Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Insley LeYantis Dayhoff (1867-1959)

  This obscure Kansas resident is one Insley LeYantis Dayhoff, a resident of Reno County who served two terms as the Kansas State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Little could be found in regards to Dayhoff's life, and I was flabbergasted to have found as much information as I did, let alone a picture of him! Dayhoff was born on October 17, 1867 in Howesville, Indiana, the son of George Washington and Mary Johnston Dayhoff. Little could be found on Insley Dayhoff's early life, although a small write up in the May 27, 1902 Wichita Daily Eagle notes that he "has not only a good school and college training, but has perfected his study in the school room by travel. He has been a traveler and student of affairs in almost every state and territory of the union, as well as Mexico, Canada and Cuba."
  A student at both the DePauw College and the Central Normal School of Emporia, Kansas, Dayhoff married in 1891 to Lydia Almira Mossman Bordeaux, a former resident of Wichita, Kansas. Three children were eventually born to this couple, and are listed as follows: Insley Lamar (1891-1966), Don Richard (1898-1961) and Helen Mossman (born 1901).
  Within a few years of his marriage, Dayhoff began his career in the public arena, becoming the Superintendent of Schools in Hutchinson County and later served as President of the Central Kansas Teachers Association for a time. In 1900 he was elected to a term as Reno County, Kansas Superintendent of Schools, and was still serving in this position at the start of his candidacy for Kansas State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

     This article on Dayhoff's candidacy appeared in the May 27, 1902  edition of the Wichita Daily Eagle.

Portrait from the Topeka State Journal, November 5, 1902.

   Dayhoff is reported to have run a vigorous campaign, and it is mentioned that he was "backed by an enthusiastic delegation and county and his prospects for nomination are very bright." He eventually clinched the nomination and was elected as Kansas State Superintendent of Public Instruction in November 1902.  Dayhoff was reelected as Superintendent in 1904 and is listed as serving as a member of the Kansas Text-book Commission during his tenure. In addition to his various public services, Dayhoff is listed as being a member of the Hutchinson, Kansas Methodist Church as well as a Scottish Rite Mason.
  After his term as Superintendent concluded in 1907, Dayhoff resettled in Independence, Missouri with his family. He died in that city at age 91 on May 21, 1959, and was subsequently buried at the Oak Ridge Memory Gardens in Independence. His wife Lydia Almira survived him by nearly five years, dying in February 1964 at age 93.
  The rare portrait of Insley L. Dayhoff shown above was featured in two different sources, the May 27, 1902 Wichita Daily Eagle (mentioned earlier) and a 1903 edition of the Kansas School Journal.

               Dayhoff's obituary, which appeared in the May 27, 1959 edition of the Hutchinson News.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ezbai Kidder (1787-1880)

   Today's article is a return to profiling an oddly named political figure from my own home county of Chautauqua, New York. Back in March of this year a number of local oddly named politicians were profiled and since that time its become sort of a tradition to profile a strangely named county politician every month or so!
   The political figure profiled today is Mr. Ezbai Kidder, a resident of Massachusetts who became a pioneering figure in our county's history. Although his status on the "political radar" is quite low, Kidder served as Township Supervisor of two separate towns (Carroll and Kiantone) in Chautauqua County and lived to the advanced age of 92. Information on Kidder is somewhat lacking, but a few genealogical websites and local histories mentioning him will certainly help with his article here! One of these "local histories" is a small write-up that appeared in our local paper (the Jamestown Post Journal) in 2001 that gave a remarkable amount of insight into Kidder's life (including many of the facts contained herein.) This newspaper article also yielded the portrait of him shown above.
   Ezbai (also spelled Esbai) Kidder was born in Dudley, Massachusetts on December 1, 1787, the son of Samuel and Zilpha Bacon Kidder. Ezbai and his family relocated to Wardsboro, Vermont shortly after his birth and after the death of Samuel Kidder in 1805, Ezbai spent his adolescence looking after his mother and five siblings.
   Kidder eventually left Vermont in 1813 and removed to Kiantone in Chautauqua County, New York. He returned to Vermont that same year and in 1816 resettled permanently in Chautauqua (or to be more precise, the town of Carroll.) Once settled, Kidder purchased a substantial amount of land from the Holland Land Company for $372.89 and throughout the succeeding years built a farm that eventually grew to over 330 acres!
   On November 14, 1824, Kidder married Wardsboro, Vermont native Louisa Shearman and this union eventually produced four children: Samuel Ezbai (1828-1889) Olive Adelaide (1826-1912), Lucy Annette (1820-1877) and Laura (1834-1862). The majority of the sources mentioning Ezbai Kidder give note that he was a carpenter, and John Philip Down's History of Chautauqua (Volume III) states that "in addition to clearing, cultivating his own acres, he did a great deal of carpenter work in Kiantone and Carroll, erecting many of the frame houses and barns in his section."

