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  • Full Name: John Bell Bigger
  • Served: 1865-1879; 1883 - 1899
  • Bio Information: Born in Prince Edward County, Va., March 3, 1829. Died in Richmond, Va., June 7, 1899. Buried in Shockoe Cemetery, Richmond, Va. John Bell Bigger was the son of Colonel Thomas Bibb and Elizabeth Meredith (Russell) Bigger. He was educated in Richmond public schools. He was clerk to the Captain of the U. S. war steamer San Jacinto in 1852 He was also clerk to Commodore Morgan on the U. S. war flagship Independence. In 1855, he was clerk of the Committee of Finance and the Committee on Claims of the House of Delegates, and was clerk of several committees under Clerks George Wythe Munford, St. George Tucker, and William F. Gordon, Jr. He was a lieutenant in Letcher’s Battery, captain in the reserve forces, and was President of the Richmond Blues Association. He was defeated for reelection as Clerk of the House of Delegates in 1879 (57-41) and 1881 (58-39) by Patrick 1-I. McCaull, and he defeated McCaull in (883 (60-33). He was a colorful figure and his tenure of office evidenced his popularity with the conservative type of citizens. He was of rather small stature, and it is said he lived up to his name on one occasion, when he turned to Speaker R. H. Cardwell, a man of large physique, in a spirit of banter in which they often indulged unknown to the members while in session, and said, “Mr. Speaker, you may think you are a big man, but I want you to understand that I am a little Bigger.” He married, August 16, 1853, Annie Burnley Muse, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Banks) Muse of Essex County. Upon his death, his body lay in state in the Hall of the House of Delegates and the funeral was from Monumental Episcopal Church. Portrait by Lloyd Freeman, acquired in 1900, in the State Capitol at Richmond. While he was Clerk of the House, the Speakers were JOHN BROWN BALDWIN, ZEPHANIAH TURNER, JR., MARSHALL HANGER, HENRY CLAY ALLEN, CHARLES E. STUART, RICHARD H. CARDWELL, and JOHN F. RYAN.

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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