West Carroll Parish, Louisiana

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West Carroll Parish (French: Paroisse de Carroll Ouest) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Oak Grove and as of 2000, the population was 12,314.

Contents

History

A Brief History of West Carroll Parish Preface: The area that is now known as West Carroll Parish has a long and rich history that predates the formation of the United States of America and even the birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. On this site we would like to offer you a brief look into our history. For a complete history of West Carroll Parish a recommended read is Between the Rivers by Florence McKoin that is available at the parish library or from Claitor’s Publishing in Baton Rouge, La.

Since before the birth of Christ, people have called the area now known as West Carroll Parish home. This is evident by the largest Native American earthworks in North America that are located on the south end of the parish. In the course of their study of the site, archeologist have come to the conclusion that the site now known as Poverty Point was the central trading grounds for the entire culture of people that called the lower Mississippi River Valley home. It has been referred to as the New York City of 2,000 years ago.

Though the area was explored by many French and Spanish explores in the 16th through 18th centuries, there was no real settlement of the area. In the early days of Louisiana’s history as part of the United States, all of Northeast Louisiana was considered part of Ouachita Parish including West Carroll. In 1807 a Methodist Minister by the name of Moses Floyd settled on the west bank of the Bayou Macon in the south end of the parish. Later as a trading post developed and the village began to grow, less than a mile from the Poverty Point site, it was named Floyd after its prominent citizen.

As the population of Ouachita Parish continued to grow it began to be split into smaller parishes and in 1832 Carroll Parish was carved out of Ouachita by the state legislature, with the parish seat in Lake Providence, which is located on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Throughout the early part of the 19th century the population of the western portion of Carroll Parish continued to grow with its economy based mainly on cotton and timber. By 1855 the population had grown to the point where there were enough votes to move the parish seat west of the Macon to Floyd, an area that had developed into a thriving trading post due to steam traffic on the Macon. In 1856 construction began on the new courthouse that was finished in late 1857.

With the move of the parish seat came more professionals and tradesmen to Floyd, and the town grew exponentially. It was to become the typical frontier town with a hotel, post office, general store and saloons. It is said that the infamous James brothers spent a lot of time in the area during this period.

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