Thursday, August 30, 2012

Glenni William Scofield (1817-1891)

Portrait courtesy of the Library of Congress.

    An intriguingly named U.S. Representative from Warren County, Pennsylvania, Glenni William Scofield rose from humble origins in Chautauqua County, New York to become one of the Keystone State's most prominent 19th-century public officials. Since beginning this project over a decade ago, Mr. Scofield has been one of my favorite figures to point out, not only for his unique first name but for his ties to my home county of Chautauqua. During a political career that extended over four decades, Scofield served in both houses of Pennsylvania legislature, was a six-term U.S. Representative, a Register of the U.S. Treasury, and later a judge on the U.S. Court of Claims--truly a man of many achievements! Scofield is honored today on the 121st anniversary of his death as the newest profile added to the site and his extensive article here will conclude with a few photographs I took of his gravesite at Warren's Oakland Cemetery during two trips, one in October 2010 and one in May of this year.  
   Glenni William Scofield's story begins with his birth in the small village of Dewittville in Chautauqua County, New York on March 11, 1817, the fifth of eight children born to Darius (1788-1862) and Sallie (Glenni) Scofield (1788-1860). Glenni received his education in the common schools of his native county and didn't attend school beyond age 14, having left to learn the printing trade. He engaged in printing until age 17 and soon after returned to his studies, eventually enrolling at the Hamilton College at Clinton, New York in 1836. Scofield graduated from Hamilton in 1840 for the next few years was a teacher in Fauquier County, Virginia and later in the McKean County, Pennsylvania area.
   In the early 1840s, he left his teaching career behind and began pursuing a law degree, studying under future U.S. Representative Carlton Brandaga Curtis (1811-1883). Scofield was admitted to the Pennsylvania state bar in 1842 and shortly thereafter relocated to Warren, Pennsylvania, where he would reside and practice law for the rest of his life.
  After opening a law practice in Warren, Scofield married in November 1845 to Laura Margretta Tanner (1823-1909), with whom he had three children, Ellie G. (born 1850) and Archibald Tanner (born 1854) and Mary M. (1859-1887). Laura Tanner Scofield came from pioneer genes in the Warren, Pennsylvania area, being the daughter of Archibald Tanner (1786-1861), a deputy Warren postmaster, county treasurer, and newspaper publisher. Tanner is also recorded as helping to bring "the first steamboat on the Allegheny River to Warren".
   Glenni W. Scofield began treading the political waters in 1846, when he was named by then Pennsylvania Governor Francis Rawn Shunk as Warren County District Attorney, a post he'd continue to fill until 1848. In the following year, Scofield was elected to his first term in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and was re-elected to that body the following year. During his house service Scofield was mentioned in the 1887 History of Warren County as "one of its most effective debaters" and as a firm abolitionist, Scofield "never relinquished his early convictions in hostility to slavery."
  In the last part of the 1850s, Scofield continued his rise through the Pennsylvania political ranks, winning election to the state senate in November 1856. Taking office in January 1857, Scofield served in the Senate for three terms, the last of which concluded in 1860. Two years later he won the first of six elections to the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating  Democratic candidate Milton Courtwright by a vote of 9,954 to 9,462

                      Scofield as he looked early in his term in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

   Scofield's twelve years in Congress saw him serve on the Committees on Revisal and Unfinished Business, Indian Affairs, Elections, and later chaired the committee on Naval Affairs. For a good majority of his tenure, Scofield was aligned with the "radical" faction of the Republican Party, and he is noted as being a prime mover behind reconstruction legislation while in Congress and was also a strident advocate for racial equality and black voting rights. In numerous speeches on the House floor, Scofield made impassioned pleas on the subject, arguing that Congress should "awaken the hope and ambition of the whole race throughout the country" and that "the ignorant white people have been led to believe that the elevation of the Negro is the equivalent to their debasement. The reverse is true. The more we improve this unfortunate race, the more we improve our own."
  While Mr. Scofield was obviously a man of honor and good character, his sterling reputation took a hit in 1872 when it was discovered that he had involvement with Congressman Oakes Ames of Massachusetts, President of the Crédit Mobilier Company. Four years previously in 1868, Scofield had purchased Cedar Rapids stock bonds from Congressman Ames, who then suggested to Scofield that he purchase some stock in Crédit Mobilier. No contract was ever consummated between the two men, as Scofield later "disinclined to take the stock" and after a settlement was reached, he was recorded as taking "a thousand dollars Union Pacific bond and ten shares of Union Pacific stock." Obviously, this action was a miscalculation in judgment on Scofield's part, one which left a blemish on an otherwise sterling career in the public forum.

