Sunday, May 31, 2015

Zefferino Ceria Prina (1862-1922)

Z.C. Prina, from the Portrait and Biographical Record of Arizona, 1901.

   Our month-long theme of strangely named mayors concludes today, and the following write-up takes us to Arizona and one of that state's more oddly named public figures, Zefferino "Z.C." Prina. A native of Italy, Prina would become a businessman of some repute in Graham County, Arizona, first settling there in the late 1890s. In addition to success as the owner of a ranch and ice/creamery business in the city of Safford, Prina would be elected to two terms as mayor of that city, later serving as a county commissioner and member of the city council.
   The first Italian native to be profiled here, Zefferino Ceria Prina was born in Genoa, Italy on June 19, 1862. Both of his parent's names apparently have been lost to history, and he would reside in the country of his birth until the age of nine, whereafter he immigrated with his father to the United States. The pair first settled in Galveston, where young Zefferino was "bound out"  by his father to a local Italian couple. This period of Prina's young life is remarked as being "gloomy and cheerless" by the Portrait and Biographical Record of Arizona, which notes that during his apprenticeship:
"His best intentions in this household were misconstrued and treated with incredible severity, the lady of the mansion especially taking particular delight in whipping him long and hard."
    Prina resided in this unsettling atmosphere for about nine months, later escaping and returning to his father. They continued to reside in the Houston and Austin area and in 1876 Zefferino took work on a cattle ranch, where he would develop a longstanding interest in "the raising and selling of stock." He relocated to Arizona in 1884 and after settling in Cochise County became affiliated with the Chiricauha Cattle Company, who in turn sent Prina to Safford, Arizona to look after a ranch under their ownership. He remained here for two years and in 1897 resettled in Safford permanently. Prina married here on November 16, 1897 to Martha Wanslee (1880-1944) and later had five children: Eva (1899-1978), Ruth (1900-1987), Zeff Jr. (1904-1978), Eunice (1906-1972) and Grant (born ca. 1911).
    Soon after permanently settling in Safford Prina began establishing his business roots in the community, purchasing an interest in a local flour mill and a hardware store. In 1900 Prina established the Safford Ice and Creamery Company, and along with his partner George Olney, provided "the entire Gila Valley" with a "sufficient quantity" of ice. In the succeeding years Prina continued his rise in the Safford business sector, being a dealer in grain and hay, and a livestock dealer/rancher. In the early 1910s, Prina entered the automotive industry, taking work with the Michigan Motor Company managing sales. 
    Prina's rising success in various Safford business enterprises also saw him become active in the Graham County political scene. He served as a city councilman for Safford in the early 1910s and in May 1912 was sworn in as Mayor. Prina served two terms as Safford's mayor and during his term became the manager and president of the Arizona Life of Phoenix, an insurance company based in Safford. Following his term as mayor, Prina continued to serve Graham County in a number of political capacities, including time as a County Commissioner and Highway Commissioner
   Ranching and agricultural pursuits proved to be a consistent theme in Z.C. Prina's life after his mayoralty and the Pacific Coast Livestock Breeder relates that he continued to buy and sell "range cattle" until 1918, whereafter he "disposed of his range interests and retired from active work on the range." This same work notes that Prina still maintained an interest in milling four and his ice and creamery plant, and was the proud owner of one of "the most productive farms in his vicinity."

From the Pacific Coast Livestock Breeder, Vol. I, November 1920.

   A few years prior to his death Zefferino C. Prina was named to the Advisory Board of Directors of the Imperial Livestock and Mortgage Company. The life of this prominent Safford, Arizona resident came to a tragic end on April 13, 1922, as the result of a vehicle rollover near Tucson. As the Copper Era and Morenci Leader reported in its April 14th edition, Prina and four others had been en route to Globe, Arizona to attend a Shriner's convention when Prina (the driver of the vehicle) encountered a turn in the road. The vehicle then
" Swerved into an embankment on the right hand side and in an attempt to right it, it was thrown too near the edge of the hillside on the left hand side of the road and went over, turning three times as it made its decent."
    The Copper Era notes that Prina was instantly killed in the accident, while two others were injured. Following funeral arrangements on the Saturday following his passing, Prina was buried at the Safford City Cemetery. Prina's widow Martha would also be interred here following her death in 1944.

