Ford E. Stinson

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Ford Edwards Stinson, Sr.
Ford E. Stinson.jpg
Louisiana State Representative for Bossier Parish (later District 9)
In office
1940–1944
Preceded by G. E. Beckom
Succeeded by Jimmy Boyd
In office
1948–1972
Preceded by Jimmy Boyd
Succeeded by Jesse C. Deen
Personal details
Born

(1914-08-24)August 24, 1914
Benton, Bossier Parish

Louisiana, USA
Died September 22, 1989(1989-09-22) (aged 75)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Edna Earle Richardson Stinson
Children

Mary Carol Stinson ___

Ford E. Stinson, Jr.
Residence Benton, Louisiana
Alma mater

Benton High School

Louisiana State University Law Center
Occupation Attorney

Ford Edwards Stinson, Sr. (August 24, 1914 – September 22, 1989),[1] was a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1940–1944 and again from 1952-1972. In his last legislative term from 1968–1972, he served in a two-member district covering Bossier Parish with fellow Democrat Walter O. Bigby. Prior to 1968, he had been the only Bossier Parish representative in the Louisiana House. Stinson, a native and resident of the parish seat of Benton, did not run again in 1972 and was succeeded by fellow Benton Democrat Jesse C. Deen.[2]

Background[edit]

Stinson was the great-grandson of Major R. E. Wyche, the first Democratic sheriff of Bossier Parish who served during Reconstruction. His maternal grandfather and namesake, J. Ford Edwards, was also a Bossier Parish sheriff for four terms. His father, Robert T. Stinson, was president and cashier of the Bank of Benton and the Bossier Parish treasurer until his death of a lightning strike at the age of thirty-two. His mother married H. L. McKnight after the death of Robert Stinson.[3]

After his graduation from Benton High School, Stinson obtained his degree from the Louisiana State University Law Center in Baton Rouge. Stinson served on the Benton Town Council from 1936 to 1934. While a state representative in his first term, he served in World War II. He was active in the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Community Chest, and the United Methodist Church.[3]

Political career[edit]

Stinson first served in the House during the administration of Governor Sam Houston Jones. He left the legislature in 1944 while overseas, and fellow Democrat Jimmy Boyd of Bossier City succeeded him in the position for eight years. Boyd won his second term in 1947 in a close vote over the future State Senator Herman "Wimpy" Jones of Bossier and neighboring Webster parishes.

In 1948, Stinson lost a race for district attorney of Bossier and Webster parishes to James E. Bolin, Stinson's former legislative colleague and fellow Democrat who then resided in Springhill in northern Webster Parish. Bolin prevailed, 6,432 to 5,618. Bolin's margin of victory came from his strong showin in his own Webster Parish[4] Future State Representative R. Harmon Drew, Sr., of Minden would have been the assistant DA, based in Webster Parish, had Stinson won the election.

Stinson returned to the House in 1952 under the administration of Governor Robert F. Kennon. He served through the subsequent administrations of Earl Kemp Long, Jimmie Davis, and John J. McKeithen.[2] In 1956, he introduced the state "litterbug law" to fight the accumulation of litter in public places.[5]

In 1956, Stinson introduced unsuccessful legislation to separate state Judicial District 26 (Bossier and Webster parishes). The bill, which would have moved Bossier Parish into a District 32, was strongly opposed by Stinson's former rival, Judge James Bolin. State Senator C. H. "Sammy" Downs of Alexandria declined to bring up Stinson's bill for a vote in the upper legislative chamber. The bill had the backing of area lawmakers Algie D. Brown and Jasper Smith of Caddo Parish and the opposition of state Senator Herman "Wimpy" Jones and DA Louis H. Padgett, Jr.[6]

Stinson in 1956 called for passage of a state law to crack down on littering, having cited a growing problem along roadways and in many other areas as well.[7]

In the Davis administration, Stinson endorsed the doctrine of interposition, which was struck down by the United States Supreme Court, and he spoke out against desegregation of public schools. Stinson called the court ruling "claptrap" and added, "We are only saved from the rulings of the demagogues by the hand of the Lord when He takes them." Stinson urged "full steam ahead, let's keep going" in resisting desegregation.[8]

In 1970 in the wake of school desegregation, Stinson and colleague Parey Branton of Webster Parish urged the repeal of the Louisiana compulsory attendance law. Branton claimed the law should end so that parents are not legally required to send their children into "deplorable school conditions."[9] Despite the efforts of Stinson and Branton, the law was not repealed.

Personal life[edit]

Stinson and his wife, the former Edna Earle Richardson of Shreveport, had a daughter, Mary Carol,[3] and a son, Democrat Ford E. Stinson, Jr., a former 26th Judicial District judge based in Benton.[10] The junior Stinson announced his retirement at the end of 2014 after sixteen years in the position.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Social Security Death Index". rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012" (PDF). legis.state.la.us. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2009. Retrieved July 18, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c "Ford E. Stinson Seeks D.A. Post for This District", Minden Herald, July 9, 1948, pp. 1,6
  4. ^ "J. E. Bolin Named District Attorney for 26th District: Former Minden Resident Defeats Bossier Native in Primary on Tuesday", Minden Herald, September 3, 1948, p.1
  5. ^ "Introduces state 'litterbug' law", Minden Herald, May 31, 1956, p. 1
  6. ^ "Bill to Split District Appears Dead: Judge Bolin Calls Stinson's Measure 'Political' Move", Minden Press, July 9, 1956, p. 1
  7. ^ "Representative Suggests State Litterbug Law," Minden Herald, April 26, 1956, p. 1.
  8. ^ Jack Walter Peltason, Fifty-eight Lonely Men: Southern Federal Judges and Desegregation", 1971. Google Books. Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Branton Urges Compulsory School Repeal," Minden Press-Herald, May 27, 1970, p. 1.
  10. ^ ""Bossier Parish Clerk of Court" docket listings". bossierclerk.com. Retrieved July 20, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Judge Ford Stinson to retire at end of term", Minden Press-Herald, January 16, 2014, p. 1
Political offices
Preceded by
G. E. Beckom
Louisiana State Representative for Bossier Parish

Ford Edwards Stinson, Sr.
1940–1944

Succeeded by
Jimmy Boyd
Political offices
Preceded by
Jimmy Boyd
Louisiana State Representative for Bossier Parish

Ford Edwards Stinson, Sr.
1952–1972

Succeeded by
Jesse C. Deen