                          This article on Scofield's involvement in Credit Mobilier appeared in 1884.

  The Credit Mobilier scandal tarnished a number of political careers (including that of Vice President Schuyler Colfax) but Scofield (who declined to run for another term in the house in 1874) is mentioned as having "no interest in the Crédit Mobilier stock" after the settlement with Ames, and "derived no benefit therefrom."
  Despite the sting of Crédit Mobilier, Scofield's public career continued on the upswing after leaving Congress. After returning to Warren in 1875 he maintained a private law practice until 1878 when he was appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes as Register of the U.S. Treasury, serving in this post until May 1881. Soon after leaving the post of registrar Scofield was named by new elected President James Garfield to a seat on the United States  Court of Claims. Scofield was confirmed and served on this court until July 29, 1891, when health concerns compelled him to resign.

                                  Scofield as he appeared in the 1887 History of Warren County.

   For the last month of his life Scofield is listed by his New York Times obituary as suffering from debilitating health problems, and in the week preceding his death suffered a paralytic stroke that confined him to his bed. He died from "heart trouble" on August 30, 1891, at age 74 at his home in Warren, and his funeral was held the following Tuesday at his home. He was memorialized in the Titusville Herald as a man "full of anecdote and reminisce", and that "his strong sense, his accessibility, his varied experience, his familiar acquaintance with statesmen and business of the departments of Washington made his counsel much sought for, and his influence was often exerted on behalf of his friends and constituents."

                          Scofield's obit as it appeared in the New York Times on August 31, 1891.

                             Another death notice for Scofield that appeared in the Watertown Daily Times.

   On October 10, 2o10 I visited Oakland Cemetery in order to photograph Scofield's gravesite, and after some tedious searching found his impressive monument overlooking a tree-lined hill towards the middle of the cemetery. On April 8th of this year, I returned to Oakland to photograph the gravesites of two other oddly named politicians buried here (Rasselas Brown and Lansing Ditmars Wetmore) and took the following pictures below!

   Buried in this plot are Judge Scofield, his wife, their children and Warren pioneer Archibald Tanner (1786-1861), who was the father of Glenni's wife Laura. In the above picture, Glenni Scofield's headstone is third from left.

  Buried a few yards downhill from the Scofield impressive monument (which as you can see stands well over twenty feet tall) is the resting place of Judge Lansing Ditmars Wetmore (1818-1905) who served as Presiding Judge for Warren County's 37th district from 1874-1881. Congressman Carlton Brandaga Curtis (whom Scofield studied law under) is also buried here, although I wasn't able to find his gravesite!

  On either side of the Scofield monument are the names of the family members buried within the plot. Directly to the right of Glenni's inscription is his wife Laura's. Laura Tanner Scofield survived Glenni by nearly twenty years, dying at age 86 in 1909.

120 + years of wear and harsh weather have eaten away at the inscription, as you can see from the photo above. Algae is also quite prevalent on both the monument and Glenni's headstone, which is shown below.

                                                                                         "Glenni W. Scofield"

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shotwell Powell (1808-1896)

    This rare portrait of Shotwell Powell is located in the collection of the 
      Ontario County Historical Society in Canandaigua, New York.

   Following up on August 17th's article on Naples, New York resident and legislator Cyrillo Southworth Lincoln, today's profile highlights the life of Mr. Shotwell Powell, another prominent 19th century resident of Ontario County, New York who was elected to two terms in the State Assembly in 1859 and 1860. Powell received a brief mention in Lincoln's profile a few weeks ago after I visited both of their gravesites at the Rose Ridge Cemetery in Naples whilst on vacation. At the time of that visit I hadn't yet seen an actual portrait of Mr. Powell and now, because of the diligence of Blanche Warner of the Naples Library and Ontario Historical Society Curator Wilma Townsend, a picture of Shotwell Powell has been located in the collection of the Ontario County Historical Society!!! I must give a hearty thank you to both of these ladies for their kind help in regards to researching this obscure man, as his article here really wouldn't be the same without your help!
   We'll begin with the birth of Shotwell Powell, which occurred in the small village of Clinton in Dutchess County, New York on October 31, 1808. The Rootsweb genealogical website gives note that Shotwell was one of fifteen children born to James and Martha Townsend Powell, natives of New Jersey and Westchester County, New York. Young Shotwell received a common school education in his birth county, and later spent several years of his adolescence living with an uncle in New Jersey.
   After returning to New York, Powell engaged in farming until relocating to Michigan in 1832. Soon after his arrival he "purchased several lots in that new country, remaining there about two years." In 1834 he returned home to Clinton, where he "purchased part of his old home", this according to his Naples Record obituary.
   On September 17, 1835, Powell married fellow Clinton, NY native Sarah G. Clapp (1815-1889) and they eventually became the parents of three children: Thomas J. (1837-1906), Israel (1839-1918) and Lydia Ann (1841-1917). In a strange and truly interesting twist, research has been found that notes that Lydia Ann Powell married on February 27, 1870, to William Elton Lincoln (1837-1915), who happened to be the younger brother of Cyrillo Southworth Lincoln!!! A truly amazing historical fact/political coincidence that I wouldn't have known about had I not begun digging through Shotwell Powell's genealogy! 
  The Powell family continued to reside in Clinton until 1844 when they removed to South Bristol in Ontario County, New York. Powell purchased a farm here (later referred to as Powell Hill) and over the succeeding years engaged in farming, while also being involved in local political affairs. 