From the Bisbee Daily Review, April 16, 1922.

From the Copper Era and Morenci Leader, April 14, 1922.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Timoleon Oscar Johnston (1849-1899)

From the 1898 Quarter Centennial Anniversary Souvenir of the So. Illinois State Normal University.

    Curiously named Wisconsin native Timoleon Oscar Johnston joins an ever growing list of political figures who've been named in honor of a prominent statesman of ancient Greece; in this case being Timoleon, a Corinthian general who led military forces to victory over Dionysius and Hicetas after the siege of Syracuse. Timoleon would lead the Greek city-state of Syracuse for several years until his death in 337 B.C.  
   Having the given name of a distinguished Greek statesman proved to be appropriate, as Timoleon O. Johnston would go on to wide repute in Ogle County, Illinois, being the owner and editor of the Ogle County Reporter from the mid-1870s until his death. Also active in Ogle County politics, Johnston served as an alderman for the city of Oregon, Illinois and would later be elected to one term as that city's mayor. The story of this oddly named man begins in Franklin, Wisconsin, where he was born on June 30, 1849. One of four children born to Wesley and Sarah Phelps Johnston, Timoleon's education took place at the Sinasawa Mound College in Wisconsin and later at the Rock River Seminary in Mt. Morris, Illinois.
   The Johnston family would relocate back to Illinois (having resided here in the 1830s and 40s), and during adolescence Timoleon Johnston began to learn the printing trade. Once finished he left Illinois for Vinton, Iowa, where he would join the staff of the Vinton Semi-Weekly Eagle. His time in Vinton also saw him wed Mary E. Shockley (1850-1931) on December 30, 1869, and the couple later had a total of three children: May Aileen (born 1871), John Phelps (1873-1926) and Lillian Eidola (born 1878).
   After three years residency in Vinton  Johnston and his family relocated to Ogle County, Illinois, where in 1872 he "purchased an interest" in the Ogle County Reporter. For part of 1872 he was partnered with W.H. Gardner, and after a period of several months purchased the entire paper, and as "sole proprietor" continued to oversee the paper as both editor and publisher until his death in 1899. A longtime member of the Illinois Press Association, Johnson was named as a delegate to meetings of the National Editorial Association on four occasions and would also hold the post of Secretary of the Illinois Republican Editorial Association.
    Timoleon Johnston first entered Ogle County political life in the late 1870s, winning election as an alderman for the city of Oregon in 1877. He would serve three further terms as alderman in 1878, 1879 and 1880, and in 1883 was elected as Mayor of Oregon. Little is known of Johnson's tenure as mayor, excepting that it was a term of two years. Prior to his ascension to the mayor's office, he had twice been a delegate to the Illinois State Republican State Conventions in 1878 and 1882.
    Active in several fraternal groups in Ogle County, Timoleon Johnston was for many years affiliated with the Ogle County Old Settler's Association and served as its vice president in 1896. He was also a member of the Royal Arch Masons and Knights Templar, Odd-Fellows and the International Order of Red-Men. Early in 1897, Johnston was appointed by then Illinois Governor John Riley Tanner as a trustee for the Southern Illinois State Normal University, where he would serve until his death on April 2, 1899, a few months short of his 50th birthday. He was survived by his wife of twenty-nine years, Mary, who, following her death in 1931, was interred alongside her husband at the Riverview Cemetery in Oregon, Illinois.
Portrait from the First Decennium of the National Editorial Association of the United States, 1896.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Evelena Lowell Bodey (1867-1942)

                                                    Portrait from the 1917 History of Champaign County, Ohio.

