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Robert Turnbull (American politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Robert Turnbull
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 4th district
In office
March 8, 1910 – March 3, 1913
Preceded byFrancis R. Lassiter
Succeeded byWalter A. Watson
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 28th district
In office
December 4, 1895 – December 6, 1899
Preceded byWalter A. Watson
Succeeded byWilliam Hodges Mann
Personal details
Born(1850-01-11)January 11, 1850
Lawrenceville, Virginia
DiedJanuary 22, 1920(1920-01-22) (aged 70)
Lawrenceville, Virginia
Resting placeLawrenceville Cemetery, Lawrenceville, Virginia
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of Virginia

Robert Turnbull (January 11, 1850 – January 22, 1920) was a U.S. Representative from Virginia.


Born in Lawrenceville, Virginia, Turnbull attended Rock Spring Academy, and graduated from the law department of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1871.


Admitted to the bar in 1871, Turnbull began his legal practice in Lawrenceville, Virginia, the county seat of Brunswick County. He won election as clerk of Brunswick County, and served for a decade, from 1891–1910. During this period, Turnbull also won election to the part time position representing his county in the Senate of Virginia, and served from 1894–1898. Brunswick County voters also elected him as delegate to the Virginia Constitutional Convention of 1902. Turnbull was also a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1896 and 1904.

Following the death of Francis R. Lassiter, Turnbull won election as a Democrat to the Sixty-first Congress to fill the vacancy. He won reelection once, to the Sixty-second Congress and served from March 8, 1910, to March 3, 1913. Judge Walter A. Watson of Nottoway County (who unlike Turnbull had voted against restricting voting by blacks and poor whites) defeated Turnbull in the Democratic primary in 1912.

Turnbull resumed his legal practice in Lawrenceville, and again won election as clerk of the circuit court of Brunswick County, serving from 1916 until his death, January 22, 1920.

Death and legacy

He was interred in Lawrenceville Cemetery, Lawrenceville, Virginia.

Electoral history

  • 1910; Turnbull was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives unopposed in a special election and was re-elected in the general election unopposed.
  • 1912; Turnbull lost his re-election bid.


  • United States Congress. "Robert Turnbull (id: T000413)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

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

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
This page was last edited on 5 July 2022, at 00:38
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