Saturday, May 8, 2021

Worthington Perry Wachter (1881-1941)

From the Book of Maryland: Men and Institutions, 1920.

  Lifelong Maryland resident Worthington Perry Wachter was for over two decades a leading figure in the Washington County bar, and in addition to his profession served as county tax collector and secretary of the State Industrial Accident Commission. In 1926 he became the Democratic nominee for Chief Judge of Maryland's fourth judicial circuit, and though unsuccessful in his run, achieved further distinction in the Improved Order of Red Men fraternal organization, being named as that group's head in 1932. The son of Sidney H. and Phoebe (Smith) Wachter, Worthington Perry Wachter was born in Ceresville, Frederick County, Maryland on May 30, 1881.
   A student in the public schools, Wachter graduated from Walkersville High School in 1899 and enrolled at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. Following graduation in 1902, he embarked upon a teaching career in Washington County that extended nearly a decade. During this period he served as principal of the Sharpsburg public schools and married in June 1906 to Maude C. Young (1885-1959), to whom he was wed until his death. The couple had three children, Samuel Sidney (1906-1981), Evelyn Mae (1910-1980), and Mildred (1914-2010). 
   Wachter made his first move into local politics in 1913 with his service as Washington County deputy sheriff, and in February 1915 was appointed as Washington County tax collector. He served until November of that year, and was defeated for reelection by Republican John Fleming, the margin being just two votes! Two years after his defeat Wachter was elected as chairman and executive officer of the Washington County military exemption board, and in 1918 was selected as secretary of the State Industrial Accident Commission. During this time Wachter decided to pursue a law degree, and following a period of study at the University of Maryland Law School, earned his degree in 1920.
   Active in several fraternal groups in his state, Wachter was a member of the St. Bernards Commandry, Knights Templar; the Queen Esther Chapter, No. 3, Order of the Eastern Star; the Scottish Rite Masons; the Loyal Order of Moose; the Independent Order of Oddfellows; the Modern Woodmen of America; and the Improved Order of Red Men. From 1920-21 he was Grand Patriarch of the Grand Encampment of Oddfellows of Maryland, and in those same years was Grand Sachem of the Improved Order of Red Men of Maryland. He was also a past potentate of the Ali Ghan Temple, Mystic Shriners.
  After several years away from public office, Wachter set his sights on a state judgeship in 1926. In that year's Democratic primary, Wachter ran for Chief Judge of Maryland's fourth judicial district, and after announcing his candidacy was featured in campaign advertisements in area newspapers. In a writeup in the Hagerstown Daily Mirror, Wachter made note of his previous areas of service and remarked:
"I am keenly appreciative of the honor and the dignity of the office to which I aspire, yet I feel justice and fairness to all demand that you be publically informed of my candidacy. I, therefore, submit my candidacy to you, the Democratic voters of the Fourth Judicial Circuit, for your consideration, with the hope of your endorsement by your votes, Tuesday, September 14."
From the Hagerstown Daily Mirror, February 10, 1926.

  That September Wachter was defeated by William C. Walsh, 5,765 votes to 3,448. Walsh, in turn, was defeated in the November general election by Republican D. Lindley Sloane. Wachter returned to practicing law in Hagerstown following his loss, and while his judicial aspirations were dashed, he achieved a measure of consolation outside of politics in 1927, when he was elected as district governor of the Lions Club. This post saw Wachter as chief of the Lions clubs in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., and during this period continued his rise through the hierarchy of the Improved Order of Red Men. In 1928 he served as Patriotic Director of that organization's grand council, and in September 1932 was elected as Great Incohonee at the group's biennial convention in North Carolina. 
  As the highest-ranking office in the organization, Wachter visited numerous Red Men lodges during his tenure and installed degrees on new members of that organization. In September 1933 he undertook "a tour of units of the order in  Texas and other western and midwestern states", and was succeeded as Great Incohonee in September 1934 by Arthur J. Ruland. 1934 also saw Wachter be a candidate for the Maryland state senate but lost out in the September Democratic primary to Joseph D. Mish.
   In 1940 Wachter began experiencing heart trouble, and by February 1941 had entered the Washington County Hospital for treatment. He remained under hospital care until his death at age 60 on November 23, 1941. He was survived by his wife and three children and was interred at the Boonsboro Cemetery in Boonsboro, Maryland.

From the Hagerstown Daily Mail, November 24, 1941.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Manasses Jacob Grove (1824-1907)

From the Portrait and Biographical Record of the Sixth Congressional District, Maryland, 1898.