    Our theme of oddly named mayors continues and today visits Champaign County, Ohio and one E.L. Bodey, one of many political figures I've found whose full name was located via the website Find-A-Grave. While perusing a list of past mayors of Urbana, Ohio I came across the abbreviated name of "E.L. Bodey", and after completing a Find-A-Grave search of Champaign County residents with that last name I was rewarded with the name of "Evelena Lowell Bodey", born on January 28, 1867. Soon after this, I located a biography for Mr. Bodey (again listed as just "E.L."), published in the 1913 edition of The Democratic Party of the State of Ohio, and, as you may have guessed, the birth-date was a spot on match! With a rather feminine sounding first name like "Evelena" it makes one wonder if Bodey preferred being known by just his initials! Despite his being saddled with an odd first name, Bodey's career as an attorney blossomed during the early 20th century, and in 1907 was elected as Mayor of Urbana, Ohio, the county seat of Champaign County.
   The son of Christian Bodey (a minister in the United Brethren Church) and the former Naomi Sheppard, Evelena Lowell Bodey was born in Adams township, Ohio. His early life was spent on his family's farm, and he would attend the district schools for a time. He is recorded as having quit school at a young age but would continue his studies at home. At age 19 Bodey was awarded a teaching certificate and began teaching in Concord township shortly afterward. For over a decade he would teach in various schools throughout Champaign County and during this time began reading law under the tutelage of St. Paris, Ohio attorney Charles E. Buroker
   On Valentine's Day 1888 Bodey married to Rachel M. Grove (1864-1944). The couple would be wed for over fifty years, and this lengthy marriage would see the births of two children, Lowell Carlton (1891-1945) and Ruth, who died aged two in 1899. A resident of Mad River, Ohio in the late 1890s, Bodey became a Democratic candidate for the Ohio State House of Representatives in 1898. Facing off against Republican nominee Henry Harrison Brecount, Bodey came up short in the vote count on election day, losing to Brecount by a "plurality of 529."
    Admitted to the state bar in July 1900, E.L. Bodey would establish his first law practice in Urbana, Ohio early in 1901. In the succeeding years, he built up a reputation as one of Urbana's prominent attorneys, whilst also paying close attention to local politics. He would serve as a justice of the peace and was also a candidate for Champaign County prosecuting attorney. In 1907 Bodey was elected as Mayor of Urbana, and his two-year term in that office was remarked by the St. Paris News Dispatch as having been:
"An enviable one. Without fear or favor, he has enforced the law and the ordinances of the city, and Urbana never had a better mayor."
   In the first year of his mayoralty, Bodey was again the Democratic candidate for the state legislature, running against Republican nominee William Guard. In its October 22nd edition, The Dispatch gave a glowing resume to Urbana's incumbent mayor, noting:
"While Mr. Bodey is Democrat, he belives that his first duty is to the county which has always been his home and to whose interests he is devoted. It is his ambition to serve in the Halls of the State Legislature. It is believed that his ambition will be gratified, for many Republicans will support him on the grounds that he is; clean and able; that he is of the county and truly representative of it; that he will do his own thinking and act deliberately; and that his experience and life have fitted him for legislative work....Let all good citizens vote for E.L. Bodey."
From the St. Paris News Dispatch, October 22, 1908.

   On election day 1908 it was William L. Guard who was elected as Champaign County's representative, defeating Bodey by only 552 votes. Bodey served out the remainder of his term as Mayor and left office in 1910. He would return to practicing law and for twenty-nine years operated an Urbana-based firm with former state Senator Sherman Deaton. This practice later added the name of Bodey's son Lowell to its title, and the firm of Deaton, Bodey and Bodey would be retained as counsel for several Ohio business concerns, including the Erie Railway Company, the Ohio Electric Railway Company and the Howard Paper Company. 
    In 1926 E.L. Bodey saw his son elected as Judge of the Urbana Court of Common Pleas. The elder Bodey continued to be active in Urbana public life well into his twilight years, and in late June 1942 suffered the loss of his law partner Sherman Deaton. Bodey followed him in death just sixteen days later on July 3, 1942, after an "extended illness." He was survived by his wife Rachel and son Lowell, both of whom died within three years of Bodey. All three were interred at the Spring Grove Cemetery in St. Paris, Ohio.

Bodey's obituary from the July 9, 1942 edition of the St. Paris News Dispatch.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Boine Wilmer Fuller (1904-1983)

Portrait from the Lodi News-Sentinel, April 13, 1954.

