Benjamin Pavy

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Benjamin Pavy
Judge of the 16th Judicial District Court based in Opelousas, Louisiana
In office
1910–1936
Personal details
Born Benjamin Henry Pavy
(1874-10-16)October 16, 1874
Coulee Croche
St. Landry Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died April 1943 (aged 68)
Resting place St. Landry Catholic Church Cemetery in Opelousas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ida Veazie Pavy (married 1896-1941, her death)
Children Alfred Veazie Pavy (1899-1979)

Albert Lionel Pavy (1902-1986)
Alfred Dudley Pavy (1902-1930)
Yvonne Louise Pavy Weiss Bourgeois (1908-1963)
Marie Aline Pavy (1911-1998)
Evelyn Laperle Pavy (1904-1974)
Ida Catherine Pavy Boudreaux (born 1922)
Son-in-law: Carl Weiss, M.D. (1906-1935)

Parents Alfred Henry and Laperle Guidry Pavy
Alma mater Self-educated
Occupation Attorney; Judge
Religion Roman Catholic

Benjamin Henry Pavy (October 16, 1874 – April 1943) was a state district court judge in St. Landry and Evangeline parishes, Louisiana, who was gerrymandered out of office in 1936 through the intervention of his political rival, the powerful U.S. Senator Huey Pierce Long, Jr. He is widely believed to be one of the reasons why Huey Long was shot, because shortly before Long died, he passed a law gerrymandering his district so that it included more Long supporters, a way to defeat him in the 1936 elections. One of Pavy's sons-in-law, Carl Austin Weiss. Sr., M.D., was the alleged assassin of Long though the Pavy and Weiss families have long disputed that assertion.

Pavy (pronounced PAH VEE) was born in Coulee Croche in St. Landry Parish to Alfred Henry Pavy (died 1908) and the former Laperle Guidry. He was educated in the schools of Opelousas, the seat of St. Landry Parish. He had a brother, Felix Octave Pavy, Sr. (died 1962), an Opelousas physician who was a member of the St. Landry Parish Police Jury (county commission in most states) and thereafter the Louisiana House of Representatives, having served from 1932–1936, during the time of the Long assassination.

On November 4, 1896, Pavy wed the former Ida Veazie of Opelousas. Their children included three sons, Alfred Veazie Pavy (1899–1979) and the twins Albert Lionel Pavy (1902–1986) and Alfred Dudley Pavy (1902–1930), and four daughters, Yvonne Louise Pavy Weiss Bourgeois (1908–1963), Marie Aline Pavy (1911–1998), Evelyn Laperle Pavy (1904–1974), and Ida Catherine Pavy Boudreaux (born April 22, 1922).

Pavy was employed at the age of seventeen in the parish clerk of court's office. He worked there again when his father was elected as the St. Landry Parish clerk of court. He began his law practice in Opelousas in 1901, after having read law in the office of his future father-in-law, Edward P. Veazie. Pavy was elected as Democrat to the Sixteenth District judgeship in 1910 — at the time there were no Republicans competitive in Louisiana — and served until a change in the district lines caused him not to run again. The new lines placed the anti-Long St. Landry Parish in a revised district with pro-Long voter majorities in Acadia, Lafayette, and Vermilion parishes.

Elton J. Doucet (1901–1992), younger brother of legendary St. Landry Parish Sheriff Cat Doucet, recalled Judge Pavy in a 1991 interview: "All the farmers and all the poor people was {sic} for Huey P. Long. The Pavys couldn't get nothing {sic} they wanted from Huey. If he was your friend, he'd help you. If you were his enemy he'd stomp you down."[1]

Huey Long repeated to news reporters an old claim that Edward Veazie had an African American mistress and allegedly warned Judge Pavy that if Pavy continued to oppose him, Long would announce that Pavy's family was tainted with "coffee blood." The charge would also have infuriated the former Yvonne Pavy's husband, Dr. Weiss.

Long also moved to have Marie Pavy dismissed from a position as a third-grade teacher in Eunice in Evangeline Parish. Marie lived for more than a year with her widowed sister Yvonne Weiss before a change in school administration permitted her to resume her teaching duties. Long also ordered the dismissal of Paul Pavy, Ben Pavy's brother, from his job as principal of Opelousas High School.

Both Judge and Mrs. Pavy died of cancer. They are interred at the St. Landry Catholic Church Cemetery in Opelousas.

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