A Brief History of Marrero, Louisiana

Louis H. Marrero

Marrero is a census-designated place located in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. Marrero is on the south side, referred to as the “West Bank” of the Mississippi River. Marrero was named in honor of the Louisiana politician and founder of Marrero Land Company, Louis Herman Marrero. The area was originally referred to and shown on maps as Amesville, after the Boston businessman Oakes Ames, who purchased much of the land following the Civil War. In February 1916, the U.S. Postmaster officially changed the name of the Post Office to Marrero. Louis Herman Marrero was born in Adams County, Mississippi, on July 17, 1847. When he was a child his family moved to St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. During his school years at Jackson, Louisiana, the Civil War began, and Marrero joined Captain Scott’s Command, later known as the 25th Louisiana Regiment (Wikipedia, 2019). He was only fifteen. He missed Shiloh because the regiment was still waiting on a shipment of muskets, but he did fight at Farmington, Perryville, Murfreesboro––where he was wounded––and Chickamauga. He was eventually captured at Chattanooga, and not released until March 1865, when he arrived in Richmond and then walked back to Louisiana. In 1896 he became sheriff of Jefferson Parish, and held the office for over twenty years. At the same time he was president of the Jefferson Commercial & Savings Bank of Gretna and president of the Marrero Land & Improvement Association. By 1910, he was easily the most powerful man on the West Bank. In the 1800s the West Bank of New Orleans was a collection of fisherman and farmers, as well as outlaws looking to escape justice. For a good part of the 20th Century it was all but controlled by the Italian Mafia. It has also been home to political strongmen who controlled money and power through systems of patronage and property. The last great West Bank strongman was Sheriff Harry Lee. Before him, there was Judge Leander Perez, and before both of them there was Louis H. Marrero (Chick, 2019).


Citations

Chick, Sean Michael. (2019, Feb. 28). The Fall of Louis Marrero’s Empire. Retrieved from countryroadsmagazine.com.

Wikipedia. (2019, Sep. 30). Marrero, Louisiana. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org.