Thursday, August 24, 2017

MacBeth Archibald Milne (1892-1978)

Portrait from the Oregon Democratic Voter's Pamphlet, May 1942.

  Oddly named Michigan native MacBeth Archibald Milne briefly entered the political forum in Oregon following his removal there in the early 1920s, being a Democratic aspirant for the U.S. Senate in the 1942 primary election. A World War I veteran, Milne is quite unique amongst the figures profiled here as he is only the second to have been a dentist by occupation (the first being Vermont legislator Rolla Miner Chase). Born on August 1, 1892, in Dundee, Michigan, MacBeth A. Milne was the son of the Rev. McBain and Louise (Atchison) Milne. It remains unknown as to why Milne was given the name of the famous Shakespeare play as a first name, and one's imagination can run wild thinking of what might have precipitated it! 
   Removing to Washington in 1909, Milne attended school in Ellensburg and following his graduation from that town's high school was employed in a number of different vocations, including stints working in a cannery, a furniture factory, a road paver and being a retail store clerk. Milne married at an unknown date to Elizabeth Shenkenberg, a resident of the town of Puyallup. The couple is recorded with Elizabeth's parents in the 1920 census and would have at least one daughter, Elizabeth Jane.
   A veteran of World War I, Milne served amongst the ranks of the 91st division, 361st Infantry. He attained the rank of Sargent and saw "active duty in all of its engagements." Upon his return home, Milne worked in a shipyard before deciding upon a career in dentistry, enrolling at the North Pacific Dental College in 1921. Following his graduation four years later he established himself in Portland, where he would operate and reside for a number of years afterward. 
  Milne's residency in Portland saw him active in a number of fraternal groups, and in addition to serving as President of the Portland District Dental Society in 1933 was also a member of the American Legion, the Masons, and the Friendship Eastern Star.
   In early 1942 MacBeth Milne made his lone foray into politics, announcing his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator from Oregon. Hoping to oust longtime Republican senator Charles Linza McNary, Milne's opponent in that year's Democratic primary was Walter W. Whitbeck, a WWI veteran and insurance agent. Milne's candidacy was profiled in the Democratic voter's pamphlet for Multnomah County voters that year, and as a firm booster for the policies of the Roosevelt administration noted that he would:
"Ask that a strong aggressive war policy be developed and maintained, and that incompetence and inadequacy not be tolerated, regardless of where it may be found."
  On primary election day in May, it was Walter Whitbeck who emerged victorious, besting Milne by a vote of 44, 089 to 25, 256. Whitbeck would go on to face Charles L. McNary that November and was trounced, receiving 63, 946 votes to McNary's 214, 755. Following his senate loss, little information could be found on MacBeth A. Milne, excepting notice of his continuing his dentistry in Portland. He later died in San Diego, California on August 12, 1978, shortly after his 86th birthday. He was returned to Oregon for burial at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sturges Harlett Greene (1850-1943)

Portrait from the History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon, 1910.

   Sturges Harlett Greene was a longtime native of Iowa who, following his service as Mayor of the city of Adel, removed to Oregon in the early 1880s. In the years after his resettlement, Greene became a distinguished member of the Multnomah County bar, having a law office in Portland and serving as City Attorney for St. Johns. Born in Adel, Iowa on February 13, 1850, Sturges Harlett Greene was the son of Benjamin (a former Iowa state representative) and Parmelia (Sturges) Greene.
   Greene's early education took place in Adel and from 1868-68 was a student at the Normal School in Oswego, New York. Following his return to Iowa Greene began pursuing a degree in law, reading with former legislator and state attorney general Charles C. Nourse. In 1870 Greene enrolled in the law department of the University of Iowa and graduated in the class of 1871. He was admitted to the Iowa bar that same year and soon commenced practice in Adel with his brother in law, George W. Clarke.
  On May 21, 1872, Sturges Greene married to Virginia Celeste Hickey (1852-1880). The couples short union would see the births of three children, Allen (1873-1952), Sarah B. and Virginia Mariam. In 1873 Greene was elected as mayor of Adel and continued in that office until 1879, with sources also noting that he was the leader of the local band during his residency there. Following his term as mayor, Greene left Iowa for Oregon in 1880 and for a short period resided in Deadwood. By 1882 he had established himself in Portland and from 1882-86 was a justice of the peace in that city
   In July 1887 Sturges Greene married to Lida Clare Wright (1867-1916). The couple were wed for nearly three decades and would have at least one daughter, Jennie Frances (1895-1928). Greene was returned to public office in 1905 when he began service as city attorney for St. Johns, Oregon, a post he would hold until 1907. Acknowledged as an expert "on the "fish and game of the northwest coast" in the latter period of his life, Greene died at age 93 in Castle Rock, Washington on March 20, 1943. He was later interred alongside his second wife Lida at the Whittle and Hubbard Cemetery in that city.
  One should also note that there are some discrepancies in regards to the spelling of Greene's first name, as it is given as both "Sturges" and "Sturgis". The spelling of Greene's middle name is also under scrutiny, as one genealogical webpage records it as Haslett.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Guian Leeper Walker (1841-1921)

Portrait courtesy of Find-A-Grave.

   For many years a prominent political office holder in Cedar County, Missouri, Guian Leeper Walker was a lifelong Missourian who, following service in the Confederate Army, entered politics, serving as Cedar County collector and county clerk. Late in his life he would be elected as County Judge for Cedar County, serving two years in office. The son of Benjamin Franklin and Nancy (Leeper) Walker, Guian Leeper Walker was born on October 22, 1841 near Dade County. A prominent figure in his own right, Benjamin F. Walker (1820-1906) represented Dade County in the Missouri legislature and during the Civil War attained the rank of Colonel in the Confederate Army. Following his service, Walker removed to Arkansas where he served in the state house of representatives, the Senate and was also a delegate to the state constitutional convention of 1874.
  Young Guian resided on a farm during his youth and in 1862 enlisted amongst the ranks of the Confederacy, joining Company G. of the 18th Missouri Infantry. As an ordnance sergeant, Walker engaged in skirmishes at Newtonia and Humansville, Missouri, and in July 1863 was taken prisoner at the Battle of Helena in Arkansas. After spending a number of months in captivity in Illinois and Fort Delaware Walker returned to service and in 1863 was transferred to a sharpshooting regiment
  Upon his return to civilian life, Walker married to Mary A. Roberts in Fannin County, Texas in September 1865. The couple was wed for over fifty-five years and their union saw the births of five children: Virgil (1866-1933), Cora Etha Isabelle (1868-1952), Susan (1870-1893), Mary Lulu (1872-1902) and John Franklin (1874-1912). Following his marriage, Walker and his wife returned to Cedar County and for a brief period, Walker worked at both farming and teaching school.
   In the late 1860s, Walker abandoned teaching and settled into life as a farmer, "owning and maintaining a valuable farm near Stockton." Active in the Stockton community, Walker was a parishioner at the Methodist Episcopal Church and was also a member of the Knights of Pythias and secretary of his local Masonic chapter
   Guian L. Walker was first called to political life in 1874 when he was elected as Cedar County collector. After a two year stint in that post, he won election as Cedar County clerk, a post he held for two terms (1878-1886.) In 1912 he was returned to public office, winning election as Judge for Cedar County's Southern district. Walker's time on the bench extended from 1913-15 and he died on March 29, 1921, at his home in Stockton, Missouri, his cause of death being attributed to "heart trouble." His wife Mary survived him by nine years and following her death in 1930 was interred alongside him at the Stockton Cemetery.