     This roster of Carroll Town Supervisors appeared in the History of Chautauqua County, Volume III.

   In addition to being a carpenter and farmer, Kidder was also an aspirant for local public office. At the first Carroll Town meeting (held on March 6, 1826) he was named as the Commissioner of Highways and later served a term as Overseer of the Poor. In 1838 Kidder was elected to a one year term as Supervisor of the town of Carroll and nearly two decades later (in 1854), the settlement of Kiantone was split from the village of Carroll and Kidder was elected as that town's first Supervisor (again serving a one year term). Research has also shown that as far as political faith was concerned, Kidder was "originally a Whig" and "afterwards became a Republican." It is also interesting to note that Ezbai's son Samuel and grandson George also were elected to terms as Kiantone Town Supervisor (the former serving from 1886-87, 1890 and the latter serving from 1910-1917).
   Although details on this obscure man are somewhat lacking, Kidder is mentioned in Butler F. Dilley's Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Chautauqua County as being a prominent member of Jamestown's Congregational Church during his later years, and he is listed as dying at age 92 on March 3, 1880. Kidder's long life had spanned from before the signing of the U.S. Constitution to the administration of our 19th President, Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1893). Kidder was preceded in death by his wife Louisa (who had died on November 13, 1867) as well as two of his daughters.
   On June 18th I made a point to seek out the gravesite of Ezbai Kidder in Jamestown's Lake View Cemetery, and after some searching, his resting place was located. And now some photos from the trip!!

  Ezbai is buried in the Kidder family plot which also contains the graves of his wife, mother, daughters Laura and Lucy, and son Samuel. No mention is given on Kidder's gravestone as to his status as a pioneer Chautauqua County resident, which is quite disconcerting when one considers his long career as an early county public servant!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Union Banner Hunt (1864-1915), Union Lee Spence (1867-1954), Union Corwin DeFord (1863-1934)

   This portly looking gentleman is Union Banner Hunt, a prominent 19th century resident of Randolph County, Indiana. Mr. Hunt served as the Secretary of the State of Indiana from 1899-1903 and had previously distinguished himself as a lawyer and newspaper editor. Born in Randolph County on September 2, 1864, Union B. Hunt was the son of Joshua Parker and Rachel Howell Hunt. His full birth name is listed as "Union Banner Basil Morton Hunt", and the 1914 work Past and Present of Randolph County gives some interesting anecdotes as to how his unusual name came about: 
"At the time of his birth his brother was confined in the Confederate Prison in Andersonville, Ga., having been captured at the Battle of Chickamauga. Hence the name "Union Banner". Basil (pronounced "Bazil") is an old family name, and "Morton" is for the great war Governor of Indiana." 
  This same work relates that Hunt was "not responsible" for his unusual name and "neither is he ashamed of it." The Hunt family removed to Vermillion County, Illinois in 1868 and returned to Randolph County in 1877. Union B. Hunt is recorded as taking part in farming pursuits during the summer months and attending school during the winter. In addition to farming Hunt also was employed at a tile factory, taught school, and also clerked in a general store. While engaged in these vocations he began studying law under Enos Watson of Winchester, Indiana and eventually formed a law partnership with him. In November 1891 Hunt married Randolph County native Mary Myrtle Hinshaw with whom he had one daughter, Ethel (1893-1958). 
   Shortly before his marriage, Hunt had entered into the publishing industry, purchasing a large interest in the Winchester Herald. He would go on to serve as editor of this paper and during this time continued with his earlier law practice. Hunt eventually sold this paper in the mid-1890s and formed another law partnership, this one under the name of Hutchens, Hunt, and Hutchens
    In 1898 Hunt was nominated by the Republican Party for the position of Secretary of the State of Indiana, defeating Democratic nominee Samuel M. Rolston. Hunt officially took office in 1899 and his service is noted by the History of the Republican Party of Indiana, Volume One as one of honor, and he administered "the office with credit to himself and the State". Hunt was subsequently reelected to the Secretaryship in 1900 and continued to serve until 1902. The portrait of Hunt shown below was discovered in the History of the Republican Party of Indiana, published in 1899 while he was serving in the Indiana state government.

