Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana

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Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting Tangipahoa Parish
Location in the U.S. state of Louisiana
Map of the United States highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 6 March, 1869
Named for Acolapissa word meaning ear of corn or those who gather corn
Seat Amite City
Largest city Hammond
 • Total 823 sq mi (2,132 km2)
 • Land 791 sq mi (2,049 km2)
 • Water 32 sq mi (83 km2), 3.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2015) 128,755
 • Density 153/sq mi (59/km²)
Congressional districts 1st, 5th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.tangipahoa.org
Footbridge across a tributary of Ponchatoula Creek leading to North Oak Street Park on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Tangipahoa Parish

Tangipahoa Parish ( /ˌtænpəˈhə/; French: Paroisse de Tangipahoa) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 121,097.[1] The parish seat is Amite City,[2] but the largest city is Hammond. Tangipahoa comes from an Acolapissa word meaning "ear of corn" or "those who gather corn." The parish was founded in 1869.[3]

Tangipahoa Parish comprises the Hammond, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the New Orleans-Metairie-Hammond, LA-MS Combined Statistical Area. It is one of the Florida Parishes.


Tangipahoa Parish began in 1869, when it was carved from Livingston Parish, St. Helena Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and Washington Parish. The name comes from the Tangipahoa River and the historic Tangipahoa Native American people.

Tangipahoa is the youngest parish in the Florida Parishes region of the state. It was flooded in 1932 and in the early 1980s. In 2016, it was one of many parishes declared a Federal disaster area due to historic flooding in both March and August.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 823 square miles (2,130 km2), of which 791 square miles (2,050 km2) is land and 32 square miles (83 km2) (3.9%) is water.[4] Lake Pontchartrain lies on the southeast side of the parish.

Most of the parish south of Ponchatoula consists of Holocene coastal swamp and marsh—gray-to-black clays of high organic content and thick peat beds underlying freshwater marsh and swamp.[5]

Adjacent counties and parishes[edit]



Amtrak's daily City of New Orleans long distance train stops in Hammond, both northbound (to Chicago) and southbound. It serves about 15,000 riders a year, and Hammond-Chicago is the ninth busiest city pair on the route.[6]

The historic main line of the Illinois Central that carries freight through the parish is now part of CN, and it is as busy as ever.



Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 7,928
1880 9,638 21.6%
1890 12,655 31.3%
1900 17,625 39.3%
1910 29,160 65.4%
1920 31,440 7.8%
1930 46,227 47.0%
1940 45,519 −1.5%
1950 53,218 16.9%
1960 59,434 11.7%
1970 65,875 10.8%
1980 80,698 22.5%
1990 85,709 6.2%
2000 100,588 17.4%
2010 121,097 20.4%
Est. 2016 130,710 [7] 7.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[1]

As of the census[12] of 2000, there were 100,588 people, 36,558 households, and 25,773 families residing in the parish. The population density was 127 people per square mile (49/km²). There were 40,794 housing units at an average density of 52 per square mile (20/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 69.76% White, 28.35% Black or African American, 0.39% Asian, 0.24% Native American, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 1.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 36,558 households out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.90% were married couples living together, 16.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.50% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the parish the population was spread out with 27.70% under the age of 18, 12.70% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 21.20% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.60 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $29,412, and the median income for a family was $36,731. Males had a median income of $31,576 versus $20,066 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $14,461. About 18.00% of families and 22.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.60% of those under age 18 and 20.10% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics[edit]

Many records and statistics for Tangipahoa Parish flow through the office of Clerk of Court Julian Dufreche, president of the Tangipahoa Parish Board of Election Supervisors.

The parish is part of Louisiana's 1st congressional district, which is heavily Republican. The parish government is governed by the Louisiana State Constitution and the Tangipahoa Parish Home Rule Charter. The Parish Government of Tangipahoa is headed by a parish president and a parish council (president-council government). The council is the legislative body of the parish and its authority is granted to it in the Louisiana State Constitution, the Parish Home Rule Charter, and laws passed by the Louisiana State Legislature. The sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer; other officers include the coroner, assessor, and clerk of court.

