City of Gonzales
Early inhabitants of the Gonzales area were, for the most part, of Spanish and French ancestry who settled amidst the Houma Indians. The area was an agricultural community with homesteading granted to early settlers in the mid 1800’s. They were linked to other settlements by footpaths and waterways. By 1851, the confines of this new settlement had about ten residents. Adlard Gautreaux established a small school in 1855 to educate the children.
In 1886, “Big” Joseph Gonzales was elected as sheriff of the growing settlement. Joseph’s son, “Tee-Joe” opened a general store and post office in the small community the following year.
Because of the arrival of the Louisiana Railway and Navigation Company, the once isolated community began to grow. The Village was subdivided by “Tee-Joe” Gonzales in 1906, and was officially incorporated and declared a village by proclamation of Governor John M. Parker on April 12, 1922. Joseph Gonzales served, as the first mayor of Gonzales and on May 4, 1952 the village became known as the “Town” of Gonzales by proclamation of Governor Earl K. Long.
The leap to a thriving town was made possible with the construction of Airline Highway through the city limits by Huey Long. During the 1950’s a major transition occurred as industrial plants began to locate along the Mississippi River, creating a revolutionary growth. These industrial corporations brought hundreds of new residents and the population began to soar rapidly. Commerce quickly developed, keeping pace with the industrial developments.
On the 17th day of August, 1977 Governor Edwin Edwards officially proclaimed and designated the newly established “City of Gonzales”. Gonzales is now the commercial hub of Ascension Parish as well as the largest municipality in the parish with a population of 9,781.
Rich in history and tradition, diverse in its ethnic background, Gonzales also holds the distinction of the title of “Jambalaya Capital of the World”. The Jambalaya Festival Association holds one of the largest state festivals every year in May. The lifestyle, food, and music combined with the endless commercial venues such as Tanger Outlet, Cabela’s and the many accommodations available make Gonzales a great place to visit and to live.
PHOTOS OF GONZALES