Last modified on January 6, 2021, at 14:18

Clifton Ellis Byrd

Clifton Ellis Byrd, Sr.

In office
Preceded by W. E. Taylor
Succeeded by J. E. Keeny

Born December 14, 1859
Williamsville, Bath County

Virginia, USA

Died February 26, 1926 (aged 66)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish
Resting place Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Martha Matilda Lockhart "Mattie" McFee Byrd

(married 1894-1926, his death)

Children Mary Byrd Redding

C. E. Byrd, Jr.

Residence (1) Front Royal

Warren County, Virginia
(2) Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana
(3) Ruston, Lincoln Parish
(4) Shreveport

Alma mater Augusta Military Academy (Fort Defiance, Virginia)

University of Virginia (Charlottesville)

Religion Presbyterian

Clifton Ellis Byrd, Sr. known as C. E. Byrd and Clif Byrd (December 14, 1859 – February 26, 1926)[1], was a prominent educator in north Louisiana during the first quarter of the 20th century. The nationally recognized C. E. Byrd High School (founded 1925) in Shreveport, the alma mater of many of that city's civic and political leaders, bears his name. C. E. Byrd remains Shreveport's oldest public high school.[2]

Byrd was born to John Thomas Byrd (1828-1912) and the former Sarah Rebecca McClintic (1833-1896) in Williamsville in Bath County in western Virginia, near the West Virginia state line. He was unrelated to the Byrd political family of Virginia headed by former Governor and U.S. Senator Harry Flood Byrd, Sr. He attended local schools, the since defunct Augusta Military Academy at Fort Defiance near Staunton, Virginia, and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville from 1882 to 1883. He taught school in Front Royal in Warren County in northern Virginia from 1883 to 1889, when he accepted a school principalship in Monroe in Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana.[2]

In 1892, he left Monroe to become the principal of the first public high school in Shreveport, which then occupied two rented rooms in the YMCA building. His salary was $70 per month. One of his pupils was Thornton F. Bell, later judge of the 1st Judicial District Court in Caddo Parish.[3] In 1899, Byrd became the school superintendent. In 1905, he accepted the presidency of Louisiana Tech University (then Louisiana Industrial Institute) in Ruston in Lincoln Parish, where he served for only one year. In 1907, at the age of forty-eight, he returned to Shreveport to become superintendent of the Caddo Parish public schools, a position which he filled until his death. A member of the Louisiana Teachers Association, Byrd In 1913 was a delegate to the Council of Education in Louisiana.[2]

Byrd was a Democrat at a time when virtually every elected official and most appointed officials as well were members of the state's overwhelmingly majority party. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, the Masonic lodge, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Rotary International, and Sigma Nu college fraternity.[2]

In 1894, Byrd married the former Martha Matilda Lockhart "Mattie" McFee of Monroe (1868-1940). They had had two children, Mary Byrd Redding (1895-1987) and Clifton Byrd, Jr. (1897-1958), also a graduate of Augusta Military School, a sergeant in the United States Army in World War I, and later an interior designer in the Manhattan borough of New York City. The Byrds are interred, along with their children, at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport.[4]


  1. Clifton Ellis "Clif" Byrd. Retrieved on September 8, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Byrd, Clifton Ellis. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Retrieved on September 8, 2020.
  3. Judge T. F. Bell Dies; Funeral Service Today – District Jurist and Son of Shreveport Pioneer Succumbs Friday. The Shreveport Times (through (October 29, 1938). Retrieved on September 8, 2020.
  4. Sgt. Clifton Ellis Byrd, Jr.. Retrieved on September 8, 2020.