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Washington Parish, Louisiana

Washington Parish, Louisiana
Map of Louisiana highlighting Washington Parish
Location in the state of Louisiana
Map of the United States highlighting Louisiana
Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 1819
Named for George Washington
Seat Franklinton
Largest city Bogalusa
 • Total 676 sq mi (1,751 km2)
 • Land 670 sq mi (1,735 km2)
 • Water 6.4 sq mi (17 km2), 0.9%
 • (2010) 47,168
 • Density 70/sq mi (27/km²)
Congressional district 5th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Washington Parish (French: Paroisse de Washington) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 47,168.[1] Its parish seat is Franklinton.[2] The parish was founded in 1819.[3]

Washington Parish comprises the Bogalusa, LA Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the New Orleans-Metairie-Hammond, LA-MS Combined Statistical Area.


  • History 1
  • Government 2
  • Geography 3
    • Adjacent counties and parishes 3.1
    • Major highways 3.2
    • National protected area 3.3
  • Demographics 4
  • Economy 5
  • Education 6
  • Corrections 7
  • National Guard 8
  • Communities 9
  • Notable people 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Washington Parish was formed in 1819 by splitting off from St. Tammany Parish. Franklinton became the parish seat on February 10, 1821.

Washington Parish is the most northeasterly of what are called the Florida Parishes, for it was a legal part of Spanish West Florida prior to 1810.

There are at least two articles about the history of Washington Parish:

  • "Washington Parish, Louisiana," by Janice M. Berfield, 1968
  • "History of Washington Parish," by Hon. Prentiss B. Carter

There is also a book which is online: , by C. W. GoodyearBogalusa Story


The Washington Parish Government is a Home Rule Charter or “President-Council” form of Government. Its current President is Richard N. Thomas, Jr.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 676 square miles (1,750 km2), of which 670 square miles (1,700 km2) is land and 6.4 square miles (17 km2) (0.9%) is water.[4]

Adjacent counties and parishes

Major highways

National protected area


As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 43,926 people, 16,467 households, and 11,642 families residing in the parish. The population density was 66 people per square mile (25/km²). There were 19,106 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 67.42% White, 31.53% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 0.54% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 16,467 households out of which 32.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.30% were married couples living together, 17.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.50% 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 26.80% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 14.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $24,264, and the median income for a family was $29,480. Males had a median income of $27,964 versus $17,709 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $12,915. About 19.40% of families and 24.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.20% of those under age 18 and 20.40% of those age 65 or over.


Washington Parish is currently known for its agriculture, particularly watermelons, as well as its timber and paper industry.

In 1906, The Great Southern Lumber Company started a sawmill in Bogalusa. It was the first to introduce reforestation in order to sustain the timber industry locally. It later started a paper mill and other related businesses in the area.

The Great Southern Lumber Company was bought several times and is now called Temple-Inland Corporation which is the largest employer in the parish.


Students outside of the city of Bogalusa attend Washington Parish School System.

Students within the city of Bogalusa attend Bogalusa City Schools.

Northshore Technical Community College is located in Bogalusa.


Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections operates the B.B. "Sixty" Rayburn Correctional Center in an unincorporated section of Washington Parish.[11]

National Guard

Bogalusa is home to the headquarters of the 205th Engineer Battalion of the 225th Engineer Brigade. Franklinton is the home of the 843rd Engineer Company.


Map of Washington Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels

Notable people

See also


  • "Washington Parish, Louisiana" by Janice M. Berfield, 1968
  • "History of Washington Parish" by Hon. Prentiss B. Carter
  • "Bogalusa Story" by C. W. Goodyear
  • Bogalusa, Washington Parish, Louisiana: History, Links, Maps, and Photos
  • Bogalusa Daily News
  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Washington Parish". Center for Cultural and Eco-Tourism. Retrieved September 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  11. ^ "B.B. Rayburn Corr. Center." Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Accessed September 14, 2008.

External links

  • Washington Parish Government
  • Washington Parish Assessor
  • Washington Parish Clerk of Court
  • Washington Parish Free Fair
  • The Era-Leader Newspaper, Franklinton
  • Washington Parish School System
  • Washington Parish Sheriff's Office
  • Washington Parish Tourism Bureau
  • Washington Economic Development Foundation
  • D. A. Varnado Store Museum
  • Bogalusa Daily News
  • "Bogalusa Story" by C. W. Goodyear
  • Travel ItineraryDiscover Our Shared HeritageExplore the History and Culture of Southeastern Louisiana, a National Park Service
  • Article by Robert Higgs LAGenWeb Washington Parish History Washington Parish Louisiana Wikispace
  • Bogalusa, Washington Parish, Louisiana: History, Links, Maps, and Photos
  • Some Photos of Hurricane Katrina Damage


  • Heinrich, P. V., R. P. McCulloh, and J. Snead, 2007, Bogalusa 30 x 60 minute geologic quadrangle. Louisiana Geological Survey, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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