Aubry Pyburn was successful attorney

By Murphy J. Barr
Journal Historian

Aubry M. Pyburn was born in 1893 in Gansville, a community in northwest Winn Parish, Louisiana, the son of D.M. and Margaret H. (Maggie) McBride. His father, D.M. Pyburn, was born in Jackson Parish, near the Ebenezer Church community, near the present-day Caney Lake. He came from an old Mississippi family of Scotch ancestry.

One of his ancestors, James McBride, was a captain of Virginia troops in the Revolutionary War. Mr. Pyburn was one of the charter members of the Galvez chapter of the Sons of American Revolution. Aubry's mother, Maggie McBride, was the daughter of Billy McBride, who was a pioneer Baptist minister in North Central Louisiana. He was married to Ann Amelia Scarborough Hargrove. Her first husband, Hardy Hargrove, Jr., died as a young man and left with a plantation and slaves to care for.

In 1855, Rev. Billy McBride and Ann Amelia Hargrove were married and lived on the plantation in the community. Billy became pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church for a time. He was also pastor of other Baptist churches in the area, among them the First Baptist Church of Winnfield. When he became pastor of Gansville Baptist Church he moved his family there. Miss Maggie McBride, a daughter, was the first to finish college in the ward and maybe in the Parish, and she taught school in the Gansville school.

D.M. Pyburn also lived in Gansville where he was a merchant and planter. He and Maggie McBride lived at Gansville with their family until the railroad and sawmills came to Dodson, Louisiana. He moved his family and his business there, and became a member of the committee of the town to bring about the building of a high school building in Dodson. The school moved into the new building in January, 1907, and became the first public school in the state to become a state-approved high school.

Aubry Pyburn graduated from that high school in 1910. He entered Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, from where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1914. He then received a bachelor of law degree from Tulane University in 1918, and served in the United States Navy during World War I. After returning from service in the war, he entered the practice of law in Alexandria, Louisiana, in the office of Hon. Robert C. Culpepper, who was judge of the 13th Judicial District Court of Louisiana. Judge Culpepper also came from the Ebenezer community in Jackson Parish.

Aubry Pyburn opened an office for law practice in Shreveport in February 1922, and in March of that year he was appointed first assistant United States Attorney, under Hon. Phillip H. Mecom, U.S. District of Shreveport.

On January 1, 1925, Mr. Pyburn resigned as assistant U.S. Attorney to accept the office of assistant District Attorney for the First Judicial District, composed of Caddo and Bossier parishes. He received a letter from U.S. Attorney Mecom, who stated "Since Mr. Pyburn has been with me as first assistant, he has rendered unusually high class public service. Our personal and official relationships have been most cordial and satisfactory, and I regret very much to lose him. He has proved himself to be a very successful prosecuting attorney and has tried a number of important and difficult cases." Another tribute of appreciation was contained in a letter to Mr. Pyburn from Hon. Rush Holland, assistant Attorney General of the United States at Washington, who wrote, "I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for the efficient service you ave rendered the government, and wish you every success in your future undertakings."

Mr. Pyburn was a Democrat in his political belief, was a member of the Methodist Church at Shreveport, and of the Masonic fraternity, the City Club, the American Legion, and was vice president of the Kiwanis Club.