DeSoto Parish, Louisiana
DeSoto Parish, Louisiana
|Parish of DeSoto|
|Named for||settler, Marcel DeSoto|
|Largest municipality||Stonewall (area)|
|• Total||2,320 km2 (895 sq mi)|
|• Land||2,270 km2 (876 sq mi)|
|• Water||50 km2 (19 sq mi)|
|• percentage||5 km2 (2.1 sq mi)|
|• Density||12/km2 (30/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Website||DeSoto Parish Government|
DeSoto Parish (French: Paroisse DeSoto) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish was formed in 1843. At the 2010 U.S. census, the population was 26,656; at the 2020 census, its population increased to 26,812. Its parish seat is Mansfield. DeSoto Parish is part of the Shreveport–Bossier City metropolitan statistical area.
It is a typical misconception that the parish was named after Hernando de Soto, the Spaniard who explored the future southeastern United States and discovered and named the Mississippi River. The parish was in fact named after the unrelated Marcel DeSoto, who led the first group of European settlers there, to a settlement historically known as Bayou Pierre. The parish's name is also commonly misspelled following the explorer's name as "De Soto Parish," but it is properly spelled following the settler's name as "DeSoto Parish."
The Battle of Mansfield was fought in DeSoto Parish on April 8, 1864. General Alfred Mouton was killed in the fighting, but his position was carried forward by Prince de Polignac, a native of France. The battle is commemorated at the Mansfield State Historic Site four miles south of Mansfield off Louisiana Highway 175. The Confederate victory prevented a planned Union invasion thereafter of Texas. Mansfield, also known as the Battle of Sabine Crossroads, a Confederate victory, occurred with one year and one day left in the duration of the war. Mansfield was quickly followed by the Battle of Pleasant Hill to the south.
- Interstate 49
- Future Interstate 69
- U.S. Highway 84
- U.S. Highway 171
- U.S. Highway 371
- Louisiana Highway 5
- Caddo Parish (north)
- Red River Parish (east)
- Natchitoches Parish (southeast)
- Sabine Parish (south)
- Shelby County, Texas (southwest)
- Panola County, Texas (west)
National protected area
- Mansfield (parish seat and largest municipality)
|U.S. Decennial Census|
In 2019, the racial and ethnic makeup of the parish was 58.8% non-Hispanic or Latino white, 35.3% Black or African American, 0.9% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.1% Asian, <0.0% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 0.1% some other race, 1.9% two or more races, and 2.9% Hispanic or Latin American of any race.
There were 10,821 households at the 2019 census estimates, and the home-ownership rate was 71.3%. Of the 7,716 owner-occupied units, 3,917 were married couples living together, 365 male households with no female present, and 896 female households with no male present. There was a 17.1% vacancy rate in the parish. The average family size was 3.07, and the average household size was 2.50.
In the parish, 75.5% were aged 18 and older, and 17.2% were aged 65 and older; the median age was 39.3, and 6.5% were aged 5 and under. Approximately 0.8% of the population were foreign-born, and 2.1% spoke a language other than English at home.
The median income for a household in the parish was $46,006; families had a median income of $56,323, married couples had a median income of $78,090, and non-family households had a median income of $25,314. An estimated 22% of the parish lived at or below the poverty line, and 30.6% of people aged under 18 were at or below the poverty line.
- Larry Bagley (born 1949), incoming Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for Caddo, Desoto, and Sabine parishes
- Terry Bradshaw (born 1948), Hall of Fame professional football player, sportscaster, singer, and actor
- Richard Burford (born 1946), current Louisiana state representative
- Vida Blue (born 1949), professional baseball player
- C.L. Bryant (born 1956), Baptist minister and radio talk show host
- Riemer Calhoun (1909–1994), state senator from 1944 to 1952 for DeSoto and Caddo parishes
- Joe T. Cawthorn (1911–1967), state senator from 1940 to 1944 for DeSoto and Caddo parishes
- Sherri Smith Cheek Buffington (born 1966), Louisiana State Senator
- Joe Henry Cooper (1920–1980), Louisiana state representative
- Kenny Ray Cox (born 1957), Louisiana state representative and former United States Army officer
- Milton Joseph Cunningham (1842–1916), Natchitoches and New Orleans lawyer, state senator from Natchitoches and DeSoto parishes from 1880 to 1884; state attorney general for three nonconsecutive terms ending in 1900, born in what became DeSoto Parish
- George Dement (1922–2014), mayor of Bossier City
- John H. Eastman (1861–1938), mayor of Shreveport
- Joseph Barton Elam (1821–1885), United States Representative from Louisiana's 4th congressional district
- William J. Fleniken (1908–1979), U.S. attorney and state 1st Judicial District Court judge in Shreveport; born in DeSoto Parish
- William Pike Hall, Sr. (1896–1945), state senator for Caddo and DeSoto parishes, 1924–1932, Shreveport attorney
- John Spencer Hardy (1913–2012), United States Air Force lieutenant general
- Albert Lewis (1960-), professional football player
- Walter M. Lowrey (1921–1980), historian at Centenary College of Louisiana
- Curtis W. McCoy, mayor of Mansfield
- Garnie W. McGinty (1900–1984), historian at Louisiana Tech University and school principal
- Mack Charles Reynolds (1935–1991), professional football player
- Jayson Richardson, elected Sheriff of DeSoto Parish as a No Party candidate in 2018
- B. H. "Johnny" Rogers (1905–1977), politician
- C. O. Simpkins, Sr. (1925–2019 from Mansfield), African-American state representative, dentist, and civil rights activist in Shreveport
- O.C. Smith (1932–2001), singer
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- De Vries, Mark Leon, “Between Equal Justice and Racial Terror: Freedpeople and the District Court of DeSoto Parish during Reconstruction,” Louisiana History, 56 (Summer 2015), 261–93.
- Water Resources of De Soto Parish, Louisiana United States Geological Survey
- The American Cyclopædia. 1879. .