Thomas Wafer Fuller

Last updated
Thomas Wafer Fuller
Thomas Wafer Fuller.jpg
Early photograph of Louisiana State Senator Thomas W. Fuller
Louisiana State Senator for Bienville, Bossier and Webster parishes
In office
Preceded by G. L. P. Wren
W. L. Stroud
Succeeded by E. S. Dortch
Superintendent of Webster Parish Schools
In office
Preceded byJohn M. Davies
Succeeded by Edwin Sanders Richardson
Personal details
Born(1867-05-28)May 28, 1867
Minden, Webster Parish
DiedDecember 20, 1920(1920-12-20) (aged 53)
Minden, Louisiana
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)Alma Bright Fuller (married 1891–1920, his death)
ChildrenLee Aura Fuller Griffin

Xenia Doyle Fuller Ruffin

Miriam Rupert Fuller White
ParentsThomas Walker Fuller
Margaret Wafer Fuller
Alma mater Minden Male Academy
Centenary College of Louisiana
Occupation Educator
Fuller-White House in Minden, Louisiana, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fuller-White House, Minden, LA IMG 5091.JPG
Fuller-White House in Minden, Louisiana, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Faded gravestone of state Senator Thomas Fuller in family plot in Minden Cemetery Gravestone of Thomas Wafer Fuller IMG 4990.JPG
Faded gravestone of state Senator Thomas Fuller in family plot in Minden Cemetery

Thomas Wafer Fuller (May 28, 1867 December 20, 1920) was an educator and newspaperman from Minden, Louisiana, [1] who served as a Democrat in the Louisiana State Senate from 1896 to 1900. [2]

Newspaper Scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

Minden, Louisiana City in Louisiana, United States

The small city of Minden is the parish seat of Webster Parish, in the US state of Louisiana. It is located twenty-eight miles east of Shreveport. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 13,027.

Louisiana U.S. state in the United States

Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.


Fuller's Senate colleague from Bossier Parish was J. A. W. Lowry, who died in 1899; the two represented Bienville, Bossier, Claiborne, and Webster parishes. Thereafter, a single-member district was created for Bossier and Webster parishes with E. S. Dortch of Haughton in Bossier Parish as the senator from 1900 to 1908. One of the Senate colleagues of Fuller and Lowry was Samuel Lawrason of West and East Feliciana parishes, the author of the Lawrason Act, which defines the scope of municipal government in Louisiana. [2]

Bossier Parish, Louisiana Parish in Louisiana

Bossier Parish is a parish located in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 116,979. The parish seat is Benton. The principal city is Bossier City, which is located east of the Red River and across from the larger city of Shreveport, the seat of Caddo Parish. The parish was formed in 1843 from the western portion of Claiborne Parish.

John Augustus Way Lowry, Jr., was a lawyer and Democratic politician from his native Bossier Parish in northwestern Louisiana.

Bienville Parish, Louisiana Parish in Louisiana

Bienville Parish is a parish located in the northwestern portion of the U.S. state of Louisiana. As of the 2010 census, the population was 14,353. The parish seat is Arcadia.


Fuller was the fifth of six children born to a planter, lawyer, Confederate captain, and district attorney, [3] Thomas Walker Fuller (1828–1896), a native of Houston County, Georgia. [4] His mother was the former Margaret A. Wafer (1832–1880) of then Claiborne Parish, from which Webster Parish was severed in 1871. [5] Margaret Fuller was a graduate of the former Minden Female College. [3] Thomas Walker and Margaret Wafer Fuller are interred in the former Fuller Memorial Shrine Cemetery behind West Union Street in Minden. [6]

Lawyer legal professional who helps clients and represents them in a court of law

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Confederate States of America (de facto) federal republic in North America from 1861 to 1865

The Confederate States of America — commonly referred to as the Confederacy — was an unrecognized republic in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was originally formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was heavily dependent upon agriculture, particularly cotton, and a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves. Convinced that white supremacy and the institution of slavery were threatened by the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U.S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories, the Confederacy declared its secession in rebellion to the United States, with the loyal states becoming known as the Union during the ensuing American Civil War. Confederate Vice President Alexander H. Stephens described its ideology as being centrally based "upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition".

Houston County, Georgia U.S. county in Georgia

Houston County is a county located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. The estimated 2016 population is 152,122. Its county seat is Perry, although the city of Warner Robins is substantially larger in both area and population.

Fuller attended the former Minden Male Academy, a forerunner to Minden High School. In 1890, he graduated at the age of twenty-three from the Methodist-affiliated Centenary College in Jackson, Louisiana, later relocated to Shreveport, where one of his classmates was future Governor Oramel H. Simpson. [7] For a time, Fuller taught school in Sibley, south of Minden. [1]

Centenary College of Louisiana private college in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

Centenary College of Louisiana is a private college in Shreveport, Louisiana. The college is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Jackson, Louisiana Town in Louisiana, United States

Jackson is a town in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 3,842 at the 2010 census, down from 4,130 in 2000. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Shreveport, Louisiana City in Louisiana, United States

Shreveport is a city in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the most populous city in the Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area. Shreveport ranks third in population in Louisiana after New Orleans and Baton Rouge and 133rd in the U.S. The bulk of Shreveport is in Caddo Parish, of which it is the parish seat. Shreveport extends along the west bank of the Red River into neighboring Bossier Parish. The population of Shreveport was 199,311 as of the 2010 U.S. Census. The United States Census Bureau's 2018 estimate for the city's population decreased to 188,987.

