State and Nation Mourn Death of Wyoming's "Grand Old Man"
Gravestone photos courtesy of photographer Karen Ray, findagrave.com
(June 20, 1844 - November 24, 1929)
The Lusk Herald
November 28, 1929
SENATOR WARREN ANSWERS LAST CALL
Wyoming Statesman Passes Away at Home in Washington Sunday Morning, Following Attack of Bronchitis and Pneumonia; Military Funeral to Be Held in Cheyenne Thanksgiving Morning at 11:45; President Attends Services in Senate Chamber at Washington, Tuesday.
WASHINGTON, D. C., November 25 -
Death has taken Senator Francis E. Warren of Wyoming, veteran legislator, rugged pioneer of Wyoming, and who served longer in the United States Senate than any other man.
Death came Sunday morning, while his wife, his son Fred and his son-in-law, General John J. Pershing, were at his bedside. An attack of pneumonia and bronchitis, which he was unable to combat, was the cause of death.
Death came after an illness of three weeks. Several times the aged Senator rallied and seemed on the way to recovery, but a turn for the worse came Saturday night and so weakened his condition that he sank rapidly.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Senate honored one of its members who had served continuously for 35 years, with a state funeral in the Senate chamber, and afterward the body, accompanied by a delegation of Senators and Congressmen, will come to Cheyenne by special train, arriving at 8:15 Thursday morning. Funeral services will be held at the new Cheyenne High School at 11:30 a.m. The body will lie in State in the Capitol rotunda from 8:15 until time for the services at 11:30.
The funeral services in the Senate Chamber in Washington will be attended by President Hoover. Vice-President Curtis, members of the Supreme Court and the representatives of the nations.
It will be the second time within a month that President Hoover has gone in the Senate to pay tribute to the dead. He attended services for Theodore E. Burton, Senator from Ohio, who died on October 28.
Brief and simple ceremonies were arranged in the Senate chamber, conducted by Rev. Z. Barney Phillips, the Senate chaplain.
In spite of his years, Senator Warren was one of the Senate's hardest workers and the ruggedness of his constitution was a source of amazement to his colleagues. Many times he sat through an all-night filibuster, while younger members sought the comforts of their beds. He scorned the elevators at the capital, always using the stairs in going back and forth between the Senate chambers and his office.
As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he had direct charge of shaping appropriations carrying billions of dollars in government expenditures.
With the death of Senator Warren the last Civil War veteran on the Union side passes out of Congress. The only survivor of the War between the states in the House, Major Chas. M. Stedman of North Carolina, who fought with the Confederacy, was chosen by Speaker Longworth as one of 20 House members to attend the services.
Senator Warren served throughout the Civil War as a member of the 49th Massachusetts infantry, and was awarded the Congressional medal of honor for gallantry in action at the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana. It was on May 27, 1863, that the commanding officer before Port Hudson called for volunteers to precede the storm troops and fill up with facines the ditch in front of the earthworks. In face of almost certain death, Warren was one of the volunteers. Three-fourths of the volunteers were wiped out by shot and shell and Warren was wounded by a fragment of shell. But he completed the task he had set out to do. Thirty years afterward Congress recognized him by bestowing upon him the congressional medal of honor, the highest award possible.
The special train bearing the body of the statesman will be met by a caisson from Fort D. A. Russell, and the funeral will be of a strictly military character. Eight selected men from Fort D. A. Russell will serve as active pallbearers. The body will be borne on the caisson from the depot through the main streets of Cheyenne to the State Capitol building.
Services at the high school auditorium will be by the Rev. C. A. Bennett, and burial will be made in the beautiful Lakeview Cemetery, where he will rest in the Warren-Pershing lot, where lie the remains of his first wife and his daughter, the wife of Gen. Pershing, and her three little daughters, who perished in the disastrous fire which swept the Presidio, at San Francisco, in 1915.
The body left Washington at 3:15 p.m., Tuesday, and was accompanied by the widow, Gen. Pershing, Fred Warren, his son, and a delegation of Senators and Congressmen.
BRIEF REVIEW OF SENATOR WARREN'S EVENTFUL CAREER
With 38 years' service in the United State Senate behind him, Senator Francis E. Warren, a few months before his death, reviewed some of the principal events in his long and interesting career. His remarks, as given out in an interview, were published in the New York Times, August 16.
"To have served longer in the U. S. Senate than any other man, to be at 85, vigorous and alert, to possess the affection of political friends and political foes - such is the fortune of Francis Emroy Warren, senior and Republican senator from Wyoming," wrote L. C. Speers of the New York Times staff regarding Wyoming's much loved Senator.
The late senator was born while John Tyler was the nation's chief executive. His life spanned 19 presidential administrations. He was 26 years old when Calvin Coolidge was born. He was Wyoming's first governor and one of its first two senators. He first went to Washington when Arthur was president.
The nearest approach to Senator Warren's time record is that of the late William B. Allison of Ohio, whose years in the Senate numbered 35. Shelby M. Cullom of Illinois served 32, and the services of Eugen Hale of Maine and John T. Morgan of Alabama each stretched over a span of
30 years. Of Senators who were in the chamber when Senator Warren was sworn in not one remains. Most of them have long since been dead. Senator Simmons of North Carolina is serving his 28th year. Senators Reed Smoot of Utah and Overman of North Carolina are in their 26th, and Senator William E. Boah of Idaho is in his 22nd year.
