Saturday, August 31, 2013

Flagget Henry Trabbic (1866-1919)

From a campaign card in the possession of Mrs. Judy Carr.


   A resident of distinction in Monroe County, Michigan, Flagget Henry Trabbic lived to the age of just 53, and during that short lifespan rose to become one of the aforementioned county's most honored sons, being at various times a farmer, stock-raiser, town supervisor and state representative. Despite his prominence in 19th and early 20th century Michigan, Mr. Trabbic is all but forgotten today, and it is that point that makes me proud to know that there are existing historical and genealogical societies that dedicate much effort to keeping records on the lives of long deceased figures like the man profiled today.
   The following write-up on Flagget Trabbic's came about with help of the Genealogical Society of Monroe County President Loretta Dunham, who received an e-mail from me a few weeks ago asking for help in tracking down a portrait of Mr. Trabbic. I received an e-mail shortly thereafter from Loretta, who related in her message that there was a GSMC member who was a Trabbic descendant, and with luck she might have a picture of him. A short while afterwards I received a kind e-mail from one Judy Carr, who noted that Flagget Trabbic was her great-great uncle! After relating that I had been unable to locate a portrait of Mr. Trabbic, Judy e-mailed me the above portrait, part of a campaign card dated 1910 that Trabbic used when he ran for register of deeds in Monroe County. The full card is shown below, and this marks the first time I've seen a picture of this elusive Michigan native since locating his name nearly a year ago. I can't thank Judy enough for her help with locating the picture, as well as relating new information on Flagget that I'd previously been unaware of!
   The story of this oddly named legislator begins with his birth in Erie Township in Michigan on February 10, 1866. Flagget H. Trabbic was one of eight children born to Guytani Peter Trabbic (1821-1903) and his second wife Caroline Knaggs (1830-1881). Peter Trabbic, as most references list him, was born near Genoa, Italy in 1821 and had immigrated to the United States in the early 1830s. Over the course of his life he became one of Monroe County's prominent landowners, "owning over 700 acres of Michigan's best soil, all located in Erie and Bedford townships." As Judy Carr related to me during our correspondence, the Trabbic family name was originally spelled as "Trebbeco", as per old family records, and "the name Flagget was not an uncommon amongst the French Canadians" that had settled in the Monroe County area during the first half of the 19th century. Peter Trabbic was also politically active, serving as Erie Township supervisor on two occasions.
  Flagget Trabbic received his education in schools local to Erie township and later attended the St. Mary's Institute in Dayton, Ohio. Following the completion of his schooling Trabbic returned to Erie to take over the day to day operations of the family's 700 acre farm. For many years afterward he was engaged in farming and in June 1892 married Ms. Mattie Lehr (1867-1957), mentioned by the 1913 History of Monroe County as a "musician of talent." The couple would later have two children, a son who died infancy in 1893 and a daughter Gladys, who died aged one in 1902.
  Trabbic first became active in local political affairs in 1893, when he was elected as Erie township supervisor. He served in this capacity for three years, and during his last year in office served as president of the board of supervisors of Monroe County. He was returned to the office of supervisor a decade later but resigned when he was elected to the legislature. Trabbic became a candidate for the Michigan State House of Representatives in 1906 and in November of that year won the election, defeating Republican Lucien B. Smith by a vote 3,269 to 3,007. His election as Monroe County's representatives in the legislature was later encapsulated by the History of Monroe County in the following passage:
"The citizens of Monroe County were fully aware of the possibilities for either good or evil when they sent Mr. Trabbic to the legislature as their representative, but new absolutely from their lifelong acquaintance with the man that nothing but the strictest justice would ever issue from his hands. They were not mistaken; he preformed his duty to the entire satisfaction of his constituents, and also of his state, which is proud to acknowledge him as one of her sons."
From the 1907 Michigan State Legislative Manual.

   Taking his seat in January 1907, Trabbic served one term as a representative, 1907-1909. Despite serving only one term in the house Mr. Trabbic proved to be a very capable first term legislator, introducing a number of bills during his term. Amongst these pieces of legislation were a bill "to establish a township system for maintaining, repairing and cleaning out established ditches, drains and water-courses in the county of Monroe" and also introduced a petition brought about about by Monroe County residents "asking for the passage of a bill to regulate the practice of optometry." In addition to the above Trabbic held a seat on the house committees on Game Laws, Industrial Home for Girls, Mines and Minerals, during 1907-08 legislative session. Late in his term Trabbic became a booster for the establishment of a monument to Col. George Custer in Monroe County, and "was instrumental in gaining an appropriation of twenty-five thousand dollars" to fund the project through.
  After a successful first term in the legislature Trabbic ran for reelection in November 1907 but was defeated by Republican candidate C. Wesley Kemmerling by a vote of 4,018 to 3,655. Following his defeat, Trabbic continued to take an active role in Monroe County political affairs, being the Democratic candidate for Register of Deeds in 1910.

Trabbic's campaign card, from the collection of Judy Carr.