The justice of the peace for the parish's 8th ward (Robert, Louisiana), Keith Bardwell, made the news in October 2009 for refusing to officiate the wedding of an interracial couple; Bardwell, a justice of the peace for 34 years, "came to the conclusion that most black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society" and said he doesn't perform weddings for interracial marriages because "I don’t want to put children in a situation they didn’t bring on themselves."[13] Bardwell, who said he thought he had refused to perform the weddings of four couples during the 2½-year period before the news of his refusals became public, resigned effective November 3.[14] Bobby Jindal, then state Governor, called the resignation "long overdue."[14]

Parish officers[edit]

Parish President – Robert "Robby" Miller, Jr. (R), since 2016

Sheriff – Daniel H. Edwards (D), since 2004

Clerk of Court – Julian E. Dufreche (D), since 2004

Coroner – Rick Foster (D), since 2000

Assessor – Joaquin "Junior" Matheu (D), since 2005

Parish Council[edit]

Tangipahoa Parish is governed by a ten-member Council, each representing a geographic district. As of October 2016 its chairman was Bobby Cortez. Kristen Pecararo is the clerk of the council.[15]

District 1 – Trent Forrest (D) from Kentwood

District 2 – James Bailey (R) from Husser

District 3 – Louis Nick Joseph (D) from Independence

District 4 – Carlo S. Bruno (Other) from Independence

District 5 – H. G. "Buddy" Ridgel (D)[16] from Hammond

District 6 – Emile "Joey" Mayeaux (R) from Hammond

District 7 – Lionell Wells (D) from Hammond

District 8 – David Vial (R) from Hammond

District 9 – Harry Lavine (R) from Ponchatoula

District 10 – Bobby Cortez (R) from Hammond

President of Tangipahoa Parish[edit]

In 1986 the former governing body of Tangipahoa Parish, the Tangipahoa Police Jury, and the voters of the Parish approved a "home rule charter" style of government. The charter provided for the election of a parish president, essentially a parish-wide mayor. Democrat Gordon A. Burgess was elected to an initial one-year term and re-elected the following year for a four-year term. Burgess won every parish-presidential election until his retirement in 2015.

In 2016, Republican businessman Robert "Robby" Miller replaced Burgess. In April 2016, the Parish hired its first chief administrative officer, Shelby "Joe" Thomas, Jr.[17]

President Terms of Office Party
Gordon Burgess October 27, 1986 – January 11, 2016 Democratic
Robby Miller January 11, 2016 – incumbent Republican


The parish is served by the Tangipahoa Parish School System.[18] Southeastern Louisiana University is located in Hammond.

On seven occasions, the American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, along with other defendants, for having allegedly sponsored and promoted religion in teacher-led school activities.[19]

School Board[edit]

The school board governs and oversees the Tangipahoa Parish School System (TPSS). The board appoints the superintendent of schools, who leads the TPSS and oversees is functioning. The current superintendent is Mark Kolwe. The president of the board is Andy Anderson.

Mark Kolwe, superintendent

Walter Daniels (D)

Gail Pittman-McDaniel (R)

Andy Anderson (R)

Therese Domiano (O)

Brett Duncan (R)

Mike Whitlow (R)

Betty Robinson (D)

Sandra Bailey-Simmons (R)

Rose Dominguez (R)

National Guard[edit]

The parish is home to the 204th Theater Airfield Operations Group and the Forward Support Company of the 205th Engineer Battalion. This 205th Engineer Battalion is a component of the 225th Engineer Brigade of the Louisiana National Guard. These units reside within the city of Hammond. A detachment of the 1021st Engineer Company (Vertical) resides in Independence, Louisiana. The 236th Combat Communications Squadron of the Louisiana Air National Guard also resides at the Hammond Airport.


Map of Tangipahoa Parish, depicting municipal boundaries




Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated places[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Tangipahoa Parish". Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ McCulloh, R. P.; P. V. Heinrich; J. Snead (2003). "Ponchatoula 30 x 60 Minute Geologic Quadrangle" (PDF). Louisiana Geological Survey. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University. Retrieved 2009-10-17. 
  6. ^ http://www.narprail.org/site/assets/files/1038/trains_2014.pdf
  7. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  12. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  13. ^ "JP refuses to marry couple". Daily Star (Hammond). October 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-17. Bardwell said he came to the conclusion that most black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society.... “I don’t do interracial marriages because I don’t want to put children in a situation they didn’t bring on themselves,” Bardwell said. “In my heart, I feel the children will later suffer.” 
  14. ^ a b "US judge in mixed-race row quits". BBC News. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  15. ^ Council page on Parish website, accessed 19 Oct 2016.
  16. ^ Tangipahoa Parish elected officials on the Louisiana Secretary of State's website, retrieved 19 Oct 2016.
  17. ^ http://www.actionnews17.com/news/thomas-named-tangipahoa-parish-governments-first-cao-1555729, accessed 19 Oct 2016.
  18. ^ Official website of the Tangipahoa Parish School System
  19. ^ Mitchell, David. "School board sued over prayer", Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, Capital City Press, p. B01.[when?]
  20. ^ "Dennis P. Hebert". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  21. ^ Patricia Sullivan, "Beth Rickey dies with an immune disorder and Crohn's disease," Washington Post, September 16, 2009

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°38′N 90°24′W / 30.63°N 90.40°W / 30.63; -90.40