Sabine Parish, Louisiana

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Sabine Parish, Louisiana
Parish of Sabine
Sabine Parish Courthouse in Many
Sabine Parish Courthouse in Many
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
Country United States
State Louisiana
RegionCentral Louisiana
FoundedMarch 27, 1843
Named forSabine River and Sabine Free State
Parish seat (and largest town)Many
 • Total2,620 km2 (1,012 sq mi)
 • Land2,250 km2 (867 sq mi)
 • Water380 km2 (145 sq mi)
 • percentage40 km2 (14 sq mi)
 • Total24,233
 • Estimate 
 • Density9.2/km2 (24/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code318
Congressional district4th
WebsiteSabine Parish Police Jury
In background, the bridge linking Louisiana and Texas over the Toledo Bend Reservoir of the Sabine River west of Many

Sabine Parish (French: Paroisse de la Sabine) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,233.[1] The seat of the parish is Many.[2]

Sabine was one of five parishes created in as many weeks by the Louisiana State Legislature March 27, 1843.[3] It was created from Natchitoches Parish with the Sabine River as the international boundary between the United States and the Republic of Texas as the western boundary.


The Neutral Strip[edit]

The area, inhabited first by the Adais (Brushwood) Indians of the Caddo Confederacy, was first under Spanish rule, then French, English, Spanish again, and French when Napoleon sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

Boundary disputes followed the purchase. The United States claimed the Sabine River as the border and Spain claimed a line farther east in Louisiana along Arroyo Hondo, a tributary of the Red River. The Neutral Ground Treaty was affected in 1806, declaring the area "Sabine Free State," a demilitarized zone, which became the neutral strip for outlaws, desperadoes, criminals and filibusters. The strip extended, roughly, from Sabine River east to the Calcasieu River, Bayous Kisatchie and Don Manuel, Lac Terre Noir and the Arroyo Hondo. Both nations claimed ownership but neither exercised control. English speaking settlers from the older eastern states began moving into the section during the westward expansion years before the boundary was established. They settled on Spanish grants known as Rio Hondo claims. One of the earliest settlers was Thomas Arthur, who filed a claim for 640 acres (2.6 km2) on Negreet Creek.

In 1819, Spain abandoned all claims to land east of the Sabine River and the United States moved in to establish law and order. Great caravans of home seekers marched over the old highways and many of them settled in present-day Sabine Parish. In the years that followed, small settlements began to make their appearances throughout the parish. Possibly the earliest of these was Negreet, founded in 1822, in the southern part of the parish where Christopher Anthony located on Bayou Negreet. Other settlements were Toro, in the extreme south, 1827, and Noble, in the north portion, dating back to the 1830s. Fort Jesup was founded in 1822 by Lieutenant Colonel Zachary Taylor who later became the 12th President of the United States. Taylor's troops managed to establish law and order in this Neutral Ground. Fort Jesup has served as a vital part of Sabine Parish over the years and can be enjoyed by visitors today. It was an important frontier post until the annexation of Texas in 1845 and the focal point of the American expansionist movement.

The two main highways of the southwest traversed the Neutral Strip and ran about four miles (6 km) apart in the vicinity of Many. The San Antonio Trace and El Camino Real extended from Natchitoches Parish westward directly across Sabine Parish into East Texas. Since El Camino Real was older and better known, a number of farmers and villages settled along it. Philip Nolan's Trace crossed the Red River above Alexandria and ran through the Kisatchie country to join El Camino Real near the Sabine River crossing.[4]

Establishment of Sabine Parish[edit]

The parish was created at a time when America had entered upon a new era of progress. A government survey in 1831 laid out the Sabine area in townships and sections and this, together with the clearing of the Red River "raft" by Henry Miller Shreve, in 1838, opened the Red River to steamboat traffic and gave impetus to the colonization of the area. Steamboats began running on the Sabine River in 1830, and by 1850 heavy traffic was carried on the Sabine. Popular landing points were Columbus, East Pendleton and Carter's Ferry. About three miles (5 km) south of Pendleton was the large and flourishing river port of Sabine Town. The influx of settlers reached its zenith just prior to the American Civil War.

Sabine Parish was one of the five parishes created in as many weeks by the state legislature in 1843 during the administration of Governor Alexander Mouton. The parish was created from Natchitoches Parish on March 7, 1843. Since Texas was an independent republic, the Sabine River constituted an international border.

Less than one month later the parish was given several additional townships when legislators defined lines of its northern neighbor, DeSoto Parish. One half township from Natchitoches, originally intended to be part of Sabine was added in 1854. In 1871, a considerable portion of the southern half of Sabine Parish was removed with the establishment of Vernon Parish. Since then the parish boundaries have remained unchanged.[4]

Act 46 creating the parish specified that the seat of government should be named Many in honor of Col. John B. Many, commandant at Fort Jesup, then the most important settlement in the parish. Many was on the Natchitoches San Antonio Road, or El Camino Real, which carried traffic into Texas.

