Winston L. Prouty

Winston Lewis Prouty (September 1, 1906 – September 10, 1971) was an American politician. A member of the Republican Party, he served as a United States Senator from Vermont from 1959 until his death. He was previously a member of the United States House of Representatives, serving Vermont's At-large congressional district, from 1951 to 1959.

Winston Prouty
WinstonProuty.jpg
United States Senator
from Vermont
In office
January 3, 1959 – September 10, 1971
Preceded byRalph Flanders
Succeeded byRobert Stafford
Member of the
United States House of Representatives
from Vermont's At-large district
In office
January 3, 1951 – January 3, 1959
Preceded byCharles Albert Plumley
Succeeded byWilliam H. Meyer
Speaker of the Vermont House of Representatives
In office
1947–1949
Preceded byJoseph H. Denny
Succeeded byJ. Harold Stacey
Member of the Vermont House of Representatives from Newport
In office
1941–1949
Preceded byJohn M. Bradley
Succeeded byRobert W. H. Davis
Mayor of Newport, Vermont
In office
1938–1941
Preceded byJohn M. Bradley
Succeeded byOna S. Searles
Personal details
Born
Winston Lewis Prouty

(1906-09-01)September 1, 1906
Newport, Vermont, U.S.
DiedSeptember 10, 1971(1971-09-10) (aged 65)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Frances C. Hearle Backus (1939-1960, her death)
Jennette Herbert Hall (1962-1971, his death)
Children3
EducationLafayette College (attended)
ProfessionBusinessman

Early life and educationEdit

Winston Prouty was born in Newport, Vermont, to Willard Robert and Margaret (née Lockhart) Prouty.[1] His family owned Prouty & Miller Lumber Company, a lumber and building material business.[2] His family was also involved in politics; his father and grandfather both served as state legislators.[3] His uncle Charles A. Prouty was a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission, and another uncle, George H. Prouty served as Governor of Vermont from 1908 to 1910.[3]

Prouty received his early education at public schools in Newport, and attended St. Paul's School in Garden City, New York[4] and Bordentown Military Institute in New Jersey.[5] He then studied engineering at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, from 1925 to 1927.[6] During his college years, he became a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity.[7]

Early careerEdit

Prouty returned to Newport and joined his family's business, Prouty & Miller.[2] He also served as a director of the National Bank of Newport and Associated Industries of Vermont.[5] Though described as shy and reticent, in part because he was self-conscious about the loss of his right thumb in an accident at his family's business, Prouty decided on a career in politics.[8][9] A Republican, he was a member of the Newport City Council from 1933 to 1937.[10] He served as mayor of Newport from 1938 to 1941.[11] He was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives in 1940, and served from 1941 to 1949.[11] During his last two years in the legislature, he served as Speaker of the House.[5] He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Vermont in 1948, losing to Harold J. Arthur.[5] From 1949 to 1950, he served as chairman of the state Water Conservation Board.[11]

Congressional careerEdit

House of RepresentativesEdit

In 1950, after longtime incumbent Charles Albert Plumley decided not to run again, Prouty announced his candidacy for the United States House of Representatives from Vermont's At-large congressional district.[2] He won the Republican nomination in a four-way race that included Governor Arthur.[5] In the general election, he defeated his Democratic opponent, Herbert B. Comings, by a margin of 73%-26%.[12] He was subsequently re-elected to three more terms, never receiving less than 61% of the vote.[13] During his tenure in the House, Prouty served as a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee.[10] He was an advocate for the creation of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.[14] During his tenure in the House, Prouty voted in favor of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.[15]

SenateEdit

He was elected to the United States Senate in 1958; he reelected in 1964 and 1970 and served from January 3, 1959 until his death.[11] In the Senate, Prouty's committee assignments included District of Columbia, Rules, Labor and Public Welfare, and Commerce, in addition to the Special Committee on Aging and the Select Committee on Small Business.[16] Issues with which he was identified included federal aid for school construction, federal funding of courses for students with special needs, arts and music education, and senior citizen needs to include health care and expansion of Social Security eligibility.[17] In addition, he was a longtime advocate for returning passenger rail service to Vermont.[18] As the ranking Republican on the District of Columbia Committee, Prouty sponsored the legislation that created the district's Delegate to Congress.[19] During his tenure in the Senate, Prouty voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1960,[20] 1964,[21] and 1968,[22] as well as the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,[23] the Voting Rights Act of 1965,[24] and the confirmation of Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court.[25]