   Shortly after leaving office in 1903, Union B. Hunt returned to practicing law and in that same year was named by then Indiana Governor J. Frank Hanly as a member of the Indiana Railroad Commission.  He would advance to the post of commission president and served in that capacity until his resignation in December 1908.
   Within a few months of his resignation, Hunt was named as President and General Manager of the Insurance Department of the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. Hunt is mentioned as being affiliated with this organization for a number of years and had earlier served as Grand Chancellor and Supreme Representative for Indiana.  It is mentioned that at the office Hunt occupied was "burdensome and exhausting", and during his stewardship of the Insurance Department, the Knights of Pythias managed to "accumulate a reserve fund of over $6,000,000", a considerable sum for the time.
   Union Banner Hunt died of unknown causes at age 50 on May 3, 1915, in Indianapolis. He was survived by his wife Mary, who later remarried and died in 1936 at age 80. Both are buried in the Fountain Park Cemetery in Winchester, Indiana. The portrait of Hunt that adorns the top of this article was found in the Men of Progress of Indiana: A Selected List of Biographical Sketches and Portraits, originally published in 1899.

From the Aberdeen, North Carolina Pilot, January 16, 1931.

   Another "Union" who made his name known in political circles is Mr. Union Lee Spence of North Carolina. During a long life of nearly 87 years, Spence served multiple terms in his state's legislature as well as distinguishing himself as a past Mayor of the city of Carthage.
  Born in Stanly County, North Carolina on August 20, 1867, Union Lee Spence was the son of Daniel and Mary Ann Reeves Spence. He received his education in the schools of Palmerville and went on to attend the Oak Ridge Institute in Guilford County, graduating from this institution in the class of 1890.
   Spence continued his education at the University of North Carolina's Law School, where he earned his law degree in 1893.  Soon after he established a law practice in the village of Troy, operating there for about a year. He eventually removed from Troy and reestablished his office in Carthage, North Carolina, where he would reside for the remainder of his life. Spence went on to gain distinction as "one of the leading attorneys in his section" and was later elected to several terms as mayor of that town. In November 1902 he won election to the North Carolina State Senate from his home county of Moore and served one term that concluded in 1905. 
  On April 24, 1912, Spence married to Mary Margaret Worthy (1883-1965), with whom he would have two children, Union Lee Spence Jr. (1913-1979) and a daughter, whose name remains unknown at the time of this writing.
   After leaving the Senate in 1905, Spence continued in the practice of law and in 1924 and 1928 was named as one of North Carolina's delegates to the Democratic National Convention. In 1929 he was elected to his first term in the North Carolina State House of Representatives and was reelected to this body in the November 1930. Shortly after beginning his second term Spence was named to the post of chairman of the House Committee on Finance, and an article on his appointment appeared in the January 16, 1931 edition of the Aberdeen, North Carolina Pilot. This article also notes that in addition to his chairmanship of the Finance committee, Spence also served on the committee on Congressional Districts and the committee on Appropriations.

   In November 1934 Spence was elected to the state Senate for the second time, nearly three decades after serving his first term. He served in the Senate session of 1935-1937 and afterward continued in his work as an attorney. In his later years, Spence was involved in a number of local fraternal organizations in Carthage, including the Kiwanis Club, the Knights Templar, as well as the Masons. Spence died at the Moore County Hospital on June 30, 1954, at age 86. His wife Mary survived him by eleven years, dying in January 1965 at age 81. Both were later interred at the Cross Hill Cemetery in Carthage.

                                                 From the Carolina Alumni Review-April 1954.

  From the Bench and Bar of Northern Ohio, 1921.

