Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Eldrean Orff (1860-1938)

Portrait from the Kennabec Dailey Journal, January 6, 1909.

   The Maine state legislature in the early 20th century has proven to be a veritable treasure trove of oddly named political figures. Amongst these unusual names is Eldrean Orff, a longtime Cushing, Maine resident who, in addition to holding several political offices at the local level, served two terms in the state house of representatives from Knox County.
   Possessing a name that sounds as if it belongs to a character on Lost In Space or Star Trek, Eldrean Orff was born in Cushing on December 1860, being the son of Payne and Eliza Burton Orff. Prominent in Cushing politics, Payne Orff (1818-1898) served as a town selectman for many years and was also a representative in the Maine legislature in the session of 1878-79.  
   A student in the common schools of Cushing, Eldrean Orff was a farmer and married Harriett "Hattie" Robinson (1867-1942). The couple later became the parents of six children, Willis, Hattie, Lilian, Audrey, Albert and Ralph. Following in his father's stead, Eldrean also served in several political offices in Cushing, including town selectman, assessor and constable. In 1908 Orff won election to the Maine House of Representatives and during the 1907-09 session sat on the committees on County Estimates, Elections and Indian Affairs.

From the Kennebec Daily Journal.

    At the conclusion of his legislative term Orff returned to Cushing, serving once again as selectman and in 1916 took charge of overseeing reconstruction work done to Cushing's "Back road". Orff won a second term in the Maine state house in 1918 and during the 1919-21 session was a member of the Salaries and Fees committee. Little information could be located on the remainder of Orff's life, excepting notice of his death in Cushing on December 29, 1938 at age 78. He was survived by his wife Hattie and was later interred at the Orff family cemetery in Cushing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tileston Edwin Woodside (1876-1967)

Portrait from the Kennebec Daily Journal, January 3, 1911.

   Obscure Maine state representative Tileston E. Woodside is yet another example of a small town lawyer who went on to serve a term in his state's legislature, and the 1911 Maine state house proved to be peopled with oddly named representatives, with Active Irving Snow, Corydon Powers, Beloni S. DuFour, Houghton H. Putnam, Ellsworth Chandler Buzzell and Zebulon Gould Manter serving alongside the man profiled today. Born on August 6, 1876 in Lewiston, Maine, Tileston Edwin Woodside was the son of Edwin and Sarah Adella (Wadlin) Woodside
   A student in the Lewiston schools, Woodside went on to study at the Bates College, graduating in the class of 1898. After being admitted to the Maine bar in 1903 he established his law practice in Lewiston, later removing to the town of Webster. Elected as one of Androscoggin County's representatives to the Maine legislature in 1910, Woodside would serve during the 1911-13 session on the committee on Bills In the Third Reading.
   After leaving the legislature Woodside continued practicing law, being a member of the firm of Newell and Woodside in Lisbon, MaineWoodside also married late in life, taking as his bride one Catherine Galvin (1880-1960) on April 20, 1936. Prior to Catherine Woodside's death in 1960 Tileston had served as a notary public in Sabbatus, Maine, and died in Lewiston on November 9, 1967, a few months after his 91st birthday. He was later interred alongside his wife and parents at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Sabbatus.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bliss Ezekial Loy (1887-1969)

From the April 3, 1936 edition of the Patoka Register.

   The vast annals of the Illinois General Assembly have produced many unusually named figures profiled here, and in addition to those elected there are an innumerable amount of men and women who weren't, including the man profiled today, Bliss Ezekial Loy of Effingham County. A farmer and dairyman of prominent standing in that county, Loy was a past director of the Sanitary Milk Producers for Effingham and was a two time candidate for the Illinois legislature, running for the house in 1930 and the senate in 1936.
   Born in Watson, Illinois on May 18, 1887, Bliss Ezekial Loy was the son of James H. and Minnie Avery Loy. A dairy farmer and large landowner in Effingham County, James Loy would serve as a state representative from 1904-05. Bliss Loy was a student in schools local to Effingham County and later undertook a two year teacher's course at the Austin College. For several years he followed a career in teaching in Dietrich, Illinois and would later remove to Chicago for a time. being employed as a commission warehouse cashier.
   Bliss E. Loy married in Chicago in June 1909 to Ida Cronk (1885-1981). The couple were wed for sixty years and their union produced at least six children, Doris Cronk (1910-1992), Dale Bliss (1911-1991), Faye Lorita (1912-2005), Evelyn Elizabeth (1915-2002) Marcella Mae (1918-1936) and Burl Avery (1922-1980).
   Following his marriage Loy removed back to the "old home farm" in Watson township, where he would raise his family. In the succeeding years he established his name as a leading farmer in the county, being a breeder of Holstein cattle and a founder of the Watson Farmers Exchange. Loy would also maintain a longstanding affiliation with the Effingham County Farm Bureau, serving as its president for several years in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
  Active in Republican party circles in Effingham County, Loy was a member of the County Republican Central Committee for two decades and a former township supervisor of Watson. In 1930 he entered into the race for state representative for Illinois' 42nd district and in that year's Republican primary placed third in a field of five candidates, polling 3,721 votes to winning nominee R.J. Branson's total of 14,854.

