Wednesday, May 30, 2018

#53 Martin L. Davey

Martin L. Davey

Born: July 25, 1884
Died: March 31, 1946
Political Party: Democrat
Term of Office: January 14, 1935-January 9, 1939
Buried: Standing Rock Cemetery Kent, Ohio
No. 44 of 58

     Martin L. Davey was born in Kent, Ohio in 1884. His father, John Davey was an English immigrant who eventually started the Davey Tree Expert Company. The company was the first tree care company in the United States and today is the largest residential tree care company in North America, doing business in both the United States and Canada. The company was recently on Forbes top 500 (#294) list of best employers.

    Despite the eventual success of his family business the Davey family struggled to make ends meet when Martin was growing up. When Davey was growing up he made and sold his own horseradish to help his family financially. Martin attended Oberlein College, but between helping found the family business and starting a family, he never graduated.

   As a child, Davey went to a county fair and heard William Jennings Bryan give his "cross of gold" speech. This experience later influenced Davey to run for political office. Davey was elected Mayor of Kent, serving from 1913-1918. In 1918, there was a vacancy in the district's US House of Representatives seat. Davey was chosen to fill it. With the exception of a 2 year reelection fair gap, Davey served in the US House until 1929. Davey first ran for Governor of Ohio in 1928, but lost to Myers Y. Cooper. Davey ran for Governor again in 1934 and won. He won reelection in 1936. But lost reelection for a 3rd term in 1938 to John Bricker. 

   As Governor, Davey tried to help Ohioans cope through the Great Depression. He found himself at odds against President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal policies when the Federal programs seized control of assistant programs already put there by the state. Federal official brought corruption charges against Governor Davey because of his opposition to FDR's New Deal. In spite of being cleared of any wrong doing, the Federal Government withheld relieve funds from the state of Ohio at a time when people really needed it. So Governor Davey implemented the Ohio Unemployment Compensation Law, the first state funded unemployment insurance package in the U.S. 

   After Davey's defeat for a 3rd term as Governor in 1938, he tried again in 1940, but lost again. After this he retired from politics and focused on his family tree business. He died in Kent in 1946.

After about a year of being very busy with my kids sporting, scouting, ect... I finally was able to cross off a couple of more Governor's off of my list on Memorial Day weekend 2018. My wife and I saw an Indians game the night before and then headed to Kent, where we walked around the site of the Kent State shooting. After that we headed to Standing Rock Cemetery in Kent to find Governor Davey's final resting place. After driving around for awhile I asked one of the guy's mowing if he knew where it was. I was expecting a "who" response, but he smiled and said "follow me!" After Kent we headed north towards Lake Erie and hit a few more sites along the way.


Governor Davey and I

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#15 Thomas Corwin

Thomas Corwin

Born: July 29, 1794
Died: December 18, 1865
Political Party: Whig, later Republican
Term of Office: December 16, 1840- December 14, 1842
Buried: Lebanon Cemetery Lebanon, Ohio
No. 43 of 58

    Thomas Corwin was born in Kentucky in 1794. His father was Matthias, and he moved the family to Lebanon, Ohio when Thomas was 4 years old. After moving to Ohio, Matthias became one of Ohio's earliest representatives in the state legislature. The elder Corwin served 11 consecutive terms in the state legislature, paving the way for his son's extensive political career. 

   During the War of 1812, a young Corwin served as a wagon boy in General William Henry Harrison's Army. After the war, Corwin began to study law and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1817. This opened the door to serving as Warren Counties prosecuting attorney from 1818-1828. Throughout the 1820's, he served 2 non consecutive terms in the Ohio House of Representatives, as well as working in his law practice in Lebanon. It was also around this time that he got married and started a family. He and his wife Sarah had 5 children. 

  In 1831, Corwin was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served 5 consecutive terms in Washington. While in Congress, he earned the nickname "terror of the house" because of his passionate and intelligent debating skills. 

