Friday, April 8, 2016

Esli Lyle Sutton (1875-1945)

From the Staten Island Leader, October 31, 1924.

   A "lawyer of criminal and corporate reputation", as well as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from New York, Richmond County resident Esli Lyle Sutton had previously been a two-time candidate for Richmond County District Attorney. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on October 16, 1875, Esli L. Sutton was the son of Charles Albert and Martha Wirt Sutton.  He was a graduate of the University of Minnesota in the class of 1897 and married in Wisconsin in June of that year to Leilah Pearl Gowdy (1880-1965). The couple would later have two daughters, Ila Neva (born 1899) and Janice Lyle (born 1901).
  Esli Sutton began the practice of law in St. Paul, Minnesota and in 1904 was recorded as being a resident of Minot in that state. Further information relates that he was also retained as an attorney for the Great Northern Railway. By 1915 Sutton had relocated to New York City and during World War I served as a Major of Infantry. Following that war's conclusion he continued in the practice of law and for a time was head of the Admiralty Law Department of the U.S. Shipping Board in New York City.
   In the early 1920s, Esli Sutton began service as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In late 1924 Sutton announced that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for District Attorney for Richmond County, New York. Running against Democrat Albert Cole Fach (1882-1972), Sutton was touted by the Staten Island Leader as being a strong presence in local civic affairs, as well as having"a host of friends throughout the Borough." 
  On election day 1924 it was Fachs who triumphed at the polls, besting Sutton by a vote of 22, 436 to 13,060. In the year following that loss, Sutton was again a candidate for District Attorney. As the Staten Island Leader reported in its October 9, 1925 edition, Sutton would be making "automobile tours to all corners of the island", as well as speaking tours with other Republican candidates running that year. In November Sutton was dealt another loss to Albert Fach, who would continue to serve as District Attorney until 1931.

From the Staten Island Leader.

   With two unsuccessful candidacies behind him, Esli Sutton set his sights on higher office in 1926, announcing his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 11th Congressional district. Sutton's opponent that year was another oddly named man, two-term incumbent Anning Smith Prall (1870-1937), a former New York City Commissioner of Taxes and Assessment. When the votes were tallied on November 2, 1926, it was Anning S. Prall who coasted to a third term in Congress, besting Sutton by a wide margin, 34, 265 votes to 12, 929.
   Following his loss for Congress Sutton returned to practicing law and sometime later removed to Bergen County, New Jersey. In 1942 he authored and edited a history of the family entitled "Genealogical notes of the Sutton Family of New Jersey". Three years following the publication of that work Esli Lyle Sutton died in Englewood on April 17, 1945. A burial location for Sutton and his family remains unknown at this time.

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