Saturday, March 24, 2012

Zael Ward (1791-1864)

  Yesterday's remarkable discovery and detective work has yielded one of the most interesting site articles you're ever going to read here. If you haven't read yesterdays article on the "rediscovery" of Zael Ward (1791-1864), I urge you to do so immediately!
  I'll begin with a "condensed" version of yesterday's happenings. I had been doing research on a Michigan politician and businessman named Worthy Lovell Churchill (1840-1913) when I discovered a work entitled St. Clair County, Michigan: Its History and its People, written and published by William Lee Jenks in 1912. In this particular book was a roster of men native to the St. Clair County area who had served in the Michigan State House of Representatives from 1835 to the time of the book's publishing. As I perused this list looking for odd names one of them jumped out at me......Zael Ward. The list in question is shown below.

 When I first saw this unusual name it struck a chord with me as if I had seen it before. After some quick thinking, I remembered where I'd seen the name.....Andrew Young's 1875 work The History of Chautauqua County. In said work was a list of Supervisors of the town of Harmony (located in Chautauqua County) and on this list is the name of Zael Ward, who served as supervisor from 1835-36. Another list shows Ward's name in regards to a meeting of the Chautauqua County Board of Supervisors in November 1835 (posted below). For comparison to the above blurb (mentioning his legislative service), one only need look at this to see that the names are indeed the same!

  After making this astonishing local history discovery, I felt confident enough in my research to conclude that the Zael Ward who had been a Chautauqua County resident in the 1820s and 30s was indeed the same man who went on to serve in the Michigan legislature twenty some odd years later. However, I was now faced with a question......whatever became of this man? A few Google searches later told the whole story, which I will now relate to you, and there are a variety of twists and turns along the way!  And in case you may be wondering, there is no proper biography available on Zael Ward. There are only bits and pieces of information scattered about in various histories on St. Clair County as well as Chautauqua, which made researching him a bit more difficult! I also had to contend with the rather inconsistent spelling of his first name, which is shown to have been spelled as "Zael", "Zale", "Zeal" and "Zuel".
   Research has shown that Zael Ward was born in Vermont on April 7, 1791, the son of the Rev. David Ward (1761-1822) and his wife Abigail Pray Ward (1755-1817). Virtually nothing could be found on Ward's early life in Vermont or his education/schooling. It is known that Zael was the sixth child in a family of ten children, who are listed as follows: Submit (1780-1856), Eber (1782-1855), Samuel (1784-1854), Nathan (1786-1868), Keziah (1789-1864), Zael (1791-1864), Rhoda (1793-1864), John Pray (1795-1816), Charlotte (1797-1863) and David (1799-1889). 
 It is unknown when Zael left Vermont, but it is assumed that it was after his marriage to Susan Page, which occurred on April 26, 1812. Zael and his wife also had a large family (which also consisted of ten children) and are listed by order of birth: Phebe (born in 1813), Rhoda (1814-1909), Susan (1817-1905), Submit (died aged 9 months in 1819), Submit (1819-1902), Samuel (born 1821), Eber (born in 1823), Mary Jane (born in 1826), Zael Jr. (1827-1850) and David William (1833-1854). Zael and his large family eventually resettled in Keene Valley, located in Essex County New York and it was here that he purchased a farm located next to his brother Nathan's homestead. Most of the information thus given on Zael and his family was discovered in the Autobiography of David Ward (Zael's nephew) published in 1893, and it stands as the best available source on Zael's life and exploits. An important passage from the book (it gives a note on his removal to Chautauqua) is posted below. 

  Zael Ward and his family are listed as resettling in the town of Harmony in Chautauqua County in 1828. It was here that he purchased a farm in the aforementioned town and research has shown that it didn't take long for Zael to become active in county politics! The blurb below (from John Philip Down's 1921 work History of Chautauqua County, New York) shows that from 1835-1836 he served as Supervisor for the town of Harmony.

   Zael Ward's stay in Chautauqua County was quite short, as he and his family (with the exception of his daughter Rhoda) removed to Newport/Marine City, Michigan in "the spring of 1837." Zael's brother Samuel had emigrated to Michigan some years previously and was the founder of the aforementioned town. Samuel's brothers Eber and Nathan also relocated here during the 1820s and 30s.
  Within a few years of his resettlement, Zael Ward's name became a prominent one in the St. Clair County area, and it's truly amazing how quickly this Chautauqua County resident built up his reputation in his new home state! From 1838-1840 he served as a St. Clair County commissioner and in 1842 he became a  founder (and later a trustee) of the first Congregational society in Marine City. In the latter year, Ward was elected as Justice of the Peace, serving a one year term. A genealogical website mentioning the Ward family also lists Zael as being involved in shipping interests in Newport/Marine City, stating "Zael Ward also owned ships and served as captain". Sadly no other source elaborates on his involvement in the local shipping trade.
  Throughout the 1840s and 50s, Zael's public profile in Michigan continued to rise and in November 1854 he was elected by the citizens of St. Clair County (or to be more precise Belle Springs) to a seat in the Michigan State House of Representatives. The History of St. Clair County gives note that Ward defeated his Democratic opponent (Alexander Gilchrist) by a vote of 553 to 347 and took his seat in January of 1855. The tally of that election is shown below. 

  During his legislative service (which concluded in 1856) Ward served on the Committees of Agriculture and Manufactures, and is listed in the 1855 Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Michigan as presenting "three petitions, of the inhabitants of Clay, Ira and Cottrellville, in the county of St. Clair, asking alteration of boundaries.
 Very little could be found on Zael Ward's life following his service in state government. Both David Ward's Autobiography and the History of St. Clair County note that Zael moved back to Chautauqua County at some point in early 1864 and died here on July 21, 1864. It was also found that he was buried in the Blockville Union Burying Ground in Blockville, New York!!!!

