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Clerk of the House South Trimble Is Born

April 13, 1864
Clerk of the House South Trimble Is Born Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Longtime Clerk of the House South Trimble was a former Representative from Kentucky. In the Capitol, he was a long, lean, and colorful figure who ran the House with genial efficiency.
On this date, longtime Clerk of the House South Trimble was born in Hazel Green, Kentucky, about 80 miles east of Lexington. Growing up, he attended local schools in Frankfort and operated a farm after completing his education. In 1898, Trimble entered politics when he won election to the Kentucky state house of representatives, serving for a single term and even briefly occupying the speaker’s chair. Instead of running for another term at the state level, Trimble ran for a U.S. House seat as a Democrat and won with 54 percent of the vote. Elected to the 57th Congress (1901–1903), Trimble was re-elected to two more terms by comfortable margins. In 1906, he chose not to run for re-election to the House, but ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of Kentucky. Five years later, Trimble returned to the House not as a Member but as Clerk for the 62nd Congress (1911–1913). Trimble served as Clerk for four consecutive Congresses until his retirement in May 1919 after Republicans won a majority in the House in the previous fall’s elections. Over the next decade he ran a plantation in Selma, Alabama, before being called back to the House when Democrats regained the majority. Elected Clerk of the House for the 72nd Congress (1931–1933), Trimble served for 16 years until his death on November 23, 1946. Once, when celebrating his 80th birthday on the House Floor, a number of Members lauded Trimble’s service to the House. Democrat Robert Doughton of North Carolina, whose House service began at the same time as Trimble’s, praised his colleague for his “fidelity, his efficiency, and his courtesy . . . few have served his country longer and none has served it better than South Trimble.”

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