This will appear in the Farmerville, Louisiana Gazette on Feb 27, 2013,
Most people that have been raises in Louisiana have to some extent been exposed to the Long’s family and their political legacy on the state and the nation. What is interesting to note is that the tentacles of this legacy reach into Union Parish in general and Farmerville specifically. While Huey Long is the most noted individual of the long family, his brother Earl has had his share of notoriety and had a major impact on the state and our own community.
Earl was born in 1895 on a farm near rural Winnfield. Success ran in his family. Brother Huey worked his way through college, became a lawyer and ultimately one of the most powerful politicians in the country. Earl had another brother that became a medical doctor and practiced in Oklahoma. Long attended law school at Loyola in New Orleans and later practiced with his brother and two other lawyers from this area. Even though being a partner, it was apparent to all members of the team that Huey was the senior partner and in charge of the firm. This was Long’s first link to Union Parish as one of the four law partners was from Farmerville.
In 1932 Long ran for Lieutenant Governor and lost. His brother Huey failed to support him. Instead Huey backed House Speaker John Fournet. Fournet won and Earl was incensed. Huey declared, “Earl is my brother but he is a crook”. Earl had earlier said of Huey that he was, “the yellowiest physical coward that God had ever let live.” Ironically, Huey’s selection of Fornet led to James A Noe’s selection as governor. Fornet left his position as lieutenant governor to sit on the supreme court. His position was unfilled when O.K. Allen died and thus Noe who was president pro-tem of the Senate became Governor. Noe was at Huey’s side when he died. Later Noe and Earl Long reconciled and Noe ran for governor and Long for Lieutenant Governor in 1959. Noe also had deep ties with Farmerville. He moved to Louisiana following World War I and settled in Farmerville. He later married Ann Gray who was a Latin teacher at Farmerville High School prior to moving to Monroe.
In 1939 Earl was Lieutenant Governor and took over as governor when the federal prosecutor from Farmerville built the case that led to what is known as the Louisiana Scandals. This led to over 200 federal indictments for corruption and Governor Leche, the president of LSU, architect Leon Weiss of Farmerville and many more went to prison. This placed Earl in the position as the political leader of Louisiana. Long later won the 1948 election for governor but due to a term limitation of one term he could not run in 1952. He did run again in 1956 and easily own. It was during this term as Governor that Long was committed to a mental hospital by his wife. Long proceeded to fire the head of the Louisiana Board of Hospitals and then appointed a friend that had him released. His escapades with a Bourbon Street stripper is famous and Blaze Star became even more famous when she was immortalized in “Blaze” a movie about Long that starred Paul Newman. It was later speculated that Long was suffering from a series of T Strokes that led to his bizarre behavior. During this last term as governor Long did make some very positive changes to the state. He led the fight for state’s rights and attempted to tear down the Jim Crowe laws and move away from integration. He passed a very controversial state wide sales tax. Long also signed into legislation a bill that funded the construction of one of the largest manmade lakes in the deep south and located in a rural parish in North Louisiana that had a parish seat that many legislature had not heard of. In a later article the details of how this resolution was passed and how the sales tax law was a pivotal point in signing Lake D’Arbonne into law.

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