Sunday, July 31, 2011

Orsino Augustine Jabez Vaughan (1819-1876), Orsino Ellick Jones (1829-1907)


    A newspaper publisher and state senator from New Hampshire, the lengthy named Orsino Augustine Jabez Vaughan was born on March 11, 1819 in Hanover, New Hampshire, one of fourteen children born to Silas and Polly Ingalls Vaughan. Nothing could be found on Orsino's early life and schooling, and it is presumed that he received his education in the town of his birth. Vaughan was admitted to the Connecticut state bar in 1846 and from there was named as register of probate for Gilmanton County, New Hampshire in 1849. 
   O.A.J. Vaughan relocated to Laconia, New Hampshire six years later and soon after arriving became the publisher and editor of the Laconia Democrat (a local political newspaper), and continued in this position until his death. It is mentioned in the Illustrated Laconian (where the above portrait of Vaughan was found) that he married Ms. Julia Cogswell of Gilmanton, who died a few years following their marriage. In 1855 he remarried to Laconia resident Mary Elizabeth Parker, with whom he had six children, who are listed as follows: Grace Anna (birth date unknown), Walter P. (born 1856), William A. (1859-1866), Charles Woodward (born 1862), Mary Alice (born 1869), and Edward (1872-1879).
   In 1865 Vaughan was elected to the New Hampshire State Senate from Laconia, defeating Charles Hackett by a vote of 3,933 to 3, 593. Vaughan served one term (1866-68) and a year following his election to that body had an honorary degree conferred upon him from Dartmouth University. Throughout the 1860s and early 1870s Vaughan also served as a member of the New Hampshire State Democratic Committee. He died in Laconia on April 30, 1876 at age 57 and is record as being a "police justice of Laconia" at the time of his passing. 
   Memorialized by the Bradford, Vermont Opinion as a "genial and social man in every day life", Vaughan's burial location is unknown at the time of this writing and is (presumed) to be somewhere in his hometown of Laconia. He was survived by four children and his wife Mary, who died in December 1898. 


Vaughan's obituary from the Bradford Vermont Opinion, May 6, 1876.



Portrait from Hatch's Illustrated History of Jamestown, Chautauqua County, New York, 1900.

   Another "Orsino" that made his name known in public life is Orsino Ellick Jones, who, as luck would have it, was a lifelong resident of my home county of Chautauqua, New York. A distinguished local figure who gained notoriety through business, civic affairs and philanthropy, Jones's political claim-to-fame rest on his service as a Republican Presidential Elector for New York in 1880.
  The son of Chautauqua County pioneer Capt. Ellick Jones  (1800-1866) and Louisa Walkup Jones, Orsino Ellick "Sine" Jones was born on November 8, 1829 in the town of Ellicott and married in the mid 1850s to Louise A. Howard (1832-1887). The couple would later have one son, Charles Howard Jones (1857-1905). 
    As a young man in Jamestown Orsino Jones became active in the village's volunteer fire department, eventually serving as its chief. By the 1870s he had established his name in Jamestown's business community, serving as President of the Jamestown Cane Seat Chair Company in 1872, being a founder of the Chautauqua Lake Railway and was a director of the Jamestown Street Railway Company. Active in Republican Party circles in the Western New York area, Jones was a member of the Republican State Committee for a number of years and in 1880 served as a Presidential Elector for New York. Described as being of the "Stalwart faction" of the Republican Party, Jones is mentioned in Volume 13 of the 1891 Chautauquan as being:
"Prominent in party politics. His hand was in every public movement of the city of Jamestown and the county of Chautauqua. He was a  hail-fellow-well-met-among men on 'Change, in social life and political movements. He was a Stalwart of the Stalwarts. He was General Grant's friend, wether he was coming to a Sunday school Assembly or camp meeting or to preside over the nation."
    Following his service as an elector Jones continued his interests in the growth of Jamestown, serving as a Civil Service Commissioner for the city, and in May of 1886 was selected as one of ten committee members who drew up the charter for the city of Jamestown. As a well-known man of means, Orsino Jones' name was connected to a number of charitable and philanthropic endeavors in Chautauqua County, including donating 67 acres of land on the border of Chautauqua Lake to be used as a park. Jones would later bequeath further property to the city of Jamestown in 1906 that would eventually become the home to the O.E. Jones Memorial Hospital (pictured below.) Erected at the cost of $100,000, the hospital's cornerstone was laid in 1909 (two years following Jones' death) and it still stands today, although it is now known as an extension of Jamestown's WCA Hospital. 

O.E. Jones General Hospital, a postcard circa 1915.

   After many years of being prominent in Jamestown public life, Orsino E. Jones died at age 77 on January 25, 1907. He had been predeceased by his wife Louisa in 1887 and son Charles in 1905, and all three are interred at the Lakeview Cemetery in Jamestown under an impressive grave marker (photographs below.) Jones was memorialized in Down's History of Chautauqua County as having been:
" A native son of Jamestown, and no man in the city had a wider experience or more varied life. He was a man of strong physique, regular, temperate habits and a tireless worker........He did much for the material advancement of Jamestown and gave liberally towards the public institutions and charities."
From the Westfield Republican, January 30, 1907.


Buried in the Jones plot are Orsino, his wife Louisa and their son Charles Howard.

