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The Colonel: Luke Lea, Part III

The Colonel: Luke Lea, Part III

By Ray Hill Senator Luke Lea had lost his reelection bid in November of 1915, running third behind Congressman Kenneth D. McKellar and former governor Malcolm Patterson.  Lea’s defeat occurred…

The Colonel: Luke Lea, Part II

The Colonel: Luke Lea, Part II

By Ray Hill Luke Lea had not only survived the intense political wars in Tennessee, but had profited from them. Elected to the United States Senate in 1911, Lea’s alliance…

The Colonel: Luke Lea, Part One

  By Ray Hill The pages of Tennessee’s history is littered with colorful characters, but the life of Luke Lea is one right out of a novel; handsome, urbane, highly…

Percy Priest, The Unlikely Congressman

Percy Priest, The Unlikely Congressman

By Ray Hill   Percy Priest was an unlikely candidate for Congress and faced daunting odds to get to the House of Representatives in the first place.  Yet once there,…

Congressman John J. Duncan

Congressman John J. Duncan

By Ray Hill   For two decades there was no politician in the Second Congressional district more popular than John James Duncan. John Duncan had hitchhiked to Knoxville with five…

‘Hillbilly Bill:’ Congressman J. Will Taylor

‘Hillbilly Bill:’ Congressman J. Will Taylor

By Ray Hill   For twenty years, James Willis Taylor was the Congressman from Tennessee’s Second Congressional district. J. Will Taylor, popularly known to many of his constituents as “Hillbilly…

Congressman J. Ridley Mitchell of Crossville

Congressman J. Ridley Mitchell of Crossville

By Ray Hill   Long forgotten by most, John Ridley Mitchell was a member of Congress for eight years and twice a viable candidate for statewide office in Tennessee. J.…

Congressman Robert A. “Fats” Everett

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…

Congressman Finis J. Garrett

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…

Congressman Ewin L. Davis

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…

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