Friday, June 28, 2013

Nesbit Gamaliel Gleason (1872-1948), Nesbit Sargent Ross (1858-1926)

From Bridgeman's "Souvenir of Massachusetts Legislators", 1917 edition.

    An active civic leader and political figure in Andover, Essex County, Massachusetts, Nesbit Gamaliel Gleason was for many years one of Andover's leading citizens. A one-term member of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives as well as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention of 1917-18, Gleason also attained high rank in two different Masonic lodges in Massachusetts. Born in the city of Lawrence on November 11, 1872, Nesbit G. Gleason attended the public schools of that town and was employed by the American Express Co. and later, the American Woolen Company. He married on June 7, 1894, to Alice Christie, who was born in Scotland. They became the parents of one daughter, Elsie Grosvenor Gleason in March 1895.
   In 1901 he was elected as Andover town auditor and served in this capacity for over fifteen years. In addition to his serving as town clerk, Gleason was also the chairman of the Andover Republican town committee from 1909 to 1910.  In 1915 he was elected as one of Essex County's representatives in the Massachusetts General Court. Taking his seat in January 1916, Gleason was named to the house committees on Counties, Social Insurance, and chaired the committee on Municipal Insurance. During his legislative term, Gleason was also a member of the Massachusetts State Constitutional Convention of 1917-1918
  Prominent in the local Masonic fraternity, Gleason held memberships in two lodges in the Essex County area. He was a Past Master of the St. Matthews Masonic Lodge, a member of the Mt. Sinai Royal Arch Masons, the Ancient Order of the Accepted Scottish Rite, the Andover Odd Fellows Lodge, and a member of the Aleppo Temple of the Mystic Shrine. The remainder of Nesbit G. Gleason's life following his term in the legislature is totally unknown. He is recorded in the 1940 U.S. Census as a 67-year-old residing at Mt. Vernon Street in Boston with his wife and daughter, whose death dates also remain unknown at this time.
  As this article "went to press", as it were, it was lacking a death date for Mr. Gleason, and despite my best attempts at perusing my usual archived newspaper resources and genealogical web pages, one could not be found. I'd like to offer a hail and hearty thank you to the Strangest Names In American Political History Facebook follower John Mark Woodbury for locating Mr. Gleason's date of demise, courtesy of the ever-useful Nesbit Gleason passed away on June 19, 1948, in his 76th year, three decades after his service in the Massachusetts legislature. 

From the York Daily News, November 11, 1911.

  Long a distinguished lawyer in York County, Pennsylvania, Nesbit Sargent Ross made his first move into politics in 1885, with his service as a delegate to the Pennsylvania Republican state convention. He emerged on the national political scene seven years later with his unsuccessful candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives, and nearly two decades following his defeat Ross won election as Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of York County, serving on the bench until his death in 1926. Recorded by most sources under the abbreviated name "N. Sargent Ross", Ross was born in Northumberland, Pennsylvania on May 3, 1858, the son of Rev. Joseph A. (1816-1888) and Mary Jamison Harvey Ross (1824-1892).
  As the son of a prominent Methodist minister, Ross' education was obtained in various Pennsylvania schools due to his father's frequent ministerial travels. He would attend seminaries in Juniata County and in Williamsport and later enrolled at Dickinson College in Carlisle in the 1870s. After a year spent teaching in 1874-75, Ross turned his attention to reading law and began study under Mifflintown attorney Jeremiah Lyons. He was admitted to the Juniata County bar in 1882.
  Establishing himself in practice in Mifflintown, Ross moved to York, Pennsylvania in 1883 and through the succeeding years gained distinction in law circles in that county, along with" a profitable clientele." N. Sargent Ross married Susan W. Sanks (1858-1925) in April 1890 and had one daughter Ruth Sanks, who died in infancy in 1892.
   A lifelong Republican, Ross was elected as a delegate from York County to the Republican State Convention of 1885, beginning his political career. In 1892 he entered into the race for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania's 19th congressional district, and after winning the Republican primary opposed Democrat Frank Eckels Beltzhoover (1841-1923), who had served three previous terms in Congress. The general election of November 1892 brought defeat for the Republicans in the district, with Beltzhoover besting Ross by a vote of 21,963 to 16,198.

From the Harvey Book, 1899.