  Sporting a pair of fashionable 19th-century sideburns, Manassas Jacob Grove was a leading producer of lime in Frederick County, Maryland, and was the founder of the M.J. Grove & Son and the M.J. Grove Lime Company. A former U.S. Postmaster at Burkittsville, Maryland, Grove was elected to two non-consecutive terms in the state house of delegates from Frederick County. The son of George Washington and Elizabeth (Biser) Grove, Manasses Jacob Grove was born in Middletown, Maryland on February 17, 1824. Bestowed the unusual name Manasses, this name has its origins in antiquity, being the name of several biblical figures. These figures include the son of Joseph and Asenath mentioned in the Book of Genesis, a King of Judah, and a Hebrew tribe. The name is also spelled Manasseh, and Grove's first name has a variation in spelling, being given as "Manassas".
  A student at the Middletown Academy, Grove underwent private tutoring in Latin and Greek, and at an early age began a teaching career that extended four years. At the dawn of the Mexican-American War, Grove left his teaching post and enlisted in a cavalry company that had been raised by his maternal uncle, George Cost Biser (1810-1895). Due to a vast number of volunteer companies that had previously applied for service, Grove's company never saw combat. He returned to teaching sometime later and taught in schools in Arnoldstown, Broad Run, Jefferson, and near Middletown.
  In 1851 Grove left teaching and established a mercantile store in Broad Run, and in the year following married Susanna Jarboe (1830-1889). The couple's near four-decade marriage produced eight children: William Jarboe (1854-1937), Carrie Estelle (1859-1932), Edward Dawson (1862-1934), Margaret (died in infancy in 1865), Bernard Lee (1866-1927), James Henry (1869-1930), Eugene Ashby (died 1929), and Laura Regina (1876-1945).
  Following his marriage Grove removed to Burkittsville, Maryland, where he established another mercantile store. He first entered public life in 1852 when he was appointed U.S. Postmaster at Burkittsville, serving until 1859. Grove undertook a career change in 1859, having seen lucrative opportunities in the manufacture of lime. He would purchase a tract of land containing substantial limestone deposits in Limekiln, an area near Frederick. Grove relocated to this area around 1860 and later founded M.J. Grove & Son, a lime-producing concern that included his son William. Grove's business flourished, and by the 1890s his business was accorded substantial mention in the Portrait and Biographical Record of the Sixth Congressional District, which notes:
"The supply of fine grade limestone appears to be inexhaustible. At Lime Kiln large quarries are being worked and they own several lime kilns there, one being iron clad for the manufacture of lime with wood. They are also operating at Frederick two plants of eighteen lime kilns, three of which are iron clad for the manufacture of lime with wood. During the busy season about one hundered men are employed in the quarries and kilns."
  After many years of success Grove organized the M.J. Grove Lime Company in 1889, and also established plants in Stephens City, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Grove accumulated substantial wealth from his business dealings, and also owned "a number of buildings and tenement houses and several fine farms aggregating about eight hundred acres." Widowed in 1889, Grove remarried in 1891 to Josephine Wilson (1849-1931), to whom he was wed until his death. 
  Remarked as "an ardent Democrat", Grove became a candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates in 1887 and was elected in November of that year. During the 1888-89 session Grove was named to the committees on Inspection, Labor, and Temperance, and in 1891 was a candidate for a second term. Profiled in the October 26, 1891 edition of the Frederick News, Grove's business dealings and previous term were highlighted, with the News remarking:
"His life has been closely identified with the progress of Frederick county, and in such matters as the improvement of public roads, the advancement of legislative measures calculated to favorably effect the interest of the greatest number, he has always been foremost and helpful on the side of the right. If reelected he would be a credit to his party and the people generally, and an honor to the official body of which he would again become a member."

From the Frederick News, October 26, 1891.

  Grove won the election that November and during the 1892-94 session sat on the committees on Amendments to the Constitution, and Pensions. After his term, Grove traveled widely, including visits to California and Canada, and was a member of the Reformed Church and the Enterprise Grange of Buckeystown, Maryland. Manasses Jacob Grove died at his home in Lime Kiln Station on February 3, 1907, aged 83. He was survived by his second wife and several of his children and was interred at the Burkittsville Union Cemetery in Burkittsville, Maryland.

From the Catoctin Clarion, February 7, 1907.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Honor Daniel Hartzler (1912-1947)

From the Baltimore Evening Sun, October 28, 1946.

  With a new month comes a monthlong theme, and throughout May the Strangest Names In American Political History will profile several curiously named political figures from Maryland. The first of these articles takes us to Carroll County and Honor Daniel Hartzler, whose political star shone for a brief time in the late 1940s. A funeral home director in Union Bridge, Hartzler was active in the civic life of his community and in 1946 was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates. Just weeks after being sworn in, he died unexpectedly at age 34, curtailing a political career that was still in its infancy.
   The son of Daniel D. (1869-1941) and Fannie (Smucker) Hartzler (1871-1941), Honor Daniel "Jack" Hartzler was born on February 18, 1912, in Ohio. A student in the public schools, Hartzler was a graduate of the Martinsburg, West Virginia high school and also attended Bluffton University. Hartzler married in April 1932 to Kathryn Eline, to who he was wed until his death. The couple had one daughter, Patricia. 
  For three years Hartzler pursued law studies at LaSalle University Extension in Illinois, and in the late 1930s followed in his father's footsteps and earned a degree in embalming. Later, both he and his brother Byron joined their father's undertaking business, under the title D.D. Hartzler and Sons, and following Daniel Hartzler's death in 1941 continued with its operation. The business, then with locations in both Union Bridge and New Windsor, Maryland, still continues in the Hartzler family today. Additionally, "Jack" Hartzler was a partner in the Powell-Hartzler Funeral Home, located in Woodsboro and Libertytown, Maryland.
  Active in the civic and fraternal life of Carroll County, Honor Hartzler was a past president of the Union Bridge Lions Club, as well as chairman of Zone 3 of the Carroll and Frederick County Lions Clubs. He was a former president of the Union Bridge Parent Teacher Association, president of the Union Bridge Chamber of Commerce, and was chair of the local Red Cross chapter and historical society. A parishioner in the Union Bridge Methodist Church, Hartzler chaired the church choir and was a Sunday school teacher. 

