Iowa Ex-Governor Obits

John M. Corse


Brief Sketch of the Career of a Famous Soldier - His Historic Dispatch to Sherman - His Honorable Service in Civil Life.

Winchester, Mass, April 27. - General Corse suffered an apoplectic shock at an early hour this morning at his home in this town. Physicians were summoned at once, but failed to restore the general to consciousness, and at 1 o'clock today he was reported as very low with little hope of his recovery.

Gen. Corse died at 2:30 p.m. He has not been in good health for several weeks, but so serious a turn to his illness was entirely unexpected. Townsend left Sheffield, Saturday last, without informing anybody. His wife says he is subject to fits and is often absent from home for days without his whereabouts being known. He has been subject to spells of deep depression, but has never shown any symptoms of homicidal mania.

Gen. Corse comes from a Huguenot family which settled in Virginia about 100 years ago. He was born in Pittsburg, Penn., April 27. 1833, but his parents soon removed to St. Louis and afterwards to Burlington, Iowa. He was educated in the public schools of Burlington, and subsequently went to West Point, where be graduated in 1857. He resigned his position in the army and went to the Albany Law School. He opened a law office in Burlington, but was not able to practice long before the war called him to put on his shoulder straps again.

He ran in 1860 for lieutenant governor of Iowa on the Stephen A. Douglas ticket, but after the firing on Fort Sumter, he accented an appointment as major of the sixth Iowa infantry, and took part in the Fremont campaign in southwest Missouri. He was then detached and appointed judge advocate and inspector general on Gen. Pope's, staff, and served with that general through the New Madrid and Island No.10 campaigns.

He was next at Shiloh, and after that battle he left Pope at the request of Gen. W. T. Sherman, and took command of his regiment, the sixth Iowa, having in the meantime been promoted to the lieutenant colonelcy. He went through the Corinth campaign and was at the siege of Memphis, and subsequently served throughout the Mississsippi campaign, which resulted in the destruction of Gen. Grant's base of supplies at Holly Springs.

He was now promoted to a colonelcy, and was present with his regiment through the siege of Vicksburg and also at the siege of Jackson, and for gallant and meritorious services at Jackson he was made brigadier general and given the command of the 4th division of the 15th army corps. Corse was one of the youngest brigadier generals in the service, but also one of she most trusted. He took his command to Memphis and over to Missionary Ridge. He led the assaulting army of Gen. Sherman, and had a leg broken by a shell and was carried off the field. After three months' absence he returned and was given a position on Gen. Sherman's staff as inspector general.

Gen. Corse is most widely known as the hero of Altoona. On the day that McPherson was killed in front of Atlanta, July 22, 1864, Gen. Logan requested the appointment of Gen. Corse to the command of a division, and he was assigned to the command of the second division of the 16th army corps. It was while Corse commanded this division that Hood moved around in the rear of Sherman's army and attacked the supplies at Altoona.

Corse was detailed with 1500 men to look after supplies, and on arriving on the scene he found himself face to face with a determined and desperate enemy, outnumbering his forces four to one. The opposing columns met at Altoona Pass and a terrible battle was fought. Eight hundred of the 1500 men under Gen. Corse were shot down, but the survivors held their ground and never showed their backs to the enemy, although immensely outnumbered. Gen. Corse sent to Sherman for assistance, and a message soon came back saying that re-enforcements were on the way, and asking if he could hold the fort until they arrived, late in the afternoon.

It was then that Gen. Corse wrote the famous dispatch which so pleased Sherman that it may he found printed in his story of the "Match to the Sea."

“I have lost a cheek bone and an ear, but I can lick all h_ll yet," was the way the dispatch read.

It was this stirring incident of the war, it is said, that suggested the Moody and Sankey hymn, "Hold the Fort." The bravery and gallantry of Gen. Corse in this engagement won for him promotion to the rank of major general.

Geo. Corse was with Sherman on the march to the sea, and subsequently through the Carolinas, and was engaged in all the affairs from Atlanta to Bentonville, N. C.

At the close of the war he was assigned to the command of the department of the northwest, comprising Minnesota., Wisconsin. Montana and Dakota, with headquarters at St. Paul, and conducted an Indian campaign to a successful issue. In 1866 he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 27th United States infantry, but declined to accept the position and was mustered out. He removed to Chicago, where be became interested in railroad enterprises. In 1867 he was appointed by President Johnson collector of internal revenue. In 1869, at the close of his term, he went to Europe, where he remained for four or five years.

