Marksville, Louisiana

City of Marksville
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parish Avoyelles
Elevation 82 ft (25 m)
Coordinates 31°07′36″N 92°03′58″W / 31.12667°N 92.06611°W / 31.12667; -92.06611
Area 4.1 sq mi (10.6 km2)
 - land 4.1 sq mi (11 km2)
 - water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2), 0%
Population 9,537 (2000)
Density 1,358.0 / sq mi (524.3 / km2)
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code 318
Location of Marksville in Louisiana
Location of Louisiana in the United States

Marksville is a city in and the parish seat of Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,537 at the 2000 census. Louisiana's first land-based casino, Paragon Casino Resort, opened in Marksville in June 1994. It is run by the Tunica-Biloxi tribe.[1]



Marksville is named after Marc Eliche, who established a trading post after his wagon broke down in this area.[2] He was a Jewish[3] Italian trader, believe to be from Venice, whose Italian name was recorded by a Spanish priest as Marco Litche, and as Marc Eliche by French priests after his trading post was established about 1794. Marksville was noted on Louisiana maps as of 1809.[4] He later donated land that became the Courthouse Square that is still the center of Marksville today. Marksville has a strong Creole and Cajun population whence they have many families that have been there since it was incorporated , a few of these families are Sylvan , Trahan , Malveaux and Zachary. Louisiana Creole and Louisiana French is spoken in this town .

During the American Civil War, Marksville late in 1862 hosted Confederate soldiers from Texas who, in the words of the historian John D. Winters, "built wooden huts to shelter themselves from the icy winds and rain. At night, after the usual camp routines, the men amused themselves around their campfires with practical jokes and group singing or sat listening to the music of a regimental band. Some of the soldiers often gathered under an arbor of boughs to dance jigs, reels, and doubles to the music of several fiddles. On the opposite side of the camp, another arbor seved as a church. There at night with the area lighted by pine knots, men listened to the exhortations and prayers of the preacher and sang favorite hymns."[5]

Marksville came under Union control in 1863 as part of Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks's Red River campaign.[6]


Marksville is located at 31°7′36″N 92°3′58″W / 31.12667°N 92.06611°W / 31.12667; -92.06611 (31.126595, -92.066073)[7].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²), of which, 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²) of it is land and 0.24% is water.


As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 5,537 people, 2,036 households, and 1,400 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,358.0 people per square mile (524.0/km²). There were 2,198 housing units at an average density of 539.1 per square mile (208.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.98% White, 48.59% African American, 0.80% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population.

There were 2,036 households out of which 36.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 22.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.2% were non-families. 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 79.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $20,750, and the median income for a family was $25,681. Males had a median income of $24,896 versus $15,865 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,546. About 32.0% of families and 34.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 50.1% of those under age 18 and 25.4% of those age 65 or over.


All primary public schools are run by the Avoyelles Parish School Board. It operates 2 schools within the city of Marksville. The school board website is [2].[9]


  • Marksville Elementary

High school

Notable people

  • D'Antony Batiste- Former University of Louisiana at Lafayette football player; National Football League player, 2008
  • Sam Bass, a Canadian Carpenter who through an act of kindness daringly mailed a letter on behalf of the kidnapped Free Man of Color, Solomon Northrup. The letter helped free Northrup after 12 years of slavery from 1842 to 1854. Northrup's written story in book form was well well read on a national scale before the Civil War. Bass was an ancestor of Claude Hudson below. (see
  • Aaron Broussard - Jefferson Parish politician impacted by the Political effects of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Adolph Valery Coco, attorney general of state of Louisiana, 1916
  • F.O. "Potch" Didier - Sheriff of Avoyelles Parish (1956–1980); once spent seven days in his own jail after conviction of malfeasance in office during a political feud. He successfully campaigned for re-election from his own jail.
  • Edwin Edwards - Four-term Governor of Louisiana
  • Elaine Schwartzenburg Edwards - US Senator in 1972
  • Eleanor Gremillion - Witness of the "Day it Rained Fish in Marksville" when fish fell from the sky in 1947
  • H. Claude Hudson, civil rights activist and founder of Broadway Federal Savings and Loan
  • John E. LaBorde - Mayor of Marksville (1994–1998); founder and owner of Panaroma Foods, Inc.
  • Raymond LaBorde - Mayor of Marksville (1958–1970), state representative (1972–1992), Edwin Edwards' commissioner of administration (1992–1996)
  • Alvan LaFargue (1883–1962), physician and mayor of Sulphur, Louisiana, from 1926–1932, was born in Marksville. Lafargue's paternal grandfather in 1843 founded the still-published Marksville Weekly News.
  • Arnaud LaFargue, Louisiana superintendent of education, 1890s
  • Chad Lavalais - Former LSU and NFL football player.
  • Billy J. Morris - Swamp Pop/R&B/Soul 1999 Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
  • Tommy Neck - LSU and NFL football player from the 1960s
  • John H. Overton (1875–1948) - U.S. Senator, native of Marksville
  • Gaston Porterie, former Attorney General of the State of Louisiana
  • Charles Addison Riddle III, District Attorney, since 2003; former State Representative, 1992-2003. Son of Charles Addison Riddle, Jr., former District Attorney, and grandson of Charles Riddle, state representative from 1932-1940. Riddle wrote the play, "Marc's Place" celebrating the 200th birthday of Marksville, which was performed in October 2009.
  • Victor L. Roy, co-founder of 4-H in Louisiana in 1908, also served as Supt. of Education in both Avoyelles and Lafayette Parishes at the same time, and later as president of Normal College in Natchitoches.
  • Joseph Tabarlet - former mayor of Jonesboro, Louisiana, was born in Marksville.[11]
  • Little Walter Jacobs - Blues musician. 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

National Guard

1020th Engineer Company (Vertical) of the 527th Engineer Battalion of the 225th Engineer Brigade is located in Marksville.

Small communities in the area


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