From the Hanover Evening Sun, October 26, 1946.

  Honor Hartzler made his first foray into politics with his election to the Union Bridge town council, where he served for two terms, and was a notary public in the 1940s. In 1946 he announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the state house of delegates, and that November was elected, polling 6,356 votes. One of four Carroll County delegates elected, Hartzler was sworn into office in January 1947 and was named to the Agricultural and Natural Resources committee. With a bright legislative future before him, Hartzler died just weeks later on February 16, 1947, two days shy of his thirty-fifth birthday. In his obituary published in the Hanover Evening Sun, Hartzler is noted as feeling ill the morning of his death, and while making a cup of coffee at his home was felled by a heart ailment
  The loss of the freshman legislator was widely noted in Maryland newspapers in the days following his death, and the house of delegates adjourned on February 18, 1947, out of respect for his memory. Several days after his passing, Hartzler was succeeded by Donald E. Six, who was appointed to fill out the remainder of his term. Honor Daniel Hartzler was survived by his wife and daughter and was interred at the Pipe Creek Church of the Brethren in Union Bridge.

From the Hanover Evening Sun, February 17, 1947.

From the Baltimore Sun.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Walsingham Griffin Ward (1819-1899)

From "Prominent Men: Scranton and Vicinity", 1906.

  Endowed with an aristocratic-sounding name, Walsingham Griffin Ward was for nearly fifty years a leading figure in the Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania bar. Admitted to the Pennsylvania bar in 1850, Ward practiced in both Lackawanna and Luzerne County. In 1870 he was elected as judge of the mayor's court of the city of Scranton, a post similar to that of a municipal judge. The first judge elected to that office, Ward served a five-year term and returned to his law practice after leaving the bench. A native New Yorker, Walsingham Griffin Ward was born in Dutchess County on October 7, 1819, the son of John and Cynthia (Sickler) Ward.
  Removing with his family to Wyoming County, Pennsylvania in 1831, Ward's early life was spent on his family's farm, and in addition to farming chores, he was a student at the Mannington Academy in Susquehanna County. At an early age, he was employed as a teamster for the Lackawanna Iron and Coal Co., traveling between Scranton and Carbondale, and in 1843 settled in Scranton. In 1846 he volunteered for service in the Mexican-American War, enlisting as a private in Co. I of the 1st Reg., Pennsylvania Volunteers. His service would prove short, as illness prevented him from active participation, and he was honorably discharged at Veracruz in April 1847.
  In 1848 Ward married in New York to Maria White, to whom he was wed until her death in December 1872. In 1874 he remarried in Massachusetts to Louisa Z. Hurlburt (1837-1887) and had one son, Douglass Hurlburt Ward.
  Having decided upon a career in law in the late 1840s, Ward studied in the law office of Edmund L. Dana (1817-1889), who was later to serve as a judge for Pennsylvania's 11th judicial district. In 1850 he was admitted to the state bar at Wilkes-Barre and opened his practice in Scranton. Through the succeeding years, Ward had several partnerships and was retained as an attorney "for defendants in about 80 homicide cases and for a long time had the principal criminal practice here and in Luzerne County." His status as a leader at the Lackawanna County bar was later attested to in his 1899 obituary, which remarked:
"The same fearlessness and aggressiveness which characterized his conduct in the trial of cases remained with him to the end. Having a thorough knowledge of law and evidence, a remarkable knowledge of men and a careful attention to details, together with a persistant and courageous perseverence, his earnest efforts in behalf of his clients were pretty generally successful."

   Before his election as judge Ward operated a partnership with Frederick William Gunster (1845-1900), a former student in his law office who went on to serve as Lackawanna County district attorney and as a state assemblyman. In October 1870 Walsingham Ward was elected as judge of the Mayor's Court of Scranton. Lewis Jones, one of the first occupants of that post, had been appointed by the Governor and served until an election could be held, and in October 1870 Walsingham Ward emerged the victor. The first man to win election to that post, he served until 1875, "when the provisions of the constitution abolished the office." His time on the bench was later lauded by the Scranton Times-Tribune, which noted:

"His decisions were affirmed in the higher courts with unfailing regularity, and his record as a judicial officer could not be excelled."

