Ashland, Louisiana

Ashland is a village in the northernmost portion of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 291 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Natchitoches Micropolitan Statistical Area.


No businesses exist in Ashland though there were four or five in the 1950s. One convenience store, located just north of town inside neighboring Bienville Parish, serves the village.

The former Ashland High School closed in 1981 as a result of parish school consolidation. The school mascot was the "Bearcat". Ashland High School alumni still hold class reunions. A private Ashland Community School operated for another two years before it too closed. Children in Ashland attend public schools in Campti, including upper levels at the new Lakeview Junior and Senior High School. The former Ashland school building has been dismantled and replaced with a fire station manned by volunteers. The former school gynmasium was converted into the Ashland Community Center. The former Natchitoches Parish branch library closed years ago.

The Ashland Baptist Church, Ashland Village Hall, the Masonic lodge hall, and the U.S. Post Office are the principal entities in the village. The former community school met from 1981-1983 at the church.


Ashland is located at (32.116429, -93.114751).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 70.2 km² (27.1 mi²). 70.2 km² (27.1 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it (0.07%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 291 people, 121 households, and 87 families residing in the village. The population density was 4.1/km² (10.7/mi²). There were 149 housing units at an average density of 2.1/km² (5.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the village was 86.60% White, 10.31% African American, 2.41% Native American and 0.69% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.72% of the population.

There were 121 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.0% were married couples living together, 14.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the village the population was spread out with 21.3% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 24.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 98.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $23,438, and the median income for a family was $31,875. Males had a median income of $27,083 versus $23,750 for females. The per capita income for the village was $12,652. About 33.7% of families and 32.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.1% of those under the age of eighteen and 30.4% of those sixty five or over.


The boundaries of the community now extend well beyond the former village proper. Louisiana State Highways 153 and 155 intersect as they pass through Ashland. Highway 153 extends northward to Castor and southward to Campti, and Highway 155 proceeds westward toward Martin and Coushatta, the seat of neighboring Red River Parish.


The village has two cemeteries. The larger Old Ramah Cemetery is south of the former Ashland High School on Highway 153.

The smaller Hathorn Cemetery, west on Highway 155 toward Coushatta, was established in 1862 and is available only to those related by birth or marriage to the original Hathorn family. The first grave established at the Hathorn Cemetery was in a dogwood patch. It was the resting place of a child of Squire Harrison Hamilton Hathorn(1826-1896). The Hathorn Cemetery is one of the few in the region to have a chapel on the grounds. "Pat's Chapel" was dedicated on June 1, 1968, and named in honor of Patrick Hansel Coffey (1899-1967), who supervised the community construction endeavors. Coffey, a grandson of Squire Hathorn, is interred in the Old Ramah Cemetery beside his wife, the former Mattie Pullig (1905-1956). In 1971, pine trees inside the cemetery proper were removed for safety and future space needs. The Hathorn Cemetery Association of Ward 2, a non-profit corporation domiciled in Ashland, has operated the cemetery since July 17, 1978. The association holds annual memorial services on the Saturday morning prior to the first Sunday of June.


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