Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Minos Talbot Gordy Jr. (1865-1926)

Portrait from "The Convention of '98", 1898.

  Following on the heels of former Louisiana judge Wakeman Wakeman Edwards, another oddly named resident of Vermilion Parish is accorded a write-up, Minos Talbot Gordy Jr! A longtime attorney in that parish and a graduate of the Tulane Law School, Gordy served a decade as District Attorney for Louisiana's 17th judicial district and in 1898 was a member of the state constitutional convention. This post was followed by a stint as district court judge for the 17th district, which he filled for four years. The son of Vermilion Parish sheriff and Confederate veteran Minos T. Gordy Sr. (1830-1910) and the former Betty Ann Johnson, Minos Talbot Gordy Jr was born in St. Mary Parish, Lousiana on September 29, 1865
  A student in the Franklin, Louisiana schools, Gordy also attended the Rugby Academy in that parish and from 1880-83 studied at the University of Louisiana. Following graduation, he spent the next few years as a store clerk in Franklin and Abbeville before deciding upon a career in law, and in the mid-1880s began to study in a law office in Abbeville. In 1888 he enrolled at Tulane University, and after graduating the following year established his first law practice in Abbeville.
  Just one year after setting up his law practice politics beckoned to Minos Gordy, and in 1890 he was appointed by then-Governor Francis R.T. Nicholls as District Attorney for Louisiana's 17th judicial district, this appointment coming about due to the death of sitting attorney Robert Cade Smedes (1855-1890). Gordy would serve out the remainder of Smedes' term and in 1892 was elected to a term of his own in that post. He would win reelection to another four-year term in 1896 and left office in 1900. 
  Minos Talbot Gordy Jr. married on April 28, 1896, to Mississippi native Laura Cage Haynes (1877-1949). The couple were wed for thirty years and had four children, John Collins (1897-1960), Walter Haynes (1899-1970), Minos Thomas (1901-1961) and Oliver Bascom (1902-1905).
  In 1898 Minos Gordy added another political feather to his cap when he was elected as Vermilion Parish's delegate to that year's state Constitutional Convention held in Baton Rouge, and during the convention proceedings sat on the committees on Federal Relations, Parochial Corporations, and Suffrage and Elections. He continued to advance politically two years following his service as a delegate when he was elected as District Court Judge for the 17th district in 1900 and served a four-year term. This post also saw Gordy "by virtue of his office" serve as a judge on the state court of appeals, and for a time was a member of the Criminal Code Commission, a group of lawmakers appointed to codify then existing state criminal laws.
  At the conclusion of his judgeship in 1904 Gordy retired from politics but continued with his Abbeville based law practice. In 1908 he briefly returned to politics with his service as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, being a member of the committee on Platform and Resolutions. He continued residence in Abbeville until his death at age 60 on August 8, 1926. He was survived by his wife and children and was interred at the Graceland Cemetery in Abbeville. Acknowledged as a man of "unusual strength of character", Gordy was further memorialized in his Abbeville Meridional obituary as having:
"Did much to check the condition of semi-anarchy that prevailed in this parish in the early '90s. He will be remembered here as a staunch and upright citizen--standing four square to the world--a terror to evil doers.

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