Bienville Parish (Paroisse de Bienville) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Arcadia and as of 2000, the population is 15,752.
The highest point in Louisiana, Mt. Driskill, in elevation, is located in Bienville Parish.
The notorious bandits Bonnie Parker
and Clyde Barrow
were killed when captured in Bienville Parish in 1934. The Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum in Gibsland
about the capture.
Law and government
Bienville Parish is a traditional Democratic
stronghold. It was one of three parishes -- the others were neighboring Red River
and St. Bernard
near New Orleans
-- to reject the successful Republican
gubernatorial candidate, U.S. Representative Bobby Jindal
in the October 20
, jungle primary
. However, U.S. President George W. Bush
secured a close victory in the parish in 2004. He polled 3,612 votes (50 percent) to 3,399 (47 percent) for Democrat John F. Kerry
Bienville Parish was represented in the Louisiana State Senate from 1948-1960 by a fiery segregationist and unsuccessful 1959 Democratic gubernatorial candidate William M. Rainach of neighboring Claiborne Parish.
Lorris M. Wimberly, a Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives, was a native and resident of Arcadia. Wimberly served in the House from 1928-1940 and again from 1948-1956; he was Speaker from 1936-1940, 1950-1952, and briefly in 1956. His father, Joseph Rush Wimberly, I, served in the legislature from 1900-1908 and was thereafter a judge.
The last state representative whose district included only Bienville Parish was John Len Lacy of Castor, who served a single term from 1964-1968 and had been a member of the Bienville Parish School Board for thirty-two years.
The parish has a total area of 822 square miles (2,128 km²), of which, 811 square miles (2,100 km²) of it is land and 11 square miles (29 km²) of it (1.35%) is water. The highest point in Louisiana, Driskill Mountain (535 ft), is located in Bienville Parish. Driskill Mountain is south of Arcadia at Latitude 32 degree, 25 minutes North; Longitude 92 degree 54 minutes West.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 15,752 people, 6,108 households, and 4,214 families residing in the parish. The population density
was 19 people per square mile (8/km²). There were 7,830 housing units at an average density of 10 per square mile (4/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 54.92% White
, 43.78% Black
or African American
, 0.27% Native American
, 0.15% Asian
, 0.32% from other races
, and 0.55% from two or more races. 0.95% of the population were Hispanic
of any race.
There were 6,108 households out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.70% were married couples living together, 17.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.00% were non-families. 28.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the parish the population was spread out with 27.30% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 24.60% from 25 to 44, 22.50% from 45 to 64, and 17.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 91.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.80 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $23,663, and the median income for a family was $30,241. Males had a median income of $28,022 versus $18,682 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $12,471. About 21.80% of families and 26.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.00% of those under age 18 and 23.20% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Bienville Parish School Board
operates area public schools.
Bienville Parish is served by the Bienville Democrat newspaper
, published by Wayne E. Dring
, who was during the early 1970s the managing editor of the Minden Press-Herald
in nearby Minden
, the seat of Webster Parish
Notable natives and residents