  In 1895 Ross partnered with attorney H.C. Brenneman in the law firm of Ross and Brenneman, which extended until Ross was elected judge. In the same year as that partnership began, Ross was named as a director for the City Bank of York and continued in that post until his elevation to the bench. Active in the fraternal clubs of York County, Ross was for many years a Mason in his region, holding the office of Past Master of York Lodge No. 266 of Free and Accepted Masons. In addition, he was a past high priest in the Howell Chapter No. 199 of the Royal Arch Masons, and a member of the Knights Templar and the Mystic Shrine. 
  N. Sargent Ross returned to politics in 1911, announcing his candidacy for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of York County. In a campaign notice touting his nearly three decades of experience in the courts, The York Daily acknowledged that:
"The elevation of a man with the character of Mr. Ross to the bench of the common pleas court of York County will be a deserving honor to one qualified to fill the highest office in the gift of the people of the county."
  That November Ross won election as judge and took his seat in 1912. He won a second ten-year term on the bench in 1921, and following the retirement of Judge Nevin Wanner in January 1926 succeeded to the post of President Judge of the county court system. Early in 1926 Ross's health began to fail, the effects of "endocarditis and arterio-sclerosis". In February 1926 he left Pennsylvania to seek the war climate of Florida, traveling to St. Augustine. His health continued to ebb following his arrival, and he died in that city on March 3, 1926, aged 64. His wife Susan had preceded him in death the previous year, and both were interred at the mausoleum at the Prospect Hill Cemetery in York.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Beveridge Colin Dunlop (1879-1961)

From the March 2, 1951 edition of the Orangetown Telegram.

   A one-term New York State Assemblyman and businessman in the county of Rockland, Beveridge Colin Dunlop was one of the aforementioned county's most highly regarded citizens. Bestowed a truly unusual first name upon his birth, Dunlop didn't let his odd name keep him from having a successful career in both business and politics. One of nine children born to Scottish immigrants John and Jeannie (Beveridge) Dunlop, Beveridge C. Dunlop was born in Paterson, New Jersey on April 28, 1879
  Bestowed the name "Beveridge" due to it being his mother's maiden name, Dunlop and his family resided in the Paterson area until 1887, when they moved to Rockland County, settling in the town of Spring Valley. He received his education in schools local to that town and around 1892 relocated back to New Jersey with his family. He graduated from the State Street High School in Hackensack in 1895 and thereafter returned to Spring Valley to join the family business.
  John Dunlop Sons Inc. was one of the largest silk manufacturing companies in New York and New Jersey and had a branch established in Spring Valley by John Dunlop in 1887. He retired from the business in 1890 and the company was taken over by the two eldest Dunlop sons, George and John. Beveridge joined this company when he was still a young man and continued to be connected with the company until it closed its doors in 1937. Beveridge served as a vice president and secretary of this company, and in addition to his involvement, he was instrumental in the manufacture of rayon (artificial silk) for many years. In 1927 he was named as a vice president and director of the North American Rayon Corporation and four years later became a vice president of another rayon manufacturer, the American Bemberg Corporation in New York City. 
   At the dawn of hostilities with Spain in 1898, Dunlop joined in the war effort, enlisting in the New Jersey Volunteer Infantry regiment at Hackensack. This company was later encamped in Florida for a time, but Dunlop's time in the outfit was short-lived. A fellow serviceman of his, Mr. George M. Edsall, recalled that Dunlop became seriously ill at the camp after eating spoiled beef, and that "his condition became so serious that his family chartered a special train equipped with two nurses to bring him home from the camp." Despite his illness, Dunlop later entered the military once again, serving with the Y.M.C.A's "Rainbow Division" during the First World War. Following his service in the Spanish-American War, Dunlop married in Albany on September 6, 1904, to Anna Norton Marvin (1880-1980), with whom he would have four children, John (born 1906), Janet (born 1909), Dudley Marvin (1913-1962) and Mary Dunlop Dedel (1916-2004). 
   With his name firmly established in the Rockland community, Dunlop entered state politics in 1913 when he announced his candidacy for the New York State Assembly. Although formerly a Republican, Dunlop jumped aboard the then-popular Progressive Party bandwagon, running on that party's platform. On election day 1913, he eked out a narrow victory over Democratic candidate Frederick Grimme with a vote of 4,347 to 4,287. Taking his seat in January of the new year, Beveridge Dunlop was named to the house committees on Ways and Means, Public Printing, and during his service is listed by a state assembly report as introducing legislation advocating the establishment of a "Minimum Wage Commission to protect minors under eighteen years of age and women from employment at wages insufficient to supply a necessary cost of living and maintain the health, morals and efficiency of the workers, defining the powers and the duties of the commission and appropriating $25,000."
   Dunlop ran for a second term in the assembly in 1914 and again was the Progressive Party nominee. He was defeated for reelection in November of that year, garnering 1,463 votes to winning Democratic candidate Frederick Grimme's total of 3,481.  

Dunlop's portrait from the 1914 New York Red Book.

  While he may have lost his assembly seat, Dunlop continued to be active in the public affairs of Rockland County, being named as a Republican Presidential elector in 1916. He continued an active schedule throughout the remainder of his life, holding an impressive number of positions in businesses located throughout New York and New Jersey, including the directorship of the U.S. Testing Company in Hoboken, director of the First National Bank of Spring Valley, director of the Allied Products Corporation of Suffern, New York and was a trustee of the Manhattan Savings Bank. Dunlop was also the chairman of the Spring Valley Board of Education for several years.

