Sam Rayburn, 1882-1961, of Bonham,Texas, was a Texas legislator, congressman, and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives for seventeen years. He was elected to the House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1912, and represented the Fourth Texas District for forty-eight years, until his death in 1961.
The following letter of condolence from Sam Rayburn to Grandma Young (Maude L. Young) in the death of her husband, George, on 7 January 1945, was a good example of how closely the congressman kept in touch with his constituents. Mr. Rayburn was known for his contrasting wardrobes; while in Washington D.C. he wore suits, starched shirts, and well-polished shoes, but when visiting the people of Northeast Texas, he switched to informal shirts, jeans, and boots. Mr. Rayburn’s identification with the residents of his largely rural district made him an effective legislator. He was responsible for numerous projects that increased the quality of life for our family, such as rural electrification, farm-to-market roads, Lake Texoma, and Perrin Air Force Base.
I have a vague memory of going with Dad to the Sam Rayburn Library in Bonham to see a picture of Papa (Samuel W. Young, Sr.) with Sam Rayburn.
I am the keeper of Grandma’s Bookcase and this is what I found.