Loftin, Scott Marion, 1878-1953

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1878-09-14
Death 1953-09-22

Biographical notes:

Lawyer and public official.

Born in Montgomery, Alabama. Received a law degree from Washington and Lee. Began legal practice in Pensacola in 1899. Served in the Florida House of Representatives (1903); as prosecuting attorney for Escambia County (1904-1917); as trustsee for Florida East Coast Railway (1931-1953); and in the U.S. Senate (by appointment, 1936).

From the description of Scott M. Loftin Papers, 1902-1966 (bulk: 1934-1936) (University of Florida). WorldCat record id: 30602213

Scott Marion Loftin was born on September 14, 1878, in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1887, he moved with his family to Pensacola, Florida, where he remained until his enrollment at Washington and Lee University in 1897. With less than a year of law school completed, Loftin had to return home to Pensacola in 1898 on account of his father's death. Despite these circumstances, Loftin was admitted to the American Bar Association the following year and began practicing law in Pensacola. In 1903, he became the youngest member elected to the Florida Legislature, where he served as a representative for two years. Thereafter, he resumed his practice of law as a prosecuting attorney for Escambia County. In 1917, he moved to Jacksonville, Florida, the place he would call home until his death in 1953.

From 1931 until the early 1940s, Loftin served as the general counsel for the Florida East Coast Railway and other transportation-related industries. In this capacity, he assisted Edward, Prince of Wales and his wife, the duchess, on their trip to Florida in 1943. He was elected as President of the American Bar Association in 1934. Two years later, in May 1936, Loftin was appointed to temporarily fill the vacant U.S. Senate seat left by the recently deceased Democratic Senator, Park Trammell. Insisting from the outset that he would not seek election in November of that year, Loftin returned to Jacksonville after a six-month stint in Washington and continued to practice law and give speeches within his community. In 1953, he addressed Stetson University's graduating law class and was awarded an honorary law degree. While on vacation in September of that year, Loftin fell ill. He died on September 22, 1953, and was laid to rest in Jacksonville's Oaklawn Cemetery.

In 1965, two of Loftin's sisters, Mabel L. Cushman and Josephine Loftin, began collecting his private papers and related memorabilia, contacting a number of organizations that Loftin had been affiliated with throughout his lifetime. The materials gathered were placed in the P.K. Yonge Reference Library at the University of Florida.

From the guide to the Scott M. Loftin Papers, 1902-1966, 1934-1936, (Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida)

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