Submit a nomination for Avoyellean of the Year
Each year, nominations are sought to honor good people in Avoyelles for their countless and unselfish deeds. From these nominations, one person is chosen as Avoyellean of the Year.
The award has been given annually since 1976 when Verdie B. Lemoine was the first person chosen as Avoyellean of the Year.
Honorees before 1976 have also been added in more recent years. It is our goal to name an Avoyellean of the Year for every year since the Avoyelles Post was established in 1780.
Please take a few moments to write down a nomination of someone you feel is deserving of this award, past or present. There are volunteers who work both behind the scenes and out front in the public eye in Avoyelles, and they all deserve to be recognized. There are public servants who went above the call of duty to make the parish of Avoyelles a better place to live.
Nominations will be accepted for consideration during each year. The award is announced in spring of the following year.
You may email nominations to:
FAX to (318)253-7223,
drop them by our office in Bunkie or Marksville,
or mail them to:
P.O. Box 36
Marksville, La. 71351
Past Avoyelleans of the Year are listed in two groups:
Avoyelleans of Year . Named in the following respective year
Avoyelleans of Yesteryear
Avoyelleans of Yesteryear . Named in ensuing years
Avoyelleans for years prior to the founding of the award in 1976 have been named in recent years. There are many unrecognized Avoyelleans of yesteryear. Some donated land to establish communities, some donated time. Some money. Nominations for these older and historic times are still open for many past years, as this is an ongoing project. Please help us with your ideas for this list. Corrections and suggestions are also appreciated as the older years are a work in progress.
1780 JACQUES GAIGNARD , First Commandant when the Spanish Government established the Avoyelles Post
1781 JOSEPH RABALAIS, elder
1782 PIERRE DuCOTE, II, early carpenter of Avoyelles Post
1783 NICHOLAS CHATELAIN
1784 JOSEPH JOFFRION, pere, active at Avoyelles Post
1785 ANTOINE BORDELON
1786 DOMINIQUE BALDONY dit COCO, I , Patriarch of Coco Family, early Avoyelles Post Settler, and possible soldier of Lafayette during Revolution
1787JEAN PIERRE NORMAND , Patriarch of the Normand family of Avoyelles. In 1787 Jean Pierre Normand and his wife came to Avoyelles and settled on the Red River, having obtained a grant of land there, which later became known as "Normand's Landing," then "Gorton's Landing," and then "Barbin's Landing." This was the first important landing in Avoyelles Parish, and the river traffic was vital to the growth of the Parish throughout the 19th century. Nominated by Pierre Goudeau Normand, Jr.
1788 AUGUSTIN JUNEAU
1789 JOSEPH GUILLOT
1791 Dr. PIERRE LaBORDE, First surgeon of Avoyelles
1792 JEAN BAPTISTE MARCOTTE, early carpenter of Avoyelles Post
1793 Antoine Goudeau, (Sr),
1794 Open for nominations
1795 Open for nominations
1796 Lt. Gov. CHARLES LUIS BOUCHER de GRAND PRE, Spanish military leader who lived at the Avoyelles Post, when he was appointed in 1796 in charge of the Red River Territory which headquarters where established that year in Avoyelles
1797 Fr. JUAN MAQUIRE, First pastor of to serve Avoyelles. An Irish-born Carmelite friar and graduate of the University of Salamanca
1798 Fr. JUAN BRADY, second pastor from 1798-1803 for the Avoyelles area as well as the scattered French settlements along the Ouchita River near Fort Miro, present day Monroe.
