Woodworth, Louisiana

Coordinates: 31°09′23″N 92°29′41″W / 31.15639°N 92.49472°W / 31.15639; -92.49472
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Woodworth, Louisiana
"License and registration, please."
Location of Woodworth in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Woodworth in Rapides Parish, Louisiana.
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Location of Louisiana in the United States
Coordinates: 31°09′23″N 92°29′41″W / 31.15639°N 92.49472°W / 31.15639; -92.49472
CountryUnited States
 • Total8.89 sq mi (23.02 km2)
 • Land8.88 sq mi (23.01 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.01 km2)
89 ft (27 m)
 • Total1,762
 • Density198.33/sq mi (76.58/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code318
FIPS code22-83125

Woodworth is a town in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, United States. It is part of the Alexandria, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,096 at the 2010 census.

This town is growing rapidly with a number of residential subdivisions under development. Woodworth is emerging as a bedroom community for nearby Alexandria, to the northeast. Louisiana State Senator Joe McPherson resides in Woodworth, as did the late State Representative R. W. "Buzzy" Graham, who operated an insurance agency in Alexandria.

According to a 2007 report, Woodworth was named one of the 10 worst speed traps in the state of Louisiana. Woodworth made 61.32% of its revenue, an average of roughly $706 per capita, from fines and forfeitures in the 2005 fiscal year.


Woodworth was established in 1942 under the Lawrason Act.[3]

The town began with a small population in the 1880s with the first significant resident being George Hendricks from Arkansas who allegedly built a rice farm in the village, but later found himself unsuccessful and left.

The town's growth did not yet stop, as a businessman named John McEnery came from New Orleans, LA and brought his railroad company (New Orleans Pacific Railroad) with him. McEnery did not have this land for long however as he later sold it, and on November 25, 1890, the 18,000 acres of land were sold to three people: C. E. Roberts, C. S. Woodworth, and Ed Rand all of whom were from neighboring state of Texas. The three men had yet to explore this land but established the Rapides Lumber Company in the village, constructing a sawmill. The name of this town originates from C. S. Woodworth’s name of whom the company decided the community should be named after.`

Soon after the sawmill was constructed, a Missouri located company bought out positions of the lumber company being those held by C. S. Woodworth and C. E. Roberts, but Rand kept his position. Because of these transfers, the company was renamed to the Long-Bell Lumber Company of Woodworth. By the early 1900s, the town of Woodworth had reached a population of roughly 1,000, while continuous expansion of the town's businesses and services began, which oversaw the construction of churches and commercial businesses in the town. As this happened, the first Catholic Church was constructed in Woodworth after Bishop Van de Ven blessed a chapel in the town. The land where this chapel was had later been owned by Richard and Edward Butler, which then was passed over to Henry Butler on November 19, 1908. On June 15, 1911, the 2 acre land was finally inherited by Bishop Van de Ven. The Butler family is related to the current leading Woodworth political family, the Butlers. The Butler family is currently overseeing David Butler as mayor of the town.

As this church continued to grow, so did the population. The Catholic Church invited the large Catholic population of Rapides Parish towards Woodworth after the exponential growth of the sawmill. This also attracted a certain Catholic family, the Moore family, which was a family consisting of a former slave and the descendants of the freed slave. Alvah Joseph Moore moved to the town in the early 1900's, and was a prominent saw mill operator and musician who played in the Woodworth Band. Moore and his family wrote recollections of the era in Woodworth and their life in the town. During the period of Catholic migration to the town, the Ku Klux Klan also rose to prominence in the town, as conflicts between the two groups began arising in the town, which eventually was put to a stop after the sawmill company intervened.

After the conflicts between the Catholics and Ku Klux Klan ended, the sawmill eventually began seeing less and less production in the region and eventually moved out in 1926, leaving the land barren until restoration during the Civilian Conservation Corps program. The Catholic church was relocated to Reddell, Louisiana which signaled the loss of many Catholic residents of the town.

Following the closure of the sawmill, and the relocation of several Catholic residents, the town seemed to stop growing until the war era. As of now, Catholic residents were attending St. Martin's Church in Lecompte, Louisiana Following the closure of the church, Father Gerard J. Ducote, the second pastor of Cabrini, sent a letter to Bishop Charles P. Greco saying: "I understand from Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Moore that there have been no Catholic services in Woodworth since about 1927, the year in which they left the community to reside in Alexandria, and that the reason why so many of these people have not continued active affiliation with the Church was because of resentment that their Church had been dismantled and moved away - a measure of protest over the action." The Catholic Churches were then promised double attendance, which was reached but mainly as result of the heavy growth of Camp Claiborne inhabitants.[4]

