Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Trible Dix Sutton (1902-1987)

Trible Dix Sutton, from the 1966 Virginia House of Delegates composite photo.

    The following profile takes us to Virginia and one Trible Dix Sutton, an attorney who served three terms as Henrico County's representative to the Virginia State House of Delegates. Like Treffle G. Levesque (profiled a few days ago), Sutton's name was located via the 1967-68 edition of "Who's Who in American Politics". While very little exists online in regards to Sutton's life and time in politics, his brief biography in "Who's Who" helped out significantly in terms of gathering information!
   Born in Henrico County on May 24, 1902, Trible Dix Sutton was the son of John Trible and Florence Dix Sullivan. Inheriting his unusual first and middle names courtesy of his parents, Sutton would attend the University of Richmond from 1919-1921 and between 1921-1927 worked as a clerk in the accounting department of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (this according to the previously mentioned Who's Who In American Politics, 1967-68.) He married in Hanover, Virginia on September 19, 1922 to Bessie Bertha McAllister  (1903-1996). The couple later had three children, Howard Trible (1926-1995), Dorothy May (born 1928) and Edward Dix (died in infancy in 1936).
   Sutton began the practice of law in 1928 and would continue in this profession both before and after his time in state government. In addition to practicing law Sutton was active in several religious and fraternal organizations in Virginia, being a secretary of the Virginia Baptist Board of Missions, moderator of the Dover Baptist Association and a past master of the Glen Allen Lodge #131 of Free and Accepted Masons. A longstanding member of both the Virginia State and Richmond Bar Associations, Sutton also chaired the Henrico County Democratic Committee for a time. He would also author the genealogical work "The Suttons of Caroline County, Virginia" and in 1941 saw it published by the Richmond Press.
   Elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in November 1963, T. Dix Sutton took his seat at the start pf the 1964-66 legislative session and would be named to the house committees on Counties Cities and Towns, Officers and Offices at the Capitol, Public Institutions and Welfare. As a candidate for reelection in 1965 Sutton faced an uphill battle, losing the Democratic primary in July to contested election returns. Dr. William Ferguson Reid, a prominent Richmond surgeon who won a court order placement on that year's ballot, became the Democratic candidate for the legislature, and hoped to become the first African American elected to the state house since reconstruction. Even though he lost the primary, T. Dix Sutton launched a candidacy as an independent and on November 4th won the election as a write-in candidate.

From the American Jewish Outlook, September 1964.

   During the 1966-67 term Sutton would sit on the committees on Enrolled Bills, Welfare and Game and Inland Fisheries. He left the legislature at the end of that term and in November 1971 was returned to the house for a third term. Elected as an independent, Sutton served on three new committees during this session, those being Claims, Health Welfare and Institutions and Militia and Police. 
   Sutton's third term concluded in 1973 and in 1975 was an unsuccessful candidate for the Virginia State Senate's 34th district. After many years of public service to Henrico County Trible Dix Sutton died on March 27, 1987 at age 84. He was survived by his wife and two children and was interred at the Forest Lawn Cemetery and Mausoleum in Richmond. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Trowbridge Clark Egleston (1857-1925), Trowbridge Hyer Ward (1851-1900)

