Saturday, May 31, 2014

Tonquin Eben LaGrone (1891-1956)

Portrait from the 1916 Georgetown University Yearbook.

   Elected to the South Carolina State House of Representatives in November 1914, Tonquin E. LaGrone was one of the youngest men ever to serve as a member of the South Carolina General Assembly, and following his service went on to further prominence in law and business, serving as an assistant to the President of the University of South Carolina beginning in the late 1930s.
  Tonquin Ebon LaGrone was born in Edgefield County, South Carolina on November 11, 1891. His unusual first name "Tonquin" has proven to be one of the more unique names I've managed to stumble across, and his middle name has been shown to be spelled as both "Ebon" and "Eben". He is recorded as attending Batesburg High School and later enrolled at the University of South Carolina. 
   In July 1914 the then twenty-three-year-old T.E. LaGrone became a candidate for a seat in the South Carolina House of Representatives and in November won the election. Taking his seat at the beginning of the 1915 legislative term, "Tonnie" LaGrone was just 24 years of age, one of the youngest serving members of the South Carolina House of Representatives in its history. During his one term in the legislature, LaGrone represented Saluda County and served on the following House committees: Roads, Bridges and Ferries, Offices and Officers, and Local Legislation. LaGrone was also the author of a legislative act that advocated teaching domestic science and agriculture in the consolidated schools of the state.
   While still an incumbent legislator, Tonquin LaGrone entered into the study of law at Georgetown University, graduating in the class of 1916. He would practice law in the cities of Greenville and Titusville and married on September 19, 1927, to Mary Katherine Gaines Guerry (1892-1989). The couple had one son, Tonquin Gaines LaGrone (1933-2011), who followed in his father's stead and became an attorney, practicing law for over forty years in the state of Florida. 
   Active in business as well as law, LaGrone became a sales manager for the CertainTeed Products Company and would serve as vice president of the Glenn Thread Company based in Lincolnton, North Carolina. In April 1939 he was selected by the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees to be an assistant to university president J. Rion McKissick, and LaGrone's past affiliation with the school was noted by the university's newspaper as one of:
" Long unwavering loyalty to the university, his business experience, his pleasant personality, fine character and real ability will fit him well for service to his alma mater."
  During his time with the University of South Carolina, Tonquin LaGrone returned to public service when he served as the executive secretary of the South Carolina State Salvage Committee beginning in 1942. LaGrone later resided in Lake County, Florida, and died there on February 28, 1956, aged 64. He was survived by his wife and son, all of whom are interred at the Lone Oak Cemetery in Leesburg, Florida.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Udolpho Sikes Underwood (1891-1972), Udolphus Cato Ellis (1913-1995)

Portrait courtesy of

   A one-term state representative from Georgia, Udolpho Sikes Underwood's first name is truly unique in the annals of public office, and there appears to be some confusion as to how his first name is spelled, as it is variously given as "Udolpho, "Udolpha"  and "Udolphus". These spelling discrepancies, as you can imagine, have made locating information on Underwood a bit more difficult, but with the discovery of a World War I registration card for him (where Underwood himself spells his name as Udolpho Sikes Underwood), I can be fairly certain that "Udolpho" is the correct spelling.
    A lifelong resident of Georgia, Udolpho S. Underwood was the son of John Howard and Martha Jane Underwood, being born on June 28, 1891 in Reynolds, Georgia. Underwood is recorded as having attended the Reynolds, Georgia High School in Taylor County and married on January 4, 1911, to Martha Jane Brown (1895-1978). The couple would later have a total of eleven children throughout their sixty-plus year marriage and are listed as follows: Winnie Melba (1911-1983), Millard Brown (1912-2003), Frederick Sikes (1914-1980), Edna Myrtice (born 1916), James (born 1918), Harold (born 1921), Ralph Rudolph (1923-1972), Nellie (born 1926), Betty Ann (1928-1983), Amie Jean (birth-date unknown) and Sarah Jacqueline (birth-date unknown). Of these children, Ralph R. Underwood followed his father into politics, serving as a state representative from Taylor County for three terms between 1961 and 1967.
  The majority of Udolpho S. Underwood's life was centered in the private sector, being a farmer in the town of Reynolds. He is also recorded as being the proprietor of a general store in that town, and in November 1944 was elected as one of Taylor County's representatives to the Georgia State Assembly. He served one term in the legislature, 1945-1947, and returned to private life after his service. Little else could be found on Underwood's life, except notice of his death, which occurred on February 17, 1972, at age 80. He was survived by his wife Martha, and following her passing in 1978 was interred alongside her husband at the Mount Olive Freewill Baptist Church Cemetery in Pottersville, Georgia.

