Joseph Gonzales (politician)

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Joseph Stonewall “Tee Joe” Gonzales
Joseph-20Tee-Joe-20Gonzales.jpg
Joseph “Tee Joe” Gonzales
Mayor of Gonzales, Louisiana
In office
1922/1928–1932
Personal details
Born (1862-09-11)September 11, 1862
Ascension Parish, Louisiana
Died April 20, 1940(1940-04-20) (aged 77)
Gonzales
Nationality American
Profession Politician and businessman

Joseph (José) Stonewall Gonzales, aka “Tee Joe” Gonzales or Joseph Gonzales (September 11, 1862 - April 20, 1940[1]), was an American politician and businessman. He served as the first Mayor of modern Gonzales, Louisiana starting in 1922 (when the city got the status of village). The city was named "Gonzales" after him.

Family[edit]

Joseph “Tee Joe” Gonzales was born in Ascension Parish, Louisiana.[1] He was the son of "Big" Joseph M. Gonzales (May 28, 1835, St. Amant, Louisiana - December 21, 1897) and Mrs Adorea Marchand Gonzales (-1890). His father was a soldier (serving in the Confederate Army from June 10, 1862, along with his brother John Alfred Gonzales), Captain of the New River Rangers,[2] police chief (from 1866),[3] and sheriff of the village (1886).[4] Joseph M. Gonzales was a descendant of Spanish settlers from the Canary Islands who settled in Louisiana between 1778 and 1782.[4]

Career[edit]

In 1887 Tee Joe Gonzales opened a small shop in Gonzales and established its first post office, which was known as the Gonzales Post Office, and subsequently became Gonzales' first postmaster.[5] For this reason, a few years later, the Railroad Commission decided to change the name of the area from Edenborn to Gonzales to match the post office name, and ordered the local railroad to change the name also.[note 1][3]

Tee Joe Gonzales subdivided the village in April 1906 [4] and was elected mayor of Gonzales City in 1922 (or 1928, according to the source[6]), becoming the first mayor of the village.[7][8]

Tee Joe ran the family business out of his little home, situated on the main street,[5] and he and his brother bought land and sold it as smaller plots, and he encouraged policies that caused the growth of Gonzales.

Gonzales retired as mayor of Gonzales in 1932, having been in office longer than any of the next seven mayors.[6] Today, he is considered the best mayor in the city´s history.[4]

Joseph Gonzales died in Gonzales on April 20, 1940, and he was buried in the town's Saint Theresa of Avila Catholic Cemetery.[1]

Personal life[edit]

He married Marie Felicite Bourgeois Gonzales (1861 - 1949).[1] The former mayor of Gonzales, Johnny Berthelot, is the great-nephew of Gonzales.[6]

Legacy[edit]

  • The city he lived in was named "Gonzales" after him.
  • The Tee Joe Gonzales Museum of Gonzales, Louisiana, was also named after him.[9] This museum, opened to honor Tee-Joe and the Gonzales town, was established in the little cottage he built on the banks of New River around 1910.[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Anyway, some time later, the railroad company wanted to change the name of the village back to Edenborn. But the villagers fought to keep the name of "Gonzales". The battle lasted many years until, in 1910, the villagers won and the town retained the old name.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Find a grave: Tee Joe” Gonzales. Created by Bobby Fortenberry
  2. ^ Find a grave: Capt Joseph M. Gonzales. Created by Bev.
  3. ^ a b c Bienmesabe: Nuevos pueblos formados por isleños de Louisiana (in Spanish: New peoples formed by Isleños in Louisiana), posted by Manuel Hernández González in November 15, 2011. Retrieved December 05, 2011, to 19:43 pm.
  4. ^ a b c d History of Gonzales´s city Archived 2012-04-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b c May 6, 2008 -- "Tee-Joe Gonzales Museum". Retrieved in August 09, 2014, to 23:01pm.
  6. ^ a b c Gonzales mayor leaving after 8th term in office. Posted by Annabelle Armstrong in December 30, 2008 to 12:01 am.
  7. ^ Baldwin, Jack (1999). Baldwin's Guide to Museums of Louisiana. Page 102.
  8. ^ City of Gonzales - Tour Ascension
  9. ^ Louisiana Travel | Tee Joe Gonzales Museum.

External links[edit]