Grand Coteau, Louisiana

Grand Coteau is a town in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 947 at the 2010 census. Grand Coteau is on Interstate 49 south of Opelousas and is part of the Opelousas–Eunice Micropolitan Statistical Area. The town is a center for local farming. As of 2018, the mayor is Patrick Richard.

Grand Coteau, Louisiana
Town of Grand Coteau
Location of Grand Coteau in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Grand Coteau in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Coordinates: 30°25′08″N 92°02′53″W / 30.41889°N 92.04806°W / 30.41889; -92.04806Coordinates: 30°25′08″N 92°02′53″W / 30.41889°N 92.04806°W / 30.41889; -92.04806
CountryUnited States
ParishSt. Landry
 • Total2.42 sq mi (6.27 km2)
 • Land2.42 sq mi (6.27 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
56 ft (17 m)
 • Total947
 • Estimate 
 • Density373.50/sq mi (144.23/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area code(s)337
FIPS code22-30760


The first known land grant by the colonial Louisiana government was in 1776 in the area referred to as Buzzard Prairie.[3] In the early 19th century, Buzzard Prairie served as a stopping point for travelers between Washington, Louisiana, and St. Martinville, Louisiana. The thriving community had two bakeries, a cobbler, a millinery, a blacksmith shop, a post office, six bars, and nine brothels.

In 1821, Mrs. Charles Smith, widow of a wealthy planter in Opelousas, donated land, a two-story building, and funds to pay for the travel expenses of two nuns from St. Charles, Missouri. The two nuns of the Religious of the Sacred Heart founded a convent and a school that became the Academy of the Sacred Heart.[4][5]

The Jesuits arrived in 1837 when St. Charles College was built. The settlement that grew up around the schools was called St. Charles Town before it was changed to Grand Coteau. Grand Coteau is derived from the French meaning "great hill."[6]

On October 3, 1863, the Campaign of the Teche was commenced. The Ninety-ninth infantry regiment of Illinois was in several skirmishes, and a detachment of the regiment, Captain A. C. Mathews commanding, was engaged in the Battle of Grand Coteau. On November 9, they moved on to New Orleans.[7] Although thousands of Union troops were encamped in the fields surrounding the Academy during the Civil War, the school was not touched.[4]

In the 19th century the population of Grand Coteau grew with African-Americans, free people of color, Acadians, Creoles, French, Irish, and German immigrants. The town retains examples of Victorian architecture from its mid-19th-century boom.

Grand Coteau was home to Sacred Heart Colored School and St. Peter Claver High School.[8]


Grand Coteau is located at 30°25′8″N 92°2′53″W / 30.41889°N 92.04806°W / 30.41889; -92.04806 (30.418861, -92.048174).[9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)905[2]−4.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 947 people living in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 71.0% Black, 26.0% White, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% from some other race and 0.6% from two or more races. 2.2% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 1,040 people, 377 households, and 260 families living in the town. The population density was 427.1 people per square mile (164.6/km2). There were 407 housing units at an average density of 167.1 per square mile (64.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 30.77% White, 67.69% African American, 0.19% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.10% from other races, and 0.87% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.83% of the population.

There were 377 households, out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.3% were married couples living together, 24.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.32.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 29.7% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $19,943, and the median income for a family was $26,528. Males had a median income of $21,992 versus $16,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $9,728. About 25.2% of families and 29.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.6% of those under age 18 and 19.9% of those age 65 or over.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Grand Coteau has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[12]

Notable peopleEdit


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 25, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "Louisiana History: Old and New Place Names"
  4. ^ a b "GRAND COTEAU" Archived 2007-10-06 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "Grand Coteau Historical Marker". Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  6. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 141.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  10. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Grand Coteau, Louisiana

External linksEdit