PoliticalGraveyard.com
The Political Graveyard: A Database of American History
Politicians Killed by Fire or Explosion

Very incomplete list!

in chronological order

  Abraham Bedford Venable (1758-1811) — of Virginia. Born in Prince Edward County, Va., November 20, 1758. U.S. Representative from Virginia, 1791-99 (6th District 1791-93, 7th District 1793-97, at-large 1797-99); U.S. Senator from Virginia, 1803-04. Perished in a theater fire in Richmond, Va., December 26, 1811 (age 53 years, 36 days). Interment at Monumental Church, Richmond, Va.
  Relatives: Uncle of Abraham Watkins Venable (1799-1876).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  George William Smith (1762-1811) — of Virginia. Born in 1762. Governor of Virginia, 1811; died in office 1811. Killed in a theater fire in Richmond, Va., December 26, 1811 (age about 49 years). Interment at Monumental Church, Richmond, Va.
  Josiah Stoddard Johnston (1784-1833) — also known as Josiah S. Johnston — of Alexandria, Rapides Parish, La. Born in Salisbury, Litchfield County, Conn., November 24, 1784. Democrat. Member of Orleans territorial legislature, 1805; state court judge in Louisiana, 1812; U.S. Representative from Louisiana at-large, 1821-23; U.S. Senator from Louisiana, 1824-33; died in office 1833. Killed by an explosion on the steamboat Lioness, on the Red River, in Louisiana, May 19, 1833 (age 48 years, 176 days). Interment at Rapides Cemetery, Pineville, La.; cenotaph at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
  Relatives: Half-brother of Albert Sidney Johnston (1803-1862).
  Political families: Marshall-Harrison-Randolph-Cabell family of Virginia; Breckinridge-Preston-Cabell-Henry family of Virginia; Johnston-Preston family of Kentucky and Virginia (subsets of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  George L. Kinnard (1803-1836) — of Indiana. Born in Pennsylvania, 1803. Democrat. Member of Indiana state house of representatives, 1827; U.S. Representative from Indiana 6th District, 1833-36; died in office 1836. Died from injuries received in an explosion on the steamer Flora on the Ohio River, November 26, 1836 (age about 33 years). Interment at Presbyterian Burying Ground, Cincinnati, Ohio; cenotaph at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  William Beatty Rochester (1789-1838) — also known as William B. Rochester — of Bath, Steuben County, N.Y. Born in Hagerstown, Washington County, Md., January 29, 1789. Democrat. Member of New York state assembly from Allegany and Steuben counties, 1816-18; U.S. Representative from New York, 1821-23 (20th District 1821-23, 28th District 1823); candidate for Governor of New York, 1826. One of 128 people who perished on the the steam packet ship Pulaski, en route from Charleston to Baltimore, when it suffered a boiler explosion and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina, June 14, 1838 (age 49 years, 136 days); his remains were never recovered.
  Relatives: Son of Nathaniel Rochester and Sophia (Beatty) Rochester (1768-1845); brother of Thomas Hart Rochester (1797-1874); married 1812 to Harriet Irwin (1793-1815); married, January 31, 1816, to Amanda Hopkins (1799-1831); married, April 9, 1832, to Eliza (Hatch) Powers (1800-1885; widow of Gershom Powers).
  Political family: Rochester family of New York (subset of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Thomas Walker Gilmer (1802-1844) — of Virginia. Born in Gilmerton, Albemarle County, Va., April 6, 1802. Lawyer; member of Virginia state house of delegates, 1829-36, 1838-39; Speaker of the Virginia State House of Delegates, 1838-39; Governor of Virginia, 1840-41; U.S. Representative from Virginia, 1841-44 (12th District 1841-43, 5th District 1843-44); U.S. Secretary of the Navy, 1844; died in office 1844. Among those killed in the explosion when a cannon accidentally burst on board the U.S.S. Princeton, on the Potomac River near Fort Washington, Prince George's County, Md., February 28, 1844 (age 41 years, 328 days). Originally entombed at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.; reinterment at a private or family graveyard, Albemarle County, Va.
  Relatives: Son of George Gilmer (1778-1836) and Elizabeth Anderson (Hudson) Gilmer (1784-1820); married to Anne Elizabeth Baker (1809-1874); nephew of Mildred Gilmer (1772-1799; who married William Wirt); grandnephew of John Walker and Francis Walker; second cousin once removed of Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809); second cousin twice removed of Aylett Hawes; third cousin once removed of Robert Brooke, George Madison, Richard Aylett Buckner, Richard Hawes and Albert Gallatin Hawes; third cousin twice removed of Hubbard T. Smith; third cousin thrice removed of Archer Woodford; fourth cousin of Zachary Taylor, Aylette Buckner and Aylett Hawes Buckner; fourth cousin once removed of John Strother Pendleton, Albert Gallatin Pendleton and Harry Bartow Hawes.
