In the many years that I've been categorizing and collecting all of these strangely named political figures, one thing has remained constant....humor. The following list of political figures was put together by me (in order to conserve some space) to profile a number of politicians with some truly funny last names. These amusingly named persons are meant to give you a good laugh, and a great many of them are what I consider to be laugh-out-loud funny. While a good majority of the 3000 or so odd named political figures I've discovered are on the SNIAPH list due to odd first names, there are a number of folks on there due to their last name striking me as being funny or unusual....these folks and their funny last names are guaranteed to give you a chuckle. The following list will be added to in the coming months as I continually find new funny named political figures that I was previously unaware of. Enjoy!
From the South Carolina Bench and Bar, Vol. I, published in 1908.
If you were on trial would you be comfortable with a Judge named Lemuel Boozer governing the proceedings? This funny-named man was a prominent jurist in 19th century South Carolina who served as a state senator and circuit judge during the 1860s and 70s. Born in Lexington County on April 4, 1809, Lemuel Boozer was descended from an old German family with roots in South Carolina dating back to before the American Revolution. He received limited schooling during his childhood, with the South Carolina Bench and Bar, Volume I noting that he "studied mostly by himself while engaged on the farm, carrying his books into the field and applying himself to them at night by the light of the pine-knot."
Boozer went on to enroll at the South Carolina College, graduating from here in the class of 1830. He became a well-known lawyer in Lexington County and over the next forty years would serve his home county in a variety of public offices, including stints as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate. In 1860 Boozer was named as part of the South Carolina delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Charleston. A staunch Union man, Boozer was vehemently against secession and was one of three members of the South Carolina delegation who didn't join the Southern-leaning Carolinians who bolted the convention when Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas was nominated for the presidency.
Following the Civil War, Lemuel Boozer served as a circuit court judge and in 1868 was named as a delegate to the South Carolina State Constitutional Convention. Boozer died on January 23, 1870, while still serving on the bench and was later interred in the Boozer Family Cemetery in Lexington County.
From the 1930 edition of "the Griffin", from the City College of Detroit.
Samuel Earl Bracegirdle--(?--?): Possessing a last name that reminds one of a back-support device, the mysterious Samuel E. Bracegirdle served as a delegate from Michigan to the 1936 Republican National Convention held in Cleveland, Ohio. Nothing else could be located on Bracegirdle's life, with the exception of his service as an RNC delegate.
From the 1906 Michiganensian Yearbook.
During a long life of nearly 93 years, Michigan resident Lotta Belle Broadbridge excelled in multiple fields of interest, including athletics, education and politics. Born in Marine City, Michigan on December 8, 1882, Broadbridge was the daughter of Alfred and June Owen Broadbridge. Her education occurred in schools local to Marine City and she went on to attend the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, graduating in the class of 1906. Heavily active in that school's extracurricular activities, Broadbridge served as manager of the Girl's Basketball Team, Secretary and Treasurer of the Girl's Glee Club, and was the President of the school's Women's Athletic Association.
Following her graduation, Ms. Broadbridge engaged in social work in Detroit for several years and later became principal of the Northern High School in that city. In 1917 she underwent a career change of sorts, purchasing 70 acres of land in Oneida County, Michigan and established a girls recreation camp in the town of Stella Lake. In the succeeding years, Camp Bryn Afon became known throughout the United States, and its activities (including canoeing, indoor games, folk-interpretive dancing, weaving, and horseback riding) earned the camp well-deserved recognition.
In addition to the above activities, Lotta Broadbridge also began to dabble in politics during the late 1910s, serving as a member of the Michigan Republican State Central Committee in 1919. In the following year, she was an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention from Michigan. Broadbridge died on July 12, 1975, at age 92 and was buried at the Rose Hill Cemetery in St. Clair, Michigan.
Christine Bushyhead--(?--?): Endowed with a very funny last name, Mrs. Bushyhead was a resident of Claremore, Oklahoma, and was a delegate to the 1948 Democratic National Convention from that state. She was married to a noted Claremore physician named Dennis Bushyhead, and little else is known of her life, including her dates of birth and death.
