Ferriday is a town in Concordia Parish in northeastern Louisiana, United States. The population, which is three-fourths African American, was 3,723 at the 2000 census.
Ferriday claims to have produced more famous people per square mile than any other American small town. This statement intrigued author Elaine Dundy who probed that phenomenon while profiling both celebrities and townsfolk in her book, Ferriday, Louisiana, published by E. P. Dutton in 1991.
Ferriday played a role in the promotion of blues music through the Haney's Big House lounge in the African American community. The Delta Music Museum in the downtown historic district is open daily to visitors, many of whom come from out-of-state. It is located next to the restored Arcade Theater. the museum contains exhibits on Ferriday natives, some of whom were blues musicians.
Ferriday is represented by churches of all major denominations, including a large Pentecostal congregation south of town on LA 15 as well as Baptist, Assembly of God, and Presbyterian.
Ferriday welcoming sign on LA 15
Downtown Ferriday on August 1, 2008
Downtown green space in Ferriday across from Delta Music Museum
Ferriday is located at (31.630539, -91.556749).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of , all being land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,723 people, 1,350 households, and 918 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,220.7 people per square mile (855.6/km ). There were 1,498 housing units at an average density of 893.5 per square mile (344.3/km ). The racial makeup of the town was 24.09% White, 74.89% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.46% of the population.
There were 1,350 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 30.7% were married couples living together, 33.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.0% were non-families. 29.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the town the population was spread out with 32.0% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 76.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 68.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $14,732, and the median income for a family was $18,636. Males had a median income of $23,654 versus $16,725 for females. The per capita income for the town was $8,767. About 40.7% of families and 47.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 70.2% of those under age 18 and 25.1% of those age 65 or over.
- Andy Anders, current state representative from Concordia Parish and farm equipment salesman in Ferriday
- Al Ater, former Louisiana Secretary of State.
- Campbell Brown, NBC and CNN news correspondent.
- James H. "Jim" Brown, Louisiana state senator, Louisiana secretary of state, and state insurance commissioner.
- Keith Chandler, media industry executive served at CNN and Turner Broadcasting System.
- General Claire Chennault of Flying Tigers fame was reared in nearby Waterproof.
- Noah W. Cross (1908–1976) served as Concordia Parish sheriff from 1944 until 1973, when he resigned after a perjury conviction.
- Troyce Guice of Ferriday and later Natchez, Mississippi, ran for the United States Senate in 1966 and 1996.
- Bryant Hammett (born 1956), Ferriday engineer and former state representative
- Sam Hanna, Sr. (1933 2006), publisher of Concordia Sentinel newspaper in Ferriday, Ouachita Citizen in West Monroe, and Franklin Sun in Winnsboro
- Dale Houston (1940 2007), whose I'm Leaving It Up To You reached No. 1 in 1963.
- Shelby M. Jackson, Superintendent of Education, 1948—1964
- Jerry Lee Lewis, Rock and roll singer, pianist
- Rickey L. Nowlin is a freshman Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Natchitoches Parish.
- Daniel Wesley "Dan" Richey, former State Senator.
- Fred L. Schiele (1933 2002), Concordia Parish sheriff from 1973 1980
- Howard K. Smith, CBS and ABC commentator and anchorman; Howard K. Smith: News and Comment (1962 1963)
- Jimmy Lee Swaggart, evangelist
- Ann Boyar Warner, Hollywood hostess
- Leon "Pee Wee" Whittaker, African American trombonist born near Newellton in Tensas Parish
The Concordia Parish School Board serves Ferriday. Ferriday High School is a light-colored brick structure off LA 15. Its sports teams are known as The Trojans. To the right rear of the high school is the Concordia Parish Library.
In a middle-class residential area of north Ferriday on Jerry Lee Lewis Avenue is the private Huntington High School, first established for all grades in 1970, with the arrival of school desegregation to the remaining segregated districts. The Huntington sports teams are known as the Hounds. Former State Representative Bryant Hammett graduated from Huntington in 1974. Former Louisiana Secretary of State Al Ater was a graduate of the founding class. Publisher Sam Hanna was among its first directors.
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Tour guide Theresa D. Pullon at the Delta Music Museum in Ferriday, with replicas of Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Mickey Gilley in the background
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Concordia Sentinel newspaper office in Ferriday. The Sentinel was founded by J.L. Rountree in 1882 and published by Sam Hanna, Jr., of West Monroe.
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Concordia Bank in Ferriday
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Large Pentecostal Church in south Ferriday
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First Baptist Church of Ferriday on LA 15
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Ferriday's small First Presbyterian Church, (PC-USA) was founded on May 4, 1924
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The Concordia Parish Library in Ferriday (librarian Amanda Tumminello Taylor)
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Ferriday High School adjacent to parish library
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"FHS" carved in shrubbery at Ferriday High School
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The private Huntington School opened in Ferriday in 1970.
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Jerry Lee Lewis Drive in Ferriday en route to Huntington School
The Relax Inn on Highway 15 is Ferriday's only motel.
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Scorched corn fields between Jonesville and Ferriday in August 2008
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