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Full text of "Memorial addresses on the life and character of John Henry Gear (late a senator from Iowa), delivered in the Senate and House of representatives, Fifty-sixth Congress, second session"

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56th Congress, \ 
^'(l Si'Ksion. / 


f Document 
\ No. 236. 





(Late a Senator from Iowa), 



Second Session. 





K]io)33.ttil(DffilK! M^llSASSo 



Proceedings in the Senate 5 

Address of Mr. Allison, of Iowa 8 

Address of Mr. Piatt, of Connecticut 20 

Address of Mr. Cockrell, of Missouri 25 

Address of Mr. Nelson, of Minnesota 29 

Address of Mr. Spooner, of \Vi,sconsin 37 

Address of Mr. Morgan, of .'Alabama 42 

Address of Mr. Burrows, of Michigan 49 

Address of Mr. Mason, of Illinois 52 

Address of Mr. Cla}', of Georgia 55 

Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa 60 

Funeral oration of Hon. Thomas Hedge 69 

Proceedings in the House of Representatives 73 

Address of Mr. Hedge, of Iowa 76 

Address of Mr. Lanham, of Texas Si 

Address of Mr. Lacy, of Iowa 85 

Address of Mr. Grosvenor, of Ohio go 

Address of Mr. Dalzell, of Pennsylvania 93 

Address of Mr. Richardson, of Tennessee 97 

Address of Mr. Steele, of Indiana 100 

Address of Mr. Hull, of Iowa 102 

Death of Hon, John Henry Gear, 

Proceedings in the Senate. 

December 3, 1900. 


Rev. W. H. Milburn, D. D., Chaplain to the Senate, offered 

the following prayer: 

O Eternal God, rejoicing with gratitude to Thee that so many 
members of this body are in their places, strong in health and 
resolve for the responsible and onerous duties of their places, yet 
as the psalm of our thanksgiving rises, the heavy hand of sorrow 
is laid upoti us as we remember the irreparable loss which this 
body and the country at large has sustained in the departure from 
earth of some of our notable members. 

We recall the venerable figure of a late member of the Senate, 
who, looking back upon nearly fifty years of public service, had 
ingratiated himself into the regard, affection, and veneration of 
his brethren and of a large portion of the people of the country. 
We recall the form and presence of the junior Senator from 
Iowa, taken from us and leaving a gap in his State, as well as in 

this body. , 

And now we stand with unspeakable grief by the new-made 
grave in the capital of Minnesota, which within the last two days 
has received all that was mortal of the brilliant, attractive, and 
serviceable senior Senator from that State. By his genius, his 
Kbor his devotion to the interests not only of his own State but 
of the whole country . and by his attractive and winsome qualities 
he drew the love and fixed regard of his colleagues. O Lord, 
the sense of our sorrow and loss is unspeakable. 

6 Proceedings in the Senate. 

Let Thy consolation come to the members of these families; 
let it come to the venerable father and mother as well as the wife 
of the Minnesota Senator. 

Grant, O Lord, that the sense of our mortality may rest with 
becoming gravity upon the hearts and consciences of all here, 
and may we gird up our loins and walk reverently and humbly 
before Thee. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. 

Mr. Allison. Mr. President, it is with deep regret and pro- 
found sorrow that I announce to the Senate the death of my late 
colleague, Hon. John Henry Ge.a.r, which occurred in this city 
on the 14th day of July last. At some future time, of which I 
shall give due notice, I desire to afford the Senate an opportunity 
of paying tribute to the memorA' of Senator Gear and his long 
and distinguished services to his State and his country. At this 
time I beg leave to offer the resolutions which I send to the 
desk, and for which I ask immediate consideration. 

The President pro tempore. The resolutions submitted by 
the Senator from Iowa will be read. 

The Secretarj- read the resolutions, as follows: 

Resolirtt, That the Senate has heard with deep regret and profound 
sorrow of the deatli of the Hon. John Henry Ge.\R, late a Senator from 
the State of Iowa. 

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

The resolutions were considered Ijy inianimous consent and' agreed to. 

Mr. Allison. Mr. President, I offer an additional resolution, 
which I ask to have read and considered at this time. 

The President pro tempore. The resolution submitted by 
the vSenator from Iowa will be read. 

The Secretary read the resolution, as follows: 

Resolved, That as a further mark of respect to the memory of the 
<leceased, Hon. John Henry Ge.\r and Hon. Cushman Kellogg Davis, 
the Senate do now adjourn. 

Proceedings in the Senate. 7 

The resolution was unanimously agreed to; and (at 3 o'clock 
and 46 minutes p. m. ) the Senate adjourned until to-morrow, 
Tuesday, December 4, 1900, at 12 o'clock meridian. 

December 4, 1900. 

A message from the House of Representatives, by Mr. W. J. 
Browning, its Chief Clerk, transmitted to the Senate resolutions 
on the death of Hon. Cushman K. Davis, late a Senator from the 
State of Minnesota; Hon. John H. Gear, late a Senator from 
theStateof Iowa; Hon. John H. Hoffecker, late a Representative 
from the State of Delaware, and Hon. William D. Daly, late a 
Representative from the State of New Jersey. 

Janu.\ry 10, igoi. 

Mr. Allison. Mr. President, I desire to give notice that on 
Saturday, the 19th of January, after the routine morning busi- 
ness, I shall submit resolutions commemorative of the life and 
services of the Hon. John Henry CxEAR, late a Senator from the 

State of Iowa. 

January 19, 1901. 

Mr. Allison. Mr. President, I submit the resolutions which 
I send to the desk, and ask that they may be read. 

The President pro tempore. The resolutions will be read. 

The Secretary read the, as follows: 

Resolved That it is with deep regret and profound sorrow that the Senate 

hears the announcement of the death of Hon. John Henry Gear, late a 

Senator from the State of Iowa. ., , ,, , „f tt,. 

Resolved, That the Senate extends to his family and to the people of the 

State of Iowa sincere condolence in their bereavement. 

Resolved, That, as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased, the 
business of the Senate be now suspended to enable his associates to pay fit- 
tin<r tribute to his high character and distinguished services. 

liesolved That the Secretary transmit to the family of the deceased and 
to the governor of the State of Iowa a copy of these resolutions, with the 
action of the Senate thereon. 

Resolved, That the Secretary communicate these resolutions to the House 

of Representatives. , ■ c 

Resolved, That, as an additional mark of respect, at the conclusion of 
these e.-cercises the Senate do adjourn. 

Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 


Mr. President: The late John Henry Gear, whose life 
and services we now commemorate, was first elected to the 
Senate by the general assembh- of Iowa on the 23d of January-, 
1894, and took his seat March 4, 1S95. He died in this city 
at 4 o'clock on the morning of July 14, 1900, in his seventy- 
sixth year. 

The ancestors of Senator Gear came from England to 
Connecticut in 1647, and settled near what was afterwards 
known as Middletown three years before that town was 
founded and eleven years after the first settlement of that 
colony from Massachusetts. They were of that class of sturdy, 
God-fearing people who laid so well the foundations of this 
Republic, and there on the banks of the Connecticut they 
and their posteritj- resided, sharing in the privations, diffi- 
culties, and dangers of that colony during the intervening 
period, alternately building their log cabins, clearing their 
fields, planting and harvesting their crops, and waging war- 
fare with the native tribes until after the close of the war of 
the Revolution, when Senator Gear's grandfather, Hezekiah 
Gear, after his marriage with Sarah Gilbert, moved to the 
neighborhood of Pittsfield, Mass. , where Ezekiel Gilbert Gear, 
father of Senator Gear, was born in 1791. He was educated 
for the ministry, and was ordained as a clergyman of the 
Church of England by the Right Rev. Bishop Hobart, of 
New York, in 18 15. A A-ear later he was sent as a mission- 
ary to the Indian tribes in western New York, and there, on 
April 7, 1825, his son, John Henry Gear, was born in what 
is now Ithaca, amidst the rigorous conditions surrounding life 

Address of Mr. Allison, of /ou>a. 9 

in a frontier village, which at that time was nothing more 
than an Indian trading post. 

The boy was born in the wilderness, surrounded by prime- 
val forests, where the Onondaga chief of the Five Nations 
still dwelt — our enemies in the war of the Revolution, though 
then at peace with us. The dwellings were log cabins, and 
the mothers were in constant fear of wild animals, and wild 
Indians as well. Having lost his mother, he was taken, at 2 
years of age, to Pittsfield, Mass., where he was nurtured by 
his grandmother until after his father's second marriage. 

In 1831 he returned to his father, and removed with him 
to the West five years later. The missionary and his little 
family went to Galena, 111. I do not know how this journey 
was made, but have no doubt thej- sailed down the Ohio to 
its junction with the Mississippi, and then followed that 
mighty river upward to Galena, then a mining town or vil- 
lage with a small population. The Black Hawk war of 1832 
had resulted, two years before, in the purchase by treaty of 
all the lands on the east bank of the Mississippi, and there 
was a belief that the country would attract to it emigrants 
from the Chicago was then a struggling village with- 
out even a charter for a municipal organization, and contained 
less than 2,000 souls, and between it and Galena was a 
wilderness of prairie. 

