William Hodding Carter, I

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William Hodding Carter, I
Member of the Tangipahoa Parish Police Jury
In office
Personal details
Born (1881-04-17)April 17, 1881
Kentwood, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
Died August 3, 1955(1955-08-03) (aged 74)
Hammond, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
Resting place Greenlawn Cemetery in Hammond, Louisiana
Political party Democratic Party

(1) Irma Dutartre Carter

(2) Lucille Ballenger Carter

William Hodding Carter, II
John Boatner Carter

Corinne Carter
Parents Thomas Lane Carter and Anna Hennen Jennings
Residence Hammond, Louisiana
Alma mater

(1) Sheffield High School in Sheffield, Alabama

(2) Tulane University
Occupation Farmer; Postmaster

William Hodding Carter, I (April 17, 1881 – August 3, 1955), was a businessman, Democratic politician, and farmer from Hammond, the largest community in Tangipahoa Parish, one of the "Florida parishes" east of Baton Rouge in southeastern Louisiana. Carter was a leading spokesman for the anti-Long faction.

Carter was born in Kentwood, also Tangipahoa Parish, to Thomas Lane Carter and the former Anna Hennen Jennings. He was educated at Sheffield High School in Sheffield, Alabama, at a college preparatory school in Lebanon, Tennessee, and Rugby Academy and Tulane University, both in New Orleans. After college, he worked in both sugar and cotton production and became the cashier of the American Cotton Oil Company in Vidalia, the seat of Concordia Parish, located west of the Mississippi River.

He moved to Hammond in 1905, and the following year wed the former Irma Dutartre of Natchez in Adams County in western Mississippi. She was the daughter of cotton planter John D. Dutartre and the former Corinne Henderson. He worked for several farming associations; in 1924, he became manager of the Farm Bureau in Hammond. He and Irma had three children: William Hodding Carter, II (1907–1972), a newspaper editor, publisher, and author; John Boatner Carter (born 1908), and Corinne Carter (born 1910). He later married the former Lucille Ballenger.

From 1928 to 1934, Carter served on the Tangipahoa Parish Police Jury, the parish governing board akin to the county commission in most states. For several years, he was the postmaster in Hammond. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church in the United States and the Chamber of Commerce. He served on the board of trustees of Hammond Junior College, which subsequently became Southeastern Louisiana University, until he was removed from that position by Governor Huey Pierce Long, Jr., of whom he was an intraparty rival.

Carter was an uncle of philanthropist Sir Alfred Beit. Carter died in Hammond and is interred there at Greenlawn Cemetery.


  • "William Hodding Carter, Sr.", A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. 1 (1988), p. 157
  • Henry E. Chambers, A History of Louisiana (1925)
  • "Hodding Carter: An Unforgettable Character", Reader's Digest, 1954
  • Carter obituary, New Orleans Times-Picayune, August 4, 1955