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Tensas Parish is a parish located in the northeastern section of the State of Louisiana. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 5,252, making it the least populous parish in Louisiana. The parish seat is St. Joseph. The name Tensas is derived from the Taensa people. The parish was founded in 1843.
the parish was named in honor of Tensas or Taensa Native American people.
County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts
Tensas Parish was created on 1843, from Concordia Parish and the parish was named in honor of Tensas or Taensa Native American people. The Parish seat is St Joseph.
The first courthouse was built in 1843 but was replaced in 1906 with the structure that still stands today. The courthouse was built in a Greek revival style and is widely acclaimed for its architecture.
As reported by the Census Bureau, the parish has a total area of 641 square miles (1,660 km2), of which 603 square miles (1,560 km2) is
land and 38 square miles (98 km2) (6.0%) is water.
St. Joseph is located adjacent to the Mississippi River levee system.
There are three communities in the parish: Newellton, St. Joseph, and Waterproof. Newellton was founded by the planter and attorney John David Stokes Newell, Sr., who named it for his father Edward D. Newell, a native of North Carolina. All three communities are linked by Highway 65, which passes just to the west of each town. The developed Lake Bruin State Park lies near St. Joseph. Lake Bruin is an oxbow lake created by the meandering of the Mississippi River.
Bordering parishes and counties are as follows:
Public schools in Tensas Parish are operated by the elected seven-member Tensas Parish School Board.