John T. David
|John Thomas David, Sr.|
July 1, 1946 – February 23, 1955
|Preceded by||J. Frank Colbert|
|Succeeded by||Jasper Goodwill|
Member of the Webster Parish Police Jury
|Preceded by|| At-large in Ward 4:|
|Succeeded by|| At-large in Ward 4:|
|Born|| August 30, 1897|
|Died|| April 5, 1974 (aged 76)|
|Resting place||Minden Cemetery|
|Occupation||Businessman and pharmacist|
John Thomas David, Sr. (August 30, 1897 – April 5, 1974), was a businessman and pharmacist who from 1946 to 1955 was the Democratic mayor of Minden, the seat of government of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. After being convicted for selling liquor illegally, he was forced to resign as mayor. He also served three terms from 1956 to 1968 on the Webster Parish Police Jury, the parish governing body, and was the long-term Minden municipal fire chief.
David ran for mayor in 1946 and won a runoff election, in which he prevailed, 1,064-844. In 1950, David narrowly won his third term as mayor in a runoff, again, against Castle Overstreet "C. O." Holland (1895-1981), a native of St. Helena Parish in south Louisiana, 1,172 (53 percent) to 1,039 votes (47 percent). Attorney Alton Eugene Frazier (1922-2001), had been eliminated in the first round of primary voting. In 1952, David again was a narrow winner for another two-year mayoral term. In the runoff election on May 13, David again defeated Alton Eugene Frazier, 1,593 (56 percent) to 1,250 (44 percent). Frazier ran his second race on a platform calling for fluoridation of municipal water. A third candidate eliminated in the primary was another young lawyer, Henry Grady Hobbs (1923-2012), a Sarepta native who subsequently served eighteen years as the Minden city attorney.
On July 1, 1954, David was sworn into his fifth two-year term as mayor. He had defeated by 87 votes in a runoff, 1,969 (50.9 percent) to 1,896 (49.1 percent), furniture store owner Paul Wallace, a former member of the Minden City Council. The tally in the April 6 first Democratic primary had been 1,437 (51.6 percent) for David to 1,350 (48.4 percent) for Wallace. In his last successful race for mayor, David ran an advertisement in the local newspaper proclaiming himself "Fair, Courteous, Impartial, Independent." He pointed to widened streets new sidewalks, street lights, a second fire station, a baseball park, swimming pool, and water tank as landmarks of his administration. David advocated a four-year term for the office of mayor, a change approved by the Louisiana State Legislature with the 1954 elections, Throughout David's time as mayor, Jack Batton, the streets and parks commissioner, was the senior member on the city council.
Resignation and jailing
On February 23, 1955, David resigned as mayor when the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld his conviction of two misdemeanors for illegal liquor sales in his Minden drugstore; Minden was a prohibition city at the time. David was arrested along with two others after an undercover operation. He was sentenced to a $600 fine and 120 days at the Webster Parish Penal Farm. His resignation was confirmed in February 1955.
After he left the office of mayor, David served three terms on the parish police jury, but he was unseated in the Democratic runoff election held on December 16, 1967.
He died in 1974 at the age of seventy-six and is interred at Minden Cemetery, along with numerous other Minden mayors.
- Tombstone inscription at Minden Cemetery. David may have graduated from Minden High School c. 1914, but the author is unable to make confirmation of that point.
- Minden Herald, May 10, 1946, p. 1.
- Minden Herald, May 19, 1950, p. 1.
- Minden Herald, April 14, 1950, p. 1.
- Minden Herald, May 16, 1952, p. 1.
- Henry Hobbs obituary. The Shreveport Times (January 2, 2013). Retrieved on January 3, 2013.
- Minden Press, April 11, 1952, p. 1.
- Minden Herald, April 9, 1954, p. 1.
- The Minden Herald, April 2, 1954, pp. 1, 7.
- The Minden Herald, February 5, 1954, p. 1.
- "State Police Raid Minden", Minden Herald, November 25, 1954, p. 1.
- "David Is Given Second Sentence", Minden Herald, February 10, 1956, p. 1.
- Minden Herald, February 24, 1955, p. 1.
- Minden Press, April 9, 1962, p. 1.
- Minden Press-Herald, December 18, 1967, p. 1.