                                Shotwell Powell's name as it appeared in an 1860s New York Red Book.

   In November 1858 Powell was elected to the New York State Assembly as a Republican, officially taking office in January of the next year. He was re-elected to the Assembly for the 1860 session and during his two terms is mentioned as having "secured the passage of many important measures, among which was one to prevent slave hunting in the Empire State."  Powell's tenure in the legislature is listed by Milliken's History of Ontario County as one of distinction, with Powell being mentioned as "a man of strong convictions and great moral courage, a strong anti-slavery man, an opponent to capital punishment, and a zealous advocate of temperance." After leaving the assembly Powell refrained from political activity until 1876and in that year mounted an unsuccessful campaign as the Prohibition Party candidate for State Canal Commissioner of New York. 

                   An 1876 article mentioning Powell's candidacy for State Canal Commissioner.

   In 1870 Powell and his wife removed to Virginia, where Shotwell is known to have bought up large tracts of land, later establishing a Quaker colony in the Keysville, Virginia area. As a member of the Society of Friends, Powell is listed in his obituary as investing $6,000 for a piece of land in order to develop this settlement, "which he retained an interest in until his death." Powell's obituary also notes that "all liquor selling was to be excluded from the colony."
  For the next two decades, Powell would spend his winters in Virginia and his summers at his home in South Bristol, where he resettled permanently in 1889. In his twilight years, Powell maintained a membership in the Western New York Horticultural Society and is listed as attending its annual meeting in 1893. While at this meeting, Powell is listed as stating that "I want to say that in this, my 85th year, this is the grandest meeting I have ever attended. Progress is the immutable order of our being, and I think we are progressing."
   As he approached his 88th year, Powell's health began to fail, and in March of 1896 was stricken with paralysis which greatly reduced his energy and abilities. He died at age 87 on June 19, 1896, at the home of his son Israel in South Bristol, New York.

      Powell's obit as it appeared in the Rochester Democratic-Chronicle a few days following his death.

Shotwell Powell's Naples Record obituary from June 1896.

   The funeral of Shotwell Powell was held at his South Bristol home on the Monday following his death, and it was reported: "that there was a very large attendance, with neighbors and friends from all country round coming to pay their last tribute to one whom they honored and loved for his beneficent life." Shortly afterward he was buried in the Powell family plot at Rose Ridge cemetery in Naples. Powell's wife Sarah had been buried here several years previously, and their children Thomas, Israel, and Lydia are also buried here.
  As I related in Cyrillo S. Lincoln's article a few days ago, the search for both Lincoln and Powell's gravesite was done under severe time constraints (it was nearly 8 o'clock at night) and I was also dealing with scoping out a rather large cemetery with no clue as to where both were buried! After I found Mr. Lincoln's stone I set my sights on finding Shotwell's stone.....which my father successfully discovered less than fifty feet away from Lincoln!  As I have recently found that both of these oddly named politicians are related by marriage, I now have a good idea as to why both of their plots were located so close to one another......and now some pictures from the trip!

  Powell's modest gravestone bears the names of all of the members of the Powell family (with the exception of Lydia Ann, who is buried elsewhere in Rose Ridge.) This stone also denotes Powell's name with the prefix "Hon." for "Honorable", indicating to anyone even remotely interested in history that someone of importance is buried here!! All in all the above photo turned out rather well, considering it was taken at nearly 8:30 at night!

  Like his political counterpart Cyrillo Lincoln, Shotwell Powell has very little available online in regards to his life and exploits, and I can now proudly announce that because of the profile here, a substantial biography of Mr. Powell is finally available for everyone to read! Once again this article wouldn't be possible without the help and assistance of Blanche Warner and Wilma Townsend, who volunteered their time to locate the portrait of Shotwell that adorns the top of his profile here. A thousand thanks for all of your help!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Uzziel Putnam Jr. (1826-1879), Uzziel Stevens Whitcomb (1817-1898)

Uzziel Putnam Jr. as he appeared in the History of Cass County, Michigan, published in 1882.

