Charlton Lyons

Charlton Lyons

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Charlton Lyons

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Charlton Havard Lyons, Sr., also known as Big Papa Lyons (September 3, 1894 – August 8, 1973), was a Shreveport oilman who in 1964 waged the first determined Republican bid for the Louisiana governorship since Reconstruction. Lyons also made a strong but losing bid for the United States House of Representatives in a special election held in 1961. At the time of his death, Lyons, a strong segregationist, was considered "Louisiana's Mr. Republican"."Charlton H. Lyons, Sr. (1895-1973)", North Louisiana History, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Fall 1973), p. 32

From Abbeville to Shreveport

Lyons was born in Abbeville in south Louisiana, to a middle-class couple, Ernest John Lyons and the former Joyce Bentley Havard. He was reared in Melville in St. Landry Parish on the banks of the Atchafalaya River. The community was accessible not by railroad but by steamboat. As a teenager, Lyons worked in a Melville soda fountain and during two summers as a water boy for a railroad gang. He attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge but completed his Bachelor of Arts at Tulane University in New Orleans. In 1916, he earned a law degree from Tulane and was admitted to the Louisiana bar. However, he lacked the funds at the time to establish his own law office.Charlton H. Lyons, Jr., Songs I Heard My Mother Sing, Bloomington, Indiana: AuthorHouse, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4343-4059-7, pgs. 72-73





On August 28, 1917, Lyons...
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