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Henry Bascom Steagall (1873-1943) was a United States Representative from Alabamamarker. He lent his name to the Glass-Steagall Act, and the Wagner-Steagall National Housing Act of September 1937 which created the United States Housing Authority.

Born in Clopton, Alabamamarker, May 19, 1873, he studied law and became a Democratic member of the Alabama state House of Representatives, 1906-07 and a U.S. Representative from the Alabama 3rd District, 1915-43; he died in office on November 22, 1943.

Senator Glass had considered the creation of the Federal Reserve System his crowning achievement. He and other sponsors of this 1913 legislation believed that they had created the ideal financial structure to thwart panic and virtually eliminate depression. The 1929 market crash, the ensuing depression, and the inability of financial institutions to spark economic recovery was taken by Glass as a bitter personal defeat.

Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest it was stee-gall (like the words tea and gall), with equal stress on each syllable. He added, "This pronunciation is generally used throughout the South, and rarely used in the North. Our friends up there persist in stressing the first syllable and rhyming the name with 'eagle'." (Charles Earle Funk, What's the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------STEAGALL, Henry Bascom, (1873 - 1943)


STEAGALL, Henry Bascom, a Representative from Alabama; born in Clopton, Dale County, Ala., May 19, 1873; attended the common schools and the Southeast Alabama Agricultural School at Abbeville; was graduated from the law department of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa in 1893; was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Ozark, Ala.; county solicitor of Dale County 1902-1908; member of the State house of representatives in 1906 and 1907; member of the State Democratic executive committee 1906-1910; prosecuting attorney of the third judicial circuit 1907-1914; delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1912; elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-fourth and to the fourteen succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1915, until his death in Washington, D.C., November 22, 1943; chairman, Committee on Banking and Currency (Seventy-second through Seventy-eighth Congresses); co-sponsor of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932; interment in the City Cemetery, Ozark, Ala.


Key, Jack Brien. “Henry B. Steagall: The Conservative as a Reformer.” Alabama Review 17 (July 1964): 198-209.

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