Clyde V. Ratcliff

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Clyde Vernon Ratcliff, Sr.
Louisiana State Senator for Concordia, East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes
In office
Preceded by

David E. Brown

Andrew L. Sevier
Succeeded by

Brenham C. Crothers

Andrew L. Sevier
Personal details
Born (1879-07-26)July 26, 1879
Liberty, Amite County, Mississippi, USA
Died October 2, 1952(1952-10-02) (aged 73)
Newellton, Tensas Parish, Louisiana
Resting place Legion Memorial Cemetery in Newellton
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Carrie Lou Muir Ratcliff

Douglas Horton Ratcliff
Clyde Ratcliff, Jr.
Mrs. G. E. Thomas
Virginia Ratcliff Wilkerson

Eight grandchildren
Alma mater Jefferson Military Academy
Occupation Cotton planter

Clyde Vernon Ratcliff, Sr. (July 26, 1879 – October 2, 1952), was a cotton planter from Newellton, Louisiana, who served as a Democrat from 1944 to 1948 in the Louisiana State Senate. He represented the delta parishes: Tensas, Madison, East Carroll, and Concordia,[1] a rich farming region along the Mississippi River in eastern Louisiana ranging from Vidalia to Lake Providence. The four parishes elected two senators at the time, and Ratcliff's seat-mate was Andrew L. Sevier of Tallulah in Madison Parish.


Ratcliff was born in Liberty in Amite County in southwestern Mississippi and reared thereafter in Adams County. He was educated at Jefferson Military Academy in Washington near Natchez in Adams County. He owned the Elkridge Plantation near Newellton in northern Tensas Parish and also engaged in the management of plantation properties of the Davis family, descendants of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America.[2]

His older brother by four years, A. Bonds Ratcliff, also a graduate of Jefferson Military Academy, was a plantation manager and a deputy to Tensas Parish Sheriff John Hughes. In 1930, Bonds Ratcliff succeeded William Mackenzie Davidson as the mayor of the parish seat of St. Joseph, a position which he held until 1932.[3] Bonds Ratcliff was thereafter the Tensas Parish clerk of court.[2]

Prior to his single-term election to the state Senate, which corresponded with the administration of Governor Jimmie Davis, who coincidentally owned farmland in Tensas Parish, Clyde Ratcliff served on the Fifth District Levee Board and as president of the Tensas Parish Police Jury, the parish governing body. He was a charter member of Newellton Rotary International and a Methodist.[4]

Both Clyde and Bonds Ratcliff married daughters of the wealthy planter Douglass Muir, who died in August 1918. Clyde and the former Carrie Lou Muir (1883–1958), had four children, Mrs. G. E. Thomas, Douglas Howard "Buddy" Ratcliff (1906–1984), Clyde Ratcliff, Jr. (1910–1977), and Virginia Ratcliff Wilkerson (1908–1974), the wife of James Clifton Wilkerson, I (1902–1955), and herself a 19-year member of the Tensas Parish School Board.

Ratcliff's grave at Legion Memorial Cemetery in Newellton, Louisiana

Ratcliff died at home; after services at Newellton Union Church, he was interred at Legion Memorial Cemetery.[5]


  1. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880–2012" (PDF). Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Matthew Reonas, Once Proud Princes: Planters and Plantation Culture in Louisiana's Northeast Delta, From the First World War Through the Great Depression (PDF). Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Ph.D. dissertation, December 2006, pp. 267–268. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  3. ^ "List of mayors of St. Joseph, Louisiana". Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ Obituary of Clyde V. Ratcliff, Sr., Tensas Gazette, October 8, 1952
  5. ^ "Interments at Legion Memorial Cemetery in Newellton". files.usgwarchives. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
Preceded by
David E. Brown

Andrew L. Sevier

Louisiana State Senator for Concordia, East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes

Clyde Vernon Ratcliff, Sr.

Succeeded by
Brenham C. Crothers

Andrew L. Sevier