DeSoto Parish which includes land from both Caddo and Natchitoches parishes became a parish on April 1, 1843. The name is in honor of Hernando DeSoto, the Spanish explorer who discovered the Mississippi river in 1541. The first colonists were subjects of France and Spain, who later became citizens of the Republic of Texas. On the Sabine River, the Waterloo community seems to have existed since Louisiana became a state in 1812.
The parish seat of DeSoto is Mansfield. With an area totally 877.3 square miles, DeSoto Parish has 9 schools, 1 airport, 2 rail lines and 69 churches.
Agriculture: forestry. Industry: Nabors Trailers, Inc.; Hendrix Manufacturing; Anthony Forest Products; McNeil Garment Corp; Rite Care Poultry.
Mansfield State Commemorative Area, battle site, and museum of the last major victory in the Civil War.
Major City in DeSoto Parish- Mansfield; with a population of over 5,000.