Two years later the father was appointed a chaplain in the 
United States Army and assigned to Fort Snelling, a frontier 
military post in what is now the State of Minnesota, a few 
miles below the Falls of St. Anthony, so named by La Salle, 
but then not even a village. This whole region was then 
a wilderness, inhabited only by wild tribes, and the solitude 
of nature was disturbed (jnly h\ the great falls of the Missis- 
sippi, known as St. Anthony, and the smaller one known as 

lO Life and Cliaractcr of John Henry Gear. 

Minnehaha. It was amid these scenes and surroundings that 
the boy grew up, enduring the hardships and privations of the 
frontier, and without means of education other than those pro- 
vided by an educated and pious father, which I have no doubt 
was of great vahie to him in after years. These surroundings 
and this teaching doubtless instilled into his mind that sturdy 
independence and push and integrity of dealing and character 
which followed him through life. It was the heritage of a 
poor man's son: 

Stout muscles and a sinewy heart, 
A hardy frame and a hardier spirit; 
King of his two hands, he does his part 
In every useful toil and art. 

The father remained a chaplain at Fort Snelling until 1868, 
esteemed and revered by the soldiers at the post and by all 
with whom he came in contact. Retiring in that year, he 
removed to Minneapolis, a flourishing city, as was also St. 
Paul, a few miles below — both unknown when he entered 
upon his missionary work in 1838. He died in 1873, at the 
age of 82 3'ears, respected and honored by all who knew him. 

In the fall of 1843 young Gear, at the age of 19, left his 
father's family and made his way down the Mississippi, arriv- 
ing on the 25th of September at Burlington, Iowa, where his 
maternal aunt then resided, she being the wife of Hon. Charles 
Mason, chief justice of the Territory of Iowa, a distinguished 
lawyer and well known by the older lawyers of this city as 
Commis.sioner of Patents for several years. 

Here began the successful career afterwards achieved by him 
as citizen and public servant. He promptly went to work o.n a 
farm near the village, but soon after found employment in the 
store of Bridgeman Brothers, in Burlington, at a compensation 
of $50 per year and board. In those days the young man could 

Address of Mr. Allison, of Iowa. ii 

not hope for an immediate increase of salary. After working 
with this firm for about a year he removed to Keosauqua — an 
Iowa village 50 miles distant — with the younger Bridgeman, 
who established a store there, and his wages were increased to 
$100 per j-ear and board. In the spring of 1845 he returned to 
Burlington and entered, in a subordinate capacity, the employ 
of W. F. Coolbaugh, then a leading merchant of that town. 
He worked so faithfully and intelligently that at the end of 
five years he was taken into the business, and the firm was 
changed to W. F. Coolbaugh & Co. At the end of another 
five years he became .sole proprietor of the business, Mr. Cool- 
baugh retiring to enter the banking business, in which he 
achieved great success. The business was continued success- 
fully b}' Mr. Gear, with various associates, until September, 
1879, when he retired from active business as a merchant. 

He was married in 1852 to Miss Harriet S. Foote, youngest 
daughter of Ju.stus L. and Harriet Foote, of Middlebury, Vt., 
where Mrs. Gear was born. They had four children, of whom 
two survive, namely, Margaret, wdfe of J. W. Blythe, a suc- 
cessful attorney of Burlington, and Ruth, wife of Horace S. 
Rand, a successful business man of Burlington. Mrs. Gear is 
a woman of extraordinary qualities and ability, and still sur- 
vives her husband. During the period of their married life 
she was an untiring and able helpmate of her husband and 
greatly aided him in all his work and ambitions, finding her 
reward in the honors which from time to time came to him. 
The domestic life of Senator and Mrs. Gear was ideal, and 
their devotion to each other gave their home life a charm 
which delighted their friends everywhere. 

He always took an active interest in the political affairs of 
the period, first as a Whig and afterwards as a Republican. 
He held no office, except that of alderman from one of the 

12 Life and Characky of John Henry Gear. 

wards of the city, until 1863, when he was elected mayor of 
Burlington, in which capacity he rendered great service to the 
Union soldiers going to and coming from the front, Burling- 
ton being a rendezvous. He was nominated by the Republi- 
cans in 1868 for representative in the Iowa general assembly, 
but declined the nomination; but in 1S71, being again nomi- 
nated, he accepted and was elected a member of the Fourteenth 
general assembly, although the covuity in which he lived was 
Democratic. In 1873 he was renominated and elected to the 
Fifteenth general assembly. When this legislature met he was 
selected as the Republican candidate for speaker of the house 
and was elected on the one hundred and fortj'-fourth ballot 
after a deadlock of two weeks, a situation brought about hy 
the fact that neither the Republican nor the Democratic party 
had a majority of the members. 

During this term as speaker he demonstrated his remarkable 
tact and ability to satisfactorily control a difficult situation, 
and the spirit of turbulence manifested at the opening of the 
session gradualh- changed to one of general commendation 
because of his fairness and impartiality in the administration 
of the office. The qualities then displayed resulted in his 
reelection as speaker in the succeeding general a.s.sembly, and 
I believe he is the only man but one who has held this office 
in Iowa twice in succession. 

At the end of his four years as .speaker his integrity and 
abilitN- were so fully recognized throughout the State that in 
1877 he was nominated as the Republican candidate for gov- 
ernor and was elected. He was renominated by acclamation 
in 1879 and again elected. When he entered the office of 
governor, the supervision of the various charitable and bene\-o- 
lent institutions of the State was within the special care of 
the governor, and during his service he gave personal and 

Address of Mr. Allison, of Iowa. 13 

constant attention to all the details of the ofBce, including 
this supen'ision, and introduced many reforms in the admin- 
istration of those institutions. This personal supervision led 
him strongly to recommend in his messages the creation of a 
permanent board of control, which should have special control 
of all educational, charitable, and penal institutions of the State. 
The importance of this was recognized, but not adopted until 
a few years ago, since which time it has proved successful 
not only in Iowa, but in other States. 

Although Iowa has had the good fortune to have many men 
of eminence as governors of the State, it will always be said 
of Mr. Gear that he was one of the best. So strong was he 
in the affections of the people of the State at that time that 
many of his friends presented him for United States Senator 
in 188 1, but withdrew his name, and the late Senator \\'il.son 
was elected. Upon retiring from the office of governor in 
January, 1882, he was occupied for the next four years with 
his private affairs. 

The Congressional district in which he resided was a closely 
contested one between the two political parties, and it was 
believed by the Republicans that Mr. Gear's nomination 
would insure the success of the party in the district. There- 
fore when the convention met in 1886 he was nominated by 
acclamation and elected to the Fiftieth Congress. Two years 
later he was renominated and again elected. 

During his second term, as a member of the Committee on 
Ways and Means, he took an active part in the preparation of 
the McKinley tariff bill, being one of those especially assigned 
by Chairman McKinley- to the preparation of that portion of 
the bill which levied duties upon agricultural products. He 
had given much attention to the subject of the production 
of beet sugar, and believed it could be produced in our own 

14 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

country as cheaply as elsewhere if the industry were fairly 
started. As the best means of accomplishing this end he 
favored, in lieu of an import duty, a domestic bounty on sugar 
production, not only from sugar cane, but from beets as well, 
and he was largelj' iustrumetUal in securing the bounty pro- 
vision in the act of 1890. 

In 1890 he was again nominated by acclamation, but was 
defeated by a small majority, sharing the fate of many of his 
Republican associates in the House who lived in closely con- 
tested districts. He was again nominated in 1892 and was 
elected. After his election, in November, he was appointed 
by President Harrison Assi.stant Secretary of the Treasury, and 
served in that capacity until the beginning of the Fifty-third 
Congress, to which he had been elected a member. 

He became an active candidate for the Senate in the sunmier 
of 1893, preceding the election of the general assembl)' in the 
fall of that year. Other prominent men in Iowa were also 
candidates, but when the legislature met he was selected as 
the caucus candidate of the Republican part}- and elected for 
the six-year term beginning March 4, 1895, serving in the 
House until the commencement of his term in the Senate. He 
was reelected to the Senate in January, 1900, for the six-year 
term beginning March 4 next. 

His service in the Senate was relatively brief. Though he 
did not often participate in the debates of the Senate, he was 
active and useful in its work, and gave intelligent e.xamiuation 
to all matters assigned to him. His most conspicuous service 
was as chairman of the Committee on Pacific Railroads, which 
had charge of the readjustment and settlement of the Gov- 
ernment debt against those railroads. During this serv'ice a 
final settlement was made with the leading subsidized roads, 
wherebv the Government received in full the amount loaned 

Address of Mr. Allison, of lo'wa. 15 

to them by the legislation of 1862-1864, with interest to the 
date of settlement, 

Senator Gear was a delegate at large to the national con- 
vention held at Minneapolis in 1892, which nominated Presi- 
dent Harrison, and also in the convention of 1896, which 
nominated President McKinley. 