 All in all, it is truly fascinating that this obscure man with an incredibly interesting life story is buried right here in Chautauqua County! I'm willing to bet that absolutely no one residing here realized that we had an oddly named Michigan legislator and shipping captain buried in the tiny settlement of Blockville, and it only goes to show that there is still exciting local history to be found in this day in age......all we need to do is read, research and look!
 Yesterday I made a sojourn out to Blockville to photograph Zael Ward's gravesite. After some intensive searching his stone was discovered towards the front of this fairly small cemetery.....and now for some photos from the trip!

The Blockville cemetery has some very early graves located within its borders (the earliest I could find dated from 1833) and there are even one or two Revolutionary War veterans buried here!

  The writing at the bottom of Zael Ward's stone really isn't decipherable, and his date of birth and death are April 7, 1791, and July 21, 1864. There are a few sources out there that list his death year as 1861 but these are incorrect. I've also seen the date of April 6 listed as his birthday but this has also proven to be the incorrect date.

 You'll also notice that Zael's gravestone is quite nondescript, and gives no indication to the interesting life and exploits of the man buried beneath it!

  Zael's wife Susan is buried next to him, and her stone isn't in the greatest condition. Susan survived Zael by nine years, dying on September 11, 1873, at age 82. It is unknown whether she died in Michigan or in Chautauqua County, but I presume that she joined her husband in Chautauqua when he relocated here in 1864. Next to Zael and Susan's stones are the markers for their daughter Rhoda, who died in Blockville in 1909 at age 94. She is buried next to her husband (the wonderfully named Sardius Steward) who served as township supervisor of Harmony from 1858 to 1860.
 So there you have it!! Even more obscure Chautauqua County history that you didn't know about! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

And who says that detective work doesn't pay off!!

  I am extremely excited to report that an astounding discovery has been made in regards to an oddly named politician named Zael Ward. Mr Ward's name was discovered by me in a book centering on Chautauqua County history a number of years ago (as he was a township supervisor of Harmony, New York from 1835-36) and since putting him on the list all those years ago I'd completely forgotten about him!
  Earlier tonight I was doing some research on a Michigan representative named Worthy Lovell Churchill when I stumbled across a Google book link called St. Clair County, Michigan, a History and its People. In this book (published in 1912) was a large roster of men who had represented St. Clair County in the Michigan State House of Representatives from 1835 to the time of the books publishing. As I scanned the list looking for goofy names one of them immediately jumped out at me....Zael Ward.
  I told myself "that sounds mighty familiar" and after some thorough Google searching found that it was indeed the same man who had resided in Chautauqua County years before!!!! Even more good news was in store for me when I found another book (written by David Ward, Zael's nephew) stating that his Uncle Zael resided in Michigan for many years and then returned to Chautauqua County, NY where he died shortly after arriving. 
  Needless to say my jaw dropped to the floor. I immediately thought "he has to be buried in the county somewhere!" and after a half hour or so of tedious searching discovered a genealogical website that lists a "Zale/Zael Ward" that died in Blockville, New York on July 20, 1864 and was buried in the Blockville Union Burying Ground!!!! Quite needless to say but....prepare for a fantastic blog article within the next few well as gravesite pictures!!!!!
  Just think.....we here in Chautauqua County have had an oddly named Michigan State Representative/ship builder/captain buried in Blockville for the past 147 years!!!!! Wonder how many people knew that!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Adolphus Freeman Morrison (1805-1852), Adolphus Dykeman Zabriskie (1854-1947), Adolphus Hawxhurst Searing (1856-1907), Adolphus Ziba Brown (1846-1916), Adolphus Gustavus Russ (1826-1902), Adolphus Hitchcock Tanner (1833-1882), Adolphus Augustus Ellis (1848-1921), Adolphus Ivar Dorsey (1878-1960), Adolphus Nott Wood (1846-1932), Adolphus Hoke Huss (1876-1944), Adolphus Earhart Graupner (1875-1947)

  Today's write-up once again centers on an oddly named Chautauqua County resident who gained distinction by serving in the New York State Assembly. That man is Adolphus Freeman Morrison, an obscure 19th century resident of Hanover, New York. Unlike Sextus H. Hungerford and Waterman Ellsworth (both profiled a few days ago), very little information could be located on Morrison's life, excepting a few brief mentions in Andrew Young's History of Chautauqua County, published in 1875. A portrait of Morrison is not known to exist at the time of this writing, but the photographs of his gravesite in Forestville, NY (located below) prove an adequate substitute!
  Adolphus F. Morrison was born on November 29, 1805, to Samuel (1771-1827) and Lurena Patterson Morrison (1775-1848), both of whom were residents of Washington County, New York. He received his odd first name in honor of his cousin Adolphus Freeman,  a prominent physician in the Washington County area. Adolphus's father Samuel was originally born in Massachusetts and he and his wife settled in the Chautauqua County area in the early 1820s with their six sons, who are listed as follows: John, Adolphus, Robert, Ransom, Wilson, and Orrin.
  Adolphus Morrison is listed (along with his brothers  John and Orrin) as a merchant in the Forestville area, although no mention is given as to what business they were involved in. At some point in the 1820s, he married Ms. Ann Dennison, a union that lasted until Adolphus' death in 1852. This marriage also produced one son, Leverett A. Morrison (1832-1871) who is buried in Erie, Pennsylvania.

