About Livingston Parish
Livingston Parish was created in 1832 from the southern portion of what was then St. Helena Parish, which occupied the area south of the present Louisiana-Mississippi boundary line and north of the Amite River and Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain. Boundaries were amended in 1850 and again in 1869 to the present boundaries.
One of the Florida Parishes, it is generally believed that the new parish was named in honor of Edward Livingston, a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson. However, it has also been argued that the parish may have been named for his brother, Robert Livingston, a well known lawyer and negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase as a minister to France.
Livingston Parish was one of the earliest settled parishes of the state, with both French and Spanish colonists settling here in the early 1700s in the Lake Maurepas area. The early settlers traveled the Amite River to Lake Maurepas then crossed the narrow pass into Lake Pontchartrain to get to New Orleans. Industry at that time centered primarily on farming, lumbering, and harvesting fish and seafood from the waterways.
The present Illinois Central Gulf rail line was constructed between 1854 and 1856, leading to the growth of communities along the rail line through Livingston Parish. Not long after that, the parish was embroiled with the rest of the country in the Civil War. Some 14 engagements of the Civil War were fought in Livingston Parish between 1862 and 1865. They included eight battles fought in the vicinity of the Amite River, one at Benton’s Ferry, two at French Settlement, two in the Springfield area and one on the Tickfaw River.
A Proud History of Service
Transformed by Growth
Livingston Parish’s land area covers approximately 700 square miles plus approximately 100 miles of inland waterways. A total of 11 communities are located within the parish, eight of which are supported by municipal police departments. Approximately 75-80 percent of the residents of the parish live outside these eight municipalities and are served by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Today, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office operates with a team of 160 deputies and support staff on a $11 million annual budget funded primarily through property and sales taxes. Sheriff Willie Graves and his staff are active in many community events and activities, from parades and school functions to funeral escorts and crime prevention/education programs. “I’m blessed to have a staff that’s very committed to the community,” said Sheriff Graves. “We’re here to help everybody we can help and to make a difference in Livingston Parish.”