Orsino Ellick Jones, 1829-1907.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Person Colby Cheney (1828-1901), Person Davis (1819-1894)

From the Sketches of Successful New Hampshire Men, published in 1882.
 
   Prominent in New Hampshire state politics during the late 19th century, Person Colby Cheney can lay claim to being of of the oddest named men ever to serve as Governor of the "Granite State". During a career in public service that lasted over forty years Cheney occupied a number of political offices, including stints as state representative, state railroad commissioner, mayor, Governor, U.S. Senator and Minister to Switzerland.
   Person Colby Cheney was born in Holderness, New Hampshire on February 25, 1828, the sixth born son of Moses and Abigail Morrison Cheney, both prominent in New England abolitionist circles. At age seven he removed with his family to the town of Peterborough, and received his education in the Peterborough and Hancock Academies. Cheney continued his schooling at Parsonfield Seminary in Maine and in 1845 took over the management of his father's paper manufacturing business in Peterborough. In 1850 Cheney married to his first wife, S. Anna Moore, who died in January 1858. A year following her death Cheney remarried to Sarah White Keith on June 29, 1859 and later had one daughter, Agnes Keith Cheney (1869-1952).
   Throughout the late 1840s and 1850s Cheney continued to be active in the paper manufacturing industry, opening a second paper mill in Peterborough in 1853. In that same year he was elected to his first political office, as one of Peterborough's representatives in the New Hampshire state legislature. He was returned to this office the following year and after serving two terms returned to his earlier business pursuits. In 1862 he entered military service as a quartermaster in the Thirteenth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers. His stint in the military lasted about a year, when he became seriously ill and remained bedridden for three months. Cheney was later honorably discharged from service in August of 1863. 
   Following his lengthy recuperation Cheney returned to political life, becoming New Hampshire State Railroad Commissioner in 1864. He served three years in this post, and during his term of service removed to the city of Manchester, and there continued his business interests. Within a few years of his removal Cheney had "attracted attention to him as a man highly fitted for public honors, but as pre-eminently capable of commanding them at the hands of the people." In 1871, Cheney was nominated for Mayor of Manchester and later won the election "by a larger majority than any candidate had received since 1863."As mayor of Manchester Cheney was instrumental in introducing the first fire alarm telegraph system in the city, and after serving on term in office refused to be a candidate for reelection. 


                              Cheney around the time he was elected Governor of New Hampshire.


   After leaving the Mayor's office Cheney was chosen as President of the People's Bank of Manchester, serving in this post for over a decade. Cheney's political profile received a significant boost in 1875, when he was chosen to be the Republican candidate for Governor of New Hampshire. In the 1875 election the Republican party had secured a successful majority in the state legislature, which in turn decided that year's gubernatorial contest in favor of Cheney. The 1882 Sketches of Successful New Hampshire Men noted that Cheney "brought to the office of Governor a patriotic love for the state and a solicitude for her good name, a clear insight, great executive ability, thorough business habits, and personal dignity, urbanity and tact of the highest order." He was reelected as Governor in 1876 and served another term that concluded in 1877. 
   Following his governorship, Cheney returned to business life in Manchester, later obtaining a charter to erect a pulp mill in his old city of Peterborough. Cheney reemerged on the political scene in the mid 1880s when he was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the unexpired term of Austin Franklin Pike, who had died in office in October 1886. He served in the senate from November of 1886 to June of 1887, when a successor, William Eaton Chandler, was elected. In 1888 Cheney was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Chicago that nominated Benjamin Harrison for President, and in that same year began a lengthy membership on the Republican National Committee, holding his seat until 1900. 
   Following his service as an RNC delegate, Cheney's name was floated as a possible successor to outgoing Secretary of War Redfield Proctor, who had resigned the office after being named to a vacant seat in the U.S. Senate in 1891. The news of Cheney's possible appointment to the cabinet appeared in papers as far away as Minnesota, but in the end it proved to be just speculation, as Virginia politician Stephen Benton Elkins was named as Secretary. The accompanying article on Cheney's possible appointment to the war department appeared in the New Ulm Weekly Review in August 1891.


   In December 1892 President Benjamin Harrison named Cheney as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Switzerland. He served in this position until June of 1893, and then returned to the United States. In  his later years Cheney maintained extensive business holdings throughout Manchester and served as a trustee for the Bates College, as well as holding the directorship of the Home Market Club. In April 1901 Cheney's wife of over forty years died at age 72. Person Cheney survived his wife Sarah by only two months, dying at the home of his daughter Agnes in Dover, New Hampshire on June 19, 1901. He was 73 years old at the time of his death and was subsequently buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery in his native city of Manchester. His daughter Agnes Cheney Fish survived him, dying on March 4, 1952 at age 83.


                                 A pair of portraits of ex-Governor Cheney and his wife Sarah.

  In a recent discovery (June 28, 2013), another politician with the unusual name "Person has been located in the vast annals of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives. Read on to find out more!!