Death and burialEdit

Prouty died from the effects of gastric cancer at New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston on September 10, 1971.[26] He was buried at Pine Grove Cemetery in Newport.[27]

FamilyEdit

In 1939, Prouty married Frances Currie Hearle Backus (1907-1960) of Stanstead, Quebec, who was the mother of three daughters from a previous marriage, Currie, Elizabeth, and Ann.[28][29] She died in 1960, and in 1962, Prouty married Jennette Herbert Hall (1913-2002), who had been the chief aide to Congressmen Henry J. Latham of New York and Robert E. Cook of Ohio.[30]

HonorsEdit

In 1966, Prouty received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Lafayette College.[31][32]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Pope, Charles Henry (1910). Prouty (Proute) Genealogy. Boston: C. H. Pope. p. 173 – via HathiTrust.
  2. ^ a b c "Hard-Bitten Republican". The New York Times. 1971-09-11.
  3. ^ a b Prouty (Proute) Genealogy, pp. 171–172.
  4. ^ "Newport Locals: Winston Prouty". The Caledonian-Record. St. Johnsbury, VT. January 3, 1923. p. 5 – via Newspapers.com.
  5. ^ a b c d e Current Biography. Vol. XXI. H.W. Wilson Company. 1960.
  6. ^ Hatch, D. Arthur, ed. (1948). Biographical Record of the Men of Lafayette, 1832-1948. HathiTrust. Easton, PA: Lafayette College. p. 451.
  7. ^ "Politics and Government". Delta Upsilon Michigan Tech Chapter.
  8. ^ Memorial Addresses, p. 16.
  9. ^ "Serious Accident: Winston Prouty Slips And Loses His Thumb On Butting Saw". Express and Standard. Newport, VT. August 10, 1923. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ a b Memorial Addresses, p. 19.
  11. ^ a b c d Memorial Addresses, p. VII.
  12. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 1952" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.
  13. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 1954" (PDF). Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.
  14. ^ Memorial Addresses, pp. 6, 11.
  15. ^ "HR. 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957". GovTrack.us.
  16. ^ Memorial Addresses, pp. 6–7.
  17. ^ Memorial Addresses, p. 6, 11, 20, 37.
  18. ^ Memorial Addresses, p. 14.
  19. ^ Memorial Addresses, pp. 32, 57.
  20. ^ "HR. 8601. PASSAGE OF AMENDED BILL".
  21. ^ "HR. 7152. PASSAGE".
  22. ^ "TO PASS H.R. 2516, A BILL TO PROHIBIT DISCRIMINATION IN SALE OR RENTAL OF HOUSING, AND TO PROHIBIT RACIALLY MOTIVATED INTERFERENCE WITH A PERSON EXERCISING HIS CIVIL RIGHTS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES".
  23. ^ "S.J. RES. 29. APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION BANNING THE POLL TAX AS PREREQUISITE FOR VOTING IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS". GovTrack.us.
  24. ^ "TO PASS S. 1564, THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965".
  25. ^ "CONFIRMATION OF NOMINATION OF THURGOOD MARSHALL, THE FIRST NEGRO APPOINTED TO THE SUPREME COURT". GovTrack.us.
  26. ^ "Senator Prouty Dies of Stomach Cancer". Brattleboro Reformer. Brattleboro, VT. United Press International. September 11, 1971. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ Leader, Andrew (September 16, 1971). "Friends, State, National Leaders Jam Prouty Service". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ "Wife of U.S. Sen Prouty, R-Vt., is Dead at 53 of Heart Attack". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT. December 5, 1960. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ "Funeral Services Planned Today for Mrs. Prouty". Bennington Banner. Bennington, VT. United Press International. December 5, 1960. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ "Senator Prouty Wed to Ohioan in Washington". Bennington Banner. Bennington, VT. Associated Press. July 3, 1962. p. 1 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "Lafayette Lists 5 Honorary Degrees". The Morning Call. Allentown, PA. May 26, 1966. p. 41 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ Gaines, Barry (May 13, 1966). "Governor Hatfield To Speak At Commnencement". The Lafayette. Easton, PA. p. 1.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Vermont
(Class 1)

1958, 1964, 1970
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Vermont's at-large congressional district

1951–1959
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 1) from Vermont
1959–1971
Served alongside: George Aiken
Succeeded by