Monday, December 5, 2011

Tasker Lowndes Oddie (1870-1950)

   A former Governor and U.S. Senator from Nevada, Tasker Lowndes Oddie was a New Yorker by birth, being born in Brooklyn on October 24, 1870, the son of Henry Meigs and Helen Gibson Oddie. Oddie attended schools in the Orange, New Jersey area as a youth and later graduated from the New York University Law School. and was admitted to the New York bar in 1895. Soon after passing the bar, Oddie found employment with a "wholesale importing house" in New York City as a clerk. In addition to this, he also began dabbling in real estate transactions and became an estate manager.
   Three years after attaining his law degree, Oddie relocated to Nevada and here began a lifelong interest in that state's mining industry. After earning substantial wealth through his mining interests in the Tonopah area, Oddie became actively involved in politics, serving as the District Attorney for Nye County in 1901-1902. While serving as District Attorney, Oddie also held the office of Superintendent of Schools of Nye County, and was later elected to the Nevada state senate from 1904-1908.
   In 1911 Oddie was elected as the Governor of Nevada and served one term in office, his term concluding in 1915. While in office, he signed the city charter for Las Vegas in 1911, thereby officially making it a city. Oddie is also listed as being unmarried during his time as Governor, and his mother, Ellen G. Oddie, is mentioned as serving as official hostess during his tenure in office. In an interesting side note, "Mother Oddie" is mentioned as having "kept track of her son's paycheck until her death in 1914". 
 Three years after leaving the Governor's office, Oddie married Ms. Daisy Randall MacKeigan, a native of Los Angeles. It is unknown at the time of this writing whether or not any children were born to them.

                                                            Oddie during his senate service.

  Six years after his term as Governor concluded, Oddie was elected to the United States Senate from Nevada, where he served for two terms. During his service he was Chairman of the Committee on Mines and Mining (reflecting his earlier business interests) as well as chair of the Post Office and Post Roads committee. In November 1932 Oddie was defeated by Patrick Anthony McCarran (1876-1954) for a third term in office. McCarran would go on to serve over two decades in the senate and is remembered today for being one of that body's leading anti-communist members during his time in office.
  Tasker L. Oddie died in San Francisco, California on February 18, 1950 and was subsequently buried in the Lone Mountain Cemetery in Carson City, Nevada. His wife Daisy survived him by four years, dying on February 6, 1955 at age 70. The rare portrait of Oddie located at the top of this article was discovered in the 1903 edition of The Successful American, Volumes 7-8.

1 comment:

  1. Senate defeat was election of 1932. Two main factors: Democratic tide that year (FDR), and demographic shift in Clark County resulting from influx of worker in Boulder City for Hoover Dam construction.