Tennessee’s Hermitage District, I

Tennessee’s Hermitage District, I

By Ray Hill Joseph Wellington Byrns was almost surely the most popular political figure inside Tennessee’s “Hermitage District.”  That was the Congressional district in Tennessee which encompassed Nashville and the “Hermitage”, home of General Andrew Jackson.  For nearly twenty-eight years, that same district had been represented by Jo Byrns.  Tall and lean with white hair […]

The 1928 U.S. Senate Race in Tennessee, II

The 1928 U.S. Senate Race in Tennessee, II

 By Ray Hill   Kenneth D. McKellar, Tennessee’s senior United States senator, had won a thumping renomination inside the Democratic primary, beating Congressman Finis Garrett, the Minority Leader of the U. S. House of Representatives.  Tennessee Republicans had nominated James A. Fowler, the mayor of Knoxville, to run in the general election.  One of the […]

The 1958 Senate Race in Tennessee, III

The 1958 Senate Race in Tennessee, III

By Ray Hill Prentice Cooper, former three-time governor of Tennessee, had been on the comeback trail in a crowded primary election to win the Democratic nomination to claim his residency in the governor’s mansion. While some might have discounted the wealthy former governor’s chances of winning the nomination, nobody really knew just how the race […]

The 1958 Senate Race in Tennessee, II

The 1958 Senate Race in Tennessee, II

By Ray Hill Prentice Cooper of Shelbyville, three times governor of Tennessee, had announced he would once again seek to become the Volunteer State’s chief executive on New Year’s day in 1958.  The sixty-two year old Cooper was one of many prospective candidates all of whom were warily circling one another.  Prentice Cooper’s own announcement […]

The 1958 Senate Race in Tennessee, I

The 1958 Senate Race in Tennessee, I

By Ray Hill Albert Gore had been in the United States Senate for six years and had to face the voters once again in 1958.  Gore had spent fourteen years in the House of Representatives before challenging Tennessee’s longest serving United States senator, Kenneth D. McKellar.  The forty-four year-old Gore had toppled the formidable Senator […]

Tennessee’s ‘Unholy Trinity:’ Walter ‘Pete’ Haynes

Tennessee’s ‘Unholy Trinity:’ Walter ‘Pete’ Haynes

By Ray Hill For decades the Tennessee General Assembly was largely ruled by three men: Walter M. “Pete” Haynes of Decherd; I. D. Beasley of Carthage and James H. Cummings of Woodbury.  Known as the “Unholy Trinity”, the three men were powerful legislators and highly important in their respective communities.  Beasley, Haynes and Cummings were […]