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 York by birth,  Consider Alphonzo Stacy was born in Madison County, New York 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 to 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 Mr. Beaman removed 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.

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