Hailing from the county of Cerro Gordo in Iowa, it's funny named state representative Robert J. Clapsaddle (1904-1985). Mr. Clapsaddle was a lifelong resident of Iowa and married in 1927 to Ms. Agnes M. Dillon (1904-2001). During his long life, he operated a general store, was a 34-year employee of the Standard Oil Company, and later engaged in the sale of insurance and mutual funds for a number of years. Clapsaddle was elected to represent Cerro Gordo County in the Iowa State House of Representatives in November 1964 and served in the legislative session of 1965-67. He died on October 22, 1985, at age 81 and was later interred at the Elmwood St. Joseph Cemetery in Mason City, Iowa.
Another interestingly named Iowa resident is Dayton Wendell Countryman (1918-2011), a World War II veteran and prominent attorney based in Story County. Countryman was born in Sioux City, Iowa on March 31, 1918 and attended schools local to the city of Pierson. He went on to attend the Iowa State College (majoring in forestry) and graduated from here in the class of 1940. In 1941 Countryman married fellow Iowa State College alumnus Ruth Elizabeth Hazen, with whom he would have three children, James David, Karen, Joan Ellen, and Kay Jean. Countryman and his wife were married for sixty years until Ruth Countryman's death in September 2001.
Countryman signed on for service in WWII and served with distinction as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He later was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and following his return to Iowa from the military returned to his college studies. Countryman enrolled at the University of Iowa Law School and here earned his law degree in 1948. Two years later he became Story County Attorney, serving four years in this post. In his last year as county attorney Countryman announced a candidacy for Attorney General of Iowa, winning the election.
Countryman's tenure as Attorney General lasted three years (1954-1957), and after leaving office launched three unsuccessful candidacies for the U.S. Senate in 1956, 1960 and 1968. He served as President of the Iowa State Alumni Association from 1970-1971 and in his later years continued to be involved in civic affairs, retiring from the practice of law at age 90. He died at age 93 on September 12, 2011, in Ames, Iowa.
From the 1953-54 Missouri State Manual.
While a last name like "Eek" could give anyone a case of the giggles, you'd probably never thought there was a man with this name that was elected to a term in the Missouri State Assembly. That man was one Lauris Martin Eek of Nodaway County, who served in the House of Representatives from 1953-55. Born in Norway, Michigan on November 5, 1888, Eek attended schools in Muskegon County, Michigan and later graduated from the Northwestern College with his Bachelor of Science degree.
Marrying in 1917 to Ms. Donna Sisson (with whom he would later have two sons), Eek was a decorated veteran of WWI, seeing action as an aviator and was also a flying instructor. He was a Company Commander, Inspector and Sub-District Commander of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Wisconsin for a time and during WWII was engaged as an Information Officer of the Fifth Army. In 1948 he retired from active service with the rank of Colonel, having been a reserve officer with the U.S. Air Forces for thirty years.
Described as being "a lifelong member of the Republican Party", Eek didn't enter political life until he was over 60 years old, and was elected to the Missouri State House of Representatives in November 1952, defeating his Democratic opponent I. E. Tulloch by a vote of 6,541 to 5, 760. Taking his seat in January 1953, Eek served on the house committees on Agriculture, Education, Teacher's Colleges, Aviation, and Roads and Highways. Eek's term concluded in 1955 and he died eight years later on February 22, 1963, at age 74, later being interred with full military honors at the Fort Leavenworth Cemetery in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
While Robert Clapsaddle's name is one of the funnier ones to be found within the annals of the Iowa legislature, there was an earlier Iowa state legislator whose name would make even the most stone-hearted person chuckle.....Guy Feely! Endowed with a name that nowadays would guarantee a first class ticket to the political laugh factory, I'd like to believe that more than a few people in turn of the century Iowa found Feely's name to be laugh-out-loud funny! A lifelong resident of Iowa, Feely was a resident of distinction in the county of Blackhawk, serving two terms in the Iowa State House of Representatives and even had a brief stint as Speaker of the House during the 33rd General Assembly of 1909-10.
