Vail M. Delony

Male, Deceased Person

1901 – 1967


Who was Vail M. Delony?

Vail Montgomery Delony was a Democratic member of the Louisiana House of Representatives from Lake Providence in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana, having served from 1940 until his death in office. He was also Speaker of the chamber from 1964 until his death.

Delony was born in Lake Providence, where he resided all of his life, to Tobias Stephens Delony and the former Helen Montgomery. On December 26, 1926, he wed the former Elizabeth Louise Miller of Greenville in Washington County in western Mississippi. The couple had two daughters, Elizabeth Delony Ree and Vail Delony Baldridge of Rayville, the seat of Richland Parish. She is the widow of the Episcopal priest William E. Baldridge, Sr., a native of Dyersburg, Tennessee.

Delony was a delegate to the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which nominated the Adlai Stevenson-Estes Kefauver ticket, the first party slate to lose the electoral votes of Louisiana since Reconstruction.

Delony was a segregationist during his political career but acknowledged how the Voting Rights Act of 1965 had given African Americans a 500-vote edge over whites in Lake Providence. Delony predicted that blacks did not "have the capacity" to assume political control of East Carroll Parish at that time and would not vote as a bloc unless organized to do so. Delony said that he would welcome black support but would "not stoop to entice" minority voters with political promises.

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Jan 5, 1901
Lake Providence
Also known as
  • Vail Delony
Nov 18, 1967

on July 23, 2013


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