SEARS, William Joseph, (1874 - 1944)

69th Congress Pictorial Directory, Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives

SEARS, William Joseph, a Representative from Florida; born in Smithville, Lee County, Ga., December 4, 1874; moved with his parents to Ellaville, Ga., and thence to Kissimmee, Osceola County, Fla., in January 1881; attended the public schools; was graduated from Florida State College at Lake City in 1895 and from Mercer University, Macon, Ga., in 1896; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1905 and commenced practice in Kissimmee, Fla.; mayor of Kissimmee 1907-1911; superintendent of public instruction of Osceola County 1905-1915; elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-fourth and to the six succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1915-March 3, 1929); chairman, Committee on Education (Sixty-fifth Congress); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1928; resumed the practice of his legal profession at Kissimmee, Fla.; moved to Jacksonville, Fla., and continued the practice of law; elected to the Seventy-third and Seventy-fourth Congresses (March 4, 1933-January 3, 1937); was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1936; associate member of the Board of Veterans’ Appeals of the Veterans’ Administration in Washington, D.C., from 1937 until his retirement in October 1942; died in Kissimmee, Fla., March 30, 1944; interment in Rose Hill Cemetery.