Watkins Overton, ‘Mr. Crump’s Mayor’

Watkins Overton, ‘Mr. Crump’s Mayor’

By Ray Hill Samuel Watkins Overton, Jr. came from one of Tennessee’s most prominent families; Overton was the great-great grandson of Judge John Overton, a contemporary of General Andrew Jackson and the founder of Memphis. Overton joined the law firm founded by Senator Kenneth D. McKellar in 1922. An aristocrat by Tennessee standards, Watkins Overton […]

The Last Years of Lawrence D. Tyson, II

The Last Years of Lawrence D. Tyson, II

By Ray Hill Lawrence Davis Tyson, Tennessee’s junior United States senator, was a wealthy former general, industrialist and newspaper publisher. Tyson and his wife, the former Bettie McGhee, lived in a beautiful home in Knoxville. Senator Tyson, tall, with a full head of white hair and neatly trimmed moustache, was especially interested in matters relating […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, IXX

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, IXX

By Ray Hill Pulaski Congressman Ross Bass had defeated Governor Frank Clement for the Democratic nomination to succeed the late Senator Estes Kefauver.  Bass faced Republican Howard Baker in the general election.  It was the first time Frank Clement had lost an election and his defeat had been sweeping. Congressman Bass confidently approached the general […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, XVI

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, XVI

By Ray Hill When Senator Estes Kefauver’s aorta ruptured on the evening of August 13, 1963, it set off a scramble to succeed him.  Governor Frank Clement appointed millionaire businessman Herbert “Hub” Walters of Morristown to fill the remainder of Kefauver’s term until a special 1964 election could be held.  Although conservative by the standard […]

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, XIII

Tennessee Governors & the Path to the US Senate, XIII

By Ray Hill Malcolm Patterson, twice elected governor of Tennessee, had attempted to make a political comeback by entering the first U. S. Senate race where the people nominated candidates for the general election in 1915. Patterson faced stiff opposition in the incumbent, Senator Luke Lea, and Congressman Kenneth D. McKellar. Neither Patterson nor Lea […]