Friday, June 28, 2013

Nesbit Gamaliel Gleason (1872-1948)

From Bridgeman's "Souvenir of Massachusetts Legislators", 1917 edition.

    An active civic leader and political figure in Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts, Nesbit Gamaliel Gleason was for many years one of Andover's leading citizens. A one term member of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives as well as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention of 1917-18, Gleason was also held high office in two different masonic lodges in Massachusetts. Born in the city of Lawrence on November 11, 1872, Nesbit G. Gleason attended the public schools of that town and was employed by the American Express Co. and later, the American Woolen Company. He married on June 7, 1894 to Alice Christie, who was born in Scotland. They became the parents of one daughter, Elsie Grosvernor Gleason in March 1895.
   In 1901 he was elected as Andover town auditor and served in this capacity for over fifteen years. In addition to his serving as town clerk, Gleason was also the chairman of the Andover Republican town committee from 1909 to 1910.  In 1915 he was elected as one of Essex County's representatives in the Massachusetts General Court. Taking his seat in 1916, Gleason was named to the house committees on counties, Social Insurance, and chaired the committee on Municipal Insurance. During his legislative term Gleason was also a member of the Massachusetts State Constitutional Convention of 1917-1918. 
  Prominent in the local masonic fraternity, Gleason held memberships in two lodges in the Essex County area. He was a Past Master of the St. Matthews Masonic Lodge, a member of the Mt. Sinai Royal Arch Masons, a member of the Ancient Order of the Accepted Scottish Rite, a member of the Andover Odd Fellows Lodge, and was a member of the Aleppo Temple of the Mystic Shrine. The remainder of Nesbit G. Gleason's life following his term in the legislature is totally unknown. He is recorded in 1940 U.S. Census as a 67 year old residing at Mt. Vernon Street in Boston with his wife and daughter, whose death dates also remain unknown at this time.
  As this article "went to press", as it were, it was lacking a death date for Mr. Gleason, and despite my best attempts at perusing my usual archived newspaper resources and genealogical webpages, one could not be found! I'd like to offer forth a hail and hearty thank you to SNIAPH Facebook friend John Mark Woodbury for locating Mr. Gleason's date of demise, courtesy of the ever useful Ancestry.com. Nesbit Gleason passed away on June 19, 1948, in his 76th year, three decades after his service in the Massachusetts legislature. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Beveridge Colin Dunlop (1879-1961)

From the March 2, 1951 edition of the Orangetown Telegram.

   A one term New York State Assemblyman and businessman in the county of Rockland, Beveridge Colin Dunlop was one of the aforementioned county's most highly regarded citizens. Bestowed a truly unusual first name upon his birth (how many people named Beveridge have you heard of by chance?), Mr. Dunlop didn't let his odd name keep him from having a successful career in both business and politics.
  One of nine children born to Scottish immigrants John and Jeannie Beveridge Dunlop, Beveridge C. Dunlop was born in Paterson, New Jersey on April 28, 1879. Bestowed the name "Beveridge" due to it being his mother's maiden name, Dunlop and his family resided in the Paterson area until 1887, when they removed to Rockland County, settling in the town of Spring Valley. He received his education in schools local to that town and around 1892 relocated back to New Jersey with his family. He graduated from the State Street High School in Hackensack in 1895 and thereafter returned to Spring Valley to join in the family business.
  John Dunlop Sons Inc. was one of the largest silk manufacturing companies in New York and New Jersey, and had had a branch established in Spring Valley by John Dunlop in 1887. He retired from the business in 1890 and the company was taken over by the two eldest Dunlop sons, George and John. Beveridge joined this company when he was still a young man and continued to be connected with the company until it closed its doors in 1937. Beveridge served as a vice president and secretary of this company, and in addition to his involvement there was instrumental in the manufacture of rayon (artificial silk) for many years. In 1927 he was named as a vice president and director of the North American Rayon Corporation and  four years later became a vice president of another rayon manufacturer, the American Bemberg Corporation in New York City. 
   At the dawn of hostilities with Spain in 1898 Dunlop joined in the war effort, enlisting in the New Jersey Volunteer Infantry regiment at Hackensack. This company was later encamped at Florida for a time, but Dunlop's time in the outfit was short-lived. A fellow serviceman of his, Mr. George M. Edsall, recalled that Dunlop became seriously ill at the camp after eating spoiled beef, and that "his condition became so serious that his family chartered a special train equipped with two nurses to bring him home from the camp." Despite his illness, Dunlop later entered the military once again, serving with the Y.M.C.A's "Rainbow Division" during the First World War. Following his service in the Spanish American War, Dunlop married in Albany on September 6, 1904 to Anna Norton Marvin (1880-1980), with whom he would have four children, John (born 1906), Janet (born 1909), Dudley Marvin (1913-1962) and Mary Dunlop Dedel (1916-2004). 
   With his name firmly established in the Rockland community, Dunlop entered state politics in 1913 when he announced his candidacy for the New York State Assembly. Although formerly a Republican, Dunlop jumped aboard the then popular Progressive Party bandwagon, running on that party's platform. On election day 1913 he eked out a narrow victory over Democratic candidate Frederick Grimme with a vote of 4,347 to 4,287. Taking his seat in January of the new year, Beveridge Dunlop was named to the house committees on Ways and Means, Public Printing, and during his service is listed by a state assembly report as introducing legislation advocating the establishment of a "Minimum Wage Commission to protect minors under eighteen years of age and women from employment at wages insufficient to supply a necessary cost of living and maintain the health, morals and efficiency of the workers, defining the powers and the duties of the commission and appropriating $25,000."
   Dunlop ran for a second term in the assembly in 1914 and again was the Progressive Party nominee. He was defeated for reelection in November of that year, garnering 1,463 votes to winning Democratic candidate Frederick Grimme's total of 3,481.  

Dunlop's portrait from the 1914 New York Red Book.

  While he may have lost his assembly seat, Dunlop continued to be active in the public affairs of Rockland County, being named as a Republican Presidential elector in 1916. He continued an active schedule throughout the remainder of his life, holding an impressive number of positions in businesses located throughout New York and New Jersey, including: the directorship of the U.S. Testing Company in Hoboken, director of the First National Bank of Spring Valley, director of the Allied Products Corporation of Suffern, New York and was a trustee of the Manhattan Savings Bank. Dunlop was also the chairman of the Spring Valley Board of Education for a number of years.


This portrait of Beveridge Dunlop appeared in a 1960 edition of the Orangetown Telegram.