   Today's profile highlights the life and political career of  Uzziel Putnam Jr., an oddly named resident of Cass County, Michigan. Mr. Putnam is listed as being the "first white child born in Cass County" and over the course of his short life served in a number of local political offices, later distinguishing himself as a member of both houses of the Michigan Legislature.
  Uzziel Putnam Jr. was born the township of Pokagon, Michigan on August 12, 1826, the son of Uzziel Putnam Sr. (1793-1881) and his wife Anna Chapman (died 1880). Uzziel Sr. is noted as being one of the earliest settlers in Cass County and was also a veteran of the War of 1812, serving in the Pennsylvania militia. Uzziel Jr. received his education in the town of Niles, Michigan, and in 1849 began attending the University at Ann Arbor, graduating with honors in 1853.
  Soon after his graduation Putnam began pursuing the study of law, eventually reading law in Detroit. After being admitted to the Michigan bar in 1855 he established a law practice in Pokagon, but "soon abandoned it for the quiet home life upon the farm, to which he was accustomed and warmly attached." Putnam engaged in farming for the majority of his life, and in addition to farm work was also named to many local offices of public trust, serving at various times as School Inspector, Justice of the Peace, and Circuit Court Commissioner.
   In January 1862 Uzziel Putnam married fellow Pokagon native Jane Clyborne, with whom he had three children, Adie (birthdate unknown), Mabel (born 1869), and Ira (birthdate unknown.) Jane Clyborne Putnam died aged 29 in 1871 and in 1875 Uzziel remarried to Lizzie Finch, with whom he had a fourth child, Hilda (born 1875.)
   In 1868 the citizens of Cass County elected Uzziel Putnam to the Michigan State House of Representatives, and the History of Cass County (where the above picture of Putnam was discovered) makes note that the "higher offices in which he filled, like the humble ones, came to him unsought, simply through the recognition and the rewards of his manliness of character." Putnam took his seat in January 1869 and in the next year was elected to the State Senate, serving until 1872. A roster from the 1871 senate session (bearing Putnam's name) is located below.

   Shortly after leaving the Senate Putnam was named by then Michigan Governor John Judson Bagley to a seat on the Michigan State Board of Charities and was reappointed to this board in 1877, serving until his death two years later. While serving on this board Putnam succeeded his father as President of the Cass County Pioneer Society, and as he was the first white child born in Cass County, it was said that he was "particularly suited" for this position, "not alone for the fact that he was the oldest native of the county, but because of the lively interest which he exhibited in all matters of early history and pioneer experience."
   Uzziel Putnam Jr. died at age 52 on February 10, 1879, and was interred at the Sumnerville Cemetery in Sumnerville, Michigan. Putnam was survived by both his mother, father and second wife, and was memorialized in the 1882 History of Cass County as a man whose "character rested on a granite basis and sustained high public virtue and private integrity that nothing could corrupt. He has left streaming behind the bright effulgence of his character to illumine the way for others and to lighten and soothe the sorrows of bereavement. His life is his eulogy."

 A Michigan legislative resolution mentioning Uzziel Putnam's death in 1879.

  A few days after the above article on Uzziel Putnam was published, another politician was discovered who also has the same odd first name "Uzziel". Read on to find out more!

Uzziel S. Whitcomb as he appeared in "The Whitcomb Family In America", published in 1904.

  This oddly named politician is Uzziel Stevens Whitcomb, a longtime resident of Richmond, Vermont who served in both houses of the Vermont legislature. He was born in Richmond on January 21, 1817, the son of Thomas and Anna Stevens Whitcomb and attended schools in the Richmond district.
  Whitcomb married in March 1842 to Ms. Marilla Sheldon, with whom he would have six children. Uzziel and his family relocated to Canada when he was in his twenties and later removed to California to take part in the ongoing gold rush there during the early 1850s. He eventually returned to Jericho, Vermont where he purchased a farm and resided here for nearly a decade, after which he returned to California for a time. 
   In 1864 Uzziel Whitcomb resettled in Richmond, Essex County, Vermont, and here purchased a farm. This farm eventually grew to be over a thousand acres and was listed by the Genealogical and Family History of Vermont as "the largest farm in town." Whitcomb spent the majority of his life engaged in farming and "through industry, perseverance and hard work, he succeeded in cultivating his land, so that it yielded him a large amount of profit."
   While farming was obviously Whitcomb's main means of earning a living, he also was a distinguished man of affairs in Richmond. He served as a deacon in the local Congregationalist church and was also elected as a town selectman on a number of occasions.  In November 1859 Whitcomb was elected to the Vermont State House of Representatives, where he ably represented the county of Chittenden for one term (1860-1861). Whitcomb was returned to the legislature in November 1865 and served another term from 1866-1867. A roster from that legislative session (bearing Whitcomb's name, along with the other Chittenden County representatives) has been posted below.

