Friday, October 31, 2014

Carnot Obadiah Spencer (1832-1908), Carnot Bolton Meeker (1836-1911)

From Taylor's Legislative  History and Souvenir of Connecticut, 1901.

    Described as an "ideal public functionary" and  a "worthy citizen and gentleman", Essex, Connecticut native Carnot Obadiah Spencer served terms in both houses of the Connecticut General Assembly and in the twilight of his life held the post of State Commissioner of the School Fund, being responsible for tracking education expenditures throughout the state. 
  The son of Obadiah and Susanna Pratt Spencer, Carnot O. Spencer was born on May 27, 1832 in what is now Essex, Connecticut. A former state assemblyman and Warden of the borough of Essex, Obadiah Spencer had married in 1818 and would have a total of four children, Carnot being the fourth born. Carnot's early education occurred in the common schools of Middlesex County and as a young man was employed by his father in the latter's general store in Essex. Spencer continued his education at the Connecticut Literary Institute in the town of Suffield and married in 1855 to Maria Jane Fuller (1834-1900), a Suffield native. The couple was to remain childless through the entirety of their marriage. 
  In 1861 Spencer followed in his father's stead and was elected as Essex's representative to the Connecticut State Assembly. He would be returned to that body in 1862, 1878 and 1879 and also served Essex as a school board member, town assessor, selectman in 1866 and town clerk from 1875-1878. In 1869 Spencer was elected to the state senate from Connecticut's 19th district and served here until the close of the 1869-70 session. 
  Carnot Spencer left Essex in 1880 and removed to the city of New Haven, where in 1881 he was selected to be chief clerk in the Connecticut School Fund commissioner's office.  He relocated to Hartford sometime afterward but continued in his role as chief clerk until 1898, when he himself took the reigns as State School Fund commissioner, being appointed to that office in the wake of Commissioner Jeremiah Olney's death. 
  Spencer's time as school fund commissioner extended until his death at age 76 on June 21, 1908. Prior to his death Spencer had been a longstanding member of Hartford's First Baptist Church and had served as a church treasurer and deacon. Spencer was memorialized in the Budget Report of the Connecticut Department of Finance, which related that 
"In the death of Carnot O. Spencer on the 21st of June 1908, the school fund met with a loss not to be measured or recorded in columns of statistics, although his actions for twenty years was felt in the statistics of the department......The present condition of the School Fund is excellent, owing to his faithful oversight and management."
  Spencer had been preceded in death in July of 1900 by his wife Marie, and following her passing remarried to Josephine C. Williams (1957-1926), who would survive him upon his death in 1908. Both Carnot and Josephine were interred at the Cedar Hill Cemetery in Hartford.

                                                              From the Connecticut Legislative Souvenir of 1905.

From the Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris and Sussex County, 1899.

  Civil War veteran Carnot Bolton Meeker was a lifelong resident of Morris County, New Jersey and entered into political life in the late 1880s when he won election to the New Jersey General Assembly. One of four children born to Daniel and Sarah Richards Meeker, Carnot's birth occurred in what is now Afton, New Jersey on November 28, 1836. 
   A graduate of the Frame Academy in Bloomfield and the Woodbridge Institute, Meeker enlisted in the Union Army and was prominent in the establishment of the 2nd Regiment New Jersey Calvary. He received the promotion as second lieutenant of Co. B. in that regiment and in 1864 became a first lieutenant and aide-de-camp to Union General Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh Dana. 
   At the war's conclusion, Meeker returned home to New Jersey and engaged in farming.  In November 1886 he was elected as a Republican to the New Jersey State Assembly from Morris County and during the 1887-89 session, Meeker would hold a seat on the assembly committees on Agriculture, Fisheries and Lunatic Asylums. After leaving the assembly he served as the chairman of the Morris County Republican Committee and in the late 1890s was a member of the county Board of Registry
  In addition to his political doings in Morris County Carnot Meeker was a member of the A.T.A. Corbett Post of the Grand Army of the Republic as well as being a parishioner at the Hanover Presbyterian Church. A lifelong bachelor, Meeker died on September 13, 1911 in Florham Park, New Jersey, with his burial being at the First Presbyterian Church of Hanover Cemetery.

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