John J. Doles

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John Jones Doles, Sr.
Louisiana State Senate District 36 (Bossier and Webster parishes)
In office
1952–1956
Preceded by Drayton Rogers Boucher
Succeeded by Herman "Wimpy" Jones
Personal details
Born (1895-04-26)April 26, 1895
Plain Dealing, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, USA
Died September 14, 1970(1970-09-14) (aged 75)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Madge Wyche Doles
Relations Judge Monty M. Wyche
(nephew-by-marriage)
Children John Doles, Jr.
Parents Robert Samuel and Adel Dorcas McClenaghan Doles
Residence Plain Dealing, Louisiana
Alma mater Plain Dealing High School

Louisiana State University

Occupation Banker
Religion Presbyterian
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/wars World War I

John Jones Doles, Sr. (April 26, 1895—September 14, 1970),[1] was a banker in Plain Dealing in northern Bossier Parish who served in the Louisiana State Senate from 1952 to 1956, the tenure corresponding with the administration of Governor Robert F. Kennon.[2]

Doles had been a roommate at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge of future Governor Earl Kemp Long, but as an independent Democrat in the Senate, he often clashed with his still personal friend Long.[3] On leaving the Senate, Doles was from 1956 to 1957 the president of the Louisiana Bankers Association.[4]

Background[edit]

Doles was born to Robert Samuel Doles (1856–1931), a farmer originally from Bossier Parish, and the former Adele Dorcas McClenaghan (1862–1897), a native of Darlington County, South Carolina. Young John Doles had turned two when his mother died a day before what would have been her 35th birthday. Robert Samuel Doles did not remarry but reared John and four other sons alone. Robert and Adele Doles are interred at Cottage Grove Cemetery near Benton, the parish seat of Bossier Parish.[5] Doles wed the former Madge Wyche (October 21, 1901—October 24, 1993), the daughter of John Hamiter Wyche (1871-1904) and the former Nancy Roberta Meares (1872–1973). The couple had one child, John J. Doles, Jr. (January 6, 1923—April 16, 2004).[1]Madge Doles's nephew, Monty M. Wyche, was from 1969 to 1988 a judge of the Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court who never faced an opponent in an election.[6]

Doles graduated from Plain Dealing High School and procured his Bachelor of Science degree from LSU in sugar chemistry. He served during World War I[7] as a second lieutenant in the 50th Aero Squadron in Germany and with the 24th Aero Squadron in Coblenz.[8] Rather than pursuing a career as a chemist, Doles went into banking in his native Plain Dealing, where he became until his death the long-term president of First State Bank and Trust, subsequently absorbed by Regions Bank. He was an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Plain Dealing.

Plain Dealing is known for its abundant dogwood trees, which bloom in the early spring. A citizens group known as the Plain Dealing Dogwood Association headed by the school principal Fred G. Phillips (1907–1989)[1] organized an annual festival to showcase the trees to visitors. John and Madge Doles were active in the association. In the first festival held in the spring of 1951, Doles invited Governor Earl Long as the marshal of the event.[3][9]

Political and business activities[edit]

Having solidified a career in banking, Doles declared his candidacy for the state Senate.[10] He was nominated in the Democratic primary in January 1952, to a single term in the state Senate when the incumbent Drayton Boucher[1] of nearby Springhill in northern Webster Parish, a Long ally, declined to seek a fourth four-year term. Doles defeated Herman "Wimpy" Jones, a Bossier City and Minden businessman who would succeed Doles in 1956, after a single term in the state Senate. In 1954, Senator Doles supported right-to-work legislation endorsed by the Kennon administration. He was physically attacked though uninjured on the Senate floor by a representative of organized labor. In a tumultuous session, right-to-work passed, but it was repealed two years later in 1956 in the last Long administration through the work of Victor Bussie, the newly installed president of the Louisiana AFL-CIO.[11] Twenty years later, in 1976, right-to-work was resurrected in the second term of Governor Edwin Washington Edwards. After his Senate service, Doles returned to his banking business full-time. To succeed Senator Doles, "Wimpy" Jones, who carried the Long factional backing, narrowly defeated fellow Democrat Harold Montgomery, a businessman and former educator from Doyline in south Webster Parish.[2]

