Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cunard Jackson Broome (1923-1999)

From the 1957-58 Georgia Official and Statistical Register.

    A newspaper publisher and one term representative in the Georgia state assembly, Cunard Jackson "C.J." Broome hailed from Alma, Georgia, a city that also produced two other oddly named political figures featured here, Braswell Drue Deen Sr. and his son, Judge Braswell D. Deen Jr. A lifelong Georgia resident, "C.J." Broome was born in Jeffersonville, Georgia on December 5, 1923, being the son of Carl Jackson (a newspaper owner and former mayor of Nahunta, Georgia) and Exie Lurline (Cunard) Broome. A student in schools local to Brantley County, Georgia, Broome graduated from the local high school in 1940 and in 1949 received his BCS degree from the University of Georgia
  While still in his teens Broome followed in his father's stead and entered into newspaper publishing, joining the staff of the Alma Times. By 1942 he had succeeded to the post of editor and at age 21 was serving as that paper's publisher. Cunard Broome married in Coweta County Georgia in December 1947 to Myrtle Inez Tanner (1912-2004). The couple were wed for over five decades and their union would see the births of two children, Lynda Sue (born 1949) and Lou Jena (born 1951).
    A well known civic leader in Alma, C.J. Broome was a prominent figure in a number of civic groups prior to his election to the state assembly, serving as director of the Alma Board of Trade and president of the Georgia Press Association. Broome also held the presidency of the Alma Lions Club, the presidency of the Georgia Junior Chamber of Commerce's 8th district, and was a former director of the Housing Authority of the city of Alma. 
  Elected to the state assembly in November 1956, Cunard Broome succeeded Braswell Drue Deen Jr. as Bacon County' representative in the legislature. Shortly before the expiration of his term Broome entered the Democratic primary race for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, and in September 1958 placed third in a field of five candidates, garnering 49, 686 votes. Following his term Broome retired from the newspaper business and operated the Great Earth Properties real estate agency, as well as serving as chairman of a "multi-county Transportation task force working to improve road rail and port infrastructure in southeast Georgia." 
   Cunard Jackson Broome died at age 76 on October 20, 1999. He was survived by his wife Myrtle, who, following her passing in 2004 was interred alongside him at the Oakland Cemetery in Waycross, Georgia.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Boswell DeGraffenreid Waddell (1865-1937)

Portrait from the "History of Alabama and Her People", Vol. III.

   Alabama has fielded a number of oddly named folks featured here in the past, and Boswell DeGraffenreid Waddell (a multi term state representative and senator), is certainly one of the most uniquely named men to serve in some political capacity in the "Heart of Dixie."  I first located Waddell's name via a 1912 Alabama statistical register way back in 2009 and since that time he continually stymied me out of a photograph, that was until the discovery of the above portrait, featured in Volume III of Albert Burton Moore's History of Alabama and Her People, published in 1927.
   A native of Columbus, Georgia, Boswell DeGraffenreid Waddell was born in that city on August 25, 1865, being the eldest son of James Fleming Waddell and the former Adelaide Victoria DeGraffenreid. A distinguished figure in his own right, James F. Waddell (1828-1892) was a veteran of both the Mexican-American and Civil War and was later named U.S. Consul in Matamoras, Mexico. Waddell would also serve as judge of probate for Russell County, Alabama (having settled there in 1857) and held that post from 1865-68. 
   Boswell DeG. Waddell attended the public schools of Russell County and also studied at a private school in Columbus, Georgia. After leaving school Waddell briefly worked as a civil engineer before deciding upon a career in law, beginning study in the law office of his father. He was admitted to the Alabama bar in 1887 and shortly thereafter began a practice in Seale that would extend over forty years. In the same year as his admission Waddell took on the post of deputy solicitor for Russell County, an office he'd continue to hold well into the late 1920s.
  In 1889 Waddell was elected to the first of two terms as mayor of Seale, and in 1901 served as Russell County's delegate to the Alabama Constitutional Convention, being a member of the committees on local legislation and the militia during the convention proceedings. Waddell continued to advance politically in November 1902, when he won election to the Alabama House of Representatives. Serving during the 1903-07 session, Waddell was named to the committees on the Judiciary, Privileges and Elections, Local Legislation and Commerce and Common Carriers. On May 12, 1909 Waddell married to Carrie B. Jennings, a music teacher. The couple were wed until Boswell's death and would remain childless.
  Waddell would win his second term in the house in 1910 and his sophomore term in the legislature (1911-15) saw him named to two new committees, those being Claims and Fees, and Game, Fish and Forestry Preservation (of which he was chairman). November 1918 saw Waddell win his third term in the state house, and was a member of the committee on Enrolled Bills during the 1919-23 term.
   In November 1922 Waddell attained his highest degree of political prominence when he was elected to the first of two terms in the Alabama state senate. During those sessions (1923-27 and 1927-31) he was a member of the committees on Fish, Game and Forestry, the Judiciary, Public Health, and Rules. In addition to public service Waddell was active in the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Alabama Bar Association, and also owned a three hundred acre farm near Seale. He continued political prominence well into his twilight years, and in 1935 was serving as county solicitor for Russell County. 
  Boswell DeGraffenreid Waddell died at age 72 on November 22, 1937. His wife Carrie survived her husband by six years, and following her death in 1943 was interred alongside him in the Waddell family plot at the Seale United Methodist Church and Cemetery.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Indemon Benjamin Moore (1869-1956)

