Louisiana Parishes
Louisiana County map
Click Image to Enlarge

Louisiana Parishes

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.

Tensas Parish, Louisiana

Tensas Parish Education, Geography, and HistoryTensas Parish, Louisiana Courthouse

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.

Etymology - Origin of Tensas Parish Name

the parish was named in honor of Tensas or Taensa Native American people.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Tensas County History

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.

Tensas Parish Courthouse - 1906

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.

Geography: Land and Water

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.

Neighboring Parishes

Bordering parishes and counties are as follows:

  • North: Madison Parish
  • Northeast: Warren County, Miss.
  • East: Claiborne County, Miss.
  • Southeast: Jefferson County, Miss.
  • South: Adams County, Miss.
  • Southwest: Concordia Parish; Catahoula Parish
  • Northwest: Franklin Parish


Public schools in Tensas Parish are operated by the elected seven-member Tensas Parish School Board.

Compare More Colleges and Universities
Find the Right School

Find more schools to match to your needs.

County Resources
US Counties
Click Image to Enlarge