Guy Feely was born near Gilbertville, Iowa on September 5, 1875, the son of Duncan and Susan Miller Feely. Guy attended the Waterloo College during the mid-1890s and also taught school during this time. He eventually decided upon a career as a lawyer and commenced study in the city of Waterloo with the firm of Boies and Boies. He put his studies on hold to enlist for service as a private during the Spanish-American War, serving in Co. B. of the 49th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. At the conclusion of his military service, Feely returned to Waterloo and enrolled at the State University of Iowa, graduating from this institution in 1901. He was admitted to the bar in June of that year and later established a law practice with his brother Elmer under the name Feely and Feely (quite possibly the funniest named law firm in Iowa history!)
Guy Feely married in October 1904 to Ms. Delia Burke (1882-1969), with whom he would have one daughter, Irene Mae Feely (birthdate unknown). Feely's skill as an attorney eventually led to calls for him to run for public office, and in November 1906 he was elected to represent Black Hawk County in the Iowa Legislature. He was reelected to this body in 1908 and during the following term served as Speaker of the Iowa State House of Representatives. In 1910 he announced himself as a candidate for Iowa State Attorney General but was defeated by Democratic opponent George Cosson. Feely was later mentioned as a possible replacement for outgoing U.S. Senator Jonathan Prentiss Dolliver but withdrew his name from consideration.
Feely's brief career in politics was terminated by his untimely death at age 41 on November 4, 1916. His cause of death is listed as being a result of acute kidney disease, and he was later interred at the Fairview Cemetery in Waterloo, Iowa.
From the Maryland Manual, 1955-56.
Sporting a funny name, its two-term Maryland state delegate Kermit Shoup Glotfelty. Born in Accident, Maryland on September 10, 1906, Kermit S. Glotfelty was the son of Flavius Josephus and Elizabeth Speicher Glotfelty. He would attend the public schools of Garrett County, Maryland and would marry to Martha Imogene Casteel (1908-1998), later having three children. A farmer in Garrett County for the majority of his life, Glotfelty won his first term in the Maryland House of Delegates in November 1954. He would win a second term in 1956. Little else of known of his life, excepting notice of his death on October 23, 1973.
A noted 19th-century reformer, surveyor and teacher in Pennsylvania, Elijah Funk Pennypacker also operated a waystation on the Underground Railroad near Phoenixville. Active in Prohibition Party circles in that state, Pennypacker (1804-1888) was a two-term state representative (serving from 1831-1835) and was nominated for state treasurer on the prohibition ticket in 1875. He would lose that election and following his defeat ran for Congress on three occasions (1876, 1878 and 1882) as the prohibition nominee, polling low numbers in each of those campaigns.
Next up is Saratoga County, New York resident Benedict Robinson Hatmaker (1864-1948), who, despite having the last name "Hatmaker", never engaged in the manufacture or sale of hats. Hatmaker was born in Penn Yan, New York on July 31, 1864 and married in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 15, 1892 to Ms. Kate Cushing (died 1912). Hatmaker would have a total of three children during his life, Thirza Hatmaker Walton (1898-1982), Benita Hatmaker Rood (1901-1975) and Benson Douglas Hatmaker (birth-date unknown ).
Benedict Hatmaker relocated from Cedar Rapids to Schenectady, New York in 1903, where Benedict took over as manager of the Evening Star newspaper. In addition to the above, reports of the time also denote Hatmaker as an outstanding chess player, with the American Chess Bulletin, Volume 17 stating that he was a "one time champion of Schenectady." In 1912 Kate Hatmaker died and some years later Benedict remarried to Dorothy Thompson.
In 1930 Hatmaker announced his candidacy for the New York State Senate's 32nd District, running on the "Law and Preservation" platform. Labeled in some newspaper reports of the time as a "dry candidate", Hatmaker was an avowed supporter of the Prohibition laws then on the books and is recorded by the October 22, 1930 edition of the Saratogian as giving a campaign address in Jonesville, New York on the "subject of Christian Citizenship".
