Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, a city and port of entry of Louisiana; on both sides of the Mississippi river, 110 miles above the delta, and on the Illinois Central, Yazoo and Mississippi Valley, Gulf Coast Lines, Louisiana Railway and Navigation Co., Texas and Pacific, Louisville and Nashville, Louisiana Southern, New Orleans and Lower Coast, Southern Pacific Railroad and Steamship Co., Southern Railway System, New Orleans and Great Northern, and New Orleans Public Belt railways, 700 miles S. of St. Louis. It is the most important city in population and trade in the Gulf States. Area 196 square miles; pop. (1890) 242,039; (1900) 287,104; (1910) 339,075; (1920) 387,219.

Municipal Improvements.—There is a waterworks system, established at a cost of $9,200,000. The reservoirs have a delivery capacity of 66,000,000 gallons; the water is distributed through 594 miles of mains; and the consumption averages 32,000,000 gallons daily. There are in all 905 miles of streets of which 330 miles are paved, and 218 miles of electric street railways. The city is lighted by electricity at an annual cost of about $230,000. The cost of the police department is about $526,000 per annum, and that of the fire department about $660,000. The annual white death rate for 1919 was 15.76 per 1,000.

Notable Buildings.—The principal public buildings are the United States Government Building; the United States Branch Mint; the Criminal Court and jail; the Cotton Exchange; the Court Houses; the Sugar Exchange; Board of Trade; Hebrew Athenæum; Howard Memorial Library; New Orleans Public Library; Masonic and Odd Fellows Hall; Y. M. C. A. Hall; Hotel Dieu; Tours Infirmary; Elks' Home; Washington Artillery Hall; Poydras Female Orphan Asylum; Charity Hospital; German Protestant Asylum; Jewish Widows' and Orphans' Home; St. Anna's Widows' Home; St. Vincent Orphan Asylum; the Shakespeare Almshouses; Association of Commerce Building; Cabildo; Confederate Memorial Hall; Isaac Delgado Museum; Isaac Delgado Trade School; Loyola University; Newcomb College; Tulane University; Postoffice.

Manufactories.—New Orleans has about 1,000 manufactories, with an annual output of $150,000,000. The leading articles include cotton goods, sugar, lumber, foundry products, sashes and blinds, chemicals, acids, etc. The combined storage capacity of the grain elevators is 7,670,000 bushels.

Commerce.—The total imports of the port of New Orleans in the calendar year 1919 amounted to $177,286,036; the exports amounted to $563,112,010, or a total of $740,398,046. Fifty-six steamship lines give the city direct connection with all the leading ports of the world.

Banks.—There were, in 1920, twelve banks, with about 30 branches. The exchanges in the Clearing House for the year ending Sept. 30, 1919, were $2,890,884,000.

Education.—At the close of the school year 1919-1920 there were 88 public school buildings, 1,310 teachers, and public school property valued at $4,300,000. The total enrolment in public schools for 1919 was 51,521, and in private and parochial schools 17,000 (est.). The average daily attendance was 35,218 for public schools. The institutions of higher education include the College of the Immaculate Conception, Tulane University, and its branch for women, Sophie Newcomb College, Loyola College, Straight University, Leland University, and the Southern and New Orleans Universities for Negroes.

Finances.—One June 30, 1919, the total bonded debt of the city was $39,564,936. The assessed valuations in 1917 were: Real estate, $268,454,199; personal property, $174,708,526; total $443,157,725; tax rate, $22.50 per $1,000.

History.—The French first occupied New Orleans under Jean de Bienville in 1718. It was made the capital of Louisiana in 1722. Forty years later it passed under the control of Spain when Louisiana was ceded to that country. The French again obtained possession of the province in 1800 and sold it to the United States in 1803. New Orleans was chartered as a city in 1804. On Jan. 8, 1815, it was the scene of a world-renowned battle in which General Jackson defeated the British. In 1862 Admiral Farragut forced it to surrender, and it was occupied by Union troops under General Butler, who was appointed military governor. The prosperity of the city was interrupted by the war, but it has grown very rapidly since 1866. A great industrial and cotton exposition was held here in 1884.

Collier's 1921 New Orleans - Canal Street.jpg
©Ewing Galloway