     This roster shows the members of the 1848 Chautauqua County Board of Supervisors, with Adolphus 
    Morrison's name highlighted in yellow. Future NY Governor/United State Senator Rueben E. Fenton  
   served as chairman of this board.

   Although few sources mention him at great length, Adolphus F. Morrison served in a number of local public posts during his short life, and this is a true testimonial that he was a man held in high esteem by his fellow Chautauquans. In 1839 he was named as Hanover town supervisor and was reelected to this position in 1848. During his years as town supervisor Morrison also held a seat on the Chautauqua County Board of Supervisors, and it is worth noting that this board was chaired by future New York Governor and U.S. Senator Reuben Eaton Fenton (1819-1885).
  Adolphus Morrison achieved his highest level of public service in November 1842 when he was elected to the New York State Assembly. Representing his native town of Hanover, Morrison took his seat at the beginning of the assembly's 66th session on January 3, 1843. During his service (which extended to the end of the session on April 18, 1843) Morrison served alongside fellow Chautauquans Odin Benedict (1805-1874) from the town of Ellery, and Emory Force Warren (1810-1895, from Charlotte) who also won assembly seats in the November 1842 election.
   Little is known of Morrison's life after his legislative service. An 1847 New York Agricultural Society report lists him as being elected as a Vice President of the "Chautauque County Agricultural Society" for the year 1848. Adolphus Freeman Morrison died in Hanover on September 20, 1852, at the age of 46 and was subsequently buried in the Forestville Pioneer Cemetery.
  Yesterday (March 18) I made a visit to Morrison's gravesite in Forestville to photograph his gravesite. The Forestville Pioneer Cemetery is one of the more interesting cemeteries to visit in Chautauqua County. There are some very early gravestones here (the earliest I found dated from the mid-1810s) and there's also an ancient looking fountain/reflecting pool located near its center. This fountain is covered over by a clapboard shack and looks to be in dire need of restoration. Still very interesting to visit though!

  Adolphus Morrison's stone is quite substantial and also bears the name of his wife Ann, who survived him by 26 years, dying in May 1878 at age 82. She is actually buried under the small marker in the left of the above picture, and it's also interesting to note that she was nine years older than her husband!

  There is also a badge shaped insignia towards the top of Morrison's stone. Though it is not very readable in the picture above, the insignia reads "MY FATHER", a dedication from Adolphus's son Leverett.

  Despite being erected over 160 years ago all of the writing and names are legible, though a fair amount of algae and a century and a half of wear have taken their toll. So there you have it! Even more obscure Chautauqua County history you may not have known about....brought to you by the Strangest Names In American Political History!

From the Legislative History and Souvenir of Connecticut, 1901.

  Preston, Connecticut resident Adolphus Dykeman Zabriskie was for many years a prominent citizen of that town, being elected as its representative to the Connecticut General Assembly in 1900. Although a resident of Connecticut for nearly all of his life, Zabriskie's birth occurred in Brooklyn, New York on  October 1, 1854. The son of Thomas Henry and Marie Cleveland Zabriskie, Adolphus received his schooling in New York state and married in 1875 to Sarah Adelia Kimball (born 1854), with whom he would have six children: Charles Cross (born 1877), Luther Kimball (born 1879), Mary Cleveland (born 1883), Maria Louise (born 1887), Alice Mabel (born 1889) and Edward Henry (born 1892). 
    Three years following his marriage Zabriskie relocated to Preston, Connecticut, where he would engage in farming. Elected to the Connecticut Assembly in November 1900, Zabriskie served on the house committee on agriculture during his one term, which concluded in 1903. Little else is known of Zabriskie's life following his time in the legislature. He did, however, have a long lifespan, dying sometime in 1947 when he would have been either 92 or 93 years old. He was interred at the Preston City Cemetery in Preston, New London County, Connecticut.

From the Notable Men of Central New York, 1903.

    Cayuga County, New York jurist Adolphus Hawxhurst Searing may have lived to just fifty years of age, but during his short life carved a notable career for himself on the Cayuga County bench, serving as Judge of that county from 1901 until his death. Born in Cayuga County town of Scipio on August 27, 1856, Adolphus was the son of Leonard Hawxhurst and Alice Hudson Searing. A student at the Sherwood Academy in Cayuga County, Searing would continue his schooling at Swarthmore College, graduating in the class of 1878. 
   Following his graduation from Swarthmore Searing decided upon a career in law and enrolled at the University of Michigan's Law School at Ann Arbor. A graduate of that school in the class of 1882, Searing returned to New York and settled in Auburn, joining a law firm operated by Horace Howland. Searing married in 1884 to Sarah McKeel (born 1864) and the couple would remain childless through the entirety of their marriage.
   Adolphus Searing practiced law in Auburn until 1889, when he was selected to serve as a special county judge for Cayuga County.  He would serve until 1901, when he won election as Judge of Cayuga County and remained on the bench until his death at age 50 on March 26, 1907. He was survived by his wife Sarah and was interred at the Aurora Cemetery in Cayuga County.

