William C. Feazel

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William C. Feazel
William Feazel.jpg
United States Senator
from Louisiana
In office
May 18, 1948 – December 30, 1948
Preceded by John H. Overton
Succeeded by Russell B. Long
Louisiana State Representative from Ouachita Parish
In office
1932–1936
Preceded by Tandy T. Webb
F. C. Bennett
Succeeded by Paul Fink
W. B. Inabnett
Personal details
Born William Crosson Feazel
(1895-06-10)June 10, 1895
Farmerville, Union Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died March 16, 1965(1965-03-16) (aged 69)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana
Resting place Hasley Cemetery in West Monroe, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Children Lallage Feazel Wall

Son-in-law Shady R. Wall

Religion Southern Baptist

William Crosson Feazel (June 10, 1895 – March 16, 1965) was a short-term United States Senator from Louisiana.

Life and career[edit]

Born near Farmerville, the seat of Union Parish, he attended the public schools and engaged as an independent oil and natural gas producer.

From 1932 to 1936, Feazel was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. On May 18, 1948, he was appointed by Governor Earl Kemp Long as a Democrat to the U. S. Senate to fill the vacancy created by the death of John H. Overton. Feazel served until December 30, 1948. He was not a candidate for election to the vacancy and resumed the oil and gas business in Monroe and Shreveport. His U.S. Senate seat went to his fellow Democrat, Russell B. Long, the son of Huey Pierce Long, Jr., and the nephew of Earl Long. Russell Long first defeated future Governor Robert F. Kennon of Minden in the Democratic primary and then topped the Shreveport oilman Clem S. Clarke, a Republican, in the 1948 general election.

In 1960, Feazel was a presidential elector for the successful Kennedy-Johnson ticket, along with Attorney General Jack P.F. Gremillion, Mayor Leon Gary of Houma, and Municipal Judge Edmund Reggie of Crowley in Acadia Parish.[1]

Feazel Chapel of First Baptist Church of West Monroe, Louisiana

Feazel's daughter, Lallage Feazel (1913–1999), married Shady R. Wall (1922–1985), a banker from West Monroe and a Democratic member of the Louisiana House from 1948 to 1956 and again from 1968 to 1984. Feazel resided in West Monroe and was a member of the First Baptist Church there. The Feazel Chapel, attached to First Baptist, West Monroe, is named in his honor. He died in Shreveport and is interred at Hasley Cemetery in West Monroe.

Bill Dodd, former Louisiana lieutenant governor and education superintendent, describes Feazel as a "kingmaker" of Louisiana politics and "very quiet and laid back in his outward appearance. His expressions seldom changed no matter what the circumstance. But he rewarded his friends and punished his enemies. And after he helped elect a man to high office, he expected that man to do what was right. He did not want to be and was not a power broker. He was independently wealthy and never asked a favor for himself from one he had helped to elect."[2]

Dodd also noted that Earl Long was particularly friendly toward Feazel, whom he appointed to the U.S. Senate vacancy in 1948. However, Huey Long was partial to Feazel's intraparty rival, James A. Noe, also from Monroe, who served briefly as governor in 1936.[2]

Dodd loosely compared Feazel to another Louisiana kingmaker, oilman Louis J. Roussel, Jr., of New Orleans, a longtime Dodd benefactor.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Minden Press, November 7, 1960
  2. ^ a b Bill Dodd, Peapatch Politics: The Earl Long Era in Louisiana Politics (Baton Rouge, Louisiana|Claitor's Publishers, 1991), p. 162-163
Louisiana House of Representatives
Preceded by
Tandy T. Webb
F.C. Bennett (as one of two members)
Louisiana State Representative from Ouachita Parish
1932–1936
Served alongside: J. Porter Burgess (as one of two members)
Succeeded by
Paul Fink
W.B. Inabnett (as one of two members)
United States Senate
Preceded by
John H. Overton
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Louisiana
May 18, 1948 – December 30, 1948
Served alongside: Allen J. Ellender
Succeeded by
Russell B. Long