Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Uno Sylvanus Augustus Heggblom (1898-1978)

From Memorabilia "Minneskrift" of the International Order of Runeberg, 1968.

    As 2014 comes to a close the "Strangest Names In American Political History" makes a stop in Michigan to highlight the life of a man who has duly earned the title "strangest name of the year", and after stumbling across an individual with the initials "U.S.A.", I had an inkling that I was about to unveil a very unusual name. Needless to say, I was not disappointed! After some quick searching via, I found that those patriotic initials stood for "Uno Sylvanus Augustus Heggblom". How's that for strange and unusual!
   Despite his being in possession of truly unusual name, little information exists online in regards to Mr. Heggblom, and beneath this odd name rests the interesting story of a Michigan attorney who (in addition to being a seven-time candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives between 1924 and 1948) was active in the affairs of the Augustana Lutheran Church, as well as being a leading figure in the International Order of Runeberg, a fraternal organization devoted to Finnish-Swedish culture and traditions. 
   A lifelong resident of Michigan, Uno Sylvanus Augustus Heggblom was born in the city of Manistique on March 21, 1898, being the son of John and Christina Heggblom. Sadly I have no interesting tidbits as to how Heggblom came to receive the name "Uno Sylvanus Augustus", but one's imagination can run wild thinking of the possibilities! Young Uno's early schooling occurred at the "Newberry and Munising public schools" and would graduate from the high school in Manistique. Following his graduation, he continued schooling at the Detroit Institute of Technology, the Detroit Teachers College, and Wayne University. In 1922 he earned his bachelor of laws degree from the Detroit College of Law and two years later received his L.L.M (Master of Laws degree) from the University of Detroit.
    After his collegiate studies, Heggblom returned to the Detroit College of Law as a faculty member and later held a teaching position at the Detroit Hudson School. In the early 1920s, Heggblom began the practice of law in Detroit and would be retained as counsel for several businesses in that city, including the Morton and Co. Investment Bankers, the Corporation Finance Co., and the Union Mutual Life Insurance Co. 
    In 1924 Heggblom made his first move into politics, announcing his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan's 13th district. Running in that year's primary, Heggblom's candidacy was highlighted in the August 1, 1924 edition of the Escanaba Daily Press, which described him as a "Law Enforcement candidate" who conducted a vigorous campaign "through the West Detroit district." Sadly Heggblom's candidacy didn't last past the primary election and another congressional candidacy in 1926 brought more of the same. In total, Heggblom would run for U.S. Representative on a total of seven occasions (1924, 1926, 1932. 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948) but was unable to get his candidacies to extend past the primary election season. One can think that his lengthy name may have been a contributing factor, but, as the Piqua Daily Call notice below illustrates, why would anyone want to vote against a candidate with such patriotic initials?

   In 1925 Uno S. A. Heggblom married in Michigan to Ms. Sima Soderback (1902-1982). Heggblom and his wife were wed for over fifty years and their lengthy marriage would see the births of two daughters, Helen (1926-1947) and Ruth Arlene (1927-2010). Prior to his marriage Heggblom began a law practice in Wayne County, Michigan which he would operate for many years afterward, and was later tapped to serve as assistant prosecuting attorney for Wayne County. The Mancelona Herald (which profiled Heggblom's congressional candidacy in 1940) further notes that he established "a record number of convictions without sending innocent men to prison." 
    Active in Republican Party circles in Michigan, Heggblom was a longstanding member of the Michigan Republican State Central Committee, and, while unsuccessful in his numerous candidacies, would subsequently gain distinction as a public speaker on a variety of topics, including politics, the economy, religion, and the law. As a forceful lecturer (one notice refers to him as a "bull-throated Detroit attorney") Heggblom was in demand as a speaker throughout Michigan as well as in other states. The notice below (featured in the Lima, Ohio News in May of 1940) records that Heggblom would speak on the "Cause and Cure of Depressions and War", a theme that would play a substantial role in his candidacy that year for a seat in the U.S House of Representatives from Michigan.

A Heggblom speech write-up from the Lima News, May 29, 1940.

