Allen Parish is located in the heart of Southwest Louisiana, bounded by Beauregard Parish to the north, Jefferson Davis Parish to the east, Calcasieu Parish to the south, and Vernon Parish to the west. See Countryaah – Counties in Louisiana. The parish seat is Oberlin and other major towns include Kinder, Reeves, Elizabeth, and Oakdale.
The terrain of Allen Parish consists of rolling hills and lowlands with a few bayous running through it. The Sabine River forms its northern border with Beauregard Parish while its eastern border is formed by Calcasieu River. The parish has a total area of 467 square miles with an elevation ranging from 31 feet at its lowest point near Elizabeth to 214 feet near Oberlin.
The climate in Allen Parish varies greatly due to its close proximity to both the Gulf Coast and North Texas. Summers are usually hot and humid while winters are mild with occasional cold fronts coming in from the north. Average temperatures range from 67°F during winter months to 92°F during summer months.
Allen Parish is home to numerous wildlife species including deer, wild hogs, foxes, coyotes, opossums, armadillos, snakes and alligators as well as various birds such as hawks and owls. Its landscape also consists of many pine forests where visitors can find a variety of wildflowers such as Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush during springtime months.
There are several state parks located within Allen Parish including Lakeview Park on Lakeview Drive in Oberlin; Moss Bluff State Park on U.S Highway 171 in Moss Bluff; Sam Houston Jones State Park off Interstate 10 near Kinder; Anacoco Park on Louisiana Highway 112 east of Anacoco; and Peason Ridge Wildlife Management Area off U.S Highway 165 south of Oakdale among others which provide recreational activities for residents and visitors alike including camping, fishing, hunting, hiking trails and more.
Demographics of Allen Parish, Louisiana
Allen Parish is located in the heart of Southwest Louisiana and has a population of 24,873 according to the 2010 United States Census. Of the population, 51.3% are White, 45.6% are African American, 1.1% are Asian and 2% are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The median age in Allen Parish is 36 years old and the average household size is 2.7 persons.
The median household income in Allen Parish is $36,816 with 20.3% of families living below poverty level as compared to 20.9% statewide and 14.3% nationally. The unemployment rate in Allen Parish is 9%, slightly higher than the state average of 8%.
In terms of education, 89.5% of adults aged 25 and older have at least a high school diploma or equivalent with only 11.2% having obtained a Bachelor’s degree or higher as compared to 22.1 % statewide and 29 % nationally for the same age group respectively.
In terms of religion, 45 % of Allen Parish’s population identifies as Protestant while 10 % identify as Catholic and 4 % identify as other religions such as Buddhism, Islam etc. Additionally, 40 % do not identify with any religious affiliation.
In terms of transportation, U. S Highway 165 runs north – south through Allen Parish while Interstate 10 runs east – west through Oberlin. The parish also has an airport located south – east off U. S Highway 165 which serves private aircrafts only.
Places of Interest in Allen Parish, Louisiana
Allen Parish is home to a variety of attractions. One of the most popular places to visit is the Kisatchie National Forest. This forest covers over 650,000 acres and includes a variety of activities such as fishing, boating, camping, hiking and horseback riding. The forest also contains numerous species of wildlife and plants making it an excellent destination for nature lovers. Another popular destination in Allen Parish is the Sam Houston Jones State Park. This state park has a variety of recreational activities including swimming, biking, boating and fishing. In addition to these activities visitors can enjoy the scenic views from the boardwalk or take a leisurely stroll through the many trails in the park. For those looking for a more educational experience there is also an Indian Mound located within the park that dates back to pre-historic times. Finally, visitors can explore the history and culture of Allen Parish at the Allen Parish Museum which features artifacts from various eras of Louisiana’s past.
Notable People of Allen Parish, Louisiana
Allen Parish, Louisiana has been home to some of the most influential people in the history of the state. One such notable person is General Sam Houston Jones, for whom the Sam Houston Jones State Park is named. He was a prominent politician who served as Governor of Louisiana from 1940 to 1944 and was instrumental in the development of infrastructure and public education in the state. Another influential figure from Allen Parish is Congressman Rodney Alexander who served in both the Louisiana House of Representatives and U.S. House of Representatives from 2003 to 2013. He is best known for his work on issues such as health care reform and economic development.
The parish has also been home to several famous musicians including country music legend Hank Williams Sr., who wrote several songs about his home town, as well as blues artist Lightnin’ Hopkins and Cajun music pioneer Iry LeJeune. Other notable figures include author Ernest Gaines, whose works include The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, and former NFL player LaRon Landry who played for several teams including the Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets. Finally, there are a number of lesser-known but equally important figures that have contributed to Allen Parish’s history such as Dr. Clarence Broussard who founded Allen Parish Hospital in 1951 and Robert Dyer who was responsible for developing many local businesses during his tenure as mayor from 1950-1955.