ROBERT FLOYD KENNON

                                          Article from the Press Herald by John Agan

                                        

                                        

                                        

                                         

                                         

                                         

                                         

             

 

Governor Robert Floyd Kennon

Minden High School

Class of 1919

Minden Press-Herald, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2002,  re Minden Historic Residential District's Annual Christmas Tour of Homes.
 
According to history reports provided by the district, the Davidson home was sold to William D. McNeil by Samuel G. Webb.  McNeil then sold the property to Floyd Kennon in 1903.
 
Kennon's son, Robert Floyd Kennon, went on to become the governor of Louisiana from 1952-1956.  After many different owners, the house remained empty for seven years.
 
Then in 1994, Melinda and Billy Davidson heard about the condition of the house and being newlyweds, realized that the house was not only within their budget but that they were also young and talented enough to bring the old house back to life.
 
The Davidson family, along with Melinda's parents Mr. & Mrs. Hoyle Chanler, spent many back breaking hours renovating the house.  Their loving efforts were rewarded.  Today, the house is a marvelous example of dedication to the restoration of an old house to make it a blend of an old style into a modern home.
 
"One of my favorite things about this house is the cherry wood french doors," Melinda said.  "The living room is so warm and elegant."
 
Davidson said she paid close attention and worked very hard to maintain its Victorian integrity.
      
 
 Dell Leakey bought the Kennon house on the Lewisville Road and had it until '94 or '95. 

 

Robert Kennon built this home about 1940 at 813 Jefferson Street.

This is the house Robt. Kennon built on Pennsylvania Avenue in about 1949 or 1950.  He and his family lived here until he became governor.  Back then this house was red brick and the front yard was full of large trees.  The brick has been painted white and the windows are trimmed in bright blue.

 

Quade Studio

Excerpt from Shreveport Times Gov. Kennon inaugural  parade:
 
GOV. KENNON CULMINATES LONG TREK
 
If the inauguration resembled a state fair in atmosphere with its high school bands and hot dogs and pop, it lost it in magnitude.
 
Ninety-one blaring bands and 40 gaily decorated floats wound their way through the capital city's crowd-lined streets in a procession that swallowed up two hours of the day-long program.  Upwards of 50,000 persons jam-packed the streets to view 9,000 marchers, most of them youngsters more interested in waving to friends in the crowd or catching falling confetti than in keeping in step.
 
The home-town band from Minden High School led the scholastic musical units, marching just ahead of the Minden National Guard Unit, Company D of the 199th infantry, and Gov. and Mrs. Kennon in a sky-blue convertible.  The precision drilled 199th is a direct descendant of the guard unit that Kennon organized and commanded.  Of it, the new  governor commented:  "They march better than we did."
 
 
 
Excerpt from the Minden Herald
 
MHS BAND TO GO BY BUS TO KENNON INAUGURATION
 
A committee from the Minden Chamber of Commerce composed of J. E. Harper, Harry Andress, Nick Love, Clyde W. Hicks, Reese Simmons, H. O. West and Cecil Miles are busy raising funds to transport the 65 piece Minden High School Band to the inauguration of Gov. Robert F.Kennon as Governor on May 13.
 
The band has been invited to have the No. 1 spot in the inaugural parade.
 
Two 37-passenger buses will take the band, majorettes, Band Director Robert Grambling, and eight chaperones to Baton Rouge.  They will spend the night at one of the guest houses on the LSU campus.

                                                                                                                     

                                                                              THE  PARADE HELD  TO ELECT ROBERT  KENNON FOR GOVERNOR  IN DOWNTOWN MINDEN

                                                                                                                               The Scouts marched for Governor Kennon

                                                 THE BOSSIER - WEBSTER PARISH  FOREST FAIR WAS A BIG DEAL

                                                                                                             ----         

                            FAIR PRINCESSES WELCOME GOVERNOR KENNON TO THE BOSSIER-WEBSTER FOREST  FESTIVAL

                                                                             THE WEBSTER PARISH FAIR WAS A BIG DEAL       

                                      

Cortez David has been identified as the Minden Princess in the center of the page. She is the shortest one pictured in the center of the page. 