    As the Republican candidate in the 1940 congressional primary from Michigan's 11th district, Heggblom's candidacy was boomed in several newspapers of the time, including a substantial write-up in the September 5, 1940 edition of the Mancelona Herald (shown below). While touted as "The Anti-War Candidate", Heggblom's campaign notice made sure to note that he was still "Pro-Preparedness but Anti-War" and also issued the following quote on his behalf:
"He says he would resign as Congressman rather than send one American boy to die on foreign soil. He wants our boys to LIVE for their country rather than to DIE for it. He says that if America wants a foreign war let it so decide by a referendum vote of the people. He is on the PEOPLE'S side of every public question."
  Intoning "to win in November, vote for Heggblom in September", the Mancelona Herald's booming of Heggblom's candidacy seemed to ensure a lock for him at the polls in September, but it was not to be, the nomination instead going to Fredrick Van Ness BradleyWhile his congressional candidacy may have come to naught, Heggblom did aid the Republican Party in another facet when he served as part of the Michigan delegation to the Republican National Convention (held in Philadelphia in June of that year) that nominated Wendell Wilkie for the Presidency. 

A Heggblom congressional campaign notice from the Mancelona Herald, 1940.

Another Hegbloom campaign advertisement, Munising News, Sept. 5, 1940.

   Following his defeat in the primary election of 1940 Heggblom returned to practicing law in Detroit whilst also continuing to accept speaking engagements. In 1944 he again served as part of the Michigan delegation to the Republican National Convention (then being held in Chicago) and in July 1947 made yet another attempt for high office, once again seeking a seat in the U.S House of Representatives. This special primary election had been occasioned by the May 24th death of Representative Frederick Van Ness Bradley, who several years earlier had beaten Heggblom for the Republican nomination for Congress. Bradley's sudden passing had left a vacancy in the House, and in the wake of his death, several Republican candidates (including Heggblom) began vying for the nomination to fill the seat.
   In the special primary election held on July 31, Heggblom placed a distant sixth in a field of seven candidates, polling only 1,080 votes compared to winner Charles E. Potter's 5,040. Following his victory Potter would go on to win election to Congress on August 26th, 1947, defeating Democrat Harold Benton. Not one to let a loss get the best of him, Heggblom reentered the political field in September 1948, again throwing his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination for U.S. Representative. In the September 14th primary Heggblom placed fifth in the vote count out of seven candidates, polling just 2,047 votes.

U.S.A. Heggblom in May 1953, from the Munising News.

    While Heggblom's status as a leading Republican in Wayne County remains an important attribute, his many years of church work also deserves high praise. A member of the Augustana Lutheran Church, Heggblom was described in the Ironwood Globe as having been a "student of the Holy Writ for years" and that he:
"Often substituted for pastors of the church from the pulpit. Hundreds of sermons have been preached by Heggblom in churches of different denominations. For more than 20 years he served as deacon. His activity as a churchman is well known. He taught adult and high school bible classes."
    In addition to filling in for absent pastors, Heggblom attained high rank in several organizations connected with the Augustana Lutheran Church, including the presidency of the Eastern Michigan District Churchmen and was convention secretary of the Lutheran Men's Organization of Michigan Synod. He was also the only native of Michigan to hold the post of President of the church's Central Conference, which comprised "180 churches." 
   As a man of Scandinavian descent, Uno S. A. Heggblom spent a good majority of his life heavily involved in the promotion of Finnish-Swedish culture and traditions, being a member of the International Order of Runeberg for over three decades. A fraternal organization devoted to maintaining the cultural traditions of Finnish-Swedish immigrants in the United States, the Order of Runeberg was established in 1920 from a merger between two other fraternal groups, the Swedish-Finnish Benevolent Association, and the Swedish-Finnish Temperance Association.  A past vice president of the Order of Runeberg, Heggblom became President of that order in August 1963 upon the resignation of Hannes Sutherland, who had served as President since 1958. Heggblom held the Runeberg presidency until 1966, and in the following year became "local president" of the Runeberg lodge in Manistique
   Even in his later years, Heggblom continued to be active in political life in Michigan, and at some point in the latter period of his life switched allegiance to the Democratic Party, serving as chairman of the Schoolcraft County Democratic delegation to the 1968 Michigan Democratic Convention held at Detroit's famed Cobo Hall. In 1965 Heggblom and his wife Sima moved from Detroit back to Manistique, and in July 1975 celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary
  After many decades of public prominence, Uno S.A. Heggblom died in Manistique on April 11, 1978, shortly after celebrating his 80th birthday. He was survived by his wife Sima, who, following her death in 1982, was interred alongside her husband at the Lakeview Cemetery in Manistique. 

