Tucked away in grandfather’s photo album are two photos that give a glimpse of what living and shopping in Vinton, Louisiana, was like between the late 1930s and early 1940s. I’d love to know more about the history of Vinton during this time period. If any of the people in the photo look familiar or if you have any information about the businesses, please contact me or leave a comment.
Vinton in 1933
From the Lake Charles American Press, Nov. 4, 1933: As one enters the attractive little city of Vinton he is charmed with the general appearance of the place. A unique little park adorns the entrance of the town. The wide paved street with its fine white-way instantly convinces you that here is the spirit of progress and development. The beautiful residences with artistically planned flower yards, again assures you that this is an ideal place for a home. The people you meet are courteous and the very symbol of hospitality. In fact, you are completely overcome with pleasure and joy. [1. “Vinton, Louisiana,” Lake Charles American Press, 04 November 1933.]
There is no date on the the photo, however, he car is a 1937 Ford 2-door sedan flatback, which means the photo was taken during or after 1937. Several Vinton businesses are represented by the signs held by the people in the photo.
Businesses in the Photo
1. Benoits News Stand
Satisfied Customers. From the Lake Charles American Press, Nov. 4, 1933: Mr. Willie Benoit is one of Vinton’s prominent citizens. A World war veteran and proprietor of one of the most complete confectioneries and news stands in this section. He has recently enlarged his place of business. That makes it now most attractive and up-to-the-minute. A native of Vinton. His father was Michel Benoit and mother Odile Duhon. He married Miss Lucy Courrege of New Iberia. Her father’s people were direct from France. They have one child, Berta Lou, seven years old. In her second year at school. Mrs. Benoit’s father was Jean Courrege, and mother, Marie Rodrigue. Mr. Benoit was post commander of the American Legion post here. [2. Lake Charles American Press, 04 November 1933.]
My grandfather, Willie “Bill” Benoit, opened Benoit’s News Stand in downtown Vinton on March 22, 1921. The store became Benoit’s Variety in 1947 and he and my grandmother ran the store until their retirement in 1969.
2. La-Tex Bar
You’ve got to go far to beat the La-Tex Bar for friendliness. You’re a stranger here once.
3. White House Dry Goods
Buy here and save money.
4. Vinton Repair Shop
What you want done we do it. From the Lake Charles American Press, Nov. 4, 1933: Mr. Sampson LeBeouf is acclaimed a successful and substantial business man of Vinton. He is of the most pleasing personality. To know him is to like him. He is the proprietor of Vinton Repair Shop. Expert repairing of tractors and generators and auto-mechanic. Originally from Lake Charles, located here in 1916, worked for S. R. Johnson five years, and in Sept. 1925 opened his repair shop. Married Miss Jessie May (Je??) of Lake Charles. They have one child, Bobbie Jean, eight months old. He is a councilman. His father and mother were Trisemond Le Boeuf of Cameron and Adeline (??) Lake Charles, both old and prominent families of this section. [3. Lake Charles American Press, 04 November 1933.]
5. The Green and White Cash Store
Our delight is serving you right.
6. Hi-way 90 Vinton Town Louisiana State Bell Telephone
They do business straight.
7. Rex Supply Co.
We serve to serve again.
8. City Meat and Grocery Store
The store that you get what you want when you want it.
9. Macks Grocery and Meat Mkt.
From the Lake Charles American Press, Nov. 4, 1933: Albert Mack, the well known groceryman of Vinton, can boast of having a real up-to-the-minute grocery. His meat market in connection is complete, and everybody states that he has the best assortment of luncheon meats in town. All nationally advertised products. He married Miss. Ruth Turner. They have one child, Albert Jr., 13 years old. [4. Lake Charles American Press, 04 November 1933.]
10. Our Thanks to the Mayor & Staff of Vinton for their cooperation
11. Furnished by McMillin-Dugas Funeral Home
12. People’s Cafe
Don’t divorce your wife because she can’t cook. Eat here and keep her for a pet.
13. Louviere Jewelers
If you don’t know your jewelry just know your jeweler. Let George fix it. From the Lake Charles American Press, Nov. 4, 1933: Another relic of great value is a large calendar clock, over two hundred years old, once owned by a nobleman, Baron Bayard, the great grandfather of Mr. Fred Louiviere, the expert jeweler of Vinton. It is a most unique clock in every description. Antique collectors would rave over it. Mr. Louviere is originally from New Iberia. Located here in April, 1932. He is an expert watch maker and jeweler. Married Miss Mary Alice Johnson of Beaumont and San Antonio. Her father is a prominent citizen of San Antonio. [5. Lake Charles American Press, 04 November 1933.]
14. Celeste Beauty Shop
Your hair is becoming to you. You should be coming to see us.
15. Jo-Mil Stores
There’s a Jo-Mil Feed for every need. Quality remains long after the price is forgotten.
16. Vinton Drug – D. J. Moreau
From the Lake Charles American Press, Nov. 4, 1933: Mr. Dallas Jos. Moreau, the well known pharmacist and owner of Vinton Drug Store, is without a doubt an asset to this community. Originally from Avoyelles Parish, a descendant from an old and prominent family of this state, located here in 1913. Worked for J. J. Danboury three years, is a graduate of New Orleans College of Pharmacy. Opened a drug store here in 1915 and has prospered well. His complete line of merchandise is of the best, and you can get just what you want when you want it. Was elected councilman July 1933. Is mayor pro tem and chairman of finance committee. Married in Nov. 1916 Miss Mary Lovonia Hampton, a member of a prominent family in this section. They have two children, Jewel Marie, recently crowned queen of the Calcasieu Cameron Parish Fair, Sulphur. Dallas Jos. Jr, age three years. Mr. Moreau’s hobby is hunting and it is interesting to hear him relate his adventures. Mr. Moreau is a thorough business and professional man. An important factor here. A friend to everybody. [6. Lake Charles American Press, 04 November 1933.]
17. Red & White Store N. McBride
Daniel Boone had fresh meat and so have we.
18. Mack’s Place
19. Ellis Lumber Co.
Good homes. Better lumber. Best paint.
20. Etie’s Ladies and Childrens Wear Sulpher & Vinton
21. Vinton Grain Co.
The grains of friendship. Red and blue chew feed and gold grain flour.
Vinton Population 1920-1940
- 1920 – 1,441 [7. “Vinton Enjoys Large Increase of Population,” Lake Charles American Press, 22 April 1930.]
- 1930 – 1,989 [8. Lake Charles American Press, 22 April 1930.]
- 1933 – 2,000 [9. Lake Charles American Press, 04 November 1933.]
- 1940 – 3,795 [10. “Population of Parish Reaches Close to 63,000,” Lake Charles American Press, 09 May 1942.]
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