Billy Boles

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William Russell "Billy" Boles, Sr.​

Louisiana State Senator
for Richland, Franklin,
and Catahoula parishes​
In office
1952 – 1956​
Preceded by Dr. Ralph Elijah King, Sr.​
Succeeded by Dr. Ralph Elijah King, Sr.​

Born April 30, 1927​
Rayville, Richland Parish​
Died August 16, 2008 (aged 81)​
Monroe, Ouachita Parish
Resting place Mulhearn Memorial Park Mausoleum​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Catherine Furlow Boles​
Children Linda Boles Campbell​

Diane Boles Kirtland
​ Janet Boles Crawford
​ William R. Boles, Jr.
Parents:
Vernon and Ruth Boles​

Alma mater University of Louisiana at Monroe

Louisiana Tech University
Louisiana State University Law Center

Occupation Attorney and banker in Monroe​
Religion Southern Baptist

William Russell Boles, Sr., known as Billy Boles (April 30, 1927 – August 16, 2008), was an attorney and banker who, at the age of twenty-four, served a single term as a Louisiana state senator for his native Richland Parish and neighboring Franklin and Catahoula parishes in the northeastern part of the state. His term extended from 1952 to 1956 during the administration of his fellow Democrat, Governor Robert F. Kennon. Boles succeeded and preceded the pro-Long state senator, Ralph Elijah King, Sr. (1902-1974), a physician from Winnsboro in Franklin Parish.[1]

Background

Boles was born on Louisiana Statehood Day 1927 to Vernon and Ruth Boles in Rayville east of Monroe, where he was engaged in his law practice and banking. He attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe (then Northeast Junior College) on a basketball scholarship and then served eighteen months in the United States Navy. Thereafter, he procured his Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston in Lincoln Parish]]. He was student body president of his law class at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.[2]​ ​

Career

Boles and a close friend, State Senator Jamar William Adcock (1917-1991) of Monroe (service: 1960-1972), co-founded what is now Regions Bank of North Louisiana, originally the American Bank in Monroe. Adcock and Boles also started Fidelity Bank in Slidell in St. Tammany Parish, the Colonial Bank in New Orleans, and Progressive Bank in Metairie in Jefferson Parish. They bought into the former Bossier Bank and Trust Company in Bossier City and the Jena Bank in Jena in La Salle Parish. Boles met Adcock when they were LSU students. Their First Fidelity Mortgage Company was later part of Chase Bank.[3]

Known for his close ties to important Louisiana politicians, including Governors John J. McKeithen and Edwin Edwards, Boles was in 2004 inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield.[4] At the time of his death, Boles was semi-retired in Monroe in the practice of law with his son, William Boles, Jr. (born 1956).​

Boles was the second youngest person to have served in the Louisiana Senate. Puckett Willis of Winnfield was elected at the age of twenty-three in 1947 and served from 1948 to 1952.

Personal life

Boles was married until his death for sixty years to the former Mary Catherine Furlow (ca. 1928-2010), a native of Elizabeth in Allen Parish, and the daughter of Adelaide and John Furlow. She was a Roman Catholic. The Boleses are remembered for their philanthropy through the Catherine and William R. "Billy" Boles Terrace on the seventh floor of the library at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. [5]

In addition to his wife, Boles left behind three daughters and a son: Linda Boles Campbell (born 1949) and husband George M. Campbell, Sr. (born 1948) of Monroe, Diane Boles Kirtland (born 1951) and husband Walter Kirtland (born 1946) of Baton Rouge, attorney Janet Boles Crawford (born 1954) and husband, Scott Holland Crawford (born 1953), a Baton Rouge attorney-lobbyist originally from Minden in Webster Parish and a grandson of Minden banker Castle Overstreet "C. O." Holland (1895-1981), and attorney William Boles, Jr.[2]

Services were held on August 19, 2008, in the First Baptist Church of West Monroe, with entombment at Mulhearn Memorial Park Mausoleum.[2]

References

  1. Historical Membership of the Louisiana State Senate, 1880 - Present. Louisiana State Senate. Retrieved on April 24, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 William R. "Billy" Boles Sr. obituary. The Baton Rouge Advocate (August 2008). Retrieved on April 24, 2020.
  3. Jamar Adcock obituary, Monroe News Star, December 24, 1991.
  4. Inductees. Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame. Retrieved on April 24, 2020.
  5. Mary Catherine Furlow Boles. The Monroe News Star, September 28, 2010. Retrieved on April 24, 2020.

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