Morgan City, Louisiana
Morgan City is a city
A city is a relatively large and permanent settlement. Although there is no agreement on how a city is distinguished from a town within general English language meanings, many cities have a particular administrative, legal, or historical status based on local law.For example, in the U.S...

 in St. Martin
St. Martin Parish, Louisiana
St. Martin Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is St. Martinville. As of the 2000 census, the population was 48,583.St...

 and St. Mary
St. Mary Parish, Louisiana
St. Mary Parish is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The parish seat is Franklin. As of 2000, the population was 53,500.The Morgan City Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of St. Mary Parish.-Geography:...

 parishes in the U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 of Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

. The population was 12,404 at the 2010 census.

The St. Mary Parish portion of Morgan City is part of the Morgan City Micropolitan Statistical Area, while the small St. Martin Parish portion is part of the Lafayette
Lafayette, Louisiana
Lafayette is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, United States, on the Vermilion River. The population was 120,623 at the 2010 census...

 Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Morgan City sits on the banks of the Atchafalaya River
Atchafalaya River
The Atchafalaya River is a distributary of the Mississippi River and Red River in south central Louisiana in the United States. It flows south, just west of the Mississippi River....

. Morgan City was originally called Tiger Island by surveyors appointed by U.S. Secretary of War John Calhoun
John Calhoun
John Calhoun may refer to:*John C. Calhoun, seventh Vice President of the United States, U.S. Senator*John Calhoun , American computer programmer*John B...

 because of a particular type of wild cat seen in the area. It was later called Brashear City after Walter Brashear, a prominent Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

 physician who purchased large tracts of land and acquired numerous sugar mills. It was incorporated in 1860 as Brashear City.

Capture of Brashear City

During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 Star Fort, also known as Fort Brashear was the larger of two works erected by the Union Army
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 occupying the city to defend a Federal military depot and the town. During the Bayou Teche Campaign
Bayou Teche Campaign
The Bayou Teche Campaign, or First Bayou Teche Campaign, was a brief military campaign in April and May 1863 during the American Civil War by forces from the Confederate States Army seeking to prevent the Union Army from seizing control of the state of Louisiana...

, on the night of June 22, 1863, 325 Confederates of Gen. A. A. Mouton's command led by Major Sherod Hunter
Sherod Hunter
Sherod Hunter was the commander of the Confederate unit operating against Union Army forces in present day Arizona during the American Civil War...

 landed their skiffs and flats in the rear of the town. Attacking the next day, they surprised and captured the city, 1,300 Union prisoners, 11 heavy siege guns, 2,500 stands of rifles, immense quantities of quartermaster, commissary and ordinance stores, as well as 2,000 negroes and between 200 and 300 wagons and tents, while suffering losses of only 3 killed, 18 wounded.

Morgan City

In 1876, the community's name was changed to Morgan City in tribute to Charles Morgan, rail and steamship magnate who first dredged the Atchafalaya Bay Ship Channel to accommodate ocean-going vessels.
In Spring of 1973 the Morganza Spillway
Morganza Spillway
The Morganza Spillway or Morganza Control Structure is a flood-control structure in the U.S. state of Louisiana along the western bank of the Mississippi River at river mile 280, near Morganza in Pointe Coupee Parish. The spillway stands between the Mississippi and the Morganza Floodway, which...

 was opened during high water on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

, resulting in flooding of parts of Morgan City. Flooding was actually caused by the massive rains that year and not the opening of the Morganza Spillway.

On October 28, 1985 Hurricane Juan
Hurricane Juan (1985)
Hurricane Juan was a hurricane that formed in October 1985 and looped twice near the Louisiana coast, causing torrential flooding for several days. Juan was the costliest hurricane of the 1985 Atlantic hurricane season, and at the time was among the costliest of all historical U.S. hurricanes...

 (not to be confused with the 2003 storm of the same name) made landfall near Morgan City, flooding many parts of the city. Then made another cyclonic loop, moving off shore and came onshore again in Alabama.

On August 26, 1992 Hurricane Andrew
Hurricane Andrew
Hurricane Andrew was the third Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States, after the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Andrew was the first named storm and only major hurricane of the otherwise inactive 1992 Atlantic hurricane season...

 came ashore 20 miles to the southwest of town. Andrew was the second most destructive hurricane in U.S. History, after having crossed Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 and then regaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...



Morgan City is located at 29°42′3"N 91°11′50"W (29.700828, -91.197314) and has an elevation of 7 feet (2.1 m).

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, the city has a total area of 6 square miles (15.5 km²), of which, 5.9 square miles (15.3 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square mile (0.517997622 km²) of it (2.65%) is water.