A little more than two years before his death Senator Gear 
was seized with a severe malady which confined him to his 
home for two months. From this attack he never fully recov- 
ered, and it finally resulted in his death, in this city, on the 14th 
of July last. Though it was known in Iowa that he was in 
iniirni health, yet he did not know, nor did his friends believe, 
that his condition was so critical, and so his death came to his 
family and friends and to the people of Iowa as a great shock. 
His death was deplored by the people of the State generally. 
In recognition of his long and valuable public service to the 
State, the governor issued a public proclamation reciting such 
service and closing the public offices on the day of the funeral; 
and leading citizens from all parts of the State, the governor 
and State ofiScers, and his associates from Iowa in Congress 
attended the obsequies, as did practically all the people of 
Burlington, the schools and business houses of the city being 
clo.sed during the services. 

Senator Ge.\r filled a large place in the history of Iowa for 
more than half a century, as a prominent and successful 
business man in one of its most prosperous cities, enlarging 
his business and extending his acquaintance into a constantly 
widening field, holding the friends alreadj- made and making 
new ones jear by year. He possessed a remarkable memorj' 
for names and faces, events and incidents, and thereby had the 
quality which enabled him on all occasions to summon to his 
support an army of friends. And thus it was at the time of 

1 6 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

his death and for man}- years before. He probabh' had more 
personal friends and followers than any man in the State 
during the generation of his political life. These friendships 
were not found alone in the political party with which he 
affiliated, but extended to those of opposing political opinions 
as well. 

He had a strong as well as a pleasing personality. His kind 
and genial disposition and manner made him many friends and 
firmly attached them to him when made. In all matters of 
large or small importance he was alwaj^s ready to aid those 
who sought his help. This characteristic made all with whom 
he came in contact feel that they could approach him at any 
time for anj' proper service. This valuable trait made him 
strong with all classes of people in Iowa with whom he rame 
in contact as its chief executive, and after he entered the 
public service at Washington made him a favorite with all 
lowans who had business needing attention. 

Through his entire term of public .service, dating from his 
election as mayor of Burlington in the spring of 1863 until his 
death in 1900 — nearly forty years in which he had at different 
times held offices of varied distinction and trust — Mr. Gear 
showed himself worthy of the highest tril:)Ute of public confi- 
dence and praise. The sterling worth, the high integrity, the 
courageous convictions that descended to him from his fore- 
fathers made him of the same bone and sinew as the pioneers 
of our country. The hardships and privations of his early life, 
the courage that faced the perils of the wilderness, the fierce 
enmity of savage men, were fit preparations for his independent 
and simple character. He belonged to that race of sturdy- men 
who are passing away from us one by one, who fought their 
wa)^ through trial and difficulty from the Atlantic coast to the 
mightv West. 

Address of Mr. Allison, of Iowa. 17 

His good deeds in private life and his faithful public service 
in every place assigned to him will long be remembered with 
gVatitude bj' the people of his State. His death was a great 
personal loss to me. It was my fortune to make his acquaint- 
ance in 1863. Although he lived in a part of the State distant 
from my home, I met him often, and during all the period 
from our first acquaintance until his death our frieudl}^ rela- 
tions were constant and uninterrupted, and for the last twenty 
years our associations were intimate and always agreeable to 
me, and I entertained for him a high personal regard. His 
death is deplored as a personal loss b}- those who shared with 
him public responsibility in Iowa, and \>y those who served 
with him from Iowa in the two Houses of Congress, but none 
deplore his loss more than do his friends and neighbors in the 
city of his adoption, where he resided nearly fifty-seven years, 
all of whom respected and esteemed him as an eminent citizen. 

I can not more fittingly close this imperfect tribute to his 
memory than h\ placing in what we hope may be an 
able record of his private life and public service an extract 
from the remarks made on the day of his funeral hy the Rev. 
Dr. Salter, who for half a century has ministered as pastoi 
of the First Congregational Church of Burlington, and who 
during half a century had known Senator Gear, and had 
observed his conduct as husband, father, neighbor, and friend, 
and as citizen and public servant. Dr. Salter said: 

"Seventy-five years ago this was a savage wilderness, as it 
had been for one huiadred and sixty years from its discovery, 
when the savages gave way to civilization. Ten years after 
the savages left this immediate region that young life appeared 
upon the scene, coming here to reside and study law 
with his uncle, Charles Mason, chief justice of the Territory, 
bringing here the principles and memories of liberty and 
S. Doc. 236 2 

1 8 Life and Character of Joint Henry Gear. 

constitutional government, which had advanced this countn- 
to the front in the civihzation of the world. 

"Inheriting a genial nature, bred in immutable morality, 
reverencing the sense of dut>- as the guide and safeguard of 
life, cherishing virtue, honor, and self-respect as jewels beyond 
silver and gold, making fidelity to whatever work fell to his 
hands an instant care, John Henry Gear, from his youth 
up, won the confidence, esteem, and affection of his fellow- 
men. He knew, indeed, the liability to error that is com- 
mon to us all — how hard it is to distinguish the shows and 
illusions of sense from the eternal realities. He had, there- 
fore, charitj' and consideration for others, and was not dog- 
matic or opinionative, but candid, and listened to reason with 
mind open to light and knowledge. To these sterling quali- 
ties was joined an active and vigorous mind, with a love of 
knowledge in different directions, a facility and readiness of 
application to whatever subject called for consideration, and a 
memory remarkably retentive and accurate. Upon questions 
of commerce and trade, with which from earl}- life he was 
especially conversant, and in matters pertaining to the public 
welfare and to the government and history of the country, 
he gained a conspicuous and honored place in the nation for 
the sagacity and wisdom of his counsels. His name is writ- 
ten large in the history of this Commonwealth, in the records 
of Congress, and in the hearts of thousands of our people. 

" While he died in the height of his fame, with such honors 
clustering his brow as fall to few; secure, so far as human 
authority and power go, in one of the high dignities of the 
world, he bore honor and fame with the same .simplicity that 
characterized him in everj' situation. 

' ' The city of his home bows in sorrow that we shall see 
his benignant form in our accustomed walks and ways no 

A d dress of Mr. A //isoti . of lou -a. 19 

more. His life will remain an undying memory in our affec- 
tion. Hi.s dust is to mingle in the cemetery with the dust 
of his predecessors in the Senate, Augustus C. Dodge and 
James W. Grimes, who came still earlier to Burlington, each 
in his halcyon youth, each conspicuous in making our history. 
The three made here fondly cherished and sacred homes, the 
joy and pride of their hearts, unalloyed examples of heaven's 
best gift to man. It may be long — it may never again be — 
before this city shall have three of its citizens come in any 
other brief span of fifty \-ears to such honors. Naturally, the 
honors will be divided among faithful citizens in other parts 
of the Commonwealth. But the past is secure, and the record 
is made up for the instruction and cheer of those who shall 
be called to the charge of the public welfare in the coming 
half centun- and in centuries to come." 

20 Life and Character of John Henry Gear, 

Address of Mr. Platt, of Connecticut. 

Mr. President: In tlii.s session, limited in its duration to a 
period of three months, popularly known as the short session, 
public business is peculiarly pressing. We have a great and 
wonderful country, the needs of which are both important and 
imperative. In its Congress great and weighty questions nuist 
be considered and .settled. No wonder, then, that sometimes 
when business of momentous importance demands our attention 
and the end of the .session is growing nearer and nearer da}- by 
day. the public feels and we feel that we can not spare even an 
hour for eulogies of our missing comrades. And yet there is 
no business more important, no hours more wisely spent than 
those which we devote to the consideration of the services and 
virtues of departed Senators. 

I should hesitate to say e\-en a word to recall to memory the 
life of Senator Gear as we knew it here if it were not that his 
distinguished colleague, in .speaking of his family hi.story, has 
disclosed the fact that his progenitors dwelt for one hundred 
and thirty years in the State of Connecticut, and that I can 
not but think their sojourn there was reflected in the life of 
him whose loss we mourn. His, indeed, from our earliest his- 
tory, was a family of pioneers. How much in our civilization, 
our growth, and our development that word "pioneer" sig- 
nifies. The pioneer instinct dates far back of the early settle- 
ment of this coiuitry. It is a racial in.stinct. What developed 
it in the centuries past none may know; but it led our race 
westward from its original home in Asia to cross mountain 
and river and plain, ever westward to the shores of the 
Atlantic, ever surmounting obstacles, enduring hardships, 

Address of Mr. Piatt, of Conncdinit. 21 

triumphing over rude environments, developing thereby all that 
is noblest and manliest in man, until, halting for a moment, as 
it were, in England and Holland, it set forth again across the 
wild Atlantic to take up its pioneer work in subduing a new 
continent and establishing a new civilization. In this new 
movement we know that the ancestors of Senator Gear par- 
ticipated. Of their life before the transoceanic migration we 
can conjecture but little; of . their life in my native State we 
can understand nuich. 