   Little could be found in regards Trabbic's final years, although notice is given as to his opening a garage in Erie township in 1917. He was the proprietor of this garage for only a few years, as he contracted pneumonia and later pyelitis (an inflammation of the kidney area in the pelvic region) and died aged 53 on April 4, 1919. Trabbic was later interred at the St. Joseph Cemetery in Monroe, Michigan and was survived by his wife Mattie (also interred at St. Joseph), who died at age 90 in 1957. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hanny Clyde Harvley (1887-1946)

From the History of South Carolina, Volume IV, 1920.

  Today's write up takes us to Greenville, South Carolina and one Hanny Clyde Harvley, a three term mayor of that city. With a first name like "Hanny" one can be certain that Mr. Harvley was one of the oddest named men ever to be elected as Mayor of this thriving South Carolina city. Despite serving three terms in office, little could be found on Harvely's life, apart from a biographical notice and portrait in the 1920 edition of the History of South Carolina. 
   H. Clyde Harvley (as most sources list him) was born in Modoc, South Carolina December 17, 1887, a son of Jesse Kendrick and Ida Nancy Adkins Harvley. He attended the Coronaca High School and married on March 24, 1906 to Ms. Blanche Barber (1882-1845) and later had three children, Helen (1908-1997), John (1909-1976), and Hanny Clyde Jr. (1910-1977).
  Following his marriage Harvley was engaged in the railroad business for a number of years, working as a telegraph operator and station agent. In March 1913 he became a "local representative" for the Charleston and Western Carolina Railway, and was eventually transferred to Greenville. The 1920 History of South Carolina notes that within some months of relocation Harvley "manifested an interest in politics and public affairs that attracted notice to him." 
  In 1915 Harvley was elected to the Greenville City Council, and during his two years of service here accomplished much good for his new city of residence, helping to push legislation to establish a sinking fund for Greenville to help reduce the city's debt. He is also "given credit for inaugurating the great beautiful white way of Greenville, considered to be the last word in street lighting and the best to be found anywhere in the South." Harvley's ability and ambition as a councilman eventually culminated in his election as Mayor of Greenville in 1917, "being one of the youngest men in the country to fill the mayor's chair in a city the size of Greenville". Harvley's three terms as mayor (1917-1923) brought about changes in the city, being the "first mayor of Greenville to open a municipal coal and wood yard" and "brought about the municipal ownership of the water works", which were also enlarged during his term.
  Both before and after his service as mayor Harvley was affiliated with many local fraternal organizations, holding memberships in the Greenwood Blue Lodge #91 of Free and Accepted Masons, the Cyrus Chapter #22 of the Royal Arch Masons, the Improved Order of Red Men, the United Order of American Mechanics, the Hejaz Temple of the Mystic Shrine and the Pointsett Club. 
  On February 13, 1945 H.C. Harvely's wife of nearly forty years died age sixty-two. A little less than a year after his wife's death, Harvely himself succumbed to an unknown illness on February 4, 1946 at age fifty-nine. Both were later buried at the Springwood Cemetery in Greenville, which is also the resting place of Harvely's mother and two of his children.

Harvely as he looked during his later years, from the greenvillesc.gov website.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Steele Lemoyne Moorhead (1852-1948)

From the August 15, 1900 edition of the Morning Oregonian.


   Interestingly named Oregon political figure Steele Lemoyne Moorhead receives a write up today, and although he was born a Pennsylvanian, Moorhead became a notable figure in Lane County, Oregon, making a name for himself as a newspaper publisher, city recorder, mayor and state legislator. During a long life that extended 95 years, Moorhead resided in a number of different states, and during that time left an imprint in each of them.
  Steele Lemoyne Moorhead's birth occurred in the small town of Indiana, Pennsylvania on May 11, 1852, a son of Joseph McCloud and Margaret MacFarland Moorhead. The Moorhead family later removed from Pennsylvania to Missouri, where Steele began learning the trade of printing at the Atchison County Journal in the village of Rockport. Moorhead rose to become both business manager and editor of the Journal for several years and married in Missouri to May Rebecca Bonham (1864-1930) with whom he would have later have the following children: Harriett May (1885-1977), Josephine Bird (1886-), Bishop Thompson (1892-1959), Steele Lemoyne Jr. (1898-1975) and Verneita (born June 1902).
   In 1888 the Moorhead family relocated to Ness City, Kansas, where Steele founded the Ness City Times. He managed the affairs of this paper for three years until removing once again, this time to Junction City, Oregon. Within a short time Moorhead had established roots in the community and founded the Junction City Times, the first newspaper to be published in the city. In 1892 he won election as recorder for Junction City and in the following year was elected as the city's Mayor "with only three votes against him, and one of those his own." Prior to his tenure as mayor Moorhead had served as a Junction City councilman and school director, his dates of service in those offices being unknown at this time.
   Moorhead served a one year term as Junction City mayor and continued his political ascent in 1894, when he was elected as a Republican to the Oregon State House of Representatives. As a one of Lane County's legislators, Moorhead is recorded by the 1895 Official Directory of Oregon as being "a jolly good fellow, ''all wool and 60 inches wide"", and helped to introduce two important pieces of legislation, the first being a measure "providing for a majority verdict of nine on juries in civil cases" as well as a bill "to prevent corporations (especially railroads) from blacklisting employees." Moorhead chaired the house committee on Mileage and Per Diem and was later appointed as chairman of a special committee that was to revise correct and publish the Oregon Legislature's 18th Biennial Session Journal and Calender. After the conclusion of his term Moorhead continued to serve the Oregon legislature in a slightly different fashion, holding the post of Chief Clerk of the Oregon Senate for a decade.
   In addition to his involvement in politics and journalism, Moorhead maintained memberships in many local fraternal organizations, being a longstanding member of the Junction City Lodge #58 of Free and Accepted Masons, as well as the Knights of Pythias. While Steele Moorhead gained a reputation as one of Junction City's premier men of affairs, May Rebecca Moorhead also made a name for herself in local women's groups, being elected as President of the Women's Improvement Club of Junction City in November 1914. A portrait/article on her election appeared in the November 8, 1914 edition of the Morning Oregonian and is shown below.

