Jake W. Cameron

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Jacob Welch "Jake" Cameron​

In office
1957​ – 1961​
Preceded by Burgess McCranie
Succeeded by George Leon Nattin​, Sr.

Born April 17, 1913​
Homer, Claiborne Parish, Louisiana
Died September 30, 1999 (aged 86)​
Bossier City, Louisiana​
Resting place Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport
Nationality American
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Iva Lynn Eatman Cameron (married 1939-1999, his death)​
Children No children​
Residence Bossier City, Louisiana​
Alma mater Homer High School​

Louisiana College

Occupation Educator; Businessman

United States Coast Guard in World War II

Religion Southern Baptist

Jacob Welch Cameron, known as Jake W. Cameron (April 17, 1913 – September 30, 1999),[1] was a businessman who served as a Democrat from 1957 to 1961 as the eighth mayor of Bossier City, Louisiana.

Background

Cameron was the youngest of eight children born in Homer in Claiborne Parish to Milton Perry Cameron (1867-1946) and the former Lou Ada Nelson (1875-1956), who are interred at Arlington Cemetery in Homer. After graduation from Homer High School, Cameron obtained in 1938 a bachelor's degree from Southern Baptist-affiliated Louisiana College in Pineville. He taught school and coached in Claiborne and Bossier parishes prior to service in the United States Coast Guard during World War II.[1]

In 1939, he married the former Iva Lynn Eatman (1918-2009) of Bossier City, a graduate of Centenary College in Shreveport, who was a long-term Bossier Parish educator.[2]

Political life

Cameron served as Bossier City police chief. At the time of his election as mayor on May 16, 1957, he was the chief Bossier Parish deputy tax assessor. He succeeded the one-term mayor, Burgess McCranie, who was also a former police chief. Under Mayor Cameron, the city completed a master plan for orderly growth,[3] a railroad underpass on Hamilton Road, and the municipal water plant. Cameron said that he tried to meet individual constituent needs as mayor. In an interesting anecdote, Cameron recalled a woman who ran over a sewerage manhole that a city employee had accidentally left uncovered. When Cameron called the city insurance agent to request a new tire for the motorist, the agent balked at covering the expense. "At first the insurance company wasn’t going to buy a new tire, but I said, 'Well, if she doesn't get a new tire, the first thing Monday morning, we’ll have a new insurance agent.' The agent said, 'Mayor, send that lady right down.'"[4]

Cameron correctly predicted that Bossier City would grow "by leaps and bounds" in population as well as attracting business and investment.[4]

In June 1960, Cameron joined Clyde Edward Fant of Shreveport at a reception at Shreveport Regional Airport called to honor disabled veterans from World War II and to seek the reopening of the Disabled American Veterans service center at the Overton Brooks Veterans Administration Hospital in Shreveport. The event drew large media coverage.[5]

Cameron was unseated as mayor on April 8, 1961, after one term, by his fellow Democrat George Leon Nattin, Sr. (1918-2002), who like McCranie and Cameron was a former municipal police chief. Nattin polled 3,204 votes (67 percent) to Cameron's 1,571 ballots (33 percent).[6]

Thereafter, Cameron was a member of the elected Bossier Parish School Board. He was a deacon and Sunday school teacher at the First Baptist Church of Bossier City, pastored for three decades by Fred Lowery.[1] He was a trustee of his alma mater, Louisiana College, having served alongside Claude Kirkpatrick and J. D. Grey.[7]

Cameron and his wife had no children. They are interred at Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport.[1][2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Jacob Welch "Jake" Cameron. The Shreveport Times (October 1, 1999). Retrieved on January 2, 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Iva Lynn Eatman Cameron. The Shreveport Times (January 29, 2009). Retrieved on January 2, 2015.
  3. 1956 Bossier Master Plan. ftpcontent2.worldnow.com. Retrieved on January 21, 2015.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Journal Salutes Bossier City: The men at Bossier's reins: Jake W. Cameron. Shreveport Journal. Retrieved on January 17, 2015.
  5. Riser, DuFour go to DAV Meeting in Shreveport 6. The Ruston Daily Leader (June 2, 1960). Retrieved on January 21, 2015.
  6. City Voters Across State Name Leaders. Lake Charles American Press (April 10, 1961). Retrieved on January 17, 2015.
  7. State Baptists Open Convention. Lake Charles American-Press (January 18, 1962). Retrieved on January 17, 2015.

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