M. V. Hargrove

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Matthew Vernon "M. V."
Hargrove, Sr., M.D.

Louisiana State Representative
for Allen Parish​​
In office
1948 ​​ – 1956​​
Preceded by Bill Dodd​​
Succeeded by H. E. Donaldson​​

Born November 22, 1880​​

Beauregard Parish,

Died May 4, 1975 (aged 94)​​
Resting place Oakdale Cemetery in Oakdale, Louisiana
Political party Democrat ​​
Spouse(s) Jennie Lawson Rigsby Hargrove​ (married 1904-1970, her death)
Children M. V. Hargrove, Jr.

William Rigsby Hargrove, M.D.
​ The Reverend William Robert and Effie Watson Hargrove​

Alma mater University of the South
(Sewanee, Tennessee)​​

University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis

Occupation Physician

Former educator​​ ​

Religion Southern Baptist​​

Matthew Vernon Hargrove, Sr., known as M. V. Hargrove (November 22, 1880 – May 4, 1975), was a physician and politician from Oakdale in Allen Parish, Louisiana, who served two terms as a state representative.[1]

Dr. Hargrove advised "anyone wanting to live a long, useful life is to cut down on his eating. In his opinion most people overeat, they need to cut down the diet to what is needed to sustain life."


Hargrove was born in rural Sugartown in Beauregard Parish in western Louisiana to the Reverend William Robert Hargrove (1854-1931) and the former Effie Watson (1859-1932). He graduated in 1904 from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He was the first principal (1903-1906) of the public school in Oakdale.[2]

Medical career

In 1909, he was the valedictorian of his class at the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis. Dr. Hargrove established his practice in 1910 at Marionville near Oberlin, the seat of government for Allen Parish. In 1912, he relocated his office to Oakdale, where he established a five-bed clinic which later expanded into a seventy-bed hospital. He was also administrator of his own Hargrove Clinic and Hospital in Oakdale.[2] During his practice, he delivered more than six thousand babies.[3]

Political activities

From 1912 to 1920, Dr. Hargrove was the health officer for Allen Parish and then from 1920 to 1932 for the city of Oakdale.[2]

He was a member of the Oakdale City Council from 1932 to 1940 and served a term from 1940 to 1944 on the Allen Parish Police Jury, the parish governing body. He was the Allen Parish coroner or medical examiner from 1944 to 1948. And from 1948 to 1956, he was a state representative[2] during the gubernatorial administrations of Earl Kemp Long and Robert F. Kennon. At the time each parish had at least one representative regardless of populatin. Dr. Hargrove filled the seat vacated by Bill Dodd, who became lieutenant governor for one term.

Personal life

Dr. Hargrove was also a businessman, the president of the Pelican Highway Association, Oakdale State Bank, and the Oakdale Furniture and Trading Company. He was a member of the Masonic lodge. For forty-one years, he was a Southern Baptist choir director for several congregations, including the First Baptist Church of Oakdale. He was also a Bible teacher, often taking two classes each Sunday.[2][3]

Dr. Hargrove and his wife, the former Jennie Lawson Rigsby (1883-1970),[4] had two children, M. V. Hargrove, Jr. (1910-1950) and William Rigsby Hargrove, M.D. (1912-1978). Dr. Hargrove also had a sister named "Jennie": Jennie Hargrove Carroll (1883-1978) of Baton Rouge.[5]


Dr. Hargrove died in Oakdale at the age of ninety-four, five years after the passing of Mrs. Hargrove.[6] He is interred by his wife and sons at Oakdale Cemetery.[3]

Eva Lee Sigler Bourg (1903-1990) wrote a tribute to Dr. Hargrove c. 1971 which she entitled "When the Lord Retires Me":

I think most any old time doctor’s life would make an interesting book. Such a one is Dr. M. V. Hargrove ... He is one of the busiest men in Allen Parish. Aside from his medical practice he takes an active part in church as music director and teaches two Bible classes each Sunday. He has always been and still is interested in civic matters, is a member of several different fraternal orders and still has time to help those who call on him with some specific problem. Hargrove seems to have the ability to actually stretch the hours.

This might not be so unusual, since he is a doctor but he is nearing his ninetieth birthday. His tall erect figure, and his manner belies his actual age by several years. He still drives his own car, and seems to have almost perfect vision. …

His advice to anyone wanting to live a long useful life is to cut down on his eating. In his opinion most people overeat, they need to cut down the diet to what is needed to sustain life. He eats one meal a day with sometimes a glass of orange juice. He bans all cigarette smoking, declares nicotine to be a deadly poison. He doesn’t drink coffee, but permits it if not to excess. The word retirement does not seem to be in his vocabulary. He smiled and said, “I guess I’ll stop when the Lord retires me.”[3]

See also


  1. Historical Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives (1812-2024) (Allen Parish). Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on April 15, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Hargrove, M. V.. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on April 15, 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Eva Lee Sigler Bourg. Dr. Matthew Vernon Hargrove. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on April 15, 2020.
  4. Jennie Rigsby Hargrove. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on April 15, 2020.
  5. Jennie Hargrove Carroll. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on April 15, 2020.
  6. Baton Rouge State-Times (defunct), May 5, 1975.