  After his term, Ward returned to his law practice and partnered with future judge Henry M. Edwards (1844-1925). Their firm lasted until 1877, and Ward later partnered with another former law student, George S. Horn. Remarked as a "devout student of the Bible", Ward was a deacon in the local Presbyterian Church, where he taught Sunday school. Widowed in 1887, Ward's partnership with Horn extended until his death, which occurred at his Scranton home on December 9, 1899. Due to poor health, he had been confined to his home for two months prior and was survived by his son Douglass. Following funeral arrangements, he was interred at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Dunmore, Pennsylvania.

From the Scranton Times-Tribune, December 12, 1899.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Delsworth Mote Buckingham (1866-1951)

From the Wilmington News Journal, January 1, 1927.

  The Strangest Names In American Political History makes a rare stop in Delaware to profile Delsworth Mote Buckingham, a lifelong resident of Hockessin who represented his town for one term in the state assembly. Born in Hockessin on August 22, 1866, Delsworth Mote Buckingham was one of three children born to Richard Gilpin (1841-1939) and Sarah (Mote) Buckingham (1841-1882). Little is known of his early life, except notice of his being a painter and paperhanger by trade, and in September 1896 married his first wife Etta Stone. By 1900 he remarried to Minnie Ament (1866-1934) and following their separation married Adeline Klair (1865-1961), to who he was wed until his death. These marriages were childless.
   Active in several fraternal groups in New Castle County, Buckingham was elected assistant secretary of the Newark Lodge, No. 3, Independent Order of Good Templars in 1886, and was a member of the Independent Order of Red Men, the Odd Fellows, the Loyal Order of Moose, and the Armstrong Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. A devout Presbyterian, Buckingham was a parishioner at the Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church for three decades and was a Sunday school superintendent.
  Prior to his time in the legislature, Buckingham had never held political office and entered into the race for state representative from New Castle County in 1926. That November he was elected, besting Democratic nominee Lewis Dickey, 879 votes to 506. Taking his seat in January 1927, Buckingham chaired the committees on Charities and Public Health and was named to the committees on Education, Elections, the Judiciary, Public Highways, and Temperance. 
  Following his term, Buckingham continued residence in New Castle County, and in May 1934 was reelected Red Clay Creek Sunday school superintendent for the ninth consecutive year. His final years were marred by a heart condition, and on October 14, 1951, he died of a heart attack at his home. He was survived by his wife Adeline, and both were interred at the Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

From the Wilmington News Journal, October 15, 1951.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Balfour Bowen Thorn Lord (1906-1965)

From the Port of New York Authority annual report, 1959.
"No man contributed more to making politics and public life an honored calling in New Jersey. Thorn Lord brought men of integrity and intellectual ability into public life and imbued them with his dedication to making the Democratic process function effectively and responsibly."
   Such was the description by U.S. Senator Harrison Williams of Balfour Bowen Thorn Lord, a Democratic power player in New Jersey beginning in the 1940s. A former U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Lord was the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in 1960 and in the year following his defeat was elected chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. He served in that capacity until his death in June 1965, having taken his own life at a friend's home. The story of this once-prominent Garden State political figure begins with his birth in Plainfield on August 24, 1906, being the son of Carroll Putnam (1875-1958) and Frances Roberts (Troy) Lord (1883-1952). Possessing a plentiful name, the origins behind the name Balfour Bowen Thorn remain unknown, and through his career in public life, he was known as Thorn Lord.
  The son of a cotton merchant, Lord removed with his family to the South at a young age and enrolled at the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee. His time at the university saw him as a member of Alpha Tau Omega, the Junior and Senior German Club, and was manager of the track team. He graduated in 1927 and decided to pursue a career in law. His studies took him to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received his degree in 1931. Lord returned to New Jersey sometime later to accept a position as a clerk in the office of a federal judge, and in 1932 established his law practice in Trenton.
  Thorn Lord passed the New Jersey bar exam in 1933 and in January 1934 was admitted to the state bar. In that same year, he married Margaret Twining Eastburn (1906-1987), with who he had one son, Thorn Lord Jr. (1937-1987). The couple later separated, and in 1943 remarried to Nina Walton Underwood (1903-1976), and had one daughter, Nina.

From the Suwanee Cap and Gown Yearbook, 1926.