  Mr. Union Corwin Deford was a noted figure in Carroll County, Ohio political circles, being both a probate judge and former Mayor of the village of Carrollton. Born in Carroll County on November 15, 1863, Union C. DeFord was the son of John William and Elvira Croxton DeFord. His education commenced in the Carrollton public school system and he later went on to attend the Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where he received his Bachelor's degree.
  DeFord began the study of law following his graduation, reading law in Carrollton. He was admitted to the bar in 1888 and in that same year married to Ms. Eva Rue (1870-1912), with whom he had a son, John William (1891-1944). In the same year as his marriage, DeFord was elected as Mayor of Carrollton, serving in this position for fourteen years. He was a member of the law firm of Fimple, Holder, and DeFord during this time and while serving as Mayor pulled double duty, serving as a probate judge for Carroll County from 1894-1900. 
  In 1907 Union DeFord removed to Youngstown, Ohio, where he joined the law firm of Arrel, Wilson, and Harrington. In 1912 Eva Rue Deford died at age 42 and three years following her death Deford remarried to Grace Whitcraft (1878-1948). One daughter was born to Deford and his new wife, Sarah W. (1916-1996). During WWI he served as a member of the Legal Advisory Board in Youngstown and was a prominent member of the local Masonic fraternity, the Knights Templars, and the Ohio State and Mahoning County Bar Association. 
  Two years prior to his death DeFord served as a Republican presidential elector for Ohio, casting his ballot for Herbert Hoover and Charles Curtis. Union C. DeFord died at age 81 on March 6, 1934 and was later interred in a lavish mausoleum at the Grandview Cemetery in Carrollton, Ohio. He was survived by his second wife Grace, who died in 1948 at age 70.

From the History of Columbiana County Ohio and Representative Citizens.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Peterfield Turpin (1840-1891)

   This bearded fellow is Peterfield Turpin, a native Kentuckian who found business and political fame in the Washington Territory. Little could be found on this Washington Territorial pioneer, excepting a small write-up in the 1891 Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue.
  Peterfield Turpin was born in Warsaw, Gallatin County, Kentucky on May 3, 1840, the son of Edward Augustus (1804-1880) and Elizabeth January Satterwhite Turpin. No information could be found in relation to Turpin's early years or education, and it is assumed that he received his education in the Gallatin County area.
   Peterfield Turpin turned 18 in 1858 and it was in this year that he received an appointment as a deputy surveyor under James Tilton (a past Washington Territory Adjutant General) and together the two served in the General Land Office in Olympia for a few years. In September 1861 Turpin married Ms. Eunice Maria Harned and eventually had four children, who are listed as follows: Edward Augustus (birthdate unknown), Frank Blair (born 1866), Jesse Bright (birthdate unknown) and Mary Elizabeth (born 1871). 
   Within a few years of settling in the Olympia area, Turpin was mentioned in the Olympia Tribune Souvenir as being "a capitalist, well provided as far as this life is concerned." Also during this time, Turpin began to seek political office, and in 1869 was elected as auditor of Stevens County, Washington. Further political honors were accorded to him in 1875 when he was named as Sergeant-at-Arms of the Washington Territorial Assembly.

A Washington Territorial Assembly roster from 1883 bearing Peterfield Turpin's name.

   In addition to his service as Sergeant-at-Arms of the Assembly, Turpin was elected to a term of his own in the legislature in 1883 (representing Thurston County.) He served a two-year term in the territorial legislature and while his tenure in the state government may have been short, he had "many cases of trust and importance within the gift of his fellow citizens."
  Little else could be found on the life of Peterfield Turpin. It is known that he died at age 51 on December 24, 1891 in Los Angeles, California and was later interred at the Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles. He was survived by his wife Eunice, who died in San Diego, California in September 1915. The rare portrait of Turpin shown above was featured in the Olympia Tribune Souvenir Issue of 1891 and was originally found via the Olympia Historical Society's website.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Armwell Lockwood Cooper (1870-1957)

