Ashton J. Mouton

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Ashton Joseph Mouton, Sr.
Mayor of Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
In office
1948–1956
Preceded by Claude C. Colomb
Succeeded by Jerome E. Domengeaux
Louisiana Collector of Revenue
In office
1964–1970
Personal details
Born (1916-10-16)October 16, 1916
Lafayette in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, USA
Died January 31, 1988(1988-01-31) (aged 71)
Lafayette, Louisiana
Resting place Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Stella Rose Dupuis Mouton
Children

Stella Rose Mouton
Ashton J. Mouton, Jr.
twins Catherine Anne and Carolyn Anne Mouton

John Mouton
Alma mater University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Profession Businessman
Religion Roman Catholicism
Having earlier been declared one of his state's most successful mayors by the Louisiana Municipal Association, Mouton ran for lieutenant governor in 1963 on the intraparty Democratic ticket with John McKeithen. When McKeithen won, but Mouton lost, McKeithen named his ticket-mate as the state's Collector of Revenue.

Ashton Joseph Mouton, Sr. (October 16, 1916 – January 31, 1988), was a United States businessman and politician who became, at thirty-one, the youngest mayor in the history of Lafayette, Louisiana. A Democrat, Mouton was elected mayor in 1948. He served two four-year terms and left office in 1956. In 1963, Mouton was an unsuccessful contender for lieutenant governor on an intraparty ticket with the winning gubernatorial candidate, John Julian McKeithen of tiny Columbia, the seat of Caldwell Parish, in northeastern Louisiana.

Biography[edit]

Mouton was born in Lafayette (also Lafayette Parish) to Edwin Mouton, Sr., and the former Georgie McBride. He was educated at Mount Carmel Elementary School and Cathedral High School in Lafayette. In 1939, he obtained a degree in business administration from Southwestern Louisiana Institute, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He married the former Stella Rose Dupuis, the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. J.W. Dupuis, Sr., of Youngsville in Lafayette Parish. They had five children: Stella Rose; Ashton J. Mouton, Jr. (born 1947); twins Catherine Anne and Carolyn Anne (born 1953); and John Mouton. The twins were the first pygopagus conjoined twins to be successfully separated.[1] There is also a namesake grandson, Ashton J. Mouton, III, of Lafayette (born 1983).

From 1939-1941, Mouton was the administrative assistant in the Lafayette municipal finance office. He served in the United States Army during World War II from 1941 to 1945. After the war, Mouton started a career in life insurance.

Mouton succeeded Claude C. Colomb (July 19, 1889 - December 1973) as mayor. He was recognized widely for his mayoral success, even being honored on March 10, 1955, by the Louisiana Municipal Association and its trade publication, the Louisiana Municipal Review, as one of the outstanding mayors in Louisiana at the time. Over the next several decades, Lafayette became the fourth largest city in the state. At the time of Mouton's service, Lafayette, as did many other Louisiana communities, had a commission form of city government. He was succeeded as mayor by Jerome E. Domengeaux (March 3, 1919 - May 27, 1999).

After his mayoral years, Mouton became an independent oil and natural gas lease broker. He held various state-level appointments too, including the Mineral Board (1950–1952), Board of Tax Appeals (1956–1958), commissioner of conservation (1958–1960, collector of revenues, (1964–1970), director of hospitals (1970–1971), and administrative assistant to the director of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement in 1972. The three former appointments were in the administration of Governor Earl Kemp Long, and the three later positions were under his mentor John McKeithen. Mouton was affiliated with the powerful Long faction of Louisiana politics.

In 1965, Mouton sued the Schwegmann Brothers Giant Super Markets, Inc., to collect for the state sales, use and occupational license taxes plus interest in the amount of $62,517.98. Schwegmann appealed the assessments to the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals. Ten years later, the tax board ruled in Mouton's favor, some five years after he had left the collector's position. The former super market was owned in part by then state Representative John G. Schwegmann of Jefferson Parish. Thereafter, Mouton sued to collect another $103,290.59. Schwegmann answered and denied liability. The two cases were consolidated in the trial court by consent of the parties. In the trial, Mouton was upheld in both cases. In 1971, Schwegmann unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor on a platform to cut government spending.

Mouton began selling real estate in 1976 and was associated with an agency in Lafayette from 1978 until his death ten years later.

In his lieutenant governor's race, Mouton failed to make the Democratic runoff primary, which was won by the incumbent Clarence C. "Taddy" Aycock of Franklin, the seat of St. Mary Parish. Aycock defeated future state Senator Claude B. Duval of Houma in Terrebonne Parish. Also running on the McKeithen-Mouton ticket for the new position of insurance commissioner was future U.S. Representative and then State Senator Speedy O. Long (1928–2006) of Jena, the seat of La Salle Parish. Long was defeated by Dudley A. Guglielmo, an Italian-American politician.

Mouton was a member of the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic men's organization), and Mardi Gras Krewe of Gabriel.

Mouton is interred in the Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Prayer & Surgery", Time, September 28, 1953
Preceded by
Claude C. Colomb
Mayor of Lafayette, Louisiana
1948–1956
Succeeded by
Jerome Domengeaux