Superintendent and publisher

In 1908, upon the death of John M. Davies, Fuller became only the second Webster Parish school superintendent, a position that he retained for the last twelve years of his life. At the time the superintendent ran in a parishwide plebiscite, from which the school board members made the final selection. Fuller narrowly led in the election with 35 percent of the vote and was chosen by the board after it was deemed that his principal opponent lacked the educational credentials to be superintendent. Fuller was succeeded as superintendent by E. S. Richardson, a Webster Parish native and a former superintendent in neighboring Bienville Parish, who later became the president of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. [1]

Webster Parish, Louisiana Parish in Louisiana

Webster Parish is a parish located in the northwestern section of the U.S. state of Louisiana. The seat of the parish is Minden.

Edwin Sanders Richardson, Sr., principally known as E. S. Richardson, was an educator who served from August 14, 1936, until 1941 as the president of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, the seat of Lincoln Parish. Previously, Richardson was the superintendent of schools in his native Webster Parish. The E.S. Richardson Elementary School at the intersection of East Todd and Elm street in the eastern part of Minden, established by a bond issue after World War II, is named in his honor.

Louisiana Tech University university in Ruston, Louisiana, USA

Louisiana Tech University, colloquially referred to as Louisiana Tech, La. Tech, or simply Tech is a public research university in Ruston, Louisiana. It is a space grant college, member of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, member of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, and Carnegie Doctoral University with high research activity (R2). It is a member of the University of Louisiana System.

In 1915, Fuller attended the convention of the National Education Association in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he became acquainted with the agricultural extension and home demonstration agent programs. He soon named, with school board approval, Mrs. Julia Cookey as the first home demonstration agent in Webster Parish. [8]

National Education Association US teachers trade union

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union and professional interest group in the United States.

Ohio U.S. state in the United States

Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, and the tenth most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus. Ohio is bordered by Pennsylvania to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Lake Erie to the north, Indiana to the west, Kentucky on the south, and West Virginia on the southeast.

Home demonstration clubs program of the U.S. Department of Agricultures Cooperative Extension Service

Home Demonstration Clubs were a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension Service. Their goal was to teach farm women in rural America better methods for getting their work done, in areas such as gardening, canning, nutrition, and sewing, and to encourage them to improve their families' living conditions. Home demonstration agents worked with local clubs to provide teaching services. The clubs also took on other education and charitable roles. These clubs survive into the present day.

From 1891 to 1894 and again from 1917 until his death, Fuller published the former Webster Signal, a weekly newspaper founded in 1864 and one of the numerous forerunners of what in 1966 became the daily Minden Press-Herald newspaper. The Signal's competitor at the time was the Minden Democrat, and the two publications contested for legal advertising revenues from the various governmental entities. Fuller sold The Signal in 1894 to James Peter Kent, and then re-purchased it in 1917. [9] In 1926, Mrs. Fuller merged The Signal with The Minden Tribune to become The Webster Signal-Tribune, which operated under that name until 1937.

Death and family

Fuller died at his Minden home at the age of fifty-three as a result of complications from an appendectomy. [10] Fuller was married in 1891 to the former Mary Alma Bright (November 16, 1871 June 3, 1949), a daughter of Edward Clarence Bright (1840–1893) of Tennessee and the former Texana Phillips (1845–1893), who was born in Alabama but raised in Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. [11]

Thomas and Alma Fuller had three daughters, Lee Aura Fuller Griffin (born 1895), [12] Xenia Doyle Fuller Ruffin (c. 1898-1977), [13] and Miriam Rupert Fuller White (1900–1983), and sons-in-law, Robert M. Griffin (born 1896), a native of Henderson, Texas, [12] and Trueheart H. Ruffin (born 1895), a native of DeSoto Parish, and Russell Lanier White (1898–1967) of Minden. A subsequent granddaughter, Miriam White King, was born in 1929. Thomas and Alma Fuller are interred at the Fuller-White plot in the old Section A at the historic Minden Cemetery. [14]

The Fuller-White House (built 1905) at 229 West Union Street in Minden, is located down a hill from the front campus of Minden High School. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house has five upstairs bedrooms, with parlors, a study, and kitchen on the bottom floor. It is not open for public touring, but the caretaker may conduct individual tours when he is on the property. Fuller lived there for at least the last five years of his life. After his death, Alma Fuller resided there as she continued publishing The Webster Signal. [10]

Related Research Articles

Springhill, Louisiana City in Louisiana, United States

Springhill is a city in northernmost Webster Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,279 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 160 since 2000. Springhill is part of the Minden Micropolitan Statistical Area though it is thirty miles north of Minden, the seat of government of Webster Parish. The Springhill population is 34 percent African American, compared to 25 percent minority in 2000.