May Rebecca Moorhead as she appeared in the Nov. 8, 1914 Morning Oregonian.

   After many years of residence in Junction City the Moorhead family removed to Washington in late 1915, where Steele "assumed the business and editorial management of the Mount St. Helens Mist." After some years of being connected with this paper Moorhead purchased the Cowlitz County Advocate, and resided with his family in the city of Castle Rock. 
  In 1930 May Rebecca Moorhead died in Castle Rock at age 66 and sometime afterward Steele Moorhead removed back to Oregon, settling in Marion County. A 1940 census listing notes that at age 88, Moorhead was residing with his daughter Josephine and her husband Frank Lilburn. Steele Lemoyne Moorhead celebrated his 90th birthday in 1942 and died six years later on February 15, 1948, three months short of his 96th birthday. He and his wife were interred at the Rest Lawn Memorial Park in Junction City, Oregon following their deaths, as were Hattie Moorhead and Steele L. Moorhead Jr. after their respective deaths in 1977 and 1975.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bottolf Bottolfson (1892-1976)

From the February 16, 1927 edition of the Moorhead Daily News.

   Hailing from Clay County in Minnesota, Dr. Bottolf T. Bottolfson was a prominent public figure in the city of Moorehead for over five decades, being a reputable ophthalmologist and two term mayor of that city. First elected in the late 1920s Bottolfson was reelected as mayor over thirty years later in November 1961, and served another two year term.
  Born on December 10, 1892 in Moorehead, Bottolf Thomas Bottolfson was one of four children born to Ole (1859-1915) and Randina Brandon Bottolfson (1860-1944), both natives of Norway. Bottolf began pursuing the study of medicine as a young man and went on to attended the University of Minnesota. During his time here he was a member of the Phi Beta Phi fraternity, the Glee Club, and was the president of the Sophomore Medics. Following his graduation in 1916 Bottolfson married Ms. Jeannette Elizabeth Peterson (1898-1991) and they are recorded as being childless through the duration of their marriage.

                        Bottolf T. Bottolfson's college portrait, from the 1916 Gopher Yearbook.

   Despite having a slim amount of information available on his life online, B.T. Bottolfson was a practicing physician in Moorehead for many decades, and was a member of the staff of the St. Ansgar's Hospital in Moorhead. In addition to practicing medicine Bottolfson was involved in other aspects of public life in Clay County. In 1921 Dr. Bottolfson was elected as the President of the Clay-Becker County Medical Society for that year, and was later returned to head the society in 1931. Bottolfson also held the position of president of the Moorhead chapter of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association during in the mid 1930s.
   As a prominent county figure Dr. Bottolfson was highly regarded throughout Moorhead and elsewhere in the Clay County vicinity, and with his considerable reputation came calls for him to run for public office. In 1929 he was nominated by the local Democratic party for Mayor of Moorhead and in February's election defeated Leo H. Wright by a vote of 1, 555 to 714. That year's election was recorded by the Moorhead Daily News as bringing about a record turnout for voting in the city, with 2,295 votes being cast in total (this including other candidates and ballot measures.) In 1929 Bottolfson ran for reelection against Republican candidate Herman C. Nordlie. In February of that year Nordlie defeated Bottolfson by "a majority of 91" and took office as Moorhead's new mayor, serving until 1931. Despite his loss at the polls Bottolfson continued to be an esteemed member of the Clay County medical community, and in 1931 was awarded an fellowship in the American College of Surgeons, and in October 1931 visited New York City to "officially receive the honor" at a convocation at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
   Several years after leaving the mayor's office Bottolfson became affiliated with the St. Luke's and St. John's Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota and in mid 1937 both he and his wife left the United States to visit Europe and Asia for medical work. As the State College Spectrum noted in its January 28, 1938 edition, Bottolfson and his wife spent a good majority of their time in India, where he preformed "561 eye operations in one week" and later handled "22 cataract operations." This same paper also notes that Bottolfson had been "one of two surgeons chosen to receive this special training" and after returning to the United States in 1938 gave a lecture on his work in India at a meeting of the North Dakota Agricultural College's Zoology Club. 
   In 1961 Bottolf Bottolfson ran once again for mayor, thirty-two years after the completion of his first term. The Moorhead Daily News noted that he ran "on a campaign against construction of a sewage lagoon" that had been proposed to be built, and defeated three challengers, including Robert Schutte, who had been backed by outgoing Moorhead Mayor Ingemund Theodore Stenerson (1899-1989). On election day in November 1961 Bottolfson garnered 2,555 votes to Schutte's 1,332, coasting to a fairly substantial victory! 
  Bottolfson's second mayoral term lasted from 1962-1964 and he later retired from practicing medicine in 1970 at age 78. He had been a practicing physician for over fifty years and passed away on March 27, 1976 at age 84. He was survived by his wife Jeanette, who died in 1991 at age 93, and both were interred at the Prairie Home Cemetery in Moorehead.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Melkeor Urdahl Shelldrup Kjorlaug/Melkeor United States Kjorlaug (1887-1967)

