|Born||December 21, 1843|
|Died|| November 29, 1931 87) (aged|
|Alma mater||Georgetown College|
|Known for||Publisher of the Owensboro Monitor; active in Democratic politics|
|Political party||Democrat; Populist|
|Spouse(s)||Margaret Blair(m. 1870–1913)|
Alice Frakes(m. 1916–1931)
Thomas Stevenson Pettit (December 21, 1843 –November 29, 1931) was a newspaper publisher and politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky. Orphaned at age ten, he found work in a printing house in his hometown of Frankfort. In 1864, he moved to Owensboro, Kentucky, and purchased a newspaper called the Monitor. He incurred the wrath of Union Army General Stephen G. Burbridge because he vigorously criticized the Republicans' policies during the Civil War; Burbridge ordered Pettit arrested and relocated behind Confederate lines for the duration of the war.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it, (because in Kentucky's first constitution, the name state was used) Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.
Frankfort is the capital city of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the seat of Franklin County. It is a home rule-class city in Kentucky; the population was 25,527 at the 2010 census. Located along the Kentucky River, Frankfort is the principal city of the Frankfort, Kentucky Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Franklin and Anderson counties.
Following the war, Pettit returned to Owensboro and revived the Monitor. He became involved in politics, serving as personal secretary to Governor James B. McCreary and Reading Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. In the early 1890s, he began to split from the Democrats' political philosophy and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives as an Independent. He was the Populist Party's nominee for governor in the 1895 gubernatorial election. Although he fell well short of election, his presence on the ticket drew enough votes from Democratic candidate Parker Watkins Hardin to give the election to William O. Bradley, who became Kentucky's first Republican governor. Pettit never again sought public office, but amassed a sizable personal fortune through various business investments in and around Owensboro. He died November 29, 1931. The town of Pettit, Kentucky was built on land he helped clear and was named in his honor.
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the head of the executive branch of government in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Fifty-seven men and one woman have served as Governor of Kentucky. The governor's term is four years in length; since 1992, incumbents have been able to seek re-election once before becoming ineligible for four years. Throughout the state's history, four men have served two non-consecutive terms as governor, and two others have served two consecutive terms. Kentucky is one of only five U.S. states that hold gubernatorial elections in odd-numbered years immediately before the United States Presidential Election. The current governor is Matt Bevin, who was first elected in 2015.
James Bennett McCreary was an American lawyer and politician from the US state of Kentucky. He represented the state in both houses of the U.S. Congress and served as its 27th and 37th governor. Shortly after graduating from law school, he was commissioned as the only major in the 11th Kentucky Cavalry, serving under Confederate Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan during the American Civil War. He returned to his legal practice after the war. In 1869, he was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives where he served until 1875; he was twice chosen Speaker of the House. At their 1875 nominating convention, state Democrats chose McCreary as their nominee for governor, and he won an easy victory over Republican John Marshall Harlan. With the state still feeling the effects of the Panic of 1873, most of McCreary's actions as governor were aimed at easing the plight of the state's poor farmers.
The Reading Clerk of the United States House of Representatives reads bills, motions, and other papers before the House and keeps track of changes to legislation made on the floor. During the vote for Speaker at the beginning of each Congress, or when the electronic voting system fails, the clerk calls the roll of members for a recorded vote.
Thomas Pettit was born December 21, 1843, in Frankfort, Kentucky. He was the son of Franklin Duane and Elizabeth (Zook) Pettit.Franklin Pettit, who co-published The Kentucky Farmer with Thomas B. Stevenson, died when his son Thomas was very young. Soon after, Thomas' mother also died, leaving him an orphan at the age of ten.
Pettit supported himself by working in a print shop.He was educated in the common schools of Frankfort and briefly attended Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky. In 1864, he moved to Owensboro, Kentucky, where he purchased a local newspaper called the Monitor. Upon taking control of the paper, he published a series of items vigrously criticizing the Republican Party and its policies during the Civil War. On November 17, 1864, Pettit was arrested on orders from General Stephen G. Burbridge on charges of being "notoriously disloyal" to the Union. He was taken to Memphis, Tennessee, and transferred into Confederate territory; he continued to travel behind Confederate lines for the duration of the war.
