Ashton J. Mouton

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Ashton Joseph Mouton, Sr.

In office
1948 ​ – 1956​
Preceded by Claude C. Colomb​
Succeeded by Jerome E. Domengeaux​

Louisiana Collector of Revenue​
In office
1964​ – 1970​

Born October 16, 1916​
Lafayette, Louisiana​
Died January 31, 1988 (aged 71)
Lafayette, Louisiana​
Resting place Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Stella Rosa Dupuis Mouton​
Children Stella Rose Mouton ​

Ashton Mouton, Jr.
​ Catherine Anne and Carolyn Anne (twins)
​ John Mouton​
Parents:
Edwin Darrol, Sr., and Georgia McBridge Mouton

Alma mater University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Occupation Businessman
Religion Roman Catholic

Note:

  • Having earlier been declared one of his state's most successful mayors by the Louisiana Municipal Association, Mouton ran for lieutenant governor in 1963 on the intra-party Democratic ticket with John J. McKeithen. After McKeithen was elected governor but Mouton lost his race to Clarence C. "Taddy Aycock (1915-1987), McKeithen named his ticket-mate as the state's Collector of Revenue.

Ashton Joseph Mouton, Sr. (October 16, 1916 – January 31, 1988), was an American businessman and politician who became, at thirty-one, the youngest mayor in the history of his native Lafayette, Louisiana. A Democrat, Mouton was elected mayor in 1948, served two four-year terms, and left office in 1956. In 1963, Mouton was an unsuccessful contender for lieutenant governor on an intra-party ticket with the winning gubernatorial candidate, John J. McKeithen of rural Columbia in Caldwell Parish in the northeastern portion of the state.​ ​

Background

One of at least five children of Edwin Darrol Mouton, Sr. (1882-1958), and the former Georgia McBride (1883-1969),[1] Ashton Mouton was educated at Mount Carmel Elementary School and Cathedral High School in Lafayette. In 1939, he obtained a degree in business administration from Southwestern Louisiana Institute, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He married the former Stella Rosa Dupuis (1919-2015), the daughter of Dr. John Willis Dupuis, Sr. (1890-1958), and the former Stella Theriot (1894-1990) of Youngsville in Lafayette Parish. The couple had five children: Stella Rose, Ashton Mouton, Jr. (born 1947); twins Catherine Anne and Carolyn Anne (born 1953); and John Mouton. [2] The twins were remarkable in that they were the first pygopagus conjoined twins to be successfully separated.[3] There is also a namesake grandson, Ashton Mouton, III, of Lafayette (born 1983). After her husband's death Rosa remarried and became known as Rosa Gwin.[4]

Mouton was a member of the American Legion, Mardi Gras Krewe of Gabriel, and the Roman Catholic Church and its men's organization, the Knights of Columbus.[2]

Career

From 1939-1941, Mouton was the administrative assistant in the Lafayette municipal finance office. He served in the United States Army during World War II from 1941-1945. After the war, Mouton started a career in life insurance.[2]​ Mouton in 1948 succeeded Mayor Claude C. Colomb (1889-1973). Mouton was recognized widely for his mayoral success, was honored on March 10, 1955, by the Louisiana Municipal Association and its trade publication, the The Louisiana Municipal Review, as one of the outstanding mayors in Louisiana at the time. Over the next several decades, Lafayette became and remains the fourth largest city in the state. At the time of Mouton's service, Lafayette, as did many other Louisiana communities, had a commission form of city government. He was succeeded as mayor by Jerome E. Domengeaux (1919-1999), the younger brother of then U.S. Representative James R. Domengeaux (1907-1988) of Lafayette.​ ​ After his mayoral years, Mouton became an independent oil and natural gas lease broker. He held various state-level appointments too, including the Mineral Board (1950–1952) , the Board of Tax Appeals (1956–1958), collector of revenues, (1964–1970), director of hospitals (1970–1971), and administrative assistant to the director of the Louisiana Commission on Law Enforcement in 1972. The three former appointments were in the administration of Governor Earl Kemp Long, and the three later positions were under his mentor John McKeithen. [2]Mouton was affiliated with the powerful Long political faction of Louisiana politics.​

In his lieutenant governor's race on December 7, 1963, Mouton was defeated by the incumbenta. Aycock defeated future state Senator Claude B. Duval of Houma in Terrebonne Parish. Also running on the McKeithen-Mouton ticket for the new position of insurance commissioner was future U.S. Representative and then state Senator Speedy Long of Jena in La Salle Parish. Long was defeated by Dudley Guglielmo, an Italian-American politician.[5]

In 1965, Mouton sued the John Schwegmann Brothers Giant Super Markets, Inc., based in suburban Jefferson Parish west of New Orleans, to collect for the state sales, use and occupational license taxes plus interest in the amount of $62,517.98. Schwegmann appealed the assessments to the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals. In 1975, the tax board ruled in Mouton's favor, some five years after he had left the collector's position. Thereafter, Mouton sued to collect another $103,290.59. Schwegmann answered and denied liability. The two cases were consolidated in the trial court by consent of the parties. In the trial, Mouton was upheld in both cases.[6] In 1971, Schwegmann unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for governor on a platform to cut government spending.​

Mouton began selling real estate in 1976 and was associated with an agency in Lafayette from 1978 until his death ten years later.​[2] Mouton died at the age of seventy-one and is interred in the Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery.[1]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Ashton J. Mouton, Sr.. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on June 12, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Mouton, Ashton J.. A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography: Louisiana Historical Association. Retrieved on June 12, 2020.
  3. Prayer & Surgery. Time Magazine (September 28, 1953).
  4. Rosa Dupuis Mouton. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on June 12, 2020.
  5. Lafayette Daily Advertiser, December 8, 1963.
  6. Mouton v. Schwegmann. Fastcase.com; no longer accessible on-line.
  • Lafayette Daily Advertiser, March 7, 1948; March 11, 1955; November 17, 1963; June 27, 1970​.

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