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Pritchard, George Moore

by Robert L. Cherry, 1994

4 Jan. 1886–24 Apr. 1955

George Moore Pritchard, congressman, district solicitor, and state legislator, was born in the community of Ivy, near Mars Hill, in Madison County, of Irish and Welsh ancestry. His father was Jeter Conley Pritchard, a U.S. senator and federal judge, and his mother was Augusta Lillian Ray. Young Pritchard attended public schools in Marshall and Washington, D.C., Emerson Institute in Washington, D.C., The University of North Carolina (1903–5), and the law department of the University of South Carolina (1907–8). Admitted to the bar in 1908, he practiced in Greenville, S.C., and was supervisor of the census for the Eighth Judicial District of South Carolina in 1910.

In 1911 Pritchard moved his family and practice to Marshall. He was elected a member of the board of trustees of The University of North Carolina for one term (1917) and served in the North Carolina House of Representatives from 1917 to 1919. Moving to Asheville in 1919, he was solicitor of the Nineteenth Judicial District (1919–22). Pritchard also served as chairman of the Buncombe County Republican Committee in 1928 and was elected as a Republican to the Seventy-first Congress (4 Mar. 1929–3 Mar. 1931). After foregoing renomination for membership in the lower house and an unsuccessful candidacy for election to the U.S. Senate in 1930, he returned to Asheville and resumed his private law practice.

A delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1932 and keynote speaker at the Republican State Convention in 1942, he was a leader of that party in Buncombe and Madison counties for many years. According to a letter dated 23 Nov. 1934, he was "The only Republican in the state who has been elected by the people to the three offices of Representative, Solicitor, and Congressman, and also honored as his party's candidate for the United States Senate." Although an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor in 1948, he attracted considerable attention by demanding that the state use its surplus funds to build public schools.

Pritchard married Robenia Redmon on 19 Sept. 1911. Their children were Sarah (Mrs. Arthur Miller), Louise (Mrs. Neal), Helen (Mrs. Robert Viney), and Jeter C. Conley. He was a Presbyterian. His funeral was conducted from the Marshall Presbyterian Church in Marshall, where he had returned to live eight years earlier. Burial was in the Pritchard family cemetery.


Alumni Files (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

Biog. Dir. Am. Cong. (1950).

Congressional Record, vol. 101, 84th Cong. (1955).

Daniel L. Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina (1924). (accessed July 16, 2014).

Additional Resources:

"Pritchard, George Moore, (1886 - 1955)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Washington, D.C.: The Congress. (accessed July 16, 2014).