Uno S.A. Heggblom at an Order of Runeberg gathering held in 1967.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Aytchmonde Perrin Stone Jr. (1907-1984)

From the 1958-59 Official Manual of the State of Missouri.

    Hailing from a state that has been well represented here over the past three years, Missouri jurist Aytchmonde Perrin Stone Jr. was blessed with a truly curious name. An attorney based out of the city of Springfield, Stone would go on to further distinction as both an Associate and Presiding judge on the Missouri State Court of Appeals for the District of Springfield, serving a quarter-century on the bench. 
   The son of Baptist minister Aytchmonde P. Stone Sr. (1862-1942) and the former Julia Ann Minter (1872-1954), Aytchmonde Perrin Stone Jr. was born in Tecumseh, Oklahoma on April 14, 1904. As one can see, the odd name of "Aytchmonde Perrin" was passed down from father to son, and, if you were like me, you may be wondering as to the exact origins of this peculiar name! Both Stone and his son inherited their unusual appellation from Aytchmonde Lane Perrin (1811-1897) a resident of Platte County, Missouri who had found distinction in banking and religious circles. 
   Three years after his birth Stone returned to Missouri with his parents and would attend school in Neosho. He graduated from that city's high school in 1922 and would later study at the William Jewell College and the Southwestern Teacher's College of Missouri (also known as the Southwest Missouri State College). Stone's time at the Southwestern Teachers College saw him be a member of the college orchestra, the English Club, Polity Club, and was an "inter-class debater" being one of two Springfield students to take part in the 1924 Inter-college Debates. Stone and fellow student Russell Baugh were tasked with debating an affirmative stance in regard to the query "Should the United States enter the permanent court of arbitration?" As the 1924 Ozarko relates:
"Although this is A.P. Stone's first year in forensic work, the exceptional ability in which he has shown in such events during the year gives great promise in his future success at public speaking. His debating is characterized by the clear understanding of the subject, combined with a persuasive style, pleasing as well as convincing. We are proud of Russell and Stone, as worthy a team as ever won honors for S.T.C."
   The Ozarko yearbook notes that as a young man with a gift for oratory, Stone was bound for great things, and the brief statement below his portrait in the 1924 Ozarko Yearbook mentions his "Old head on young shoulders", a perfect encapsulation for a young man who would one day be a distinguished lawyer and jurist. Following his graduation from the S.T.C. Stone enrolled at the Washington University School of Law, and in 1929 graduated from this school with his bachelor of laws degree. Prior to establishing a law practice Stone was employed as a high school principal in Potosi, Missouri from 1925-26, and soon after his graduation from the Washington School of Law relocated to Springfield, Missouri to begin a law practice.

A seventeen year-old Aytchmonde P. Stone Jr., from the 1924 Ozarko Yearbook.

    Two years after launching his law practice Stone was selected as assistant prosecuting attorney for Greene County, Missouri, and served two years in that post (1929-31). On August 16, 1940, he married Fay Adeline "Addie" Lambeth (1907-1995). The couple were wed for forty-four years and would remain childless.
   Five years following his marriage Aytchmonde P. Stone Jr. entered into the position of counsel for the Springfield Board of Public Utilities, continuing in that role until January of 1954 when he was appointed by then-Governor Phillip M. Donnelly as an Associate Judge on the Missouri State Court of Appeals for the District of Springfield. Stone's appointment to the bench was occasioned by the death of Judge William Vandevanter, who had died a few weeks previously in November 1953. In November 1956 Stone was elected to a twelve-year term on that court and took office as Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeals in 1957.
    In 1968 "A.P." Stone Jr. was elected to another twelve-year term on the Springfield Court of Appeals, a term which would conclude on December 31, 1980. However, Stone retired from the bench in 1979, having reached mandatory retirement age. Following his retirement, little else could be found on his life, except notice of his death on September 6, 1984, at age 77. He was survived by his wife Faye, who, nine years after her husband's death, "committed a 2.7 million estate gift" to the Missouri Baptist University, which in turn would fund a "university institutional scholarship". The "Aytchmonde P. Stone Endowment" continues on to this day, and following her passing in 1995 Faye Stone was interred alongside her husband at the Hazlewood Cemetery in Springfield.

