Newell Sanders

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Newell Sanders
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
April 11, 1912 – January 24, 1913
Appointed byBen W. Hooper
Preceded byRobert L. Taylor
Succeeded byWilliam R. Webb
Personal details
Born(1850-07-12)July 12, 1850
Bloomington, Indiana
DiedJanuary 26, 1939(1939-01-26) (aged 88)
Lookout Mountain, Tennessee
Political partyRepublican

Newell Sanders (July 12, 1850 – January 26, 1939) was a Chattanooga businessman who served for a relatively brief time as a United States Senator from Tennessee.

Life and career[edit]

Sanders was born in Owen County, Indiana, the son of Miriam (Coffey) and John Sanders.[1] He attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he was graduated in 1873 and operated a bookstore until 1877. During that year, he moved to Chattanooga and became involved in the manufacturing of farm implements. He served on the board of education 1881  – 1882 and as an alderman 1882  – 1886. He also served on the board of directors of the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway.

When Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Love Taylor died in office, Tennessee Governor Ben W. Hooper, a Republican, appointed Sanders to the vacancy. Sanders was sworn in during April, 1912 and served until January, 1913 when the Tennessee General Assembly elected educator William R. Webb, a Democrat, to succeed him, the process called for in the United States Constitution until the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified later in the decade.[2] During his somewhat abbreviated service, Sanders nonetheless served as chair of the Senate Committee on National Banks.[3] Sanders was the last Republican to serve as U.S. Senator from Tennessee until the election of Howard H. Baker, Jr. over five decades later. He was, furthermore, the last Republican U.S. Senator from a former Confederate state prior to the election of John Tower of Texas in 1961 (a gap of 48 years).

After his service in the Senate, Sanders returned to his manufacturing interests until his retirement in 1927. In 1922 he ran for popular election to the United States Senate, and received 32 percent of the vote against Democratic incumbent Kenneth McKellar. Sanders died at his home in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, and was buried in Chattanooga's Forest Hills Cemetery.[4] [5]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Sanders was not a candidate for reappointment, which would have been problematic anyway in the Democrat-dominated Legislature.
  3. ^ The Senate Committee on National Banks went defunct in 1921. See Defunct Committees of the U.S. Senate.
  4. ^ The grave is in Section 3, Lot 182; his death was in 1939, per the Forest Hills Cemetery records.
  5. ^ Sanders, Newell, in Biographical Directory of the United States Congress retrieved 2008 December 26.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Robert Love Taylor
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
April 11, 1912 – January 24, 1913
Served alongside: Luke Lea
Succeeded by
William R. Webb
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Elihu Root
Oldest living U.S. Senator
February 7, 1937 – January 26, 1938
Succeeded by
Obadiah Gardner