Eunice, Louisiana

Eunice, Louisiana

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Eunice is a city in Acadia
Acadia Parish, Louisiana
Acadia Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Crowley. According to the 2010 census, the population of Acadia Parish is 61,773. The parish was founded from parts of St...

, Evangeline
Evangeline Parish, Louisiana
-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 35,434 people, 12,736 households, and 9,157 families residing in the parish. The population density was 53 people per square mile . There were 14,258 housing units at an average density of 22 per square mile...

 and St. Landry
St. Landry Parish, Louisiana
St. Landry Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is at the heart of Acadian/Cajun culture and heritage in Louisiana. The parish seat is Opelousas. According to the 2010 census, the population of St. Landry Parish is 83,384.St...

A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

es in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

. The population was 11,499 at the 2000 census.

The St. Landry Parish portion of Eunice is part of the Opelousas
Opelousas, Louisiana
Opelousas is a city in and the parish seat of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, United States. It lies at the junction of Interstate 49 and U.S. Route 190. The population was 22,860 at the 2000 census. Although the 2006 population estimate was 23,222, a 2004 annexation should put the city's...

–Eunice Micropolitan Statistical Area, while the Acadia Parish portion is part of the Crowley
Crowley, Louisiana
Crowley is a city in and the parish seat of Acadia Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 14,225 at the 2000 census. The city is noted for its annual International Rice Festival. Crowley has the nickname of "Rice Capital of America", because at one time it was a major center for...

 Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Eunice is located at 30°29′37"N 92°25′1"W (30.493595, -92.416927) and has an elevation of 49 feet (14.9 m).

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.1 km²). None of the area is covered with water.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 11,499 people, 4,316 households, and 2,986 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 2,459.6 people per square mile (948.7/km²). There were 4,675 housing units at an average density of 1,000.0 per square mile (385.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.76% White, 29.91% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.11% of the population.

There were 4,316 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 17.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.6% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years, a half year older than the state-wide median age of 34.0 years. For every 100 females there were 89.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $21,372, and the median income for a family was $27,173. Males had a median income of $29,500 versus $18,912 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $11,937. About 26.5% of families and 31.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 41.9% of those under age 18 and 20.6% of those age 65 or over.


One-time lawman and pioneer land developer C.C. Duson
Curley Duson
Cornelius C. Duson, [b. August 31, 1846] was a legendary Louisiana lawman. He was the sheriff of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana from 1874 to 1888. During his career, he was known for his dogged determination....

 is credited with founding Eunice, which was named for his second wife, Eunice Pharr Duson. He and his brother, W.W. Duson, had founded Crowley, Louisiana
Crowley, Louisiana
Crowley is a city in and the parish seat of Acadia Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 14,225 at the 2000 census. The city is noted for its annual International Rice Festival. Crowley has the nickname of "Rice Capital of America", because at one time it was a major center for...

 in 1887, and now he looked to the north of the parish for future development. Duson bought 160 acre (0.6474976 km²) of land from Willie Humble of Prairie Faquetaïque and mapped out a town site, laid out in lots 50-by-140 feet, 12 lots to the block. Next, he persuaded the Southern Pacific Railroad
Southern Pacific Railroad
The Southern Pacific Transportation Company , earlier Southern Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Company, and usually simply called the Southern Pacific or Espee, was an American railroad....

 to extend a branch line from Crowley to his new town. Then he began what he and his brother had learned how to do as well as anyone: promote land sales. It was charted as a village on September 12, 1894, and incorporated as a town on June 4, 1895.

In May 2000 a chemical freight train derailed in Eunice, spilling numerous hazardous chemicals and causing about 15 tank cars to explode and burn; approximately 3,500 residents of the town were evacuated for as many as five days. Over 10,000 residents settled in May 2004 for $65 million with the Union Pacific Corporation
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

 in a class action suit, claiming that the corporation had failed to repair a defective section of track.


Eunice is the home of Louisiana State University at Eunice
Louisiana State University at Eunice
Louisiana State University Eunice is a community college located in Eunice, Louisiana, that currently serves around 3,300 full and part-time students.LSU Eunice currently offers degrees and diplomas up to the associate's degree level...

, a community college
Community college
A community college is a type of educational institution. The term can have different meanings in different countries.-Australia:Community colleges carry on the tradition of adult education, which was established in Australia around mid 19th century when evening classes were held to help adults...

. LSUE is a campus of the Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, most often referred to as Louisiana State University, or LSU, is a public coeducational university located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The University was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, Louisiana, under the name...


Eunice is also home to both Eunice High School
Eunice High School
Eunice High School is a public high school located in Eunice, in the far western end of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. It is operated by the St. Landry Parish School Board. Eunice High graduated its first class in 1910; the current building was built in 1966. In 1969, St...

 and St Edmund High School
St. Edmund High School (Eunice, Louisiana)
St. Edmund High School is a private, Roman Catholic high school in Eunice, Louisiana. It is located in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette.-Background:...



