Friday, March 17, 2017

Bliss Ezekial Loy (1887-1969)

From the April 3, 1936 edition of the Patoka Register.

   The vast annals of the Illinois General Assembly have produced many unusually named figures profiled here, and in addition to those elected, there are an innumerable amount of men and women who weren't, including the man profiled today, Bliss Ezekial Loy of Effingham County. A farmer and dairyman of prominent standing in that county, Loy was a past director of the Sanitary Milk Producers for Effingham and was a two-time candidate for the Illinois legislature, running for the house in 1930 and the Senate in 1936.
   Born in Watson, Illinois on May 18, 1887, Bliss Ezekial Loy was the son of James H. and Minnie Avery Loy. A dairy farmer and large landowner in Effingham County, James Loy would serve as a state representative from 1904-05. Bliss Loy was a student in schools local to Effingham County and later undertook a two-year teacher's course at the Austin College. For several years he followed a career in teaching in Dietrich, Illinois and would later remove to Chicago for a time. being employed as a commission warehouse cashier.
   Bliss E. Loy married in Chicago in June 1909 to Ida Cronk (1885-1981). The couple were wed for sixty years and their union produced at least six children, Doris Cronk (1910-1992), Dale Bliss (1911-1991), Faye Lorita (1912-2005), Evelyn Elizabeth (1915-2002) Marcella Mae (1918-1936) and Burl Avery (1922-1980).
   Following his marriage, Loy removed back to the "old home farm" in Watson township, where he would raise his family. In the succeeding years, he established his name as a leading farmer in the county, being a breeder of Holstein cattle and a founder of the Watson Farmers Exchange. Loy would also maintain a longstanding affiliation with the Effingham County Farm Bureau, serving as its president for several years in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
  Active in Republican party circles in Effingham County, Loy was a member of the County Republican Central Committee for two decades and a former township supervisor of Watson. In 1930 he entered into the race for state representative for Illinois' 42nd district and in that year's Republican primary placed third in a field of five candidates, polling 3,721 votes to winning nominee R.J. Branson's total of 14,854.

From the Patoka Register, March 1930.

  In early 1936 Loy again entered the political forum, this time hoping to win the Republican nomination for state senator from the 42nd senatorial district. His candidacy received a substantial write-up in the Patoka Register in April 1936, which noted that
"Mr. Loy's long activity in the Republican Party and in farm organizations has given him a large acquaintance over the District, and if nominated in the April Primary he will be a strong candidate in the November election."
   One of three Republicans vying for the senatorial nod in the April primary, Bliss Loy placed second on April 8, 1936, with 2,896 votes, over two thousand votes behind winning candidate Harry M, Henson. Henson, in turn, would go on to lose the general election that November to incumbent Democrat William L. Finn, who had represented that district since 1928.

From the Patoka Register, April 3, 1936.

   In the early 1930s, Bliss Loy was named as a director of the Board of Sanitary Milk Producers, representing Effingham County. This co-operative organization could boast of over ten thousand members and supplied the city of St. Louis, Illinois with its "daily milk needs". He continued work on that board into the 1940s, chairing its committees on Sales and Transportation, and during WWII would hold the chairmanship of the War Meat committee of Effingham County, being appointed in 1943.
   After many years of prominence in Effingham County Bliss Loy died at age 82 on August 19, 1969, at the St. Anthony's Hospital in Effingham, Illinois. He was survived by his wife and children and was interred at the Oakridge Cemetery in that city.

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