Less than twenty years after the landing at Plymouth Rock, 
Connecticut was settled on the river whose name it bears, in 
the vicinity of Hartford, at its mouth, and at New Haven; and 
within ten years after these first settlements we are told that 
Senator Gear's ancestors took up their abode near Middle- 
town. Connecticut was a wilderness then. The Indians were 
hostile, the country was rugged and forbidding except along 
the sparse but fertile intervale land. Nature, though beau- 
tiful, was far from bountiful; but the spirit of manhood, lib- 
ertj', independence, and worship was there, and in that spirit 
those whose name Senator Gear bore wrestled with life and 
helped to solve its most sacred and weighty problems. The 
clear skj' above them, the beautiful river beside them, the 
trees, and the begrudging soil alike were wrought into their 
fiber and became a part of their life. 

There is nothing more wonderful or mysterious in our pres- 
ent life than the effect of ancestral influence upon it, and I 
have often thought how little importance we give to environ- 
ment in our estimate of this ancestral influence. We construct 
our genealogical trees with interest and pride. We are proud 
of our blood as if it were blood alone to which we are indebted, 
often forgetting that ancestral character as transmitted to us 
was built up little by little, slowly, steadily, but surely, by the 

22 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

surrouudings amid which our ancestors wrought and fought 
and died, so that as generation succeeded generation each took 
on something which it derived from nature and the struggle 
with nature. Life in Connecticut iu those early times devel- 
oped character such as we who knew Senator Gear find that 
he possessed. I may say of the dwellers there what the vSen- 
ator from Massachusetts [Mr. Hoar] , in his address on the life 
and character of Representative Ashley B. Wright, said of the 
dwellers in Berkshire County; "They have ever been a patri- 
otic, religious people, lovers of country, lovers of home, of 
simple manners, of .strong sense, open-hearted, generous, hos- 
pitable, brave." Such the ancestors of Senator Gear must 
have been; such he was, and no higher tribute can be paid to 
the man than in such truthful description of his character. 
HeniCy Ward Beecher, in speaking of the New England farm- 
ers, most truly said: "They made the farms, and the farms 
made the men." And the manhood thus acquired was, two 
hundred years afterwards, represented in and characterized 
Senator Gear. 

Mr. President, Connecticut is small in area, rugged in fea- 
ture, limited in natural resources, but she has contributed 
through those who have gone forth from her, ever seeking 
the westward frontier, her full share toward the development 
and upbuilding of this great country. From her early settle- 
ment to the present time she has been sending out her children 
into fields of new opportunity, until now the influence of Con- 
necticut life is felt, and I hope appreciated, in every State even 
to the .shores of the Pacific. In new States, conspicu- 
ous by their attainments in science, in jurisprudence, in learn- 
ing, in religion, and in business affairs, her children may be 
counted by thousands and ten thousands, and while she is 
justly proud of her early founders and their heroic lives, she 

Address of Mr. Piatt, of Connecticut. 23 

is equally proud of their descendants scattered throughout the 
whole land, of their lives, and their work. Connecticut has 
good reason to claim' the sad privilege of joining with Iowa 
in mourning for her dead Senator. 

The Senate of the United States is most truly a representa- 
tive body, no less so in any respect than the House of Rep- 
resentatives. All types of our people find their representatives 
here, and it is well that it is so. Men of commanding intel- 
lect, genius, eloquence, and "brilliancy are both needed and 
found in these Senatorial seats, but other men equally repre- 
senting the people, and equally useful, who do not attract 
popular enthusiasm by reason of an>- unusual or striking gifts, 
are quite as much needed here — men of strong good sense, men 
of affairs, of great industr}', and unswerving devotion to the 
principles and the interests of the Republic; men whose gen- 
eral characteristics can best Ije described by three grand 
words — sturdy, faithful, and true. Senator Gear was such a 
man. Sometimes I think I would rather it should be written 
ou my tombstone, "He was sturdy, faithful, and true," than 
to have it written, "He was eloquent, learned, and great." 

The work which such men as Senator Gear perform in the 
Senate may not be heralded by the press, may not dazzle the 
imaginative mind of the young, maj- not win the shouts and 
cheers of the multitude, but it is nevertheless woven iuto the 
history of our country and becomes a part of its fame and 

There was no more diligent man than Senator Gear. His 
diligence both in private and public life was proverbial and 
won for him the confidence and support of the people of Iowa. 
How truly the biblical pro\-erb may be quoted as applicable: 
' ' Seest thou a man diligent in his business ? he shall stand 
before kings; he shall not stand before mean men." He 

24 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

comprehended fully the business needs of the country' and 
sought successfully to promote them; and though his abilities 
found in this sphere their most natural development, he was at 
the same time always on the right side of great questions and 
acted upon them with rare understanding and conspicuous 
sagacity. His work here is done. Let no man say, because 
he did not apparentl}- .seek the plaudits of his fellow-vSenators, 
that his work was not as useful as that of those who have 
dazzled us by their greater brillianc}-. 

I have spoken of him as faithful, as well as sturdj' and true. 
How faithful he was those of us who saw and watched him 
during the last .session of the Senate which he attended, and 
who feared that he was standing and working in the .shadow 
of death, can well understand. We recall how, day by day, in 
failing health and growing weakness, he nevertheless came to 
his seat and his duties. We felt with sadness that the unwel- 
come messenger was seeking him, but we appreciated with 
admiration the faithfulness with which he held to his work. 
We respected him, we admired him, we loved him; and I am 
glad to-da}' that it is my privilege to testify- to that respect, 
admiration, and love. 

Address of Mr. Cockrell. of Missouri. 25 

Mr. President: It is appropriate for the Senate to la}- aside 
its usual legislative labors and duties to-day in order to pay the 
last tribute of respect, friendship, and honor to the memon,- and 
distinguished character of Hon. John H. G^ar, a Senator 
from the State of Iowa in this body from March 4, 1895, to the 
day of his death, on July 14, 1900, in his seventy-sixth year. 
His father, Rev. Ezekiel Gilbert Gear, was a minister of the 
Episcopal Church and of English descent. Senator Gear was 
born in Ithaca, N. Y., April 7, 1825. Soon after his birth his 
mother died and he was taken b},- his grandmother, with whom 
he remained till 1831. 

Upon his father's remarriage he returned to his father's 
family and removed with them to Galena, 111., in 1836, and 
thence to Fort Snelling, Iowa Territory, I believe it was called, 
in 1838, where his father, who had been appointed a chaplain 
in the United States Army, was stationed. He received such 
a common-school education as was then obtainable in the 
places of his home. 

On September 25, 1843, he left the paternal home and 
entered upon his personal career by going to Burlington, Iowa, 
where he worked for a short time on the farm of Judge Mason. 
He then went to work for merchants in Burlington at the 
agreed compensation of $50 per annum and board. Upon the 
dissolution of the firm, in September, 1844, he went with one 
member of the firm to Keosauqua, Iowa, to work for $8.33 per 
month and board. In March, 1845, he returned to Burlington 
and went into the store of W. F. Coolbaugh & Co. as a porter 
and man of all work. In 1S49 he became a partner in the firm 

26 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

iu conducting a general store, until the spring of 1S51, when 
the firm confined its business to wholesale groceries, in which 
he continued with various associates till September, 1879, when 
he gave up the mercantile business. 

In December, 1852, he was married to Miss Harriet Foote, 
the 3'oungest daughter of Justus L,. and Harriet Foote. Of 
this union four daughters were born, two of whom died in 
infancy and two survived their worth}^ father. 

In 1863 he was elected maj-or of the cit}- of Burlington, and 
declined a nomination by acclamation for representative in the 
Iowa general assembly. 

In 1 87 1 he was nominated and elected a representative in the 
fourteenth general as.sembly of Iowa, and in 1873 was renomi- 
nated by acclamation and elected to the fifteenth general 
assembly and was elected speaker of that general assembl}-. 
In 1875 he was again renominated and elected to the sixteenth 
general assembly and was reelected speaker, a marked distinc- 
tion which no other representative ever achieved, except one. 
In 1877, having discharged the duties of speaker of the general 
assembly so successfully and satisfactorily, he was nominated 
by his party for governor of his State, and was elected. He 
discharged the duties of governor so satisfactorily that he was 
renominated and reelected. 

Retiring after two successive terms as governor with great 
honor and credit, he engaged in mining and manufacturing 
enterprises until 1886, when he was nominated by acclamation 
as the Republican candidate for Representative in the Fiftieth 
Congress, and was elected. 

In 1 888 he was renominated and elected a Representative in 
the Fifty-first Congress, was placed upon the Committee on 
Ways and Means, and took a prominent part in the tariff dis- 
cussions of that Congress. 

Address of Mr. CockrcU, of Missouri. 27 

In 1890 he was again nominated by acclamation for Repre- 
sentative in the Fifty-second Congress, and was defeated by 
Hon. J. J. Seerly, whom he had defeated in 1888. 

