Late Parish Sheriff Jessel Ourso inducted into La. Political Hall of Fame

Tryve Brackin
INTERVIEW...Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. is interviewed by a North Louisiana television station during the Political Hall of Fame ceremonies held recently for his father, the late Sheriff Jessel Ourso. A photo of the late parish sheriff is on display on the wall in the background.

Former Iberville Parish Sheriff, the late Jessel Ourso, was inducted Feb. 7 into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame in Winnfield.

Attending the induction reception and banquet were all of the late sheriff’s children and spouses, all but three grandchildren, and numerous friends.

Ourso was elected in 1963 and served as the youngest sheriff in the state at the age of 31. He served four terms as one of the most colorful and sometimes most controversial sheriffs in the state, but one beloved by most residents of the parish. In 1973 he was an elected member of the La. Constitutional Convention.

The late sheriff’s oldest child is J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. who became the first Iberville Parish President in 1997 under the home rule charter form of government. He still serves as parish president after recent reelection.

Photographs of the late sheriff, including a pair of old newspaper double-page spreads put together by the late Gary Hebert, former owner of the POST SOUTH, are on display at the hall.

Also a collection of election memorabilia and informational plaques on Ourso are on display.

OURSO FAMILY...The late Jessel Ourso’s children attended the La. Political Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Winnfield in recent days. The children of the late Iberville Parish sheriff are, front row from left, Jessica Ourso, Lisa Jo Ourso, Vesta O. Barbier; and, back row, J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr., Blane Ourso, and Shannon P. Ourso.