Jacob E. Patterson, known as J.E. “Pat” Patterson , was a businessman who served as the Democratic mayor of the small city of Minden, the seat of Webster Parish in northwestern Louisiana, for a single term from 1974-1978 died he was , 86.
(April 28, 1924 – November 30, 2010)
Patterson’s business interests included Tide Craft, Inc., a boat company previously known as Bayou Boats, which he purchased in the early 1960s. The company sustained three major fires, including one in 1970. In its heyday, Tide Craft consisted of a large office complex with Minden’s first computer system, a showroom, and metal buildings for the production of large boats. The boats were shipped by 18 wheelers all over the United States and presented in show rooms nationwide. In 1974, Patterson sold Tide Craft and announced his bid for mayor.
Tenure as mayor
It had then appeared that the incumbent Republican, Tom Colten, would not seek a third term. At the time, the office of mayor was under the city commission format, but by the end of the term to which Patterson would be elected, the city charter was altered to the mayor-council system. In 1973, Colten had proposed converting the full-time mayoral position to part-time so that he could accept a paid position with Minden’s private hospital. The council refused to approve such a change to benefit one individual. Having first said that he would not run again, Colten changed his mind. For the first time ever, a full Republican slate filed for all municipal positions in the historically Democratic city.
Patterson defeated Colten, 3,186 (62.5 percent) to 1,914 (37.5 percent). Not long afterwards, Colten relocated to Baton Rouge, where he subsequently accepted a position with the Department of Transportation and Development. Along with Patterson’s election, a Republican, Felix Garrett (1922–1987), a university professor, won election as the city’s last public utilities commissioner, having unseated the incumbent Fred T. “Tony” Elzen, by a 7-3 margin. By 1978, the city council seats were allocated along single-member district lines, and Garrett became the first Republican on the revamped city council.
While Patterson was mayor, the city decided to retain its historic bricks overlaying Main Street but to remove them from Broadway Street so that they could be used for future repair or replacement parts as needed.
Patterson did not seek re-election in 1978. Instead, he ran in a special election for Louisiana House of Representative District 10 seat vacated by R. Harmon Drew, Sr., who was elected to his former position as Minden city judge. Patterson ran third in the special election held on November 5, 1978. His 2,687 votes were 102 short of procuring a runoff election berth. The position went to Minden attorney Bruce M. Bolin, a son of Judge James E. Bolin. At 11:30 p.m. on the night before the state House election, Patterson’s son, Ricky G. Patterson (1951–1978), was shot to death under questionable circumstances, which was never resolved and are believed to have been foul play.
In 1982, Patterson tried to regain the mayor’s office but ran third in the nonpartisan blanket primary. His 1,207 votes were 239 short of the number needed to procure a general election berth against the eventual winner, fellow Democrat Noel “Gene” Byars, an educator. The incumbent, Jack Batton, did not seek a second term.
Patterson was married for more than sixty years to the former Sadie Grace Chanler (February 17, 1929–June 10, 2010). Both graduated in 1946 from Minden High School. His graduation was delayed by service as a mailman in the United States Navy during World War II. The couple also had a daughter, Connie Patterson, thereafter Carmen Valerie Patterson Yocom Paul (1948–2007), a businesswoman who died after a triple bypass heart surgery and a 33-day hospital stay. A 1966 Minden High School graduate, she was the widow of Robert Thomas “Tommy” Yocom, II (1947–1983), and thereafter married Stephen Ralph Paul (born July 22, 1949) of Bossier City. A second daughter and only surviving child is Tanua Shurlaine Patterson Riley (born February 7, 1962) and husband, Samuel Keith Riley, both natives of Minden and residents in 2010 of Diboll, Texas.
Patterson died in Shreveport at the age of eighty-six. Services were held on December 3, 2010, at the First Pentecostal Church in Minden, with the Reverend Jeff Ramsey officiating. Patterson is interred beside his son and his wife, who preceded him in death by five months, at Lane Memorial Cemetery in Sibley in south Webster Parish.
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