Wednesday, April 26, 2017

#6 Thomas Worthington

Thomas Worthington

Born: July 16, 1773
Died: June 20, 1827
Political Party: Democratic Republican
Term of Office: December 8, 1814 - December 14, 1818
Buried: Grandview Cemetery Chillicothe, Ohio
No. 28 of 56

      Worthington was born in what is now West Virginia. As a young man he inherited a large plantation from his uncle. Then in 1796, Worthington helped future Governor Duncan McArthur survey the Virginia Military District. As payment, he received land near Chillicothe, Ohio. He would end up selling his property and freed the 130 slaves that he inherited. His brother in law Edward Tiffin, who would later become Ohio's first Governor, also freed his slaves and followed Worthington to Chillicothe. Many of the now freed, former slaves also followed Worthington to Chillicothe and helped him build his mansion, named "Adena"

   Worthington and Tiffin both grew to become politically prominent in the Northwest Territory. Worthington served in the Territorial legislature from 1799-1803. At the time, Territorial Governor Arthur St. Clair greatly opposed Ohio statehood. And so Worthington greatly opposed him. Worthington personally traveled to Washington DC to talk President Jefferson into making Ohio a State. As a result, Jefferson fired St.Clair from his post as Territorial Governor, and he approved the Enabling Act of 1802, which called for Ohioans to form a constitutional convention and to start the process of statehood. Thanks to the efforts of Thomas Worthington, Ohio became the 17th state in 1803.

     Thomas Worthington was a delegate at Ohio's Constitutional convention. Then after a brief time in the Ohio General Assembly, Worthington was chosen as one of two of Ohio's first US Senators. While his brother-in-law Edward Tiffin became Ohio's first Governor. He served in the US Senate until 1807. In 1808, he returned to the Ohio General Assembly for a 2 year term. Then in 1810, he returned to the US Senate. As a US Senator, he called for military relief for Ohioans who were having problems with Shawnee Indian Chief Tecumseh and his brother the Prophet.

  In 1814, Worthington left the Senate and was elected Ohio's 6th Governor. As Governor he advocated for a canal system, worked on prison reform and supported free public education, among many other things. He won reelection in 1816 and moved the capital from Chillicothe to Columbus. 

    Later in life he served in the Ohio House of Representatives. He died in 1827 in New York City.

Worthington's "Adena" home

   Worthington was the third governor I found in Grandview Cemetery back in October 2012

    Governor Worthington and I

Sunday, March 26, 2017

#55 and #57 Frank J. Lausche

Frank J. Lausche

Born: November 14, 1895
Died: April 21, 1990
Political Party: Democrat
Term of Office: January 8, 1945-January 13, 1947
January 10 1949-January 3, 1957
Buried: Calvary Cemetery Cleveland, Ohio
No. 34 of 58

    Frank Lausche was born in Cleveland in 1895. As a young man he played baseball in both amateur and minor leagues. He served in the Army during WW1, earning the rank of Second Lieutenant. After the war he went to law school.

   After 12 years practicing law he became a Judge. He spent 5 years as a Common Pleas Judge before becoming a Municipal Court Judge. His time as a Judge led to his election as the Mayor of Cleveland in 1941.

   In 1944, Lausche was elected Governor of Ohio, becoming the states first Catholic Governor.  He was known as a moderate Democrat who was fiscally Conservative. He often crossed party lines and went against the demands of his own party to do what he felt was best for everyone. After a single, 2 year term he narrowly lost re election to Thomas J. Herbert in 1946. Lausche ran again in 1948 and beat Herbert in the re match. Lausche would go on to serve 4 consecutive- 2 year terms as Governor.  During his successful reelection bids he beat out contenders Charles Phelps Taft II (son of President William Howard Taft) in 1952 and future Governor Jim Rhodes in 1954. This made Lausche the only 5 term Governor of Ohio, serving about 10 years total. He is also the 2nd longest serving Governor of Ohio, 2nd only to Jim Rhodes who would later serve 4, 4 year terms.

     Because of his moderate views. Lausche was considered as a Vice Presidential candidate by both Harry S. Truman in 1948 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952.

    Lausche won a seat in the U. S. Senate in 1956 as he was leaving the Governorship. He then won reelection to the Senate in 1962. In the Senate his middle of the road views caused him to be called a Democrat with a small d, and earning the nick name "Frank the Fence". In 1968, Lausche lost the support of labor unions and lost the Democratic nomination for Senate to future Governor John J. Gilligan. Gilligan went on the lose the general election.

    After leaving the Senate, Lausche retired to his home in Maryland until he contracted pneumonia in January 1990. He was sent back to Cleveland where he died 3 months later.

Frank Lausche with Richard Nixon

Then Mayor of Cleveland Lausch watches James Cagney and Babe Ruth write autographs


Lausche's birth year was incorrectly carved on his tombstone. He was born in 1895.