If the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 were to experience a major course change
Avulsion (river)
In sedimentary geology and fluvial geomorphology, avulsion is the rapid abandonment of a river channel and the formation of a new river channel. Avulsions occur as a result of channel slopes that are much lower than the slope that the river could travel if it took a new course.-Deltaic and...

 in the vicinity of the Old River Control Structure
Old River Control Structure
The Old River Control Structure is a floodgate system located in a branch of the Mississippi River in central Louisiana. It regulates the flow of water leaving the Mississippi into the Atchafalaya River, thereby preventing the Mississippi river from changing course. Completed in 1963, the...

 or Morganza Spillway
Morganza Spillway
The Morganza Spillway or Morganza Control Structure is a flood-control structure in the U.S. state of Louisiana along the western bank of the Mississippi River at river mile 280, near Morganza in Pointe Coupee Parish. The spillway stands between the Mississippi and the Morganza Floodway, which...

, the main channel of the river would likely enter the Gulf of Mexico near Morgan City instead of New Orleans.


As of the census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

of 2000, there were 12,703 people, 5,037 households, and 3,394 families residing in the city. The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 was 2,166.5 people per square mile (837.0/km²). There were 5,627 housing units at an average density of 959.7 per square mile (370.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.28% White, 23.90% African American, 0.91% American Indian (U.S. Census), 1.02% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.18% from other races
Race (United States Census)
Race and ethnicity in the United States Census, as defined by the Federal Office of Management and Budget and the United States Census Bureau, are self-identification data items in which residents choose the race or races with which they most closely identify, and indicate whether or not they are...

, and 1.69% from two or more races. Hispanic of any race were 3.37% of the population.

There were 5,037 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

 living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,324, and the median income for a family was $36,196. Males had a median income of $31,712 versus $19,550 for females. The per capita income
Per capita income
Per capita income or income per person is a measure of mean income within an economic aggregate, such as a country or city. It is calculated by taking a measure of all sources of income in the aggregate and dividing it by the total population...

 for the city was $14,577. About 17.7% of families and 20.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.3% of those under age 18 and 17.7% of those age 65 or over.

Notable natives and residents

  • Bill Burgo
    Bill Burgo
    William Ross Burgo was a Major League Baseball outfielder who played for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1943 and 1944. He was a native of Johnstown, Pennsylvania....

     (1988) baseball player.
  • Carla Blanchard Dartez
    Carla Blanchard Dartez
    Carla Blanchard Dartez is a Democratic former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 51 . She was first elected to that office in 1999 and took her seat in January 2000. She resides in Morgan City in St...

    , former state representative
    Louisiana State Legislature
    The Louisiana State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is bicameral body, comprising the lower house, the Louisiana House of Representatives with 105 representatives, and the upper house, the Louisiana Senate with 39 senators...

  • Charles deGravelles
    Charles deGravelles
    Charles Camille deGravelles, Jr., known as Charlie deGravelles , was a Lafayette oil and gas landman who was a pioneer in the development of the Republican Party in the formerly historically Democratic state of Louisiana. Known as the “Mr...

     (1913–2008), Louisiana State Republican
    Republican Party (United States)
    The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

     chairman from 1968–1972
  • Eddie Dyer
    Eddie Dyer
    Edwin Hawley Dyer was an American left-handed pitcher, manager and farm system official in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1922–44 and 1946–50...

     (b. October 11, 1899) Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

     player, St. Louis Cardinals
    St. Louis Cardinals
    The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

    In baseball, the pitcher is the player who throwsthe baseball from the pitcher's mound toward the catcher to begin each play, with the goal of retiring a batter, who attempts to either make contact with the pitched ball or draw a walk. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the...

  • Sid Gautreaux
    Sid Gautreaux
    Sidney Allen Gautreaux , is a former professional baseball player who played catcher in the Major Leagues for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1936 and 1937 seasons.-External links:...

     (1980) baseball player.
  • Mark Hall
    Mark Hall (American football)
    Mark Hall is a former defensive end in the National Football League.-Career:Hall was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 1989 NFL Draft and spent two seasons with the team. He played at the collegiate level at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and Louisiana State...

     (1965) football player
  • Burt Lancon
    Burt Lancon
    Burt Jude Lancon was an American pair skater. Competing with partner Maria DiDomenico, he won the silver medal at the 1982 United States Figure Skating Championships. The following year, he teamed up with Jill Watson. The couple was two-time bronze medalists at the U.S...

     was an Olympic Ice Skater in the 1984 Winter Games.
  • Geronimo Pratt
    Geronimo Pratt
    Geronimo Ji Jaga , also known as Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt born: Elmer Pratt, was a high ranking member of the Black Panther Party...

