Friday, May 29, 2020

Royal Macintosh Pulsifer (1843-1888), Royal Day Cone (1821-1898)

Portrait courtesy of the New York Public Library digital collections.

  Sporting a flowery name that sounds more at home with English nobility than American public service, Royal Macintosh Pulsifer was for many years a leading business figure in Massachusetts, where he was the business manager and part-owner of the Boston Herald Co., publisher of the like-named newspaper. Pulsifer would be elected to two consecutive terms as mayor of Newton, Massachusetts in the early 1880s, but later encountered financial hardship due to bad investments and business speculation. Pulsifer would die at his mansion in 1888, aged just 45, with many newspaper reports reporting that he took his own life.
  Born in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts on June 2, 1843, Royal Macintosh Pulsifer was the son of Nathaniel and Lydi Anne (Smith) Pulsifer. He removed with his parents to the neighboring town of Saxonville at age three and here attended public schools. One of Pulsifer's obituaries (published in the Erie County Independent) denotes his studying at a commercial college for a time, and while at college was headhunted by E.C. Bailey,  the owner of the Boston Herald, for a post in the paper's accounting department.
  Royal M. Pulsifer married in Massachusetts in 1866 to Clara Stacy Keyes (born 1844). The couple were wed until Pulsifer's death and had two sons, George Royal (1867-1923) and Lewis Warren (1869-1905)
  After coming aboard the Herald, Pulsifer worked as a bookkeeper until 1869, and in that year he and several partners "were taken into the proprietorship of the paper", with Pulsifer remaining affiliated with its publication until his death. That same year saw E.C. Bailey sell off his interest to the new partners, and Pulsifer himself was selected as the Herald's business manager.  His near two-decade connection to the Herald saw it gain "the largest circulation and largest income from advertising" of any newspaper being published in New England at the time, and with this success, Pulsifer amassed a fortune. This fortune allowed Pulsifer to reside with his family in a luxurious mansion complete with boathouse, stables, fountains, and a small park complete with deer, with the New York Herald designating the home as "probably, taken all in all, the most palatial of all the myriad of palaces in Boston's suburbs."
  In addition to his connection to the Boston Herald Pulsifer branched out into other fields, including banking. He would serve as a director of the Commonwealth National Bank and the Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company, and as a resident of Newton, Massachusetts, was active in the affairs of the local Swedenborgian church, called the Newtonville New Church society. Pulsifer was also active in the formation of the Cottage Hospital in Newton in the 1880s, and the Newton Club.
  Royal Pulsifer made his first foray into Bay State politics with his election to the Newton board of aldermen in 1874. He served a one year term and was also a committee member that proved instrumental in obtaining the Newton City charter. He was elected as Mayor of Newton in late 1879, with his first term extending through 1880. He would win a second term that year and served through 1881, with both of these mayoral elections noted as "being practically unanimous."

From "Newton, Garden City of the Commonwealth", 1902.

   Following his terms as mayor Pulsifer encountered financial misfortune through a series of bad investment choices. In the years prior to his death, the New York Herald noted that:
"Mr. Pulsifer allowed himself to be drawn into financial enterprises of almost every concievable sort--Mexican mines, North Carolina railroads, local land speculation and steamboat ventures. He appeared to think, like the ancient philosopher, that nothing human was foreign to him."
 This series of financial missteps eventually caught up to Pulsifer, and several months prior to his death was voted out as the Herald's business manager at a stockholder's meeting. With Pulsifer's "outside entanglements" distressing the stockholders, Pulsifer remained president of the Herald in name only and was reported to have been deeply hurt by being largely cut out of the business he'd headed for so many years. 
  Royal M. Pulsifer died at his mansion in Newton on October 5, 1888, aged just 45. The particulars of his demise were widely reported in newspapers of the time, and his sudden death led many to believe that he'd committed suicide. The most in-depth of Pulsifer's obituaries also remains the most confusing. In the October 21, 1888 edition of the New York Herald, Pulsifer is remarked to have committed suicide by an overdose of opium, and that:
"When the sad discovery was made it was evident that he had been dead some hours. The body, attired in a dressing gown, lay upon a bed, and all evidence pointed to a sudden and painless end. It is a sad fact that to-night, as the news has become known to those outside the newspaper offices, people are saying ''I am not surprised." Those conversant with the dead man's unfortunate speculations and with his most recent embarrasments, have, they now say, looked for some such tragic ending of this phenomenal career.''
  Despite this obituary denoting Pulsifer's use of opium "to end his troubles", a postscript is to be found at its conclusion, mentioning:
"The Herald will say tomorrow--"In the opinion of the medical examiner and the family physician, who made a careful examination of the remains, there was not the slightest evidence to lead to any conclusion other than death resulted from natural causes." 
  Still more contradictory reports are to be found in the Abilene, Kansas Reflector, which notes that Pulsifer shot himself through the heart and that a "revolver was found on the bed beside the dead man." As a testament to Pulsifer's prominence in Massachusetts and the mystery surrounding his death, reports of his demise made it into newspapers as far away as Kentucky and Tennessee. Whatever the cause of Pulsifer's death, his demise at an early age robbed the Boston vicinity of one of its leading public men. He was survived by his wife and both sons and was interred at the Newton Cemetery in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. 

