Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Trible Dix Sutton (1902-1987)

Trible Dix Sutton, from the 1966 Virginia House of Delegates composite photo.

    The following profile takes us to Virginia and one Trible Dix Sutton, an attorney who served three terms as Henrico County's representative to the Virginia State House of Delegates. Like Treffle G. Levesque (profiled a few days ago), Sutton's name was located via the 1967-68 edition of "Who's Who in American Politics". While very little exists online in regards to Sutton's life and time in politics, his brief biography in "Who's Who" helped out significantly in terms of gathering information!
   Born in Henrico County on May 24, 1902, Trible Dix Sutton was the son of John Trible and Florence Dix Sullivan. Inheriting his unusual first and middle names courtesy of his parents, Sutton would attend the University of Richmond from 1919-1921 and between 1921-1927 worked as a clerk in the accounting department of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (this according to the previously mentioned Who's Who In American Politics, 1967-68.) He married in Hanover, Virginia on September 19, 1922 to Bessie Bertha McAllister  (1903-1996). The couple later had three children, Howard Trible (1926-1995), Dorothy May (born 1928) and Edward Dix (died in infancy in 1936).
   Sutton began the practice of law in 1928 and would continue in this profession both before and after his time in state government. In addition to practicing law Sutton was active in several religious and fraternal organizations in Virginia, being a secretary of the Virginia Baptist Board of Missions, moderator of the Dover Baptist Association and a past master of the Glen Allen Lodge #131 of Free and Accepted Masons. A longstanding member of both the Virginia State and Richmond Bar Associations, Sutton also chaired the Henrico County Democratic Committee for a time. He would also author the genealogical work "The Suttons of Caroline County, Virginia" and in 1941 saw it published by the Richmond Press.
   Elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in November 1963, T. Dix Sutton took his seat at the start of the 1964-66 legislative session and would be named to the house committees on Counties Cities and Towns, Officers and Offices at the Capitol, Public Institutions and Welfare. As a candidate for reelection in 1965, Sutton faced an uphill battle, losing the Democratic primary in July to contested election returns. Dr. William Ferguson Reid, a prominent Richmond surgeon who won a court order placement on that year's ballot, became the Democratic candidate for the legislature and hoped to become the first African American elected to the state house since reconstruction. Even though he lost the primary, T. Dix Sutton launched a candidacy as an independent and on November 4th won the election as a write-in candidate.

From the American Jewish Outlook, September 1964.

   During the 1966-67 term, Sutton would sit on the committees on Enrolled Bills, Welfare and Game and Inland Fisheries. He left the legislature at the end of that term and in November 1971 was returned to the house for a third term. Elected as an independent, Sutton served on three new committees during this session, those being Claims, Health Welfare and Institutions, and Militia and Police. 
   Sutton's third term concluded in 1973 and in 1975 was an unsuccessful candidate for the Virginia State Senate's 34th district. After many years of public service to Henrico County Trible Dix Sutton died on March 27, 1987 at age 84. He was survived by his wife and two children and was interred at the Forest Lawn Cemetery and Mausoleum in Richmond. 

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