Congressman Robert A. “Fats” Everett

By Ray Hill   Long forgotten by most, the late Congressman Robert Ashton “Fats” Everett was one of the more colorful from the political pages of Tennessee’s history.  Everett was by any measure a political professional well before he ever was elected to Congress. Tall and weighing in at over three-hundred pounds, most everyone called […]

Congressman Finis J. Garrett

By Ray Hill   For more than two decades, Finis James Garrett represented a West Tennessee district in Congress. Garrett was a talented politician and his rise was meteoric. Winning a seat in Congress when he was barely twenty-eight years old, he rose to become the Minority Leader of the U. S. House of Representatives. […]

Congressman Ewin L. Davis

By Ray Hill   Someone once said. “Write what should not be forgotten” and ironically, I have forgotten who said it. Ewin Lamar Davis is little remembered today, but during his time he was an interesting figure and led a productive life. Born in Bedford County, Tennessee on February 5, 1876, Davis, one of several […]

Congressman Sam McReynolds of Tennessee

By Ray Hill Very few people remember Samuel Davis McReynolds, who was a long-time Congressman representing Tennessee’s Third District, which includes Chattanooga; yet during his time, he was a highly influential member of the House of Representatives. Quite likely, McReynolds’ career has been eclipsed by that of his successor, Estes Kefauver. McReynolds was born in […]

James B. Frazier, Jr.

By Ray Hill   James Beriah Frazier, Jr. came from one of Tennessee’s most distinguished families; young Jim was the son and namesake of a former governor and United States senator. Born June 23, 1890 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, J. B. Frazier, Jr. went through the public schools before attending the Baylor School in his home […]

Congressman Wirt Courtney

By Ray Hill William Wirt Courtney is barely remembered today and is likely an unfamiliar name to many residents of Tennessee, but for a decade, Courtney served in Congress, serving parts of Middle Tennessee. The future congressman was named for his father, who was in turn named for the famous lawyer, William Wirt, who was […]

Congressman Carroll Reece Goes Back To Congress

By Ray Hill For decades Tennessee was a one-party state, dominated by the Democrats. The exceptions were the First and Second Congressional districts in East Tennessee. Despite being the minority party, Republicans were perfectly capable of fighting amongst themselves and the Tennessee GOP was frequently highly factionalized. Fights in both the First and Second Congressional […]

Key Pittman of Nevada

By Ray Hill Colorful characters are as much a part of the old West as tumbleweeds.  Key Pittman was certainly a colorful character.  Pittman caused a stir by using his silver handled revolver to shoot out streetlights while on a drinking spree.  In fact, Key Pittman’s death would spawn a rumor, which persists to this […]

Senator Joseph T. Robinson of Arkansas

By Ray Hill   Joseph Taylor Robinson was Majority Leader of the United States Senate during the first one hundred days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. Few politicians have enjoyed the breadth and length of the career Joe T. Robinson had in Arkansas. A forceful leader, dynamic and plainspoken, Joe Robinson was a man […]