|City of Winnsboro|
A glimpse of the downtown historic district of Winnsboro
The Stars and Stripes Capital of Louisiana
Location of Winnsboro in Franklin Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
|• Total||4.06 sq mi (10.51 km2)|
|• Land||4.00 sq mi (10.35 km2)|
|• Water||0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,183.59/sq mi (457.02/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
|Website||City of Winnsboro|
Winnsboro is a city in, and the parish seat of Franklin Parish, Louisiana, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,910, down from 5,344 in 2000. The city is 59 percent African American. U.S. Highway 425 passes north–south through Winnsboro concurrent with Louisiana Highway 15 and extends northward to Rayville, the seat of neighboring Richland Parish.
Franklin Parish was created on March 1, 1843, from portions of Ouachita, Catahoula, and Madison parishes through the efforts of Senator John Winn. The parish was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Land for a centrally located parish seat, Winnsborough (later Winnsboro), was purchased in 1844. It was designated as the parish seat of government in 1846 and incorporated on March 18, 1902, during the administration of Governor William Wright Heard.
The village of Winnsboro was incorporated in 1902, and Captain William Phillip Powell was appointed to serve as the first mayor.
Early Winnsboro City records show that the telephone came to Winnsboro in 1905; electricity in 1914; and water and sewer service in 1923. In 1924, a volunteer fire department was formed. In 1938 a bond issue to build the present municipal building was approved, and the following year citizens agreed to the purchase of the Landis municipal park property. Most of the community's streets were hard surfaced after 1950.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.14 square miles (10.73 km2), of which 4.08 square miles (10.57 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2), or 1.49%, is water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 4,910 people residing in the city. 66.6% were African American, 31.3% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% from some other race and 1.3% of two or more races. 1.2% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,344 people, 1,977 households, and 1,310 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,314.7 people per square mile (508.2/km²). There were 2,144 housing units at an average density of 527.4 per square mile (203.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 39.97% White, 58.53% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 1,977 households out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.9% were married couples living together, 27.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.28.
In the city, the population was spread out with 31.4% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 76.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 67.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $17,590, and the median income for a family was $21,543. Males had a median income of $24,608 versus $15,663 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,229. About 36.7% of families and 40.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 58.3% of those under age 18 and 33.3% of those age 65 or over.
Winnsboro is the home of the only hospital located in Franklin Parish. Franklin Medical Center has been a part of Franklin Parish since 1970. The hospital is a 39-bed acute care facility. There are four health clinics owned by Franklin Medical Center located in Franklin and Tensas parishes.
Public education in Winnsboro is managed by the Franklin Parish School Board. There are two schools:
- Franklin Academy was first incorporated on June 29, 1970. Its first class began September 14, 1970, with 105 students and is a part of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools (MAIS). In 1971 Franklin Academy had one graduate and over the past 43 years has graduated over 650 students. The school has classes from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, and its teams are known as the Cougars.
- Family Community Christian School provides education from pre-kindergarten to 9th grade and its mascot is the Warrior.
Louisiana Technical College's Northeast Louisiana Campus is located in Winnsboro.
The Princess Theatre was established in 1925 by George Elam. Two years later, Elam moved his theatre into a building on Prairie Street which was established in 1907. The Princess remains in that location. Leasing the building from Rowena Ramage, Elam worked to improve the building which was built in 1907. Silent movies were shown on a screen while live piano music brought the films to life. A few years later Elam bought records to play along with the movies. When sound was added to films in 1930 Elam installed a sound system in the theatre.
In the early 1940s, Elam made the building longer. In 1960, Elam sold the theatre to Jack Pope. Pope continued leasing the building from Ramage while keeping the Princess operating. Competition from a multiple-screen movie theater led to the closing of the Princess Theatre in 1985.
In 1992, Rowena Ramage gave the Princess Theatre building to the city of Winnsboro. A board of directors was appointed care for the building. In 1993, the board announced renovation would begin immediately on the theatre.
In May 2002, the Governor's Arts Award program released the following statement.
The Princess Theatre is an inspiring example of what can happen when a community believes in itself and the value of the arts to quality of life. The theatre has contributed substantially to the life and economy of Winnsboro and Franklin Parish. The restoration of the turn-of-the-century Princess Theatre to a live performance venue was the catalyst for the development of historic downtown Winnsboro. Further, the theatre's programs include a full series offering international, national, and local performances as well as a coffee house series that is free to the community. The Princess functions as both a performing arts venue and a forum for educational programming; it has transformed cultural opportunities in Northeast Louisiana and continues to be a model for success throughout the region.
Country singer Kix Brooks, a Shreveport native, will host a fundraiser for the Princess Theatre on September 28 and 29, 2018. Brooks, will headline a two-day "Kickin' It With Kix" to thank donors working to keep the historic theatre open. "Preserving venues like the Princess – which bring the arts to rural communities – is more important than ever. The arts inspire, and institutions like this theatre provide a necessary public service and a convenient, affordable location to experience live entertainment," Brooks said.
Franklin Parish Catfish Festival
This annual "Spring Party" started as a Chamber of Commerce initiative twenty years ago and now draws some twenty thousand to Winnsboro each year. The festival offers an opportunity for local groups and organizations to raise funds for their various endeavors, as well as showcase their products to the crowds that attend. The festival is held the second Saturday in April unless Easter falls on that particular week-end and then it would be scheduled on the first Saturday. This is the largest one-day festival in Louisiana.
The economic base of Winnsboro consists of companies in the apparel, boat manufacturing, bottling and food products industries, aviation, healthcare, agriculture and agricultural related industries. There is a large grain elevator.
- Gretta Boley, Forest Supervisor of the Kisatchie National Forest
- Fred Carter, Jr., rock and roll guitarist and singer
- Noble Ellington, state representative and state senator
- Allen "Puddler" Harris, rock and roll and country music pianist
- T. H. Harris, state education superintendent
- Ralph E. King, physician and state senator from 1944 to 1952 and 1956 to 1960
- L. D. Knox, perennial political candidate who legally changed his name to "None of the Above" Knox
- Caleb Martin, American football player
- Anthony McFarland, professional football player
- John Moffitt, 2004 Olympic silver medalist
- L.D. "Buddy" Napper, state representative
- Morgan D. Peoples, historian who specialized in the Long political dynasty
- Woody Sauldsberry, NBA player
- Steve D. Thompson, member of the Louisiana State Senate from 1988 to 1996; real estate agent in Winnsboro
- Chet D. Traylor, Associate Justice on the Louisiana Supreme Court
- R. B. Walden, director of Louisiana Department of Hospitals
- Calvin A. H. Waller, Lieutenant General, United States Army; Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Operation Desert Storm
- Sammy White, professional football player
- Lantz Womack, late state representative and banker from Winnsboro
921st Engineer Company (Horizontal), part of the 528th Engineer Battalion which belongs to the 225th Engineer Brigade, is located in Winnsboro.
Flags fly off Louisiana State Highway 15 in Winnsboro (May 2013).
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