After his Senate tenure, Doles served two terms, from 1956 to 1970, as a member of the LSU Board of Supervisors. He was the chairman of the board after the 1961 football season, when the popular coach Paul Dietzel resigned on January 5, 1962, to accept the head position at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, a position that Dietzel left after four years.[12]

Doles was also a 24-year member and former president of the Bossier Parish School Board. He was also a former president of the Louisiana School Boards Association. From 1934 until 1950, Doles was chairman of the Louisiana Agriculture Conservation Associaton. In 1961, he was named "Outstanding Farmer of the Year" by Progressive Farmer magazine. Doles was affiliated with Lions International, the Masonic lodge, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Forty and Eight veterans organization.[8]

During World War II, Madge Doles had launched Doles Insurance Company from a desk within the bank. After the war, the insurance company was run by John Doles, Jr., who also succeeded his father as president of First State Bank. The agency, still named "Doles Insurance", was later purchased by Plain Dealing civic leader Wayne Theodore Davis (born June 28, 1929) and is operated by Davis' son, Gregory Wayne Davis. Davis was honored by the Louisiana House of Representatives on the occasion of his 80th birthday.[13]

John Jones Doles, Jr.
Born (1923-01-06)January 6, 1923
Plain Dealing, Bossier Parish, Louisiana, USA
Died April 16, 2004(2004-04-16) (aged 81)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Residence Plain Dealing, Louisiana
Alma mater Louisiana State University
Occupation Banker; Businessman
Political party
Democrat
Religion Presbyterian Church in the United States of America
Spouse(s) Mai Frances Lower (married 1951-2004, his death)
Children Roberta Lane "Robbie" Miller
Marguerite Adelle "Cissy" Babb
Mai Frances "Minou" Fritze
Madge Wyche Davis
Parents John and Madge Wyche Doles
Relatives T. Harry Williams (father-in-law)

John J. Doles, Jr.[edit]

Like his father, John J. Doles, Jr., was a banker and civic figure in Plain Dealing. From 1982 to 1983, he was the president of the Louisiana Bankers Association, his tenure having begun a quarter of a century after that of his father.[4] In addition to the Doleses, three other Bossier Parish bankers have served as president of the LBA: V.V. Whittington (a state senator from 1928 to 1932 and LBA president from 1948 to 1949), J. A. "Sonny" Dunnam, Jr., of Benton (1966–1967), and Will C. Hubbard (born 1946) of Citizen’s Bank in Bossier City, who served from 1997 to 1998.[4]

Doles was affiliated with First State Bank and Doles Insurance Company and Discus Oil Company, both at 301 East Palmetto Avenue in Plain Dealing.[14]

In 1956, Doles was part of the association known as the Upper West Fork of Cypress Bayou Watershed, which worked with Roy D. "Don" Hinton (1912–2011), of Minden, chairman of the Board of Supervisors of the Dorcheat Soil & Water Conservation District,[15] to establish three lakes in the Plain Dealing area to prevent recurring flooding. The municipality passed a $52,000 bond issue, and the Bossier Parish Police Jury built and blacktopped roads to the lakes. The rights-of-way were mostly donated by citizens. The largest of the lakes, Lake Plain Dealing, remains popular for recreation. In 1961, the undertaking was named national "Watershed Project of the Year", and Doles, long-term Plain Dealing Mayor Leon Sanders and civic leader Joe C. Colvin and their wives traveled to Arizona to receive the honor.[9]

Doles served briefly by filling an unexpired term on the Plain Dealing City Council and as acting mayor, but he did not seek regional or state office. In 1961, he managed the campaign of Plain Dealing Democrat Joe D. Waggonner, Jr., for a vacant seat in the United States House of Representatives. In Waggonner's only close race in an 18-year congressional career, he defeated the Republican candidate, Charlton Lyons, a Shreveport oilman. Originally, Doles donated to such Democratic figures as former U.S. Senators Russell B. Long and John Breaux, but by his later years, he was contributing to Republicans, such as former U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and former U.S. President George W. Bush.[16]

