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Andrew Jackson Sevier - Madison Parish, Louisiana


From Vicksburg Evening Post, August 26, 1941



Esteemed Leader of Parish Dies Suddenly Yesterday


TALLULAH, La., Aug. 26 - Funeral services will be held this afternoon at 4:30 for Andrew Jackson Sevier, sheriff of Madison Parish for nearly forty years, who died suddenly yesterday afternoon.


The services will take place at the home here, with the Rev. J. Dean Maurer, Episcopal rector, officiating.


Active pallbearers will be S. B. Bettis, J. N. Harvey, T. A. Smith, P. O. Benjamin, A. J. Boswell, Frank McCaffery, Horace Maxwell, and W. L. Rountree.


The honorary pallbearers will be all the citizens of Madison Parish.


Born in Claiborne County on January 30, 1872, Mr. Sevier had moved to Madison Parish at the age of five years, and lived there since that time.


At the age of 24 he started his career as peace officer, and subsequently he became known as "Dean of Louisiana sheriffs." With opposition only twice, he had been elected for eight consecutive terms.


In 1905, Sheriff Sevier was married to Miss Mary Day of Vicksburg. He was senior warden in the Episcopal Church at Tallulah.


During the years of his service in Madison Parish, he had become an outstanding leader and was one of the most beloved men of northeast Louisiana.


Surviving are his wife; one son, J. Donald Sevier of Vicksburg; one daughter, Mrs. Allan Nadler, of Plaquemine, La.; five sisters, Mrs. Fred Young and Mrs. A. C. Williamson, both of Vicksburg; and Mrs. J. S. Agee, Mrs. C. S. Utz and Mrs. W. J. Ward, all of Tallulah, and two grandsons.


From Madison Journal August 25, 1941


Madison Loses Dean Of Peace Officers


Sheriff Andrew Jackson Sevier Passes Away Sud­denly At His Home Here Monday Evening.


When Andrew Jackson Sevier, Sheriff, passed away suddenly at his home here Monday evening about six-thirty o'clock, this parish  lost one of its citizens who had become known as "The dean of Lou­isiana Peace Officers" on account of his long, continuous service in public office.


 Mr. Sevier suffered a heart attack some time ago, and at the time he was considered seriously ill. However, he recovered from the ailment, apparently, and for some time had been active, and at­tentive to the affairs of his office. Monday afternoon it is said that he had remarked that he felt very well, and his appearance was that of a man who had completely recovered. After office hours he had taken a drive to Vicksburg with a friend, and on returning, stopped uptown a few minutes before going home. He had only reached his home a few minutes before and was sitting on the front porch talk­ing with friends when the attack came. Death came so suddenly that there was not time to administer aid.


Mr. Sevier was 69 years old. He was the oldest Sheriff in point of service in the state, having served as sheriff of Madison parish for the past 40 years.


He was born near Port Gibson, Miss., but lived the greater part of his life in this parish when his father moved to Milliken's Bend prior to his location in Tallulah.


Mr. Sevier was a Mason and was active in church work here, being an officer of Trinity Episcopal church.


Funeral services were held from the residence at 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, with Rev. J. D. Maurer, rector of Trinity Episcopal church officiating. Interment, under the direction of the Williams Funeral Home, was in the Silver Cross cemetery here, where the final rites were held.


Active pallbearers were S. B. Bettis, J. N. Harvey, T. A. Smith, P. O. Benjamin, A. J. Boswell, Frank McCaffrey, Horace Maxwell and W. L. Rountree. Honorary pallbearers were everyone in Madison parish.


Survivors are his widow, the former Miss Mary Day of Vicksburg, whom he married in 1905; a son, Don Sevier of Tallulah; two grandchildren, and five sisters, Mrs. Young and Mrs. A. S. Wil­liamson of Vicksburg; and Mrs. J. Agee, Mrs. C. S. Utz and Mrs. W. J. Ward, all of Tallulah.


