Governor of Louisiana. Ruffin Golson Pleasant was born on June 2, 1871 in the rural community of Shiloh in western Union Parish, Louisiana. He was the eldest child of Benjamin Franklin Pleasant and his wife Martha Washington Dudy. He attended local schools before starting at Ruston College in 1886 followed by Mount Lebanon College from 1887 through 1889. He studied at Louisiana State University from 1890 until 1894, and from there he went to Harvard Summer School in 1895 to study law. In 1896 he began at Yale Law School, finishing there in 1897. He also served as an instructor from 1896 until 1898 at Louisiana State University. He was accepted to the Louisiana bar in 1899. At the age of 32, Ruffin Pleasant took a Texas bride in 1906, Anna Ector. While at LSU, Ruffin Pleasant became very active in football and was the captain of the LSU football team in the first LSU-Tulane game in 1893. He, along with a couple others, promoted school spirit by organizing the LSU Marching Band, which started as a mere 11-member group. At the beginning of the Spanish-American War, the U.S. Congress requested a volunteer army for combat. Lt Colonel Ruffin Pleasant served in the First Louisiana Regiment of Infantry, United States Volunteers from the very outbreak of the of war. After the war, he returned to his law studies, becoming a noted lawyer with a career that totaled over twenty-five years in Shreveport, LA. He entered politics on the local level, then quickly he excelled up the political ladder in various positions reaching the office of State Attorney General by 1912. In 1916 he was elected by popular vote to a four-year term as Governor of the State of Louisiana on the Democratic ticket. The LSU Marching Band led the inaugural parade for its founder and newly elected governor, Ruffin G. Pleasant. During World War I, he used his past military experience to rally the state to provide various needs for a nation at war. The demand for cotton caused an increase in the price of cotton, which in turned was beneficial to the state's economy. The state continued to supply the nation with its natural resources. Six black carbon plants in the state provided 27% of the nation's supply. Besides oil, now natural gas was discovered near Monroe. During this time, Camp Beauregard in Alexandria was established as a US Army training camp, and the National Guard is still using it. Another achievement of Gov. Pleasant was to issue a proclamation for October 17, 1917 to be registration day for women in Louisiana; thus, Louisiana was the only state to make voter registration compulsory for women. Maybe this is the reason that all female halls on the LSU campus were named for this governor. Pleasant's political allies changed with the wind. At first he was a strong ally of the colorful and dynamic Huey Long, but later was one of his bitterness enemies. After being governor, Pleasant returned to Shreveport to continue his law practice. In 1921 he served as a member of the Louisiana Constitutional Convention. Two years later, he and his wife Anne founded Pleasant Hall School in their Highland Avenue home in Shreveport with the first class graduated in 1931 Having students from kindergarten to middle school, their home served as one of the oldest private schools in Louisiana, and is still standing. Pleasant died in Shreveport, Louisiana on September 12, 1937. A Historian Marker was erected on State Road #2 near Union Parish, Louisiana to honor Pleasant and former Gov. William Heard as both were born near that site.
Bio by: Linda Davis
Anne Ector Pleasant
See more Pleasant memorials in:
Records on Ancestry