   Prominent in the business and political affairs of Somerville, Massachusetts, Mr. Person Davis served a short term in the Massachusetts General Court from 1880-1881. Born on June 1, 1819 in Princeton, Massachusetts, Davis moved to the Somerville area in 1850 and over the next four decades built up a reputation as one of Somerville's foremost merchants. He was employed as a grain dealer with the Davis and Taylor Co. in Boston for many years and gained his first taste of the political life in 1872, when he was elected as an alderman for Somerville's fourth ward. In 1879 he was elected from the county of Middlesex to the Massachusetts State House of Representatives and during his two terms (1880, 1881) held a seat on the house committee on Street Railways.
  Person Davis died in Somerville in 1894 at age 75. Despite being virtually forgotten today, Person Davis received the honor of having Davis Square in Somerville named after him in 1883.His expansive 10 acre estate made up part of what is now modern day Davis Square and is now home to many different restaurants, coffee houses, art galleries and other businesses. The area was even designated as "one of the 15 hippest places to live" in a 1997 edition of the Utne Reader. One can only wonder what Mr. Davis would have thought of this!!

Person Davis, from the "Representative Men of Somerville".

Return Jonathan Meigs Jr. (1764-1825)



  A prominent figure in Ohio politics on both the state and national levels, Return J. Meigs also served as an army officer, attorney and jurist (in three different territories!)
  Meigs was originally born in Middletown, Connecticut on November 17, 1764.  His father, Return Meigs Sr. served with  distinction during the Revolutionary War and was also a pioneer in the founding of what is now that state of Ohio.
  Return Meigs Jr. graduated from Yale University in 1785 and in 1788 moved to what is now Marietta, Ohio. Within a few years of settling there, Meigs was named to a judgeship in that territory and in 1799 was elected to the territorial legislature.
 While in the legislature, Meigs was a fervent advocate for Ohio gaining statehood, and in 1803 it became the 17th state. That same year he was appointed as Chief Justice of the Ohio State Supreme Court and served in this office until 1804, when he resigned. After his resignation, Meigs journeyed to the newly acquired Louisiana Territory to accept a judgeship.  
  Within a year of that appointment, Meigs removed again, this time to the Michigan Territory to serve on its District Court. He returned to Ohio in 1807 and the next year was appointed to the U.S. Senate. He resigned his senate seat in 1810 to run for Governor of Ohio and was elected. He was re-elected in 1812 and served until 1814, when President James Madison named him as his Postmaster General.


                                              Meigs during his cabinet service, ca. 1814-1823.


   Meigs was one of the longest tenured postmasters general in cabinet history, serving nine years in that office (only Francis Granger, who served 13 years in the post, served longer.) During his tenure Meigs nearly doubled the number of post offices in the United States. He continued his service into the administration of President James Monroe and retired because of health concerns in 1823.
  Meigs returned to his native city of Marietta, Ohio after leaving Washington and died there on March 29, 1825 at age 60.

Hurieosco Austill (1841-1912)


    A state senator, businessman and military figure from Alabama, Hurieosco Austill was born in Mobile on February 16, 1841, being the son of Colonel Jeremiah (1794-1881) and Margaret Eads Austill (1805-1890). Huriesoco attended the University of Alabama during his youth and after graduating from this institution in the class of 1861 enlisted in the Confederate Army's First Alabama Battery of Artillery. During his military service Austill rose from second lieutenant to Captain, and after receiving a minor injury in battle was captured at Fort Morgan. He was subsequently held as a prisoner of war until the close of the hostilities.
    After the war's conclusion Austill returned home to Mobile and recuperated before beginning the study of law. He was admitted to the bar in 1868 and shortly thereafter entered upon practice in Mobile, operating here until his death forty years later. Austill married in December 1873 to Aurora Roberta Ervin (1853-1928) and later became the father to three children, Margaret (born 1874), Robert Ervin (born 1878), Jennie Fee (born 1882), Hurieosco Jr. (born 1884), Aileen (born 1888) and Jere (born 1890).
   Beginning in 1874 Austill served a six year term as the Chancellor of the Southern Division of Alabama. In 1880 he made his first entry into politics, being elected as one of Mobile's representatives to the Alabama General Assembly. He served two years in the lower house of the legislature before being elected to the Alabama state Senate in 1882, again representing Mobile. His term in the senate concluded in 1886.
   Following the conclusion of his senate term in 1886 Austill spent the remainder of his life engaged in railroad work, being one of the founders of the Mobile and West Alabama Railroad. He would later serve as the president of the Mobile, Jackson and Kansas City Railroad for a time. Austill died on July 3, 1912 at age 71 and was subsequently interred at the Spring Hill Graveyard in Mobile, Alabama. The rare portrait of him shown above was taken at the Alabama Division of United Confederate Veterans meeting that was held at Macon, Georgia around 1910. 
   As with many of the individuals that will eventually be posted here,  it is unknown where Austill's unique first name originated from.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sophronius Stocking Landt (1842-1926)


   This curiously named man is Sophronius Stocking Landt, a soldier, teacher and one term member of the Wisconsin state assembly. He was born in the small village of Aztalan, Wisconsin on November 1, 1842, being the son of Frederick and Anna Edwards Landt. The Landt family would remove from Aztalan to Big Spring, Wisconsin when their son was seven, and Sophronius would reside in that town until the late 1870s.
   Sophronius received his education in the common schools of Adams County and later began attending the Brunson Institute in Point Bluff. Landt eventually left his studies at the aforementioned institute in 1861, signing on for military service in Company D of the Tenth Wisconsin Infantry. His service extended until November 1864, and the 1895 Wisconsin Blue Book notes that Landt participated in many major engagements during the course of the war, including Stone River, Lookout Mountain, Perryville, Chickamauga and the siege of Atlanta in 1864. 
   Landt was mustered out of service in November 1864 and in September of the following year married to Margaret "Maggie" Wilbur, with whom he had five children. In the decades following his military service Landt was engaged as a farmer and teacher, later occupying several local offices in his native village of Friendship, Wisconsin. In 1886 he was elected as the Treasurer of Adams County, serving in this post until 1892. In 1889 Landt was selected by then Wisconsin Governor William D. Hoard as Wisconsin's delegate to the Farmer's National Congress that was to be held in Montgomery, Alabama.