From the Patoka Register, March 1930.

  In early 1936 Loy again entered the political forum, this time hoping to win the Republican nomination for state senator from the 42nd senatorial district. His candidacy received a substantial write-up in the Patoka Register in April 1936, which noted that
"Mr. Loy's long activity in the Republican Party and in farm organizations has given him a large acquaintance over the District, and if nominated in the April Primary he will be a strong candidate in the November election."
   One of three Republicans vying for the senatorial nod in the April primary, Bliss Loy placed second on April 8, 1936 with 2,896 votes, over two thousand votes behind winning candidate Harry M, Henson. Henson in turn would go on to lose the general election that November to incumbent Democrat William L. Finn, who had represented that district since 1928.


From the Patoka Register, April 3, 1936.

   In the early 1930s Bliss Loy was named as a director of the Board of Sanitary Milk Producers, representing Effingham County. This co-operative organization could boast of over ten thousand members and supplied the city of St. Louis, Illinois with its "daily milk needs". He continued work on that board into the 1940s, chairing its committees on Sales and Transportation, and during WWII would hold the chairmanship of the War Meat committee of Effingham County, being appointed in 1943.
   After many years of prominence in Effingham County Bliss Loy died at age 82 on August 19, 1969 at the St. Anthony's Hospital in Effingham, Illinois. He was survived by his wife and children and was interred at the Oakridge Cemetery in that city.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

DuFay Alonzo Fuller (1852-1924)

From the Illinois Legislative Directory of 1897-98.

    An insurance man based in Belvidere, Boone County, Illinois, DuFay Alonzo Fuller represented Boone County in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly between 1897-1905. A lifelong Belvidere resident, DuFay A. Fuller was born in that town on February 21, 1852, being one of five children born to Seymour and Elizabeth (Mordoff) Fuller. Besides producing a two term representative and one term state senator in the man highlighted here, the Fuller family would also boast Charles Eugene Fuller (1849-1926), a circuit court judge and eleven term member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois' 12th district.
  A student in the public schools of Belvidere, DuFay Fuller married to Cherry Valley, Illinois native Jennie Robinson (1857-1895) on March 24, 1875. The couple were wed until Jennie's death in November 1895 and had one son, George, who died in infancy in 1887. Fuller remarried in 1901 to Blanche Merrill (1875-1966), with whom he had three daughters, Louise (1903-1994), Marian and May. 
    DuFay A. Fuller made his first foray into public service in the mid 1870s when he was named as a justice of the peace, and until the early 1890s resided on a farm. In 1892 he decided upon a career in insurance and became affiliated with the New York Mutual Life Insurance Company, serving as a district manager beginning in 1895. In 1896 he became a Republican candidate for the Illinois House of Representatives from the 8th district and in November bested Republican nominee George Lyons.
   Fuller's first term in the state house (1897-98) saw him named to several house committees, those being Agriculture, the Executive Department, Fees and Salaries, Horticulture, Insurance and Senatorial Apportionment. He would win a second term in 1898, garnering 11, 296 votes on election day. Serving during the 1899-1901 session, Fuller set his sights on an Illinois State Senate seat in 1900 and was successful in his attempt, polling an eight-thousand vote majority over Democratic nominee Henry M. Coburn.
   Taking his seat at the start of the 1901-05 term, Fuller would serve alongside another oddly named senator, Lennington "Len" Small of Kankakee County. The pair would develop a firm friendship that would continue for many years afterward, and following his election as Governor of Illinois in 1920, Small appointed Fuller (who had a been a staunch supporter during that year's gubernatorial campaign) as a state parole officer.

