Trivia clue: He had an unusual career path from the ice business to lawyer, with a stopover in Congress.
Correct response: Who is Charles Henry Turner?
On December 27th, 1889, The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported that there were 130 new members of Congress, including this member who felt a bit out of place.
“Turner, the ice man recently elected to Congress from one of New York’s districts, has confessed that he does not feel as comfortable in his new seat in Congress as he did upon his ice wagon. There upon the funny papers have already begun telling him to keep cool.” Turner served one term as a representative and one term as House Doorkeeper.
In other lighter side of politics anecdotes collected from northern New York historic newspapers: “Chauncey M. Depew has given to the newspaper reporter a nick name. It is “Historian of the hour.’” – The Morning Star, January 18th, 1890.
The Commercial Advertiser of Sandy Hill reported on June 8th, 1881 that the Iowa Greenback party nominated Mrs. Mary E. Nash for Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This, we believe, is the first instance of a woman being nominated for a state office in the United States,” the paper reported.
The Morning Star on February 7th, 1890 editorialized that shaking hands should be discontinued at presidential receptions. “It is announced that Mrs. Harrison has a sore finger, and consequently cannot shake hands with the thousands who come to her receptions,” editors wrote. “If the hand pumping at presidential receptions could be done away with all together, it would be an indication of progress… The physical strain of shaking hands with a hundred thousand persons a year is something so formidable that it should not be enacted of anybody.”
“The New York City Tribune has made a painful decision. It is that in all the delegation that city sends to Congress there is not one good speaker, consequently no one who can fully and forward the claim of New York City as the site of the World’s Fair.” – The Morning Star of Glens Falls, December 7th, 1889.
Photo: A New York Times pressman checking a newspaper for defects in 1942.