History of Judice, Louisiana and Ridge, Louisiana
Originally posted at http://myschoolonline.com/index.html
Early Settlement of Judice and Ridge
For our project, Judice is that community within the following area: -bounded on the north by W. Congress street -bounded on the east by Coulee Isle des Cannes and Johnston Street -bounded on the west by Louisiana state highway 343 (S. Richfield) -bounded on the south by Percy Bourque Road and John LeBlanc Road
For our project, Ridge is that community within the following area: -bounded on the north by W. Congress Street -bounded on the east by Louisiana state highway 343 (S. Richfield) -bounded on the west by Riceland Road -bounded on the south by Sellers Road
Early Settlement of the Communities
The original settlers were from the southeastern United States which included Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The surnames, or last names, of these people included: Spell, Nugent, Clark, Burke, Abshire, Smith, and Foreman.
The first settler was Edward G. F. Broussard. In 1858, he apparently bought a quarter-section of land (160 acres) for $1.25 per acre!
John C. Smith was also one of the early settlers and he was the only known slave owner. After the ratification of the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, many of Mr. Smith's slaves stayed on the land and worked as tenant farmers. Even though the tenant farming system was just another form of service to an owner, the African Americans stayed and many of the descendants still live in the Judice and Ridge area today.
After the Civil War and passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, the area was opened to more buyers. Among these new land owners were Alex Hoffpauir, Jossin Hebert, Lafayette Foreman, Nathan Foreman, August Corn, Peter Souther, Colt Peterson, James R. Grice, and Edward Hoffpauir.
With the approaching end of the Reconstruction Period in Louisiana and the South, many new settlers made their way to the community. The new settlers included William C. Abbot, Edward T. Burham, Everett Aker, Philip Foerman, Thomas Burham, Wayne Tanner, Onezime Duhon, Jr., Valentin Duhon and Drouzin Duhon.
Original Name of the Area
"Foreman Flats" was the original name of the area, which included: -Ridge Road in the north -Doc Duhon Road in the south -Lagneaux Road in the east -South Fieldspan Road in the west
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, many people in the area experienced great hardship. One of them, Gerard Foreman, was unable to make payments on his property loan and the land was repossessed (reclaimed or taken by the First National Bank of Lafayette.
Part of that land was purchased from the bank by the Lafayette Parish School Board for the purpose of building Judice High School. Within a short time, people began referring to the area as Judice.
Schools attract businesses and people. The construction of Judice High School in 1929 attracted people. New settlers included those of French, Acadian and Spanish descent. New surnames could be found on mailboxes including: Broussard, Boudreaux, LeBlanc, Landry, Mouton, Trahan, Dupont, Monte, Hernandez, and Alleman. Those of German descent included Hanks and Hoffpauir
Name of the School
Judice High School, then Judice Elementary School, and now Judice Middle School, were named for Mr. Alcide Judice, a businessman from Scott who contributed greatly to various causes in Lafayette Parish.
Mr. Judice was born in the parish on January 14, 1851. In 1888, he found out that the railroad (Louisiana Western Railroad Company) had plans to build a main track in the area of Scott. He built a general store in the town and became one of the town's most successful merchants. Although he, apparently, was a very politically active person, he was also a great contributor to the parish in education. One of his goals was to provide schools in the rural parts of Lafayette Parish.
He married Anne Cayret in 1871 and one of their two children, Louis Leo Judice, also has a school named after him. (L. Leo Judice in Scott)
Mr. Judice died on April 7, 1908. Judice High School was named to honor his many contributions to the education of rural children in the parish.
Early Economic Life in the Judice Community
This area of Lafayette Parish was, as it is today, mostly rural, and still involved in agricultural pursuits. Cotton was the dominant crop and there was a cotton gin built by the Landry family. Although it burned a few years after, another cotton gin, in the nearby Ridge community, continued to operate.
Sugar cane was also grown in the area, enough to build a syrup mill in 1920.
The area was also used for the cattle industry. The Hernandez property along South Fieldspan Road was used for grazing.
In the 1940s, sweet potatoes were also grown but it was found to be too expensive. Farmers returned to the dominant crops of corn and cotton.
Minos Pellerin began growing rice in Judice in 1949 to diversify the agricultural practices of the parish. Cotton was not as profitable as it once had been. Realizing the potential for economic success, he had a water well drilled and began providing water for nearby fields which also had been converted from cotton to rice. Rice soon became the dominant crop in the area.
Today, rice and crawfish are the major uses of agricultural property in the vicinity, along with dairy farming, oil and mineral leases, and horse training.
EDUCATION IN THE JUDICE AND RIDGE COMMUNITIES
In 1897, Lafayette Parish had 26 one-room schools. Three of them were located in the Judice and Ridge area. They were named the Whittington, Cormier, and Duhon schools. The Duhon School was built to provide for the educational needs of African American children in the area.
In 1900, increasing school enrollment led to the building of three new schools in the area; the Burke School, Alex Broussard School, and Alcide Judice School. These were meant to replace the one-room schools that were scattered in this part of the parish.
The Burke School, built in 1903, had students from a 20 square-mile area. The school had two high school grades, but students who wished to graduate had to travel to Scott to complete their education.
The Alex Broussard School, built in 1913, served students in a 25 square- mile area.
The Alcide Judice School, built in 1915, served students in a 20 square-mile area, when the Whittington and Cormier schools closed. The school was built on four acres purchased from a Mr. Pierre Trahan for $200.
For those students in the Judice School, breaks from school were during cultivating and harvesting times on the farms. Other "breaks" were sometimes at the beginning of a particular hunting season.
Transportation to the school was provided by four wagons.
By 1926, increased enrollment at the three schools necessitated their consolidation and in 1929, the new Alcide Judice High School was opened. It was built on ten acres which cost the school board a total of $500. The total cost to build the school was $60,735.
The first graduates of the new high school, which included the first through the eleventh grades, were Rose Guidry, Claude Guidry, and Paul Alleman.
In 1941, the school began adding classrooms and, by 1952, a total of eight classrooms, a gym, and a cafeteria provided needed space for the growing student population.
In 1956, the school board purchased three acres north of the gym.
In 1959, a new building (vocational building), a football field, and an elementary wing were added to the school campus.
In 1969, Judice High School was closed and consolidated with Scott High School to form Acadiana High School.