Charles C. Barham

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Charles Clem Barham

Louisiana State Senator for Lincoln
and Union parishes (District 35)
In office
Preceded by B. R. Patton
Succeeded by K. D. Kilpatrick
In office
Preceded by K. D. Kilpatrick
Succeeded by Randy Ewing

Born April 20, 1934
Ruston, Louisiana, USA
Died May 3, 2010 (aged 76)
Shreveport, Louisiana
Resting place Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston, Louisiana
Political party Democrat

C. E. "Cap" Barham
Carice Helen Hilburn Barham

Spouse(s) Joann Frasier Barham
Children Karla Barham

Chuck Barham
Lori Barham Sharp
Robert J. Barham (cousin)
Wiley Hilburn (cousin)

Alma mater Ruston High School

Louisiana Tech University Louisiana State University Law Center

Occupation Attorney
Religion United Methodist

Charles Clem Barham, known as Charlie Barham (April 20, 1934 – May 3, 2010),[1] was an attorney in private practice for thirty-nine years in Ruston, Louisiana, and a Democratic member of the state Senate for District 35, nonconsecutively, from 1964 to 1972 and 1976 to 1988.[2]


Barham was the older son of former Lieutenant Governor C. E. "Cap" Barham, who held the second highest statewide office from 1952 to 1956 and was like his son an attorney in Ruston in Lincoln Parish. Barham's mother was the former Carice Helen Hilburn (1907–1965). He had a brother, Robert Ewing Barham (1940–1996), an English professor at Louisiana Tech University, from which Charles Barham had received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1958.[1]

Barham had graduated in 1952 from Ruston High School and played the position of running back on the 1951 state championship football team under Coach Hoss Garrett. In 2009, Barham was recognized by the Ruston High School Alumni Association as a "distinguished alumnus." After his Louisiana Tech student years, he procured his Juris Doctorate degree in 1959 from the Louisiana State University Law Center in the capital city of Baton Rouge.[1]

Barham was a cousin of Republican former sate Senators Edwards Barham and Robert Jocelyn Barham of Morehouse Parish, who represented an adjoining district. Cousin Robert Barham is secretary of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department under Governor Bobby Jindal.[3]


On December 7, 1963, Barham won his first term in office by unseating the two-term incumbent state Senator B. R. Patton of Farmerville.[4] In 1968, Barham was reelected, and his district absorbed much of the territory of his colleague Danny Roy Moore of Homer in Claiborne Parish and later Arcadia in Bienville Parish.[2]

In 1971, Barham did not contest a third term in the state Senate and was succeeded by the funeral home operator K. D. Kilpatrick, also of Ruston and formerly of Farmerville in Union Parish. Kilpatrick did not seek reelection, and Barham staged a political comeback in the 1975 nonpartisan blanket primary election, having defeated outgoing state Representative Louise B. Johnson of Bernice in Union Parish. Johnson, a businesswoman and a Louisiana Tech graduate, had based much of her campaign on opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment. Barham polled 16,878 votes (52.4 percent) to Johnson's 15,385 ballots (47.6 percent), He drew heavily among African-American voters as well as organized labor. Kilpatrick preceded Barham in death by some two months.

From 1998 to 2001, Barham was the executive director of the interest group, the Casino Association of Louisiana, based in Baton Rouge.[5]

Barham died of cancer[6] at the Grace Home hospice in Shreveport. He is survived by his wife, the former Joann Frasier (1933-2022), also a Ruston native,[7] and their three children, Kayla Ann Barham (born c. 1959), Charles C. Barham (born 1961) and wife, Debi Shields Barham, and Lori Barham Sharp and husband, Gary, all of Shreveport, where Barham resided during his retirement. Barham had five grandchildren.[1]

Services were held on May 6, 2010 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston. He is interred in the Barham family plot at Greenwood Cemetery in Ruston.[1] On the day before the funeral, Barham's former colleague, Senator Joe McPherson of Rapides Parish, hailed him as a "statesman" and introduced a resolution of honor.[2]

On February 2, 2013, Barham was posthumously inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield, along with several others persons, including George Dement, the former mayor of Bossier City.[8]

Barham's maternal first cousin, Wiley Hilburn, the former head of the Louisiana Tech journalism department, former editorial writer for the The Shreveport Times, and an inductee himself of the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame, said that Barham's approach to politics enabled him to broker agreements in the Senate: "Unlike most today, he was a conciliator, a consensus type of politician. I think he achieved a lot with that mantra."[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Charles C. Barham obituary. The Baton Rouge Advocate (May 5, 2010). Retrieved on November 5, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Membership of the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2024. Retrieved on November 2, 2020.
  3. "Senate to consider honor for Barham," The Baton Rouge Advocate, May 5, 2010.
  4. The Shreveport Times, December 8, 1963, p. 22-A.
  5. "1999-424,", accessed March 21, 2010; material no longer accessible on line.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Stephen Largen, "Former Senator Barham dies at 76," The Monroe News-Star, May 5, 2010.
  7. Jo Ann Barham obituary. The Shreveport Times (March 10, 2022). Retrieved on March 11, 2022.
  8. "2013 Louisiana Political Hall of Fame inductees announced," The Winn Parish Enterprise, November 20, 2012.