Thibodaux, Louisiana

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Thibodaux, Louisiana
Drag in downtown Thibodaux.jpg
Nickname: Queen City of Lafourche
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Lafourche
Elevation 13 ft (4 m)
Coordinates 29°47′32″N 90°49′12″W / 29.79222°N 90.82000°W / 29.79222; -90.82000Coordinates: 29°47′32″N 90°49′12″W / 29.79222°N 90.82000°W / 29.79222; -90.82000
Area 5.5 sq mi (14.2 km2)
 - land 5.5 sq mi (14 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 14,567 (2010)
Density 2,636.8 / sq mi (1,018.1 / km2)
Incorporated 1830
Mayor Tommy Eschete[1]
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 70301, 70302, 70310
Area code 985
Location of Thibodaux in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Thibodaux (/ˈtɪbəd/ TIB-ə-doh) is a city in and the parish seat of Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, United States,[2] along the banks of Bayou Lafourche in the northwestern part of the parish. The population was 14,567 at the 2010 census. Thibodaux is a principal city of the HoumaBayou Cane–Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area.

ZIP codes for Thibodaux are 70301, 70302, and 70310. Thibodaux's area code is 985. Thibodaux is nicknamed "Queen City of Lafourche."


The community was settled by French colonists in the 18th century, who imported African slaves as workers. It was incorporated as a town in 1830 under the name Thibodauxville, in honor of local planter Henry Schuyler Thibodaux. He provided land for the village and served as acting governor of Louisiana in 1824.[3] In 1896, the first rural free delivery of mail in Louisiana began in Thibodaux. It was the second such RFD in the United States. The name was changed to Thibodeaux in 1838, and the current spelling Thibodaux was officially adopted in 1918.

Civil War[edit]

In October 1862, following the Battle of Georgia Landing (Labadieville), Thibodaux was occupied by the Union Army under Godfrey Weitzel. Before they left the city, the Confederates under General Alfred Mouton (later killed in the Battle of Mansfield in De Soto Parish), burned the depot, the bridges, sugar, and supplies that they could not otherwise carry with them.[4] In 1863, the Union under James P. Major temporarily abandoned Thibodaux but soon returned. Winters reports that "terrified Negroes and whites raced into the town announcing that 3,000 Confederate cavalrymen were en route to attack Thibodaux and Lafourche Crossing. Union Colonel Thomas W. Cahill ordered an immediate retreat. The bayou bridges were burned, three field guns were destroyed, and as many of the men and the horses as possible were loaded . . . and ordered to Raceland. . . . Ammunition was destroyed, horses abandoned, and four field pieces were left behind.[5]

Planters in the Thibodaux complained about having to negotiate labor contracts for Negro workers, former slaves, once the area was under Union control. Alexander F. Pugh, a large sugar planter near Thibodaux, complained that the

"Negroes and federal officers took up too much time in negotiating new labor contracts. Part of the delay was occasioned by the fact that the Negroes were dissatisfied with the settlements from the past year, and additional delays were brought about because of changes in labor rules and regulations."[6] Pugh wrote in his diary: "I have agreed with the Negroes today to pay them monthly wages. It was very distasteful to me, but I could do no better. Everybody else in the neighborhood has agreed to pay the same, and mine [laborers] would listen to nothing else."[7]

Thibodaux Massacre[edit]

Main article: Thibodaux massacre

In the late 19th century, after having taken back control of the state government following the Reconstruction era by use of paramilitary forces such as the White League, which suppressed black voting, white Democrats tried to consolidate their power. They were challenged by a coalition of Populists and Republicans, as well as labor unrest as agricultural workers tried to organize to ease their conditions.

A sugar cane workers' strike culminated in the "Thibodaux massacre" of November 22, 1887, one of the bloodiest labor disputes in U.S. history. The strike for higher wages of 10,000 workers (1,000 of whom were white) was organized by the Knights of Labor during "rolling period," a critical element of the sugar cane harvest. Planters were alarmed both by outside labor organizations and the thought of losing their total crops.

The governor called in the State militia at the planters' request. Efforts to break the strike resulted in the deaths of perhaps hundreds of black workers at the hands of white paramilitary forces.[8][9]


Thibodaux is located at 29°47′32″N 90°49′12″W / 29.79222°N 90.82000°W / 29.79222; -90.82000 (29.7922, -90.8200)[10] and has an elevation of 13 feet (4.0 m).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.47 square miles (14.2 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,242
1860 1,380 11.1%
1870 1,922 39.3%
1880 1,515 −21.2%
1890 2,078 37.2%
1900 3,253 56.5%
1910 3,824 17.6%
1920 3,526 −7.8%
1930 4,442 26.0%
1940 5,851 31.7%
1950 7,730 32.1%
1960 13,403 73.4%
1970 15,028 12.1%
1980 15,810 5.2%
1990 14,035 −11.2%
2000 14,431 2.8%
2010 14,566 0.9%
Est. 2014 14,603 [12] 0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
Charles C. Elkins Hall is one of twenty-eight sites in Thibodaux listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 14,431 people, 5,500 households, and 3,355 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,636.8 people per square mile (1,018.6/km²). There were 6,004 housing units at an average density of 1,097.0 per square mile (423.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.04% White, 33.76% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.26% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.03% of the population.

