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The journal. (Caldwell, Ohio) 1934-1961, August 15, 1946, Image 11

Image and text provided by Ohio History Connection, Columbus, OH

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87075277/1946-08-15/ed-1/seq-11/

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Thursday, August 15, 1946
by people at home.” He always demanded honesty in
Government and wants every crooked official, high or
low, brought to the bar of Justice. Cheaters, chiselers,
and gratters who operated while Americans were dying
to defend them should be given every punishment the
law allows.
Bob Secerst supported the bill to investigate the
activities of Communists in America, feeling that the
nited States has the best form of Government in the
world and that nothing should be permitted to under
mine American ideals and institutions.
I want it clearly understood that I will never try to
make political capital out of my war service. I resigned
Congress because of the great debt I owed to the United
States. In no other land could I have worked in the coal
mine at 15 and been a member of such a high office as
Congress at 28.
My contribution to victory was no greater than that
of 15,000,000 others with whom I served. It was far less
than that of many.
I am a candidate solely on the record I made in ser
ving the people and my country in Congress.
Bob Secrest voted for the bill to regulate the stock
market, believing that only good stock should be sold to
the public and that never again should fake and worth
less stock be given for the hard earned savings of the
Bob Secrest worked on the farm, in the pottery, in
the mines, in the rubber factory of Akron and on the
railroad during high school and college vacations. In
all his career he has been fair and square in the consid
eration of labor legislation. Bob Secrest does his ow n
thinking and will not lx? stampeded into supporting un
just or unw ise legislation.
During the bank holiday of 1933 eight banks closed
in Bob Secrest’s district. He forgot politics. He rec
ommended as Conservators and Receivers experienced
The welfare of the depositors and stockholders was
his read concern. He fought with the Treasury against
the sale of stocks and bonds that were sold later at much
higher prices. His cooperation continued until the job
was done. Final results were beyond the highest hopes
of depositors and stockholders.
As a member of Congress, Bob Secrest worked in
cessantly for a bill to guarantee the bank deposits of the
In 1938 and again on January 25, 1939 Bob Secrest
introduced bills in Congress designed to stop importa
tion of Japanese pottery which was being used as credit
to buy scrap iron and gasoline in the United States.
Three times Bob spoke in Congress stating that these
materials of war would be turned against us.
Bob did every thing he could to prevent war. At the
same time he spoke in Congress in June, 1910, advoca
ting the strongest possible measures to assure the na
tions defense.
This was 18 months before Pearl Harbor.
At 28 Bob Secrest was called to preside over the
House. He was the youngest man ever called to the
Speaker’s Chair. At 37 he was the youngest Chairman
of a Congressional Committee in the history of Con
gress. In the house Bob was outstanding in his know
ledge of parliamentary law and skill in debating.
Few men know the government of Ohio as well as
Bob Secrest. For several years he taught Agriculture,
Civics and History in Ohio schools. While in the State
Legislature he served on the important Committees of
Taxation, Agriculture, Mines and Mining and Schools
and Universities.
This broad knowledge of state government made it
possible for Bob to give his people far greater service
as a Congressman. In every field he knew the effect
Federal legislation would have on the laws and people
of his state. If his constituents had a problem in Col
umbus he knew w here to go and who to see.
Bob Secrest never stopped trying to be a better
Congressman. He felt that a legal education would
make him a better legislator. For three years he went
to law school and studied at night. An 1939, he grad­
uated from the Washington College of Law.
He was elected President of his class for three years
and because of his Scholastic Record w as selected by the
Dean to give the Commencement address to 139 grad
uates of his own class.
Bob Secrest consistently opposed gag rule, regard
less of which Party desired it, feeling that the only
American way to legislate was to have free and full dis
cussion of every question.
While in Congress, Bob Secrest received over
500,000 letters, every one of which was answered with
the greatest promptness possible. No request was too
great and no request was too small to receive his atten
tion, time and effort. Thousands in his district can
swear to this fact.
Bob Secrest did not duck votes, but had the cour
age to vote on every important measure during the time
he was in Congress. He never tried to carry water on
both shoulders.
Because of his ability and willingness to work Bob
was made a member of five important standing com
mittees of the House. Of the 435 members less than
thirty had this distinction. Bob was Chairman of the
Library Committee and a member of the Flood Control,
Roads, Mines and Mining and Pensions Committees. He
also served on the Insular Affairs Committee until the