This portrait of Beveridge Dunlop appeared in a 1960 edition of the Orangetown Telegram.

  In addition to his business activities, Dunlop maintained a membership in the Athelstan Lodge #839 of the Free and Accepted Masons and was honored as a Past Master of that lodge. Active in the American scouting movement, Dunlop served as an Honorary President of the Rockland County Council of the Boy Scouts of America during the 1940s. The Pearl River Orangetown Telegram also notes that he was "an ardent sportsman and has hunted game in all parts of the country." Beveridge Dunlop died on July 2, 1961, at age 82. He was survived by his wife Anne, who, following her death at age 99 in 1980, was interred at the Brick Church Cemetery in New Hempstead, New York.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ophir LeRoy Haring (1878-1943)

   Once in a while a certain city, town, or village is discovered that has an oddly named individual listed amongst its roster of past mayors. The city of Three Rivers, Michigan is a special case, as it has had the good fortune to have two men serve as mayor (twenty years apart) with truly unusual names. The first of these men was Cadalzo Dockstader (profiled yesterday) who held the job from 1897-1899. Following in his stead was Ophir LeRoy Haring, who is profiled today. This man with the intriguing first name was a lifelong Michigan resident and is presumed to have inherited the name "Ophir" from the like-named region in the Bible, an area known for gold, mineral wealth, and other precious resources.
   Ophir L. Haring was born in a log cabin on February 15, 1878, in the township of North Shade in Gratiot County, Michigan, the last of five children born to Hiram (1844-1905)  and Susan Foltz Haring (1843-1925). He spent a good majority of his adolescence engaged in farm work and attended schools local to the village of Hubbardston. After the completion of his education, he went to serve as a school teacher in the village of Beebe, Michigan, and was employed here for only a few months. He left this employ and later went on to a short career as a general merchandiser in the store of William D. Iseman. Haring married in Ithaca, Michigan in November 1904 to Else Harriett Hill (1875-1932) with whom he would have two daughters, Madelon Elaine (1914-1992) and Donna Jean (1918-1976). Ophir and Elsie are also recorded as adopting a third child, Doris Eileen Van Aken (1914-1992) in 1915.
  Two years following his marriage Haring decided upon a career as an undertaker, enrolling at the Williams School of Embalming in Chicago. After completing the curriculum he worked as an undertaker and embalmer in Cassopolis, Michigan, and Elkhart, Indiana before relocating to the Three Rivers area. Once settled, Haring formed another undertaking business with Frederick W. Balch, a prominent local furniture dealer. This partnership lasted for over a decade, and Haring himself is noted as opening the first funeral parlor in Three Rivers in 1919.
   Ophir L. Haring's activities weren't limited to just operating a funeral home. A member of several local fraternal organizations, including the Salathiel Chapter No. 23 of the Royal Arch Masons, Haring also made his name known politically, becoming a member of the Three Rivers City Commission in 1921. Two years later he was elected as Mayor of Three Rivers, and after serving a term of one year returned to his earlier career as a funeral director and embalmer. In his later years, Haring held a seat on the St. Joseph County Welfare Commission and is recorded as resigning from this board for unknown reasons. He died on December 29, 1943, at age 65 and was later interred at the Riverside Cemetery in Three Rivers. Haring's wife Elsie predeceased him eleven years previously and was interred in the same cemetery as her husband. 
  The rare portrait of Ophir LeRoy Haring shown above was featured on a 1932 poster featuring all of the past Three Rivers mayors who had served from 1908-1932. The original poster is located in the collection of the Three Rivers Library archive and can be seen on the Library's Flickr page at the following link

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cadalzo A. Dockstader (1861-1944)

