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"y 1 Sixty-sixth Congrcu, Third Session :: :: :: :: House Document No. 812 


(Late a Representative from Michigan) 





February 27, 1921 


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Proceedings in the House 5 

Prayer by Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D 5,8 

Memorial addresses by — 

Mr. Frank E. Doremus, of Michigan 11 

Mr. J. M. C. Smith, of Micliigan . 14 

Mr. Gilbert A. Currie, of Michigan 17 

Mr. Louis C. Cramton, of Michigan 19 

Mr. Earl C. Michener, of Michigan 24 

Mr. Clarence J. McLeod, of Michigan 28 

Mr. Hays B. White, of Kansas 30 

Mr. Isaac Siegel, of New York 33 

Mr. Joseph W. Fordney, of Michigan 36 

Proceedings in the Senate 39 


Vs (0(3 



Monday, April 26, 1920. 

The House met at 12 o'clock noon and was called to 
order by Mr. Campbell of Kansas as Speaker pro tempore. 

The Chaplain, Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D., offered the 
following prayer : 

O, Thou invisible Spirit, a living Presence, ever work- 
ing in and through the minds and hearts of Thy children 
to larger life and nobler achievements — Lord of life and 
Lord of death. 

The ties of kinship and friendship are deep and abid- 
ing, hence our hearts are bowed in sorrow and grief be- 
cause a faithful Member of this legislative body has been 
unexpectedly removed by death. 

Come close to us and the precious mother in whose 
arms he expired. May the blessed hope of the immortal- 
ity of life and love assuage her grief and our sorrows. 

The sands of life run swiftly, and we know not the hour 
when the summons may come. May the experiences of 
the now fit us for the experiences of the then, and may 
the faith, hope, and love inherent in our souls abide with 
us now and evermore. 

No one is so accursed by fate, 
No one so utterly desolate, 
But some heart, tliougli unknown, 
Responds unto his own. 


Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

Responds,- — as if with unseen wings, 
An angel touched its quivering strings. 
And whispers, in its song, 
"Where hast thou stayed so long I " 

Thus in Christ the Lord we pray. Amen. 

Mr, DoREMUs. Mr. Speaker, it is my sad duty to an- 
nounce the death of my colleague, Hon. Charles A. 
Nichols, of Michigan, in his home in this city last evening. 
On a subsequent occasion I shall ask that a day be set 
aside for proper services in memory of the deceased. For 
the present I present the following resolutions and move 
their adoption. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

House resolution 535 

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound sorrow of 
the death of Hon. Charles A. Nichols, a Representative from 
the State of Michigan. 

Resolved, That a committee of 18 Mernhers of the House, with 
such Members of the Senate as may be joined, be appointed to 
attend the funeral. 

Resolved, That the Sergeant at Arms of the House be author- 
ized and directed to take such steps as may be necessary for 
carrying out the provisions of these resolutions, and that the 
necessary expenses in connection therewith be paid out of the 
contingent fund of the House. 

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to 
the Senate and transmit a copy thereof to the family of the 

The Speaker pro tempore. The question is on agreeing 
to the resolutions. 

The resolutions were agreed to. 

The Speaker pro tempore. Without objection, the Chair 
will appoint the following committee. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

Mr. Doremus, Mr. Michener, Mr. Smith of Michigan, Mr. Ham- 
ilton, Mr. Mapes, Mr. Kelley of Michigan, Mr. Cramton, Mr. Ford- 


Proceedings in the House 

ney, Mr. McLaughlin of Michigan, Mr. Currie of Michigan, Mr. 
Scott, Mr. James, Mr. McFadden, Mr. Ireland, Mr. McArthur, 
Mr. White of Kansas, Mr. Taylor of Colorado, and Mr. Johnson 
of Mississippi. 

Mr. Doremus. Mr. Speaker, as a further mark of respect 
to the memory of the deceased, I move that the House do 
now adjourn. 

The motion was agreed to; accordingly (at 12 o'clock 
and 20 minutes p. m.) the House adjourned until to-mor- 
row, Tuesday, April 27, 1920, at 12 o'clock noon. 

Tuesday, April 27, 1920. 
A message from the Senate, by Mr. Dudley, its enrolling 
clerk, announced that the Senate had passed the follow- 
ing resolution: 

Senate resolution 353 

Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow the 
announcement of the death of Hon. Charles A. Nichols, late a 
Representative from the State of Michigan. 

Resolved, That a committee of six Senators be appointed by 
the Presiding Officer to join the committee appointed by the 
House of Representatives to take order for the superintending 
of the funeral of Mr. Nichols at Detroit, Mich. 

Resolved, That the Secretary communicate a copy of these 
resolutions to the House of Representatives. 

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect to the memory of 
the deceased the Senate do now adjourn. 

And that under the second resolution the Presiding Offi- 
cer had appointed Mr. Townsend, Mr. Newberry, Mr. 
Fernald, Mr. Ashurst, Mr. Harrison, and Mr. Keyes as said 
committee on the part of the Senate. 

Tuesday, January 18, 1921. 
Mr. McLaughlin of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I ask unani- 
mous consent that Sunday, February 27, be set apart for 
addresses on the life, character, and public services of the 
late Representative from Michigan, Mr. Charles A. 



Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

The Speaker. The gentleman from Michigan asks 
unanimous consent that Sunday. February 27, be set apart 
for memorial services on the life, character, and public 
services of the late Representative Nichols, of Michigan 
Is there objection to the request? 

There was no objection. 

Sunday, February 27, 1921. 

The House met at 12 o'clock noon and was called to 
order by Mr. Fordney as Speaker pro tempore. 

The Chaplain. Rev. Henry N. Couden, D. D., offered the 
loilowmg prayer: 

Eternal God. our heavenly Father, possess with Thy 
spirit our souls; for spirit may meet spirit and soul mingle 
with soul in consolation and hope. 

Behold. I stand at the door, and knock; if any man shall 
hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him 
and will sup with him, and he with me. 

