Dayton Waller

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Dayton Hollis Waller, Jr.


Louisiana State Representative
for Caddo Parish
In office
1968–1972
Preceded by At-large delegation:

Algie D. Brown
Frank Fulco
Morley Hudson
Taylor W. O'Hearn
J. Bennett Johnston, Jr.

Succeeded by Single-member district

Born April 2, 1925
Shreveport, Louisiana
Died May 26, 2015 (aged 90)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Resting place Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Fern Reynolds Waller (married 1947-2013, her death)
Children Dayton H. Waller, III

Elizabeth "Sissy" Waller Johnson
Elaine Waller Moreau
Kathryn Waller Long
Parents:
Dayton, Sr., and Elisabeth Lane Waller

Alma mater Centenary College of Louisiana
Occupation Farmer
Businessman
Religion Southern Baptist

Military Service
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Military policeman
Battles/wars World War II

Dayton Hollis Waller, Jr. (April 2, 1925 – May 26, 2015), was a farmer and businessman from Shreveport, Louisiana, who was a Democratic state representative who served a single term with six other at-large members from 1968 until 1972.[1]

Family history

Waller was born in Shreveport to Dayton Waller, Sr. (1895-1988), a native of Haynesville in northern Claiborne Parish, and his wife, the former Elisabeth Lane (1902-1946),[2] the fourth of five children of Shreveport industrialist Charles W. Lane, Sr., and the former Addie Noel. Charles Lane, the maternal grandfather of Dayton Waller, Jr., was orphaned at thirteen. Self-educated, he became the owner of the Giddens-Lane Company, a bank director, an appointee of the Caddo Levee Board, and later established the Charles W. Lane Company.[3] The Lane Company is engaged in the management of commercial real estate development, agricultural lands, and petroleum and natural gas holdings. For years the firm was managed by E. Alton Sartor, Jr., another grandson of Charles W. Lane and hence a cousin of Dayton Waller, Jr. Sartor's wife, Jean Oliver Sartor, was an artist in Shreveport.[4]

Dayton Waller, Sr., the son of Shadrack Columbus Waller (1860-1932) and the former Mary L. Dawson (1865-1941), was a director of the C. W. Lane Company. The senior Waller was a United States Navy veteran of World War I, a Shriner and a member of the American Legion and the First Baptist Church of Shreveport. After the death of his first wife, Elisabeth, he married the former Blanche Hagan (died 1989), a native of Dry Prong in Grant Parish, by whom he had a second son, Hollis Ray Waller (1950-2022), the half-brother of Dayton Waller, Jr.[5] The Waller family is interred at Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport.[2]

Background

Waller left Clifton Ellis Byrd High School in his senior year to enlist in the United States Army, in which he was a military policeman. Upon his return to civilian life, he received his high school diploma.[6] In 1947, he graduated from Methodist-affiliated Centenary College in Shreveport.[7] At six feet, six inches in height and affectionately known as "Treetop," Waller played basketball for the Centenary Gentlemen. He was a member of the Kappa Alpha Order.[6]

Waller was a member of the board of the C. W. Lane and the Giddens-Lane companies. He owned and operated a crop dusting firm, the Dixie Dusting Company. He raised cattle, corn, and cotton on Halifax Plantation in Natchitoches Parish. He served on the board of the former Pioneer Bank and Trust Company in Shreveport, which closed in 1994. When he retired from farming, he opened the Evangeline Restaurant in Shreveport.[6]

He was affiliated with many community organizations, such as the Shreveport, the Cotillion and Plantation clubs, and the Ark-La-Tex Gun Collector's Association. He was a member of the National Rifle Association, the National World War II Museum, the American Legion, and the Forty and Eight veteran's organization.[6]

Political career

Waller ran successfully for the state House of Representatives in the 1967-1968 election cycle, when Democrats swept the Caddo Parish offices. He served in the House during the second administration of Governor John J. McKeithen. Voted out was the Republican state Representative Taylor W. O'Hearn of Shreveport, who had served the preceding four-year term from 1964 to 1968. A second Republican representative, Morley Hudson, did not seek a second term in 1968. When Waller left the House in 1972, two other Republicans were elected in single-member districts in Caddo Parish, B. F. O'Neal, Jr., and Arthur William "Art" Sour, Jr.[1]

Waller was a member of the Caddo Parish Levee Board under Governors Jimmie Davis, John McKeithen, and David C. Treen.[6]

Personal life

In 1947, Waller married the former Fern Reynolds (1925-2013), a native of Pleasant Hill in Sabine Parish and the daughter of Wendell E. and Flossie P. Reynolds. Like her husband, Fern Waller was a graduate of Byrd High School and Centenary College, from which she majored in fashion apparel and marketing. Mrs. Waller and her friend, Marilee Harter, owned a Shreveport apparel store, Hart-Wall I & II, later Fern Waller's, Inc. She developed menus for her husband's former restaurant,[8] "The Evangeline."[9]

The Wallers donated the bridal suite of the First Baptist Church of Shreveport in appreciation to God for their four children, Dayton H. Waller, III (wife Kellye), Elizabeth "Sissy" Waller Johnson (husband Walter Fair Johnson), Elaine Waller Moreau (husband Doug), and Kathryn Waller Long (husband Donnie).[8]

Waller died at his home in Shreveport at the age of ninety.[6]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024. Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on October 12, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dayton Hollis Waller, Sr.. findagrave.com. Retrieved on October 12, 2020.
  3. Henry E. Chambers, A History of Louisiana, Vo1. 2, Chicago and New York, The American Historical Society, Inc., 1925, pp. 35-36.
  4. E. Alton Sartor, Jr.. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on October 12, 2020.
  5. Hollis Ray Waller obituary. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on December 20, 2022.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Dayton Hollis Waller, Jr.. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on October 12, 2020.
  7. Yoncopin Yearbook (Class of 1947), p. 49. e-yearbook.com. Retrieved on October 12, 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Fern Reynolds Waller. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on October 12, 2020.
  9. Wysk Company Profile for Evangeline Restaurant, Inc.. wysk.com. Retrieved on December 27, 2013.