DuFay A. Fuller, from the 1901 Illinois Legislative Directory.

   Following the conclusion of his senate term Fuller continued work in insurance and real estate, and also held memberships in the Masonic order, the Belvidere Y.M.C.A board and the Odd Fellows lodge. Upon the election of Len Small as Governor in 1920 Fuller was appointed as parole officer for the district comprising Belvidere and continued to serve in that role until his death on March 3, 1924, just a few days after his 72nd birthday. The Freeport Journal Standard relates that Fuller was fatally stricken by a heart attack while walking home from his insurance office and died shortly thereafter. He was survived by his wife Blanche and daughters and was later interred at the Belvidere Cemetery.

From the Freeport Daily Standard, March 4, 1924.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Leviticus Tilton Richmond (1859-1922)

Portrait from the Chariton Leader, September 15, 1910.

   There were few men more prominent in late 19th and early 20th century Monroe County, Iowa than Leviticus Tilton Richmond, a citizen long distinguished in the civic affairs and political life of that area. A lifelong Iowan, Richmond and his wonderfully odd name would go on to serve as Monroe County sheriff, Mayor of Albia (the Monroe County seat), and was a candidate for both district court judge and U.S. Representative from Iowa. Further political honors were accorded to him in 1920 when he was named as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
   One of ten children born to Samuel and Sarah (Bell) Richmond, Leviticus Tilton "Tilt" Richmond's birth occurred in Cedar township, Iowa on June 11, 1859. Natives of Kentucky, Samuel and Sarah Richmond had migrated to Monroe County, Iowa fifteen years prior to their son's birth, and there resided on a farm. "Tilt" Richmond's formative years were spent hard at work upon his family's farm, which he would later recount during his run for judge. He attended the district school during the winter months and went on to study at the Central University at Pella from 1877-1880. During this time Richmond also taught school in Monroe County, and in 1880 entered into teaching at the Knoxville AcademyLeviticus T. Richmond married in November 1885 to Elizabeth W. "Lizzie" Malone (1859-1940), with whom he had three children: Frances Richmond Bickert (1887-1987), William Tilton (born 1890) and Byron E. (1895-1923)
   In 1882 Richmond turned his attention to reading law, and following a period of study in the law office of W. A. Nichole in Albia was admitted to practice in 1883. Richmond removed permanently to Albia shortly thereafter and soon launched his law practice. While mainly engaged in private practice, Richmond had a longstanding legal connection to the Wapello Coal Company, serving as its attorney beginning in 1888.
   In the years following his resettlement in Albia the name of L.T. Richmond grew to be one of the most prominent in the vicinity. Aside from his law practice Richmond would rise high in the civic affairs of the city, serving as vice president and cashier of the First National Bank of Albia, cashier of the Farmer's and Miners Savings Bank, was an executive board member of the Albia Businessmen's Association, and served as president of the Albia Interurban Railway Co. Richmond was also named to the board of trustees of the Knoxville Industrial School for the Blind in 1892, holding his seat well into the 1900s.
   "Tilt" Richmond first entered the political life of Monroe County in 1884 when he was named as Deputy Sheriff for the county. In the following year he was elected Sheriff and served in that capacity until 1888. He would later become a member of the Albia city council and also served a five month period as Mayor of Albia, his dates of service being unknown at this time. Acknowledged as one of Monroe County's leading democrats at the turn of the 19th century, Richmond continued to raise his political profile in July 1902, being chosen as chairman of the 6th District Democratic Congressional Convention held at Oskaloosa.
  In July 1910 L.T. Richmond announced that he would be a Democratic candidate for district court judge for Iowa's 2nd judicial district. During that election season he took to the stump, making a number of addresses through the district, relating his being in"favor of cutting down court expenses and favored a non-partisan judiciary." Richmond's candidacy was also given a substantial write-up in the Chariton Leader in September 1910, in which he was described as 
"A big, warm hearted man, firm in his convictions of right, true to his obligations and opposes men without incurring their ill will, because, while he is courteous, yet he is resolute, and never temporizes."
   As one of eight candidates (both Democrat and Republican) vying for the judgeship, Richmond faced an uphill battle. On election day 1910 he polled a respectable 11,641 votes but still placed below winning candidates Dan Anderson, Frank Eichelberger, C.W. Vermillion and F.M. Hunter. Richmond also failed to carry his home county of Monroe, losing to fellow Albia resident Dan M. Anderson by a vote of 2,017 to 2,338.