From the Minnesota Alumni Weekly, May 1930.


   Since beginning this site over two years ago I've managed to locate many new oddly named political figures through hours of sometimes tedious research, scouring old state books, registers and election results in the hope that a new name might pop up. A few days ago (while perusing a Harvard Law School catalog) I managed to stumble upon one of those names that left me scratching my head in bewilderment, and I think you'll agree that he possesses a truly fascinating name: Melkeor United States Kjorlaug (see addendum at the end of this article for more information.) 
   While he may not be the first politician profiled here with "United States" as a middle name (see Nephi United States Centennial Jensen's article) Mr. Kjorlaug parlayed a successful career as an attorney in Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas into a political career, being a three-time Republican aspirant for the U.S. House of Representatives. Despite aspiring to such a lofty office, Mr. Kjorlaug was unsuccessful on all three occasions, and one can wonder if it was his name (and not his politics) that may have scared away potential voters. A good majority of the sources mentioning him abbreviate his rather lengthy name as either "M.U.S. Kjorlaug" or "Melkeor U.S. Kjorlaug". 
  Melkeor U.S. Kjorlaug was born of Norwegian extraction in Boone County, Nebraska on the 8th of October 1887, one of several children born to Peder and Metta Kjorlaug. His education took place in the public schools of both Nebraska and Minnesota. Following the completion of high school he enrolled at the Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and in March 1912 won the Minnesota state oratorical contest for Carleton with an oration entitled "Master or Slave". The Public Speaking Review of 1912 gives note of the enthusiastic reception of Kjorlaug's speech, noting that after the winning oration was announced "the affect was instantaneous and for about fifteen minutes uproarious pandemonium rained supreme."
   Following his graduation from Carleton in 1912 Kjorlaug studied at the Harvard Law School in Massachusetts. Following his graduation from the school in 1915 he was admitted to the Massachusetts bar and later settled in Boston. Following his resettlement the Alumni Magazine of Carleton College notes that Kjorlaug was " connected with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He is greatly interested in his work and finds excellent opportunity for social service in his new position."
  Kjorlaug eventually removed back to Minnesota and was admitted to the state bar in 1916. He opened a law practice in Minneapolis and married and later had two children, Clark Riegel Kjorlaug (1917-2012) and Audrey Kjorlaug (born 1921). Around 1919 he became affiliated with the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, where he served as an Instructor in Law for six years (1919-1925). His residency in Minneapolis saw Kjorlaug serve as attorney for the Minneapolis Legal Aid Society and he later was named to the position of Superintendent of the Minneapolis Department of Public Welfare.
   Melkeor Kjorlaug first entered political life in 1925 when he was elected to the Minneapolis City Council, representing that city's 13th ward. He served six years on the council and late in his service began a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives for Minnesota's 5th district. His campaign ad in the 1930 Minneapolis Alumni Weekly touted his tenure as a Harvard graduate and former law instructor, noting that as a candidate Kjorlaug was "aggressive, fearless and honorable." As one of four Republican candidates in that year's primary Kjorlaug came in last, polling only 4,895 votes to former Lieutenant Governor William Ignatius Nolan's winning total of 21,114. Nolan would go on to win election to Congress that November and served two terms, being defeated in 1933. The accompanying electoral result from that year's primary appeared in the 1931 Legislative Manual of Minnesota and is shown below.


