Bossier City, Louisiana

Bossier City
Suburban city
City of Bossier City

A central plaza of the Louisiana Boardwalk with the Horseshoe Hotel and Casino in the background.

Motto: "Union, Justice, Confidence"
Bossier City

Location of Bossier City in Bossier Parish, Louisiana

Coordinates: 32°31′04″N 93°41′29″W / 32.51778°N 93.69139°W / 32.51778; -93.69139Coordinates: 32°31′04″N 93°41′29″W / 32.51778°N 93.69139°W / 32.51778; -93.69139
Country United States
State Louisiana
Parishes Bossier
Founded 1907
  Mayor Lorenz James "Lo" Walker (R)
  City Council
  Suburban city 111.8 sq mi (290 km2)
  Land 109.7 sq mi (284 km2)
  Water 2.1 sq mi (5 km2)  1.89%
  Metro 2,698 sq mi (6,987.8 km2)
Elevation 174 ft (53 m)
Population (2010)[1]
  Suburban city 61,315
  Estimate (2015)[2] 68,094
  Rank US: 518th
  Density 1,382.6/sq mi (533.8/km2)
  Metro 446,471 (US: 113th)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
  Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 318
Website City of Bossier City

Bossier City (/ˈbʒər/ BO-zher;[3] French: Ville de Bossier) is a city in Bossier Parish, Louisiana, United States.[4][5]

As of the 2010 census, Bossier City had a population of 61,315.[1] The 2013 estimate was 66,333.[6] Bossier City is located on the eastern bank of the Red River and is closely tied to its larger sister city Shreveport on the opposite bank. The Shreveport – Bossier City metropolitan area is the center of the region known as the Ark-La-Tex.

Bossier City is not the parish seat. The parish courthouse is located instead in Benton about 12 miles (19 km) to the north of Bossier City.


19th century

In the 1830s, Bossier City was the plantation Elysian Grove, purchased by James Cane and his 2nd wife Mary D. C. Cane. James and his 1st wife, Rebecca Bennett, came to the area with Rebecca's brother, William Bennett and his wife Mary Doal Cilley Bennett. They first had the trading post across the river on what was then Caddo Indian Land, a portion called "Bennett's Bluff." The trading post partners and Mary D. C. Bennett's father Samuel Bennett, became a 1/7th partner in the new Shreve Town, which eventually became Shreveport.

Elysian Grove plantation was on the Red River, at the intersection of the Texas Trail on the Red River where the trading post ran the ferry crossing between what was to become Shreveport and Bossier. The plantation loading and unloading dock later became known as Cane's Landing in the old Ferry log books.[7] For a very short time, Cane's Landing would become known as Cane City. Mary D. C. Bennett Cane and her family were one of the earliest settlers in the area, and Mary gave birth to the first white baby of the area, a son, William Smith Bennett Jr. who died at an early age.[8][9]

In 1843, a section of land was divided out of the Great Natchitoches district and Claiborne Parish areas and was called Bossier Parish. The section of land was named in honor of Pierre Evariste John Baptiste Bossier, a former Creole general, who became a cotton farmer in Bossier Parish. He is considered one of the first settlers in the area.

In the 1840s, the Great Western Migration began, and the parish grew in population. Many early settlers passed through the region on their way to the wild West. By 1850, over 200 wagons a week passed through Bossier City. Some of these settlers stayed, attracted by the soil and river valley. In 1850, the census listed the population at around 6,962.

Civil War

During the Civil War, companies of Confederate soldiers left Cane's Landing aboard steamboats for the distant battlefields. Mrs. Cane hosted hundreds of Confederate officers and troops who were heading off to war. Mrs. Cane's plantation was fortified to protect Shreveport by three batteries, with Fort Kirby Smith in the center. The others were Batteries Price, and Walker & Ewell.