In 1892 he was again nominated for Representative in the 
Fifty-third Congress, and was elected over Hon. J. J. Seerly. 
In November, 1892, he was appointed by President Harrison 
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and served during the 
remainder of his term. He then served as Representative 
through the Fifty-third 

In January, 1894, he was elected by the general assembly of 
Iowa a Senator in the Senate of the United States for the term 
beginmng March 4, 1895- He ser^-ed his country, his State, 
and constituents as United States Senator with such ability, 
fideUty, and acceptabiUty that in 1900 he was again elected by 
the general assembly of his State as his own successor in the 
United States Senate for the term beginning March 4, 1901, 
but died before the expiration of his first term. 

At the time of his death he was chairman of the Committee 
on Pacific Railroads, and a member of the Committees on Agri- 
culture and Forestry, Education and Labor, Interstate Com- 
merce, Post-Offices and Post-Roads, and Improvement of the 
Mississippi River and its Tributaries. 

He was a delegate at large from his State to the Republican 
National Convention in 1892, at Minneapohs, which nominated 
Hon. Benjamin Harrison for President, and also to the St. 
Louis Republican Convention, in 1896, which nominated Hon. 
William McKinley for President. 

He stood high in the councils of his party; was an earnest, 
consistent, and active Republican in his views and principles, 
but not offensively partisan, conceding to others who held con- 
trary views the same rights he claimed and exercised for him- 
self.' In all the relations of life he was the .true gentleman, 

28 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

kind, social, and pleasant. He was a true and reliable friend, 
ever ready and willing to lend a helping hand, regardless of 

His personal friends and admirers were not confined to his 
political party, for all who knew him well esteemed and loved 
him for his man}' manly and noble traits of character. His life 
is a most remarkable one, and illustrates the achievements, the 
honors, which are accessible to and obtainable by the laudabh- 
ambitious young men of our great country under our beneficent 
systems of government, State and national. With a limited 
education and opportunities, at the age of i8 years he began 
working in a store at $50 per 3' ear with board, and by improv- 
ing every hour, by industry, economy, close attention to his 
duties, whatever they were, and discharging them honestly 
and acceptably, step by step he advanced, never retrograding, 
and earning and receiving the respect and confidence of the 
people in whose midst he labored. He became mayor of his 
city, thrice a member of the general assembly of his State, 
twice speaker, twice governor of his State. A Representative 
in three Congresses, by popular election, was Assistant Secre- 
tary of the Treasury, and twice elected to the Senate of the 
United States, and twice sent as a delegate from his State at 
large to the national conventions of his party. 

His worthy and illustrious life may properly be pointed to as 
an example of the achievements and honors obtainable by hon- 
est, manly conduct, and devotion to duty in ever}- position, 
however humble and obscure or high and honorable. 

He has left behind him a ' ' good name better than precious 
ointment," and a record of which his family, friends, and the 
good people of his State may justly feel proud. 

Address of Mr. Nelson, of Minnesota. 29 

Address of Mr. Nelson, of Minnesota. 

Mr. President: I first became acquainted with Senator 
Gear in 1887, when we were both members of the Fiftieth 
Congress. From the very first instant of our acquaintance 
we l)ecame attached to each other, and I found him a most 
genial, considerate, kind, and helpful friend and associate, 
always ready to lend a helping hand and to say a good word 
for me. And I stood in need of his kindness in those days, 
for I represented a large district of new country, requiring 
much local legislation, for which, under the rigid rules of the 
House, it was not always easy to obtain consideration. He 
seemed to appreciate my difficulties more than many of my 
associates, and he was always on hand to smooth over the 
rough places and to help me out of a dilemma. Although 
that was his first term, and though he was not a great 
debater, yet from the very start he became an influential 
member, whose good sense, sound judgment, and keen insight 
were highly valued and appreciated by his associates. 

His vast experience in public aftairs before he entered the 
House of Representatives had better equipped him and made 
him better- qualified for the important duties of a legislator 
than most men who entered that bod>'. This was recognized 
by all. He had been a member aud speaker of the of 
representatives of his State legislature for several terms, and 
had been for two terms one of the ablest and most efficient 
governors of his State. He was known to all his associates 
as "Governor" Gear, and the term "governor" was not, in 
his case, used in a perfunctorj' or vain sense, but with all the 
force and value that the term implies. His firmness and 

30 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

rugged houesty and integrity were visible in his mien and 
carriage, and were recognized and felt bj- all. When he sup- 
ported a measure his support gave it credit, and doubts and 
misgivings disappeared. 

He was fair, just, and fearless in the performance of his 
duties, and charitable and considerate to those who differed 
with him. He had the happy faculty of softening and allay- 
ing that acrimony that occasionally occurs in the House. 
He was attentive and watchful throughout the sessions and 
few things escaped his notice, and though not one of the 
leaders of the House, yet he was one of the chief mainstays 
of those who assumed to lead, and without whose assistance 
their leadership would have been a failure. His advice and 
opinion on all great questions were sought and valued by his 
associates. Such, Mr. Pre.sident, were my impressions of him 
while his colleague in the House. There was another bond, 
too, which drew us to each other. He had been in his youth, 
from 1838 fo 1843, a resident of Fort Snelling, in what is 
now the State of Minnesota — then the Territory of Iowa — 
and his father continued a resident of Fort Snelling and of 
Minneapolis, Minn., from that time until his death, in 1873. 
The fact that what is now Minnesota had been his boyhood 
home and the home of his father for so many years made 
him always take a deep interest in the State and its Repre- 
sentatives. He often said to me, "I take almost as much 
interest in Minnesota as I do in Iowa, my own vState." 

When I parted with him at the close of the Fiftieth Con- 
gress I little thought that we would again be associated in 
the public service. But fate and kind constituencies brought 
us in March, 1895, together again in this body, and here we 
renewed our old friendship, and once more became brothers 
in sympathy, fellowship, and labor. 

Address of Mr. Nelson, oj Minnesota. 31 

His presence here at that time was an assurance to me, 
and I felt that I still had my old staff to lean upon. In this 
bod}- he became an acti\-e, industrious, and most useful mem- 
ber, ever zealous in the performance of his duties, and ever 
helpful in promoting the great work of the Senate. In this 
body there are alwa3-s, more or less, a number of able 
speakers and debaters, who render great ser\-ice to the 
country and to their associates by elucidating, in their 
speeches on the floor of the Senate, the intricate problems 
involved in important measures of general legislation. But 
such measures usually require much preliminary care, thought, 
and preparation, both in committee and outside, before they 
become subjects of formal debate; and the chief burden of 
this preliminary work is, to a large extent, entailed upon 
and assumed bj' the silent members — the members not prone 
to much debate — of the Senate. There is also much impor- 
tant legislation which is of a local or personal character, such 
as pertains to claims, to river and harbor improvements, to 
matters relating to Indian affairs, to public lands, and to 
commerce and shipping. As a rule this class of legislation, 
while not provoking much debate, generally requires a great 
deal of care, study, and attention, and this usually devolves 
upon the silent, but industrious, members of this bodj', to 
whom the orators and debaters freely accord the task. 

Then, too, it often happens that after the orator or debater 
has made his speech he leaves the task of piloting the meas- 
ure through to humbler coadjutors. The former has the glory 
of debate, the latter the glory of passing the bill. The glory 
of the former gives renown, while the glory of the latter is 
often lost and unnoticed. In war the bugler sounds the 
charge, but it is made and carried on to victory by a phalanx 
of silent but determined men. So in the field of legislation. 

32 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

The orator may sound the keynote, but the silent, thought- 
ful, and painstaking members prepare, pilot, and pass the 
measures. Senator Gear was typical, and one of the fore- 
most members, of this class. His voice was not often heard 
in debate, and yet he was most industrious and effective in 
promoting general, special, and local legislation. He had 
an effective and convincing way of arguing, not collectively, 
but individually, with his a.ssociates, that made him one of 
the strongest and most useful members of this body. His 
judgment as to the merits and soundness of a measure was 
valuable and well-nigh infalhble. With all his abihty and 
vast experience, he was, nevertheless, as modest and unob- 
trusive as though he had been an abecedarian, and this mod- 
esty, coupled with his great intrinsic worth, endeared him 
to all of us. 

One of the greatest and most pronounced blessings of our 
system of government is this: That there is an open door and 
a free field for the humblest, in the most unfavorable environ- 
ment, to ascend from the lowest level to the highest field of 
usefulness and .success. The humblest youth, with a vigorous 
mind, a .stout heart, and a clear conscience, may with confi- 
dence aspire to the front rank in the business or political world. 
But while such opportunities are placed within the reach of all, 
it is only the industrious, the energetic, and the persevering 
who succeed. The spirit of democracy is exacting and has no 
patience with mere wealth or ancestry. Borrowed plumage is 
of no value. Merit, real, genuine, and intrinsic merit, alone 
prevails. And hence we are always safe in assuming that the 
successful man has earned, merited, and deserved the promo- 
tion and rank to which he has attained; that he has not been 
born to it, but has grown to it through his energy and ability. 
This fact is fuUv illustrated and clearlv verified in the case of 

Address of Mr. Nelson, of Minnesota. 33 

Senator Gear. He began his mercantile career without means, 
as a porter and man of all work, at nominal wages, in a store of 
which, in the course of a few years, he became one of the pro- 
prietors and managers. In this field he exhibited rare talents 
of a superior order, and became one of the most prosperous and 
successful of merchants in an enterprising and growing city of 

his State. 

