Leness Joseph Alleman
Leness Joseph Alleman was born May 16, 1873 in Paintcourtville, LA. His parents were Narcisse Alleman and Orela Simoneaux and in 1875 his family moved to Centerville. Alleman received his early education in a private school and later attended the Christian Brother College in Memphis, Tennessee. Following graduation, he enrolled at Louisiana State Normal College at Natchitoches and earned his teaching degree there.
He began his teaching career at Centerville High School where he served as Principal. In 1896, a new building was erected and the faculty was expanded to two teachers. In 1900, he married Eleanor Whitworth, one of the teachers at CHS. They had four children: Ray W. Florence (Mrs. Clay Melder), Eleanor (Mrs. Charles O. Garbrecht), and L.J. Jr. (deceased). In 1936, Eleanor died and after her death, Alleman married Charlotte Devall Boykin.
Alleman came to Lafayette in 1901 as Superintendent of Education, the first college trained educator to serve as a Parish Superintendent in Louisiana. In August 1907, he resigned as Superintendent to join the State Department of Education as State Institute Conductor. The institute served to give teachers training, mainly during the summer months. In Sept. 1912, he returned to Lafayette as Superintendent of Education and remained until 1918.
During his years as Superintendent, Alleman was credited with establishing the first school transportation system in Louisiana when students were brought to school in horse-drawn covered wagons. He was a staunch believer in school consolidation as a means of improving the educational system. He was the first to introduce the teaching of agriculture for boys and home economics for girls.
He resigned in 1918 to accept a position in vocational education in New Orleans with the Federal Government. In 1919, he joined the teaching staff at the Louisiana State Noral College. In 1922, he was appointed Head of the Department of Education at the college and retired from service in 1942.
Alleman died Feb. 21, 1944 in Natchitoches. The L.J. Alleman School in Lafayette was named in his honor.
Aurelien Olivier was President of the Board when Alleman was first appointed Superintendent and served until 1904 when Dr. N.P. Moss was elected to succeed him. Dr. Moss was President of the Board when Alleman first resigned. When Alleman returned in 1912, Dr. F. R. Tolson was President of the Board. In Dec. 1912, Mr. J. Arthur Roy was elected President and remained throughout the remainder of Alleman's tenure.