Portrait from the 1974 Official Manual of Missouri.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Zeral Zenn Rogers (1887-1955)

Portrait from the Texas Trade Review and Industrial Record, February 1918.

   Possessing what can only be described as a very futuristic-sounding name for the time, Frederick, Oklahoma native Zeral Zenn Rogers is certainly one of the oddest named public figures the Sooner state has ever produced. Rogers earns placement here on the site due to his service as Mayor of the city of Frederick, being elected to that office in 1915 at the age of 27. As one of the youngest mayors in the nation at the time, Rogers would go on to further distinction in the city of Duncan, Oklahoma in the mid-1920s, serving as its city manager for four years.
    A native of Arkansas, Zeral Zenn Rogers was born in the town of Clarksville on November 27, 1887, being one of several children born to William Wayne (1854-1913) and Addie Truscott Rogers. The first few years of "Z.Z." Rogers's life was spent in the state of his birth and in 1891 he moved with his family to Vernon, Texas. He would "complete the high school course" in that town in 1901 and shortly afterward relocated to Frederick, Oklahoma with his family.  Z.Z. Rogers married in 1906 to Ana Edythe Hancock (1888-1960), with whom he would have two sons, Jim Jack (born 1908) and Tullis Truscott Rogers (born 1910)
   As an adolescent Rogers was employed as a grocery store clerk in the business of Parker & McConnell, serving that firm as a delivery wagon driver and later, bookkeeper. He remained in this employ for nine years and in the early 1910s began political involvement in the still young community of Frederick, being elected as city clerk in 1911. Rogers would serve two terms as clerk (leaving office in 1913) and in April 1915 was elected as the Mayor of Frederick, being just 27 years of age at the time of his election. 
  Rogers' mayoralty (which extended four terms from 1915 to 1923) saw him gain "a reputation for unusual efficiency in city government administration." Soon after his election in 1915, he began a business venture in Frederick with D.H. Hall, partnering to form a drug store. He would remain affiliated with this store for several years and also served as a second vice president of the Frederick Chamber of Commerce beginning in 1917. In December 1922 (while still the incumbent mayor of Frederick) Rogers was selected by the city commissioners of the neighboring city of Duncan to serve as its city manager, and a newspaper write-up on his ascension to that office is shown below.

From the Ada Weekly News, December 28, 1922.

    Z.Z. Rogers' would serve four years as Duncan's city manager, resigning from that office in 1926. He reentered political life in 1934 when he became a candidate for a seat on the Oklahoma State Corporation Commission. His candidacy was cut short in June of that year when he suffered injuries in an auto accident, but would still receive over 9,000 votes in the 1934 state election. Active in several other non-political areas in Tillman County, Rogers was a parishioner at the Frederick's Methodist Episcopal Church South as well as a member of the Independent Order of Foresters, the Modern Woodmen of America, and the Frederick Lodge No. 249 of Free and Accepted Masons.
    In one of his last acts of public service, Rogers served as a justice of the peace during the early 1950s.  Zeral Zenn Rogers died in Oklahoma on September 30, 1955, at age 67. His wife Ana survived him by five years, and following her passing in 1960 was interred alongside him at the Frederick Memorial Cemetery.

From the Harlow's Weekly, Volume 23, Dec. 20, 1924.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ova Darling Betts (1868-1950)

Ova D. Betts and his wife Mamie, from the May 19, 1940 Arizona Independent Republic.

    A one-term member of the Arizona State House of Representatives from Maricopa County, Ova Darling Betts also served as the Mayor of Glendale, Arizona during his legislative service. A Missourian by birth, Ova D. Betts was born in that state on October 4, 1868, one of five children born to Luther and Sarepta Betts. Little is known of his early life or education. Betts married in New Florence, Missouri on May 20, 1890, to Mamie Holly (1868-1950) and later had five sons: Holly Darling (1892-1963), Faye, Charlie, Carl, and William.
   For the majority of his early life Ova Betts resided in Missouri with his family, and during his residency in that state was employed as a telegraph operator by both the Chicago and Alton Railroad Company and the Rio Grande Western Railroad. In 1908 Betts and his family left Missouri for Arizona, eventually settling in Glendale. Shortly after his resettlement Betts took work as an agent with the Sante Fe Railroad and later established himself in the city's business sector, becoming the organizer and owner of the Glendale Ice Company, and remained affiliated with that company for many years. 
   While still attentive to his business activities in Glendale, Betts entered into political life in the mid-1910s when he began service as a member of the Glendale City Council. He would also serve as a member of the Glendale High School Board for many years and was a past director of the Glendale Grammar School Board. In November 1920 he was elected as one of Maricopa County's representatives to the Arizona State Legislature and would serve in the session of 1921-1923. During his legislative service, Betts would pull double duty when he was elected as Mayor of Glendale, serving that position until 1930.
   Following his time in politics Betts would return to his earlier business activities and in 1940 he and his wife Mamie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The couple would later reside in Del Norte, California, and celebrated their 60th anniversary on May 20, 1950. Mamie Holly Betts died five days later at age 82 and Ova survived her by only three months, dying on August 26th at age 81. Both he and his wife were later interred at the Glendale Memorial Park Cemetery.

