Thomas Was One of Union’s Most Distinguished Son

The Gazette
October 5, 1939

Lee Emmett Thomas

Lee Emmett Thomas, one of Union Parish’s most distinguished sons, was born at Marion, Sept. 23, 1866 and died New Orleans February 16, 1935.  His paternal grandfather was Rev. Sampson B. Thomas and his maternal grandfather was Rev. Elias George, both pioneer Baptist preachers of Union Parish who immigrated here some twenty-five years prior to his birth.

Mr. Thomas received his early education in local schools of Union Parish, such as were afforded in that day. Later he attended Howard College, Marion, Alabama, where he received the degree of A. B. He also later attended a business a school in New York and finally attended the University of Virginia where he studied law and from which he was graduated in that course with high honors in 1889.

He soon afterward married Miss Florence Smith, of Farmerville, a sister of the late Hon. James M. Smith, who was clerk of court of Union Parish for a long period of years.

Residing and practicing his profession of law in Farmerville for a while he later moved to Shreveport where he resided for many years, and which city he served ably as mayor for eight years.

He was at one time Speaker of the House of Representatives of Louisiana, and in 1900 he accepted from Governor Heard the appointment of State Bank Examiner. He was mayor of Shreveport from 1922 to 1930.

Mr. Thomas was one of the foremost orators of the state and was prominent in fraternal affairs, having been twice Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana F & A M, as well as head of all other Masonic bodies of the state at different times. He also was a member of the First Baptist Church of Shreveport.

At the time of his death he was Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Louisiana and resided in New Orleans.

 

 

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