  Political families: Pendleton-Lee family; Demarest-Meriwether family of New Jersey; Marshall-Harrison-Randolph-Cabell family of Virginia; Meriwether-Kellogg-Tyler family of Virginia and Connecticut; Washington family; Clay family of Kentucky (subsets of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  Gilmer County, W.Va. is named for him.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Abel Parker Upshur (1790-1844) — of Virginia. Born in Northampton County, Va., June 17, 1790. Member of Virginia state house of delegates, 1812-13, 1824-27; state court judge in Virginia, 1826-41; delegate to Virginia state constitutional convention, 1829-30; U.S. Secretary of the Navy, 1841-43; U.S. Secretary of State, 1843-44; died in office 1844. Episcopalian. Among those killed in the explosion when a cannon accidentally burst on board the U.S.S. Princeton, on the Potomac River near Fort Washington, Prince George's County, Md., February 28, 1844 (age 53 years, 256 days). Originally entombed at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.; later interred in 1874 at Oak Hill Cemetery, Washington, D.C.
  Relatives: Son of Littleton Upshur (1760?-?).
  Upshur counties in Tex. and W.Va. are named for him.
  The World War II Liberty ship SS Abel Parker Upshur (built 1942, scrapped 1966) was named for him.
  See also Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier
  Virgil Maxcy (1785-1844) — of Maryland. Born in Attleboro, Bristol County, Mass., May 5, 1785. Lawyer; member of Maryland state executive council, 1815; member of Maryland state house of delegates, 1820; member of Maryland state senate, 1820; U.S. Charge d'Affaires to Belgium, 1837-42. Among those killed in the explosion when a cannon accidentally burst on board the U.S.S. Princeton, on the Potomac River near Fort Washington, Prince George's County, Md., February 28, 1844 (age 58 years, 299 days). Originally entombed at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.; reinterment at a private or family graveyard, Anne Arundel County, Md.
  Relatives: Son of Levi Maxcy and Ruth (Newell) Maxcy; married to Mary Galloway.
  See also U.S. State Dept career summary
  David Gardiner (1784-1844) — of New York. Born in East Hampton, Suffolk County, Long Island, N.Y., May 29, 1784. Member of New York state senate 1st District, 1824-27. Among those killed in the explosion when a cannon accidentally burst on board the U.S.S. Princeton, on the Potomac River near Fort Washington, Prince George's County, Md., February 28, 1844 (age 59 years, 275 days). Originally entombed at Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C.; later interred at South End Cemetery, East Hampton, Long Island, N.Y.
  Relatives: Son of Phebe Gardiner and Abraham Gardiner (1763-1796); married to Juliana MacLachlan (1799-1864); father of Julia Gardiner (1820-1889; who married John Tyler); grandfather of David Gardiner Tyler; third cousin thrice removed of John Lee Saltonstall; fourth cousin of Jonas Mapes; fourth cousin once removed of David Parshall Mapes (1798-1890).
  Political families: Mapes-Jennings-Denby-Neuman family of New York and Arizona; Tyler-Mapes family of New York (subsets of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Richard Ellis (1781-1846) — Born in Virginia, February 14, 1781. Delegate to Alabama state constitutional convention, 1819; associate justice of Alabama state supreme court, 1819; delegate to Texas Republic Republic constitutional convention from District of Red River, 1836; signer, Texas Declaration of Independence, 1836; member of Texas Republic Senate from District of Red River, 1836-39. Reportedly "came to his death suddenly by his clothes taking fire", at his home in Bowie County, Tex., December 20, 1846 (age 65 years, 309 days). Original interment in private or family graveyard; reinterment in 1929 at Texas State Cemetery, Austin, Tex.
  Ellis County, Tex. is named for him.
Stephen Allen Stephen Allen (1767-1852) — of New York, New York County, N.Y. Born July 2, 1767. Mayor of New York City, N.Y., 1821-24; member of New York state assembly from New York County, 1826; member of New York state senate 1st District, 1829-32. Killed when the steamboat Henry Clay burned and sank, killing about eighty passengers, in the Lower Hudson River, next to what is now the Riverdale section of the Bronx, July 28, 1852 (age 85 years, 26 days). Entombed at New York City Marble Cemetery, Manhattan, N.Y.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Image source: New York Public Library
  Alexander Anderson (c.1812-1855) — of California. Born about 1812. Member of California state senate, 1852; justice of California state supreme court, 1852-53. Killed by the explosion of the river steamer Pearl, January 27, 1855 (age about 43 years). Burial location unknown.
