Grant Parish, Louisiana

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Grant Parish, Louisiana
Grant Parish, LA, Courthouse IMG 2397.JPG
Grant Parish Courthouse in Colfax
Map of Louisiana highlighting Grant Parish
Location in the U.S. state of Louisiana
Map of the United States highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1869
Named for Ulysses S. Grant
Seat Colfax
Largest town Colfax
Area
 • Total 665 sq mi (1,722 km2)
 • Land 643 sq mi (1,665 km2)
 • Water 22 sq mi (57 km2), 3.3%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 22,343
 • Density 35/sq mi (14/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Grant Parish sign off U.S. Hwy. 71 IMG 6631.JPG
The Grant Parish Library is located near the courthouse.
The Grant Parish Sheriff's Office is located behind the courthouse.
Colfax Reunion Nursing and Rehabilitation Home at 366 Webb Smith Drive in Colfax serves all of Grant Parish.

Grant Parish (French: Paroisse de Grant) is a parish located in the north central portion of the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,309.[1] The parish seat is Colfax[2] (pronounced CAHL-facks). The parish was founded in 1869.[3]

Grant Parish is part of the Alexandria, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area and Red River Valley. From 1940-1960, the parish had a dramatic population loss, as many African Americans left in the Great Migration to seek better opportunities elsewhere. Such migration continued until about 1970. The parish was also one of the eleven Reconstruction parishes created, created from Winn and Rapides parishes.

Grant Parish is a home of United States Penitentiary, Pollock.

History[edit]

Grant Parish was originally a part of the more populous Rapides Parish to the south. Prior to the American Civil War, the center of activity focused upon "Calhoun's Landing," named for the cotton and sugar planter Meredith Calhoun, a native of South Carolina. Calhoun also published the former National Democrat newspaper in what became Colfax, the seat of government of the new parish.[4]

Grant was one of several new parishes created by the Reconstruction legislature in an attempt to build the Republican Party. Founded in 1869, it had a slight majority of freedmen. It was named for U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant.[5] The parish seat of Colfax was named for Grant's first vice president, Schuyler M. Colfax (pronounced COAL-facks) of Indiana. However, the town of Colfax is pronounced CAHL-facks. The parish encompassed both cotton plantations and pinewoods. It was one of several areas along the Red River that had considerable violence during Reconstruction, as whites tried to maintain social control.

The gubernatorial election of 1872 was disputed, leading to both parties' certifying their slates of local officers. The election was finally settled in favor of the Republican candidates, but the decision was disputed in certain areas. As social tensions rose, Republican officials took their places at the courthouse in Colfax. They were defended by freedmen and state militia (mostly made up of freedmen), who feared a Democratic Party takeover of the parish. Amid widespread rumors, whites organized a militia and advanced on the courthouse on Easter Sunday, 1873. In the ensuing violence, three whites and 120-150 blacks were killed, including 50 that night who were held as prisoners. Leading 20th-century historians renamed the Colfax Riot, the original state designation, as the Colfax Massacre. The total number of freedmen deaths were never established because some of the bodies were thrown into the river and woods.

The white militia was led by Christopher Columbus Nash, a Confederate officer who had been a prisoner of war at Johnson's Island in Ohio. It consisted of veterans from Grant and neighboring parishes. The following year, Nash gathered many of the white militia members as the basis of the first chapter of the White League. Other chapters quickly grew up across the state. The White League's organized violence in support of the Democratic Party included widespread intimidation of black voters. The League was integral to white Democrats' regaining power in the state by 1876. Soon after, they effectively disfranchised most blacks, a situation that persisted until after the Civil Rights-era legislation of the mid-1960s.

Population and politics[edit]

Grant Parish! had the highest growth rate in central Louisiana in the five-year period between 2001 and 2006, according to projections of the United States Census Bureau. The parish has had a 4.3 percent growth rate compared to 1.7 percent for its larger neighbor, Rapides Parish. Some neighboring parishes, including Winn, have experienced population decreases.[6]

Grant Parish is heavily Republican in contested elections. Mitt Romney polled 7,082 votes (81.7 percent) in his 2012 race against the Democrat U.S. President Barack H. Obama, who trailed with 1,422 votes (16.4 percent).[7] In 2008, U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona swept the parish too, with 6,907 votes (80.7 percent) to Obama's 1,474 (17.2 percent).[8]

In 1996, the Republican Robert J. Dole narrowly won in Grant Parish over U.S. President Bill Clinton, 3,117 votes (42.8 percent) to 2,980 (40.9 percent). Ross Perot, founder of his Reform Party, polled another 1,055 (14.5 percent).[9] In 1992, George Herbert Walker Bush carried Grant Parish in his unsuccessful bid for reelection. He polled 3,214 votes (40.8 percent) to Bill Clinton's 3,122 (39.6 percent) and Perot's 1,174 (14.9 percent).[10]

The last Democrat to win in Grant Parish at the presidential level was former Governor Jimmy Carter of Georgia in his 1976 defeat of U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., with Bob Dole as the Republican vice-presidential choice.[11]

Republican U.S. President-elect Donald Trump was a runaway winner in Grant Parish in 2016 over Hillary Rodham Clinton: 7,408 (84 percent) to 1,181 (13 percent).[12]

Nativity scene[edit]

