|Louisiana State Representative
for St. Martin Parish
|Preceded by||Gaston Thibodeaux|
|Succeeded by||J. Burton Angelle|
|Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives|
|Preceded by||Lorris May Wimberly, Sr.|
|Succeeded by||J. Thomas Jewell|
|Mayor of Breaux Bridge, Louisiana|
1920s – 1920s
|Born||Robert Joseph Angelle
August 26, 1896
Cecilia, St. Martin Parish
|Died||December 22, 1979(aged 83)|
|Resting place||St. Bernard Catholic Church Cemetery in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana|
|Spouse(s)||Madge Germaine Begnaud (married 1919-1979, his death)|
|Relations||Paul J. Hardy (nephew)|
Robert Joseph Angelle, known as Bob Angelle (August 26, 1896 – December 22, 1979), was a businessman and politician from Breaux Bridge in St. Martin Parish, who was the Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1957–1960, the last term of Governor Earl Kemp Long. Angelle was part of the powerful Long faction of Louisiana politics. He is probably best remembered for sponsoring the bill which declared Breaux Bridge "the Crawfish Capital of the World".
Angelle was born in Cecilia in St. Martin Parish to Drauzin Angelle and the former Agnes Guidry Dupuis. He was educated in public schools in Cecilia and Breaux Bridge. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, then known as Southwest Louisiana Institute. On July 8, 1919, Angelle married the former Madge Germaine Begnaud (1899–1985). She was the daughter of P.L. Begnaud and the former Germaine Richard. They had four daughters.
Angelle was the commission agent for Standard Oil Company from 1921-1932. He operated Acadian Lumber Company from 1936-1973. He was the organizer and the first president of the Breaux Bridge Sugar Co-op. He was a license building contractor and operated dairy farms as well. He was the organizer and first president of the Breaux Bridge Bank and Trust Company.
One of Angelle's sons-in-law, Louis M. Kern (1922–2005), was elected mayor of Breaux Bridge in 1957. An Angelle nephew, the son of his sister Agnes Hardy, was State Senator, Louisiana Secretary of State, and Lieutenant Governor Paul Hardy, the first Republican to hold the state's second highest office, having served from 1988 to 1992. Hardy's brother, Florent Hardy, Jr., Ph.D., has served as Louisiana's State Archivist since 2000.
Angelle won his first legislative race in a special election in 1934 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Representative Gaston Thibodeaux. He served until 1964 during the second term of Governor Jimmie Davis.
In the Democratic primary held on November 4, 1967, Angelle sought a comeback to the state House. When he appeared out of the running by three votes, he sued the St. Martin Parish Democratic Executive Committee regarding the questionable tabulation of absentee ballots. Therefore, the court ordered that he be placed into the runoff election held on December 16, 1967, but he was still defeated by the one-term incumbent J. Burton Angelle, the father of future Lieutenant Governor Scott Angelle.
After he left the legislature, Angelle became involved in a dispute with Mrs. Litie B. Bienvenu who was in line to be appointed director of public welfare in St. Martin Parish. Angelle went to Baton Rouge and told the commissioner of public welfare, Mary Evelyn Parker, the future Louisiana state treasurer, that Mrs. Bienvenu had a questionable reputation in the community and should not be appointed. The appointment was withdrawn, and she sued to obtain the position. Civil service ordered that she be given the job. She then filed a personal defamation suit against Angelle, alleging that his comments about her were made with malice.
Earlier in 1959, Governor Long had named Angelle to the Louisiana State Board of Liquidation. Angelle was a member of the Breaux Bridge Crawfish Festival Association from 1960 until his death. He was a charter member of the Breaux Bridge Lions Club. He was a member of St. Bernard's Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge and the men's organization the Knights of Columbus.
Robert and Madge Angelle are interred in St. Bernard's cemetery. Angelle Hall, which houses the music department at ULL, is named for Robert Angelle.
- "Robert Joseph "Bob" Angelle", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), pp. 16–17
- "Tribute: Robert Angelle", St. Martinville Teche News, August 17, 1961
- Lafayette Daily Advertiser, January 7, 1979
- Social Security Death Index, Robert and Madge Angelle
- Music.louisioana.edu - 11k
|State Representative from St. Martin Parish
Robert Joseph "Bob" Angelle
J. Burton Angelle
Lorris May Wimberly, Sr., of Bienville Parish
|Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives
Robert Joseph "Bob" Angelle
J. Thomas Jewell of Pointe Coupee Parish