  John B. Macy (1799-1856) — of Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, Wis. Born in Nantucket, Nantucket County, Mass., March 25, 1799. Democrat. U.S. Representative from Wisconsin 3rd District, 1853-55. Lost his life in the burning and sinking of the steamer Niagara, a few miles from Port Washington, Wisconsin, in Lake Michigan, September 24, 1856 (age 57 years, 183 days). His remains were not found. Cenotaph at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, N.Y.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Stephen Clarendon Phillips (1801-1857) — also known as Stephen C. Phillips — of Massachusetts. Born in Salem, Essex County, Mass., November 4, 1801. Member of Massachusetts state house of representatives, 1824-29; member of Massachusetts state senate, 1830; U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 2nd District, 1834-38; mayor of Salem, Mass., 1838-42; Free Soil candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, 1848, 1849. He was among 253 passengers and crew who perished in the burning of the steamship Montreal, on the St. Lawrence River, near Quebec City, Quebec, June 26, 1857 (age 55 years, 234 days). His remains were never recovered. Cenotaph at Harmony Grove Cemetery, Salem, Mass.
  Relatives: Son of Stephen Phillips and Dorcas (Woodbridge) Phillips.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Charles Tillinghast James (1805-1862) — also known as Charles T. James — of Providence, Providence County, R.I. Born in West Greenwich Center, West Greenwich, Kent County, R.I., September 15, 1805. U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, 1851-57. Died of wounds that he received from the accidental explosion of a cannon shell of his own manufacture, with which he was experimenting, at Sag Harbor, Suffolk County, Long Island, N.Y., October 17, 1862 (age 57 years, 32 days). Interment at Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, R.I.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  William Cannon (1809-1865) — of Bridgeville, Sussex County, Del. Born near Bridgeville, Sussex County, Del., March 15, 1809. Delaware state treasurer, 1851-55; Governor of Delaware, 1863-65; died in office 1865. Methodist. Became ill helping to put out a fire, and subsequently died, in Bridgeville, Sussex County, Del., March 1, 1865 (age 55 years, 351 days). Interment at Bridgeville Cemetery, Bridgeville, Del.
  James B. Blake (1827-1870) — of Worcester, Worcester County, Mass. Born June 19, 1827. Republican. Mayor of Worcester, Mass., 1866-70; died in office 1870. Injured in a gas-works explosion, and died a few days later, in Worcester, Worcester County, Mass., December 18, 1870 (age 43 years, 182 days). Burial location unknown.
  William Matthew Fenton (1808-1871) — also known as William M. Fenton — of Fenton, Genesee County, Mich.; Flint, Genesee County, Mich. Born in Norwich, Chenango County, N.Y., December 19, 1808. Democrat. Merchant; lawyer; member of Michigan state senate 6th District, 1846-47; Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, 1848-51; mayor of Flint, Mich., 1858-59; served in the Union Army during the Civil War; candidate for Governor of Michigan, 1864. Injured while fire-fighting, and subsequently died, in Flint, Genesee County, Mich., May 12, 1871 (age 62 years, 144 days). Interment at Glenwood Cemetery, Flint, Mich.
  Relatives: Son of Joseph Seneca Fenton (1781-1851) and Sarah (Thompson) Fenton (1783-1845); married 1835 to Adelaide Birdsall (1812-1868); second cousin thrice removed of Walter Samuel Fenton (1886-1940).
  Thomas Howell Crawford (1803-1871) — also known as Thomas H. Crawford — of Louisville, Jefferson County, Ky. Born in Rockbridge County, Va., March 1, 1803. Real estate agent; mayor of Louisville, Ky., 1859-61; defeated (Union), 1863; banker. Died as a result of a gas explosion at his home, in Louisville, Jefferson County, Ky., June 17, 1871 (age 68 years, 108 days). Interment at Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.
  See also Wikipedia article
  Joseph I. Stein (d. 1880) — of New York, New York County, N.Y. Lawyer; member of New York state assembly from New York County 20th District, 1877. Jewish. Member, Freemasons; Odd Fellows. One of dozens killed in the wreck of the steamboat Seawanhaka, which burned and sank in the East River, June 28, 1880. Interment at Linden Hill Cemetery, Ridgewood, Queens, N.Y.
  Hiland R. Hulburd (1829-1880) — of Great Neck, Queens County (now Nassau County), Long Island, N.Y. Born in Ohio, 1829. Lawyer; U.S. Comptroller of the Currency, 1867-72. One of dozens killed in the wreck of the steamboat Seawanhaka, which burned and sank in the East River, June 29, 1880 (age about 50 years). Interment at Oak Dale Cemetery, Urbana, Ohio.
  Relatives: Married to Rebecca Corwin (1830-1895).
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial — Comptrollers of the Currency
  A. C. Rand (1832-1885) — of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minn. Born in Boston, Suffolk County, Mass., December 31, 1832. Republican. Mayor of Minneapolis, Minn., 1878-82. Drowned in a boat explosion on Lake Minnetonka, July 12, 1885 (age 52 years, 193 days). Burial location unknown.