   Following his congressional primary loss Kjorlaug returned to his duties as a Minneapolis city councilman and also the practice of law. In 1936 he removed from Minnesota to Texas, settling in Houston where he would reside for the remainder of his life. Shortly after his resettlement Kjorlaug began operating a law practice out of Houston.
  Despite being a resident of the Lone Star state for only a few years, Kjorlaug reentered the political arena in 1940, launching another campaign for Congress. In that year he was the Republican candidate from Texas' 7th district, running against popular one term Democratic incumbent Albert Thomas (1898-1966). When the votes were tallied on election day it was Thomas who emerged victorious, besting Kjorlaug by a vote of 89,796 to 4, 925. Two years following his defeat, Kjorlaug was once again the Republican nominee against Thomas, and the vote count proved to be just as lopsided as the previous election, with Thomas coasting to victory with a vote of 31,038 to Kjorlaug's total of 622. Albert Thomas would go on to serve a total of 29 years in Congress, dying in office in 1966 at age 68. A result from the 1940 congressional election between the two men appeared in the 2007 book Representing Texas and is shown below.


  Despite his losing candidacies, Kjorlaug returned to practicing law in Houston, and in 1947 became the Dean of the South Texas Law School. He held this position until 1962 and was an awarded honorary membership in the Ex-Student's Association of the South Texas Law College in 1958. M.U.S. Kjorlaug died at his home in Houston of "coronary thrombosis" on January 15, 1967 at age 79 and was survived by his wife Ellen and two children. He was later interred at the Forest Park East Cemetery in Houston. Ellen Kjorlaug survived her husband by over a decade, dying in July 1978 at age 91 and was interred at the same cemetery as her husband.

M.U.S. Kjorlaug as he appeared in Volume 19 of the Texas Bar Journal, 1956.


From the Corpus Christi Times, January 16, 1967.


You Can Help!
  Despite having a little in the way of information available online, I've managed to compile the above biography of Melkeor Kjorlaug, and although what I've written could be considered a decent overview of his life and public career, many aspects of his life remain a mystery, including information on his parents, childhood, early education, marriage and later years. For any descendants or others who may know more on this intriguingly named man, I'd like to invite you to contact me via the site's Facebook page or comment box here. I'd be interested in any and all information you may have concerning Mr. Kjorlaug and his career in the public forum!

An Addendum
   A few hours after putting the above article online my "You Can Help" segment shown above received a reply from SNIAPH Facebook fan Chris Heffner, who related to me a very interesting discovery.....Melkeor U.S. Kjorlaug's middle name may not have been "United States", at least according to his Texas death certificate. Through Chris' findings, Mr. Kjorlaug's middle names were "Urdahl Shelldrup", and with that information in hand, I can honestly state that I am now thoroughly confused!
  While death certificates have been useful to me in the past (see Nephi U.S.C. Jensen's article for an example) I was unable to find one for Mr. Kjorlaug, that is until Chris related his findings to me. While I usually consider a death certificate or gravestone to be the final arbiter in name discrepancies, I can't quite wrap my head around why exactly a death certificate issued by Texas lists one set of middle names (Urdahl Shelldrup) while the Quinquennial Catalogue of the Law School of Harvard University lists them as "United States", not once but FOUR times throughout the book! If the "United States" listing was a mistake or error on the part of that book's compiler I have a difficult time believing that they'd do it four separate times in the same work. 
  Since being told of the "Urdahl Shelldrup" middle name I've looked to see if I could find any other references to it but have come up empty. The FamilySearch genealogical website (which houses a number of Texas death certificates) lists "Urdahl Shelldrup" but not "United States", and Ancestry.com lists Kjorlaug by his abbreviated name "M.U.S. Kjorlaug" and "Melkeor Kjorlaug". In light of this new information I've decided to include both names in the title to Kjorlaug's article here. It is my sincere hope that a relative or descendant will stumble across this page and contribute whatever information they may have and hopefully someday I'll be able to get a definitive answer as to whether Kjorlaug's middle names are "United States" or "Urdahl Shelldrup". Either way you look at it, the man's name is still truly unusual!!
  Aside from making me aware of the middle name situation, Chris also did me a great favor by locating the names of Kjorlaug's parents, siblings and burial location.....all of which were unknown to me as of the time of this article's publishing late yesterday (August 22nd.) I'd like to offer forth a hail and hearty thank you to Chris for his responding to the "You Can Help" segment and the time he spent doing further research in regards to Mr. Kjorlaug's life. Your help is most appreciated!

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.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Owington Gordon Delk Jr. (1911-1990)

From the Binghamton Press, September 7, 1955

   While many Americans have feelings of ill will towards that often maligned institution called the Internal Revenue Service, its 140 year history has seen the likes of George Sewall Boutwell and Columbus Delano (both former Congressmen and Cabinet members) serve as its Commissioner. In its lengthy history the IRS has also had two oddly named individuals serve as its head, Green Berry Raum (1876-1883) and the man profiled today, Mr. Owington Gordon Delk Jr. Despite being the acting head of the venerable IRS, little information could be found on Mr. Delk, who's terms in office came about due to resignations by prior IRS commissioners. 
   O. Gordon Delk (as most sources list him) was born in Virginia on December 28, 1911, a son of Owington Gordon (1881-1956) and Lena Frances Tulloss Delk (1891-1970). Little is known of Delk's early years, although notice is given as to his entering government service in 1928 "as a messenger in the general accounting office." He later went on to study accounting at George Washington University and graduated from the Southeastern University in Washington, D.C. with a Bachelor of Laws degree. Following his graduation Delk was involved in "banking and farming in and around Smithfield" and he later married to Frances Channell (1915-2012), with whom he would have three children, son O. Gordon Delk III (1950-1972) and daughters Sarah and Emily.
  O. Gordon Delk Jr. was appointed as Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue on March 30, 1953, serving under Commissioner Thomas Coleman Andrews. On October 31, 1955 Andrews resigned from the post to return to his earlier position as an insurance company executive and Delk became acting commissioner. He served until December 4th of that year when Rhode Island native Russell C. Harrington took over as Commissioner.