We have assembled to memorialize the lives, characters 
and public services of two men who have served upon the' 
floor of this House and left behind them records that may 
give light and comfort to those who follow them Be with 
their comrades, friends, and kinsfolk in this hour of dis- 
tress and sorrow. Comfort them with the blessed hope 
of the immortality of the soul, that has come down to us 
through the ages and has been recorded in public writ 

Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God. be- 
lieve also in me. 

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not 
so I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you 

And If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come 
again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there 
ye may be also. 


Proceedings in the House 

Blessed thought! We thank Thee, our Father, for that 
thought, for that consolation, foi" that hope; in Jesus 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The Speaker pro tempore. The Clerk will report the 
special order. 
The Clerk read as follows: 

On motion of Mr. McLaughlin of Michigan, by unanimous con- 

Ordered. That Sunday, February 27, 1921, at 12 o'clock noon, 
be set apart for addresses on the life, character, and public 
service of Hon. Charles A. Nichols, late a Representative from 
the State of Michigan. 

Mr. McLaughlin of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, 1 offer the 
following resolution. 

The Speaker pro tempore. The gentleman from Michi- 
gan offers a resolution, which the Clerk will report. 

The Clerk read as follows : 

House resolution 700 

Resolved, That the business of the House be now suspended, 
that opportunity may be given for tributes to the memory of 
Hon. Charles A. Nichols, late a Representative from the State 
of Michigan. 

Resolved, That as a particular mark of respect to the memory 
of the deceased, and in recognition of his distinguished public 
career, the House, at the conclusion of the exercises of the day, 
shall stand adjourned. 

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the 

Resolved, That the Clerk send a copy of these resolutions to 
the family of the deceased. 

The resolution was agreed to. 



Address of Mr. Doremus, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker : We assemble to-day to honor the memory 
of and pay our tribute of respect to a departed colleague. 

Charles A. Nichols was the son of Thomas and Jane 
Fletcher Nichols, and was born at Boyne, Mich., August 
25, 1876. Early in life he manifested a deep interest in 
politics. His first active political work was performed in 
the campaign of 1896. Although at that time scarcely 21 
years of age, he organized a First Voters' McKinley Club 
and was elected its president. Soon thereafter he became 
a newspaper reporter, beginning his journalistic work on 
the Detroit Journal, with which paper he remained for 
about two years. In 1898 he became attached to the staff 
of the Detroit News, upon which paper he achieved a 
country-wide reputation as a reporter and investigator 
of crimes. 

About 20 years ago a woman's body was uncovered in 
the woods near the village of Royal Oak, Mich., where it 
had lain for nearly a year. Much of the clothing had 
been torn from the body. The feet had been stripped of 
shoes, and there was no evidence to prove the identifi- 
cation of the victim. The police were baffled and had 
about given up hope of solving the mystery when Mr. 
Nichols went to work on the case. The masterly manner 
in which he handled this celebrated case and landed the 
murderer in the penitentiaiy is yet fresh in the minds of 
many people in Michigan. It is regarded in police annals 
as one of the finest pieces of detective work ever done in 
Michigan or in any other State. He remained with the 


Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

News until July 1, 1905, when he was appointed secretary 
of the Detroit police department. 

In 1909 Mr. Nichols was elected clerk of the city of 
Detroit. He was reelected, serving in that capacity for 
a period of four years. He was a strong supporter of 
Theodore Roosevelt in 1912 and went down to defeat 
with the Progressive leader as a candidate for reelection 
to the office of city clerk. Two years later he was a can- 
didate for Congress on the Republican ticket in the new 
thirteenth district of Michigan and was elected. He was 
reelected in 1916 and again in 1918. In Congress he soon 
became known to his colleagues as a man of independent 
thought and action. It was his fortune to serve during 
the most momentous period of American history, and on 
all questions which came before Congress he was guided 
by a fine spirit of patriotism. Indeed, I may truthfully 
say that in his public career Mr. Nichols steadfastly 
refused to sacrifice principle for expediency. He never 
hesitated to place what he believed to be his country's 
welfare above personal considerations. At the time of 
his death he was a member of the Committees on the 
Public Lands, Insular Affairs, Industrial Arts and Expo- 
sitions, and the chairman of the Census Committee. 

I speak to-day of our departed friend and colleague as 
one who knew him intimately. Close personal associa- 
tion with him gave me an opportunity to fairly assess 
those qualities of mind and heart which endeared him to 
his friends and stamped him a man's man and a faithful 
public servant. First of all, being true to nature, he 
could not be otherwise than true to himself. Ostentation 
and display were foreign to his nature. In him there was 
no taint of affectation. 

Mr. Nichols had a keen sense of his responsibility to 
the public. He squared his official acts with his highest 
conception of duty. He possessed moral courage to an 


Address of Mr. Doremus, of Michigan 

exceptional degree, and when the path of duty lay clear 
he never hesitated to follow it. 

When quite a young man the work of providing for his 
mother devolved upon him. It was a duty that he never 
shirked, and his devotion to her continued until the hour 
of his death. 

His friends were his most valued possessions. Among 
them his happiest hours were passed. His loyalty to them 
was intense. He found great delight in doing little acts 
of kindness. It can be truly said of him that he left the 
world better than he found it. What better monument 
can any man rear to his memory? 


Address of Mr. Smith, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker : We meet to-day to commemorate the life 
and character of our departed friend and colleague, 
Charles A. Nichols. He departed this life at the noonday 
of his active career, in the city of Washington, at the age 
of 44 years. He passed away at his home, where he was 
entertaining friends and apparently in the best of health. 
There is not one of us who knew him who did not feel 
that in his departure he had lost a personal friend. He 
was kind-hearted, of a pleasing disposition, manly, up- 
right, courteous, and knew the value of friends. He was 
serving his third term in Congress. He started a poor 
orphan boy, and was the author of his own career. He 
was born in Michigan. His first work was that of jour- 
nalism, then secretary of the police commission of his 
home city, afterwards clerk of Detroit, which position he 
held for two terms. Then the opportunity came, and he 
was elected to the Sixty-fourth Congress from the thir- 
teenth district of Michigan. The successful career of our 
departed friend shows the opportunity that any young 
man of ordinary ability has in our country for advance- 
ment. Here wealth, position, and honor are the prizes 
offered for energy, and every poor boy can compete. I 
might add that failure only comes to those who let oppor- 
tunity go or are indifferent to their own best interests. 
Mr. Nichols was a man of untiring energy, industrious, 
and of good, plain, everyday judgment and common 
sense. We all miss him, and, now that his book of life 
is closed, we may still revere his memory, praise his good 
qualities, and are pleased that we knew him. 