Ova D. Betts from the 1921 Arizona Legislative Assembly group portrait.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Consider Alphonzo Stacy (1817-1888)

From the 1874 Atlas of Lenawee County, Michigan.

   Have you ever considered a man named "Consider"? If you're like me, you immediately got a chuckle out of this man's name, and, besides having a first name that's also a verb, Michigan native Consider Alphonzo Stacy also made strides in public service, being both a Judge of Probate and Prosecuting Attorney of Lenawee County. Stacy would also be an unsuccessful aspirant for Congress in 1858, and is very likely the only "Consider" ever to seek that office!
   A New Yorker by birth,  Consider Alphonzo Stacy was born in Madison County on January 6, 1817, the son of Dr. Consider H. (1794-1840) and Polly Bass Stacy (1795-1876). Described as having "meager opportunities for obtaining an education", Stacy was enrolled at the "ordinary district school" in Madison County until reaching eleven years of age, whereafter he began attending the Hamilton Academy, remaining here for four years. Being the son of a physician, young Consider also took work in his father's drugstore during this time, as well as aiding him in the running of the local post office, as he was also the Postmaster of Hamilton.
   Consider A. Stacy decided upon a career in law while still an adolescent, and at age seventeen commenced study under local attorney Peter Morey. Around 1835 Morey removed to Tecumseh, Lenawee County, Michigan, and in the following year was tapped to be the first Attorney General of the state. Morey would later induce Stacy to come to Tecumseh to continue his studies, and in the late 1830s left New York for Michigan. Prior to his removal Stacy married Broome County native Mary Walker (1818-1905), with whom he would have seven children: Scovel Consider (1841-1895), Lois Loanna (1845-1918), David Alphonzo (1850-1876, struck and killed by a train), James Alonzo (1853-1891), George N. (1859-1907) and "two daughters who died in infancy." Of these children Scovel Consider continued on the tradition of odd names in the family and would experience distinction in his own right, serving as Supervisor of the township of Tecumseh as well as a newspaper publisher, being the owner and editor of the Tecumseh Herald.

Scovel Consider Stacy, Consider A. Stacy's eldest son.

   Consider A. Stacy was admitted to the Michigan bar in April 1837 and soon commenced practice under Peter Morey. In 1838 Stacy gained his first taste of political life when he was elected as a justice of the peace, and in the next year became the law partner of another oddly named man, Fernando Cortez Beaman (1811-1882), who was later to serve as a U.S. Representative from Michigan. Their partnership continued for four years until Beaman moved to Adrian, Michigan, where he would serve as Mayor. Stacy continued in private practice until 1844 when he was elected as Judge of Probate for Lenawee County and would serve in that capacity for twelve years.
   While still the incumbent judge, Stacy launched another law practice in 1845 with Thomas M. Cooley, a man who would later serve as Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Their partnership continued for about three years and in 1849 Stacy was tapped to serve as Prosecuting Attorney of Lenawee County, holding that post until 1850. In the last-named year, Stacy's public profile continued to rise when he was appointed by then-Governor Robert McClelland to the Michigan State Board of Education. He would serve here until 1854, and in 1858 announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan's 2nd district. As the Democratic nominee that year, Stacy faced off against incumbent Republican Henry Waldron (1811-1880), and on election day it was Waldron who emerged victorious, besting Stacy by a vote of 14, 653 to 10, 137.
   In the latter portion of his life, Consider Stacy continued an active role in Tecumseh, Michigan affairs, serving as a town school board member for twenty-six years. In the early 1870s, he would practice law with his son Scovel and two years before his death was appointed as Postmaster of Tecumseh. Stacy would serve as postmaster from August 1886 until his death on November 5, 1888, at age 71. Death was attributed to the after effects of a "paralytic attack" Stacy had suffered on October 25 and died surrounded by members of his familyHe was survived by his wife Mary and three children, with burial taking place at the Brookside Cemetery in Tecumseh.

