Park Trammell

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Park Trammell
Park Trammell.jpg
Chair of the Senate Naval Affairs Committee
In office
March 4, 1933 – May 8, 1936
Preceded byFrederick Hale
Succeeded byDavid I. Walsh
Chair of the Senate Expenditures in the Treasury Department Committee
In office
March 4, 1917 – March 4, 1919
Preceded byJoseph Taylor Robinson
Succeeded byM. Hoke Smith
United States Senator
from Florida
In office
March 4, 1917 – May 8, 1936
Preceded byNathan P. Bryan
Succeeded byScott M. Loftin
21st Governor of Florida
In office
January 7, 1913 – January 2, 1917
Preceded byAlbert W. Gilchrist
Succeeded bySidney Johnston Catts
19th Florida Attorney General
In office
January 5, 1909 – January 7, 1913
GovernorAlbert W. Gilchrist
Preceded byW. H. Ellis
Succeeded byThomas F. West
President of the Florida Senate
In office
1905–1907
Preceded byFrank Adams
Succeeded byW. Hunt Harris
Member of the Florida Senate
from the Polk district
In office
1904–1908
Member of the Florida House of Representatives
from the Polk district
In office
1902–1904
Mayor of Lakeland, Florida
In office
1900–1902
Preceded byJames P. Thompson
Succeeded bySamuel L. A. Clonts
Personal details
Born(1876-04-09)April 9, 1876
Macon County, Alabama
DiedMay 8, 1936(1936-05-08) (aged 60)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Virginia Darby
(m. 1900; died 1922)

Beatrice Padgett (m. 1934)
EducationVanderbilt University
Cumberland University
OccupationAttorney
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1898
UnitUS Army Quartermaster branch insignia.jpg Quartermaster Corps
Battles/warsSpanish–American War

Park Monroe Trammell (April 9, 1876 – May 8, 1936), was an American attorney and politician from the state of Florida. Trammell represented Florida in the United States Senate from 1917 until his death in 1936.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Trammell was born on April 9, 1876 in Macon County, Alabama. When he was a young child, Trammell and his parents moved to a citrus farm near Lakeland, Florida. Trammell attended Vanderbilt University in 1898, before enlisting in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War. Trammell served in the Quartermaster Corps, and was stationed in Tampa, Florida.[2]

After the war, Trammell enrolled at Cumberland University, graduating in 1899. He was admitted into the Florida Bar the same year.[3]

Early career[edit]

Trammell, a Democrat, was elected mayor of Lakeland in 1900, and was re-elected to a second term in 1901. In 1902, Trammell was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, representing Polk County. He served in the Florida House until 1904, when he was elected to the Florida Senate for Polk County. From 1905 until 1907, Trammell was the President of the Florida Senate. He resigned from the senate the following year, and returned to private practice.[4]

In 1909, Trammell was appointed to serve as the 19th Florida Attorney General by Governor Albert W. Gilchrist.[5]

Florida Governor[edit]

In the 1912 gubernatorial election, Trammell ran to succeed Gilchrist as Governor of Florida. After securing the Democratic nomination, Trammell defeated four other candidates in the general election, receiving 80% of the vote. His closest competitor was Socialist Thomas W. Cox.[6]

As governor, Trammell endorsed a law in the Florida Legislature that would control spending in election campaigns, and also established a state tax commission in order to equalize property assessments across various counties. However, Trammell's governorship is most known for his blatant racism, endorsing racial segregation and overlooking the lynching of African Americans through the state. While Trammell was state attorney general, none of the 29 lynchings of black men during his term were prosecuted, nor were the 21 that occurred while he was governor.[3][4]

United States Senate[edit]

With the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment on April 8, 1913, U.S. Senators were to be popularly elected, rather than being elected by their state legislatures.[7] Trammell ran for the U.S. Senate in the 1916 election, defeating incumbent Nathan P. Bryan in the Democratic primary. He went on to defeat his Republican opponent, newsman William R. O'Neal, with nearly 83% of the vote.[8]