What the future holds for us we know not. Whether 
we cross the river in darkness or we are ushered to a 


Address of Mr. Smith, of Michigan 

higher and better life, where happiness awaits, it is not 
given us to know. The intelligence of the world, the high- 
est and brightest minds, all believe in a Divinity and that 
the future is eternal. But we are authors of our own 
career in this life; and for guidance I have often thought 
of the admonition of the revered Bryant: 

So live, that when thy summons comes to join 
The innumerable caravan which moves 
To that mysterious realm where each shall take 
His chamber in the silent halls of death. 
Thou go not, like the quarry slave at night, 
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave 
Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him and lies down to pleasant dreams. 

Mr. Nichols was at the time of his decease very much 
interested in adjusted compensation for the World War 
veterans. Indeed, he had a deep solicitation for their wel- 
fare, not only during the war but afterwards. He was 
instrumental in having the Three hundred and thirty- 
ninth Regiment returned from Russia, and went to the 
seacoast to accompany the remains of the boys who had 
made the supreme sacrifice for their country back to their 
long homes. I think Mr. Nichols would be glad to have 
this said of him because of his untiring efforts in their 
behalf. He wished them to have an extra compensation 
as a slight contribution to the financial sacrifices they 
made to join the service and sustain the flag. 

I was privileged to attend his funeral in his home city 
of Detroit. His body lay in state in the city hall, where he 
had devoted his services in former years to the welfare of 
his city. Throngs crowded the corridors, civic societies 
passed by his remains, showing the high esteem and re- 
spect in which he had engrafted himself into the aff"ection 
of the inhabitants of all classes in the city; and as he 
lived, upright and just and true in life, so now will we 


Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

with affectionate remembrance hold him in high esteem 
in the innermost recesses of our remembrance as our 
friend and colleague, an upright citizen, and leave him 
not to be forgotten, but remembered for all time to come. 
We can only say adieu and abide our time when we must 
all make the same journey. May it be well with us then 
as I am sure it was with Mr. Nichols. 

Sunset and evening star, 

And one clear call for me I 
And may there be no moaning of the bar, 

When 1 put out to sea. 

But such a tide as moving seems asleep, 

Too full for sound and foam, 
When that which drew from out the boundless deep 

Turns again home. 

Twilight and evening bell. 

And after that the dark! 
And may there be no sadness of farewell. 

When I embark; 

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

When I have crost the bar. 

— Tennyson. 


Address of Mr. Currie, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker: It is fitting and proper that we should 
gather here and endeavor to honor, in a humble way, the 
memory of our late colleague. We miss his companion- 
ship and his counsel. In his untimely death family and 
friends were grievously shocked and the Nation suflered 
a distinct loss. 

Mr. Nichols, through diligent and faithful service, had 
reached a high place in the councils of the greatest legis- 
lative body on the face of the earth. He was chairman 
of the Committee on the Census. Every 10 years a Fed- 
eral census is taken, and tlie legislation for the census of 
1920 stands as the handiwork of the Hon. Charles A. 

He was a student of public affairs who never lost sight 
of his mission and trust. His vigorous efforts before com- 
mittees and upon the floor of the House accomplished 
much good and saved the Nation vast sums of money. 
His earnest and aggressive work before governmental 
bureaus and departments brought relief and happiness 
to many a weary and discouraged soldier and sailor boy. 
No person was too humble for an audience with him, and 
no man was great enough to deter him in his mission of 
right and justice as he saw it. 

The soldiers had in him a true and sympathetic friend. 
1 remember that when the first ship bearing bodies of our 
heroes who died in Russia was on its way to the United 
States it was Mr. Nichols who challenged the attention 
of Congress to its duty on behalf of the Nation to honor 
their memory by a suitable service at the docks in New 

Along life's pathway, whether it was as a press reporter, 
city official, or a Congressman of the United States, his 

55302—22 2 [17] 

Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

thought and action showed him the friend of man. No 
testimonial of high esteem that our words may speak 
here to-day can equal that mute tribute by thousands of 
his home people at Detroit — rich, poor, humble, and 
great — who formed a procession that was hours in pass- 
ing as his body lay in state at the city hall. 

My friends, the true test of a successful life is not how 
long but how useful to his fellow beings; and, measured 
by that standard, the life of Charles A. Nichols was a 
distinct success. 


Address of Mr. Cramton, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker: It is very timely that as we are gathered 
here to-day to pay tribute to the services of our colleague, 
Charles A. Nichols, mention should be made of the fact 
that it was through his activity that the Congress, repre- 
senting the people of the Nation, arranged that tribute 
should be paid at New York when the first of our dead 
from the Great War came back to our shores. It was the 
occasion of the retui-n of the dead of the Three hundred 
and thirty-ninth Regiment from northern Russia, but they 
chanced to be the first of our Nation's dead to be re- 
turned, and Mr. Nichols felt that that opportunity should 
not be permitted to pass without the Nation paying its 
tribute, not only to those dead but to all who had given 
their lives upon the other side in the great conflict. 
Through his activity at the War Department and on the 
floor of this House that opportunity was not permitted to 
pass without being properly recognized. Mr. Nichols 
was the chairman of the committee that had those services 
in charge. Now he, too, has passed, and we pay tribute, 
not to one who served his country on the field of battle 
or in the military service, but to one who served his 
country with no less devotion in civic place of high 

To those of us who served with him, members of the 
delegation from the State of Michigan, his sudden death 
was to each and every one of us a shock. It was more 
than that. It took from each one of us a highly valued 
friend; because to those of us who knew him best he was 
not Congressman Nichols, but he was Charlie Nichols. 
He was not alone a public servant honored highly by his 
city and his congressional district, but he was the man 
and the friend. 


Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

It is a pleasure to me to recall that, not having met him 
personally when he came into Congress, although I had 
known much of him, though political conditions threat- 
ened at first to lead to some separation of our paths, that 
diff'erence was not permitted to stand in the way of the 
growth of a deep and real friendship between us. Very 
early in my acquaintance with him 1 found what each day 
of that acquaintance only emphasized, that the great 
things about Charlie Nichols were his real, deep human- 
ity, his thorough sincerity of purpose, and his courage to 
face and perform a duty. 

It comes back to me now, the first time that I saw 
Charlie Nichols. It was at the famous Bay City con- 
vention in Michigan in 1912. He was in office in the city 
of Detroit as city clerk, and could have remained in that 
office indefinitely with his strong ties of friendship 
throughout the city. But when the contest came, through 
the candidacy of Theodore Roosevelt, it appealed to 
Charlie Nichols with such force that he gave to it all the 
devotion of his nature and put upon the altar of sacrifice 
his position in the city government of Detroit. In the 
course of that contest he made a tremendous fight against 
odds in the city of Detroit, and carried with him to the 
State convention a delegation from that county, a conven- 
tion where all was tumult as the two factions gathered 
from all over Michigan for the most bitter political con- 
flict in Michigan for a generation. The State militia had 
been called out as a police measure. I, as a spectator, 
on my way into the convention, was endeavoring to 
get into the Armory Building where it was in session. I 
was on my way in with a visitor's ticket when I saw 
Charlie Nichols on his way out, his delegation excluded, 
and he physically thrown out of the convention, passed 
back through the packed lobby, handed along over the 
heads of all by burly hangers-on of the opposing faction. 


Address of Mr. Cramton, of Michigan 

That first sight of him has always emphasized to me 
that while his was a mild and gentle nature, nevertheless 
when he embraced a cause he was willing to put every- 
thing into it; that while he loved peace, he was willing to 
fight for his principles and ideals. 

Mention has been made of the fact that Charlie Nichols 
was preeminent as a newspaper man. A mutual friend 
of his and mine, who served with him in the newspaper 
game and is now on the bench in the city of Detroit, the 
Hon. Arthur E. Gordon, knowing him better in his news- 
paper days than I did, I asked my friend to give me some- 
thing of his estimate of Charlie Nichols as a newspaper 
reporter and as a man. He has handed me this : 

Charlie Nichols as a reporter and a man. 
I can not differentiate, because a decent reporter is always a 

Charlie A. Nichols was a decent reporter. I knew liim in 
tlie beginning of his career in the newspaper business; was 
with him on the Detroit News in 1898 and 1899 and against 
him on the Detroit Journal from 1899 to 1903, while he was 
still on the News, 

He began on the police beat, that prolific source of good 
newspaper men, where cubs are sent to learn to observe human 
nature and to write about concrete things. Any man can be a 
fair police reporter if he is industrious and observing. He can 
be a good police reporter or a star police reporter if he has 
reasoning faculties developed to a high enough degree; if he 
is endowed with those subtle qualities which enable him to 
win the confidence of utter strangers within a few minutes; 
to extract from them the most sacredly preserved secrets; to 
pick out the handful of grain concealed within the bushel of 
chaff which is poured out in moments of great strain by prin- 
cipals in or witnesses to some great tragedy; if he is trained 
in logical reasoning so that he can follow a tenuous trail marked 
only here and there by a definite fact which serves as a guide- 
post to the solution of a criminal mystery. 

This was Charles A. Nichols as a reporter. He was a star 
police reporter. He solved many of the great murder mys- 


Memorial Addresses: Representati\-e Nichols 

teries of Detroit of two generations ago when the police and 
trained detectives were utterly at sea or resolutely following 
the wrong trail. He was more than this as a reporter. He 
never betrayed a confidence. Because he would let himself be 
scooped on a big story rather than disclose to the public what 
had been told him in confidence or under a pledge that it be 
withheld until the happening of some event, he had the confi- 
dence of the heads of the detective and police bureaus and of 
the courts. He always played fair with his fellow newspaper 
men. Therein lies the greatest test of a man in the newspaper 
business or profession. No reporter can have the confidence 
of his fellow reporters unless he has consistently played fair 
with them. He must not stoop to petty deceptions. He must 
not lie to them. 

Charles A. Nichols had no enemy among the newspaper men 
of Detroit. He was loyal to his paper to the highest degree. He 
spared no effort, no expenditure of time or energy, in pursuing 
the elusive story which makes the paper. While at work he 
knew nothing but the objective. He spared no efi'ort to get a 
better story than the reporter opposing him on the other papers, 
yet he was always fair, so that after the bitter competition of 
the day the stoutest competitors were often closest of friends. 
Thus it was with Charles A. Nichols. His rival on the opposing 
paper was usually seen around the town with him at night after 
the competition for that day had ceased and the evanescent 
glory of the day's scoop had passed into newspaper history. 

And this is the measure of a man in the newspaper profession, 
that he can be indefatigable in the interests of his paper while 
at work, yet be so fair to the man he is trying to beat that he can 
not fail to win the respect and friendship of his opponent. This 
was Charles A. Nichols, brilliant newspaper man, criminal 
investigator, and decent man, imbued with the highest qualities 
of American citizenship. These qualities which served him in 
such good stead as a newspaper reporter were broadened and 
enlarged by his newspaper career, and his sympathies were so 
sharpened by his experience that when he entered the field of 
politics he never lost his human interest, his ability to get the 
other man's viewpoint, to see both sides of the " story," and not 
form hasty conclusions. As a result he was a capable public 
servant, always being the highest type of man. 