His first wife, to whom be was greatly attached, died in 1879, and in 1882 he remarried, his second wife being Miss McNeil of Winchester, a niece of ex-President Franklin Pierce.

He was in Europe for a long time, and returned to Winchester in the spring of 1884. He took as active part in the presidential campaign, and after the withdrawal of the Butler leaders from the state committee, was made chairman of the executive committee. He was appointed postmaster of Boston by President Cleveland, Oct. 19, 1886, and held it until he was succeeded by Postmaster Hart.

(Source: Worchester Daily Spy, Worchester, Mass., 28 April 1893)
Submitted By: Cathy Danielson

John Hammill

Ex-Governor Hammill Dies
Heart Attack Fatal After M. & St. L. Railroad Hearing

Minneapolis, Minn. April 6. - John Hammill, 60, of Britt, Ia., former governor of Iowa, died in his room in a hotel here about 5 p.m. today, a few minutes after he was stricken with a heart attack.

Hammill, here to attend hearings on the proposed dismemberment of the Minneapolis & St. Louis railroad, apparently was in the best of health throughout the day.

Shortly after 4:30, he left the B. B. Burnquist of Fort Dodge, Ia. After talking for a few minutes with the latter, Hammill went to his room.

Shortly before 5 p.m. an employee of the hotel, walking through the hallway, heard a groan and the sound of someone falling. He entered the room and found Hammill on the floor unconscious. A physician was summoned immediately, but before he arrived Hammill died.

Mrs. Hammill was visiting in Jamaica, Ia., at the home of Dr. W. A. Seidler. Informed of her husband’s death, she left at once for Britt.

Served Three Terms

Des Moines, Ia., April 6. - Governor Hammill was one of few Iowans to serve three terms as governor, holding that office from 1925 to 1931.

His administrations as chief executive were notable because of economies effected and because of his stand for completion of the state’s primary road system in six years by means of a one million dollar state bond issue.

Marking a complete change from his original road program which provided for completion of the primary system as rapidly as available funds would permit, Governor Hammill came forward in 1928 with the bond proposal that resulted in the calling of a special session of the Iowa legislature.

After a bitter fight in the legislature the project to bond the state to the extent of one million dollars was carried and was referred to the voters in referendum at the general election in 1928.

Four Years in State Senate

Before becoming governor, Mr. Hammill served as lieutenant governor two terms, 1921-1925. He also served four years as a member of the state senate, 1909-1912.

Born in Linden, Wis., October 14, 1875, Mr. Hammill attended Wisconsin schools until 1889, when he came with his parents to a farm near Britt. He was graduated from the University of Iowa law school in 1897.

Returning to Britt, he engaged in law practice, then was elected county attorney in 1902, and served two terms.

A year after establishing himself at Britt he married Fannie B. Richards.

Led Farm Relief Move

When the question of agricultural relief came to the fore Hammill took a leading part in bringing farm organizations into accord on the proposition to obtain relief through congressional action.

He called together the first joint farm meeting in Des Moines, out of which, sprang the agricultural committee of 22 which became a sponsor for farm relief legislation in congress.

Hammill’s stand for good roads swept him to a third term victory in 1928. The voters ratified the road bond issue, but the supreme court in 1929 held the measure unconstitutional, Governor Hammill at once took part in a movement to draft a constitutional amendment authorizing the issue.

The governor sought to step from his position as chief executive to a seat in the senate. He became a candidate for the republican senatorial nomination in 1930, but was beaten by Congressman L. J. Dickinson. The campaign was fought largely on the tariff issue. Hammill contending the new tariff law was unfair to agriculture, which Dickinson upheld it as the best measure possible under the circumstances.

[Omaha World Herald, Published April 07, 1936, submitted by Cathy D=fofg]

William L. Harding

Ex-Governor Harding Dies
Republican Executive Served Iowa During Critical War Days

Des Moines, Ia., Dec. 17. - William L. Harding, 57, Iowa’s wartime governor and an outstanding figure in republican politics in the state for many years, died at his home here today.

Death followed an illness which in September halted a speaking tour in which he was engaged under the direction of the national republican organization.

The former governor was stricken in Crawfordsville, Ind., shortly after making an address in connection with the republican national congressional campaign.

The widow and one daughter, Barbara, survive.

Unmarred by Defeat

It is expected the body will lie in state at the Iowa capital before the funeral.

Following a political career unmarred by defeat and begun when, as a 28-year-old country lawyer, Harding won his first election to the state house of representatives, he assumed the governorship of Iowa in the critical spring of 1917 to direct a vigorous wartime program.

