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Clarence D. Wiley

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Clarence D. Wiley

Webster Parish, Louisiana Clerk of Court

In office
1956 – 1976
Preceded by Thomas J. "Tom" Campbell
Succeeded by Henry Matthews

Born July 22, 1909(1909-07-22)
Minden, Webster Parish, Louisiana, USA
Died March 1, 1976 (aged 66)
Minden, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse (1) Frances Waller Wiley, later Frances James
(2) Sarah Frances Brown Wiley
Children Nina Wiley Austin
Joan Wiley Luck
William Benjamin Wiley, III
Suzanne Wiley Milligan
Amy Claire Wiley ____

Occupation Public official
Religion Methodist
(1) Wiley's four decades of service in Louisiana parish government, ended only by his death, demonstrated persistence and longevity in the political arena.

(2) Wiley won his
Democratic nomination for clerk of court in 1956, having edged his opponent, incumbent Thomas J. Campbell, by ninety-four votes. He had won his party runoff berth the month before by ninety-two votes over the third-place candidate, Parey Branton, a future member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Clarence Douglas Wiley (July 22, 1909March 1, 1976)[1] was a 40-year municipal and parish government official during the mid-20th century in Minden, the parish seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. At the time of his death, Wiley was vacating the office of clerk of court after two decades awaiting his swearing in as a new Webster Parish police juror (equivalent to county commissioner in other states). His career is an example of persistence and longevity through changing times in the public arena. This residence on Union Street in Minden, Louisiana, was the boyhood home of longstanding public official Clarence D. Wiley.  
Wiley was one of four children born to William Benjamin Wiley,  (1875-1938), a Minden jeweler, and the former Nina Sugg (1886-1973). Wiley graduated from Minden High School in 1926. His government service began in the municipal clerk's office in 1936. In 1940, he began an eight-year stint with the parish assessor, with time away for United States Army combat infantry service in Italy during World War II. In 1948, he went to work for eight years for the parish sheriff. In 1956, he was elected clerk of court, a position which involves the processing and storage of public records, such as vital statistics and property transfers. Wiley promised to modernize the office, which thereafter during his first term was relocated to a new Webster Parish Courthouse on Main Street in Minden.
Wiley narrowly ousted the 24-year incumbent Thomas J. "Tom" Campbell (1895-1968) of Minden in the Democratic runoff primary.In that first election for clerk, Wiley also edged out a future member of the Louisiana House of Representatives, Parey Branton of Shongaloo, and a future mayor of Minden, Frank T. Norman. In the primary, Campbell led Wiley, 3,976 (42.8 percent) to 2,419 (26 percent), with Branton at 2,327 (25 percent) and Norman at 573 (6.1 percent). Wiley hence topped Branton by ninety-two votes for the runoff berth with Campbell. In the second primary the following month, Wiley topped Campbell by 94 votes: 4,136 (50.6 percent) to 4,042 (49.4 percent).
In later elections, Wiley retained his clerk's position with ease by defeating within the Democratic primary the Minden newspaper publisher Clifton Harper (1902-1982)and the businessman Carroll Toms. In the first ever jungle primary in Louisiana in 1975, Wiley ran for police jury, the parish governing council, and won the right to succeed the retiring veteran jury president, Leland G. Mims (1901-1979), a Minden businessman. Wiley defeated fellow Democrat Larry J. Toland, Sr., (later a Republican), 863 (71.9 percent) to 337 (28.1 percent), but died of a stroke before he could assume the position. Wiley's deputy, Henry Matthews (1935-1984), a Webster Parish native, was elected to succeed him as clerk of court.
Wiley was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Knights of Pythias, and the Methodist Church. He was divorced from the former Frances Waller. thereafter Frances James (1908-1999), and the couple had two daughters, Nina W. Austin and Joan W. Luck (previously Joan Clement and Joan Batton). He was survived by his second wife, the former Sarah Frances Brown (1923-1999) and three other children, the attorney William Benjamin "Bill" Wiley, III (born 1948), Suzanne (born ca. 1955), and Amy Claire (born ca. 1957).There were seven grandchilren, and one great-grandchild. Three ministers, Ronald D. Prince of the First Baptist Church, T.W. Barnes (1913-2006) of the First Pentecostal Church, and Tracy Arnold of the First United Methodist Church, officiated at Wiley's services. Pallbearers included then U.S. Representative Joe D. Waggonner, Jr., of Bossier Parish, City Judge Cecil Campbell, and State District Judge James E. Bolin (1914-2002) of Minden.


[edit] References

  2. Days Gone By II", Minden Memories website
  3.  Minden High School, Class of 1926 graduates
  4.  Minden Herald, October 20, 1955, pp. 1, 12
  5. Minden Press-Herald, March 2, 1976, p. 1
  6. Minden Press, January 17, 1956, p. 1
  7. Minden Press, February 23, 1956, p. 1
  8. Minden Press-Herald, November 3, 1975, p. 1

Retrieved from wikipedia. Clarence_D._Wiley" Categories: 1909 births | 1976 deaths | Louisiana politicians | Louisiana Democrats | American Methodists | American military personnel of World War II | United States Army soldiers | People from Minden, Louisiana | Webster Parish, Louisiana | Deaths from cardiovascular disease

  Submitted by Billy  Hathorn, Class of 1966