From the digital collection of the New York Public Library.

From the Clarksville Evening Chronicle, October 23, 1888.

Portrait from the "Iron Age", 1898.

  Featured on this site's Facebook page back on June 2, 2015, Royal Day Cone possesses a name that may bring to mind a regal, elaborately decorated ice cream cone! A native of New York, Cone removed to Minnesota in 1855, where his business and political ambitions were realized. A bank director, wagon company executive, and merchant in the city of Winona, Cone was elected to two terms as mayor of that city in the late 1860s. Born in New Berlin, Chenango County on November 8, 1821, Royal Day Cone was the son of Benjamin and Emily (Root) Cone.
  Young Royal Cone would spend his formative years on his family's farm in New Berlin, and attended schools local to that area. During his youth, he took employment as a clerk in a New Berlin store, and in June 1849 married Ruena Merchant (1823-1870), to who he was wed until her death. The couple had four daughters, Ida Emily (1856-1899), Etta Maria (1858-1883), Frances Royal (1860-1885), and Hattie Ruena (1863-1886).
   Cone would leave New Berlin to go into business for himself in Rochester, New York, and until 1855 partnered with his cousin Horace in the firm of H.C. Cone and Co., "Wholesale and Retail Dealers in Plain Tin and Ornamental Japan Wares." Envisioning a bright future for himself in the American midwest, Cone removed with his wife to Winona, Minnesota in 1855, and resided there for the next four decades. Establishing himself in the hardware business in that city, Cone would later found the R.D. Cone Co., a general hardware corporation "built up by his careful supervision and direction." Cone's decades of residence in Winona saw him branch out into other areas of business, serving as director of the Winona Wagon Company, the First National Bank of Winona, and the Winona Western Railway Company until his death.
  Royal Day Cone was first called to politics in Winona with his election to the local school board, and was later elected to multiple terms on the board of aldermen. In 1865 he won his first term as mayor of Winona, and during his two consecutive terms, 1866-68, "carried into the administration of city affairs that careful thoroughness, fidelity, and efficiency which so prominently characterized his whole business life."
 Active in the affairs of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, Cone was for over two decades its treasurer, and at various times was called to serve as a Sunday school teacher, steward, and church trustee. Several weeks prior to his death Cone's health failed significantly, and he was later removed to Hudson, Wisconsin for treatment at that city's sanitarium. He died there on November 21, 1898, aged 77, having outlived his wife and three children. He was survived by his daughter Ida and was interred at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Winona, Minnesota.

From the North-western Christian Advocate, Volume 46.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Manlove Roland Carlisle (1809-1881), Manlove Howard Jester (1870-1932), Manlove Hayes (1817-1910)

Portrait courtesy of "Milford", by Dave Kenton, 2002.

