A history of St. John sheriffs: Part I

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On July 1, 2012, the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office will have a new sheriff. Have you ever given any thought to the first sheriff elected in St. John the Baptist Parish? In this article, I will give you the history of the sheriffs of St. John, the years they served and a little known history on some of the sheriffs, with the first being elected May 2, 1814.

Sheriffs of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office;

No. 1 – Louis LeCarpentier served from May 2, 1814 – 1816.

No. 2 – Pierre Montegut served from 1816 – 1820.

No. 3 – Norbert Trepagnier served from 1820 – 1826 and died while holding office.

No. 4 – Francis Arroyo served from 1826 – 1828.

No. 5 – Anacharsis Luminais served from 1828 – 1852.

No. 6 – Jean F. Burcard served from 1852 – 1857.

No. 7 – Ursin Jacob served from 1857 – 1867.

No. 8 – Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Mower served from 1867 – 1868. On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was assassinated, but while alive he understood the views of the southern states. His successor, Andrew Johnson, was narrow minded and wanted to punish the people of the South. Congress said the South should not send representatives to Congress and should not have control over its own government. October 1867, Commander in Chief of the Fifth District, which included St. John Parish, was placed under military government until 1868. Sheriffs at that time remained sheriff, but the powers of law enforcement were under the federal government.

No. 9 – Alponse Oubre served from July 2, 1868 – 1870. After the state was re-admitted into the Union and the military government ceased, an election was held and Oubre was elected sheriff on July 2, 1868.

No. 10 – Lucien Cambre served from Dec. 13, 1870 – 1876 and died while holding office in November 1876.

(second part to be published on June 13)

Wayne Norwood is a lieutenant with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Department and owner and operator of the Louisiana Treasures Museum.