Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Casabianca Kizzia (1866-1940)

Portrait from the 1907 Arkansas legislative composite.

  Our near month-long stay in Arkansas concludes with a peek at the life of Casabianca Kizzia, certainly one of the oddest named men ever to win election to the Arkansas house of representatives. A well-known resident of Pike County during his life, Kizzia served as clerk of the county circuit court prior to his legislative service and was a longstanding merchant in that county. Like several other individuals profiled recently, Kizzia's life is shrouded in obscurity, with little information available on his life after his time in state government. His unusual first name is spelled as both "Casabianca" and "Casabianco", with sources such as Ancestry.com indicating his nickname, "Anka". 
   Born on December 12, 1866, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas Casabianca "Anka" Kizzia was the son of Nathan and Isabella Clementine (Gould) Kizzia. No information could be located on Kizzia's formative years or education, and he married in Arkansas in October 1896 to Nancy Clark "Gallie" Gentry (1873-1948). The couple were wed for over forty years and had at least seven children: Cassandra Fae (1897-1982), Annie Mae (1899-1902), Clark Vernon (1901-1979), Kate Aileen (1903-1971), Ruth Estelle (1905-1992), John Alton (1908-1974), and Sada Bell (1912-1924).   
  Following his marriage, Kizzia was elected as Pike County clerk, an office that also saw him serving in the capacity of circuit court clerk. He held that office from 1901 to at least 1904, and in 1906 was elected as Pike County representative to the Arkansas General Assembly. Taking his seat at the start of the 1907-09 session, Kizzia's term saw him named to the committees on Engrossed Bills, Public Printing, and State Lands. Kizzia would introduce legislation that would "raise the salaries of clerks and judges of election from $1 to $1.50 per day", and with fellow representative James Jackson authored a bill:
"To prohibit drunkeness at public gatherings, and imposes a fine of not less than $10 or more than $25 for any person to appear in a drunken condition at any picnic, barbecue, children's day exercises, Sunday school, church service or literary society."  

  During his term Kizzia remained active in business in his native county, being a founding incorporator of the Murfreesboro Realty Co. in June 1907. He is also remarked as operating a mercantile establishment in Murfreesboro near the "edge of the Pike County diamond field." In February 1908 Kizzia began preparations for a new mercantile store in Antoine (also in Pike County), purchasing goods in Little Rock to sell at this new location. This store, operated with a partner named Cooper, was later consumed by fire in 1911, with the building and merchandise loss being valued at $10,000.                                                      Little else is known of Kizzia's life after 1911, excepting note of his being affiliated with the Bank of Delight, Arkansas, serving as its cashier. He continued in that role well into the 1920s and died on November 8, 1940, aged 73. He was survived by his wife and both were interred at the Murfreesboro Cemetery. 

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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Nin Hader Whelker Holland (1877-1951)

From the Arkansas senate composite photograph, 1937.

   As September winds to a close, the annals of the Arkansas state government yield a truly fascinating name with Nin Hader Whelker Holland. Discovered recently via a copy of the 2018 Historical Report of the Arkansas Secretary of State, this extensive work compiles rosters of every legislative session in Arkansas history, dating back to the territorial assembly of 1819.  Included amongst these rosters are listings for the 1921, 1923, 1929, and 1937 legislatures, featuring the name of N.H. Holland, representative and state senator from Scott County. Curious about the initials "N.H.", a search through the archives of Findagrave and Familysearch revealed the name of Nin Hader Whelker Holland, a fascinating name that immediately presented itself with challenges. Information on Holland is sorely lacking online, and other than mentions of his being a farmer and Mason, little else is known of him. Despite his obscurity, the discovery of Holland's 1917 draft registration (shown below) comes as a welcome surprise as it reveals his full name. 
   Born in Arkansas on March 17, 1877, Nin Hader Whelker "Ned" Holland was the son of James Allen Thompson and Martha Matilda (Wood) Holland. No information could be located on Holland's childhood or education, and by 1897 he was residing in the town of Flippen in Marion County. He married in October of that year to Rachel Jane Burch (1877-1900), to who he was wed until her death. Shortly after her death, Holland remarried to Minnie Flippin (1876-1954). The couple were wed for over four decades and had four children, James (1903-1986), Oscar (1905-1911), Rachel (died in infancy in 1908), and Blake (1909-1977).
  Following his marriage to Minnie Flippin "Ned" Holland removed to Waldron, Scott County, Arkansas, where they resided for over forty years. He is recorded as a farmer and stock raiser in that town as per his 1951 death notice and held memberships in the Masonic fraternity and the Malta Commandery, No. 17, Knights Templar.
  In 1920 Ned Holland was elected as Scott County's representative to the Arkansas General Assembly and served from 1921-23. He won a second term in 1922, and during the 1923-25 session sat on the committees on Agriculture, County and County Lines, and Memorials. Holland subsequently won a third term in the house of representatives in 1928 and served from 1929-31.  

