John Sparks Patton

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John Sparks Patton, Sr.
Louisiana Public Service Commissioner
In office
January 1, 1939 – December 31, 1942
Succeeded by Jimmie Davis
Personal details
Born (1894-09-23)September 23, 1894
Lisbon, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, USA
Died October 30, 1961(1961-10-30) (aged 67)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Resting place Arlington Cemetery in Homer, Louisiana,
Nationality American
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Agnes McCasland Patton
Children John Patton, Jr.

Olen T. Patton

Occupation Educator

Advocate for taxpayer-funded textbooks

John Sparks Patton, Sr. (September 23, 1894—October 30, 1961), was a Louisiana politician and educator who was an early advocate of taxpayer-funded school textbooks and a member of the Long faction of his state's Democratic Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Patton was born in the village of Lisbon in Claiborne Parish in northwestern Louisiana.[1]

He married Agnes McCasland (1896-1983). They had two sons together: John Patton, Jr. (1924-1958) became a lieutenant in the United States Navy and served in both World War II and the Korean War. Olen T. Patton (1926-1943) was killed in action in World War II. [2] They also had two daughters together: Annette Patton Ward (1923-1998)and Minion Patton Lasater (?).

Political career[edit]

Patton was elected as his parish school superintendent, serving from 1920 to 1937. He served as president of the Louisiana Teachers Association (now the Louisiana Association of Educators) from 1923 to 1924.[1]

Patton's bill for state-funded textbooks in public schools was introduced in 1928 in the Louisiana House of Representatives by Harley Bozeman of Winnfield, like Patton a confidant of Huey Long.[3] As governor, Long implemented Patton's textbooks proposal.

Patton ran for state education superintendent in 1928 on the intraparty ticket with Huey Pierce Long, Jr., but lost to T. H. Harris. He ran again in 1932 as an Independent but was defeated.[1]

In 1938, Patton was elected to the Third District seat on the Louisiana Public Service Commission, but in 1942, he was unseated by Jimmie Davis of Shreveport.[1] Davis used the position as a stepping stone, serving two years on the PSC, a utility rate regulatory body, before being elected governor of Louisiana in 1944.

Patton returned to Homer, the seat of Claiborne Parish, to resume his career as a school administrator. In 1950, Governor Earl Kemp Long in his second elected term appointed Patton as superintendent of the Louisiana School for the Deaf, located in the capital.[4] Patton served there until 1961, dying in office.[1]

Patton family gravestone at Arlington Cemetery in Homer, Louisiana

Patton died in Baton Rouge and is interred at Arlington Cemetery in Homer.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "John Sparks Patton", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 2, Louisiana Historical Association, 1988, p. 635
  2. ^ Arlington Cemetery records, Homer, Louisiana
  3. ^ "Harley Bozeman obituary," Winn Parish Enterprise, 20 May 1971
  4. ^ Gannon, Jack. Deaf Heritage–A Narrative History of Deaf America, Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf, 1981, pp. 29-30 (PDF)

Further reading[edit]

  • T. Harry Williams, Huey Long (1969)
  • Louisiana Schools, XXXIX (March 1962), publication of Louisiana Teachers Association