Claude A. Swanson (L-49)
A native of Pittsylvania County, Claude Augustus Swanson (1862-1939), practiced law in Chatham until he won election to Congress in 1892. He served seven terms in the House of Representatives (1893-1906); was governor of Virginia (1906-1910) and United States Senator (1910-1933); and served as secretary of the navy under President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1939). As governor, Swanson persuaded the General Assembly to reform the public school system, improve rural roads, and create the position of state health commissioner. His last home in the county was at nearby Eldon.
Department of Historic Resources, 1992
Dedication of Virginia Historical Highway Marker commemorating Claude A. Swanson of Pittsylvania, sponsored by the Pittsylvania Historical Society, July 11, 1992, 2 o'clock, Pittsylvania County Courthouse, Chatham, Virginia.
This marker, unveiled at the Pittsylvania County Courthouse today, will be permanently located on the southbound lane of U. S. 29, just north of the northernmost exit to Chatham.
- Welcome: Joseph Galloway, Mayor, Town of Chatham
- Recognitions: Preston B. Moses, President, Pittsylvania Historical Society
- Introduction: Ben J. Davenport, Jr., Chairman, First Piedmont Corporation
- Address: The Honorable L. F. Payne, Member, U. S. House of Representatives, Fifth District, Virginia
- Unveiling of the Marker: Charles C. Hall, Step-grandson of Claude A. Swanson
- Acceptance: Gary R. Grant, Member, State Review Board, Virginia Department of Historic Resources
Immediately following the dedication ceremony, a reception will be held at Eldon, former home of Governor Claude A. Swanson, hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Lemm, current owners of Eldon. Everyone is invited.
For those of us who live in an era of glitzy television campaigns, non-issues, and meaningless promises, the life of a man for whom one's word was a bond, and for whom the integrity of previous generations was a model not to be forgotten may seem archaic.
We laugh at the issues of the times, such as the idea of the silver or gold standard. However, I would suggest that American would do well to return to the values of that time and to remember that we will one day be judged not so much for what we have accomplished as for what kind of men and women we have been.
The life of Claude Swanson shows us that if we will commit to being people of integrity serving our country, the accomplishments of our life will in turn last beyond our years.
- Charles C. Hall, Step-grandson of Claude A. Swanson
The Pittsylvania Historical Society acknowledges with sincere appreciation the following co-sponsors who assisted with the funding of the highway marker honoring Claude A. Swanson.
- Chatham Lions Club
- Chatham Rotary Club
- Chatham Ruritan Club
- Chatham Town Council
- Danville Historical Society
- Gretna American Legion Post 232
- Gretna Lions Club
- Gretna Town Council
- Charles C. Hall
- Congressman L. F. Payne
- Pittsylvania County Bar Association
- Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors
- Pittsylvania County Chapter 55 DAV
- Pittsylvania County's Four High Schools
- Pittsylvania County Post 5309 VFW
- Pittsylvania Star-Tribune
- Rawley Martin Chapter UDC
- Claude V. Swanson
- Ruby W. Swanson
- Samuel W. Swanson, Sr.
- Thomas Carter Chapter DAR
- William Pitt Chapter DAR
The Pittsylvania Historical Society is grateful for the support and cooperation received from:
- Virginia Department of Historic Resources, John S. Salmon, Richmond, Virginia
- Virginia Department of Transportation, L. Ray Lacey, Lynchburg, Virginia
- Pittsylvania County Public Schools, John R. Reece, Division Superintendent, Chatham, Virginia
Also a part of the printed program for this event was the article "Claude A. Swanson of Pittsylvania".
Electronic format copyright © 2002 Patricia B. Mitchell.