St. Landry Democrat

St. Landry Parish

The St. Landry Democrat, published in the small farming community of Opelousas, Louisiana, was established on January 19, 1878, as the successor to the Opelousas Journal [LCCN: sn86079077]. Its editors and publishers included M. D. Kavanagh, J. W. Jackson, and E. P. Goodwin. Publisher Austin D. Williams later edited newspapers in the state capital, Baton Rouge.

Published weekly in four to eight pages, the Democrat was a typical Southern “country” paper that carried miscellaneous local, national, and international news, including brief reports and letters to the editor from towns throughout St. Landry Parish. Editorials often discussed politics and internal improvements, such as the construction of roads, railroads, and levees, as well as how to attract immigrants and workers to the region. Readers also would have found general-interest articles, largely copied from other sources; agricultural and domestic-advice columns; a “religious reading” section; fiction and poetry; an abundance of advertisements for local businesses; announcements of public sales; obituaries, marriage notices, and other personal notes; and the minutes of the St. Landry Parish police jury, the governing body of the parish (similar to county councils in other states).

Publication of the St. Landry Democrat ceased in 1894.