Address of Mr. Cramton, of Michigan 

My friend Gordon has emphasized the real point, that 
when we come into public service we continue in public 
service to be just the kind of men that we were before 
we came into public service. And a man who has played 
the game fairly, who has been earnest and indefatigable 
in his work before he came to Congress, will prove earnest 
and indefatigable in his work here. 

So Charles A. Nichols, in the short time he was in 
Congress, rose to the chairmanship of the Committee on 
the Census, and distinguished himself as well by thorough 
work on the Public Lands Committee, where he was ren- 
dering a real public service. But the real tribute to 
Nichols the man and Nichols the Congressman, after all, 
is not in what we may have to say here, but in the expres- 
sion of respect and love for him which poured out not 
here alone but poured out in his home city upon the 
occasion of the return of his body to that city. 

I remember, and will long remember, as we stood there 
in the corridors of the city hall, the building where he 
had served the city as city clerk, where he had always 
been ready to perform service to and help the humblest 
citizen of Detroit who came to him for aid — in that city 
hall, as his body lay there in state, the people for hours 
poured through the corridors to pay their silent tribute 
of love and respect to the man that they knew as the 
friend of each and every one of them. 


Address of Mr. Michener, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker: We have met here on this Sabbath Day 
to pay our tribute of love and respect to our late lamented 
colleague, Congressman Charles A. Nichols. These serv- 
ices are not perfunctory in their character; they are more. 
It is but proper that this, the gi-eatest legislative body in 
the world, should set aside this day to commemorate the 
memory of one of its departed Members. Each one of us 
has his small place to fill in the great human family, and 
when the death angel beckons we must of necessity leave 
vacant chairs. To-day we mingle with our friends, we 
enjoy their associations, but we know not what the mor- 
row holds in store for us. The ties formed in this body 
are difficult to sever, and these occasions bring us face 
to face with realities. 

The grim reaper has exacted an unusual toll from the 
Sixty-sixth Congress. Fourteen times has he entered 
our ranks. Fourteen times we have realized that — 

Death takes us unawares, 

And stays our hurrying feet, 
The great design unfinished lies. 

Our lives are incomplete. 

It has been said that death is the black camel that stops 
at every man's door. It is seldom welcome, but sure to 
come. It lies in every passing breeze and lurks in every 

Leaves have their time to fall. 

And flowers to wither at the north wind's breath, 
And stars to set; but all, 

Thou hast all seasons for thine own, Death! 

And so when we learned of the passing of our colleague 
it seemed that his going was untimely, unwarranted. In 
the prime of life, in the bloom of manhood, in the day of 


Address of Mr. Michener, of Michigan 

his usefulness his final summons came. Without warn- 
ing, unexpected, it was a great shock to his friends. He 
surely died at the post of duty. I met him in the House 
Office Building on that Sunday afternoon; he was in ap- 
parent good health— jovial and agreeable, as usual— and 
in but a few hours later cold in death. 

I first met Mr. Nichols in the closing days of the Sixty- 
fifth Congress— about two years ago. I came to Wash- 
ington, as most new Members do, to get acquainted with 
the surroundings. I will ever remember the courtesy and 
consideration shown me by Mr. Nichols. From that time 
on he was my friend. I soon learned to love him for his 
true worth. He was a kind, genial, whole-souled, com- 
panionable man. To know him was to admire him. True 
to his friends alwaj's. One could not know Mr. Nichols 
long without knowing something of his home life. His 
devotion to his widowed mother was marked. The con- 
sideration of her pleasure entered into his every plan. 
On many occasions during the sessions of Congress I 
have known him to leave his seat on the floor just to call 
up mother and see that all was well with her. Such atten- 
tion, though tfulness, and love of mother always inspires 
admiration and confidence, and so it seemed but fitting 
that the end should come, as it did, in his mother's arms. 

It was my privilege to accompany the funeral party to 
Detroit. I did not wonder at the large number of friends 
at the depot and at the funeral. There were members of 
organizations, military and civil; there were his friends — 
all knew him; all mourned his loss. As the body lay in 
state in the gi-eat city hall of Detroit, in which building 
he had so faithfully served his people, I saw many people 
in solemn procession pass the coffin and take a last look 
at all that was mortal of their friend. Some had known 
him as a lad, some had known him as a young newspaper 
reporter, some had known him as a mature newspaper 


Memorial Addresses: Representati\'e Nichols 

writer, some had known him as secretary of the police 
department, some had known him as city clerk, some had 
known him as their Representative in Congress. All knew 
him to be worthy of confidence; all loved him. Three 
times was he elected to Congress, each time by an in- 
creased majority. He was truly a self-made man. His 
career should be an inspiration to every American lad. 
He conclusively exemplified opportunity in America. He 
again demonstrated that the " barefoot boy, with cheek 
of tan," is a presidential possibility. His success was not 
the result of chance; it was the result of merit. 

It can be honestly said that " when he departed he took 
a man's life along with him." What is true greatness and 
true success, except the development of those qualities 
which we summarize and emphasize in the one word — 
manhood? It touches the attractive as well as the noble 
features in the life of man. It is a word difficult to define, 
yet, without definition, we recognized and appreciated it 
in Congressman Nichols. He lived out his days and his 
years in the State of his birth. He held the affection and 
the friendship of the home folks, and after all — 

Friends are in life's exchange the sterling coin; 
True tender for all the rarest forms of joy; 
The only pauper is the friendless man. 

Judged by this standard, our friend was, indeed, a 
wealthy man. No constituent was too humble or too lowly 
to receive the utmost consideration. His office was the 
clearing house for the wants and requests of all ex-service 
men. No Member of this body took a keener interest in 
the welfare of those who served during the late war and 
those who were dependent upon them. It was Mr. 
Nichols who introduced the first resolution in Congress 
providing that suitable arrangements be made for the re- 
ception of the remains of those who made the supreme 
sacrifice on the other side. His office was the headquar- 


Address of Mr. Michener, of Michigan 

ters for Michigan American Legion Welfare Officers while 
in Washington, and in his death these boys lost an earnest 
supporter and an energetic advocate. It is not for me, 
a comparatively new Member here, to call attention to 
the legislative ability and statesmanship of our colleague. 
This will be done far better by those who have had longer 
service with him and who are better qualified to speak. 

