Leopold Caspari

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Leopold Caspari

Louisiana State Senator for principally Natchitoches Parish
In office
Preceded by Two members:

G. L. Trichel
A. T. Liverman

Succeeded by B. W. Marston
In office
Preceded by B. W. Marston
Succeeded by Charles Milton Cunningham

Louisiana State Representative for Natchitoches Parish
In office
Preceded by Two members:

James H. Cosgrove
R. E. Jackson

Succeeded by M. R. Joyner

T. L. Mathis

Born July 28, 1830
Lauterbourg, France
Died March 11, 1915 (aged 84)
Natchitoches, Louisiana, USA
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Amanda Woods Caspari (married 1862-1883, her death)
Children Richard L. Caspari

Samuel L. Caspari
Joseph Caspari
David Caspari
Emanuel Caspari
Charles Caspari
Gustave Caspari
Julia Caspari Glover
Dora Caspari

Occupation Businessman; Banker
Religion Judaism

Leopold Caspari (July 28, 1830 – March 11, 1915) was a French-born businessman and politician from Natchitoches, Louisiana. In 1884, in his role as state representative, he was instrumental in the establishment of Northwestern State University, then a teacher training normal school.[1][2]


Caspari was born in Lauterbourg in northeastern France, to David Caspari (1800–1873) and the former Charlotte Baruch (1802–1844). He was a young apprentice in a dry goods store. In 1849 at the age of nineteen, five years after the death of his mother, and a year following the European Revolution of 1848,[1] Caspari emigrated to the United States. He first settled as a merchant in Cloutierville in Natchitoches Parih south of the city of Natchitoches, where he lived after 1858. He served in the Confederate Army as a member of Pelican Rangers No. 1 at the rank of second lieutenant. By the end of the American Civil War, he had been promoted to the rank of captain.[3]

Public life

In 1884, Caspari was elected as a Democrat to the Louisiana House of Representatives and served two four-year terms, his tenure ending in 1892.[4] From 1900 to 1908, he served in the state Senate. After a year's absence, he returned to the Senate in 1909, when his immediate successor, B. W. Marston, resigned. Caspari remained in the Senate until 1914,[5] shortly before his death. At the time there were no term limits in the Louisiana legislature.

Caspari led the push to select Natchitoches as the site for Northwestern State University. He was a president of the People's Bank and the Red River Valley Railroad, both based in Natchitoches. He also engaged successfully in farming. For years, he was active in the Confederate veterans' organization, the Knights of Pythias, and the anti-defamation league, B'nai B'rith, a Jewish organization.[3][6][7]

Caspari also served for eight years on the Natchitoches Parish School Board, dates unavailable.[1]

Personal life

Caspari was married to the former Amanda Woods (died 1883). Their children were Richard L. (1866-1905), Samuel L. (1866-1947), Joseph (1870-1933), David (1872-1929), Emanuel, Charles, Gustave (1879-1938), Eddie (1881-1883), Julia, and Dora Caspari.[2] He died in Natchitoches and is interred at the historic American Cemetery on Second Street across from the NSU campus that he worked to establish.[3]

Caspari lost two grandsons in December 1903. Bertrand Leopold Glover (1896–1903) and Claude Alban Glover (1901–1903) died seventeen days apart at the ages of seven and two, respectively. Their mother was Julia Caspari "Julie" Glover (1864–1920).[2]

Caspari Hall and Caspari Street at NSU are named in his honor.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gaytha Carver Thompson, "Leopold Caspari," Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana (Chicago and Nashville: Southern Publishing Company, 1890).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Capt. Leopold Caspari. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on December 28, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Caspari, Leopold. Louisiana Historical Association: A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography. Retrieved on December 28, 2019.
  4. Membership in the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024. Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on June 16, 2020.
  5. Membership of the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2024. Louisiana State Senate. Retrieved on June 16, 2020.
  6. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography bases its biographical sketch of Caspari on Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Northwest Louisiana and the obituary fromThe New Orleans Times-Picayune,, March 12, 1915.
  7. The exact dates for Caspari's legislative service listed in A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography are at odds with those in the Louisiana Secretary of State's office. This article uses the Secretary of State dates taken from the department's website.