   Possessing a truly unique first name, Cadalzo Dockstader was a locally prominent citizen in both St. Joseph County, Michigan, and later, Syracuse, New York. Born in Nevada County, California on July 2, 1861, Cadalzo was one of three children born to Giles Fonda and Mary Louise Keller Dockstader. Giles and his wife had migrated from Michigan to California sometime previously, and at some point following their son's birth removed back to the Michigan area, settling in the county of St. Joseph.
  Cadalzo Dockstader enrolled at the Michigan State Agricultural College at East Lansing, graduating from this school in August 1882. A short while later he became engaged as a druggist in the city of Three Rivers, becoming a partner of Henry Hall in the pharmacy office of Hall and Dockstader. Their business is recorded as being "one of the oldest drug stores in Three Rivers" as well as being dealers in peppermint oil. Dockstader himself is referred to as a "dealer in domestic essential oils, farmer and druggist" in a publication by his Alma mater. In the late 1880s, Dockstader married Eva Belle Jackson (1865-1917) with whom he would have one daughter, Mary Jane (1889-1922). 
  While prominent as a druggist in his community, Dockstader gained further notoriety in 1896 when he was elected Mayor of the city of Three Rivers, which had been incorporated as a municipality a short while before. Dockstader was the second man to serve as mayor of the city (succeeding Marvin H. Bumphrey) and held office from April 1897 to April 1899. Two years after his term as Mayor had concluded, Dockstader won election as a Probate Judge for St. Joseph County, serving on the bench until 1905. 
   A few years after the conclusion of his term as judge, the Dockstader family removed from Three Rivers to Syracuse, New York, where they would reside for the rest of their lives. Within a few years of his relocation to the Empire State Dockstader had established business roots in Onondaga County, becoming an "apple orchidist" and was Secretary of the Onondaga Orchid Co. in the town of Fabius. He served in the capacity of Secretary-Treasurer of the North Syracuse Light and Power Company during the early 1920s and in addition to the proceeding held the Presidency of the Cicero State Bank at Cicero, New York for an indeterminate length of time. Eva Dockstader died of an undisclosed illness in Syracuse in November 1917 at age 52, and Cadalzo never remarried following her death. Five years following his wife's passing Dockstader was dealt another tragedy when his only daughter Mary Jane died at age 33. 
  In 1929 Dockstader reentered the political forum, launching a campaign for Mayor of North Syracuse, New York. Dockstader ran as a "non-partisan candidate" and faced off against Republican Ernest Conway during the contest. On election day Dockstader emerged victorious, besting Conway by a close vote of 312 to 302. Two newspaper snippets concerning the election (both of which appeared in the Syracuse Journal in March 1929) are located below. Dockstader's one term as Mayor ended in 1931, and it is worth noting that he is the first oddly named politician profiled here on the site who served as a Mayor in two different states.

  Little else is known of Dockstader's life after he left office, and one can presume that he carried on with his earlier agricultural and banking interests in Onondaga County. Cadalzo Dockstader died at the Duryee Nursing Home in Syracuse on December 15, 1944, at age 83 and was shortly thereafter cremated. His remains were later interred at the North Syracuse Cemetery. The rare portrait of him shown above was found in the 1895 work Headlight Flashes Along the Michigan Central Line, which highlighted important civic and business leaders in the Three Rivers area.

From the December 16, 1944 edition of the Syracuse Journal.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mannes Dargan Munn (1880-1946), Mannes Seymour Shrock (1873-1963)

  This oddly named political figure is Mannes Dargan Munn, a leading citizen and former mayor of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Munn was born in Kershaw County on February 20, 1880, the son of John W. and Rebecca Ann Bulluck Munn. No information could be located in regards to Munn's childhood, education or marriage, and around 1900 was residing in Rocky Mount, employed "by the Atlantic Coast Line as an operator." He would advanced to the posts of chief clerk and freight agent and later joined John D. Chrisman in the former's brokerage firm. In 1914 Munn was elected as Chairman of the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce and was reelected to this post the following year. 
   In 1916 Mannes Munn and Clarence Alonzo Griffin (1886-1934) became the primary organizers of the Munn, Griffin and Co., a wholesale fruits and produce business based in Rocky Mount. This business was remarked as being a distributor of bananas, Virginia apples, and other types of produce, and "employed 32 workers with an annual payroll of 100,000 dollars." The company is also recorded by an ESC Quarterly report as having "10 outside salesmen and uses 15 delivery trucks in covering an area embracing a radius of 75 miles around Rocky Mount." Munn would also add the title of bank director to his cap, serving as director of the Planter's National Bank for an indeterminate period.
   In addition to his involvement in civic interests, Mannes D. Munn was also keen on local political affairs. He maintained a seat on the Rocky Mount Board of Aldermen from 1922 to 1931, resigning in the latter year to run for Mayor. He was successful in his quest for the office and served as Rocky Mount's mayor for four years, 1931-1935. Munn's time in the mayor's chair saw him acknowledged as the founding father of the Rocky Mount park system, with the Rocky Mount Telegram remarking on the construction of public playgrounds, swimming pools, and athletic fields during his terms.
   Active in other areas of Rocky Mount public life, Munn chaired the Volunteer Fireman's Relief Fund, was head of the Kiwanis Club Tuberculosis clinic, and for six years was a baseball club director. Munn died at age 66 on June 8, 1946. He was interred at the Pineview Cemetery in South Rocky Mount and was memorialized by the Rocky Mount Telegram as:
"One of the outstanding men of the generation that knew him most intimately, he was a truly loveable character, always loyal and faithful, as a businessman fair and aggressive as a Christian gentleman, a true follower of Christ."

From the June 8, 1946 edition of the Gastonia Daily Gazette. 

From the Republican Oregon Voters Pamphlet, 1938.