Camp Claiborne was also formed in Louisiana and rose to higher prominence during World War II, where over half a million men circulated through the camp. The camp oversaw the Louisiana Maneuvers training which was led by many prominent military and later political members including General Omar Bradley, General Ben Lear, and Walter Krueger, just to name a few. Eventually, this camp was then used for German military POWs. After the war, the camp was acquired by the United States Forest Service. The United States Army Corps of Engineers also has jurisdiction there regarding unexploded ordnance[5][6] [7]


Woodworth is located at 31°9′23″N 92°29′41″W / 31.15639°N 92.49472°W / 31.15639; -92.49472 (31.156270, -92.494650).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.9 square miles (13 km2), of which 4.9 square miles (12.7 km2) is land and 0.20% is water.

Major highways[edit]


This climatic region is typified by relatively small seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and mild winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Woodworth has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[9]

Climate data for Woodworth, Louisiana
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 14
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 150
Source: Weatherbase [10]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[11]

2020 census[edit]

Woodworth racial composition[12]
Race Number Percentage
White (non-Hispanic) 1,474 83.65%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 142 8.06%
Native American 18 1.02%
Asian 11 0.62%
Pacific Islander 1 0.06%
Other/Mixed 69 3.92%
Hispanic or Latino 47 2.67%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 1,762 people, 628 households, and 435 families residing in the town.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[13] of 2000, there were 1,080 people, 385 households, and 299 families residing in the town. The population density was 219.5 inhabitants per square mile (84.7/km2). There were 408 housing units at an average density of 82.9 per square mile (32.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 87.96% White, 10.46% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.28% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.13% of the population.

There were 385 households, out of which 45.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.1% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.22.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 29.8% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 32.1% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 7.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $37,262, and the median income for a family was $41,667. Males had a median income of $30,417 versus $23,587 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,200. About 6.8% of families and 9.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.7% of those under age 18 and 9.4% of those age 65 or over.


Caroline Dormon Junior High[edit]

In August 2012, Caroline Dormon Junior High School was completed and ready for the new school year. Sitting on a 33-acre site off U.S. Route 165, the $6.5 million project is the first "green" school for the CenLa area as well as the first school within Woodworth city limits. The 50,000 sq ft building currently holds about 400 students. The school hold classes from kindergarten to 8th grade.[14] In the 2022-2023 school year, the school district proposed a bond to expand the school due to its high over-enrollment. The school was built to house around 150 students, but in 2022, reached a peak of 400 students. Caroline Dormon Junior High was the top A traditional public school in Rapides Parish, Louisiana from 2012 to now, and is only being outperformed by Phoenix Magnet Elementary School in a non-traditional category, as Phoenix is a magnet school.


Woodworth is among 250 towns and villages in Louisiana with a Mayors court[15] as provided by R.S. 33:44l and 442.[16]


A mayors court was authorized through Municipal charters, and an act of 1772, giving a mayor the jurisdiction of a justice of the peace as to petty causes.[17] Louisiana and Ohio have this form of court system.


There has been controversy on the town being considered as a speed trap and the fact that the mayor has a conflict of interest also filling the Judiciary position. A suit was filed in one case ultimately resulting in the plaintiff being vindicated by a Louisiana appeals court.[18]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "Woodworth LA ZIP Code". zipdatamaps.com. 2023. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  3. ^ https://www.lma.org/LMA/About_LMA/Organization_Profile.aspx?id=1297
  4. ^ History of mary, mother of jesus church woodworth, Louisiana. (n.d.). http://mmjchurch-org.vps-clicktrinity-com.vps.ezhostingserver.com/images/pdf/history.pdf
  5. ^ https://103divwwii.usm.edu/camp-claiborne.html#:~:text=Camp%20Claiborne%20served%20as%20a,soldier%20must%20endure%20in%20combat.
  6. ^ https://www.kalb.com/content/news/Camp-Claiborne-The-birthplace-of-Armys-first-airborne-divisions--510942291.html
  7. ^ https://townofwoodworth.com/sites/default/files/THE%20VILLAGE%20OF%20WOODWORTH.pdf
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  9. ^ Climate Summary for Woodworth, Louisiana
  10. ^ "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013. Retrieved on October 6, 2013.
  11. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Explore Census Data". data.census.gov. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  14. ^ "Woodworth School to Open". August 10, 2012. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "Court Structure". April 8, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  16. ^ "Mayor's Courts". April 8, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  17. ^ "A Brief History of a Mayor's Court". April 8, 2019. p. 4. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  18. ^ ""The Woman Who Spent Six Years Fighting a Traffic Stop"". August 10, 2015. Retrieved April 12, 2019. The Marshall Project

External links[edit]