  Thomas Whitridge (1869-1895) — of Baltimore, Md. Born in Baltimore, Md., December 28, 1869. Banker; Vice-Consul for Denmark in Baltimore, Md., 1892-95; Consul for Chile in Baltimore, Md., 1892-95. Member, Delta Phi. When his house was on fire, he and his wife, attempting to escape through a window onto a ladder, fell to their deaths twenty feet below, in Baltimore, Md., January 15, 1895 (age 25 years, 18 days). Interment at Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, Md.
  Relatives: Son of John Augustus Whitridge (1835-1907) and Ellen Ward (Henderson) Whitridge (1838-1891); brother of Morris Whitridge (1865-1935); married, April 19, 1894, to Bessie Shoemaker (1871-1895).
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Charles Adams (1845-1895) — also known as Karl Adam Schwanbeck — of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colo.; Manitou Springs, El Paso County, Colo. Born in Pomerania, Germany, December 19, 1845. Served in the Union Army during the Civil War; U.S. Minister to Bolivia, 1880-82. Member, Freemasons. Killed in the disaster at the Gumry Hotel, when a boiler explosion caused most of the building to collapse and burn, killing 22 people, in Denver, Colo., August 19, 1895 (age 49 years, 243 days). Interment at Crystal Valley Cemetery, Manitou Springs, Colo.
  Relatives: Son of Karl Heinrich Schwanbeck and Maria J. (Markman) Schwanbeck; married to Margaret (Thompson) Phelps (sister-in-law of Edward Moody McCook (1833-1909)).
  Political family: McCook family of Steubenville, Ohio.
  See also Wikipedia article — U.S. State Dept career summary — Find-A-Grave memorial
Thomas Prentiss Thomas Theodore Prentis (1844-1902) — also known as Thomas T. Prentis — Born in Waitsfield, Washington County, Vt., June 17, 1844. Served in the Union Army during the Civil War; U.S. Consul in Seychelles, 1871-80; Port Louis, 1880-94; SAINT Pierre, 1900-02, died in office 1902. Killed in the volcanic eruption of Mount Pelée, when a fast-moving cloud of ash and hot gases burned about eight square miles, killing an estimated 30,000 people, in St. Pierre, Martinique, May 8, 1902 (age 57 years, 325 days). Interment somewhere in Fort-de-France, Martinique.
  Relatives: Son of Joseph Comstock Prentis (1812-1900) and Lydia Cerinthia (Chandler) Prentis (1822-1900); married, December 16, 1873, to Clara Louisa Frye (1851-1902); first cousin seven times removed of Roger Wolcott; second cousin five times removed of Matthew Griswold (1714-1799); third cousin thrice removed of Joshua Coit; fourth cousin once removed of David Edgerton.
  Political families: Kellogg-Seymour-Chapin-Adams family of Connecticut and New York; Waterman-Huntington family of Connecticut and New York; Wolcott-Wadsworth family of Connecticut and Maryland; Wolcott-Packwood-Griswold family of Connecticut; Hosmer-Griswold-Parsons family of Middletown, Connecticut (subsets of the Three Thousand Related Politicians).
  Image source: Cincinnati Enquirer, May 12, 1902
  Jacob Ptacnik Birder (1858-1904) — also known as Jacob P. Birder — of Park River, Walsh County, N.Dak. Born in Bohemia (now part of Czechia), June 2, 1858. Democrat. Naturalized U.S. citizen; delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Dakota, 1904. As a passenger on a Wabash Railroad train headed for St. Louis, Mo., he was killed when the train derailed on an open switch, fell from the tracks, and burned, in Litchfield, Montgomery County, Ill., July 3, 1904 (age 46 years, 31 days). Burial location unknown.
  Frank Steunenberg (1861-1905) — of Caldwell, Canyon County, Idaho. Born in Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa, August 8, 1861. Governor of Idaho, 1897-1901. Murdered by a bomb wired to his front yard gate, in Caldwell, Canyon County, Idaho, December 30, 1905 (age 44 years, 144 days). Interment at Canyon Hill Cemetery, Caldwell, Idaho; statue at State Capitol Grounds, Boise, Idaho.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  David Albaugh DeArmond (1844-1909) — also known as David A. DeArmond — of Greenfield, Dade County, Mo.; Butler, Bates County, Mo. Born in Altoona, Blair County, Pa., March 18, 1844. Democrat. Lawyer; member of Missouri state senate 20th District, 1879-82; Presidential Elector for Missouri, 1884; circuit judge in Missouri 22nd Circuit, 1886-90; U.S. Representative from Missouri, 1891-1909 (12th District 1891-93, 6th District 1893-1909); died in office 1909; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1904. Killed in a house fire, Butler, Bates County, Mo., November 23, 1909 (age 65 years, 250 days). Interment at Oak Hill Cemetery, Butler, Mo.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  James Milton Turner (1840-1915) — also known as J. Milton Turner — of Kansas City, Jackson County, Mo.; St. Louis, Mo. Born in slavery in St. Louis, Mo., 1840. Served in the Union Army during the Civil War; U.S. Minister to Liberia, 1871-78; stabbed in the chest by George W. Medley, in St. Louis, October 9, 1872. African ancestry. First African-American to serve as a U.S. diplomat. Died, as the result of a railroad tank car explosion, in Ardmore, Carter County, Okla., November 1, 1915 (age about 75 years). Interment at Father Dickson's Cemetery, St. Louis, Mo.