From the 1921 Arkansas legislative composite.

  After several years away from politics, Holland was returned to government service in 1936 with his election to the Arkansas state senate, representing the 33rd senatorial district from 1937-39. Little is known of the remainder of Holland's life, excepting note of his death in Winfield, Arkansas on October 10, 1951, aged 74. His wife Minnie survived him by five years, and following her death in 1956 was interred alongside him at the Sehorn Cemetery in 

Holland's draft registration from 1917-18, recording his full name.


 I am currently seeking further information on the life and career of Nin Hader Whelker "Ned" Holland and need your assistance! If you are a reader or possible descendent and have information you'd like to contribute, please leave a message below or via the Facebook messenger link at the top right side of this page.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Espy Hillard Weaver (1889-1962), Espy Van Horne (1795-1829)

From the 1957 Arkansas legislative composite photograph.

  Espy Hillard "Ep" Weaver is another curiously named Arkansas legislator discovered recently, and, following the profiles on representatives Hastings DeJournette Avery and Phipps Brevard Hill, obscurity again prevails! While a longtime political office holder in Arkansas (serving as county clerk, sheriff, and judge), there are few details available on Weaver's life, hence why his profile here will be brief. The inconsistencies in the spelling of Weaver's first name are also a contributing factor, being spelled as Espy, Espie, Epsy, and Epsey. Weaver's headstone at the Mt. Moriah cemetery records it as "Espy", and as I consider the spelling on a person's gravestone to be the final arbiter in regards to spelling, it is that version given here.
  The son of Dr. Joshua Wilson (1828-1906) and Mary Virginia "Mollie" (Culbreath) Weaver (1849-1914), Espy Hillard Weaver was born on December 9, 1889, in Mt. Moriah. Arkansas. Little information could be obtained in regards to Weaver's childhood, education, or early employment. Raised in Mt. Moriah, Weaver's education was obtained in schools local to that area and after reaching adolescence began a teaching career. He received his "first-grade certificate" in 1911 and for several years taught at various schools in the Nevada County area. "Ep" Weaver married Edna Cofield (1890-1974) on October 13, 1912. The couple were wed for nearly fifty years and had five children: Virginia, Mollie, Geneva, Field (born 1916), and Nell (1918-2001). 
   In 1918 Weaver entered political life for the first time, announcing his candidacy for Nevada County circuit court clerk. He was profiled in a brief biographical column in the Prescott Daily News, which detailed:
"His qualifactions to discharge satisfactorily the duties of the clerk's office cannot be questioned, and when you cast your vote in the May primary, we ask that you give this excellent young gentleman your best consideration."

  Though Weaver would lose that contest, he was undeterred and in 1922 again was a candidate for Nevada County circuit clerk. He proved successful at the polls and served from 1923-26. In 1928 he won election as county sheriff (serving a four-year term, 1929-33) and in 1935 entered into a two-year term as county judge. Little else is known of Weaver's life after 1937, excepting his successful run for the state legislature in 1956. He represented Nevada County for one term, 1957-59, and died in Arkansas on August 17, 1962, aged 72. He was survived by his wife Edna, and both were later interred at the Mount Moriah Cemetery in Rosston, Arkansas.

From the Hope Star, August 18, 1962.


I am currently seeking more information on the life and career of Espy Hillard Weaver. If you are a reader or possible descendant and have information that you'd like to contribute, please leave a message via the Facebook messenger link at the top right side of this page!