    Popularly known by the nickname "Spud", Boine Wilmer Fuller was for over five decades a well-known businessman and public figure in the city of Lodi, California, serving as the Mayor of that city for one term in the early 1950s. A native of Tombstone, Arizona, "Spud" Fuller was born on April 17, 1904, being the son of  Henry W. and Jennie E. Fuller. His early education took place in the state of his birth and he would later graduate from the high school at Globe, Arizona in 1921. 
   In 1921 "Spud" Fuller left Arizona and removed to California, first settling in Marysville. He remained here for nearly a decade and in 1931 resettled in Lodi, where he would take work as a manager of a Western Auto Supply store. Prior to his removal to Lodi Fuller had married in Yuba City to Mattie Belle Reamy (1898-1953), later having a daughter, Joyce Elaine, in 1929. After settling in Lodi Boine and Mattie would become parents to the first set of triplets to be born in the city of Lodi (Boine Raymond, Boyd Edwards, and Barrie Chalmer), their births occurring on Christmas Eve 1936. 
    In the early 1930s, Fuller and E.J. Crescenzi established a sporting and auto accessories store in Lodi, operating under the name of Fuller and Crescenzi. Their partnership would continue until 1944, when it was dissolved and the company underwent a name change to Fuller and Sons, with Fuller as its "sole owner". In 1945 he was elected as President of the Central Valley Sportsman's Council and in the following year began a lengthy connection with Junior League baseball in Lodi, helping to found the Lodi Junior Baseball League. Fuller had earlier helped to establish a youth basketball club in Lodi in 1940, and his devotion to the promotion of youth sport in Lodi later led to his being inducted into the Lodi Sports Hall Fame in 1977.

A cartoon of "Spud" Fuller, printed in the Sept. 16, 1954 edition of the Lodi News-Sentinel.

    Spud Fuller first entered Lodi city politics in March 1954 when he announced his candidacy for the city council. He would win election to that body on April 20, 1954 and shortly after being sworn in was "unanimously selected" as Mayor of Lodi by his fellow city council members, as the Lodi city charter provided that the mayor would "serve in that capacity as long  as a majority of the city council members vote him into office." The Lodi News-Sentinel reported in its April 21st edition that Fuller was entering the office with "mixed emotions", with Fuller stating that:
"I feel great pride, humility and fear in accepting this position.....In fact, I'm scared. Never has the Lodi City Council been faced with such problems as confronts this council."
Boine W."Spud" Fuller with outgoing Lodi Mayor Mabel Richey in 1954.

  Fuller succeeded Lodi's first female mayor, Mabel Richey (1903-1999), who had served two terms in office. Fuller's term extended into 1955 and during his year in office was a prominent booster for the Heart Fund, a health campaign started by the San Joaquin County Heart Association. Fuller would continue to serve on the city council after his term as mayor concluded, his last year of service on the council being in 1958. Widowed in 1953, Fuller would remarry in August 1963 to Lydia Herman (1911-1995), who would survive him upon his death at age 79 on May 26, 1983.  He was later interred at the Lodi Memorial Cemetery, also the resting place of both his wives as well as his infant son Boyd.

Portrait from the Lodi News Sentinel, May 27, 1983

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Robah Bascom Kerner (1859-1893)

From the Memorial of Robah Bascom Kerner, published 1894.
   The life of Winston, North Carolina lawyer Robah Bascom Kerner shone briefly and brightly in the late 19th century, climaxing with his election as Mayor of Winston, North Carolina in 1892. A lawyer and prominent Odd-Fellow in his native city, Kerner's untimely death from typhoid fever in the year following his election robbed the city of one of its enterprising young citizens. Born in Kernersville, North Carolina on June 3, 1859, Robah Bascom Kerner was the son of Elias and Parthenia Dicks Kerner. He attended schools local to the Kernersville area and also worked on the family farm. He was confirmed as a member of the Moravian Church in Kernersville at age fifteen and at that same age began to teach school in the village of Germanton.
    During his adolescence Kerner continued to teach, eventually moving on to the Boy's Male Academy at Salem, North Carolina. Age sixteen at the time of his entering that school, Kerner taught here until age twenty, afterward beginning study at the University of North Carolina. Around this time he decided upon a career as a lawyer and after returning to the Boy's Academy at Salem would study law under Greensboro Judges Robert P. Dick and John Dillard. Kerner was admitted to practice law in 1882 and two years later married to Jennie F. Donnell (1863-1928). The couple would have two children, Donnell Elias (1888-1889) and Frances Lanier (1891-1893), both of whom died before age two.
    A year prior to his marriage Robah B. Kerner was elected as the solicitor for the Inferior Court and in 1885 he took office as a member of the Winston Board of Aldermen. Around this same period, he was named as Secretary of the Board and City Treasurer, as well as attaining high rank in the local Odd-Fellows chapter. A member of the Salem Lodge  No. 36 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Kerner's decade-long affiliation with this chapter saw him reach the ranks of Deputy Grand Master, Junior Warden (1886), Grand High Priest (1887) and Grand Patriarch (1888).
Portrait courtesy of