Suffice it for me to say that the thirteenth congressional 
district has lost an able Representative, the State has lost 
an honored citizen, and the country has lost a wise legis- 
lator. His faults we write upon the sand, his virtues upon 
the tablets of love and memory. 


Address of Mr. McLeod, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker: Although I was not fortunate enough to 
be numbered among his bosom friends, I do not believe 
there were many people in Detroit who were unfamiliar 
with the name of my predecessor, the late Congressman 
Nichols, and I consider it a great honor to be allowed to 
pay my tribute to his memory at this ceremony. 

A President could not have been accorded a more 
befitting burial than that bestowed upon him by the 
people of his loved city. His sudden tragic death from 
heart failure occurred in the arms of his revered mother. 
On the arrival of his body from Washington it was met 
by an array of policemen and a squad of medaled service 
men in their overseas uniforms. His body lay in state 
for two days at the city hall, where it was viewed by 
thousands of mourners. 

His presence among his friends was always welcome on 
account of his care-free, lovable disposition. He always 
looked on the sunny side of life, even when everything 
went dead wrong. He was a man of sympathetic under- 
standing, and never failed to extend a helping hand to a 
discouraged fellow creature. Longfellow said: 

Into each life some rain must fall. 

Mr. Nichols therefore must have had his share; but 
such days were never intimated to or inflicted on his 
friends. One of his most commendable and noticeable 
attributes was his devoted attention to his constant com- 
panion, his mother, a frail, sweet-faced, gray-haired 
mother, such as poets love to describe. 

At the age when most boys are enjoying the free exist- 
ence of school life he had undertaken the arduous task 
of a newspaper reporter. He was famous for his ability 
in solving homicide cases which others had abandoned. 


Address of Mr. McLeod, of Michigan 

He was appointed secretary of the Detroit police de- 
partment in 1905, where he served three years. In 1908 
his merit was rewarded by his election to the public office 
of city clerk and his reelection in 1910. In 1914 the public 
further displayed their confidence in Mm by sending him 
to the United States Congress. I need not go into the 
details of his service here, as you, my dear colleagues, 
are acquainted with his unblemished record here. How- 
ever, I can not but touch upon his patriotic war record. 
During this critical time he never once flinched. He took 
an important part in the legislation for the welfare of 
soldiers. He served his constituents well in all capacities. 
Even a few hours before Ms untimely death, which was 
on Sunday, when he should have been resting after the 
strenuous toil of the week, he was writing a report upon 
a measure of vital importance to every man and woman 
in the country, as it related to the extraordinary cost of 

My great desire is that I may have the wisdom to follow 
in Ms footsteps here. 
How can he be dead who lives immortal in the hearts of men? 


Address of Mr. White, of Kansas 

Mr. Speaker: Until I came here this morning I knew 
little more of the life of Charles A. Nichols before I met 
him upon entering on my duties in the Sixty-sixth Con- 
gress than I found in one of the very briefest biographies 
in the Congressional Directory. I can not speak of the 
record of his life and achievements with the familiarity 
that his colleagues are able to speak, but I am pleased 
and honored, Mr. Speaker and gentlemen, to speak for 
a few minutes of my friend Charles A. Nichols. 

It is not for me to explore the domain of metaphysical 
idealism. I indulge in no speculation; for me it is sound 
philosophy, true religion, and supreme consolation to hold 
to that maxim, " I know that it shall be well with the 

And whatever betides beyond the frontier of the un- 
known world, 1 believe that a conscious entity of our 
departed friend is consciously existent, and that with the 
same intense courage that characterized his work here 
his undaunted soul is to-day grappling from the forum of 
eternity with its mysterious problems. Ironquill says, in 
what I regard as one of his greatest poems, the Washer- 
woman's Song, giving expression to that spirit of doubt 
which assails, perplexes, and at times tortures the think- 
ing mind — 

Human hopes and human creeds 
Have their root in human needs; 
Yet I would not want to strip 
From the washerwoman's lip 
Any songs that she may sing. 
Any comfort songs may bring. 
For the woman has a friend 
That will keep her to the end. 


Address of Mr. White, of Kansas 

But, again, the same writer, in his poem Criterion, 
which seems to be a reflective answer or an echo of that 
apparently agnostic sentiment expressed in the Washer- 
woman's Song, says: 

And yet the soul doth seem to be 
In sunshine which it can not see. 
Sometimes the spirit seems to roam 
Above the clouds, above the foam. 
Back to some half-forgotten home; 
And so I think that it may be 
That man and his finality 
Is not an ideality, but, indeed, reality. 

Charles Nichols's faith was of a positive, unques- 
tioning character. I know this, for he told me so. It was 
builded upon the words of Him who spake as never man 
spake, who said, " Because I live, you shall live also." I 
think of few men whom I have met in a long period of 
private and official life who in so short a time I came to 
know so well and to esteem so highly as I did the gentle- 
man from Michigan, the Hon. Charles Nichols, in respect 
for whose memory and services we meet here to-day. It 
was largely due, perhaps, because of our mutual service 
on the Committee on the Public Lands. In this connection 
I feel there is no impropriety in referring to one incident 
at least in the official experience of Mr. Nichols which 
illustrates in a high degree his quality as a statesman and 
his rare political integrity. He was enthusiastically for 
the payment of a soldier's bonus to the American ex- 
service men of the great World War. 