  After leaving the legislature in January 1868 Uzziel Whitcomb returned to his farming pursuits and spent time at his farm until 1881 when he was elected to the Vermont State Senate. Taking office in January 1882, Whitcomb was remarked as being the oldest senator serving in that session and held a seat on the committees on Federal Relations and the joint standing committee on Reform Schools.
  Whitcomb served one term in the Senate which concluded in 1884. He died in Richmond at age 82 on August 24, 1898, and was subsequently buried in the Riverview Cemetery in Richmond. His wife Marilla survived him by three years, dying in January 1901 at age 80 and was also interred at the Riverview Cemetery.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gotham Ives (1777-1841)

  Today's profile again centers on an oddly named politician who's gravesite was visited by me earlier this month while at the Brookside Cemetery in Watertown. This obscure figure is one Gotham Ives, a Watertown resident who served one term in the New York State Assembly during the early 1830s. Sadly very little could be found regards to Ives's life, so his profile here will be on the short side! A portrait of Mr. Ives could not be found to post here, and considering that he died over 170 years ago, it is in all likelihood that one won't be found.
  Gotham (also spelled Jotham) Ives was born in Torrington, Connecticut on June 8, 1777 to Jotham Ives and Anna Foster. Gotham migrated from Connecticut to Watertown around 1800 and soon afterwards married Ms. Amy Scott (1777-1864), and they eventually became the parents of three children, Amanda (born 1802), Garrett (1806-1889) and Amy Ann (1816-1834). 
  Over the succeeding years Gotham Ives accumulated much land in the Jefferson County area and is mentioned by the second volume of the Genealogical and Family History of  Jefferson County as raising "the first wheat in town".  
  In 1831 he was elected by the citizens of Jefferson County to the New York State Assembly, serving during the 1832 session. In all likelihood this is the only political office Ives held, as he died nine years later on April 5, 1841. He was memorialized in the earlier mentioned work as "a man of strong will and great industry" and he "made a success where others might fail, and left his impress upon the young community." Gotham's wife Amy survived him by a number of years, dying in 1864 at age 87. Both were buried at the Brookside Cemetery and the photos below were taken by me earlier this month (August 15th) during my visit there!

                                      Ives's name as it appeared in the New York State Red Book.

  The Ives children are also buried in this plot along with their mother and father, and quite a bit of searching had to be done to find it, as I was told that this plot is located in an as yet un-mapped area of the Brookside Cemetery. 


Friday, August 17, 2012

Cyrillo Southworth Lincoln (1830-1900)

                         Cyrillo S. Lincoln,  from Milliken's "A History of Ontario County", published in 1911.

    Following up on yesterday's article on Jefferson County resident Lotus Ingalls, our profile today centers on the life of one Cyrillo Southworth Lincoln, a prominent figure in the town of Naples in Ontario County, New York. Mr. Lincoln represented his home county in the New York State Assembly for four terms during the 1870s and was for many years viewed as one of Naples' most honored citizens. Two days ago (August 15, 2012), I was lucky enough to be on vacation near Naples and made a point to locate Lincoln's final resting place in the Rose Ridge Cemetery. Lincoln is honored today (on the 112th anniversary of his death) as the newest addition to the site, and some photographs from Rose Ridge Cemetery will conclude his extensive profile here!
   Cyrillo Southworth Lincoln was born on July 18, 1830, in the village of South Bristol, New York, one of seven children born to Lucius (1801-1875) and Amelia Fellows Lincoln (1806-1876). Cyrillo received his education at both the Genesee Wesleyan and the New York Conference Seminaries and in 1858 graduated with honors from the Union College in New York. Shortly after his graduation he began reading law under Frederick L. Durand of Rochester and was admitted to the New York state bar in 1859. Lincoln eventually became a law partner with future U.S. Representative (and Naples native) Emory Bemsley Pottle (1815-1891), and together they maintained a law practice in Naples until its dissolution in 1864.
   In 1859 Lincoln married Charlotteville, New York native Mary Abigail Brown, with whom he had one daughter, whose name has been lost to history. Both Mary and her infant daughter died within a year of her marriage to Lincoln, and in August 1862 he remarried to Laura A. Clarke, and this union produced two children, Mary Clark (born 1864) and Spencer Francis (1868-1944). Spencer Lincoln followed in his father's footsteps and also went on to a distinguished career in the public forum, serving as District Attorney for Yates County, New York from 1906-1912 and again from 1925-1933.