   He resigned from Congress in 1840 to run for Governor of Ohio. During the campaign he became well known for his oratory skills. He won the election, beating sitting Governor Wilson Shannon. Corwin's former commanding officer General William Henry Harrison was running for President at the same time that he was running for Governor. Corwin helped campaign for Harrison, contributing to him winning the White House. Harrison sadly died on April 4, 1841, just one month after taking office.

   Corwin was a Whig and during his time as Governor, Democrats controlled the state legislature. This made it difficult to accomplish anything. He and other Whig's in the state legislature proposed a "State Bank", which was easily shot down by the opposition. Corwin also took blame for an economic downturn and lost his reelection bid in 1842 to former Governor Wilson Shannon. 

   In 1844, Corwin was chosen by the Ohio General Assembly to serve in the U. S. Senate. In the Senate, he was very out spoken on his opposition to the Mexican War. He remained in the Senate until 1850, when President Millard Fillmore appointed him to be his Secretary of the Treasury. He resigned as Secretary of the Treasury on March 6, 1853, 2 days after President Franklin Pierce took office. He then returned home to his law practice. 

   In 1858, Corwin traveled to Illinois to be a co counsel in defense of former Ohio Governor William Bebb, who had shot a man. Corwin helped get him acquitted with a plea of self defense. 

   Later that year, Corwin was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives once again. With the Whig party now dissolved, Corwin was now a Republican. He supported the campaign of Abraham Lincoln during the election of 1860. Once Lincoln was elected, Corwin became chairman of a Congressional committee called the "Committee of 33", which had one representative from each state. This committee was a last ditch effort to prevent the Civil War. Corwin proposed an Amendment to the Constitution that would forbid the Federal Government to pass laws that would conflict with each individual states laws. Basically, it would of kept the Federal Government from overturning state laws allowing slavery in the south. The Amendment never got ratified and the War happened anyway. 

   Corwin won reelection to the House in 1860, but resigned shortly after to become President Lincoln's Minister to Mexico. As Ambassador, Corwin was popular in Mexico due to his opposition to the Mexican War several years earlier. He kept good relations with Mexico during the Civil War, in spite of the Confederacy being so physically close to Mexico at the time, and their efforts to turn Mexico against the U.S. 

   Corwin resigned from his position in Mexico and politics in 1864. He returned to Washington DC, where he practiced law until his death on December 18, 1865. 

   I visited Corwin's gravesite in late April 2017. It was the last stop on a very busy day in the Cincinnati area. I found his gravesite very interesting. There appears to be an old family obelisk with Thomas Corwin's name on it, as well a newer marker that has many of his accomplishments on it. And in between an old small individual marker that simply reads T. C. I can now proudly say that for the first time in a long time, I am all caught up on these Governor posts. Corwin is my most recent visit and my most recent post.





I thought this newer marker was pretty cool. With the Ohio seal on it.

The Ohio seal

T.C. Thomas Corwin's individual marker


Governor Corwin, my sleepy son Grant and I

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

#9 Jeremiah Morrow

Jeremiah Morrow

Born: October 6, 1771
Died: March 22, 1852
Political Party: Democratic - Republican
Term of Office: December 28, 1822- December 19, 1826
Buried: Union Cemetery Loveland, Ohio
No. 42 of 58

     Jeremiah Morrow was born in eastern Pennsylvania in 1771 to a farming family. Long before a battle would make the town a household name, Morrow called the area around Gettysburg, PA home. He moved to the Northwest Territory in his mid 20's. After getting married he eventually settled around the mouth of the Little Miami River in what is now Warren County, Ohio.

   Morrow entered politics around the time that Ohio was gearing up for statehood. And so he was elected to the Territorial legislature in 1801. At the time Territorial Governor Arthur St. Claire opposed statehood. Morrow joined the opposition against him, which was lead by Thomas Worthington. In 1802, Morrow served as a delegate at Ohio's Constitutional Convention. 