   While still incumbent city treasurer, Robah B. Kerner was elected as Mayor of Winston in February 1892, winning by a "flattering vote." The youngest man elected as Mayor of Winston up to that time, the 32 year old Kerner's administration lasted only a year and half, but made several improvements to the city, including: the construction of the first city stables; the "curbing and macadamizing" of Winston's most traveled streets; the implementation of new fire ordinances (in the wake of  a series of fires that had plagued the city) and the completion of the Winston City Hall. Kerner proved to be a popular mayor with both his constituents and fellow politicians and was even honored by the Board of Aldermen by having his name engraved on a fire engine that had recently been purchased for the city's use.
    The onset of typhoid fever marred the last months of Mayor Kerner's life, although the Memorial on his life (published several months following his death) notes that he continued in his mayoral duties when his health showed improvement. A few weeks before his passing he returned to his parent's home in Kernersville where his health continued to fail, and on September 3, 1893 he and his wife suffered the loss of their daughter Frances Lanier, who was two months short of her second birthday. A little over two weeks later, Robah Bascom Kerner died at age 34, his administration coming to a sudden end after just seventeen months (the shortest in Winston's history.)
   The outpouring of grief for Kerner was immediate. From Winston citizens to members of the Odd-Fellows lodge, Mayor Kerner was memorialized as an "ambitious" and "zealous" public figure, and that
"In his death the city loses a loyal and enterprising citizen, the democratic party a faithful and active worker, his personal friends a staunch and congenial companion, and his home a fond and devoted husband and father."
   Following his death, Kerner was interred at the Kernersville Moravian God's Acre Cemetery, which is also the resting place of both of his children. His wife Jennie survived her husband by over three decades, dying in 1928 at age 65, later being buried at the same cemetery as her husband.

                                                      From the Richmond, Virginia Times, September 26, 1893.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Lathrop Cooley Stow (1849-1923)

   Lathrop Cooley Stow was a wealthy Grand Rapids, Michigan furniture manufacturer who served one term as mayor of that city in the late 1890s. A native of Ohio, Lathrop Stow was born in Summit County on January 16, 1849, a son of Zebulon and Edytha Walcott Stow. He and his family resided in Ohio until 1863, whereafter they removed to Michigan. Here Lathrop would complete his education and in 1870 married to Frances M. Teeple (1851-1913) with whom he would later have one daughter, Bertha Stow Witwer (1875-1948).
   In 1872 Stow resettled in Grand Rapids and for three years afterward dabbled in real estate. Around this same time, Lathrop's older brother Russell (who had migrated to Grand Rapids a few years earlier) had begun making a name for himself as a furniture manufacturer, being the owner of the Stow and Haight Furniture Co. (later to undergo a name change to the Stow and Davis Furniture Co.) Following his brother's example, Lathrop Stow saw the furniture industry as a lucrative proposition, and in 1876 established the Grand Rapids Furniture Company, of which he would own a "half-interest."
  From the mid-1870s until 1893 Stow would remain engaged with the company he founded, eventually selling off his interest in the last named year. Two years following the sale he joined his brother's company as treasurer, and in April 1896 won election as Mayor of Grand Rapids, defeating incumbent mayor Charles D. Stebbins by "a majority of less than 100." Noted as being the "first two-year incumbent" to hold that post, Stow served as mayor until 1898 and a few years after leaving that office began a stint as a member of the Grand Rapids Board of Public Works.
  After many years of prominence in Grand Rapids, Lathrop Stow and his family left that city in 1907 and removed to Weld County, Colorado, where he would reside for the remainder of his life. During his residency here Stow developed an interest in ranching and for a time resided at the S.L.W. Ranch (owned and operated by his son-in-law, Harvey E. Witwer.) The former Grand Rapids mayor died in Greeley on January 8, 1923, at age 73, his cause of death being given as "hardening of the arteries." Widowed in 1913, both Stow and his wife were interred at the Linn Grove Cemetery in Greeley.