  Several decades prior to Espy Weaver's birth another "Espy" made his entrance into national politics. That man was Espy Van Horne of Pennsylvania, certainly one of the most obscure congressmen on record. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1824, Van Horne served two terms (1825-1829) and died a few months after leaving office. Discovered via the Politicalgraveyard webpage back in 2000, Van Horne's obscurity has held strong for two decades time, with no portrait of him known to exist, and details on his life being at a minimum. Even his official congressional biography amounts to just two brief lines!
  Born in 1795 in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, Espy Van Horne attended school at "Long Bridge under Sinking Creek", studying under Jonathan Kearsley. At an unknown date, Van Horne was admitted to practice law and later was acknowledged as "a lawyer of considerable distinction" in his region. He was elected as a Democratic-Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives in October 1824, polling over 7,000 votes. He would win a second term in October 1826 (this time polling over 9,000 votes) and served until March 1829. He died five months later on August 25, 1829, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. A burial location for Van Horne remains unknown at this time.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Idus Lafayette Fielder (1853-1892)

From the 1881 Arkansas legislative composite portrait.

  During a life that spanned just 39 years, Idus Lafayette Fielder left his mark in public service in two states, Arkansas and the New Mexico Territory. A native of Georgia, Fielder earned his law degree from the University of Georgia and after relocating to Arkansas established himself in practice with his brother. Fielder would be elected to two terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives and after removing to the New Mexico Territory continued in practice in Silver City. In the year of his death Fielder was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention held in Chicago, and died a few months following his service.
  Born in Georgia on February 21, 1853, Idus Lafayette Fielder was the son of Herbert and Mary Talulah Fielder. The son of an attorney, Fielder resided in Cuthbert, Georgia during his youth and would attend the University of Virginia. During his time there he garnered a reputation as a "peculiar, wild chap from one of the South or Southwestern States." In a writeup concerning Fielder's stay in Virginia, a contemporary, Richard T.W. Duke, reflected on Fielder's excelling in Dr. William McGuffey's classes, "having never missed a recitation or class & so stood high in the doctor's favour."
  While studious, Fielder is remarked by Duke as having been "lively" at times, and on one occasion, while residing at a local boarding house, missed out on breakfast eggs. Requesting eggs for breakfast, Fielder proceeded to pull a revolver on his astonished hosts, which he then placed on the table. While his demands were met, this incident nearly got Fielder expelled from the University of Virginia, and after a faculty meeting, William McGuffey intervened in his favor, acknowledging Fielder to be "the best man in my class. He has never been absent or missed a recitation. He will graduate very highly. I cannot permit him to be expelled."
  Duke reports that Fielder apologized for his actions and did graduate with high marks. Following his graduation, he enrolled at the University of Georgia, where he graduated in 1873 with his Bachelor of Laws degree. After graduating Fielder married in June 1875 to Julia Dubose Tombs (1857-1938). The couple later separated, but not before having one daughter, Margaret (1876-1946). He began the practice of law in Cuthbert, partnering with his father in the firm of Fielder and Fielder, which continued until Idus Fielder's removal to Arkansas in 1877. Settling in the town of Ozark, he established a law firm with L.L. Wittich, and was "especially successful in criminal practice." Fielder's 1892 obituary further notes that he practiced with his brother Clarry "C.C." Fielder, their dates of operation being unknown at this time. 
  Idus Fielder made his first foray into Arkansas politics in 1880 when he announced his candidacy for the Arkansas House of Representatives. Hoping to become Franklin County's representative, Fielder won the election that September and took his seat at the start of the January 1881 session. This term saw him named to the committee on the Judiciary and in September 1881 remarried to Maude Clegg (1853-1933). The couple had one son, Herbert Austin (born 1883). Reelected in 1882, Fielder was named to the committee on Public Buildings for the 1883 term and would introduce an important piece of legislation in the form of an early anti-pornography bill, which was passed by the legislature in February 1883. Following the bill's passage, the Russellville Democrat lauded Fielder on his efforts, noting:
"The bill introduced by Mr. Fielder and passed by the present legislature, prohibiting the sale or circulation of obscene literature is a magnanimous step in a magnanimous cause...Mr. Fielder ought to be tendered the unanimous thanks of all the fathers and mothers, and the lovers of peace and morality in the state."
From the Russellville Democrat, March 1, 1883.