    Once statehood was achieved in 1803, with help from President Jefferson, Morrow's neighbors in Warren County elected him to a seat in the Ohio State Senate. But shortly after, Morrow was selected to be Ohio's first Representative in the United State House of Representatives. What's more, for the first 10 years of Ohio's statehood, Morrow was Ohio's only Representative in the House. In 1813, Morrow left the House of Representatives to serve in the U.S. Senate. He remained in the Senate until 1819. 

     After 16 years a Representative in Washington, Morrow returned home and got involved in a group that was trying to build a canal from from the Ohio River to Lake Erie. The Ohio Board of Canal Commissioners included Morrow's old political ally Thomas Worthington as well as another Governor Ethan Allen Brown, among others. Their efforts lead to the constructions of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal in 1825. 

     Morrow ran for Governor in 1822. He won the election, beating acting Governor Allen Trimble and another candidate. Morrow then won reelection in 1824. He was Governor at a time when when a lot of things came together to create an economic upswing. The National Road made it to Ohio during Morrow's Governorship. This made it easier for people along the east coast to move west in search of brighter futures. Canals also increased economic productivity in Ohio. 

    Morrow chose not to seek a third term in 1826. Instead he ran, and won election to the Ohio State Senate in 1827. After a term in the State Senate, Morrow returned to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1829. Through the next 14 years, he would serve about 7 in the U.S. House. Meanwhile, he helped form the Whig Party in Ohio. Finally, in 1843, he retired from politics and returned home. 
    In his retirement from State Politics he remained active. He served as the first President of the Little Miami Railroad, ran a saw mill and served as a school director, among other things. He died at the age of 80 in 1852. 

    I visited the gravesite of Governor Morrow on a day in late April 2017. I had a busy day in the Cincinnati area and stopped at 3 new Governor gravesites on my way home. Morrow was the 2nd of the 3 new stops I made. The first was Governor John Pattison and the third was Thomas Corwin.




Governor Morrow and I

Thursday, May 18, 2017

#43 John M. Pattison

John M. Pattison

Born: June 13, 1847
Died June 18, 1906
Political Party: Democrat
Term of Office: January 8, 1906-June 18, 1906
Buried: Greenlawn Cemetery Milford, Ohio
No. 41 of 58

       John M. Pattison was born in Owensville, Ohio in 1847 to a country store owning father. Growing up he worked in his fathers store as well as on nearby farms. He joined the Union Army during the Civil War at the age of 16 and served until the war's end. After the war he attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where he had to work his way through school by working as a farm hand and a school teacher. He graduated in 1869.

     After graduation, Pattison worked for a short time for an insurance company in Illinois. He then moved to Cincinnati to study law. He graduated from Cincinnati Law School in 1872 and was admitted to the Ohio bar that same year. As a lawyer he started to provide legal counsel to the Cincinnati and Marietta Railroad. 

    Pattison won a seat in the state legislature in 1873. But after one term he returned home to his law practice - Yaple, Moos and Pattison. He would become vice president of the Union Central Life Insurance Company in 1881, and then it's president in 1891. He achieved much success in this position. 

   In 1890, Pattison was chosen to fill into a vacant seat in the Ohio State Senate. Then the following year he won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. After one term in Washington he lost reelection and returned home to focus his attention on his many business dealing. 

    During the election of 1905, Democrats in Ohio chose Pattison as their candidate for Governor. He fought a successful campaign, beating sitting Governor Myron T. Herrick. Pattison was in favor of the Prohibition of alcohol and wanted to fight against city bosses. But by the time Inauguration day came, Pattison's health had taken a turn for the worst. He was suffering from Bright's disease ( kidney failure). He left for home shortly after his Inauguration and never returned to the executive offices. He died at home 5 months later, making him the shortest serving elected Governor of Ohio. 

