Image courtesy of Library of Congress
Represenative Albert Vestal of Indiana was an avid golfer and spent time using the indoor golf facility in the House gym.
On this date, Representative Albert H. Vestal
of Indiana died at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington, D.C. An eight-term Member, Vestal rose up through the Republican Party ranks to serve as Whip. Born on a farm in Indiana, he worked in the steel mills to earn enough money to attend college at Indiana State Normal School in Terre Haute. He later earned a law degree from Valparaiso University in 1896. Vestal worked as a lawyer and prosecuting attorney before making an unsuccessful first run for a U.S. House seat in 1908, and a second in 1914. In 1916, he won election to the 65th Congress
(1917–1919). As a sophomore Member, he became chair of the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures, and later chaired the Committee on Patents. Legislatively, Vestal worked tirelessly to improve existing copyright and royalty laws. Representative Willis Hawley
of Oregon announced the news of Vestal’s death on the House Floor and stated that instead of adjourning, “There is pending before the House very important legislation [Revenue Bill of 1932] for the good of the whole country. We believe that if Mr. Vestal could be communicated with, he would say that the country’s needs and service should take precedence.” Later in the day, the House passed H. Res. 179 to appoint a committee to attend the Congressman’s funeral and assist with the arrangements. More than a month and half later, the House held a memorial service honoring Vestal and the 18 other Members of Congress who passed during that session. Representative Fred Purnell
of Indiana remarked, “The high esteem in which he [Vestal] was held by all Members, regardless of party, was richly deserved because of the fair and friendly manner in which he met, without exception, his many duties. I dare say no Member of the House during his service had more real genuine friends than Bert Vestal.”