Portrait from the "Men of Michigan", published 1904.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Alos Blank Shaner (1855-1928)

Alos Blank Shaner, from the "Poultry Tribune", Vol. 23, 1917.

    The small city of Lanark, Illinois can lay claim to electing a truly odd named man as its Mayor.....Alos Blank Shaner. A one-term mayor of this Carroll County city (whose population hovered around the 1,500 mark as of the 2010 census), Shaner was an avowed advocate of temperance and in addition to serving as a Mayor and alderman was engaged in a rather unusual past-time, one as far removed from politics as one can imagine.....the breeding of chickens! Shaner gained wide prominence throughout the United States as a poultry judge and breeder, even serving as a member of the American Poultry Association Board of Judges.
    A resident of Pennsylvania for the first fifteen years of his life, Alos Blank Shaner was born in Frederick, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania on March 16, 1855, one of five children born to John and Maria Shaner. The Shaner family left Pennsylvania in 1870 and settled in Ogle County, Illinois, where Alos would complete his schoolingIn January 1877 Shaner married to Fanny C. Oltmans (1857-1955), with whom he would have three children, John Albert (1880-1942) Ina (birth-date unknown) and Iva (1895-1973).
   Early in his Illinois residency Alos Shaner began an interest in farming and the raising of poultry, and after removing to Carroll County in the early 1880s continued to build a reputation as a "poultry fancier" and breeder. A specialist in the breeding of "Barred Plymouth Rocks, Buff Leghorns and Colchins" as well as Poland-China hogs, Shaner's reputation in these fields was spotlighted by the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, which notes that he:
"Won his success in the poultry business through careful study and patient effort, and has mastered the full details of his work. Though he abandoned the hog raising industry when he located in Lanark, he still has engagements to act as a judge of hogs and sheep at several live stock shows and state fairs."
    Shaner's status as poultry judge wasn't just limited to Illinois, however. From the start of his judging career in 1894 Shaner would visit and judge poultry exhibitions in a total of "twenty-nine states, many of them several times", and by the early 1900s was residing in Lanark, Illinois on a "high-class chicken farm." A lifetime member of the American Poultry Association (as well as a member of its board of judges), Shaner was a longstanding advocate of temperance and held the office of President of the Carroll County Law and Order League, as well as the County Temperance League. 
   It wasn't until Shaner settled in Lanark that he began to seek political office, and in 1902 ran on the Prohibition ticket for the Illinois General Assembly. Hoping to represent the state's 12th district in the assembly, Shaner placed fourth out of four candidates on election day, polling only 812 votes to winning Republican candidate James E. Taggart's 12, 481. An electoral result from that election (featured in the Daily News Almanac) is shown below.

    Several years following his assembly loss Alos Shaner was elected as a Lanark city alderman and was still serving in that post when he was elected as Mayor of Lanark in 1911. Little information could be located on his time as mayor (as well as the length of his term), but it has been found that he was a "former mayor" by April 1914, being mentioned as such in a Pacific Poultry Craft magazine published that year. Following his term as mayor Shaner would continue to be active in poultry showings and in January 1917 won several awards for his birds at a Cedar Rapids, Iowa exhibition. 
   On February 14, 1928 Alos Blank Shaner died in Lanark at the age of 72. He was survived by his wife and two children and was interred at the Lanark City Cemetery. Fanny O. Shaner survived Alos by nearly thirty years, dying in 1955 at age 98, and was laid to rest at the same cemetery as her husband.