    In late April, 2017, I took a day trip to the Cincinnati area. I wanted to revisit Spring Grove Cemetery down there to get better pictures of the 9 Governor gravesites that are there. While in the cemetery a nasty storm broke out. I was able to see all 9, but got very wet in the process. After the cemetery, my kids and I headed to President Taft's birthplace home to meet a Presidential history enthusiast friend of mine. After the Taft home, we proceeded to President Grant's birthplace where they were having birthday festivities for him. After Grant's birthplace I headed back towards Cincinnati to pick up 3 more Governor gravesites along the east side of Cincinnati on the way home. Governor Pattison was the 1st of these 3 stops. The others would be Governors Jeremiah Morrow and Thomas Corwin. At the end of the day I had visited the gravesites of 12 Governors. Definitely a single day high for me.








Governor Pattison and I

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

#8 and #10 Allen Trimble

Allen Trimble

Born: November 24, 1783
Died: February 3, 1870
Political Party: Democratic Republican, later Whig
Term of Office: January 4, 1822 -December 28, 1822 
& December 19, 1826 -December 18, 1830
Buried: Hillsboro Cemetery Hillsboro, Ohio
No. 40 of 58

   Allen Trimble was born in Virginia to a Revolutionary War veteran father in 1783. The next year the Trimble family moved to Kentucky. The Trimble family did well in Kentucky, they even owned some slaves for while. Allen Trimble's father James freed his slaves in 1800 after a chance of heart. James died in 1803, making Allen the head of the family. Allen moved the family to Hillsboro, Ohio in 1804.

   After arriving in Hillsboro, Trimble worked as a farmer and surveyor. Trimble entered politics in 1808 by becoming Highland Counties clerk of courts and recorder of deeds. He found this position to be more profitable then farming, which encouraged his to pursue a career in politics later on. During the War of 1812, Trimble served as a Colonel in the Ohio militia.

   After the war he used his popularity earned from his military career to win a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in 1815. Then in 1817 he won a seat in the Ohio State Senate. Trimble won 5 terms in the State Senate by overwhelming margins, serving 10 years. 7 of those years, Trimble was selected by his fellow Senators to serve as Speaker of the State Senate. When Governor Ethan Allen Brown resigned to accept a seat in the U.S. Senate in January 1822, Trimble was chosen to serve as acting Governor for the rest of Brown's term, which ended in December of that year. Also that year, Trimble ran for Governor, hoping to win the office in his own right. However he was defeated by Jeremiah Morrow when a 3rd candidate took votes away from him. In 1824, Trimble ran for Governor again, but lost again to Governor Morrow, only this time the margin of victory was much smaller.

   Allen Trimble ran for Governor again in 1826. This time Governor Morrow did not seeking reelection and so Trimble won easily. Trimble went on to win reelection in 1828. As Governor, Trimble called for the development of colleges in the state and pushed for the need of public education. He was also a strong supported of the canal systems in Ohio. The first section of the Ohio and Erie canal between Cleveland and Akron was built while he was Governor. Trimble was also a strong opponent of President Andrew Jackson's policies.

   Trimble retired from politics in 1830, and returned home to his farm. He stayed active in various Agricultural groups in the following years. In 1850, he ran for Governor again as the American Parties candidate, but lost. He then retired from politics for good and died in Hillsboro in 1870.

   I visited the gravesite of Governor Trimble on Good Friday 2017. It was the first day in awhile in which my wife and I both had the day off. So we took a day trip south to the Great Serpent Mound. Luckily Hillsboro was on the way.







