Vermilion Parish Data
Vermilion Parish Neighbors
Welcome to Vermilion Parish!
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About Vermilion Parish...
Vermilion Parish, once described by Wakeman E. Edwards, in his “Historical Sketches of Vermilion Parish”, as”…an ocean of grass, with a few groves of trees scattered here and there over the broad expanse.” was sparsely populated by the year 1844.
During the mid-1700s many Acadian families exiled from old Acadie settled in south Louisiana. The Spanish government awarded land grants to new settlers before 1899 on the condition that they would clear the land, and help build and keep up levees, bridges, and roads. The first land grants in Vermilion Parish were on waterways because there we few roads. Prairie areas were settled later.
Drawn here by fertile fields, abundant wildlife, and grazing land for cattle, some of the early families that helped settle Vermilion Parish included: Peter Lee, Jr. and his brother Mark Lee, Sr. who made land claims along the Vermilion River as early as 1796; Claude Broussard, son of Joseph (Beausoleil) Broussard, who held early claims on both sides of the Vermilion River; A Pedro Perrot and Pierre Gaillard, from La Rochelle, France, who held early grants on the river in the Mouton Cove area; an Acadian, Charles Hebert, who held land on both sides of the river that joined with Coulee Kinney; and Victor Boet, a native of France, who held lands on the east side of the river. Other settlers included Christoval Simon Abreo, a native of Aragon, Spain, and Charles Comeaux, an Acadian.
November 1760 - Fusilier de la Clair purchases from the Attakapas Chief Kimino, the land bounded on the west by the Vemilion River and on the east by the Teche.
1802 - Marin Mouton pays $50 to the Attakapas Indian Chief Bernard for land on the Vermilion River that would become Mouton Cove.
1835 - Kimbal Chapel Methodist Church is established at Indian Bayou.
July 25, 1843 - Father A. D. Megret pays $900 to Joseph LeBlanc for the tract of land upon which he would eventually found; Abbeville.
March 25, 1844 – Vermilion Parish is carved out from Lafayette Parish and created by the legislature.
November 4, 1847 - A post-office is established at Abbeville with Nicholas Desmary as the first postmaster.
March 13, 1850 – Abbeville is incorporated by the Louisiana Legislature.
1852 - Val Veazey publishes The Independent, the first newspaper in Vermilion Parish.
December 5, 1853 - Father A. D. Megret dies ministering to his flock during an epidemic of Yellow Fever that swept through the region claiming 73 lives in Vermilion Parish.
January 1854 - Father S. J. Foltier is appointed the first resident pastor of St. Mary Magdalen Church in Abbeville.
March 3, 1854 – Abbeville becomes the seat of Justice for Vermilion Parish.
1856 - St. Mary Magdalen Church, Abbeville, is blown down by a storm.
January 1, 1857 – The first edition of the Abbeville Meridional is published.
1877 - A post-office is established at Grand Marias, as Delcambre was first called.
1884 - Jean-Pierre Gueydan and his brother buy 40,000 acres of land in western Vermilion Parish.
1885 - The Sisters of Mount Carmel opens a convent and school in Abbeville.
1885 - St. Mary Congregational Church in Abbeville established with the Reverend James A. Herod, as the church's 2nd pastor presiding when sanctuary was built in 1905. Believed to be the first school in Vermilion Parish to educate freed southern slaves.
April 6, 1885 – Fire destroys the first Vermilion Parish Courthouse in Abbeville.
1891 - The Iberia and Vermilion Railroad gets its charter.
1892 - August Erath bought land from the Primeaux family to which the town bears his name.
January 1893 - St. Alphonsus Catholic Church built in Maurice.
1894 – The railroad connects Gueydan, Midland, and Eunice.
1895 - Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church is established at Bancker. It would be moved to Henry in 1939 and become St. John's Catholic Church.
1897 - Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church opens at Delcambre.
1898 - The Fenwick Sanitarium #1(Palms Hospital) was built (**according to Ken Dupuy, was actually built in 1902). Destroyed by fire in 1906.
