Shreveport History: Who Was Youree?
Whether you have lived in Shreveport all of your life or visited only once, you have probably been down Youree Drive. It is a seven mile stretch of highway that connects Shreveport's north east corner to its south east, and driving its entire length will take you past some of our city's most popular restaurants, shopping, and residential areas.
But who was Youree? The thoroughfare had to be named after someone, right? As a matter of fact, Youree Drive is named after one of the most influential businessmen ever to live in Shreveport. Not only was he a banker, he was a Civil War Captain, and owned a real estate firm. His name was Peter Youree.
Peter Youree was born in 1843 in Lafayette County in north central Missouri. After receiving some education in his father's mercantile business, he served with the Missouri Confederates in the Civil War, where he was wounded at the Battle Of Shiloh. He rose to the rank of Captain, then settled in Shreveport, after surrendering his company here.
Once he landed in Shreveport, Youree's list of accomplishments grew, most of which can still be seen today. According to Peter Youree's Wikipedia article:
He commissioned the Confederate monument at Greenwood Cemetery on Stoner Avenue in honor of his comrades who are interred there.
For a time he owned the Shreveport Street Railway and was president of the Shreveport Waterworks Company.
In 1888, Youree was elected president of the Merchants and Farmers Bank, and in 1891, he became president of the Commercial National Bank, a position which he held until his death.
In 1910 he directed the construction of Shreveport's first skyscraper, the ten-story Commercial National Bank Building, for its headquarters.
He also financed the construction of his massive Youree Hotel, later called the Washington Youree Hotel, in downtown Shreveport.
At the time of his passing in 1914, Youree's wealth was estimated at $2 million.
And that, fellow Shreveporters, is how Youree Drive was named!