From the Brockway Weekly Expositor, Nov. 15, 1888.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Goldburn Hiram Wilson (1864-1941)

From the 1905-06 Official Manual of the State of Missouri.

   A five-term member of the Missouri State House of Representatives, St. Louis resident Goldburn Hiram Wilson was also a physician and educator, being a professor of chemistry at the Marion-Sims Medical College in the early 1890s. A native of Illinois, Goldburn H. Wilson was born in the city of Rock Island on April 29, 1864, being the son of Thomas and Sarah E. Quick Wilson.  He removed with his family to Henry County, Missouri at age five and would attend the public schools local to that county.
   Wilson entered upon study at the State University of Missouri at Columbia in 1882, and after four years at that college continued in the study of medicine at the St. Louis College of Physicians. A graduate of that school in the class of 1889, Wilson shortly thereafter journeyed to Oklahoma but soon after returned to Missouri, establishing his medical practice in St. Louis. In the succeeding years "success came rapidly" to Wilson, with the 1909 edition of "St. Louis, the Fourth City" noting that:
"In handling the many complex problems he showed marked strength and ability, and the public soon came to recognize that he was most careful in the diagnosis of a case and correct in applying remedial agencies to the needs of his patients."
   In 1892 Goldburn Wilson took on the position of professor of chemistry at the now-defunct Marion Sims Medical College, remaining in that post until 1894 when he accepted the same professorship at the Women's Hospital Medical College. His professorship at the latter college concluded in 1895 and in 1896 married to Laura Phillips, with whom he had two sons, Goldburn Hiram Jr. (died 1935) and Thomas Phillips. In November of that year, Goldburn H. Wilson was elected as one of St. Louis' representatives in the Missouri State Assembly, serving in the sessions of 1897-1899, 1899-01, and 1901-03. During the last-named session, Wilson held seats on the house committees on Life and Accident Insurance and Fraternal Associations; Private Corporations; Public Health and Scientific Institutions; Public School Textbooks and Rules.
  After several years in the legislature Goldburn Wilson wasn't a candidate for renomination in November 1902, but two years later decided to once again enter political life, running for his old seat in the assembly. He would win the election in November 1904, garnering 11, 377 votes on election day.  During the 1905 session he would serve as Speaker of the House Pro Tempore and in November 1906 was elected to his fifth term in the house. Recognized as one of the ablest members of the assembly, Wilson's terms received prominent mention in the Vol. II of St. Louis, the Fourth City, which relates that:
"He was one of the champions of and was largely instrumental in securing the passage pf the pure food laws. He has stood for practical advancement and reform, placing the public welfare above partisanship and the interests of the commonwealth before personal aggrandizement."
  In the final year of his legislative service, Wilson served as part of the Missouri delegation to the 1908 Republican National Convention in Chicago. Little is known of the remainder of Wilson's life, except that he died in St. Louis on October 31, 1941, at age 77. He was later interred at the Valhalla Cemetery, also located in St. Louis.

Goldburn H. Wilson, portrait courtesy of

Friday, December 19, 2014

Nominus Quincy Adams (1839-1922)

From the 1908 Official and Statistical Register of Mississippi.

