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History of Iowa From the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century/4/Edward H. Thayer

EDWARD H. THAYER, journalist, was born in Windham, Maine, November 27, 1832. He graduated at East Corinth Academy in 1850 and came to Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended medical lectures and paid his way by work on the daily papers. He read law and in the spring of 1853 was admitted to the bar. Coming to Iowa he located at Muscatine and began the practice of his profession and served four years as county attorney. In 1860 he was a delegate from Iowa to the Democratic National Convention at Charleston which nominated Stephen A. Douglas for President. In 1862 Judge Thayer was the Democratic candidate for Congress in the Second District against Hiram Price, but was defeated. While in Muscatine Judge Thayer acquired a taste for newspaper work and removing to Clinton in 1808 established the Clinton Age, which soon became one of the ablest Democratic journals in eastern Iowa. In 1875 Judge Thayer was elected Representative in the House of the Sixteenth General Assembly and in the following year was appointed by Governor Kirkwood trustee of the State Normal School where he served several years as president of the board. In 1876 he was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention and an earnest supporter of the nomination of Samuel J. Tilden for President. In 1880 he was the Iowa member of the Mississippi River States Commission and took an active part in the work of that body. In 1884 Judge Thayer was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention at Chicago where he was the Iowa member of the committee on resolutions and author of the tariff plank in the platform. In 1885 he was appointed postmaster at Clinton by President Cleveland. Judge Thayer has been an active promoter of numerous railroads and was for a time president of the Iowa Southwestern Railroad Company. For nearly half a century he has been one of the most influential leaders of the Democratic party in Iowa, helping to formulate its platforms and often presiding over its State Conventions.