Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stanfield Pinkard McNeill (1827-1902)

Portrait courtesy of www.legis.iowa.gov.

     First there was Summerfield, then Peterfield, then Mansfield, and earlier this month, Wakefield. Those unusual "-field" based names are joined today by one Stanfield Pinkard McNeill, a native of Kentucky who, after relocating to Iowa during his youth, experienced marked success in public life, serving two terms in the Iowa General Assembly as a state representative.
    Born in Mason County, Kentucky on Valentine's Day 1827, Stanfield Pinkard McNeill was the son of Dominie and Nancy Pinkard McNeill. His unusual first and middle name look to have been bestowed upon him in honor of Stanfield Corbin Pinckard (1798-1846), a native Kentuckian who represented Mason County in the Kentucky legislature in 1828. Afforded limited educational advantages as a youth, young Stanfield worked at farming until reaching age sixteen, whereafter he learned the trade of carpentry, being engaged in that work for six years time. Having relocated to Burlington, Iowa at age sixteen, he joined in the ongoing war effort, enlisting for service in the Mexican-American War in 1849. McNeill served amongst "Capt. Morgan's company of mounted dragoons", after which he returned to civilian life and worked as a clerk in a cotton warehouse.
   Stanfield McNeill relocated to Wayne County, Iowa in 1857. He remained here for three years, during which time he purchased a farm and married on February 16, 1859 to Nancy Long Arnold (1837-1887). The couple would have a total of nine children:  Grace (1859-1929), Kate, Guy A. (1863-1891), Edward, Anna, Stanfield (1871-1875), Mary, Norah (born 1876) and Ruth. 
   In 1861 McNeill and his family removed to the neighboring county of Decatur. During his residency here (which extended until his death in 1902), McNeill operated a farm, and was the owner of nearly 800 acres of land. He would serve as a justice of the peace for a time and was a member of the county board of Supervisors during the Civil War. In November 1873 he won election to the Iowa General Assembly as a representative from Decatur County. Taking his seat at the start of the 1874-76 term, he would serve on the house committees on Schools, Penitentiaries and the Agricultural College during this session, and in November 1875 won a second term in the state house.
    McNeill's second term saw him serve on the committees on Enrolled Bills, Appropriations and the Agricultural College. Following the conclusion of his term in January 1878 he returned to farming, and resided in Garden City, Iowa until his death on February 20, 1902, six days after his 75th birthday. Shortly after his passing McNeill was memorialized in a lengthy Iowa legislative resolution, which noted that:
"The radiance of his life will leave its light to illuminate the pathway of time as the shooting meteors illuminate the heavens. That lamp of light which grows brighter as it nears the shores of eternity and when lost to earthly view beyond the shore of that silent river, will shine with radiant splendor as one of the brightest gems in that New Jerusalem where the melody of heavenly music shall fill the earthly weary soul with eternal bliss."
   One should take note that the above legislative resolution misspells McNeill's first name as "Sanford" (one can only wonder what his fellow legislators thought of that!) Widowed in 1887, both Stanfield and his wife were interred at the Garden Grove Cemetery, also the resting place of their son Stanfield, who died in 1875 at age four.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lavius Arad Robinson (1834-1917)

