Morley Hudson

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Morley Alvin Hudson​

Louisiana State Representative
for Caddo Parish (at-large)​
In office
1964 ​ – 1968​
Preceded by Four at-large members:​

Algie D. Brown
Frank Fulco
Wellborn Jack
Jasper K. Smith

Succeeded by Seven at-large members:​

Lonnie O. Aulds
Algie D. Brown
​ Frank Fulco
P. J. Mills
​ Dr. Jimmy Strain
Dayton H. Waller, Jr.
Don Williamson

Born March 31, 1917​
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Died June 15, 2001 (aged 84)
Shreveport, Louisiana​
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Lucy North Hudson (died 1997)​

(2) Catherine Franks Hudson (married 1998-2001, his death)​

Children Nancy Ketner​

Courtney Hudson
​ Lucy North Hudson
​ Robert Dean Franks, Jr.
​ Susan F. Leake
​ Allen C. Franks​
Oscar Alvin and Ruth Morley Hudson

Occupation Businessman
Religion Presbyterian

Morley Alvin Hudson (March 31, 1917 – June 15, 2001), was a Shreveport businessman, engineer, civic leader, and a pioneer of the modern Republican Party in Louisiana. ​[1]


Hudson was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Oscar Alvin Hudson (1883-1935) and the former Ruth Morley (1887-1974), hence his first name. The parents are interred at Oakwood Cemetery in Austin, Texas.[2] His maternal grandfather, Stephen Kay Morley, was a pharmacist in Austin who patented old-time remedies that were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In youth, Hudson was an Eagle Scout. Hudson graduated cum laude from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, with a degree in mechanical engineering. From 1938 to 1940, he played football for the Green Bay Packers under Coach Louis "Curly" Lambeau (1898-1965).

During World War II, he was a captain in the United States Army Infantry Reserves. When he relocated to Shreveport in 1945, Hudson became president of the Hudson-Rush Company of Shreveport and Dallas, Texas, which specialized in industrial process equipment. He also was one of the original partners of Pelican Supply Company and McElroy Metals in Shreveport. In 1956, Hudson ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the Caddo Parish School Board.​[1]

First Republicans in Louisiana legislature (1964-1968)

Elected on the Republican ticket headed by the gubernatorial nominee, Charlton Lyons, a Shreveport oilman, Hudson and Taylor W. O'Hearn were the first two Republicans to have been elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives since Reconstruction. They were joined in the Caddo Parish delegation by Democrats Algie D. Brown, Frank Fulco, and newcomer J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., later a member of both the state Senate and the United States Senate. Veteran Democratic lawmaker Wellborn Jack, a Shreveport attorney, finished in sixth place for the five seats at stake. Also eliminated was the conservative Democrat Jasper K. Smith of Vivian.[3]

Three Caddo Republican legislative candidates who lost in 1964 were Billy Guin, who thirteen years later in 1977 was elected as the last Shreveport commissioner of public utilities; Edd Fielder Calhoun (1931–2012), an insurance agent and civic figure originally from Oklahoma City,[4] and Arthur William Sour, Jr. (1924-2000), who made his livelihood in the oil business. Sour lost again in 1968 but rebounded in 1972 to win a seat in the state House, which he subsequently held for twenty years.​

Hudson was a delegate in 1964 to the Republican National Convention held in San Francisco, California, which nominated Barry Goldwater. He was a delegate again in 1968 and 1972 at the convention in Miami Beach, Florida, that nominated Richard M. Nixon.​ ​ Hudson was the self-proclaimed Louisiana House "minority leader" between 1964 and 1968 because he had outpolled Taylor O'Hearn in the general election balloting on March 3, 1964. In 1966, he obtained passage of a bill to grant in-state college students the same right to vote absentee as permitted to out-of-state students. His record was primarily focused on fiscal and management reform of state government. He worked for legislation to eliminate in public buildings architectural barriers to the disabled to restrict the issuance of driver's licenses to persons under the age of sixteen.[5]​ ​ In the 1966 legislative session, Hudson introduced legislation to reform the Louisiana worker's compensation act. He proposed a bill to upgrade the quality of education, a measure advocated by the Chamber of Commerce which would have required teachers to demonstrate basic​ qualifications in their field beyond the receipt of their college credentials.[5]

Two other Republicans joined Hudson and O'Hearn later in their term: Roderick Miller of Lafayette in 1966 and E. Clark Gaudin in 1967. Miller was defeated by Edgar G. "Sonny" Mouton, Jr., in a bid for the state senate on February 6, 1968. Gaudin was defeated for reelection to the House in 1968 but returned to the legislature in 1972 and like Art Sour served for another twenty years.​

In the spring of 1969, Hudson leaped to the defense of the newly-inaugurated President Nixon, whom some conservatives had begun to criticize for the continued expansion of liberal programs. In a speech in Minden, Hudson stressed that Congress had changed little in the 1968 elections despite Nixon's narrow victory over the Democrat Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota: "Most of the Congress comes from liberal areas and from areas where a liberal press dominates."[6]