On election day in November 1930, Hatmaker received 5,704 votes, losing to Republican nominee Alexander Gillespie Baxter, who swept the election with over 27,000 votes. Some years following his defeat Hatmaker relocated to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, settling in the village of Newtown. He died here in October 1948 at age 84.
From New York we journey to Utah to profile Ormond Konkle, a prominent resident of the city of Ogden During his long life Konkle was involved in many aspects of the American labor movement, including service as the President of the Utah State CIO, Past Secretary of the Utah AFL-CIO, a member of the Ogden Planning Commission and Board of Adjustments, and a reservist for the U.S. Labor Department. Born on December 29, 1900, in Utah, Konkle worked as a machinist during the 1920s before devoting his life to labor-related causes. He earns a place here on the site due to his service as an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Utah in 1948 and 1952. Konkle died in his native city of Ogden in August 1979 at age 78. The above portrait of him appeared in a May 20, 1969 edition of the Deseret News, published in Salt Lake City.
Charles A. Lightpipe--(?--?): Just who exactly is Charles A. Lightpipe? The answer would be an obscure resident of Essex County, New Jersey who served a brief term in the New Jersey State Assembly during the early 1880s. Nothing else could be found on Mr. Lightpipe, including his dates of birth and death. His middle initial is also under some scrutiny, being variously given as "A." or "T." No picture of him could be found to post here.
With a name like George Washington Manypenny, one can make jokes all day long! The funny named man shown above was a prominent figure on the American political scene during the 1850s, serving as the director of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs under President Franklin Pierce from 1853-1857.
Born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1808, Manypenny removed to Ohio around 1830. He eventually settled in the city of Zanesville and for a number of years served as the clerk of the circuit court in that city. Manypenny was also active in newspaper publishing, being the editor of the Ohio Statesman from 1859 to 1862. Earlier in 1844, he had launched a career in politics, running an unsuccessful candidacy for U.S. Representative from Ohio, losing to Whig candidate Alexander Harper by a vote of 5,814 to 6,951.
In 1853 Franklin Pierce appointed Manypenny as Commissioner of Indian Affairs, and his tenure in this office is one of marked success. During his service, Manypenny helped to negotiate a treaty with the Chippewa Tribe of Michigan in 1855, and with this treaty, help to establish Chippewa reservations along the Lake Superior region in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. This treaty also helped protect and preserve Chippewa lands from being sold or settled by outsiders.
After his term as Commissioner concluded, Manypenny served as Superintendent of the Ohio State Canals and authored numerous works on problems plaguing Native American tribes, including "Our Indian Wars". He later relocated to St. Charles County, Maryland, and died at his home there on July 15, 1892, at age 84.
From the Washington D.C. Star, July 21, 1892.
Stanley Moneymaker--(1903-1973): Not much is known of this funny named Indiana resident. Mr. Moneymaker was the Prohibition candidate for the Indiana State Senate from Marion County in 1952. He received a mere 849 votes in his attempt, and no picture of him could be found to post here.
Hailing from the county of Albemarle in North Carolina, it's Walter Freshwater Pool. While his name may be amusing (how many people do you know with "Freshwater Pool" in their given name!), Pool lived to be just 32 years old, dying in 1883. In spite of his lack of years, Mr. Pool earned the moniker "The Silver-Tongued Orator of Albemarle" due to his speaking prowess and skill as an attorney.
The fifth of ten children, Walter Freshwater Pool was born at the Pool homestead of Elm Grove on October 10, 1850. He and his siblings received their education at the Pool School House (this according to the 1915 work Literature of Albemarle) and he later went on to study at the State University of North Carolina. His stay here last just over two years, and he later undertook the study of law "at his own home, and completed the entire course in one year." Pool was admitted to the bar in 1873 and while still in his twenties "leaped at one bound to the foremost ranks of great lawyers in the state." Pool's skill at oratory and courtroom presence earned him statewide repute, with the Literature of Albemarle noting that "the brain capacity of Walter Pool was wonderful. He illuminated every subject he touched with the magic power of his genius......His intellect, under all circumstances, was singularly cool, calm and collected. He was never off guard, but always had his intellectual armory completely at command."
