Early life and education
Born in Washington, North Carolina, Small attended private schools and Trinity College (later Duke University), Durham, North Carolina, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. He taught school from 1876 to 1880 and studied law as a legal apprentice. He was admitted to the bar in 1881.
He started a legal practice in his hometown of Washington. Small was elected a reading clerk of the North Carolina State Senate in 1881, the year he was admitted to the bar. That year he was also appointed as superintendent of public instruction of Beaufort County.
He was elected as solicitor of the inferior court of Beaufort County 1882–1885. At the time, he also became editor of the Washington Gazette, serving from 1883 to 1886. He was appointed as attorney of the Board of Commissioners of Beaufort County, serving from 1888 to 1896.
At the same time, Small was elected as a member of the Washington city council 1887–1890. He served as mayor of Washington in 1889 and 1890 (the position rotated among the city council members).
Active in the Democratic Party, Small served as delegate to all Democratic State conventions from 1889 to 1920.
Small was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-sixth and to the ten succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1899 – March 3, 1921) from North Carolina's 1st congressional district. He served as chairman of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors (Sixty-fifth Congress).
He declined to be a candidate for renomination in 1920 and retired from political office. Staying in Washington, D.C., he revived his legal practice there until 1931.
Small returned to Washington, where he died on July 13, 1946. He was interred in Oakdale Cemetery.
- United States Congress. "John Humphrey Small (id: S000500)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Carolina's 1st congressional district
Hallett S. Ward