Add caption

Trimble's mother

Trimble's first wife

Trimble's second wife

Governor Trimble ,my kids and I

Friday, May 5, 2017

#3 Samuel H. Huntington

Samuel H. Huntington

Born: October 4, 1765
Died: June 8, 1817
Political Party: Democratic -Republican
Term of Office: December 12, 1808 - December 8, 1810
Buried: Evergreen Cemetery Painesville, Ohio
No. 39 of 58

    Samuel H. Huntington was born in Connecticut in 1765 to a minister father. He was orphaned at a young age and was adopted by his Uncle, also named Samuel Huntington. The elder Samuel Huntington was a Signer of the Declaration of Independence and once served as President of the Continental Congress. The elder Huntington would also serve as 18th Governor of Connecticut. Which made googling "Governor Samuel Huntington" all the more confusing.

    The younger Huntington attended college at Yale and Dartmouth. After college he began to study law and would go on to practice law in Connecticut for 7 years before moving to the Northwest Territories in 1800. He moved to the then smaller community of Cleveland. He sold his land in Cleveland to purchase some land to the northeast in Painesville Township and co - founded the community of Fairport. It was here that he was able to invest in a number of business ventures. 

   It didn't take long for Huntington to get involved in Territorial politics. He served as Lt. Col. in the Trumbull County militia. He also supervised roads and served as justice of the peace. As Ohio approached statehood, he stood in opposition to Territorial Governor Arthur St. Clair, who opposed statehood. In 1802, he served as a member of Ohio's first Constitutional Convention. He found allies in Edward Tiffin and Thomas Worthington who also championed the statehood movement. 

   Once Ohio became a state in 1803, Huntington became one of the first judges on Ohio's Supreme Court. The following year he became Chief Justice of the states Supreme Court. His most famous case as Chief Justice occurred in 1807's Rutherford v M"Fadden. In the ruling the court stated that they have the right to deem any state law unconstitutional. This put him at odds with members of his own party who felt that the court was taking away power from the legislature. 

   In the election of 1808, Chief Justice Huntington ran for Governor against sitting Governor Thomas Kirker and Senator Thomas Worthington. All 3 men were Democratic Republicans. But since Worthington and Kirker were more closely aligned, it split the vote in Huntington's favor and he became the 3rd Governor of Ohio. 

   During his term as Governor, tensions continued between the state legislature and the state courts when the legislature attempted to impeach 2 judges on the state Supreme court. Tensions were also raising between the United States and Great Britain that would eventually lead to the war of 1812. All the while the state Capital was moved to Zanesville, as debate continued surrounding the issue of finding a permanent state Capital city.

   Huntington chose not to run for reelection in 1810, instead he challenged Thomas Worthington for his seat in the U.S. Senate. After he failed at his attempt for a Senate seat he returned home once his term as Governor ended. During the War of 1812 General William Henry Harrison appointed Huntington army paymaster. 

   Huntington was killed in an accident in 1817 while supervising the construction of a road near his home. This made him the first Governor of Ohio to pass away. A little bit ironic since about an hour before I visited Governor Huntington's gravesite, I visited the gravesite of Governor George Voinovich, who is the most recent Governor to pass away, less then a year ago. Huntington's gravesite was the final of 6 new Governor gravesite visits that I made one day in late March 2017 in the Cleveland area.





Governor Huntington, my kids and I

Thursday, May 4, 2017

#65 George Voinovich

George Voinovich

Born: July 15, 1936
Died: June 12, 2016
Political Party: Republican Party
Term of Office: January 14, 1991-December 31, 1998
Buried: All Souls Cemetery Chardon, Ohio
No. 38 of 58

     George Voinovich was born in Cleveland in 1936. He graduated from Ohio State University in 1958, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in government. He then received a law degree in 1961 from the Moritz College of Law at the Ohio State University.

   Voinovich jumped into politics right away by becoming one of Ohio's Assistant Attorney Generals in 1963. In 1966, he was elected a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. After 4 years in the state legislature, Voinovich moved closer to home by serving as the County Auditor of Cuyahoga Co., Ohio from 1971 - 1976. Voinovich ran for Mayor of Cleveland unsuccessfully in 1971. In 1978, Voinovich ran for Lt. Governor on a ticket with Governor James A. Rhodes, as he was seeking his 4th term as Governor. The Rhodes Voinovich ticket won and Voinovich became the first Lt. Governor of Ohio elected on a party ticket. Before that, the offices of Governor and Lt. Governor were separately elected. 