From the Norwich Bulletin, June 27, 1913

   Born into a prominent Connecticut family, Lavius Arad Robinson had fleeting involvement in Nutmeg State political life, being a Republican candidate for the Connecticut State Assembly in 1894. Like fellow Connecticut native Perlin Shearer Butler (profiled earlier this month), Robinson was a longtime churchman in his native town, serving as a deacon in the Franklin Congregational church. 
  Born in Franklin on October 6, 1834, Lavius A. Robinson was one of several children born to Arad and Lura Abell Robinson. One of Franklin's most venerated families, Arad Robinson was a descendant of the Rev. John Robinson, the " Pastor of the Pilgrims" who ministered at Leiden, Holland from 1609-1625. 35 members of Robinson's congregation later joined with sixty-six Pilgrims from England to sail to America on the Mayflower, reaching Massachusetts in November of 1620. The Rev. John Robinson (having died in Holland in 1625) later had descendants residing throughout New England, one of which, Arad Robinson, was of the seventh generation of his descendants.
  Young Lavius resided upon the Robinson family farm on "Prospect Hill" in Franklin and studied in the "district schools" until reaching age eighteen. Lavius would later take over the day to day operations of the family homestead and:
"Added to the original farm and owns ninety acres of most excellent land, and he has also made extensive improvements upon the property, which he devotes to general farming and dairying."
  Lavius Robinson married his first wife Lovisa Brewster in 1858, but their marriage lasted just seven years before her death in 1865 at age twenty-four. Robinson remarried in 1867 to Mary Avery, with whom he had one daughter, Mary Elizabeth, who died in infancy in May 1870. Mary Avery died shortly after her daughter's birth on May 20, 1870 and two years following Lavius married for the third time, taking as his bride Hattie Huntington of Eastford, Connecticut. The couple would be married for over forty years, during which time four sons were born: Nelson Eugene (1875-1894), Clifford Huntington (1879-1959), Arthur Day (died in infancy in 1882) and Lloyd Raymond (born 1883).
   A deacon in the Franklin Congregational Church for many years, Robinson also served as chairman of the church's Ecclesiastical Society. Mentioned as a "staunch Republican", Robinson held the office of Justice of Peace for Franklin and in 1894 was a candidate for the Connecticut General Assembly from New London County. As one of three candidates running to represent Franklin in the assembly, Robinson placed second on election day, receiving 50 votes compared to winning candidate Clayton Lathrop's total of 58. 

An electoral result from the Connecticut State Register and Manual, 1895-96.

   Following his legislative loss Lavius Robinson continued to reside at his family's ancestral home in Franklin, dying there on July 24, 1917 at age 82. His wife Hattie survived him by seventeen years, dying in November 1934, also at age 82. Both were interred at the Pautipaug Cemetery in Franklin, Connecticut.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cadmus Ambrose Tope (1863-1940)

Portrait from the Carrollton Free Press Standard, January 4, 1940.

   A Carrollton, Ohio based hardware merchant for over forty years, Cadmus Ambrose Tope had fleeting involvement in political life in 1908 and 1916 when he was selected as an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention held in Chicago. A lifelong Ohio resident, Cadmus Ambrose "Cady" Tope was born in Harrison County on June 8, 1863, being the son of Hiram and Mary Anne Shultz Tope.  He removed to Carroll County at an early age and would attend both the "public schools at Perrysville" and the Harlem Springs College, a Methodist Episcopal Church seminary. 
  For ten years Cadmus Tope taught public school in Carroll County and later was elected to two terms as Carroll County Recorder. Tope married on New Year's Day 1885 to Ella Beamer (1859-1938), their union producing two daughters, Mary Ethel (1887-1964) and Sarah Leona (1892-1969). In 1894 he made his first foray into the hardware trade, establishing a store in Dellroy, Ohio. Two years later he moved his business to Carrollton, subsequently partnering in the hardware firm of Campbell, Tope and Beamer.
   Tope continued to be involved in the hardware business in Carrollton for the remainder of his life, becoming the sole owner of the aforementioned business in 1918. Tope is noted by the History of Carroll and Harrison Counties as running a:
"Prosperous business....supplied with a complete stock of heavy and shelf hardware, and the various accessories that go to make up the modern hardware store."
  In addition to hardware sales Cadmus Tope was for many years a prominent figure in the Carroll County Agricultural Society, serving as its secretary for two decades. Tope is also recorded as having been a show horse judge, visiting (in addition to Ohio) Indiana and Illinois to judge horses at county fairs. A longstanding member of the Republican Party, Tope was named as an alternate delegate to the 1908 Republican National Convention held in Chicago that nominated William Howard Taft for the Presidency. In 1916 Tope again served as an alternate delegate to the RNC, this time seeing Charles Evans Hughes put up as the party's standard bearer.
  In the years following his service as a delegate Tope continued to experience success in the hardware business, being elected as President of the Ohio Hardware Association for a one year term in 1923. He would also be affiliated with the Hardware Mutual Insurance Company of Coschocton and the Carrollton Methodist Church. Cadmus Tope died in Carrollton on New Years Day 1940, having been ill for over a year. He was interred alongside his wife Ella at the Grandview Cemetery in Carrollton, coincidentally enough the same resting place of Union Corwin DeFord, a former Carrollton mayor and judge profiled here back in June 2012.


