|Parish of Allen|
Allen Parish Courthouse in Oberlin (near sunset)
Location within the U.S. state of Louisiana
Louisiana's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Henry Watkins Allen|
|o Total||766 sq mi (1,980 km2)|
|o Land||762 sq mi (1,970 km2)|
|o Water||4.1 sq mi (11 km2) 0.5%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||34/sq mi (13/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (Central)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Allen Parish (French: Paroisse d'Allen) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 25,764. The parish seat is Oberlin and the largest city is Oakdale. Allen Parish is in southwestern Louisiana, southwest of Alexandria.
On September 27, 2008, the Allen Parish Tourist Commission opened Leatherwood Museum in Oakdale in a two-story house which served during the early 20th century as a hospital where women waited on the second-floor balcony to deliver their babies.
The museum focuses on the history of agriculture and timber. Upstairs exhibits include photographs and a machine for cutting rice stalks, displays of early dental and medical equipment, pictures of war maneuvers during World War II, and a letter from Confederate States of America soldier David Dunn to his wife. Dunn was the grandfather of William T. Dunn, founder of Dunnsville, which became Oakdale. An education room contains displays on Louisiana High School Hall of Fame sports figures Curtis Cook of Oakdale, Johnny Buck of Kinder, and Hoyle Granger of Oberlin. Granger, an inductee of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame who starred for the Houston Oilers, addressed the grand opening of the museum. Other exhibits focus on the Coushatta Indians and Courir de Mardi Gras or the country way of celebrating Mardi Gras in Allen Parish.
Adagria Haddock, director of the Allen Parish Tourist Commission, said that in addition to a hospital, the building formerly served as a boarding house and the home of the Leatherwood family. The house dates to July 3, 1888. The Leatherwoods turned the building into a museum in 1986, but it closed a decade later because of a lack of funding. In 2005, the house was donated to the Allen Parish Tourist Commission.
The downstairs contains the furnishings of a typical family house of the time, with displays of clothing and other period artifacts. "We just wanted you to feel like home when you walked in and then go explore the museum part [upstairs]," Haddock told Alexandria Daily Town Talk. The facility is handicapped-accessible with an elevator. A state grant of $65,000 helped fund restoration.
As of the census of 2000, there were 25,440 people, 8,102 households, and 5,930 families residing in the parish. The population density was 33 people per square mile (13/km2). There were 9,157 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the parish was 71.90% White, 24.60% Black or African American, 1.72% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. 4.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 6.22% reported speaking French or Cajun French at home, while 4.68% speak Spanish.
There were 8,102 households, out of which 36.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.00% were married couples living together, 15.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.80% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the parish the population was spread out, with 24.60% under the age of 18, 9.30% from 18 to 24, 33.40% from 25 to 44, 20.80% from 45 to 64, and 11.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 126.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 133.50 males.
The median income for a household in the parish was $27,777, and the median income for a family was $33,920. Males had a median income of $32,371 versus $17,154 for females. The per capita income for the parish was $13,101. About 17.90% of families and 19.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.60% of those under age 18 and 21.50% of those age 65 or over.
The most populated city as of the 2000 census was Oakdale, LA.
Allen was a strongly Democratic parish in Presidential and Congressional elections; the last Republican to win a majority in the parish before 2000 was Richard Nixon in 1972. Starting in 2000, when George W. Bush narrowly won the parish, Allen has become a Republican stronghold; John McCain won nearly two-thirds of the parish's vote in 2008.
Allen is part of Louisiana's 4th congressional district, held by Republican [Mike Johnson]. In the Louisiana House of Representatives Allen is part of the 32nd Assembly district, which is held by Democrat Dorothy Sue Hill. In the Louisiana Senate Allen is part of the 28th district, which is held by Democrat Eric LaFleur.