U. Cato Ellis, from the Tennessee General Assembly composite portrait, 1951-52.

   Tipton County, Tennessee native Udolphus Cato Ellis is another man endowed with a very peculiar first name. Although most sources list him under the name "Cato" or "U. Cato" Ellis, one can wonder if he ever had difficulty explaining that his actual first name was "Udolphus"! 
   Born on June 2, 1913, in Munford, Tennessee, Ellis attended the Tennessee Normal College (now the University of Tennessee) and began a career in teaching while still a young man. He'd later serve as Principal of the Elementary School at Munford and would also engage in farming and cotton production, being the owner of a cotton gin. Ellis was married to Susie M. Bibb  (1916-1999) and would later have three children, Cato Jr., Clara Jo, and Frankie Wade.
  Ellis first entered politics in the 1930s, serving as a justice on the Tipton County, Tennessee Court. He was later elected as the Mayor of his hometown of Munford during the 1940s and in November 1950 was elected as one of Tipton County's representatives to the Tennessee General Assembly, where he served one term (1951-1953). Following his legislative service, Ellis was appointed as U.S. Marshal for Tennessee's Western District and was the incumbent in this office in 1968 when Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis. A day before the legendary civil rights leader was slain, U. Cato Ellis visited him at the Loraine Motel in Memphis to serve him a temporary restraining order issued by a judge that prevented King from leading a march during an ongoing sanitation strike

U. Cato Ellis and Martin Luther King, a day before the latter's assassination on Apr. 4, 1968.

   After leaving the marshal's service Cato Ellis resumed his banking interests in Munford, serving as the Munford Union Bank's board chairman and director emeritus, eventually retiring in the 1980s. Ellis died at age 82 on September 21, 1995, and was survived by his wife and three children. He and his wife were both interred at the Helen Crigger Cemetery in Munford.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Zoath Freeman Yost (1863-1941), Zoeth Skinner Eldredge (1846-1918), Zoeth Snow Jr. (1825-1901)

                                                        Portrait from the St. Louis Republic, July 31, 1902

   The following write-up highlights the lives of three political figures with the unusual first name "Zoeth", the name of a minor biblical figure (Zoheth) who is mentioned in the Book of Chronicles. The first of these men is Zoath Freeman Yost,  a native of West Virginia who would go on to a distinguished career in law and politics in Illinois, being a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1902.
   One of eight children born to Fielding Hamilton and Malinda Ann Jones Yost, Zoath Freeman "Z.F." Yost's birth occurred in Fairview, Marion County, West Virginia on October 12, 1863. "Reared on a farm" in Fairview, Yost's education took place in that county and he would later be employed as a life insurance salesman/agent for the New York Life Insurance Company in the mid-1880s. Around this same time, he began the study of law at the West Virginia University, eventually graduating with his bachelor of laws degree in the class of 1893. Earlier, in November 1890, Yost had married in Pontiac, Illinois to Ella Hartshorne and later had three children: Hellene (1892-1979), Catherine (1894-1970), and  J. Paul (born 1897).
    After receiving his law degree Z.F. Yost removed from West Virginia to Pontiac, Illinois, where he and his family would reside for the remainder of their lives. Shortly after his resettlement Yost entered into practice in May of 1894 and in the next year was elected as City Attorney of Pontiac, serving one term in office. In 1898 Yost received the Democratic nomination for Judge of Livingston County, Illinois, running in an overwhelmingly Republican district. Yost was defeated for judge, but was not out of the political spotlight for long, for in July 1902 he was selected as the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois' 17th District. In the November election, Yost lost out once again, being defeated by Republican John Allen Sterling by a vote of 18,331 to 14,040.

From the St. Louis Republic, July 31, 1902.

   Despite his loss, Zoath F. Yost and the Pontiac County Democrats remained undeterred, and in 1904 he was again the Democratic standard bearer. The November election proved to be a repeat of the 1902 contest, with John A. Sterling besting Yost once again, this time by a wider margin, 23,414 votes to 12,978.
  Following his 1904 defeat for Congress little could be found on Yost's remaining years. In 1919 he was an unsuccessful candidate for delegate to the Illinois Constitutional Convention that was to convene in 1920 and received 400 votes. He continued to practice law in Pontiac and died on July 25, 1941, at age 77. He was survived by his wife and three children and even now, seventy years after Zoath's death, he and his family are still remembered in Pontiac through the Catherine V. Yost Museum. Named in honor of Zoath's daughter Catherine, the museum is housed in a three-story home erected for Yost in 1898 and is open to the public.