          This portrait of Spencer Francis Lincoln appeared in the Penn Yan Democrat in January 1944.

   Throughout the 1860s Cyrillo S. Lincoln maintained a successful law practice out of his home in Naples, and was also involved in that areas grape industry, maintaining "one of the finest vineyards in that section of the State." His expertise in the field of law won Lincoln many friends throughout Ontario County and his 1900 obituary (published in the Naples Record) gives note that "his good influence was also early felt in all matters of public interest and town improvement. He had fine oratorical gifts, speaking readily and convincingly, and was thus brought into frequent service as an entertainer and educator."
   While Lincoln's career in law continued to win him local acclaim, he didn't pursue political office until the mid-1860s, when he was elected as Naples Justice of the Peace, serving in this capacity until 1871. In November of that year, Lincoln was elected to his first term in the New York State Assembly as a Republican, beginning a legislative tenure that was "most creditable to his constituents and to himself." During his four terms in the assembly Lincoln held a seat on the Committee on the Petitions of Aliens and the sub-Committee on the Whole, and later chaired the Committee on Claims during the 1873 assembly session. 

                                    A New York State Red Book roster bearing Lincoln's name.

     During his four terms in the Assembly, Lincoln was remarked to be "a man of acknowledged ability, sound principals, and flexible integrity" and it was this sterling character assessment that eventually led then New York Governor Samuel Tilden to appoint Lincoln (along with future New York Governor David Bennett Hill) as special prosecuting attorneys during the 1872 impeachment trial of New York State Supreme Court justice George Gardner Barnard.  Lincoln's assembly tenure concluded with the end of the May 1875 session and his Naples Record obituary notes that "few men, if any, on the floor of the House exerted more influence or were more honored."
   After his service in state government, Lincoln returned to his Naples law practice and throughout his later years was an active figure in town affairs. For over thirty years he was a member of the local Presbyterian church and is listed by his obituary as being a Sunday school superintendent and church trustee. Lincoln returned to political service in 1880 when he was named as a delegate from New York to the 1880 Republican National Convention in Chicago that nominated James Garfield for President. In 1889 he was named as a trustee for the Naples Union School, serving in this post until 1895. Lincoln was also a charter member of the Nundawaho Lodge of the International Order of Odd-Fellows and was a past president of the Naples Lyceum.
   In 1898 Lincoln's health began to fail due to a "complication of diseases", and while he continued in the practice of law, health concerns continued to plague him for the last two years of his life. In the weeks preceding his death, he suffered a relapse which confined him to his bed, and he passed away at his home at 1 p.m on August 17, 1900, at age 70.

             This death notice for Cyrillo Lincoln appeared in a Gloversville, New York newspaper.

   The death of Cyrillo S. Lincoln was widely reported in a number of New York newspapers and was front-page news in the August 22, 1900 edition of the Naples Record. His obituary gives mention that his death "removes from us not only a most genial and lovable man, but one of the most useful and honored citizens of the county, and is not only a personal loss to a great multitude but a public calamity." The Naples Record obituary has been posted in its entirety below, and this author must note that it gives a truly in-depth overview of the life of this wonderfully named Naples resident!

   As one can read from the impressive memorial given to Lincoln in the Record, his demise robbed Naples of one of its most highly regarded public servants. His funeral is recorded as taking place at his home on Monday, August 20, 1900, and judging from the number of persons listed as being present at the services, it was obviously well attended by both relatives and friends alike. His remains were then escorted by a funeral procession to the Rose Ridge Cemetery, where he was then interred. Lincoln was survived by his wife Laura, who died at age 87 in 1918 and was interred next to her husband.
   I fast forward now to August 15, 2012, the day my family and I visited Rose Ridge to seek out Lincoln's gravesite. As a funny backstory to the search that followed, it was nearing 8 o'clock and getting dark rapidly by the time I reached the cemetery, so one can certainly say time wasn't on my side! Compounding this was the fact that I was also searching for another oddly named politician buried here, a Mr. Shotwell Powell (1808-1896), a past member of the New York State Assembly from Ontario County. 
   After locating two Lincoln plots in the cemetery (neither of which was the Lincoln I was looking for), I was beginning to get worried! It was practically dark by this time and I shouted to my father (who was helping me in the search) that I was going to the far side of the cemetery near a tree-lined area. After a few more minutes of poking around, I located the man I was looking for! Cyrillo Lincoln's gravesite is tucked away in a far corner of this out of the way cemetery, and behind me in the photo below is a wooded area which descends sharply downhill into an even larger woods!