Although not rugged in health, he devoted much time 
and energy to advancing this legislation, but he opposed 
with equal energy the bill, H. R. 487, authorizing the ap- 
propriation of $500,000,000 for the establishment of 
projects upon Government reclaimed land. Seventeen 
members of the committee were strongly in favor of the 
measure, while only four opposed it, but so strongly that, 


Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

on account of the objections urged by Mr. Nichols, a 
minority view, written by him, was signed and printed; 
and it was due to his opposition more than to any other 
one thing that the measure failed. It was an exhibition 
of unusual, yet of admirable, courage to throw down the 
gage of battle to a great committee of the House and to 
the majority leadership on his own side when there was 
every probability of being misunderstood. These are the 
qualities that compel admiration from everyone; but, be- 
yond all tliis, it was the splendid qualities of the man of 
which I am thinking most. His was the gentle, kindly 
spirit I spent many happy hours in his office, and he in 
mine, and when you and I have invoked every source of 
consolation, have conjured the beauty and usefulness of 
Ms life in terms of love and admiration, contemplating 
all of the fine and noble qualities of a splendid man that 
show in all the acts of that wondrously perfect life, and 
in none more perfectly than in the tender care and solici- 
tude shown for the dear kind mother, to be so cruelly and 
unexpectedly bereaved, we must pause disconsolate be- 
cause we have no voice with which to reach the ear of him 
whom we have loved. Hopeless of entire consolation, we 
ask the age-old question, never affirmatively answered — 

Can storied urn, or animated bust. 

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? 

Can honor's voice provoke the silent dust, 
Or flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of death? 

Time, at once the builder and the leveler, thou shalt, 
thou must write justly and truly the story of this man's 
life; and there shall appear no recorded act unworthy of 
a noble man. 


Address of Mr. Siegel, of New York 

Mr. Speaker : It is said by the psalmist that " man is 
like to vanity. His days are as a shadow that passeth 

We know these things to be self-evident. Yet during 
the short space of time which man has upon this earth 
he accomplishes often in a short span of life more than 
many others succeed in doing in a much longer one. Our 
able, esteemed, kind-hearted, industrious worker and pa- 
triotic friend, Charles A. Nichols, was no exception. 
He passed away when yet young in years. But he is 
mourned by all who recognized the value of his real con- 
scientious and earnest work for one of the largest con- 
stituencies which any Member of the House has ever 
represented. He looked after the welfare of thousands 
of young men who entered the service from the city of 
Detroit. His district, according to the latest figures of 
the 1920 census, had a couple of hundred thousand of 
inhabitants, to whom he devoted himself with all the 
energy and strength which a man of his years possessed. 

I first met him when he came to Congress, over five 
years ago. He discussed with me at that time the com- 
plex problems of a heterogeneous population such as his 
district had. He and I compared the efforts which we 
were both exerting to make that population homogeneous. 
Later, when we both served on the Census Committee, of 
which he was the honored chairman at the time of his 
decease, we frequently discussed the same problem. He 
typified the highest ideal of American citizenship. His 
devotion to his mother and his great love and affection 
for her won for- him the highest admiration of all who 
knew him. His sincerity in all his undertakings was 
thoroughly appreciated by all who met him. He loved 

55302—22 3 [33 J 

Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

this country and its institutions to the utmost. He took 
great pride in the great city of Detroit. 

Frequent, indeed, were his references to the soldier 
boys on the other side, and when the first of our heroes 
came back to America it was upon tiis resolution that a 
committee of the House and Senate were sent to meet and 
receive the honored dead, whose memories we shall ever 
hold in the highest esteem and respect. He died the same 
as a soldier upon the field of battle. On that same Sunday 
afternoon which was to be his last he wrote the report, 
which the Census Committee later adopted as its report, 
upon the skin and liide bill, which became a law. That 
evening he hoped to return and examine it once more. 
When he left the House Office Building on that Sunday 
afternoon little did he think that he would never again 
return to it. 

On the other side a couple of years ago I used the 
expression, " That where there is life there is death." If 
ever the statement was true, it was in the case of our 
dear lamented friend, Charles A. Nichols. If the gather- 
ing of wealth is to be deemed the foundation of success, 
then Charles A. Nichols was a failure; but to me, Mr. 
Speaker, he made the greatest progress which a human 
being could make, because he believed in service. Service 
and sacrifice were his motto. There is no greater love 
than that of mother for her child. There is no greater 
obedience to the mandate of the Ten Commandments 
than to honor and obey thy parents. Charles A. Nichols 
carried and followed that commandment in the fullest 
sense of the term. He typified the man described by 
Henry Victor Morgan in his famous poem, Success: 

I hold that man alone succeeds 
Whose life is crowned by noble deeds, 
Who cares not for the world's applause. 
But scorns vain custom's outgrown laws; 


Address of Mr. Siegel, of New York 

Who feels not dwarfed by nature's show, 

But deep within himself doth know 

That conscious man is greater far 

Than ocean, land, or distant star; 

Who does not count his wealth by gold. 

His worth by office he may hold, 

But feels himself, as man alone, 

As good as king upon a throne; 

Who, battling 'gainst each seeming wrong, 

Can meet disaster with a song. 

Feel sure of victory in defeat, 

And rise refreshed the foe to meet; 

Who only lives the world to bless. 

Can never fail — he is success. 

So, Mr. Speaker, our late colleague may not be here in 
flesh, but in spirit he will live as long as men will remem- 
ber a faithful son and a courageous Member of the House 
of Representatives. 

The Speaker pro tempore. The gentleman from Okla- 
homa [Mr. Carter] will please take the chair. 
Mr. Carter took the chair as Speaker pro tempore. 


Address of Mr. Fordney, of Michigan 

Mr. Speaker: The House of Representatives is full of 
men who started life with little. The American boy, no 
matter how poor, has hovering over his cradle the angels 
of Political Liberty and Unlimited Opportunity. Give 
him health and he can rise as high as he will. We meet 
to-day to honor the memory of a boy who was born poor, 
who rose high, who was good to his mother, and who was 
one of the countless examples of what this country does 
for those who render faithful service. 

Charles A. Nichols was a product of the finest region 
in all the world — a child of the Old Northwest. New Eng- 
land is proud of her Puritans, and Virginia of her Cava- 
liers. The thirteen Colonies brought forth this Govern- 
ment; but the fairest child of the Revolution was the ter- 
ritory northwest of the Ohio River, where labor has al- 
ways been free and where opportunity has showered her 
choicest blessings on her sons. That great territory got 
her political bearings even before the rest of the United 
States, because her immortal ordinance of '87 was adopted 
before the Constitution, and no other Government charter 
had ever equaled it. One sentence in it contains more of 
the spirit of human progress than all the mandates of 
kings. I wish it could be written on the sky: "Religion, 
morality, and knowledge being necessary to good gov- 
ernment and tlie happiness of mankind, schools and the 
means of education shall be forever encouraged." 

