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Charred rubble is all that remained of the James Stephen Home Economics cottage following a fire Tuesday night. The severe cold hampered firemen in their attempt to save the building, although they were able to keep the blaze from spreading to the parish branch library located approximately 10 feet from the building. School officials could not estimate the loss in dollars and cents, but said the building and its contents were covered by insurance.

Looking back: January 1962

January 4, 1962
• The new location of the Evangeline Parish Welfare Department, a matter of serious concern to the residents of Ville Platte and Evangeline Parish, was expected to be announced within a short time. There were five possible locations for the Welfare Department, four of them in central Ville Platte and the other half a mile north of U.S. Highway 167 on the Tate Cove Road.
• More than any other year, national headlines played a big part in community living in Mamou during 1961. It was the year of the beginning of American space age, the year which saw a new generation go into the White House, the year of the “electric tooth brush,” the year of new military build-ups which saw many leave for a new stretch in uniform, the year of the now famous “twist” and the year of the pocket transistor radio and the fallout shelter.
•An underaking which may contribute much to the economy of Evangeline Parish was launched at the courthouse that Friday night when about 125 well known individuals from all five parish wards met to form the Evangeline Economic Development Association, a non-profit corporation designed to cooperate with the federal Area Redevelopment Administration in stimulating industrial growth in this area.

January 11, 1962
•The Evangeline School Board has called parishwide tax elections to be voted on Tuesday, February 20, at which time property owners will be submitted three separate proposals for the improvement of the parish school system, according to Superintendent LeRoy Soileau. They are 1.) a $2,100.000 bond issue for parishwide school construction, the Basile district excepted; 2) a $550.000 bond issue for school construction in the Basile district only, which includes a portion of Acadia parish; and 3) an overall 2 mill tax for the operational support of the parish school system.
•Paul F. Dietzel, moulder of top football teams at LSU for seven years, Friday won a release from his contract so he could take over as Army’s head coach. Dietzel, 37, said he and four assistants went to West Point that Saturday to negotiate and sign a contract. A fifth LSU assistant, Charles McClendon, appears headed for the top football coaching job at Kentucky, his alma matter.

January 18, 1962
•A special meeting of the Evangeline Police Jury was held here yesterday afternoon to take up the possibility of a Public Welfare Department building being built on the court house square and rented to the State of Louisiana for that purpose; met with the parish body was W.E. Jenkins of the Louisiana Division of Administrative.
•Voting precincts and persons who will serve as commissioners and election clerks for Mamou and the surrounding area have been named by the Evangeline Parish School Board for the school bond issue election called for Tuesday, February 20.

January 25, 1962
•The Evangeline Parish department of public welfare moved to its new location, the 400 block of West LaSalle Street in Ville Platte, by July 1st. Also disclosed were the reasons why this location was favored over four others offered the Welfare Department by individuals of the community.
• The Evangeline Parish School Board met at 8:00 a.m. that Monday at the Ville Platte courthouse to hear charges brought against Louise E. Bielkiewicz, music instructor, at Mamou High School, seeking to remove him from the post he has held the last five years. The hearing was a public or private one, depended on the desire of the accused.

Evangeline Today

145 Court St.
Ville Platte, LA 70586
Phone: 337-363-3939
Fax: 337-363-2841