Concordia Parish () borders the Mississippi River in eastern Louisiana. The parish seat is Vidalia. As of 2000, the population was 20,247. It is part of the Natchez, MS–LA Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Frogmore Mound Site on US84 near Ferriday Concordia Parish was the home to many succeeding Native American groups in the thousands of years before European settlements began. Peoples of the Marksville culture, Troyville culture, Coles Creek culture and Plaquemine culture built villages and mound sites throughout the area. Notable examples include Cypress Grove Mound, DePrato Mounds, Frogmore Mound Site and Lamarque Landing Mound.
Concordia was named for a Latin word meaning "harmony".
During the American Civil War, Concordia Parish was staunchly Confederate. According to the historian John D. Winters in his The Civil War in Louisiana (1863), Concordia, "a planter-dominated parish, displayed unusual Confederate patriotism in early March . A handsome bounty of $100 was offered to any man who joined one of three designated companies forming for the duration of the war. A bounty of $50 would be paid to those joining either of two companies being raised in the neighboring parish of Catahoula. A $50,000 bond issue was voted to finance the bounty program. . . . $40,000 was appropriated for the relief of needy families of volunteers in the parish."
The plantations of Concordia Parish were impacted by the "red tape" involved in hiring Negro laborers once the Union had liberated an area. Both lessees and private owners found the labor regulations onerous to implement.
Law and government
The current sheriff is Democrat Randy Maxwell, who has served since August 31, 1990.In June 2011, Maxwell announced his retirement effective in 2012.
Although the parish trends Democratic, in the 2008 presidential election, the Democrat Barack Obama of Illinois received 3,766 votes (39.5 percent) in Concordia Parish to 5,668 (59.5 percent) for the Republican nominee, John S. McCain of Arizona. In 2004, Concordia Parish cast 5,427 votes (60 percent) for President George W. Bush and 3,446 ballots (38 percent) for his Democratic rival, Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts. Local officials are almost entirely Democratic in affiliation, and Republicans rarely contest such elections.
The parish has a total area of , of which is land and (7.05%) is water.
The parish is completely agricultural bottomlands. The Ouachita River runs along the west boundary, the Red River along the south, and the Mississippi River along the east. All three rivers are contained by large levee systems.
U.S. Highway 65
U.S. Highway 84
Louisiana Highway 15
- Tensas Parish (north)
- Adams County, Mississippi (northeast)
- Wilkinson County, Mississippi (east)
- West Feliciana Parish (southeast)
- Pointe Coupee Parish (south)
- Avoyelles Parish (southwest)
- Catahoula Parish (west)
National protected area
- Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,247 people, 7,521 households, and 5,430 families residing in the parish. The population density was 29 people per square mile (11/km ). There were 9,148 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km ). The racial makeup of the parish was 60.75% White, 37.72% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.55% from other races, and 0.58% from two or more races. 1.48% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 7,521 households out of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.00% were married couples living together, 19.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.80% were non-families. 25.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the parish the population was spread out with 27.80% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 25.60% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 14.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 95.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.90 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $22,742, and the median income for a family was $28,629. Males had a median income of $27,453 versus $18,678 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $11,966. About 24.30% of families and 29.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.00% of those under age 18 and 20.60% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Map of Concordia Parish, Louisiana With Municipal Labels
Concordia Parish School Board operates public schools in the parish.
Notable natives and residents
- Al Ater, State representative (1984 1988) and secretary of state (2005 2006)
- James H. "Jim" Brown, State senator (1972 1980, Louisiana secretary of state (1980 1988), and insurance commissioner (1992 2000)
- Campbell Brown, Emmy-award winning journalist, CNN Anchor/Show Host and daughter of former Louisiana State Insurance Commissioner and Secretary of State Jim Brown
- Noah W. Cross, Concordia Parish sheriff
- Troyce Guice, candidate for the U.S. Senate, 1966 and 1986
- Bryant Hammett, state representative, 1992 2006
- Sam Hanna, Sr., late publisher of Concordia Sentinel in Ferriday
- Shelby M. Jackson, Education superintendent, 1948 1964
- Dan Richey, State Senator, 1980 1984
- Fred L. Schiele, Concordia Parish sheriff
- Howard K. Smith, ABC and CBS commentator
- Christopher W. Williams, Cenla American Institute of Architects President, 2010, Board of Regents Louisiana Architects Foundation
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Concordia Parish, Louisiana
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