From the Gastonia Gazette, November 1, 1955.

  Delk returned to his duties as deputy commissioner under Harrington until similar circumstances arose in September of 1958. Russell Harrington resigned as commissioner and Delk once again became acting head of the IRS. Despite serving as the top IRS official for a combined total of 68 days, his second term in the post saw a confrontation arise between the IRS and Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus (1910-1994). As the Tonawanda News related in its October 8, 1958 edition, an error in IRS accounting made it appear that Faubus "owed income taxes on $105,499.14." Governor Faubus, well known at the time for being outspoken on his views regarding segregation, publicly chastised the IRS, noting that the government was trying to punish him for his views and stance against school integration. Arkansas IRS District Commissioner Curtis R. Mathis proclaimed that "somebody goofed" in regards to the mistake, but acting commissioner Delk was quoted as taking a "less than apologetic attitude" to the situation,  noting that "Faubus' overall tax affairs are still under scrutiny."
   Following the conclusion of his second stint as acting IRS Commissioner, Delk resigned from the Internal Revenue Service and was awarded a civilian service medal by the U.S. Treasury Department in January 1959.  Little could be found on Delk's later years, although it is known that he resided in Punta Gorda, Florida for a number of years, and in 1977 was named to the Civic Advisory Council  at the Medical Center Hospital in that city. A death notice for Delk (published in the February 10, 1990 edition of the Hampton Roads Daily Press) also notes that he was a past financial executive for the RCA Corporation, but fails to mention his length of service with that company. 
   O. Gordon Delk died at age 78 on February 8, 1990 in Punta Gorda, Florida and was later interred at the Saint Luke's Cemetery in Smithfield, Virginia. He was survived by both of his daughters and his wife Frances, who died in June 2012 at age 96.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Andsworth Hardaway Chambers (1851-1934)

 From Volume I of the History of the Pacific Northwest, 1889.

    A distinguished resident of Thurston County, Washington, Andsworth Hardway Chambers was the son of Washington territorial pioneers and went on to prominence in both business and politics, serving as the Mayor of Olympia, Washington for three terms. He was later a one term representative in the Washington State Legislature and was for many years the proprietor of a successful butchery and meat packing company. Chambers' first name is also recorded as being spelled as "Answorth" in addition to the spelling given here.
   Andsworth H. Chambers was born in Thurston County, Washington on June 25, 1851, being the son of David J. and Elizabeth Harrison Chambers, both former residents of Missouri. Chambers is recorded by the Barton's Legislative Handbook and Manual of Washington as receiving his education in common schools and engaged in work upon the family farm during his youth. He spent his formative years herding cattle and continued in this line of work until deciding upon a career as a butcher. He married in Olympia on May 20, 1878 to Ms. Mary A. Connelly (1856-1937) and the couple would later have three daughters, including Hope Chambers O'Leary (1890-1925).
   Chambers' first venture into the meat packing and butchering business came at age nineteen, joining with his father to establish an Olympia based butchery. In 1881 the son bought out the father's interest in the business and in the succeeding years built it into the A.H. Chambers Meat Co., mentioned as being one of the most "extensive slaughtering and packing business in Olympia." In addition to this plant, he is mentioned in the 1905 work Olympia, the Capital City of Washington as operating a market, and "has an extensive jobbing trade in meats among the logging camps and towns of Southwestern Washington." This history of Olympia further notes that Chambers' plant "has a capacity of five cars of cattle per week". Chambers also held prominent positions in a number of other Olympia based businesses, including being a director of the First National Bank and had a "controlling interest" in the Olympia Gas and Electric Light Works. 
   Having carved a prominent place for himself in Olympia business circles, Chambers turned his attention to city political affairs beginning in the 1880s. He served as a city council member for a time and in 1886 was elected to the first of three terms as Mayor of Olympia. His three years in office saw the building of the Chambers Block in Olympia, now one of the oldest remaining business blocks in the city. Chambers continued his political ascent after leaving the mayors office, being nominated by the Democrats of Thurston County to be one of their representatives in the Washington State House of Representatives in 1890. He went on to win the election that November and during his one term in office (1891-1893) held a seat on the committees on the Hospital for the Insane, Indian Affairs, Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacy and Military Affairs. 

From an 1891 Washington State Legislature class portrait in the Washington State Archives.