From the San Francisco Call, October 20, 1912.

    A native of Buffalo, New York,  Zoeth Skinner Eldredge would later relocate to California where he would gain distinction as a banker, amateur historian, and author. In 1904 Eldredge received the appointment as Bank Commissioner of California, serving one year in office. Born in Buffalo on October 16, 1846, Zoeth Skinner Eldredge was the son of Zoeth and Elizabeth Curry Elredge. He attended the public schools of Buffalo and by the early 1870s had migrated to Nevada, marrying in Carson City in March 1876 to Rosa Ellis. The couple would later become the parents of two sons, John Rochester (born 1877) and Zoeth Stanley (born 1879).

   While residing in Nevada Eldredge began a lifelong connection with banking, serving as the Vice-President of the Virginia Savings Bank of Story County, Nevada from 1878-79. Around 1879 he removed to California, and soon after began a stint as cashier of the Pacific Bank of San Francisco, remaining in this post until 1883. Eldredge continued his rise through California's financial ranks in 1893, when he was appointed as national bank examiner of San Francisco (serving thirteen years) and in 1892 remarried to Frances Webster (1860-1917), having two further children, Alba Webster (born 1893) and Lois (died aged 7 months in 1900).
   In December 1904 California Bank commissioner William High resigned from office, and a short while later Governor George Cooper Pardee tapped Zoeth S. Eldredge to succeed him. 

From the Los Angeles Herald, December 13, 1904.

   Eldredge's appointment to the office was lauded in the December 13, 1904, San Francisco Call, which noted that he "was regarded as one of the most thorough and capable men in this branch of United States service." Eldredge served as commissioner from 1904-1905 and after leaving office held the Presidency of the National Bank of the Pacific from 1905-09 and also gained additional distinction as a historian and author on the history of the San Francisco area, authoring "The March of Portola and the Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco" in 1909. Eldredge followed this work with a further look at early San Francisco, publishing a two-volume history in 1912, entitled "The Beginnings of San Francisco: From the Expedition of Anza, 1774 to the City Charter of April 15, 1850". 
  Zoeth S. Eldredge died in San Francisco on July 8, 1918 at age 68 and had survived his second wife Frances by only a few months. Both were interred at the Cypress Lawn Memorial Park in Colma, California. There is some discrepancy on Eldredge's date of death, with many sources listing 1915 as the year of his demise. The correct date of death is 1918, with Eldredge's funeral record (link above) proving this.

From the 1872 Massachusetts General Court group portrait.

   A merchant and blacksmith based in Brewster, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, Zoeth Snow represented that town in the Massachusetts General Court for two terms in the early 1870s. Born on September 29, 1825, Snow was the son of Zoeth and Sarah Crosby Snow and would serve during the Civil War with Co. E., Fifth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He married twice during his life and his second marriage to Rebecca Linnell (1839-1923) saw the births of five children: Irene Pierson (born 1863), Henry Everett (died in infancy in 1865), twins Freeman and Charles (died in infancy in 1866) and Warren Freeman (1869-1962). 
    Prior to serving in the legislature Snow served as a town selectman for Brewster and in November 1871 was elected as Brewster's representative to the Massachusetts General Court, and was reelected to a second term in November 1872. During the 1873 term, Snow sat on the house committee on Parishes and Religious Societies. Zoeth Snow died three days before his 76th birthday on September 26, 1901 and was buried at the Brewster Cemetery. In an interesting tidbit, Snow's lavish mansion in Brewster still stands today, and for over three decades was the home of a tennis club. For those so inclined, the house is available for purchase at the not altogether unreasonable asking price of $1, 972,000!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Leonorian Neidlinger (1865-1932)

                                                               Portrait courtesy of "Effingham County".

   Sporting a rather space-age sounding name like "Leonorian Neidlinger" may seem to indicate a science fiction movie character, but you'll be surprised to know that this name actually belongs to a member of the Georgia State Senate who was born nearly 150 years ago! A lifelong native of Effingham County Georgia, Leonorian Neidlinger was the son of Edward Samuel Shadrack and Francis Melissa Neidlinger, being born in Effingham on April 4, 1865. Leonorian married in Effingham County on April 10, 1892, to Ansanetta "Annie" Shearouse (1875-1957) and later became the father to six children: Langdon M. (1893-1965), Laurie M. (1895-1949), Preston Flanders (1896-1953), Marion H., Leonorian Jr. (1906-1986) and Ellis L. 
   Very little exists online in terms of information of Neidlinger's early life or education, and despite being shrouded in obscurity it is known that Neidlinger was for many years a prominent man in Effingham County, serving as county treasurer for a time and was later elected as clerk to the Board of Commissioners of Effingham County. In November 1918 Neidlinger was elected to represent his home county in the Georgia State Senate, serving one term which extended from 1919-1921. 
  Leonorian Neidlinger died eleven years after his Senate term on May 24, 1932, at age 67, and was described as "having been in failing health for some time." He was survived by his wife Annie and was interred at the Springfield City Cemetery in Effingham County. 

