C. E. "Cap" Barham

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C. E. "Cap" Barham
43rd Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
In office
May 13, 1952 – May 8, 1956
Governor Robert F. Kennon
Preceded by William Joseph "Bill" Dodd
Succeeded by Lether Frazar
Louisiana State Senator from District 29 (Lincoln and Union parishes)
In office
Preceded by A.K. Goff, Jr.
Succeeded by James P. Hinton
Personal details
Born (1904-09-28)September 28, 1904
Near Dubach
Lincoln Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died February 23, 1972(1972-02-23) (aged 67)
Resting place Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carice Helen Hilburn Barham
Children Charles Clem Barham (1934–2010)
Robert E. Barham (1940–1996)
Residence Ruston, Lincoln Parish
Alma mater Northwestern State University
Louisiana State University Law Center
Occupation Attorney
Barham monument at Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston

Charles Emmett "Cap" Barham (September 28, 1904 – February 23, 1972) was the Democratic lieutenant governor of Louisiana from 1952 to 1956, who is credited with having made the office independent of the governor. Prior to his statewide position, Barham was a state senator from the then 29th District (Lincoln and Union parishes) between 1948 and 1952. Like Governor Robert F. Kennon, under whom he served, Barham was part of the anti-Long faction of Louisiana politics, but he was frequently at odds with Kennon as well.


Barham was born in Kimbleton near Dubach in Lincoln Parish to John Robert Barham and the former Leola Fowler. He was educated in Dubach public schools and then attended Northwestern State University (then "Louisiana Normal College") in Natchitoches, from which he graduated with teaching credentials in 1927. He taught school for a year at Dubach and then enrolled in the law school of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He received his L.L.B. degree in 1931 and thereafter opened his law practice in Ruston.

Barham married the former Carice Helen Hilburn (October 30, 1907–December 2, 1965),[1] and they had two sons, Charles C. Barham, a Ruston attorney and the Lincoln-Union state senator from 1964 to 1972 and 1976 to 1988, and Robert Ewing Barham (1940–1996), an English professor at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. Barham was an uncle by marriage to Wiley Wilson Hilburn, Jr. (born 1938), head of the Louisiana Tech University journalism department, editorial writer for the Shreveport Times and an authority on Louisiana politics, and Chester William "Chet" Hilburn (born 1945), a journalist retired from the Houston Chronicle.

Barham ran for lieutenant governor on the intraparty ticket with Congressman Hale Boggs of New Orleans in the 1951-1952 election campaign. Boggs, considered one of Louisiana's most liberal officials in his time, did not make the gubernatorial runoff, but Barham was placed into a second primary with John McKeithen from Columbia in Caldwell Parish, who had run on a ticket with Judge Carlos Spaht of Baton Rouge. Eliminated in the first round of voting was Leon Gary, the mayor of Houma in Terrebonne Parish, who ran on the Bill Dodd intraparty ticket that year, Elmer David Conner of Jennings, the choice of Robert Kennon, and Lionel Ott, a member of the New Orleans City Council who had run with gubernatorial contender James M. McLemore of Alexandria. In the runoff campaign, Barham was "adopted" by Kennon, as the Kennon-Barham slate won an easy victory over Spaht-McKeithen. Barham was the only member of the original Boggs ticket to win office at the statewide level. Nevertheless, Barham often found himself at odds with the much more conservative Governor Kennon.

In 1956, Barham ran again for lieutenant governor. He allied himself with Boggs' former law partner, deLesseps Story Morrison, the mayor of New Orleans.[2] Both Morrison and Barham were crushed in the primary by Earl Kemp Long and Long's choice for lieutenant governor, Lether Frazar, a former president of two state colleges. After leaving the lieutenant governorship, Barham was a delegate to the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which renominated Adlai E. Stevenson to run again against Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 1969, Barham was among the first six men inducted into the Northwestern State University "Hall of Fame."

He is interred beside his wife and sons at Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston.


  1. ^ Greenwood Cemetery records, Ruston, Louisiana
  2. ^ Minden Herald and Webster Review, December 8, 1955, p. 2


  • "Charles Emmett Barham," Carl A. Brasseaux, ed., A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988)
  • Ruston Daily Leader, Ruston, Louisiana, February 24, 1972
Political offices
Preceded by
A.K. Goff, Jr.
Louisiana State Senator from District 29 (Lincoln and Union parishes)
Succeeded by
James P. Hinton
Preceded by
William J. "Bill" Dodd
Louisiana Lieutenant Governor
Succeeded by
Lether Frazar