His marked ability and energy in this field .soon attracted 
the attention of his fellow-townsmen. They felt the need of 
such a man in the public service. They first elected him alder- 
man of the city council, then mayor, and after that they repeat- 
edly sent him as their representative to the legislature. The 
legislature soon discovered his worth and chose him their 
speaker. As a legislator and a presiding officer he demon- 
strated to the people of the entire State his sound judgment, 
great wisdom, and rare executive ability. The whole State 
Seeded the service and appreciated the talents of just such a 
man, and hence it came to pass that the people of Iowa twice 
placed him in the chair as their chief executive. And in this 
high position he made a record for himself and his State of 
which he and his people had good reason to be proud. His 
fame as governor extended beyond the bounds of his own 
State. I had heard of Governor Gear and his rvigged integ- 
rity and rare executive ability long before I met him in the 
House of Representatives. The culmination of his public 
career was his election to the United States Senate in 1894. 
He came here mature in years, mature in experience and wis- 
dom, and well qualified to take an active part in the serious 
and exacting work of the Senate, and eminently fitted to cope 
with able associates in the varied and perplexing intricacies of 
the legislation of a great nation. 

The career of Senator Gear in the public service is a 

S. Doc. 236 3 

34 L-ife and CJiarackr of John Hcnrv Gear. 

record which the most brilHaiit of men could well be proud 
of and rejoice in. But he was not a brilliant man in the 
common acceptation of the term, and therefore his great 
success as a public servant was all the more remarkable, 
all the more creditable, and all the more worthy of com- 
mendation. It demonstrated that he was possessed of a la- 
tent force and energy equal to the greatest task, and that 
as a man of action he was. equal to the most brilliant and 
cstentatious of men. The man of deeds inspires, stimulates, 
and guides his country quite as often and quite as much 
as the man of words. That humble member of Parliament, 
that serious and sincere man of few words, Oliver Crom- 
well, was a greater man in all the substantial attributes of 
greatness, and rendered greater services to his countrj-, both 
at home and abroad, than that brilliant orator and word 
painter, Edmund Burke; and the men who emptied the 
chests of tea in Boston Harbor rendered as great a ser\-ice 
to the cause of independence as Patrick Henry. In this 
age of electricity, steam, and daily newspapers, and in a 
government such as ours, where the sentiment of the masses, 
rather than of the individual, however prominent, is con- 
trolling, the brilliant man of words ma\- have many hearers, 
but is apt to have less followers than the determined man 
of action, who duly responds to the just demands of the 
public. This fact was palpable in the of Senator Gear. 
In public confidence and in public esteem he outran iii his 
day man}' a man who seemed more brilliant and was more 
eloquent. And this proves that the public demand for such 
servants will not abate, and that the}' will always be needed 
and will alwa^'s have a great sphere of work and useful- 
ness that none can better fill. 

The American people are possessed of a higher average of 

Address of Mr. N'elson. of Minnesota. 35 

culture aud intelligence than any other nation, and hence 
the trend of their progress and development is steady, pru- 
dent, and conservative, and no room is found for the vision- 
ary or Utopian, however brilliant and alluring it may be. 
They choose their own leaders not so much from those 
who want to lead or tower above them as from those who 
are near their own level in purpose, spirit, and inspiration. 
Practical usefulness, coupled with scrupulous integrity, is 
what the}- look for and desire in their public .servants; in 
other words, the\- want abo\-e all things a safe man rather 
than an emotional and wordy man. Such a man is always 
in touch with an American constituency; such a man is 
always their true exponent; such a man they always have 
use for, and .such a man was, emphatically, Senator Gear. 
And it was because of this fact, as well as on account of 
his energy, ability, and integrity, that his life in its entirety 
was a great .success and proved an exalted example for our 
American youth to emulate and follow. 

When he first .settled in Burlington, Iowa was a mere 
Territorj' on the outer verge of the great West. Since that 
day it has grown into one of the great States of the Union. 
In Territorial days he began life as an humble chore 
boy in a frontier store, but he kept pace with the growth 
and development of his State, and when he died he was 
one of the chief political pillars of that great Commonwealth, 
leaving a legacy not of accumulative riches, but the legacy of 
a long and useful life in the public service. 

We live in an age of mammon, in the midst of a restless 
struggle for wealth, but how delusive it often is. Look at the 
career of the youth who embarks in a struggle for the almighty 
dollar. His whole life, his whole aim. is to accumulate 
wealth — it becomes his second nature. His .spirit pines for 

36 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

nothing else year in and year out, and finally he exhausts him- 
self in the effort, succumbs, and dies, bequeathing his millions 
to children or other heirs who scarcely thank him for it, and 
who oftentimes are wholly unfit to make proper use of such a 
legacy. Our public press and our orators may laud such a man, 
but in spite of all this such a life is nothing but the vanity of 
all vanities, barren to him who leads it, barren to his kin, and 
barren to our common humanity. In comparison with the life 
of such a man, how noble, grand, and inspiring is the life and 
career of such a man as Senator Gear. Such a man is missed, 
such a man is blessed, and the example of such a man is an 
inspiration to all who seek to become useful and a help to 
their age, their country, and to humanity. Dives is a dwarf 
in comparison with such a man. This is the immutable law of 
everlasting truth and justice, now and for all time to come. 
Let all of us take this gospel to heart; it will assuage our grief 
and give tis renewed hope for the future. 

Dear departed friend, we have been associates in two great 
forums on this side of the gra\-e. May we again become asso- 
ciates in that higher and better forum, where our presiding 
Chief will be that great Fountain of Mercy, Truth, and Light, 
under whose benign mercy and goodness we hope to find a final 
haven of rest. 

Address of Mr. Spooiter, of lVisconsi?i. 37 

Mr. President: I am compelled to speak only unstudied 
words in tribute to the memory of our late colleague, Senator 
Gear. I shall always esteem it a fortunate circumstance in 
my life that I was permitted to enjoy his personal friendship. 
Few men less need the testimony of those who survive them to 
establish the possession of great qualities than did Senator 
Gear. He proved the possession of such qualities beyond pos- 
sibility of challenge by the life which he lived and by the great 
career which he wrought out. It is impossible that one could 
have such a career in the public service, extending over thirty 
years, beginning in the humblest position and rising higher 
and higher to a seat in this body, to which, all things consid- 
ered, no other position is comparable, without great ability, 
integrity, sound judgment, and the utmost fidelity to duty in 
large things and in small. All these Senator Gear had. 

He belonged to a class of men rapidly disappearing. He 
was one of the pioneer statesmen of the country. His youth 
and early manhood were spent upon the border. It was a rough 
school, but it was a great school. It was an environment of 
danger and hardship. It demanded a clear eye, steady nerve, 
prompt decision, and sometimes a quick and accurate use of the 
rifle. In it the youth of inherent and strength of 
moral character developed physically, mentally, and morally 
into a strong-fibered, alert, rugged, and intrepid mau. The 
class of public men of which he was a fair type has contributed 
immeasurably to the ser^•ice of the country and to its imperish- 
able renown. 

The frontier has passed away, and the frontier statesman is 

38 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

passing awaj-. We will, of course, have strong- fibered, able, 
faithful men for the public service of the future, but they will 
differ somehow from the men of whom I speak, for the environ- 
ment in which they were educated and out of which they came 
can not come again. 

It is doubtless true that Senator Gear was an ambitious 
man. Most men who are born leaders of men, as he was, are 
ambitious men. To say that of him is only to say that he was a 
natural man. Were it not for the ambition which is implanted 
in us, and which inspires us to look upward, and to work 
upward, the world would not move much in any department of 
human effort. It is fortunate for the country that his ambition 
led him to serve the public in an executive and legislative way 
rather than to the acqtiisition of wealth. Bacon said, and it is 
quite true, that — 

Hen ill great places are thrice servants— servants of the sovereign or 
State, servants of fame, and servants of business; so as they have no 
freedom, neither in their persons nor in their actions nor in their time. 
It is a strange desire to seek power over others and to lose power over a 
man's self. 

It may and does sometimes seem strange indeed, but it is 
none the less natural, as many other things which seem strange 
are natural, and it is fortunate that honest-minded men are 
found with ambition to enter the public service, in which there 
is so much of burden, of personal sacrifice, and so little of 
reward, except in the consciousness of duty well performed and 
in the respect of a constituency well served. Herein was the 
inspiration, it seems to nie, of our late colleague. 

He was essentially a loyal man in every waj-. He was firm in 
his friendships. No person once admitted to his friendship e\-er 
lost it without just cause. In the great Commonwealth which he 
helped to found he took great pride, and to her he gave loyalty 
without stint. He was loyal to his party and to his countr}-. 

Address of Mr. Spooner, of Wisconsin. 39. 

