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Adam Martin Wyant

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Adam Martin Wyant (September 15, 1869 – January 5, 1935) was an American politician who served as Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. He served six terms, a total of 12 years, in the House. However Wyant is also best remembered for being the first professional football player to be elected to the United States Congress. From 1895 until 1897, Wyant played football with the Greensburg Athletic Association, an early professional club from Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Adam Martin Wyant
AdamMartinWyant1.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 31st district
In office
March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1933
Preceded byJohn M. Morin
Succeeded byM. Clyde Kelly
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 22nd district
In office
March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1923
Preceded byJohn Haden Wilson
Succeeded bySamuel F. Glatfelter
Personal details
BornSeptember 15, 1869
Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJanuary 5, 1935(1935-01-05) (aged 65)
Greensburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Katherine N. Doty
ResidenceGreensburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma materBucknell University, University of Chicago, University of Pittsburgh
ProfessionProfessional football player, Educator, Lawyer, Politician,
Adam Wyant
Position:Quarterback, Center
Career information
College:Bucknell, Chicago
Career history
Career highlights and awards

He is also known for playing collegiate football for Bucknell University and the University of Chicago from 1890 through 1893. During his playing career, Wyant was cited by his coach at Chicago, Amos Alonzo Stagg, as “one of the best men that ever donned the canvas jacket” (which was then a part of the football uniform). Wyant also served at one time as principal of the Greensburg schools before becoming a U.S. Congressman. His brother, Andy, played at Bucknell and Chicago, under Amos Alonzo Stagg. He was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1962.

BiographyEdit

Adam Wyant was born near Kittanning, on his family's rural farm in the village of Montgomeryville, son of Christian Yerty Wyant and Elizabeth John, both of Washington Township, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Adam was named after his paternal grandfather whose ancestors (originally spelled Weyandt) were early German settlers of Bedford County, Pennsylvania arriving in October 1770 from Freinsheim, Palatinate, Germany.

Adam attended the Mount Pleasant Institute, and Bucknell, located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He attended Bucknell for three years, playing on pioneer football teams there with his brother Andy. Afterwards Andy, left Bucknell to attend the University of Chicago Divinity School. Adam followed his brother to Chicago and played guard for the legendary coach, Amos Alonzo Stagg. In 1895, Adam graduated from the University of Chicago and returned to western Pennsylvania to teach in Mt. Pleasant. He moved to Greensburg, Pennsylvania, in 1896.

In Greensburg, Wyant was widely known for his football skills and, at 6'0" and 196 pounds, he was considered a big person for that era. In the fall of 1895, was one of four college stars signed to play professionally with the Greensburg Athletic Association. His teammeates consisted of Lawson Fiscus and Charlie Atherton. Wyant played quarterback for the team, a position that was not too different from guard in the style of play at the time. In 1896, while still playing pro football, he became the first principal of Greensburg High School and soon thereafter became the city's first superintendent of schools.

In the summer of 1897, he ended his football career and studied law at the University of Pittsburgh, and was admitted to the Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Bar in 1902. He then commenced the practice of law in Greensburg. He was interested in coal mining and other business enterprises.

In 1910, Wyant married Katherine N. Doty, the daughter of a Westmoreland County judge. In 1920, he was elected as a Republican to the 67th United States Congress. He won the state's 22nd congressional district with the largest majority ever given a Republican candidate in the district's history. He was then re-elected five more times. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1932.

DeathEdit

He resumed his former business pursuits and died in Greensburg, after succumbing to cancer on January 5, 1935. He was interred in St. Clair Cemetery.[citation needed]

Electoral historyEdit

Year District Republican Pct Democrat Pct
1920 PA-22 Adam Martin Wyant 51.6% John Haden Wilson 38.1%
1922 PA-31 Adam Martin Wyant 53.4% James M. Cramer 40.1%
1924 PA-31 Adam Martin Wyant 60.4% Chester D. Sensenich 39.6%
1926 PA-31 Adam Martin Wyant 65.7% Albert H. Bell 32.1%
1928 PA-31 Adam Martin Wyant 95.8% None 0.0%
1930 PA-31 Adam Martin Wyant 70.5% James M. Cramer 27.2%
1932 PA-28 Adam Martin Wyant 40.8% William M. Berlin 55.2%

Minor party candidates not shown
Election winner in bold

SourcesEdit

  • United States Congress. "Adam M. Wyant (id: W000776)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • The Political Graveyard
  • Van Atta, Robert (1983). "The History of Pro Football At Greensburg, Pennsylvania (1894-1900)" (PDF). Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association (Annual): 1–14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-27.
  • Van Atta, Robert (1986). "Adam Wyant" (PDF). Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 8 (1): 1–2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-12-18.

External linksEdit