Thomas B. Stanley

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Thomas B. Stanley
Thomas Bahnson Stanley.jpg
Thomas B. Stanley, 1953 from Congressional Pictorial Directory
57th Governor of Virginia
In office
January 20, 1954 – January 11, 1958
Preceded by John S. Battle
Succeeded by J. Lindsay Almond, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th district
In office
November 5, 1946 – February 3, 1953
Preceded by Thomas G. Burch
Succeeded by William M. Tuck
47th Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates
In office
January 14, 1942 – November 5, 1946
Preceded by Ashton Dovell
Succeeded by G. Alvin Massenburg
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates for Henry and Martinsville
In office
January 13, 1932 – November 5, 1946
Preceded by District established
Succeeded by Willey R. Broaddus
Member of the Virginia House of Delegates from Henry County
In office
January 8, 1930 – January 13, 1932
Preceded by Sallie C. Booker
Succeeded by District abolished
Personal details
Born Thomas Bahnson Stanley
( 1890 -07-16)July 16, 1890
Spencer, Virginia, U.S.
Died July 10, 1970 ( 1970 -07-10) (aged 79)
Stanleytown, Virginia, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anne Pocahontas Bassett
Alma mater Eastman Business College
Occupation Furniture manufacturer, Cattlebreeder, Politician
Religion Methodist

Thomas Bahnson Stanley (July 16, 1890 – July 10, 1970) was an American politician, manufacturer and Holstein cattle breeder.[1]

Early life

He was born to Crockett Stanley (January 8, 1838 – March 12, 1915) and Susan Matilda Walker (August 17, 1845 – April 9, 1922) on a farm near Spencer, Henry County, Virginia, youngest of seven children. He married Anne Pocahontas Bassett (November 28, 1898 – October 20, 1979) on October 24, 1918 in Bassett, Virginia. Anne was the daughter of John David Bassett (July 14, 1866 – February 26, 1965), a founder of Bassett Furniture, and Nancy Pocahontas Hundley (November 21, 1862 – January 11, 1953). Stanley graduated from Eastman Business College in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1912.


Stanley worked for his father-in-law's company, Bassett Furniture, as an executive, until 1924, when he left and founded Stanley Furniture,[2] a leading Virginia furniture maker, in what would become Stanleytown, Virginia. His sons Thomas Bahnson Stanley, Jr. and John David Stanley joined him at Stanley Furniture.


As the Democratic candidate he defeated Republican Theodore Roosevelt Dalton and Independent Howard Carwile in the general election for Governor of Virginia in 1953. He served as the Governor of Virginia from 1954 to 1958. Before becoming governor, Stanley was the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates and a U.S. Representative in Congress from November 5, 1946, filling vacancy created when Thomas G. Burch resigned to assume U. S. Senate seat, until Stanley resigned on February 3, 1953 to run for Virginia's governor. As governor Stanley improved the administration of state hospitals and increased funding to mental hospitals and public schools.

While governor Stanley became embroiled in conflict. The budget fight between the Old Guard and the Young Turks over budget surpluses in the 1954 legislative session colored relations in the Democratic Party for a generation. Brown v. Board of Education was decided during his term, and his initial efforts to preserve segregation through legislative means were hamstrung by U.S. Senator Harry Byrd, Sr., and his Massive Resistance campaign.

Electoral history

  • 1946; Stanley was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and concurrently won a general election to the seat with 75.4% and 73.52% respectively in both races, defeating Republican William Creasy in both races.
  • 1948; Stanley was re-elected with 99.53% of the vote, defeating Independent Gene Graybeal.
  • 1950; Stanley was re-elected unopposed.
  • 1952; Stanley was re-elected unopposed.
  • 1953; Stanley was elected Governor of Virginia with 54.76% of the vote, defeating Republican Theodore R. Dalton and Independent Howard Hearness Carwile.


He died in Martinsville, Virginia on July 10, 1970 and is buried in Roselawn Burial Park. His home Stoneleigh was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[3]


  1. Eskridge, Sarah K. "Thomas B. Stanley (1890–1970)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved 9 March 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Company History for Stanley Furniture Company, Inc". Retrieved 11/12/09. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Staff (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas G. Burch
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 5th congressional district

Succeeded by
William M. Tuck
Political offices
Preceded by
John S. Battle
Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
James Lindsay Almond, Jr.