                                                                From the May 24, 1932 Thomasville Times.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Elloy Ring Ganey (1881-1950)

Portrait from the October 28, 1948 Fredonia, New York Censor.

    Every so often I receive the pleasant surprise of discovering a political figure local to my home county of Chautauqua, New York who is blessed with a peculiar name. Just a short while ago I experienced one of those surprises when I stumbled across the name of Elloy Ring Ganey, a Chautauqua County resident who was for many years prominent in local Democratic circles, being a candidate for the New York State Assembly, an alternate delegate to the 1928 Democratic National Convention, chairman of the Chautauqua Democratic Committee and Postmaster of Jamestown, New York. Despite Ganey's prominence in Chautauqua's public life several decades ago he is all but forgotten today, and the succeeding lines aim to be a proper biography of a historically neglected Chautauquan from the past.
    A native of Pennsylvania. Elloy Ring Ganey was born in Warren on December 12th, 1881, being the second of five children born to Mathew and Littie Ganey. The family would later move from Warren to the village of Carroll in Chautauqua County, and as a young man, Ganey would find work as a steam engineer under the employ of the Charles Haas Construction Company of Jamestown, New York. Ganey's obituary in the Warren Times Mirror further relates that he worked as a motorman for the Chautauqua Traction Company for a time, and would also serve as a game warden in Chautauqua County beginning in the early 1910s.
   E.R. Ganey became active in Chautauqua County political circles in the early 1920s, and in the succeeding years grew to be a prominent Democrat within the county. In 1926 he was a Democratic candidate for a seat in the New York State Assembly from Chautauqua's 1st district, and in the November election was defeated by Republican candidate Adolph Johnson, receiving 2,333 votes to Johnson's 11, 022. Two years following his defeat Ganey served as an alternate delegate from New York to the 1928 Democratic National Convention in Houston, Texas, which nominated Alfred E. Smith for the Presidency.
   Following his service as a delegate, Ganey achieved further prominence in April 1932 when he was selected to be chairman of the Chautauqua County Democratic Committee. The Silver Creek, New York News reported on his ascension to that office, noting that he was elected "without opposition." He held this post for two years, being succeeded in 1934 by Loren Lamphere. In that year E.R. Ganey received the appointment of Postmaster of Jamestown, New York, and would serve in this capacity until his death sixteen years later.

Elloy Ganey (pictured on the far left), from the January 6, 1946 Jamestown Post Journal.

                           Elloy R. Ganey (pictured at left), from the Buffalo Courier-Express, July 13, 1945.

   In addition to his political and civic activities within the county, Ganey maintained an interest in a decidedly non-political subject: horse racing. As the owner of a stable of several harness racing horses, he is remarked as being "a familiar figure at the Buffalo Raceway in his striking shirts and ties" and one of his horses, a "consistent trotter" named Camilla Hanover, earned over $17,000 in purse money. Ganey was also involved in several fraternal organizations in Chautauqua County, including the Jamestown Elks Lodge, the "Protected Home Circle" and was active in the running of the annual Chautauqua County Fair, serving as its president and head of horse racing.
   Elloy Ring Ganey died at WCA Hospital in Jamestown on March 21, 1950, at age 68. A heart ailment is attributed to being his cause of death, and following his passing was interred at the Fentonville Cemetery located near Frewsburg, New York. A life-long bachelor, Ganey was survived by three siblings and had resided with the Burch family of Jamestown as a border in their home. In keeping with the sometimes exhaustive research I do on some of these oddly named folks, I made a point to seek out Elloy Ganey's gravesite at the Fentonville Cemetery, and as luck would have it, this cemetery is comparatively small when compared to several others I've visited in the past. Within two minutes of beginning my hunt for his gravesite, I located Ganey's modest headstone near the front of the cemetery (photographs below.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Euzema Clarence Bower (1849-1923)

From the History of the Bench and Bar of California, 1912.