   A native son of the Buckeye State, Adolphus Ziba Brown made his name known politically in Kansas, serving one term in that state's legislature in the early 1890s. Born in Union County, Ohio on May 25, 1846, Adolphus Z. Brown was the son of Dr. Ziba and Jane Brookins (Coffee) Brown. The Brown family removed to Iowa following Adolphus birth and during the Civil War, he served amongst the ranks of Co. D., 1st Iowa Cavalry. Following his service, Brown resided in Missouri for a time and in 1869 removed to Kansas, where he  "engaged in fruit growing and farming."
   Following his marriage to Martha Minerva Lemert (1848-1934), Brown gained prominence in the Farmer's Alliance of Wilson County and was serving as that group's president at the time of his nomination for the Kansas House of Representatives in 1890. He would win the election that November, eking out a narrow win over J.R. Chambers, 1,777 votes to 1,745. Serving during the 1891-93 session, little else is known of Brown's life, excepting notice of his resettlement in Arkansas, where he died on March 5, 1916. He was survived by his wife Martha, and both were interred at the Hicks Cemetery in Pike County.

From the San Francisco Call, June 25, 1902.

  German immigrant Adolphus Gustavus Russ rose to become a distinguished figure in San Francisco, California, serving a term in the California state assembly as well as being a fireman and hotel owner. Born in Germany on January 19, 1826, Adolphus Gustavus Russ was the eldest son of Christian Russ, who migrated with his family to New York City in 1835. Adolphus obtained his education in that city and in September 1846 joined his father and brothers on the ship "Loo Choo", bound for California.
  After several months journey the Russ family reached San Francisco, California in March 1847 and within a short period had purchased three lots of land. By 1850 Adolphus had become a founding member of the city fire department and in November 1851 married to Frances Simon, with whom he had ten children. In 1862 Adolphus and his brothers began construction of an elaborate three-story hotel, the Russ House, which survived until its damage by fire in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Sources also note Russ was the owner of a grocery in the city, as well as a former president of the city's German Benevolent Society.
  Adolphus Russ was elected to the California State Assembly in 1867 and during the 1868-69 session served on the committees on Internal Improvements, Swamp and Overflowed Lands. Following his term, Russ continued prominence in San Francisco and in his later years was a "friend to historians of the pioneer days and has never hesitated to assist any creditable effort in this line." Russ died in San Francisco on June 24, 1902, at age 76 and following funeral arraignments was interred at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in that city.

Portrait courtesy of Find-a-Grave.

   Certainly one of the most obscure congressmen on record, Adolphus Hitchcock Tanner was a Washington County, New York-based lawyer who served with credit during the Civil War, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry. Following his service, Tanner was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 15th congressional district, where he served for one term. Born in Granville, New York on May 23, 1833, Adolphus Hitchcock Tanner was the son of Samuel T. and Prudentia (Hitchcock) Tanner.
  Adolphus H. Tanner's early life saw him attend common schools and after deciding upon a career in law was admitted to the New York bar in 1854. He began practice in Whitehall (also in Washington County) and continued until the outbreak of Civil War. In 1862 he enlisted in the Union Army and would become a captain in Co. C. of the 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry. This regiment would see action during the Atlanta campaign and Tanner himself was slightly wounded in the legs at the Battle of Dallas in that campaign in 1864. 
  By November 1864 Tanner had attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was honorably discharged at war's conclusion. Following his return to New York Tanner launched a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1868 and in November of that year won the election, defeating Democratic candidate Jason Osgood by a vote of 17, 054 to 14, 641. His term extended from 1869-71 and held seats on the committees on Public Buildings and Grounds, and the War Department.
  Tanner wasn't a candidate for reelection in 1870 and later married to Mary Hall (1843-1915), to whom he was wed until his death. They continued to reside in Whitehall until Adolphus' death at age 49 on January 14, 1882. Both were later interred at Evergreen Cemetery in Salem, New York.

From the NY Tribune, January 15, 1882.

Portrait from the Michigan Manual, 1893-94.

  Adolphus Augustus Ellis' major political claim to fame rests on his service as Attorney General of Michigan from 1891-95, and in addition to that office held other important posts, including Mayor of Ionia and Prosecuting Attorney of Ionia County. Born in Vermontville, Michigan on October 5, 1848, Adolphus Augustus Ellis was the son of Elmer and Jane M. Ellis. In his youth, Ellis attended schools local to the Eaton County, Michigan area and would also work as a farm hand in the state of his birth and in Iowa.  
  After returning to Michigan in 1868 Ellis was employed in hardwood lumbering and after accumulating enough income enrolled at the Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan in 1869. Following a shortage of personal funds to continue his schooling, Ellis briefly worked as a farm hand, and after graduating in 1872 taught school and spent his free time studying law. After a period of study in the office of Shaw and Pennington in Charlotte, Ellis was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1876 and until 1881 practiced in the town of Muir.
   Adolphus A. Ellis married in Michigan in 1874 to Mattie N. Nichols (1849-1931), and the couple's four decades of marriage saw the births of two children, Howard Adolphus (1881-1926) and George Newton (1883-1915). The couple removed to Ionia in 1881 and it was in this city that Ellis made his first entrance into politics, being elected as Prosecuting Attorney for Ionia County in 1884 for the first of two terms. In 1888 he became the Greenback Party nominee for state Attorney General but was defeated by Stephen V.R. Trowbridge.
  While he may have lost in his first bid for the attorney generalship, Ellis' political fortunes changed in 1890 when he was elected as Mayor of Ionia, and in the year following won a second term. In 1890 Ellis again was a candidate for attorney general (this time on the Democratic ticket) and won the election that November, besting Republican Benjamin Huston. Ellis went on to win a second term in the 1893 election year, defeating Gerritt Diekema by a little over 1,300 votes.
  At the conclusion of his term in 1895, Ellis returned to Ionia but was not done politically, as the voters of that city elected him to three more terms as mayor between 1897 and 1899. He and his family later removed to Grand Rapids in 1906, where he continued to practice law. Ellis died in that city on April 25, 1921, aged 72. He was later returned to Ionia for burial at that city's Highland Park Cemetery.