Running for lieutenant governor, 1972

In 1972, Hudson was a candidate for lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket with gubernatorial hopeful David C. Treen, then of Jefferson Parish in suburban New Orleans, running against Democrat Edwin Edwards. Hudson spent some $40,000 on his race, with no assistance from the Republican National Committee.[7] Hudson polled only 218,169 votes (20.5 percent) to 815,794 (76.8 percent) for the successful Democrat, James E. "Jimmy" Fitzmorris, Jr., a former member of the New Orleans City Council and an executive for Kansas City Southern Railroad. Hudson failed to win a single parish. He fared best in his home base of Caddo Parish, where he drew 43.6 percent of the vote. A third candidate in the race, Gertrude L. Taylor, also of Shreveport, nominee of George C. Wallace's former American Independent Party, received 2.7 percent of the vote. Her running-mate, Hall M. Lyons, a Lafayette oilman and younger son of Charlton Lyons, withdrew from the gubernatorial contest in January and endorsed Treen.[8]​ But unlike his father, Hall Lyons lost faith in the national Republican Party.

Running for governor for the first time, Treen polled 42.8 percent, more than twice the number of votes obtained by Hudson.[9] While Caddo Parish supported Fitzmorris over Hudson, it gave majorities to three unsuccessful Republican statewide candidates, Treen for governor, Tom Stagg of Shreveport for state attorney general against the Democrat William J. Guste, and Robert Frye, a native of Webster Parish who ran for state education superintendent against the Democrat Louis J. Michot of Lafayette. ​At the time, the lieutenant governor was the presiding officer of the state Senate, but under the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, the office was shifted in focus so that the lieutenant governor presides over tourism and recreation. In the lieutenant governor's race, Hudson wore a friend's red-white-and-blue shoes. According to The Shreveport Times, Hudson repeated the patriotic color scheme in a 1976 visit to the White House, at which he wore a red-white-and-blue tie that made him stand out among dozens of other people in gray suits, prompting President Gerald Ford, to remark, "It's so good to see someone here in Washington with the bicentennial spirit!"​

Supporting the handicapped

​ Hudson and his first wife, the former Lucy North (1919-1997), were the parents of a mentally disabled daughter, also named Lucy North Hudson. He became a founding member of both the Shreveport and the Louisiana Association for Retarded Children, and he was a director of the National Association for Retarded Citizens. He was vice chairman of the Louisiana Governor's Commission for Employment of the Handicapped, and was appointed by President Ford to the 24-member President's Committee on Mental Retardation. He delighted in playing Santa Claus at the White House Christmas party for handicapped children of the Washington area. He was a founder of the Evergreen Presbyterian Vocational School north of Minden in Webster Parish and the Evergreen House, the forerunner of what became Providence House in Shreveport. His favorite hobby was dancing.​[1]


​ After his first wife's death, Hudson in 1998, Hudson married the former Catherine Loyd Franks (1919-2012), a Shreveport native, a graduate of Clifton Ellis Byrd High School and Centenary College of Louisiana, and the widow of the Shreveport veterinarian, Robert Dean Franks, Sr., who died in 1987.[10]

At the time of his death in Shreveport from the effects of a brain tumor, Hudson was residing in Waskom in eastern Harrison County, Texas, just west of the Louisiana border. ​In addition to his parents and two brothers, Hudson was preceded in death by his first wife and a son who died in infancy, Morley Alvin Hudson, Jr., both of whom are interred at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport. In addition to his second wife, Hudson was survived by three daughters and a son-in-law, Nancy and Joe Ed Ketner, Courtney Morley Hudson, and grandsons Max, Alex and Nicholas Hudson, all of Shreveport, and Lucy North Hudson of Pineville; stepchildren, Robert Franks, Jr., and his wife, Vicki, of Shreveport, Susan F. Leake and her husband, Rucker, of St. Francisville, in West Feliciana Parish, north of Baton Rouge, and Allen C. Franks and his wife, Cathy, of Mena, Arkansas, and their children and grandchildren.[10]

H​udson's memorial service was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport, at which he had been an active member. He was cremated.[1] ​Second wife Catherine Hudson, who was also an active Presbyterian, is interred at Forest Park Cemetery.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Morley Hudson obituary, The Shreveport Times, June 16, 2001​.
  2. Ruth Morley Hudson. Retrieved on June 4, 2020.
  3. Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2024 (Caddo Parish). Louisiana House of Representatives. Retrieved on June 1, 2020.
  4. Obituary of Fielder Calhoun. Shreveport Times. Retrieved on June 1, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Taylor (May 1966). Legislators support med bonds. Shreveport Journal. Retrieved on October 25, 2014.
  6. "Hudson: Nixon Doing Fine Job Despite Opposition, Lions Are Told," Minden Press-Herald, April 11, 1969, p. 1.
  7. "Lt. Governor Candidates Both Ask Responsibility," Minden Press-Herald, January 26, 1972, p. 1.
  8. "Lyons Says Conservatives Should Unite With Treen," Minden Press-Herald, January 4, 1972, p. 1.
  9. Louisiana Secretary of State, General election returns, February 1, 1972.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Catherine Loyd Franks Hudson. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on June 1, 2020.

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