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Joseph Barton Elam Jr.

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Joseph Barton Elam Jr.
Mayor of Mansfield, DeSoto Parish
Louisiana, USA
In office
Personal details
Born(1878-06-01)June 1, 1878
Mansfield, Louisiana
DiedOctober 24, 1935(1935-10-24) (aged 57)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Resting placeHighland Cemetery in Mansfield
Spouse(s)Margaret Taylor Elam
RelationsCharles Wheaton Elam (brother)
Harmon Drew Jr. (grandson)
ChildrenJoseph Barton Elam III

Johnetta Elam
Mary Stewart Elam

Margaret Taylor Elam Drew
ParentsJoseph Barton Elam Sr.
Mary Elizabeth Stewart Elam
ResidenceMansfield, Louisiana
Alma materSewanee University
ProfessionLawyer, businessman
Editor, Mansfield Enterprise

Joseph Barton Elam Jr. (June 1, 1878 – October 24, 1935), was a politician, businessman, and journalist in his native Mansfield in DeSoto Parish in northwestern Louisiana.[1]


Elam was the son of the former Mary Elizabeth Stewart and Joseph Barton Elam Sr., a lawyer who served in the Louisiana House of Representatives, as Speaker during the American Civil War, and thereafter in the United States House of Representatives from Louisiana's 4th congressional district.[2]

Elam graduated from Sewanee University in Sewanee, Tennessee. He worked as a journalist in Chicago, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, and Oklahoma, before he returned to Mansfield, where he studied law privately and organized the DeSoto Abstract Company. He founded the newspaper, the Mansfield Progress, which merged with the Mansfield Enterprise, of which he became the editor. On June 25, 1912, he married the former Margaret Taylor, daughter of Johnetta Morgan and James Taylor of Nashville, Tennessee and Cleburne, Texas, respectively. Their children were Joseph Barton III (born 1914), Johnetta (born 1915), Mary Stewart (born 1917), and Margaret Taylor (1919-1977).[3]

Elam was the mayor of Mansfield from 1914 to 1920, in which capacity he was the president of the Louisiana Mayors Association, now the Louisiana Municipal Association. He founded and edited the periodical, Louisiana Municipalities. He was a chairman of the Louisiana State Democratic Central Committee. He was employed by Standard Oil in Louisiana in the land development division. He was the secretary of the Louisiana-Arkansas Division of the trade association, the United States Oil & Gas Association, then known as Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association. Elam was affiliated with Kiwanis International and was a communicant of the Episcopal Church.

He died in Shreveport and is interred at Highland Cemetery in Mansfield.[3]

After her husband's death, Margaret Taylor Elam, moved her children to Baton Rouge so they would be near Louisiana State University. Their daughter, also named Margaret Taylor Elam, married the attorney R. Harmon Drew Sr. of Minden, whom she met at LSU and who was later a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1972 and 1978. One of their three children, Elam's grandson, is Harmon Drew Jr. of Minden, a judge since 1998 of the Louisiana Circuit Court of Appeal for the Second District, based in Shreveport.

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  1. "ELAM, Joseph Barton, Jr". Dictionary of Louisiana Biography - E. Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  2. Henry E. Chambers, History of Louisiana, II (1925)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Shreveport Times, October 25, 1935; Mansfield Enterprise, obituary, October 29, 1935

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