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Tangipahoa Parish

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Tangipahoa Parish

Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana

Louisiana's location in the U.S.
Founded 6 March, 1869
Named for Acolapissa word meaning ear of corn or those who gather corn
Seat Amite City
Largest city Hammond
 • Total 823 sq mi (2,132 km2)
 • Land 790 sq mi (2,047 km2)
 • Water 33 sq mi (85 km2), 3.99%
 • (2010) 121,097
 • Density 127/sq mi (49/km²)
Congressional district , ,
Time zone

Tangipahoa Parish (French: Paroisse de Tangipahoa) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana, one of the Florida Parishes. The parish seat is Amite City, but the major city is Hammond. As of the 2010 census, the population was 121,097.[1] Tangipahoa comes from an Acolapissa word meaning "ear of corn" or "those who gather corn."

The Hammond Metropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Tangipahoa Parish.


Tangipahoa Parish began in 1868, when it was carved from Livingston Parish, St. Helena Parish, St. Tammany Parish, and Washington Parish It was flooded in 1932.


The parish has a total area of 823 square miles (2,130 km2), of which 790 square miles (2,000 km2) of it is land and 33 square miles (85 km2) of it (3.99%) is water.

Most of the parish south of Ponchatoula consists of Holocene coastal swamp and marsh—gray-to-black clays of high organic content and thick peat beds underlying freshwater marsh and swamp.[2]

Cities and towns

Adjacent counties, parishes and features


The parish is served by the Tangipahoa Parish School System.[3] Southeastern Louisiana University is located in Hammond.

On seven occasions, the American Civil Liberties Union has sued the Tangipahoa Parish School Board, along with other defendants, for having allegedly sponsored and promoted religion in teacher-led school activities.[4]


Major highways in the parish include:

  • Interstate 12

  • Interstate 55
  • U.S. Route 51
  • U.S. Route 190
  • Louisiana Highway 10
  • Louisiana Highway 16
  • Louisiana Highway 22
  • Louisiana Highway 38
  • Louisiana Highway 40
  • Louisiana Highway 440
  • Louisiana Highway 442
  • Louisiana Highway 443
  • Louisiana Highway 445
  • Louisiana Highway 450
  • Louisiana Highway 1040
  • Louisiana Highway 1045
  • Louisiana Highway 1046
  • Louisiana Highway 1048
  • Louisiana Highway 1049
  • Louisiana Highway 1050
  • Louisiana Highway 1051
  • Louisiana Highway 1053
  • Louisiana Highway 1054
  • Louisiana Highway 1055
  • Louisiana Highway 1056
  • Louisiana Highway 1057
  • Louisiana Highway 1061
  • Louisiana Highway 1062
  • Louisiana Highway 1063
  • Louisiana Highway 1064
  • Louisiana Highway 1065
  • Louisiana Highway 1067
  • Louisiana Highway 1249
  • Louisiana Highway 3158
  • Louisiana Highway 3234
  • Louisiana Highway 3260


As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 100,588 people, 36,558 households, and 25,773 families residing in the parish. The population density was 127 people per square mile (49/km²). There were 40,794 housing units at an average density of 52 per square mile (20/km²). The racial makeup of the parish was 69.76% White, 28.35% Black or African American, 0.39% Asian, 0.24% Native American, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 1.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 2012123,4411.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]
2012 Estimate[7]

There were 36,558 households out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.90% were married couples living together, 16.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.50% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the parish the population was spread out with 27.70% under the age of 18, 12.70% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 21.20% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 93.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.60 males.

The median income for a household in the parish was $29,412, and the median income for a family was $36,731. Males had a median income of $31,576 versus $20,066 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $14,461. About 18.00% of families and 22.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.60% of those under age 18 and 20.10% of those age 65 or over.