  Prominent in law circles in both Georgia and California, Euzema Clarence Bower began his career in public life in the Peach State, where he served as a delegate to the 1876 Democratic National Convention and later, a term in the state senate. Following his term in the senate Bower would resettle in California, where he gained further prominence as an attorney, even being a candidate for District Attorney of Los Angeles County in 1894.
   Born in the town of Cuthbert, Georgia on October 18, 1849, Euzema Clarence "E.C." Bower was the son of Isaac Eben Bower (1811-1873, a distinguished attorney) and his wife Adeline DeMonthalt Breedlove Bower (1823-1895). Euzema C. Bower began his education in "the public schools of Georgia" and first entered public service at age seventeen, being named as a deputy collector of Internal Revenue. During this time he began the study of law and in 1868 was admitted to the Georgia State Bar. Bower would operate a practice in the city of Bainbridge for two years with his older brother Byron Beaufort (1839-1923) and later removed from this area to establish another law office in Blakely, Georgia. In 1871 Bower was selected as a delegate to Georgia's Democratic State Convention and in the following year served as an alternate delegate to the Democratic National Convention being held in Baltimore.
   Bower's residency in Blakely saw him seek out political office, and in 1876 was elected as one of Georgia's delegates to the Republican National Convention that nominated Samuel J. Tilden for the Presidency. In November of that year, Bower won election to the Georgia State Senate from Early County and married in October 1879 to Harriett S. Daffin (1853-1939). The couple later had five children, listed as follows in order of birth: Italja (1881-1962), Leland Sanborn (1882-1963), Euzema Clarence Jr. (1884-1917), Forrest Hill (1891-1953) and Helen Mayeska (1892-1983).
   In November 1878 Bower won re-election to the senate and held his seat until leaving office in 1881. Further political honors were accorded to him in 1884 when he was elected as Mayor of Blakely, serving one term in office. Shortly after the conclusion of his term Bower and his family removed from Blakely and resettled in Los Angeles, where they would reside for the remainder of their lives.

Portrait from Shuck's "History of the Bench and Bar of California", 1901.

  Following his relocation, Bower returned to practicing law, and in the succeeding years made his name known in legal circles throughout the city. His skill as an attorney received mention in Oscar Tully Shuck's 1901 "History of the Bench and Bar of California", which notes that:
"There is, perhaps, no lawyer in the state who is better posted in the practice of courts, or who is more familiar with the provisions of the codes, and the decisions of the Supreme Court."
 During his California residency, E.C. Bower refrained from pursuing public office, excepting his unsuccessful 1894 candidacy for District Attorney of Los Angeles County. In that contest Bower faced off against Republican candidate John C. Donnell, with the Los Angeles Herald reporting that:
"The people want as district attorney a man whom the facts of record prove to be a competent, practicing attorney, not a bloviating cross-roads politician. They will elect Mr. Bower."
 In the November 1894 election, it was Donnell who triumphed, besting Bower in the vote count, going on to serve as district attorney until 1899. After his defeat, Bower continued with his law practice and also maintained memberships in the Los Angeles Bar Association and both the Masonic and Moose Lodges. He died at age 74 in March 1923 and was later interred at Los Angeles' famed Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the resting place of such luminaries as Rudolph Valentino, Cecil B. DeMille, Mel Blanc, Peter Lorre, Adolphe Menjou, and Mickey Rooney.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Medary Montez Hathaway (1862-1912)

 Portrait from the "Trade Unions of South Bend: Labor Directory", 1898.

   For many years a prominent figure in Pulaski County, Indiana Democratic circles,  Medary Montez Hathaway was a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1898 and in 1900 was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Kansas City. Born on March 11, 1862 in Winamac, Indiana, Medary M. Hathaway was the son of Richard Weller (1814-1871) and Nancy Quigley Hathaway (1833-1906). Bestowed the unusual name "Medary Montez" upon his birth, "Mont" Hathaway experienced the loss of his father at an early age, and along with his three siblings worked a small dairy farm that had been established by his mother, carrying milk to customers "night and morning." Hathaway received a limited public school education in Winamac during the wintertime and during the summer months worked a variety of odd jobs, including that of a farm hand and railroad "section hand."
  Around 1878 Hathaway took on a position as a teacher in Winamac and continued along this route for several years. He later was engaged in the manufacture of cigars with the Dilts Bros. Company for a period of two years, and in 1881 became deputy auditor of Pulaski County under Robert Connor. His service in this office extended eight years, and during this time began reading law under local attorney John Nye. Hathaway was admitted to the Pulaski County bar in 1890 and shortly thereafter established a practice in Winamac. He would later operate a firm with another attorney, Henry Steis, and also took an interest in real estate, controlling "about one thousand acres of land" located throughout Pulaski County.
    Medary Montez Hathaway married on his 24th birthday, March 11, 1886, to Elsie Morrow (1867-1952), with whom he would have one son, Morrow Quigley Hathaway, born in 1890. Active in the Winamac Masonic chapter, Medary Hathaway joined the Winamac Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in 1883 and would later head that lodge as its worshipful master in 1892. Hathaway was a member of both the Tippecanoe and Logansport masonic lodges and was also affiliated with the Knights Templar Lodge, the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, and the Order of the Eastern Star. 
    Described by the "Biographical History of Tippecanoe, White, Jasper, Newton, Benton. Warren and Pulaski Counties" as an "enthusiastic Democrat", Hathaway chaired the Pulaski County Democratic Committee for two terms and was later honored by being named to the Indiana Democratic Executive Central Committee, serving in this capacity for eight years. In 1896 Hathaway was talked of as a potential state senate candidate but declined the nomination. Two years later his name was brought forward again for high office, this time as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Indiana's Thirteenth District. On this occasion, Hathaway accepted the honor, and his candidacy received a substantial write-up in the September 23, 1898 edition of the Marshall County Independent, which lauded Hathaway as a "self-made" man, noting:
"Here, where Medary M. Hathaway was born thirty-six years ago and has lived all of his life, and is known to every man, woman and child, nothing can be said of him that is new--nothing need be said. Whatever and all he is or has, has come by his own exertion and his unswerving honor and honesty to man and party."
From the Marshall County Independent, November 4, 1898.

