Tensas Parish

Tensas Parish is located on the eastern boundary of Louisiana adjacent to the Mississippi River levee system; parish seat is St. Joseph.

Tensas Parish is located on the eastern boundary of Louisiana adjacent to the Mississippi River levee system; parish seat is St. Joseph.

Tensas Parish is located in the northeastern part of Louisiana. It is bounded on the north by Madison Parish, on the east the Mississippi River forms its entire irregular boundary, separating it from the State of Mississippi; on the south it is bounded by Concordia Parish, and on the west by Catahoula and Franklin Parishes.

Tensas Parish has oxbow lakes, fish and game, history, and an unhurried, quiet charm.  Visit St. Joseph’s historic district, Winter Quarters Plantation near Newellton, Burn Plantation at Waterproof.  The three oxbow lakes, Lake Bruin, Lake St. John, and Lake St. Joseph, each provide water sports and camping facilities.

Although Tensas Parish has no port yet its location on the Mississippi River has great potential. In the past this location served as a port for parishes west of St. Joseph which had no other access to the river.

Lake Bruin State Park is a delightful state park with magnificent cypress trees and 3,500 acre Lake Bruin. For information, call 1-877-CAMP-N-LA (877-226-7652) toll free.

Parish Seat

Saint Joseph


Town of Newellton – Mayor Alex Davis
Town of St. Joseph – Mayor Edward L. Brown
Town of Waterproof – Mayor Bobby D. Higginbothom

Parish Government

Tensas Parish Police Jury
P. O. Box 6168
St. Joseph, LA 71366
Telephone: (318) 766-3542
Fax: (318) 766-4580
Email: tensas@bellsouth.net

President – Woodrow W. Wiley, Jr.
Vice President – Carl F. Olds, Sr.
Secretary/Treasurer – Cathy Darden

Police Jury Members
District 1: Emmett Adams, Jr.
District 2: Danny Clark
District 3: John D. Wynn
District 4: William Trevillion
District 5: Rod Webb
District 6: Carl Olds, Sr.
District 7: Woodrow W Wiley, Jr.

More information about the Louisiana Police Jury


Contact this Parish

Saint Joseph Town Hall
P.O. Box 217
Saint Joseph, LA 71366
Telephone: (318) 766-3713
Fax: (318) 766-3063
Email: tosjmo@bellsouth.net

For more information, contact the following partners listed in the partners section

  • Tensas Parish Economic Development
  • Newellton Chamber of Commerce

View this parish’s information on the Louisiana Site Selection Center

Quick Facts about Tensas Parish
Land area 602.5 square miles (385,621 acres)
Water area 38.7 square miles (24,781 acres)
Location Latitude 32.00 degrees North, Longitude 91.33 degrees West.
Estimated population (2011) 5,066
Major highways US Highway 65 and Louisiana Highway 4.
In 2011 public administration was the largest of 20 major sectors. It had an average wage per job of $27,248.
Demographics for Tensas Parish
People and Income Overview
(by place of residence)
Population (2011) 5,066
Growth (since 2010) -3.5%
Households (2011) 3,345
Labor Force (persons in 2011) 1,572
Unemployment Rate (2011) 14.1%
Per Capita Personal Income (2011) $16,552
Median Household Income (2011) $28,090
Poverty Rate (2011) 32.4%
High School Diploma or more – Adults 25+ (2011) 74.6%
Bachelor’s Degree or more – Adults 25+ (2011) 11.8%
Industry Overview (2011)
(by place of work)
Covered Employment 1,212
Average wage per job $40,820
Manufacturing – all jobs in Parish 3.4%
Average wage per job $24,648
Transportation and Warehousing – all jobs in Parish 3.5%
Average wage per job $31,876
Healthcare, Social Assistance – all jobs in Parish 4.7%
Average wage per job $30,056
Finance and Insurance – all jobs in Parish 2.2%
Average wage per job $136,344