    In 1935 the New Jersey State Bar Association designated Thorn Lord as one of ten members of a special committee on unauthorized practice of law in the junior section of the state bar association. He continued his rise in New Jersey law circles in 1936, beginning service as Assistant U.S. District Attorney for New Jersey, and following U.S. Attorney Charles Phillip's resignation in November 1943, was appointed to succeed him. Lord quickly threw himself into his new duties, with the office of first assistant attorney being abolished, and two new administrative assistants for civil and criminal cases being created. Despite entering into such a prominent post, Lord cited his desire to serve his country during wartime, highlighting his previous application to the attorney general, noting "I am perfectly willing to serve, but I can't even resign."
  Not long after assuming the reigns as U.S. Attorney Thorn Lord announced that his office had summoned a grand jury in connection to black-market liquor sales in the state, remarking that the session would "disclose unusual revelations concerning a black-market in New Jersey." His two-year tenure as U.S. Attorney was highlighted during his senate candidacy, with the Camden Courier-Post noting:
"During World War II Lord and his aides received special commendation for setting up the machinery for enforcement of the Selective Service Act in New Jersey. His office was also recognized nationally for appointing distinguished New Jersey citizens to serve as members of the Alien Enemy Boards on a non-partisan basis."
  Lord left the U.S. Attorney's office in 1945 and soon partnered with future Governor Richard Hughes to form a law firm. In 1947 Lord was elected as a Democratic committeeman for Lawrence township and held the additional roles of police and fire commissioner. In June 1947 he was elected as a delegate from Mercer County to the state constitutional convention, where he was named to the committee on Credentials, Printing, and Authentication of Documents. 
   Further political honors came Lord's way in 1948 when succeeded his friend Richard Hughes as chair of the Mercer County Democratic Committee, serving in that capacity until his death. This post saw Lord gradually become a political kingmaker in state democratic circles, with the Hackensack Record noting that:
"Operating on a theory that most non-voters are Democrats, he organized an efficient operation to get them registered. His policies pumped life into the Mercer Democratic organization, which soon swept every County-wide office, ending a long G.O.P. reign." 
  A founding figure in the National Democratic Club of New Jersey in 1950, Lord served as one of that organization's trustees and led the fight to curtail the power of the political machine of Frank Hague, mayor of Jersey City. In 1953 Lord proved pivotal in the nomination of Robert Baumle Meyner's nomination for Governor, his candidacy first being proposed at Lord's home. With Lord's behind-the-scenes guidance, Meyner won the Democratic nomination and later the governorship, serving two terms from 1954-1962.

From the Montclair Times, November 3, 1960.

    Following Meyner's election, he appointed Lord as a commissioner for the Port of New York Authority, representing New Jersey. His appointment was confirmed by the state senate in August 1955, and during his tenure would inspect New York Harbor and Port Authority developments. In 1958 he served as vice chairman of the board's committee on port planning and was touted by the state Democratic establishment as a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate. For the time being, Lord was denied the senatorial nod, not having the support of Hoboken mayor John Grogan and state conservation commissioner Joseph McLean.
  As the 1960 election year loomed, the New Jersey Democrats came to a consensus in February when Balfour Bowen Thorn Lord was announced as their U.S. Senate candidate, "being the unanimous choice of Democratic leaders from all 21 counties." By the time of his nomination, Lord was already a familiar face in the Mercer County Democratic Party but was little known in other areas of the state. Described as "Lincolnesque", with a Southern drawl, his favored brown fedora became a trademark part of his image, along with his trusty Ford, which he drove regularly for two decades. Noted as standing six feet two inches, the comparisons to Lincoln didn't end with height, however, with the Passaic Herald News remarking "Lord looks like Lincoln come to life. He walks and talks as most people think Lincoln used to walk and talk." The News further detailed Lord's long devotion to his party, noting:
"Nobody in the Democratic party has a better right to the U.S. Senate nomination than Lord. It is generally conceded that he could have been the candidate two years ago instead of Harrison A. Williams. He was one of the leading contenders. He discouraged the electors at that time, by expressing doubt that he was interested."

  Though given the nod by the state Democratic establishment, Lord himself didn't announce his candidacy until March 1960 and also noted that he'd be resigning from the New York Port Authority to focus on his campaign. That same month another New Jersey attorney, Richard Glasser, filed for the Democratic nomination, and in the April primary was soundly defeated by Lord, 177,429 votes to 40,134.

From the Hackensack Record, June 17, 1965.

  As the campaign season went into full effect, Lord took part in authoring the party platform unveiled at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles that August. Among the issues Lord pressed for were:
  • Congressional action on medical care for the aged.
  • An accelerated mutual security program.
  • A minimum wage of $1.25 an hour.
  • Housing and education legislation.
  • "Meaningful" civil rights legislation.
  • "A solution to national farm problems. We have been blessed by nature with abundance, and more ways should be found to share it with underprivileged peoples elsewhere."
  • A strong support of aid to undeveloped nations, "not only on the grounds of humanitarianism but to counter the threat of Communist domination."
  During his campaign, Lord was brought into contact with presidential nominee John F. Kennedy, who campaigned in New Jersey during the fall of 1960. The two candidates both spoke at a Teaneck Armory rally in the waning days of the campaign and were both featured heavily in local political advertisements, with Kennedy himself remarking
"I shall rely on Thorn Lord's integrity, his broad experience in public life and his knowledge as a practicing politician to help solve some of the great problems facing the country today."
From the Passaic Herald News, November 3, 1960.

