Originally known as "Duson Station" the town was laid out by J.G. Parkerson, general manager of the Louisiana Western Railroad. By August 30, 1880, the railroad line from New Orleans to Houston was completed and passenger and freight service began. It merged with Southern Pacific Railroad in 1900. The village of Duson was incorporated on December 16, 1909, named after the land developer Curley Duson and installed Adolph De Jean as the first mayor.
In 1927, St Theresa Catholic Church was completed. Cotton farming was the main agriculture for the area. Three cotton gins were in Duson until the mid 1960s. Fires destroyed two and the third was torn down. After World War II, small lots east of Duson were developed, with small houses using brick siding paper on the exterior. Because of that, the area became known as "Paper Town."
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.7 km²).None of the area is covered with water.
There were 644 households out of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.6% were married couples living together, 20.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% 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 3.07.
In the town the population was spread out with 30.0% under the age of 18, 10.5% from 18 to 24, 29.3% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $21,071, and the median income for a family was $24,886. Males had a median income of $26,250 versus $15,476 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,520. About 27.5% of families and 31.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.7% of those under age 18 and 29.5% of those age 65 or over.