Francis E. Warren was born on a farm near Hinsdale, Mass., on June 20, 1844. He had little schooling, and finding this to be a great disadvantage, he started out at the age of 15 to educate himself. He had a hard time trying to earn enough money by working on a dairy farm and attending his studies at nights to save sufficient money to support himself, but he succeeded in receiving a fair education, which he much coveted.
When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted in Company C, 49th Massachusetts infantry. What happened in the course of his war service is history.
When he was still under 21 years of age the war ended and he went to Pittsfield, Mass., and took a job as foreman on a farm, where he learned about dirt farming, livestock and the blacksmith's trade, as well as carpentering and other trades more or less closely allied with farming.
In 1867 he decided to go to the west which was beginning to open up by reason of the building of the Union Pacific. The U. P. reached Cheyenne in the fall of 1867, and young Warren arrived there the following May. By that time the road was nearly completed to Laramie.
Cheyenne was at that time a boom town, composed of tents and shanties. He often remarked that he was met at the train by two brass bands. Upon inquiry, he learned that the bands were there representing the two foremost gambling houses in town, and were there for the purpose of attracting patrons to the gambling joints.
"As for Cheyenne at that time," Senator Warren remarked, "it was an exceedingly rough place. Every place of business was open on Sundays. Gambling was carried on in the principal streets as well as in the shanties. However, an Episcopal and a Congregational church were in course of construction. The vigilantes were still fulfilling their vocation, and a "man for breakfast," or several men, for that matter, was not unusual.
Tells of Growth of the State's Capital
"For a bed I used a cot improvised from pieces of packing boxes. Every man slept with from one to a half a dozen revolvers under his pillow, for depredations of every character could be expected at any hour, day or night. However, in due course of time, came the change for the better. Instead of a prairie town of shanties and huts and tents, Cheyenne began to assume the dignity of a real city. Today there is not a more law-abiding community in America. It has been my home for more than 60 years and it
will still be my home when I pass on."
When Senator Warren first came to Washington the Senate roll included the names of many illustrious Americans. William M. Evarts of New York was there, so was John 0. Carlisle of Kentucky. There were John T. Morgan of Alabama, John J. Ingalls of Kansas, Leland Stanford of California, Nelson W. Aldrich of Rhode Island, George F. Edmunds of Vermont, John W. Daniel of Virginia, George G. Vest of Missouri, George F. Hoar of Massachusetts, John Sherman of Ohio, Daniel W. Voorhees of Indiana, Arthur Pue Gorman of Maryland, and William B. Allison of Iowa.
"It was a great Senate in those far-away days," remarked Senator Warren.
During the interview with the New York Times writer, Senator Warren was asked to give his opinion of the various presidents of the United States whom he had known.
"All of them, from President Arthur to President Hoover," he replied, "have been my friends. All of them were good men. But some of them were better than others. I have often thought that a blending of the good qualities of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, if that were possible, would attain the summit of excellence, whether in peace or in war, and would work to the highest development of the United States and of the world at large."
Senator Warren, asked what, to his way of thinking, is the first essential of an efficient office holder, replied, "Common sense."
Was Strong Supporter of President Wilson During the War
A staunch Republican all his life, Senator Warren was a consistent supporter of the measures of the Wilson administration in preparation for the world war. His interest in the military establishment was heightened by the fact that General Pershing, commander of the A. E. F., was his son-in-law. The general's little son, Francis Warren Pershing, spent much of the time during his father's absence at the home of his grandfather. The boy's mother and three sisters lost their lives in the tragic fire that destroyed the Presidio at San Francisco in 1915.
Representing, as he did, a commonwealth that was the first to make a provision for equal suffrage in its constitution, Senator Warren supported the national equal suffrage amendment. On the prohibition issue he took the stand that it was a matter for the states to regulate, and he cast his vote against the 18th amendment and the Volstead act.
Milestones in Senator Warren's Long Career
By the Associated Press
1884 - Born June 20, in Hinsdale, Mass.
1862 - Enlisted as a private in the 49th Massachusetts infantry to participate in the Civil War. Performed acts of gallantry during the siege of Port Hudson that won him the Congressional medal of honor.
1868 - Arrived In Cheyenne, then a "boom" railroad town in Dakota territory.
1871 - Married to Miss Helen Smith of Middlefield, Mass., January 26.
1873 - Member of Wyoming territorial senate.
1884 - Member of city council of Cheyenne.
1885 - Mayor of Cheyenne
1876,'79,'82,'84 - Appointed territorial treasurer.
1886 - Delegate to Republican national convention in Chicago
1885 - Appointed territorial governor of Wyoming by President Chester A. Arthur.
1886 - Removed as Wyoming territorial governor by President Grover Cleveland.
1889 - Appointed Wyoming territorial governor by President Benjamin Harrison.
1890 - Became first governor of State of Wyoming.
1890 - Elected November 18 on Republican ticket to United States Senate.
1894 - Again elected to the U.S. Senate.
1900 - Re-elected to U.S. Senate.
1902 - Death of Mrs. Warren, on March 28.
1906 - Re-elected to U.S. Senate.
1915 - Death of his daughter and three grand-daughters in fire which swept Presidio, San Francisco.
1911 - Married Miss Clara Le Baron Morgan, June 28.
1912 - Re-elected to U.S. Senate
1917 - Gen. John J. Pershing, son-in-law, appointed commander-in-chief of American Expeditionary forces in France.
1918 - Re-elected to U.S. Senate.
1924 - Re-elected to U.S. Senate.
1929 - Senate defied precedent to honor Senator Warren on his 85th birthday.
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