Portrait from the 1917-18 Tennessee Legislative composite.

  Two-term Tennessee state representative Adolphus Ivar "A.I." Dorsey is very likely the most obscure man to be profiled in this article, there being an extreme dearth of resources mentioning him. Born September 25, 1878, in Mississippi, Adolphus I. Dorsey was the son of Adolphus and Mary (Jones) Dorsey. Nothing could be found in regards to Dorsey's early life and education, and his middle name is also spelled as "Ivor" and "Ivan" in addition to the spelling given here. He would marry to Irma Oldham (1880-1967) at an unknown date, who survived him upon his death in 1960.
  Prior to his legislative service, Adolphus Dorsey was elected as mayor of Ripley, Tennessee, holding that office from 1910-18. He would serve his first term as Lauderdale County's representative to the Tennessee General Assembly from 1913-15 and during that session chaired the committee on Enrolled Bills and also sat on the committees on Constitutional Conventions and Amendments, Insurance, Immigration, and Waterways and Drainage.
  Dorsey was elected to a second term in the state house in 1916 and sat in the 1917-19 session. Nothing else is known of his life after this point, excepting notice of his death on August 16, 1960, at age 81. Both he and his wife Irma were later interred at the Maplewood Cemetery in Ripley.

Portrait from the Gaffney Ledger, October 21, 1897.

  For over fifty years prominent in the business and political life of Gaffney, South Carolina, Adolphus Nott "Dolph" Wood served that city as it mayor on three occasions. One of fifteen children born to James and Harriett Wood, Dolph Wood was born at Pacolet River, South Carolina on December 17, 1846. He studied in the local schools of that area and engaged in farm work during his youth and nearly a year before the end of the Civil War cast his lot with the Confederacy, enlisting in the 15th South Carolina Infantry.
  By war's end, Dolph Wood had attained the rank of private and after returning home recommenced with his schooling at the J.B. Lyles High School. After leaving that school in 1871 Wood taught school for about three years and then removed to Alabama, where he gained employment as a clerk in the mercantile firm of Draper, Son & Co. This was followed by a partnership with Joshua Draper which extended until 1875 when Wood relocated to Gaffney, South Carolina, where he'd reside for the remainder of his life. Adolphus N. Wood married his first wife, Millicent "Millie" Draper (1856-1894), in 1874. The couple were wed until Millie's death in 1894 and would have a total of seven children. Five years after her death Wood remarried to Anna Eleanor Ellerbe (1866-1920), who he also survived.
   In the years following his resettlement in Gaffney Dolph Wood established another mercantile firm, taking as a partner N. Lipscomb. Their firm extended one year, whereafter Wood continued operations with various partners until 1887 when he made his first foray into banking. He was a founding organizer of the Merchants and Planters Bank of Gaffney and in 1901 assumed the presidency of that bank. Wood later attained high office in other business interests in the city, being the president of the Gaffney Manufacturing Company, vice president of the Cowpens Manufacturing Co., and president of the Gaffney Land and Improvement Co.
  During his long residency in Gaffney, the citizens of that city elected Dolph Wood to at least three terms as mayor, his full dates of service being unknown at this time. He was reelected to that office "by a most flattering vote" in March 1896 and continued in office into at least 1898, as he is recorded as the incumbent mayor that year. Wood's later years in Gaffney saw him serve as chairman of the city's the board of public works in 1909, and in 1920 suffered the loss of his second wife Annie. Dolph Wood died in Gaffney on October 8, 1932, aged 85. He was later interred under an impressive memorial at the Oakland Cemetery in that city

Portrait from the Gastonia Gazette, August 1, 1911.

   Another Adolphus that served as mayor of a southern city is Adolphus Hoke "A. Hoke" Huss, a lifelong North Carolina resident. Born in Lincoln County in that state on May 9, 1876, Huss was the son of Henry and Mary Elizabeth (Bess) Huss. Little is known of Huss' early life or education, and at age 21 resettled in Cherryville, where he was employed with the Gaston Manufacturing Co. For several years Huss clerked in that company's general store and later advanced to the position of manager and buyer, which held for a further six years. 
   A. Hoke Huss married in Cherryville on Independence Day 1900 to Mary Luola Stroup (1878-1955), to whom he was wed for forty-four years. The couple would have seven children: Webb Hunter (1902-1971), Paul Henry (1904-1978), Clyde Moses (1906-1908), Thomas Kearn (1908-1993), Margaret (1911-1964), Dorus Hoke (1914-2004) and Claude Benjamin (1917-2016). 
  In the mid-1900s Huss was elected as mayor of Cherryville and by 1911 was serving his fourth consecutive term in that office. Huss' terms in office saw the purchase of chemical fire engines for the city, as well as the erection of a new brick town hall, remarked as being "second to none in North Carolina." 
  Both prior to and after his mayoralty Huss served as secretary and treasurer of the Howell Manufacturing Co., continuing in that role until joining the Rhyne-Houser textile manufacturing company in 1921. A. Hoke Huss died in Gastonia, South Carolina on January 28, 1944, aged 77. He was survived by his wife Mary and both were later interred at the St. John's Lutheran Church Cemetery in Cherryville.

