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Colorful Washington Plaza in downtown Monroe

Monroe City Hall

Monroe Convention Hall across from City Hall

Monroe (historically ) is a city in and the parish seat of Ouachita Parishmarker, Louisianamarker, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 53,107, making it the eighth largest city in Louisiana. A July 1, 2007, United States Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 51,208. It is the principal city of the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the parishes of Ouachita and Unionmarker. The two-parish area had a total population of 170,053 in 2000 and an estimated population of 172,275 as of July 1, 2007. The larger Monroe-Bastrop Combined Statistical Area is composed of both the Monroe Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Bastrop Micropolitan Statistical Areamarker. The CSA had a population of 201,074 in 2000.

Monroe and the neighboring city of West Monroemarker (pop. 13,250), which sits just across the Ouachita River, are often referred to as the Twin Citiesmarker of northeast Louisiana.


Monroe is located at (32.510343, -92.094895) and has an elevation of .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 31.6 square miles (83.9 km²), of which, 28.7 square miles (74.3 km²) of it is land and 3.7 square miles (9.6 km²) of it is water. The total area is 11.46% water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 53,107 people, 19,421 households, and 12,157 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,851.8 people per square mile (714.9/km²). There were 21,278 housing units at an average density of 741.9/sq mi (286.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 36.78% White, 61.13% African American, 0.13% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.25% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.01% of the population.

There were 19,421 households out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.4% were married couples living together, 25.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54, and the average family size was 3.26.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 15.0% from 18 to 24, 25.1% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,864, and the median income for a family was $33,263. Males had a median income of $31,840 versus $22,352 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,933. About 26.3% of families and 32.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.3% of those under the age of 18 and 21.6% of those 65 and older.


Greyhound Bus Lines provides transportation from Monroe to many cities across the nation. The city of Monroe also has the oldest municipally owned transit system in the nation. Created in 1906, the Monroe Transit System is the public transportation provider of 13 bus routes covering areas of the city.

Monroe Regional Airportmarker serves the city. The airport has three main runways and is served by Delta, Northwest, American, and Continental Airlines.

Monroe can be accessed from I-20, U.S. Highway 165, L.A. Highway 15, and U.S. Highway 80.

Monroe has two main railroads Kansas City Southern Railway that runs from east to west andUnion Pacific that runs from North to South. Other railroads include:


The Monroe Civic Centermarker, which has multiple complexes. The main complex is the Civic center Arena. This arena provides of exhibit space along with 5,600 seats. The arena may have larger capacities up to 7,200 seats. The arena houses events such as banquets, circuses, and rodeos. The civic center also has the B.D. Robinson conference hall, Monroe Convention Center, equestrian pavilion, and the W.L. "Jack" Howard Theatre.

Monroe features the Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoomarker, which collectively maintains over 500 animals. The zoo also offers boat rides and a catwalk in addition to other seasonal activities.

The Monroe area is home to several museums, including the Northeast Louisiana Children's Museum, The Biedenharn Museum and Gardensmarker, Aviation Military Museum, the Masur Museum of Arts, and the Northeast Louisiana Delta African-American Heritage Museum.

Monroe is home to the Louisiana Motor Speedway, located near Interstate 20, and Twin City Dragway.

Monroe hosts Deltafest.



National Guard

Monroe is home to the 528th Engineer Battalion of the Louisianamarker Army National Guard. This unit is part of the 225th Engineer Group which is headquartered in Pineville, Louisianamarker at Camp Beauregard.


Southern Monroe (south of U.S. Highway 80) This area contains the Pecanland Mall and the Louisiana Purchase Gardens & Zoo.
  • Parkview
  • Robinson Place
  • Richwood
  • Pine Bayou
  • Lamyville
  • Renwick's Addition
  • Oregon Trail
  • West Parkview
  • Oak Manor
  • Bryant's Addition
  • Grayling Bend
  • Tanglewood
  • Charmingdale
  • New Town
  • Atkinson Quarters
  • King Oaks
  • Hollywood Heights
  • Lincoln Park
North and East Monroe (north of U.S. Highway 80) The University of Louisiana at Monroe and the headquarters for CenturyTel can be found in this area.
  • Betin Heights
  • Oakmont
  • Westminister
  • Garden District
  • Marie Place Addition
  • Sholar's Addition
  • Pargoud Place
  • Plantation Park
  • Point Place
  • Westwood
  • Forsythe Park
  • Brierfield
  • River Oaks
  • Town & Country
  • Northside Terrace
  • Cypress Point
  • Lakeshore
  • Bayou Oaks
  • Frenchman's Bend
  • Swartz
  • Lincoln Hills
  • Parkview Heights Subdivision
  • North Pointe Plantation
  • Booker T
  • Treasure Island
  • Northgate Estates
  • Village North


The City of Monroe has its own department of education that is set off from the larger Ouachita Parish School System. It is known as none other than the Monroe City School System. The department consists of three high schools, three junior high schools, and 12 elementary schools.