  In addition to his business activities, Dunlop maintained a membership in the Athelstan Lodge #839 of the Free and Accepted Masons, and was honored as a Past Master of that lodge. Active in the American scouting movement, Dunlop served as an Honorary President of the Rockland County Council of the Boy Scouts of America during the 1940s. The Pearl River Orangetown Telegram also notes that he was "an ardent sportsman and has hunted game in all parts of the country." Beveridge Dunlop died on July 2, 1961 at age 82. He was survived by his wife Anne, who, following her death at age 99 in 1980, was interred at the Brick Church Cemetery in New Hempsted, New York.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ophir LeRoy Haring (1878-1943)


   Once in a while a certain city, town or village is discovered that has an oddly named individual listed amongst its roster of past mayors. The city of Three Rivers, Michigan is a special case, as it has had the good fortune to have two men serve as mayor (twenty years apart) with truly unusual names. The first of these men was Cadalzo Dockstader (profiled yesterday) who held the job from 1897-1899. Following in his stead was Mr. Ophir LeRoy Haring, today's "honoree", as it were. This man with the intriguing first name was a lifelong Michigan resident and is presumed to have inherited the name "Ophir" from the like named region in the Bible, an area known for gold, mineral wealth and other precious resources.
   Ophir L. Haring was born in a log cabin on February 15, 1878 in the township of North Shade in Gratiot County, Michigan, the last of five children born to Hiram (1844-1905)  and Susan Foltz Haring (1843-1925). He spent a good majority of his adolescence engaged in farm work, and attended schools local to the village of Hubbardston. After the completion of his education he went to serve as a school teacher in the village of Beebe, Michigan and was employed here for only a few months. He left this employ and later went on to a short career as a general merchandiser in the store of William D. Iseman. Haring married in Ithaca, Michigan in November 1904 to Else Harriett Hill (1875-1932) with whom he would have two daughters, Madelon Elaine (1914-1992) and Donna Jean (1918-1976). Ophir and Elsie are also recorded as adopting a third child, Doris Eileen Van Aken (1914-1992) in 1915.
  Two years following his marriage Haring decided upon a career as an undertaker, enrolling at the Williams School of Embalming in Chicago. After completing the curriculum he worked as an undertaker and embalmer in Cassopolis, Michigan and Elkhart, Indiana before relocating to the Three Rivers area. Once settled, Haring formed another undertaking business with Frederick W. Balch, a prominent local furniture dealer. This partnership lasted for over a decade, and Haring himself is noted as opening the first funeral parlor in Three Rivers in 1919.
   Ophir L. Haring's activities weren't limited to just operating a funeral home. A member of a number of local fraternal organizations (including the Salathiel Chapter No. 23 of the Royal Arch Masons) Haring also made his name known politically, becoming a member of the Three Rivers city commission in 1921. Two years later he was elected as Mayor of Three Rivers, and after serving a term of one year returned to his earlier career as a funeral director and embalmer. In his later years Haring held a seat on the St. Joseph County Welfare Commission and is recorded as resigning from this board for unknown reasons. He died on December 29, 1943 at age 65 and was later interred at the Riverside Cemetery in Three Rivers. Haring's wife Elsie predeceased him eleven years previously and was interred at the same cemetery as her husband. 
  The rare portrait of Ophir LeRoy Haring shown above was featured on a 1932 poster featuring all of the past Three Rivers mayors who had served from 1908-1932. The original poster is located in the collection of the Three Rivers Library archive, and can be seen at the Library's Flickr page at the following link

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cadalzo A. Dockstader (1861-1944)


   Possessing a truly unique first name, Cadalzo Dockstader was a locally prominent citizen in both St. Joseph County, Michigan and later, Syracuse, New York. Born in Nevada County, California on July 2, 1861, Cadalzo was one of three children born to Giles Fonda and Mary Louise Keller Dockstader. Giles and his wife had migrated from Michigan to California sometime previously, and at some point following their son's birth removed back to the Michigan area, settling in the county of St. Joseph.
  Cadalzo Dockstader enrolled at the Michigan State Agricultural College at East Lansing, graduating from this school in August 1882. A short while later he became engaged as a druggist in the city of Three Rivers, becoming a partner of Henry Hall in the pharmacy office of Hall and Dockstader. Their business is recorded as being "one of the oldest drug stores in Three Rivers" as well as being dealers in peppermint oil. Dockstader himself is referred to as a "dealer in domestic essential oils, farmer and druggist" in a publication by his Alma mater. In the late 1880s Dockstader married Eva Belle Jackson (1865-1917) with whom he would have one daughter, Mary Jane (1889-1922). 
  While prominent as a druggist in his community, Dockstader gained further notoriety in 1896 when he was elected Mayor of the city of Three Rivers, which had been incorporated as a municipality a short while before. Dockstader was the second man to served as mayor of the city (succeeding Marvin H. Bumphrey) and held office from April 1897 to April 1899. Two years after his term as Mayor had concluded, Dockstader won election as a Probate Judge for St. Joseph County, serving on the bench until 1905. 
   A few years after the conclusion of his term as judge, the Dockstader family removed from Three Rivers to Syracuse, New York, where they would reside for the rest of their lives. Within a few years of his relocation to the Empire State Dockstader had established business roots in Onondaga County, becoming an "apple orchidist" and was Secretary of the Onondaga Orchid Co. in the town of Fabius. He served in the capacity of Secretary Treasurer of the North Syracuse Light and Power Company during the early 1920s and in addition to the proceeding held the Presidency of the Cicero State Bank at Cicero, New York for an indeterminate length of time. Eva Dockstader died of an undisclosed illness in Syracuse in November 1917 at age 52, and Cadalzo never remarried following her death. Five years following his wife's passing Dockstader was dealt another tragedy when his only daughter Mary Jane died at age 33. 
  In 1929 Dockstader reentered the political forum, launching a campaign for Mayor of North Syracuse, New York. Dockstader ran as a "non-partisan candidate" and faced off against Republican Ernest Conway during the contest. On election day Dockstader emerged victorious, besting Conway by a close vote of 312 to 302! Two newspaper snippets concerning the election (both of which appeared in the Syracuse Journal in March 1929) are located below. Dockstader's one term as Mayor ended in 1931, and it is worth noting that he is the first oddly named politician profiled here on the site who served as a Mayor in two different states!


  Little else is known of Dockstader's life after he left office, and one can presume that he carried on with his earlier agricultural and banking interests in Onondaga County. Cadalzo Dockstader died at the Duryee Nursing Home in Syracuse on December 15, 1944 at age 83 and was shortly thereafter cremated. His remains were later interred at the North Syracuse Cemetery. The rare portrait of him shown above was found in the 1895 work Headlight Flashes Along the Michigan Central Line, which highlighted important civic and business leaders in the Three Rivers area.

