Vail M. Delony

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Vail Montgomery Delony​

Louisiana State Representative
for East Carroll Parish​
In office
1940 ​ – 1967​
Preceded by C. H. Hill ​
Succeeded by Charles L. Vining, Jr.​

Speaker of the
Louisiana House of Representatives​
In office
1964​ – 1967​
Preceded by J. Thomas Jewell​
Succeeded by John Sidney Garrett

Born January 5, 1901​
Lake Providence, East Carroll Parish
Louisiana, USA
Died November 18, 1967 (aged 66)​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Louise Miller Delony (married 1926–1967, his death)​
Children Elizabeth Delony Ree​

Vail Delony Baldridge​
Tobias Stephens and Helen Key Montgomery Delony

Vail Montgomery Delony (January 5, 1901 – November 18, 1967) was a Democratic state representative from his native Lake Providence in East Carroll Parish in the northeast corner of Louisiana. He served from from 1940 until his death in office. He was also Speaker of the chamber from 1964 until his death.[1]

Delony was born to Tobias Stephens Delony (1870-1919) and the former Helen Key Montgomery (1873-1963). On December 26, 1926, he wed the former Elizabeth Louise Miller (since deceased) of Greenville in Washington County in western Mississippi. The couple had two daughters, Elizabeth Delony Ree and Vail Delony Baldridge[2] (born 1937) of Rayville in Richland Parish. She is the widow of the Episcopalian priest William E. Baldridge, Sr. (1927–2007), a native of Dyersburg, Tennessee.[3]

Delony was a delegate to the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which nominated the Adlai Stevenson-Estes Kefauver ticket, the first party slate to lose the electoral votes of Louisiana since Reconstruction.[4]​ ​ Delony was a segregationist during his political career but acknowledged how the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had given African Americans a 500-vote edge over white voters in Lake Providence. Delony predicted that blacks did not "have the capacity" to assume political control of East Carroll Parish at that time and would not vote as a bloc unless organized to do so. Delony said that he would welcome black support but would "not stoop to entice" minority voters with political promises.[5]

On March 25, 1968, Governor John J. McKeithen, a former state House member from Columbia in Caldwell Parish, who had tapped Delony as the House Speaker, dedicated the Vail M. Delony Data Processing Center at the Louisiana Department of Public Safety in Baton Rouge.[2]

See also


  1. Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives, 1812-2020 (East Carroll Parish). Louisiana House of Representatives (May 21, 2019). Retrieved on October 7, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vail M. Delony in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana, Genealogy. Retrieved on October 7, 2019; may be inaccessible.
  3. Obituary of William E. Baldridge, Sr.. Franklin Sun (September 18, 2007). Retrieved on September 8, 2010.
  4. Delony, Vail M.. The Political Graveyard. Retrieved on September 8, 2010.
  5. Jules Witcover. The Making of an Ink-Stained Wretch: Half a Century Pounding the Political Beat. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0801882478. Retrieved on September 8, 2010. 

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