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Barksdale, Ethelbert (04 January 1824–17 February 1893), editor and U.S. and Confederate congressman, was born in Smyrna, Rutherford County, Tennessee, the son of William Barksdale and Nancy Lester. Ethelbert Barksdale was the younger brother of William Barksdale (1821–1863), commanding general of the Mississippi brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia, who was killed at the battle of Gettysburg. Ethelbert Barksdale moved to Mississippi while still in his teens and soon followed his brother William into journalism and Democratic politics. He married Alice Harris in 1843. Whether they had any children is unknown....

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Bartholdt, Richard (02 November 1855–19 March 1932), congressman and newspaper editor, was born in Schleiz, Thuringia, Germany, the son of Gottlob Bartholdt, a liberal forty-eighter (i.e., a supporter of the liberal revolutions in the German states in 1848), and Carolina Louise Wagner. Following early education in the Schleiz Gymnasium, he immigrated in 1872 to Brooklyn, New York, and gained U.S. citizenship. He returned to Germany to study law in 1877–1878. He worked as a typesetter and printer (Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and St. Louis), reporter for the ...

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Brentano, Lorenz (04 November 1813–17 September 1891), German political leader, journalist, and congressman, was born in Mannheim, in the German state of Baden, the son of Peter Paul Bartholomaeus Brentano, a wholesale merchant, and Helene Haeger. He studied law at universities in Heidelberg, Freiburg, and Giessen and afterward practiced in Rastatt and Bruchsal before returning to Mannheim. In 1837 Brentano married Caroline Lentz; the fate of this union is unclear, but Brentano married a second time in later life. Elected to Baden’s chamber of deputies in 1845, Brentano fell in with a liberal faction clustered around ...

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Brown, Clarence J. (14 July 1895–23 August 1965), U.S. representative and publisher, was born in West Union, Ohio, the son of Owen Brown, a schoolteacher, and Ellen Barerre McCoppin. Brown was descended from early Ohio settlers, and his paternal grandfather, Jehu Brown, drove the first horse car over the streets of Cincinnati. Brown’s birth year is sometimes given incorrectly as 1893, and his middle name is occasionally given incorrectly as “James” rather than just the initial....

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Case, Francis Higbee (09 December 1896–22 June 1962), journalist and politician, was born in Everly, Iowa, the son of Rev. Herbert L. Case, a Methodist minister, and Mary Ellen Grannis. In 1909 his family moved to Sturgis, in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Entering Dakota Wesleyan University in 1914, he displayed skills as an orator and writer. Upon graduation in 1918, Case enlisted in the Marine Corps and served eight months but saw no service in World War I. Following the war he resumed his studies and in 1920 earned an M.A. degree in history from Northwestern University. While at Northwestern, Case served as assistant editor of the ...

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Copley, Ira Clifton (25 October 1864–02 November 1947), newspaper publisher, congressman, public utilities executive, and philanthropist, was born in Copley Township, Knox County, Illinois, the son of Ira Birdsall Copley and Ellen Madeline Whiting, farmers. When Copley was two he was struck with scarlet fever, which left him blind. When he was three, the family moved to Aurora, Illinois, where he received treatment for his eyes. Even with the care of an eye specialist, his complete blindness lasted five years. With the move to Aurora, his father and his mother’s brother assumed ownership of the Aurora Illinois Gas Light Company, the beginning of a large utility company that Ira would one day manage....

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Farrington, Joseph Rider (15 October 1897–19 June 1954), newspaperman and delegate to Congress, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Wallace Rider Farrington, a newspaper publisher, and Catherine McAlpine Crane. He was brought to Hawaii in 1898 when his father was appointed editor of the Honolulu ...

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Hanson, Alexander Contee (27 February 1786–23 April 1819), lawyer, newspaper editor, and U.S. representative and senator, was born in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of Alexander Contee Hanson, a jurist and legislator, and Rebecca Howard. After graduating from St. John’s College in 1802, he practiced law in Annapolis, married Priscilla Dorsey, the daughter of a prominent planter, in 1805, and established his home, “Belmont,” near Elkridge. The couple probably had six children, three of whom survived until adulthood. In 1808 he founded the ...

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Johnson, Albert (05 March 1869–17 January 1957), journalist and congressman, was born in Springfield, Illinois, the son of Charles W. Johnson, an attorney, and Anna E. Ogden. He grew up in Hiawatha, Kansas, attending the public schools there and in nearby Atchison. After graduating from high school in 1888 Johnson embarked on a peripatetic career in journalism, working as a cub reporter on the ...

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McLemore, Jeff (13 March 1857–04 March 1929), journalist, state legislator, and congressman, was born Atkins Jefferson McLemore near Spring Hill in Maury County, Tennessee, the son of Robert Anderson McLemore and Mary Howard McEwen, farmers. He had an “aversion to teachers” and recalled that he “never saw the inside of a schoolroom after he was fourteen years of age” ( ...

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Murdock, Victor (18 March 1871–07 July 1945), journalist, congressman, and editor, was born in Burlingame, Kansas, the son of Marshall Mortimer Murdock, an editor and publisher, and Victoria Mayberry. In 1872 Murdock’s father founded the Wichita Eagle. Victor attended public schools and Lewis Academy in Wichita. As a boy, he learned to operate a linetype at the ...

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Roberts, Ellis Henry (30 September 1827–08 January 1918), editor, congressman, and financier, was born in Utica, New York, the son of Watkin Roberts, a factory worker, and Gwen Williams, immigrants from Wales. His father died in 1831, and consequently Roberts experienced a difficult childhood. He attended local schools. To support himself and earn money for more education, he learned the printer’s trade in the office of William Williams in Utica. Roberts did the usual work assigned to beginners and had mastered the trade and saved money by the time his brother Robert W. Roberts, under whom he continued to work, purchased the office. Roberts attended Whitestown Seminary for two terms in 1845 before enrolling in 1846 at Yale College, where he won a scholarship, took prizes for English composition, and edited the ...

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John Wentworth. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-51923).

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Wentworth, John (05 March 1815–16 October 1888), editor, congressman, and mayor of Chicago, was born in Sandwich, New Hampshire, the son of Paul Wentworth, a storekeeper, and Lydia Cogswell. His grandfather John Wentworth served in the Continental Congress and signed the Articles of Confederation. Young Wentworth attended first local public schools and then a series of private academies before entering Dartmouth College. After graduating from Dartmouth in 1836 he moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he gained employment as an agent for the ...