  Turner School (opened 1924, renamed for Turner 1932, closed 1976), in Kirkwood, Missouri, was named for him.  — The World War II Liberty ship SS James Turner (built 1942, scrapped 1970) was named for him.
  See also Wikipedia article — U.S. State Dept career summary
  Max David Kirjassoff (1888-1923) — also known as Max D. Kirjassoff — of Waterbury, New Haven County, Conn. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 2, 1888. U.S. Vice Consul in Yokohama, as of 1916; U.S. Consul in Taihoku, as of 1917-19; Dairen, as of 1921; U.S. Consul General in Yokohama, 1922-23, died in office 1923. Jewish. One of more than 100,000 people killed during the Great Kanto Earthquake, probably in the collapse of the consulate building or the fire that followed, in Yokohama, Japan, September 1, 1923 (age 35 years, 183 days). Burial location unknown.
  Paul E. Jenks (c.1863-1923) — of Brooklyn, Kings County, N.Y. Born about 1863. U.S. Vice Consul in Yokohama, 1917-23, died in office 1923. One of more than 100,000 people killed during the Great Kanto Earthquake, probably in the collapse of the consulate building or the fire that followed, in Yokohama, Japan, September 1, 1923 (age about 60 years). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Brother of Almet Francis Jenks (1853-1924).
  John Thomas Fancher (1891-1928) — also known as Jack T. Fancher — of Washington. Born in Manila (now Espanola), Spokane County, Wash., May 13, 1891. Republican. Served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War I; candidate for U.S. Representative from Washington 5th District, 1926. Wounded by the premature explosion of a bomb was destroying, in an empty field at the newly-opened Wenatchee airport, and died soon after in the hospital at Wenatchee, Chelan County, Wash., April 30, 1928 (age 36 years, 353 days). Interment at Riverside Memorial Park, Spokane, Wash.
  Relatives: Son of John Abbot Fancher (1855-1931) and Nellie (Thompson) Fancher (1860-1921); married, July 5, 1920, to Evelyn Jones or Jonz.
  Truman A. Potter (1871-1931) — also known as T. A. Potter — of Britt, Hancock County, Iowa; Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa. Born in Lawler, Chickasaw County, Iowa, February, 1871. Republican. Real estate business; delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1912. Member, Freemasons; Knights Templar. Killed in a fire which destroyed his home, in Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, March 6, 1931 (age 60 years, 0 days). Interment somewhere in Waucoma, Iowa.
  Relatives: Son of Stephen Addison Potter (1841-1887) and Ann Louisa (Seeber) Potter (1845-1915); married, February 10, 1892, to Lotta Schriver.
  D. Knox Hanna (d. 1934) — of Tuscola County, Mich. Republican. Tuscola County Sheriff, 1911-14; member of Michigan state house of representatives from Tuscola County, 1933-34; died in office 1934. Killed in the Kerns Hotel fire, Lansing, Ingham County, Mich., December 13, 1934. Burial location unknown.
  David Wilmer Steele (1899-1940) — also known as David W. Steele — of Ocean View, Sussex County, Del. Born in Sussex County, Del., 1899. Republican. Poultry raiser; banker; member of Delaware state senate from Sussex County 4th District, 1937-40; died in office 1940. Methodist. Member, Freemasons; Shriners; Tall Cedars of Lebanon. While fishing off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland, he and his wife were killed in an explosion and fire aboard their cruiser, the Lure, in the North Atlantic Ocean, October 7, 1940 (age about 41 years). Interment at Mariners Bethel United Methodist Church Cemetery, Ocean View, Del.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Carl Frederick Zeidler (1908-1942) — also known as Carl Zeidler; "Singing Mayor"; "Boy Mayor" — of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wis. Born in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wis., January 4, 1908. Mayor of Milwaukee, Wis., 1940-42; resigned 1942; served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Killed when the munitions ship La Salle was struck by torpedos, exploded, and sank, about 350 miles southeast of the Cape of Good Hope, in the Indian Ocean, November 7, 1942 (age 34 years, 307 days); his remains were never found. Cenotaph at Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wis.
  Relatives: Brother of Frank P. Zeidler (1912-2006).
