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John T. David

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John Thomas David, Sr.
175px
Mayor David as he appears at the Minden City Hall gallery
Mayor of Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana
In office
July 1, 1946 – February 23, 1955
Preceded byJ. Frank Colbert
Succeeded byJasper Goodwill
Member of Webster Parish Police Jury
In office
1956–1968
Preceded byAt-large in Ward 4:

Leland G. Mims
Frank Krouse
Frank B. Treat, Sr.

Floyd Kennon, Sr.
Succeeded byAt-large in Ward 4:

Leland G. Mims
W. Nick Love
James Tenney "Jim" Branch, Jr.

A. G. "Ike" Kirkikis
Personal details
Born(1897-08-30)August 30, 1897
Minden, Louisiana
DiedApril 5, 1974(1974-04-05) (aged 76)
Minden, Louisiana
NationalityAmerican
Political partyDemocratic Party
OccupationBusinessman

John Thomas David, Sr. (August 30, 1897 – April 5, 1974),[1] was a businessman who from 1946 to 1955 was the Democratic mayor of city of Minden, the seat of government of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. After being convicted for selling liquor illegally, he was forced from the mayor's office. He served three terms from 1956 to 1968 on the Webster Parish Police Jury.

Career[edit]

David ran for mayor in 1946 and won a runoff election, in which he prevailed, 1,064-844.[2] In 1950, David narrowly won his third term as mayor in a runoff, again, against C. O. Holland, 1,172 to 1,039 votes.[3] A 27-year-old attorney, A. Eugene Frazier, had been eliminated in the first round of primary voting.[4] In 1952, David again was a narrow winner for another two-year mayoral term. In the runoff election on May 13, David defeated A. Eugene Frazier, who made a second mayoral bid, 1,593 (56 percent) to 1,250 (44 percent).[5] Frazier ran this time on a platform calling for fluoridation of municipal water. A third candidate eliminated in the primary was another young lawyer, Henry Grady Hobbs (1923-2012), a Sarepta native who subsequently served eighteen years as the Minden city attorney.[6][7]

On July 1, 1954, David was sworn into his fifth two-year term as mayor. He had defeated by 87 votes, 1,969 to 18,896, furniture store owner Paul Wallace (1,896 to 1,969), a former member of the Minden City Council. The tally in the April 6 Democratic primary had been 1,437 (51.6 percent) for David to 1,350 (48.4 percent) for Wallace.[8] In his last successful race for mayor, David ran an advertisement in the local newspaper proclaiming himself as "Fair, Courteous, Impartial, Independent." He pointed to widened streets new sidewalks, street lights, a second fire station, a baseball park, swimming pool, and water tank as landmarks of his administration.[9] David advocated a four-year term for the office of mayor, a change approved by the Louisiana State Legislature.[10]

Resignation and jailing[edit]

On February 23, 1955, David resigned as mayor when the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld his conviction of two misdemeanors for illegal liquor sales in his Minden drugstore; Minden was a prohibition city. David was arrested with two others after an undercover operation.[11] He was sentenced to a $600 fine and 120 days at the Webster Parish Penal Farm.[12] His resignation was confirmed in February 1955.[13]

On April 7, 1962, David attempted a comeback in the Democratic primary for mayor but lost to incumbent Frank T. Norman, 1,536 to 578. A third candidate, W. O. Cook, polled 236 votes.[14]

After he left the office of mayor, David served three terms on the parish police jury, but he was unseated in the Democratic runoff election held on December 16, 1967.[15]

References[edit]

  1. Tombstone inscription at Minden Cemetery. David may have graduated from Minden High School c. 1914, but the author is unable to make confirmation of that point.
  2. Minden Herald, May 10, 1946, p. 1.
  3. Minden Herald, May 19, 1950, p. 1
  4. Minden Herald, April 14, 1950, p. 1
  5. Minden Herald, May 16, 1952, p. 1
  6. "Henry Hobbs obituary". Shreveport Times, January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  7. Minden Press, April 11, 1952, p. 1.
  8. Minden Herald, April 9, 1954, p. 1
  9. The Minden Herald, April 2, 1954, pp. 1, 7
  10. The Minden Herald, February 5, 1954, p. 1.
  11. "State Police Raid Minden", Minden Herald, November 25, 1954, p. 1
  12. "David Is Given Second Sentence", Minden Herald, February 10, 1956, p. 1
  13. Minden Herald, February 24, 1955, p. 1
  14. Minden Press, April 9, 1962, p. 1.
  15. Minden Press-Herald, December 18, 1967, p. 1.

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