   A trio of "Manloves" are featured on the site today and this author finds it intriguing that not one, but three men have been elected to office in the United States that bore this curious name. Even more curious, all hail from Delaware! The first of these men, Manlove Roland Carlisle, was long a prominent shipbuilder in his region. Carlisle operated a shipbuilding yard in Milford for over four decades and entered the political life of his state in 1856 with his election to the Delaware state senate, serving one four-year term. 
  Born on September 15, 1809, in Delaware, little is known of Carlisle's early life or education, excepting note of his marrying in 1837 to Ann Watson (1813-1857). Their union would be childless. Four years following her death he remarried to Ruth Watson Tharp (1828-1907), who would survive him. A daughter of former Governor William Tharp, Ruth had five children from her previous marriage to Bethuel Watson: Mary Elizabeth (1847-1927), William Tharp (1849-1917), Benaiah (died in infancy in 1852), Annie Belle (1854-1918), and Minnelia Warfield (1858-1944). Of these children, William Tharp Watson would go on to political prominence of his own, serving in the Delaware state senate. Following the death of Governor Joshua Marvil in 1895, Tharp (then president of the senate), succeeded to the governorship and served until 1897.
  Manlove Carlisle first entered into shipbuilding in Milford with William Reville in the early 1830s. Their partnership extended until Reville's retirement in 1853, with their firm completing construction on 29 vessels during that period. Following Reville's retirement, Carlisle partnered with his younger brother Theodore, "during which time they built many three master schooners of one thousand tons burden."  Their partnership would extend into the late 1870s.
   With his name firmly established in Delaware business circles, Manlove Carlisle entered politics in November 1856 with his election to the Delaware state senate from his home county of Sussex. He took his seat in January 1857 and during this four-year term was elected as senate speaker during the 1859-60 session. 
  Little else is known of Carlisle's life after he left state government, except the mention of his serving as senior warden for Christ Episcopal Church in Milford. Several weeks prior to his death Carlisle's health began to fail, with the Middletown Transcript noting that he was unable to take nourishment for over forty days, "save the medicine provided by his physicians." He died at his Milford home on November 10, 1881, aged 72. He was survived by his wife and step-children and was interred at the Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery in Milford.

From the Wilmington Evening Journal, June 26, 1909.

    A leading government official in Wilmington, Delaware during the early 20th century, Manlove Howard Jester represented that city for one term in the Delaware House of Representatives, and two years after leaving office was appointed by President Taft as U.S. Postmaster at Wilmington. A lifelong Wilmington resident, M. Howard Jester (as most sources record him) was born in that city on November 14, 1870, the son of Charles and Elizabeth (McDaniel) Jester
  A student in schools local to Wilmington, Jester also attended the Goldey-Beacom College in that city. Beginning in the mid-1890s he was employed by the Schwartzchild and Sulzberger Beef Co. of Wilmington, and for fifteen years served as its cashierHe married in New Castle County on August 20, 1895 to Flora Clayton (1873-1954), to who he was wed until his death. The couple had at least three children, including a daughter, Elizabeth A. Jester (1901-1986)
  An active Republican Party worker in his city, Jester was a member of the Young Men's Republican Club and in July 1904 announced his candidacy for the Delaware General Assembly. He was elected in November, and the 1905-07 session saw him named to the committee on Elections, and was the Republican floor leader during that session. Jester's legislative service saw him pull political double-duty in the additional role of assistant postmaster at Wilmington, from which he later resigned. Sometime later, following the election of Senator Henry DuPont, Jester in 1906, he was reappointed to that post and "made a splendid record" while in office. 
  After leaving the legislature Jester continued in his role as assistant postmaster and in May 1909 was appointed by President William Howard Taft to be U.S. Postmaster at Wilmington. Following confirmation in June, Jester journeyed to Toledo, Ohio in August 1909 to take part in the annual convention of first-class U.S. Postmasters, and in the following year met with First-Assistant Postmaster General C.P. Grandeld to discuss the possibility of street-car mail service in Wilmington. Jester served as postmaster through the Taft administration and stepped down in July 1913, several months after the election of Democratic President  Woodrow Wilson.
  After leaving the office of postmaster Jester was selected as assistant city treasurer of Wilmington, and in 1920 was elected as secretary of the Wilmington Board of Public Education. He served with that board until December 1921, when he entered into the post of Delaware state tax commissioner. His ascension to that office came about due to the death of commissioner George W. Sparks, who had died shortly after being appointed in late 1921. Jester's full dates of service remain unknown at this time, but was still the incumbent in January 1923, when he reported on his office having:
 "110,000 accounts of taxables in the state, that 10 percent of them are delinquents, and that most of this 10 percent are residents of Wilmington, where the greatest opposition to the $3 filing fee exists."
  M. Howard Jester continued residence in Wilmington until his death, which occurred at home on November 14, 1932, his 62nd birthday. The Wilmington Evening Journal notes that on that day he had been feted with a small birthday party and afterward was stricken by at least three heart attacks throughout the evening and night. He was survived by his wife and daughter and was interred at the Riverview Cemetery in Wilmington.

Portrait from the History of Delaware, 1609-1888.

