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 nearly 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 afterward 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.

1 comment:

  1. Huh, interesting. This is why I like tracing my lineage. Also (to my knowledge at least) you forgot he was a 33rd degree of the Scottish Rite, but I guess that doesn't exactly correlate with his political directly.