Who is Leake Avenue named after?
Ocean Springs, Miss.
Leake Avenue runs along the Mississippi River from Audubon Park to the intersection of Oak and Gen. Ogden streets, where it meets River Road in Jefferson Parish. It was named in honor of Hunter C. Leake. For more than 50 years, Leake served as Illinois Central Railroad's general agent in New Orleans, which means he negotiated all major deals for the company. He also served as chief counsel to the railroad.
Leake was born in St. Francisville in 1859. He studied law in the office of his father, Judge William Leake, who led a Confederate Calvary Company during the Civil War.
Hunter Leake arrived in New Orleans in 1886 and set up a law practice. He married Kate Donelson Ellis in 1893, and they had two children, William and Mary. In 1902, The Times-Picayune reported the minutes of a streets and landing committee meeting in which the residents of that river area presented a petition to name the thoroughfare that the Illinois Railroad had built on the riverfront (between Peniston Street and the Mississippi River levee) Leake Avenue in honor of Leake's contributions. Leake died in Chicago in 1946, but his funeral services were held in New Orleans; he was interred in Metairie Cemetery.