Thomas Bell Love, lawyer and Democratic politician, the son of Thomas Calvin and Sarah Jane (Rodgers) Love, was born in Webster County, Missouri, on June 23, 1870. He graduated with a B.S. degree from Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, in 1891. He was married to Mattie Roberta Goode on June 11, 1892, and they had three children. Before moving to Dallas in 1899, he was city attorney of Springfield, Missouri (1892–94), a member of the board of managers of Missouri State Hospital, and secretary of the Democratic State Central Committee of Missouri (1896–98). Love was a prominent figure in Texas political life for the first three decades of the twentieth century. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives from Dallas County in 1902, 1904, and 1906; the last term he served as speaker of the House of Representatives. He was an expert on taxes, insurance, and banking and had an important role in the passage of the reform legislation of 1905 and 1907 related to these issues. At the conclusion of the 1907 legislative session, Governor Thomas Mitchell Campbell appointed him commissioner of the newly formed Department of Insurance and Banking (see DEPARTMENT OF BANKING). Love resigned from the office in 1910 to resume law practice in Dallas and to become associated with Southwestern Life Insurance Company and Western Indemnity Company.
He did not retire from politics, however, for hewas a leading spokesman for the prohibition forces in the 1911 submission campaign, and he was an early supporter of Woodrow Wilson for the Democratic nomination in 1912. In 1917 President Wilson appointed him assistant secretary of the Treasury Department and placed him in charge of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance. Returning to Texas in 1919, Love was elected national Democratic committeeman from Texas in 1920, and he served in that capacity until 1924. He was a leader of the anti-Ferguson forces (see FERGUSON, JAMES EDWARD, and FERGUSON, MIRIAM AMANDA) in the gubernatorial campaign of that year. In 1928 he opposed the nomination of Alfred E. Smith and bolted the party during the election to help organize the Hoover-Democrat clubs that went into the Republican column that year. The last elected office he held was that of state senator (1927–31). Love died in Dallas on September 17, 1948.
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Norman D. Brown, Hood, Bonnet, and Little Brown Jug: Texas Politics, 1921–1928 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1984). Lewis L. Gould, Progressives and Prohibitionists: Texas Democrats in the Wilson Era (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1973; rpt., Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1992).
Texas in the 1920s
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
James A. Tinsley,
“Love, Thomas Bell,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 26, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
February 1, 1995
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