Who is Austin Peay?

Governor Austin Peay

Who is Austin Peay?

Long story short, Austin Peay was the Governor of Tennessee from 1923 to 1927. Thus, the Governor nickname for Austin Peay State University. Peay’s public life began long before his days as governor. Born in 1876, Peay was first elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1901. Twenty-one years later he won the Democratic Party nomination for governor and beat incumbent Alfred A. Taylor. Even huge history buffs would find this boring.

Peay’s public life was best known for his work to improve education and transportation in the fine state of Tennessee. More interestingly, Peay was governor during the infamous Scopes Trial. Peay died during his third term as Tennessee governor, the only governor of Tennessee to ever die in office.

After his death, many things started popping up bearing Peay’s name…a bridge in 1928, some roads here and there and, of course, the new school in Clarksville in 1929. While that school in Clarksville would become Austin Peay State University, most other state universities have buildings named after the former governor. And, from my brief research, it appears that most of those buildings are not restrooms. That’s what you get when your unofficial chant is “Let’s Go Peay!” Even the official athletics website is located at letsgopeay.com. I think I shall rename my bathroom the Austin Peay Pavilion.



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