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Served in High Office

Grand Rapids has been represented in the United States senate by three of its citizens. Lucius Lyon was a territorial delegate to congress and became senator when Michigan was admitted as a state, serving from 1836 to 1840. John Patton, Jr., was appointed by Governor Rich to fill the unexpired term of Senator Francis B. Stockbridge. He served in 1894 and 1895. William Alden Smith served 1907 to 1919, two terms and the unexpired term of Senator Alger, and could have been re-elected if he had entered the race.

Members of the house of representatives from Grand Rapids include Lucius Lyon, Wilder D. Foster, John W. Stone, Julius Houseman, Charles C. Comstock, Melbourne H. Ford, Charles E. Belknap, William Alden Smith, Edwin F. Sweet and Carl E. Mapes.

During the last four years of his long service in the house of representatives William Alden Smith was on the important ways and means committee. In the senate he was on the committee on territories during the period when Arizona and New Mexico were admitted to statehood and Alaska was given local civil government.

Three speakers of the state legislature went to Lansing from Grand Rapids----William Aldrich Tateum, Edgar J. Adams and George W. Welsh. No citizen of Grand Rapids was ever elected governor of the state, but Moreau S. Crosby and George W. Welsh have been lieutenant governors; Charles H. Taylor and Ebenezer G. D. Holden secretaries of state; Byron D. Ball, Moses Taggart and Fred A. Maynard, attorneys general; Daniel McCoy and Frank D. McKay, state treasurers; George M. Martin, John W. Champlin, Robert M. Montgomery and John S. McDonald justices of the state supreme court.

Edwin F. Uhl was assistant secretary of state during a part of President Cleveland's administration. He was appointed minister to Germany in 1895.

Edwin F. Sweet was assistant secretary of commerce during President Wilson's administration.

Thomas J. O'Brien served as minister to Denmark and ambassador to Japan and Italy.


Transcriber: Ronnie Aungst
 Created: 10 December 1999
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/etten1926/highoffice.html