Leopold Caspari

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Leopold Caspari
Louisiana State Senator from principally Natchitoches Parish
In office
1900–1908
Preceded by Two members:

G.L. Trichel
A.T. Liverman

Succeeded by B.W. Marston
In office
1909–1914
Preceded by B.W. Marston
Succeeded by C.M. Cunningham
Louisiana State Representative from Natchitoches Parish
In office
1884–1892
Preceded by Two members:

James H. Cosgrove
R.E. Jackson

Succeeded by M.R. Joyner

T.L. Mathis

Personal details
Born (1830-07-28)July 28, 1830
FranceLauterbourg, France
Died March 11, 1915(1915-03-11) (aged 84)
Louisiana Natchitoches
Natchitoches Parish
Louisiana, USA
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Amanda Woods Caspari (married 1862-1883, her death)
Children Richard L., Samuel, Joseph, David, Emanuel, Charles, Gustave, Julia Caspari Glover, and Dora Caspari
Occupation Businessman; Banker
Religion Jewish
Caspari Street sign at intersection with Sam Sibley Drive in Natchitoches, Louisiana

Leopold Caspari (July 28, 1830 – March 11, 1915) was a French-born businessman and politician from Natchitoches, Louisiana. In 1884, in his role as state representative, he pushed for the establishment of Northwestern State University.[1]

Caspari was born in Lauterbourg in northeastern France, to David Caspari (1800–1873) and the former Charlotte Baruch (1802–1844). He was a young apprentice in a dry goods store. In 1849 at the age of nineteen, five years after the death of his mother, and a year following the Revolution of 1848,[1] Caspari emigrated to the United States. He first settled as a merchant in Cloutierville in Natchitoches Parish south of the city of Natchitoches, where he lived after 1858. He served in the Confederate States of America Army as a member of Pelican Rangers No. 1 at the rank of second lieutenant. By the end of the Civil War, he had been promoted to the rank of captain.[2]

In 1884, Caspari was elected as a Democrat to the Louisiana House of Representatives and served two four-year terms, his tenure ending in 1892.[3] From 1900 to 1908, he served in the Louisiana State Senate. After a year's absence, he returned to the Senate in 1909, when his immediate successor, B.W. Marston, resigned. Caspari remained in the Senate until 1914,[4] shortly before his death. At the time there were no term limits in the Louisiana legislature. Caspari led the campaign that selected Natchitoches as the site for Northwestern State University, then known as Louisiana State Normal School, specifically for the education of teachers. He was a president of the People's Bank and the Red River Valley Railroad, both based in Natchitoches. He also engaged successfully in farming. For years, he was active in the Confederate veterans' organization, the Knights of Pythias, and the anti-defamation league, B'nai B'rith, a Jewish organization.[2][5][6]

Caspari also served for eight years on the Natchitoches Parish School Board.[1]

Caspari was married to the former Amanda Woods (died 1883). Their children were Richard L., Samuel, Joseph, David, Emanuel, Charles, Gustave, Julia, and Dora Caspari. He died in Natchitoches and is interred at the historic American Cemetery on Second Street across from NSU.[2] Caspari lost two grandsons in December 1903. Bertrand Leopold Glover (1896–1903) and Claude Alban Glover (1901–1903) died seventeen days apart at the ages of seven and two, respectively. Their mother was Julia Caspari "Julie" Glover (1864–1920).[7]

Caspari Hall and Caspari Street at NSU are named in Caspari's honor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Gaytha Carver Thompson, "Leopold Caspari" in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana". Chicago, Illinois, and Nashville, Tennessee: Southern Publishing Company, 1890. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Caspari, Leopold". Louisiana Historical Association, A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (lahistory.org). Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012". house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Membership of the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2012". legis.state.la.us. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
  5. ^ A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography bases its biographical sketch of Caspari on Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana and the obituary from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, March 12, 1915.
  6. ^ The dates for Caspari's legislative service listed in A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography are at odds with those in the Louisiana Secretary of State's office. This article uses the Secretary of State dates taken from the department's website.
  7. ^ "American Cemetery". rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved December 22, 2010. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Two members:

G.L. Trichel
A.T. Liverman

Louisiana State Senator from principally Natchitoches Parish

Leopold Caspari
1900–1908

Succeeded by
B.W. Marston
Preceded by
B.W. Marston
Louisiana State Senator from principally Natchitoches Parish

Leopold Caspari
1909–1914

Succeeded by
C.M. Cunningham
Preceded by
Two members:

James H. Cosgrove
R.E. Jackson

Louisiana State Representative from Natchitoches Parish

Leopold Caspari
1884–1892

Succeeded by
Two members:

M.R. Joyner
T.L. Mathis