  Through the summer and fall, Thorn Lord traversed New Jersey to appeal to voters. Lord's Republican opponent that year was incumbent Clifford P. Case (1904-1982), a four-term U.S. Representative from New Jersey who had first been elected to the senate in 1954. In October 1960 he engaged in a debate with Case held at the Fair  Lawn Jewish Center in Hackensack, and spent further time in Gloucester County, meeting U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy at a Democratic function in Irvington. On election day in November it was Clifford Case who emerged victorious, polling 1,483,832 votes to Thorn Lord's 1,151,385. Though he polled an impressive vote count, Lord appeared "very hurt" by the defeat, with the Hackensack Record reporting in his 1965 obituary that:
"He lost by a big margin, and his eyes were filled with pain election night. There was speculation in the state house last night that perhaps he had never gotten over that defeat. It was hard to tell, though, as Lord was the sort of man who kept his own counsel."
   Despite his senatorial ambitions being dashed, Lord achieved a measure of consolation in April of the following year when he was elected as chairman of the New Jersey State Democratic Committee. As chairman, Lord pushed hard for the election of his old friend Richard J. Hughes as Governor, and in November 1961 saw him win the first of two terms in that office. Thorn Lord would simultaneously hold the posts of both state chairman and chair of the Mercer County Democratic committee until 1965, and just one week before his death was elected to another four-year term as Democratic state chair.
  On June 17, 1965, newspaper reports broke that Thorn Lord had been found dead at the home of his close friend Clifton Bennett, then serving as judge of the Mercer County Court. Reports of his sudden death continued to break, and in the coming days it was revealed that Lord had taken his own life by strangulation with an electric shaver cord, and was:
"Discovered about 4:30 pm yesterday slumped in an easy chair in the cellar recreation room of Mercer County Court Judge Clifton T. Bennett, his close friend of 25 years."
  Further investigation revealed that Lord had been despondent and had left a note prior to having "tied the cord around his neck and pulling both ends, garotting himself." On the day of his death, Lord had had breakfast with Bennett, who soon left for his daily work routine. Returning home later that day, Bennett discovered Lord's note and soon called the police. Newspaper reports published in the coming days gave varying stories in regards to Lord's despondency, with some reporting marital trouble, and others relating that he was still hurt by his senate loss.
  Lord's suicide shocked the New Jersey political establishment and left his family and friends in dismay. In the days following his death, numerous outpourings of grief appeared throughout state newspapers, memorializing Lord as "a leader of national stature." Among these memorials were the words of his friend, Governor Richard Hughes, who stated:
"The state has lost one of its finest citizens...His sole concern as a highly respected political and civic leader was good government and the well being of the people of this state."
 Balfour Bowen Thorn Lord was survived by his wife Nina, and his two children. He was later interred at the Trinity All Saints Cemetery in Princeton, New Jersey. 

From the Bridgewater Courier-News, June 17, 1965.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Uzal Haggerty McCarter (1861-1931)

From Newark's Anniversary Industrial Exposition, 1916.

   A leading financier in Newark, New Jersey, Uzal Haggerty McCarter's career in banking extended nearly fifty years. A founder of the Fidelity Trust Company, McCarter would serve that organization as its secretary, treasurer, and trust officer, and in the early 1900s became its president. McCarter was also a founding member of the Public Service Corporation of New Jersey and had fleeting political involvement in 1904 when he was chosen as a Republican presidential elector. The son of lawyer Thomas Nesbitt McCarter (1824-1901) and the former Mary Louisa Haggerty (1828-1896), Uzal Haggerty McCarter was born in Newton, New Jersey on July 5, 1861.
  Prominent in the political life of Sussex County, Thomas N. McCarter served as collector for the county from 1854-57 and in 1862 was elected to the state assembly, serving one term. He later declined two opportunities to sit on the state supreme court. Political service also beckoned to Uzal McCarter's brother, Thomas Nesbitt Jr. (1867-1955), who for three years was a district court judge for New Jersey. In 1902 he was named state Attorney General and served only a year before resigning.
  Uzal McCarter's education was obtained at the Pingrey School and the Newark Academy and graduated from Princeton University in 1882. After graduation he made his first move into finance, taking a position with Kidder Peabody and Co., a securities firm. In 1887 he left their employ to join the Lombard Investment Co. of New York, and married in January 1889 to Jane Meeker Lewis, to who he was wed until her death. The couple had one daughter, Isabelle Lewis (1890-1959).
   In the same year as his marriage McCarter left Lombard for a position with the Fidelity Title and Deposit Company of Newark. This firm, later known as the Fidelity Trust Company, merged with the Union National Bank to form the Fidelity Union Trust Co. in 1921. McCarter's long affiliation with Fidelity saw him serve as its executive manager, and, later, secretary and treasurer. By 1902 he had succeeded to the presidency of the Fidelity Trust Co., serving in that capacity for many years.
  McCarter achieved further distinction in 1903 when he and his brother Thomas joined to organize the Public Service Corporation of New Jersey. With both brothers aware that major utility companies in the state were facing bankruptcy, a conference of the state's premier financial minds was called, with Thomas McCarter being named to a subcommittee to discuss solving the problem. Uzal McCarter, also attending the conference, "suggested one big company be formed with $10,000,000 cash capital". Thomas, then the attorney general of the state, resigned from office in July to take the presidency of the Public Service Corporation, with Uzal McCarter serving as a member of its board of directors.
  Uzal McCarter's lone foray into New Jersey politics came in 1904 when he became a candidate for Republican presidential elector. At the Republican state convention held that September, both McCarter and famed engineer Washington Augustus Roebling were chosen presidential electors at large. McCarter's election necessitated his resignation as president of the Union National Bank of Newark and was one of twelve electors for Theodore Roosevelt and Charles Fairbanks.

