Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fenelon Frederick Hippee Pope (1844-1935), Fenelon Dobyns Hewitt (1883-1961), Fenelon Arnold (1817-1901)


  Discovered recently via the 1922 work Men of the South: A Work for the Newspaper Reference Library, the interestingly named Fenelon Frederick Hippee Pope has the sort of name that immediately jumps out at you when you see it, and I got quite the laugh when I stumbled across it in the aforementioned book's table of contents. Aside from his funny name, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Pope had fleeting involvement with politics during his life, being a candidate for Republican Presidential elector from Florida in 1920.
  A resident of Ohio for the majority of his life, Fenelon F. H. Pope was born in Delaware county on October 9, 1844 and went on to attend schools in the city of Wooster. He served as a First Sargent with Co. C of the 169th Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War and following his military service began the study of medicine at the Charity Hospital Medical College in Cleveland. After graduating from this school he "practiced medicine and pharmacy at Dalton, Ohio" for over forty years and was a longstanding member of both the Ohio State and American Medical Associations. Pope married in Ohio in October 1870 to Laura Eleanora Clippenger (1841-1927)  and would later have three children, Joseph (birth-date unknown), Gertrude Alice (1871-1963) and Edna May (1879-1953).
  In the mid 1900s Pope relocated from Ohio to St. Cloud, Florida, where he would reside for over a decade. During his Florida residency the Men of South notes that he became a candidate for Presidential Elector "on the Florida State Republican ticket of 1920" but was ultimately unsuccessful. This proved to be Pope's only foray into political affairs, but he made advancement in a number of other areas, including being the President of the People's Bank of St. Cloud and was a prominent advocate for the construction of the St. Cloud-Melbourne highway.
  In the early 1930s Pope returned to Ohio and settled in the village of Kent in Portage County. He died there on April 16, 1935 at age 90 and was recorded as being the last Civil War veteran residing there at the time of his death. He was later buried in the Standing Rock Cemetery in the village of Kent.

From the 1917 Official and Statistical Register of Mississippi.

  A lifelong resident of Mississippi, Fenelon Dobyns Hewitt  served as a member of the state legislature and late in life held the post of Judge of the Fourth Chancery District of Mississippi. While his name may be unusual, it also has one or two variations in its spelling floating around online. The Official Register of Mississippi records it as "Fenelon Dobyne Hewitt" and a second spelling (via the Find-A-Grave website) lists it as "Fenlon Dobbins Hewitt". However, despite these alternate spellings, a number of other pieces of period literature give the spelling as it is in the title to this article, and from my vantage point, that looks to be the correct one.
  Born in Amite County Mississippi on February 26, 1883, Fenelon Dobyns Hewitt was one of ten children born to Thomas Jefferson and Emily J. Loftin Hewitt. Fenelon attended the Mars Hill Public School in Amite and later graduated from the Millsaps College in the class of 1905. He decided upon a career in law during his adolescence and continued his studies at the University of Mississippi at Oxford, earning his LL.B. degree there in 1907. Hewitt married in 1909 to Ada Virginia Jackson (1884-1973) and had three children, Fenelon Jr. (1910-1997), Billie and Mary Ellen (1913-1996).
  With the completion of his schooling Hewitt settled in McComb County and opened a law practice here. In 1909 he was named as a Judge of the Police Court in McComb City and served a total of six years on the bench. His tenure on the court was remarked by the Official Register of Mississippi as one of "sound common sense and excellent legal ability" and through personal popularity was nominated for the Mississippi State House of Representatives in 1915. He won the election that November and served two terms (1916-1920), holding a seat on the committees on Judiciary, Ways and Means, Railroads, Roads, Ferries and Bridges, and later chaired the committee on the Constitution.
  Following his two terms in the legislature Hewitt continued in the practice of law and later served as District Attorney for Pike County in the mid 1920s. In 1952 he was appointed by Mississippi Governor Fielding Wright to a vacancy on Mississippi's Chancery Court. This vacancy occurred with the death of Judge Richard Wiltz Cutrer in July of that year and Hewitt filled out the remainder of Cutrer's term. Hewitt was eventually elected to a term in his own right and served on the bench until being felled by a stroke while conducting court in October 1961. He died one week later on October 29, 1961 at age 78 at a hospital in McComb and was buried at the Hollywood Cemetery in that town.

From the Laurel Leader Call, October 30, 1961.

                                              From the Greenville Delta Democrat Times, October 31, 1961.

Portrait from the "Men of Vermont", 1894.

    Another "Fenelon" that made his name known in politics was Fenelon Arnold of  Westminster, Vermont. A lifelong resident of that town, Arnold was born on January 25, 1817, a son of Ambrose and Priscilla Farnum Arnold. He attended local schools and as a young man purchased a farm along with his brother, and married in 1840 to Amanda Richards, with whom he would have two sons, Charles and George. Following Amanda's death in 1867 Arnold would remarry five years later to Emily Augusta Marsh (1837-1912) and had a third son, Seth Fenelon Arnold.
   A good majority of Fenelon Arnold's life was spent quietly in Westminster, where he worked at brass and silver plating for a time, being the co-owner of the firm of Arnold and Cook. He served in a number of local offices in his native town, including that of selectman for a period of 13 years. Arnold served in the Vermont State Assembly from 1880-82 and 1884-86 and held a seat on the committees on Elections and Banks and Banking. 
  Fenelon Arnold died nearly two decades after his legislative service on December 4, 1901 at age 84 and was later buried at the Westminster New Cemetery in his native town.

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