Albert Estopinal, Jr.

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Albert Estopinal, Jr.​

District Attorney of the Louisiana
25th Judicial District (Plaquemines
and St. Bernard parishes)
In office
1892​ – 1904​​

Judge of the
Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal​
In office
1904​ – 1909​

Sheriff of St. Bernard Parish​
In office
1909​ – 1924​
Preceded by Esteve E. Nunez​

Judge of the Louisiana
25th Judicial District​
In office
1942​ – 1948​
Succeeded by Bruce Nunez​

Born December 1, 1869​
Poydras, St. Bernard Parish
Died January 13, 1952 (aged 82)
New Orleans, Louisiana​
Political party Democrat
Children No children ​
Alma mater Louisiana State University

Tulane University Law School​

Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Albert Estopinal, Jr. (December 1, 1869 – January 13, 1952), was an attorney and politician from St. Bernard Parish in south Louisiana, whose career extended from the 19th to the 20th centuries.[1]

Background

Estopinal was the oldest of ten children of the former Elisha Legier (1850–1925) and Albert Estopinal, Sr. (1845–1919), a planter and since 1870 the owner of Kenilworth Plantation. The junior Estopinal was born in Poydras,[1] now a census-designated place in St. Bernard Parish near New Orleans. The highest of various offices held by the senior Estopinal was his membership in the United States House of Representatives from 1908 until his death.[2]

The Estopinals are descended from Isleños, settlers from the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain.[3]

Estopinal, Jr., graduated in 1888 from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and in 1890 from the Tulane University Law School in New Orleans. In 1892, he married the former Bernice Cambre. The couple had no children.​


Legal and political career

Estopinal practiced law in St. Bernard Parish and from 1892 to 1904 served as district attorney of the 25th Judicial District. From 1904 to 1909, he was a judge of the Louisiana Circuit Courts of Appeal, now the Court of Appeal for the 4th District based in New Orleans. From 1909 to 1924, he was the St. Bernard Parish sheriff, a position held by his father from 1872 to 1876.[1] To win the office of sheriff, Estopinal defeated fellow Isleño Nemours Nunez, the son of long-term incumbent Esteve E. Nunez, who died in office and had been Albert Estopinal, Sr.'s successor as sheriff. In the Democratic primary on November 2, 1909, Estopinal prevailed 252–148 over Nemours Nunez. In the runoff election, Estopinal received all 243 votes cast; presumably Nunez withdrew after the primary.[3] In 1924, Estopinal was defeated for reelection as sheriff, and he did not hold office again until 1942.[1]

The rise of political factionalism in St. Bernard Parish followed between groups loyal to political boss Leander Henry Perez, Sr. (1891-1969), later a leader of Louisiana segregationists, and Dr. L. A. Meraux. Estopinal returned to politics in 1942 when, with Perez's backing, he was elected while in his early seventies as judge of the 25th Judicial District. In 1924, Perez had opposed Estopinal for sheriff, but the two came to a reconciliation, and Estopinal served as judge for six years until 1948.[3]

Estopinal was also a member of the St. Bernard Parish Police Jury, the parish governing board similar to county commissions in other states. He was the long-term chairman of the Lake Borgne Levee Board.[3] Like his father, he was active in the Democratic Party and the Roman Catholic Church. He participated in political clubs in New Orleans.[1][4]

Estopinal was heavily involved in hurricane relief efforts during his public career. One of the worst hurricanes struck St. Bernard Parish on September 29, 1915, when thirty persons perished, mostly fishermen, trappers, and hunters. Water rose five feet at Shell Island and ruined the crops of the pecan and orange growers there. Sheriff Estopinal and his father, Congressman Estopinal, helped to organize relief parties to rescue the victims. Twenty-three Isleños served on the relief committee with the Estopinals. Another devastating disaster struck St. Bernard Parish on April 27, 1922, when a bank of the Mississippi River collapsed at Estopinal's birthplace of Poydras and drowned animals and forced nearly two thousand from their homes.[5]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Estopinal, Jr., Albert. Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on February 13, 2020.
  2. Estopinal, Sr., Albert. Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on February 13, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Gilbert C. Din. The Canary Islanders of Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988, pp. 133-135, ISBN 0-8071-1383-2. Retrieved on February 13, 2020. 
  4. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography uses material for its article on Estopinal, Jr., from Glen Jeansonne, Leander Perez, Boss of the Delta (1978); Alcée Fortier, Louisiana, Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, 3 vols. (1914).
  5. Gilbert Din, The Canary Islanders of Louisiana, p. 145.