1799 Open for nominations
1800 Open for nominations
1801 Open for nominations
1802 Open for nominations
1803 Open for nominations
1804 Open for nominations
1805 Open for nominations
1806 Open for nominations
1807 THOMAS OLIVIER, First Judge, President of Police Jury of the newly created Avoyelles Parish as one of the original 19 parishes created by the Lousiana Territorial Legislature
1808 open for nominations
1809 JOSEPH ALEXANDRE PLAUCHE, Surveyor, Judge, who came as a United States surveyor to record the lands of Avoyelles, and stayed and is the forefather of Plaucheville
1810 GUILLAUME LEMOINE, who sold his home for first American Courthouse
1811 Open for nominations
1812 Open for nominations
1813 Open for nominations
1814 Open for nominations
1815 FRANCOIS BARBIN DeBELLEVUE, commander at Battle of New Orleans
1816 DR. ROBERT MORROW, First Postmaster of the first post office to open in Avoyelles, opening communications
1817 MARC ELICHE, merchant, co-founder of Marksville, whose home was used for Police Jury meetings in 1817, and for donating most of the Courthouse Square about the year 1818
1818 Open for nominations
1819 Open for nominations
1820s CAPPEL, war of 1815 vet
1820s JULIE CARMOUCHE ELICHE, merchant, developer, for carried out her husband's dream of selling lots to establish the town of Marksville.
1821 Cornelious Voorhies, 1st known president of Avoyelles Police Jury
1822 Open for nominations
1823 Open for nominations
1824 Marcellin DeCuir Of Bayou Des Glaises, early school board member
1825 Open for nominations
1826 or 27 REZIN PLEASANT BOWIE, for designing the first Bowie Knife which was made on his plantation on Bayou Bouef
1826 Open for nominations
1827 Open for nominations
1828 Open for nominations
1829 Open for nominations
1831 LOUIS JACQUES BARBIN, Marksville
1831 Judge Louis Jacques Barbin
1832 Open for nominations
1833 Open for nominations
1834 Open for nominations
1835 JOSEPH DUCOTE, for donating land for a road and the first school in what became the beginnings of the community of Cottonport
1836 Open for nominations
1837 Open for nominations
1838 Open for nominations
1839 Open for nominations
1842 G. A. STEVENS for establishing the first newspaper in Avoyelles, The Expositor
1843 CHARLES DUVALL BRASHEAR , Founding Mayor of Marksville
1844 open for nomination
1840s Sen. JOHN PAMPILON WADDIL, for donating property for school on Waddil Street and helping to build the first Protestant church in Marksville, and volunteering time as senator
1845 Gen. PIERRE COUVILLON, for clearing Bayou Des Glaises allowing for steam boat traffic and leading troops from central Louisiana into Texas during the war with Mexico
1847 JEROME CALLEGARI, First Superintendent of Education, Volunteer at St. Paul Catholic Church
1848 Open for nominations
1849 Open for nominations
1850 H. C. KEMPER, educator, first principal of Evergreen Home Institute which later became the public school.
1852 SAM BASS for risking his life to save Solomon Northrup
1853 Judge RALPH CUSHMAN, for freeing Solomon Northrup who had been kidnapped into slavery
1854 Solomon Northup
1855 MARGERY CUSHMAN
1856 Sister HYACINTH, founder of Presentation Convent School who came from France in 1855 to establish one of the first Catholic schools west of the Mississippi River in Louisiana
1857 ADOLPH LaFARGUE, Publisher, founder of First Marksville High School
1858 AIMEE JOFFRION BOYER for donating land on Bayou des Glaises to build the second Catholic Church of Avoyelles, which became the center of the community of Moreauville
1859 Gen. B. B. SIMMES, founder of Simmesport
1860 Capt. JOSEPH CELESTIN JOFFRION, founding mayor of Mansura, steamboat and confederate captain
1861 William Edwards
1862 LUDGER BARBIN, for donating the use of his land at his steamboat landing on Red River to build Fort DeRussy
1863 Open for nominations
1864 FABIOUS RICORD, for donating building for Civil War Hospital. Sheriff, Clerk of Court, merchant of Holmesville and Marksville
1865 Open for nominations
1866 Open for nominations
1867 Open for nominations
1868 William Hall, principal of Evergreen Home Institute, later supt, judge
1869 First pastor of St. John Baptist in Cocoville
1870s Dr. JAMES WARE for establishing the first railroad in the Parish, powered by mules. His track ran from Red River to Marksville with plans to run to Evergreen.