Portrait from the Tennessee General Assembly composite of 1913.

  After a few weeks of highlighting several oddly named members of the Tennessee state assembly, we conclude our stay in the Volunteer State with a peek at the life of Indemon Benjamin Moore of White County. The first "Indemon" I've happened across, Moore is equally as obscure as the men who've preceded him here, and other than mention of his election to the Tennessee legislature, little information could be located on him.
  Born on October 14, 1869, Indemon Benjamin "Dim" Moore was one of several children born to Hugh Losson Carrick (1831-1926) and Nancy (Cantrell) Moore (1844-1923). No information could be located on Moore's early life or education, excepting his becoming a school teacher in the White County area in the 1890s, a vocation that he would subsequently follow for over forty years. Moore married sometime in the early 1900s to Cynthia Elizabeth Moore, with whom he had one son, Elton Lee (1906-1948).
   Following his marriage Indemon B. Moore served as both chairman of the Democratic Executive committee of White County and president of the White County Educational Association. In 1912 Moore was elected as White County's representative to the Tennessee General Assembly and during his term (1913-15)  sat on the committee on Commerce and chaired the committee on Education
  Widowed in 1947, Moore also suffered the loss of his son Elton in the year following his wife's death. Indemon Moore died on February 3, 1956 at age 86 and was later interred at the Moore Cove Cemetery in White County. One should also note that Moore's first name has two variations in spelling in addition to the one given here, also being spelled as Indimon and Indenmon.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Felty Devault Massengill (1815-1894)

Portrait from "The Massengills Massengales and Variants, 1472-1931".

   The Strangest Names in American Political History continues its trek through Tennessee to highlight the life of another obscure Volunteer State representative, Felty Devault Massengill of Sullivan County. Like Whitthorne Bell and Skipwith T. Foote before him, minimal information could be located on Massengill, excepting brief mention of his being a state representative, farmer and mill owner. The son of Henry and Elizabeth (Emmert) Massengill, Felty Devault Massengill was born in Tennessee on April 30, 1815.
   Acknowledged as having "received the usual country advantages" in regards to schooling, Felty Massengill married in May 1836 to Deborah Webb (1811-1874), to whom he was wed until her death. This marriage would produce eight children, and a year following his wife's passing remarried to Martha Latture Mauk/Mauck (1844-1890), a union that would produce a further three children, Mary Porter (born 1877), Martha Ema (born 1880) and Walter Clark (born 1882). 
   A farmer for a good majority of his life, Massengill also "boated down the Tennessee and Holston rivers" and owned a mill on the Weaver Branch of the Holston River, operating it until his death. In 1854 he was elected as Sullivan County's representative to the Tennessee General Assembly and during the 1855-57 session served on the committee on New Counties and County Lines
  Little else could be found on Massengill's life following his term, excepting notice of his death in Sullivan County on March 30, 1894 at age 78. He was later interred alongside his wives at the Massengill Cemetery in Piney Flats, Tennessee. One should also note that Massengill's last name has a few variations in spelling, being given as both Masengill and Massengale.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Skipwith Taylor Foote (1869-1938)

Portrait from the 1933 Tennessee General Assembly composite.