It would be fitting that we reproduce at this time an article on Sevier which was prepared by Roger Sheldon and published in the Journal in April of this year when a team from the Louisiana State University had charge of one issue of the Journal. The article follows: Tallulah was proclaimed an incorporated village on December 23, 1902, but, even before that date Andrew J. Sevier was serving the cause of law and order in Madison Parish.

At 24 years of age "the Dean of Louisiana Sheriffs" started his career as a peace officer, and has served loyally and earnestly in that capacity for almost 45 years. In 1896, to be exact, he became deputy sheriff of the young settle­ment here. On June 4, 1904 he became sheriff. Forty-four years of service, forty-four years of of­fice with almost no opposition.


A man of keen foresight and honest cordiality, the sheriff is well known for his dauntless determi­nation at his civic duty. His friend­ly hospitality wins friends immedi­ately.


Although not born in Louisiana, Sheriff Sevier has lived in Madison Parish since the age of five. He was horn near Port Gibson, Missis­sippi, January 30, 1872, and with his parents moved to Milliken Bend in June, 1877. He has been a loyal Madisonian ever since.


His service as deputy sheriff was under Coleman H. Lucas, then sheriff of the parish. Mr. Sevier served in this capacity for eight years, then, with the aid of Sheriff Lucas and through the reputation he had established during that time, he was elected as sheriff of the par­ish. He took his oath of office on June 4, but was not sworn in until June 6. It was for this reason that he waited until June 6 last year to be sworn in for his present term of office. With opposition only twice, he has been elected for eight consecutive times.


When the young sheriff first took office in 1904 he was faced with circumstances which would have worried a much more experienced sheriff. The negro population out-numbered the white ten to one, with not enough whites to serve on the petty (sic) juries after the grand jury had been drawn.


Sheriff Sevier says, though, "As all the cases were made up of the one race, we had no trouble in meting out justice to the evil doer.  The negroes picked for service on juries were made up of the old-time, law abiding elderly men, who hewed to the law as given them by the court. We had eight or ten legal executions of negros in this parish during the reign of the negro jury, all of which were cases that called for that kind of verdict".

It is estimated that the negro population in Madison Parish now is about 50-50 with the white. In 1904 the voters of the parish num­bered 250; today there are approximately 2,200. Madison has grown during the sheriff’s term of office. Around 5,000 prisoners have been handled by the "Dean of Louisiana Sheriffs.” He has more than his share of work as peace officer.

Actively participating in the organization of Louisiana Sheriffs, Sheriff Sevier has also been active in advocating crime prevention me­thods. At an assembly of the as­sociation he strongly advocated a penal institution or farm for delinquent colored juveniles, and has entered into many discussions at the annual conventions of the Lou­isiana Sheriffs' Association.


Truly a man of service and North Louisiana preservence (sic), Sheriff Sevier is an outstanding Madison citizen.



The following resolution was offered by Mr. W. S. Holmes and seconded by Dr. G. W. Gaines, and on being put to a vote was unani­mously adopted, at the regular luncheon of the Chamber of Com­merce of the Village of Tallulah, held at its regular meeting place in said Village, to-wit:


“That when this body adjourns today, that it adjourn in memory of the late Andrew Jackson Sevier, Sheriff of Madison Parish, who died in office on Monday, August 25, 1941.


He was born in Claiborne County, Mississippi, about 70 years ago, and came with his parents to Madison parish when quite young, and has resided here ever since.


He was a direct descendant of General John Sevier, Governor of Tennessee in the early days.


He had held office as Sheriff & Tax Collector of Madison Parish for more than forty years con­tinuously.


He was one of our outstanding citizens, answering every call to public service.


He was a fearless officer.


He was generous to a fault. Hundreds of men, women and chil­dren, can testify to his great charity.


He was ever sympathetic, fair in all his dealings, and served his people faithfully.

We shall ever hold in greatefull (sic) remembrance his services and his work.


His life was that of a Christian gentleman, and his example and his splendid career is one to be follow­ed and exulated (sic) by all.


Resolved that this memorial be spread on the minutes of this Cham­ber of Commerce, published in the' Madison Journal, and a copy sent  to his family, to whom our heart-felt sympathy is extended.



W. L. ROUNTREE, Secretary.