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Tazewell Branch

Member From: 1874 - 1877

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  • Birth Date: May 13, 1828 Birth Place:Prince Edward County, Virginia
  • Death Date: April 30, 1925
  • Gender: Male Race: African American
  • Spouse: Harriet Lacy, marriage date approximately 1859
  • Children: 10 children
  • Religion: African Methodist Episcopal
  • Education:
  • Military Service:
  • Occupation/Profession: Shoemaker, assistant assessor of internal revenue
  • Memberships/Affiliations: Beulah African Methodist Episcopal Church (trustee)
  • Additional Info Links: Bio from Encyclopedia Virginia
    Bio from Virginia's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission
  • Bio: ​Tazewell Branch was a shoemaker, storekeeper, and assistant assessor of internal revenue. The son of Richard Branch and Mary Hays, Mr. Branch was born a slave in 1828 near the town of Farmville in Prince Edward County and served as a house servant. He learned to read and write as well as the skill of shoemaking during slavery. In 1868 and 1869 he was one of the trustees who purchased land for what was to become Beulah African Methodist Episcopal Church. By 1873 he owned property in Farmville and sat on the town council. His children included Clement Tazewell Branch, who received his M.D. from Howard University in 1900 and settled in Camden, New Jersey, to become the first African American to serve on the city's school board, and Mary Elizabeth Branch, who attended Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute, now Virginia State University, and taught there for twenty years. Branch Hall is named in her honor. In 1930, she became president of Tillotson College in Austin, Texas. Tazewell Branch was said to have refused pay for service in party campaigns and quit politics when he observed politicians becoming corrupt. He represented Prince Edward County in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1874 to 1877. He died in New Jersey on April 30, 1925, and was buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Farmville.​
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Farmville Town Council
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1874-1875 Prince Edward Republican Claims
1875-1877 Prince Edward Republican Claims

*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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