    If you read yesterday's posting on Mississippi state representative Cullinas Boyd Hannah it should be apparent that Oktibbeha County had no qualms about electing an oddly named man to serve as its representative in the state legislature, and, that point is further reinforced by today's write-up on Nominus "Non" Quincy Adams, who preceded Mr. Hannah in legislative service. Besides being Oktibbeha County's representatives to the Mississippi state legislature (narrowly missing out on serving in the same session) both Cullinas Hannah and Nominus Adams resided in the Oktibbeha County town of Sturgis, and one can only wonder if these two oddly named men ever bumped into one other on the street--I like to think their paths crossed at some point!
   A native son of Rutherford County, North Carolina, Nominus "Non" Quincy Adams was born in that county on January 22, 1839, being the son of Azariah and Mary Runyons Adams. There are varying spellings of Adams' first name, being given as both "Nonimus" and "Nominus". Adams relocated to Mississippi with his family whilst an infant. He would have limited educational advantages in "rural schools of Choctaw and Oktibbeha County" and married his first wife, Catherine Griffith (1836-1867), in 1857. Three daughters would be born to their union, Mary Jane (died in infancy in 1858), "Betty" (1860-1899), and Virginia Catherine (1865-1955).
   In 1863 "Non" entered into service in the Confederate Army, serving with Co. A., 21st Mississippi Infantry. He would see action at the battles of Murfreesboro and Chickamauga, and in July 1864 suffered a grievous injury at the Battle of Atlanta which would necessitate the amputation of his left arm. Following his return home from the war, Adams suffered the death of his wife Catherine in 1867. He remarried to Lois Hannah (1849-1892) in 1870, and this marriage produced a further seven children. 
   In the period after his Civil War service "Non" Adams engaged in farming in Sturgis, Mississippi, and also gained distinction as a minister, having been licensed to preach in 1868. In 1870 he began an affiliation with the Missionary Baptist Church and would serve as pastor in several Oktibbeha County churches during his life, including those at Sturgis, Wake Forest, and Blythe Creek. Adams was a primary organizer of the Chestnut Grove Baptist Church in 1869 and later served as the moderator of the Oktibbeha County Baptist Association for a total of ten years.

Portrait courtesy of the Adams Family Newsletter, January 2013.

    While prominent in religious circles in Oktibbeha County (as well as the neighboring counties of Choctaw and Winston), "Non" Adams didn't enter into political life until he was past the age of fifty. In November 1895 he won election to the Mississippi State Senate from the counties of Oktibbeha and Choctaw and served in the Senate session of 1896-1900. In November 1907 Adams was returned to the state capitol, serving as a member of the State House of Representatives. His tenure in that body lasted from 1908-1912 and was a member of the house committees on Liquor Traffic, Pensions, and Corporations during that session.
   In the latter portion of his life, "Non" Adams dabbled in banking, serving as a Vice-President of the Bank of Sturgis, Mississippi. Active in the Masonic order, Adams was a charter member of the Sturgis-based Lodge #375 of Free and Accepted Masons. In 1892 Adams became a widower for the second time, and following the death of his wife Lois, Adams remarried in 1893 to Mary Delilah Dodds (1855-1941), with whom he had a further three children
   Nominus Quincy Adams died at age 83 on May 7, 1922, in Sturgis and was survived by his third wife Mary, and several children. His burial took place at the Wake Forest Cemetery in Sturgis, just a short distance away from the Sturgis Cemetery, home to the gravesite of his political counterpart Cullinas B. Hannah.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cullinas Boyd Hannah (1845-1919)

Portrait from the Official and Statistical Register of Mississippi, 1912.

    A two-term member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, Cullinas B. Hannah was a farmer based in Oktibbeha County for nearly all his life. Born on March 5, 1847, in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Cullinas B. Hannah was the son of Caleb and Lydia Howe Hannah. A student in the "rural schools", Hannah was also a Civil War veteran, serving with Co. A, 27th Mississippi Infantry
  Cullinas B. Hannah married in 1873 to Celia Frances Hunt (1854-1878) and later had three children: Linny Leonora, Robert Lee, and Thomas Jefferson Hannah. In a slightly confusing aside note, Find-A-Grave lists a "C.B. Hannah" of Oktibbeha County as having a wife, Bettie (1854-1887), who died along with an infant son in January 1887. Could Bettie, in fact, be Celia, and did the Official Register of Mississippi confuse their names and dates of death? The answer remains a mystery!
   As a farmer based in the Oktibbeha County town of Sturgis, Hannah engaged in that vocation for all of his life, and in 1892 entered into his first term in the Mississippi State House of Representatives. At the end of his term in 1896, he returned to farming, and nearly a decade afterward won election to the Sturgis city council (serving from 1905-1906.)  In November 1911 he was returned to the state legislature, and during this session (1912-1916) sat on the house committees on Pensions, Eleemosynary Institutions, Ways and Means, Registrations and Elections, and Propositions and Grievances.
   At the conclusion of his term in 1916, Hannah returned to private life in Sturgis. He died there on March 10, 1919, five days after his seventy-fourth birthday. He was later interred at the Sturgis Cemetery under a headstone denoting his status as a Mason.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Vaneverie Bascom Cozby (1875-1949)

Dr. V.B. Cozby, from the May 2, 1963 Grand Saline Sun.

