C. E. Byrd
|Clifton Ellis Byrd, Sr.|
December 14, 1859|
Bath County, Virginia, USA
|Died||February 26, 1926
Shreveport, Caddo Parish
|Alma mater||University of Virginia at Charlottesville|
Martha Matilda Lockhart "Mattie" McFe Byrd
|Parents||John Thomas and Sarah Rebecca McClintic Byrd|
Clifton Ellis Byrd, Sr. (December 14, 1859 – February 26, 1926), was a prominent educator in the U.S. state of Louisiana during the first quarter of the 20th century. The nationally recognized C.E. Byrd High School (founded 1925) in Shreveport, the alma mater of many of that city's civic and political leaders, bears his name. C.E. Byrd is Shreveport's oldest public high school.
Byrd was born to John Thomas Byrd and the former Sarah Rebecca McClintic in Bath County in western Virginia. He was unrelated to the Virginia Byrd family dynasty. He attended local schools, then since defunct Augusta Military Academy near Staunton, and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville from 1882 to 1883. He taught school in Front Royal in Warren County in northern Virginia from 1883 to 1889, when he accepted a principalship in Monroe, the seat of Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana.
In 1892, he left Monroe to become the principal of the first public high school in Shreveport, which then occupied two rented rooms in the YMCA building. His salary was $70 per month. In 1899, Byrd became the school superintendent. In 1905, he accepted the presidency of Louisiana Tech University (then Louisiana Industrial Institute) in Ruston, the seat of Lincoln Parish, where he served for only one year. In 1907, he returned to Shreveport to become superintendent of the Caddo Parish public schools, a position which he filled until his death.
In 1913, Byrd was a delegate to the Council of Education in Louisiana. He was a member of the Louisiana Teachers Association. In 1894, Byrd married the former Martha Matilda Lockhart "Mattie" McFee of Monroe (December 25, 1868- September 27, 1940. They had had two children, Mary Byrd (born 1895) and Clifton Byrd, Jr. (born 1897). Clifton and Mattie Byrd are interred at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport.
Byrd was a Democrat at a time when virtually every elected official and most appointed officials as well were members of the state's overwhelmingly majority party. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, the Masonic lodge, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Rotary International, and Sigma Nu college fraternity.
- "Clifton Ellis Byrd", Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 137
- New Orleans Times-Picayune, February 27, 1926
- Henry E. Chambers, A History of Louisiana (1925)