There were 5,500 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.0% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 17.3% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 85.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,697, and the median income for a family was $36,551. Males had a median income of $31,464 versus $21,144 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,966. About 20.6% of families and 25.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.3% of those under age 18 and 18.2% of those age 65 or over.


Arts and culture[edit]

St. Valérie's relics in St. Joseph Co-Cathedral

The Roman Catholic patron saints of Thibodaux are Saint Valérie, an early Christian martyr, and Saint Vitalis of Milan, her husband, also a martyr. A life-sized reliquary of Saint Valérie, containing an arm bone, was brought to Thibodaux in 1868 and is displayed in her shrine in St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Thibodaux. A smaller reliquary, with a relic of St. Vitalis, is displayed near St. Valérie's reliquary. St. Valérie has traditionally been invoked for intercession in protecting Thibodaux from hurricanes.

The family name "Thibodaux" is mentioned in Hank Williams's "Jambalaya (On The Bayou)". In 1972 Leon Russell had the song "Cajun Love Song" in which Thibodaux is mentioned. Also, in the 1970s Jerry Reed song "Amos Moses," in the 1990s George Strait song "Adalida," in Dan Baird's 1992 song "Dixie Beauxderaunt," the 1999 Jimmy Buffett song "I will Play for Gumbo," the 2008 Toby Keith song "Creole Woman," and its name is the title of a song by jazz songstress Marcia Ball.

Richard D'Alton Williams, a well-known 19th-century Irish patriot, poet, and physician, died of tuberculosis in Thibodaux in 1862, and is buried in St. Joseph Cemetery. His headstone was later erected that year by Irish members of the 8th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, then encamped in Thibodaux. A famous Mississippi blues musician, Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones, is buried in Thibodaux, where he often played, and where his manager, Hosea Hill, resided. Two-term Governor of Louisiana; Francis T. Nicholls is buried in the Episcopal Cemetery on Jackson St.


The mayor of Thibodaux is Tommy Eschete.[1] The city council is arranged in five districts lettered A-E, as well as two At-Large members.[15] Thibodaux is in Parish Council Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4.[16] In the Louisiana Legislature, Thibodaux is represented by Rep. Jerome Richard (I-Thibodaux) and Sen. Joel Chaisson (D-Destrehan). In the United States Congress, it is represented by Rep. Garret Graves (R-Baton Rouge), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R- Baton Rouge) and Sen. David Vitter (R-Metairie).


Residents are zoned to schools in the Lafourche Parish Public Schools [1].

Zoned elementary schools include:

Zoned middle schools include:

Thibodaux residents are zoned to Thibodaux High School.

Catholic schools include:



The local newspaper is The Daily Comet. It was founded in 1889 as Lafourche Comet. It was owned by The New York Times Company from 1979 until 2011, when it sold the newspaper, along with the rest of its regional newspapers, to Halifax Media Group.

Cable television is serviced in Thibodaux by Charter Communications.

In popular culture[edit]

Amos Moses is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Jerry Reed. The song tells the story of a one-armed Cajun alligator hunter named Amos Moses who lives "about 45 minutes southeast of Thibodaux, Louisiana".

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "City of Thibodaux, Louisiana - Mayors Office". Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "Thibodaux Historical Marker". 
  4. ^ John D. Winters, The Civil War in Louisiana, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1963, ISBN 0-8071-0834-0, p. 162
  5. ^ Winters, p. 290
  6. ^ Winters, p. 409
  7. ^ Winters, pp. 409-410
  8. ^ Douglass, "Thibodaux Massacre", University of Virginia, accessed 4 December 2007
  9. ^ C. Wyatt Evans, "The Ambiguities of Labor in Sugar Country",, accessed 4 December 2007
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  11. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  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. ^ "City of Thibodaux Louisiana - Council". Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  16. ^ Lafourche Parish Government (2010). "Lafourche Parish Government Website". Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  17. ^ NFL Enterprises LLC (2010). "Eric Andolsek". Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  18. ^ Chamberlain, Kody (2006). " - Official website of Kody Chamberlain - Kody Chamberlain". Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  19. ^ "In Memoriam: Monnie T. Cheves". Alexandria Daily Town Talk. August 17, 1988. p. D3. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Thomas G. Clausen, p. 18" (PDF). Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  21. ^ Sports Reference *LLC (2010). "Mark Davis NBA & ABA Statistics". Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  22. ^ "Arizona Cardinals Website - Alan Faneca Bio". Retrieved 2010-09-12. 
  23. ^ NFL Enterprises LLC (2010). "Jarvis Green". Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  24. ^ University of Minnesota (2010). "Damian Johnson Bio - - Official Web Site of University of Minnesota Athletics". NeuLion. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  25. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-Present" (PDF). Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  26. ^ "History". Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Pot Of Gold For A Nervy Cajun, September 19, 1966". Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2016" (PDF). Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  29. ^ Hurricane Brassband (2009-05-11). "John Robichaux". Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  30. ^ Ward, Elise Virginia (2008). "Theodore Ward". Bridges Web Services. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  31. ^ "WHITE, Edward Douglass - Biographical Information". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  32. ^ Encyclopedia Louisiana (2001-12-20). "State Governors of Louisiana: Edward Douglas White". Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  33. ^ "Alfred C. Williams". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]