FOUR CORNERS — Residents of the Four Corners area showed up Saturday afternoon to watch as the West St. Mary Civic Center was renamed to honor a long-time public servant, the late Joseph Milton “Tooney” Davis Jr.
“The event was well attended by over 100 guests from the family of Mr. Davis and the community and parish he served for over 32 combined years,” said St, Mary Parish District 1 Councilman Craig Mathews, who currently holds the seat Davis once held.
Davis, born in 1941 in Four Corners (formerly Millard), was a 1960 graduate of Willow Street High School and attended Southern University.
When Davis was elected to the St. Mary Parish Police Jury in 1967, he was one of the first two African Americans elected to serve in the parish since Reconstruction. He served until 1984, when term limits saw him sit out four years before being re-elected in 1987 to what by then had become the St. Mary Parish Council after the Home Rule Charter was established in 1984. He then served on the St. Mary Parish School Board until 2000, when he was re-elected to the parish council, serving until 2007.
Davis counted among his accomplishments helping his community though hard surfacing of the roads, establishing the Elizabeth Barabin Davis Park in Four Corners, installing of street lights and forming a water district as well as helping for the Port of West St. Mary and getting roads to the port built. Establishing fire districts in Four Corners, Sorrel and Glencoe, solid waste collection and laying the groundwork for the bridge across the Intracoastal Canal at Louisa and Cypremort Point also were accomplished by the parish council during his service, and in his final term the construction of parks in Sorrell and Baldwin and the completion of the West St. Mary Civic Center were other projects in which he had a hand.