1870 ELOI JOFFRION, builder of parish bridges, and rebuilt Long Bridge
1871 ALEXANDRE NOGUEX
1870s Dr. LEONARD RABALAIS, first Avoyelles native Creole to become a Doctor
1873 PIERRE MAGLOIRE
1874 Open for nominations
1870s Dr. JOSEPH T. MONCLA, early planter of community which bears his name, horse and buggy doctor who died while on the call of duty.
1875 Open for nominations
1876 Open for nominations
1877 Open for nominations
1878 Dr. JULES DesFOSSE, for his courageous work during a fever epidemic in the parish
1879 S. B. ROBERTSON, surveyor, for creating the first map of the entire parish
1880 Open for nominations
1881 Open for nominations
1882 COL. ALEXANDER M. HAAS , co-founder of Bunkie, proponent of first permanent railroad in Avoyelles OR CAPT. SAM HAAS, who named town?, also a railroad proponent
1883 Open for nominations
1884 Open for nominations
1885 Dr. JEAN HENRI EMERIC DeNUX, for his work in providing the Louisiana World's Fair of 1885 with the first set of photographic images of life in Avoyelles Parish
1886 Open for nominations
1887 Open for nominations
1888 Open for nominations
1889 Open for nominations
1890s Supt. Arnaud D. Lafargue, built dozens of schools
1891 Open for nominations
1892 Open for nominations
1893 Open for nominations
1894 Open for nominations
1895 Open for nominations
1896 DANIEL B. HUDSON
1897 E. J. JOFFRION, first president of the first permanent bank of the parish, the Avoyelles Bank.
1898 Dr. LEO C. TARELTON, first chairman of the Avoyelles Parish Board of Health
1899 Founding and long time pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Cocoville
1890s-1900s Leon Molenar, for years of photographing the people and places of Avoyelles
1900s Builder of first telephone lines in Parish, opening new form of communication
1900 open for nominations
1901 open for nominations
1902 open for nominations
1903 Dr. Toby Lougarre, first mayor of Moreauville, president of Avoy. Med Society
1904 Dr. CLEOPHAS J. DUCOTE, Cottonport, founding president in 1904 of Avoyelles Medical Society
1900s CASIMER PRESTON COUVILLON, for donating land to build first school for blacks in Marksville. He also served Avoyelles in every possible political office that did not require being an attorney: sheriff, clerk of court, senator, etc.
1905 Chairman of First Avoyelles Parish Fair Committee, fair was held on Courthouse Square.
1906 Rev J B LIMAGNE, founder of St. Joseph Schools of Plaucheville and Marksville
1907 VICTOR L. ROY, Superintendent of Avoyelles Schools. He directed the building of 45 one room schools in 1905 bringing free public education to every corner of the parish
1908 WILLIAM FRESHWATER, Principal of Evergreen(1908-) and Moreauville (1906-08). He started the Corn Club, which was the first 4-H club in Louisiana.
1900s Rev. JEAN EMERIC CHAUVIN, for building the new St. Paul church building in Mansura in 1870, and serving 40 years as pastor
1909 AMET GUILLOT, first county agent
1910s Dr. ARISTIDES TILOU BARBIN, who promoted health and recreation by opening a Golf Course, a Baseball Field and a Horse Racing track on the acreage behind his home. His medical office was in front of his home on South Main Street. The home still stands today. He was a member of the first LSU football team and a mayor of Marksville
1910s Father HENRY JACQUEMINE, builder of the first brick Catholic church building in Avoyelles.
1910s Dr. Thomas Roy, Mansura
1910 Open for nominations
1911 Open for nominations
1912 Open for nominations
1913 Open for nominations
1914 Open for nominations
1915 Open for nominations
1916 Dr. ELLIOTT KIBLINGER, who along with his wife, Dr.Ada Kiblinger, husband and wife team, for establishing the first health sanitorium in the parish, at Marksville, which lasted a few years.