   In the picture above (which turned out remarkably well, considering that it was taken at 8:30 at night) I stand next to Cyrillo's marker, while he and his wife Laura's headstones are directly behind me. 

   Lincoln's headstone is quite hard to read, as 112 years of wear and exposure to the elements have covered it with spots of algae. Directly to the left of Cyrillo's stone is that of his wife Laura, whose stone is in similar condition. Interred in the two other Lincoln plots I mentioned earlier are the remains of Cyrillo's father and mother and older brothers Linus and Theron. 

   In an intriguing coda to this article, the grave of Shotwell Powell was discovered by my father less than fifty feet away from Cyrillo Lincoln's stone! I find it truly fascinating that we managed to locate both of these oddly named politician's grave sites in so short a span of time, and I'm certain that a fair bit of serendipity was involved in their discovery! It's even more interesting to note that I discovered Lincoln's grave within 36 hours of the 112th anniversary of his death!! August 15, 2012, will forever be remembered by me as the day that I managed to locate several oddly named political grave sites in two separate counties, including the final resting place of Lotus Ingalls, who was profiled yesterday!
  With that being said, I take great pride in knowing that this profile on Cyrillo S. Lincoln marks the first time that an actual "biography" of him is available online, and my hope is that more people will learn of the life and exploits of this oddly named Ontario County resident! 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lotus Ingalls (1818-1897), Lotus Lee Langley (1875-1955)

   Today's profile will be a very memorable one, as the Strangest Names In American Political History recently visited the mammoth Brookside Cemetery in Watertown, New York! As I just returned from vacationing in the Jefferson County/Ontario County, New York area, the next few profiles here on the site will center on several oddly named political figures who called these two counties home. The first of these men to be profiled is Mr. Lotus Ingalls, a 19th century Watertown resident who distinguished himself in the fields of both journalism and politics. I visited Mr. Ingalls's gravesite at the Brookside Cemetery in Watertown early yesterday, and some photos from that excursion will conclude his profile here! The rare portrait of him shown above (one of two known pictures of him) was found in the Jefferson County history The Growth of a Century, published in 1895, two years before his death.
   Lotus Ingalls was born on January 12, 1818, in Rodman, New York, one of ten children born to James (1791-1881) and Laura Cooley Ingalls (1795-1837). Lotus is recorded as engaging in farm work during his youth and in 1839 enrolled in the Black River Institute. While attending this institution, Ingalls began earning extra money by teaching school in the towns of Wilna and Perch Lake, and later taught at the Factory Street School in Watertown.
   In 1845 Ingalls began pursuing law studies, entering the law office of Lansing and Sherman. He passed the New York State Bar exam in the late 1840s and during this time was also elected to a two-year term as town school superintendent.  In 1847 he married Watertown native Marinda Emily Murray (1826-1904) and they became the parents of one child, Alice Elvira Ingalls (1848-1932).
   Ingalls's career in law was short-lived, and it is noted by The Growth of a Century that "the demands of that profession seemed hardly suited to his tastes." It was around this time that the Watertown Democratic Union (an anti-temperance or "liquor interest" newspaper) was established, and as a counterpoint to this paper, many temperance advocates in Jefferson County suggested the start of a paper devoted to their interests, and Mr. Ingalls was "suggested and urged to become its editor." 
  Using some small start-up capital, Ingalls founded the Watertown Daily Reformer, and with the help of an established Watertown printer (L.C. Stowell, who later became Ingalls's partner) the Reformer was viewed as an unqualified success, with the Growth of a Century remarking that it was "full of snap and ability" and that it appealed "to the better class of readers, who had become weary with editors that looked at all questions through the colored spectacles of party policy." Ingalls and his paper are also listed as being instrumental in espousing opinions on then-current New York assessment laws, and it was because of the work of Ingalls and the Reformer that the New York legislature eventually created the Board of State Assessors.

                                  This article on Lotus Ingalls appeared in the New York Times.
  The Daily Reformer's circulation continued to grow throughout the 1850s and 60s, and with it, Lotus Ingalls's reputation as one of Jefferson County's most prominent men of affairs. During the 1860s he became connected with the Carthage, Watertown, and Sacketts Harbor Railroad Company, eventually serving as its Secretary and Treasurer during the early 1870s. An annual railroad report bearing Ingalls's name was published in 1872 and has been posted below.

   In 1875 Ingalls launched a campaign for the New York State Assembly and won election to that body in November of that year (representing Jefferson County.) Taking his seat in 1876, Ingalls served on the committees on Public Printing,  State Prisons, and Enrolled Bills during his one term in the legislature. The Growth of a Century highlights his service as Chairman of the Printing Committee, stating that Ingalls "saved the state many thousands of dollars by applying the pruning knife to the extravagant requests of members and others." It is also mentioned that Ingalls "had very important economic reforms in his mind" after entering the assembly, but was unable to implement them due to the political partisanship of the time.