My son Nicky observing Governor Lausche's final resting place

My kids are good sports

Governor Lausche, my kids, and I

Friday, February 3, 2017

#58 John William Brown

John William Brown

Born: December 28, 1913
Died: October 29, 1993
Political Party: Republican
Term of Office: January 3, 1957-January 14, 1957
Buried: Spring Grove Cemetery Medina, Ohio
No.33 of 58

   Brown was born in Athens, Ohio and graduated from Lancaster High School. As a young adult he pursued a number of business options as well as serving in the Ohio Highway Patrol. When WW2 broke out he joined the Coast Guard. After the war he moved back to his home in Medina, Ohio. 

   He entered politics in 1950 when he was elected to be Mayor of Medina. In 1952 he ran for Lt. Governor of Ohio, and won. Back then the elections for Governor and Lt. Governor were separate. It wasn't until 1978 that Ohio would have each party pick a party ticket in which Governor and Lt. Governor would run together.

     In 1956, John William Brown pursued the Republican nomination for Governor of Ohio, but he lost the nomination to C. William O'Neill. O'Neill would go on to win in the General Election. Meanwhile, outgoing Democratic Governor Frank Lausche had won a seat in the U.S. Senate on the same day that O'Neill won the Governorship. Lausche had to resign 11 days early to be sworn in for his new job as a U.S. Senator on January 3, 1957. Governor -elect C. William O'Neill was not set to be sworn in as Ohio's Governor until January 14, 1957. And so John William Brown became the Governor of Ohio for 11 days to fill the gap from Lausche's resignation to O'Neill's inauguration. This same situation would happen again in 1999 when Lt. Governor Nancy Hollister became Governor for 11 days in between the terms of George Voinovich and Bob Taft. And so Brown is tied with Hollister as being the Governors with the shortest terms in office.

     Governor Brown took his 11 day administration very seriously. He moved into the Governors mansion, demanded Governors salary pay for 11 days and summoned the General Assembly to hear his state of the state address. He worked so hard in his short term in office that by the end he had 5 boxes of Governors papers to give to the Ohio Historical Society for historical record. After his time as Governor he was elected to both the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. In 1962, he was again elected Lt. Governor and served in that position from 1963 - 1975, before losing reelection to a 4th term. This made Brown the longest serving Lt. Governor in Ohio History. A bit ironic since he is also tied for having the shortest term as Governor. Later he became Commodore of the Ohio Naval Militia.  He died in 1993.

    In October 2016, I decided to go to a Trump rally in Cleveland at the last minute. My daughter Khloe, and my nephews Chris and Sam went along. I noticed that we would be going through Medina on the way, so I decided to look up the gravesite of Governor Brown. It was a pretty big cemetery and it took us a while of driving around before we found it. It is a nice, respectable, more modern marker. I really enjoyed looking up the unique story of how Brown came to be Governor.






My nephew Chris

My daughter Khloe and nephew Sam

Governor Brown and I

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

#60 Michael DiSalle

Michael DiSalle

Born: January 6, 1908
Died September 14, 1981
Political Party: Democrat
Term of Office: January 12, 1959- January 14, 1963
Buried: Calvary Cemetery Toledo, Ohio
No. 32 of 58

   Michael DiSalle was born in New York City. His family moved to Toledo, Ohio when he was 3 years old. He attended Georgetown University and later got his law degree.

   In 1937 he was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives. Over the coming years he would run for both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, losing every time. In 1950 President Harry S. Truman appointed him to be director of the Office of Price Stabilization during the Korean War. He spent 12 years working in Toledo area politics, serving one term as Mayor of Toledo along the way.  In 1956, DiSalle was the Democratic Nominee for Governor of Ohio but lost to C. William O'Neill. In 1958 he ran for Governor again and this time he won. DiSalle was the first Governor to serve a 4 year term without having to win reelection. Before this time Ohio elected a new Governor every 2 years.

  In 1960, DiSalle ran as a "favorite son" candidate in Ohio for the Democratic Presidential nomination. This method was used so that a candidate with no chance can have a say in the party platform by shifting their delegates to a candidate who does have a shot. DiSalle gave his support to John F. Kennedy. He would remain a loyal ally of the Kennedy's until his death. In 1968 he lead a draft movement to get Ted Kennedy to run for President but withdrew upon Kennedy's request. Then in 1980 he was an honorary chairman of Ted Kennedy's Presidential campaign. 

   As Governor, DiSalle signed the bill making Ohio's official motto"With God, all things are possible". He was so opposed to the death penalty that he made a point to hire convicted murders to serve on his household staff, to demonstrate his faith in rehabilitation. In spite of this, he did allow 6 executions to happen during his term as Governor. He was a very hard working Governor, committing himself to 16 hour work days.

   After loosing reelection he returned home to continue his law practice. He died in 1981.

    I visited the gravesite of Governor DiSalle in October of 2016. My son and I went to Toledo to see former President Clinton at a rally for his wife. After which we went and found Governor DiSalle's gravesite pretty easy. It was right next to the gate as we pulled into the cemetery.

