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Today we are going to celebrate the creation of Evangeline parish!

On June 15, 1908, the Louisiana Legislature voted to carve Evangeline Parish out of Northern St. Landry Parish. It was passed by unanimous vote and signed into law by Governor Sanders.

An election was held in Dec. of 1909 for voter approval and for voters to determine the parish seat. Voters overwhelmingly approved the creation of the new parish and chose Ville Platte as the parish seat.

Despite these overwhelming victories for the new parish, there were also a few setbacks.

The first is the case of Sandoz et al v. Governor Sanders. This case contested the creation of the new parish because it did not allow for new members of the Louisiana Legislature. The case made its way all the way to the state Supreme Court where it was determined that the law creating the new parish was unconstitutional.

The second setback was the case of Dubuisson et al v. the Election Supervisors of St. Landry. This case contested the election. Their assertion was that the election should not be seen as valid since the law creating the new parish was unconstitutional. This case also went to the Supreme Court. There it was determined that the election was valid because it was held in good faith.

In 1910 another law made its way through the legislature that took all of these things into consideration. The law passed and Evangeline Parish was officially created. This new law included an amendment moving the parish line to the north. This allowed Eunice, still hurt from not being chosen as the parish seat, to remain in St. Landry Parish.

Louisiana Map of Parishes with Evangeline in Red

View more photos on the Special Collections Facebook Page.

Fun Fact Friday is brought to you by Special Collections.