August 9, 1899 – Gueydan town assembly holds first meeting after incorporation.
October 5, 1902 - The first automobile arrives in Abbeville.
1906 - Delcambre Commercial College opens with 42 students.
January 1907 - The Fenwick Sanitarium #2 (Palms Hospital) was dedicated (closed 1965). Re-building started in 1906 immediately after fire destroyed the first building.
March 22, 1907 - St. Mary Magdalen Church in Abbeville is destroyed by fire.
November 7, 1907 – Delcambre is incorporated.
1909 - Erath Sugar Refinery established by the Caldwell and Moresi brothers (closed 1969). Smokestack is presently the only remaining reminder.
1910 - C. S. Steen, Sr. started Syrup Mill that remains currently in operation.
1911 - The new (and present) St. Mary Magdalen Church in Abbeville is completed.
December 27, 1911 - Maurice is incorporated, known as the "Gateway to Vermilion Parish".
1913 - The Sagrera family opens a hotel and spa at Cheniere au Tigre.
1917 – First road is built to Forked Island.
1925 - The first class, five students, graduates from Indian Bayou High School.
1926 - Purchase of a generator brings electricity to the Sagrera hotel and cottages at Cheniere au Tigre.
1928 - A Catholic Church is established in Erath.
1936 - E. Broussard at Cow Island becomes an accredited high school.
1948 - Reverend James A. Herod dies.
September 24, 1949 - The1st annual Dairy Day Festival is established (later changed in 1979 to the present Louisiana Cattle Festival).
1952 - Maltrait Memorial School in Kaplan and St. Peter's School in Gueydan are opened by the Grey Nuns.
1955 - Herod High School opens (closed 1969-1970 due to the end of segregation). It was the first and last African-American school of Abbeville and taught a curriculum that covered 1st through 12th grades.
1967 - Mount Carmel School is split into Mount Carmel Elementary and Vermilion Catholic.
September 1980 - A new high school consisting of the communities and towns of Maurice, Indian Bayou, Leroy and Meaux areas combined to form the current North Vermilion High School.
The parish has a total area of 1,538 square miles, of which 1,174 square miles is land and 365 square miles (23.70%) is water. The population recorded in the 1900 Federal Census was 18,520. The 2010 census recorded 22,721 residents in the Parish.
Neigboring parishes are Acadia Parish (north), Lafayette Parish (northeast), Iberia Parish (east), Cameron Parish (west), and Jefferson Davis Parish (northwest). Communities in the parish include Abbeville, Delcambre, Erath, Gueydan, Kaplan, Maurice, Boston, Charogne, Forked Island, Grosse Isle, Henry, Leblanc, Leroy, Indian Bayou, Intracoastal City, Meaux, Pecan Island, and Perry
Vermilion Parish Records
Birth Records - The Louisiana State office maintains records for 100 years after the date of birth. Birth records are considered confidential for the first 100 years. For current information on who may obtain a birth record as well as how to submit a request visit the Office of Public Health, Vital Records Registry website or write to them at PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160.
Birth records older than 100 years are available through the Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. (225) 922-1000.
Death Records - The Louisiana State office maintains records for 100 years after the date of death. Death records are considered confidential for the first 100 years. For current information on who may obtain a death record as well as how to submit a request visit the Office of Public Health, Vital Records Registry website or write to them at PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160.
Death records older than 100 years are available through the Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. (225) 922-1000.
Marriage Records - For current information on how to submit a request for a certified copy of an Orleans Parish marriage record less than 50 years old, see the Louisiana Office of Public Health Director, Vital Records and Statistics website or write to PO Box 60630, New Orleans, LA 70160.
Marriage records over 50 years are stored by the Louisiana State Archives, 3851 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. (225) 922-1000.
Divorce Records - To obtain current information on how to submit a request for a certified copy of divorce records contact the Clerk of Court. For the address of the parish Clerk of Court visit the Vermilion Parish Important Addresses page.