Georgetown is a home rule-class city in Scott County, Kentucky, in the United States. The 2017 population was 33,660 per the United States Census Bureau. It is the 7th-largest city by population in the U.S. state of Kentucky. It is the seat of its county. It was originally called Lebanon when founded by Rev. Elijah Craig and was renamed in 1790 in honor of President George Washington. It is the home of Georgetown College, a private liberal arts college. Georgetown is part of the Lexington-Fayette, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Owensboro is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Daviess County, Kentucky, United States. It is the fourth-largest city in the state by population. Owensboro is located on U.S. Route 60 about 107 miles (172 km) southwest of Louisville, and is the principal city of the Owensboro metropolitan area. The 2015 population was 59,042. The metropolitan population was estimated at 116,506.
The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.
In May 1865, Pettit returned to Owensboro and found his print shop and printing press destroyed by federal authorities.He traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to purchase replacement equipment and, on hearing the story of his arrest and subsequent travels, the equipment dealer extended him a generous line of credit, allowing him to purchase more sophisticated equipment than had ever before been used in Owensboro. With this new equipment, Pettit revived the Monitor and published his stories of wartime banishment, bringing him significant acclaim in Kentucky. Moreover, he also published editorials by future U.S. Senator Thomas C. McCreery, giving the Monitor further credibility and increasing its readership.
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.
Thomas Clay McCreery was a Democratic U.S. Senator from Kentucky.
In December 1870, Pettit married Margaret Blair, the daughter of a prominent Owensboro merchant.The couple had one son, Harvey Blair Pettit.
After many years of publishing the Monitor, Pettit sold the paper to Urey Woodson, who changed its name to the Owensboro Messenger (now the Messenger-Inquirer ).
In 1868, Pettit was elected assistant reading clerk in the Kentucky House of Representatives, a position he held for six years.Through the influence of Senator Thomas McCreery, Pettit was appointed assessor of internal revenue for the second district by President Andrew Johnson in 1869 and served in this capacity through the end of Johnson's term. Upon James B. McCreary's election as governor of Kentucky in 1874, Pettit accepted an appointment as the governor's private secretary. He later resigned this position after being elected Reading Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. He retained this position until the Republicans regained a majority in the House in the elections of 1880.
In 1882, Pettit sought election to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Second District.He lost in the Democratic primary by 150 votes to James Franklin Clay of Henderson. The vote of Union County was thought to be the deciding factor in the primary.
Contemporary biographers opined that Pettit had probably attended more Democratic state conventions than anyone else in Kentucky.At each convention he attended, he was elected secretary. He served as one of the secretaries at the 1884 Democratic National Convention; four years later, he was again chosen as a convention secretary and a member of the committee to officially notify Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman of their nominations for president and vice-president, respectively. In 1890, he was chosen as a delegate to the Kentucky constitutional convention. He successfully advocated for many changes to the Kentucky Constitution including the use of secret ballot voting in state elections and the requirement of a two-thirds majority for conviction in civil court cases.
In the early 1890s, Pettit's views began to differ from those of the Democratic Party.Immediately following the constitutional convention, he was elected as an Independent to represent Daviess County in the state House of Representatives. Though he was elected by a large majority, his candidacy was bitterly contested in his district. At the organizational meeting of the General Assembly, he received four votes for Speaker of the House, all from representatives of districts in western Kentucky.
Estranged from the Democratic Party by his refusal to identify with them during his race for the House, Pettit became a leader of the Populist Party in Kentucky.In 1893, he sought re-election to his seat as a Populist but was badly defeated by a Democratic candidate. Redistricting and an inefficient legislative session were factors in the defeats of several Populist candidates during the 1893 elections.