 The man pictured above, Adolphus Earhart Graupner, was, in his day, a distinguished member of the California bar, being an attorney and professor of law. Graupner earns a place here on the site not only for his service as a judge on the Superior Court of California but also for his time as a member of the United States Board of Tax Appeals during the mid-1920s. The son of Louis Carl Graupner and the former Mazilpha Josephine Earhart, Adolphus Earhart Graupner was born in Clinton, Iowa on February 3, 1875.
  Removing to California early in his life, Graupner resided in Red Bluff and attended the Boy's High School of San Francisco. He began the study of law in the late 1890s and earned his bachelor of laws degree from the University of California in 1897. After being admitted to the state bar that year Graupner launched his practice in San Francisco and in 1903 married to Annabelle Elise Wenzelburger (1879-1963). The couple would have at least one son, Adolphus Earhart Jr. (1908-1989). 
  By 1908 Adolphus Graupner had assumed the post of assistant city attorney for San Francisco, serving in that capacity until 1913. In that year four new departments on the California Superior Court were created by an act of the California legislature, and in August of that year, Graupner was one of four San Francisco attorneys appointed as a judge. His term on the bench extended until 1915, and for the next two year's returned to private practice in San Francisco. 
  At the dawn of American involvement in WWI, Graupner signed on for service, enlisting in Co. E., 364th Infantry, 91st Division of the U.S. Army in May 1917. He would be wounded in action in September 1918, taking a shoulder and back wound from a high explosive shell near Bois de Baulny, France. Graupner was later cited for bravery in action in December 1918 and was subsequently awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for Valor. Following his return stateside Graupner edited a written history of his unit, entitled War Book of "E" Company, 364th Infantry, published in 1920.
  Adolphus Graupner returned to public service in 1919 when he took on the post of general counsel for the California Industrial Accident Commission. After four years in that post, he was appointed as a member of the U.S. Board of Tax Appeals in Washington, D.C., serving until 1926. In the years following his leaving that board, Graupner was a professor of law at the Hastings College from 1931 until the year of his death. Adolphus Graupner died in California on September 19, 1947, aged 72. He was survived by his wife Annabelle and bother were later interred at the famed Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Rheuna Drake Lawrence (1837-1901)

From the Encyclopedia of Biography of Illinois, Volume III.

   After profiling two local Chautauqua County politicians with odd names, today's biography takes us to the city of Springfield, Illinois. The individual shown above, Rheuna Drake Lawrence, was a prominent public official in Springfield for many decades and he served as that city's mayor from 1891-1892. Details on Mr. Lawrence's life are somewhat lacking online, but two sources giving a good overview of his public career were discovered via Google books. The first of these was an annual Springfield Public School Report (Volume 43) which furnished the portrait of Lawrence shown above. The second is a 1996 work entitled Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana House, authored by Donald Hoffman. This particular book has a chapter or two devoted to Rheuna Lawrence's migration to Springfield and his later public career.
   Rheuna Drake Lawrence was originally born near Cedarville, Ohio on January 18, 1837, the son of Lewis W. and Sarah Minerva Lawrence. Rheuna left his Ohio home at an early age and found employment as a bricklayer in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He eventually relocated to Chicago and then to Springfield, where he settled in 1856. Once he had taken up residence, Lawrence became a building contractor and during the next few years aided in the design and construction of the Springfield Universalist Church, as well as additions to the Jacksonville Insane Asylum. 
  In January 1859 Rheuna Lawrence married Mary Agnes Maxcy and two daughters were eventually born to the couple: Agnes Salome Lawrence (died aged 1 in 1862) and Susana Lawrence (1862-1946). Susana Lawrence later gained notoriety as an heiress and as well as her connections to noted architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
  During the late 1860s Lawrence began dabbling in the business of railroad contracting, and later began a lasting interest in the burgeoning coal mining industry. In 1872 he and a few partners established a coal mining town in Barclay, Illinois and Lawrence became manager of said company for several years. In 1876 he was named by then Illinois Governor John Lourie Beveridge as a member of the commission that would eventually locate and design the Illinois State Penitentiary. He served on this commission until August of 1878 when he resigned, and within a few short years was appointed to the office of Springfield Superintendent of Public Works.

    This portrait of Rheuna D. Lawrence appeared in the 1996 book Frank Lloyd Wright's Dana House.
   Throughout the 1880s, Lawrence's public profile in Illinois continued to rise and in 1881 he was named as President of the Springfield Board of Trade. Ten years later the citizens of Springfield elected Lawrence as its Mayor for a one year term. During his mayoralty, it is mentioned that "his administration accomplished many reforms and much was done in the way of municipal improvements." Shortly after the conclusion of his term in 1892, he was appointed as a member of the Springfield Public School Board. He served on this board for almost nine years (including six as its president) and was later named as the head of the Springfield Board of Public Charities.
   After a "long and painful illness", Rheuna Drake Lawrence died at age 63 on February 17, 1901, and was later memorialized in the earlier mentioned 43rd Annual Report of the Springfield Public Schools as a man who "in every public capacity he has served has commanded universal respect". Lawrence was interred at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, and it can certainly be said that he is buried among good company! This massive cemetery is the final resting place of numerous Illinois public figures, including oddly named Illinois Governor Ninian Edwards (1775-1833), Illinois Governor and Senator Shelby Moore Cullom (1829-1914) and last but not least, Abraham Lincoln and his wife and children!

