Lorris Wimberly

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Lorris May Wimberly, Sr.​

Louisiana State Representative
for Bienville Parish​
In office
1928​ – 1940
Preceded by Robert L. Williams ​
Succeeded by E. C. Parker

Louisiana State Representative
In office
1948 – July 10, 1956
Preceded by G. C. Taylor
Succeeded by Fletcher S. Sutton

Speaker of the
Louisiana House of Representatives​
In office
1936​ – 1940
Preceded by Allen J. Ellender
Succeeded by Ralph Norman Bauer

House Speaker
In office
Preceded by Morris Lottinger, Sr.
Succeeded by Clarence C. "Taddy" Aycock

House Speaker
Assumed office 
May 14, 1956
Preceded by Clarence C. "Taddy" Aycock
Succeeded by Robert Joseph "Bob" Angelle

Director, Louisiana Department of Public Works​
In office
1956​ – 1960​
Succeeded by Claude Kirkpatrick​

Born March 4, 1898​
Arcadia, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, USA
Died May 2, 1962 (aged 64)​
Resting place Arcadia Cemetery ​
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) (1) Jessie Faye Sherard Wimberly (died 1934)

(2) Dorothy Knox Wimberly (married 1936-1962, his death)​

Children Faye Wimberly Mary (born 1921, first marriage)
Lorris M. Wimberly, Jr. (born 1946, second marriage)​

Rush and Annie May Poland Wimberly​

Occupation Businessman, Cattleman; Farmer
Religion Methodist

(1) Wimberly served three nonconsecutive stints as Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives]] under Governors Richard Webster Leche and Earl Kemp Long.​

(2) Wimberly's last political position was as the appointed state director of public works from 1956 to 1960.​

Lorris May Wimberly, Sr. (March 4, 1898 — May 2, 1962), was a Democratic[1] member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from 1928 to 1940 and again from 1948 to 1956. A native and resident of Arcadia in Bienville parish in the northern portion of his state, Wimberly was the House Speaker from 1936 to 1940, 1950–1952, and from May 14 to July 10, 1956.[2]

Wimberly was also the state highway department director during the 1940s and headed the Department of Public Works from 1956 to 1960. He was a member of the powerful Long political faction which dominated the state during most of Wimberly's public career.​


​ Wimberly was the oldest of three children born to the attorney Joseph Rush Wimberly, I (1973-1943), and the former Annie May Poland (1877–1960). His siblings were J. Rush Wimberly, Jr. (1906–1982), also an attorney, and Edrie W. Albrecht (1902-1983), the wife of Henry Gustave Albrecht (1899-1945) of Arcadia. After a period of self study, Rush Wimberly was admitted to the bar in 1894. Rush Wimberly served in the Louisiana House from 1900 to 1908 and the state Senate from 1908 to 1912, practiced for a time in Shreveport, and was thereafter for ten years the Bienville parish attorney and for several years the parish school superintendent.[3]

Like his father, Lorris Wimberly graduated from Arcadia High School, an entity of the Bienville Parish School Board. He made his living as a cattleman and farmer and was also affiliated with the former Daniel, Bryan, and Turner Insurance Agency in Arcadia. Lorris Wimberly was twice married. From his union to Jessie Faye Sherard (June 6, 1899 — July 25, 1934) was born a daughter, Faye Wimberly Mary (born 1921), the widow of Richard M. Mary, Sr. (born 1922), of Baton Rouge.

After the death of his first wife, Wimberly in 1936 married the former Dorothy Knox (1911-1981) of Baton Rouge. From that union came Lorris M. Wimberly, Jr. (born 1946), a United Methodist minister. Wimberly had five grandchildren: Richard Mary, Jr. (born 1951) and Mary's four half-cousins, Lorris Knox Wimberly (born 1975), Marianna Grace Wimberly (born 1978), Shelley Dawn Wimberly (born 1980), and Wesley Paul Wimberly (born 1982), all of Baton Rouge. ​He was a cousin of D. C. Wimberly, a World War II prisoner of war and later an educator in Bienville and Webster parishes.​ ​

Political activities

Wimberly supported state-funded textbooks, a plank in the original platform espoused by Huey Pierce Long, Jr. The textbooks proposal was first advanced by the Longite John Sparks Patton (1894-1961) of Claiborne Parish, adjacent to Bienville Parish, who was later a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. Wimberly's first stint as Speaker occurred when Longite Speaker Allen J. Ellender of Houma in Terrebonne Parish in south Louisiana, was elected to the United States Senate. Wimberly served as the choice of Governor Richard Webster Leche of New Orleans (1936–1939), when Leche was forced to resign amid scandals known as the "Louisiana Hayride". From 1939 to 1940, Wimberly continued as Speaker under Governor Earl Kemp Long, who succeeded to the top position from the lieutenant governorship with the departure of Leche.​

Long called Wimberly back as Speaker — in Louisiana, the governor until 2016 automatically chose the House Speaker — in the middle of his second term in 1950. Governor Robert F. Kennon replaced Wimberly as Speaker in 1952 with his choice, conservative state Representative (and later lieutenant governor) Clarence C. "Taddy" Aycock of Franklin in St. Mary Parish in south Louisiana. Long recalled Wimberly as Speaker only briefly in 1956 before naming him to head public works.​ ​ Long and Wimberly supported Jimmie Davis for governor in the 1959 Democratic runoff election. Davis had north Louisiana roots, though he lived for years in Baton Rouge. Davis defeated then Mayor deLesseps Story "Chep" Morrison, Sr. of New Orleans. Long had been an unsuccessful candidate in the 1959 primary for lieutenant governor, the post ultimately having gone to Taddy Aycock. Wimberly did not seek office that year, as he was completing his tenure at public works.​

While he was in the House, Wimberly represented only Bienville Parish. Prior to 1968, all parishes had at least one seat in the legislature regardless of population. The last member to represent only Bienville Parish was Len Lacy of Castor, who served a single term from 1964 to 1968.​ ​ Wimberly is interred beside his first wife at Arcadia Cemetery on Hazel Street near the Bienville Parish Library.​


  1. Index to Politicians: Wilson-allen to Winfrey. politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on June 22, 2013.
  2. Membership of the Louisiana House of Representatives. house.louisiana.gov. Retrieved on June 22, 2013.
  3. Louisiana: Comprising Sketches of Parishes, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form (volume 3), p. 465, edited by Alcee Fortier, published in 1914, by Century Historical Association.

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