   A prominent Kansas City attorney and past president of the Missouri State Bar Association, Armwell Lockwood Cooper's political claim-to-fame rests on his service in the Missouri State Senate. This oddly named man was not a native Missourian, as he was originally born in Willow Grove, Delaware on November 15, 1870. His parents, Thomas and Emily Marvel Cooper, are listed as being farmers and their son is recorded as attending the Wilmington Conference Academy in Dover as a youth.
  The Cooper family eventually left Delaware and resettled in Kansas, where Armwell completed his education at the Kansas State Normal School in the town of Ft. Scott. He removed to Kansas City, Missouri in 1890 and it is here that he began the study of law. Cooper was admitted to the state bar in 1895 and that same year entered the law office of Henry Wollman. This law firm eventually became known as Wollman, Sullivan and Cooper and continued under this name until 1905. 
  Armwell L. Cooper is recorded as marrying Cleveland, Ohio native Caroline Ley in November 1899 and two daughters were eventually born to them, Dorothy Emily Cooper (who died aged 18 in 1920) and Gertrude Caroline, who was born in 1905. Caroline Ley Cooper died in 1925 after 26 years of marriage and two years later Cooper remarried to Kansas City native Blanche Green. 
   Cooper eventually began a successful solo law practice in the mid-1900s and is recorded by the 1908 work Kansas City, Missouri: Its History and Its People as having a reputation won "through earnest, honest labor, and his standing at the bar is a merited tribute to his ability." This book also gives note that in addition to his lucrative law practice, Cooper began lecturing on "Code, Common Law, Pleading and Practice" at the Kansas City School of Law.
  In 1906 Armwell L. Cooper made the jump into state politics when he was elected to the Missouri State Senate. He officially took his seat in January 1907 and during his two-year term sat on the following committees: Judiciary, Wills and Probate Law, Municipal Corporations, and County Courts and Justices of the Peace. A Missouri legislative roster (published in 1907) bearing Cooper's name is shown below.

   In the years following his brief term in the Senate, Cooper continued with his law practice while also being involved with a number of other public endeavors. He served as a general counsel and director of the Liberty National Bank and was also a high ranking member of a number of fraternal organizations, including the Knights of Pythias, Elks, and Masons. In addition to the above activities, Cooper was elected in 1922 as the President of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (serving a one year term) and in 1935 was named as President of the Missouri State Bar Association.
  Armwell Lockwood Cooper died at age 87 on April 16, 1957, and was interred in the Mount Washington Cemetery in Independence, Missouri. Cooper's first wife Caroline and his daughter (who predeceased him in 1925 and 1920, respectively) are also buried here.

This portrait of Armwell L. Cooper appeared in a 1935 edition of the Hannibal Missouri Courier-Post.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Benyew Dunham Philhower (1869-1952)

   After yesterday's profile of Bridgeton, New Jersey resident/state senator Providence Ludlam,  we journey to Northern New Jersey to profile obscure oddly named Mayor Benyew Dunham Philhower. Mr. Philhower served a short term as Mayor of the borough of Madison, New Jersey and little else could be found on him other than the following!
  Philhower was born in New Jersey on March 16, 1869, the son of Phillip (1828-1872) and Mary Dunham Philhower (1830-1901). Facts detailing his early years have proven to be difficult to locate, with the exception going to his marriage to Susan Reeve Techer in 1893. The couple was married for nearly sixty years until her death at age 80 in 1951. Benyew and his wife are known to have had at least one child, Helen May Philhower, who is listed as dying in 1974.
   We fast forward now to January 1914, and it was in this month that Philhower was elected Mayor of Madison, New Jersey. He served a one year term in this office, concluding on December 31, 1915. Five years after leaving the mayors office, Philhower became Madison's Fire Chief, serving a short term from 1920-21.
  Other than the preceding information, little else could be found on the life of Benyew D. Philhower. It is known that he died on August 2, 1952, at age 83 and was buried alongside his wife in the Pottersville Reformed Cemetery in Pottersville, Somerset County, New Jersey.

   I am currently in the process of trying to locate more facts on the life of Benyew D. Philhower, and need your assistance! As there is next to nothing online about this interestingly named man, maybe someone out there knows more than what's already stated in this article. If any reader/lurker/amateur historian wants an interesting project to fill their time with, see what you can locate on this obscure politician!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Providence Ludlam (1819-1868)