                                                       From the 1895 Wisconsin Blue Book.

   In November 1894 the citizens of Adams and Marquette county elected Sophronius S. Landt to the Wisconsin State Assembly, besting Democratic nominee William Risk by a vote of 2416 to that of 1139During his short stint in the Wisconsin legislature (which extended from 1895-97) Landt served on the committees on Agriculture and Labor & Manufacture. Following his time in state government Landt was named as Superintendent of Schools at Sparta, Wisconsin (holding that post for four years) and later took on the post of superintendent of the Waupun state prison farm.
    Sophronius Landt would later remove to Herman, Minnesota in 1911 to become the manager of a creamery, this according to his obituary published in the Waukesha Daily Freeman. He died there on October 12, 1926 at the age of 83. Interestingly, Landt kept a diary of his life that extended from his Civil War service until his death, and the results of this diary were published in book form under the title Your Country Calls, decades after his death. 


                       Landt's obituary from the Waukesha Freeman, published on Oct. 16. 1926.

Hieronymus Englemann (1844-1918)

The home of Hieronymus Englemann in Warren Township, Michigan.

    A member of the Michigan State Legislature for one term in the late 1880s, Hieronymus Englemann was a native of Germany before his relocation to the United States whilst still a child. Born in the province of Baden, Wurttemburg, on September 29, 1844, Hieronymus Engelmann was the second of two sons born to Baden natives Jakob and Charitas Anselm Engelmann. The Engelmann family immigrated to the United States when Hieronymus was three and established a home in Macomb County, Michigan. The family's last name has a variation in spelling, being given as both  "Englemann" and "Engelmann".
   Little could be found on Englemann's early years in Michigan. During the Civil War he enlisted as a member of Company I in the Third Michigan Infantry, and after returning home from military service began attending college in Milwaukee for a period of about four years. In 1872 he took an extended trip through Europe to improve his health, traveling "through Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, France and England." Englemann married in the mid 1870s to Margaret Hassett, with whom he would have one daughter, Agnes Rose Englemann (1876-1942), later a resident of Grosse Point, Michigan.
   Hieronymus Englemann first entered public service in 1875, when he was appointed as Center Line, Michigan's postmaster, the inaugural holder of that post. He would serve in this capacity for nearly a decade and in 1884 ran for a seat in the Michigan State House of Representatives on the Fusion Party ticket.  He would go on to defeat Republican candidate Alexander Grant by a vote of 1428 to 1230, and upon his victory resigned the office of post master to "become an eligible member of the house"
   As one of two representatives from Macomb County, Englemann served in the legislature from 1885-1887 and held a seat on the house committees on Horticulture and the State Library. Following the conclusion of his term in 1887 little could be found on the remainder of Englemann's life. He died on March 6, 1918 at age 74 and was interred under a small headstone at the St. Clement Cemetery in Center Line, Michigan. No photograph or portrait of Mr. Englemann could be found to post at the time of this writing. 


You Can Help!
  I am currently seeking more information (as well as a possible photograph of) Hieronymus Englemann. As there is  next to nothing online in regards to this curiously named man, I'd like to take this time to plead for help on finding further information on him. If any reader or historian wants an interesting historical project to fill their time with, see what you can locate on this very obscure Michigan politician!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eugenius Aristides Nisbet (1803-1871), Eugenius Wilson Davis (1832-1925)

                                                                              Portrait courtesy of Find-a-Grave.

    A U.S. Representative from Georgia and member of that state's supreme court, the uniquely named Eugenius Aristides Nisbet was born on December 7, 1803 in Greene County, the son of James and Penelope Cooper Nisbet. As a youth Eugenius attended the Powleton Academy in Hancock County and later went on to attend the University of Georgia at Athens, graduating from there in 1821. Following his graduation he began the study of law in Litchfield, Connecticut and after returning home applied to the Georgia state legislature to admit him to the state bar by a special action (as he was under 21 years of age). The legislature would grant Nisbet's request and soon afterward commenced the practice of law at Madison, Georgia.
  In 1824 Nisbet married Amanda Melvin Fitzgerald Battle, with whom he had twelve children over twenty-three years time. Three years after his marriage, Nisbet was elected to the Georgia State House of Representatives, serving until 1830. In the last year of his assembly term Nisbet was elected to his first term in the state senate, and would serve a total of seven years in that body.
   Eugenius A. Nisbet removed to Macon, Georgia in 1836, and in that same year launched a candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives. He would lose that election but made a second congressional run in 1838, this time winning with a total of 31,841 votes. Nisbet would win reelection to the House in March of 1841 and served until October 12th of that year, when he resigned, citing "a growing distaste of political life."


                                                          Nisbet after his congressional service.