Under this influence the Old Northwest Territory has 
produced more Presidents and statesmen than any other 
part of the United States. And into this atmosphere and 
these traditions Charles A. Nichols was born at the little 
town of Boyne, Charlevoix Countj% Mich., amid the music 


Address of Mr. Fordney, of Michigan 

of the sawmills and the perfume of the pines. He got his 
education in the unsurpassed public schools which the 
State of Michigan provides for all her children. He 
learned to write forcible English; and that accomplish- 
ment, with a natural nose for news, gave him employ- 
ment as a newspaper reporter in Detroit, so he became 
intimately acquainted with the affairs of that phenomenal 
city. He probably never enjoyed himself more than while 
he was a police reporter in the most rapidly growing city 
in America. He saw a greasy young mechanic riding 
about the streets in a queer horseless wagon with iron- 
bound tires and a trail of smoke; and from those experi- 
ments he beheld the rocketlike growth of the greatest au- 
tomobile manufacturing center in the world. He loved 
the city and its stately river, with its endless movie show 
of ships, a more numerous fleet than can be seen in any 
harbor on any ocean. 

In his work as a police reporter he was fortunate in his 
field. On one side of the river was his home city and 
country, on the other side was the Canadian frontier, and 
across that border many a fleeing lawbreaker carried the 
plots of international detective stories more interesting 
than any fiction. Young Nichols had a great capacity 
for observation and the ability to tell a true story well. 
So he won wide acquaintance and an enduring good 
name. There are unhappy countries where criminals are 
in less danger than honest men, where poverty is perma- 
nent, where speech is enslaved, and newspapers are either 
subservient or suppressed. Charles A. Nichols, as a 
police reporter, helped to make crime a dangerous busi- 
ness for the criminals. When he had written and lived 
more detective stories than any novelist ever wrote there 
came to Mr. Nichols the opportunity to become a public 
servant, first as secretary to the police board; afterwards 
he was elected city clerk of Detroit, and then he was three 


Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

times chosen to represent a great industrial district in the 
House of Representatives. He learned to know his people 
and their needs, and he served them well. 

Mr. Nichols as a Member of this House was the same 
efficient, straightforward, independent man that he had 
been in his public service at home. He seldom spoke 
on the floor, but the less he spoke the more he heard, and 
there have been men here who talked loud and often who 
never attained the influence or the aff'ection in which Mr. 
Nichols was held. 

At the time he died he was chairman of the Committee 
on the Census. It is the work of this committee to pro- 
vide for the taking, every 10 years, of the record of our 
national growth. Figures can not picture it, but they give 
some idea. In 1800 the census found in the Northwest 
Territory 51,000 people. In 1850 the number had grown 
to 4,500,000, and in 1920 to 21,000,000, or about one-fifth 
of the population of the United States. These millions live 
in a country where the hired laborer of to-day is working 
for himself to-morrow and hiring others the day after; 
where the good man can not be kept down and where 
every boy has a chance; which was never better shown 
than in the life of our beloved friend and fellow Member, 
Charles Nichols. 

The Speaker pro tempore. In accordance with the reso- 
lution previously adopted, the House stands adjourned. 

Accordingly (at 2 o'clock and 25 minutes p. m.) the 
House adjourned until to-morrow, Monday, February 28, 
1921, at 11 o'clock a. m. 



Monday, April 26, 1920. 

A message from the House of Representatives, by D. K. 
Hempstead, its enrolling clerk, communicated to the Senate 
the intelligence of the death of Hon. Charles A. Nichols, 
late a Representative from the State of Michigan, and 
transmitted resolutions of the House thereon. 

The Vice President laid before the Senate the following 
resolutions of the House of Representatives, which were 

In the House of Representatives 

OF THE United States, 

April 26, 1920. 

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound sorrow of 
the death of Hon. Charles A. Nichols, a Representative from 
the State of Michigan. 

Resolved, That a committee of 18 Members of the House, with 
such Members of the Senate as may be joined, be appointed to 
attend the funeral. 

Resolved, That the Sergeant at Arms of the House be authorized 
and directed to take such steps as may be necessary for carrying 
out the provisions of these resolutions, and that the necessary 
expenses in connection therewith be paid out of the contingent 
fund of the House. 

Resolved, That the Clerk communicate these resolutions to the 
Senate and transmit a copy thereof to the family of the deceased. 
Resolved, That, as a further mark of respect, this House do now 

Mr. TowNSEND. Mr. President, I offer the following reso- 
lutions, and ask for their adoption. 

The resolutions (S. Res. 353) were read, considered 
by unanimous consent, and unanimously agreed to, as 
follows : 



016 099 172 • 

Memorial Addresses: Representative Nichols 

Resolved, That the Senate has heard with profound sorrow the 
announcement of the death of Hon. Charles A. Nichols, late a 
Representative from the State of Michigan. 

Resolved, That a committee of six Senators be appointed by the 
Presiding Officer to join the committee appointed by the House of 
Representatives to take order for the superintending of the 
funeral of Mr. Nichols at Detroit, Mich. 

Resolved, That the Secretary communicate a copy of these reso- 
lutions to the House of Representatives. 

Under the second resolution, Mr. Townsend, Mr. New- 
berry, Mr. Fernald, Mr. Ashurst, Mr. Harrison, and Mr. 
Keyes were appointed as the committee on the part of the 

Mr. Townsend. Mr. President, as a further mark of re- 
spect to the memory of the deceased Representative, I 
move that the Senate do now adjourn. 

The motion was unanimously agreed to; and (at 4 
o'clock and 50 minutes p. m.) the Senate adjourned until 
to-morrow, Tuesday, April 27, 1920, at 12 o'clock meridian.