Philippine Independence bill passed and on the Civil Ser-
vice Committee until many needed reforms were en
When the war broke out, the safety of the Con
stitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Guten
berg Bible, two drafts of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
and countless other valuable government documents was
of great concern.
Bob Secrest was selected to serve on a Committee
with Justice Stone of the Supreme Court and three
others to assure the preservation of the nation’s histor
ical douements.
Bob Secrest was on the Committee that handled
legislation for the National Gallery of Art, built by
funds left by Andrew J. Mellon. He was on the Com
mittee that provided for the construction of the Thomas
Jefferson Memorial. He offered the Amendment that
bought for the Congressional Library the Herndon col
lection. This was the largest collection of papers and
letters of President Abraham Lincoln in the world.
Bob Secrest brought many honors to the 15th Dis
trict. In Washington he was President of the Ohio
Voters League and Vice-President of the Ohio Society.
He was Chairman of the Projects Committee and Vice
President of the National Rivers and Harbors Congress,
the outstanding flood control organization in the United
He was a member of the Oliver Wendell Holmes De
vise Committee, the Archives Trust Fund Board, The
Smithsonian Institution Fine Arts Commission, the
Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy
and the Joint Committee of the Library of Congress.
He represented Muskingum College at the ceremonies
celebrating the 15th anniversary of Georgetown Uni
versity. Always, Bob was a leader and a worker.
In Belpre, Byesville, Beverly, Caldwell, Lowell,
Quaker City, Roseville, South Zanesville and a number
of other towns, Bob Secrest secured w7aterwrorks pro
jects guaranteeing a fresh, adequate and healthful sup
ply of w’ater. Where new waterworks were installed,
savings in insurance rates were almost sufficient to pay
the entire local cost of the project.
In Belpre, Byesville, Beverly, Dresden, Lowell and
other towns, modern sewer systems were installed.
Major extensions were made in Cambridge and Zanes
Bob Secrest fought to build up the communities of
his district to keep pace with the school, homes, roads,
and farms of other sections of the country and make
southeastern Ohio a desirable and modern place in which
people might live and new industry locate.
Many towns in the 15th District found their school
inadequate. Bob Secrest gave days, weeks, and months
to these problems, realizing that schools, with churches
and homes, are the foundation of democracy. New’
school buildings were secured for Woodsfield, Berne,
Stafford. Fulda, Graysville, Harriettsville, Sarahsville,
Bristol, McConnelsville, Roseville, Little Hocking, Sales
ville, Old AV ashington, Madison, Buffalo and several
other communities.
Bob Secrest fought for his District. He was able to
secure a new post office building for Caidwell, New Con
cord. McConnelsville, and Woodsfield. Three other of
fices in the district are now second class and eligible for
Federal Buildings. Reduced government spending is
the need of the day, but when new’ buildings arc author
ized Bob won’t be left out in the cold.
At Marietta, the City Hall burned down, Bob Se
crest made two trips to Columbus and one to Washing
ton. Within a few weeks he secured final approval of
the rebuilding from the Director of Public Works in
At Caldwell is one of the finest Court House Build
ings in Ohio. In securing approval and completion of
this project, Bob Secrest gave every minute of time re
quested by the local officials.
At Muskingum College is a new’ Gymnasium from
start to finish as fine as any in the State of Ohio. Bob
Secrest gave his time and effort to secure completion of
this worthy project.
Bob Secrest was the only member from Ohio on the
Roads Committee of Congress. He was able to support
a change in the Federal Law permitting the expenditure
of Federal road funds within a municipality. As a re
sult of this service, the main streets of Zanesville, Mc
Connelsville, Malta, New Concord, Cambridge, Byesville,
Chesterhill, Pennsville, and many other towns and cities
have been resurfaced and improved.
As a former school teacher, Bob Secrest supported
every bill designed to further education, including three
which made possible vocational education for hundreds
of young men and young women in the 15th District.
Working with the Postmaster, Bob was able to ex
tend city delivery twice a day to hundreds of patrons of
the Zanesville post office. This was the first such ex
tension since 1913.
Bob, when asked w hat he thought of the recent in
crease Congress voted themselves, said, “A very good
Congressman can earn $12,500, a good one may be worth
$10,000, a fair one is worth $5,000 and a poor one is
worth fifty cents. The people might be ahead of they
paid a few7 to stay home.
My one bill to remove the flood taxes saved my
people enough to pay the salary of a very good Con
gressman over 1200 years. As a result of our fight to
reduce Ohio River bridge tolls in the 15th District, the
users have saved enough in the last ten years to pay my
salary for 100 years. The important thing is to deliver
service and still more service.”

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