Portrait courtesy of

    The state of Idaho takes center stage in the following write-up on Trowbridge Clark Egleston, a resident of both Ohio and New York who found his political and business fortunes in the American northwest. One of the first political figures from Idaho to receive a profile here on the site, Mr. Egleston served as Mayor of Caldwell, Idaho for one term beginning in the mid 1890s. 
   Born in Madison, Ohio on June 19, 1857 (or 1856, depending on the source) Trowbridge Clark Egleston was one of three children born to Russell Searle (1816-1912) and Elizabeth Trowbridge Egleston (1828-1916). A Presbyterian minister, Russell S. Egleston is recorded as having preached in both Ohio and Connecticut, and would later remove to Orleans County, New York with his family. Trowbridge attended both the Oberlin College and Cornell University, later being employed at hardware businesses in both Albion and Buffalo, New York. Egleston would leave this employ to take work as a traveling salesman for the Cambria Iron Co. of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, remaining with this company for four years. Egleston eventually left the Cambria Iron Co. and headed for Missouri, where he took similar work with the Simmons Hardware Company of St. Louis.
   Trowbridge Egleston married in 1878 to fellow Ohio native Sarah B. Mann (1855-1929) and later became the father to two daughters, Florence Egleston Sebree (1879-1940) and Ethel E. After several years devoted to salesmanship Egleston and his family relcoated to Caldwell, Idaho, where in 1892 he purchased a mercantile store that had been established by Frank Coffin nearly a decade previously. As head of the firm (which would later be known as the T.C. Egleston and Co., Ltd.) Egleston was noted by the Illustrated History of the State of Idaho as being a "wholesale and retail dealer in hardware, stoves, tinware, groceries, provisions and farm machinery", and occupied a store that was "forty by one hundred and twenty-five feet in dimensions."
  With his name firmly established in the Caldwell business community Egleston entered political life in 1894 when he became a Republican candidate for Mayor of Caldwell. He would win the election and served in that capacity for one term in 1895, being noted as "having taken a considerable interest always in public affairs and looking ever to the welfare of his city and country."
   In the years following his mayoralty Egleston continued to be active in Caldwell politics and business, and in 1903 was tapped by then Governor John Tracy Morrison to succeed Rees H. Davis as State Commissioner of Immigration, Labor and Statistics. During his term in office Egleston compiled a state "irrigation census" for Idaho, noting in May 1904 that the "state has 2,422 miles of main irrigation canals" and that "the cost of construction of these canals was $5, 446,180."
    Following his leaving the office of immigration commissioner Egleston and his wife left Idaho and relocated to Colorado, being recorded as a residents of Denver in the 1910 census. They would later move to Pasedena, California, where in 1924 Trowbridge is recorded as residing at 1484 East California Street. On August 10, 1925 Trowbridge Egleston died at age 68 and was interred at the Mount Albion Cemetery in Albion, New York, the burial location of both his parents. Egleston's wife Sarah and daughter Florence would also be buried here following their deaths in 1929 and 1940.

From the San Francisco Call, June 3, 1900.

   Another "Trowbridge" that made his name known in public life was Trowbridge Hyer Ward of California. A native of Wisconsin, Ward was born in that state on September 25, 1851, a son of John Sherrill and Anna Hyer Ward. A few years after his birth the Ward family relocated to California, where Trowbridge would study law under the tutelage of his father.
  In 1869 the 18 year old Ward achieved his first taste of political life, being appointed as an Assistant U.S. Assessor for the 4th District of California.  He would serve two years in that post, resigning in 1871 to take on the position of Assistant Register of the U.S. Land Office at Susanville, California. Ward would later learn the trade of surveying, later being appointed as a Deputy U.S. Surveyor in the late 1870s. In 1880 he was tasked with surveying for the Sierra Flume and Lumber Company, superintending construction work in the counties of Butte, Plumas and Lassen.
   Ward had married in March 1873 to Willietta Edwards (1854-1930), with whom he would have six children. The family would remove to Los Angeles County in 1884 and shortly thereafter Ward would be appointed as a deputy county treasurer and secretary of the Los Angeles County Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce. Ward would be elected as Los Angeles County Clerk in 1890 and served four years in that office. 
   In 1894 he became the Republican candidate for Clerk of the California State Supreme Court, and in the November election defeated Democratic candidate Peter McGlade by a vote of 120,007 to 89,542. Ward served as clerk until 1898 and afterward returned to surveying. A prominent Masonic leader in California, Ward had served as a Grand Master for the Knights Templar in 1897 and after his death at age 49 on June 2, 1900 was memorialized in a masonic ceremony in San Francisco. He was later cremated, his ashes being inured at the San Francisco Columbarium.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Treffle George Levesque (1896-1977)

Treffle G. Levesque, from the Nashua Telegraph, May 5, 1969.