   After his resignation from Congress, Nisbet returned to the practice of law and in 1845 was named as one of the first three judges on the newly established Georgia State Supreme Court. His judicial service concluded in 1853 and at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 sided with the Confederacy. Nisbet became a member of Georgia's secession convention, and is remarked as having "drew the original resolutions dissolving the state of Georgia with the American Union". He would briefly serve in the Confederate Provisional legislature and in 1861  launched a campaign for Governor of Georgia, being defeated by incumbent Governor (and later Senator) Joseph Emerson Brown (1821-1894), garnering 32,802 votes to Brown's 46, 493.
   In one of his last acts of public service, Nisbet served as a trustee of his Alma mater (the University of Georgia at Athens) from 1864 until his death in Macon, Georgia on March 18, 1871. He was preceded in death by his wife Amanda, who had died aged 60 in May 1865. Both were interred at the Rose Hill Cemetery, located in Macon, Georgia.




   In a short addendum to this article, in December 2011 another politician was discovered that has the given name Eugenius. That man is Eugenius Wilson Davis, an Indiana resident who served two terms in his state's house of representatives from La Porte County .
   Davis was born in Monongalia County, West Virginia on December 20, 1832, being the son of Caleb and Sarah Wagner Davis. The Davis family removed to Indiana in the year following his birth, and here young Eugenius attended school in a log cabin during the wintertime. He would spend his adolescence studying to become a teacher, as well as working on the family farm. Davis's teaching career would extend into the 1850s and over the course of his life grew to be a very prominent landowner in Indiana, and at the time of his death is recorded as being the owner of several hundred acres of land in Galena Township.
   Davis married in LaPorte County in 1853 to Betsey Ann Barnes (1835-1918), a native of Onondaga County, New York. The couple were wed for over sixty years and had three children born to their union, Arthur C. (killed in a wood working accident in 1896), Frances E. (birthdate unknown), and a child that died in infancy.
   It was in 1881 that Davis first entered the field of politics, winning election to the Indiana State House of Representatives. He served two terms in the state house, the last of which concluded in 1885. Following his time in state government, Davis became active in banking, and in 1915 was named as the President of the LaPorte Savings Bank. He served as its head until his retirement in 1919 at age 87. Eugenius Davis enjoyed his retirement for nearly six more years, dying at age 92 on April 22, 1925,  He was survived by his wife Betsey and was later interred at the Pine Lake Cemetery in LaPorte.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Anaximander Warner (1784-1843)

                              Warner's name as it appeared in the "Officers of Washington County, Ohio."


   This obscure individual is Anaximander (also spelled Anaxamander) Warner, an early citizen of Washington County, Ohio. He was born in Ashfield, Massachusetts on November 3, 1784, being the son of Thomas and Huldah Lazell Warner. The main reason Warner is included here on the site is his service as an Associate Justice on the Washington County Court of Common Pleas. His tenure on that court lasted for six years (1824-1830) and is in all likelihood the only public office he held. 
  Warner married in 1810 in Marietta, Ohio to Lucretia Porter and the couple would later become parents to an impressive number of offspring, 16 children in all!! They are listed as follows: Sara Porter (born 1811), Arthur Wellesley (1813-1887), Jackson (born 1815), Putnam Porter (born 1816), Ebenezer (1818-1911), Thomas White (1819-1849), John Mayberry (1821), Lucretia (born 1822), Mary Zipporah (1826-1919), Robert Raikes (1829-1830), Olivia C. (born 1831), Clarina Elizabeth (1832-1898), Dudley Woodbridge (born 1834), Daniel Woodbridge (born 1834),  Lucretia M. (born 1836) and Lyman Beecher Warner (1838-1918).
   Little else is known about Anaximander Warner, other than his judgeship and his service as a Masonic Grand Master in Marietta, Ohio. It is known that Warner died May 31, 1843 in Washington County at the age of 59, a burial location for him being unknown at this time.

Xenophon Overton Pindall (1873-1935), Xenophon Pierce Wilfley (1871-1931), Xenophon Wheeler (1835-1914), Xenophon Ryland (1844-1920)

From the 1909 Arkansas Office of the Secretary of State Report.

   An unusually named Governor of Arkansas, Xenophon Overton Pindall was a native son of Missouri,  being born on August 21, 1873 in the town Middle Grove, a son of Lebbeus and Elnorah Snell Pindall. As an adolescent Xenophon attended both the Missouri Military Academy and later the Central College of Missouri. In 1896 he earned his law degree from the University of Arkansas and soon after set up a law practice in his new home state.
  In December 1902 Xenophon married in Desha County, Arkansas to Mae Quilling, and it is recorded that the couple had no children during the course of their marriage. In the same year as his marriage to Mae Quilling, Pindall won election to the Arkansas State House of Representatives from Desha County, serving in this body until 1906. That same year he mounted a campaign for state Attorney General, but his candidacy proved to be unsuccessful. Not one to let a loss get the best of him, Pindall later became a candidate for the Arkansas State Senate at the end of 1906 and was elected, taking his seat in early 1907.
  At the start of 1907, incumbent Arkansas Governor John S. Little suffered a nervous breakdown and resigned from office. The president of the senate,  John Isaac Moore became acting Arkansas governor. His time in office concluded with the end of the legislative session, and at that time the President pro tempore of the Senate (Mr. Xenophon Pindall) became the Governor.
  Although he was technically acting governor, Pindall managed to create a lasting piece of legislation during his time in office, that being the creation of the Ozark National Forest. He is also mentioned in the 1995 edition of the Governors of Arkansas: Essays in Political Biography as taking "special pride in the enactment of a pure food and drug law, the imposition of a franchise tax on foreign corporations, and the passage of a measure designed to prevent price discrimination".  
   Pindall's short tenure in office concluded in 1909 and he soon returned to his previous career as a prominent criminal attorney in Little Rock. The life of this oddly named Arkansas governor came to end in rather odd circumstances on January 2, 1935, when he fell from a railroad embankment while taking a walk near the Arkansas River. He subsequently struck his head on a pile of rocks during the course of the fall and then had the bad luck of landing in "a steam exhaust pool near a power plant." Certainly a case of a strange and sad demise! Pindall was 61 years of age at the time of his death and was interred at the Rose Lawn Memorial Park in Little Rock a few days following his death. His wife Mae survived him by nearly forty years, dying at age 94 in March 1972 in Little Rock.