Like his father, Doles graduated from Plain Dealing High School (1940) and LSU (1948). His studies were interrupted during World War II. A member of the LSU Reserve Officers Training Corps, he served in France and Germany during the war. In 1948, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering. Though his principal work was in banking, Doles co-owned Discus Oil with Wayne Davis. Mrs. Doles, meanwhile, remains Davis' partner in the company.[17]

While he was an LSU student, Doles was a fraternity brother, roommate, and best man in the wedding party of future U.S. Representative Gillis William Long, an unsuccessful two-time gubernatorial candidate. While in Baton Rouge, Doles met and married the former Mai (pronounced MAY) Frances Lower (born September 24, 1929), the adopted daughter of LSU-based historian T. Harry Williams. She was the only daughter of Williams' wife, the former Estelle Skolfield Lower, of Baton Rouge, herself an LSU English professor. It was the second marriage for both Harry and Estelle Williams.[18]

Doles, a Presbyterian elder, and his wife Mai, who is Roman Catholic, had four daughters: Roberta Lane "Robbie" Miller (born 1952) of Plain Dealing, the widow of Jay Jack Stone (1950–2004) and the wife of Aubrey Lynn Miller; Marguerite Adelle "Cissy" Babb of Baton Rouge, wife of Jon David Babb (both born 1955); Mai Frances Fritze (born 1958) of Shreveport, wife of George Fritze of Red River Motors of Bossier City, and Madge Wyche Davis (born 1960), wife of the Shreveport veterinarian Dr. David Linwood Davis, Sr.[18]

Doles, Jr., died of leukemia in a Shreveport hospital. He is interred along with his parents at Plain Dealing Cemetery.[19] Mai Doles is retired in Shreveport.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Membership in the Louisiana Senate, 1880-2004". Legis.state.la. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "Ann Middleton, "Dogwood Drive -- The Beginning"". Minden Press-Herald, April 22, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "Past Chairmen of the Louisiana Bankers Association". lba.org. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Wiley Family of Shongaloo". wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved July 5, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Judge Monty Wyche". The Shreveport Times. July 30, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Gwen Moran- Hernandez, "Plain Dealing Cemetery"". files.usgwarchives.com. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "John Doles Dies at 75; Rites Today," The Shreveport Times, September 16, 1970, p. 8-A
  9. ^ a b "My Hometown: Plain Dealing, Louisiana". geocities.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Doles announces candidacy for state Senate", Minden Herald, October 26, 1951, p. 1
  11. ^ James C. Gardner, Jim Gardner and Shreveport, Vol. 1, Shreveport, Louisiana: Ritz Publications, 2004, pp. 270-217, 353-354
  12. ^ "Louisiana State University: 1958-1964 Tigers National Champs". helmethut.com. Retrieved December 2, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Louisiana House Resolution No. 67 by Representatives Henry Burns and Jane H. Smith to Commend Wayne Davis of Plain Dealing upon his 80th birthday". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved July 12, 2009. 
  14. ^ ""Watchdog.net": The Good Government Site with Teeth"". watchdog.net. Retrieved July 4, 2009. 
  15. ^ "R. Don Hinton". Shreveport Times, April 18, 2011. Retrieved April 19, 2011. 
  16. ^ "PLAIN DEALING, LA Political Contributions by Individuals". City-data.com. Retrieved July 5, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Governor Bobby Jindal Announces Appointments to the Red River Waterway Commission". gov.louisiana.gov. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
  18. ^ a b "T. Harry Williams’ widow, Estelle, dies at 90". lsu.com. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
  19. ^ "A Through G of the Plain Dealing Cemetery". geocities.com/triedandtrue.geo. Archived from the original on 2009-10-26. Retrieved July 13, 2009. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Drayton Rogers Boucher
State Senator from Bossier and Webster parishes

John Jones Doles, Sr.
1952–1956

Succeeded by
Herman "Wimpy" Jones
Preceded by
Lewis Gottlieb (1894–1975) of Baton Rouge
President of the Louisiana Bankers Association

John Jones Doles, Sr.
1956–1957

Succeeded by
W. McKerall O'Niell (1898–1981) of Franklin in St. Mary Parish
Preceded by
Charles W. McCoy of Baton Rouge
President of the Louisiana Bankers Association

John Jones Doles, Jr.
1982–1983

Succeeded by
Joseph M. Connolly of New Orleans