The parish is part of Louisiana's 1st congressional district, which is heavily Republican. The parish government is governed by the Louisiana State Constitution and the Tangipahoa Parish Home Rule Charter. The Parish Government of Tangipahoa is headed by a parish president and a parish council (president-council government). The council is the legislative body of the parish and its authority is granted to it in the Louisiana State Constitution, the Parish Home Rule Charter, and laws passed by the Louisiana State Legislature. The parish president is in-charge of the administration of council ordinances and serves as the leader of the parish and the council. He appoints many officers of the parish government The incumbent president is Gordon A. Burgess. The sheriff is the chief law enforcement officer, Daniel H. Edwards is the current sheriff. Other officers include the coroner, assessor and clerk of court.

The justice of the peace for the parish's 8th ward (Robert, Louisiana), Keith Bardwell, made the news in October 2009 for refusing to officiate the wedding of an interracial couple; Bardwell, a justice of the peace for 34 years, "came to the conclusion that most black society does not readily accept offspring of such relationships, and neither does white society" and said he doesn't perform weddings for interracial marriages because "I don’t want to put children in a situation they didn’t bring on themselves."[8] Bardwell, who said he thought he had refused to perform the weddings of four couples during the 2½-year period before the news of his refusals became public, resigned effective November 3.[9] Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, called the resignation "long overdue."[9]

Parish Officers

Sheriff-Daniel Edwards (D), since 2004

Clerk of Court-Julian Dufreche (D), since 2004

Coroner-Rick Foster (D), since 2000

Assessor-Junior Matheu (D), since 2005

President-Gordon Burgess (D), since 1986

Parish Council

The parish is governed by a Parish Council. The Council is the "governing authority of the parish". Its current chairman is councilman Calo Bruno, Bobby Cortez is the vice chairman. Kristen Pecararo is the clerk of the council.

District 1-Trent Forrest (D) from Kentwood

District 2-Greg Varnado (R) from Amite

District 3-Nick Joseph (D) from Independence

District 4-Carlo Bruno (D) from Independence

District 5-Nicky Muscarello (R) from Natalbany

District 6-Ronnie Bankston (D) from Hammond

District 7-Lionell Wells (D) from Hammond

District 8-David Vial (R) from Hammond

District 9-Harry Lavine (R) from Ponchatoula

District 10-Bobby Cortez (R) from Hammond

School Board

The school board governs and oversees the Tangipahoa Parish School System (TPSS). The board appoints the superintendent of schools, who leads the TPSS and oversees is functioning. The current superintendent is Mark Kolwe. The president of the board is Chris Cohea.

Mark Kolwe, superintendent

Ann Smith (D)

Gail Pittman-McDaniel (R)

Andy Anderson (R)

Al Link (D)

Brett Duncan (R)

Chris Cohea (I)

Eric Dangerfield (D)

Sandra Bailey-Simmons (R)

Rose Dominguez (R)

Presidents of Tangipahoa Parish

In 1986 former governing body of Tangipahoa Parish, the Tangipahoa Police Jury, and the voters of the Parish approved a new style of government, a "home rule charter". The charter provided for the election of a parish president, essentially a parish-wide mayor. The Police Jury selected Gordon A. Burgess to serve as interim president until the voters elected a permanent president in 1987. In that election Mr. Burgess running as a Democrat defeated fellow Democrats Wallace L. Adams and Harry L. Lavine. He has won every presidential election since.

President Terms of Office Party
Gordon A. Burgess October 17, 1986-Incumbent Democratic

National Guard

The parish is home to the 204th Theater Airfield Operations Group and the Forward Support Company of the 205th Engineer Battalion. This 205th Engineer Battalion is a component of the 225th Engineer Brigade of the Louisiana National Guard. These units reside within the city of Hammond. A detachment of the 1021st Engineer Company (Vertical) resides in Independence, Louisiana.

Notable people

See also


External links

  • Tangipahoa Parish official website
  • Historic Tangipahoa Parish Places and Sites
  • Visitor's Bureau website, Tangipahoa history

Coordinates: 30°38′N 90°24′W / 30.63°N 90.40°W / 30.63; -90.40

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