Cadmus and Ella Tope, portrait courtesy of Find-A-Grave.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wakefield Gale Frye (1826-1893)

Portrait from the History of the City of Belfast in the State of Maine, Vol. II, 1913.

    A return to Maine today to examine the life and career of Wakefield Gale Frye, an attorney in both Rockland and Belfast who was appointed to the post of U.S. Consul General in Halifax, Nova Scotia on two non-consecutive occasions. Born in Montville, Maine on December 20, 1826, Wakefield G. Frye was one of eight children born to Robie (1785-1867) and Lucy Holbrook Frye (1783-1852). Wakefield would attend the China Academy in Colby, Maine from 1847-1850 and went on to study at the University of Rochester in New York, earning his A.B. degree in 1851. 
   Around 1853 Frye relocated to Rockville, Maine, where he would practice law for two years. In 1855 he entered into the post of police court justice for Rockland, serving a one year term. In October of that year Frye married to Annie Elizabeth Arey, with whom he would have four children, Robie Gale, Jessie Frye Osborne (1871-1951), Gertrude H., and Henry Wakefield, who died in Folsom, New Mexico in 1895.
   From 1857-1858 Wakefield Frye briefly practiced law in Lafayette, Indiana, and by 1858 had returned to Maine, opening a law practice in the city Belfast. After three years of practice in Belfast Frye took on the position of deputy collector of customs, where he served until 1872. After leaving that post Frye was named as clerk of the Waldo County Superior Court, where he remained until his resignation in 1879. For the following three years he resumed his law practice in Belfast and in February 1882 achieved his highest degree of public prominence when he was nominated by President Chester Arthur as the new U.S. Consul General in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


   Shortly after being confirmed as consul Frye headed for Halifax, where he remained until 1885, having tendered his resignation in May of that year. In a curious newspaper write-up in the St. Paul Globe on Frye's resignation, many merchants in Halifax were dismayed as to the thought of Frye leaving the post of consul, many of whom believed that his "action was not entirely voluntary".  As the Globe related in its May 23, 1885 edition:
"A great bundle of petitions had been forward to the President, asking that Mr. Frye be continued in office, and representing the desirability of his service in protecting and fostering the commercial relations between Nova Scotia and the United States."
  After leaving the post of consul Frye engaged in business in Boston, as well as returning to the practice of law, taking as a partner one Bordman Hall, a member of the Boston Board of Aldermen and later a candidate for state auditor. In 1889 the citizens of Halifax got their wish, as Wakefield Frye was once again appointed as U.S. Consul in Halifax. His second term as consul extended until his death in office on August 14, 1893 at age 66. Frye's remains were returned to the United States for burial at the Grove Cemetery in Belfast, Maine. Frye's widow Annie was also interred here following her death in 1905.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Dios Corides Hagle (1839-1898)

Portrait from the Chicago Tribune, April 28, 1896.