On May 17, 1843, Judge W. R. D. Speight, who was parish judge, I. W. Eason, Samuel S. Eason and G. W. Thompson purchased and gave to Sabine Parish 40 acres (160,000 m2) of land. Immediately some thirty citizens petitioned the police jury to lay out the town on the land, sell lots and make arrangements for the erection of public buildings. The police jury planned a courthouse and jail, raising the construction money with the sale of the lots.

The first house was erected by John Baldwin, who operated a store and used his home as a tavern. He was also the first postmaster of Many. The first settler was Williams Mains, who came to the area in 1830. The first cotton gin was built in the early 1850s, and the first census showed Sabine had a population of 3,347 whites and 1,168 slaves.[4]

Battle of Pleasant Hill[edit]

During the Civil War, Sabine Parish provided considerable support for units formed in the parish. Historian John D. Winters in The Civil War in Louisiana (1963), describes Sabine as "a poor piney-hill parish [which] met earlier obligations to her men by voting funds for the Sabine Rifles, Sabine Rebels, Sabine Volunteers, and Jordan's Company, and sent $500 to another company already departed for the front.[5]

Sabine Parish was the scene of the last major engagement in Louisiana, which was fought April 9, 1864, at old Pleasant Hill and along the Sabine-DeSoto Parish line. The battle took place the following day after the Confederate victory at Mansfield. The action forced the withdrawal of Federal troops along the Shreveport-Natchitoches road, which cut across the northeast section of the parish.

These clashes were regarded as vitally important. Although, they did not affect the ultimate outcome of the war, they frustrated the attempt by Union forces to capture Shreveport and split Texas from the rest of the Confederacy.[4]

Among the Confederate officers from Sabine Parish was Christopher Columbus Nash, who was a prisoner of war at Johnson's Island in Ohio. Nash later, as the sheriff of Grant Parish, crushed the Colfax Riot of 1873 and established the first chapter of the White League in 1874.[6]


Following the war the steamboat gave way to the railroad. The Texas-Pacific was completed in 1882 between Shreveport and New Orleans realizing how important a railroad was to a town, Pleasant Hill moved itself out of DeSoto Parish to the railroad which was two miles (3 km) away in Sabine Parish. The construction of the Kansas City Southern Railroad through the parish in 1896 led to the founding of the towns of Converse, Zwolle, Fisher and Florien.

The area was mainly agriculture until the railroads brought lumbermen, who set up sawmills to convert the trees that blanketed the state into lumber to satisfy a worldwide demand for longleaf virgin pine. Three decades later the forest acres were barren and a great many sawmills, including Gandy and Peason moved out. Reforestation was innovated in the early 1940s and pulp and paper mills bought the thinnings. The payoff was the development of Southern Pine plywood and the opening of Vancouver Plywood, Inc., the first plywood mill in the state, in Florien.

Reforestation lagniappe was the creation of Hodges Gardens in the 1950s, which opened a brand new industry. That was tourism, which was augmented with the completion of Toledo Bend Reservoir in 1968.[4]

WWII and Louisiana Maneuvers[edit]

The largest military maneuvers ever held in the United States were staged in and around Sabine Parish in May 1940. These army maneuvers in the Sabine River area brought the possibility of war very close as 40,000 officers and men of the Blue Army defended the Sabine River from 30,000 invading Red troops. Soldiers from thirty-three states took part in the games, which covered 10,000 square miles (26,000 km2) of cut over pinelands, hills, rivers, and valleys between Alexandria and Nacogdoches, Texas.

Commanders and their staffs passing through the area comprised a virtual "who's who" in the military. These included Lieutenant General Ben Lear, Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, Brigadier General George S. Patton, Jr., and Major J. L. Benedict.

Following the discovery of oil in 1928, crude oil and natural gas joined timber as leading natural resources until about 1934 when oil experienced a natural decline. Oil was not a major economic factor again until new reserves were brought in near Many in the 1950s. Its 1,008 square miles (2,610 km2) contains some of the finest timber in the world. In addition, Sabine Parish is rich in other natural resources.[4]

Recent events[edit]

In January 2014, the ACLU filed suit against the Sabine Parish School Board, Superintendent Sara Ebarb, Principal Gene Wright and teacher Rita Roark of Negreet High School, alleging officials at one of its schools harassed a sixth-grader because of his Buddhist faith and that the district routinely pushes Christian beliefs upon their students.[7][8][9][10] The court swiftly ruled against the school board.[11][12]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 1,012 square miles (2,620 km2), of which 867 square miles (2,250 km2) is land and 145 square miles (380 km2) (14%) is water.[13]

Sabine Parish is the home of the popular Hodges Gardens, Park and Wilderness Area near Many. Built privately in the 1950s, the gardens will come under the management of the State of Louisiana in 2007. The naturalist Caroline Dormon helped to lay out the park.

Toledo Bend Reservoir was constructed in the middle 1960s to provide power and recreation to the Louisiana/Texas border at the Sabine River.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent parishes and counties[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2018 (est.)24,032[14]−0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2013[1]

2020 census[edit]

Sabine Parish racial composition[19]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 14,850 67.03%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 3,520 15.89%
Native American 1,790 8.08%
Asian 63 0.28%
Pacific Islander 12 0.05%
Other/Mixed 1,210 5.46%
Hispanic or Latino 710 3.2%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 22,155 people, 9,158 households, and 6,057 families residing in the parish.