    In that year's election, Hathaway faced Republican nominee Abraham Lincoln Brick (1860-1908), a former prosecuting attorney for both St. Joseph and LaPorte County, Indiana. On election day November 4, 1898, it was Brick who emerged victorious, besting Medary Hathaway by a narrow margin, 23,368 votes to 20,886. Following his defeat, Hathaway was selected as one of Indiana's delegates to the 1900 Democratic National Convention being held in Kansas City that would nominate William Jennings Bryan for the Presidency.
    Four years following his defeat for Congress Hathaway was again a candidate for public office, this time running as the Democratic candidate for Circuit Court Judge of Indiana's Forty-Forth district. On election day 1902 he was dealt another loss, being defeated by the man he had studied law under, Republican candidate John C. Nye. Despite a narrow loss margin of only 36 votes, Hathaway continued to be active in public life in Winamac County for the remainder of his life. He died one month after his 50th birthday on April 10, 1912, and was shortly thereafter interred at the Winamac Cemetery

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Illion Everett Moore (1866-1962)

Portrait from the January 23, 1962 edition of the Zanesville Times Recorder.

   A lifelong resident of Muskingum County, Ohio, Illion Everett Moore was long distinguished in agricultural circles in the Buckeye State, later gaining additional notoriety as a member of the Ohio State Constitutional Convention of 1911-12 and as a Socialist candidate for the Ohio legislature. The son of Samuel Anderson and Rosanna Moore, Illion E. Moore was born in the small settlement of Carlwick on February 8, 1866.  Little could be found on his early life or education, though during his youth he entered the employ of a government contractor in "the rebuilding of locks at the dam at Philo." Moore was later employed as a Pullman conductor for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and later, the Pennsylvania Railroad.
  During a long life that extended almost 96 years, Illion Moore remained a bachelor and was the proprietor of a farm near Carlwick, Ohio. His interest in agricultural pursuits within Muskingum County extended over seventy years and included work as a member of the Carlswick Grange (of which he was a member for 75 years), a demonstrator for the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station, and a correspondent for the Ohio Agricultural Department.
  In addition to agriculture, Illion Moore entered politics in the early 1890s, being a delegate to the People's Party (also referred to as the Populist Party) Conventions of 1892 and 1896, held in Omaha, Nebraska and St. Louis, Missouri, respectively. Moore reentered politics in 1908 when he became the Socialist candidate for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives from Muskingum County. One of four candidates vying for the seat, Moore polled only 373 votes, compared to Republican Winfield Scott Gregg's winning total of 7,900. An electoral result from that contest is shown below.

  Following his defeat for the legislature, Illion Moore resumed his agricultural activities until November 1911, when he and fellow Muskingum County resident Lawrence Kunkle were elected as that county's delegates to the 1912 Ohio State Constitutional Convention that was to be held in Columbus. Moore joined the other delegates at the convention's start in January 1912 and sat on the following convention standing committees: Agriculture, County and Township Organization, Initiative and Referendum. The Zanesville Times Recorder reported on Moore's service in his 1962 obituary, relating that he "wrote an amendment providing for forestry as a public project." 
  After his service at the convention, Moore returned to Muskingum County to resume farming.  Beginning in the 1920s he served as township clerk and justice of the peace for Wayne Township, continuing in the latter office well into the 1930s. Illion E. Moore died at his home in Zanesville, Ohio on January 22, 1962, two weeks short of his 96th birthday. Never having married, Moore was survived by a niece and was interred at the Reeve-Crumbaker Cemetery in Salt Creek Township, Ohio.

