Ringgold is a town in Bienville Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,495 at the 2010 census. Ringgold is named for United States Army Major Samuel Ringgold, the hero of the Battle of Palo Alto near Brownsville, Texas, in the Mexican–American War. Ringgold, the son of a congressman from Maryland, was known for his particularly effective use of artillery. He was also the first American casualty of the Mexican War.
Ringgold branch of the Bienville Parish Library
Location of Ringgold in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
|• Mayor||Donna Short Wiggins (D) (elected 2013)|
|• Total||2.32 sq mi (6.01 km2)|
|• Land||2.31 sq mi (6.00 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)|
|Elevation||279 ft (85 m)|
|• Estimate (2016)||1,441|
|• Density||622.46/sq mi (240.30/km2)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
It is unlikely that René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in his 1687 journey into Louisiana ever set foot in Bienville Parish. In 1690, the Ringgold area was explored by the scout Domingo Terán de los Ríos, whom the government of Mexico sent to determine the extent of the holdings of the Caddo Indians. He was considered the first white leader to sight what became the man-made Lake Bistineau. A priest with the expedition, Father Masinettes, established "Mission Loretteto." De los Rios was thereafter from 1891 to 1892 the first governor of Spanish Texas.
In November 1933, C. E. Tomme (1882-1948), a telephone executive who was previously a county commissioner of Newton County in East Texas, was appointed mayor of Ringgold by Governor Oscar K. Allen. Tomme, who relocated to Ringgold in 1920, filled the position vacated by his fellow Democrat, Walter McDowell. Tomme previously served on the Bienville Parish School Board and the parish Democratic Executive Committee. In the spring of 1934, Tomme won election to the post, 86-66, over Dave Thomas.
In addition to its numerous churches, Ringgold is the home of a Southland Christian Ministries camp and retreat located on a 23-acre lake off U.S. Route 371 north of the community. Initially constructed during the early 1940s by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the facility was purchased in the middle 1940s by the Bible Memory Association, which then operated "Miracle Camp" until it was closed for financial reasons in the early 1990s. Southland subsequently obtained the property with help of the Tri-City Baptist Church of Independence, Missouri. Since 2008, Michael Dale "Mike" Herbster (born March 1974) has been the camp director.
On May 2, 1984, a tornado devastated part of Ringgold. Nine were injured, though there were no deaths. The storm reached as far as nearby Jamestown. On March 25, 2017, the Ringgold Assembly of God Church under pastor Martha B. Grigg (born February 1944) was destroyed in a tornado. There were no injuries.
Ringgold is located in western Bienville Parish at (32.326475, -93.283588).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,660 people, 636 households, and 410 families residing in the town. The population density was 715.3 people per square mile (276.3/km²). There were 749 housing units at an average density of 322.8 per square mile (124.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 43.92% White, 55.30% African American, 0.30% Native American, 0.06% Asian, and 0.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.54% of the population.
There were 636 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.4% were married couples living together, 26.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 21.1% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 77.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 68.0 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $15,326, and the median income for a family was $21,563. Males had a median income of $25,000 versus $15,625 for females. The per capita income for the town was $9,817. About 36.5% of families and 38.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 48.9% of those under age 18 and 33.3% of those age 65 or over.
Bienville Parish School Board operates public schools:
- Ringgold Elementary School
- Ringgold High School (grades 7-12)
- Stephen A. Caldwell, educator, principal at Ringgold High School, 1911-1914
- Barbara Colley, romance and mystery novelist from New Orleans, born in Ringgold and reared in Minden
- William M. "Bill" Conly, Sr. (1938-2017), regional folk, gospel, bluegrass, and Celtic musician and songwriter; Ringgold native and a forester with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
- Billy McCormack, Baptist pastor from Shreveport, director and vice president of the Christian Coalition of America; born in Bienville Parish and interred at Providence Cemetery in Ringgold
- Garnie W. McGinty, Louisiana historian
- Duvall Cortez Wimberly, born in Ringgold, president of American Ex–Prisoners of War
- "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 2, 2017.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Ringgold town, Louisiana". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
- Sharon O. Kleinpeter. "History of Beinville Parish". Rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- "C. E. Tomme". Findagrave.com. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- " C. E. Tomme Named Mayor of Ringgold by Governor Allen", Minden Herald, November 10, 1933, p. 1.
- "C. E. Tomme Re-Elected Ringgold Mayor", Minden Herald, April 13, 1934, p. 1.
- "About Us: Southland Christian Ministries". southlandcamp.org. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
- Marilyn Miller, "Tornado devastates town of Ringgold", Minden Press-Herald, May 3, 1984, p. 1
- KTBS-TV, (ABC in Shreveport, Louisiana, March 25, 2017.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "William M. "Bill" Conly, Sr. obituary". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved May 7, 2017.