President Kennedy applauding Governor DiSalle at his birthday party on the Ohio State fairgrounds on January 6, 1962

Governor DiSalle and President Kennedy at the Army Navy football game in 1962

DiSalle family marker

My son Nicky



Governor DiSalle and I

#40 Asa S. Bushnell

Asa S. Bushnell

Born: September 16, 1834
Died: January 15, 1904
Political Party: Republican
Term of Office: January 13, 1896 - January 8, 1900
Buried: Ferncliff Cemetery Springfield, Ohio
No. 31 of 58

    Asa Smith Bushnell was born in Rome, New York in 1834. His family moved to Ohio when he was 11, then he moved to Springfield when he was 17. In Springfield, Bushnell married and became a partner in his father in laws drug store. He joined the war effort in 1864 by being the Captain of a "hundred day infantry" in the Shenandoah Valley. After the war he returned home to become a popular and successful businessman. He had a lot of jobs serving as a President of the First National Bank to President of the Springfield Gas Company. 

    He got involved in Republican politics and helped Joseph Foraker get elected Governor in 1885. His efforts paid off when Foraker helped get him elected to the Governorship in 1895 after William McKinley left to pursue the Presidency.

     Bushnell served 2- 2 year terms as Governor. It was a great time of transition. It was the dawn of Progressivism. Legislation was passed to improve women's working conditions and limit child labor. In 1898 the Spanish American War broke out and Bushnell was proud to of gotten the first volunteers organized to fight in that war. 

  After leaving the Governorship Bushnell resumed his business affairs. In January 1904 he went to Columbus to attend the Inauguration of Governor Myron T. Herrick. Afterwords he struck sick on the way to the train station and died in Columbus 4 days later. 

   Bushnell was the 2nd of 2 Governor gravesites that I visited on the Saturday before Labor Day 2016. I was taking the kids down to the Air Force Museum in Dayton and decided to pick up a couple of Governor's along the way. The first Governor was Joseph Vance in Urbana. That was the hardest Governor gravesite to find so far. It took about an hour. As you can see. Governor Bushnell's tomb was much easier to find.







 My boys and I at the Bushnell Tomb

Monday, January 30, 2017

#13 Joseph Vance

Joseph Vance

Born: March 21, 1786
Died: August 24, 1852
Political Party: Whig
Term of Office: December 12, 1836 - December 13, 1838
Buried: Oak Dale Cemetery Urbana, Ohio
No. 30 of 58

   On previous posts the total number of Ohio Governor gravesites that we were counting up to was 56. But since 2 more have passed away our number that we are aiming for is now 58. 

   Joseph Vance was born in Pennsylvania. His family moved to Kentucky for a few years before finally settling in Ohio in 1805. He was a salt peddler and farmer. During the War of 1812 he rose to the rank of Major General. His military career lead to his entering politics. He served a few terms in the Ohio House of Representatives before being elected in 1820 to the U.S. House of Representatives. After 7 terms in the House he lost reelection to an 8th term. He came back 2 years later and became the first Whig to become Governor of Ohio, where he served one, uneventful 2 year term before loosing reelection in 1838. 

     As Governor, Vance tried to abolish the death penalty, supported canal construction and supported state funding of schools. After being Governor he returned to politics by serving a term in the Ohio State Senate and 2 more terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He also served as a delegate to the 1848 Whig National Convention and was elected to the Ohio Constitutional Convention in 1850. He passed away at his Urbana, Ohio home in 1852. 

   When I visited Oak Dale Cemetery in Urbana I had 2 stops in mind. Governor Joseph Vance's grave and also the grave of frontiersman Simon Kenton. When I got there signs lead me to Kenton's grave very easily. But it actually took me about an hour of looking before I found Governor Vance. I had some pictures to go off of, but there were literally hundreds of tombstone that looked like the one marking Governor Vance's final resting place.




 Governor Vance and I

Friday, September 9, 2016

Getting Back at It

     For nearly 4 years I've had this project on the back burner. In my spare travel time I've been focused on my primary hobby of visiting Presidential sites.

     I haven't visited a new Governors grave since I visited Chilicothe in October 2012. I got 4 of them that day. But I just got around to posting about 2 of them earlier this week, after about a 3.5 year hiatus of posting.

   During this hiatus there was been 2 more Governors pass away. 62nd Governor John J. Gilligan passed away in 2013. And most recently 65th Governor George Voinovich passed away earlier this year (2016). Voinovich was buried in the Cleveland area. As a matter of fact a couple weeks after he passed away I was up by Cleveland and spent the night at a hotel about 20 minutes from the cemetery in which he was buried. I thought about sneaking over there, to pay my respects, but since we were up there as a little getaway for our Wedding Anniversary, my wife insisted that we wouldn't be seeing any "history stuff". So I'll need to go up there another time. Governor Gilligan on the other hand, from what I can tell, donated his body to science upon his death. More specifically to the University of Cincinatti Medical Center. So I'm not sure what I will do there but I will figure out someway of honoring him.