    Nineteenth century political figure Dios Corides Hagle can lay claim to being one of the oddest named individuals to ever win election to the Illinois State Senate, and is also one of the few men profiled here who served in the legislatures of two different states (those being South Dakota and Illinois.) Like many of the men who've preceded him here, Hagle's first and middle names can be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire and one Pedanius Dioscorides, a traveling physician in the army of Emperor Nero. Regarded as a master herbalist and the "Father of Pharmacy", Disocorides authored the landmark five-volume work De Meteria Medica (On Medicinal Substances), which would become the "prime authority and source work on herbs and other medicinal substances in the history of Western Civilization, and quite possibly the world."
   The life of this oddly named man began in Brown County, Ohio, where he was born on September 11, 1839. The son of Abraham and Mary Williams Hagle, it is unknown as to why Abraham and Mary chose to split the name "Dioscorides" into two separate names and bestow it upon their son. Sources of the time frequently abbreviate Hagle's name as "D.C. Hagle", and you can imagine my surprise when I found out what those initials actually stood for!
    The Hagle family resided in Brown County until Dios was two, whereafter they relocated to Jefferson County, Illinois. The Hagles' later moved to the neighboring county of Wayne, where Dios would attend the "common schools", as well as working upon his father's farm. He continued along this route until the outbreak of Civil War in 1861, and, finding that the quota for enlisted Illinois soldiers was complete, enlisted as a private in Company D of the 11th Missouri Volunteer Infantry. His time with that company extended three years, during which Hagle saw action at the Battles of Corinth, Iuka, the Red River campaign, and the Siege of Vicksburg in 1863. 
   Hagle's three year term of enlistment expired in 1864 and following his return to Illinois again took up farming. Shortly after his return he married to a Ms. Sarah Cunningham, who died in 1866. Around 1867 he began studying law in Clay County, Illinois and was admitted to the bar the following year. Hagle would remarry in 1869 to Mary Catherine George, with whom he had two children, Maud Araminda (1872-1958) and John W. (died aged three in 1878). 
   Soon after his admittance to the Illinois bar Dios C. Hagle established his first law practice in the town of Louisville. He spent several years in practice there and in the mid 1870s relocated to the South Dakota Territory, eventually settling near the city of Yankton, where he would reestablish his law practice. Hagle's time in the Dakota territory saw him enter into the field of politics for the first time, as he was elected to the Dakota Territorial House of Representatives in 1876. Representing the county of Hutchinson during his service, Hagle would be further honored during his term when was chosen as Speaker of the House, continuing in that role through the 1877 term.  In that same year he decided to return to Illinois, his second wife Mary Catherine having died two years prior
   Following his return to Illinois, Hagle began practice once again in Louisville and married for a third time in 1879, taking as his wife Ms. Cerissa B. Ingham (1854-1931). Five children would be born to their union, and are listed as follows in order of their birth: Christa Bell (1881-1893), Dios Corides (1882-1930), Gail H. (1884-1969), Mary (1886-1904) and Dorothy I (1889-1933). 
   A year after his marriage Dios C. Hagle was elected as County Attorney for Clay County, Illinois. He was returned to that office in 1884 for another four year term and in November 1888 was elected to the Illinois State Senate for a four year term, representing the 44th district. During this term Hagle was named to several important committees, those being the Judiciary; Railroads; Finance and Claims; Corporations; Appropriations; County and Township Organization; and Engrossed and Enrolled Bills. 
   At the conclusion of his term in 1893 Hagle continued to be a prominent figure in Republican party circles in the state.  In April 1896 he figured prominently in the campaign of John Riley Tanner, then the Republican nominee for Governor of Illinois. Tanner (who had been married to Hagle's wife's sister Lauretta) had his name placed before the state Republican convention by Hagle, who was acknowledged by the Chicago Tribune as having been an "orator of no mean ability." In November 1896 Tanner won the Governorship, defeating incumbent Governor John Peter Altgeld by over 100,000 votes.
   With the incoming administration taking office in January 1897, Governor elect Tanner appointed Dios Hagle as Assistant Attorney General of Illinois. In what would become his last public office, Hagle served under Attorney General Edward Aiken, and died in office on February 6, 1898 at age 58. He had been ill for several months prior to his death, having suffered from pleurisy (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the lungs.) A resident of the town of Flora, Illinois at the time of his death, Hagle was survived by his wife and four children. He was later interred at the Elmwood Cemetery in Flora. Decades following her husband's death, Cerissa Hagle removed to California with her daughters Dorothy and Gail, and died there in November 1931.