                             Another portrait of Lotus Ingalls, probably from the 1870s or 80s.

   An interesting point is made by the Growth of the Century as to Ingalls's later years as a publisher. During the late 1860s/early 1870s, he ran into financial problems and declared bankruptcy, and was "even forced out of the newspaper which he had established and raised to an institution of great value." Ingalls eventually rebounded financially and in the mid-1870s purchased the Watertown Post, which he ran successfully until selling it eighteen years later. Soon afterward he retired from public life, having been engaged as an editor and publisher for over forty years! His retirement from publishing was marked as the end of an era, as "he had been for 42 years one of Jefferson's most strenuous and powerful men, and has wrought his individual life into the very fibre (sic) of that county's history as no other editor has done. His example is an illustrious one, and a good one to follow."
   After a long career in public service, Lotus Ingalls died at age 79 on April 24, 1897, in Watertown. Judging by the number of archived newspaper sources mentioning his death, his demise was front-page news in a number of New York newspapers, including the New York Herald, the Rome Citizen (shown below), and the Ithaca Daily News. Ingalls was survived by his wife of fifty years, Marinda (who died in 1904) and his daughter Alice, who died at age 84 in 1932. 

                                                      From the Rome Citizen, April 27, 1897.

     Another Lotus Ingalls obituary, originally published in an April 1897 edition of the Syracuse Herald.

   As mentioned in the opening of Mr. Ingalls's profile here, I was lucky enough to be on vacation near Watertown this past week and yesterday (August 15, 2012), I made it a point to visit the Brookside Cemetery in that city to seek out his gravesite, as well as those of Gilderoy Lord (a Watertown Mayor), Pardon Clarence Williams (a former New York State Supreme Court justice) and Gotham Ives (a New York State Assemblyman). All of these odd named public figures are buried in Brookside, as are a number of other politicians, including Roswell Pettibone Flower (a former New York Governor) and Willard Ives (a U.S. Representative.) 
  Describing Brookside Cemetery as "big" doesn't even begin to cover the sheer size of its confines. This mammoth cemetery is the final resting place of over 14,000 people, and I was lucky enough to have one of Brookside's office personnel give me a marked map denoting the location of each of the aforementioned people. And now some photos from the trip!

  Lotus Ingalls is interred in the Ingalls-Murray plot in section M of the Brookside Cemetery. The large granite stone marking his gravesite has both the Ingalls and Murray surnames inscribed on its sides (as Lotus's wife Marinda's maiden name was Murray) and in front of this stone are smaller headstones denoting each family members name and their dates of birth and death.

                                                             Lotus Ingalls's headstone.

                                                       Another view of Ingalls's headstone.

                               With the SNIAPH Book at the Ingalls gravesite, August 15, 2012.

  All in all, Lotus Ingalls's impressive stone certainly befits a man who devoted the majority of his life to public affairs in his native Watertown. Sadly no plaque or marker denotes Ingalls's status as a prominent 19th century Watertown citizen or his service in the state assembly. In addition to his already lengthy article here, I also recently created a Find-a-Grave profile for him, which can be viewed at the following link.

From the Oregon Voter's Pamphlet, 1918.

 Another "Lotus" that made his name known in public service is Lotus Lee Langley, a longtime resident of Multnomah County, Oregon. Born in Scranton, Iowa on September 15, 1875, Langley was a son of William and Amanda Scott Langley. Lotus would remove to Oregon with his family in 1891 attend the Pacific University in the town of Forest Grove. He studied law under the tutelage of his father and was admitted to practice by the Oregon bar in 1897.
  Langley relocated to Portland to practice law in 1901 and married in December 1908 to Eva Allen, later having two children. After a decade or so of practice in Portland, Langley entered into political life in 1918, becoming the Democratic candidate for circuit court judge for Oregon's 4th district. His candidacy was unsuccessful, being defeated that November by Calvin U. Gantenbein.  Langley continued to be active in Democratic political circles for the remainder of his life, serving as the chairman of the Multnomah County Democratic Party in 1928 and in that same year was an unsuccessful candidate for Associate Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.
   In 1931 Langley's political fortunes changed when he was elected as District Attorney of Multnomah County, serving a term of four years. During the 1940 election year, he served as part of Oregon's delegation to the Democratic National Convention being held in Chicago that renominated Franklin Roosevelt for a third term. Lotus Langley died on February 6, 1955, at age 79 and was later interred at the Forest View Cemetery in  Forest Grove, Washington County, Oregon.