                    This article on Pindall's death was featured in the Sarasota Herald Tribune in 1935.






   A lawyer from Missouri, Xenophon Pierce Wilfley served as an interim U.S. Senator from that State in 1918. He was born in the town of Mexico, Missouri on March 18, 1871 and attended the Washington University Law School, where he earned his degree to practice law in 1899.
 After relocating to St. Louis, Wilfley became the Chairman of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners in 1917, serving one year in that post. The next year he was appointed to a vacancy in the Senate (which had been caused by the death of Missouri senator William Joel Stone.) Wilfley took office on April 30, 1918 and served until November 5 of that same year. During his brief senate tenure Wilfley chaired the Committee on Industrial Expositions and later ran a losing campaign to keep his senate seat.
  After leaving the U.S. Senate, Wilfley returned to his earlier law practice and eventually became President of the Missouri State Bar Association in 1925. He died on May 4, 1931 at age 59. In a little addendum to this article, Xenophon Wilfley's brother Lebbeus Redman Wilfley (1866-1926) will also be profiled here at some point. Lebbeus served as Attorney General of the Philippines (when it was under U.S. jurisdiction) as well as a judge.


                             Wilfley as he appeared in a 1918 edition of the Ogden Times newspaper.






  Another recent discovery (as of January 2012) is Xenophon Wheeler, a prominent Tennessee attorney. Wheeler was originally born in Ohio on February 19, 1835 and attended Yale University, where he earned his law degree in 1860.
   Wheeler served with distinction in the Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, and was seriously wounded at the Battle of Winchester, Virginia in 1862. After a period of recuperation, Wheeler removed to Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1865. Fourteen years later he was appointed as the United States District Attorney for Tennessee's Eastern District. Wheeler served in this postion until 1883 and in the following years was named as the fourth president of the Tennessee State Bar Association (serving until 1885.)
   Xenophon Wheeler is also mentioned as having an important impact on the development of Chattanooga as a municipality. He was viewed as a prime mover behind the creation of the first library in the city and later served as its inaugural president. Towards the end of his life, Xenophon Wheeler was appointed as a trustee of the University of Tennessee. He died at age 78 on January 31, 1914.



   Next up is Missouri resident Xenophon Ryland, who served as Democratic Presidential elector for that state in 1880. Little could be found on Mr. Ryland with the exception of the following.
  Ryland was born in Lexington, Missouri on June 1, 1844, the son John and Elizabeth Buford Ryland. Xenophon attended college at the Old Masonic College in Lexington and later served with Union Army during the Civil War.
  A prominent Mason in Missouri, Ryland entered the order at an early age and became a Master of the Lafayette Lodge No. 32 in 1869 and 1870. He was accorded numerous honors by the Masonic fraternity during his life, including being named as a Most Excellent Grand High Priest in 1873 and later as a Grand High Priest of Missouri.
  Ryland's political claim to fame rests on his service as a Democratic Presidential elector in 1880. Two years later he was elected as Probate Judge and served on the bench throughout the remainder of the 1880s. Ryland died in Missouri at age 76 on October  26, 1920.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mount Etna Morris (1900-1988)


   Named in honor of the tallest active volcano in Europe and bearing a remarkable resemblance to Harold Ramis's character "Egon Spengler" in the Ghostbusters films, Mount Etna Morris served over ten years in the office of Missouri State Treasurer, being elected to that office on three nonconsecutive occasions.
   "M.E." Morris, as some sources record him, was born on September 1, 1900 in Dadeville, Missouri, being the son of Albert and Veda Palestine Wilson Morris. During his adolescence Morris attended the University of Missouri and later served overseas during the First World War. He married on December 24, 1922 to Everton, Missouri native Helen Adamson, with whom he would have two children, Helen "June" Morris Croce (1924-2008) and John A.(birth-date unknown). Mount Morris and his wife were married until Helen's death in 1966 and one year later he remarried to Margery Lott Adamson (1923-2008), a relative of his first wife.
   Throughout the 1920s and 30s Morris was heavily active in banking and became the executive officer of the National Bank of Trenton, Missouri in 1936. He also began to dabble in politics around this time, and was elected to two terms in the Missouri State House of Representatives from Lawrence County, serving from 1932-1936. Throughout the next decade he continued the climb the ranks of public service, being appointed as State Finance Commissioner in 1945 and Director of the Missouri Department of Revenue in the following year.
   In November 1948 Morris won election as Missouri State Treasurer, entering into office in January 1949. This was the first of three nonconsecutive terms in that post, and at the expiration of his first term in 1953, he returned to his earlier banking interests. In 1957 he was returned to the office of treasurer, serving until 1961. Four years later he was elected for the third and final time and served until 1969. Interestingly, Morris is the only Missouri State Treasurer to have served three terms in office.
  Morris died at the age of 87 on July 8, 1988, following a fall at a nursing facility where he had been a resident. He was subsequently buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Jefferson City, Missouri. He was survived by his second wife Margery, who died June 19, 2008 at age 85. 