  Six years following the publishing of the above profile on Mannes Dargan Munn, another public servant named Mannes has been found (September 10, 2019)--Mannes Seymour Shrock of Milwaukie, Oregon. A native of Indiana, Shrock removed to Oregon in the 1890s and three decades following his arrival was elected to one term in that state's house of representatives. In 1938 he was an unsuccessful aspirant for Governor of Oregon in the Republican primary. Born in Shipshewana, Indiana on March 16, 1873, Mannes Seymour Shrock was the son of Samuel J. and Rebecca (Yoder) Shrock.
   Removing to Oregon in 1892, Shrock married in the late 1890s to Minnie Daisy Thomas (1878-1941), to whom he was wed until her death. The couple would have four sons, Wayne (1899-1972), Linn, Paul, and Marvin. Schrock is recorded as a school teacher and principal between 1897-1901, teaching at Elliott Prairie for five months between 1897-98, and was principal of the Canemah school in 1901.
  Beginning in 1916 Shrock served as an agricultural agent for the counties of Yamhill and Umatilla, continuing in that role into 1918. Prior to his service in state government, Shrock served on the board of directors for the Clackamas County Savings and Loan Association, his full dates of service being unknown at this time. In 1924 he launched a bid for the Oregon House of Representatives as a Republican, and that November won the election. Serving during the 1925-27 term, Shrock represented the town of Milwaukie during this session.
  In 1938 Shrock reentered politics when he announced that he'd be seeking the nomination for Governor in that year's Republican primary. As one of seven candidates vying for the Republican nod, Shrock faced an uphill battle for the nomination. Shrock's platform was spotlighted (along with the other candidates) in the 1938 Oregon Voters pamphlet, in which Shrock stated:
"If I am elected governor I will apply the same economy and effiency that I have practiced in my private affairs during my forty five years residence in Oregon. I can see a wonderful future for Oregon by proper development of its natural resources, its agriculture, and its industries."
  Despite a pro-labor platform that advocated for the establishment of a labor relations court that would resolve disputes, Shrock lost the nomination to newspaper editor Charles Arthur Sprague (1887-1969), who would go on to win the general election that November. Widowed in 1941, Shrock continued residence in Milwaukie and in the latter period of his life held memberships in several civic and fraternal organizations in that area, including the Clackamas County Historical Society, the Milwaukie Chamber of Commerce, the Grange, Masons, and the Milwaukie Republican Club. Shrock celebrated his 90th birthday on March 16, 1963, and died one month later on April 17th. He was survived by his four sons and was interred at the Miller Cemetery in Silverton, Oregon.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Eastwood Eastwood (1834-1900)

Portrait from the Representative Men and Families of Rhode Island, Vol. III.

   The name would be Eastwood Eastwood. No, that isn't a typo!! This imaginatively named man was a resident of distinction in 19th century Rhode Island, serving as a member of that state's legislature, and was elected as Mayor of Central Falls shortly before his death. The above picture of him (discovered recently in Volume III of the Representative Men and Families of Rhode Island) marks the first time I've seen a portrait of this obscure man.
   While his odd name is one of the most unique in the annals of American politics, Mr. Eastwood wasn't born in the United States. Born into a family of 12 children in Clitheroe, Lancashire, Great Britain on December 28, 1834, Eastwood was the son of the Rev. John and Jane Eastwood and received his education at schools in his native county of Lancashire, attending the Cawthorne Academy. In 1857 Eastwood left England and relocated to seek a new life in the United States, settling in the town of Fall River, Massachusetts. After a short stay in that town, he moved to Providence, Rhode Island, and then finally to the Lincoln/Central Falls area where he resided for the remainder of his life.
   Following his resettlement in Lincoln, Eastwood set about establishing his roots in that town's business community. He secured a position with the Robert Clews Manufacturing Company and in 1874 company president George Gosling admitted Eastwood as a partner. The company was described by sources of the time as a "colossal enterprise" and was remarked in the Providence Journal as having "always done a large business in making textile appliances and is one of the best-known companies of its kind in this country." The company specialized in the production of a patented tin cylinder used in numerous factories and mills around the United States. Gosling and Eastwood would later become sole proprietors of this company, with Eastwood serving as President and Gosling as Secretary-Treasurer. Their lucrative partnership lasted until Eastwood's death in December 1900.
   In addition to his extensive involvement in the milling industry, Eastwood Eastwood served as the President of the Moshassuck Cemetery Corporation and is recorded by his 1900 Providence Journal obituary as having had "other large and important business interests in other parts of the state." Eastwood married his first wife, Jane Elliott, in England, and this union later saw the birth of one daughter, Sarah Jane. Following her death, Eastwood remarried to Sarah Rowse (1834-1908) on November 15, 1871. This marriage saw the birth of one son, Thomas Gosling, who died in infancy. In addition to this child, Eastwood is recorded as adopting Maude Rouse (1862-1943), Sarah Rouse's daughter from her first marriage.
   While Eastwood's business pursuits won him wide acclaim throughout Rhode Island, his activities weren't limited to commerce. Prominent in local politics for many years, Eastwood won election to the Lincoln, Rhode Island City Council in the mid-1880s and also served as Sewer Commissioner of that town. In 1892 he won election as a Republican to the Rhode Island General Assembly from Lincoln and served during the legislative term of 1893-1895. A notice on his election appeared in the Pawtucket Tribune in April 1893, acknowledging that he was "elected by a larger majority than any of his associates." This same article notes that being the friendly public citizen that he was, Eastwood "left a box of cigars at Harrison's, and Phillips and Smith's news stores for all his friends to smoke." He went on to hold a seat on the committees on the Militia and Unfinished Business during his term, and in following his legislative term served as an alderman for Central Falls in 1896 and was a past member of the Pawtucket Armory Commission.

