une 4, 1959- Many will mourn the perhaps temporary passing of Governor Earl K. Long from the Louisiana political scene. Things won’t be the same without Uncle Earl assaulting his opponents from the stump when the going gets hot come autumn. Whatever else may be said about him, none can gainsay that his colorful personality enlivened the numerous campaigns in which the old war horse thundered around the state. Perhaps he is, as he has said, the last of the red hot pappas in Louisiana politics. These photos, which capture much of his style and technique, were made when last Uncle Earl stumped from the courthouse steps at Ville Platte.....unsuccessfully, at that!
Looking Back: June 1949, 1959, and 1969
June 2, 1949
• The Honorable Wade O. Martin. Sr., Chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, has accepted an invitation to speak at the Ville Plate Fourth of July celebration this year, it was announced by the joint American Legion- VFW committee in charge of arrangements.
The other principal speaker will be Lt. Gov. William J. “Bill” Dodd.
The speaking will be at 10:30 a.m. July 4, following a parade, and will be at a special speaker’s stand to be constructed at the Claude Morein homeplace, just west of Ville Platte. Robert J. Reed, local attorney, will be master of ceremonies, while mayor-elect Harvey R. LeBas and Mayor Zannie Guidry will also speak on the program.
• At the Exchange Market and Grocery, five pounds of extra fine granulated sugar were .43, Blue Star Syrup 8 pound jug was .75, and a gallon of cooking oil was $1.59.
June 9, 1949
• Thousands of Louisiana veterans whose initial applications for the World War II bonus were turned down may ask for a review of their claims, Joseph L. Golson, state director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, announced today.
The announcement came following the establishment of a three-man Bonus Appeals Board by the Veterans’ Affairs Commission in a recent meting in Baton Rouge.
“The board has been set up to give each Louisiana veteran who did not get his bonus an opportunity to press his case,” Director Golson declared. “Should the applicant have further information to submit, or should he simply desire a review of his application, he may write to the Bonus Appeals Board, Capitol Station, Box 4215, Baton Rouge, La.”
June 16, 1949
• Druet Vidrine was recently appointed as itinerant teacher for the Evangeline Parish Adult Education Program, it was announced this week by the Evangeline Parish School Board.
Mr. Vidrine, a veteran of World War II and former teacher at Ville Platte High School, will act in a supervisory capacity for the program, it was said.
He will take charge of organization and supervision of classes in the adult, elementary, and specialized classes of the program.
It is emphasized by the announcement that this embraces only the adult education program being put into effect for the benefit of veterans.
June 4, 1959
• Plans were completed Thursday night at a Loyalty Dinner at the Ville Platte High School primary cafeteria for conducting a drive for funds leading to the construction of a new First Baptist Church at Ville Platte, according to Rev. Frank Breithaupt, pastor.
Those attending the dinner were shown plans and sketches of the proposed new church building. It is to be a handsome edifice, built in the shape of a cross. The intersecting arms, or portions of the cross measure 120 feet by 40 feet.
The architects have embodied in the building plan numerous features for convenience of the congregation. These include educational departments, an auditorium, and many conceptions for the use of the congregation.
June 11, 1959
• Completion of the construction of the Bayou Cocodrie Dam, Spillway, and Control Structure which creates a fabulous lake in northern Evangeline Parish was announced today by Lorris M. Wimberly, director of the Louisiana Department of Public Works. The Cocodrie Lake Dam can be seen from Highway 167 just north of Randolph’s bridge (the parish line) by looking toward the west. The dam is about 200 yards from the highway.
Active in bringing about construction of the Cocodrie Dam was the Evangeline Parish Fifth Ward Expansion Association. The project was encouraged by the Louisiana Department of Commerce and Industry as a step toward bettering the economy thru creation of a recreation area. Money for the undertaking came as the result of an appropriation by the legislature.
Cocodrie Lake, a beautiful and truly wilderness area located between northern Evangeline and Rapides Parishes, has long been famed for the quality of fish produced by its spring fed tributaries. It was subject, however, to rapid changes in its water elevation which made fishing an uncertain undertaking.
• At Ardoin’s Company, bacon per pound was .55, chuck steak per pound was .58, and T-Bone steak per pound was .85.
• The Evangeline School Board, at one of the most important meetings of the year, this week designated those persons comprising the teaching staffs of the various parish schools for the 1959-1960 school session, bus drivers and janitors for the numerous schools, and transacted other business.
Two significant changes have occurred in two parish schools. At Ville Platte High the new principal will be Yves Soileau, replacing J.D. LaFleur who retired after many years as head of the school. With the resignation of Elden Brunet at Basile, to take over the Oakdale principalship, an unfilled vacancy exits in that office, Superintendent LeRoy Soileau said the board was casting about for a replacement for Mr. Brunet.
June 5, 1969
• At a meeting attended by over 100 parents at City Hall in Mamou Monday night, a working committee was organized to emulate action toward the construction of a new high school for the 3rd school district of Evangeline Parish.
The district incorporates most of Ward Two, affecting some four to five hundred high school students.
The committee compromises both school board members, Dr. Roderick Perron and Harold Mouier; six members of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, Larry Broussard, Elvin Reed, Donald Soileau, Dicky Young, Reginald Soileau, and Conrad Fuselier; and two members of the Joseph Celestine School, Benny Reynolds, principal; and Wilson Celestine, assistant principal.
• At West End Market, coffee was .57, mayonnaise was .49, and sugar was .58.
June 12, 1969
• Evangeline Parish Republicans met Friday night at the American Legion Home in Mamou to hear from Rod Miller, former state representative of Lafayette. The meeting was open to the public with J.B. LaHaye, parish chairman, presiding.
Miller discussed the fallacy of forced interrogation, merits of a two party system in Louisiana, and the need of the state to elect a Republican governor.
He said that such an election was necessary in order to obtain a new constitution for the state and remove some of the power presently held by the governor.
June 19, 1969
• Judge Joe R. Vidrine announced today that the 13th Judicial District Court will remain open the year round.
However, no trials will be scheduled during the months of July and August, because attorneys and court attaches usually plan vacations during this time.
The judge stated that routine and un-
contested matters will be taken up on Tuesday and Friday of each week during the months of July and August.
• Jim Davenport, 1969 graduate of Scared Heart High School, has been selected as a member of the West squad in the annual All-Star High School Football Game to be played in Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, July 31, it has been announced by the Louisiana High School Coaches Association.
June 26, 1969
• The Ville Platte area will get another new industry in the near future if a proposal to be put before property owners is considered acceptable.
A general meeting of property owners, public officials, and tax payers will be held Monday night, June 30, at 7 p.m. in the district courtroom of the courthouse. At that time a public discussion will take place regarding a proposed bond issue to be presented in connection with the new industry.