An electoral result from the 1910 election for the 2nd Judicial District.

   In early 1918 L.T. Richmond was induced to reenter politics, being urged by local Democrats to enter the primary race for U.S. Representative from Iowa's 6th district. In the May of that year Richmond's candidacy was highlighted in a large campaign notice in the Kellogg, Iowa Enterprise. As one of three Democratic candidates hoping to win the June 3rd primary, Richmond outlined his platform of "pure Americanism" during war time and noted that he had been mentioned as a congressional candidate on a number of previous occasions. In this notice Richmond hoped to be of aid to the American war effort in Congress, stating:
"When war was declared against Germany last April I resolved that from that moment I would do anything in my power to support our Government and stand back of our splendid army of young heroes, who are now so patriotically fighting our battles for the perpetuation of Democracy.....I have decided to ask the Democratic voters of the 6th district to favor me with the nomination for Congress, and if so favored, the platform on which I will stand for election will be one of pure Americanism, and the most vigorous prosecution of the War until Prussian militarism is forever crushed and the peace which comes will be a guaranteed and forever lasting peace, which will behold democracy triumphant over her foes."
From the Kellogg Enterprise, May 24, 1918.

   Also vying for the Democratic nomination were Patrick Leeny (then serving as Albia's mayor) and Buell McCash (1888-1978), a soldier then stationed at Camp Dodge. McCash, a newcomer to the race, had had his name put forward by a group of friends shortly before the primary occurred. Despite polling 1,719 votes on June 3rd, Richmond placed second, losing out to McCash, who received 2,213 votes. McCash would go on to lose the general election that November to two term incumbent Republican Christian W. Ramseyer (1875-1943), who triumphed by over 4,000 votes.
   Two years after his congressional run L.T. Richmond was selected as part of the Iowa delegation to the 1920 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco which nominated Ohio Governor James M. Cox for the presidency. Richmond continued to reside in Albia until shortly before his death. In November 1922 he traveled to Chicago to undergo an operation for "gland trouble" in his throat but didn't survive the procedure, dying at the Presbyterian Hospital in that city on November 21. His Cook County death certificate denotes his full first name of "Leviticus" and he was later returned to Iowa for burial at the St. Mary's Cemetery in Albia. One should note that Richmond's gravestone records his name as "L. Tiltson Richmond", presumably an error on the part of the engraver. 
   Leviticus Tilton Richmond was survived by his wife Lizzie and all of his children. Frances Richmond Bickert, Leviticus' eldest child, would go on to become a prominent Democrat in Iowa, serving as vice chairman of the Monroe County Central Democratic Committee for forty-eight years. She would also serve as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions of 1940 and 1952. Bickert died shortly before her 100th birthday in October 1987

Richmond's death notice.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Twing Reuben Hitt (1847-1922)

Portrait from the Binghamton Press, November 3, 1913.

   One of the best things about researching some of these oddly named folks is the continual discovery of persons you had no idea existed. While doing further research on Beveridge C. Dunlop (a one term New York state assemblyman profiled here in June 2013), I happened across the abbreviated name of "T.R. Hitt", mentioned in the 1914 New York Red Book as having been the Prohibition Party nominee for the state assembly from Broome County. As luck would have it, Hitt's full name was revealed to be Twing Reuben Hitt, making him the first (and likely only) man with that first name to run for political office in New York State!
   A prominent lumber man and saw mill proprietor in Killawog, New York, Twing Reuben Hitt was born on April 21, 1847, being the son of John W. and Roxy (Smith) Hitt. Little could be found on Hitt's early life, excepting notice of his service in the Civil War. A 1963 edition of the Cortland Democrat records him as being sick in an army hospital in November 1864 and later notes that he was granted a twenty day furlough the following month. 
   Twing R. Hitt married on October 21, 1872 in Killawog to Ella Phetteplace (1849-1900). The couple would later have three daughters, Jennie (1871-1913) Clara (born 1881) and Alta (born 1883). Following Ella Hitt's death in 1900 Twing would remarry to Addie Hinman (1867-1947), who survived him upon his death in 1922.
   Around 1869 Twing Hitt entered the lumber business in Killawog and would follow that line of work for over three decades. Hitt's saw mill in that town was later remarked as having "cut a million feet of timber annually", but later reduced its output to about three thousand feet a year. Hitt's mill was later joined by a grist and feed mill, which provided "custom grinding" and the production of buckwheat flour. In the early 1890s tragedy struck when Hitt's mill was destroyed by fire, along with a "large amount of seasoned lumber". Not one to let a loss get the best of him, Hitt took stock of his losses and quickly erected a new mill, one:
"Fully equipped with machinery for sawing, planing, matching, lath and shingle making, and a grinding."
  Following the erection of his new mill Twing Hitt continued to expand his name through Broome County, erecting four stately houses in Binghamton and also built a grain elevator and sales room near the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western railroad depot. 