  Delaware seems to have cornered the market on politicians named Manlove, as it elected three of them to public office! Following Manlove R. Carlisle and Manlove Howard Jester is Manlove Hayes, who served one term in the state house of representatives, one term as clerk of the state senate, and in the twilight of his life was elected as a presidential elector for Delaware. During a long life--he lived to age 93--Hayes gained additional repute through his work in railroading and banking, being a founder of the First National Bank of Dover. Born near Dover, Delaware on May 5, 1817, Manlove Hayes was the son of Manlove and Ann (Bell) Hayes.
   Manlove Hayes spent his early life on his family's farm and would attend the Newark Academy. He later spent one year at school in York, Pennsylvania, and studied at the Delaware College until 1836. He put his studies on hold in the latter part of that year to make his first foray into railway construction, taking an assistant engineering post under John C. Trautwine, then involved in the construction of the East Tennessee Railroad. A railway that would extend from the Knoxville, Tennessee to "the Georgia state line" Hayes eventually rose to become a division manager in that railway's construction.
  Hayes would continue with the East Tennessee until the effects of the Panic of 1837 hit the company in 1840, whereafter he returned to his old home in Delaware. Following his return, Hayes engaged in farming and in 1846 joined with two partners in establishing a steamboat line (titled the Dona Steamboat and Transportation Company) that would run from Dona Landing (near Dover) to Philadelphia. This period saw Hayes put his previous engineering skills to use with his superintending the construction of a wharf, hotel, and outbuildings near the landing
  Upon the death of his father in 1849, Manlove Hayes took over the day to day operations of the family homestead, "York Seat", where he farmed and resided until his move in 1864. Hayes would be active in agricultural pursuits for decades after and was remarked by the 1888 History of Delaware as being "one of the first persons in Kent County to engage in growing fruits for market", including peaches. He would serve as the recording secretary for the Delaware State Agricultural Society beginning in 1849, and in 1856 served as the corresponding secretary for the Kent County Agricultural Society.
  Manlove Hayes married in Delaware in February 1851 to Rebecca Carmalt Howell (1824-1912). The couple's near six-decade marriage produced four daughters, Mary (1852-1910), Edith (born 1855), Laura (1857-1861), and Anna Belle (1863-1945). 
  In his youth an active member of the Whig Party, Manlove Hayes noted his autobiography, "Reminiscences", that he cast his first vote as Whig in Tennessee,  and in 1839 attended a Whig Convention in Knoxville. After his return to Delaware in 1840 he was an "enthusiastic supporter" of that year's Whig presidential ticket of William Henry Harrison and John Tyler. In 1844 Hayes was selected as part of Delaware's delegation to that year's National Whig Convention in Baltimore, where Henry Clay and senator Theodore Frelinghuysen were nominated as the party standard-bearers.

Manlove Hayes in old age. From "Reminiscences", 1911.

  In late 1845 Hayes entered into his first political office, being elected as clerk of the Delaware state senate. He served during the 1846 session and was later to remark:
"This honor I appreciated as a high compliment, and it was, under the circumstances, a great help to me, though at the time the salaries were small. I was, as I remember, paid $400. for my services and $100. in addition to printing the Journal."
 After leaving the post of senate clerk Hayes was returned to public office in 1851 when he was elected as one of Kent County's representatives to the Delaware General Assembly. Serving in the 1852-53 session, this was the last Whig assembly to convene in the state. Hayes's one term saw that body elect former Secretary of State John M. Clayton as the new U.S. Senator from Delaware, and on the legislative front, Hayes was a leader in brokering compromise legislation that allowed the Delaware Railroad Company to connect a route with the New Castle and Frenchtown, and the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Railway.
  Hayes continued to be politically active after leaving the legislature, and in 1860 supported the Constitutional Union candidacies of John Bell and Edward Everett. Hayes would be a delegate to the Constitutional Union convention held in Baltimore that year and served on the committee to notify Bell of his nomination and "secured his consent to run." Following this election, Hayes transferred political allegiance to the Republican Party and in 1872 chaired the Kent County Republican Executive Committee. Four years later he was elected president of the Delaware Republican State Convention, which appointed members of the state executive committee that year.
  The latter portion of Manlove Hayes's life saw him continue to experience business successes, and beginning in 1864 he held the directorship of the Delaware Railroad Company. He would serve in that capacity for over forty-five years, and in 1870 assumed the additional roles post of secretary and treasurer. In 1880 Hayes would author a complete history of the company up to that time.  A founder of the First National Bank of Dover, Hayes later was a founding organizer of the Dover Free Library in 1885 and served as its president for an indeterminate period.
  Throughout his long life Manlove Hayes remained especially devoted to his alma mater, Delaware College, being a member of its board of trustees well into the 1890s. He returned to political service in 1904, when, at the age of 87, he was elected as one of three Republican Presidential electors for Delaware, supporting Theodore Roosevelt and Charles Fairbanks.
A former president of the Delaware Historical Society, Hayes had attained the title of one of his state's "grand old men" by the time of his 90th birthday in 1907, and several months prior to his death was still active enough to attend a railroad stockholder's meeting
  After several decades of service to his state, Manlove Hayes died at his home in Dover on October 31, 1910, aged 93. He was survived by his wife and children and was interred at the Friends Meeting House Cemetery in Little Creek, Delaware.

