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The earliest settlers of what is now known as Jefferson Davis Parish were American Indians. These inhabitants made their homes along the bayous and lakes of the region and were joined by a number of Acadians who had been expelled from Nova Scotia in the 1700s. The next surge of settlers came with the Civil War years, as soldiers were introduced to the Louisiana region. Many war soldiers remained in Louisiana, especially with the advent of the Homestead Act.

In September of 1901, the first oil well in Louisiana was established only a few miles away, bringing about a thriving oil and gas industry. This, paired with a growing agricultural industry, fueled economic development and residential relocation to the area.

Civil War

Current-day Jeff Davis Parish was initially a section of Imperial Calcasieu Parish, until it was made into a separate entity in 1912 – making it one of the last parishes to be incorporated in Louisiana. Named for Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America, the parish’s homesteaders included immigrants of German, Irish, Italian and Acadian descent. On October 22, 1921, Jennings was designated the parish seat.

Today, with a population of approximately 31,435, Jeff Davis Parish stands as a charming, rural southwest Louisiana community that has enjoyed great success over the years. Both residents and visitors are able to experience the area’s rich heritage through the many historic landmarks that dot the landscape of the parish.

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