From the December 16, 1944 edition of the Syracuse Journal.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mannes Dargan Munn (1880-1946)


  This oddly named political figure is one Mannes Dargan Munn, a highly regarded resident of Edgecomb County, North Carolina. His profile here will be one of the shortest yet posted, as very little information could be found on his life, despite my best attempts at trying!
  Munn was born on February 20, 1880, a son of John W. and Rebecca Ann Bulluck Munn. Nothing could be found on Munn's childhood, education or marriage, but it has been found that he was involved in the wholesale produce business with Mr. John D. Chrisman, this according to a listing in the 1913 Rocky Mount, North Carolina DirectoryIn 1914 Munn was elected as Chairman of the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce and was reelected to this post the following year. Notice is also given as to Munn's membership on the Board of Directors of the Planters Bank of Rocky Mount.
   In 1916 Mannes Munn and Clarence Alonzo Griffin (1886-1934) became the primary organizers of the Munn, Griffin and Co., a wholesale fruits and produce business based in Rocky Mount. This business was remarked as being a distributor of bananas, Virginia apples and other types of produce, and "employed 32 workers with an annual payroll of 100,000 dollars." The company is also recorded by an ESC Quarterly report as having "10 outside salesmen and uses 15 delivery trucks in covering an area embracing a radius of 75 miles around Rocky Mount."
   In addition to his involvement in local business and civic interests, Mannes D. Munn was also keen on local political affairs. He maintained a seat on the Rocky Mount Board of Aldermen from 1922 to 1931, resigning in the latter year to run for Mayor. He was successful in his quest for the office, and served as Rocky Mount's mayor for four years, 1931-1935. Little else could be found on Munn's life after his service as mayor, and he died at age 66 on June 8, 1946. He was later interred at the Pineview Cemetery in South Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
From the June 8, 1946 edition of the Gastonia Daily Gazette. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Eastwood Eastwood (1834-1900)

Portrait from the Representative Men and Families of Rhode Island, Vol. III.

   The name would be Eastwood Eastwood. No, that isn't a typo!! This imaginatively named man was a resident of distinction in 19th century Rhode Island, serving as a member of that state's legislature and was elected as Mayor of Central Falls shortly before his death. The above picture of him (discovered recently in Volume III of the Representative Men and Families of Rhode Island) marks the first time I've seen a portrait of this obscure man......and I've been aware of him since 2002!!! I first located the name of this mysterious Rhode Islander on the Politicalgraveyard website over a decade ago, and I can honestly state that the decade-plus years of searching for information on him have finally paid off! Despite having few sources that mention him at any great length, Eastwood Eastwood will now have at least one proper biography of himself available online!
   While his odd name is one of the most unique in the annals of American politics, Mr. Eastwood wasn't born in the United States. Born into a family of 12 children in Clitheroe, Lancashire, Great Britain on December 28, 1834, Eastwood was the son of the Rev. John and Jane Eastwood and received his education at schools in his native county of Lancashire, attending the Cawthorne Academy. In 1857 Eastwood left England and relocated to seek a new life in the United States, settling in the town of Fall River, Massachusetts. After a short stay in that town he removed to Providence, Rhode Island and then finally to the Lincoln/Central Falls area where he resided for the remainder of his life.
   Following his resettlement in Lincoln, Eastwood set about establishing his roots in that town's business community. He secured a position with the Robert Clews Manufacturing Company and later in 1874 company president George Gosling admitted Eastwood as a partner. The company was described by sources of the time as a "colossal enterprise" and was remarked in the Providence Journal as having "always done a large business in making textile appliances and is one of the best known companies of its kind in this country." The company specialized in the production of a patented tin cylinder used in numerous factories and mills around the United States. Gosling and Eastwood would later become sole proprietors this company, with Eastwood serving as President and Gosling as Secretary Treasurer. Their lucrative partnership lasted until Eastwood's death in December 1900.
   In addition to his extensive involvement in the milling industry, Eastwood Eastwood served as the President of the Moshassuck Cemetery Corporation and is recorded by his 1900 Providence Journal obituary as having had "other large and important business interests in other parts of the state."Although much information exists on Eastwood's public career and business activities in Rhode Island, his personal life is somewhat more difficult to research. He married his first wife, Jane Elliott, in England, and this union later saw the birth of one daughter, Sarah Jane. Following her death, Eastwood remarried to Sarah Rowse (1834-1908) on November 15, 1871. This marriage saw the birth of one son, Thomas Gosling, who died in infancy. In addition to this child, Eastwood is recorded as adopting Maude Rouse (1862-1943), Sarah Rouse's daughter from her first marriage.
   While Eastwood's business pursuits won him wide acclaim throughout Rhode Island, his activities weren't limited to just commerce. Prominent in local politics for a number of years, Eastwood won election to the Lincoln, Rhode Island City Council in the mid 1880s and also served as Sewer Commissioner of that town. In 1892 he won election as a Republican to the Rhode Island General Assembly from Lincoln, and served during the legislative term of 1893-1895. A notice on his election appeared in the Pawtucket Tribune in April 1892, acknowledging that he was "elected by a larger majority than any of his associates." This same article notes that being the friendly public citizen that he was, Eastwood "left a box of cigars at Harrison's, and Phillips and Smith's news stores for all his friends to smoke." He went on to hold a seat on the committees on the Militia and Unfinished Business during his term, and in addition to his stint in the legislature, also served as an alderman for Central Falls in 1896 and was a past member of the Pawtucket Armory Commission.

                                        From an 1894 edition of Acts of the Rhode Island General Assembly.

   Eastwood refrained from political activity following his service as an alderman, but was drawn back to the political stage in 1899 when he was nominated for Mayor of Central Falls. He won the election and in his inaugural address (published in the Providence News on January 4, 1900) remarked that 
"We are about to begin our labors for the year; let us bear in mind that we are only the servants of the people of our good city, and they look to us for a careful, a faithful and efficient administration of the trust they have confided to our keeping. May all our acts during the present year be of a nature that will advance the interests of the city, further the welfare of its people and redound to the credit of you, its servants. To obtain these results we must work in harmony and peace."
   On November 6, 1900 Eastwood was reelected as mayor "by a majority of some 600", but despite a resounding victory, Eastwood had little to celebrate about. A few weeks preceding the election Eastwood had undergone surgery on a corn that had developed on his foot, and, being a diabetic, needed a "cosmetic" to aid in stopping the flow of blood caused by the initial surgical cut. Newspaper reports of the time note that gangrene eventually set in and with that, blood poisoning. Throughout November Eastwood's health continued to sink rapidly, and on December 1, 1900 he died at his home in Central Falls as a result of blood poisoning. 

From the afternoon edition of the December 1, 1900 Providence Journal.

  The death of the 66 year old incumbent mayor was major news in Rhode Island in 1900 and reports of the time show that he was widely mourned. The Providence Journal gave an extensive memorial to Eastwood, stating that "Words of sorrow are extended on every hand, for the Central Falls mayor had won a strong place in all the hearts of its people." This same paper also relates that "while a Republican in politics, he was not the offensive kind. He would do a kind act in his official capacity for anybody without regard to politics, and it was common talk on the streets that his popularity was such that there was no man who could defeat him for the office.
   Eastwood's funeral was first held at his home on December 4, 1900 and his remains were later relocated to the city clerk's office to lie in state. As a member of numerous fraternal organizations (including the Jenks Lodge Masons of Central Falls, the Royal Society of Goodfellows, the I.O.OF., the Washington Lodge Knights of Pythias and Providence Lodge of Elks), it can assumed that a great many of his fellow citizens came to pay their last respects to one of Central Falls' most honored men. Another funeral service took place at the Trinity Church in Pawtucket sometime later that day. Eastwood Eastwood was interred at the Mushassock Cemetery in Central Falls and was survived by his wife Sarah, who died in 1908 at age 74.

From the December 3, 1900 edition of the Providence Journal.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Leffert Lefferts (1774-1847)

Leffert Lefferts, portrait by Henry Inman (1801-1846).

  This imaginatively named political figure is one Leffert Lefferts of Brooklyn, New York. The scion of a family long prominent in the history of King County, Mr. Lefferts served as the judge for Kings County, New York and was later an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1813.
  Born in Kings County on April 12, 1774, Leffert Lefferts was the fifth child born to Squire Leffert Lefferts and Dorothy Cowenhoven (also spelled Kouwenhouven). Our subject studied at Columbia University and graduated from this institution in May 1794. He soon became acquainted with Judge Egbert Benson (1746-1833), who had earlier served as a Continental Congressman, New York State Attorney General and U.S. Representative from New York. Lefferts studied law under Judge Benson and in 1798 was admitted to practice as an attorney. Two years later Lefferts was named as clerk for Kings County and served in this post for sixteen years.
  In 1805 Lefferts was named as a commissioner in chancery and in 1813 became the Federalist candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, running against his cousin, John Lefferts (1785-1829). On election day 1813 John Lefferts claimed victory, and despite losing to his cousin, Leffert Lefferts continued to be a prominent figure in New York public affairs for the remainder of his life.  He married in April 1823 to Maria Robert Benson (1793-1875), with whom he would have two children, Elizabeth Dorthea (born 1824) and Leffert (died aged one in 1827).
  Leffert Lefferts was named as judge of Kings County Court of Common Pleas in 1823, succeeding outgoing Judge William Furman. Lefferts' tenure in this post lasted until 1827, when he resigned. Both before and after his time on the bench Judge Lefferts was active in the construction of the Long Island Bank, the first of its kind in Brooklyn. He was a leading figure in the development of the bank's charter and in 1824 became its President. He served in this capacity until 1846, when "his increasing infirmities constrained him to resign the position and responsibilities." 
  Impaired by feeble health during the last year of his life, Judge Leffert Lefferts died in Brooklyn on March 22, 1847 shortly before his 73rd birthday. Over twenty years following his death, Lefferts was memorialized by Henry Stiles Reed's History of the City of Brooklyn as having "uprightness, kind nature and pleasant gentlemanly manners are well remembered by all who knew him, and rendered him the representative man of the best Dutch Society in Brooklyn, at that day." A burial location for Lefferts is unknown at this time, but seeing that a good majority of his extended family are interred at the famed Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, it may not be a far-gone conclusion that he himself may be buried here!

A roster of Kings County Judges.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Upton Upton (1878-1951)


  Born with quite the imaginative name, Mr. Upton A. Upton was for many years a prominent figure within the Socialist Labor Party of the United States, and was that party's candidate for high office in Oregon on a number of occasions throughout the 1920s and 30s. The above picture of him (featured in the Socialist Labor Party's official paper, The Weekly People) is rather blurry, but it stands as the only available portrait of the man that I could find.
  Upton Alma Upton was born in the village of Springerton, Illinois on September 6, 1878 and removed to Oregon with his family in 1886. For many years he was employed as a post office worker and first joined the Socialist Labor Party in 1905. Nothing could be found on Upton's personal life, although mention is given to his having at least one son, Keith Upton. Over the succeeding years Upton worked his way up the hierarchy of the Socialist Labor party, serving terms as Oregon State Secretary and was a member of the SLP's National Executive Committee for two terms beginning in 1928.
  In 1920 Upton became the Industrial Labor candidate for Secretary of the State of Oregon. During that year's contest he faced off against Republican candidate Samuel Kozer and Socialist candidate J.P. Sears. On election day Upton managed to poll 11,318 votes to Kozer's winning total of 178,722. A result from that contest appeared in the November 30, 1920 edition of the Morning Oregonian and is shown below.


  Undeterred by the lopsided electoral results, Upton A. Upton mounted a candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon in 1924, this time running on the Socialist Labor ticket. He received only 3,061 votes in this contest compared to the winning total of 72,910 for Republican incumbent Willis Chatman Hawley. Upton made three further attempts at a house seat, running in the elections of 1928, 1932 and 1940, but polled low numbers each time. 
  While unsuccessful at gaining political office, Upton was still considered a prominent figure within the Socialist Labor party ranks, and sources of the time denote that he was frequently sought after to lecture on problems plaguing the working class, as well as to tout the party platform to interested persons. Upton was also a regular contributor to The People, authoring columns on such topics as "Pacific Coast Strikes" and "Election Day Aftermath Exposes Shoddiness of Capitalist Reform". 
  Upton continued to be involved in Socialist Labor affairs until illness curbed his activity. He died in Portland shortly after his 73rd birthday on September 30, 1951, and was memorialized by The People in the following quotation: "Our comrade felt that he had a mission to preform in life, and like to think of himself as born into this world to fulfill this mission. He discovered in the Socialist Labor Party his field of activity. He often stated that when we come into contact with the true Socialist thought, a whole new world is opened to our vision."

From the November 17, 1951 Weekly People.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Clermonte Getman Tennant (1880-1955), Clermont Colfax Smith (1868-1939)


  Officially plucked from the depths of obscurity, Clermonte Getman Tennant was a leading attorney in Cooperstown, New York, a town known more for baseball than for yielding oddly named political figures. A practicing lawyer for nearly fifty years, Mr. Tennant was an unsuccessful candidate for the New York State Senate in 1908, running on the Democratic ticket. In addition to his senate candidacy Tennant would also serve as Deputy Attorney General of New York for several years.
  Born in Richfield Springs, New York on September 19, 1880, Clermonte G. Tennant was the son of Judge Albert Clermonte and Lizzie Harter Getman Tennant. Clermonte attended the Albany Academy as a youth and went on to enroll at the Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, graduating in the class of 1904. Following his graduation Tennant studied at the Albany Law School and after the death of his father in 1905 returned to Cooperstown to establish a law practice. He married in in that village on September 5, 1908 to Florence S. Bundy (1885-1961), with whom he would have one son, Robert Clermonte Tennant (1909-1972).
   Shortly after establishing his career as an attorney, Tennant was named to the position of deputy Attorney General of New York, serving in this post for "a number of years", according to his 1955 Otsego Times obituary. In 1908 he was nominated by the Democratic Party to represent the 37th District in the New York State Senate, and the Hamilton Literary Magazine, Volume 43 took note of Tennant's candidacy, remarking that "next to Willis S. Mills '94, Mr. Tennant holds that best record for memory tests made in the College. His tenacious memory may assist him in handling the intricate and diffuse problems of a political campaign. All success to the Hamilton man in politics."
  Tennant's Republican opponent in that year's election was another oddly named man, Mr. Jotham Powers Allds (1865-1923) of Chenango County. A seasoned politician, Allds had served in the state assembly from 1896-1902 (including three years as majority leader) and had been the senate incumbent since 1903. Despite a spirited contest, Tennant came up short in the vote count, losing to Allds by a vote of 14, 623 to 18,775. Despite his defeat, Tennant continued in his stellar public career for many years afterwards, while Jotham Allds' political career was derailed in 1910 by his resignation from the senate on account of bribery! An electoral result from the 1908 Tennant-Allds Contest appeared in that years New York State Red Book and is shown below.


  While losing in his state senate candidacy, Clermonte Tennent continued to be politically active, serving as a  member of both the New York State Democratic Committee and the Otsego County Democratic Committee. He also held a seat on the New York State Tax Commission as a representative for the county of Otsego. In 1937 he formed the law partnership of Tennant and Tennant with his son Robert, which continued until the senior Tennant's death in 1955. In addition to this partnership, Clermonte Tennant served as village attorney for Cooperstown for over two decades.
   Busy as an attorney and with local political affairs, Tennant was also active in a number of local fraternal organizations, holding memberships in the Oneonta Lodge of Elks, the Otsego Lodge #134 of Free and Accepted Masons and the Cooperstown Rotary Club. He was a past president of the Otsego County Bar Association and is noted by his Utica Observer obituary as being "widely known as a stamp collector and had a valuable collection including many commemorative U.S. issues on which he concentrated in recent years."
   Clermonte G. Tennant continued an active schedule well into his 75th year, until illness took a toll on his health. He died at his home in Cooperstown on October 28, 1955 after "an illness of six weeks" and was later interred at the Lakeview Cemetery in Richfield Springs, New York.

From the Utica Observer, October 30, 1955.


Portrait courtesy of the Iowa Legislative Database.

   Hailing from the county of Butler in Iowa, Clermont Colfax Smith represented the aforementioned county in the Iowa State Senate for three terms in the late 1930s, dying in office in December 1939. The son of Josephus and Elizabeth Lambert Smith, Clermont Colfax Smith was born in Adair County, Iowa on November 28, 1868. He attended the public schools of that county and graduated from high school in the city of Harlan, Iowa. 
   During his adolescence Smith taught school for a time and after a short period at college assumed the superintendency of the Fontanelle, Iowa school system. He would later resign this post and begin the study of medicine, attending the Northwestern Medical School, graduating in the class of 1904. Smith would later marry to Ms. Rachel C. Corrough (1871-1944) and the couple would become parents to two daughters, Selma Louise (1899-1984) and Marian Elizabeth (1904-1970).
  After spending a good majority of his life as a practicing physician, Claremont Smith won election as a Republican to the Iowa Senate in the 1934 election year, serving during the session of 1935-37. He was reelected to the senate in 1936 and 1938 and was a sitting senator at the time of his death on December 5, 1939, a few days after his 71st birthday. Following his death Smith was interred at the Lynwood Cemetery in Clarksville, Iowa.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The SNIAPH Funny Named Politician Hall of Fame: Lemuel Boozer (1809-1870), Samuel Earl Bracegirdle (?--?), Lotta B. Broadbridge (1882-1975), Christine Bushyhead (?--?), Robert J. Clapsaddle (1904-1985), Dayton Countryman (1918-2011), Loyal Dayne Daubenspeck (1891-1971), Lauris Martin Eek (1888-1963), Guy Feely (1875-1916), Elijah Funk Pennypacker (1804-1888), Benedict Hatmaker (1864-1948), Ormond Konkle (1900-1979), Charles A. Lightpipe (?--?), George Washington Manypenny (1808-1892), Stanley Moneymaker (1903-1973), Walter Freshwater Pool (1850-1883), Rainey Ridenhour (1883-1962), Gilman Scripture (1813-1887), John J. Sourwine (1863 - ?), Napoleon Bonaparte Thistlewood (1837-1915), Gabriel Gunderson Titland (1860-1941), Wayne Warren Wagonseller (1921-1955), Peter Dinwiddie Wigginton (1839-1890)

  In the many years that I've been categorizing and collecting all of these strangely named political figures, one thing has remained constant....humor.  The following list of political figures was put together by me (in order to conserve some space) to profile a number of politicians with some truly funny last names. These amusingly named persons are meant to give you a good laugh, and a great many of them are what I consider to be laugh-out-loud funny. While a good majority of the nearly 3000 or so odd named political figures I've discovered are on the SNIAPH list due to odd first names, there are a number of folks on there due to their last name striking me as being funny or unusual....these folks and their funny last names are guaranteed to give you a chuckle. The following list will be added to in the coming months as I continually find new funny named political figures that I was previously unaware of. Enjoy!


From the South Carolina Bench and Bar, Vol. I, published in 1908.

  If you were on trial would you be comfortable with a Judge named Lemuel Boozer governing the proceedings? This funny named man was a prominent jurist in 19th century South Carolina who served as a state senator and circuit judge during the 1860s and 70s. Born in Lexington County on April 4, 1809, Lemuel Boozer was descended from an old German family with roots in South Carolina dating back to before the American Revolution. He received limited schooling during his childhood, with the Sounth Carolina Bench and Bar, Volume I noting that he "studied mostly by himself while engaged on the farm, carrying his books into the field and applying himself to them at night by the light of the pine-knot."
  Boozer went on to enroll at the South Carolina College, graduating from here in the class of 1830. He became a well-known lawyer in Lexington County and over the next forty years would serve his home county in a variety of public offices, including stints as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate. In 1860 Boozer was named as part of the South Carolina delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Charleston. A staunch Union man, Boozer was vehemently against secession and was one of three members of the South Carolina delegation who didn't join the Southern-leaning Carolinians who bolted the convention when Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas was nominated for the presidency.
  Following the Civil War, Lemuel Boozer served as a circuit court judge and in 1868 was named as a delegate to the South Carolina State Constitutional Convention. Boozer died on January 23, 1870 while still serving on the bench and was later interred in the Boozer Family Cemetery in Lexington County.

                             From the 1930 edition of "the Griffin", from the City College of Detroit.

Samuel Earl Bracegirdle--(?--?): Possessing a last name that reminds one of a back-support device, the mysterious Samuel E. Bracegirdle served as a delegate from Michigan to the 1936 Republican National Convention held in Cleveland, Ohio. Nothing else could be located on Bracegirdle's life, with the exception of his service as an RNC delegate.


From the 1906 Michiganensian Yearbook.

  During a long life of nearly 93 years, Michigan resident Lotta Belle Broadbridge excelled in multiple fields of interest, including athletics, education and politics. Born in Marine City, Michigan on December 8, 1882, Broadbridge was the daughter of Alfred and June Owen Broadbridge. Her education occurred in schools local to Marine City and she went on to attend the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, graduating in the class of 1906. Heavily active in that school's extra curricular activities, Broadbridge served as manager of the Girl's Basketball Team, Secretary and Treasurer of the Girl's Glee Club, and was the President of the school's Women's Athletic Association. 
  Following her graduation Ms. Broadbridge engaged in social work in Detroit for several years and later became principal of the Northern High School in that city. In 1917 she underwent a career change of sorts, purchasing 70 acres of land in Oneida County, Michigan and established a girls recreation camp in the town of Stella Lake. In the succeeding years Camp Bryn Afon became known throughout the United States, and its activities (including canoeing, indoor games, folk-interpretive dancing, weaving, and horseback riding) earned the camp well deserved recognition.
  In addition to the above activities, Lotta Broadbridge also began to dabble in politics during the late 1910s, serving as a member of the Michigan Republican State Central Committee in 1919. In the following year she was an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention from Michigan. Broadbridge died on July 12, 1975 at age 92 and was buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery in St. Clair, Michigan.

Christine Bushyhead--(?--?): Endowed with a very funny last name, Mrs. Bushyhead was a resident of Claremore, Oklahoma, and was a delegate to the 1948 Democratic National Convention from that state. She was married to a noted Claremore physician named Dennis Bushyhead, and little else is known of her life, including her dates of birth and death.



   Hailing from the county of  Cerro Gordo in Iowa, it's funny named state representative Robert J. Clapsaddle (1904-1985). Mr. Clapsaddle was a lifelong resident of Iowa and married in 1927 to Ms. Agnes M. Dillon (1904-2001). During his long life he operated a general store, was a 34 year employee of the Standard Oil Company, and later engaged in the sale of insurance and mutual funds for a number of years. Clapsaddle was elected to represent Cerro Gordo County in the Iowa State House of Representatives in November 1964 and served in the legislative session of 1965-67.  He died on October 22, 1985 at age 81 and was later interred at the Elmwood St. Joseph Cemetery in Mason City, Iowa.


  Another interestingly named Iowa resident is Dayton Wendell Countryman (1918-2011), a World War II veteran and prominent attorney based in Story County. Countryman was born in Sioux City, Iowa on March 31, 1918 and attended schools local to the city of Pierson. He went on to attend the Iowa State College (majoring in forestry) and graduated from here in the class of 1940. In 1941 Countryman married fellow Iowa State College alumnus Ruth Elizabeth Hazen, with whom he would have three children, James David, Karen, Joan Ellen and Kay Jean. Countryman and his wife were married for sixty years until Ruth Countryman's death in September 2001.
  Countryman signed on for service in WWII and served with distinction as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He later was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and following his return to Iowa from the military returned to his college studies. Countryman enrolled at the University of Iowa Law School and here earned his law degree in 1948. Two years later he became Story County Attorney, serving four years in this post. In his last year as county attorney Countryman announced a candidacy for Attorney General of Iowa, winning the election. 
 Countryman's tenure as Attorney General lasted three years (1954-1957), and after leaving office launched three unsuccessful candidacies for the U.S. Senate in 1956, 1960 and 1968. He served as President of the Iowa State Alumni Association from 1970-1971 and in his later years continued to be involved in civic affairs, retiring from the practice of law at age 90. He died at age 93 on September 12, 2011 in Ames, Iowa.


 A prominent figure in the history of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Mr. Loyal Dayne Daubenspeck served as Mayor of Huntingdon for sixteen years, 1946-1962. Daubenspeck was born on Independence Day 1891 in Bruin, Pennsylvania, the son of the Rev. Richard Perry and Wilhelmina Daubenspeck. Loyal married three times times during life, the first occurring in 1914 to Ms. Edythe Carmon Gage. This marriage ended in divorce in 1935 and some years later he remarried to a Ms. Sarah Rupert. Daubenspeck's third marriage was to June Hanna (1899-1984) who survived him upon his death in 1971.
  Daubenspeck was involved in the investment and brokerage business for a good majority of his life, serving as Huntingdon district manager for the brokerage firm of Elkins, Morris and Stroud Co. for over 47 years, retiring at age 79 in 1970. 
  In the early 1940s Daubenspeck served as a Huntingdon town councilman, and in 1946 was elected as Chief Burgess (Mayor) of Huntingdon. He served sixteen years in this post, one of the longest tenures of any mayor in Huntingdon history. Daubenspeck died at age 80 on December 17, 1971 at the J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital, and the Huntingdon Daily News obituary for him (where the above photo was found) notes that he had been in a state of failing health over the previous year. 

From the 1953-54 Missouri State Manual.

  While a last name like "Eek" could give anyone a case of the giggles, you'd probably would've never thought there was a man with this name that was elected to a term in the Missouri State Assembly. That man was one Lauris Martin Eek of Nodaway County, who served in the House of Representatives from 1953-55. Born in Norway, Michigan on November 5, 1888, Eek attended schools in Muskegon County, Michigan and later graduated from the Northwestern College with his Bachelor of Science degree. 
   Marrying in 1917 to Ms. Donna Sisson (with whom he would later have two sons), Eek was a decorated veteran of WWI, seeing action as an aviator and was also a flying instructor. He was a Company Commander, Inspector and Sub-District Commander of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Wisconsin for a time and during WWII was engaged as an Information Officer of the Fifth Army. In 1948 he retired from active service with the rank of Colonel, having been a reserve officer with the U.S. Air Forces for thirty years.
   Described as being "a lifelong member of the Republican Party", Eek didn't enter political life until he was over 60 years old, and was elected to the Missouri State House of Representatives in November 1952, defeating his Democratic opponent I. E. Tulloch by a vote of 6,541 to 5, 760. Taking his seat in January 1953, Eek served on the house committees on Agriculture, Education, Teacher's Colleges, Aviation and Roads and Highways. Eek's term concluded in 1955 and he died eight years later on February 22, 1963 at age 74, later being interred with full military honors at the Fort Leavenworth Cemetery in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.


    While Robert Clapsaddle's name is one of the funnier ones to be found within the annals of the Iowa legislature, there was an earlier Iowa state legislator who's name would make even the most stone-hearted person chuckle.....Guy FeelyEndowed with a name that nowadays would guarantee a first class ticket to the political laugh factory, I'd like to believe that more than a few people in turn of the century Iowa found Feely's name to be laugh out loud funny! A lifelong resident of Iowa, Feely was a resident of distinction in the county of Blackhawk, serving two terms in the Iowa State House of Representatives and even had a brief stint as Speaker of the House during the 33rd General Assembly of 1909-10.
  Guy Feely was born near Gilbertville, Iowa on September 5, 1875, the son of Duncan and Susan Miller Feely. Guy attended the Waterloo College during the mid 1890s and also taught school during this time. He eventually decided upon a career as a lawyer and commenced study in the city of Waterloo with the firm of Boies and Boies. He put his studies on hold to enlist for service as a private during the Spanish-American War, serving in Co. B. of the 49th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. At the conclusion of his military service Feely returned to Waterloo and enrolled at the State University of Iowa, graduating from this institution in 1901. He was admitted to the bar in June of that year and later established a law practice with his brother Elmer under the name Feely and Feely (quite possibly the funniest named law firm in Iowa history!) 
  Guy Feely married in October 1904 to Ms. Delia Burke (1882-1969), with whom he would have one daughter, Irene Mae Feely (birthdate unknown). Feely's skill as an attorney eventually led to calls for him to run for public office, and in November 1906 he was elected to represent Black Hawk County in the Iowa Legislature. He was reelected to this body in 1908 and during the following term served as Speaker of the Iowa State House of Representatives. In 1910 he announced himself as a candidate for Iowa State Attorney General, but was defeated by Democratic opponent George Cosson. Feely was later mentioned as a possible replacement for outgoing U.S. Senator Jonathan Prentiss Dolliver, but withdrew his name from consideration.
  Feely's brief career in politics was terminated by his untimely death at age 41 on November 4, 1916. His cause of death is listed as being a result of acute kidney disease, and he was later interred at the Fairview Cemetery in Waterloo, Iowa.


  A noted 19th century reformer, surveyor and teacher in Pennsylvania, Elijah Funk Pennypacker also operated a waystation on the Underground Railroad near Phoenixville. Active in Prohibition Party circles in that state, Pennypacker (1804-1888) was a two term state representative (serving from 1831-1835) and was nominated for state treasurer on the prohibition ticket in 1875. He would lose that election and following his defeat ran for Congress on three occasions (1876, 1878 and 1882) as the prohibition nominee, polling low numbers in each of those campaigns. 


  Next up is Saratoga County, New York resident Benedict Robinson Hatmaker (1864-1948), who, despite having the last name "Hatmaker", never engaged in the manufacture or sale of hats. Hatmaker was born in Penn Yan, New York on July 31, 1864 and married in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 15, 1892 to Ms. Kate Cushing (died 1912). Hatmaker would have a total of three children during his life, Thirza Hatmaker Walton (1898-1982), Benita Hatmaker Rood (1901-1975) and Benson Douglas Hatmaker (birth-date unknown ). 
  Benedict Hatmaker relocated from Cedar Rapids to Schenectady, New York in 1903, where Benedict took over as manager of the Evening Star newspaper. In addition to the above, reports of the time also denote Hatmaker as an outstanding chess player, with the American Chess Bulletin, Volume 17 stating that he was a "one time champion of Schenectady." In 1912 Kate Hatmaker died and some years later Benedict remarried to Dorothy Thompson.
  In 1930 Hatmaker announced his candidacy for the New York State Senate's 32nd District, running on the "Law and Preservation" platform. Labeled in some newspaper reports of the time as a "dry candidate", Hatmaker was an avowed supporter of the Prohibition laws then on the books and is recorded by the October 22, 1930 edition of the Saratogian as giving a campaign address in Jonesville, New York on the "subject of Christian Citizenship".
  On election day in November 1930 Hatmaker received 5,704 votes, losing to Republican nominee Alexander Gillespie Baxter, who swept the election with over 27,000 votes. Some years following his defeat Hatmaker relocated to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, settling in the village of Newtown. He died here in October 1948 at age 84.


  From New York we journey to Utah to profile Ormond Konkle, a prominent resident of the city of Ogden During his long life Konkle was involved in many aspects of the American labor movement, including service as the President of the Utah State CIO, Past Secretary of the Utah AFL-CIO, a member of the Ogden Planning Commission and Board of Adjustments, and a reservist for the U.S. Labor Department. Born on December 29, 1900 in Utah, Konkle worked as a machinist during the 1920s before devoting his life to labor related causes. He earns a place here on the site due to his service as an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Utah in 1948 and 1952. Konkle died in his native city of Ogden in August 1979 at age 78. The above portrait of him appeared in a May 20, 1969 edition of the Deseret News, published in Salt Lake City. 

Charles A. Lightpipe--(?--?): Just who exactly is Charles A. Lightpipe? The answer would be an obscure resident of Essex County, New Jersey who served a brief term in the New Jersey State Assembly during the early 1880s. Nothing else could be found on Mr. Lightpipe, including his dates of birth and death. His middle initial is also under some scrutiny, being variously given as "A." or "T." No picture of him could be found to post here.


  With a name like George Washington Manypenny, one can make jokes all day long! The funny named man shown above was a prominent figure on the American political scene during the 1850s, serving as the director of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs under President Franklin Pierce from 1853-1857. 
  Born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1808, Manypenny removed to Ohio around 1830. He eventually settled in the city of Zanesville and for a number of years served as the clerk of the circuit court in that city. Manypenny was also active in newspaper publishing, being the editor of the Ohio Statesman from 1859 to 1862. Earlier in 1844 he had launched a career in politics, running an unsuccessful candidacy for U.S. Representative from Ohio, losing to Whig candidate Alexander Harper by a vote of 5,814 to 6,951.
  In 1853 Franklin Pierce appointed Manypenny as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and his tenure in this office is one of marked success. During his service Manypenny helped to negotiate a treaty with the Chippewa Tribe of Michigan in 1855, and with this treaty help to establish Chippewa reservations along the Lake Superior region in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. This treaty also helped protect and preserve Chippewa lands from being sold or settled by outsiders.
  After his term as Commissioner concluded, Manypenny served as Superintendent of the Ohio State Canals and authored numerous works on problems plaguing Native American tribes, including "Our Indian Wars". He later relocated to St. Charles County, Maryland, and died at his home there on July 15, 1892 at age 84.

From the Washington D.C. Star, July 21, 1892.


 Stanley Moneymaker--(1903-1973): Not much is known of this funny named Indiana resident. Mr. Moneymaker was the Prohibition candidate for the Indiana State Senate from Marion County in 1952. He received a mere 849 votes in his attempt, and no picture of him could be found to post here.


  Hailing from the county of Albemarle in North Carolina, its Walter Freshwater Pool. While his name may be amusing (how many people do you know with "Freshwater Pool" in their given name!), Pool lived to be just 32 years old, dying in 1883. In spite of his lack of years, Mr. Pool earned the moniker "The Silver-Tongued Orator of Albemarle" due to his speaking prowess and skill as an attorney.
   The fifth of ten children, Walter Freshwater Pool was born at the Pool homestead of Elm Grove on October 10, 1850. He and his siblings received their education at the Pool School House (this according to the 1915 work Literature of Albemarle) and he later went on to study at the State University of North Carolina. His stay here last just over two years, and he later undertook the study of law "at his own home, and completed the entire course in one year." Pool was admitted to the bar in 1873 and while still in his twenties "leaped at one bound to the foremost ranks of great lawyers in the state." Pool's skill at oratory and court room presence earned him statewide repute, with the Literature of Albemarle noting that "the brain capacity of Walter Pool was wonderful. He illuminated every subject he touched with the magic power of his genius......His intellect, under all circumstances, was singularly cool, calm and collected. He was never off guard,  but always had his intellectual armory completely at command."
   Never an aspirant for public office, Walter Freshwater Pool was (to his great surprise) nominated for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1882. The Republicans in his district (as well as Pool's friends and family) pressed him to except the nomination, which he did, and in November of that year "was triumphantly elected" over his Democratic opponent.  Despite winning the election, Pool's health was in a state of collapse, and he died at the age of 32 on August 25, 1883, never having taken his seat in Congress due to it not being in session at the time of his decease. He was later interred at the Pool Family Cemetery in Albemarle.


  Hailing from Osage County, Missouri, Rainey Ridenhour served multiple terms in the Missouri State House of Representatives during the 1940s. Born in Belle, Missouri on July 29, 1883, Rainey Hugh Ridenhour received his schooling in both the counties of Osage and Marion. He married in January 1904 to Ms. Cecil Harrison (1885-1975), with whom he would have three children, Cyrus, Buelah and Christian.
  Ridenhour was active in civic affairs in Osage County for many years, serving as a notary public, justice of the peace as well as a member of the board of education. He also served as vice president of the Farmers and Trader's Bank of Belle for a number of years. Ridenhour was elected to represent Osage County in the Missouri Legislature in 1940 and went on to serve four more terms in the sessions of 1942, 1944, and 1946. Ridenhour's final term in the house concluded in 1948 and he died in Belle in 1962 at age 79.


 The amusingly named Gilman Scripture is profiled next, and this resident of Nashua, New Hampshire served as Mayor of that city for one term during the late 1860s. Born in New Hampshire on December 16, 1813, Scripture was one of five children born to Hills and Patty Parker Scripture, both natives of Cheshire County. Little is known of Scripture's early life, so we'll fast forward now to 1866 when he was elected to that post. His term in this office lasted but one term, concluding in 1867. Three years later Scripture was elected to represent Hillsborough County in the New Hampshire Senate, his term in this office being of indeterminate length. He died in Nashua shortly before his 74th birthday on November 26, 1887.

Portrait from the Western Druggist, April 1899.

   Funny named Escanaba resident John J. Sourwine sports a last name with a bit of "pucker", as it were..."Sour Wine", get it? Long prominent as a druggist in that city, Sourwine served as president of the Michigan Pharmaceutical Association in 1899 and four years later was a candidate for Mayor of Escanaba, Michigan on the Independent Labor Party ticket. He would win the election and served one term as mayor from 1903-04. 


  What do you get when you combine the name of a long dead French dictator and a flowering plant? Illinois Congressman Napoleon Bonaparte Thistlewood of course! This U.S. Representative with the funny name was born in Kent County, Delaware on March 30, 1837 and received his education here. He removed to Mason, Illinois in 1858 and taught school for a time before enlisting as a private in the Union Army in 1862. He was later promoted to Captain in Co. H. of the 98th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry and after returning home engaged in the merchandise business. He was elected to two terms as Mayor of Cairo, Illinois (1879-1883 and 1897-1901) and in 1907 won election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois' 25th district, filling a vacancy caused by the death of nine term Congressman George Washington Smith (1846-1907).
  Thistlewood served two terms in Congress, the last of which concluded in March 1913. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the House and died in Cairo on September 15, 1915 at age 78. He was later interred at the Beech Grove Cemetery in Mounds, Illinois.


  Hailing from Campbell County in South Dakota its humorously named state legislator Gabriel Gunderson Titland, whose profile here is mainly due to his funny middle and last name. A prominent resident of Mound City, Titland was born in Norway on September 9, 1860 (or 1871, according the South Dakota State Manual). He received his schooling in Norway and after immigrating to the United States at age 22 in 1882, eventually settled in Campbell County. His life was mainly centered around farming and held local political offices in Mound City. He was first elected to the South Dakota State House of Representatives in the 1912 elections and served in the legislative sessions of 1913-15, 1915-17 and 1917-19. Titland died on January 22, 1941 in  Walworth County, South Dakota and was later returned to Campbell County for burial in the Mound City Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Inga Arneson Titland (1869-1957) and a son, George Martin Titland (1890-1957), and had been preceded in death by a daughter, Inga, who died at age 8 in 1896.


  Over the past year many interestingly named Texans have been profiled here on the site, and the name of Wayne Warren Wagonseller is certainly one of the funniest! Born in Nacona, Texas on February 1, 1921, Wagonseller was the son of Amos Warren and Clara Beck Wagonseller. Warren studied at the State Teacher's College in Denton, Texas and later went on to enroll at the University of Texas Law School. He served  with distinction in the U.S Army during WWII and was awarded both a Purple Heart and Bronze Star during his service.
   In 1947 Wagonseller was elected as a Democrat to the Texas State House of Representatives from the county of Montague, and served two terms in this body. In 1951 he won election to the state senate, and etched his name into the history books during his service here by giving the longest filibuster in American history (lasting 28 hours and 5 minutes). On March 31, 1955 he gave this impressive address to the legislature, railing against a bill to reduce bus transportation fees.
  Wagonseller had a bright future in politics, but his career in the public forum came to end with his death in a car accident in Ft. Worth, Texas on August 13, 1955. He was just 34 years old at the time of his death and had been married for less than a year to his wife Mina Hawkins Wagonseller. Following his untimely death, the Texas legislature passed a resolution honoring his service, and he was interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.



  What isn't funny about a man named Peter Dinwiddie Wigginton? For a good majority of the time that I've categorizing and collecting all of these strange name political figures, this obscure California congressman has been one of my personal favorites to point out to people, mainly for the sheer mirthfulness of his name (just try say saying his name without laughing a little!) In an even more intriguing aspect to his life, Wigginton was actually a candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1888, running on the American Party ticket.
  Born in Springfield Illinois on September 6, 1839, Wigginton's father died when he was just one year of age, and his mother and seven siblings later removed from Springfield to Wisconsin. Wigginton attended schools local to Iowa County in that state and later enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After receiving his law degree in the late 1850s he was admitted to the Wisconsin bar, and also began an affiliation with the Dodgeville Advocate, serving as editor for a time.
  Wigginton removed to California in 1862, eventually settling in the town of Snelling in the county of Merced. Within a few short years he had earned a reputation as one of Merced's most prominent practitioners of law, serving as county district attorney from 1864-1868. Wigginton married in 1868 to Ms. Sallie Moore, and the couple later became the parents of one son, William B. Wigginton (1876-1942). In 1875 he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving until 1877. He was defeated for reelection in 1877 by Republican candidate Romualdo Pacheco, but successfully contested his election. Wigginton was awarded the seat and served as second term in Congress from 1878-1879.
  After leaving Congress in 1879 Wigginton continued in the practice of law, and in 1886 mounted an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of California on the American Party ticket. This party had its origins in the earlier Know-Nothing Party, which had ex-President Millard Fillmore as its standard bearer in 1852. During the 1850s this party was known for its anti-Mason and Anti-Catholic sentiments, and during the 1880s was still strong enough to elicit support from voters against foreigners entering the country.
  In 1888 Wigginton was chosen to be the American Party's Vice-Presidential nominee, replacing earlier nominee James Greer, who had declined to enter the race. Wigginton and American Party Presidential candidate James Langdon Curtis polled only 1591 votes on election day, and when one takes a look at their party latform (a fourteen year residency for naturalization, the exclusion of socialists and other undesirables and the separation of church and state) it's fairly easy to see why Curtis and Wigginton polled such low numbers!!! The disasterous electoral outcome was the nail in the coffin for the American Party, which ran its last Presidential campaign that year.
  With his political career effectively over, Wigginton retired to private life and died at his home in Oakland on July 7, 1890 at age 50. The cause was listed by his Daily Alta Times obituary as "an illness of several months duration" and he was later interred at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.

From the San Francisco Morning Call, July 9, 1890.