John Sparks Patton
John Sparks Patton, Sr.
|Louisiana Public Service Commissioner|
January 1, 1939 – December 31, 1942
|Succeeded by||Jimmie Davis|
|Born||September 23, 1894|
Lisbon, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, USA
|Died||October 30, 1961 (aged 67)|
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Resting place||Arlington Cemetery in Homer, Louisiana,|
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Agnes McCasland Patton|
|Children||John Patton, Jr.|
Olen T. Patton
Advocate for taxpayer-funded textbooks
John Sparks Patton, Sr. (September 23, 1894 – October 30, 1961), was a Louisiana politician and educator who was an early advocate of taxpayer-funded school textbooks and a member of the Long faction of his state's Democratic Party.
Early life and education
He married Agnes McCasland (1896–1983), and the couple had two sons together. John Patton, Jr. (1924–1958) became a lieutenant in the United States Navy and served in both World War II and the Korean War. Olen T. Patton (1926–1945) was killed in action in World War II. They also had two daughters together: Annette Patton Ward (1922–1998) and Minion Patton Lasater (?).
Patton was elected as his parish school superintendent, serving from 1920 to 1937. He served as president of the Louisiana Teachers Association (now the Louisiana Association of Educators) from 1923 to 1924.
Patton's bill for state-funded textbooks in public schools was introduced in 1928 in the Louisiana House of Representatives by Harley Bozeman of Winnfield, like Patton a confidant of Huey Long. As governor, Long implemented Patton's textbooks proposal.
Patton ran for state education superintendent in 1928 on the intraparty ticket with Huey Pierce Long, Jr., but lost to T. H. Harris. He ran again in 1932 independent of any gubernatorial candidate, but he was again defeated.
In 1938, Patton was elected to the Third District seat on the Louisiana Public Service Commission, but in 1942, he was unseated by Jimmie Davis of Shreveport. Davis used the position as a stepping stone, serving two years on the PSC, a utility rate regulatory body, before being elected governor in 1944.
Patton returned to Homer in Claiborne Parish to resume his career as a school administrator. In 1950, Governor Earl Kemp Long in his second elected term appointed Patton as superintendent of the Louisiana School for the Deaf, located in the capital. Patton served there until 1961, dying in office.
Patton died in Baton Rouge and is interred at Arlington Cemetery in Homer.
- "John Sparks Patton", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 2, Louisiana Historical Association, 1988, p. 635
- Arlington Cemetery records, Homer, Louisiana
- "Harley Bozeman obituary," Winn Parish Enterprise, 20 May 1971
- Gannon, Jack. Deaf Heritage–A Narrative History of Deaf America, Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf, 1981, pp. 29-30 (PDF Archived 2012-03-28 at the Wayback Machine.)
- "John Sparks Patton (1894-1961) - Find A Grave..." www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
- T. Harry Williams, Huey Long (1969)
- Louisiana Schools, XXXIX (March 1962), publication of Louisiana Teachers Association