232 West Main Street
Every Building Has a Story
Before becoming a daily publication, the Daily Iberian was published weekly. It began in 1894 by a man named Emelius F. Millard. On February 3, 1909, he moved the business to the building on 232 West Main Street, purchased for $1,560.00, where it remained even after his death in 1920 when it was handed down to his wife, Stella Millard. While it was the home of The Weekly Iberian, the building also housed The Southern Belle Telephone and Telegraph Company of New Iberia. Millard sold to the building to Emanuel Steinberg on April 29, 1936, for $6,750.00, and he moved his business, known as Steinberg Furs. It remained under possession of Steinberg until December 22, 1976, when the structure was sold to Carolyn Steinberg Yuseph and Sylvan J. Steinberg, the children of Emanuel, for $20,000.00. They kept ownership of the property until July 2, 1993, when they sold it to the current owners, Frederick H. DeCourt, Sr., and his wife Ruth Segura DeCourt, who have continued to rent out the building Laris Insurance LLC.
If Walls Could Talk
The most noticeable architectural detail of the building is its large circular window that in the lower left-hand corner, transforms into a rectangle running across the façade. The window was originally four large French doors that mimicked the second story windows, but they were later replaced with the large window and architectural glass that currently cover the face of the building under the canopy to accommodate for the want of an art-deco style. Another change that was made is the canopy that is currently over the entrance. The canopy was originally a two-story, wrought iron gallery which was replaced by a metal, self-supporting canopy, followed by a retractable canvas awning, and then the canopy that is there today. Every part of the building that is not under the canopy, excluding a small portion of the original bricks on the side and back of the building and the pane of architectural glass in the front, is now stucco. Originally, the entire edifice was painted bricks, but now the paint is either covered by stucco or worn off. The roof of the building is hidden by a decorative false front, also originally brick but now stucco, that extends about three feet above the second story. Today the building itself appears to be a meshing of time periods because of the three clashing textures of the bricks, glass, and stucco.
A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words
This image portrays The Weekly Iberian in 1935 when it was still the official New Iberia newspaper. This was also when the Southern Belle Telephone and Telegraph Company was located on the second story. Note Main Street’s brick paving.
The photos above are present day photographs taken of the old Weekly Iberian building, currently Laris Insurance, LLC. The first picture, is the interior of the office, the second and third are photographs of the front, and the fourth is a picture of the back and side of the building.
This advertisement for Steinberg & Co. was posted in The Weekly Iberian newspaper issue for October 14, 1937. It is advertising a popular trend of a late 1930s winter: fur coats. The advertisement was printed while Emanuel Steinberg was the owner of the building.
Berard, Jacob, and Jacob Primeaux. Laris Insurance LLC. 2011. Photographs. Private collection. Jacob Primeaux.
Conrad, Glenn. The Glenn Conrad Collection. c. 1985. Photograph. Private Collection. Glenn Conrad.
Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 64, Folio 525, Entry 20564—. 3 Feb. 1909. Print.
Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 93, Folio 426, Entry 34884—. 27 Mar. 1920. Print.
Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 126, Folio 401, Entry 50658—. 29 Apr. 1936. Print.
Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 361, Folio 831, Entry 76-8109—. 22 Dec. 1976. Print.
Iberia Parish. Conveyance. Book 1056, Folio 64, Entry 93-4873—. 2 Jul. 1993. Print.
Millard’s Printing House. c. 1890. Glenn Conrad Collection. Artwork.
Steinberg & Co. Advertisement. The Weekly Iberian. 14 Oct. 1937. Print.
The Weekly Iberian. c. 1935. Private collection. Jimmy Hebert. Looking Back: Historic Images of Iberia Parish. New Iberia, LA : The Daily Iberian, 2003. Print.