Newton Crain Blanchard
Born: January 29, 1849 in Boyce, Louisiana
Political Affiliation: Democrat
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian
Education: Louisiana State Seminary of Learning (LSU) and University of Louisiana (Tulane)
Career Prior to Term: Congressman, U.S. Senator and Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court
How He Became Governor: Elected in 1904
Career after Term: Practiced law
Died: June 22, 1922 in Shreveport, Louisiana
Newton Crain Blanchard developed a strong career as a Bourbon Democratic Party functionary before stepping onto a higher national stage. From chairmanship of the Democratic Committee of Caddo Parish, Blanchard worked as a delegate to the 1879 Constitutional Convention and was on the staff of both Governor Wiltz and Governor McEnery.
Blanchard then served in the U. S. House of Representatives and U. S. Senate before becoming an Associate Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Blanchard became the highly qualified Democratic nominee for Governor in 1904.
As Chief Executive Blanchard worked to improve a dismal public education system. State appropriations for education rose from 1.5 million to 3.5 million during his term. He signed legislation establishing certification of teachers and public school libraries as school construction increased. The number of high schools in Louisiana doubled.
Blanchard supported laws lowering property taxes and creating a board to assess property. He created a State Board of Forestry, encouraged the construction of a state reform school and approved a law making state primaries mandatory, eliminating gubernatorial nomination by convention.
Blanchard died in Shreveport in 1922.