Union Parish, Louisiana
Union Parish (French: Paroisse de l'Union) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,721. The parish seat is Farmerville. The parish was created on March 13, 1839, from a section of Ouachita Parish. Its boundaries have changed four times since then (in 1845, 1846, 1867, and 1873, respectively).
|Parish of Union|
Union Parish Courthouse in Farmerville
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
|Founded||March 13, 1839|
|Named for||Union of American states|
|• Total||905 sq mi (2,340 km2)|
|• Land||877 sq mi (2,270 km2)|
|• Water||28 sq mi (70 km2) 3.06%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||25/sq mi (9.7/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Union Parish/Union County monumentEdit
In 1931, a monument was erected at the Union Parish border with Union County, Arkansas, through the private efforts of former Arkansas Governor George Washington Donaghey (1856–1937). He was born in Union Parish and grew up in the border area before moving with his family as a teenager to Conway, Arkansas. As governor of Arkansas, Donaghey oversaw the construction of the state capitol building in Little Rock and implemented founding of the state health unit and its agricultural colleges.
Long having felt a kinship to both states, after his gubernatorial tenure Donaghey commissioned a park on the border land and a monument. The monument is known for its intricate carvings and Art Deco style. It includes references to different modes of transportation in 1831 and 1931 and mentions Louisiana Governor Huey P. Long, Jr., whose educational program Donaghey admired. The land was not registered with the state parks offices in either state, timber companies cut trees thereabouts, and the monument was forgotten. In 1975, State Representative Louise B. Johnson gained passage of a law to refurbish the monument. A completed restoration was unveiled in 2009.
Geographically, north central Louisiana closely resembles Lincoln Parish, to which Union Parish is deeply tied culturally, politically, and educationally. The Piney Hills country is very different from the flat, hardwood delta lands of northeastern Louisiana.
Adjacent parishes and countiesEdit
- Union County, Arkansas (northwest)
- Ashley County, Arkansas (northeast)
- Morehouse Parish (east)
- Ouachita Parish (southeast)
- Lincoln Parish (southwest)
- Claiborne Parish (west)
National protected areasEdit
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 22,803 people, 8,857 households, and 6,412 families residing in the parish. The population density was 26 people per square mile (10/km²). There were 10,873 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 69.79% White, 27.95% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.26% from other races, and 0.50% from two or more races. 2.02% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 8,857 households out of which 31.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.30% were married couples living together, 13.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.60% were non-families. 24.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the parish the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 9.10% from 18 to 24, 26.50% from 25 to 44, 23.80% from 45 to 64, and 14.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.90 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $29,061, and median income of a family was $36,035. Males had a median income of $30,494 versus $21,070 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $14,819. About 14.30% of families and 18.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.60% of those under age 18 and 17.70% of those age 65 or over.
Located in far northern Louisiana next to the Arkansas state line, Union Parish is heavily Republican in most competitive elections, particularly at the presidential level. In 2012, Mitt Romney received 7,561 votes (70.2 percent) of the parish total to 3,075 (28.6 percent) for U.S. President Barack Obama.
Residents are assigned to Union Parish Public Schools.
Two Louisiana governors came from the Shiloh Community in Union Parish:
Two Arkansas governors were natives of Union Parish:
- George Washington Donaghey, governor of Arkansas from 1909 to 1913
- Tom Jefferson Terral, governor of Arkansas from 1925 to 1927
Other Union Parish residents have included:
- Lonnie O. Aulds (1925-1984), state representative from 1968 to 1972 from Shreveport, real estate developer, born in Union Parish
- George Washington Bolton (1841-1931), state representative from 1888 to 1896 from Alexandria; Speaker of the House from 1892 to 1896; businessman, banker, school board member, Southern Baptist layman in Alexandria, lived and educated in Union Parish in his father's private school prior to the American Civil War
- Grady A. Dugas - physician in Marion who invented a system of wheelchair locks
- Harvey Fields, state senator from 1916 to 1920, member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission from 1927 to 1936, briefly a law partner of Huey Pierce Long, Jr., in Shreveport His son, T. T. Fields, served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1952 to 1964 and 1968 to 1972.
- Jay McCallum - Chief Judge of the Louisiana 3rd Judicial District Court (elected in 2003); ran un-opposed in 2014 for a term ending in 2020; state representative for Lincoln and Union parishes, 1992-2003; formerly practiced law in Farmerville after graduating from Louisiana State University School of Law in 1985
- B. R. Patton (1920-1999), state senator for Lincoln and Union parishes, 1956 to 1964; worked on the establishment of Lake D'Arbonne at Farmerville
- Fred Preaus (1912-1987), businessman from Farmerville, ran unsuccessfully in the 1956 Democratic gubernatorial primary election; lost to Earl Kemp Long
- Robert Roberts, Jr., Union Parish native born 1872, mayor of Farmerville c. 1900, mayor of Minden 1905-1906, state representative for Webster Parish 1908-1914, and state district judge 1920 to 1925
- James Peyton Smith (1925-2006), born in the Conway Community in Union Parish; state representative from Union and Morehouse parishes from 1964 to 1972; namesake of Louisiana Highway 33 bridge over Lake D'Arbonne in Farmerville
- Lee Emmett Thomas, was born in Marion in Union Parish and educated as a child in the Shiloh Community at the former Concord Institute. He was mayor of Shreveport (1922–1930) and Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representative (1912–1916). Thomas also served by appointment in both the Heard and Pleasant administrations.
Many facts concerning events in early Union Parish history come from the conveyance, probate, and lawsuit records on file in the Union Parish courthouse, as well as records of the United States Land Offices available in the National Archives. Other sources include:
1) Williams, E. Russ, Jr., Spanish Poste d’Ouachita: The Ouachita Valley in Colonial Louisiana 1783–1804, and Early American Statehood, 1804–1820, Williams Genealogical Publications, Monroe, LA, 1995.
2) Williams, E. Russ, Jr., Encyclopedia of Individuals and Founding Families of the Ouachita Valley of Louisiana From 1785 to 1850: Organized into Family Groups with Miscellaneous Materials on Historical Events, Places, and Other Important Topics, Part Oe A – K, Williams Genealogical and Historical Publications, Monroe, LA, 1996.
3) Williams, E. Russ, Jr., Encyclopedia of Individuals and Founding Families of the Ouachita Valley of Louisiana From 1785 to 1850: Organized into Family Groups with Miscellaneous Materials on Historical Events, Places, and Other Important Topics, Part Two L – O, Williams Genealogical and Historical Publications, Monroe, LA, 1997.
4) Williams, Max Harrison, Union Parish (Louisiana) Historical Records: Police Jury Minutes, 1839–1846, D’Arbonne Research and Publishing Co., Farmerville, LA, 1993.
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