Located in the heart of Cajun
Cajuns are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana, consisting of the descendants of Acadian exiles...

 country, Eunice is famous for its Cajun music
Cajun music
Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Acadians of Canada. Cajun music is often mentioned in tandem with the Creole-based, Cajun-influenced zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin...

, and in November 1997 the Cajun Music Hall of Fame and Museum was founded there.
The City of Eunice and the National Park Service sponsor "Laissez les bons temps rouler au rendezvous des cajuns", a live Cajun music show every Saturday night at the Liberty Theatre, an old movie theater that was restored by a "coup de main" by local volunteers after falling into disrepair.

Eunice is home to the Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, a unit of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve protects significant examples of the rich natural and cultural resources of Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta region. The park, named after Jean Lafitte, seeks to illustrate the influence of environment and history on the development of a unique...


Eunice is host to one of the largest Courir de Mardi Gras
Courir de Mardi Gras
The Courir de Mardi Gras is a traditional Mardi Gras event held in many Cajun communities of south Louisiana on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Courir de Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday Run". The rural Mardi Gras celebration is based on early begging rituals, similar to those still...

(traditional rural French Louisiana Mardi Gras observance, as well as the World Championship Crawfish Étouffée
Étouffée or etouffee is a dish found in both Cajun and creole cusine typically served with shellfish over rice. It is most popular in New Orleans and in the bayou country of the southernmost half of Louisiana.-Etymology:...


Famous residents

  • Geno Delafose
    Geno Delafose
    Geno Delafose is a zydeco accordionist and singer. He is one of the younger generations of the genre who has created the sound known as the nouveau zydeco. His sound is deeply rooted in traditional Creole music with strong influences from Cajun music and also country and western...

    , zydeco
    Zydeco is a form of uniquely American roots or folk music. It evolved in southwest Louisiana in the early 19th century from forms of "la la" Creole music...

  • Mary Alice Fontenot
    Mary Alice Fontenot
    Mary Alice Fontenot , born in Eunice, Louisiana, was a noted author of regional children's books, best known for the Clovis Crawfish series published by Pelican Publishing, a collection of eighteen books featuring animals from the Louisiana bayou...

    , author of "Clovis the Crawfish" series of books
  • Gregory L. Fruge
    Gregory L. Fruge
    Gregory L. Fruge, Sr. , is a businessman in Eunice, Louisiana, who served as a Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 41 from 1996-2004...

    , businessman and former state representative (1996–2004)
  • Danneel Harris
    Danneel Harris
    Danneel Ackles , better known by her stage name Danneel Harris, is an American actress and model. She is best known for her roles as Shannon McBain on One Life to Live and Rachel Gatina on One Tree Hill.-Early life:Elta Danneel Graul was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and was raised in the small...

    , actress
  • Kyries Hebert
    Kyries Hebert
    Kyries Hebert [KY-ris EH-bare] is a professional safety/linebacker who is currently a free agent. He most recently played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. He was originally signed by the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent in 2002...

    , American football
    American football
    American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

     free safety for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals
    Cincinnati Bengals
    The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. They are members of the AFC's North Division in the National Football League . The Bengals began play in 1968 as an expansion team in the American Football League , and joined the NFL in 1970 in the AFL-NFL...

  • Chicago Bears
    Chicago Bears
    The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League...

     Keith Oretgo
  • Carlton Loewer
    Carlton Loewer
    Carlton Loewer , is a retired Major League Baseball player who played pitcher from -. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres. He once broke his leg and severely dislocated his ankle after he fell out of a tree while hunting. He now owns a Real Estate company in...

    , Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

  • Dennis McGee
    Dennis McGee
    Dennis McGee was one of the earliest recorded Cajun musicians.A fiddle player, he recorded and performed with black Creole accordionist and vocalist Amédé Ardoin, with accordionist Angelas LeJeune, and with fiddlers Sady Courville and Ernest Frugé...

    , Cajun musician
  • Marc Savoy
    Marc Savoy
    Marc Savoy is an American musician, and builder and player of the Cajun accordion.Savoy holds a degree in chemical engineering but his primary income is derived from his accordion-making business, based at his Savoy Music Center in Eunice, Louisiana. His wife is the singer and guitarist Ann Savoy,...

    , Cajun accordionist and accordion maker
  • Dale Sittig
    Dale Sittig
    Clifton Dale Sittig is the director of the Louisiana Offshore Terminal Authority, who previously served from 1995-2008 as a Democratic member of his state’s Public Service Commission and from 1983-1995 as a state representative from Eunice in St. Landry Parish in south Louisiana.Sittig graduated...

    , politician
  • Jay Young
    Jay Young
    Silas Joseph Young Jay Young . He was one of the original news anchors on CNN's Headline News in Atlanta, Georgia, in the 1980s.Young was a graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge....

    , television news anchor
  • Mabel Hayes, female bishop
  • Elizabeth Heinen, Miss Louisiana Teen USA 2011

External links