DeRidder, Louisiana, is the government seat of Beauregard Parish, named after the Confederate General Beauregard. The city of DeRidder lies near the border with Texas and has a population of 10,758, according to 2012 data. It is named after a Belgian woman named Ella DeRidder Dehouyen, the sister-in-law of Jan Dehouyen, a Dutch coffee merchant who raised the $3 million needed to build a railroad from Kansas City to the Gulf. When asked to name the area along the railroad that is now DeRidder, Dehouyen chose to honor his sister-in-law.
DeRidder was incorporated in 1903. Though it is small in population, it is about 45 miles from Lake Charles (population close to 72,000) and 117 miles from Shreveport (population more than 200,000). The cost of living in DeRidder is lower than the U.S. average, and the median real estate value is $149,900.
DeRidder's public school system has eight schools, which include four elementary, one junior high, and two high schools, along with one alternative school. For higher educational opportunities, residents of DeRidder have plenty of choices within a short drive. Several colleges and universities are located within about 100 miles of DeRidder, including McNeese State University (Lake Charles), Northwestern State University of Louisiana (Natchitoches), Lamar University (Beaumont, TX), the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana State University-Shreveport, and Stephen F. Austin University (Nacogdoches, TX).
DeRidder's climate is mild to warm, consistent with what one might expect in the Deep South. There are approximately 217 sunny days per year. The average January low is 39, and the average July high is 93 degrees.