  In 1883 Fielder developed bronchial problems and out of concern for his health resigned his seat and removed to Deming in the New Mexico Territory. Within a year of his resettlement he had become active in Democratic circles, and in August 1884 was elected as a delegate from Grant County to the Democratic territorial convention. Fielder was later joined by his father Herbert in the practice of law in Deming, but their partnership proved to be short-lived. Around 1885 he removed his practice to Silver City in the territory, with his father remaining in Deming. 
   After his removal to Silver City Fielder continued to be politically active, and in March 1888 chaired a meeting of Sierra County delegates that advocated New Mexico statehood. At the 1892 Democratic Territorial Convention Fielder was elected as a delegate to that year's Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where Grover Cleveland was nominated for the presidency. As a delegate Fielder "wrote the silver plank that was submitted to the convention", and pressed hard for a "free silver plank in the National platform." 
  Two months following his return to New Mexico Fielder narrowly escaped death when a friend, James Patterson, was accosted and killed by a Mexican citizen. In an August 9, 1892 write-up concerning the incident, it is revealed that Fielder and Patterson, being interested in purchasing mining property in the Gold Hill region, were accosted by a Mexican native, who believed Patterson owed him money. After attempting to diffuse the situation by buying the man whiskey at a local saloon, the pair were followed by the man, who became more belligerent. He continued to pursue the pair until they reached home, and after forcibly removing him from the property, Fielder made note of the possibility that the man may attempt to steal his horses. After arming himself with a pistol, Fielder gave the weapon to Patterson, and following a check of their horses, returned home. There the pair were met by the Mexican man climbing through one of the windows, and after a warning, Patterson was fired upon by the man. Receiving a fatal wound to the abdomen, Patterson returned fire and killed the intruder with a shot through the heart. Witnessing his friend's shooting, Fielder sent for a medical help, but Patterson succumbed to his injuries the following day.
  Idus Fielder would continue his law practice in Silver City until shortly before his death, and after attending a court session experienced numb hands and a paralyzing feeling in his side. He died at his home on December 5, 1892, aged 39, his body being discovered by a servant the following morning. While this manner of death was published in the Southwest Sentinel, an alternate chain of invents was published in the Santa Fe Daily New Mexican, involving intoxication, spousal abuse, and possible suicide. While the reader is left to his or her own conclusions as to the manner of Fielder's death, it should be noted that the Southwest Sentinel published an update on December 15 (shown below), reporting the Fielder family was "very much aggrieved" over the reports of marital trouble and suicide. This same paper reports that Fielder was "devotedly nursed in his last hours by his wife" and that the cause of death was heart failure attributed to "uremea" (uremia). A burial location for Fielder remains unknown at this time.

From the Southwest Sentinel, December 15, 1892.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Gressie Umsted Carnes (1903-1979)

From the Camden News, September 16, 1974.

  Long a leading Democrat in the "Natural State", Gressie Umsted Carnes served as Arkansas representative on the Democratic National Committee for over three decades, and in that capacity also served as a delegate to multiple Democratic National Conventions. In addition to her years of service in the Democratic party, Carnes attained further distinction through charitable endeavors, being a booster for the Arkansas Crippled Children's Hospital Board and the Girl Scouts. The daughter of  Sidney Albert and Edna (Edwards) Umsted, Gressie Umsted was born in Berniece, Louisiana on August 9th of either 1903 or 1905 (years vary). 
  The Umsted family relocated to Arkansas shortly after their daughter's birth, and her early education was obtained in the public schools of El Dorado. Umsted later attended the Gulf Park women's college in Mississippi as well as the Henderson-Brown College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Gressie Umsted married on May 30, 1926, to businessman Samuel Jacob "Jack" Carnes (1896-1958). The couple was wed for over thirty years and adopted one son, Sidney, who lost his life in a car accident in 1946. In addition to being a pottery company executive, Jack Carnes was musically inclined, playing both piano and organ. 
   After becoming active in Democratic circles in Arkansas, Gressie Umsted Carnes quickly advanced to the front rank in party affairs and in 1936 served as part of the Arkansas delegation to the Democratic National Convention held in Philadelphia. In 1944 Carnes was elected as Arkansas representative on the Democratic National Committee. In this capacity, she attended multiple Democratic National Conventions as a delegate (including the 1948, 1952, and 1956 conventions), and served as committeewoman for 35 years until her death in 1979.
  Carnes's long period of service saw her be a prominent booster for Democratic candidates both in Arkansas and Washington, D.C., and was a leading backer in the political career of David Hampton Pryor (born 1934), later to serve a term as Governor and three terms as U.S. Senator from Arkansas. Acknowledging Franklin Roosevelt as her "favorite president to have served under", Carnes attended Roosevelt's inauguration ceremony in January 1945 and also visited the White House prior to the president's attending the Yalta Conference in February 1945.