   Tennessee state representative Skipwith Taylor Foote received brief mention in the October 21 write up on Whitthorne Levi Bell, and is one of several oddly named assemblymen to have served in the legislative session of 1933-35. Equally as obscure as the man who preceded him here, Skipwith T. Foote was born in Hardeman County, Tennessee on December 29, 1869, one of several children born to John Luther and Sarah Anne (Thomas) Foote. Like Whitthorne Bell, the dearth of resources in regards to Mr. Foote have left most of his life a mystery, including his early life and education.
   Foote married in August 1903 to Margaret Luther (1870-1962), to whom he was wed until his death. The couple would have at least six children, Sarah Emerson (1904-2001), Virginia (1906-1994), Luther (1908-1979), Mildred (born 1910), Margaret (1913-2001) and John Thomas (born 1918). 
  Sources denote Foote as a farmer in Hardeman County and in 1932 he was elected as a Democrat to the Tennessee General Assembly. During the 1933-35 session Foote introduced house bills #484 and 485 to "regulate work on roads" and "regulate division of road funds" for Hardeman County. Little else could be found on Foote's life after his term concluded in 1935, excepting notice of his death in Bolivar, Tennessee on July 23, 1938 at age 68. He was survived by his wife Margaret and both were interred at the Perrans Chapel Baptist Church Cemetery in Bolivar.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Whitthorne Levi Bell (1880-1961)

Portrait from the 1933 Tennessee Assembly composite.

   A recent cull through the archives of the Tennessee General Assembly has yielded a host of new names, and the 1933 session of the assembly has proven to be a veritable goldmine. Serving in that session were Ditzler Billoat Brown, Watterson Grady Sidwell, Thepher Jerard White, Skipwith Taylor Foote, and today's"honoree" Whitthorne Levi Bell. Unfortunately, details on Bell's life remain difficult to come by, hence why his article here will be on the short side!
  The son of William Levi and Martha Caroline (Whitaker) Bell, Whitthorne Levi "Whit" Bell was born in Waynesboro, Tennessee on August 16, 1880. Nothing could be found in regards to Bell's schooling or early life, excepting notice of his marriage in the early 1900s to Izora (Downing) Bell (1880-1963). The couple's lengthy union produced seven children, James Paul (1903-1943), Whitney Louise (1905-1938), Hazel K. (1908-1979), Aaron Burwell (1911-1981), William Howard (1913-1973), Delphia Elizabeth (1915-1988) and an infant daughter who died in 1907. 
   A former vice president of the First National Bank of Hohenwald, Tennessee, Whit Bell also served as Wayne County commissioner of highways and accounts in 1931. In the following year Bell was elected as a Democrat to the Tennessee General Assembly. Representing the 17th district (comprising the counties of Wayne, Lewis, Maury and Giles), Bell served during the 1933-35 session and during that term introduced house bill #780 to "protect deer and turkeys, certain county", which would later be signed into law by the Governor. 
  Following his term Bell was a campaign manager in Wayne County for Prentice Cooper's successful 1940 run for Governor. A Mason and member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Whit Bell died on November 10, 1961 at age 71. His wife Izora survived him by two years and following her death in September 1963 was interred alongside him at the Bell Cemetery in Wayne County.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Watterson Grady Sidwell (1893-1967)

Portrait from the 1933 Tennessee legislative composite.

    A three term member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Watterson Grady Sidwell would also serve as a bank president, Democratic National Convention delegate and judge of the Clay County General Sessions Court. The son of John Epison and Mattie Ann (Bennett) Sidwell, W. Grady Sidwell was born in Lillydale, Tennessee on May 13, 1893. A student in the public schools of Celina, Tennessee, Sidwell would graduate from the Burritt College in 1915 and three years later was admitted to the Tennessee bar. Sources also denote Sidwell as a veteran of World War I, but aside from noting the duration of his enlistment (four months), little else could be found on his military service
   Sidwell continued his legal education at Vanderbilt University, earning his bachelor of laws degree in the class of 1919. Within a short period following his graduation Sidwell had established his law practice in Celina, Tennessee and in 1928 was elected to his first political office, that of trustee for Clay County. He served in that capacity until 1931 and in the following year was elected to the Tennessee General Assembly from the 12th floterial district. During the 1933-35 session Sidwell sat on the committee on Military Affairs and in 1934 was elected to a second term in the assembly. Sidwell's two terms in the assembly were subsequently acknowledged in the 1938 edition of Prominent Tennesseans, which remarked that
"In this position he made a creditable record for himself and a satisfactory service to his constituents."

   At the conclusion of his second term in 1937 Sidwell returned to Celina, where in the coming years he would serve on the city council as well as city attorney. In 1940 he served as part of the Tennessee delegation to the Democratic National Convention held in Chicago and in 1949 was returned to political life when he was named as judge of the Clay County Court of General Sessions, a post he would hold only a year. Also in 1949 Sidwell began a twelve year tenure as President of the Bank of Celina, succeeding to that post upon the death of sitting bank president E.P. Fowler.

                                                      From the 1935 Tennessee General Assembly composite.

