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Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - November 2010
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Portraits of Livingston mayors now displayed at City Hall


LIVINGSTON — Daily reminders of the 10 men who have served as mayor of Livingston are visible on streets and businesses around the community — but their faces were slipping from memory. City Councilman Ray Hill has spent the last several months gathering portraits and biographies of the former city leaders which were unveiled at a ceremony for the leaders and their descendants Saturday afternoon. “We feel that it is important to honor the commitment of past generations of leaders of Livingston by displaying these photographs at City Hall so future generations of residents will remember our heritage and honor and appreciate the sacrifi ces made by our former mayors,” said current Mayor Clarke Evans in a proclamation issued Saturday. Evans’ 10 predecessors include: • Anson Travis Feagin, 1914 to 1916 • James Smith Evans, 1916 to 1918 • John Wesley Cochran, 1918 to 1920 • Carl Prestridge Sory, 1920-1930 • Ollege Morrison, 1930- 1940 • Samuel Ross Smith, 1940- 1947 • Ernest Everitt Cochran, 1947-1960 • Robert Douglas Willis, 1960-1968 • Elmer Joe Pedigo, 1968- 1985 • Ben R. Ogletree Jr., 1985- 2008. The two surviving former mayors, Pedigo and Ogletree, attended Saturday’s event. All but one of the previous city leaders (James Smith Evans) was represented by descendants at the ceremony. Anson T. Feagin Livingston’s fi rst mayor served from 1914 to 1916. He was born in Hortense in 1883 and attended school in Hortense and Livingston before continuing his education at the Ford’s school, the University of Texas Law School in Austin. Feagin was an attorney with Feagin, German and Feagin which later became Feagin & Feagin. James Smith Evans Livingston’s second mayor had an impressive military career during the Civil War. He was commissioned a 1st lieutenant in 1861 and promoted to captain in 1862. In early 1865 he was captured at Five Forke, Va., and confi ned at Johnson’s Island Prison in Sandusky Bay, Ohio. Evans was released after swearing an oath of allegiance a few months later. In 1885 he moved his family by train to Porter and later Leggett. They came to the Livingston area in about 1893. Evans served as postmaster for many years. John Wesley Cochran John W. Cochran was a Polk County native who opened his fi rst mercantile business at age 21 in Moscow with $100 he borrowed from his grandfather and $59 of his own money. He moved to Colita six years later where he ran a store and sawmill before coming to Livingston in 1895. Cochran had fi nancial interests in lumber, cotton gins, sawmills, farming,


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