William J. Sears

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William Joseph Sears
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida
In office
March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1929
Preceded byDistrict created
Succeeded byRuth Bryan Owen
Constituency4th district
In office
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1937
Preceded bySeat inactive
Succeeded bySeat inactive
Personal details
Born(1874-12-04)December 4, 1874
Smithville, Georgia, U.S.
DiedMarch 30, 1944(1944-03-30) (aged 69)
Kissimmee, Florida, U.S.
Resting placeRose Hill Cemetery
Political partyDemocratic
Residence(s)Kissimmee, Florida

William Joseph Sears (December 4, 1874 – March 30, 1944) was a lawyer and U.S. Representative from Florida. A Democrat, he was an avowed white supremacist.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Smithville, Georgia, Sears moved with his parents to Ellaville, Georgia, and thence to Kissimmee, Florida, in January 1881. He attended the public schools. He graduated from Florida State College at Lake City in 1895 and from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, in 1896.

He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1905. He commenced his law practice in Kissimmee, and served as its mayor from 1907-1911. He was also the superintendent of public instruction of Osceola County 1905-1915.


Sears was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-fourth and to the six succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1929). He served as chairman of the Committee on Education (Sixty-fifth Congress). He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1928 and resumed the practice of his legal profession in Kissimmee. He moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and continued the practice of law.

Sears was again elected to the U.S. House for the Seventy-third and Seventy-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1937), holding an at-large seat. He was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1936, in a newly drawn district.

Later career and death[edit]

Sears served as an associate member of the Board of Veterans' Appeals of the Veterans' Administration in Washington, D.C., from 1937 until his retirement in October 1942. He died in Kissimmee on March 30, 1944 and was interred in Rose Hill Cemetery.


  1. ^ Staff, Bill Bond of The Sentinel. "FIERY BATTLE SMOLDERS IN CITY'S PAST". OrlandoSentinel.com.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 4th congressional district

1915 – 1929
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Seat inactive
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's at-large congressional district

1933 – 1937
Succeeded by
Seat inactive

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.