                                        From an 1894 edition of Acts of the Rhode Island General Assembly.

   Eastwood refrained from political activity following his service as an alderman but was drawn back to the political stage in 1899 when he was nominated for Mayor of Central Falls. He won the election and in his inaugural address (published in the Providence News on January 4, 1900) remarked that: 
"We are about to begin our labors for the year; let us bear in mind that we are only the servants of the people of our good city, and they look to us for a careful, a faithful and efficient administration of the trust they have confided to our keeping. May all our acts during the present year be of a nature that will advance the interests of the city, further the welfare of its people and redound to the credit of you, its servants. To obtain these results we must work in harmony and peace."
   On November 6, 1900, Eastwood was reelected as mayor "by a majority of some 600", but despite a resounding victory, Eastwood had little to celebrate. A few weeks preceding the election Eastwood had undergone surgery on a corn that had developed on his foot, and, being a diabetic, needed a "cosmetic" to aid in stopping the flow of blood caused by the initial surgical cut. Newspaper reports of the time note that gangrene eventually set in and with that, blood poisoning. Throughout November Eastwood's health continued to sink rapidly, and on December 1, 1900, he died at his home in Central Falls as a result of blood poisoning. 

From the afternoon edition of the December 1, 1900 Providence Journal.

  The death of the 66-year-old incumbent mayor was major news in Rhode Island in 1900 and reports of the time show that he was widely mourned. The Providence Journal gave an extensive memorial to Eastwood, stating that:
 "Words of sorrow are extended on every hand, for the Central Falls mayor had won a strong place in all the hearts of its people." This same paper also relates that "while a Republican in politics, he was not the offensive kind. He would do a kind act in his official capacity for anybody without regard to politics, and it was common talk on the streets that his popularity was such that there was no man who could defeat him for the office.
   Eastwood's funeral was first held at his home on December 4, 1900, and his remains were later relocated to the city clerk's office to lie in state. As a member of numerous fraternal organizations (including the Jenks Lodge Masons of Central Falls, the Royal Society of Goodfellows, the I.O.OF., the Washington Lodge Knights of Pythias, and the Providence Lodge of Elks), one can assume that a great many of his fellow club-men came to pay their last respects to one of Central Falls' most honored figures. Another funeral service took place at the Trinity Church in Pawtucket sometime later that day. Eastwood Eastwood was interred at the Mushassock Cemetery in Central Falls and was survived by his wife Sarah, who died in 1908 at age 74.

From the December 3, 1900 edition of the Providence Journal.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Leffert Lefferts (1774-1847)

Leffert Lefferts, portrait by Henry Inman (1801-1846).

  This curiously named political figure is Leffert Lefferts of Brooklyn, New York. The scion of a family long prominent in the history of King County, Lefferts served as the judge for Kings County and was later an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1813. Born in Kings County on April 12, 1774, Leffert Lefferts was the fifth child born to Squire Leffert Lefferts and Dorothy Cowenhoven (also spelled Kouwenhouven). 
  Leffert Lefferts studied at Columbia University and graduated from this institution in May 1794. He soon became acquainted with Judge Egbert Benson (1746-1833), who had earlier served as a Continental Congressman, New York State Attorney General, and U.S. Representative from New York. Lefferts studied law under Judge Benson and in 1798 was admitted to practice as an attorney. Two years later Lefferts was named as county clerk for Kings County and served in this post for sixteen years.
  In 1805 Lefferts was named as a commissioner in chancery and in 1813 became the Federalist candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, running against his cousin, John Lefferts (1785-1829). On election day 1813 John Lefferts claimed victory, and despite losing to his cousin, Leffert Lefferts continued to be a prominent figure in New York public affairs for the remainder of his life. He married in April 1823 to Maria Robert Benson (1793-1875), with whom he would have two children, Elizabeth Dorthea (born 1824) and Leffert (died aged one in 1827).
  Leffert Lefferts was named as Judge of Kings County Court of Common Pleas in 1823, succeeding outgoing Judge William Furman. Lefferts's tenure in this post lasted until 1827 when he resigned. Both before and after his time on the bench Judge Lefferts was active in the construction of the Long Island Bank. He was a leading figure in the development of the bank's charter and in 1824 became its President. He served in this capacity until 1846, when "his increasing infirmities constrained him to resign the position and responsibilities." 
  Impaired by feeble health during the last year of his life, Judge Leffert Lefferts died in Brooklyn on March 22, 1847, shortly before his 73rd birthday. Over twenty years following his death, Lefferts was memorialized by Henry Stiles Reed's History of the City of Brooklyn as having "uprightness, kind nature, and pleasant gentlemanly manners are well remembered by all who knew him, and rendered him the representative man of the best Dutch Society in Brooklyn, at that day." A burial location for Lefferts is unknown at this time, but seeing that a good majority of his extended family are interred at the famed Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, it may not be a foregone conclusion that he himself may be buried here.

