Senator George M. Faul View All Years
GEORGE M. FAUL
MR. PRESIDENT: Your committee, appointed to prepare a suitable resolution commemorating the life, character and public service of the late Honorable George M. Faul, begs leave to submit the following memorial:
George Mitchell Faul, Des Moines lawyer, insurance company and savings and loan association executive, represented Polk County in the Senate of the Forty-eighth through the Fifty-third sessions of the General Assembly of Iowa. He retired from the Senate at adjournment of the Fifty-third General Assembly.
He was Vice President, General Counsel and a Director of the American Mutual Life Insurance Company, and a Director of the United Federal Savings and Loan Association. He was a member of the American Life Convention and the Association of Life Insurance Counsel. He became a member of the Des Moines Board of Water Works Trustees in 1959 and remained on the Board until his death, August 6, 1963 at 64 years of age.
He was born October 10, 1898 on a farm near Forest City, Pennsylvania. His father, David Faul, was of German extraction, and his mother, Katharine (Knobel) Faul, was of French descent. His parents moved to a farm in New York state when he was young. Before he graduated from high school he joined a National Guard company which became part of the 27th Division in France in World War I.
Upon his return from service he completed his high school education in University Preparatory School, and received his law degree from National University Law School in Washington, D. C. He came to Des Moines to begin his law practice in 1923. Acquaintances with Des Moines men made in the army and law school influenced his decision to start law practice in Des Moines.
He was Commander of Argonne Post No. 60, American Legion, in 1935 during construction of the Argonne-Armory Building. He twice won the W. C. Rathke award for community service, a state Legion competition between the districts in the state.
He was elected to the Senate in 1938, starting his service in 1939. In 1940 he sought the Republican nomination for Congress in what was then the sixth district. He was high in the five man primary race, 81 votes ahead of the late Representative Paul Cunningham, who won on the tenth ballot of the convention necessary because no candidate received the required thirty-five percent of the total vote.
Senator Faul enjoyed being in the Senate. He was a man with a wide range of concern over and a driving force in enactment of historic social welfare, veteran, fiscal and conservation legislation outside his work in law, insurance and banking. He initiated, jointly sponsored and eloquently supported many measures that had been slow in adoption. One of his proudest achievements was the aid to dependent children law in 1943. The bill came over from the House, and the Senate passed it without a dissenting vote.
He was a legislative leader in enactment of the World War II $85,000,000 soldier bonus and in committing $50,000,000 of a treasury surplus to reduction of the bond issue.
He led the move to get the Liquor Control Commission to add ten percent to its liquor store prices and give half the additional revenue to cities and towns on a population basis and the other half to counties as a military service tax exemption credit.
Always articulate, he could be forceful in speech when irritated, as he was when a House bill to place in a single state general fund all balances in the revenue from sales, income and use taxes and the liquor control fund came up in the Senate. “There is no member of the Legislature,” he said, “who knows how much free money the state has in its treasury. I have seen all the statements estimating money on hand and money in sight, and still am unable to determine for myself what we have to spend.”
One of the last things he did in the Senate, in 1949 when he knew he wouldn’t run again, was to urge the Senate to pass the House bill increasing the session compensation of 1951 legislators from $1,000 to $2,000. The $1,000 session compensation had not been increased since 1913. The 1957 Legislature increased it to $30 per day.
Senator Faul won many dedicated, sincere and warm friends in his political and community life. A notable Senate friendship was that of Senator Faul and Senator John P. Berg of Cedar Falls. Their common interest in so many things led them to joint introduction of so many bills that casual visitors to the chamber frequently expressed curiosity about the identity of “Senator Faulanberg”.
His law practice in Des Moines spanned 40 years. He was made Special Counsel for American Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1940. That was the year his nephew, Henry F. Grant, received his law degree from the State University of Iowa and became his uncle’s partner in the law firm of Faul and Grant.
Faul was made a Director and General Counsel for America Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1941, and was elected Vice President in 1942.
He was married to Helen Flack Young of Des Moines in December, 1942.
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-first General Assembly of Iowa: That in the passing of the Honorable George M. Faul, the State of Iowa has lost a valued and honored citizen, and by this resolution attests its respect for and admiration of him and tenders its sincere sympathy to his family.
Be It Further Resolved: That a copy of this resolution be spread upon the Journal of the Senate and the Secretary be directed to send an enrolled copy to the members of his family.
LEO ELTHON, Chairman,
GEORGE E. O’MALLEY,
HOWARD C. REPPERT, JR.,
The resolution was unanimously adopted.