From the Camden News, April 16, 1952.

   In addition to her long service to the Democratic party, Gressie Carnes achieved further distinction through numerous civic and philanthropic endeavors. During the 1930s she aided in raising money for victims of Mississippi river flooding in Arkansas and met with famed humorist and actor Will Rogers, with who she "flew in a small plane all over the state and some surrounding states to raise money for flood relief." She would serve as president of the Arkansas Crippled Children's Hospital Board, and led in the fundraising efforts to construct a children's convalescent home in Jacksonville, Arkansas. This facility would be named the Gressie Carnes Convalescence Home For Crippled Children in her honor and was dedicated in June 1948. Carnes also figured prominently in the establishment of the Arkansas Girl Scouts in the 1930s, and had a long affiliation with the National Board of the Easter Seal Society of the United States, serving as a trustee.
  Widowed in 1958, Gressie Carnes continued prominence in Democratic circles well into the 1970s, and during the 1976 Democratic National Convention proceedings oversaw a lavish party held at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. She was the namesake of the Gressie Carnes Woman of the Year Award, and in 1974 was honored at a breakfast banquet meeting of the Arkansas State Democratic Committee. Carnes died in Camden, Arkansas on June 15, 1979, and was later interred at the Greenwood Cemetery in that city.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Phipps Brevard Hill (1852-1940)

From the 1893-95 Arkansas legislative composite photograph.

  Phipps Brevard Hill was a Lawrence County, Arkansas farmer who served one term in the Arkansas House of Representatives in the early 1890s. Most often recorded under the initials "P.B.", Hill was born in Iredell County, North Carolina on July 8, 1852, the son of Robert and Sarah Adaline (Hall) Hill. P.B. Hill's early education was obtained as his family's home, and for two terms attended the University of Mississippi. He began the study of law in Somerville, Tennessee, and would enroll at Vanderbilt University in the late 1870s.
  After being admitted to the Tennessee bar Hill practiced law and in 1886 removed to Arkansas. He married in June of that year to Nancy Victoria Lester (1864-1946) and had two daughters, Annie and Mary Victoria (1902-1918). The couple were residents of Walnut Ridge in Lawrence County, where Hill later constructed a two-story mercantile store. In 1894 he was elected as Lawrence County's representative to the Arkansas General Assembly, and during the 1895-97 session sat on the committees on Agriculture and the Penitentiary.
  Little else is known of Hill's life after his term concluded in January 1897. Fifteen years after leaving office he served as Pulaski County's delegate to the 1912 Little Rock-Texarkana Conference, which discussed the feasibility of the construction of a 160 mile stretch of highway from Texarkana to Little Rock. In the following year Hill served on the Lawrence County Running Water Drainage Commission, and in this capacity awarded a contract to a Mississippi firm to dig a 17-mile drainage ditch at the cost of $35,000. 
  Phipps Brevard Hill died at age 87 on February 17, 1940. He was survived by his wife of fifty-three years, Victoria, and both were interred at the Hope Cemetery in Imboden, Arkansas.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Hastings DeJournette Avery (1859-1924)

From the 1905 Arkansas legislative composite photograph.