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 24,233 people living in the parish. 70.8% were White, 16.6% Black or African American, 8.6% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.4% of some other race and 3.4% of two or more races. 3.4% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[20] of 2000, there were 23,459 people, 9,221 households, and 6,593 families living in the parish. The population density was 27 people per square mile (10/km2). There were 13,671 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km2). The racial makeup of the parish was 72.67% White, 16.87% Black or African American, 7.79% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.32% from other races, and 2.18% from two or more races. 2.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 9,221 households, out of which 31.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.70% were married couples living together, 12.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.50% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the parish the population was spread out, with 26.20% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 24.50% from 25 to 44, 24.40% from 45 to 64, and 16.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.60 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $26,655, and the median income for a family was $32,470. Males had a median income of $29,726 versus $18,514 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $15,199. About 16.30% of families and 21.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.00% of those under age 18 and 17.50% of those age 65 or over.


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

It is in the service area of Bossier Parish Community College.[21]


Map of Sabine Parish, with municipal labels


  • Many (parish seat and largest municipality)
  • Zwolle


Unincorporated areas[edit]

Census-designated Place[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]




Name Address Zip Aged
Sabine Parish Detention Center 384 Detention Center Rd, Many, Louisiana 71449 18+

Notable people[edit]

Historic places in Sabine Parish[edit]


Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[26]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 82.8% 8,776 16.3% 1,731 0.8% 89
2016 80.5% 7,879 17.4% 1,703 2.1% 205
2012 77.0% 7,738 21.8% 2,194 1.2% 121
2008 74.9% 7,226 23.3% 2,245 1.9% 181
2004 70.1% 6,711 28.6% 2,743 1.3% 122
2000 64.9% 5,754 32.1% 2,846 3.0% 262
1996 39.3% 3,543 47.3% 4,263 13.3% 1,201
1992 38.4% 3,586 44.6% 4,173 17.0% 1,589
1988 55.8% 4,767 41.4% 3,532 2.8% 242
1984 66.3% 6,295 31.4% 2,980 2.4% 225
1980 44.5% 4,265 53.2% 5,100 2.3% 220
1976 42.3% 3,531 54.5% 4,555 3.2% 265
1972 73.9% 4,935 19.9% 1,332 6.2% 413
1968 16.5% 1,125 17.0% 1,159 66.5% 4,526
1964 66.7% 4,165 33.3% 2,081
1960 41.1% 2,419 41.0% 2,412 18.0% 1,058
1956 50.5% 2,086 43.5% 1,800 6.0% 248
1952 38.3% 2,039 61.7% 3,282
1948 11.4% 469 34.1% 1,405 54.6% 2,252
1944 33.7% 1,039 66.3% 2,048
1940 16.3% 588 83.7% 3,026
1936 14.6% 417 85.4% 2,447 0.0% 1
1932 3.5% 110 96.2% 3,008 0.3% 10
1928 34.2% 735 65.8% 1,414
1924 15.5% 217 83.8% 1,176 0.7% 10
1920 8.2% 111 91.8% 1,245
1916 2.5% 30 97.0% 1,147 0.4% 5
1912 3.1% 28 79.9% 715 17.0% 152

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Sabine Parish". Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Information in the History Section may be found at the website.
  5. ^ John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p. 38
  6. ^ "Nash, Christopher Columbus". A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography ( Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  7. ^ Lane v. Sabine Parish School Board; ACLU; January 22, 2014.
  8. ^ Lane v. Sabine Parish School Board Complaint; ACLU; January 22, 2014.
  9. ^ ACLU Accuses La. School of Religious Harassment; ABC News; January 23, 2014.
  10. ^ Louisiana School Accused Of Religious Harassment By ACLU; Huffington Post; January 22, 2014.
  11. ^ Judge rules against creationist teacher who called Buddhist student’s faith ‘stupid,' by Scott Kaufman, 17 March 2014, The Raw Story
  12. ^ Louisiana School Agrees to Court Order Ending Discriminatory Religious Practices; ACLU; March 14, 2014. Archived March 18, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  14. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved October 28, 2019.
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  19. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  20. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  21. ^ "Our Colleges". Louisiana's Technical and Community Colleges. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  22. ^ "Headlinesfrom the Sabine Index". Archived from the original on January 1, 2016. Retrieved December 24, 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  23. ^ The Shreveport Times, March 8, 1986; March 10, 31, 1989; May 22, 1990; October 15, 1992
  24. ^ "John S. Pickett, Jr". February 6, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  25. ^ Billy Hathorn, "Roy Bean, Temple Houston, Bill Longley, Ranald Mackenzie, Buffalo Bill, Jr., and the Texas Rangers: Depictions of West Texans in Series Television, 1955 to 1967", West Texas Historical Review, Vol. 89 (2013), p. 116
  26. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved March 7, 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°34′N 93°34′W / 31.56°N 93.56°W / 31.56; -93.56