James A. Herod, born in Flint, Michigan, but reared by an uncle in Memphis, Tennessee, came to Abbeville, Louisiana before the turn of the century. On June 21, 1899 he married Miss Josephine Robinson, daughter of James Robinson and Rose Joiner in Abbeville.
Rev. Herod became the second pastor of St. Mary Congregational Church located on South Louisiana Street in Abbeville.
As the church membership grew Rev. Herod helped organize a Sunday School, a Women’s Missionary Society and Daily Vacation Bible School.
Rev.and Mrs. Herod were both active in Vermilion Parish public schools, she as a teacher and he as teacher and principal. At one time he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Abbeville Chamber of Commerce. Always interested in civic, religious and educational affairs of Vermilion Parish he was recognized as a good citizen and a true gentleman.
When the new $1,000,000 school building was erected on Lampman Street, replacing the one where Rev. Herod had last been principal, it was named Herod High School in his honor. The Herods lived at 601 St. Victor Street until Rev. Herod’s death in 1948. He was interred in the Congregational Church cemetery on Prairie Avenue in Abbeville. Mrs. Herod went to live with her children in California where she died on Easter Sunday morning April 1, 1956.
East Abbeville Elementary was built in 1958. In 1991 East Abbeville was renamed James A. Herod Elementary.