July 15, 2007
Charles Watkins of Montgomery County served as the first parliamentarian of the U.S. Senate, a position he held for many years. He first went to Washington DC in 1906 to serve on the staff of Senator James P. Clarke. By 1923, he was appointed the Senate clerk, and in 1935, his duties were expanded to parliamentarian. Watkins was greatly admired for his knowledge of the procedures of the Senate, and in 1958, he coauthored Senate Procedures: Precedents and Practices. He retired at age eighty-five in 1964 and died two years later.