Oramel H. Simpson American politician

Oramel Hinckley Simpson was an American politician from the U.S. state of Louisiana. He became the 39th Governor of Louisiana in 1926, upon the death of his predecessor, Henry L. Fuqua. He was defeated – he ran third in the critical Democratic primary – in his bid for a full term in 1928 by the legendary Huey Pierce Long Jr., of Winnfield, the seat of Winn Parish.

D. C. Wimberly educator and World War II prisoner of war

Duvall Cortez Wimberly, Sr., was a United States Army soldier taken prisoner of war in the European theater of World War II and a past national commander of American Ex-Prisoners of War, a veterans organization based in Arlington, Texas. He was also an educator and school administrator for thirty-seven years in Bienville and Webster parishes in northwestern Louisiana.

Foster Lonnie Campbell Jr., is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party from the U.S. state of Louisiana. Since 2003, he has been a member of the Louisiana Public Service Commission. He served in the Louisiana State Senate from 1976 to 2002.

James E. Bolin Louisiana legislator and judge

James Edwin Bolin, Sr., was an American jurist and politician who served as a judge of the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal. He was a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Minden, the seat of government of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana.

Webster Parish School Board

Webster Parish School Board is a school district headquartered in Minden in northwestern Louisiana, United States. The district operates public schools in Webster Parish.

Minden Cemetery

The Minden Cemetery, located in Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, United States, has graves dating from 1843, seven years after the founding of the city in 1836. Some of the oldest marked graves date back to the era of the American Civil War, but most are 20th-century interments.

Harlie Eugene Reynolds, known as Gene Reynolds, is a retired educator from Dubberly, Louisiana, who is a Democratic former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from District 10. In 2016, his colleagues named him the House Democratic Leader, in which capacity he succeeded former Representative John Bel Edwards of Tangipahoa Parish, the incoming governor of Louisiana.

Northwest Louisiana Technical College

Northwest Louisiana Technical College (NWLTC) is a public technical college in Minden, Louisiana. In addition to the main campuses, other regional NWLTC branches are in Mansfield, Natchitoches, Many, and Shreveport.

McIntyre Herbert Sandlin, was a Democratic politician from Minden in Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana.

John David Batton, known as J. D. Batton, was from 1952 to 1964 the sheriff of his native Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. He was defeated after three terms by O. H. Haynes Jr., a fellow Democrat and the son of the sheriff, O. H. Haynes Sr., whom Batton had himself unseated twelve years earlier.

James Peter Kent American politician

James Peter Kent, Sr., known as J. P. Kent, was a newspaper publisher and Democratic politician in his adopted city of Minden in Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana.

Eddie Nuton Payne, known as E. N. Payne, was a Democrat from Springhill, Louisiana, who represented Webster Parish in the Louisiana House of Representatives for one term from 1932 to 1936.

George Lovick Pierce Wren, known as G. L. P. Wren, was a native Georgian who served from 1884 to 1892 as a Democrat in the Louisiana House of Representatives as the sole member from his adopted Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana. His tenure corresponded with the administrations of Governors Samuel Douglas McEnery and Francis T. Nicholls.

John Dyer Watkins was an educator, lawyer, politician, and judge from his adopted city of Minden in Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, USA.


  1. 1 2 3 "Webster Parish historian John Agan, "Webster Superintendents of Schools"". Retrieved June 6, 2011.
  2. 1 2 "Membership in the Louisiana State Senate, 1880-2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 24, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2011.
  3. 1 2 "Capt. Thomas W. Fuller". Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  4. "Thomas Wafer Fuller". Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  5. "Mabry Wafer -- Louisiana". Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  6. "Capt. Thomas W. Fuller". Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  7. "Centenary College Alumni, Faculty, Trustees, etc., 1827-1931". Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  8. "Model School System in Parish". Minden Signal-Tribune and Springhill Journal, Historical Edition, April 30, 1971, in Webster Parish Library in Minden, Louisiana
  9. "Signal Was Founded in Year 1864: Parish Owes Much to the Recording of This Paper", Minden Signal-Tribune and Springhill Journal, Historical Edition, April 30, 1971
  10. 1 2 Statement of Ted Polk of Magnolia, Arkansas, the caretaker of the Fuller-White House, Minden, Louisiana, August 15, 2011
  11. "Mary Alma Bright". Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  12. 1 2 "Lee Aura Fuller". Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  13. "Xenia Fuller Ruffin", Minden Press-Herald , September 6, 1977, p. 1
  14. Minden Cemetery records
Political offices
Preceded by
G. L. P. Wren

W. L. Stroud

Louisiana State Senator for Bossier, Bienville, and Webster parishes

Thomas Wafer Fuller
(alongside J. A. W. Lowry, died 1899)

Succeeded by
E. S. Dortch
Preceded by
John M. Davies
Webster Parish School Superintendent

Thomas Wafer Fuller

Succeeded by
Edwin Sanders Richardson