  The remaining years of Chambers' life have proven to be difficult to research, with few sources mentioning what he may have been up to after his time in the legislature. It has been found that he served as a member of the Washington State Capital Commission from 1915 to 1921, and in 1925 suffered a personal loss with the death of his then 35-year-old daughter Hope C. O'Leary. Andsworth H. Chambers died shortly after his 83rd birthday on July 1, 1934 and was later interred at the Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Tumwater, Washington. Chambers' wife Mary survived him by three years and is interred at the same cemetery.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cairo Alwin Trimble (1869-1952)

From the Republicans of Illinois, 1905.

   Prominent for many years in Illinois legal circles, Cairo Alwin Trimble served as a Presidential elector for Illinois and was later a delegate to the 1912 and 1936 Republican National Conventions. Besides having a first name that is also a city in Egypt, Trimble went on to further prominence later in life, serving as the President of the Illinois State Bar Association. He was a born in Princeton, Illinois on March 15, 1869, a son of Harvey Marion and Margaret Sabin Dakin Trimble. His early education took place in schools local to Princeton and he later went on to graduate from the Princeton High School. Trimble decided upon a career in law early in his life and in 1892 was admitted to the Illinois bar.
  Cairo Trimble married twice during his life, the first being to Ms. Alice McKey in 1894. Two children were born to the couple, Margaret Victoria Trimble Towne (1897-1974) and Cairo Dakin Trimble (1905-1931). Following Alice McKey Trimble's death in 1916, Trimble remarried in January 1919 to Nancy Creswell Kyle, who died in 1947.
   Trimble opened a law practice in Princeton and operated here for many years, and while a lawyer by trade, he gained additional repute through involvement in a number of other civic endeavors in Princeton. He was for many years a member (as well as President) of the Princeton High School Board of Education and was also a bank director. In addition to his work in Princeton, Trimble was later elected as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. He served on the board for eight years (1917-1925) and would continue to have involvement with the university for many years afterward.
  In addition to his law practice in Princeton, Trimble was named as a Republican Presidential Elector for Illinois in 1908, and four years later was a member of the Illinois delegation to the 1912 Republican National Convention being held in Chicago. Trimble would serve again as a delegate in 1936, journeying to Cleveland to take part in the Republican National Convention that nominated Alf Landon for the Presidency.

From the Alumni Quarterly and Fortnightly Notes of the University of Illinois, 1918.

  Trimble's lengthy career as one of Bureau County's most prominent practitioners of law culminated with his election as President of the Illinois State Bar Association in 1936. His tenure in this post (1936-1937) came at a time when President Franklin Rooseelt's "court packing" plan was largely derided by those in legal circles, and Cairo Trimble's viewpoint on the matter was no exception. He was mentioned by the February 1937 edition of the Telegraph Herald as stating the half of the Illinois State Bar Association's members had taken part in a state wide referendum, with 3,062 members voting against Roosevelt's plan while 377 voted for it.
  In his later years Trimble maintained an active schedule, being a member of the local Masonic chapter, the Bureau Valley Country Club, the Hamilton Club of Chicago,and was a past member of the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association. Trimble is recorded as serving as the President of the Illinois State Board of Law Examiners, although his dates of service in this office are unknown at this time. Cairo Alwin Trimble died in his native city of Princeton on September 23, 1952 at age 83, having outlived two wives and one of his children. He was survived by his daughter Margaret, and was later interred in the Trimble family plot at the Oakland Cemetery in Princeton.
  
Trimble as he looked during his later years, from a 1940 edition of the ABA Journal.

From the Dixon Evening Telegraph, September 24, 1952.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Baskin Eply Rhoads (1834-1895)

                         From the Biographical sketches and Review of the Bench and Bar of Indiana, 1895.

   Endowed with an unusual first name that will immediately bring to mind the famed Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream parlor, Indiana legislator and judge Baskin Eply Rhoads was a truly learned man in his day, being well known as an amateur geologist and academic in addition to his service in state government. A Pennsylvanian by birth, Baskin E. Rhoads was born in the small settlement of Coatesville on May 1,1834 and removed to Indiana with his family at age two, first settling in Park County. The Rhoads family would later remove to Montgomery County, where Baskin attended the Waveland Academy for a time. He became a tanner's apprentice under one David Mann around the same period and later went on to enroll at the Wabash College, graduating in the class of 1860.
   Both before and after his graduation Rhoads was a teacher in the Montgomery and Vermillion County school systems, serving as a principal in the latter county. Sometime in the early 1860s he migrated to Clinton County, where he took on a teaching position at the Farmer's Institute for a few months. Around this same time he began the study of law under Judge Samuel Maxwell of Park County, and while thus engaged also served as school superintendent for the Rockville, Indiana schools. 
  After being admitted to the state bar in 1862 Rhoads set up a law practice in Newport in Vermillion County. In November 1864 he was elected as that county's representative in the Indiana General Assembly, taking his seat in January 1865. During his term he held a seat on the committee on education and is remarked by Theophilus Wylie's history of Indiana University as helping to draft "the present School Law, which was passed, and was presented by himself to Governor Morton, who signed it in his presence. The law was passed with but little alteration from the original draft."

