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Hubert Davis Humphreys (April 21, 1923–August 28, 2009) was an historian formerly affiliated with Louisiana State University in Shreveport who specialized in archives, oral history, and studies of his native North Louisianamarker.

Humphreys was born to Ralph and Ellie Humphreys in the village of Graysonmarker in Caldwell Parishmarker south of Monroemarker. He graduated in 1940 from Grayson High School and then joined the Civilian Conservation Corps two years prior to its abolition. He studied briefly at Louisiana Tech University in Rustonmarker. In 1942, he accepted employment with the United States Army Corps of Engineers until in 1943 he joined the United States Navy for three and a half years of World War II duty. Humphreys served under Rear Admiral Harry W. Hill’s Fifth Amphibious Force and fought in the Pacific Theatre: the invasion of Pelletier (Palaumarker Island), Iwo Jimamarker, Saipanmarker (in the Marianas Islandsmarker), and Okinawamarker, the most costly of the naval battles to the United States. He served on the USS Auburn at the time of the surrender of Nagasaki, Japanmarker. He was awarded three battle stars and numerous citations.

Humphries was discharged from the Navy at New Orleansmarker. He then entered Louisiana State Universitymarker at Baton Rougemarker under the GI Bill of Rights. There in 1950, he received a Bachelor of Science in professional education. In 1953, he received a Master of Education from Texas A&M Universitymarker in College Stationmarker.He then obtained a Master of Arts in the field of history from LSU.His master's thesis on the Civilian Conservation Corps was printed in a condensed version in Louisiana History, the journal of the Louisiana Historical Association.

Humphreys subsequently engaged in advanced studies under grants at Harvard Universitymarker, Tulane Universitymarker in New Orleans, Long Island Universitymarker in New York Citymarker, and Stanford Universitymarker in Palo Altomarker, Californiamarker. In 1974, he received archival training at Emory Universitymarker in Atlantamarker, Georgiamarker, and at the Georgia State Archives. Under Fulbright-Hays Scholarship grants, he studied in Lebanonmarker in 1967 and in Southeast Asia in 1970.His historical interest was particularly strong in the areas of U.S. diplomacy and Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal.

Humphreys spent thirty-three years as an educator in Louisiana, with his first assignment in Webster Parishmarker and then Fair Park High School in Shreveportmarker, where in 1965, he was named "Teacher of the Year". In 1967, Humphreys became one of the charter faculty of LSU in Shreveport,having taught history there until his retirement in 1985. In 1980, he published Louisiana Oral History Collections: A Directory. He also wrote numerous journal articles, two on the second removal of the Red Rivermarker Raft of 1875. He published another article on Lula Wardlow of Montgomerymarker in Grant Parishmarker, the first elected woman mayor in Louisiana and a minister in Humphreys' own [[Methodist ProtestantChurch]], since part of the United Methodist denomination. He wrote articles too on some of the Methodist Protestant circuit riders in Louisiana. He wrote many book reviews and newspaper columns. In 1995, he was named a fellow of the Louisiana Historical Association.

He was affiliated with the North Louisiana Historical Association, Louisiana Association of Social Studies, National Council of Social Studies, Southern Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, American Association of University Professors, Phi Alpha Theta, Society of Southwest Archivists, Oral History Association, and the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission.He combined archival and oral history in a study of the Carpenter's Union, funded by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

After retirement, Humphreys researched the history of his native Grayson and the Methodist Protestant Church. In 1992, his history of Grayson was published in a lengthy articles in The Journal of the North Louisiana Historical Association. In 2007, LSUS named him recipient of "The Hubert Humphreys Endowed Professorship of History" in the College of Liberal Arts. On retirement, he was named an LSUS professor emeritus.

Humphreys retired in Shreveportmarker but died in Baton Rouge, where he had spent his latter days. Survivors included two sisters, Mildred H. Taylor of Baton Rouge and Melissa Verna Douglas and husband, George W. Douglas, of Shreveport. Services were held on September 5, 2009, in Columbiamarker, the seat of Caldwell Parish. Interment was at Welcome Home Cemetery in Grayson.At the time of his death, Humphreys was working on the Copenhagen Prairie area near Grayson, an area that he had explored as a child.

On September 17, less than a month after Humphreys's death, a second Louisiana historian, Sue Eakin, formerly with Louisiana State University at Alexandria, died at the age of ninety. She edited the 1968 work, Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup.

References

  1. Identical obituary also published in the Shreveport Times’’ and the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate.
  2. Alan S. Thompson, "Hubert D. Humphreys: A Tribute", North Louisiana History, Volume XXXX, No. 4 (Fall 2009), pp. 207-209



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