In his two terms as governor from 1917 to 1921, the legislative and civic program that played an important part in the state’s contribution during the world war was carried out.

Included in the highlights of his tenure in office were the ratification of the prohibition and women’s suffrage amendments to the national constitution, the passage of good road legislation that set the stage for the present highway system, enactment of laws abolishing private prison contracts and the creation of a state board of conservation to maintain state parks for future generations.

Native Iowan

He was born October 3, 1877, near Sibley, Ia. He attended public schools there and Morningside college in Sioux City, receiving an A. B. degree from Morningside in 1901 and his law degree from South Dakota university in 1905.

Practicing law for a year in Sioux City with James Kindig, later Iowa supreme court justice, Harding plunged early into district politics and in 1906 won his first election to the legislature.

Timing his political blows, he sought and won the lieutenant governorship in 1912 with Governor George W. Clarke and served two terms. Still a youthful and vigorous man, he turned his eyes in 1916 to the chief executive’s seat and was again victorious when republicans gave him the nomination.

Like to Race

In a memorable campaign, Harding swept into the governor’s office in 1916, defeating the distinguished publisher, Thomas Meredith, later United States secretary of agriculture.

Harding was noted during his years in politics as a fluent and eloquent orator, of vivacious and charming personality. He liked to credit his campaign success to his ability to win all the fat men’s races at rallies before which he spoke. During his college years he was an outstanding sprinter, and invariably during his campaigning days drew an ovation after stripping off his coat and carrying off racing honors in democratic fashion.

Following his retirement from state office in 1921, Harding devoted himself to private practice and took an active interest in sponsorship of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waterways program.

[Omaha World Herald, Published December 18, 1934, submitted by Cathy D=fofg]

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Last Tribute to Harding

Iowa Pays Homage to War-time Executive; Sioux City Burial

Des Moines, Ia., Dec. 20. - Atop a huge black-draped catafalque erected on the ground floor beneath the capitol dome, the body of former Governor William L. Harding lay in state today at the statehouse.

Shortly after the state building opened this morning, the coffin was lifted to its location amid a multitude of floral tributes. Clustered around the circular railings on two floors above were friends, associates and admirers of the Iowa wartime chief executive, who died Monday.

Eight sergeants of the First battalion of the One Hundred and Sixty-eighth infantry, Iowa National Guard, formed a guard of honor around the bier.

Shortly before noon the body was removed to a funeral home here, where final rites were held with the Rev. Ezekiel A. Moore of A___ officiating. The funeral oration was delivered by Attorney Charles S. Bradshaw.

Burial will be in Graceland cemetery at Sioux City Friday after the former governor’s body is taken from the Woodbury county courthouse, where it will lie in state Friday morning.

Brief services are to be held in Sioux City Friday afternoon, after which Morningside lodge will conduct burial services.

A long list of honory pallbearers has been named, including public officials, legislators, judges, military officials and associates of the late former governor.

[Omaha World Herald, Published December 20, 1934, submitted by Cathy D=fofg]

Clyde L. Herring

Clyde L. Herring Dies in Capital

Washington—Former Senator Clyde L. Herring, 66, Des Moines, Ia., died here Saturday night of a heart attack.

Mr. Herring, a Democrat, served as Governor of Iowa from 1933 to 1937 and was a member of the United States Senate from 1937 until 1943. He was defeated for re-election as Senator by incumbent Senator George A. Wilson, a Republican.

Mr. Herring was born in Jackson, Mich., May 3, 1879. He moved to Iowa in 1906 and soon became prominent in automobile circles there. He entered politics in 1920 as unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor.

Surviving are the wife, Mrs. Emma Pearl Spinney Herring, and two sons, Laverne and Capt. Clyde E. Herring, recently liberated from a German prisoner of war camp. He is now stationed at Camp Mead, Md. Mrs. Herring and Laverne Herring are in Des Moines. Burial will be in Iowa.

[Omaha World Herald, Published September 16, 1945, submitted by CD]

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Rites Tomorrow for Ex-Governor of Iowa

Des Moines, Ia., Sept. 17.—Public funeral services for Clyde L. Herring, 66, former U. S. senator and ex-governor of Iowa, will be held at 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Herrings’ Des Moines home. Burial will be in Glendale cemetery.

Mr. Herring died Saturday night at Washington, D. C., of a heart attack in his apartment at Hotel Mayflower.