Never an aspirant for public office, Walter Freshwater Pool was (to his great surprise) nominated for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1882. The Republicans in his district (as well as Pool's friends and family) pressed him to accept the nomination, which he did, and in November of that year "was triumphantly elected" over his Democratic opponent. Despite winning the election, Pool's health was in a state of collapse, and he died at the age of 32 on August 25, 1883, never having taken his seat in Congress due to it not being in session at the time of his decease. He was later interred at the Pool Family Cemetery in Albemarle.
Hailing from Osage County, Missouri, Rainey Ridenhour served multiple terms in the Missouri State House of Representatives during the 1940s. Born in Belle, Missouri on July 29, 1883, Rainey Hugh Ridenhour received his schooling in both the counties of Osage and Marion. He married in January 1904 to Ms. Cecil Harrison (1885-1975), with whom he would have three children, Cyrus, Beulah, and Christian.
Ridenhour was active in civic affairs in Osage County for many years, serving as a notary public, justice of the peace as well as a member of the board of education. He also served as vice president of the Farmers and Trader's Bank of Belle for a number of years. Ridenhour was elected to represent Osage County in the Missouri Legislature in 1940 and went on to serve four more terms in the sessions of 1942, 1944, and 1946. Ridenhour's final term in the house concluded in 1948 and he died in Belle in 1962 at age 79.
The amusingly named Gilman Scripture is profiled next, and this resident of Nashua, New Hampshire served as Mayor of that city for one term during the late 1860s. Born in New Hampshire on December 16, 1813, Scripture was one of five children born to Hills and Patty Parker Scripture, both natives of Cheshire County. Little is known of Scripture's early life, so we'll fast forward now to 1866 when he was elected to that post. His term in this office lasted but one term, concluding in 1867. Three years later Scripture was elected to represent Hillsborough County in the New Hampshire Senate, his term in this office being of indeterminate length. He died in Nashua shortly before his 74th birthday on November 26, 1887.
Portrait from the Western Druggist, April 1899.
Funny named Escanaba resident John J. Sourwine sports a last name with a bit of "pucker", as it were..."Sour Wine", get it? Long prominent as a druggist in that city, Sourwine served as president of the Michigan Pharmaceutical Association in 1899 and four years later was a candidate for Mayor of Escanaba, Michigan on the Independent Labor Party ticket. He would win the election and served one term as mayor from 1903-04.
What do you get when you combine the name of a long-dead French dictator and a flowering plant? Illinois Congressman Napoleon Bonaparte Thistlewood of course! This U.S. Representative with the funny name was born in Kent County, Delaware on March 30, 1837, and received his education here. He removed to Mason, Illinois in 1858 and taught school for a time before enlisting as a private in the Union Army in 1862. He was later promoted to Captain in Co. H. of the 98th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry and after returning home engaged in the merchandise business. He was elected to two terms as Mayor of Cairo, Illinois (1879-1883 and 1897-1901) and in 1907 won election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois' 25th district, filling a vacancy caused by the death of nine-term Congressman George Washington Smith (1846-1907).
Thistlewood served two terms in Congress, the last of which concluded in March 1913. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection to the House and died in Cairo on September 15, 1915, at age 78. He was later interred at the Beech Grove Cemetery in Mounds, Illinois.
Hailing from Campbell County in South Dakota its humorously named state legislator Gabriel Gunderson Titland, whose profile here is mainly due to his funny middle and last name. A prominent resident of Mound City, Titland was born in Norway on September 9, 1860 (or 1871, according to the South Dakota State Manual). He received his schooling in Norway and after immigrating to the United States at age 22 in 1882 eventually settled in Campbell County. His life was mainly centered around farming and held local political offices in Mound City. He was first elected to the South Dakota State House of Representatives in the 1912 elections and served in the legislative sessions of 1913-15, 1915-17 and 1917-19. Titland died on January 22, 1941, in Walworth County, South Dakota and was later returned to Campbell County for burial in the Mound City Cemetery. He was survived by his wife Inga Arneson Titland (1869-1957) and a son, George Martin Titland (1890-1957), and had been preceded in death by a daughter, Inga, who died at age 8 in 1896.