Fort Smith stood near the now Bossier High School, and protected the area from an eastern invasion. The Civil War hit Bossier Parish in 1861, and ended in Shreveport four years later when the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered.

Shed Road

Shed Road, the first all-weather turnpike in the American South, was constructed in the 1870s and operated from 1874 to 1886. It extended for 9 miles (14 km) from Red Chute to the Red River. There was a plantation at the end of the elevated and covered roadway, which was reached by a ferry boat. The covered road made the transportation of goods easier before the arrival of the railroads.

Classification as a city

Anna B., granddaughter of James and Mary, felt the area would prosper and began promoting the idea of a riverfront city. Anna B. and J. J. Stockwell sold lots in 1883. The area grew quickly, as did transportation through it.

Cane City was said as being incorporated by former Governor Newton C. Blanchard and renamed as the village of Bossier City. Blanchard named a Shreveport businessman, Ewald Max Hoyer, as the first Bossier City mayor. Hoyer continued to reside in what is known as the Bliss-Hoyer House in Shreveport's Highland neighborhood. Bossier City has grown from an area of one square mile to a city containing more than 40 square miles (100 km2). Continued growth led to Bossier City's classification being changed from village to town by Governor John M. Parker. Later, Governor Earl Kemp Long issued a proclamation classifying Bossier City a city.

The "golden spike" commemorated the completion of the east-west Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad. It was driven at Bossier City on July 12, 1884, by Julia "Pansy" Rule. It was the first such spike to be driven by a woman. The north-south Shreveport and Arkansas Railroad was completed on April 6, 1888. The Louisiana-Arkansas Railroad was completed on November 2, 1909. The Dixie Overland Highway from the East to the West Coast was built in 1918. These railroads and highways combined to make Bossier City a hub for future activity.

The discovery of crude oil, to the south, in 1908, thrust Bossier City into the nationwide oil boom. Bossier's central location to the rural oil fields made it a major player in the oil patch. Several international oil companies are located here. The advantages brought by black gold fueled many civic, social and economic improvements.

A fire on June 23, 1925, consumed one-half of downtown Bossier City. Local citizens were unable to battle the blaze. The loss spurred civic improvements including a modern water system capable of fighting such fires, a new City Hall, a modern fire alarm system, modern sidewalks and the first city park.

In the 1930s, construction began on Barksdale Air Force Base. The first unit assigned to Barksdale was the 20th Pursuit Group. Before World War II, Barksdale was a training school for the Army Air Corps. During the war, Barksdale trained pilots, navigators, and bombardiers. Later the base became one of the key bases of the Strategic Air Command in the new Air Force. Barksdale is the headquarters for the 8th Air Force. The land that base is built was purchased by local residents who donated the land to the U.S. Army.

In the 1890s, Cane City had a population of about 600. Bossier City now has a 2012 estimated population of over 64,000. First a cotton-exporting river landing, next a railroad town, then an airbase and oil-boom town, Bossier City is now known for its tourism and casino gambling.[10]

Three casinos in the city have financed a number of municipal projects, many completed during the administration of the late Mayor George Dement. Recent improvements include the CenturyLink Center, Louisiana Boardwalk, Benton Road Overpass, and the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway, located along the eastern side of the Red River. Dement also procured Amtrak service between Bossier City and Dallas, Texas.[11] Dement was succeeded as mayor in 2005 by his administrative assistant and former mayoral opponent from 1989, Lo Walker, the first Republican to hold the city's top executive position.[12]


Bossier City is located at 32°31′4″N 93°41′29″W / 32.51778°N 93.69139°W / 32.51778; -93.69139 (32.517651, -93.691397)[13] and has an elevation of 174 feet (53.0 m).[14] The city lies primarily on the banks of the Red River, and has a largely flat topography. The northern city limits are noticeably more hilly than the rest of the city. Many small waterways flow through the city such as Flat River and Red Chute Bayou, which provide drainage for many areas of the city.[15]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 43.2 square miles (111.8 km2), of which 42.4 square miles (109.7 km2) is land and 0.81 square miles (2.1 km2), or 1.89%, is water.[1]


