Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Louis N. Phipps
Annapolis Mayor, 1935
Senate, AA, 1939, 1941, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962
Senate, Special Session, AA, 1956, 1958, 1958, 1961, 1962, 1962
Anne Arundel County Court Clerk, 1962-1966
MSA SC 3520-12563

Biography

Louis Nicholas Phipps was born on March 6, 1896 in Tracys Landing.1 He was the son of Julius and Rachel C. Ford Phipps.  He had several siblings:  Leonard Calvert, Roberta O., Emma Joan, Raymond O., Lavinia, Katherine, and Henry. He attended public schools in Anne Arundel County, and graduated from the University of Baltimore Law School.  Phipps served in the United States Army as a Private First Class in the 79th Division during World War I.2  After returning to Anne Arundel County, Phipps worked as a Buick car dealer, holding leadership positions at the new dealership.3  On January 15, 1921, he married Emma Mae Sherbert.  Together they had two children:  Doris Elwanda and Louis Nicholas, Jr.4

He began his political experience when elected as the Alderman for Ward Three in Annapolis.  He was the youngest member ever elected to the Annapolis City Council.   He then experienced the executive branch of city government serving as Mayor of Annapolis beginning in 1935.  In 1939 Phipps was first elected to the State Senate.  He took time off from the Senate in the 1940s however, as he served in the U.S. Army again, this time as a Captain in the Ordnance Department during World War II.5

Phipps re-joined the State Senate in 1951 and served until 1962.6  On September 1 of that year he was sworn in as Clerk of the Court after Elleanor Owings served briefly following the death of George T. Cromwell.7  In November of 1962 Phipps was elected to a full term as Clerk of the Court.  Although he ran unopposed, there was a significant write-in campaign for Progressive Democrat John M. Whitmore who had opposed Phipps in a race for State Senate a few years back.8  Phipps served until he was defeated by Republican Marjorie S. Holt in the 1966 election for Clerk.  This 1966 election was quite a heated race between an old-fashioned Democrat who had been in public office since the 1930s and a Nixon Republican female attorney from Florida.  It was a close race and many were surprised that the Republican "pretty lawyer" was the victor.9  This Republican victory marked the end of a twentieth century Democratic dynasty in the Clerks' office, with the exception of the years in which Frank S. Munroe served (1934-1938).

In addition to his political involvement, Phipps was very active in many military, civic, and social organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Anne Arundel County Fishing and Game Association, Annapolis Yacht Club, Rotary Club, Moose Lodge, and Elks Lodge.10  On March 8, 1984 Phipps passed away.  He was buried in St. James Episcopal Church Graveyard in Lothian.11

Endnotes

Political Highlights -

Alderman, Third Ward, Annapolis City Council - he was the youngest member ever elected to the council

1935, Mayor of Annapolis - served two terms

1939, State Senator - first elected to the State Senate; time off from the Senate and then elected again years later in 1951 and served until 1962 when he decided not to seek re-election; served a total of 16 years (Cap 3/9/84)

September 1, 1962 - sworn in as Clerk of the Court for Anne Arundel County after Owens served briefly following the death of Cromwell while still in office (9/1/62 Cap)

November 1962 - elected to a full term as Clerk of the Court; although he ran unopposed, there was a significant write-in campaign for Progressive Democrat Mr. John M. Whitmore who opposed Phipps in a race for State Senate a few years back; Phipps serves until he is defeated by Marjorie Holt in 1966

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