Art Sour

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Arthur William "Art" Sour, Jr.

Louisiana State Representative
for District 6 (Shreveport)]]
In office
May 1972 – 1992
Preceded by Frank Fulco
Succeeded by Melissa Flournoy

Born November 6, 1924
Shreveport, Louisiana
Died {January 10, 2000 (aged 75)
Resting place Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Margaret Hodge Sour (1928-2009)
Children Edwin William Sour

John Michael "Johnny" Sour
Margaret Stacy Sour

Alma mater C. E. Byrd High School
Religion Roman Catholic

Military Service
Service/branch United States Army
Battles/wars World War II
(wounded in battle)

Arthur William Sour, Jr., known as Art Sour (November 6, 1924 – January 10, 2000), was a Shreveport businessman and a pioneer in developing a competitive Republican Party in his native Louisiana. A conservative, Sour served for five terms from 1972 to 1992 as the state representative for District 6 in Caddo Parish.


Sour was born in Shreveport to Arthur William Sour, Sr. (1895–1972), a native of Gretna in Jefferson Parish, [1] and the former Elizabeth "Adele" Diez (1897–1977), a native of Reserve in St. John the Baptist Parish in south Louisiana.[2]

One of Sour's sisters, Louise Pasquier, the widow of Charles F. Pasquier, Sr., was among the founders of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Shreveport.[3] Another sister, Adele Hoisington (1917-1945), named for her mother, was a former bank employee, who died with her husband, Earl L. Hoisington (1910-1945), in an automobile accident near Willard in Huron County in northern Ohio, while the couple was on their honeymoon. Adele and Earl Hoisington are interred at Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport.[4]

Sour graduated from C. E. Byrd High School and served in the United States Army during World War II, during which he was wounded in action. He earned his livelihood in petroleum and real estate.[5]

Running for the Louisiana legislature

Sour first ran for the legislature in 1964 on the Charlton Lyons gubernatorial ticket, but he was defeated by Democrats in a multi-district race. In 1964, two Republican legislative candidates, Taylor O'Hearn and Morley Hudson, were elected, but Sour and two other Republicans were defeated, Billy Guin, later the last Shreveport public utilities commissioner, and Edd Fielder Calhoun (1931–2012), an insurance agent and civic figure originally from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[6] In 1968, Sour lost again in a race for the Louisiana House; all of the Caddo Parish Republican candidates were defeated that year except for Owen Adams of Greenwood in southwestern Caddo Parish. elected to the parish police jury, known as a county commission in other states.[7] Sour rebounded in 1972 to win the House seat, which he then held for twenty years.

Defeating Frank Fulco

When a single-member district plan took effect with the general election held on February 1, 1972, Sour, who was committed to the gubernatorial candidacy of fellow Republican David C. Treen, then of Jefferson Parish and later St. Tammany Parish, upset Democrat Frank Fulco, a protégé of the Longs and a former member of the Share the Wealth Club, to win the first of his five terms in the legislature. Sour defeated Fulco, 5,564 votes (53.2 percent) to 4,886 (46.8 percent). Shreveport political observers said that Fulco had ignored his fellow Roman Catholic Sour, already a two-time loser for the legislature, and concentrated instead on lining up commitments to become the next Speaker of the House, a position which ultimately went to Fulco's fellow Democrat, E .L. "Bubba" Henry, then of Jonesboro in Jackson Parish and later the capital city of Baton Rouge. Other Republicans elected with Sour were B. F. O'Neal, Jr., of Shreveport, Clark Gaudin of Baton Rouge, and Charles D. Lancaster, Jr., of Metairie in Jefferson Parish.

In 1975, when Sour was reelected, he had only four Republican colleagues, and one of those, A. J. McNamara of Jefferson Parish, was actually elected as a Democrat but switched affiliation in 1977.

In the October 24, 1987, nonpartisan blanket primary election, Sour had a close call. He defeated Democrat Greg Barro, later a state senator, by only seventy-seven votes. Sour received 5,744 votes (50.3 percent) to Barro's 5,667 (49.7 percent). That election provided a warning to Sour, who was a leading conservative among Republicans in northwest Louisiana.

Like his Louisiana legislative colleague Louis E. "Woody" Jenkins of East Baton Rouge Parish, Sour was a member of the Council for National Policy, a conservative alternative to the Council on Foreign Relations. The CNP, which meets in Washington, was begun by either Texas billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt or Virginia direct-mail operative Richard Viguerie as a potential balance to the CFR. CNP members included the conservative spokespersons Phyllis Schlafly and Paul Weyrich.

Melissa Flournoy retires Sour

In the October 19, 1991, jungle primary, when Edwin Edwards was staging his fourth-term comeback as governor, Sour was upset by the Democrat Melissa Scott Flournoy (born 1961), 9,728 votes (58 percent) to 7,151 (42 percent). It was a high turnout election, and Sour got more raw votes that year than in any previous election. Yet he lost with the smaller percent. Flournoy did not seek a second term in the Louisiana House but instead ran for the state senate in 1995 and was defeated by the Republican Max T. Malone of Shreveport.

Services for Sour were held on January 12, 2000, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, where he was a member, with Father Peter Mangum officiating. Sour was married to the former Mary Margaret "Maggie" Hodge (April 11, 1928 – December 19, 2009), the daughter of Edwin and Nelle Hodge of Hodge in Jackson Parish. Mrs. Sour graduated from Ruston High School and Louisiana Tech University, both in Ruston in Lincoln Parish. She was a member of Noel Memorial United Methodist Church in Shreveport. Sour had two sons, Edwin William Sour (1950-2022) and second wife, Dora McMath Sour, and John Michael Sour (born 1953) and wife, Terri Brooks Sour; a daughter, Margaret Stacy Sour, all of Shreveport; four sisters, a brother, and three grandchildren.[8] Edwin Sour was formerly married to Margaret Mary Stagg, the younger daughter of the late Judge Tom Stagg of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, based in Shreveport.

Sour died at the age of seventy-five and is interred along with his wife and parents at Forest Park East Cemetery in Shreveport.


  1. Arthur William Sour. Retrieved on April 20, 2017.
  2. 'Adele' Elizabeth Diez Sour. Retrieved on April 20, 2017.
  3. "Louise Sour Pasquier", April 19, 2017. Retrieved on April 20, 2017. 
  4. Adele M. Sour Hoisington. The Shreveport Times in (November 25, 1945). Retrieved on April 20, 2017.
  5. Art Sour obituary, The Shreveport Times, January 11, 2000.
  6. Obituary of Fielder Calhoun. The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on March 9, 2012.
  7. State of Louisiana, General election returns, February 6, 1968.
  8. Obituary of Mary Margaret Hodge Sour. 'The Shreveport Times. Retrieved on December 21, 2009.