Henry Clay Sevier
|Henry Clay "Happy" Sevier|
|Louisiana State Representative from Madison Parish|
|Preceded by||Mason Spencer|
|Succeeded by||Edgar H. Lancaster, Jr.|
January 24, 1896|
|Died||June 1, 1974
Vicksburg, Warren County, Mississippi
|Resting place||Silver Cross Cemetery in Tallulah|
|Spouse(s)||Retta Brooks Sevier (married 1918-1974, his death)|
|Children||Carolyn Sevier Yerger
Roberta Sevier Gandy
|Parents||Roxie Roberta Allen and James Douglas Sevier, Sr.|
|Alma mater||Louisiana State University
|Occupation||Lawyer; law partner of Jefferson B. Snyder|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
Henry Clay Sevier, Sr., known as Happy Sevier (January 24, 1896 – June 1, 1974), was a lawyer from Tallulah, Louisiana, who was from 1936 to 1952 a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Madison Parish.
Sevier was a descendant of John Sevier, a fighter in the American Revolution, an early governor of Tennessee, and the namesake of Sevierville in Sevier County in eastern Tennessee. His cousin was Louisiana State Senator Andrew L. Sevier, whose tenure extended from 1932 until his death in office in 1962.
In 1936, Sevier was elected to succeed fellow Democrat, Mason Spencer of Tallulah, the husband of another Sevier cousin, Rosa Vertner Sevier Spencer (1891-1978). Sevier's election occurred a few months after the assassination of Huey Pierce Long, Jr., and at the time there was much voter sympathy for the pro-Long faction. The staunchly anti-Long Mason Spencer had announced that he would run for governor but withdrew before the election, and victory went to the Longite choice, Richard Leche of New Orleans.
Sevier was a son of the former Roxie Roberta Allen and James Douglas Sevier, Sr., a native of Port Gibson, in Claiborne County in southwestern Mississippi, who became a planter in Madison Parish in 1880. Sevier graduated in 1917 from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He then served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army during World War I. He was wounded an astonishing sixteen times in France and received the Purple Heart and the Silver Star medals. By 1921, he had completed postgraduate work at Columbia University in New York City and graduated from the Louisiana State University Law Center. He entered into practice with Jefferson B. Snyder of Tallulah, the political boss of the delta parishes in northeastern Louisiana, who wielded power as the regional district attorney from 1904 to 1948. After Snyder's death, he formed the Sevier, Yerger, and Sevier law firm in Tallulah. He was president of the Tallulah State Bank and Trust Company.
Like Snyder, Sevier was active in the Democratic State Central Committee. He was the national committeeman during the first administration of Governor Jimmie Davis. In 1952, when his legislative service ended, he was the state Democratic chairman under Governor Earl Kemp Long. He was a Presbyterian and was affiliated with the 6th Judicial District Bar Association, Rotary International, and the Masonic lodge.
In 1918, Sevier married the former Retta Brooks (1899-1992) in Shreveport in northwestern Louisiana. The couple had three children: Carolyn S. Yerger (1921-1997), wife of Rufus Taft Yerger, Sr. (1914-1973); Roberta Sevier Gandy (1924-2006), wife of Robert Wyly Gandy, Jr. (1915-1987), and Henry Clay Sevier, Jr. (born c. 1926), once a partner in his father's law firm of Covington in St. Tammany Parish.
- "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2016". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- "Sevier Family of Madison Parish, Louisiana". rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
- James Matthew Reonas, Once Proud Princes: Planters and Plantation Culture in Louisiana's Northeast Delta, From the First World War Through the Great Depression. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, Ph.D. dissertation, December 2006, pp. 216, 268. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- "Henry Clay "Happy" Sevier". files.usgwarchives.net. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
- "Jeff B. Snyder Succumbs Thursday At Vicksburg Hospital: Body of Prominent Figure Lay In State at Tallulah Courthouse Thursday", Madison Journal, October 19, 1951, p. 1
- Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, June 2, 1974
- "Henry Clay Sevier". intelius.com. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
|Louisiana State Representative from Madison Parish
Henry Clay "Happy" Sevier
Edgar H. Lancaster, Jr.