Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Folsom LaMont Glass (1892-1969)

Senator F. LaMont Glass during his time in state government.

  A two-term member of the Alabama House of Representatives from Greenville, Folsom LaMont Glass etched his name into Alabama history in 1959 when he introduced legislation that would see the camellia flower be designated as the official state flower. A lifelong Alabaman, F. LaMont Glass (as most sources list him) was born in Greenville on December 22, 1892, one of eleven children born to Ross Callen and Rebecca (Tillery) Glass. 
  Glass would be a student in the public schools of Garland and Georgiana, Alabama and married in November 1917 to Lillie Belle Kerr (1895-1982). The couple's marriage extended over five decades and saw the births of two daughters, Elaine (1921-2002) and Floretta (1926-1984). Prior to his service in state government Glass had been employed as a telegraph operator for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, and would go on to become a merchant in the Greenville area. 
  In November 1958 F. LaMont Glass won election to the Alabama House of Representatives, polling 2,195 votes on election day. During the 1959-63 house term, Glass sat on the committees on Local Government, Local Legislation #1, and Transportation, and in mid-1959 introduced a bill that would designate the camellia as Alabama's official state flower. Prior to Glass' initiative, the Alabama state flower had been the Goldenrod (a type of weed), and Glass' constituents in Butler County eventually convinced him to put forth the camellia (the namesake of Greenville's nick-name "The Camellia City") as a possible new state flower. In August of that year, Glass' measure passed the house and was signed into law. This term also saw Glass and fellow Butler County representative H.B. Taylor introduce a bill that would "revamp Alabama's state marriage law" in 1961, legislation that did away with a previous statute that noted that "couples were required to obtain a marriage license in the county where the woman lived, or in the county where the couple planned to wed." The effects of this legislation are still felt in modern-day Alabama, and as a piece of segregation-era legislation, the bill could be used to make issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples optional, rather than mandatory
   F. LaMont Glass would win a second term in the legislature in 1962 and during the 1963-67 session served on the committees on Agriculture, Local Legislation #1, Rules and State Administration. Two years after completing his term Glass died in Greenville on August 20, 1969, at age 77. He was survived by his wife and daughters, all of whom were interred at the Magnolia Cemetery in Greenville.

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