  This obscure political figure is one Providence Ludlam, a 19th century resident of Cumberland County, New Jersey. Very little information could be found on this oddly named man, including his exact date of birth, his parents or reference to his education. The majority of the following information was found in the Historic Days In Cumberland, 1855-1865, published in 1907. This particular book yielded pertinent facts on Ludlam's political career and also contained the rare portrait of him shown above. Although no explanation is given as to why Ludlam was bestowed with his unique first name, it is mentioned in the above work that he did have a nickname... "Provie"!
   As mentioned earlier, Ludlam's early life is almost totally unknown. A listing for a "Providence Ludlam" on the Rootsweb genealogical site gives his year of birth as 1819, in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He married in May 1841 to Ms. Anna Coe in Salem County and it is unknown at the time of this writing if any children were born to them.
  Research has shown that Ludlam's first attempt at public office was in 1856 as a candidate for the New Jersey State Assembly. He was defeated by the Democratic candidate and in the following year was elected to the office of Cumberland County clerk. The Historic Days In Cumberland gives note that during his tenure as clerk, Ludlam "exercised a large influence in political affairs."
   Over the course of the following years, the name of Providence Ludlam grew to be a prominent one in New Jersey political circles, and it is mentioned that he was the "leader of the Republican Party in Cumberland County" and was "perhaps the most popular man of his day in Southern New Jersey". In 1860 he served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Illinois that nominated Abraham Lincoln for the Presidency, and two years later won election to the New Jersey State Senate.
   Ludlam served continuously in the Senate from 1863 to 1868 and in the latter year died in office on January 20th at age 48. A New Jersey Senate journal gives note that Ludlam was "seized with pains in his breast and around the heart" and was dead within half an hour of experiencing these symptoms. His funeral was attended by many members of the legislature," amid the greatest public demonstration of sympathy in crowded streets ever given any citizen in Cumberland County." In addition to this large outpouring of public grief, Ludlam's wife Anna is recorded as dying a few months after her husband in August 1868. Both were interred at the Old Broad Street Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Bridgeton. 

 This Ludlam death notice appeared in the New York Times a few days after his sudden death.

   Despite having very few sources that mention him, research has definitively shown that Providence Ludlam was a man of distinction in Cumberland County, as well as New Jersey. His sterling character is attested to by the Historical Days, which relates that he 
"Was a born leader, a man of fine personal appearance, with agreeable manners. Everybody liked " Provie" and he lived to become great power not only in the county but in the State. 
  It is further stated that "had his life been spared, it is generally believed he would have been Governor of the State." This author must note that Ludlam's sudden demise in 1868 curtailed the possibility of having one of the strangest named New Jersey Governors ever!

   It's time for one of my famous "You Can Help" segments! Despite having a profile of adequate length, many facts on the life of Providence Ludlam still remain a mystery, including his date of birth, parents, siblings, education and burial location. The following is a shout out to any readers/lurkers/amateur historians and Facebook friends! As there is hardly anything on the internet about the life of this interestingly named man, hopefully, someone out there knows more about "Provie" than what is already mentioned in his article. If any amateur historian/reader wants an interesting project to fill their time with, see what info you can dig up on this interestingly named New Jerseyean!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Geronimo Way King (1886-1964)

     Today's political profile takes us to Chattahoochee County, Georgia and Mr. Geronimo Way King. This oddly named political figure was presumably named in honor of the famed leader of the Apache Indian tribe and he was elected to a term in both houses of the Georgia Legislature in the late 1940s and early 1950s. 
   His story begins with his birth in the small town of Cusseta, Georgia on October 24, 1886, the son of Gary Wood and Catherine Alice King. Sources mentioning King have proven to be few and far between, and it is unknown at this time what exactly prompted King's parents to bestow the highly unusual name of "Geronimo" upon him!
  King is listed by the 1951-52 Georgia Official and Statistical Register as attending schools local to the Cusseta area and he eventually graduated from the local high school. He continued his education at the University of Georgia and graduated from this institution in 1908 with a Bachelor of Science degree. A decade after his college graduation, King married Chattahoochee County native Martha "Mattie" Virginia Foster (1895-1984) and this union eventually produced three children: Virginia Way King Robertson (1919-2011), Hal Foster (born 1922) and Helen Hasseltine (born 1925).
  Five years following his marriage, Geronimo King was elected to his first public office, that of Chattahoochee County Superintendent of Schools. He served in this post for thirteen years (1923-1936) and is also listed by the Georgia Register as serving a term on the county board of education. King was later elected as the Mayor of his hometown of Cusseta, but no available source mentions when he was elected or how long he served!

                   Geronimo W. King's name appeared on this roster of Georgia State Senators in 1952.