From the Central New Jersey Home News, September 20, 1904.

  Following his time as an elector McCarter continued with the Fidelity Trust Co. and the Public Service Corporation of New Jersey, and in 1909 was reelected to the board of directors of the New Brunswick Trust Company. In 1917, he announced that the Fidelity Trust Co. had purchased a site for an up-to-date banking house, "paying for it $10,000 per front foot, or $660,000 for sixty-six feet." Envisioned as a multi-story structure, the building would be "devoted exclusively to the institution's various departments."
  After the Fidelity Trust Co.'s merger with the Union National Bank, Ual McCarter continued as president, and through the 1920s guided the institution's trajectory, overseeing "a merger policy absorbing one bank after another under the control of the Fidelity, the theory being that each additional bank was self-sustaining." Active in many other areas of public life, McCarter was a founder of the New Jersey Banker's Association and held memberships in the New York Yacht Club, the Newport Golf Club, the Princeton and Banker's Clubs, the Monmouth Boat Club, and The Rumson and Essex Country Clubs. In 1916 McCarter emerged as a leading figure in the 250th anniversary of the founding of Newark, serving as chairman of the committee of 100 for the city's Industrial Exposition held in May-June of that year. 
  In 1928 McCarter made headlines when he announced, that as a lifelong Republican, he would be voting for Democratic candidate Alfred E. Smith in that year's presidential election. In an interview concerning his change of political faith, McCarter remarked:
"I will cast my ballot for Al Smith for President. While I was in some doubt as to whether I would actually vote for Governor Smith after all my years of Republicanism, this doubt was dispelled when I met him at dinner last night. His personality, with its combination of culture and democracy, together with the impression he gives forth of the utmost of integrity and ability, convinced my of his desirability for the presidency. The views which I formed, after listening to Governor Smith's speech of acceptence, were more than confirmed in personal contact." 
   Uzal McCarter continued to be a force in New Jersey financial circles until his death. Having contracted a cold while onboard his yacht, the illness later developed into bronchial pneumonia, which claimed his life at his home in Red Bank on August 15, 1931. He was survived by his wife and daughter and was interred at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Newark. Following his death McCarter was memorialized by the Paterson Morning Call for his "rugged honesty, and his unfailing wit and humor", as well as his philanthropy. It was left for the Call to eulogize him as:
"As the best business getter for his bank; he searched the daily newspapers for leads to new business and no one person in his great banking institution worked harder to bring into the bank new accounts. Attention to small details and a determinatioon and energy to make good, account for the success of Mr. McCarter in whose death New Jersey loses her greatest banker."

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Tunis Van Doren Hoagland (1813-1872), Teunis Garret Bergen (1806-1881)

From "The City of New Brunswick; Its History, Its Homes, Its Industries", 1908.