Alos B. Shaner, from the Poultry Garden and Home, Vol. 5, 1898.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Alvinza Baxter Cole (1848-1924)

Portrait from the History of Otter Tail County, 1916.

    At the turn of the 19th century, there were few persons more prominent in Otter Tail County, Minnesota than Dr. Alvinza Baxter Cole, a transplant to that state from St. Lawrence County, New York. A practicing physician and surgeon in the city of Fergus Falls for over three decades, Cole experienced remarkable success in both medicine and politics, being a multi-term mayor of Fergus Falls, a two term state senator, and two years prior to his death was elected to the Minnesota State House of Representatives, dying before the completion of his term. 
   A native of New York state, Alvinza B. Cole was born in Canton on December 30, 1848, a son of Oltas and Alvira Johnson Cole. Proving that odd names would continue in the family, Oltas bestowed the names "Alvinza Baxter" upon his son, the origins of which have been lost to history. Young Alvinza was reared upon a farm in Canton and would attend the Canton Academy. Following his graduation in 1868, he decided upon a career in medicine and commenced study under local physician Dr. Sanford HoagCole continued study at the New York Homeopathic College, from which he graduated in 1879. Upon his return to Canton, he purchased the practice of Dr. Hoag and would remain here until 1881, when he removed to Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Prior to his removal to Minnesota Cole had married to Effie Westcott (1857-1913) and would later adopt four children: Carl V., Claude, Herbert Phelon (1880-1935) and Ester.
   For the next three decades, Alvinza Cole practiced medicine in Fergus Falls and in addition to his profession managed success in the political life of his adopted state. In April 1891 Cole won election as Mayor of Fergus Falls (defeating Alex Van Praag by a "222 majority") and was returned to that office the following year. Cole left the mayor's office in 1893 and in the next year became a candidate for the Minnesota State Senate. Hoping to represent the state's 48th senatorial district (comprising Otter Tail County), Cole ran as a Republican and in November of that year defeated the People's Party candidate Herman L. Burgess by a vote of 2,705 to 2, 480.

Alvinza B. Cole, from the St. Paul Daily Globe, December 19, 1894.

   During his freshman senate term, Dr. Cole's chief interest was in "securing an appropriation for improvements" to the insane asylum in his district and also favored a bill for the direct election of U.S. Senators. His term concluded in 1899 and four years later won a second four-year term in the senate, besting Democratic nominee M.J. Daly by a vote of 2,818 to 2,495. During this term, Cole chaired the committees on Election and Temperance as well as serving on the committees on Drainage, Education, Hospitals for the Insane, Military Affairs, Printing, Railroads and the State Training School.
   As Cole's second term drew to a close he experienced further political distinction when he was chosen to serve as Chairman of the Minnesota Republican State Committee. In that year Cole's younger brother, Albert L. Cole (1857-1908), became the Republican nominee for Governor of Minnesota. During that year's gubernatorial contest Alvinza Cole hit the campaign trail for his brother, visiting Bemidji, Minnesota in May 1906 to try and elicit support from that city's political and business elite. Despite his best efforts Cole and the Republicans failed to wrest the gubernatorial chair from the Democrats, as incumbent Governor John Albert Johnson defeated Albert Cole by a wide margin, 168,480 votes to 96, 162.

Alvinza Cole, from the Minnesota Journal, July 1, 1906.

   Following his brother's gubernatorial loss Alvinza Cole continued in public service, serving two further terms as Mayor of Fergus Falls from 1914-1916. He retired from the practice of medicine in 1916, having been in practice since the late 1870s. Cole had previously served as President of the Minnesota Homeopathic Institute (from which he had retired in 1905) and had been a surgeon during the Spanish-American War, serving with the Fourteenth Minnesota Regiment.
   Two years prior to his death Cole won a seat in the Minnesota State House of Representatives, representing the 50th district. During this term, Cole chaired the committee on Public Health and Hospitals and also held seats on the committees on the Board of Control and State Institutions, Labor, Public Utilities, State Parks and the University and State Schools. Dr. Alvinza Baxter Cole died a few months before the completion of his term on June 8, 1924 at age 75. Widowed in 1913, Cole and his wife Effie were both interred at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Fergus Falls.

