John Sparks Patton
|John Sparks Patton, Sr.|
|Louisiana Public Service Commissioner|
January 1, 1939 – December 31, 1942
|Succeeded by||Jimmie Davis|
September 23, 1894|
Lisbon, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, USA
|Died||October 30, 1961
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Resting place||Arlington Cemetery in Homer, Louisiana,|
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Agnes McCasland Patton|
|Children||John Patton, Jr.
Olen T. Patton
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.
Patton was born in the village of Lisbon in Claiborne Parish in northwestern Louisiana. He was his parish school superintendent from 1920 to 1937 and was from 1923 to 1924 the president of the Louisiana Teachers Association, since the Louisiana Association of Educators.
He sought the position of 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 without affiliating himself with any gubernatorial candidate that year but was again defeated. Long nevertheless implemented Patton's textbooks proposal.
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. Davis served on the PSC, a utility rate regulatory body, for only two years, for he was elected governor of Louisiana in 1944.
Patton returned to Homer, the seat of Claiborne Parish, to resume his career as a school administrator. Thereafter, Governor Earl Kemp Long appointed him superintendent of the Louisiana School for the Deaf in Baton Rouge, in which capacity he served until his death.
Patton died in Baton Rouge and is interred at Arlington Cemetery in Homer. He and his wife, the former Agnes McCasland (1896-1983), had two sons, John Patton, Jr. (1924-1958), a lieutenant in the United States Navy who served in both World War II and the Korean War, and Olen T. Patton (1926-1943), killed in action in the war.
- Arlington Cemetery records, Homer, Louisiana
- "John Sparks Patton", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 2 (1988), p. 635
- T. Harry Williams, Huey Long (1969)
- Louisiana Schools, XXXIX (March 1962), publication of Louisiana Teachers Association