Hubert D. Humphreys
| Hubert Davis Humphreys|
(Historian of North Louisiana at Louisiana State University
|Born|| April 21, 1923 |
Grayson, Caldwell Parish, Louisiana, United States
|Died|| August 28, 2009 (aged 86) |
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Spouse|| Never married|
Hubert Davis Humphreys (April 21, 1923 – August 28, 2009) was an historian formerly affiliated with Louisiana State University in Shreveport, who specialized in archives, oral history, and studies of his native North Louisiana.
Early years, military service
Humphreys was born to Ralph and Ellie Humphreys in thevillage of Grayson in Caldwell Parish south of Monroe. He graduated in 1940 from Grayson High School and then joined the Civilian Conservation Corps two years prior to its abolition. He studied briefly at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston.
In 1942, he accepted employment with the United States Army Corps of Engineers until in 1943 he joined the United States Navy for three and a half years of World War II duty. Humphreys served under Rear Admiral Harry W. Hill’s Fifth Amphibious Force and fought in the Pacific Theater of Operations: the invasion of Palau Island), Iwo Jima, Saipan (in the Marianas), and Okinawa, the most costly of the naval battles to the United States. He served on the USS Auburn at the time of the surrender of Nagasaki, Japan. He was awarded three battle stars and numerous citations.
Humphreys was discharged from the Navy at New Orleans and enrolled at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge under the GI Bill of Right]. There in 1950, he received a Bachelor of Science in professional education. In 1953, he received a Master of Education degree from Texas A&M University in College Station. He then obtained a Master of Arts in the field of history from LSU. His master's thesis on the Civilian Conservation Corps was printed in a condensed version in Louisiana History, the journal of the Louisiana Historical Association.
Humphreys subsequently engaged in advanced studies under grants at Harvard University, Tulane University in New Orleans, Long Island University in New York City, and Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. In 1974, he received archival training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and at the Georgia State Archives. Under Fulbright-Hays Scholarship grants, he studied in Lebanon in 1967 and in Southeast Asia in 1970. His historical interest was particularly strong in the areas of U.S. diplomacy and Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.
Humphreys spent thirty-three years as an educator in Louisiana, with his first assignment inWebster Parish and then the since closed Fair Park High School in Shrevepor], where in 1965, he was named "Teacher of the Year." In 1967, Humphreys became one of the charter faculty of LSU in Shreveport, having taught history there until his retirement in 1985. In 1980, he published Louisiana Oral History Collections: A Directory.
He also wrote numerous journal articles, two on the second removal of the Red River Raft of 1875. He published another article on Lula Wardlow of Montgomery in Grant Parish, the first elected woman mayor in Louisiana and a minister in Humphreys' own Methodist Protestant Church, since part of the United Methodist denomination. He wrote articles too on some of the Methodist Protestant circuit riders in Louisiana. He wrote many book reviews and newspaper columns. In 1978, he was elected president of the Louisiana Historical Association. In 1995, the LHA named him a fellow.
He was affiliated with the North Louisiana Historical Association, Louisiana Association of Social Studies, National Council of Social Studies, Southern Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, American Association of University Professors, Phi Alpha Theta] Society of Southwest Archivists, Oral History Association, and the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission. He combined archival and oral history in a study of the Carpenter's Union, funded by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.
After retirement, Humphreys researched the history of his native Grayson and the Methodist Protestant Church. In 1992, his history of Grayson was published in lengthy articles in The Journal of the North Louisiana Historical Association, since renamed North Louisiana History, and based in Shreveport. In 2007, LSUS authorized "The Hubert Humphreys Endowed Professorship of History" in the College of Liberal Arts. On retirement, Humphreys was named an LSUS professor emeritus.
Death and legacy
Humphreys retired in Shreveport but died in Baton Rouge, where he had spent his latter days. Survivors included two sisters, Mildred Humphreys Taylor McKeithen (1925-2019), an educator for fifty-four years who was residing in Bossier City at the time of her passing.and Melissa Verna Douglas (1926-2018), and husband, George Wesley Douglas (1926-2016) of Houston, Texas. Services were held in Columbia in Caldwell County on September 5, 2009. Interment was at Welcome Home Cemetery in Grayson.
At the time of his death, Humphreys was writing a history on the Copenhagen Prairie area near Grayson, an area that he had explored as a child.
- Obituary of Hubert D. Humphreys. The Monroe News Star. Retrieved on September 4, 2009.
- Identical obituary also published in The Shreveport Times’’ and the Baton Rouge Advocate.
- Alan S. Thompson, "Hubert D. Humphreys: A Tribute, North Louisiana History, Volume XXXX, No. 4 (Fall 2009), pp. 207-209.
- Center for the Book: Hubert D. Humphreys. state.lib.la.us. Retrieved on September 4, 2009.
- (Fall 1967) Louisiana State University in Shrevport Inaugural Administrators/Faculty/Staff. lsus.edu. Retrieved on September 4, 2009; no longer on-line..
- Presidents of the Louisiana Historical Association. lahistory.org. Retrieved on June 24, 2010; no longer on-line.
- Mildred McKeithen obituary. The Baton Rouge Advocate (February 19, 2019). Retrieved on September 19, 2019.