During his tenure as senator, Trammell was not afraid to deviate from his party. In 1916, Trammell, a member of the Old Right, an informal group of paleoconservatives in both major parties, staunchly opposed President Woodrow Wilson's call for conscription in World War I.[4] Additionally, he opposed U.S. Supreme Court nominees Harlan F. Stone in 1925 and John J. Parker in 1930, the prior being successfully appointed to the court.[9][10]

During the Great Depression, Trammell joined the Conservative Coalition, a group of conservative congressmen opposed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, claiming it was too liberal, despite his overall support for Roosevelt. Opinions on the New Deal were additionally changing across the South, with many Southern Democrats who initially supported the legislation beginning to vote against it.[11]

In Florida, the test of voters' approval of the New Deal was the Democratic primary of the 1934 U.S. Senate election, in which Trammell, who generally ran unopposed in the primaries, faced the stiffest competition of his entire career.[11] Trammell faced former State Representative Claude Pepper, attorney Charles A. Mitchell, State Senator James F. Sikes, and Florida Democratic Committeewoman Hortense K. Wells. Though the race was mostly a competition between Trammell and Pepper, a social liberal, the latter three candidates pulled enough votes from Trammell to send the race into a runoff election between Trammell and Pepper.[12] Trammell defeated Pepper in the runoff, winning by just a 2% margin. Trammell was unopposed in the general election.[13][14]

Earlier in 1934, Trammell co-sponsered the Vinson-Trammell Act, along with House Naval Affairs Committee Chair Carl Vinson, which authorized the replacement of obsolete ship by construction of new ships in order to compete with the Japanese Empire.[15]

During his time in the Senate, Trammell was often referred to as the most useless member of the body, having missed 642 out of 3,168 roll call votes across his entire tenure.[16] Despite this, he was still popular among Florida voters.[4]

Trammell was the chairman of the Senate Expenditures in the Treasury Department Committee from 1917 until 1919, and of the Senate Naval Affairs Committee from 1933 until his death in 1936.[17]

Death and legacy[edit]

Trammell died at his home in Washington, D.C. on May 8, 1936. He is buried in Lakeland's Roselawn Cemetery.[1]

Trammell's senatorial papers were donated to the Lakeland Public Library and the University of Florida after his death. His gubernatorial papers reside in the Florida State Archives.[4] In 1955, the Lakeland Public Library building was named the Park Trammell Building. It now houses the Greater Lakeland Chamber of Commerce.[18]

Built in 1955, the Park Trammell Building is a nine-story low-rise building in Tampa, which houses the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.[19]

The Park Trammell Building at the Florida State Mental Hospital in Chattahoochee, Florida, dedicated in 1956, is used to house the geriatric population of the institution.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Trammell married Virginia Darby on November 21, 1900. They were married until her death in 1922. He later married Beatrice Padgett, a divorced woman with a son, in 1934. Trammell had no children of his own with either woman.[4]

Trammell was a member of the Freemasons, the Knights of Pythias, and the Woodmen of the World.[21]

Electoral history[edit]