  The Strangest Names In American Political History begins a nearly month-long visit through Arkansas to profile several of that state's oddly named political figures. The first to be profiled is Hastings DeJournette Avery, an obscure physician from Lincoln County who was elected to one term in the state house of representatives. As details regarding Avery's life remain scant, his profile here will be brief. 
  Born in Mississippi on August 6, 1859, Hastings DeJournette "H.D." Avery relocated to Virginia to pursue study at the Emory and Henry College and later enrolled at the Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. After completing studies at the latter school Avery entered the law department of Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, his dates of enrollment being unknown at this time.
  Around 1880 Avery relocated to Arkansas, where for several years he followed a career in teaching. He married in the mid-1880s and had two sons, Thomas Irvin (1888-1903) and Hastings Palmer (1892-1973). Avery and his wife were residents of Lincoln County following their marriage, and in September 1892 he was appointed to succeed G.A. Bryant as Lincoln County circuit court clerk, the latter having died several days previously. In a special election held that November, Avery was elected to a term of his own, serving until 1894.
  In 1896 H.D. Avery set his sights on a seat in the Arkansas Senate, but as a "warm advocate" of the gold standard (a hot button issue in the 1896 election year), he was defeated. Following his loss, Avery turned his attention to medical studies, and by 1900 was practicing medicine in the town of Garnett. He reemerged on the political scene in 1904 when he announced his candidacy for the house of representatives, with the Little Rock, Arkansas Democrat remarking:
"He cares not to have his name bruited in the mouths of men, or for the emoluments of office, but loves the excitement of a public campaign. He has always been an uncompromising Democrat."

From the Little Rock Arkansas Democrat, December 4, 1904.

  That November Avery won the election and shortly after his election was queried as to his stances on several political hot button issues of the day. He would come out in favor of the King anti-trust bill, favored legislation that would "expedite the completion of the state capitol", favored a railroad commission law, and remarked that in "consonance with my prejudices" he favored segregation of the state school tax, though he "doubted its constitutionality and its soundness in Democratic policy." 
  During the 1905-07 session, Avery was a member of the committees on Apportionment, Memorials, and the Practice of Medicine. In addition to the man highlighted today, this session of the legislature was peopled with several other oddly named figures, including Xenophon Overton PindallArlander Denson DuLaneyUratus Lee Meade, and Euphrates Garrett, all of whom have been profiled here in past years. After leaving the legislature little is known of Avery's life, excepting note of his death on May 12, 1924, aged 65. He was survived by his wife Frances and both were interred at the Palmyra-Star City Cemetery in Lincoln County.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Cornwall Hart Loomis (1894-1924)

From the Washington Evening Star, June 20, 1924.

  Diplomat Cornwall Hart Loomis holds the sad distinction of being the shortest-lived public figure to be profiled here, as he died two months after his 30th birthday in 1924. Despite his brief longevity, Loomis carved a notable career for himself, being a Y.M.C.A. aid worker in Europe during World War I and after joining the foreign service, was appointed as U.S. Vice Consul in Calcutta, India. A native of Parkersburg, West Virginia, Cornwall Hart Loomis was born in that city on April 27, 1894, the eldest of five children born to George Cornwall and Nannie (Gould) Loomis
   Loomis's early education was obtained in the public schools of Parkersburg and later graduated from the Asheville, North Carolina high school. Following graduation, he took work as a salesman in Washington, D.C. from 1915-17 and entered government service as a clerk in the War Department from 1917-18During the First World War Loomis served with the U.S. Quartermaster Corps in Europe from 1918-19, and following the close of the hostilities was affiliated with the Young Men's Christian Association as an aide in Czechoslovakia
  After his return to the United States Loomis entered into the foreign service and after passing  examination was named as clerk for the U.S. Consulate in Calcutta, India in January 1920. By November 1921 Cornwall Loomis had advanced to the post of Vice Consul in Calcutta, serving under Consul General Alexander Wilbourne Weddell (1876-1948). Loomis's two year residency in Calcutta saw his health begin to fail in 1923, and by the next year was back at home in Washington, D.C., where he died on June 20, 1924, aged 30.  
  Loomis's premature death was reported on by the Washington Evening Star, which noted that India's climate "is thought to have been responsible  for undermining his health, which resulted in his death." A lifelong bachelor, Cornwall Hart Loomis was survived by his parents, and all four of his siblings, and was interred at the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

From the Washington Evening Star, June 20, 1924.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Peronneau Finley Henderson (1877-1968)

Portrait from the Aiken Journal and Review, February 23, 1927.