In July 1895, the Populist Party nominated Pettit for governor.He received the endorsement of Louisville's New South newspaper, one of the largest black newspapers in the state. The American Protective Association (APA), an influential society opposed to Catholicism, endorsed the entire Republican ticket except the party's gubernatorial candidate, William O. Bradley. The APA withheld its endorsement from Bradley because of rumors that some of his family members were Catholic, and the society was thought to favor Pettit until Bradley was reported to have joined the society in September 1895, forestalling their endorsement of Pettit. Pettit was not invited to participate in a series of debates held throughout the state between Bradley and Democratic nominee Parker Watkins Hardin.
In the general election, Pettit garnered 16,911 votes, compared to 172,436 for Bradley and 163,524 for Hardin.Although he had not been elected, his presence on the ballot had taken a significant number of Democratic votes from Hardin and resulted in the election of Bradley, Kentucky's first Republican governor.
Pettit never again sought public office, but remained interested and active in politics, notably campaigning for William Goebel during the contentious 1899 gubernatorial election.He engaged in clearing and improving land in Daviess County, and the settlement that grew up on this land was named Pettit in his honor. Through a series of investments in various business ventures, Pettit built a substantial personal fortune. A prominent philanthropist, Pettit identified with the Presbyterian church and served as president of the Owensboro Masonic Temple and Grand Master of the Kentucky Order of the Free and Accepted Masons.
Pettit's wife died in June 1913.In September 1916, he married Alice Frakes. Pettit died in Owensboro on November 29, 1931.
John Breckinridge was a lawyer and politician from the U.S. state of Virginia. He served in the state legislatures of Virginia and Kentucky before being elected to the U.S. Senate and appointed United States Attorney General during the second term of President Thomas Jefferson. He is the progenitor of Kentucky's Breckinridge political family and the namesake of Breckinridge County, Kentucky.
John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham was the 35th Governor of Kentucky and a United States Senator from Kentucky. He was the state's first popularly-elected senator after the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment.
James Proctor Knott was a U.S. Representative from Kentucky and served as the 29th Governor of Kentucky from 1883 to 1887. Born in Kentucky, he moved to Missouri in 1850 and began his political career there. He served as Missouri Attorney General from 1859 to 1861, when he resigned rather than swear an oath of allegiance to the federal government just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.
John White Stevenson was the 25th governor of Kentucky and represented the state in both houses of the U.S. Congress. The son of future Speaker of the House and U.S. diplomat Andrew Stevenson, John Stevenson graduated from the University of Virginia in 1832 and studied law under his cousin, future Congressman Willoughby Newton. After briefly practicing law in Mississippi, he relocated to Covington, Kentucky, and was elected county attorney. After serving in the Kentucky legislature, he was chosen as a delegate to the state's third constitutional convention in 1849 and was one of three commissioners charged with revising its code of laws, a task finished in 1854. A Democrat, he was elected to two consecutive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives where he supported several proposed compromises to avert the Civil War and blamed the Radical Republicans for their failure.
Martin D. Hardin was a politician and lawyer from Kentucky. Born in Pennsylvania, his family immigrated to Kentucky when he was still young. He studied law under George Nicholas and commenced practice at Richmond, Kentucky. His cousin, future U.S. Representative Benjamin Hardin, studied in his law office. He represented Madison County in the Kentucky House of Representatives for a single term.
Edwin Porch Morrow was an American politician, who served as the 40th Governor of Kentucky from 1919 to 1923. He was the only Republican elected to this office between 1907 and 1927. He championed the typical Republican causes of his day, namely equal rights for African-Americans and the use of force to quell violence. Morrow had been schooled in his party's principles by his father, Thomas Z. Morrow, who was its candidate for governor in 1883, and his uncle, William O. Bradley, who was elected governor in 1895. Both men were founding members of the Republican Party in Kentucky.
