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Page Belcher
Page Belcher (Oklahoma).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1973
Preceded byGeorge B. Schwabe
Succeeded byJames R. Jones
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 8th district
In office
January 3, 1951 – January 3, 1953
Preceded byGeorge H. Wilson
Succeeded byDistrict eliminated
Personal details
Born(1899-04-21)April 21, 1899
Jefferson, Oklahoma Territory
DiedAugust 2, 1980(1980-08-02) (aged 81)
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Gladys Collins
Alma materUniversity of Oklahoma
ProfessionLawyer
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Battles/warsWorld War I

Page Henry Belcher (April 21, 1899 – August 2, 1980) was a Republican politician and a U.S. Representative from Oklahoma.

Biography

The Page Belcher Federal Courthouse (1974 photograph) is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Page Belcher Federal Courthouse (1974 photograph) is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Belcher was born in Jefferson in northern Oklahoma to George Harvey Belcher and Jessie Ray.[1] He was educated at public schools in Jefferson, and Medford, Oklahoma. Belcher attended Friends University, a private non-denominational Christian university in Wichita, Kansas. He served as a private in the Student Army Training Corps at the University of Oklahoma during World War I. While in college he studied law[2] and played for the 1918 Oklahoma Sooners football team.[3]

Career

After the war, Belcher worked as manager of his father's Oklahoma car dealership. He was admitted to the bar in 1936 and began a legal practice in Enid.[2] In 1934, he was elected county clerk of Garfield County and served from 1934 to 1938. He also served on the Enid Board of Education and as judge of Enid's municipal court.[4] Belcher served as executive assistant to U.S. Representative Ross Rizley during Rizley's first term in Congress (1941-1943) and later managed several of Rizley's reelection campaigns. He served as Republican chairman of the 8th congressional district, and was also the executive secretary of the Oklahoma Republican Party.

In 1950, Belcher was elected to Congress, where he served for two years as the last representative of Oklahoma's 8th congressional district before it was eliminated in congressional reapportionment. After most of the 8th's territory was merged with the Tulsa-based 1st district, Belcher ran for reelection there, and held the seat until retiring in 1973.[5] After his home in Enid was drawn out of the district during a mid-decade redistricting in 1967, Belcher moved to Tulsa.

In Congress, Belcher was a member of the Agriculture Committee and its wheat subcommittee, eventually rising to ranking Republican on that committee. In that role, he facilitated passage of legislation related to the Arkansas River Navigation System.[6]

Breaking with many of his regional colleagues, Belcher refused to sign the 1956 Southern Manifesto, and he voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960,[7][8] as well as the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act of 1965,[9][10] but not the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968.[11][12]

Belcher usually had easy reelection campaigns because the Tulsa area was friendly to Republicans, but was nearly defeated in 1958 due to discontent over the Eisenhower administration's farm policy. He face another credible challenge in 1970, when former Johnson administration official James R. Jones held him to only 55 percent of the vote. With Jones priming for a rematch in 1972, Belcher announced that June that he was retiring due to age and poor health. Jones then won the seat in the subsequent election.

Personal life

Page Belcher was married on June 16, 1922, to Gladys Collins. The two had a son, Page Jr., and a daughter, Carol. Belcher was a Methodist, a Member of the Kiwanis, American Legion, and Odd Fellows.[13] He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Following his retirement, he moved to Midwest City where he died on August 2, 1980, at the age of eighty-one.[2] He is buried at Memorial Park Cemetery, Enid, Oklahoma. After his retirement from Congress, the federal courthouse in Tulsa was named in his honor.[2] In addition, Tulsa is home to the Page Belcher golf course.[14]

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

  1. ^ "Index to Politicians: Belcher". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  2. ^ a b c d "Biographical Sketch of the Creator of the Collection". The Carl Albert Center. Archived from the original on 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  3. ^ "1918 Football Roster". SoonerStats.com. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2007-03-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "BELCHER, Page Henry, (1899 - 1980)". Congress.gov. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2009-08-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "HR 6127. CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1957". GovTrack.us.
  8. ^ "HR 8601. PASSAGE".
  9. ^ "S.J. RES. 29. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO BAN THE USE OF POLL TAX AS A REQUIREMENT FOR VOTING IN FEDERAL ELECTIONS". GovTrack.us.
  10. ^ "TO PASS H.R. 6400, THE 1965 VOTING RIGHTS ACT".
  11. ^ "H.R. 7152. PASSAGE".
  12. ^ "TO PASS H.R. 2516, A BILL TO ESTABLISH PENALTIES FOR INTERFERENCE WITH CIVIL RIGHTS. INTERFERENCE WITH A PERSON ENGAGED IN ONE OF THE 8 ACTIVITIES PROTECTED UNDER THIS BILL MUST BE RACIALLY MOTIVATED TO INCUR THE BILL'S PENALTIES".
  13. ^ politicalgraveyard.com/geo/OK/GA.html
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2010-04-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
George H. Wilson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 8th congressional district

January 3, 1951 – January 3, 1953
Succeeded by
none
Preceded by
George B. Schwabe
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 1st congressional district

January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1973
Succeeded by
James R. Jones
This page was last edited on 30 May 2020, at 01:00
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