     (1947-2011) – Black panther
  • Bishop Sam Seamans
    Sam Seamans
    The Rt. Rev. Sam Seamans is an American Anglican bishop. He is assisting Bishop in the Reformed Episcopal Church and of the Anglican Church in North America. He is also Rector of St...

     – Reformed Episcopal Church
    Reformed Episcopal Church
    The Reformed Episcopal Church is an Anglican church in the United States and Canada and a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America...

  • Nigel Smith
    Nigel Smith
    Nigel Smith is an English former footballer who played as a central defender in the Football League for Brentford and Cambridge United.-External links:* at Neil Brown's site...

     (1980) - humanitarian and advocate for women's rights


  • Denzel Washington
    Denzel Washington
    Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and film producer. He first rose to prominence when he joined the cast of the medical drama, St. Elsewhere, playing Dr...

     shot a scene in Morgan City for his 2006 film, Déjà Vu.
  • The Tampico Mexican Restaurant chain was founded, and established its headquarters here in 1962.
  • All the King's Men (2006 film)
    All the King's Men (2006 film)
    All the King's Men is a 2006 film adaptation of the 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. It was directed by Steven Zaillian, who also produced and scripted....

     was partially shot in Morgan City.
  • Morgan City is home to the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival.
  • The Iguanas (New Orleans)
    The Iguanas (New Orleans)
    Hailing from New Orleans, where Latin and Caribbean music have a long and glorious history of interaction with R&B, blues and jazz, the Iguanas was formed in 1989 by guitarist/accordionist Rod Hodges and Joe Cabral, who alternates between saxophone and a traditional Mexican stringed instrument...

     recorded a song called "Morgan City" on their album "If You Should Ever Fall on Hard Times".
  • The first Tarzan movie
    Tarzan of the Apes (film)
    Tarzan of the Apes is a 1918 American action/adventure silent film directed by Scott Sidney starring Elmo Lincoln, Enid Markey, George B. French and Gordon Griffith. The movie was the first Tarzan movie ever made, and is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' original novel Tarzan of the Apes...

     starring Elmo Lincoln was filmed in Morgan City in 1917.
  • Morgan City achieved national recognition when the first oil well out of sight of land was drilled. It was called the Black Gold Rush.
  • Morgan City is gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin
    Atchafalaya Basin
    The Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp, is the largest swamp in the United States. Located in south central Louisiana, it is a combination of wetlands and river delta area where the Atchafalaya River and the Gulf of Mexico converge. The river stretches from near Simmesport in the north...

    , the largest overflow swamp in the US.

The Old Spanish Trail
Old Spanish Trail
Old Spanish Trail may refer to:*Old Spanish Trail , connecting Santa Fe, New Mexico with Los Angeles, California in the 19th century...

 runs through Morgan City and will be celebrating its centennial in 2019 with a motorcade drive through. It follows the route of old US 90.
  • Morgan City is the name of a band based in Austin, Texas.
  • The Movie Easy Rider
    Easy Rider
    Easy Rider is a 1969 American road movie written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern, produced by Fonda and directed by Hopper. It tells the story of two bikers who travel through the American Southwest and South with the aim of achieving freedom...

    (1969) directed by Dennis Hopper
    Dennis Hopper
    Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker and artist. As a young man, Hopper became interested in acting and eventually became a student of the Actors' Studio. He made his first television appearance in 1954 and appeared in two films featuring James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant...

    , starring Peter Fonda
    Peter Fonda
    Peter Henry Fonda is an American actor. He is the son of Henry Fonda, brother of Jane Fonda, and father of Bridget and Justin Fonda...

    , Jack Nicholson
    Jack Nicholson
    John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson is an American actor, film director, producer and writer. He is renowned for his often dark portrayals of neurotic characters. Nicholson has been nominated for an Academy Award twelve times, and has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice: for One Flew Over the...

    , Dennis Hopper, and Phil Spector
    Phil Spector
    Phillip Harvey "Phil" Spector is an American record producer and songwriter, later known for his conviction in the murder of actress Lana Clarkson....

    , featured four landmarks in Morgan City:
  1. The "Old Bridge" headed west,
  2. The "Old Bridge" in Amelia
    Amelia, Louisiana
    Amelia is a census-designated place in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 2,423 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Morgan City Micropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Amelia is located at ....

  3. The Greenwood Overpass headed west near Wyandotte,
  4. The ESSO , Humble Station near the La. 182 exit ramp of the "New Bridge". This was once the location of the Municipal Pool, and is now the location of a ball park.

In 1969 Kris Kristopherson While Flying Helicopters for Petroleum Helicopters Inc. in Morgan City wrote the Janis Joplin hit song,"Me and Bobbie Magee" .

External links

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