In December 2016, a courthouse nativity scene in Colfax drew a complaint from the New Orleans chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. In a letter to the Grant Parish Police Jury, the ACLU said that officials must include secular symbols of the Christmas holiday if a nativity scene is placed alone on public property. District Attorney Jay Lemoine objected to the ACLU challenge in a statement to Alexandria Town Talk: "There have been various holiday displays presented both inside and outside the courthouse over many years. This year, as in years past, they include both secular and non-secular symbols. It is unfortunate that some are offended by these displays during this holiday season, as that was not the intent."[13]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 665 square miles (1,720 km2), of which 643 square miles (1,670 km2) is land and 22 square miles (57 km2) (3.3%) is water.[14]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent parishes[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 4,517
1880 6,188 37.0%
1890 8,270 33.6%
1900 12,902 56.0%
1910 15,958 23.7%
1920 14,403 −9.7%
1930 15,709 9.1%
1940 15,933 1.4%
1950 14,263 −10.5%
1960 13,330 −6.5%
1970 13,671 2.6%
1980 16,703 22.2%
1990 17,526 4.9%
2000 18,698 6.7%
2010 22,309 19.3%
Est. 2016 22,365 [15] 0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[16]
1790-1960[17] 1900-1990[18]
1990-2000[19] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[20] of 2000, there were 18,698 people, 7,073 households, and 5,276 families residing in the parish. The population density was 29 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 8,531 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 85.43% White, 11.88% Black or African American, 0.89% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.36% from other races, and 1.28% from two or more races. 1.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The decreases in population from 1910–1920, and from 1940–1960, were chiefly caused by different phases of the Great Migration, as African Americans left segregation and oppression of the South to seek better opportunities in the North, during the first phase, and in the West, especially California's defense industry, in the second phase. Tens of thousands of migrants left Louisiana during times of agricultural difficulties and the collapse of agricultural labor after mechanization.[21]

In 2000, there were 7,073 households out of which 36.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.20% were married couples living together, 12.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.40% were non-families. 22.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the parish the population was spread out with 28.30% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 12.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 96.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.00 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $29,622, and the median income for a family was $34,878. Males had a median income of $31,235 versus $20,470 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $14,410. About 16.90% of families and 21.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.30% of those under age 18 and 16.20% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

Presidential Elections Results[22]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 84.0% 7,408 13.4% 1,181 2.6% 232
2012 81.7% 7,082 16.4% 1,422 1.9% 163
2008 80.7% 6,907 17.2% 1,474 2.1% 177
2004 74.0% 5,911 24.7% 1,977 1.3% 103
2000 67.8% 4,784 29.8% 2,099 2.4% 172
1996 42.8% 3,117 40.9% 2,980 16.4% 1,195
1992 40.8% 3,214 39.6% 3,122 19.6% 1,542
1988 60.8% 4,402 36.3% 2,628 3.0% 215
1984 65.9% 5,334 32.0% 2,588 2.2% 175
1980 50.5% 3,611 46.0% 3,290 3.5% 247
1976 37.2% 2,280 59.8% 3,670 3.0% 186
1972 76.5% 3,626 18.1% 859 5.4% 254
1968 20.2% 1,113 16.9% 932 62.9% 3,470
1964 69.4% 3,292 30.6% 1,454
1960 32.3% 1,254 31.4% 1,219 36.3% 1,409
1956 46.1% 1,630 43.6% 1,542 10.4% 367
1952 35.3% 1,443 64.7% 2,646
1948 9.6% 273 39.4% 1,120 51.0% 1,447
1944 22.3% 556 77.7% 1,939
1940 8.4% 232 91.6% 2,534
1936 21.7% 511 78.3% 1,847
1932 4.0% 81 96.0% 1,966 0.1% 1
1928 33.1% 505 67.0% 1,023
1924 21.9% 167 78.1% 595
1920 13.9% 109 86.1% 674
1916 4.6% 31 94.8% 640 0.6% 4
1912 2.1% 15 62.2% 446 35.7% 256

The Federal Bureau of Prisons U.S. Penitentiary, Pollock is located in an unincorporated area in the parish, near Pollock.[23][24]

Education[edit]

Public schools in Grant Parish are operated by the Grant Parish School Board.

National Guard[edit]

A Company 199TH FSB (Forward Support Battalion) resides in Colfax, Louisiana. This unit deployed twice to Iraq as part of the 256TH IBCT in 2004-5 and 2010.

Communities[edit]

Map of Grant Parish, with municipal labels

Towns[edit]

Villages[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Prison[edit]

Name Address Zip Aged
Grant Parish Detention Center Richardson Drive, Colfax, Louisiana 71417 18+

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Grant Parish". Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Calhoun, Meredith". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.com). Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 141. 
  6. ^ Alexandria Daily Town Talk, December 20, 2006
  7. ^ "Grant Parish election returns, November 6, 2012". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Grant Parish election returns, November 4, 2008". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Grant Parish election returns, November 5, 1996". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Grant Parish election returns, November 3, 1992". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  11. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, Presidential election returns, November 2, 1976
  12. ^ "General Election Returns". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  13. ^ Melissa Gregory (December 20, 2016). "ACLU to Grant Parish: Courthouse display needs to change". The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved December 21, 2016. 
  14. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  16. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  20. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  21. ^ "African American Migration Experience: The Second Great Migration", New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, accessed 24 April 2008
  22. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS
  23. ^ "USP Pollock." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on May 29, 2010.
  24. ^ "USP Pollock Contact Information." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on May 29, 2010.
  25. ^ "Joe T. Cawthorn". Many, Louisiana: Sabine Index. November 16, 1967. Retrieved October 28, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Jindal appoints former lawmakers to pardon board". WBRZ-TV. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Col. Stephen R. Lee of Alexandria Dies at His Home Feb. 13: Industrial and Political Leader, Descendant of Famous Lees". Winnfield, Louisiana: Winnfield News-American. February 22, 1929. Retrieved May 23, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Sheriff Wyatt Luther Nugent, Deputy Delmer Lee Brunson [Killed]". libertychapelcemetery.org. Retrieved January 15, 2011. 

Coordinates: 31°35′N 92°34′W / 31.59°N 92.56°W / 31.59; -92.56