Peay, Austin, III  (1876 – 1927)

HOUSE, 52nd and 53rd General Assemblies, 1901-05; representing Montgomery and Houston Counties; Democrat. Born near Hopkinsville, Christian County, KY, June 1, 1876; son of Austin and Cornelia (Leavell) Peay. Attended “common schools”; Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA; received LL.B. degree from Centre College, Danville, KY, 1895; admitted to bar and began practice of law at Hopkinsville, KY, same year. Married at Clarksville, Montgomery County, Sep 19, 1895, to Sallie Hurst, of Clarksville, daughter of John and Amaryllis (Smith) Hurst; children – Austin, IV, and Amaryllis. Moved to Clarksville, 1896, and continued law practice there until inaugurated Governor. Chairman, State Democratic Committee, 1905; managed gubernatorial campaign of Malcolm R. Patterson, 1908; unsuccessful candidate for Democratic nomination for Governor, 1918; nominated and elected Governor, 1922, 1924, and 1926; inaugurated Governor Jan 16, 1923, and served until death. Member Baptist Church; Free and Accepted Masons; Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; Knights of Pythias. Died at Executive Mansion in Nashville, Oct 2, 1927; buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Clarksville. Father of Austin Peay, IV, grandfather of John Hurst Peay, sometime members TN General Assembly.

Sources: Dictionary of American Biography, XIV, 371; Who Was Who in America; Nashville Tennessean; Oct 3, 1927; Tennessee Blue Book, 1961-62, p 228; Moore and Foster, Tennessee, The Volunteer State, IV, 5; information supplied by grandson, John H. Peay, Clarksville.

Biographies submitted by Jill Hastings-Johnson, Montgomery County Archivist

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