He had been ill all day Saturday, first calling his physician at 7 a.m. and again an hour later. He had suffered previous heart attacks, one this summer when he returned to his home in Des Moines.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Emma Pearl Herring; two sons, Laverne, of Washington, and Capt. Clyde Edsel Herring of Fort Meade, Md., and a brother, Ernest, of Atlantic, Ia.

Captain Herring, Mrs. Herring and Kathryn Herring, a daughter-in-law, arrived in Des Moines this morning with the body.

[Rockford Register, Rockford, Ill., Published September 17, 1945, submitted by CD]

Nathan E. Kendall

Nathan E. Kendall, Ex-Governor, Dies

Des Moines, Ia., Nov. 4.—Nathan E. Kendall, former Republican governor of Iowa, died at his home here at 9:30 a.m. today. His body was found slumped in a chair by members of his household.

Kendall, who served as governor two terms from 1920 to 1924, was a law office schooled attorney who became known throughout the state as Iowa’s “silver tongued orator.”

After ending his second term as governor, Kendall retired from politics and active practice of the law.

Mrs. Kendall died in Naples, Italy, in 1926 while she and the governor were on a world cruise. Governor Kendall was remarried in 1928 to Mrs. William F. Bonnell of Cleveland, O.

[Omaha World Herald, Published November 04, 1936, submitted by CD]

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Rites for Kendall to be Held Friday.

Des Moines, Ia., Nov. 5—Funeral services for former Governor Nathan E. Kendall, 68, who died at his home yesterday, will be held here Friday at 1:30 p.m.

In accordance with Governor Kendall’s request, the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Albia for burial.

Honorary pallbearers will be Most Rev. Gerald T. Bergan, bishop of Des Moines diocese; Rabbi Eugene Mannheimer, former Governor George W. Clark, former Governor B. F. Carroll, former Governor Dan W. Turner, Governor Clyde L. Herring, Federal Judge Charles A. Dewey, District Judge J. J. Halloran, former Judge Thomas J. Guthrie, D. W. Bates, C. C. Dowell, Harvey Ingham, Gardner Cowles, Addison M. Parker, John H. Brine, W. G. Wood and M. W. Duncan.

[Omaha World Herald, Published November 05, 1936, submitted by CD]

Daniel Webster Turner

Turner, Iowa Governor In The “30’s, Dies
Courageous Leader In Depression

Dan Turner, courageous governor of Iowa during the turbulent depression years of 1931-1933, died Tuesday afternoon at Rosary Hospital in Corning. He was 92.

The venerable Iowa elder statesman, who lived in Corning all his life, entered the hospital late in March. Death was due to infirmities of age.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church at Corning. Burial will be at Walnut Grove Cemetery.

A “Fighter”

Mr. Turner was Republican. But he was a fighter who made up his own mind during a tempestuous career that started during the depression of the 1890’s.

He fought many of his battles for the cause of the farmer. Frequently, conservative Republicans were his opponents. He battled with President Herbert Hoover during the 1930’s over the collapse of farm prices. He blistered Ezra Taft Benson, Dwight Eisenhower’s secretary of agriculture during the 1950’s.

Centered in his lifetime was much of the excitement, frustration and progress of the entire Twentieth Century era in Iowa.

He was a key man in the organization of the National Farmers Organization (N.F.O.) in 1955. Characteristically, he had differences with the N.F.O. leadership.

As a young state senator in 1903, he became part of Gov. Albert Cummins’ team of “Progressives” which finally broke dominance of the railroads over Iowa politics.

During his one term as governor occurred the so-called “cow war” in eastern Iowa.

Called Out Guard

That “war” consisted of an uprising of farmers who objected to mandatory testing of cattle for tuberculosis. Mr. Turner had to call out the National Guard, which converged on Tipton to guard veterinarians charged with the task of cattle-testing.

Governor Turner made two trips to Washington, where he warned President Hoover that something had to be done to halt the downward trend which engulfed banks by the hundreds, resulted in tens of thousands of Iowans losing their farms through foreclosure, brought corn down to 12 cents a bushel and saw unemployment grow to disastrous proportions.

Mr. Hoover, however, did not believe the situation was quite as bad as painted by the plain speaking Iowa governor.

The election of 1932 followed and both Mr. Hoover and Mr. Turner went down to defeat in a Democratic landslide.

Mr. Turner was a Corning merchant originally and an Adams County farmer with large holdings.

He was born Mar. 17, 1877, on a farm near Corning. In addition to farm chores, he clerked as a boy in a general store opened by his father in 1868.