                                                            Morris during his later years.

Outerbridge Horsey (1777-1842), Outerbridge Horsey VI (1910-1983)

   Today's brief profile highlights the life of one Outerbridge Horsey, a U.S. Senator from Delaware. As you can see, no picture of him could be found to place within this article, and in all actuality, one will probably not be found (at least not in the foreseeable future!) For over a decade I have tried to locate a painting/picture of this obscure man, and despite by best efforts at scouring the internet and various history books related to Maryland history, I've come up empty on all fronts. 
   Outerbridge Horsey was born in Laurel, Delaware on March 5, 1777 and married to Ms. Elizabeth Digges Lee (1783-1862), with whom he had two sons, Thomas Sim Lee (1816-1834) and Outerbridge (1819-1902). Mr. Horsey won election to the Delaware State House of Representatives in 1801(serving a two year term) and in 1806 he was elected as the Attorney General of Delaware, subsequently serving four years in that capacity. While still the incumbent in that office, Horsey won election to the U.S. Senate to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Samuel White (1770-1809). 
  During his senate service Horsey served on the Committee of Safety and used this position to help fortify his home state during the War of 1812. His senate service concluded in 1821 and he was succeeded by Caesar Augustus Rodney (1772-1824). Following the conclusion of his term in the senate Horsey was named as a trustee of the College of Wilmington. He died at his wife's estate on June 9, 1842 at age 65 and was later buried at the St. John's Cemetery in Frederick, Maryland. In an interesting side note, there have been several other men named Outerbridge in the Horsey family, all descendants of the man profiled here. One of them is the following man, Outerbridge Horsey VI (1910-1983).




  This Outerbridge Horsey was a diplomat, and served in a variety of oversea posts during his life, including First Secretary Consul at Rome from 1947 to 1955 and later Minister and Counselor at Tokyo from 1956-1958. In 1963 he was named as U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia by President Johnson and served until 1966. Outerbridge Horsey VI died at age 71 on August 18, 1983 and was buried in Saint Mary's Cemetery in Petersville, Maryland, the same cemetery as his senatorial relative.

Welty McCullogh (1847-1889)

Portrait from the Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Westmoreland County.

   A one term U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania, Welty McCullogh's short life of 41 years was spent mainly in the practice of law in his native county of Westmoreland. He was born on October 10, 1847 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, one of six children born to John (1803-1884) and Eliza Welty McCullogh (1818-1882). He received his primary education at the Elder's Ridge Academy and later attended the Washington and Jefferson College from 1866-1869. He would graduate from Princeton University in the class of 1870.   
   Shortly following his graduation McCullogh began the study of law and was admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1872. He began a law practice later that same year which continued until his death. His law expertise was highly regarded by his contemporaries and the Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Westmoreland notes that McCullogh's "skill which he displayed in conducting important cases soon placed him in the front rank of the distinguished lawyers in Western PA". During the mid 1870s he became counsel for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad company, and it was noted that "he was retained as counsel for nearly all the large coal, coke and manufacturing companies in Westmoreland County."
   In 1872 McCullogh married fellow Greensburg native Ada Bell Markle, and two children were eventually born to this couple, Harry Markle (who died aged 17 in 1891) and Eliza (birth and death dates unknown.)
  
                          An article on McCullogh's nomination from the 1886 Milwaukee Journal.

   In 1886 McCullogh won election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania's 21st district as a Republican, defeating Democratic candidate Henry Donnelly by 255 votes! During his term McCullogh held a seat on the Committee on Claims and the Committee on Mines and Mining. In addition to the above, the Cyclopedia of Westmoreland makes mention of an interesting tidbit, that of McCullogh being "bestowed the compliment of being the handsomest man in congress". Why this adulation was given to him is anyone's guess, but from the looks of the picture of him above, my guess is that his impressive whiskers may have had something to do with it! He served one term in the U.S. House (1887-1889) and is noted that he "served in the Fiftieth Congress with satisfaction to his constituents of all parties and with honor and credit to himself."
   After leaving office in January 1889, McCullogh returned to his native city of Greensburg, where he died of an unspecified illness on August 31st of that year at age 41. He was memorialized at his funeral as a man "endowed by his creator with a strong physique, a handsome face, and talents of a high order. Few, indeed have been more highly favored."
   Within days of his death, McCullogh was buried in the St. Clair Cemetery in Greensburg. His wife Ada Markle McCullogh is recorded as survived her husband by forty years, dying in Greensburg in November 1929 at age 72.  The rare portrait of McCullogh shown above was discovered in the earlier mentioned Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia of Westmoreland County, originally published in 1890.

