Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Alabama Photos of the Day: Sibyl Pool

Sibyl Pool was born October 7, 1901, in Birmingham but grew up in Linden in Marengo County. She attended what is now the University of Montevallo in 1920 and 1921, then taught at Linden High School for two years. 

Around 1923 her father Benjamin Pool became tax assessor in Marengo County, and by the 1930's she had followed him into public service. Pool  managed the Marengo County Farm Bureau and served as secretary at the Linden Chamber of Commerce. In 1936 she became clerk for Clint Harrison, a state representative from Marengo County. When he resigned to take another post, the county Democratic Executive Committee appointed Pool to fill out his term; she was the second woman to serve in the state house of representatives. 

She was elected to the post in 1938 and re-elected in 1942 but left in 1944 when Governor Chauncey Sparks appointed her to fill the remaining two years of Howell Turner's term as Secretary of State. He had resigned for another position. Pool had been a member of several committees during her time in the state house, but otherwise kept a low profile. She introduced no legislation and did not debate other members. Another woman was not elected to the state house until 1962.

In 1946 Pool ran for a full term in the office of Secretary of State, won 63 of the state's 67 counties and thus became the first woman in Alabama history to win statewide political office. In 1950 she ran a successful campaign for State Treasurer. Although she considered running for higher office, she decided on a Public Service Commission post. Elected in 1955, she served 16 years as an associate member. 

Upon retirement Pool settled on her cattle ranch in Linden; she died of a stroke on Halloween, 1973. Because of her ground-breaking 34-year career in state politics, she was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 2001. She never married. 

Sibyl Pool in 1938

Photo by Cranshaw of the Birmingham News

Sibyl Pool ca. 1963
At this time she was serving on the Alabama Public Service Commission.

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