From the New York Tribune, November 1, 1910.

  For more on the life of Manlove Hayes, written by the man himself, please read his autobiographical memoir "Reminiscences",  which was published with updated information by his daughters following his death. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Ona Sanford Searles (1890-1977), Ona Lark Bell (1904-1994)

Ona S. Searles as he looked during his legislative service.

   Another in a long line of unusually named Vermont state representatives featured here, Ona Sanford Searles was a lifelong resident of the Green Mountain State. Despite the dearth of sources mentioning him at great length, Searles was for many years a leading business and political figure in Newport City, serving as president of the Vermont Retail Jeweler's Association, city mayor, and a one-term member of the Vermont legislature. Searles reached his highest degree of political notoriety in 1940 with his unsuccessful bid for Democratic U.S. Senator from Vermont. Born on November 14, 1890, in Bristol, Ona Sanford Searles was the son of Chester Emerson and Nina (Jones) Searles.
  Searles early education was obtained at the "graded school in Bristol", as well as the Spalding High School. He later attended the Goddard Seminary in Barre, and after deciding to pursue a career as a jeweler, enrolled at the Philadelphia College of Horology, then remarked as the "most thorough and practical engraving college in the country." He graduated from that school in 1914, and then established himself as a merchant jeweler in Newport City, having first located there in 1910Ona Sanford Searles married in Newport on October 24, 1917, to Marjorie Nelson (1893-1975). The couple were wed for nearly sixty years and had three children, Robert Nelson (1919-2003),  Ruth Searles Dillon (1921-2009), and Richard S. (1924-1968).
  During his long career as a jeweler in Newport City, Searles owned and operated Searles and Co., dealing not only in jewels but also fancy glassware, silverware, china, rings, ivory pyralin, clocks, and watches. Through the 1910s and 20s, advertisements for Searles's business could be found in newspapers throughout Orleans and Caledonia County, such as the Christmas advertisement below.

From the Orleans County Monitor, December 20, 1922.

  For an indeterminate period, Ona Searles served as president of the Vermont Retail Jeweler's Association, and also made inroads into the civic life of his community, serving as president of both the Newport Rotary Club and the Newport Merchant's Association. He also held the directorship of the Newport Chamber of Commerce. Later, Searles would chair the Orleans County Development Association, and was active in scouting leadership, being affiliated with the Willoughby District Boy Scouts, and was director of the New England Council.
  Searles entered the political life of his city when he won a seat on the Newport board of aldermen, and in 1936 was elected as a representative from Orleans County in the Vermont House of Representatives. Taking his seat at the start of the 1937-39 session, he would be a member of the Aviation and General committees during his term and was chairman of the last-named committee. Searles entered into national politics in 1940 when he was an unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senator. Following his win in the Democratic primary, Searles opposed two-term Republican incumbent Warren Robinson Austin in the general election that November. On election day it was Austin who emerged victorious, besting Searles by nearly 50,000 votes.

From the Newport Daily Express, March 5, 1941.

  Despite his senatorial ambitions being dashed, Searles was afforded a measure of consolation with his service on the Vermont State Planning Board from 1941-45, and this period saw him pull political double duty, as he had won election as mayor of Newport in 1940. He would serve in that capacity from 1941-45, and during his term witnessed the marriage of his daughter Ruth in January 1943.
  In 1952 Searles entered the political field once again when he announced his candidacy for state auditor. After winning the Democratic primary he went on to face incumbent Republican David V. Anderson, and that November lost to him in a lopsided contest, polling 48,223 votes to Anderson's 93,559. Little else could be found on Searles' life after this candidacy. Widowed in 1975, he continued residence in Newport until his death on February 16, 1977, at age 86. He was survived by his children Robert and Ruth, with burial occurring at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Newport.

From the Paducah, Texas Post, April 5, 1962.