                McCullogh's obit as it appeared in a 1889 edition of the Jeannette, Pennsylvania Dispatch.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Supply Belcher (1751-1836), Supply Wheeler Edwards (1817-1893), Supply Twyng Holbrook (1822-1895)


   This curiously named gentleman is Supply Belcher, a prominent Maine resident who rose to become one of the most highly regarded American composers during the late 18th and early 19th century. While quite notable in this regard, it is Belcher's political doings (that of a multi-term Massachusetts state legislator) that earns him a place here on the site.
   Supply Belcher was born in Stoughton, Massachusetts on March 29, 1751, the son of Clifford and Mehitable Belcher. It is mentioned in the 1885 work The History of Farmington, Franklin County, Maine that Belcher received a "superior English education" during his youth eventually entered into "mercantile life in Boston". Belcher would go on to serve as a private during the Revolutionary War and was eventually promoted to Captain. Belcher married Ms. Margaret More in May 1775 and over the course of their sixty year marriage became the parents of ten children!
   Belcher began composing music in the late 1770s and early 1780s whilst being the proprietor of a tavern in Stoughton. Over the succeeding years he became increasingly popular throughout the New England area not only for his compositions, but also for his being a violinist, choirmaster and singer. He was the leader of Farmington's first choir and in 1794 was dubbed by a New England periodical as the "Handel of Maine", because of musical similarities to German composer Georg Freidrich Handel (1685-1759). Many of his classical compositions were published in 1794 under the title "The Harmony of Maine". In 1978, more than a century after his death, Belcher's works were adapted by American minimalist composer John Cage in a work entitled Some of the 'Harmony of Maine'.
   Throughout his life Belcher served in a number of civic posts, including stints as a tavern owner, Farmington town clerk, schoolmaster and tax assessor. In 1798 he was elected to the Massachusetts General Court as a representative from Farmington and served three more terms in 1799, 1801 and 1802. The History of Farmington, Franklin County Maine also gives note that Belcher received 13 votes for Governor of Massachusetts in 1799. A result from this election has been posted below, and one should note that the then current Massachusetts Governor also had an unusual name.....Increase Sumner! Public service continued in the Belcher family when Supply's son Hiram Belcher (1790-1857) served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts for one term (1847-1849.)



   Supply Belcher died at the age of 85 on June 9, 1836 and following his death was interred at the Center Meeting House Cemetery in Farmington, Franklin County, Maine. He is chiefly remembered today for his unusual name and his musical pursuits, and sources of the time also note that Belcher had a nickname, being referred to by some of his contemporaries as "Uncle Ply". In an amusing side note, Belcher returned from the grave earlier this year and established his own Twitter account, where he expounds humorous quotes about the world around him (seeing that he's been dead for over 170 years, he has a lot to catch up on!) If you would like to see what he's been up to all this time, please visit 
http://twitter.com/#!/Supply_Belcher for more information.


This rare painting of Supply Belcher is in the possession of the Farmington Historical Society.



From Hurd's History of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, 1885.


   One term New Hampshire state legislator Supply Wheeler Edwards was born on April 9, 1817 in Temple, New Hampshire, a son of Nathaniel and Sarah Wilson Edwards. It is mentioned in the History of Hillsborough County, New Hampshire that Edwards had "no advantages in his youth for education beyond what his native town could furnish" and that after finishing school began a career as a stonemason. He married in December 1840 to Ms. Elizabeth Winn (born 1820) and later became the father to three sons, who are listed as follows in order of  their birth: John Wheeler (1844-1864), Charles Warren (born 1847) and George Walter (1849-1935).
  The majority of Supply Edwards' life was spent in the private sector, and for most of his 76 years of life was engaged in farming in addition to the aforementioned trade of stone-masonry. In 1876 he was elected to the New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Temple and served during the legislative session of 1877. Edwards died at age 76 on July 3, 1893 in the village in which he was born.


From the Illustrated Popular Biography of Connecticut, 1891.


   Two term Connecticut state representative Supply Twyng Holbrook was born on September 7, 1822 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the son of Sabin (1786-1833) and Mary Holbrook. Holbrook received his education at home under his parents, and the Modern History of New London County, Connecticut gives note that he "became well versed and proficient in music." This work further relates that after he left Roxbury, Holbrook journeyed to Hartford, Connecticut where he became a member of a brass band. His stay in Hartford was short, as he soon removed to the town of Norwich, where he resided until his death.
  Soon after his resettlement, Holbrook began involving himself in musical affairs in his new hometown, eventually becoming organist at the Second Congregationalist Church. In addition to this position, Holbrook is also recorded as being a vocal teacher and director for the Universalist Church located in Norwich.

   In the mid 1850s Holbrook's musical interests were cast aside when he began pursuing a career in law, and in 1856 was admitted to the New London County bar. Later that same year he was named as judge of probate for New London County and held this post until 1868. Holbrook was reelected to this judgeship in 1879 and served on the bench until his retirement in 1892 when he was 70. In 1873 and 1876 the citizens of Norwich elected Holbrook as their representative in the Connecticut state legislature, and a roster from the latter session (bearing Holbrook's name) has been posted below.



   During his legislative service Holbrook is mentioned by the Modern History of New London County as taking "an active and prominent part in the business of the House". After leaving the legislature he continued in his earlier judgeship and also served as the president of the Connecticut probate assembly on several occasions. Supply T. Holbrook died at age 72 on April 19, 1895 at his home in Norwich, and he was memorialized in the earlier mentioned Modern History of New London County as a " man of sunny of cheerful disposition, the kind of man it was a pleasure to meet in the daily walks of life."