Monroe Blue Book

On January 23, 1941 in the Monroe News-Star, there appeared the following notice:

“Plans for listing the names of all families in the Monroe area who are identified with Monroe’s social life, are under way here, it was learned today. The work will be in book form, handsomely printed and bound in blue cloth, with the title stamped in gold.

Letters have been mailed to some 300 families who constitue Monroe’s “Four Hundred,” requesting such information as is usually required for such a publication. The names of the families who are being asked for such information were supplied by a secret committee of prominent women.

There is no charge for the listing.

The work will be turned out by Blue Book Publishers, compilers of Blue Books and Social Registers, and will be known as “The Monroe Blue Book.”

While the work is in progress here it is stated that a local representative of the publishers will be located at The Book Shoppe, 214 North Second street.

While going through the vertical files contained in the Special Collections department, my colleague found a copy of the Monroe Blue Book. It is a fascinating biography of Monroe’s Who’s Who right around the beginning of World War II. It listed their name, wife’s name, their address, education, social club memberships, names of the children and their education and social clubs. Some even gave names of their illustrious ancestors they descended from! There are some heavy hitting names in it. Here is just one entry for the family of beloved doctor, W.L. Bendel:

Bendel, Dr. and Mrs. William Louis
(Marie A. Gariepy)
1200 North Third St.
710 [Blue Book Registry Number?]
Attended Tulane, M.D. degree, Alpha
Mu Sigma, Masonic, McGuire
Country Club, Lotus club, Rotary
club, Major M.C. 204 C.A. (A.A.),
Fellow American College of Surgery,
member of Southeastern Surgeon’s
Congress ; wife is graduate of the
Charity Hospital of Nursing, New
William Louis Jr., Tulane University,
Kappa Sigma, B.S.

I am sure sometime this year, my boss will digitize it and upload it to the Louisiana Digital Library. I’ll let you know when that happens!

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