Home Life History The Bossier Parish boy who more than made good

The Bossier Parish boy who more than made good

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The June 28, 1928 issue of The Bossier Banner took pleasure in printing an article about a friend and former playmate and schoolmate of the writer of the column.  W. P. O’Neal was remembered by the writer as Pierce.

“Mr. O’Neal was born and reared at old Bellevue, removed with the members of his father’s family from that place to Benton about the time the town became the parish seat and his employment during the days if his youth, when not a student in the home schools, was to clerk in his father’s general merchandise store, both here and in Bellevue.  He left Benton for New Orleans twenty-eight years ago, and we happen to know that he reached that city with only 75 cents in change in his pocket—and fewer changes of underwear in his weather-beaten suitcase.  But he had the determination to succeed—bulldog tenacity—and did.  Being stranded and in a city, among strangers, did not daunt him in the least, as his rapid rise in commercial life reflects.  Recently he was elected president of the Louisiana Bankers’ Association, which is the highest office the bankers of the state can bestow upon any one of their members.  It is a position that must come unsought and cannot be bought.  In recognition of this honor, The Southern Banker, a magazine published in Atlanta, Ga., says of Mr. O’Neal in a late issue:”

“William P. O’Neal, newly elected president of the Louisiana Bankers’ Association, is a native Louisianian, having been born in Bossier Parish on May 19, 1876.  Twenty-eight years ago Mr. O’Neal entered the business field in New Orleans.  His success since that time is best attested to by the numerous associations he has formed during his business career.”

“He is a director of a number of New Orleans financial institutions, including the Marine Bank and Trust Company, Insurance Securities Company, Union Indemnity Company and the Union Title Guarantee Company.  He is also a director of the Baptist Hospital, the Louisiana Building and Loan Association, and is treasurer of the Young Men’s Christian Association of New Orleans.  He has been associated with the Marine Bank and Trust Company since its organization and at present is serving the institution as vice president.”

“Mr. O’Neal is an ardent sportsman as well as a club man and is also a thirty-second degree Mason and a Shriner.  He has also been active in the work of the American Bankers’ Association and has been instrumental in making Louisiana’s membership in the national association one hundred percent.”

To find out about other of Bossier Parish’s outstanding citizens, visit the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or by e-mail at amiddlet@state.lib.la.us