|Fulton Eugene Eason|
|Louisiana State Representative from District 10 (Webster Parish)|
March 23, 1991 – 1992
|Preceded by||Bruce Martin Bolin|
|Succeeded by||Everett Gail Doerge|
May 28, 1928|
Clarks, Caldwell Parish
|Died||March 25, 2007
Shreveport, Caddo Parish
|Resting place||Springhill Cemetery in Springhill, Louisiana|
|Spouse(s)||Frances Smith Eason (married 1951-2006, her death)|
John Wesley Eason
|Businessman Eason, a state legislator for nine months from 1991-1992, was a civic leader in his adopted city of Springhill, Louisiana, having served twice on the city council and for a long period on the Webster Parish Library Board.|
Fulton Eugene Eason (May 28, 1928 – March 25, 2007) was a businessman from Springhill, Louisiana, who ran as a Republican in four elections for the Louisiana House of Representatives in calendar year 1991. He won the special election runoff on March 23 for a 9-month unexpired term from District 10, then encompassing all of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. Eason was the first Republican ever to seek election to the heavily Democratic Webster Parish seat in the Louisiana House.
Two educators, both since deceased, sought the representative's position, Ralph Lamar Rentz, Sr. (1930-1995), the former Webster Parish School Board personnel director, and Faye Newsome, the principal of Minden High School, but neither polled sufficient votes to enter the determining runoff election. In the first balloting Eason trailed Patti Lou Cook Odom of Minden. She is the daughter of Thelma Louise "Lou" Cook (died 1994) and Harold Ray "Boe" Cook (1925-1997), who came to Minden in 1961 and became co-owners of the Minden radio station KASO. Odom's husband, Charles Deck Odom, is a former member of the Webster Parish Police Jury. Her son, Chad Odom, ran unsuccessfully in 2014 for mayor of Minden; he was narrowly defeated by the Republican incumbent Tommy Davis. In the runoff campaign for the state House, Eason challenged Odom from the political right. He questioned her backing for affirmative action, minority set-aside arrangements on public contracts, abortion, the Second Amendment, the 1984 Mondale-Ferraro ticket. Eason said that he had been supporting Ronald W. Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush while Odom was backing liberal Democratic candidates.
Eason defeated Odom, 3,659 (52.5 percent) to 3,309 votes (47.5 percent). With little time to accumulate a legislative record., he concentrated his attention to efforts to promote economic development and highway expansion within District 10. On November 16, 1991 Eason was unseated in the regular general election by the Democrat Everett Doerge, a retired school administrator from Minden. Doerge polled 8,389 ballots (50.03 percent) to Eason's 8,318 (49.97 percent), a margin of 71 votes. This election occurred at the same time that the Democrat Edwin Washington Edwards staged his fourth-term comeback in a nationally-watched race against outgoing State Representative David Duke, a former figure in the Ku Klux Klan from Jefferson Parish.
In 2003, two members of the Webster Parish Police Jury, including Charles Odom, the husband of Eason's former legislative opponent, and Daniel Thomas, questioned Eason's long-term tenure as the chairman of the North Webster Industrial Park. The two jurors proposed that Charles Jacobs, then the city attorney for Springhill and later a judge of the Louisiana 26th Judicial District Court, be appointed to replace Eason on the industrial park board. Odom and Thomas claimed that Eason had been unwilling to cooperate with other industrial park members and municipal and parish officials in the administration of the facility. However, jurors voted 8-2 to retain Eason in the position. "The park speaks for itself. It is growing and successful. We've done a lot and we have a lot of good things on the horizon. ... All someone has to do is take a drive through the area and see how good things are going. I think I've done a damn good job and trust me, it hasn't been easy," Eason said.
Eason remains the only Republican since Reconstruction to have represented this particular legislative seat, which is currently held by the Democrat Harlie Eugene Reynolds of Dubberly, another retired educator.
Eason was born in Clarks, a lumbering town in Caldwell Parish, to Fulton Filmore Eason (1898–1968) and the former Jewel Parker (1901–1974), but he lived most of his life in Springhill, where he managed Stauffer Chemical Company for thirty-seven years. Prior to his legislative service, Eason was a member of the Springhill City Council, having served from 1966 to 1970 and 1987 to 1991. Eason was a member of the Webster Parish Library Board from 1975 to 2006, with Henry Grady Hobbs (1923-2012) of Minden having been president of the board for much of that time.
Eason served too on the Louisiana Highway 7 Corridor Commission, the Office of Community Services, and the North Webster Parish Industrial Board. He was a member of Rotary International and the Central Baptist Church of Springhill.
Eason and his wife, the former Frances Smith, an educator, married on July 15, 1951, and had four children, John Wesley Eason of Victoria, Texas, Joy Kathleen Langston of Magnolia, Arkansas, David Eugene Eason of Houston, Texas, and Barbara Jean Dees of Springhill, Louisiana.
The Easons are interred at Springhill Cemetery.
- "Services Slated for Lou Cook", Minden Press-Herald, March 30, 1994, p. 1
- Eugene Eason advertisement, Minden Press-Herald March 22, 1991, p. 18
- Minden Press-Herald, September 24, 1987, p. 1
- Louisiana Secretary of State, General election returns, November 16, 1991, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Josh Beavers. "Jurors vote down attempt to oust district chairman". Minden Press-Herald. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- Eason advertisement, Minden Press-Herald January 15, 1991
- Shreveport Times, March 28, 2007
- "Henry Hobbs obituary". Shreveport Times, January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
Bruce Martin Bolin
|Louisiana State Representative for District 10 (Webster Parish)
Fulton Eugene Eason