From the January 23, 1962 edition of the Zanesville Times Recorder.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hortensious Lowry Isherwood (1850-1924)

                                   Dr. Hortensious L. Isherwood, ca. 1914, in the possession of John Durbin.

  If you've followed the regular postings here on the site for any length of time you may have noticed that the state of Missouri has been very well represented here over the past three years, with nearly twenty oddly named Missouri political figures receiving write-ups on their respective lives and careers.  Today marks a return to the "Show Me State" to shine a spotlight on Hortensious Lowry Isherwood, a man who in all likelihood is the oddest named person ever to be elected to serve in the Missouri House of Representatives. The following article on this outstandingly named Missouri resident has been over a year in the making, and the succeeding passages on this Jasper County, Missouri resident aim to highlight the life of a man who in his day was one of the preeminent public figures in that county, being a physician, banker, and one-term state representative. 
  I first located the name of Hortensious L. Isherwood in early 2013 while perusing an online copy of the Official Manual of the State of Missouri, 1893-94. Contained therein was a small four-line biography of Isherwood, detailing his service as his physician in both Iowa and Missouri. Immediately intrigued by the man's highly unusual name, I quickly set about tracking down more information on Isherwood, and after a few hours of searching was rewarded with several more pieces of biographical information, as well as a Joplin Globe notice for him that related the particulars of his death in a March 1924 car/train accident in Jasper County.
  Despite having located copious amounts of information on Isherwood, I was at a loss when it came to finding a picture of him. For over a year he remained a "faceless" political figure, and this lack of a portrait eventually led me to begin a furtive search for a historical society in the Jasper County area that could help me locate one. After reaching multiple dead ends (including finding that Jasper County has no "historical society" to speak of), I decided on an alternate route, and after stumbling across the City of Carl Junction website (which, coincidentally, mentions Mr. Isherwood) began work on a lengthy e-mail explaining my project and interest in Mr. Isherwood's life.
    A few days afterward I received a reply from Carl Junction city clerk Meribeth Matney, who related that she would forward my message to Carl Junction historian John Durbin. This was the beginning of a very fruitful correspondence between myself, Maribeth, and John, one which resulted in several Isherwood-related documents being copied and sent to me, including the two portraits of him that adorn the beginning and end of his profile here. I'd like to extend my thanks to both Maribeth and John for their extensive help in sending me a veritable treasure trove of documents centering on Isherwood's time in Carl Junction, and I can state that this profile would not have been possible without Maribeth Matney and John Durbin's help and input! Many, many thanks for all your help!!
   With that introduction, we begin with the birth of Hortensious Lowry Isherwood, which occurred in the town of Franklin, Linn County, Iowa on October 17, 1850, being the eldest of four children born to Thomas Green (1816-1890) and Herpalice Lowry Isherwood (1816-1904). A native of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Thomas G. Isherwood spent the first three decades of his life in that state and married in 1849 to the aforementioned Herpalice Lowry, a native of Westmoreland County. The origins of our subject's intriguing name can be traced directly back to the maternal side of his family, as Herpalice Lowry's brother possessed the name......Hortensius! Hortensius Lowry (1818-1895) was for many years a prosperous farmer in Rostraver, Pennsylvania, owning a near 400-acre farm in that town. Described as a man "called to fill many of the town offices", both Hortensius Lowry and his oddly named nephew shared the same political affiliation, being lifelong Democrats.  While he may have been named in honor of his maternal uncle, Isherwood's first name is recorded by more than one source as "Hortensious" (you'll notice the spelling variation there) and it is this spelling that is engraved on his gravestone at the Carl Junction Cemetery.
    Isherwood began his education in the public schools of Linn County and would go on to take "literary and engineering courses" at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. He would later enroll at the Bryant and Stratton College in Illinois and around 1876 entered the Rush Medical College in Chicago, graduating with his medical degree in 1878. After receiving his degree Isherwood returned to Iowa and established a medical office in Clarksville, located in Butler County. He later reestablished his practice in the village of Shell and during his residency here was a charter member and treasurer of the Butler County Medical Association. In 1882 Isherwood relocated to Jasper County, Missouri, where he would reside for the remainder of his life.
   Shortly after his removal to Jasper County, Dr. Isherwood settled first in the town of Avilla, where he recommenced in the practice of medicine. His stay in Avilla was short-lived, as he would resettle in Carl Junction around 1883 and after establishing another medical practice married there on June 17, 1888, to Susie May Coons (1865-1936). The couple would later have three children: Niena Isherwood Henley (1890-1957), Hortensious Lowry Jr. (1895-1916), and Eber Dudley (1895-1950). Of these children Eber Isherwood followed in his father's footsteps, operating a drug store in Carl Junction, while Hortensius Jr. met an early death as the result of an accident sustained in a baseball game in 1916. Isherwood and his family resided on a 240-acre farm in Jasper County, where he is also mentioned as having interests in mining.
   Dr. Isherwood's medical practice in Carl Junction is recorded by the Biographical Record of Jasper County as having won "the confidence of a continually increasing list of grateful patients". In addition to his practice, Isherwood was the proprietor of a pharmacy and was engaged as a surgeon for the railway that passed through Carl Junction.  Through the years Isherwood's status as a "horse and buggy doctor" made his name known not only in Carl Junction but throughout neighboring towns in Jasper County. "Old Doc", as Isherwood was sometimes referred to, was fondly remembered in the years after his death in the February 26, 1950 edition of the Joplin Globe, which featured an article authored by V.D. Marshall, a former pharmacy assistant to Isherwood. Marshall fondly recalled Isherwood's character and status as one of Carl Junction's foremost citizens, noting that:
"He seemed unapproachable except on matters of extreme importance, and it was not until I became closely associated with him that behind his assumption of aloofness and austerity he concealed an acute sense of humor and a tolerant understanding of human frailties." 
   Marshall also relates that after many years of visiting patients via horse and buggy, Isherwood made the transition to an automobile to make his rounds. It took some time for "Old Doc" to adjust to his new mode of transportation, and after some trial and error in piloting his newly purchased "five-passenger model" Ford, "Old Doc" was said to have "furnished the loiterers along Main Street many a good-natured chuckle." This same article further denotes that Isherwood dabbled in real estate and "acquired a number of houses about town", which he then rented out to "miners, widows, and others not in the higher income brackets." The charitable doctor is recorded as having "never pressed" any of his tenants if they failed to pay rent, and exhibited similar charity when it came to his medical practice, refusing to send statements of account to patients who had failed to provide payment. As V.D. Marshall relates:
"Patients either paid what was due to him voluntarily or not at all."
   In addition to practicing medicine, Isherwood maintained an interest in Jasper County civic and political affairs, being a member of the county Democratic Committee for over a decade. He entered state politics in 1892 when he became a candidate for a seat in the Missouri State House of Representatives and was one of four candidates in that year's contest. On election day 1892, he eked out a very narrow win over his Republican opponent Albert E.L. Gardner, 3,287 votes to 3,269. With Isherwood's eighteen vote victory he became one of two Jasper county representatives in the state legislature, and during his term served on the house committees on Enrolled Bills, Mines and Mining, and Miscellaneous and Unfinished Business.