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    The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.)

    January 12, 1988

    Robert F. Kennon, ex-governor, dies

    By CAPITOL NEWS BUREAU

    Edition: THE BATON ROUGE MORNING ADVOCATE
    Section: NEWS
    Page: 1-A

    Index Terms:
    OBITUARY
    BIOGRAPHY
    OFFICIAL
    ADDRESS

    Estimated printed pages: 3

    Article Text:
    Former Gov. Robert F. Kennon, who led Louisiana from 1952-56, died Monday. He was 85.
       
        Although a Democrat, Kennon described himself as an independent and was a strong supporter of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

        Kennon ran for governor three times, running third twice -- in 1947 and 1963. His term in office was squeezed between two terms of the flamboyant Earl K. Long.

        Kennon was often called "Judge" because of his term on a state appeal court, he was a retired attorney, former mayor of Minden, former district attorney of Bossier Parish and Webster Parish, former governor for the state of Louisiana, former justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court and former judge of the Louisiana Court of Appeal.

        Kennon died at St. James Place apartments in Baton Rouge.

        Visiting will be held Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church, 763 North Blvd., from 1 p.m. until religious services at 3 p.m. Masonic graveside services at Young Family Cemetery, Plains, will be conducted by the Grand Lodge of the state of Louisiana, F&AM.

        Kennon is survived by wife, Eugenia Sentell Kennon, Baton Rouge; three sons, Robert F. Kennon Jr. and Dr. Charles S. Kennon, both of Baton Rouge, and Kenneth Wood Kennon, St. Francisville; a brother, George Webb Kennon, Monroe; and five grandchildren, Melanie Claire Kennon, Charlotte, N.C., Eugenia Hoyt Kennon, Atlanta, Ga., and Suzanne Sentell Kennon, Charles S. Kennon Jr. and Barry R. Kennon, all of Baton Rouge.

        When Kennon left office in 1956, he summarized his accomplishments like this:

        "Civil service has been re-established on a permanent basis, voting machines are in use in every precinct. Law enforcement is at an all-time high."

    "The Pontchartrain causeway, the new bridge in New Orleans, a state Supreme Court Building, state office buildings in New Orleans and other cities, renovation of the state capitols -- old and new -- all contribute to the greatest public road and public building program ever seen in Louisiana," he said as he left office.

        Kennon created a series of independent, so-called "blue ribbon" boards to control and supervise spending by the state on highways, health and correctional institutions, wildlife and fisheries and public welfare.

       He backed the creation of a legislative council for research, bill drafting and bill analysis.

        At inauguration time in 1952, longtime Capitol reporter Margaret Dixon, described Kennon as a "down-to-earth regular guy. And he's a wonderful hand-shaker."

        During his term of office, Kennon handled some problems that still plague the state today.

      For example, he decried the increasing amounts of money going from state government to local governments. But he made it clear that any changes should assure continuation of the homestead exemption, then at $2,000.

        In speaking to city officials during his administration 35 years ago, Kennon said, "I believe more revenues should be collected, administered and spent directly on the local level."

        A north Louisiana resident when elected, Kennon stayed in Baton Rouge to practice law after his term ended.

    He was born Aug. 21, 1902, in Dubberly, near Minden in Webster Parish and was one of six children. His parents were Floyd and Laura Bopp Kennon.

        He received a bachelor's degree and a law degree from LSU. He began practicing law in Minden in 1925.

      Kennon was elected mayor of Minden in 1925 at the age of 23. In 1930, he was elected district attorney of Webster and Bossier parishes. In 1940 he was elected to a 12-year term on the Court of Appeal, Second Circuit, but didn't begin his term until 1945 after he returned from military service in World War II.

