Senators Pay Their Respects to Withers

From the Louisville Courier-Journal, May 7, 1953.

Washington, May 7. -- The Senate colleagues of the late Garrett L. Withers, who served first in the Senate and then in the House, today paid their respects to him as a public servant and as a man. Withers, Dixon, Ky., Democrat, who represented the Second District, died here last Thursday.

Senator Clements, who was his personal and political friend, said that Withers preferred the practice of law to holding high office, but that he never failed to heed the call to public service.

"As Governor of Kentucky, I twice diverted him from his law practice," Clements recalled. Clements first named Withers commissioner of highways and later appointed him to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the election of Alben W. Barkley to the Vice-Presidency.

"The simple statement that he was a thoroughly good man sums up the life of my friend," Clements said. "He knew more and told less than any man in his section of the country. As he lived - quietly, gently, unafraid - and at peace with his fellow man, so he died. His was the good life."

Senator John Sherman Cooper, Kentucky Republican, said "In the past 25 years I have known nearly all of the political figures of both parties who served Kentucky. I have known few among them who possessed the ability, integrity and humanity which characterized Senator Withers."

Senator Taft (R., Ohio), who served with Withers on the Senate Labor committee, said of him that "few senators have had greater character. He approached each problem with a fresh point of view - and with common sense. Kentucky and Congress have lost a great citizen."

Senator Stennis (D., Miss.) said Withers once told him that he would rather be known as "a good lawyer" than anything else. I like to remember him as the very best type of old-fashioned country lawyer, with all the fine, old-fashioned virtues that that phrase suggests," Stennis declared.

Senator Hill (D., Ala.) praised his "rare common sense, grasp of the law, and devotion to his country. Kentucky, which has given so many illustrious sons to the country, may well be proud of Senator Withers."

Senator Aiken (R., Vt.) said: "He was a humble man. He proved that when, after leaving the Senate, he went back to Kentucky and served as a legislator of his state."

Senator Chavez (D., N.M.) said: "I do not know of any senator who put in more time and energy on his committee."

Back to Withers Obituary
Back to Webster County Genealogy Page