Hagle's death notice from the Illinois True Republican, Feb. 7, 1898.

A death notice from the San Francisco Call, February 7, 1898.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Eckford Gustavus Pendleton (1861-1939)

Portrait from the Norwich Bulletin, January 2, 1915.

  Two term Connecticut state representative Eckford Gustavus Pendleton was a lifelong resident of the town of Preston (located in New London County), being born in that town on April 26, 1861. The seventh and last child of Solomon Story (a former state representative) and Marcia Averill Starkweather Pendleton, Eckford G. Pendleton spent the majority of his 78 years as a farmer in his native town, being acknowledged as "one of the pioneer potato raisers of Preston Plains". Pendleton also grew grapes on his property and is mentioned in the Norwich Bulletin as having raised Jersey cattle. 
   Eckford G. Pendelton married in Preston on June 20, 1889 to Charity A. Norman (1867-1956) and later had four children: Martha Alice (born 1893-1970), Mildred Norman (born 1894), Jessica Elise (born 1896) and Marjorie (died in infancy in 1911). 
   Prior to his service in the state legislature Pendleton had served as a third selectman for Preston in 1913 and in the following year was second selectman. In November 1914 he was elected to the Connecticut State Assembly, winning a total of 126 votes. Taking his seat at the start of the 1915-16 session, Pendleton sat on the house committees on Rules; New Counties and County Seats; and Legislative Expenses.
   In November 1920 Pendleton won a second term in the state assembly (garnering a total of 242 votes on election day), and during the 1921-22 session served on the following house committees: Capitol Furniture and Grounds; Cities and Boroughs; and the School Fund. Little is known of Pendleton's life following the conclusion of his second term. It is known that he continued farming at his home in Preston and died there on July 17, 1939. He was survived by his wife Charity, who, following her death in 1956, was interred in the Pendleton family plot at the Preston City Cemetery.


Pendleton's obituary from "The Day", July 18, 1939.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Perlin Shearer Butler (1838-1910)

Portrait from "Taylor's Legislative History and Souvenir of Connecticut" , 1906.

   Connecticut state assemblyman Perlin Shearer Butler is one of a handful of oddly named political figures who were also clergymen, in his case being a minister of the Adventist Church for nearly five decades. A native of Wilbraham, Massachusetts for the first three decades of his life, Perlin S. Butler was born in that town on October 2. 1838, being the son of Benjamin Gilbert and Hannah Cross Butler.  He attended schools local to Wilbraham and in August 1862 was ordained as a minister in the Adventist Church. Five years after being ordained Butler organized the Union Christian Church of North Wilbraham and for three years following was its pastor.
   In November 1869 Butler married Juliette Perrin (1845-1916), a native of North Woodstock, Connecticut. The couple would later have two sons, Sidney Perlin (1873-1952) and Ernest Morton (1878-1948). Of these sons, Sidney P. Butler would go to a distinguished career as an educator, being the president of the Butler Business School located in New Haven.
   A few months following his marriage Perlin Butler and his wife relocated permanently to Woodstock, where he would assist in organizing an Advent Christian Church. He would be that church's pastor beginning in 1874 (serving in that capacity for some thirty years) and helped organize two other churches in the neighboring towns of Putnam and Ellington. Elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1905, Perlin Butler was one of two representatives from Woodstock to serve in the legislative session of 1906, and was also honored by being named as chairman of the house committee on Women's Suffrage during his term. 
   Following his term Butler served as a member of the Woodstock school committee and was also a member of the Board of Trustees for his son's business college. He was for eighteen years the President of the Rhode Island and Connecticut Advent Christian Conference and died in Woodstock on May 12, 1910. He was survived by his wife and two sons and was interred at the Barlow Cemetery in Woodstock. Juliette Perrin Butler and Sidney P. Butler were also interred at this cemetery.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Memnon Jackson Carter (1849-1934)

Portrait from the Courts and Legal Profession of Iowa, 1907.