   An obscure one-term state representative from Texas, Ona Lark "O. Lark" Bell also served as Hardeman County Judge and County Attorney. Born in Chillicothe, Texas on November 18, 1904, Bell was the son of A.T. and Maude Bell. Recorded by most sources under the names O. Lark Bell, or Lark Bell, his full name was discovered via In addition to that listing, Bell is recorded as a six-year-old in the 1910 U.S. Census under the name Ona L. Bell.
  Bell's formative years were spent in Hardeman County and after attending Abilene Christian College decided to pursue a career in law. He enrolled at Baylor University and following graduation was admitted to the Texas bar in 1929. Bell married in June 1933 to Berta Stevens (1907-1999), to who he was wed until his death. The couple had two children, Lark (1946-1984) and Steva Bell Brinkerhoff. Bell would practice law in Quanah, Texas, and in 1942 was the incumbent county judge for Hardeman County. Bell had also served as County Attorney for Hardeman County, his full dates of service remaining unknown at this time.
  In November 1951 O. Lark Bell won a special election for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives, this election being occasioned by the resignation of John E. Morrison that June. Bell served until January 1953 and in the previous year had been appointed as general attorney for the Quanah Acme and Pacific Railway. In 1959 he has succeeded to post of general counsel and served until retiring in 1969.
  Little else could be located on Bell's life post-1969, except notice of his death in Quanah on March 22, 1994, at age 89. His wife Berta survived him by five years, and following her death in 1999 was interred alongside him at the Quanah Memorial Park Cemetery.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Goldsmith Whitehouse Hewitt (1834-1895), Goldsmith Fox Bailey (1823-1862), Goldsmith Coffeen Gilbert (ca. 1795-1844), Goldsmith Blachley Oliver Jr. (1892-1958)

Portrait courtesy of the Library of Congress.

   A four-term U.S. Representative from Alabama, attorney Goldsmith Whitehouse Hewitt was also a multi-term state representative and senator from his home city of Birmingham. Like several other politicians profiled recently, Hewitt (along with his congressional counterpart Goldsmith Fox Bailey) are true "old guard" strange names, this author first locating their names via the Biographical Directory of Congress in 2000. 
  A lifelong Alabama resident, Goldsmith Whitehouse Hewitt was born in Elyton (now Birmingham), Alabama on February 14, 1834, the son of James Highnight (1804-1858) and Eleanor (Tarrant) Hewitt (1804-1854). Hewitt would receive his unusual name in honor of his paternal grandfather Goldsmith Whitehouse Hewitt (1766-1846), a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Hewitt's formative years were spent in Jefferson County, where he attended school. He would turn to law studies during his youth and entered the law office of local Judge William Swearingen Mudd (1816-1884) in the early 1850s. Hewitt continued his studies at the Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, and was admitted to the Alabama bar in 1856.
  In 1858  Hewitt married his first wife Sarah J, Morrow, to who he was wed until her death in 1863. This union produced one child, John J., and in 1868 he remarried to Harriet Earle (1835-1927), who survived him. The couple had three daughters, Eleanora (born 1869), Harriet Hampton (born 1872), and Pauline (1875-1877)
  Goldsmith W. Hewitt established himself in practice in Birmingham, joining the firm of Ernest and Earle. He later partnered with future state representative John Calhoun Morrow in a firm that extended until Hewitt's enlistment in the Confederate Army in 1861. A private in Co. B. of the Tenth Alabama Infantry, Hewitt was later promoted to captain in Co. G. of the 28th Alabama Infantry, and saw action in the battles of Seven Pines and Murfreesboro. He was wounded in action at the Battle of Chickasaw in September 1862, and these injuries proved so severe he was "disabled for further service."
  Following a period of recuperation, Hewitt returned to practicing law and in 1869 entered politics with his election to the Alabama House of Representatives from Birmingham. He served in the session of 1870-71 and in 1872 was elected to the state senate. The 1872-74 term saw Hewitt as a member of the committee on Local Legislation and a "joint committee to visit States prison and States prison convicts."  In 1874 he announced his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives from Alabama's 6th congressional district, and after winning the Democratic nomination was opposed by incumbent Republican Joseph Sloss in the November general election. Hewitt would defeat Sloss by a near 6,000 vote margin, and took his seat in January 1875.
  Hewitt's first house term saw him named to the Committee on Invalid Pensions and also introduced a bill (by unanimous consent), "for the relief of settlers on lands claimed by the North and South Alabama Railroad." Hewitt also introduced legislation aimed to "secure impartial administration of justice in the state of Alabama" by removing political influence from the state court system. 

