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Elizabeth Gasque Van Exem (February 26, 1886 – November 2, 1989), named Elizabeth Hawley Gasque during her tenure in Congress, was a Congresswoman from South Carolina, the first woman elected to Congress from that state.

Elizabeth Hawley Gasque Van Exem
Elizabeth Hawley Gasque.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 6th district
In office
September 13, 1938 – January 3, 1939
Preceded byAllard Henry Gasque
Succeeded byJohn L. McMillan
Personal details
Born(1886-02-26)February 26, 1886
Blythewood, South Carolina
DiedNovember 2, 1989(1989-11-02) (aged 103)
Ridgeway, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Allard H. Gasque
Alma materGreenville Woman's College
ProfessionAuthor, lecturer

She was elected to the House of Representatives on September 13, 1938, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband, Congressman Allard Henry Gasque. She never actually attended Congress, which was not in session during her months of office.

She served from 1938 to January 3, 1939 and was not a candidate for re-nomination. Mrs. Gasque later was an author and lecturer and was the longest lived member of either the House of Representatives or the Senate. The Social Security death records say she was born in 1893, under her later married name of Van Exem.[1] However, census records support the 1886 birth year.

She died aged 103 in Ridgeway, South Carolina where she lived.[2]

In 1982, a section of South Carolina state road was named the Elizabeth Gasque Van Exem Highway.

See alsoEdit


  • United States Congress. "Elizabeth Hawley Gasque (id: G000093)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.


U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Allard Henry Gasque
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Carolina's 6th congressional district

September 13, 1938 – January 3, 1939
Succeeded by
John L. McMillan
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Carl Vinson
Oldest Living U.S. Representative
(Sitting or Former)

June 1, 1981 – November 2, 1989
Succeeded by
Hamilton Fish III