A roster of Kings County Judges.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Upton Upton (1878-1951)

   Upton A. Upton was for many years a prominent figure within the Socialist Labor Party of the United States and was that party's candidate for high office in Oregon on several occasions throughout the 1920s and 30s. The above picture of him (featured in the Socialist Labor Party's official paper, The Weekly People) is rather blurry, but it stands as the only available portrait of the man that I could find.
  Upton Alma Upton was born in the village of Springerton, Illinois on September 6, 1878, and moved to Oregon with his family in 1886. For many years he was employed as a post office worker and first joined the Socialist Labor Party in 1905. Nothing could be found on Upton's personal life, although mention is given of his having at least one son, Keith Upton. Over the succeeding years, Upton worked his way up the hierarchy of the Socialist Labor Party, serving terms as Oregon State Secretary, and was a member of the SLP's National Executive Committee for two terms beginning in 1928.
  In 1920 Upton became the Industrial Labor candidate for Secretary of the State of Oregon. During that year's contest, he faced off against Republican candidate Samuel Kozer and Socialist candidate J.P. Sears. On election day Upton managed to poll 11,318 votes to Kozer's winning total of 178,722. A result from that contest appeared in the November 30, 1920 edition of the Morning Oregonian and is shown below.

  Undeterred by the lopsided electoral results, Upton A. Upton mounted a candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon in 1924, this time running on the Socialist Labor ticket. He received only 3,061 votes in this contest compared to the winning total of 72,910 for Republican incumbent Willis Chatman Hawley. Upton made three further attempts at a house seat, running in the elections of 1928, 1932, and 1940, but polled low numbers each time. 
  While unsuccessful at gaining political office, Upton was still considered a prominent figure within the Socialist Labor party ranks, and sources of the time denote that he was frequently sought after to lecture on problems plaguing the working class, as well as to tout the party platform to interested persons. Upton was also a regular contributor to The People, authoring columns on such topics as "Pacific Coast Strikes" and "Election Day Aftermath Exposes Shoddiness of Capitalist Reform". 
  Upton continued to be involved in Socialist Labor affairs until illness curbed his activity. He died in Portland shortly after his 73rd birthday on September 30, 1951, and was memorialized by The People in the following quotation: "Our comrade felt that he had a mission to perform in life, and like to think of himself as born into this world to fulfill this mission. He discovered in the Socialist Labor Party his field of activity. He often stated that when we come into contact with the true Socialist thought, a whole new world is opened to our vision."

From the November 17, 1951 Weekly People.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Clermonte Getman Tennant (1880-1955), Claremont Rennison Smith (1859-1948), Clermont Colfax Smith (1868-1939)

  Officially plucked from the depths of obscurity, Clermonte Getman Tennant was a leading attorney in Cooperstown, New York, a town known more for baseball than for yielding oddly named political figures. A practicing lawyer for nearly fifty years, Mr. Tennant was an unsuccessful candidate for the New York State Senate in 1908, running on the Democratic ticket. In addition to his Senate candidacy, Tennant would also serve as Deputy Attorney General of New York for several years.
  Born in Richfield Springs, New York on September 19, 1880, Clermonte G. Tennant was the son of Judge Albert Clermonte and Lizzie Harter Getman Tennant. Clermonte attended the Albany Academy as a youth and went on to enroll at the Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, graduating in the class of 1904. Following his graduation, Tennant studied at the Albany Law School and after the death of his father in 1905 returned to Cooperstown to establish a law practice. He married in that village on September 5, 1908, to Florence S. Bundy (1885-1961), with whom he would have one son, Robert Clermonte Tennant (1909-1972). Shortly after establishing his career as an attorney, Tennant was named to the position of Deputy Attorney General of New York, serving in this post for "a number of years", according to his 1955 Otsego Times obituary. In 1908 he was nominated by the Democratic Party to represent the 37th District in the New York State Senate, and the Hamilton Literary Magazine, Volume 43 took note of Tennant's candidacy, remarking that: 
"Next to Willis S. Mills '94, Mr. Tennant holds that best record for memory tests made in the College. His tenacious memory may assist him in handling the intricate and diffuse problems of a political campaign. All success to the Hamilton man in politics."
  Tennant's Republican opponent in that year's election was another oddly named man, Jotham Powers Allds (1865-1923) of Chenango County. A seasoned politician, Allds had served in the state assembly from 1896-1902 (including three years as majority leader) and had been the senate incumbent since 1903. Despite a spirited contest, Tennant came up short in the vote count, losing to Allds by a vote of 14,623 to 18,775. Despite his defeat, Tennant continued in his public career for many years afterward, while Jotham Allds' political career was derailed in 1910 by his resignation from the senate on account of bribery. An electoral result from the 1908 Tennant-Allds Contest appeared in that year's New York State Red Book and is shown below.

