Welcome to the Twin Cities of Monroe and West Monroe, Louisiana. During your visit be sure to experience some of the local history and flavor and see why we consider our Twin Cities a special place.
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Mayor Friday Ellis
ARTICLE BY GEORGIANN POTTS,
BAYOU LIFE MAGAZINE
Since his early days, Friday Ellis has come a long way from when he lived in a 2-bedroom house behind a gas station in rural Northeast Louisiana. His has been a remarkable journey, filled with countless experiences and exceptional people who together prepared him for becoming a public servant…
Ouachita Parish is located in northeastern Louisiana approximately halfway between Dallas, Texas and Birmingham, Alabama. The Ouachita River runs through the Twin Cities with Monroe on the east bank. Monroe has approximately 50,000 residents and encompassing 31.2 square miles. On the west bank, West Monroe encompasses 7 square miles and has approximately 13,500 residents. The parish is 643 square miles in size and has a population of just over 150,000.
The first residents of what is now Monroe were the Ouachita Indians who inhabited the area around 1350 BC. The site later attracted a transitory population of traders, trappers, and hunters, but few permanent inhabitants. The first non-native settlers to Ouachita Parish were likely remnants of LaSalle’s 1680 expedition to Louisiana. By the time these settlers arrived in the 17th century, little was left of the Ouachita Indians who had inhabited the area for generations.
In 1782, the Governor of New Orleans sent Don Juan (Jean) Filhiol to establish a post along the Ouachita River. By 1790, this trading post, called Ft. Miro, had evolved into a community of 49 families.
In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France, and for the first time, Ft. Miro was under US authority. Ouachita Parish was established March 31, 1807, with Ft. Miro as the parish seat. In 1819, the town’s name was changed from Ft. Miro to Monroe.
The city of Monroe and Ouachita Parish have continued to prosper. The city recently constructed a new terminal for the Monroe Regional Airport, renovations of the sewer and water system is underway, new roads have been built and new industry is moving to and expanding in Monroe. The future looks promising for Monroe and Ouachita Parish.”