|Harry McLeary Wurzbach|
March 4, 1921 – March 3, 1929
|Preceded by||Carlos Bee|
|Succeeded by||Augustus McCloskey|
February 10, 1930 – November 6, 1931
|Preceded by||Augustus McCloskey|
|Succeeded by||Richard Kleberg|
County Judge for
Guadalupe County, Texas
|Born|| May 19, 1874|
San Antonio, Texas
|Died|| November 6, 1931 (aged 57)|
|Resting place||San Antonio National Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||Frances Darden Wagner Wurzbach|
|Relations|| Robert C. "Bob" Eckhardt
(nephew and Democrat former U.S. Representative from Houston)
|Residence||Seguin, Guadalupe County, Texas|
|Alma mater|| Washington and Lee University Department of Law|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1896–1898|
|Unit||Company F, First Regiment, Texas Volunteer Infantry|
Harry McLeary Wurzbach (May 19, 1874 – November 6, 1931) was an attorney, judge, and politician from Texas. He was the first Republican elected from the state since the Reconstruction era to the San Antonio-based 14th congressional district from 1921 to 1929. He was re-elected in the 1930 midterms but died in office a year thereafter. The first Republican elected from Texas who was born in the state, Wurzbach was the only Republican from the Lone Star State serving in Congress during this period.
Wurzbach was born in San Antonio to German immigrants Charles Louis Wurzbach (1835–1892) and the former Kate Fink (1849–1925). After completing public schools, he graduated in 1896 from the law department of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. That same year, Wurzbach was admitted to the bar, established his practice in San Antonio, and married the former Frances Darden Wagner (1888–1974).
Wurzbach served in the United States Army from 1896 to 1898. During the last year of his military service, he volunteered as a private in Company F, First Regiment of the Texas Volunteer Infantry in the Spanish-American War.
After the war, he relocated to Seguin in Guadalupe County east of San Antonio and resumed his law practice. He was the Guadalupe County prosecuting attorney from 1900 to 1902 and the county judge from 1904–1910.
First elected to Congress in the 1920 general election, Wurzbach unseated the freshman Democrat representative Carlos Bee (1867–1932) of San Antonio, 17,265 (55.6 percent) to 13,777 (44.4 percent). Wurzbach was the only representative from Texas to vote for the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill of 1922, sponsored by conservative Republican Congressman Leonidas C. Dyer of St. Louis, Missouri, who was repulsed by racial violence and sought to make lynching a federal crime. Although it passed the House, the Dyer Bill was killed in the Senate by a Democrat filibuster.
During the same 67th Congress (1921–23), Wurzbach held a moderately conservative voting record which contrasted sharply with the liberalism of his racist Democrat colleagues. This included his affirmative votes for the Fordney-McCumber bill which raised tariffs and the Revenue Act which cut the top income tax rate, as well as opposition towards increasing the inheritance tax. However, he broke from his party on some local issues, such as supporting and voting for government control of the Muscle Shoals, a measure considered a forerunner to the Tennessee Valley Authority.
In 1922, 1924, and 1926, Wurzbach won by margins of 54.8%, 62.4%, and 57.2% respectively. He won his seat even as the Republican presidential candidates in 1920 and 1924 were losing the electoral vote of Texas. He was a delegate to the 1924 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, which nominated Calvin Coolidge and Charles Dawes for president and vice president respectively.
In 1928, Wurzbach lost reelection even though the GOP Hoover/Curtis ticket won Texas over Democrat Smith/Robinson ticket. Wurzbach polled 27,206 (49.7 percent) to 29,055 (50.3 percent) for the Democrat Augustus McCloskey (1878–1950) of San Antonio. Wurzbach claimed irregularities in the election and appealed his case to the Republican-controlled House. The House reversed McCloskey's election after eleven months of congressional service and seated Wurzbach on February 10, 1930. Wurbach then won another term in November 1930 and polled an impressive 27,206 (59.3 percent) to Democrat Henry B. Dielmann, Sr. (1892–1970), who received 18,707 votes (40.7 percent).
Wurzbach served until his death in San Antonio in 1931, when he succumbed following an operation. According to news reports at the time, around 20,000 people attended his funeral. He and his wife are interred at the San Antonio National Cemetery.
Democrat former Congressman Robert Christian "Bob" Eckhardt (1913–2001) of Houston was a nephew of Wurzbach.
- TX District 14 Race - Nov 04, 1930. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- Wurzbach, Harry M.. Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress. Retrieved on August 18, 2021.
- Harry McLeary Wurzbach (1874-1931) - Find A Grave Memorial, accessed August 18, 2021.
- TX District 14 Race - Nov 02, 1920. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- TO PASS H. R. 13.. GovTrack.us. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- FascinatingPolitics (July 1, 2018). On Ideology and Anti-Lynching Legislation. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- 67th-congress.pdf. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- TO PASS H. R. 7456. (P.4198-1).. GovTrack.us. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- TO PASS H. R. 8245. (P.5356-2).. GovTrack.us. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- TO RECOMMIT TO THE COMMITTEE ON CONFERENCE H. R. 8245 (42 STAT. 227, APP. 11/23/21), A BILL TO REDUCE AND EQUALIZE TAXATION AND TO AMEND THE REVENUE ACT OF 1918, WITH INSTRUC- TIONS TO AGREE TO SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 582. (P.8085-1).. GovTrack.us. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- 67th House (1921-23) Votes. Mad Politics: The Bizarre, Fascinating, and Unknown of American Political History. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- TO AMEND A SENATE AMENDMENT TO H. R. 10871, BY ELIMINATING FROM THE SENATE AMENDMENT THE CLAUSE MAKING IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE FUNDS FOR CONTINUING WORK ON DAM NO. 2 AT MUSCLE SHOALS ON THE TENNESSEE RIVER, AND MAKING THEIR AVAILABILITY CONTINGENT ON CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON H. R. 11903, AU- THORIZING THE SALE OF CERTAIN WORKS ON THE TENNESSEE RIVER TO HENRY FORD. (P.9329-2).. GovTrack.us. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- TX District 14 Race - Nov 07, 1922. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- TX District 14 Race - Nov 04, 1924. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- TX District 14 Race - Nov 02, 1926. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- TX District 14 Race - Nov 06, 1928. Our Campaigns. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- November 7, 1931. WURZBACH SUCCUMBS FOLLOWING OPERATION; The Texas Law Directs Election Within 30 Days After Governor's Proclamation. Democrats Plan a Caucus. Third Republican from Texas. Will Operate on J.W. Taylor.. The New York Times. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- November 9, 1931. 20,000 AT FUNERAL OF H.M. WURZBACH; San Antonio Pays Final Tribute to Lone Republican Congressman of Texas.. The New York Times. Retrieved August 18, 2021.
- Harry Wurzbach Rd & NE Loop 410. MapQuest. Retrieved August 18, 2021.