   Geronimo King's main reason for inclusion here on the site (other than his highly unusual name) is his service in the Georgia Legislature. He was elected to the State House of Representatives from Chattahoochee County in 1948 and took his seat at the beginning of the following year. His term in the House concluded in 1951 and later that year he began a term in the State Senate. 
   Little else could be found on King's life after his service in the legislature, although it is known that he served an eleven-year term (1953-1964) as Chattahoochee County School Superintendent. Geronimo W. King died shortly before his 80th birthday on September 23, 1964, in his hometown of Cusseta. His wife Martha survived him by twenty years, dying in December 1984 at age 89. Both were subsequently buried in the Mount Olive Cemetery in Cusseta. The rare portrait of Geronimo Way King shown above was discovered in the earlier mentioned 1951-52 Georgia Official and Statistical Register. This useful book offered up a good majority of the information in his article here, and its brief mention of him stands as the only available "biographical" resource I could find!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Arius Nye (1792-1865)

   After yesterday's biography of Mississippi native Servetus L. Crockett, we journey North to Ohio to profile Arius Nye, a prominent citizen of both Muskingum and Washington County. Nye served as a member of both houses of the Ohio legislature and also served stints as Prosecuting Attorney and Presiding Judge of Washington County.
  Arius Nye was born in Campus Maritus (a fortification located in what is now Marietta, Ohio) on December 27, 1792. Arius was the fourth of twelve children born to Ichabod Nye (1763-1840) and his wife Minerva. Arius's oddly named younger brother (Anselm Tupper Nye, 1797-1881) also became a noted businessman and politician, serving as Mayor of Marietta on a number of occasions.
   It is recorded in the 1903 work the Nye Family of America, that Arius received his education at the Campus Maritus fortification and later studied in common schools near the Marietta area. As a youngster, he was sent by his father to the town of Springfield (near modern-day Zanesville) in Muskingum County to work in a mercantile store. Barely into his twenties, Nye was named as a director of the Muskingum Bank in the settlement of Putnam and shortly thereafter went into business with his father in a firm called "I. and A. Nye".
   During his residence in Muskingum County, Arius Nye was admitted to the Ohio bar in the late 1810s and also married here in 1815. He and his wife (Rowena Millicent Spencer) would go on to have eight children, who are listed as follows: Arius Spencer (born 1816), Benjamin Tupper (1818-1878), Dudley Selden (born 1820), William Spencer (born 1823), Frances Rowena (1826-1890), George (born 1828), Harriett (born 1834) and Virginia Sophia (1837-1865). Arius's wife Rowena died in 1842 and five years later he remarried to Ms. Carolina Marie Sisson (1814-1901) and had three more children: Haile Collins Tupper (born 1850), Minerva Tupper (born 1853) and lastly, Theodore Sedgwick  (born 1854). 
   Nye removed from Muskingum County to the town of Gallopolis in 1822 and shortly thereafter moved back to Marietta, where he established a law practice. During his early Marietta residency, Nye was cashier and President of the Bank of Marietta and was later a trustee of the Marietta College. In 1827 he was elected to his first term in the Ohio State House of Representatives (representing Washington County) and was reelected to this body in 1828 and 1840. A roster from the legislative sessions in which Nye served has been provided below.

   In the year following his second term in the legislature, Arius Nye was elected as Prosecuting Attorney of Washington County. He served in this post until 1840, and in addition to his decade of service in this office, Nye was elected to the Ohio State Senate in 1831 and 1832. 
  The first few years of the 1840s proved to be quiet ones for Nye, and it wasn't until 1847 that he returned to public life.  In that year he was named as Presiding Judge for a district that comprised six Ohio counties (Athens, Gallia, Lawrence, Meigs, Morgan, and Washington.) It is noted in the Nye Family of America that "to reach the county seats he was compelled to ride horseback" and because of the arduous nature of the judgeship, Nye only served three years in this post.
  Arius Nye died at age 72 in Marietta on July 27, 1865. It is remarked in the earlier mentioned work that at the time of his decease, Nye "maintained a wider celebrity than any other man living in Marietta." Arius, his first wife Rowena, and his younger brother Anselm are buried in the Mound Cemetery, located in Marietta. Caroline Sisson Nye (Arius's second wife) died aged 87 in 1901 and was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery, also located in Marietta.
  The rare portrait of Arius Nye shown above was discovered in the first volume of the Genealogy of the Nye Family, published in 1907.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Servetus Love Crockett (1886-1969)