  Tunis Van Doren Hoagland was a 19th-century carpenter who had fleeting involvement in politics in 1858 when he became mayor of New Brunswick, New Jersey, being elected to fill a vacancy. While there is a dearth of resources on Hoagland's life, the sources that do exist mention him as a leading figure in his city, and in addition to his mayoralty served as keeper of the New Jersey State Prison at Trenton. A lifelong Garden State resident, Hoagland was born of Dutch extraction in Somerset County, New Jersey on July 3, 1813, the son of Henry and Gertrude (Van Liew) Hoagland.
  Descended from a long-established Dutch family, Tunis Hoagland's early life remains largely unknown. Before embarking on a career in carpentry he worked briefly as a clerk in a grocery store, and later followed in his father's stead and learned carpentry. He would go into business for himself, and at the time of his death in 1872 was "said to have been the best master carpenter and architect this city as ever had." Hoagland's 1872 obituary in the New Brunswick Daily Times further details that "he planned and built the whole row of houses in Paterson street to Elm row", which he later sold for "a moderate profit for himself." This same obituary notes other homes in the city that bore his handiwork, and that by 1858-59 he had "relinquished the business."
  Tunis V.D. Hoagland married Anna Eliza White (1815-1868) in 1835. The couple's thirty-three-year union saw the births of fifteen children, several of whom died in childhood. At the time of his death in 1872, only five of Hoagland's children survived him.
   By the 1850s Hoagland had become active in the civic life of his region, and in 1851, he and several other New Brunswick citizens were founding organizers of the Willow Grove Cemetery Association. This was followed by Hoagland's involvement in the organizing of the New Brunswick Water Company, which was incorporated in 1858. After retiring from the carpentry trade Hoagland's business dealings included a blind and sash factory, and a grist mill--The Girard Mills--located in the Spring Street area of the city. Additionally, Hoagland ventured into the production of mineral paints (perennis brown), which proved popular in the South until "war broke up the business." Hoagland is also remarked as a director of the Mutual Life Insurance Company, a trustee of the Lancastrian School, and an honorary member of Protection Engine Co. No. 5.
  Tunis Hoagland first entered politics in the 1850s, being affiliated with the Know-Nothing movement, and after backing a then-popular liquor law, ran unsuccessfully for the New Jersey State Assembly in 1855/56. His political fortunes changed in 1857 when John Bayard Kirkpatrick, the Democratic mayor of the city, resigned due to clashes with the board of aldermen, then predominantly Know-Nothing. Kirkpatrick's resignation necessitated a special election, with four candidates vying for the mayoral chair. Hoagland, backed by a loose coalition of Republicans and Know-Nothings, won the race "by a 40 majority."
  Hoagland's mayoral tenure proved brief (1857-58), and he was succeeded by Peter C. Onderdonk. He reemerged on the political scene in 1862 when he was appointed Keeper of the State Prison at Trenton. His brief time in office saw him undertake an extensive revision of the prison, and following this repair work could boast of a prison surplus of $13,000. Hoagland later drew the ire of contractors who "killed his reelection for the succeeding year", and was subsequently bribed with "a note and $500 to quiet him." Proving to be made of the sterner stuff, Hoagland would turn over the money to the New Jersey State Library.
  In the latter period of his life, Hoagland engaged in the manufacture of printers ink and was a mercantile tailor before retiring in the late 1860s. Widowed in 1868, he made one last run at public office in 1869, hoping to be named Collector for Middlesex County. He was defeated and later changed his political affiliation to Democrat. The last months of Hoagland's life were marked by a long decline in health, and he died at his home on December 4, 1872, aged 59. He was interred alongside his wife at the Willow Grove Cemetery in New Brunswick.

From Reed's History of Kings County, New York, 1683-1884.

  A long-tenured figure on The Strangest Names In American Political History, Teunis Garret Bergen's name was first located by this author via the online Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress back in 2002. The only "Teunis" to win election to Congress, Bergen served one term as a U.S. Representative from New York and had been a three-time delegate to the state constitutional conventions of 1846, 1867, and 1868. Born in Brooklyn on October 6, 1806, Teunis Garret Bergen was the son of Garret and Jane (Wyckoff) Bergen.
  Descended from a family with its roots in New York extending back to the 1630s, Bergen worked the family farm in Gowanus during his youth and attended the Erasmus Hall Academy in Flatbush. Readying himself for a career in farming, Bergen studied surveying, "in which he soon became proficient." He married Elizabeth Roelof Van Brunt (1807-1890) in December 1827, and the couple's fifty-three-year union produced at least seven children: Gertrude (1831-1865), Jane (1832-1919), Garret (1833-1893), Elizabeth (1837-1893), Johanna (1839-1913), Van Brunt (1841-1917), and Lemma (1844-1846).
  Early in his life, Bergen joined the "Kings County Troop" of the New York State National Guard, and through the succeeding years attained the ranks of captain, ensign, adjutant, lieutenant colonel, and colonel in the 241st Regiment. He began treading the political waters with his election as township supervisor of New Utrecht and served 23 years in office (1836-1859). For four years (1842-46) he was chairman of the Kings County Board of Supervisors, and in 1846 was elected a Kings County delegate to the state constitutional convention. He would again serve as a delegate to the conventions of 1867-68 and was a member of the committees on Canals and Indians. Additionally, Bergen would attend multiple democratic state conventions after beginning his political career.
  Elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention of 1860, Bergen journeyed to Baltimore and during the convention proceedings "vigorously opposed the resolutions of that body which caused the breach between the Northern and Southern Democratic party." In 1864 he announced his bid for the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 2nd district and that November was elected, defeating Union Republican Samuel Maddox by a vote of 13,630 to 8,829. He served one term and wasn't a candidate for renomination in 1866.
  After leaving politics Teunis Bergen focused his efforts on writing history and genealogy, and between 1866 and his death he authored numerous works, including: "The Bergen Family" (1866), "The Genealogy of the Van Brunt Family" (1867), and portions of "A Register of the Early Settlers and Freeholders of Kings County, N.Y., from Its First Settlement by Europeans to 1700." A founder of the Long Island Genealogical Society, Bergen also held membership in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and in 1878 published "A Genealogy of the Lefferts Family, 1675-1878."
  Teunis G. Bergin continued residence in New Utrecht until his death from pneumonia on April 24, 1881, aged 76. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth, and both were interred at the famed Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn