John Travis Nixon

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John Travis Nixon

(Louisiana newspaper publisher: The Monroe News Star and
The Crowley Daily Signal)

Born July 10, 1867
Colchester, McDonough County
Illinois, USA
Died February 8, 1909 (aged 41)
Mobile, Alabama

Last residence: Crowley, Louisiana

Spouse Leola Belle White Nixon (married 1895-1909, his death)

Laurence Nixon
Dorothy Younse
Mildred Nolan
Joseph and Susannah Mellor Nixon

Religion Methodist

John Travis Nixon (July 6, 1867 – February 8, 1909) was a journalist and publisher in several American cities, particularly Monroe and Crowley, Louisiana, where he founded what later became the existing the Monroe News Star and The Crowley Post Signal.

Nixon's biography

Nixon was born in Colchester in McDonough County in western Illinois, the son of Joseph Nixon, originally from Newcastle upon Tyne in England and the former Susannah Mellor. He was reared in Osage County and Wellington in Sumner County, both in Kansas, where he had engaged in farming and became a printer's assistant, respectively. He moved to the American South in 1885; his parents relocated to Grand Bay near Mobile, Alabama. Nixon worked on newspapers in Mobile and New Orleans, Alexandria (now Alexandria Town Talk), Patterson in St. Mary Parish, and Washington in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. In 1893, with partner Julius Cheney, he launched The Monroe Evening News, a forerunner of The News Star in Monroe in Ouachita Parish in northeastern Louisiana.[1]

In 1898, Nixon moved to Crowley, where he became the editor of The Rice Journal and The Southern Farmer. His Rice Belt Printing Company produced the weekly Rice Belt News and The Crowley Daily News, later turned into the Crowley Daily Signal. From 1906 to 1909, he was part owner and manager of the Signal Printing Company. He was national editor and later president of the National Amateur Press Association,[1] an organization founded in 1876 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Nixon served on the Acadia Parish School Board. In 1899, he opened a library in his Crowley home which served as a public reading room. He was affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge. Nixon died in Mobile, Alabama; public schools in Crowley closed for his funeral, and no newspaper was published. The IOOF in Carson in Beauregard Parish is named in his honor. He is interred at Crowley Cemetery.[1][2]

Leola White Nixon

In 1895, Nixon wed the former Leola Belle White (December 12, 1869 – June 21, 1958), who was born at the Holly Hill Plantation near Opelousas in St. Landry Parish. She was the first of eleven children of Henry Octavus White, a Methodist minister, and the former Eliza Martha Robinett. Leola was educated in several locations, including Bastrop in Morehouse Parish and Lake Providence in East Carroll Parish, and at the Webb School in the capital city of Baton Rouge. She attended the Opelousas Female Institute, Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and Columbia University in New York City.[3]

John and Leola, who were both Methodists, soon had a son, Laurence or "Larry" (born 1896 - deceased), and thereafter two daughters, Dorothy N. Younse and Mildred N. Nolan. After the death of her husband at the age of forty-one, Leola remained in Crowley, where she taught mathematics at Crowley High School from 1911 to 1920. Earlier from 1909 to 1911, she had temporarily left Crowley to become the principal at Oak Ridge in Morehouse Parish, where she had received her early education. She taught in 1923 and again from 1925 to 1940 at Ruston High School in Ruston in Lincoln Parish. Thereafter, she retired to Monroe, where she had lived with her husband for the first three years of their marriage, and where her older daughter was living.[3]

Mrs. Nixon was active in Delta Kappa Gamma, the American Association of University Women, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, the Louisiana Federation of Women's Clubs, the League of Women Voters, and United Methodist Women. She died in 1958 in Monroe and is interred, not at Crowley Cemetery beside her husband but at Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston.[3][4]

Dorothy Nixon Younse

Dorothy Leola Nixon Younse (May 20, 1903 – November 9, 1969) was an English professor from 1931 to 1968 at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, when it was known as Ouachita Junior College and then Northeast Louisiana State College. She was the second of three children of publisher John Travis Nixon and educator Leola Belle White Nixon.[5]

Younse was born in Crowley, where her father, who died early in life, published what became the Crowley Post Signal. She was educated at Crowley High School and Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, where her mother was on the faculty of Ruston High School. In 1928, she wed Goldman Rufo Younse (1904-1965)[6] of Choudrant in Lincoln Parish, the son of sawmill owner John Rufo Younse (1878-1955).[7] The couple had three children, Virginia (born 1929), Ronald Richard (born 1944), and Karan Elizabeth (born 1947). She taught in public schools from 1922 to 1928, finishing that work from 1926 to 1928 at Ouachita Parish High School, before she joined the ULM faculty. She was the head of the language department from 1948 to 1952. In 1968, she was listed in Who's Who Among American Wome. She was posthumously named ULM professor emeritus in 1980. Like her parents and maternal grandparents, she was active in the Methodist Church.[5][8]

Mildred Nixon Nolan

The youngest of the three children of John T. and Leola Nixon, Mildred Eliza Nixon Nolan (April 1, 1905 – May 31, 2003) was a teacher for the Morehouse Parish School Board in Oak Ridge, Louisiana, where her mother had been the principal prior to 1911. An active Methodist, she was the chairman for History and Archives, the first woman member of the Council of Ministries of the Louisiana Methodist Conference. She penned seventeen articles on Methodism in Northeast Louisiana for 'The Bastrop Daily Enterprise. She was affiliated with Delta Kappa Gamma and the Daughters of the American Revolution.[9]

Mildred and her husband, William McKinley Nolan (1899-1978), had three sons, John Travis Nolan (1929-1937), namesake of his grandfather whom he never knew, died at the age of eight; the Reverend William Earl Nolan (born July 1, 1931) of Shreveport and Charles Henry Nolan (1938-1956), who died at the age of seventeen. The Nolans and their two sons are interred at the Oak Ridge Baptist Cemetery in Morehouse Parish.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dictionary of Louisiana Biography - N - Louisiana Historical Association (, "Nixon, John Travis," accessed April 20, 2021.
  2. The Louisiana Historical Association used The National Amateur XLI (1919) and the memorial issue of The Covenant, A Journal of Odd Fellowship, February 10, 1909, in the compilation of its material on the Nixon biography.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: "Nixon, Leola Belle White". Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on April 21, 2015.
  4. The Louisiana Historical Association used materials from The Crowley Signal,, December 8, 1921; The Bastrop Clarion, May, 1948; The Monroe Morning World, December 12, 1954, and her obituary on June 22, 1958, and the September 1958 issue of Louisiana Schools in the biography of Leola Nixon.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Dictionary of Louisiana Biography - N - Louisiana Historical Association (, "Younse, Dorothy Leola Nixon," the Louisiana Historical Association, accesse3d April 20, 2021}}
  6. Goldman Rufo Younse. Retrieved on April 20, 2021.
  7. John Rufo Younse. Retrieved on April 20, 2021.
  8. The Louisiana Historical Association used the Northeast Louisiana State College Alumni News, April 1968, and The Shreveport Times obituary of November 10, 1969, in compiling the biographical sketch of Dorothy Younse.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mildred Eliza Nixon Nolan. Crowley Post Signal (June 2003). Retrieved on April 20, 2021.