   Today's profile takes us to Tate County, Mississippi and obscure state representative Servetus Love Crockett. Little could be found online in regards to the life of this exceptionally named individual, with the exception being a brief write up on him in the 1917 edition of the Official and Statistical Register of the State of Mississippi. This useful book yielded the portrait of Crockett shown above and the facts contained herein were found in this work.
   Servetus Love Crockett was born near Tyro, Mississippi on September 2, 1886, the son of Powhatan Perkins Crockett and his wife Annie Louise Babb. Servetus is listed as a direct descendant of famed Texan and Congressman Davy Crockett (1786-1836) and as a youth attended schools local to the Tate County area.
  In December 1914 Crockett married Ms. Floy Emma Liles and in the following year graduated from the Millsaps College with a Bachelor of Laws degree. During his tenure at Millsaps College, Crockett is listed as winning four medals in oratory and after graduating engaged in farming pursuits instead of pursuing a career in law.
   In November 1915, the citizens of Tate County elected the 29-year-old Crockett to a seat in the Mississippi State House of Representatives. He would serve here until 1920 and during his service held a seat on the following committees: Judiciary, Mississippi Levees, Penitentiary, Public Buildings and Grounds, Banks and Banking, and Drainage. Mississippi's Official and Statistical Register gives note that despite his youth, Crockett "evinced statesmanlike abilities" during his four-year tenure in the House.
   Little could be found on Crockett after the conclusion of his legislative service. His wife Floy died in March 1942 at age 53 and Servetus himself died on November 30, 1969 at age 83. No sources mention any children born to Crockett and his wife, and both were buried in the Mount Vernon Cemetery in Tate County.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wheatley Bigelow Cook (1854-1917)

   Essex County, Vermont resident Wheatley Bigelow Cook takes center stage in today's profile, and sadly very little could be found online in regards to his life history and political service. Although details on his life have proven difficult to come by, a rare portrait of this man was found in a Vermont legislative souvenir that I ordered off of Amazon a few days ago, and this very useful book is also worth mention!
   As stated in this site's introduction in July of last year, numerous books have come to my rescue in regards to finding information on "so and so" that has a profile here. One type of book that I've found to be especially helpful is called a "legislative souvenir", and contained in these books are short biographies and portraits of every legislator from a particular state. The portrait of Wheatley B. Cook shown above was discovered via the 1905 work entitled Vermont, Its Government that highlighted all of the elected officials serving within the Vermont government for the years 1904-1905. Although this book yielded the rare photo of Cook shown above, it did not yield very much in the way of a biography (quite literally in fact--his "biography" amounted to just five skimpy lines!) In addition to Cook, a number of other oddly named political figures were found in this book, all of which will eventually have profiles here on the site at some point!
   Wheatley Bigelow Cook was born on May 8, 1854, in Lancaster, New Hampshire and attended the "common schools" in the Lancaster area. He is listed as marrying in December  1877 to Ms. Minerva Electa Chamberlain and this marriage lasted over 25 years until her death on July 23, 1903, at age 48. Wheatley and his wife are recorded as having one son, Leslie Bigelow (born 1877) who later became a resident of Rumney, New Hampshire. Cook is recorded as having been involved in the lumber industry for a good majority of his life and won election to the Vermont State House of Representatives in November 1903. 
   During his brief legislative service (1904-1906) Cook represented the town of Canaan in the county of Essex and held a seat on the House committee on Land Taxes. A roster from that particular legislative session is posted below, and one should also note that Cook's fellow representative from Essex County also had a strange name.....Orange L. Mansur! Mansur (1849-1921) will have a profile posted here at some point and also has a portrait featured in Vermont, Its Government, 1904-05.

  In the years following his service in the legislature, Wheatley B. Cook served as the Vice President of the William F. Allen Co., an electrical lighting company. Little else could found on him, with the exception being his death, which occurred on November 4, 1917 in his native town of Canaan. He was subsequently buried alongside his wife Minerva in the Alice Hunt Cemetery in Canaan, Vermont. 

                                                  Vermont, Its Government: 1904-1905.