Liberal Tendencies

The elder Turner was a Civil War veteran and a rockbound Republican, and was troubled at times by his son’s apparently liberal tendencies.

“Don’t stray too far from the bugle, boy,” the father warned. In those days, most war veterans believed you had to be a Republican to be a loyal American.

The late governor’s full name was Daniel Webster Turner, but he never was known as anything but Dan W. Turner.

Shortly after his graduation from the old Corning Academy in 1898, he enlisted in the Army for service in the Spanish-American war. He served in the Philippines.

His fighting qualities included expertness with his fists. He won the boxing championship of his division, although he suffered a broken nose that remained a facial characteristic the rest of his life.

He joined the Iowa National Guard when he came home and rose to the rank of major before resigning 10 years later.

Mr. Turner was elected state senator from the old Adams-Taylor district in 1903. He was 26 years old, the youngest Iowan ever elected to the Senate up to that time.

Constant Warfare

He served six years in the Senate as a member of the Progressives, who engaged in constant warfare with the “Standpatters” for control of the Republican Party.

While he was a senator, the Progressives forced the adoption of the direct primary for nominating major party candidates for office. The practice of railroads corrupting politicians and others with free passes also came to an end.

He was one of the finest public speakers of his time and he keynoted Republican state conventions three times.

During World War I he served as a Y.M.C.A. secretary in Frances. In World War II he worked with the War Production Board in Washington.

Agriculture was in deep trouble in 1928. Prices were low and many banks already had been forced to close beginning with the collapse that took place in rural areas beginning in 1920.

Left Convention

By 1928 Mr. Turner, the late Henry A. Wallace and others irked Midwestern farm leaders went to the Republican National Convention in Kansas City, Mo., to demand support for agricultural relief.

Mr. Wallace left that convention and became a Democrat. He later was U.S. secretary of agriculture and vice-president under Franklin Roosevelt.

Mr. Turner was one of four speakers at the Kansas City convention who demanded greater Republican recognition and support for the farmer. He helped draft a minority report setting out such a goal. The convention nominated Mr. Hoover. Mr. Turner decided to stay with the party.

In 1930 he ran for the Republican nomination for governor. He won the nomination and was elected.

A key plank in his platform was adoption of a state income tax as a form of “property tax relief.” The 1931 Legislature did not enact such a law, but the 1933-1934 Legislature did, and a sales and corporation tax as well.

Mr. Turner won election by 2-1 in 1930 over the late Fred Hagemann, a Waverly Democrat. The vote was Turner 364,00, Hagemann 184,000.

Days Numbered

Republican days were numbered in 1932, however, Roosevelt carried Iowa for president by 184,000 votes that years and the margin helped the late Clyde L. Herring, a Democrat, to defeat Mr. Turner by 53,000.

Mr. Turner came back in 1934 to win a bitter battle for the Republican nomination for governor over Robert Colflesh of Des Moines, Clarence Knutson of Clear Lake and Wallace Short of Sioux City.

Mr. Turner campaigned against the sales tax that year. But the Democratic tide was still strong and Mr. Herring was re-elected by 74,000.

Mr. Turner never ran for office again, although southwestern Iowa Republicans always felt that he could have been elected to Congress from the Seventh Congressional district had he wanted to become a candidate. Some Republicans who did not see eye-to-eye with him were just as glad that he did not run.

One mark of his independent thinking was his activity in behalf of Republican Eisenhower for president in the 1952 election and his backing for Democrat Adlai Stevenson for president against Eisenhower in 1956.

Mr. Turner was the oldest of eight living former governors of Iowa.

His death leaves former Senator Bourke Hickenhooper as the dean of former governors. He served from 1943 to 1945.

Other former governors are Robert D. Blue of Eagle Grove; Leo Hoegh, now of Colorado; Herschel Loveless, now in Washington D.C.; Norman Erbe, now in Chicago, ILL.; U.S. Senator Harold Hughes and Robert Fulton of Waterloo. Fulton served some two weeks last January.

Son Died In China

Mrs. Turner died in 1961. A son, Ned, died at 39 while serving with the armed forces in China. He was a major.

Surviving are a son, Prof. Thomas Turner of the University of Iowa School of Music at Iowa City; a daughter, Mrs. Marjorie Witt of Mount Kisco, N.Y.; and six grandchildren. Mrs. Witt has been in Corning caring for her father in recent months.

[By George Mills, Date of death, April 15, 1969, buried in Walnut Grove Cemetery, Corning, Adams Co., Iowa, submitted by CD]

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