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Thomas Clendinen Catchings
Submitted by Lori Thornton
Catchings, Thomas Clendinen, of Vicksburg, one of the leading members of the bar of Mississippi and formerly member of congress from the Third district, was born in Hinds county, Miss., Jan. 11, 1847, being a son of Dr. Thos. J. Catchings and N. (Mc Clendinen) Catchings, both representative pioneer families of the State.  After due preliminary training he entered the University of Mississippi, at Oxford, in Sept., 1859, and after partially finishing the work of the sophomore year he withdrew from this institution and was matriculated in Oakland college, in Jefferson county, Miss., where he passed into the junior class in the spring of 1861.  Shortly afterward he entered the Confederate army, becoming a member of the Eighteenth Mississippi infantry, later serving with Fergusonís cavalry brigade.  He took up the study of law in 1865 and was admitted to the bar of his native State in May, 1866, since which time he has been consecutively engaged in the practice of his profession in the city of Vicksburg, save for the period of his residence in the national capital, as a member of congress.  In 1875 he was elected to the State senate, for a term of four years, but he resigned this office in 1877, upon his nomination for attorney-general of the State, to which office he was elected in November of that year, for a term of four years.  He gave a most able administration and was renominated by acclamation in August, 1881, being elected in November following.  He resigned on Feb. 16, 1885, and was elected to represent the Third district in congress, of which, by successive re-elections, he continued a member during the forty-ninth, fiftieth, fifty-first, fifty-second, fifty-third, fifty-fourth, fifty-fifth congresses.  He has been for many years one of the leaders of the Mississippi Democracy, and the State profited largely through his able and loyal services in congress, where his record was altogether admirable.  On May 4, 1870, he married Miss Florence O. Shearer, of Raymond, Miss.  His eldest son died in the Spanish-American war, as a captain of the staff of Gen. A. R. Burt.  His second son and only other child, Hon. O. W. Catchings, is his law partner.

Source: Rowland, Dunbar, ed. Mississippi, Comprising Sketches of Counties, Towns, Events, Institutions, and Persons, Arranged in Cyclopedic Form, in three volumes. Vol. 3. [Contemporary Biography] Atlanta: Southern Historical Publishing Association, 1907. page 132
 


 

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