Marksville, Louisiana

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Marksville, Louisiana
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Avoyelles
Elevation 82 ft (25 m)
Coordinates 31°07′36″N 92°03′58″W / 31.12667°N 92.06611°W / 31.12667; -92.06611Coordinates: 31°07′36″N 92°03′58″W / 31.12667°N 92.06611°W / 31.12667; -92.06611
Area 4.1 sq mi (10.6 km2)
 - land 4.1 sq mi (11 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 5,702 (2010)
Mayor John Lemoine (D)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code 318
Location of Marksville in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Marksville is a small city in and the parish seat of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,702 at the 2010 census, an increase of 165 over the 2000 tabulation of 5,537.[1]

Louisiana's first land-based casino, Paragon Casino Resort, opened in Marksville in June 1994. It is operated by the federally recognized Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe, which has a reservation in the parish.[2]


Marksville is named after Marc Eliche (Marco Litche, as recorded by the Spanish), a Jewish-Italian immigrant who established a trading post after his wagon broke down in this area.[3] He was a Sephardic Jewish trader[4] from Italy, believed to be from Venice. His Italian name was recorded by a Spanish priest as Marco Litche, and as Marc Eliche by French priests after his trading post was established about 1794. Marksville was noted on Louisiana maps as early as 1809, after the United States acquired the territory in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.[5] Eliche later donated the land that became the Courthouse Square. It is still the center of Marksville.

Marksville today has a population made up of numerous Cajun peoples. Many of the families have been there since the city was incorporated. These families include Gaspard, Sylvan, Trahan, Malveaux, and Zachary.

Marksville became the trading center of a rural area developed as cotton plantations. After the United States ended the African slave trade in 1808, planters bought African-American slaves through the domestic slave trade to use as workers; a total of more than one million were transported to the Deep South from the Upper South in the first half of the 19th century. Planters typically bought slaves from the markets in New Orleans, where they had been taken via the Mississippi River or by the coastwise slave trade at sea. Solomon Northup, a free black from Saratoga Springs, New York, was kidnapped and sold into slavery; he was held for nearly 12 years on plantations in Avoyelles Parish, and was freed in 1853 with the help of Marksville and New York officials. Northup's memoir was the basis of the 2013 movie "12 Years A Slave."

During the American Civil War, Marksville late in 1862 hosted Confederate soldiers from Texas. According to historian John D. Winters, they

"built wooden huts to shelter themselves from the icy winds and rain. At night, after the usual camp routines, the men amused themselves around their campfires with practical jokes and group singing or sat listening to the music of a regimental band. Some of the soldiers often gathered under an arbor of boughs to dance jigs, reels, and doubles to the music of several fiddles. On the opposite side of the camp, another arbor served as a church. There at night with the area lighted by pine knots, men listened to the exhortations and prayers of the preacher and sang favorite hymns."[6]

Marksville came under Union control in 1863 as part of Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's Red River campaign. It was occupied by Union troops for the remainder of the war.[7]

Shooting of Jeremy Mardis[edit]

Marksville city police officers Norris Joseph Greenhouse, Jr. (born November 1991), and Derrick W. Stafford (born July 1983) of Mansura, both moonlighting for the Marksville marshal's office at the time, are being held with bail of one million dollars each on charges of second degree murder in the fatal shooting on November 3 of an autistic six-year-old first grader, Jeremy David Mardis,[8] and the wounding of the child's 25-year-old father, Christopher Few (born c. 1990). The family had recently moved to Marksville from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where the child was to have been interred on November 9. Struck with two bullets by the officers, Few remained hospitalized with injuries for several days after the shootings. The motive has not been revealed, but a police chase resulting from a traffic stop is suspected. Louisiana State Police superintendent Mike Edmonson, whose office will investigate, called the video of the shooting which he had personally observed "incredibly disturbing." A total of eighteen shots were fired, five of which struck the child, who died instantly.[9]

Greenhouse is a son of the Avoyelles Parish assistant district attorney, Norris Greenhouse, Sr. As a result of this family relationship, DA Charles A. Riddle, III, said that his office must recuse itself from the case.[10]


Marksville is located at 31°7′36″N 92°3′58″W / 31.12667°N 92.06611°W / 31.12667; -92.06611 (31.126595, −92.066073).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²), of which 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²) is land and 0.24% is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 437
1880 553 26.5%
1890 540 −2.4%
1900 837 55.0%
1910 1,076 28.6%
1920 1,185 10.1%
1930 1,527 28.9%
1940 1,811 18.6%
1950 3,635 100.7%
1960 4,257 17.1%
1970 4,519 6.2%
1980 5,113 13.1%
1990 5,526 8.1%
2000 5,537 0.2%
2010 5,702 3.0%
Est. 2014 5,553 [12] −2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 5,537 people, 2,036 households, and 1,400 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,358.0 people per square mile (524.0/km²). There were 2,198 housing units at an average density of 539.1 per square mile (208.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.98% White, 48.59% African American, 0.80% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population.

There were 2,036 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 22.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 79.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,750, and the median income for a family was $25,681. Males had a median income of $24,896 versus $15,865 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,546. About 32.0% of families and 34.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 50.1% of those under age 18 and 25.4% of those age 65 or over.


All primary public schools are run by the Avoyelles Parish School Board, which operates two schools within the city of Marksville.[15]


  • Marksville Elementary

High school[edit]

Notable people[edit]

National Guard[edit]

1020th Engineer Company (Vertical) of the 527th Engineer Battalion of the 225th Engineer Brigade is located in Marksville.

Small communities in the area[edit]


  1. ^ "Marksville (city), Louisiana". Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Paragon Casino and Resort-the Tunica Biloxi Tribe". Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  3. ^ "Marksville, Louisiana - City Information, Fast Facts, Schools, Colleges, and More". Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  4. ^ "Jews in America". Jews in America. Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived January 14, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p. 299
  7. ^ Winters, p. 378
  8. ^ "Louisiana police arrest 2 officers in 6-year-old autistic boy's fatal shooting". Chicago Tribune. November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Disturbing" video key to arrests in deadly La. shooting". CBS News. November 7, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  10. ^ Maya Lau (November 6, 2015). "Deputies fired at least 18 rounds at father, son". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved November 8, 2015. 
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ "Avoyelles Parish School Board". Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  16. ^ "Avoyelles Parish School Board". Retrieved 2015-11-10. 
  17. ^ "Harvey Goodwyn Fields, Sr.". Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  18. ^ "M. E. Lafargue, Former District Attorney, Dies – Succumbs in Sleep Here at Age 54; Services Saturday". Shreveport Journal. March 28, 1963. pp. 1–A, 4–A. Retrieved February 10, 2015. 
  19. ^ Jodi Belgard (August 7, 2014). "Retired Bunkie judge Lee dies at 90". The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Tabarlet, Joseph Odell". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography ( Retrieved December 28, 2010.