In 1821, Acadian refugee Jean Mouton formally designed Lafayette, originally known as Vermilionville, with St. John Church in the center. In 1823, the legislature created Lafayette Parish from a portion of St. Martin Parish and named it after Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette was a French general visiting the country at the time. Louisiana is the only U.S. state divided into parishes instead of counties. This original division matched jurisdictions of the Roman Catholic Church.