From the Indianapolis Journal, February 18, 1901.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waterman Ellsworth (1797-1849)

   In keeping with the local history theme established with the previous article on Sextus Hungerford, today's profile centers on the Hon. Waterman Ellsworth, a resident of the town of Stockton, New York who served a term in the New York State Assembly. While his name may not be as odd as the man who preceded him here, Ellsworth is an unjustly forgotten Chautauqua County resident who should be remembered not only for his service in the state government, but as a pioneer physician and man of affairs in the village of Stockton. 
   I first discovered Ellsworth's name while doing research on Sextus H. Hungerford, who's article was published few days ago. While perusing Andrew Young's 1875 work History of Chautauqua County I noticed the odd name of Waterman Ellsworth listed among the names of men who had previously served in the state assembly. Intrigued, I managed to find a small biography on him in said book that mentioned his legislative service as well as his burial location in the Stockton Cemetery! Earlier today I managed to make a visit to the small cemetery to get some photos of his gravesite, which will be posted at the end of this article!
  Waterman Ellsworth was born in the town of Hartwick, Otsego County, New York on December 14, 1797. In an interesting historical connection, Waterman's father was none other than Stukely Stafford Ellsworth (1769-1837), a resident of Otsego County who served as a New York State Senator from 1825-1828. Before his Senate tenure, Stukely Ellsworth married and eventually had five children, of whom Waterman was the youngest. The History of Chautauqua County also mentions that Stukely and the rest of the Ellsworth family were related to quite a number of eminent Americans, including Oliver Ellsworth, (who served as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1796-1800) and William Wolcott Ellsworth (1791-1868), a Governor of Connecticut. 
  Waterman Ellsworth resided in Otsego County until the early 1820s, when he removed to Stockton (which was then called Delanti). After purchasing some land and establishing a home, Ellsworth married on February 26, 1826, to Ms. Rosina Lyon, who also came from a notable family. Rosina was born in Massachusetts in 1799 and was the younger sister of Mary Lyon (1797-1849), a prominent pioneer in women's education as well as the founder of what is now Mt. Holyoke College! It is unknown when Rosina first arrived in Stockton, but research has indicated that both she and her brother Aaron were both Stockton/Delanti residents by the time of Waterman Ellsworth's arrival. 
  Waterman and Rosina Lyons Ellsworth were married for only six years, with Rosina dying at age 32 on August 18, 1832. During their short union, four children were born to the couple and are listed by order of birth: Stukely Stafford (born in 1826), Hazelius (born 1828), Franklin (born 1830) and Henry Martyn (born May 1832).

     Mary Lyon (founder of Mt. Holyoke College), whose sister Rosina married Waterman Ellsworth.

   In addition to his notable familial connections, Waterman Ellsworth was truly a pioneer citizen in the Stockton community. He was one of the first physicians to settle in the Delanti/Stockton area and in 1830 was named as the first postmaster of Delanti/Stockton. He was later elected to the position of town supervisor for three terms, serving in the years 1827, 1831 and 1832. At some point during the late 1830s, Ellsworth married Sarah Smith Pierce, a Vermont resident who had removed to Delanti/Stockton some years previously. Three children were born to Ellsworth and his new wife, including Rosina Julina (who died two months after her birth), Rosina Manerva (died at age 2 months) and Clay Waterman Pierpont (born in 1845). Sarah Pierce Ellsworth outlived Waterman by a number of years and later relocated to Oregon in 1881 to live with her son Clay.
  Waterman Ellsworth's public profile received a significant boost in November 1838 when he was elected to the New York State Assembly, representing Chautauqua County. He took his seat at the beginning of the 62nd session of the assembly on January 1, 1839, and served until sessions end on May 6 of that year. It is unknown what committees he served on during his legislative tenure, but it is known that he served alongside fellow Chautauquans Abner Lewis (1801-1879, from Panama) and Timothy Judson (1801-1872, from Fredonia) who also won assembly seats in the November 1838 election.
  Waterman Ellsworth died at his home in Stockton on January 6, 1849, a few days after his 51st birthday. Young's History of Chautauqua County makes note that a "plain, but substantial monument in the burying ground at Delanti marks the resting place of his remains; and all the early settlers of Stockton, and many others scattered over this wide country hold him in grateful remembrance." Sadly, no pictures of Waterman Ellsworth or his wife Rosina are known to exist, but I think the photos of his gravesite below more than makeup for the lack of a portrait!

  As mentioned in this article's introduction, I made a visit to Ellsworth's gravesite in the Stockton Cemetery earlier today and after some searching discovered its location towards the front corner of the cemetery. Both Waterman and Rosina's stones are (aside from some algae spots) in remarkable condition, with the writing on both stones being perfectly legible.

  Although his stone doesn't list his date of birth, Waterman Ellsworth was born in December 1797 in Hartwick, New York. I had initially expressed hope that his oddly named father (the New York state senator) would be buried here as well, but sadly this wasn't the case. As it turns out, Stukely Stafford Ellsworth is buried in somewhere in Otsego County, although his exact burial location in the county remains uncertain.

  Rosina Ellsworth's stone (which is 180 years old, don't forget!) is on the right in the above picture. It is truly amazing that the harsh Western New York weather conditions over the past century haven't wreaked more damage on them! Also in the picture is the Strangest Names In American Political History book, which has made a visit to all of the grave sites posted here thus far!
 So there you have it! Even more obscure Chautauqua County history that you may not have known about! I still find it quite amazing that this interestingly named man with a very interesting life story is buried in the tiny village of Stockton, and hopefully, this small article will make Waterman Ellsworth a little more familiar to current Chautauqua residents!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sextus Heman Hungerford (1806-1867)