Hewitt as he appeared during his congressional service. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

  In November 1876 Hewitt was elected to a second term, unopposed, and would again serve on the committee on Invalid Pensions. During the 1877-79 term Hewitt introduced further legislation, including a bill that would pension veterans of the Mexican American War and the Oregon Indian Wars, "and to repeal the act forbidding pensions to all except those who took the union side in the civil war". He retired from Congress at the close of the session and wasn't a candidate for re-election in November 1878. He would be induced to run for Congress again in 1880 and that November was elected unopposed. He would win a fourth term in 1882, and these back to back terms saw him author a number of pieces of legislation, including:
"One to monetize silver, to prohibit the retirement of greenbacks, and to prohibit banks of issue, to suppress polygamy in Utah, to improve, by federal aid, the rivers and harbors of Alabama."
  Hewitt remained busy during his final house term, opposing the Reagan Interstate Commerce Bill as well as the senate amendments to the Mexican Contingent Fund. After leaving office Hewitt would remark that by lobbying against those amendments "he believes that his resistance saved a billion of dollars to the government." He would not be a candidate for reelection in November 1884.
  After his return to Alabama Hewitt joined the law firm of Hewitt, Walker, and Porter in Birmingham. Hewitt wasn't out of the political spotlight for long, however, and in 1886 was reelected to the Alabama House of Representatives. He served one four year term and was named to the committees on the Judiciary; Penitentiary and Criminal Administration; and Rules. He continued to reside in Birmingham after leaving office, and in November 1894 began to suffer health problems. These illnesses continued into the following year, and on May 28, 1895, Hewitt died at his home, the cause of death being given as heart disease. He was survived by his wife Harriet and was interred at the Oak Hill Cemetery in Birmingham. One week following his death, Hewitt was memorialized by his fellow bar members in a lengthy resolution in his memory, stating:
"His services as a legislator and as a soldier were so many and so valuable that they neither require nor permit detail at this time. His honorable scars and halting gate and the benefits of useful laws which he helped largely to enact, all of them in the interest of justice, honesty, and the common welfare, are an indefeasible title to the gratitude and loving remembrance of those whom he served so long, so faithfully, and so well."
From the Marshall County Independent, June 7, 1895.

Portrait from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Past and Present, 1887.

   A decade prior to Goldsmith Whitehouse Hewitt's arrival on the national political scene, the voters of Massachusetts' 9th congressional district elected their own "Goldsmith" to the U.S. House of Representatives. That man was Goldsmith Fox Bailey, an attorney residing in Fitchburg. Prior to his congressional service Bailey had published a newspaper in Vermont and following settlement in Fitchburg won election to both houses of the Massachusetts legislature. With a bright political career ahead of him, Hewitt died while serving in Congress at the age of just 38, a victim of consumption.
  Born in East Westmoreland, New Hampshire on July 17, 1823, Goldsmith Fox Bailey was the son of Ebenezer and Lucy (Goldsmith) Bailey. Left fatherless at an early age, Bailey removed with his mother to Fitchburg, Massachusetts, where he attended school. After attaining maturity he relocated to Bellows Falls, Vermont to learn the printing trade, and joined the staff of the Bellows Falls Gazette. By the early 1840s he had become the publisher of that paper, and in 1845 left printing behind to focus his efforts on law studies.
  After a period of study in Westminster, Vermont Bailey relocated back to Fitchburg, where he completed his studies in the law office of Torrey and Wood. He was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1848 and soon afterward joined the firm of N. Wood and Co. in Fitchburg. He practiced law in that city for several years afterward, and in 1856 was awarded an honorary Masters of Arts degree from Dartmouth College.
  Bailey entered Bay State politics with his appointment as U.S. Postmaster at Fitchburg, serving in that capacity from 1851-1853. In 1856 he received a nomination for the Massachusetts House of Representatives and was elected in the fall of that year. In November of the following year, he won his first term in the state senate and was elected to a second term in 1859. His time in that body saw him as a member (and later chairman) of the Judiciary committee. 
  Goldsmith W. Bailey achieved statewide political prominence in November 1860 with his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, defeating Constitutional Union candidate Eli Thayer by a vote of 9,745 to 7,949. At the start of the 1861-63 session he was named to the committee on Resources, but Bailey's "long delicate" health prevented him from taking an active part in congressional proceedings. Several months prior to his death he visited Cuba and Florida in the hopes warm climate would improve his health, but it failed to do so. He soon returned to his home in Fitchburg, where he died of consumption on May 8, 1862, aged just 38. A lifelong bachelor, Bailey was interred at the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Fitchburg and his brief career in national politics was memorialized by the Fitchburg Reville and the Brattleboro, Vermont Phoenix, noting:
"We cannot, within the brief limits of a newspaper article, do justice to the mind and character of Mr. Bailey; it is only those who knew his life and had access to his inner heart, who can truly appreciate his talents and worth. Yet even to strangers his power was obvious, whether as a lawyer, legislator, or in the social circle."
From the Brattleboro Phoenix May 22, 1862.