  During a long life that extended ninety years, Peronneau Finley Henderson attained distinction in multiple fields in his native South Carolina, being an attorney, club-man, civic leader, Presbyterian Synod moderator, power company executive, hardware company director, and president of the South Carolina Bar Association. On the political front Henderson was long an active Democrat in his state, and in addition to being a delegate to the 1924 Democratic National Convention would serve at various times as an acting circuit court judge and justice of the state supreme court. 
  The son of Daniel Sullivan (1849-1921) and Lillie (Ripley) Henderson (1856-1921), Peronneau Finley "P. Finley" Henderson was born in Aiken, South Carolina on November 29, 1877. A prominent attorney and political leader in his own right, David S. Henderson served multiple terms in the South Carolina state senate (1880-83 and 1897-1902) and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention of 1884. During his legislative tenure, Henderson gained further prominence when he authored the bill to prevent dueling in South Carolina and introduced a "dueling oath" into the state constitution when he was a delegate to the 1895 constitutional convention.
  A student at the Aiken Institute, P. Finley Henderson would enroll at Davidson College, graduating in the class of 1897. He began reading law under the tutelage of his father and uncle in their law office, the Henderson Brothers. He continued studies at Harvard University during the summer session, 1897-98. After his admittance to the South Carolina bar in 1899 Henderson began practice in Aiken with his father and uncle, the firm undergoing a name change to the Hendersons. He married in Aiken in 1904 to Grace Powell (1879-1943), to who he was wed for nearly forty years. This union produced two daughters, Eleanor and Adelaide (1906-1988).
  Through the succeeding years, Henderson's firm grew to be one of the most prominent law firms in Aiken County, being retained as legal counsel for the following businesses: The Southern Bell Telephone Company, the Southern Railway Co., the Real Estate and Fidelity Co. of Aiken, the Bank of Western Carolina, the Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Aiken, the Warren Manufacturing Co., the Graniteville Manufacturing Co., the Aiken Mills, and the Carolina Light and Power Co. 
  With his name firmly established in Aiken County legal circles, Henderson took an active role in the civic life of his community, and during the First World War took charge of the local Liberty Loan Drive to aid in the ongoing war effort. Additionally, Henderson would hold directorships of the Real Estate and Fidelity Company of Aiken, the Carolina Light and Power Company, the Highland Park Hotel Co., and the Powells Hardware Co. During the 1920s Henderson was secretary and treasurer of the Aiken Hospital Association and was a past president of the Aiken Chamber of Commerce.
  Active in Democratic political circles in Aiken County, Henderson served as part of the South Carolina delegation to the Democratic National Convention of 1924, where John W. Davis was nominated for the presidency. Two years later Henderson entered into a one year term as President of the South Carolina Bar Association and garnered additional repute with his service as an acting associate justice of the state supreme court and special judge of the court of common pleas.

From the Aiken Standard and Review, April 8, 1968.

  A leading club-man in his region, Henderson served as Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias of South Carolina from 1921-22 and held additional memberships in the Masonic order, the Kiwanis Club, and the Highland Park Golf Club. Active in the Presbyterian church, Henderson was a moderator of both the Congaree Presbytery and Presbyterian Synod of South Carolina and was a member of the Permanent Committee of the Southern Presbyterian General Assembly on Company Operation and Union.
  Widowed in 1943, Henderson remarried in April 1945 to June Nicholson Rainsford (1895-1993), the daughter of Thomas Hobbs Rainsford (1861-1932), a multiterm South Carolina state representative and former chair of the Edgefield County Democratic Party. Late in his life Henderson added the title of author to his resume when he completed work on "A Short History of Aiken and Aiken County", which saw publication in 1951.
  Peronneau Finley Henderson celebrated his 90th birthday in November 1967 and died several months later on April 7, 1968. He was survived by his daughters and second wife June and was interred at the Bethany Cemetery in Aiken.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Lanneau Durant Lide (1876-1953)