  While coming out on the losing end in his state senate candidacy, Tennent continued to be politically active, serving as a  member of both the New York State Democratic Committee and the Otsego County Democratic Committee. He would hold a seat on the New York State Tax Commission as a representative for the county of Otsego, and in 1937 formed the law firm Tennant and Tennant with his son Robert, which continued until the senior Tennant died in 1955. In addition to this partnership, Clermonte Tennant served as village attorney for Cooperstown for over two decades.
   Busy as an attorney and with local political affairs, Tennant was also active in several local fraternal organizations, holding memberships in the Oneonta Lodge of Elks, the Otsego Lodge #134 of Free and Accepted Masons and the Cooperstown Rotary Club. He was a past president of the Otsego County Bar Association and is noted by his Utica Observer obituary as being "widely known as a stamp collector and had a valuable collection including many commemorative U.S. issues on which he concentrated in recent years." Clermonte G. Tennant continued an active schedule well into his 75th year until illness took a toll on his health. He died at his home in Cooperstown on October 28, 1955, after "an illness of six weeks" and was later interred at the Lakeview Cemetery in Richfield Springs, New York.

From the Utica Observer, October 30, 1955.

From the Indianapolis News, January 13, 1925.

   A one-term member of the Indiana House of Representatives from Marion County, Claremont Rennison Smith spent a good majority of his 88 years as a Hoosier but was not born a resident of that state; his birth instead occurring in Fairfield County, Ohio on December 17, 1859. The son of Seneca A. and Nancy Ellen (West) Smith, Claremont Rennison Smith married in Morrow County Ohio in December 1881 to Eva May Bennett (born 1859) and later had two sons, Harry Crawford (1882-1962) and Frank Clairville (1885-1960). 
  Prior to 1891, Smith suffered the death of his wife Eva and in May 1891 remarried to Agnes V. Murphy (1860-1927) in Morrow County. This marriage would see the birth of a third child, Nellie Mildred, in 1895, and by this time Smith and his family were residents of Shelby County, Indiana. By 1910 the family had resettled in Marion County, where Smith is recorded as a "master mechanic in Indianapolis." 
  Acknowledged by the Indianapolis News as a "Republican worker for over forty years", Smith launched his political career in 1924 at age 64 when he won the primary vote for state representative from Marion County. He would win the election that November and after taking his seat at the start of the 1925-27 session made note that he was:
"Prepared to support legislation in favor of the farmer's co-operative marketing plan, for a better school program, for economy in taxation, for the abolishment of useless state boards, and for the re-establishment of local self government so far as possible."
From the Indianapolis News, January 13, 1925.

  Smith proved to be busy as a first-term legislator, chairing the House Committee on Statistics and Immigration, as well as serving on the committees on the Affairs of Indiana, Benevolent and Scientific Institutions, Public Printing, and Rights and Privileges. Smith's term in the legislature concluded in January 1927 and was widowed for a second time in February of that year with the death of his wife Agnes. Little else could be found on Smith's life after 1927, except mention of his removal back to Ohio, where he died aged 88 on January 25, 1948, in Columbus. He was later interred at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. 

From the Indianapolis Star, November 6, 1924.

Portrait courtesy of the Iowa Legislative Database.

   Hailing from the county of Butler in Iowa, Clermont Colfax Smith represented the aforementioned county in the Iowa State Senate for three terms in the late 1930s, dying in office in December 1939. The son of Josephus and Elizabeth Lambert Smith, Clermont Colfax Smith was born in Adair County, Iowa on November 28, 1868. He attended the public schools of that county and graduated from high school in the city of Harlan, Iowa. 
   During his adolescence, Smith taught school for a time and after a short period at college assumed the superintendency of the Fontanelle, Iowa school system. He would later resign from this post and begin the study of medicine, attending the Northwestern Medical School, and graduating in the class of 1904. Smith would later marry Ms. Rachel C. Corrough (1871-1944) and the couple would become parents to two daughters, Selma Louise (1899-1984) and Marian Elizabeth (1904-1970).
  After spending a good majority of his life as a practicing physician, Claremont Smith won election as a Republican to the Iowa Senate in the 1934 election year, serving during the session of 1935-37. He was reelected to the Senate in 1936 and 1938 and was a sitting senator at the time of his death on December 5, 1939, several days following his 71st birthday. Following his death, Smith was interred at the Lynwood Cemetery in Clarksville, Iowa.