T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History
Jacob Rigmaiden and Josh Rigmaiden as Mayors of Mossville
Carolyn Rigmaiden-Frank by Chelsea Arseneault, 2015.
CHELSEA ARSENEAULT: So your dad [Jacob Rigmaiden] was one of the community leaders?


ARSENEAULT: Could you talk a little bit more about him?

RIGMAIDEN-FRANK: Well, Uncle Josh [Rigmaiden] was the leader . . . Josh Rigmaiden. Well, Uncle Josh was really . . . Well, he was the mayor of Mossville. That's what everybody . . . Yeah, everybody called him the mayor of Mossville.

ARSENEAULT: Was he voted, or . . . ?

RIGMAIDEN-FRANK: I don't think so, I think it's just something that the people just made him.


RIGMAIDEN-FRANK: Because he would help them, and you know, anything that they needed. Like he was . . . Well, I guess Daddy, like, took his place when he died because he was like in with the politics as far as for the people to help the people in Mossville who was best . . . best served them and, you know, if they got in trouble or anything, he would go to talk to the sheriff, to the DA [district attorney]. and, you know, help them to get out of the trouble or whatever. And so, this is what Uncle Josh did. And then when Uncle Josh died, well, they said Daddy was the mayor. But Dad say he wasn't the mayor. They never . . . [laughing] There wasn't no election or nothing. It was just the people that, you know, just felt that way because they would help them. You know, whatever it was that they needed: financial, spiritual, whatever type of help, they would do that for them. So I guess that was just . . . I guess that was just in they blood to do that [Laughs].

ARSENEAULT: They were leaders?

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This project is a collaboration between the Imperial Calcasieu Museum and LSU Libraries to document the history of Mossville, a historic African American community in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
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