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Bankhead, John Hollis (08 July 1872–12 June 1946), lawyer, businessman and U.S. senator, was born in Moscow in Lamar County, Alabama, the son of John Hollis Bankhead (1842–1920), a farmer and later U.S. senator, and Tallulah Brockman. After spending his childhood in Wetumpka and Fayette, Alabama, he received an A.B. from the University of Alabama (1891) and an LL.B. from Georgetown University (1893). In 1894 Bankhead married Musa Harkins of Fayette, with whom he had three children. Settling in Jasper, he became a lawyer for the Alabama Power Company and for leading railroads. From 1911 to 1925 he was president of the Bankhead Coal Company, a firm founded by his father, which owned one of Alabama’s largest mines....

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Frank W. Mondell [left to right] Gilbert M. Hitchcock, Henry Cabot Lodge, Joseph W. Fordney , Frank W. Mondell, and George B. Christian, c. 1921. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-97866).

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Mondell, Frank Wheeler (06 November 1860–06 August 1939), congressman, mine operator, and lawyer, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Ephraim Wheeler Mondell, a laborer, and Nancy Brown. Orphaned at the age of six, Frank lived for a short time with relatives in Iowa. When he was eight, he moved with an itinerant Congregational minister named Upton to Dickinson County, Iowa. Mondell did not graduate from high school and, at the age of eighteen, held various jobs in Chicago for a year, then migrated to Colorado in 1879. For the next eight years, he pursued employment in engineering and construction projects, roaming over a ten-state area. In 1887 the Kilpatrick Brothers and Collins, railroad contractors from Beatrice, Nebraska, hired Mondell to prospect for coal in northeastern Wyoming. His discovery in 1886 of a major bituminous coal deposit at Cambria altered his life. Mondell became the mine manager at Cambria. In 1889 the town of Newcastle, Wyoming, was surveyed, and Mondell became Newcastle’s first mayor, 1889–1895. Concurrently with his mayoralty, he served two terms in the Wyoming State Senate, 1890–1894; he was elected president of the senate in 1893 and declined that position in 1894....

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Thompson, Robert Means (02 March 1849–05 September 1930), lawyer and businessman, was born in Corsica, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, the son of John Jamieson Ypsilanti Thompson, a lay judge in the Jefferson County Court, and Agnes Kennedy. He attended local schools and Elder’s Ridge Academy in Indiana County, and at fifteen he entered the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1868. He was commissioned ensign in 1869 and promoted to master in 1870. He served in the Atlantic on board the ...

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Tod, David (21 February 1805–13 November 1868), businessman, lawyer, and Civil War governor of Ohio, was born on a farm near Youngstown, Ohio, the son of George Tod, a lawyer and judge, and Sarah Isaacs. Although his father and maternal grandfather were Yale graduates, Tod’s hard-pressed father could only partially subsidize his schooling at Burton Academy and expenses while reading law in the office of Powell Stone of Warren, Ohio. In 1827, more than $1,000 in debt, Tod was admitted to the bar. He was not the ablest of the many lawyers in Warren, but his handsome appearance, musical voice, ready wit, and sociable manner made him effective with juries, and his practice flourished. The same attributes made him an excellent political campaigner. Attracted to ...