        He was federalized as a lieutenant colonel and battalion commander of artillery with the Louisiana National Guard in 1941. He was a colonel, general staff corps, U.S. Army Reserve, at the war's end.

        Kennon served in the 9th Army in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

        In 1945 he was selected by the justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve out the remaining years of a term on the high court. He resumed his appellate court post in 1947.

       Kennon ran for governor in 1948, running third, behind Earl Long and former Gov. Sam Jones. In the same year, Kennon ran for the U.S. Senate, but was defeated by Russell Long, who got less than 52 percent of the vote.

        Baton Rouge Mayor Pat Screen said he has already instructed public works and city agencies to fly flags at half-staff Tuesday.

        On a personal note, Screen said he first met Kennon on the first day he went to the courthouse after graduating from law school.

        "Kennon told me, "Young fellow, you have a lost look on your face.' He carried me to the courtroom, gave me some advice and wished me good luck," Screen said. "That was typical of Judge Kennon, a complete gentlemen. It was always a pleasure to talk to him."

        Kennon ran for governor three times, running third twice -- in 1947 and 1963. His term in office was squeezed between two terms of the flamboyant Earl K. Long.

        Kennon was often called "Judge" because of his term on a state appeal court, he was a retired attorney, former mayor of Minden, former district attorney of Bossier Parish and Webster Parish, former governor for the state of Louisiana, former justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court and former judge of the Louisiana Court of Appeal.

        Kennon died at St. James Place apartments in Baton Rouge.

        Visiting will be held Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church, 763 North Blvd., from 1 p.m. until religious services at 3 p.m. Masonic graveside services at Young Family Cemetery, Plains, will be conducted by the Grand Lodge of the state of Louisiana, F&AM.

        Kennon is survived by wife, Eugenia Sentell Kennon, Baton Rouge; three sons, Robert F. Kennon Jr. and Dr. Charles S. Kennon, both of Baton Rouge, and Kenneth Wood Kennon, St. Francisville; a brother, George Webb Kennon, Monroe; and five grandchildren, Melanie Claire Kennon, Charlotte, N.C., Eugenia Hoyt Kennon, Atlanta, Ga., and Suzanne Sentell Kennon, Charles S. Kennon Jr. and Barry R. Kennon, all of Baton Rouge.

        When Kennon left office in 1956, he summarized his accomplishments like this:

        "Civil service has been re-established on a permanent basis, voting machines are in use in every precinct. Law enforcement is at an all-time high."

    "The Pontchartrain causeway, the new bridge in New Orleans, a state Supreme Court Building, state office buildings in New Orleans and other cities, renovation of the state capitols -- old and new -- all contribute to the greatest public road and public building program ever seen in Louisiana," he said as he left office.

        Kennon created a series of independent, so-called "blue ribbon" boards to control and supervise spending by the state on highways, health and correctional institutions, wildlife and fisheries and public welfare.

       He backed the creation of a legislative council for research, bill drafting and bill analysis.

        At inauguration time in 1952, longtime Capitol reporter Margaret Dixon, described Kennon as a "down-to-earth regular guy. And he's a wonderful hand-shaker."

        During his term of office, Kennon handled some problems that still plague the state today.

      For example, he decried the increasing amounts of money going from state government to local governments. But he made it clear that any changes should assure continuation of the homestead exemption, then at $2,000.

        In speaking to city officials during his administration 35 years ago, Kennon said, "I believe more revenues should be collected, administered and spent directly on the local level."

        A north Louisiana resident when elected, Kennon stayed in Baton Rouge to practice law after his term ended.

    He was born Aug. 21, 1902, in Dubberly, near Minden in Webster Parish and was one of six children. His parents were Floyd and Laura Bopp Kennon.

        He received a bachelor's degree and a law degree from LSU. He began practicing law in Minden in 1925.