John Young Brown was a politician from the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky. He represented the state in the United States House of Representatives and served as its 31st governor. Brown was elected to the House of Representatives for three non-consecutive terms, each of which was marred by controversy. He was first elected in 1859, despite his own protests that he was not yet twenty-five years old; the minimum age set by the Constitution for serving in the legislature. The voters of his district elected him anyway, but he was not allowed to take his seat until the Congress' second session, after he was of legal age to serve. After moving to Henderson, Kentucky, Brown was elected from that district in 1866. On this occasion, he was denied his seat because of alleged disloyalty to the Union during the Civil War. Voters in his district refused to elect another representative, and the seat remained vacant throughout the term to which Brown was elected. After an unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in 1871, Brown was again elected to the House in 1872 and served three consecutive terms. During his final term, he was officially censured for delivering a speech excoriating Massachusetts Representative Benjamin F. Butler. The censure was later expunged from the congressional record.
Simeon Slavens Willis was the 46th Governor of Kentucky, United States, serving from 1943 to 1947. He was the only Republican elected governor of Kentucky between 1927 and 1967.
William Sylvester Taylor was the 33rd Governor of Kentucky. He was initially declared the winner of the disputed gubernatorial election of 1899, but the Kentucky General Assembly, dominated by the Democrats, reversed the election results, giving the victory to his Democratic opponent, William Goebel. Thus, Taylor served only 50 days as governor.
Augustus Everett Willson was an American politician and the 36th Governor of Kentucky. Orphaned at the age of twelve, Willson went to live with relatives in New England. This move exposed him to such literary masters as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and James Russell Lowell, who were associates of his older brother, poet Forceythe Willson. He was also afforded the opportunity to attend Harvard University, where he earned an A.B. in 1869 and an A.M. in 1872. After graduation, he secured a position at the law firm of future Supreme Court justice John Marshall Harlan. Willson and Harlan became lifelong friends, and Willson's association with Harlan deepened his support of the Republican Party.
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Thomas Zanzinger Morrow was a lawyer, judge, and politician from Kentucky. He was one of twenty-eight men who founded the Kentucky Republican Party. His brother-in-law, William O. Bradley, was elected governor of Kentucky in 1895, and his son, Edwin P. Morrow was elected to that same office in 1919.
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The Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899 was held on November 7, 1899, to choose the 33rd governor of Kentucky. The incumbent, Republican William O'Connell Bradley, was term-limited and unable to seek re-election.
Taylor v. Beckham, 178 U.S. 548 (1900), was a case heard before the Supreme Court of the United States on April 30 and May 1, 1900, to decide the outcome of the disputed Kentucky gubernatorial election of 1899. The litigants were Republican gubernatorial candidate William S. Taylor and Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial candidate J. C. W. Beckham. In the November 7, 1899, election, Taylor received 193,714 votes to Democrat William Goebel's 191,331. This result was certified by a 2–1 decision of the state's Board of Elections. Goebel challenged the election results on the basis of alleged voting irregularities, and the Democrat-controlled Kentucky General Assembly formed a committee to investigate Goebel's claims. Goebel was shot on January 30, 1900, one day before the General Assembly approved the committee's report declaring enough Taylor votes invalid to swing the election to Goebel. As he lay dying of his wounds, Goebel was sworn into office on January 31, 1900. He died on February 3, 1900, and Beckham ascended to the governorship.
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The Messenger-Inquirer is a local newspaper in Owensboro, Kentucky. The Messenger-Inquirer serves 25,185 daily and 27,768 Sunday readers in five counties in western Kentucky.
Edward Clay O'Rear was an American politician who served on the Kentucky Court of Appeals and was a Republican candidate for the United States House of Representatives in 1888 and for Governor of Kentucky in 1911. His father died when O'Rear was very young, and he began work as a printer's devil to help support his mother and fourteen siblings. Eventually, he became editor of the Mountain Scorcher newspaper and read law under its publisher. He gained admission to the bar in 1882.