  Carl F. Zeidler Park (now Zeidler Union Square), in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is named for him.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. (1915-1944) — also known as Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. — of Cambridge, Middlesex County, Mass. Born in Hull, Plymouth County, Mass., July 25, 1915. Democrat. Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1940; served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Catholic. Killed when his Liberator bomber exploded, over the English Channel, August 12, 1944 (age 29 years, 18 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr. and Rose (Fitzgerald) Kennedy (1890-1995); brother of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Patricia Kennedy Lawford, Robert Francis Kennedy, Jean Kennedy Smith and Edward Moore Kennedy; uncle of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph Patrick Kennedy II, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr., Mark Kennedy Shriver (1964-) and Patrick Joseph Kennedy (1967-); grandson of Patrick Joseph Kennedy (1858-1929) and John Francis Fitzgerald.
  Political family: Kennedy family.
Allison D. Gibbs Allison De France Gibbs (1868-1945) — also known as Allison D. Gibbs — Born in Rochester, Olmsted County, Minn., April 3, 1868. Democrat. Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Philippine Islands, 1920. While a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, was killed by Allied bombing of the hospital where he was held, in Baguio, Benguet Province, Philippines, March 15, 1945 (age 76 years, 346 days). Cremated; ashes interred at Mt. Olivet Columbarium, Colma, Calif.
  Relatives: Son of Charles W. Gibbs (1840-1915) and Albina Stanhope (De France) Gibbs (1847-1887); married 1906 to Eva Johnson (1884-1929; daughter of Elias Finley Johnson (1860-1933) and Clara Annis Smith Johnson).
  Political family: Johnson family of San Francisco, California.
  Image source: U.S. passport application (1918)
  William Tudor Gardiner (1892-1953) — also known as William T. Gardiner — of Gardiner, Kennebec County, Maine. Born in Newton, Middlesex County, Mass., June 12, 1892. Republican. Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; lawyer; member of Maine state house of representatives, 1921-26; Speaker of the Maine State House of Representatives, 1925-26; Governor of Maine, 1929-33; delegate to Republican National Convention from Maine, 1932; colonel in the U.S. Army during World War II; he and Gen. Maxwell Taylor landed in Italy in 1943, before the American invasion, traveled to Rome undetected, and held a conference with the Italian High Command, obtaining information helpful to the Allies. Episcopalian. Member, American Legion; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Military Order of the World Wars; Sons of Union Veterans; Freemasons; Shriners; Elks; Odd Fellows; Grange; American Bar Association. Killed when his Beechcraft Bonanza airplane exploded in midair, and crashed in Schnecksville, Lehigh County, Pa., August 2, 1953 (age 61 years, 51 days). Interment at Christ Church Cemetery, Gardiner, Maine.
  Relatives: Son of Robert Hallowell Gardiner (died 1924) and Alice (Bangs) Gardiner; married, September 16, 1916, to Margaret Thomas (1892?-?); second great-grandson of Robert H. Gardiner.
  Cross-reference: Edward E. Chase
  Edward E. Chase (d. 1953) — of Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland County, Maine. Delegate to Maine convention to ratify 21st amendment from Cumberland County, 1933; member of Maine state house of representatives, 1940; member of Maine state senate, 1953; died in office 1953. Killed in an airplane explosion and crash, along with former Governor William Tudor Gardiner, in Schnecksville, Lehigh County, Pa., August 2, 1953. Burial location unknown.
  John Robert Britten (1898-1955) — also known as John R. Britten — of Richmond, Wayne County, Ind. Born in Reading, Hamilton County, Ohio, December 16, 1898. Republican. Lawyer; Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney, 1935-39; mayor of Richmond, Ind., 1939-44. Christian. Member, Freemasons; Order of the Eastern Star; Grotto; Shriners; Knights of Pythias; Eagles; Moose; Junior Order; Elks; Kiwanis. Suffered severe burns to his feet and toes from overnight application of an electric pad, leading to a pulmonary embolism and ultimately death, in Reid Hospital, Spring Grove, Wayne County, Ind., February 25, 1955 (age 56 years, 71 days). Interment at Earlham Cemetery, Richmond, Ind.
  Relatives: Married to Onda May Chenoweth.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Jesse Lynn Webb, Jr. (1923-1956) — also known as Jesse L. Webb, Jr. — of Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, La. Born December 8, 1923. Democrat. Alternate delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1948; mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, 1953-56; died in office 1956. En route to a conference, he was killed with two others when their private plane exploded and burned, near Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Mich., April 28, 1956 (age 32 years, 142 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Maude (Borski) Webb and Jesse Lynn Webb, Sr.; married to Mary Eustus Jones Webb (1924-1995).
