East Feliciana Parish
|Parish of East Feliciana|
|Named for||Marie Felice de Gálvez|
|o Total||456 sq mi (1,180 km2)|
|o Land||453 sq mi (1,170 km2)|
|o Water||2.4 sq mi (6 km2) 0.5%|
|o Density||43/sq mi (17/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|Congressional districts||5th, 6th|
East Feliciana Parish (French: Paroisse de Feliciana Est, Spanish: Parroquia de East Feliciana) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. At the 2010 census, the population was 20,267, and 19,531 in 2020. The parish seat is Clinton.
Established when Feliciana Parish was divided in 1824, both East and West Feliciana parishes are part of the Baton Rouge metropolitan statistical area. They are also considered part of the Florida Parishes, at one time part of Spain's West Florida colony.
The parish was part of Feliciana Parish, which was founded and named in 1810 by Spanish rulers, who then controlled the territory. Feliciana is derived from a Spanish rendering of the French name "Felicité", which means happiness. The Spanish governor named it in honor of his wife, Marie Felicité.
After the United States annexed this territory, population continued to increase. It had been developed for sugar cane plantations and business was thriving. In 1824, the state legislature divided the parish into East Feliciana Parish and West Feliciana Parish, so that residents would have easier access to their parish seats.
The Louisiana State Insane Asylum was the first state institution in the parish, established near the town of Jackson in 1847. It was greatly enlarged and improved under the administration of Dr. John Welch Jones, who was appointed as superintendent in 1874, during the Reconstruction era. The bi-racial legislators in power at the time made commitments to public education and state welfare institutions. The facility was later called East Louisiana State Hospital.
The Margaret Dixon Correctional Institute is located in Jackson, as well. It opened in 1976 and is named for the crusading managing editor of the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate (now called The Advocate). She had argued for the decentralization of the massive Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, in neighboring West Feliciana Parish.
The 2020 census tabulated a population of 19,531. At the 2019 American Community Survey, there were 19,371 people living in the parish, down from 20,267 at the 2010 United States census. The 2019 census-estimated population comprised 6,959 households living in 8,487 housing units spread throughout the parish. There were 1,595 businesses operating in East Feliciana.
In 2010, the racial and ethnic makeup of the parish was the following: 53.2% were White, 44.9% Black and African American, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% of some other race and 1.1% of two or more races; 1.0% were Hispanic or Latin American of any race. At the 2019 census-estimates, 54.5% were non-Hispanic white, 43.6% Black and African American, 0.5% American Indian and Alaska Native, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% some other race, and 0.9% multiracial. Hispanics and Latin Americans of any race made up 1.7% of the total population.
Of the 6,959 households in East Feliciana Parish, 4.8% were aged 5 and under, 81.8% 18 and older, and 17.1% 65 and older. The median age was 42.9.
Approximately 40% of the population was employed in the parish, and the home-ownership rate was 80.5%. The median value of owner-occupied housing units was $139,300, and median gross rent was $647. Residents had a median household income of $51,803; males earned a median income of $61,105 versus $32,243 for females. At the 2000 United States census, the median household income was $31,631, and the median family income was $37,278. Males had a median income of $31,804 versus $20,243 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $15,428. An estimated 23.3% of the parish lived at or below the poverty line in 2019, up from 23% at the 2000 U.S. census.
East Feliciana Parish School Board operates public schools in the parish. Elementary schools include Jackson Elementary School, Slaughter Elementary School, and Clinton Elementary School. Upper public schools include East Feliciana Middle and High school. Some students in the parish attend Wilkinson County Christian Academy in Wilkinson County, Mississippi.
Silliman Institute in Clinton was established in the late 1960s as a directed response to federal courts ordering the desegregation of the East Feliciana public school system.
East Louisiana State Hospital, currently referred to as Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System is located in Jackson. Its main building is considered to be one of the largest and most significant Greek Revival buildings in Louisiana, it has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The institution was one of the first mental hospitals in the South.
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections operates the Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson.