June 4, 2016

Katie Coney Becomes First Woman to Serve on Sicily Island Council, 1975

The following article appeared in the February 19, 1975 edition of the Concordia Sentinel:

Concordia Sentinel - 2/19/1975

Partial Transcription:

At Sicily Island
Mrs. Coney Takes Office
The Sicily Island Town Council joined the ranks of most other governing bodies in Catahoula by swearing in the first woman to serve on the council recently.
Concordia Sentinel - 2/19/1975
Taking the oath of office, Mrs. C. B. Coney became the third member of her immediate family to serve in the post.  She was recently elected by the council to fill the vacancy left by the death of her husband.  Their son, Dr. W. C. "Billy" Coney presently of Jonesville, had served as an alderman in Sicily Island prior to his entering medical school.
Clerk of Court W. A. Book administered the oath at the 6 p.m. meeting of the board held at Town Hall.
Present for the occasion were the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, Town Clerk, members of their families and friends.
After the oath was given and Mrs. Coney's commission signed, the new alderman was honored at a steak supper at Frontier Town restaurant, with various politicians, their wives and family members present.
Mrs. Coney was elected to her position during a special session to fill the vacancy after the death of her husband.  The election was made under the provisions of the new constitution which permits such bodies to fill vacancies without submitting names to the governor for appointment.
The late Mr. Coney was serving his second term as alderman at the time of his death. 
Their son, Dr. W. C. Coney, is believed to be the youngest person to serve the town as alderman.  He was elected in 1962 at the age of 25.  He resigned the position in 1964 to enter medical school.
A check of a 1927 Jonesville Booster revealed that Dr. Coney's grandfather, who was also Dr. W. C. Coney, was elected to a public office, that of coroner, thus making three generations of this family.
With the election of Mrs. Coney to the Town Council in Sicily Island, women further penetrated the ranks of the one-time all male politicians of the parish.

Katie Archer Drake Harris was the daughter of Richard Hines Harris, Jr. and Laura Archer Scott.  Her husband, Cameron Beard Coney, was the son of Dr. Walter Clarence Coney and Caroline "Carrie" Beard.