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Old News Stories
Last Living Confederate Congressman, 1906

From The Atlanta Constitution
Feb 22, 1906



Colonel William H. Tibbs, of Murray County.
Now ninety years old and a Sterling Democrat.
Don't believe in new notions.

Spring Place, Ga., February 21. (Special)

Colonel William H. Tibbs, well known as the last surviving member of the confederate congress, who lives near here, and who drove here on Tuesday from his home place, 3 miles distance, to meet Hon. Clark Howell, expressed great pleasure over having heard Mr. Howell and strongly commended his pure democratic doctrine.

Colonel Tibbs is one of those staunch and sterling democrats who know and feel that it was the democratic party which brought the south safely through the trying times of reconstruction and reestablished it upon a firm and stable basis, and he believes that the hope of the south today is in the democratic party, and that there is grave danger in running off after false gods.

He gave strong expression to these sentiments in an interview which was published in The Constitution today, in which he said the democratic party is now passing through its most crucial period, and that the election of Hoke Smith would mean an advance toward populism. He declared that nullification of the federal constitution is no more possible today than it was forty-five years ago.

Colonel Tibbs expressed himself strongly in favor of Clark Howell for governor, stating his belief that the hope of future democratic success in Georgia depended upon Mr. Howell's election.

Colonel Tibbs is now in his ninetieth years, and will celebrate his ninetieth birthday on June 10, next. He is well known throughout the south, having lived in many section. In 1833 and 1834 he was a resident of Columbus, Ga. Shortly after that, he assisted in the removal of Indians from north Georgia, from the same section of the state in which he now lives. Later he moved to Tennessee, and it was from that state that he was elected to the regular confederate congress which met at Richmond, winning the election over Judge. A. S. Colyar, who was his intimate friend. While in congress, he helped get through the bill that resulted in the construction of the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis railroad. He was a firm believer in the duty of every man of proper age going to the front in the service of his country, and he introduced and secured the passage of the conscript act under which the confederacy secured many more men.

Believing that there was a scarcity of men at the front, he declined to make the race to succeed himself in the confederate congress, shouldered his gun, and went to the front. It was then that Judge Colyar, whom he had formerly defeated, was elected succeed him.

Colonel Tibbs has lived in Murray county since the war. He has made several fortunes during his career, but his liberal spirit has resulted in leaving him without large means. He is still mentally vigorous and, considering his years, is quite active physically.

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