Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ithamar Conkey Sloan (1822-1898), Ithamar Martindale Howell (1866-1920), Ithamar Warren Beard (1814-1862), Ithamar Francis Conkey (1823-1875)

first politician to be profiled in today's three part article is Ithamar
Conkey Sloan, who was born in Morristown, New York on May 9, 1822, the
son of Henry Scott and Maud McKenney Sloan. Young Ithamar attended
school in the Morristown area and in 1848 was admitted to the New York
State bar. In
1852 Sloan married Ms. Celestia Eliza Spears (born 1831) in the town of
De Ruyter, New York. Two sons were born to the couple, Francis
(recorded as dying young) and Charles Ithamar (born in 1857). Six years after attaining his law degree, Sloan removed to Wisconsin and eventually settled in the small town of Janesville.

  Within a
few years of his relocation, Sloan's name became a prominent fixture
throughout law circles in Wisconsin, and in 1860 he was elected to the
first of two terms as Rock County District Attorney. Three years later
Sloan was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin,
defeating Democratic candidate Joshua J. Guppy (1820-1893). Sloan served
two terms in congress and had a seat on the Committee of Public Lands
as well as the Committee on Expenses of the War Department.

returning to Wisconsin in 1867, Sloan returned to his earlier career as
an attorney and in 1875 became the Dean of the University of Wisconsin's
Law Department. He retired from this office in 1889 and died on
December 24, 1898 at age 76. Sloan was subsequently interred at the Oak
Hill Cemetery in Janesville, Wisconsin.

  Next up is Ithamar
Martindale Howell, an Iowa resident who later became Secretary of the
State of Washington. Howell was born in Waukon, Iowa on February 18,
1866 and immigrated to the Washington Territory with his family in 1877.
Howell attended Monmouth College in Oregon as young man and within a
few years became an important figure in the burgeoning Puget Sound
business community. During the 1890s he became Secretary of the World
Printing Company, and during this time also developed a financial
interest in mining. This interest eventually led Howell to become the
Secretary and Treasurer of the Peco Free Milling and Mining Company.

  With his
name firmly established in the Washington Territory, Howell also
started to dabble in politics in 1899, winning the election for Pierce
County Assessor. Ten years later he was named by then Washington
Governor Marion Hay as the Secretary of the State of Washington, and was
twice reelected to the office. Howell served eleven years in this post,
dying in office on July 13, 1920 at age 54.

prominent resident of Middlesex County, Massachusetts during the mid
19th century, Ithamar Warren Beard was born in the aforementioned county
on September 3, 1814. Beard studied law in New Hampshire and eventually
established a law practice in Pittsfield, New Hampshire in 1842.

moved back to Massachusetts during the mid 1840s and was nominated by
the state Democratic party for a seat in the State Senate. He lost this
election, but eventually won the Senate seat in 1851 (with his term
commencing the following year.) After serving a year in the state
legislature, Beard was named as the Assistant U.S. Treasurer at Boston.

served in this post for seven years, and in 1860 was named as cashier of
the custom house of Boston. Beard's tenure in this office was cut short
by ill health, and he died at age 48 on October 31, 1862.

from the town of Amherst in Hampshire County, Massachusetts, Ithamar
Francis Conkey was born in that town on March 23, 1823, the son of Judge
Ithamar Conkey and his wife Elizabeth Clapp. Ithamar Francis attended
schools local to Amherst and went on to study at the Amherst College in
1843, but left before completing his studies. He eventually decided upon
a career in law and after some study was admitted to the bar and began a
practice in Amherst in 1844. He married in Amherst on June 15, 1847 to
Luthera Cutler (1826-1885), with whom he would have the following
children: Jane Cutler (1848-1905), Edward (1850-1919), Lizzie
(1853-1855) and Samuel (1856-1857).

  In the
succeeding years Ithamar built up a successful law practice, and with it
a reputation as one of Amherst's leading men of affairs. In the year of
his marriage he was named as a justice of the peace and in 1852 was
elected to the Massachusetts State House of Representatives from
Hampshire County. He later served in the legislative session of 1854 and
in 1856 was elected as District Attorney of the Northern District of

addition to his political service, Conkey was active in local
organizations such as the Hampshire Agricultural Society, secretary of
the Amherst Lyceum, the Masonic Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and was a
vestryman in the Grace Church of Amherst. Ithamar
F. Conkey died in Amherst on August 8, 1875 at age 52 and was survived
by his wife Luthera, who died in 1885. Both were interred at the West
Cemetery in Amherst. The above portrait of Ithamar F. Conkey appeared in
volume one of the History of the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts, published in 1896.

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