1919J. P. W. S. AYMOND, of Bunkie, led first major road building project of Parish
1920 F. B. CAPPEL, State Representative at time of construction of iron bridge over Bayou Bouef and Jefferson Highway through southwest Avoyelles.
1926 CLIFF E. LABORDE, Superintendent of Avoyelles Schools, for the consolidation of 45 one room schools into 12 school districts.
1927 Rev. HENRY VAN der PUTTEN, for heroic and courageous volunteering during flood of 1927. He built the first brick church in Marksville in 1926, leading an expansion period among parisioners who were on committees who built new brick high schools, the present brick courthouse, etc.
1928 C. Kelone, pres of p. jury or J. Escude, courthouse building chairmen
1929 BLANCHE ARCENEAUX, founder of Home Demon Club, Teacher, Author, Editor.
1930s Dr. Kirby Roy, Mansura
1935Ad Riddle, who witnessed the Huey Long Assassination in 1935, and served Avoyelles as an advocate for teachers in the legislature,
1938 Dr. ALBERT ABRAMSON, for building Marksville Hospital in 1938, establishing what is Avoyelles Hosp. today
1939 Bob Neitzel
1940 Open for nominations
1941 Henri Bielkewicz
1942 Open for nominations
1943 CORINNE SAUCIER, PhD, published History of Avoyelles in 1943
1944 open for nominations
1945 open for nominations
1946 open for nominations
1947 Rev. Calvin Peter Thomas, founder of Avoyelles Chapter of NAACP
1948 Belle Boyer?, long time parish nurse
1949 W. C. Ernest, founding and long time president of Avoyelles Parish Library board
1950s RAY QUARTERMONT, City Manager of Marksville, for carrying out his idea of redesignating state highways from two opposite tips of Louisiana as Highway Number One, which led the state's premiere highway at the time through Avoyelles, increasing traffic and the economy.
1950sL. A. CAYER, Supt, for buying property on Old River, promoting FFA
1954 Mayor Edgar Coco, Jr, founder of the official annual Egg Knocking Contest on the Courthouse Square
1955 CHESTER COCO, for establishing the first radio station in Avoyelles. KAPB, which stood for "Know Avoyelles Parish Better" went on the air in 1955 He was also senator.
1956 Open for nominations
1950s MARY PEARCE HART, Red Cross chairman of Avoyelles, author, service in WWII
1957 Open for nominations
1958 Open for nominations
1959 MARC DUPUY, Sr, for his work with the 150th birthday of Marksville, and Red River navigation, etc
1960 KIRBY A. ROY, Jr., Mansura Mayor, for establishing the Cochon de Lait festival
1961 F. O. "POTCH" DIDIER, Jr., who hired first black deputy, first female deputy, created Avoyelles Junior Deputy program.
1960s LYNDON COUVILLION, Superintendent of Education, expanded office
1960s Dr. McCONNEL, opened clinic in Bunkie and promotor of first Bunkie Hospital
1965 HOWARD DESSELLES, first NAACP president of Avoyelles, desegregation work, Voter Registration and Civil Rights advocate
1965 HOWARD DeSELLE JR, Marksville
1966 IRA COUVILLON, author
1967 A Promoter of New Highway One, Tunica Drive and New Simmesport Bridge
1968 Rev. ADRIEN MOLENSCHOT, Belledeau
1969 ELEANOR GREMILLION, Marksville
1970 Dr. SUE LYLES EAKIN, Bunkie, for work on Twelve Years a Slave and other historical and cultural contributions
1971 CHARLES A. RIDDLE, Jr., nominee
CHARLES A. RIDDLE, JR., nomineeDistrict attorney and delegate to 1960 Democratic Convention
1972 JEROLD EDWARD KNOLL, nominee
1973 HUEY P. ROY, president of Police Jury in untold hours of extra work to help those displaced by the flood of 1973
1974 Promotor of La Commission des Avoyelles, created this year
1975 Blanche Arceneaux Swann, for co-authoring Avoyelles Homes and years as editor and teacher and home demon agent
1976... Click to go to Avoyelleans from 1976 till present.
