Louisiana is divided into sixty-four parishes. On March 31, 1807, the territorial legislature divided the state into 19 parishes, without getting rid of the
old counties (which continued to exist until 1845). In 1811, a constitutional convention organized the state into seven judicial districts, each consisting of groups of
parishes. In 1816, the first official map of the state used the term, as did the 1845 constitution. Since then, the official term has been parishes.
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Ouachita Parish was created on March 31, 1807. It is one of the 19 parishes, which were created by dividing the
Territory of New Orleans. The parish was named in honor of the Ouachita Native American people. The Parish seat is
Geography: Land and Water
The Ouachita River separates Monroe from West Monroe near the parish courthouse.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 632 square miles (1,640 km2), of which 610 square miles (1,600 km2) is
land and 21 square miles (54 km2) (3.4%) is water.
Bordering parishes and counties are as follows:
Northeast: Morehouse Parish
East: Richland Parish
South: Caldwell Parish
Southwest: Jackson Parish
Northwest: Lincoln Parish; Union Parish
Ouachita Parish School Board serves areas outside of the City of Monroe. Monroe City School System serves areas within Monroe. Monroe is
also the home of the University of Louisiana at Monroe.