miles from Texarkana, and that was about as close as you could get and still be in Louisiana. Vivian [is] surrounded by the smaller towns of Rodessa, Ida, Oil City, Belcher, Gilliam, and Hosston. Vivian was the "urban center" where citizens from the smaller towns came to shop, go to the movies, join in the excitement of city life as it was. To us, Vivian was the hub of the universe. At least it was the "Heart of the ArkLaTex," as folks down here liked to claim.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,031 people, 1,569 households, and 1,019 families residing in the town. The population density was 782.1 people per square mile (302.2/km²). There were 1,812 housing units at an average density of 351.5 per square mile (135.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 63.90% White, 34.19% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.02% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.72% of the population.
There were 1,569 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the town the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 81.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $23,800, and the median income for a family was $29,867. Males had a median income of $26,844 versus $17,500 for females. The per capita income for the town was $13,267. About 21.4% of families and 26.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.0% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.
The current mayor is Dr. Stephen Taylor, who practices medicine in Vivian.
The town's single government-sponsored cultural organization is the North Caddo Branch of the Shreve Memorial Library. The library is housed in the once-abandoned, now-restored Vivian Elementary School building. This new library contains a wealth of primitive readings from early Louisiana history, two expansive floors of books and periodicals, and numerous computers. The library staff includes one widely published author, who works as the reference specialist.
Vivian has been the location of several recent films.
- Exterior shots of the supermarket in the film The Mist were shot in Vivian in 2007 with Tom's Market providing the basis.
- Outdoor scenes for Straw Dogs were filmed in the downtown region in 2009.
- H. Claude DeBeaux, Jr. (1932-2013), native of Marshall, Texas, lived in Vivian and Shreveport. He was a member of the Caddo Parish School Board, established Claude DeBeaux Ford dealership in Vivian, a director of Citizens Bank and Trust Company, vice president of Holiday in Dixie festival in Shreveport, and a member of the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission in the administration of Governor Dave Treen.
- Richard John "Rick" McMillan, II, first Republican mayor of Vivian in 20th century, served 1986-1997.
- Phil Robertson, inventor of Duck Commander Duck Calls and television personality on Duck Dynasty was born in Vivian in 1946.
- Silas Robertson (born 1948), television personality
- Jasper K. Smith (1905-1992), Vivian lawyer, city attorney, and member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1944 to 1948 and then 1952 to 1964
- Clayton Lamar Williamson, half-brother of Don and James Williamson; former city manager in several Texas communities
- Don W. Williamson, state representative (1968-1972), State Senator (1972-1980), and member of the Caddo Parish School Board prior to 1968
- James Whitfield Williamson (1925–2008), Vivian mayor from 1972–1986; 1998; Caddo Parish Commissioner, 1988-1992
- Tedford Williamson (born 1957), Vivian native, half-brother of Don and James Williamson; businessman who served on the Round Rock, Texas, City Council from 2005 to 2007
- Jake Smith, Dinner with Mobutu: A Chronicle of My Life and Times. Xlibris Corporation. 2005. pp. 14, 27, 29. ISBN 978-1413499438. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- "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.
- "Claude DeBeaux". Shreveport Times, January 10, 2013. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- "Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved January 10, 2013.