His patriotism was a passion. His mind was strong and his 
mental vision broad. His grasp upon the subjects with which he 
had to deal was comprehensive and, while not an orator, he was 
an effective speaker, in the House of Representatives, in the Sen- 
ate, and on the hustings. He thought clearl}', and he had the 
courage of his convictions. He sought earnestly the right solu- 
tion of every problem, the sound side of every question, and his 
conclusion he was willing to abide by. He had the courage to 
say what he thought and the ability to find apt words in which 
easily and plainly to convey his thought to others. 

He loved popularity, but he found it easy to with.stand popular 
clamor, hastily aroused, and to act as he thought best, confidently 
leaving his justification to the calmer and maturer judgment of 
his constituency. His methods were direct and manly. He left 
no opportunity for speculation as to his position. He was frank 
jnd open. Simple in his habits, it was quite impossible for him 
to indulge in affectation. 

Whatever change came in his fortunes, or whatever advance- 
ment in life, it wrought no discoverable change in him or in his 
manner. As much as any man I have ever known, he was with- 
out moods— the same at one time as he was at another— genial, 
kindly, and approachable. Along the whole pathway of his life, 
Mr. President, he bore a sympathetic heart and a hand always 
helpful, and bestowed benefactions and kindnesses, sometimes 
in a lavish way, to all who had claim upon him and to very many 
who had none. 

It is in harmon\- with the better side of our human nature that 
as a rule kind words only are spoken of the dead. Sometimes, 
Mr. President, they are perfunctory. I have not at any time seen 
in the tributes paid to a public man upon his death any more 
obviously sincere and earnest and tender than the expressions 
upon the death of Senator Ge.\R by the press of Iowa and among 

40 Life aiid Character of John Henry Gear. 

the people of that State. There is no false note in any one of 

There is a tendency in some States of the Union, notably, 
perhaps, in some of the Western States, among young men 
who are interested in political affairs, to become somewhat 
restive and discontented over the long abiding of one man in 
high public po.sition. It seems not to be so in Iowa. The 
young men of that Commonwealth, in every contest which 
came into the life of Senator Ge.\R, as a rule were found 
around his standard, and in the contest over his last election 
to the Senate, although his competitor was yoiuig, brilliant, 
and genial, the young men of Iowa by the hundreds, I have 
been told, rallied to the support of the old statesman whom 
through the years they had learned to love and believe in. 
This condition in Iowa is in itself a high tribute to Senator 
Ge.\R and to his qualities, as it is to the distingui.shed Sen-* 
ator from that State [Mr. Allison] who has just spoken so 
tenderly, .so beautifully, and so adequately of his departed col- 
league and friend. 

The last months of Senator Gear's service here were at once 
pathetic and characteristic. Not one of us will soon forget 
how, obviously already stricken, he came day after day, some- 
times with tottering step, Mr. President, to his accustomed 
place in this Chamber, and that there came with him the 
devoted wife, who through .so many years had been at his side, 
his helpmeet and his friend, to take her place in the gallery 
yonder and to watch him as he sat here or moved about the 
Chamber in discharge of Senatorial duty, anxious lest he 
overtax his failing strength. And during those months how 
faithful he was, not onlj- in discharge of duty here in every 
detail, but likewise in performing in the Departments that 
toilsome function inseparable from this position. He was to 

Address of Mr. Spooner, of Wisconsin. 41 

the last, as he had been all his life, in all things, trivial and 
important, faithful. He could not be otherwise, Mr. President, 
and no higher tribute can be paid to a public ser\'ant. 

His character was in one of the resolutions adopted in Iowa 
upon his death well de.scribed thus: 

Here was a great nature, a strong and healthy mind and body, in 
whose blood there was no rebellious envy or uncharitableness or ill will, 
who believed in his fellow-men and sought to serve them, and who, as 
he in large measure loved and served his fellow-men, found love and 
service measured to him again. 

It seemed to some of us for some time before he died that 
the heavy hand of death was upon him. Whether he realized 
that for him the little boat was waiting on the river near by, it 
is not for us to know. Had he known the appointed moment 
he would have performed the duty of each day, calmly look- 
ing forward to its approach. He was in that sense a "minute 
man," ready for any crisis when it should come. The even- 
ing before he died he made an appointment to go at a fixed 
hour the following morning with a con.stituent to one of the 
Departments, there to render him a service. Before the hour 
arrived the summons came which comes to all, and — 

He gave his honors to the world again. 

His blessed part to Heaven — and slept in peace. 

42 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

ADDRESS OF Mr. Morgan, of Alabama. 

Mr. President: In the life of Senator John H. Gear the 
vSenate of the United States has one of its truest memorials 
and strongest proofs that it is a body of indispensable neces- 
sity to a government that is republican in form — which means 
a government that is representative of the people. 

The threads of life that are woven into his history are 
attached, in his personal experiences, to the rock bottom of 
American pioneer life, and have grown longer and stronger 
as the years advanced, until the}- reached the highest point 
of American aspiration without the breaking of a strand. 

Mr. Gear cut loose from nothing in the past to reach that 
something for the future that so often tempts men of genius 
to quit solid foundations for flights into the imaginative zones 
of ambition that are resplendent with the enticing beauties of 
' ' castles in the air. ' ' 

He never forgot his youth in the dreams of advanced age. 
He was in heart and soul the representative of the people — 
the masses, as thej' are called by political economists — in 
their personal rights and liberties, their homes, however 
humble, their vocations and their troubles, when he became 
the representative in the Senate of the sovereign State of 
Iowa, as truly as he represented and cared for them when he 
was an alderman of the .second ward of Burlington. 

In the offices he held, of alderman, representative in the 
general assembly of Iowa, speaker of the house of representa- 
tives of that body, governor of Iowa, Representative in 
Congress, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and a Senator 
of the United States, and in the contests for election through 

Address of Mr. Morgan, of Alabama. 43 

which he passed, every straud aud fiber of his life was tried 
and tested in the crucible of public opinion, and they were 
found to be good and steadfast. During all that long public 
trial he was not known as a great man and did not seek for 
such renown. 

He was known as a true man and faithful, a man of toil- 
.some diligence, a workman approved of his master — the 
people — and of courageous faith and inflexible adherence to 
his convictions. 

He was a rugged man, who had need of all his strength 
and fortitude to make his way from the bottom to the top of 
the ladder, for he met strong resi.stance at every step and was 
often checked by defeat. 

It was his courage and his honest devotion to the people 
that enabled him to retrieve his defeats and to continue the 
course of duty, which, as it developed into higher demands 
upon his energies and abilities, found him prepared, and 
was followed as his guide to higher stations in his journey. 

The performance of duty was his highest ambition, and 
he neither sought nor found any rewards that he did not 
earn. There is no glitter in the volume of his long .service 
to attract the admiration of the passing observer, but there 
is a repose in the strength and solidity of the structure he 
built with his own hands, neither letters or the arts or the 
sciences assisting him, that attracts the thoughtful American 
to the great truth that in honest adherence to correct prin- 
ciples and faithful service in our temple of liberties the door- 
keeper is a greater man than the king who dwells in royal 
palaces built by the hands of his servants. 

The Senate of the United States as a body endowed with 
great and singular powers, the political center of the national 
powers of 45 sovereign States aud of 76,000,000 of free and 

44 Life aiid Charade} of John Henry Gear. 

self-governing people, has no peer in its powers and influ- 
ence elsewhere among the nations, ancient or modern. In 
this tribunal the States are represented by Senators who are 
chosen b>' the legislatures as the true representatives of the 
character of their people. Recently, since I have been a mem- 
ber of this body, and shortly before that date, a number of 
new States have been admitted to the Ihiion from the great 
Territories of the Northwest. 

The Senators wlio come here to represent these new States 
have constituencies scattered thinh- o\-er vast areas, with re- 
sources of great variety and rich abundance just in the begin- 
ning of development. 

The}^ are pioneer peoples, and their Senators are, many of 
them, pioneers in new fields of statecraft and political eco- 
nomics; but they are strong, sturdy, brave, and skilled in leader- 
ship, and the}' explore these new fields of legislation as they 
travel the shoreless plains of the West and its great mountain 
ranges in ease and security, relying upon their instinctive 
knowledge of courses and distances for their guidance rather 
than upon the charts prepared by others. In that strength 
of self-confidence they thread the labyrinths of legislative pro- 
cedure without ever missing the point to which their course 
is directed. I ha\-e an earnest admiration of those pioneer Sen- 
ators and of the sj'stem that welcomes and relies upon their 
wisdom in the guidance of the Republic. 

In the Senate there are not a few able men who were 
educated in the wilds of America, where schools were not and 
churches were scarce, and education was confined to lessons of 
experience, and mental growth came from self-training. 

Honor, duty, obedience to law, justice, and charity were 
taught in fireside lessons and received with filial reverence by 
these men, and were carried out on the journeys of life as the 

Address of Mr. Morgan, of Alaba^na. 45 

preparation with which the feet of the righteous are shod. 
Thus fortified, they do not falter, whatever the length or the 
hardships of the journey. 

There is a place here of great importance for these pioneer 
Senators, and when any of them withdraw it is not certain 
that their places can be safely filled with others of more mod- 
ern training in the schools. 

