Vail M. Delony

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Vail Montgomery Delony
Louisiana State Representative for East Carroll Parish
In office
Preceded byC. H. Hill
Succeeded byCharles L. Vining, Jr.
Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives
In office
Preceded byJ. Thomas Jewell
Succeeded byJohn Sidney Garrett
Personal details
Born(1901-01-05)January 5, 1901
Lake Providence
East Carroll Parish
Louisiana, USA
DiedNovember 18, 1967(1967-11-18) (aged 66)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Louise Miller Delony (married 1926–his death)
ChildrenElizabeth Delony Ree
Vail Delony Baldridge

Vail Montgomery Delony (January 5, 1901 – November 18, 1967) was a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Lake Providence in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana, having served from 1940 until his death in office. He was also Speaker of the chamber from 1964 until his death.[1]

Delony was born in Lake Providence, where he resided all of his life, to Tobias Stephens Delony and the former Helen Montgomery. On December 26, 1926, he wed the former Elizabeth Louise Miller (since deceased) of Greenville in Washington County in western Mississippi. The couple had two daughters, Elizabeth Delony Ree and Vail Delony Baldridge[2] (born 1937) of Rayville, the seat of Richland Parish. She is the widow of the Episcopal priest William E. Baldridge, Sr. (1927–2007), a native of Dyersburg, Tennessee.[3]

Delony was a delegate to the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which nominated the Adlai Stevenson-Estes Kefauver ticket, the first party slate to lose the electoral votes of Louisiana since Reconstruction.[4]

Delony was a segregationist during his political career but acknowledged how the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had given African Americans a 500-vote edge over whites in Lake Providence. Delony predicted that blacks did not "have the capacity" to assume political control of East Carroll Parish at that time and would not vote as a bloc unless organized to do so. Delony said that he would welcome black support but would "not stoop to entice" minority voters with political promises.[5]

On March 25, 1968, Governor John J. McKeithen, a former state House member from Columbia in Caldwell Parish, who had tapped Delony as Speaker, dedicated the Vail M. Delony Data Processing Center at the Louisiana Department of Public Safety in Baton Rouge.[2]


  1. ^ "Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2009. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  2. ^ a b "East Carroll Parish, Louisiana, Genealogy". Retrieved September 21, 2011.
  3. ^ "Obituary of William E. Baldridge, Sr". Franklin Sun, Winnsboro, Louisiana, September 18, 2007. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  4. ^ "Delony, Vail M." Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  5. ^ Witcover, Jules. The Making of an Ink-Stained Wretch: Half a Century Pounding the Political Beat. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 44. ISBN 0801882478. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
Preceded by
C. H. Hill
Louisiana State Representative from East Carroll Parish

Vail Montgomery Delony

Succeeded by
Charles L. Vining, Jr.
Preceded by
J. Thomas Jewell (Pointe Coupee Parish)
Speakers of the Louisiana House of Representatives

Vail Montgomery Delony

Succeeded by
John Sidney Garrett (Claiborne Parish)