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Clerk of the House and Sergeant at Arms Lyle Snader

December 25, 1917
Clerk of the House and Sergeant at Arms Lyle Snader Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
When in session, the Sergeant at Arms presents the Mace to restore order on the House Floor.
On this date, Lyle Snader, who eventually had the unusual distinction of serving concurrently as the Clerk and Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. House, was born in Dixon, Illinois. Educated in local schools, Snader came to Washington, DC, around 1940. He worked as a staff assistant for Representative Leo Allen of Illinois for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Force during the Second World War. After the war, Snader returned to the House, where he worked on the House Committee on Rules for two years. He then served as a reading clerk for four years before Republicans won the House majority and Snader was elected as Clerk for the 83rd Congress (1953–1955). During that Congress, Sergeant at Arms William Russell died suddenly on July 8, 1953. As a result, Speaker Joseph W. Martin Jr. of Massachusetts appointed Snader to “serve concurrently as Clerk and Sergeant at Arms . . . until another person is chosen,” via H.J. Res. 292. Snader served in both positions until William R. Bonsell’s appointment as Sergeant at Arms on September 15, 1953. In the 84th Congress (1955–1957), Snader served as minority clerk when majority control switched to the Democrats. After leaving the House in 1957, Snader worked as an executive for a railroad association for 15 years. He also served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves until 1971, retiring as a colonel. Lyle Snader passed away on December 31, 1973, in Arlington, Virginia.

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The House has elected or appointed employees to carry out a wide variety of tasks throughout its history. The officers’ duties are prescribed both by law and Rule II of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

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