Over the past year, many interestingly named Texans have been profiled here on the site, and the name of Wayne Warren Wagonseller is certainly one of the funniest! Born in Nacona, Texas on February 1, 1921, Wagonseller was the son of Amos Warren and Clara Beck Wagonseller. Warren studied at the State Teacher's College in Denton, Texas and later went on to enroll at the University of Texas Law School. He served with distinction in the U.S Army during WWII and was awarded both a Purple Heart and Bronze Star during his service.
In 1947 Wagonseller was elected as a Democrat to the Texas State House of Representatives from the county of Montague and served two terms in this body. In 1951 he won election to the state senate and etched his name into the history books during his service here by giving the longest filibuster in American history (lasting 28 hours and 5 minutes). On March 31, 1955, he gave this impressive address to the legislature, railing against a bill to reduce bus transportation fees.
Wagonseller had a bright future in politics, but his career in the public forum came to end with his death in a car accident in Ft. Worth, Texas on August 13, 1955. He was just 34 years old at the time of his death and had been married for less than a year to his wife Mina Hawkins Wagonseller. Following his untimely death, the Texas legislature passed a resolution honoring his service, and he was interred at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
What isn't funny about a man named Peter Dinwiddie Wigginton? For a good majority of the time that I've categorizing and collecting all of these strange name political figures, this obscure California congressman has been one of my personal favorites to point out to people, mainly for the sheer mirthfulness of his name (just try say saying his name without laughing a little!) In an even more intriguing aspect to his life, Wigginton was actually a candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1888, running on the American Party ticket.
Born in Springfield Illinois on September 6, 1839, Wigginton's father died when he was just one year of age, and his mother and seven siblings later removed from Springfield to Wisconsin. Wigginton attended schools local to Iowa County in that state and later enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After receiving his law degree in the late 1850s he was admitted to the Wisconsin bar, and also began an affiliation with the Dodgeville Advocate, serving as editor for a time.
Wigginton removed to California in 1862, eventually settling in the town of Snelling in the county of Merced. Within a few short years, he had earned a reputation as one of Merced's most prominent practitioners of law, serving as county district attorney from 1864-1868. Wigginton married in 1868 to Ms. Sallie Moore, and the couple later became the parents of one son, William B. Wigginton (1876-1942). In 1875 he won election to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving until 1877. He was defeated for reelection in 1877 by Republican candidate Romualdo Pacheco, but successfully contested his election. Wigginton was awarded the seat and served a second term in Congress from 1878-1879.
After leaving Congress in 1879 Wigginton continued in the practice of law, and in 1886 mounted an unsuccessful campaign for Governor of California on the American Party ticket. This party had its origins in the earlier Know-Nothing Party, which had ex-President Millard Fillmore as its standard bearer in 1852. During the 1850s this party was known for its anti-Mason and Anti-Catholic sentiments, and during the 1880s was still strong enough to elicit support from voters against foreigners entering the country.
In 1888 Wigginton was chosen to be the American Party's Vice-Presidential nominee, replacing earlier nominee James Greer, who had declined to enter the race. Wigginton and American Party Presidential candidate James Langdon Curtis polled only 1591 votes on election day, and when one takes a look at their party platform (a fourteen year residency for naturalization, the exclusion of socialists and other undesirables and the separation of church and state) it's fairly easy to see why Curtis and Wigginton polled such low numbers!!! The disastrous electoral outcome was the nail in the coffin for the American Party, which ran its last Presidential campaign that year.
With his political career effectively over, Wigginton retired to private life and died at his home in Oakland on July 7, 1890, at age 50. The cause was listed by his Daily Alta Times obituary as "an illness of several months duration" and he was later interred at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.
From the San Francisco Morning Call, July 9, 1890.