Portrait from the History of Delaware County, Indiana, 1881.

  Regarded by many as the founding father of Muncie, Indiana, Goldsmith Coffeen Gilbert was a native of New York who, following his removal to the Indiana Territory, became a pioneer settler and business figure in formative years of Muncie. The owner and operator of several business concerns in his adopted home city, Gilbert entered politics in the twilight of his life, winning election to two terms in Indiana House of Representatives from Delaware County. 
  Born in Washington County, New York, Gilbert's birth-year is variously given as 1793, 1795, and 1797. Following his mother's death, he was sent to live with his uncle and namesake, Goldsmith Coffeen, with whom he resided in Jefferson County. The pair later removed to Lebanon, Ohio circa 1813, and sometime later Gilbert traveled back to New York, where he married Mary Bishop (1797-1828), to who he was wed until her death. The couple had at least two children, Goldsmith (died 1836), and Mary Jane (1825-1904). Gilbert would remarry after his wife's death at an unknown date to Rachel Jewell, who survived him.
  Desiring to move westward after his marriage, Gilbert and his wife relocated to the Indiana Territory, and by 1823 he is recorded as operating a trading post on the Mississnewa River. Trading goods with the local native population, Gilbert's home, and trading post were later set aflame by intoxicated natives, and after receiving monetary compensation for his loss from the government, used those funds to begin the purchase of 672 acres of land called the "Hackley Reserve". This extensive acreage was owned by Rebecca Hackley, a mixed-race granddaughter of Little Turtle (ca. 1747-1812), a former chief of the Miami Indian tribe. Despite Gilbert's initial promise of $960 dollars for this land, it took many years for that sum to be paid in full to Hackley. 
  Within a short period, Gilbert had gone to work in earnest, dividing up portions of the 672 acres into lots, which evolved into what was then known as Muncietown. Gilbert would "dig a mill race on the peninsula of north Muncie" and later established a mill. Through the succeeding years, he saw the area blossom into a thriving community and had a hand in many of its early businesses. Amongst these businesses, the 1881 History of Delaware County denotes his involvement in the operation of a "saw-mill, a woolen factory, a distillery, a blacksmith shop, a hotel, and was a partner in a dry goods store."
  In 1827 Goldsmith C. Gilbert further aided his community when he became one of three men to donate land to be used as a construction site for the Delaware County seat. In 1841 he entered the political life of his state with his election to the Indiana House of Representatives. Taking his seat at the start of the 1841-43 session that December, Gilbert was named to the committee on Claims and advocated for legislation that would have chartered a railroad that connected Muncie to Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He won a second term in late 1843 and served on the committee on Elections into January 1844.
  With a bright career ahead of him in state government, Goldsmith Coffeen Gilbert died in office of pleurisy on January 20, 1844, his death occurring in Pendleton, Indiana following the close of the 1843-44 session. He was survived by his wife and daughter and was returned to Muncie for burial at the Beech Grove Cemetery. Nearly 180 years following his death, Gilbert remains a far from a forgotten figure in Muncie, having a street and a historic district in that city named in his honor, the latter being named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. 

From the Arkansas legislative composite, 1925.

   Three months following the publishing of the above article, another politically active "Goldsmith" has been located on August 29, 2020--Goldsmith Blachley Oliver Jr. of Arkansas. A two-term member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from Clay County, there is an extreme dearth of resources mentioning Oliver, hence his brief profile here. Born in Corning, Clay County, Arkansas on June 20, 1892, Goldsmith Blachley Oliver Jr. was the son of Goldsmith B. Oliver Sr (1856-1935). and the former Lillie Harb (1866-1946).
  An attorney that practiced in both Corning and Little Rock, Oliver was elected to two consecutive terms in the Arkansas state legislature, serving from 1923-27. Little else is known of his life, excepting mention of his being the chairman of the Arkansas Fish and Game Commission in 1938. He died aged 66 on December 28, 1958, and was interred at the Calvary Cemetery in Little Rock.