    Anyone (politically inclined or otherwise) with a first name like "Treffle" is worthy of more than just a few descriptive lines, and in the case of Treffle George Levesque ( a two term New Hampshire state representative) several newspaper archives have yielded a fair amount of information that will make my job of writing about him slightly easier! Unlike 90% of the folks profiled here, Mr. Levesque unusual name wasn't discovered online, but was instead located via the 1967-1968 edition of Who's Who In American Politics, a recent purchase from a local book sale. This work has helped field nearly thirty new oddly named persons, some of which will make their way on to the site here.
  The story of this oddly named New Hampshire native begins with his birth the city of Nashua on August 3, 1896. The son of Joseph M. and Clara April Leveseque, Treffle G. Levesque's education took place in the Nashua school system and following the completion of schooling was employed by the J.F. McElwain Co., a shoe manufacturing business noted as being "the largest employer of labor in New Hampshire." He married his first wife Marie Brodeur in Nashua and would later have four children: J. Gerard, Paul, Estelle and Elizabeth.
   Both before and after his time in state government Levesque was a member (and past Governor) of the Nashua Moose Lodge and in May 1969 was honored by that organization, receiving the Pilgrim Degree of Merit. Levesque is noted as being was "the first Nashuan to gain the honor" and in addition to Moose lodge activities was a member the Fraternal Cribbage League, becoming president of that organization in 1967.
   In November 1964 Treffle Levesque won election to the New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Nashua's seventh ward, garnering 1534 votes. He would be reelected in November 1966, serving until the close of the session in January 1969. Widowed in the mid 1950s, Levesque remarried first to Viola Duchesnes, who died in 1965. He remarried again in 1966 to Lena Dubray Doyle, and following her passing in 1972 he remarried to Blanche Berube (1898-1991), who would survive him upon his death, which occurred at a Nashua hospital on March 19, 1977.  A burial location for Levesque is unknown at this time, but is presumed to be somewhere in the Nashua vicinity, where he had lived for all of his life.

                    Treffle Levesque (located on the extreme left), from the Nashua Telegraph, Dec. 5, 1975.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lovira Wright Leggett (1887-1961)

From the Wake Forest University's "Howler" Yearbook, 1909.

    We continue our stay in North Carolina to profile three term state representative Lovira Wright Leggett, who, coincidentally enough, served in the same legislative session as Monday's "honoree" Veston Colbourne Banks. While he may be in possession of a rather "feminine" sounding first name, Mr. Leggett was a prominent son of Halifax County, being a successful lawyer in addition to his time in state government.
   Although a resident of North Carolina for a good majority of his private and professional life, Lovira Leggett wasn't born in the Tarheel State; his birth instead occurring in Louisville, Kentucky on August 26, 1887. The son of Dr. Kenelm and Augusta Wright Leggett, Lovira moved with his family to North Carolina while still a child and would attend the school at Buies Creek during his youth. Leggett also attended the Oak Ridge Institute and the Trinity School at Chicowinity between 1900 and 1905, and pursued higher education at Wake Forest University beginning in 1905. As a standout football player and secretary of his law class, Leggett's tenure at Wake Forest warranted the following passages in the 1909 Howler yearbook:
"Here is a man of many moods, quiet and composed when occasion demands, yet always in the thick of the contest when danger, or daring, or hardihood is in the game. He has always taken an interest in football and his name will ever be associated with that popular game since in its recent beginning at the college.  Being quiet and independent, but genial and good natured, he has gone in and out among us these many months, never meddling, always attending to his own affairs, with his eyes constantly fixed on terra firma. He is strongly attached to the medical department, and we may expect to hear of him as an espouser of the Emmanuel Movement and other scientific ventures."
   While Leggett may have had an early interest in medicine, he would turn his attention to law while at Wake Forest, receiving his law degree in 1910. He established a law practice in the town of Hobgood and married in 1914 to Sarah Norman Hyman (1886-1971), later having a total of six children: Edward K. (1915-1968), Lovira Wright Jr. (1917-1977), Henry L. (1919-1983), Ralph Morrison (1921-1998), Hyman Spruill (1927-1983) and Frances (birth-date unknown.)
  In November 1924 Lovira Leggett was elected to his first term in the North Carolina House of Representatives. As a Democratic freshman legislator, Leggett officially began his term at the start of the 1925-27 session and would serve on the house committees on Claims, Corporations, Finance, Health, Insane Asylums, the Institution for the Blind, Institutions for the Deaf and Dumb, Judiciary No. 1 and Public Roads and Turnpikes. He would win reelection in 1926 and during the 1927-29 term sat on several different committees, these being the committees on the Constitutional Amendments, Education, Game, the Journal, the Oyster Industry, Printing, and Public Buildings and Grounds.
    Several years after the completion of his second term Legget was elected to a third term in the legislature, again representing Halifax County. During this session (1935-1938, including the special session of 1936) he would serve on the committees on Agriculture, Appropriations, Counties Cities and Towns, Institutions for the Blind, Penal Institutions, Propositions and Grievances' Salaries and Fees and Enrolled Bills. 
   Little else could be located on Lovira W. Leggett's life after his final term in the state house. He was noted by his Rocky Mount Evening Telegraph obituary as having served a term as Mayor of Hobgood, as well as being a member of the Halifax County Board of Education "several times." He died on October 8, 1961 at a Raleigh hospital and was survived by his wife and children. Both Leggett and his wife were interred at the Hobgood Cemetery following their deaths.

