Alabama Secretaries of State

 Pete Jarman

Pete Jarman


Secretary of State: 1931-1935


Pete Bryant Jarman, Jr., of Montgomery, was born October 31, 1892, at Greensboro, Hale County. He is the son of Peter Bryant and Hunter Elizabeth (Gordon) Jarman, the former a native of Cuba, Sumter County, a farmer and merchant, who removed to Livingston, served as sheriff of Sumter County, 1892-96, tax collector, 1896-1904, and probate judge since the latter date; grandson of Thomas and Sarah (Bozeman) Jarman of Cuba, and of James Ira and Mary Katherine (Larkin) Gordon, also of that place.


Mr. Jarman received his early education in the public schools of Livingston, attended the Livingston Normal College, Southern University, Greensboro, 1907-11, and graduated from the University of Alabama, A.B. degree, 1913. He served as chief clerk in the probate office of Sumter County, 1913-1917.


He was a candidate for commission at Officers Training Camp, Fort McPherson, Ga., from May 14 to August 14, 1917; commissioned Second Lt. of Infantry, August 14, 1917; assigned to Company I, 327th Infantry, 82nd Division, Camp Gordon, Ga. Promoted, January, 1918, to First Lt. of Infantry; transferred, March 1918, to Supply Company, 327th Infantry; again transferred, July, 1918, to adjutant, 3rd Battalion, 327th Infantry; joined American School Detatchment, University of Montpelier, France, March, 1919, remaining through June; returning to America he was discharged at Camp Gordon, Ga., September 2, 1919. While in France he participated in all the activities of the 82nd Division, including the St. Mihiel and Argonne Forest drives until October 11, 1918, when he was slightly wounded and gassed. In June, 1922, he was appointed Inspector General of the Alabama National Guard with the rank of Major, and upon the organization of the 31st Infantry Division, consisting of the troops of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, was assigned Inspector of that Division.


In 1919, he was appointed one of the Assistant Examiners of Accounts, and served until January 19, 1931, when he became Secretary of State.


He was a Methodist; a Democrat having served on the State Executive Committee, 1927-1930; a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon college fraternity, Theta Nu Epsilon, and Key Ice interfraternity organization; elected First Post Commander, Wm. Spratt Post, Sumter County, American Legion, while still, 1919, in France; vice-commander, Third Division, Department of Alabama, 1926, and elected commander, 1927; chairman, Alabama delegation, National Convention, Paris, 1927, and San Antonio, 1928, therefore holds the unique distinction of being the only man to have led the United States in two National Convention parades.


Jarman was elected as a Democrat to the Seventy-fifth and to the five succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1937-January 3, 1949); chairman, Committee on Memorials (Seventy-fifth Congress); unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1948; appointed by President Harry S Truman as Ambassador to Australia on June 8, 1949, and served until July 31, 1953; died in Washington, D.C., February 17, 1955; interment in Arlington National Cemetery.


Married: February 25, 1930, at Montgomery, Beryl Richardson, daughter of Judge Charles Russell and Buena May (Kendrick) Bricken, of that place.



Alabama Department of Archives and History, Official and Statistical Register, 1931, 95-96.
ADAH Surname Clippings File.


Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress