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History and GovernmentCongressional BiographiesTennessee / US

Joseph Wellington BYRNS


BYRNS, Joseph Wellington, (father of Joseph Wellington Byrns, Jr.), a Representative from Tennessee; born near Cedar Hill, Robertson County, Tenn., July 20, 1869; attended the common schools; was graduated from Nashville High School in 1887 and from the law department of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., in 1890; was admitted to the bar in 1890 and commenced the practice of law in Nashville; member of the State house of representatives, 1895-1901; member of the State senate in 1901-1903; unsuccessful candidate for district attorney general of Davidson County in 1902; elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-first and to the thirteen succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1909, until his death; chairman, Committee on Appropriations (Seventy-second Congress); majority leader (Seventy-third Congress), Speaker of the House of Representatives (Seventy-fourth Congress); chairman of the Democratic National Congressional Campaign Committee 1928-1930; was a nominee for reelection to the Seventy-fifth Congress at the time of his death; died in Washington, D.C., on June 4, 1936; funeral services were held in the Hall of the House of Representatives; interment in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, Tenn.


Irish, Ann B. Joseph W. Byrns of Tennessee: A Political Biography. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2001.

Source: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1771-Present

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