From the Florence Morning News, January 18, 1953.
"Close scrutiny of the public and private life of the Honorable Lanneau Durant Lide reveals a character above reproach and a man endowed with the inspiration of genius for the law.  A man who had always commanded the highest esteem of admiration, he came early before the bar and acquired rare excellence as a councellor, advocate, and jurist."
   Such was the memorial given to Judge Lanneau D. Lide in the second volume of The Story of the South Carolina Lowcountry. For four decades a prominent name in Florence County, South Carolina political life, Lanneau Durant Lide was admitted to the state bar in the early 1900s and first entered politics in 1918 with his election to the state house of representatives. He would serve one term in that body, and later won election to three terms in the state senate. Lide would resign in 1938 following his election as Circuit Court Judge for South Carolina's 12th Judicial district, and served a decade on the bench. The son of William H. and Gertrude (Durant) Lide, Lanneau Durant Lide was born in Marion, South Carolina on November 29, 1876.
  Lanneau Lide's youth was spent on his family's farm and attended schools local to his hometown of Marion. In the early 1890s, he enrolled at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied here until 1893. Lide first entered public service in the 1890s as deputy clerk of courts for Marion County and for one year served as secretary to state supreme court justice Charles Albert Woods (1852-1925). Lide began reading law during this period and was admitted to the state bar in 1902. 
  Lide operated his law practice in Marion from 1904-1938 and was a member of the firm of Lide and McCandlish, partnering with Howard McCandlish. Their partnership extended well into the 1930s and was retained as counsel for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Marion, and the Atlantic Coast Labor Corporation.
  Lanneau D. Lide married in Marion in April 1907 to Fleetwood Montgomery (1877-1954). The couple's near five-decade marriage produced two children, Lanneau Durant Jr. (1914-1986) and Jane Montgomery, who died aged one in 1918. 
  In 1918 Lide made his first run for elective office when he became a candidate for the state house of representatives. Hoping to represent his home county of Marion, Lide won that election and after taking his seat at the start of the 1919-21 term was named to the committee on Free Conference. Following his term, he returned to his law practice, "specializing in corporation and timber law." 
  Lide refrained from political candidacy until his nomination for a seat in the state senate in 1932. He would prove successful at the polls and served consecutive terms in that body until January 1938 when he was elected as a judge for South Carolina's 12th judicial circuit. Succeeding Judge Samuel Wilds Gillespie Shipp, who had died a few days previously, Lide sat on the bench until resigning in November 1948, at age 72. His decade long tenure saw Lide acknowledged as a concise and impartial judge, with the South Carolina Bar Association remarking:
"As a Trial Judge, he was one of the finest ever to grace the bench in South Carolina. The fairness of his rulings, his understanding of the facts and his knowledge of the law resulted in the conduct of the trial of each case in such a manner that both the attorney of the successful litigant and the losing party were aware of the fairness of the trial which had been concluded. He had a remarkable record of having decisions rendered by him and the trials conducted by him affirmed when in rare instances these matters were appealed to the supreme court. If such is used as an indication of his competency as a Trial Judge, his record is unexcelled in South Carolina up to the present time."
Portrait courtesy of Findagrave.

   After leaving the bench Lide continued prominence in state law circles, taking the position of "legal consultant" to many of South Carolina's leading legal lights. At various times he would be called to serve as a special circuit court judge and supreme court justice at the behest of the Chief Justice of the state supreme court. Two years prior to his death Lide was selected as a member of the National Committee of the Freedom Foundation, and later authored a retrospective of his time as a judge, titled "The Trial Judge In South Carolina." Through the efforts of his wife Fleetwood, this work was published following Lide's death in 1953, and later was regarded as a "practical trial handbook useful alike to the bench and bar."
   In January 1953 Lide was admitted to the McLeod Infirmary in Florence, South Carolina for an emergency operation. Following surgery, he died at that hospital on January 17, aged 76. His wife  Fleetwood survived her husband by just one year, dying on December 6, 1954. Both were interred at the Rose Hill Cemetery in Marion. 

From the Florence Morning News, January 18, 1953.