  Political family: Webb family of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  See also Wikipedia article
  Harvey L. Schwamm (c.1905-1958) — of Manhattan, New York County, N.Y.; Riverdale, Bronx, Bronx County, N.Y. Born about 1905. Republican. Real estate broker; banker; candidate for New York state senate 15th District, 1938, 1940; alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1940; major in the U.S. Army during World War II; Presidential Elector for New York, 1952, 1956. Jewish. Killed when a Northeast Airlines plane, landing in heavy fog, crashed and burned, about 300 yards short of the airport runway, in Nantucket, Nantucket County, Mass., August 15, 1958 (age about 53 years). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Married 1924 to Lillian Tverskoi (died 1958).
  Gordon Evans Dean (1905-1958) — also known as Gordon E. Dean — Born in Seattle, King County, Wash., December 28, 1905. Newspaper reporter; lawyer; served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; law professor; member, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1949-53; chair, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1950-53. Killed when a Northeast Airlines plane, landing in heavy fog, crashed and burned, about 300 yards short of the airport runway, in Nantucket, Nantucket County, Mass., August 15, 1958 (age 52 years, 230 days). Interment at Fort Lincoln Cemetery, Brentwood, Md.
  Relatives: Son of Rev. John Marvin Dean; married 1930 to Adelaide Williamson (divorced 1953); married, December 19, 1953, to Mary Benton Gore (first cousin once removed of Albert Arnold Gore; second cousin of Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. (1948-)).
  Political family: Gore family of Carthage, Tennessee.
  See also Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Donald Grant Nutter (1915-1962) — also known as Donald G. Nutter — of Montana. Born November 28, 1915. Republican. Served in the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II; lawyer; Montana Republican state chair, 1958-60; Governor of Montana, 1961-62; died in office 1962. En route from Helena to Cut Bank, he was killed, along with five others, when the twin-engine C-47 plane crashed into a mountain and burned, during a snowstorm, near Wolf Creek, Lewis and Clark County, Mont., January 25, 1962 (age 46 years, 58 days). Interment at Sidney City Cemetery, Sidney, Mont.
  See also NNDB dossier
  Harry Hines Woodring (1890-1967) — also known as Harry H. Woodring — of Neodesha, Wilson County, Kan.; Topeka, Shawnee County, Kan. Born in Elk City, Montgomery County, Kan., May 31, 1890. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Army during World War I; Governor of Kansas, 1931-33; defeated, 1932, 1946; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kansas, 1936, 1940, 1948; U.S. Secretary of War, 1936-40. Congregationalist. Member, American Legion. Suffered a stroke while recovering from burns, and died in Topeka, Shawnee County, Kan., September 9, 1967 (age 77 years, 101 days). Interment at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Topeka, Kan.
  See also Wikipedia article — NNDB dossier
  James Vernon Smith (1926-1973) — of Oklahoma. Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, Okla., July 23, 1926. Republican. U.S. Representative from Oklahoma 6th District, 1967-69. Died in a wheat field fire at his farm, near Chickasha, Grady County, Okla., June 23, 1973 (age 46 years, 335 days). Interment at Fairlawn Cemetery, Chickasha, Okla.
  See also congressional biography — Govtrack.us page
  Dutton Brookfield (d. 1979) — of Kansas City, Jackson County, Mo. Republican. Kansas City police commissioner; candidate for Presidential Elector for Missouri, 1964; delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1968. Died, from injuries suffered in a house fire, 1979. Burial location unknown.
  Arnold Lewis Raphel (1943-1988) — also known as Arnold L. Raphel — of New Jersey. Born in 1943. Foreign Service officer; U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, 1987-88, died in office 1988. Killed when a plane in which he was a passenger was blown up in midair by terrorists, near Bahawalpur, Pakistan, August 17, 1988 (age about 45 years). Interment at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
  See also U.S. State Dept career summary
  Robert Smith Vance (1931-1989) — also known as Bob Vance — of Birmingham, Jefferson County, Ala.; Mountain Brook, Jefferson County, Ala. Born in Talladega, Talladega County, Ala., May 10, 1931. Democrat. Lawyer; Alabama Democratic state chair, 1966-77; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Alabama, 1968, 1972 (alternate); Judge of U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, 1977-81; Judge of U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, 1981-89; died in office 1989. Assassinated by way of a mail bomb, in Mountain Brook, Jefferson County, Ala., December 16, 1989 (age 58 years, 220 days). Walter Leroy Moody, Jr., who sent the bomb, was convicted of murder, sentenced to death, and executed in 2018. Cremated; ashes interred at St. Lukes Episcopal Columbarium, Mountain Brook, Ala.
  Relatives: Son of Harrell Taylor Vance (1897-1963) and Mae (Smith) Vance (1897-1951); married to Helen Vance (1934-2010).
  The Robert S. Vance Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse (built 1921, named 1990), in Birmingham, Alabama, is named for him.