   Voinovich wasn't Lt. Governor for long. In 1979, he ran for Mayor of Cleveland against sitting Democratic Mayor Dennis Kucinich. In October of that year, Voinovich's 9 year old daughter Molly was hit and killed by a van. This brought his campaign to a halt. However he went on to win the election. He won reelection to be Mayor of Cleveland 2 more times in 1981 and 1985. His 1981 victory was the first time that a Mayor of Cleveland was elected to a 4 year term, as compared to the previous 2 years terms.

   When Voinovich became Mayor, Cleveland was the butt of many comedians jokes about how bad the city had become. With financial assistance by local banks and state government, Voinovich was able to start digging Cleveland out of debt, and turning around the city's reputation for the better. While serving as Mayor, he was a member of the National League of Cities, and became the groups President in 1985.

     In 1988, Voinovich ran for the U.S. Senate against Democratic Senator Howard Metzenbaum. He lost the election. But in 1990, he became the Republican parties candidate for Governor of Ohio, and won. As Governor he help pull the state out of a 1.5 billion dollar deficit. He also worked on welfare reform.  In 1994, Voinovich won reelection with 72% of the vote, which was the largest margin of victory in an Ohio Governors race up to that point. As Governor, Ohio's unemployment rate reached a 25 year low and the state created 500,000 new jobs. He appointed Nancy Hollister Lt. Governor during his second term, making her the first women to serve as Lt. Governor. He also appointed Cincinnati Mayor Ken Blackwell to become Ohio's State Treasurer. Making him the first African American to hold state office in Ohio.

   Starting back in 1985, then Mayor Voinovich petitioned hard to have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to be built in Cleveland. As Governor in 1995, the Museum opened in Cleveland and the main atrium was named George Voinovich Atrium in honor of his efforts. In 1996, Voiovich was considered as a Vice Presidential candidate for Bob Dole, but with drew his name from consideration with other plans in mind. In 1998, as his 2nd term as Governor was nearing an end, Voinovich once again ran for the U.S. Senate, and won. He resigned about 11 days shy of the end of his term as Governor to be sworn in to his new job in the U.S. Senate. At this point his Lt. Governor Nancy Hollister became the first female Governor of Ohio. She served for 11 days until the newly elected Governor Bob Taft would be sworn in.

   As Senator, Voinovich was a moderate Republican who would on occasion, cross the isle to do what he thought was best. In 2004, he won reelection to the Senate, winning all 88 counties and 64% of the vote. With 3.5 million votes in that election, he won more votes then any other Senate candidate in Ohio history. He chose not to seek reelection in 2010, retiring to spend more time with family.

  In 2016, Voinovich endorsed current Ohio Governor John Kasich for President of the United States and was set to be an elector at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in August. Voinovich died in his sleep on June 12, 2016, having been struggling with heart issues since around 2003.

   George Voinovich was the first Governor that I remember well. At the time of me writing this, he has been gone for less then a year. Of all the Governor gravesites that I have visited, his is the first of a person that I had actually voted for. I was to young to of voted for him when he was Governor. But I did vote for him in 2004 when he ran for reelection to the Senate.

   Governor Voinovich was one of 6 new Governor gravevisites that I visited in late March 2016 in the Cleveland area.

Voinovich with Governor Jim Rhodes

Voinovich campaigning with President George H. W. Bush

Voinovich with President Clinton

Voinovich campaigning with President George W. Bush


A picture from Voinovich's funeral

Voinovich buried with his daughter and parents.

Governor Voinovich passed away so recently that the birth year and death years have not yet been carved into the stone.

Governor Voinovich and I