W. E. "Bill" Dykes

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W. E. "Bill" Dykes
W. E. "Bill" Dykes of LA.jpg
Louisiana State Senator from District 11 (then including Saint Helena, St. Tammany, and Tangipahoa parishes)
In office
Preceded byGrady Stewart
Succeeded byGerry E. Hinton
Personal details
BornOctober 23, 1925
St. Helena Parish, Louisiana, USA
DiedFebruary 23, 2015 (aged 89)
Resting placeMontpelier Cemetery in Montpelier, St. Helena Parish
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Ivyne Alessi Dykes (deceased)
ChildrenBryan E. Dykes, Sr. (deceased)
Billie Claire Dykes Tycer
ResidenceMontpelier, Louisiana
Alma materPine Grove High School in St. Helena Parish
Southeastern Louisiana University
OccupationLivestock and dairy farming
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Merchant Marine
Battles/warsWorld War II

William E. "Bill" Dykes (October 23, 1925 – February 23, 2015) was a Democratic former state senator from his native St. Helena Parish, Louisiana, who represented his state's 11th District from 1976 to 1984. Prior to his legislative service, he had been mayor of Montpelier, Louisiana.[1][2]

The son Jesse and Willa Mae Dykes, he graduated in 1941 from the since defunct Pine Grove High School in St. Helena Parish. The school was then under the principalship of John E. "Prof" Lisenby. He later attended Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

After service in World War II, Dykes in 1946 founded W. E. Dykes Feed & Dairy Supplies, later Dykes Feed & Fertilizer, in Amite in Tangipahoa Parish.[3] He and his late wife, the former Ivyne Alessi, had two children. Bryan E. Dykes, Sr. (1947–2011), who was married to the former Gloria Mack, was also a feed and fertilizer businessman and a ten-year mayor of Montpelier, where Bill Dykes resided. The Dykes' surviving daughter and son-in-law are Billie Claire Dykes Tycer and James Herndon Tycer.[4]

Dykes was a charter board member of the St. Helena Parish Hospital and a member on the Louisiana State Hospital Board. In the state Senate, he was the chairman of the Agriculture Committee.[1]

After the 1980 United States census, Dykes was moved into District 12, the same constituency with Sixty Rayburn, a behemoth of the legislature, against whom Dykes stood little likelihood of winning. The redistricting was required to accommodate increased representation by African-Americans, and District 11 was reassigned to the corridor from Hammond to Slidell. The seat went to the Democrat, later Republican convert, Gerry E. Hinton.[5] When state Senator Thomas H. Hudson of Baton Rouge, the chairman of the committee which had overseen the redistricting, became the Democratic candidate for Louisiana's 6th congressional district in 1986, Dykes worked for the successful election of GOP candidate Richard Hugh Baker, a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. In 1986, Dykes' residence was not in the 6th District (St. Helena was reapportioned in December 1983 into the 8th district), but delivery trucks from his farm-supply business could be seen throughout that district festooned with Richard Baker signs. Rayburn, meanwhile, remained in the legislature until his own defeat in 1995 by Republican Phil Short.

On April 23, 1988, Dykes shot and killed Harold Bernard Vige in Montpelier, La. This incident was classified as a "hunting accident".[6]


  1. ^ a b "W. E. "Bill" Dykes". The Baton Rouge Advocate. Retrieved February 25, 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ W.E. "Bill" Dykes-obituary
  3. ^ W. E. Dykes Feed & Dairy Supplies site on Manta.com (accessed 2012-03-05).
  4. ^ Bryan Dykes obituary, Action News 17, March 4, 2012
  5. ^ "Louisiana legislative election returns, October 22, 1983". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved March 10, 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ http://www.leagle.com/decision/19911418583So2d835_11280/KEEN%20v.%20LOUISIANA%20FARM%20BUREAU%20INS.%20CO
Preceded by
Grady Stewart
Louisiana State Senator from District 11
(Saint Helena, Saint Tammany, and Tangipahoa parishes)

William E. "Bill" Dykes

Succeeded by
Gerry E. Hinton in District 11

Sixty Rayburn in District 12