Bossier shares most aspects of its climate with its sister city of Shreveport. The city has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa) with hot, humid summers and mild winters. During the warmer months, the city is prone to severe thunderstorms which feature heavy rain, high winds, hail, and occasional tornadoes. The city has a slightly above average rate of tornadoes when compared to the US average.[16] Due to the flat topography of the city and the prominence of smaller waterways that are prone to backwater flooding from the Red River, the city occasionally experiences severe flooding events. A notable occurrence of severe flooding occurred in March 2016 after torrential rains caused a rapid rise of many local waterways, displacing upwards of 3500 people from their homes across the area.[17][18] Freezing and ice storms occasionally occur during the winter months.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201568,094[19]11.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]
2013 Estimate[6]

As of the census of 2010, there were 61,315 people,[5] 25,200 households, and 14,901 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,382.6 people per square mile (533.8/km²). There were 23,026 housing units at an average density of 563.9 per square mile (217.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.44% White, 18.74% African American, 0.57% Native American, 2.73% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 1.44% from other races, and 1.97% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.95% of the population.

There were 23,197 households, out of which 36.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 15.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. Nearly 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the city of Bossier City, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 94.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,561, and the median income for a family was $42,642. Males had a median income of $30,632 versus $22,174 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,032. About 11.4% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.9% of those under age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.


Bossier City residents are zoned to Bossier Parish Schools.[21] Public schools in the area are listed below:

Elementary schools

  • Apollo Elementary School
  • Bellaire Elementary School
  • Benton Elementary School
  • Bossier Elementary School
  • Carrie Martin Elementary School
  • Central Park Elementary School
  • Curtis Elementary School
  • Elm Grove Elementary School
  • Legacy Elementary School
  • Meadowview Elementary School
  • Plantation Park Elementary School
  • Platt Elementary School
  • Princeton Elementary School
  • T. L. Rhodes Elementary School
  • R.V. Kerr Elementary School
  • Stockwell Place Elementary School
  • Sun City Elementary School
  • W.T. Lewis Elementary School
  • Waller Elementary School

Middle schools

  • Benton Middle School
  • Cope Middle School
  • Elm Grove Middle School
  • Greenacres Middle School
  • Haughton Middle School
  • Plain Dealing Middle/High School
  • T.O. Rusheon Middle School

High schools

Community colleges




Bossier City is served by the Bossier Press-Tribune and Shreveport Times. In addition, The Forum Newsweekly, City Lights and SB Magazine are newsmagazines in the Shreveport-Bossier area.


See Shreveport, Louisiana


"Bossier City" is a song by David Allan Coe, in which he sings, "And it sure smells like snow in Bossier City..." Johnny Rodriguez recorded a song called "Achin' Bossier City Backyard Blues" in 1972. Turnpike Troubadours 2007 freshman album is entitled Bossier City, and includes the title track "Bossier City."


FM radio

Callsign Channel Genre
KQHN 97.3 Top 40
KMJJ-FM 99.7 Hip Hop
KRMD-FM 101.1 Country
KVMA-FM 102.9 Soul
KRUF 94.5 Top 40

AM radio

Callsign Channel Genre
KRMD (AM) 1340 Sports

Sports, gambling, and entertainment

Horseshoe Casino offers gambling and entertainment in the Shreveport-Bossier metro area. It was opened by the late George Nattin, Jr., who became its first president.
The CenturyTel Center hosts athletic events and concerts in Bossier City.
The Red River from the Arthur Teague Parkway in Bossier City

From the 1930s to the 1970s, Bossier was regionally and even nationally known for its entertainment district known as The Bossier Strip, which followed U.S. Highway 80 through the city. Nightclubs proliferated from the Texas Avenue Bridge to the Bossier-Webster parish line. Prior to the 1940s, The Strip was as well known for such entertainment as Las Vegas, Nevada.[23][24]

Bossier City and Shreveport now share an all-women's flat track roller derby team named the Twin City Knockers. The team is the newest competing sport in the area, founded in January 2010. Bouts are hosted at Hot Wheels skating rink in south Bossier.