1) Lexington Elementary
2) Berg Jones Elementary
3) Carver Elementary
4) Clara Hall Elementary
5) J.S. Clark Magnet School
6) Cypress Point Elementary
7) Jefferson Upper Elementary
8) Lincoln Elementary
9) Minnie Ruffin Elementary
10) Madison James Foster Elementary
11) Barkdull Faulk Elementary
12) Sallie Humble Elementary
13) Swayze Elementary

Junior High
1) Robert E. Lee Junior High (Lee)
2) Carroll Junior High
3) Martin Luther King Junior High (MLK)

High School
1) Neville High School
2) Carroll High School
3) Wossman High School
4) Richwood High School
5) Ouachita High SChool

Click to see the MCS website --> [17792]


Monroe is served by a Gannett newspaper, the Monroe News Star, formerly an afternoon daily owned and operated by the late father-son team of publishers, Robert Wilson Ewing, I, and John D. Ewing of New Orleansmarker and Shreveportmarker, respectively. When the Ewing's Monroe Morning World ceased publication, the sister publication, the News Star, became the city's morning-only newspaper. The News Star can be found online at Among the staff members of the News Star is political reporter Greg Hilburn, son of Wiley W. Hilburn, head of the Journalism Department at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston and himself a former World-News Star reporter.

Monroe is also served by two African-American weekly newspapers: The Monroe Free Press and the Monroe Dispatch. The Free Press was founded in 1969 by Roosevelt Wright, Jr.; its web presence began in 1996 and is located at The Dispatch was founded in 1975 by Irma and Frank Detiege.

The Ouachita Citizen, based in West Monroe, is a weekly newspaper that provides all-local coverage of events in Ouachita Parish, including Monroe, West Monroe, Sterlington and Richwood. Locally owned, the newspaper has been in operation since 1924. The Ouachita Citizen can be found online at



Emegencey Alert Sataions:

Notable people



  • Hamid Drake -- Jazz drummer and percussionist
  • Carl Fontana -- Jazz trombonist
  • Kevin Griffin-- Lead Singer of Better Than Ezra
  • Andy Griggs -- Country music singer
  • Billy Ledbetter—Singer-songwriter; his "Stealing Hubcaps" was a hit single in the 1960s. He was voted top lounge entertainer in Las Vegasmarker for five consecutive years.
  • Frank Ticheli -- Internationally known composer, conductor, Professor of Music, University of Southern California I
  • Leon "Pee Wee" Whittaker -- African American trombonist who played with the Rabbit's Foot Minstrels from Monroe between 1935 and 1950
  • William Lon Wilson---Singer, songwriter, drummer----wrote numerous top 10 country songs, consistently voted top studio drummer in Nashville



  • Earl Casey (born ca. 1947), executive of CNN - Turner Broadcasting, Inc. since 1981, began journalism career at KNOE-TVmarker in 1965

  • Grady A. Dugas (1923-2007), inventor of the "Safer Automatic Wheelchair Wheel Locks"

  • William Cecil "Billy" Farr (1942-2008), a pioneer in the mobile home business, opened Farr's Manufactured Housing in West Monroe in 1963, the first such company in Northeast Louisiana. A native of Gainesvillemarker, Texasmarker, and a former medic in the United States Air Force, Farr was inducted into the Louisiana Manufactured Housing Association Hall of Fame. He died of cancer and is interred in Mulhearn Memorial Park in Monroe.

  • Collett E. Woolman, one of the original directors of Delta Air Service. The founders were Collett Woolman, C.H. McHenry, Travis Oliver, and M.S. Biedenharn.




  • Harry W. Addison, writer and humorist
  • Speed Lamkin, novelist and playwright
  • Margaret Sartor, memoirist (Miss American Pie) and photographer


  • Elbert Clayton Pilley (November 25, 1925 - October 12, 2008) of West Monroe was a veteran of the first United States Navy underwater demolition teams during World War II -- the original Navy SEALs. Pilley also earned the Bronze Star during the Battle of Iwo Jimamarker. A native of Sikesmarker, he was a retired heavy equipment operator and pipeliner. He was Baptist. His wife of fifty-eight years, Phyllis, died in 2006. Survivors included a son, Stephen Pilley, Sr.; a daughter, Cynthia P. Tucker; seven grandchildren; a brother, Cecil Pilley, and a sister, Joan P. Cockerham. Interment was at New Chapel Hill Cemetery in West Monroe.


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