Baskin E. Rhodes, from the 1865 Indiana House of Representatives photo composite.


   Many sources of the time note Rhoads as a fervent proponent for public education in Indiana, and during his one term in the state legislature was instrumental in the creation and drafting of the bill that led to the establishment of the Indiana State Normal School (now known as Indiana State University). With the introduction (and eventual passing) of this bill, Rhoads is justly referred to as the "founding father" of the Indiana State Normal School. He was connected with the school for many years afterward, and three years after leaving the legislature was elected as a University trustee. He served in this capacity until 1874, and earlier, in 1870, had been appointed as a Professor of Law. His professorship extended several years and in July 1874 he married to Ida Moffatt (1850-1936) with whom he had two children, Sarah (1876-1918) and Daniel, who died aged 17 in March 1897.

Baskin E. Rhoads, from the archives of the Vigo County Historical Society.

   Rhoads continued to be involved in educational affairs for the remainder of his life, journeying to Europe in the late 1870s "where he studied Civil Law, modern languages and general literature." After returning to the United States, Rhoads became politically active once more, being named by Indiana Governor Albert G. Porter as a Judge for the Vigo County Court in 1881. He served on the bench until December 1882 and two years later was became a member of the first board of trustees of the newly established Coates College of Women in Terre Haute.
   For the last decade of his life Rhoads was engaged in the practice of law in Vigo County, being a member of the firm Rhoads and Williams with Terre Haute native Elmer Williams. The Biographical Sketches of the Bench and Bar of Indiana notes that Baskin E. Rhoads "was stricken with apoplexy"and died  shortly thereafter at his home in Terre Haute on January 15, 1895. He was 60 years old, and was survived by his wife Ida Moffatt Rhoads, who died forty-one years after her husband in July 1936. Both Baskin, Ida and their children are interred in a family plot at the Highland Lawn Cemetery in Terre Haute, Indiana. In an interesting side note, several decades after his death, Baskin Rhoads received the honor of having Rhoads Hall (on the campus of Indiana State University) named after him in a 1965 dedication ceremony.

Death notice for Baskin E. Rhoads from the Logansport Reporter, January 15, 1895.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Barr Spangler (1822-1922)

From the Numismatist, Volume 35, 1922.

   A distinguished figure in the history of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Barr Spangler was noted as being the oldest active bank president in the United States at the time of his death at age 100 in 1922. The first oddly named centenarian political figure to warrant a profile here, Spangler was also prominent figure in the Prohibition Party during the 1860s and 70s, being that party's candidate for Pennsylvania state auditor general on two occasions.
  Spangler was born in Marietta, Pennsylvania on January 13, 1822, a son of John and Anna Barr Spangler. He spent his entire life in Lancaster County and at age 14 began employment as a clerk in a dry goods store. He was given control of this business while still a young man and was later joined by his elder brother William, his son Charles, and a nephew, J. Barr Spangler. On February 2, 1847 Spangler married in Marietta to Mary Ann Sultzbach (1826-1921) and the couple later became the parents of five children, who are listed as follows in order of birth: Cuvler (1848-1906), Anna Bell (1850-1938), David (born 1854), William (born 1856) and Charles Sumner (born 1857).
  While still the proprietor of the B and C.S. Spangler firm, Barr Spangler became a director of the First National Bank of Marietta and continued in this role for fifty-nine years, terminated only by his death in 1922. He made his first attempt at elective office in 1869, whenhe ran on the Prohibition or 'Temperance" Party ticket for Pennsylvania State Auditor General. He polled only 3,186 votes, compared to Republican David Stanton, who won the election with 284,097 votes. 
  In 1872 Barr Spangler made another attempt for state auditor, running once again on the prohibition platform. When the votes were tallied on election day he polled only 1,260 votes, placing a distant third in a field of three candidates. Republican candidate Harrison Allen (1835-1904) emerged the victor with over 350,000 votes, and went on to serve as state auditor from 1872-1875. In 1885 Spangler was the Prohibition candidate for State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, but again came up short in the vote count, garnering only 627 votes to Matthew S. Quay's winning total of 5,338.
  Following his defeat, Spangler continued to be a prominent figure amongst the ranks of the Prohibition Party, even being selected as a delegate to the State Prohibition Convention in 1887. In addition to his numerous candidacies Spangler served as the Treasurer of the Pennsylvania State Temperance Union for a number of years.

   Barr Spangler celebrated his 100th birthday on January 13, 1922 and was honored at a dinner celebrating his life, according to volume 35 of the Numismatist. He received a congratulatory telegram from then President Warren Harding and Pennsylvania Governor William C. Sproul, and was noted to be excellent health at the time of his centennial and was remarked as being a "firm believer in fresh air and very little medicine." Spangler died on September 17, 1922, eight months after his 100th birthday. He willed $5000 to the Marietta First Methodist Episcopal Church and was interred at the Marietta Cemetery.