  See also federal judicial profile — Wikipedia article — Find-A-Grave memorial
  Robert C. Frasure (1942-1995) — of Falls Church, Va. Born in Morgantown, Monongalia County, W.Va., April 20, 1942. Foreign Service officer; U.S. Ambassador to Estonia, 1992-94. Member, Phi Beta Kappa. Killed when the vehicle he was riding in plunged down a ravine and exploded, on Mount Igman, near Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 19, 1995 (age 53 years, 121 days). Interment at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
  Relatives: Married to Katharina Witting.
  See also Wikipedia article — U.S. State Dept career summary — Find-A-Grave memorial
Basil W. Brown Basil W. Brown (1927-1997) — of Detroit, Wayne County, Mich.; Highland Park, Wayne County, Mich. Born in Vandalia, Cass County, Mich., March 20, 1927. Democrat. Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; lawyer; member of Michigan state senate, 1957-88 (3rd District 1957-64, 6th District 1965-74, 3rd District 1975-82, 2nd District 1983-88); resigned 1988; in 1985, a prostitute working for the police went to visit him several times, and exchanged sex for marijuana and cocaine; arrested November 8, 1985; pleaded guilty in 1987 and resigned from the Senate; sentenced to six months in jail, fines, and probation; his law license was also suspended; the state supreme court threw out the conviction in 1991. Episcopalian. African ancestry. Member, Kappa Alpha Psi; Elks; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Amvets; NAACP. Injured in a fire at his home, while also suffering cancer, and died two weeks later, in Harper Hospital, Detroit, Wayne County, Mich., October 28, 1997 (age 70 years, 222 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Married, June 8, 1950, to Ermajeanne Seeger.
  See also Wikipedia article
  Image source: Michigan Manual 1957-58
  Jasper Baxter (1957-2001) — of Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa. Born in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pa., January 28, 1957. Democrat. Candidate in primary for Pennsylvania state house of representatives 186th District, 1986. African ancestry. Was conducting a seminar on the 93rd floor of 2 World Trade Center, when an airliner hijacked by terrorists was deliberately crashed into the building, causing an explosion, fire, and collapse of the structure, killing almost 3,000, in Manhattan, New York County, N.Y., September 11, 2001 (age 44 years, 226 days). Cenotaph at National September 11 Memorial, Manhattan, N.Y.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
  Jay Gordon (1930-2007) — of Montpelier, Washington County, Vt. Born October 10, 1930. Democrat. Accountant; Vermont state auditor of accounts, 1965-68; university professor. Jewish. Member, Freemasons; Shriners; Moose; Elks; American Legion. Killed, along with his wife, in a house fire, in Montpelier, Washington County, Vt., December 4, 2007 (age 77 years, 55 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Married to Joan Plumpton.
  Rickey Lee Davis (1951-2014) — also known as Rick Davis — of Caruthersville, Pemiscot County, Mo. Born, in Tunica County Hospital, Tunica, Tunica County, Miss., February 8, 1951. Mayor of Caruthersville, Mo., 1994-98, 2014; died in office 2014. Presbyterian. Member, Rotary. Died, from smoke inhalation during a fire at his home, Caruthersville, Pemiscot County, Mo., July 23, 2014 (age 63 years, 165 days). Burial location unknown.
  Relatives: Son of Otis Jefferson Davis (1923-1987) and Beulah Mae (Jordan) Davis (1927-2017); married to Cathy McNeeley (1950-1987); married, November 25, 1989, to Ginger Coppage.
  See also Find-A-Grave memorial
"Enjoy the hospitable entertainment of a political graveyard."
Henry L. Clinton, Apollo Hall, New York City, February 3, 1872
The Political Graveyard

The Political Graveyard is a web site about U.S. political history and cemeteries. Founded in 1996, it is the Internet's most comprehensive free source for American political biography, listing 312,576 politicians, living and dead.
  The listings are incomplete; development of the database is a continually ongoing project.  
  Information on this page — and on all other pages of this site — is believed to be accurate, but is not guaranteed. Users are advised to check with other sources before relying on any information here.  
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Copyright notices: (1) Facts are not subject to copyright; see Feist v. Rural Telephone. (2) Politician portraits displayed on this site are 70-pixel-wide monochrome thumbnail images, which I believe to constitute fair use under applicable copyright law. Where possible, each image is linked to its online source. However, requests from owners of copyrighted images to delete them from this site are honored. (3) Original material, programming, selection and arrangement are © 1996-2019 Lawrence Kestenbaum. (4) This work is also licensed for free non-commercial re-use, with attribution, under a Creative Commons License.
Site information: The Political Graveyard is created and maintained by Lawrence Kestenbaum, who is solely responsible for its structure and content. — The mailing address is The Political Graveyard, P.O. Box 2563, Ann Arbor MI 48106. — This site is hosted by HDL. — The Political Graveyard opened on July 1, 1996; the last full revision was done on March 10, 2021.

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