    Today marks a return to Texas to highlight the life of yet another strangely named Lone Star state public official, and I think you'll agree that he possesses one of the oddest names I've come across in quite a while--Vaneverie Bascom Cozby! A resident of the city of Grand Saline, Mr. Cozby's placement here on the site rests on his nearly three-decade tenure as mayor of Grand Saline, a lengthy term of office that brings to mind another long-serving Texas mayor that was profiled recently, one Uncas Norvell Clary of the town of Prosper. 
   A veteran of World War I as well as a practicing physician, Cozby served as Mayor of Grand Saline from 1919 to 1947. Despite his prominent status in Grand Saline, very little exists online in regard to Cozby's life, and this article would not have been possible had it not been for the help of Sibyl Creasey and the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society! A few weeks ago I sent an e-mail to Sibyl inquiring about further information on Mr. Cozby, as well as about a possible portrait of him (shown at the very end of this write-up). Up until today, Mr. Cozby was just another "faceless" oddly named Texas mayor who lacked a portrait, and now, with the aid of the aforementioned folks, there will finally be a biography of this prominent Grand Saline man available online! Many, many thanks to Sibyl and the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society for their help regarding Mr. Cozby!!
    Born on September 29, 1875, in Colfax, Texas, Vaneverie Bascom Cozby was the son of Chappell Columbus (1853-1905) and Sarah Jane "Sallie" Mayne Cozby (1855-1936). Given the highly unusual first name "Vaneverie" upon his birth, Cozby would attend school in Colfax and would later be employed as a school teacher in that town. At the dawn of the Spanish-American War Cozby would sign on for service as a volunteer infantryman and following his service married in Colfax on December 23, 1900, to Linnie Geneva Kirkpatrick (1881-1963). The couple would be married for nearly fifty years and had a total of four children, listed as follows in order of birth: Harold Otis (1901-1956), Raymond Wilson (1906-1965), Ruby Cozby Kuykendall (1910-1996) and Ruth (1915-2009). It should also be noted that two of Cozby's sons (Harold and Raymond) followed in the father's stead and went on to careers in medicine. 
   Following his marriage, Cozby decided upon a career in medicine and in the mid-1900s entered upon study at the Southwestern University Medical College in Texas. He would graduate in the class of 1908 and soon afterward relocated to Grand Saline to establish his medical practice.

                                                               V.B. Cozby, from the 1908 Southwester Yearbook.

   Cozby would operate his medical practice in Grand Saline until the dawn of American involvement in WWI. He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and was honorably discharged in 1919. Cozby would be affiliated with the medical corps for a number of years afterward, and in 1935 received the appointment as Major in the 144th Infantry Medical Corps. 
   Following his return to Texas Cozby was elected Grand Saline's Mayor, beginning a tenure that would last for 28 years. His lengthy tenure in that office is noted as bringing about "the materialization of some noteworthy civic improvements" and after serving nearly twenty years in office "requested his name be left off the ballot" in that year's (1938) mayoral election. However, Cozby's popularity with the citizens of Grand Saline won out, as the "voters wrote it in", and after winning the election continued in his role as mayor for a further eight years.
   During the twenty-fifth year of his mayoralty, Cozby was honored by the citizens of Grand Saline by having a hospital dedicated in his name, The Cozby-Germany Hospital, in November 1944. Formerly opened in 1946, this hospital remained the lone hospital in Van Zandt County until its closure in January 2014
   In the 1947 election, the then 72-year-old Cozby faced off against an opponent half his age, John Edward "J.E." Persons (1910-2000). On election day it was Persons who won out, defeating the man whom Grand Saline citizens had called Mayor for nearly thirty years. Two years after his defeat Vaneverie Bascom Cozby died in Grand Saline on November 29, 1949. His death was attributed to "Bronchial Pneumonia (Terminal)" and he was survived by his wife Linnie and all of his children. Burial later occurred at the Woodside Cemetery located in Grand Saline. 

V.B. Cozby at the Lions Club of Grand Saline, courtesy of the Van Zandt County Genealogy Society.