Template:Infobox State Representative Morley Alvin Hudson (March 31, 1917–June 15, 2001), was a Shreveport businessman, engineer, civic leader, and a pioneer of the modern Republican Party in Louisiana.
Hudson was born in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Oscar Hudson and the former Ruth Morley. His maternal grandfather, Stephen Kay Morley, was a pharmacist in early Austin, Texas, who patented old-time remedies that were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In youth, he was an Eagle Scout. Hudson graduated cum laude from Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia, with a degree in mechanical engineering. From 1938 to 1940, he played football for the Green Bay Packers under Coach Curly Lambeau.
During World War II, he was a captain in the U.S. Army Infantry Reserves. When he relocated to Shreveport in 1945, Hudson became president of the Hudson-Rush Company of Shreveport and Dallas, which specialized in industrial process equipment. He also was one of the original partners of Pelican Supply Company and McElroy Metals in Shreveport. In 1956, Hudson ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the Caddo Parish School Board.
First Republicans in legislature (1964-1968)
He and Taylor W. O'Hearn (1907–1997) were the first two Republicans to have been elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives since Reconstruction. Hudson and O'Hearn were joined in the Caddo Parish delegation by Democrats Algie D. Brown, Frank Fulco, and newcomer J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., later a member of both the Louisiana State Senate and the United States Senate. Three Caddo Republican legislative candidates who lost in 1964 were Billy J. Guin, later a Shreveport city commissioner; Edd Fielder Calhoun (1931–2012), an insurance agent and civic figure originally from Oklahoma City, and Art Sour, who made his livelihood in the oil business. Sour lost again in 1968 but rebounded in 1972 to win a seat in the state House, which he subsequently held for twenty years.
Hudson was the self-proclaimed Louisiana House "minority leader" between 1964 and 1968 because he had outpolled O'Hearn in the balloting. In 1966, he obtained passage of a bill to grant in-state college students the same right to vote absentee as permitted to out-of-state students. His record was primarily focused on fiscal and management reform of state government.
Two other Republicans joined Hudson and O'Hearn later in their term: Roderick L. "Rod" Miller of Lafayette in 1966 and Edward Clark Gaudin of Baton Rouge in 1967. Miller was defeated in a bid for the Louisiana State Senate on February 6, 1968. Gaudin was defeated for reelection to the House in 1968 but returned to the legislature in 1972 and like Art Sour served for another twenty years.
Running for lieutenant governor, 1972
In 1972, Hudson was a candidate for lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket with gubernatorial hopeful David C. Treen, then of Jefferson Parish. He spent some $40,000 on his race, with no assistance forthcoming from the Republican National Committee. Hudson polled only 218,169 votes (20.5 percent) to 815,794 (76.8 percent) for the successful Democrat, James E. "Jimmy" Fitzmorris, Jr., of New Orleans, a former city councilman and an executive for Kansas City Southern Railroad. Hudson failed to win a single parish. He fared best in his home base of Caddo Parish, where he drew 43.6 percent. (A third candidate in the race, Gertrude L. Taylor, also of Shreveport, nominee of George Wallace's former American Independent Party, received 2.7 percent of the vote.) Treen, running for governor for the first time, polled 42.8 percent, more than twice the number of votes obtained by Hudson. While Caddo Parish supported Fitzmorris over Hudson, it gave majorities to three Republican statewide candidates, Treen for governor, Tom Stagg of Shreveport for attorney general against the Democrat William J. Guste, and for Robert L. Frye, a native of Webster Parish, who ran unsuccessfully for state education superintendent against the Democrat Louis J. Michot of Lafayette.
In the lieutenant governor's campaign, Hudson wore a friend's red-white-and-blue shoes. According to the Shreveport Times, Hudson repeated the patriotic color scheme in a 1976 visit to the White House, wearing a red-white-and-blue tie that made him stand out among dozens of other people in gray suits, prompting U.S. President Gerald R. Ford, Jr., to remark, "It's so good to see someone here in Washington with the bicentennial spirit!"
Supporting the mentally retarded
Hudson and his first wife, the former Lucy North (July 17, 1919–January 15, 1997) were the parents of a mentally-retarded daughter, also named Lucy North Hudson. He became a founding member of both the Shreveport and the Louisiana Association for Retarded Children, and he was a director of the National Association for Retarded Citizens. He was vice chairman of the Louisiana Governor's Commission for Employment of the Handicapped, and was appointed by President Ford to the 24-member President's Committee on Mental Retardation. He delighted in playing Santa Claus at the White House Christmas party for handicapped children of the Washington, D.C., area. He was a founder of the Evergreen Presbyterian Vocational School north of Minden in Webster Parish and the Evergreen House, the forerunner of what became Providence House in Shreveport. His favorite hobby was dancing.
In 1998, Hudson married the former Catherine Loyd Franks (1919-2012), a Shreveport native, a graduate of C.E. Byrd High School and Centenary and the widow of the Shreveport veterinarian, Dr. Robert Dean Franks, Sr., who died in 1987.
In addition to his parents and two brothers, Hudson was preceded in death by his first wife and a son who died in infancy, Morley Alvin Hudson, Jr., both of whom are interred at Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport.
In addition to his second wife, Hudson was survived by three daughters and a son-in-law, Nancy and Joe Ed Ketner, Courtney Morley Hudson, and grandsons Max, Alex and Nicholas Hudson, all of Shreveport, and Lucy North Hudson of Pineville; stepchildren, Robert Franks, Jr., and his wife, Vicki, of Shreveport, Susan F. Leake and her husband, Rucker, of St. Francisville in West Feliciana Parish, and Allen C. Franks and his wife, Cathy, of Mena, Arkansas, and their children and grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at the First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport, where Hudson was an active member. He was cremated.
Catherine Hudson, who was also an active Presbyterian, is interred at Forest Park Cemetery.
- "Social Security Death Index". ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com. http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi?lastname=Hudson&firstname=Lucy&start=41. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
- "Obituary of Fielder Calhoun". Shreveport Times. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/shreveporttimes/obituary.aspx?n=fielder-calhoun&pid=156372368. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
- "Lt. Governor Candidates Both Ask Responsibility", Minden Press-Herald, January 26, 1972, p. 1
- State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, General election returns, February 1, 1972
- "Catherine Loyd Franks Hudson". Shreveport Times. http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/shreveporttimes/obituary.aspx?n=catherine-hudson&pid=158222335. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- Shreveport Times, Hudson obituary, June 16, 2001
4 at-large delegation:
|Louisiana State Representative from Caddo Parish (at-large)
Morley Alvin Hudson
7 at-large members: