Friday, April 18, 2014

Olnton Dickman Miller (1896-1981)

From the 1953 Arizona General Assembly class portrait.

   Prominent in Arizona agricultural affairs as well as politics, the oddly named Olnton Dickman Miller was a native of Illinois, but would find distinction in "The Grand Canyon State", being a one term member of the Arizona State Senate, later announcing a candidacy for Governor in 1956.
  The son of John McAnelley (a lawyer and professor) and Adeline Dickman Miller, Olnton Dickman "O.D." Miller was born on February 6, 1896 in North Harvey, Illinois. John McAnelly Miller was a past president of the Ruskin College in Missouri, later relocating to Florida to establish not only the town of Ruskin but also a short-lived college (also named Ruskin College) in 1910. With his son's birth in early 1896, John McA. Miller decided to bestow upon him a highly unusual name, and the backstory behind this name is given mention in the 1958 History of Arizona, which notes:
"As an educator, George McA. Miller had a profound respect for the great men in our nation's history; and he also wanted to give his son an original name. He therefore combined the last three letters of Lincoln's and of Washington's names to form Olnton".
    Although bestowed this interesting name due to his father's passion for history, Miller himself was nonplussed, later stating that "I've never used it--just my initials." "O.D." Miller spent his formative years in Illinois, removing with his family to Florida in 1907 where his father founded the community of Ruskin. O.D. Miller would go on to attend the nearby Ruskin College, where he studied agriculture, and while still a young man began work as a "scientific assistant for marketing" at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His work at this department saw him be reassigned to Nebraska in the early 1920s, being a local representative for the USDA's Bureau of Markets and Crop Estimates, and later moved to Phoenix, Arizona to continue agricultural work. O.D. Miller married in Lansing, Michigan on July 23, 1923 to Frances "Frankie" H. McDonald (1890-1967) and later had one son, Donald L. Miller.
   Following his removal to Arizona Miller became the directing head of the Barker-Miller Distributing Co., and as this company's director was also a member of the Arizona Co-operative Produce Association. Through his business interests Olnton Miller would become one of the Arizona's premier growers of produce and produce distribution, and in 1929 was instrumental in authoring the state's Fruit and Vegetable Standardization Act, "which legalized standards and grades for agricultural products in the state."
   Throughout the 1930s and 40s Olnton Miller continued to be involved in various aspects of state agriculture, being a co-owner of the Phoenix based Miller-Johns produce-shipping company and a first vice president of the Western Grower's Protective Association. In 1938 he ran an unsuccessful candidacy for the Arizona House of Representatives as a Democrat, and in 1952 re-entered the political spectrum when he was elected to represent Maricopa County in the Arizona State Senate. Serving in the legislative session of 1953-55, Miller left the senate after one term and in 1956 announced his candidacy for Governor of Arizona. Running as one of three Republican candidates that year, Miller had a bit of explaining to do when it was found that he had run as a Democrat in the race for state representative eighteen years prior. In his speech to the Yavapai Republican Women's Club, Miller stated that he:

 "Campaigned as a member of that party because he felt it improved his chances of being elected, and of being able, as a member of the legislature, to present his ideas on the operations of state government."
   Miller later explained that after his 1938 loss he had registered as a Republican and had been a member of that party ever since. Miller's gubernatorial candidacy eventually came to naught, but he achieved some measure of redemption when in 1959 he began an eight year tenure on the Arizona State University Board of Regents.

       Miller (second from left) during his time on the Board of Regents,  from the 1960 Desert Yearbook.

   Olnton D. Miller resigned from the Board of Regents in 1967 at age 71 and in June 1972 was honored by the Arizona State University with an Honorary Degree. He died nine years later on December 12, 1981 and was preceded in death by his wife Frances, who had died in 1967. Both were interred at a cemetery "near Phoenix, Arizona", and are also memorialized with a cenotaph at the Ruskin Cemetery in Ruskin, Florida, the burial location of a number of Miller's family.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kingsbury Bachelder Piper (1866-1935)

From the November 14, 1933 edition of the Lewiston Daily Sun.

   Over the course of its near 200-year history, the state of Maine has placed a number of oddly named public figures on the U.S. political scene. In national politics men such as Cullen Sawtelle, Peleg Sprague and Lorenzo Di Medici Sweat represented the "Pine Tree State" in Congress, and on the home front men like Dependent MerryOramandal SmithEsreff Hill Banks and Retire Whittemore Frees served as state representatives, state Treasurer and Secretary of State. The list of oddly named Maine politicians grows ever larger with the addition of Kingsbury Bachelder Piper, a Bangor educator who served as a member of the Maine state house of representatives for one term, later being named as U.S. Marshal for Maine in 1934.
   The son of Alpheus Felch Piper and the former Susan Hannah Smith, Kingsbury B. Piper was born in Waldo County, Maine on February 4, 1866. Little could be found on his youth or education, although it is known that he began a career as a school teacher in 1882, teaching school in various towns in Maine. In 1886 he relocated to California and continued teaching, eventually serving as the principal of the Plymouth Public School in Plymouth California. Piper returned to Maine around 1893 and married in that year to Estelle Drew (1869-1918), with whom he would have four children, Lois M., Carl P., Josephine L. and Dorothy Eva Piper. Following Estelle Piper's death in 1918 Kingsbury remarried at an unknown date to Ida L. Kearney (1883-1967) who survived him upon his death in 1935.
  In the years following his return to Maine, Kingsbury Piper continued to teach and also took work as a "legislative newspaper correspondent", whilst also becoming politically active, serving as the Secretary of the Initiative and Referendum League of Maine. As secretary Piper became a prominent voice for direct legislation in the state and also authored numerous articles in periodicals of the time, centering on Maine's successful adoption of direct legislation into its state constitution (this occurring in 1908.) Piper also authored a lengthy summation of the group's victory in Volume 40 of the Arena magazine, which later attested to his having been:
"The master spirit in the battle for the people for many years, and but for his persistence, energy, foresight and true statesmanship, the measure unquestionably would have suffered defeat through the well laid plains of the enemies of the people."
 Kingsbury Piper first entered into public service in 1912 when he was named as a state pension agent for Maine, succeeding George Dodge, who had died several weeks prior. Two years afterwards Piper began service as a trustee and secretary for the Central Maine Sanitorium at Fairfield, and would later be employed as a Federal income tax adviser, accountant and internal revenue agent.
From the Bay State Monthly, 1907.

   Piper continued to be active in politics well into his sixth decade, being elected as one of Bangor's representatives to the Maine General Assembly in 1932. Serving in the 1933-34 legislative session, Piper's tenure in the house of representatives lasted but one term, and in his final year of service was nominated by President Roosevelt to be the United States Marshal for Maine. Piper was later confirmed and entered upon his duties in March 1934, serving until his death at age 68 on January 14, 1935. He was later buried at the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Bangor, also the resting place of his first and second wives.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Zibeon Chapman Field (1831-1914), Zibeon Lewis Packard (1829-1893)

Portrait from the History of Worcester County, Massachusetts, Vol. II, 1889.

  The following dual profile examines the lives of two native New England political figures named Zibeon. A name with its origins in the  bible, there are two meanings behind the name, one of which is a "Horite chieftain" named Zibeon mentioned in the book of Genesis whose name translates to "little hyena". Another version gives the meaning of the name as "robber"....certainly a peculiar name to give a child, even back in the 19th century!
   First to be profiled is Paris, Maine native Zibeon Chapman Field, who would later find prominence in both business and politics in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving two terms in that state's House of Representatives. Born in Paris on Christmas Day 1831, Zibeon C. Field was one of ten children born to Zibeon and Lydia Howe Field, and inherited his name courtesy of a brother (also named Zibeon Chapman Field) who died in infancy in 1823. His early education occurred near the town of his birth and at age seventeen removed from Paris and resettled in Milford, Massachusetts, where he was employed in the manufacture of boots. Field would later leave Milford out of concerns for his health and traveled to California to make a go at gold mining, remaining here for three years.
   In 1855 Field returned to Massachusetts, marrying in 1856 to one Lydia Ann Corbett (1836-1872). The couple would become the parents of four children, listed as follows in order of birth: Prentice (1859-1863), Francis Dana (1861-1932), Charlotte Thayer (1865-1911) and Grace Prentiss (1868-1962). Following Lydia Field's death, Zibeon remarried in June 1874 to Anna Thwing (1842-1913), mentioned by the Field Genealogy as being a "successful teacher" and "woman of culture."
   For a short period in the 1850s Zibeon Field operated a general store and "provision business" in Roxbury, Massachusetts, returning to Milford in 1858 to join his brother Perley in the formation of a coal and lumber dealership, a business they would successfully manage for over three decades. While attentive to business dealings in Milford, Field found further distinction in local politics, being a member of the Board of Engineers, as well as the Milford Board of Selectmen from 1865-66 and again from 1870-71. In 1864 Field served Milford as a town agent, aiding in the recruitment of soldiers for the ongoing war effort, and in this role visited President Lincoln. His visit with the President later:
"Secured the credit of one-hundred and thirty-seven three years men to Milford--which has not been recorded in its favor at the war department--thereby saving the loss of many thousands of dollars to the town.
    Zibeon Field during his later years, from the 1901 Field Genealogy.

    In the 1864 election year Zibeon Field was elected as one of Milford's representatives to the Massachusetts General Court, and during the 1865 term held a seat on the house committee on Horse Railways. Field would serve a second term in the legislature in 1866, serving on the committees on Railways and Canals. Following his two terms in the house Field refrained from political activity, but did serve as the chairman of the Republican League of Milford during the mid 1870s. Remarked by the Field Genealogy as "a Mason in good standing", Zibeon Field was a member of both the Montgomery Lodge and Mt. Lebanon masonic chapter, a director of the Milford National Bank, and was a longstanding parishioner at the Milford Universalist Church.
   After many decades in public service in Milford, Zibeon C. Field died on December 18, 1914, a week short of his 83rd birthday. He was predeceased by his second wife Anna, who died in August 1913. A burial location for both Zibeon Field and his wife is unknown at this time. 

   Another Maine native who made his name known politically was Zibeon Lewis Packard of the town of Hebron, who served a term in the Maine House of Representatives in the late 1880s. One of six children born to Lewis and Betsy Webster Packard, Zibeon L. Packard was born in Hebron on May 30, 1829 and as a youth worked the family farm, and was "obliged to assume the head of the family" after the death of his father. Zibeon attended the Hebron Academy in addition to farm work and also taught "in the district schools" during the winter months. 
  In February 1860 Packard married in Hebron to Ellen Bearce (1835-1895), later becoming the parents to four daughters: Bertha Leonora (1862-1908), Ida Ellen (born 1864), Edith Lulu (1867-1967) and Jennie Webster (1871-1942). One of these children, Edith Lulu Packard Cushman, survived her father and mother by over seventy years, dying one month short of her 100th birthday in June 1967.  A few years following his marriage Zibeon Packard enlisted for service as private in the 30th Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry. Following his return from service he returned to farming and fruit growing, and was later acknowledged by the Lewiston Evening Journal as "one of the pioneers of apple orcharding in this section and made it a remarkable success." 
  Beginning the mid 1870s Packard was honored by his native town by being elected to a number of local political offices, serving as a Hebron town school supervisor, selectman, town treasurer and collector. In 1886 he was elected as Hebron's representative to the Maine State Legislature and would serve in the sessions of 1887 and 1889. In addition to legislative service, Packard was also prominent in local fraternal clubs, being a member of the Buckfield, Maine Masonic Lodge, the Hebron Grange, and the G.A.R. The Lewiston Evening Journal notes that Packard remained a "firm friend" of the Hebron Academy, serving as the secretary of the school's board of trustees for over twenty-five years.
   Zibeon L. Packard died at his home in Hebron on August 11, 1893 at age 64. His wife Ellen followed him to the grave two years later, and both were later interred at the Maple Ridge Cemetery in Hebron. Following his death, the Lewiston Evening Journal published a lengthy obituary for him, noting that:
"Whoever held a beneficient relationship with Zibeon L. Packard, whether in the Church, in the Grange, in any organized society, in general society or in his family, has met with an irreparable loss."

Monday, April 14, 2014

French Oxford Joy Tarbox (1861 - ?)

Portrait from the Representative Men of Somerville, 1897.

   It isn't often that one stumbles across a man who's name combines a nationality, a city in England, an alternate word for happy and the funny last name "Tarbox", but that is exactly the case of obscure Massachusetts legislator French Oxford Joy Tarbox, a distinguished figure in the city of Somerville. The son of Ephraim and Clara Tarbox, French O .J. Tarbox was born on September 1, 1861 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. He attended the public school system of that city and "graduated from the grammar school in the class of 1877." He would later attend the Boston Commercial College for a period of about six months, leaving behind his studies to begin a life on the high seas. Tarbox would serve on board a number of vessels and is recorded by the 1900 Souvenir of Massachusetts Legislators as:
 "Following the seas for several years in the East India and China trade as well as a coast service on the Pacific between San Francisco and adjacent ports."
   After giving up the sea-faring life Tarbox returned home and was engaged in the oil business and later worked as a steam and air brake fitter, being under the employ of the Fitchburg Railroad and the Walworth Manufacturing Co. of Boston. He married in Boston on September 22, 1890 to Sarah E. Magrath, and the couple would later become the parents of three children: Sarah Jennie (birth-date unknown), Wilfred (birth-date unknown) and Ida (born ca. 1899).
  French O.J. Tarbox entered Somerville politics in the mid 1890s, beginning service on the city's common council in 1896. In the following year he served as a member of the Somerville Board of Aldermen (from 1898-1899) and in the latter year was elected as one of Middlesex County's representatives to the Massachusetts General Court, winning with a vote total of 1552. Taking office at the start of the 1900 term, Tarbox held a seat on the house committee on Taxation during his one term at the state capitol.
   Following his brief stint in state government, little else could be located on the remaining years of French O.J. Tarbox's life, and aside from political activity, he maintained memberships in the Bunker Hill Odd Fellows Lodge # 114 , the Loyal Orange Institute and the Fitchburg Railroad Relief Association. He is recorded in the 1913 Somerville Annual Report as a "mechanic". A death date and burial location couldn't be located for French O.J. Tarbox, although he is listed in the 1920 census as being a 58 year old resident of Ward 7 in Somerville, residing with his wife, children, son-in-law and two boarders. Tarbox is not listed in the 1930 census, placing his death at some point between 1920 and 1930.

From the 1900 Souvenir of Massachusetts Legislators.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hardress Nathan Swaim (1890-1957)

Portrait from Swaim's Memorial Record of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

   A leading legal light in Indiana for over three decades, Hardress Nathan Swaim (or H. Nathan Swaim, as most sources list him) entered into the practice of law at age 26 and from there established himself as a prominent Democratic party member in Indianapolis, holding the office of Indianapolis City Controller. Later nominated to a vacancy on the Indiana Supreme Court, Judge Swaim achieved further distinction in 1950 when he was appointed to the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, serving several years on the bench.
  Born in Zionsville, Indiana on November 30, 1890, Hardress Nathan Swaim was a son of Charles R. and Alice Swaim and attended public schools in Zionsville. He would later enroll at the DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana and waited tables as a means of income during his time at the university. Swaim is also recorded as having "tutored other students in Germanand graduated from DePauw in the class of 1913. He continued his education at the University of Chicago Law School and earned his law degree here in 1916. Shortly afterward he launched a practice in Indianapolis, only to be interrupted by the beginning of American involvement in the First World War.  H. Nathan Swaim, like many other young men of the time, joined in the war effort, undergoing training and would becoming an infantry lieutenant in both the 87th and 88th Infantry divisions. He left the Army in 1918 with the rank of first lieutenant and had married during his training period to Clara Lavon Kenner on July 14, 1917. The couple would later have two children, Robert (1924-1990) and Jean Swaim Sutter (born ca. 1926).

                   H. Nathan Swaim's senior class portrait from the 1913 DePauw "Mirage" Yearbook.

   After returning home from the Army Swaim returned to the practice of law, residing in Indianapolis where he would raise his family. He established the firm Ogden and Swaim with local attorney James M. Ogden, and Mr. Ogden would remain the only law partner Swaim would have during all his years of practice. Described in his U.S. Circuit Court memorial proceeding as being "widely respected by the bench and bar",  Swaim was recalled as a
"Studious, thorough, painstaking lawyer of sound judgement. His integrity was always beyond question. He was not a specialist in any field. That general experience was very valuable to him in learning to deal with the endless variety of cases which came before him on this court."
   H. Nathan Swaim began involvement in Hoosier state politics in 1930 when he began service as the chairman of the Marion County Democratic Committee, holding this office for four years. He would go on to serve as Indiana's 12th district Democratic chairman from 1936-38 and in 1937 began a term as Indianapolis City Comptroller (1937-38). In his last year of service as controller Swaim was elected to the Indiana State Supreme Court defeating Republican candidate Edward Blessing by a vote of 31, 177 to 20, 846. Swaim took his seat on January 1, 1939 and would serve one term on the court, being defeated for reelection in 1944.
  Five years following his loss Swaim was selected by then President Harry Truman to be his nominee for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Appointed during the court recess in November 1949, Swaim was confirmed by the senate in February 1950 and took his seat that month. He would serve on the court until his death in Chicago, Illinois on July 30, 1957 at age 66, and was subsequently memorialized as:
"A simple, forthright man of high ideals, a man of gentle power, tolerant, but with the strength of his convictions. He was intellectually honest. He had the common touch. It was part of him. He never lost these qualities even while serving in high places.
Judge Swaim (pictured left) at the Columbus Day dinner celebration at Indianapolis, 1939.

   Following his death Judge Swaim was interred at Indianapolis's famed Crown Hill Cemetery, and was survived by his wife Clara and two children. Clara Swaim survived her husband by twenty one years, dying in August 1978 and was interred at the same cemetery as her husband.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hazlewood Power Farish (1880-1958)

Portrait form the Official and Statistical Register of Mississippi, 1908.

    A practicing attorney for over five decades, lifelong Mississippi native Hazlewood Power Farish was for many years at the forefront of legal and political circles in both Issequena and Washington County, being elected as a state representative and senator from that county before he turned thirty years of age. Late in his life Farish achieved further prominence when he was selected as the President of the Washington County Bar Association in 1951.
  Born and raised in the Issequena County town of Mayersville, Hazlewood P. Farish was born on September 14, 1880, one of five children born to Confederate Army veteran Robert Davis (1845-1900) and Caroline Power Farish (1855-1918). Inheriting his unusual first name courtesy of his grandfather, Hazlewood M. Farish (died 1851), Hazlewood Power Farish began his education in the public school system of Mayersville and would later attend the Jefferson Military College in Washington County, Mississippi. In the late 1890s Farish enrolled at the University of Mississippi's Law School (graduating in the class of 1899) and shortly thereafter entered into practice in Mayersville.
  Within a few years of beginning his practice Hazlewood Farish entered county politics, becoming secretary of the Issequena County Democratic Executive Committee. He would later serve as the attorney for the Issequena County Board of Supervisors beginning in 1903.

                                         Farish's senior class portrait from the 1899 Ole Miss Yearbook.
     On November 14, 1906 Hazlewood Farish married in New Orleans to Mildred Lillard (1880-1907), who died several months of their marriage in June of 1907. Farish would later remarry to Sarah Lafon Hunt (1885-1966), with whom he would have two daughters, Elizabeth (1913-1989) and Sarah Hunt Farish (1917-2002).
  In November 1905 Farish was elected to the Mississippi State House of Representatives from Issequena and served during the house session of 1906-07. In 1907 he was elected to the Mississippi Senate for one term (1908-1910) and during his service held seats on the senate committees on the Judiciary, Public Education, Claims, Corporations and Levees. Following his brief tenure in state government, Hazlewood Farish returned to practicing law, eventually removing from Mayersville to Greenville around 1910. He would become an Greenville based attorney for the Illinois Central Railroad, was a member of the Greenville based law firm of Farish, Keady and Campbell, and would serve as the city attorney for Greenville as well as the attorney for the Levee Board.
   In December 1951 the then seventy one year old Farish was selected as the President of the Washington County Bar Association, succeeding outgoing president Holland O. Felt. Active in numerous fraternal organizations in his home state, Farish was Scottish Rite Mason, a past Chancellor Commander of the local Knights of Pythias Lodge and was a past president of the Greenville Rotary Club. Farish died at age 77 on January 17, 1958 and was survived by his wife and two daughters. Following their respective deaths both Hazlewood and his wife Sarah were interred at the Greenville Cemetery.

       Hazlewood Farish, from the December 10, 1951 edition of the Greenville Delta Democrat Times.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Core Serena Ireland (1874-1943)

Portrait courtesy of

   The following profile takes a brief look at the life of a man named Core Serena Ireland to be precise, and in spite of a truly strange first and middle name, Ireland gained a reputation as one of Urbana, Ohio's favorite sons, being at various times a banker, city council member, Champaign County sheriff, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Ohio Senate and was also a three time delegate from Ohio to the Republican National Conventions of 1916, 1932 and 1936.
  Born and raised in Champaign County, Ohio,  Core Serena Ireland's birth occurred in the town of Terre Haute on September 24, 1874, the son of James and Margaret Davis Ireland. As one of thirteen children, Ireland attended schools local to the town of Mad River and upon reaching the age of seventeen took on a teaching position in his native county, subsequently teaching at various county schools over a period of nine years. He married in November 1895 to Dessie E. Weaver (1876-1959), with whom he would have one son, Ralph Howard (1908-1977).
   Core Ireland made his first move into county politics in 1901 when he was named as the deputy treasurer for Champaign County, holding office until 1905. In November of the preceding year he was elected as Sheriff of Champaign County with 4, 235 votes. He was reelected sheriff in 1906 and during the 1908 election year served as the chairman of the Champaign County Republican Executive Committee. Ireland continued his ascent in public office in 1909 when he was chosen as the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Ohio Senate for the 1909-1911 term. 
   In 1916 Core Ireland was selected as part of the Ohio delegation to that year's Republican National Convention being held in Chicago that renominated William Howard Taft for the Presidency. Ireland would later serve as an Ohio delegate on two further occasions, attending the Republican National Conventions of 1932 (held in Chicago) and 1936 (held in Cleveland).
   Attentive to political and civic affairs in his native city of Urbana, Core Ireland served as city councilman from Urbana's third ward during the mid 1910s and also was member of the board of directors of the People's Savings and Loan Company. Ireland would later hold the post of cashier of the Champaign National Bank, beginning in 1927, and in 1940 succeeded to the presidency of the bank. He served in this capacity until his death at age 68 on August 12, 1943, "after an illness of several years." Ireland was survived by both his wife and son, and all three were interred at the Oak Dale Cemetery in Urbana.

From the Official Proceedings of the Sixteenth Republican National Convention, 1912.