1934 United States Senate election in Florida, General election[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Park Trammell (inc.) 131,780 100.00% +31.47%
Majority 131,780 100.00% +62.94%
Turnout 131,780
Democratic hold Swing
1934 United States Senate election in Florida, Democratic runoff[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Park Trammell (inc.) 103,028 51.00% N/A
Democratic Claude D. Pepper 98,978 49.00% N/A
Majority 4,050 2.00% N/A
Turnout 202,006
1934 United States Senate election in Florida, Democratic primary[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Park Trammell (inc.) 162,642 38.02% N/A
Democratic Claude D. Pepper 158,792 37.12% N/A
Democratic C. A. Mitchell 60,910 14.24% N/A
Democratic James F. Sikes 29,116 6.81% N/A
Democratic Hortense K. Wells 16,334 3.82% N/A
Majority 1,925 0.90% N/A
Turnout 427,794
1928 United States Senate election in Florida, General election[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Park Trammell (inc.) 153,816 68.53% -19.74%
Republican Barclay H. Warburton 70,633 31.47% N/A
Majority 83,183 37.06% -39.48%
Turnout 224,449
Democratic hold Swing
1928 United States Senate election in Florida, Democratic primary[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Park Trammell (inc.) 138,534 57.97% N/A
Democratic John W. Martin 100,454 42.03% N/A
Majority 38,080 15.93% N/A
Turnout 238,988 N/A
1922 United States Senate election in Florida[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Park Trammell (inc.) 45,707 88.27% +5.41%
Independent Republican W. C. Lawson 6,074 11.73% N/A
Majority 39,633 76.54% +6.13%
Turnout 51,781
Democratic hold Swing
1916 United States Senate election in Florida[28]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Park Trammell 58,391 82.86% N/A
Republican William R. O'Neal 8,774 12.45% N/A
Socialist R. L. Goodwin 3,304 4.69% N/A
Majority 49,617 70.41% N/A
Turnout 70,469
Democratic hold Swing
1912 Florida gubernatorial election[29]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Park Trammell 77,954 80.42% +1.61%
Socialist Thomas W. Cox 6,934 7.15% +1.36%
Republican William R. O'Neal 5,292 5.46% -9.94%
Progressive William C. Hodges 4,628 4.78% N/A
Prohibition J. W. Bingham 2,122 2.19% N/A
Majority 35,510 73.27% +9.85%
Turnout 96,930
Democratic hold Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "TRAMMELL, Park - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  2. ^ "Park Trammell - Florida Department of State". dos.myflorida.com. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  3. ^ a b "Park Trammell". classic.nga.org. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Park Trammell". Find a Grave. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  5. ^ "Florida Attorney General - Florida Attorneys General (1845 - )". myfloridalegal.com. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  6. ^ "FL Governor 1912". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  7. ^ government, Robert Longley Robert Longley is a U. S.; since 1997, history expert with over 30 years of experience in municipal government He has written for ThoughtCo. "The 17th Amendment to the US Constitution: Election of Senators". ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  8. ^ "FL US Senate 1916". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - Supreme Court - Associate Justice Race - Feb 05, 1925". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns - Supreme Court - Associate Justice Race - Feb 05, 1925". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  11. ^ a b Brackett, John M. (2005). "Wrongful Defeat: The 1934 Florida Senatorial Democratic Primary between Claude Pepper and Park Trammell". The Florida Historical Quarterly. 84 (2): 205–228. ISSN 0015-4113. JSTOR 30149988.
  12. ^ "1934 FL US Senate - D Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  13. ^ "1934 FL US Senate - D Runoff". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  14. ^ "1934 FL US Senate". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  15. ^ "The Vinson‐Trammel Act | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  16. ^ Newman, Roger K. (1997). Hugo Black: A Biography. Fordham Univ Press. ISBN 9780823217861.
  17. ^ "CHAIRMEN OF SENATE STANDING COMMITTEES 1789-present" (PDF). United States Senate. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  18. ^ "Lakeland Public Library (Park Trammell Building), Lakeland, Florida :: Lakeland Public Library, the Early Years". lakelandpubliclibrary.contentdm.oclc.org. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  19. ^ "Park Trammell Building, Tampa | 249740 | EMPORIS". www.emporis.com. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  20. ^ Florida, State Library and Archives of. "Park Trammell Building at Florida State Hospital in Chattahoochee, Florida". Florida Memory. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  21. ^ "Park Trammell". www.nndb.com. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  22. ^ "1934 FL US Senate". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  23. ^ "1934 FL US Senate - D Runoff". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  24. ^ "1934 FL US Senate - D Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  25. ^ "1928 FL US Senate". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  26. ^ "1928 FL US Senate - D Primary". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  27. ^ "FL US Senate 1922". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  28. ^ "FL US Senate 1916". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  29. ^ "FL Governor 1912". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 7, 2019.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
W. H. Ellis
Florida Attorney General
1909–1913
Succeeded by
Thomas F. West
Political offices
Preceded by
Albert W. Gilchrist
Governor of Florida
January 7, 1913 – January 2, 1917
Succeeded by
Sidney J. Catts
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Nathan P. Bryan
United States Senator (Class 1) from Florida
1917–1936
Succeeded by
Scott Loftin