   Named in honor of Memnon (an ancient Ethopian king and defender of Troy during the Trojan War), Memnon Jackson Carter was for many years a lawyer in Winneshiek County, Iowa, later serving a two year term as County Attorney. Further political honors would be accorded to him in 1900 when he was a candidate for Democratic presidential elector, and in 1906 was an unsuccessful aspirant for the U.S. House of Representatives.
   The son of Ohio natives Mahlon G. and Mary Jackson Carter, Memnon Jackson Carter was born Waynesville, Ohio on March 11, 1849. Why Mahlon and Mary Carter decided to bestow the name of "Memnon" upon their son remains a mystery, but this regal sounding name obviously had its advantages, as Carter would go on to a distinguished career in the public forum. The Carter family left Warren County, Ohio when Memnon was a child and resettled in Winneshiek County, Iowa in 1856. He would attend the "district schools" during the wintertime and, after being left fatherless at age eighteen, took care of his mother and younger brother, William Warren. During this time Carter worked at farming and in 1874 relocated to Ossian, Iowa, where he took on a clerkship in the general store of one D.D. Rosa.
   Carter's time as a clerk lasted but three months, whereafter he began the study of law under attorney G. L. Faust. He was admitted to the Iowa bar in 1877 and two years prior had entered into his first public office, that of Deputy clerk for Decorah, Iowa. Three years following his opening a law practice, Carter joined L.A. Meyer in forming the Bank of Ossian, and in 1885 added the title of newspaper owner to his resume, purchasing the Ossian Bee. Carter transformed that paper into an eight page "straight democratic organ", published weekly. The Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa also notes that Carter had extensive real estate holdings, owning an "eighty-acre farm near Austin, Minnesota" as well as a two hundred and eight acre farm in Howard County, Iowa. Carter married in Ossian in May 1878 to Martha "Mattie" B. Harvey (1854-1941), and later had one son, Ralph Waldo, in 1879.
   One of Ossian, Iowa's prominent men of affairs, Memnon Carter served a total of ten years as mayor of that town, and for thirteen years was treasurer of the Ossian Independent school district. He was for eight years a member of the Democratic State Central Committee (representing Winneshiek County) and in 1890 defeated John B. Kaye in the race for Winneshiek County Attorney. He would serve one term in that post (1891-1893) and was defeated for reelection by E.P. Johnson in November 1892. 

From the "Biographies and Portraits of the Progressive Men of Iowa", Vol. II, 1899.

    Following his time as County Attorney Carter was a candidate for Democratic Presidential Elector for Iowa in 1900, and six years later received the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa's 4th district. Running against Carter in that election was incumbent Congressman Gilbert N. Haugen, who had represented that district since 1899. On election day it was the Republicans who triumphed, with Haugen besting Carter by nearly 8,000 votes. He would continue to represent the 4th district in Congress for another twenty-seven years, dying in office in 1933, having served a total of thirty-five years as a U.S. Representative.
   After his congressional defeat Carter returned to his law practice in Ossian and was involved in several Winneshiek County fraternal organizations, including the Elks lodge, the Knights of Pythias, the Knights Templar, the El-Kahir Temple of Shriners, and the Modern Woodmen of America. Carter had also served as a Past Master of the Arcturus Lodge, #237 of Free and Accepted Masons. Memnon J. Carter died in 1934 at age 85. His wife Mattie survived him by several years and following her death in 1941 was interred alongside Memnon at the Centennial Cemetery in Winneshiek County.