Acadia Parish
Louisiana Genealogy & History Network

Iota, Louisiana

Acadia Parish

(submitted by and photos by Gerald & Tammy Westmoreland)

Iota is a town of about 1500 residents in Acadia Parish, Louisiana. It is located on Hwy 370 at Hwy 98 11 miles NW of Crowley. GPS: 30.331389, -92.495556

The history of Iota is identified with Pointe-aux-Loups (French for Wolf Point), one of the oldest place names in southwest Louisiana, and the location of mineral springs that attracted many visitors beginning about 1858. The older settlement was located on Bayou des Cannes about two miles west of the present Town of Iota. A post office named Cartville, for the first postmaster Samuel Cart, was established in the vicinity of Pointe-aux-Loups in 1884. Ten years later, a railroad branch line from Midland to Eunice bypassed Cartville by a mile or so to the east. The railroad company built a depot at a point on the line nearest to the Cartville and Pointe-aux-Loups settlements, naming it Iota. The Cartville post office was changed to Iota in 1900.

C.C. Duson is credited with being the founder of Iota. It was he who promoted the construction of the Southern Pacific rail line to Eunice, the new town that he founded in St. Landry Parish. At the same time, 1894, Duson acquired the land on which Iota now stands, a 160-acre tract which had been homesteaded by Archille Doucet in 1835. Duson divided the land into town lots and sold them. Duson was the prime mover in the establishment of the Acadia Canal Company in the vicinity of Iota, and president of the town's first rice mill in 1901—two businesses said to have been responsible for Iota's early economic development.

Iota and its people continued to prosper throughout the 20th century, with agriculture and petroleum as the primary sectors of the local economy. During this time, rice and later crawfish developed as the main cash crops of the area.

Iota was represented in the novel No Place Louisiana by Martin Pousson, published in 2002.

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