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Claiborne Parish, Louisiana


Claiborne Parish, Louisiana

Claiborne Parish, Louisiana
The Claiborne Parish Courthouse was built in 1860 in Greek style. It served as a point of departure for Confederate troops.
Map of Louisiana highlighting Claiborne Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the United States highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded March 13, 1828
Named for William C. C. Claiborne
Seat Homer
Largest town Homer
 • Total 767 sq mi (1,987 km2)
 • Land 755 sq mi (1,955 km2)
 • (2010) 17,195
 • Density 23/sq mi (9/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Claiborne Parish (French: Paroisse de Claiborne) is a parish located in the northwestern section of the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish was formed in 1828,[1] and was named for the first Louisiana governor, William C. C. Claiborne. As of the 2010 census, the population was 17,195.[2] The parish seat is Homer.[3]


  • History 1
  • Government and infrastructure 2
  • Geography 3
    • Major highways 3.1
    • Adjacent parishes 3.2
    • National protected area 3.3
  • Demographics 4
  • Politics 5
  • Education 6
  • Communities 7
    • Towns 7.1
    • Villages 7.2
    • Unincorporated communities 7.3
  • Notable residents 8
  • Gallery 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


John Murrell moved his family from Arkansas to the Flat Lick Bayou area about 6 miles west of present-day Homer in 1818, and they became the first known non-natives to permanently settle in Claiborne Parish. As more settlers moved into the area, the Murrell house served as a church, school and post office. When the state legislature created Claiborne Parish out of Natchitoches Parish in 1828, all governmental business, including court, began being held in the Murrell house. This continued until the new parish's police jury selected Russellville (now a ghost town located northeast of Athens) as the parish seat.[4][5][6] As the population began swelling in what was then the western part of the parish, the seat was moved to Overton (another modern ghost town found near Minden) in 1836, because of its position at the head of the navigable portion of Dorcheat Bayou. Due to flooding and health concerns, the parish seat was moved to Athens in 1846, but in 1848 fire destroyed the courthouse and all the records in it. Soon thereafter the Claiborne Police Jury chose the present site for the parish seat, which came to be named, Homer.[7]


Much of the area history is preserved in the Herbert S. Ford Memorial Museum, located across from the parish courthouse in Homer.

Government and infrastructure

Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections operates the David Wade Correctional Center in an unincorporated section of Claiborne Parish near Homer and Haynesville.[9][10]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 767 square miles (1,990 km2), of which 755 square miles (1,960 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) (1.6%) is water.[11]

Major highways

Adjacent parishes

National protected area


As of the census[17] of 2000, there were 16,851 people, 6,270 households, and 4,338 families residing in the parish. The population density was 22 people per square mile (9/km²). There were 7,815 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 51.80% White, 47.37% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 6,270 households out of which 29.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.10% were married couples living together, 17.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.80% were non-families. 28.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.80% 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 3.07.

In the parish the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 99.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.40 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $25,344, and the median income for a family was $32,225. Males had a median income of $29,161 versus $20,102 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $13,825. About 21.40% of families and 26.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.30% of those under age 18 and 23.20% of those age 65 or over.


With a narrow majority of African Americans in the population, Claiborne Parish in the years after the Governor Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts trailed with 3,158 votes (45.1 percent).[18] In 1996, U.S. President Bill Clinton of neighboring Arkansas, obtained 3,609 votes (53.6 percent) in Claiborne Parish. Republican Bob Dole of Kansas polled 2,500 votes (37.1 percent).[19]

However, by 2008, U.S. Senator John S. McCain of Arizona easily carried the parish in his losing race to Barack H. Obama. McCain polled 3,750 votes (54.8 percent) to Obama's 3,025 votes (44.2 percent).[20] In 2012, Mitt Romney carried the parish, with 3,649 votes (54.2 percent), nearly identical to the McCain tally four years earlier. President Obama received 3,014 votes (44.8 percent), or .6 of 1 percent greater than his earlier tabulation.[21]


Claiborne Parish School Board serves the parish.

Claiborne Academy is a private institution in an unincorporated area in the parish, near Haynesville.[22]




Unincorporated communities

Notable residents

Prominent Claiborne Parish residents include or have included:

  • T. H. Harris, pioneer educator and state education superintendent from 1908 to 1940, was born in the Arizona community in Claiborne Parish in 1869, the son of a Baptist minister. Another Claiborne Parish educator, John Sparks Patton, once ran against Harris for education superintendent and himself served on the Louisiana Public Service Commission until he was unseated in 1942 by Jimmie Davis. Patton is remembered for his crusade to establish taxpayer-funded school textbooks.
  • John Sidney Killen, state representative for Claiborne Parish in 1871; placed in Webster Parish with its creation from Claiborne Parish, had farm and cattle operation north of Minden[24]
  • Joe LeSage, state senator for Caddo Parish from 1968 to 1972; Shreveport attorney born in Homer[25]
  • James T. McCalman, state senator from Claiborne and Bienville parishes from 1960 to 1964.
  • Danny Roy Moore of Homer and later Arcadia in Bienville Parish is a former member of the Louisiana State Senate, with service from 1964 to 1968.


See also


  1. ^ Harris, D. W.; Hulse, B. M. (1886). The History of Claiborne Parish, Louisiana. New Orleans, LA: W. H. Stansbury & Company. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Burr, Murphy J. "Murrell family pioneered in Claiborne Parish". The Piney Woods Journal. Retrieved 14 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Volentine, Linda; Herring, Susan T. "Bridges Mill School Remembered". The Guardian-Journal. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Herring, Susan T. (29 April 1999). Father Of Claiborne Parish" John Murrell Arrived In August Of 1819""". The Guardian-Journal. Retrieved 15 December 2014. 
  7. ^ Harris, D. W.; Hulse, B. M., eds. (1886). The History of Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, From Its Incorporation in 1828 to the Close of the Year 1885. New Orleans: W. B. Stansbury & Co. pp. 19–20, 103. 
  8. ^ "Russellville: Ghost Town of Claiborne Parish". Retrieved July 8, 2010. 
  9. ^ "David Wade Corr. Center." Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Accessed September 14, 2008.
  10. ^ "Inmate wants his privileges restored." The Advocate. January 11, 1990. Retrieved on October 2, 2010. "But Mule was transferred to Wade Correctional Center in Haynesville[...]"
  11. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  17. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  18. ^ "Claiborne Parish presidential election returns, November 8, 1988". Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Claiborne Parish presidential election returns, November 5, 1996". Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Claiborne Parish presidential election returns". Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Claiborne Parish presidential election returns, November 6, 2012". Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  22. ^ "image007.gif." Claiborne Academy. Retrieved on October 2, 2010. "6741 Highway 19, Haynesville, LA 71038."
  23. ^ "Capt. Alfred Goodwill". Retrieved March 12, 2015. 
  24. ^ "John Killen Home". Minden Memories. Retrieved March 16, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Joe C. LeSage, Jr., obituary".  
  26. ^ Exhibit, Herbert S. Ford Memorial Museum, Homer, Louisiana
  27. ^ Wade Room, Herbert S. Ford Memorial Museum, Homer, Louisiana
  28. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012" (PDF). Retrieved September 5, 2009. 
  29. ^ "State Rep. Wilkerson Killed in Auto Accident". August 1, 2000. Retrieved September 26, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Restaurant inspired by popular Lake Claiborne eatery coming to Cross Lake".  

External links

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