A Hitt campaign notice from the Binghamton Press, October 31, 1913.

    Acknowledged as a prominent business leader in Northern Broome County, Twing R. Hitt's sterling reputation eventually led to his jump into politics in 1909. In that year he accepted the nomination of the Prohibition Party as their candidate for the New York State Assembly and on election day placed third in a field of four candidates, garnering 673 votes.
   In 1913 Hitt was again the Prohibition nominee for the assembly, and in that campaign season notices touting his candidacy appeared in Broome County newspapers. In one notice (the Binghamton Press article shown above), Hitt's candidacy attempted to entice religious voters, noting that:
"Mr. Hitt is the only candidate who dares except the brazen challenge to the Christian voters of Broome County, by pledging his support and vote against legislation legalizing Sunday baseball, which is but a leader to an open Sunday in our state."
   Cautioning to keep Sunday holy (and, evidently, without any amusement whatsoever), Hitt found a firm backer in local clergyman Robert L. Clark, who later wrote a political advertisement for Hitt in the Binghamton Press. In that notice Clark intoned that:
"God commands that we remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Mr. T.R. Hitt, the Prohibition candidate for the Assembly, is the only candidate who dares to stand on God's platform. Quick and Seymour are pledged to legalize the violation of God's law. Ruland is playing Good Lord and Good Devil for your votes. God says: "He that is not for me is against me."
   When Broome County voters went to the polls on November 4, 1913 it was Republican candidate Simon P. Quick who won out, netting 7,601 votes. Twing Hitt polled a respectable 1,278 votes but still placed fourth in a field of five candidates. Hitt would reemerge on the local political scene three years later when he became the Prohibition candidate for Broome county treasurer, but again went down to defeat.
   Twing Hitt continued to reside in Killawog until his death from heart disease on June 18, 1922. He was survived by his second wife Addie and two daughters and was interred at the Killawog Cemetery.


From the Cincinnatus Times, June 1922.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Crichton Brooks Holtzendorff (1886-1958)

Portrait from the University of Georgia Yearbook, 1907.