      Kennon was elected mayor of Minden in 1925 at the age of 23. In 1930, he was elected district attorney of Webster and Bossier parishes. In 1940 he was elected to a 12-year term on the Court of Appeal, Second Circuit, but didn't begin his term until 1945 after he returned from military service in World War II.

        He was federalized as a lieutenant colonel and battalion commander of artillery with the Louisiana National Guard in 1941. He was a colonel, general staff corps, U.S. Army Reserve, at the war's end.

        Kennon served in the 9th Army in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

        In 1945 he was selected by the justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court to serve out the remaining years of a term on the high court. He resumed his appellate court post in 1947.

       Kennon ran for governor in 1948, running third, behind Earl Long and former Gov. Sam Jones. In the same year, Kennon ran for the U.S. Senate, but was defeated by Russell Long, who got less than 52 percent of the vote.

        Baton Rouge Mayor Pat Screen said he has already instructed public works and city agencies to fly flags at half-staff Tuesday.

        On a personal note, Screen said he first met Kennon on the first day he went to the courthouse after graduating from law school.

        "Kennon told me, "Young fellow, you have a lost look on your face.' He carried me to the courtroom, gave me some advice and wished me good luck," Screen said. "That was typical of Judge Kennon, a complete gentlemen. It was always a pleasure to talk to him."

    Caption:
    Robert F. Kennon in 1952 file photo
    Robert F. Kennon in 1984 file photoPHOTO
    Copyright 1988 Capital City Press, Baton Rouge, La.
    Record Number: 840066

 

They are interred in the Young Family Cemetery, Plains Louisiana

                                                                            Robert Floyd Kennon Aug. 31 1902 - Jan. 11, 1988

Eugenia Sentell Kennon Dec. 27-1902 - May 24-2002

Governor and First Lady of Louisiana 1952-1955

The marker for Robert Kennon, Jr.'s infant daughter (Jan 23, 1965) is at the foot of the Sherburne marker.

 
                                        The cemetery is located between 2 very large, impressive homes and you have to drive a short distance

                                        on a "Private" road before you reach the entrance to the cemetery.  It was not locked.

 

They are interred in the Young Family Cemetery, Plains Louisiana

Robert Floyd Kennon Aug. 31 1902 - Jan. 11, 1988

Eugenia Sentell Kennon Dec. 27-1902 - May 24-2002

Governor and First Lady of Louisiana 1952-1956

The marker for Robert Kennon, Jr.'s infant daughter (Jan 23, 1965) is at the foot of the Sherburne marker.

 

 
                                        The cemetery is located between 2 very large, impressive homes and you have to drive a short distance

                                        on a "Private" road before you reach the entrance to the cemetery.  It was not locked. 

 

I just read the coverage on Governor Kennon.  It brought back a memory that really made an impression on me.  I taught a first aid course to a Boy Scout troupe and the governor's son was in the class.  I required each of the class to take an open book test, away from the class, and return it to me by the following Saturday.  On Saturday morning I was in shorts and mowing our yard.  I was very wet with sweat and dirty when a big black car pulled up to the curb, chauffeur and all.  This very dignified man got out of the car and introduced himself as Governor Kennon.  He delivered his son's test paper and heaped praise on me for teaching the class.  Talk about a young fellow being impressed, I would have voted for him for anything.
Both of my parents worked in Kennon Grocery, which apparently was jointly owned by the Governor's Dad and his two brothers, Webb and F.  E. Kennon.  The Kennons were very good to my family.  I even worked for a time in the store after school and on Saturdays.  When Dad died, Mother and I lived in Mrs. F. E. Kennon's home for a while until we located an apartment.
Some gave  the Governor's son, Robert Floyd, Jr., the nick name, Fire Chief.  While I did not know for sure if he did, some said he turned in a false alarm from a street fire alarm box.
As you can see, I enjoyed reading about the Governor.
Maurice Whitlow, MHS Class of 1948

                       Compliments of Neil Baker, Class of 1956