West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana
|West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana|
Location in the state of Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
|Named for||Felicite de Gálvez|
|Largest town||St. Francisville|
|• Total||426 sq mi (1,103 km2)|
|• Land||403 sq mi (1,044 km2)|
|• Water||23 sq mi (60 km2), 5.3%|
|• Density||39/sq mi (15/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
West Feliciana Parish (French: Paroisse de Feliciana Ouest) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 15,625. The parish seat is St. Francisville. The parish was founded in 1824. It is one of two Louisiana parishes to be divided in two parts, the other being St. Martin Parish.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
Following the founding of the Bayou Sara settlement by Franciscan/Cappucin monks in the late 17th century, the area was explored further by Spain, France, and England. The original settlement is now under the Mississippi River, which shifted course.
Originally part of the Florida colony, West Feliciana was conjoined with the other Florida Parishes during the Louisiana Purchase. The parish existed for a time as the independent Republic of Feliciana, but eventually joined the United States in 1810 as Feliciana Parish. In 1824 it was divided into East Feliciana and West Feliciana parishes.
During the American Civil War, West Feliciana Parish provided financial assistance to the families of soldiers fighting for the Confederate States of America. Wives and children of soldiers were to receive from $10 to $40 per month depending on family size.
Since before the Civil War, West Feliciana had been historically Democratic in voter preference. In 1972 it was the only Louisiana parish to support the George McGovern and Sargent Shriver ticket. Since 2000, parish voters have supported the Republican Party candidate in presidential elections: that year Bush-Cheney polled 2,512 votes (55 percent), compared to 2,187 (45 percent) for the Democrats Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., and Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut. George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney won in 2004, with 2,932 (56 percent) to 2,214 (42 percent) over the Democrats John F. Kerry and John Edwards. John S. McCain won the parish in 2008 over the Democrat Barack Obama.
The parish is located on the Mississippi River, and is bordered by Pointe Coupee Parish to the west and East Feliciana Parish to the east.. The parish is about 30 miles (48 km) north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and about 60 miles (97 km) south of Natchez, Mississippi.
Adjacent parishes and counties
- Wilkinson County, Mississippi (north)
- East Feliciana Parish (east)
- East Baton Rouge Parish (south)
- West Baton Rouge Parish (south)
- Pointe Coupee Parish (southwest)
- Avoyelles Parish (northwest)
- Concordia Parish (northwest)
National protected area
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 15,625 people residing in the parish. 52.0% were White, 46.5% Black of African American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Native American, 0.6% of some other race and 0.6% of two or more races. 1.6% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,111 people, 3,645 households, and 2,704 families residing in the parish. The population density was 37 people per square mile (14/km²). There were 4,485 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 48.63% White, 50.51% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.03% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. 1.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 3,645 households out of which 38.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.10% were married couples living together, 15.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.80% were non-families. 23.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.24.
In the parish the population was spread out with 20.30% under the age of 18, 8.70% from 18 to 24, 40.00% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 7.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 191.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 223.60 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $39,667, and the median income for a family was $47,239. Males had a median income of $35,046 versus $21,922 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $16,201. About 15.00% of families and 19.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.30% of those under age 18 and 23.40% of those age 65 or over.
Government and infrastructure
Louisiana State Penitentiary of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections is located in unincorporated West Feliciana Parish.
West Feliciana Parish Public Schools serves the parish. All residents are zoned to Bains Lower Elementary School, Bains Elementary School, West Feliciana Middle School, and West Feliciana High School. Tunica Elementary School, a parish elementary school, was closed after the parish school board voted to close the school in May 2011.
Founded in 1892, The St. Francisville Democrat is the parish's local newspaper and serves as Official Journal for the parish's governmental bodies. The paper's office is at 4749 Johnson St., St. Francisville,LA.
The newspaper, founded by W.W. Leake and his wife May, was originally called "The True Democrat." After Leake's death, May Leake married Elrie Robinson and they continued publication of the newspaper. The paper was later published by their son James M. Robinson, who sold it to Marlyn and David Goff in the 1970s. The Democrat is now owned by Louisiana State Newspapers.
St. Francisville, the parish seat, is the sole incorporated city.
Notable natives and residents
- General Robert Hilliard Barrow (February 5, 1922 – October 30, 2008) was the 27th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) from 1979 to 1983. Barrow served for 41 years, including overseas command duty in three wars. He was awarded the Navy Cross and the Distinguished Service Cross. He grew up on his family’s Rosale Plantation in West Feliciana Parish. He is interred at the Grace Episcopal Church Cemetery in St. Francisville.
- Rob Couhig, New Orleans businessman and politician, was reared in West Feliciana Parish.
- Norman E. "Pete" Heine, served as the West Feliciana parish administrator, after having served 23 years as the mayor of Baker in East Baton Rouge Parish
- Samuel Lawrason, St. Francisville attorney and state senator who authored the Lawrason Act of 1898.
- Sam A. LeBlanc, III, lawyer and politician; half-brother of Rob Couhig, retired to St. Francisville c. 2006
- Tom McVea, state representative.
- L. Christian Mixon, American film and television actor, reared near St. Francisville.
- John Richard Rarick, attorney and U.S. Representative from St. Francisville.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "West Feliciana Parish". Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
- John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p. 74
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "West Feliciana Parish School System Profile." (Archive) West Feliciana Parish School System. 1. Retrieved on February 18, 2012.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Louisiana State Penitentiary." Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Retrieved on August 24, 2010.
- "Schools." West Feliciana Parish Public Schools. Retrieved on February 18, 2012.
- Rivas, Brittany. "West Feliciana board closes elementary school." WBRZ. May 18, 2007. Retrieved on February 18, 2012.
- "Directory." West Feliciana Parish Library. Retrieved on September 29, 2010.
- "About Us." West Feliciana Parish Library. Retrieved on September 29, 2010.
- "Rehabilitative Services / Work Programs." Louisiana State Pentientiary. Retrieved on August 29, 2010.
- ""Time in Prison", Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections. 34/40. Retrieved on September 23, 2010.
- "Lawrason, Samuel McCutcheon". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.com). Retrieved December 27, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.|
- St. Francisville and West Feliciana Parish Website
- St. Francisville and West Feliciana Tourism Commission
- Explore the History and Culture of Southeastern Louisiana, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
||Avoyelles Parish and Concordia Parish||Wilkinson County, Mississippi|
|East Feliciana Parish|
|Pointe Coupee Parish||West Baton Rouge Parish and East Baton Rouge Parish|