Mamou, Louisiana

Mamou, Louisiana

Mamou is a town in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 3,566 at the 2000 census.

Geography

Mamou is located at (30.634033, -92.418913).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.7 km²), all of it land.

History

There are many stories about the name Mamou. One was the legendary Indian, Chief Mamou. It is certain that this vast prairie was known as Mamou Prairie as far back as the 1700s and that Anglo-Americans first called it 'Mammouth Prairie' because of its immense size. And when the Frenchmen came the called it 'Mamou' for mammouth. The name "Mamou", contrary to folklore, is a family name found in France.

Within this vast stretch of prairie, the town site of Mamou was laid out in 1907 by Curley C. Duson of Eunice, Louisiana. He was president of the Mamou Town site Company which opened an office on the corner of Seventh and Chestnut. Lot auctions were held weekly and lots back then sold for $50. The original village covered one square mile. On January 11, 1911 Mamou was incorporated.

Cotton was the major crop for many years on the prairie. By 1915 the village boosted having four cotton gins baling thousands of bales of ginned cotton. The decline in the demand for cotton led the area farmers toward the growing of rice that is now the major crop of the area.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,566 people, 1,426 households, and 902 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,525.0 people per square mile (976.5/km²). There were 1,580 housing units at an average density of 1,118.7/sq mi (432.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 60.96% White, 37.75% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.06% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.73% of the population.

There were 1,426 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 20.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 84.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $12,988, and the median income for a family was $17,295. Males had a median income of $21,250 versus $13,250 for females. The per capita income for the town was $9,046. About 37.4% of families and 45.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 50.6% of those under age 18 and 37.5% of those age 65 or over.

Education

Public schools in Evangeline Parish are operated by the Evangeline Parish School Board. Two campuses serve the town of Mamou - Mamou Elementary School (Grades PK-4) and Mamou High School (Grades 5-12).

Culture

Mamou is located at the heart of Louisiana's Cajun country. The town is famous for its music and musicians, and bills itself as "The Cajun Music Capital of the World." Consequently, Mamou figures into a number of song titles (such as "'Tit Galop Pour Mamou" and "Valse de Grand Mamou") and lyrics, as well as band names (such as Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys). Mamou is also home of the world famous Fred's Lounge, which features live Cajun music every Saturday morning. Each year the town holds a Courir de Mardi Gras.

Famous residents

Jimmy C. Newman (born 27 August 1927)

External links

References

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