The CenturyLink Center (formerly CenturyTel Center) in Bossier City was the home of the Bossier–Shreveport Battle Wings of the AF2 , as well as the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs of the Central Hockey League. The arena has hosted top performers, including Britney Spears and Aerosmith, as well as rodeos, ice shows, and children's entertainment.

The 2005 Red River Classic PRCA Rodeo to be hosted at the CenturyTel Center was cancelled due to the arena being used as a shelter for Hurricane Katrina evacuees.[25]

The city hosts four riverboat casino gambling resorts along the east bank of the Red River: Margaritaville, Horseshoe, Boomtown, and Diamond Jack's. Horse racing and gambling on slot machines is also available at Harrah's Louisiana Downs, which opened in 1974.

Notable people


Bossier City is the location of Barksdale Air Force Base, home of the 2nd Bomb Wing, 8th Air Force, and 307th Bomb Wing. It was established February 2, 1933, and is one of the area's largest employers. Barksdale encompasses 22,000 acres (89 km2) and hosts the majority of the B-52 Stratofortresses used by the United States Air Force.


  1. 1 2 3 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
  2. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-11-09.
  3. bō′·zhər
  4. "Bossier City, Louisiana (LA) Detailed Profile" (notes),City Data, 2007, webpage:
  5. 1 2 "Census 2000 Data for the State of Louisiana" (town list), United States Census Bureau, May 2003, webpage:
  6. 1 2 "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-08-28.
  7. LSUS Special Archives. Ferry Log Book.
  8. Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  9. Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  10. "Bossier City History".
  11. "Amanda Crane, "'Mr. Bossier' turns 91"". Retrieved February 6, 2013.
  12. "Lo Walker to seek third term as Bossier City mayor, April 12, 2012". KTBS-TV. Retrieved February 3, 2013.
  13. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  14. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  15. Bossier City (Louisiana). Bossier City Comprehensive Plan. Retrieved on 13 June 2016.
  16. "Bossier City, Louisiana (LA) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news, sex offenders". Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  17. Vagell, Quincy; Dolce, Chris; Erdman, Jon. "Over 23 Inches of Rain Triggers Historic Flash Flooding, River Flooding In Parts of the South". Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  18. "Flooding, evacuations continue in Caddo and Bossier parishes". Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  19. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016.
  20. United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 11, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2014.
  21. Bossier Parish Schools.
  22. "Home - Louisiana Tech University @ Shreveport - Bossier City".
  23. Kip Lornell and Tracey E. W. Laird, eds. Shreveport Sounds in Black and White. p. 288. ISBN 9781934110416. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  24. "Las vegas casinos and past mob Ties".
  25. "2005 Red River Classic PRCA Rodeo Cancelled" (PDF). CenturyTel Center, 2005. Retrieved April 22, 2010.
  26. "Jacob Welch "Jake" Cameron". The Shreveport Times. October 1, 1999. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  27. "James L. Cathey, Jr.". findagrave. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
  28. "Judge Jeff Cox". Retrieved April 26, 2014.
  29. "Judge Mike Craig". Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court. Retrieved July 20, 2015.
  30. "Ken Duncan". Retrieved July 5, 2015.
  31. "Hoffman Lee Fuller". The Shreveport Times. June 21, 1983. p. 7-A. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  32. "About Ryan". Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  33. Clifton D. Cardin (November 19, 2000). "Hickman Family of Bossier Parish". Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  34. "O.E. Price obituary". Shreveport Times, February 24, 2006. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  35. "Judge Parker Self". Retrieved April 25, 2014.
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