  Active in several fraternal groups in Clay County, Sidwell was a member of the Celina Lions Club, Shriners, the Canton Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, and the American Legion. In 1953 he was a Clay County delegate to the Tennessee Constitutional Convention and in November 1956 won election to a third term in the state assembly. W. Grady Sidwell died on April 8, 1967 at age 73, succumbing to a heart attack at a Clay County hospital. He was survived by his wife Mary Sue (Maxwell) Sidwell, who, following her death in 1985, was interred alongside her husband at the Fitzgerald Cemetery in Celina.

From the 1957 Tennessee Assembly composite.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Orceneth Asbury Fly (1894-1976)

Portrait from the Hondo Anvil Herald, April 6, 1955.

   A longtime civic leader and prominent citizen in Hondo, Texas, Orceneth Asbury Fly can rightfully be called the oddest named mayor this Medina County city ever produced, and in addition to his two terms as mayor was a druggist in that city for over five decades. Born in Utopia, Texas on February 16, 1894, Orceneth Asbury "O.A." Fly was the son of John Sidney and Annalee (Fisher) Fly. Bestowed the unusual names Orceneth Asbury upon his birth, Fly's unsual name may have connection to Orceneth Asbury Fisher (1803-1880), a widely known Methodist minister who spent a good portion of his later life in Texas.
  O.A. Fly attended school in Hondo and following graduation from that city's high school continued study at the Coronel Institute in San Marcos and the University of Texas' Pharmacy School at Galveston. Following his graduation in January 1917 Fly began his career as pharmacist, briefly residing in Laredo and San Antonio before returning to Hondo. He married in May 1917 to Willie LeRoy Barton (1894-1967), to whom he was wed for fifty years. The couple's lengthy union would produce four childrenOrceneth Asbury Jr. (1918-1972), Frances Ruth (1921-2004), William Sidney (born 1925) and the Rev. Richard Fly (1930-1959).
  In January 1919 Fly returned to Hondo and shortly after his return "purchased a half interest" in the Martin Drug Store. Following the purchase the store underwent a name change to the Fly Drug Co. He would remain connected with this business for over fifty years (retiring in January 1970) and was later joined by his sons William Sidney and Orceneth Asbury Jr., the latter also being surgeon based in Houston. During its existence the Fly Drug Co. would carry not only medical supplies and pharmaceuticals but also "sundries, candy, tobacco, gift items, school supplies and the like", as well as sporting goods.
   While prominent in Hondo business circles, O.A. Fly also stood tall in city civic affairs, being a past president of the Chamber of Commerce and Hondo Lions Club, a past master of the local Masonic lodge, as well as a Shriner. Fly also was a longstanding member of the Southwest Texas Pharmaceutical Association and the National Association of Retail Druggists.
   O.A. Fly entered Hondo political life in the late 1940s when he was elected to the city council. In February 1953 Fly announced his candidacy for mayor of Hondo, following incumbent mayor Bob Kollman's announcement that he wouldn't be seeking reelection. In April of that year Fly won the mayorality and would serve two terms in that post. Upon entering the mayor's office, Fly envisioned a bright future for Hondo, remarking
"I want many things for Hondo but especially I would like to see all our streets paved, curbs and sidewalks laid, a federal building, a city hall,  a city library, a large park and city playground. Also, I would like for Hondo to have a zoning ordinance, a standard building code, improved traffic regulations, a stricter enforcement on vaccinating and tagging dogs, a cleaner city and a continuation of the friendly hospitality with which Hondoans make visitors and newcomers feel at home in Hondo."
O.A. Fly at work, from the February 17, 1967 Hondo Anvil Herald.

   Fly's second term as mayor concluded in April 1957 and was succeeded by Dr. Thomas Knopp. In 1967 Fly celebrated not only the five decade anniversary of his entering the druggist trade but also his fiftieth wedding anniversary. He and his wife were subsequently feted with a large party at their home in June of that year, which was attended by over 150 guests from all across the country. Sadly, just two months following their anniversary, Willie Barton Fly died at age 72. In the year following his wife's passing O.A. Fly remarried to Emilia "Millie" Eckhart, to whom he was wed until her death in April 1974
  In January 1970 the Fly Drug Co. was purchased from Fly and his son William by Dan B. Conoly Jr., with the business continuing under the name Dan's Drug Inc. Following his retirement O.A. Fly continued prominence in Hondo, being a member of the Board of Stewards for the Hondo Methodist Church. He died that city on February 3, 1976, just two weeks shy of his 82nd birthday. He was later interred alongside his wife Willie at the Oakwood Cemetery in the Hondo cemetery complex.