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Rapides Parish, Louisiana
Upper view Rapides Parish courthouse, LA.jpg
Upper portion of the Rapides Parish Courthouse in Alexandria
Map of Louisiana highlighting Rapides Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the U.S. highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1807
Named for The local river rapids
Seat Alexandria
Largest city Alexandria
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,362 sq mi (3,527 km²)
1,323 sq mi (3,425 km²)
39 sq mi (102 km²), 2.89%
 - (2010)
 - Density

97/sq mi (37/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Rapides Parish (French: Paroisse des Rapides) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Alexandria is the parish seat. It encompasses the Alexandria, Louisiana, Metropolitan Statistical Area. Rapides is the French spelling of "rapids".

History[edit | edit source]

Purple Heart Memorial Bridge over the Red River in Alexandria and Pineville.

In 1763, the land that is now Rapides Parish became the new home of the Apalachee, who were settled there with the permission of Governor Kerlerec. The Native Americans had come after fleeing the British and their Creek Indian allies from what is now from Leon County, Florida. Many of their descendants remain in Natchitoches Parish.

The first French settler was Vincent Porei, who was granted a small tract of land in July 1764 by the Civil and Military Commander of Natchitoches. Nicolas Etienne Marafret Layssard arrived in December 1766, with the permission of Aubrey and Foucault, to establish a "tar works" in the pineries of Rapides, for naval stores. He was later appointed the first Civil Commander of Rapides Parish. During the 1760s, the area was still a dependency of Natchitoches Parish [AGI, PPC, Legajo 187a, 384-384v].

Alexander Fulton had a Spanish land grant within Rapides Parish in the 1790s, where he laid out the future Alexandria in 1805.[1] Rapides Parish was formed in 1807 by the government of the Territory of Orleans.

When the Union occupied Alexandria, elections were held on April 1, 1863, in Rapides Parish to select delegates for a pending state constitutional convention. According to Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks, the election was held at Alexandria "by the request of citizens of the parish of Rapides. No officer or soldier interfered with or had any part whatever in this matter. It was left exclusively to the loyal citizens" in Rapides Parish.[2] The election dates varied within the Federally occupied areas. New Orleans held its contests for delegates on March 28. Marksville and Grand Ecore soon followed. According to the historian John D. Winters, "none of these elections in any way impeded the porogress nor materially affected the outcome of the [Union's] Red River campaign.[3]

Geography[edit | edit source]

Map of Rapides Parish, Louisiana, with Municipal Labels.

The parish has a total area of 1,362 square miles (3,527 km²), of which, 1,323 square miles (3,425 km²) of it is land and 39 square miles (102 km²) of it (2.89%) is water.

Major highways[edit | edit source]

Adjacent parishes[edit | edit source]

National protected area[edit | edit source]

Military Installations[edit | edit source]

National Guard[edit | edit source]

Demographics[edit | edit source]

Census Pop.
1900 39,578
1910 44,545 12.5%
1920 59,444 33.4%
1930 65,455 10.1%
1940 73,370 12.1%
1950 90,648 23.5%
1960 111,351 22.8%
1970 118,078 6.0%
1980 135,282 14.6%
1990 131,556 −2.8%
2000 126,337 −4.0%
2010 131,613 4.2%
Rapides Parish Census Data[4]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 126,337 people, 47,120 households, and 33,125 families residing in the parish. The population density was 93 people per square mile (37/km²). There were 52,038 housing units at an average density of 39 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 66.51% White, 30.43% Black or African American, 0.74% Native American, 0.86% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 47,120 households out of which 34.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.70% were married couples living together, 16.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.70% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the parish the population was spread out with 27.20% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 22.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.00 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $29,856, and the median income for a family was $36,671. Males had a median income of $29,775 versus $20,483 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $16,088. About 16.40% of families and 20.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.30% of those under age 18 and 16.30% of those age 65 or over.

Water features[edit | edit source]

Communities[edit | edit source]

Cities[edit | edit source]

Towns[edit | edit source]

Villages[edit | edit source]

Unincorporated Areas[edit | edit source]

Government and infrastructure[edit | edit source]

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections operates the J. Levy Dabadie Correctional Center, which is located on property adjacent to Camp Beauregard and in Pineville in Rapides Parish.[6][7]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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Geology[edit | edit source]

Coordinates: 31°12′N 92°32′W / 31.20, -92.54

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Rapides Parish, Louisiana. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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