From the Rocky Mount Evening Telegraph, October 9, 1961.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Veston Colbourne Banks (1899-1973)

 From the 1924 Wake Forest University "Howler" Yearbook. 

   Joining an already lengthy list of strangely named North Carolina legislators who've been profiled here, Pamlico County educator Veston Colbourne Banks was elected to one term in his state's house of representatives in 1926. The son of Pamlico County businessman Noah Harvey Banks and his wife Deborah Alice Downs Banks, Veston C. Banks was born in the town of Grantsboro, North Carolina on March 13, 1899. He graduated from Grantsboro's Alliance High School in the class of 1917 and would later study law at Wake Forest University, being a member of the university's Masonic Club. He earned his law degree here and graduated in the senior class of 1924. Banks is also recorded as having enlisted in the U.S. Army in September 1918, although it is unknown at this time if he saw armed combat during WWI. 
   Following his graduation Veston C. Banks married on June 25, 1925 to Ms. Daisy Mason (1907-2004) and would later have one son, Myron Carroll Banks (born 1931). Prior to his legislative service Banks was a justice of the peace in Grantsboro and in November 1926 won election as  that county's representative to the North Carolina General Assembly. Taking his seat at the start of the 1927-29 session, Banks would serve on the house committees on Commerce, Election Laws, Immigration, Insurance, the Journal, the Oyster Industry and the Revision of Laws during his one term in office.
  After the completion of his term Banks returned to to private life and in 1928 took on the position of principal of the Cove City, North Carolina Elementary School. He would serve fourteen years as principal and in 1942 began a twenty year stint as a supervisor for the North Carolina Department of Labor's Wage Division
   From 1962-64 Banks was employed by the U.S. Department of Labor, retiring in 1964 at age 65. He resided in Raleigh during the latter portion of his life and died at age 74 on September 27, 1973, his cause of death being given as the result of a "massive gastrointestinal hemorrhage of 24 hour duration due to ruptured esophageal varices." He was survived by his wife Daisy, who, following her death at age 97 in 2004, was interred alongside her husband at the Grantsboro Cemetery.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hibbard Houston Shedd (1847-1905)

                                                                        Portrait courtesy of BJS Genealogy.

    A former Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, Hibbard Houston Shedd first became a prominent office-holder in the Cornhusker State in the mid 1870s when he served as a delegate to that state's Constitutional Convention. He would attain further distinction as Speaker of the Nebraska House of Representatives and in 1885 began the first of two terms as Lieutenant Governor of his state.
   Born and raised in Iowa, Hibbard Houston Shedd's birth occurred in the small town of Denmark on January 27, 1847, being the son of Dr. George and Abigail Shedd.  Young Hibbard would graduate from the Denmark Academy and enlisted for service in the Civil War, joining the Forty-Fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry. During his service Shedd saw action in both Tennessee and Mississippi and at war's end returned home to Iowa. He would continue to reside here until 1870, whereafter he removed to Nebraska, settling in the town of Ashland. 
   Shortly after his resettlement Shedd began a lengthy connection in the mercantile and religious life of Ashland, becoming a church trustee, organist and Sunday School teacher. He married on February 18, 1874 to Cinacinnati, Ohio native Katherine Leigh Graves (1854-1936) and would become the father to five children: Harry Graves (1875-1932), George Clifford (1877-1937), Ralph Wayne (1879-1882), Mary (died in infancy in 1883) and Edith (1884-1925). Of these children, George Clifford Shedd is the most notable, as he would become a noted writer of fiction, authoring over a dozen works between 1910 and 1937. 
   Hibbard H. Shedd first became active in Nebraska politics in 1875, when he was selected as a delegate to the state constitutional convention being held that year in Lincoln. Shedd's time at the convention was recalled by a Nebraska Historical Proceeding as having made an impact on his later service as a state legislator and Lieutenant Governor, noting that:
"Here he gained the thorough insight into the fabric of our commonwealth, himself helping to build it, and of the principles fundamental in good citizenship."
   Six years after the constitutional convention Hibbard Shedd was elected as one of Saunders County's representatives to the Nebraska General Assembly in November 1880. His term extended from 1881-1883 and in 1882 won reelection to the house, and during the 17th session of the Nebraska Legislature would serve as Speaker of the House. occupying this post from 1883-1885. In the latter year Shedd took office as Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, serving first under Republican Governor James Dawes. He would continue serving under Dawes' successor, John Milton Thayer, with his term as Lieutenant Governor concluding in 1889.
   Two years after leaving office Shedd was elected as the president of the Ashland school board, holding his seat until 1903. For the remainder of his life he continued involvement in different aspects of Ashland public life, and was affiliated with local businessman George Scott in the clothing firm of G. Scott and Co. Shedd died at age 58 on October 6, 1905 in Ashland and was survived by his wife Katherine. She would outlive her husband by over thirty years, and following her passing in 1936 was interred alongside Hibbard at the Ashland Cemetery.