Alvinza Cole as he appeared in the 1915 "Men of Minnesota."

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cephas Benjamin Moomaw (1849-1915), Cephas Perry Quattlebaum (1851-1929)

Portrait from "the History of Roanoke County", published in 1912.

  What isn't funny about a name like Cephas Moomaw? This funny-named man was a resident of Virginia for the entirety of his life and was regarded as a leading legal figure in the counties of Botetourt and Roanoke, serving as a city solicitor and circuit judge in the latter county. In 1913 Moomaw was elected as Mayor of Roanoke and served in this capacity until his death two years later. 
   One of twelve children born to Joseph and Mary Stover Moomaw, Cephas Benjamin Moomaw was born on October 23, 1849, in Botetourt County, Virginia. He was afforded a fine education in the "private schools" of his native county and on December 24, 1873 married to Sarah Elizabeth Mangus (1850-1926), with whom he had four children: Edith Mae (1874-1953), Annie Lillie (died in infancy in 1883), Hugh Mangus (1885-1959) and Joseph Frank (1894-1941).
   Moomaw began reading law in the early 1880s and after being admitted to the bar in 1882 began a law practice in the Botetourt County town of Fincastle. During his residency there he served as a supervisor and county school board member, and in 1887 relocated to Roanoke, Virginia. Soon after his arrival, he launched a law partnership with John W. Woods (1858-1912), whom he would succeed as Mayor upon the latter's death in 1912. This partnership would continue for several years and in 1897 Moomaw entered the office of Roanoke City Solicitor, serving in that post until 1905. 
   In 1905 Moomaw was appointed by then Virginia Governor Andrew J. Montague to a vacancy on the Twentieth Judicial Circuit Court of Virginia. At the expiration of that term, Moomaw returned to practicing law, operating the firm of C.B. and H.M. Moomaw with his son Hugh Mangus, who would later become a distinguished attorney in his own right.
   On December 23, 1912, Moomaw's former law partner, Judge John William Woods, died at age 54. Woods had been elected as Mayor of Roanoke in September 1912 and served only three months in office before his death. In February 1913 Cephas Moomaw was elected "by the people" to succeed him, and, like Woods, would serve only a short period of time. Several months prior to his death Moomaw entered into a state of declining health and a day prior to his passing was admitted to a Roanoke hospital, afflicted with gallstones. Moomaw underwent surgery but failed to rally from his illness, dying on October 18, 1915, five days short of his 66th birthday. Following his passing, the former mayor was interred at the Evergreen Burial Park in Roanoke and was survived by his wife Sarah and three of his children.

Mayor Moomaw, portrait courtesy of

Portrait courtesy of Find-A-Grave.

  Recognized as the first mayor of the incorporated city of Conway, South Carolina, Cephas Perry Quattlebaum was a longtime attorney residing in Horry County in that state. Born in Lexington, South Carolina on May 19, 1851, Cephas Perry Quattlebaum was the son of multi-term state representative and senator Paul (1812-1890) and Sarah Caroline (Jones) Quattlebaum. As the son of a prominent local political leader, young Cephas was taught by private tutors and at an early age began reading law under Henry A. Meetze.
  Admitted at age 23 to the South Carolina bar, Quattlebaum removed to the settlement of Conwayborough and in 1874 began a law practice with J. Monroe and W.D. Johnson. In December 1884 Quattlebaum married to Janette Taylor McQueen (1852-1927), to whom he was wed for over forty years. The couple would have one son, Paul (1886-1964), who went on to have a political career of his own, serving in the South Carolina Senate from 1935-44.
  The name of C.P. Quattlebaum grew to be a prominent one in Horry County and was a leader in the fight to see Conwayborough incorporated as a city. Upon its incorporation as the city of Conway in 1898 Quattlebaum was selected as its first mayor, serving one term in office. In addition to his service as mayor, Quattlebaum was a leading Mason and member of the Knights of Pythias, attaining high rank in both organizations. Widowed in 1927, Quattlebaum died on July 20, 1929, and was interred alongside his wife at the Lakeside Cemetery in Conway.