   Curiously named Georgia native Crichton Brooks Holtzendorff left his native state for a bright future out west, and following his resettlement in Oklahoma established a law practice that would continue for over forty years. In the decades following his removal Holtzendorff would go on to prominence in politics in that state, serving one term as Mayor of Claremore and in the twilight of his life briefly served as a district court judge.
   Born in Gainesville, Georgia on August 15, 1886, Crichton B. Holtzendorff was the son of Preston and Agnes Drake Holtzendorff. He would attend the public schools as well as Palemon King's School for Boys in Rome, Georgia. Both Crichton and his older brother Preston Werner (1884-1961) decided upon careers in law at an early age, with both enrolling at the University of Georgia. The brothers Holtzendorff graduated in 1905 and 1907 respectively, and soon after his graduation in 1907 Crichton Holtzendorff opted for a career out west, removing to Chelsea, Oklahoma to begin his practice.
  After establishing himself in Chelsea Holtzendorff entered local politics, serving as Chelsea city attorney from 1908-1909. By 1910 he had removed to Claremore, where he would reside for the remainder of his life. Shortly after his resettlement Holtzendorff partnered in the law firm of Ezzard and Holtzendorff, and in March 1913 announced that he'd be seeking the Democratic nomination for Mayor of Claremore. On election day he emerged victorious, besting incumbant Republican mayor E.A. Church by a vote of 290 to 57. The March 21, 1913 edition of the Rogers County Leader reported on the outcome of the election, relating
"The sentiment in Claremore is well established for the elimination of graft and with C.B. Holtzendorff heading an able and courageous council Claremore will be a different place than it has been in the past."
    Holtzendorff entered into the mayoralty in April 1913 and served one two year term, being succeeded by H.H. Brown. Returning to his law practice, Crichton was joined by his brother Preston Werner in the late 1910s, together establishing the firm of Holtzendorff and Holtzendorff. Their firm would continue on for a number of years afterward and specialized in Real Estate, Probate, Corporation and Oil and Gas law. The brothers would also be retained as counsel for a number of Oklahoma based banks and businesses, including the First National Bank of Claremore, the First National Bank of Chelsea, the Cherokee Oil and Gas Co., and the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Co.
   While several sources detail Crichton Holtzendorff's stature in Claremore public life, little could be found on his personal life. At some point prior to 1913 he married to Mary Delacy Crosby (1889-1963), with whom he had two daughters, Leta (born 1913) and Dorothy (born 1917).
   Holtzendorff returned to Oklahoma political life in January 1949 when he was appointed by Governor Roy Turner to a vacancy on the Oklahoma District Court for Rogers, Craig and Mayes County, this vacancy occurring due to the resignation of Napoleon B. Johnson, who had been elected to the state supreme court. Holtzendorff served on the bench until 1951 and in 1956 began a brief tenure as Municipal Judge of Claremore, serving until 1957. Holtzendorff died at a Tulsa hospital in July of the the following year at age 70. He was survived by his wife, and both were interred at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Claremore.

Holtzendorff's death notice from the Daily Oklahoman, July 18, 1958.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tarvey Wheeler Bennett (1903-1950)

Portrait from the Anniston Star, May 3, 1942.

   Two term Alabama state representative Tarvey Wheeler Bennett's death at the age of just 46 in 1950 curtailed an already bright political career, and in addition to his service in the legislature had earlier distinguished himself as a milk producer and distributor, being the general manager of the Calhoun County Creamery. 
   A lifelong Calhoun County resident, Tarvey Wheeler Bennett was born in Duke, Alabama on August 8, 1903, being the son of William LeAndrew and Emma Elizabeth Bennett. Bennett attended the public school at Cedar Springs, Alabama and would go on to study business at the State Teachers College in Jacksonville. He married in March 1922 to Mary Olivia Ford (1906-1983), with whom he would have four children: Alice Olivia (1923-1991), John William (1925-1982), Carter Wayne (1927-2001) and Bernard Franklin (born 1931).
   Following his marriage Tarvey Bennett entered into farming and eventually became the owner and operator of a dairy farm in Jacksonville that comprised 150 dairy cows. Beginning in 1925 he became affiliated with the Calhoun County Creamery, and after fifteen years of service became its General Manager in 1940. Regarded as one of the "outstanding manufacturing establishments" in the northern part of the state, this creamery would prosper under Bennett's stewardship, eventually becoming "one of the largest Milk Pasteurizing and Bottling plants in North Alabama."

From the May 3, 1932 Anniston Star.

   In 1940 Bennett experienced his first taste of public service when he was selected as an assistant U.S. Census Supervisor for Alabama's 4th Congressional district. Bennett's campaign notice from the Anniston Star relates that he "completed his work second in the entire United States", and that his efficiency received personal praise from the Federal Census Director. Active in several fraternal groups in the Calhoun County area, Bennett was a longstanding Mason, a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Elks Lodge.
    A former Vice-President of the Alabama League of Young Democrats, Tarvey W. Bennett launched his political career in early 1942 when he announced his candidacy for a seat in the Alabama State House of Representatives from Calhoun County. He would win election that November and during the 1943-47 session sat on the committees on Aviation, Agriculture and LaborBennett won another four year term in November 1946, garnering 3,061 votes on election day, and at the start of the 1947 session was named to the committee on Conservation. 
   Tarvey Bennett wasn't a candidate for reelection in the spring 1950 Alabama house primary and died unexpectedly of a heart attack during the last months of his term, his death occurring on August 6, 1950, just two days short of his 47th birthday. He was survived by his mother, wife and all of his children and was interred at the Edgemont Cemetery in Anniston, Alabama.

From the 1947 Alabama legislative composite photo.

Bennett's obituary from the August 7, 1950 Anniston Star.