(submitted by and photos by Gerald & Tammy Westmoreland)
Eunice is a city in Acadia and St. Landry parishes in Louisiana. The 2010 census placed the population at 10,398. Eunice is on US Hwy 190 about 20 miles north of Crowley. GPS: 30.494811, -92.417212
One-time lawman and pioneer land developer C.C. Duson is credited with founding Eunice, which was named for his second wife, Eunice Pharr Duson. He and his brother, W.W. Duson, had already founded Crowley in 1887, and now he looked to the north of the parish for future development. Duson bought 160 acres of land from Willie Humble of Prairie Faquetaïque and mapped out a town site, laid out in lots 50 by 140 feet, 12 lots to the block. Next, he persuaded the Southern Pacific Railroad to extend a branch line from Crowley to his new town. Then he began what he and his brother had learned how to do as well as anyone: promote land sales. It was chartered as a village on September 12, 1894, and incorporated as a town on June 4, 1895.
Evangeline Parish was created with the passage of a bill in June 1908. Eunice and Ville Platte were in competition for the parish seat, and Ville Platte was selected by voters on April 12, 1909. After the election, Eunice declared it would remain in St. Landry and Acadia Parishes.
In May 2000 a chemical freight train derailed in Eunice, spilling numerous hazardous chemicals and causing about 15 tank cars to explode and burn; approximately 3,500 residents of the town were evacuated for as many as five days. Over 10,000 residents settled in May 2004 for $65 million with the Union Pacific Corporation in a class action suit, claiming that the corporation had failed to repair a defective section of track.
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