Avoyelleans of the Year
The Avoyellean of the Year award is given every year to a citizen of Avoyelles Parish who is chosen for outstanding volunteer or professional service to the betterment of Avoyelles. The award is announced every spring for the previous year.
1780-1976 Avoyelleans of Yesteryear .
The award was founded by Newspaper Publisher Randy DeCuir and was sponsored by The Avoyelles Post from 1976 to 1977, and since 1978 has been sponsored by The Greater Avoyelles Journal.
1976 VERDIE BIELKEWICZ LeMOINE, Marksville
1977 JUDGE EARL HENRY EDWARDS, Marksville
1978 RAYMOND J. LaBORDE, Marksville
1979 A. J. "Sookie" ROY, Marksville
1980 Warren Constant, Bunkie
1981 CARLOS A. MAYEUX, HamburgJr., Educator, Volunteer, Author, Preservationist, Historian, Tourism director. numerous boards
1982 Rev. Earl Provenza, Mansura
1983 Marion Roy, , Marksville, for acquiring new Simmmesport bridge as legislator and years as president of police jury
1984 Marion Gremillion, Cultural promotor, Arts Council co-founder, volunteer boards
1985 Dr. F. P. Bordelon, Jr., Marksville, native of Cottonport
1986 Marc Dupuy, Jr., Marksville, attorney, involved with creation of several Wildlife Preservation areas, several volunteer boards.
1987 William Belt, Sheriff, Created hundreds of jobs
1988 Eddie Rabalais, Moreauville, School Board President overseeing consolidation
1989 Aggie Neck, Co-founder, Servant House
1990 Jo Hamilton, Marksville, formerly of Bunkie, Founder Hope Center.
1991 Lucien Laborde, Businessman, Hamburg
1992 Dr. Richard Michel, Mayor of Marksville
1993 Earl J. Barbry, Mansura, Tribal Chairman of Tunica Biloxi Indians of Louisiana
1994 Louise Coco Schneider, Arts Council, Theatre president, Marksville
1995 Dr. Don H. Hines, Senator, Bunkie
1996 Rev. Bill Provosty, Cottonport, formerly of Hessmer
1997 Faye Escude Truex, Teacher, Volunteer, Mansura
1998 Gen. Sherian Cadoria, Ret. US Army, Volunteer principal, Holy Ghost School
1999 Steve Mayeux, Fort deRussy Historian, Author, Preservationist, LongBridge
2000 Julie C. Durand, Educator
2001 Sammy Couvillon, Clerk of Avoyelles Court
2002 Harold Quebedeaux, Businessman, Mansura
2003 L J. Mayeux, Jr. M.D.
2004 Mary Chatelain, Librarian, Moreauvile
2005 A. J. Roy, III, Banker and Attorney
2006 Edmond St. Romain, Businessman, Mansura
2007 Glenn Goudeau, Businessman, Marksville, formerly of Cottonport
2008 Joe Elder, Businessman, Marksville
2009 Tommy Maddie, Businessman, Co-founder of Avoyelles Port, Simmesport
2010 Nettie Chenevert, Musician, Composer, Teacher, Playwrite, Volunteer, of Cottonport
2011 DWAYNE LEMOINE, spearheaded effort to raise Avoyelles teacher salaries
2012 MINNIE LABORDE LAFARGUE, long time volunteer in the Arts, President Arts Council, volunteer director of numerous plays and musicals
2013 ROBERT LEMOINE, Moreauville, long time volunteer in Fire Department and parish fire fighter group
2014 THERESA THEVENOTE, Marksville, Librarian, volunteer, Arts Council Board, cultural promotor
2015 MERKLE DUPUY, Moncla, volunteer director, leader of the arts and theater, co founder of theatre groups in Moncla and Avoyelles
2016 MARGIE MELANCON, Marksville, long time volunteer, board member
2017 WILBERT CARMOUCHE, Fifth Ward, co-director of Avoyelles Commission of Tourism. Above and beyond dedication to promoting Avoyelles
2018 NOW OPEN FOR NOMINATIONS .
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