  Isherwood's term in the legislature concluded in January 1895 and after leaving state government returned to his medical duties in Carl Junction. He continued to be involved in local civic affairs, being a founder and president of the Citizen's Bank of Carl Junction in the early 1900s. A member of the Jasper County Medical Society, Isherwood was also affiliated with numerous fraternal organizations, being a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Knights of Pythias, and the local Masonic chapter. Isherwood would reenter politics in the 1900s when he was elected as the Mayor of Carl Junction, his dates of service being unknown at this time.
   Dr. Isherwood maintained an active schedule as he grew older, continuing to make medical calls throughout Carl Junction and neighboring areas. Isherwood's devotion to his practice eventually resulted in a tragic accident near Waco, Missouri on March 17, 1924. On that date, the 73-year-old Isherwood was returning from a "professional call" in his automobile when his car was struck at a railroad crossing by an oncoming Kansas City Southern passenger train. According to multiple newspaper reports following the accident, the view of the tracks was partially obscured by an embankment, and that Dr. Isherwood had been traveling alone.
   Following this accident, Isherwood's body (described as being mutilated almost beyond recognition) was transferred by the train crew to the nearby town of Asbury, then on to Joplin, and finally to Carl Junction, where funeral arrangements were completed. Isherwood was survived by his wife Susie and two children and was interred in the Isherwood family plot at the Carl Junction Cemetery. Susie, Eber, and Niena Isherwood were also interred here following their deaths.

                                                                         Hortensious L. Isherwood, 1850-1924.

A death notice for Isherwood from the Joplin Globe, March 19, 1924.

From the Carthage Evening Press, March 17, 1924.