   The following profile will be a special one, as the honoree is none other than Sextus Heman Hungerford, a 19th century resident of Westfield, New York! This intriguingly named man served one term in the New York State Assembly and during his life was viewed as one of Chautauqua County's most prominent citizens, being at various times a banker, church elder and state legislator. I must admit that there are very few resources on Hungerford's life available today, with the exceptions going to Butler F. Dilley's Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County, published in 1891 and Andrew Young's 1875 work History of Chautauqua County. Both of these works give a decent overview on the Hungerford's career as a public official, both locally and otherwise. I'll also venture a guess that very few people know of this oddly named man's accomplishments in this day in age (even here in Chautauqua County), and hopefully, the succeeding biography will change that! 
   Sextus H. Hungerford was born on January 14, 1806, in the town of Smithfield, New York, the son of Lot Hungerford and his wife Celinda. Sextus was the eldest of nine children, and he spent his formative years in Smithfield before moving to Vernon, New York with his family at a young age. Lot Hungerford died in Vernon in 1827 when Sextus was 21 and for the next few years, Sextus engaged in farming pursuits while also helping raise his younger siblings. In 1830 he married Polly Maria Skinner and seven years later removed from Vernon and resettled in the town of Westfield.
  With a few months of his resettlement, Hungerford and his brother in law (Henry J. Miner) were furnished with goods to begin their own mercantile store, courtesy of local merchant Joshua Babcock (1793-1878). This business achieved modest success and in 1843 Hungerford removed to nearby Ripley, New York where he purchased a farm. He moved back to Westfield a few years later and in 1848 became the founder and President of the Bank of Westfield.

           This print of Sextus Hungerford appeared in the 1875 work "History of Chautauqua County".

   While Hungerford's name was solidly established in the Westfield business community, he was also quite attentive to church affairs in his native town. Hungerford is listed as being a ruling elder in the local Presbyterian church from 1851 until his death, and the earlier mentioned Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia gives note that he "aided in sustaining the institutions of the church and religious and benevolent institutions generally, by personal effort and liberal pecuniary contributions." The Centennial History of First Presbyterian Church of Westfield, published in 1910, gives a substantial write up on Hungerford's religious affiliations, mentioning that he was "never ostentatious but always doing his part in the church work" and that he also acted as church session moderator when a clergyman was unavailable. 

      A New York State Assembly roster from 1865 with S.H. Hungerford's name highlighted in yellow.

  In addition to his church work and banking interests, Sextus Hungerford was also a man of keen civic awareness and throughout his life was elected to public office at both the local and state level. He was named as Westfield town supervisor in 1861 and served six years in this post. In November 1864 he was elected by the citizens of Chautauqua County as their representative in the New York State Assembly and took his seat during the 1865 session. During his service (which extended from the session opening on January 8 to its end on April 28) Hungerford sat on both the committee on Railroads and the committee on Banks. Another roster from that session is provided below, with Hungerford's name again highlighted in yellow.

  Young's History of Chautauqua County notes that Hungerford continued with his earlier banking activities around the time of his legislative service. In 1864 he was one of the founders of the First National Bank of Westfield and during the final year of the Civil War is listed as being "untiring in his efforts to sustain the government, and devoted much time gratuitously furnishing both men and means." Hungerford died at age 61 on May 15, 1867 at his home in Westfield, and his obituary lists him as being in "declining health for some time", although there's no mention of what illness he may have suffered from. In his will Hungerford left $15,000 (a considerable sum for the time) to the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions and Theological Seminary. The obituary below appeared in the Corning Journal on June 6, 1867, a few weeks after Hungerford's death.

   Shown above is another death notice for Hungerford that appeared in the Albany Evening Journal on May 24, 1867. Both the Corning Journal and the Albany Evening Journal lament the passing of Hungerford, describing him as a "sound and reliable businessman; upright and respected by all who knew him" and "a gentleman highly esteemed for his many virtues" among other attributes.
  In keeping with the exhaustive research that I do on many of these oddly named public figures, I made it a point to seek out the gravesite of Sextus H. Hungerford yesterday (March 10th). Hungerford's final resting place is under a mammoth granite obelisk in the Westfield Cemetery. The stone itself is well over twenty feet tall and in the picture below I'm practically dwarfed by its size!

  Hungerford's stone is in remarkably great condition, and it shows virtually no wear whatsoever. This in itself is quite remarkable, considering its been exposed to countless elements and harsh weather conditions over the past 144 years!

 I also noticed something odd about this stone....Hungerford's wife's name is listed on the stone as Polly Maria Skinner, but all other references to her indicate her name as "Maria P. Skinner". Aside from the inconsistencies regarding her name, Polly/Maria outlived her husband by nearly 30 years, dying in November 1895 at age 87. 

  The picture below is of Sextus's burial marker. The stone bearing his wife's name is out of camera range a few feet away to the right. The Westfield Cemetery is a great repository for local history and there are a few other notable local political figures buried here as well, including George Washington Patterson (1799-1879, a U.S. Representative and Lieutenant Governor of New York), Austin Smith (1804-1904), Chautauqua County's representative in the State Assembly in 1851-52 and also a centenarian, and finally Samuel Frederick Nixon (1860-1905), Speaker of the New York State Assembly for several years!

  And lastly, I also managed to snap a picture of Sextus Hungerford's home, which stills stands in Westfield. The Hungerford house is currently the home of the Jakway VFW Post, and the building looks significantly different to what it was during the 19th century. My family has a large wall-map of Chautauqua county (circa 1854) in our possession and this very map bears a picture of the Hungerford homestead. While doing research on the map many years ago, I discovered Hungerford's name underneath the portrait of his home and set out to find more about him. All the research that I've done on the man has culminated in the article here, and yes, I think it has turned out rather well!!

   The Hungerford Home-Jakway VFW Post in Westfield.

This death notice for Maria Hungerford appeared in the Elimira Gazette in 1895.