Carl B. Close

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Carl Buell Close, Sr.
Carl B. Close.jpg
Louisiana State Representative from Rapides Parish
In office
1944–1947
Preceded by At-large members:

T. C. Brister
Neil Haven Klock
W. H. Smith

Succeeded by At-large members:

T. C. Brister
W. George Bowdon, Jr.
Lawrence T. Fuglaar

Mayor of Alexandria, Louisiana
In office
1947–1953
Preceded by J. A. Blackman
Succeeded by W. George Bowdon, Jr.
Personal details
Born (1907-10-17)October 17, 1907
Robertsville, Conway County
Arkansas, USA USA
Died December 28, 1980(1980-12-28) (aged 73)
Alexandria, Louisiana
Resting place Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Pineville, Louisiana
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) (1) Ella Jordan Close (married 1935-1959, her death)

(2) Ilie Jewel Willis Close (surviving spouse)

Children Carl B. Close, Jr.

Two grandsons

Residence Alexandria, Louisiana
Occupation Unknown

Carl Buell Close, Sr. (October 17, 1907 – December 28, 1980), was a Democratic politician from Alexandria, Louisiana, who served as a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1944 to 1947,[1] when he stepped down to become the mayor of his adopted city of Alexandria, a post he held until 1953.

Background[edit]

Close was one of six children of a country physician, Edgar Close (1871-1948), originally from Carbondale in southern Illinois, and the former Mary Louvenia Patton (1873-1948), a native of Harrison in Boone County in northwestern Arkansas. Close was born in rural Robertsville near Morrilton in Conway County in north central Arkansas. Edgar and Mary Close married in 1891 and died in 1948 some eight months apart. In 1935, Carl Close married Sarah Ella Jordan (1907-1959) of Atkins in Pope County, Arkansas. Their son and only child, Carl Close, Jr., was born in 1936 in New Orleans.[2] The junior Close graduated from Bolton High School in Alexandria and Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, was an officer in the United States Air Force, and worked as data processing specialist in Alexandria, where he died in 2000 at the age of sixty-three.[3] Close, Sr., subsequently married the former Ilie Jewel Willis (1907-1995), a native of Leesville in Vernon Parish in western Louisiana and the widow of Houston D. Greene.[4]

Political career[edit]

Close served in the House during the administration of Governor Jimmie Davis alongside the two other at-large representatives from Rapides Parish, John R. Hunter, Jr., and C. H. "Sammy" Downs, later a state senator and a gubernatorial aide under John J. McKeithen.[1] Close became mayor halfway into an unexpired term. He served with Commissioners Ben F. Bradford and W. H. Smith, who like Close was a former state representative.[5] In 1948, Close attracted attention by discounting the debilitating effects of a drought in Central Louisiana.[6] Two weeks later, W. W. Thomas at the municipal airport seeded a cloud with forty pounds of dry ice. Soon .85 of an inch of rainfall followed.[7] In 1949, Close won a full term as the mayor.[8][9]

Oddly, Close was succeeded in the House[1] and as mayor by the same man, his fellow Democrat, W. George Bowdon, Jr., who held the mayoralty for sixteen years until his third-place finish in the 1969 Democratic primary. Ed Karst then defeated John K. Snyder for the position. Close, Bowdon, Karst, and Karst's successor, John K. Snyder, all served under the former city commission system, which was superseded in 1977 by the mayor-council home rule charter.[10]Carroll E. Lanier in the spring of 1977 became the first mayor under the mayor-council government.

Close died in Alexandria at the age of seventy-three. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park near Pineville, along with his first wife and son. His daughter-in-law, Betty Anne Reeves Close (born 1937) of Alexandria, and two grandsons survive.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Carl Buell Close, Sr. (1907-1980)". geni.com. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Obituary of Carl Close, Jr., Alexandria Daily Town Talk, July 21, 2000
  4. ^ "Ilie Jewel Willis Close". findagrave.com. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Menard Memorial High School yearbook, 1947". e-yearbook.com. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ The Town Talk, June 10, 1948
  7. ^ The Town Talk, June 29, 1948
  8. ^ "Clinton-boyd to Clynick". politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard has Close's tenure as Alexandria mayor incorrect, 1950-1953, instead of 1947-1953.
  10. ^ "State of Louisiana, Court of Appeal, Third Circuit, 04-1620, ALEXANDRIA CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION VERSUS THE HONORABLE EDWARD G. RANDOLPH, Jr., ET AL. See "FACTS".". la3circuit.org. Retrieved July 3, 2013. 
Preceded by
At-large members:

T. C. Brister
Neil Haven Klock
W. H. Smith

Louisiana State Representative from Rapides Parish

Carl Buell Close, Sr.
1944–1947

Succeeded by
At-large members:

T. C. Brister
W. George Bowdon, Jr.
Lawrence T. Fuglaar

Preceded by
J. A. Blackman
Mayor of Alexandria, Louisiana

Carl Buell Close, Sr.
1947–1953

Succeeded by
W. George Bowdon, Jr.