                                             Shedd's death notice from the Omaha Daily Bee, October 7, 1905.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ilderton Wesley Bowman (1857-1924)

From the composite portrait of the 1895 South Carolina Constitutional Convention.

   The following passages examine the life and career of a man named Ilderton....Ilderton Wesley Bowman to be precise, and very likely the only person named "Ilderton" ever to be elected to public office in the United States! This strangely named South Carolina native served as a delegate to his state's Constitutional Convention in 1895 whilst also being an incumbent South Carolina state representative. He would later achieve further prominence as a judge for the First Judicial Circuit Court of South Carolina, remaining on the bench until his death in 1924.
   The son of Dr. Orrin Nelson and Isabella Limehouse Bowman of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, Ilderton W. Bowman was born in that county on September 20, 1857. He would attend the Mt. Zion Institute in Winnsboro, South Carolina and in 1879 graduated from the Wofford College in Spartanburg. In November 1883 he married to Mary Ellen Crum (1861-1934), later having a total of eight children, who are listed as follows in order of birth: John Wesley (1884-1952), Orrin Nelson (1888-1932), Alma Rebecca (1888-1979), Minnie (1891-1954), Mary Ellen (1893-1974), Hammond Crum (1895-1974), Ruth (1898-1907), Reddick A. (1900-1987) and Elizabeth Hayne (1904-1971).  Of these children, Hammond Crum would follow in his father's stead, becoming an attorney, and also served as a state representative for Charleston County beginning in 1929.
   In the early 1880s Bowman began the study of law under local lawmaker Samuel Dibble and was admitted to the South Carolina bar in 1882. He established a practice in Orangeburg and over the next decade built up a clientele that included not only local banks also the Orangeburg Building and Loan Association. In November 1893 Bowman was elected to represent Orangeburg in the South Carolina House of Representatives and took his seat at the start of the 1894-96 term. During this session he was selected as a delegate to the state Constitutional Convention being held that year, and while at the convention served on the committees on Judiciary and Engrossed Bills and Ordinances. As a delegate Bowman would author a provision to the state constitution that prohibited divorces in South Carolina and saw it successfully passed by his fellow delegates. This divorce law would remain on the books for over sixty years until being reversed by the state in 1949.
   Following his service in the legislature/convention Bowman returned to practicing law, and in 1906 was elected as an city alderman for Orangeburg, serving in that capacity from 1907-09. Active in several fraternal organizations in his native city, Bowman was a longstanding member (and past master) of the Shibboleth Lodge # 28 of Free and Accepted Masons, as well as the Woodmen of the World. In the early 1910s Bowman was elected as Judge of the First Circuit Court of South Carolina, and would hold his seat until his death on August 24, 1924, shortly before his 67th birthday. Bowman was survived by his wife Mary Ellen, who, following her death in 1931, was interred alongside her husband at Orangeburg's Sunnyside Cemetery.
  As far as history is concerned, Orangeburg, South Carolina hasn't forgotten the contributions of Ilderton W. Bowman, as his home (pictured in the accompanying link) was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 as part of the Amelia Street Historic District.