William S. Groesbeck

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William S. Groesbeck
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William Slocum Groesbeck (July 24, 1815 – July 7, 1897) was a U.S. Representative from Ohio.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Groesbeck was born in Kinderhook, New York on July 24, 1815.[1] He was the son of John H. Groesbeck (1790–1862) and Mary (née Slocum) Groesbeck (1794–1854). The Groesbeck family was originally from Amsterdam.[2] William's sister, Margaret Groesbeck, was married to his wife's brother, Robert Wallace Burnet.[3]

Groesbeck moved with his parents to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1816. He attended the common schools and Augusta College in Kentucky. He was graduated from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1835 and was responsible for founding the Miami University chapter of Alpha Delta Phi, the first fraternity chapter west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Career[edit | edit source]

He studied law and was a law clerk in the office of Salmon P. Chase (later the Governor of Ohio and Secretary of the Treasury during the Lincoln administration). He was admitted to the bar in 1836 and commenced practice in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1851, he served as member of the State constitutional convention and, in 1852, he served as commissioner to codify the laws of Ohio. Groesbeck was elected to succeed John Scott Harrison as a Democrat to the Thirty-fifth Congress, serving one term from March 4, 1857 to March 3, 1859. He was an unsuccessful candidate against John A. Gurley for reelection in 1858 to the Thirty-sixth Congress.

He served as member of the Peace Convention of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war. From 1862 to 1864, he served in the Ohio State Senate and in 1866, he served as delegate to the Union National Convention at Philadelphia.

He was one of U.S. President Andrew Johnson's counsel in his impeachment trial in 1868.

In 1872, he was nominated for president of the United States by Liberal Republicans who were displeased with Horace Greeley, but his ticket was forgotten during the excitement of the campaign, at the end of which he received one electoral vote for vice-president. He served as delegate to the International Monetary Conference in Paris, France, in 1878.

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Groesbeck married Elizabeth Burnet (1818–1889), daughter of Judge Jacob Burnet.[2] Together, they were the parents of:[4]

  • Mary Groesbeck (1838–1852), who died in childhood.[3]
  • Rebecca Burnet Groesbeck (1840–1914), who married Robert Hale Ives Goddard.[3]
  • Elizabeth Burnet Groesbeck, who married Kenelm Henry Digby.[3]
  • Jacob Burnet Groesbeck (1842–1858), who died in childhood.[3]
  • William John Groesbeck (1844–1845), who died in infancy.[3]
  • Caroline Thew Groesbeck (1849–1863), who died in childhood.[3]
  • Herman John Groesbeck (1849–1925), who married Elizabeth Perry (1850–1924), daughter of Judge Aaron F. Perry.[3]
  • Julia Groesbeck (1854–1919), who married Robert Ludlow Fowler (1849–1936) in 1876.
  • Telford Groesbeck (1854–1936), who married Louise Bulkeley Cox (1854–1940).[3]

His wife died on April 6, 1889, leaving five living children.[2] Groesbeck died in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 7, 1897 and was interred in Spring Grove Cemetery.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Kinderhook, New York,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Reed, George Irving; Randall, Emilius Oviatt; Greve, Charles Theodore, eds. (1897). Bench and Bar of Ohio: a Compendium of History and Biography. 1. Chicago: Century Publishing and Engraving Company. pp. 263–267.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 . (1891). Americans of Royal Descent: A Collection of Genealogies of American Families Whose Lineage is Traced to the Legitimate Issue of Kings. Porter & Costes. pp. 664–665.
  4. . (1893). Genealogy of the Claypoole Family of Philadelphia. 1588-1893. J.B. Lippincott.