When any of them retire they carry with them the sincere 
regard of the Senate. Those men who are actual pioneers, 
born and raised on the borders of civilization, and others who 
received their education from sailors before the mast, and yet 
others whose boyhood was .spent in hard labor in the fields 
and in the workshops, have brought wisdom to these councils, 
and strength of truth to our support, and the invaluable bene- 
fit of common sense to the direction of the Senate. Whether 
they ascend or descend to the atmosphere of the great scholars 
of the Senate — bred in our universities — these men are a neces- 
sary element in the strength of the Senate, and bring to it 
that greatest of all its influence, the confidence of the people. 
Perhaps no man ever held a commission in this body who was 
a more complete embodiment ot this pioneer character than the 
late Senator from Iowa. 

He had no time in his childhood to receive more than the 
simplest form of country school education, yet he was a man of 
learning in many important respects. 

His father was a minister of the gospel and taught him the 
truths of the divine revelations, and the morality that is en- 
shrined in that holy faith. This was a noble opportunity for 
his son, but it also required dihgent toil of its votaries to 
provide daily bread. 

In the simple annals of that family one of its proudest 
achievements was the employment of the son, John Henry, as 

46 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

a clerk in the store of the Bridgmau Brothers, at the com- 
pensation of $50 a year, with board. 

The mother had been called to her great reward and was 
not present at the home of this \"icar of Wakefield in the 
wilderness to bless this first great promotion of her boy; but 
she has watched his progress from happier eminences, and 
has witnessed the growth of the plant that was watered with 
her tears and consecrated with her prayers while it was still 
an infant nestling upon her bosom when she died. I believe 
in the prayers of a righteous mother. 

As he grew from strength to strength and rose by slow and 
toilsome steps in his silent progress toward a very high des- 
tiny some power attended him that impressed him with a keen 
sense of duty and a knowledge of his intiinsic worth and 
power upon his associates, who began early in his life to 
assign him to lines of public duty as their repre.sentative. 

In this character, both in the State and Federal tribunals, 
Mr. Gear established his just right to their confidence. 
Those who are educated and trained politicians may not com- 
prehend this force of character and devotion to duty that 
wins its wa}- to the hearts of the people, but in a free coun- 
try and in the .suffrages of a virtuous people it is character 
that commands confidence. 

IMr. Gear had few of the gifts and arts of .speaking to of people, or in legislative assembhes, that attract atten- 
tion by captivating periods, yet he had marked success in 
advocating measures that he favored and opposing such as he 
disapproved. His work on the legislation of the country is 
distinctly written, and is an honorable testimonial to his abili- 
ties as a statesman. 

To one who knew him only as an acquaintance he was a 
man of severe and reserved demeanor, but a nearer approach 

Address of Mr. Morgan, of Alabama. 47 

to him in social and official life brought out the traits of a 
generous, sensitive, and cordial nature. 

His friends grew in number and depth of attachment as his 
j-ears advanced, and none turned away from him to become his 
enemies. This alone is a record worthy of a life of hard serv- 
ice, and is the richest reward that any man can earn. It is 
the judgment of his contemporaries upon his whole life, not 
always tempered with the mere}- of divine compassion or the 
impartialit}- of divine justice, and it is a tribute of respect 
that lasts through long periods to gratifj- posterity. 

Mr. Gear left this bequest to his family, his friends, and 
his country. In response to his honorable labors for his coun- 
try, the Senate and the people express for his memory their 
respect, gratitude, and affection. 

The Senate, if it deals justly with the dead, sits in judgment 
on their official histor}^ when their obsequies are celebrated. 

In that court character is the final test. It is the just man 
that survives the' ordeal. 

Daniel was a great ruling power in all departments of the 
Hebraic government, but his administration was impeached 
and he was called to trial for alleged delinquencies. Even his 
fine character did not shield him from investigation, nor did 
he plead it as a protection; but it made his triumph an eter- 
nal record that will not fade while Holy Writ is the guide, 
instructor, hope, and comforter of mankind. ' ' The presidents 
and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning 
the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; 
forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error." 
And this is the judgment of the Senate upon the public life of 
Senator John Henrv Gear. 

Faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, and godli- 
ness are the elements that combine in the highest human 

48 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

character, aud they are the sure moral supports of the character 
of the Senate. 

If one column can not support the great dome of the tem- 
ple, yet there are many, each bearing its burden, and all are 
entitled to equal honors who are equally faithful. Senator 
Gear bore his part of this mighty burden along with many 
who have not sought places in the friezes and panels of fame 
that decorate this temple, but the records of the Senate will 
always show forth his faithful work aud crown his memory 
with honor. 

Address of Mr.'Burrouis, of Michigan. 49 

Address of Mr. Burrows, of Michigan, 

Mr. President: A somewhat extended service in the House 
of Representatives with the Hon. John H. Gear, of Iowa, and 
the opportunity thus afforded by daily contact to learn .some- 
thing of his excellent qualities of head and heart, is sufficient 
apology, it excuse were needed, for a word from me touching 
the life and character of my friend, vSenator Gk.\k. 

One can not be associated with another in a legislative body 
for any considerable length of time, with its inevitable conflicts 
and antagonisms, without forming .something of an estimate of 
his temper and dominant characteristics. Senator Gear came 
to tlie House of Representatives not an untried or unknown 
man. He had filled many offices of honor and responsibility 
in his State, and had a reputation extending beyond its con- 
fines. Mayor of his adopted city, member of the legislature 
and .speaker of the house, twice elected governor of the Com- 
monwealth, he seemed to have such a hold on the confidence 
and affection of his people that there was no honor within their 
gift they were not ready and willing to confer. 

Having reached the summit of State official life, it was but 
natural that his people, appreciating his sterling qualities, 
should confer upon him the higher honor of a membership in 
the great American House of Commons. He was of the people, 
and the people demanded his services in the popular branch 
of Congress. He entered the House of Representatives and 
became a member of that great forum in the full maturity 
and vigor of his intellectual powers, and at once took a com- 
manding position in the deliberations of that body — not as 
a ready and forceful debater, for he was not that — but in the 
S. Doc. 236 4 

50 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

councils of his party associates and in the deliberations of the 
committee room, where really all legislation is carried on and 
perfected. His excellent judgment, his wise guidance and 
patriotic impulses easily won for him a commanding position 
in the confidence and esteem of his associates, a position he 
continued to hold during his prolonged service in that body. 

In the real work of legislation he was a recognized power. 
Committee assignments in the House of Representatives are 
determined not so nuich by length of .ser\-ice in that body as 
by fitness and adaptability to the work in hand. Senator 
Gear's business career had been .such as to bring him in touch 
and familiarize him with the great industrial life of the people 
in all its varied ramifications and mar\-elous developments, and 
it was but natural and fitting, therefore, that he should be 
assigned to the great business committee of the, the 
Committee on Ways and Means. He was specially fitted by 
education and training for this field of labor, and was, there- 
fore, by common consent assigned to its difficult and arduous 
duties. He became a member of that committee at a time 
when it was charged with the grave and responsible duty of 
formulating the tariff measure of 1890, at the head of which 
committee was the present Chief Executive of the nation, whose 
illustrious name that measure bears. 

It is not too much to say, and I detract nothing from the 
just meed of praise due to others, that no member of that com- 
mittee, barring its then learned head, contributed more to the 
result obtained than did Mr. Gear. He brought to the con- 
sultations of the committee room not the philosophy of the 
schools or the dreams of the mere theorist, but rather the 
practical experience of a business life, of infinitely more value 
than all the .speculations of the political economist. He 
seemed to possess upon almost everj' subject connected with 

Address of Mr. Biirrows, of Michigan. 51 

that legislation an inexhaustible fund of information and a 
knowledge of its infinite details, gathered from the practical 
experiences in life, which ser\'ed at all times to illumine the 
subject and light the wa>- to wise and safe conclusions. If 
there was nothing else in his public life to commend his mem- 
ory to the regard and keeping of his fellow-citizens, his labors 
on the committee in connection with this great measure 
would be sufiScient to commend it to enduring regard. 

Unfortunately, he was not long a member of the Senate, but 
long enough, I am sure, to gain the confidence and respect of 
the membership of this body and make his departure a sincere 
sorrow. He was a wise and safe counselor, an intelligent and 
painstaking legislator, a patriotic citizen, and last, though not 
least, a sincere friend. His life work seemed, however, to be 
complete. He lived beyond the allotted span of human exist- 
ence, and left an impress of his work on the statutes of his 
countr}' which, in its beneficent influence, will be as enduring 
as the Republic itself. 

Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

■ Address of Mr. Mason, of Illinois. 

Mr. President: I first heard of Governor Gear when I was 
a boy, and I knew him when he was a member of the Iowa 
legislature, speaker of the house of representatives. At that 
time I was employed as committee clerk and .stenographer in 
the old capitol. Afterwards I .served witli him in the House of 
Representatives in the Fiftieth and Fift>-first Congresses. Van 
Buren County, Iowa, which was a part of his Congressional 
district, was my old home, where I had been reared, and, 
knowing so many of his friends and constituents, we were fre- 
quently thrown together and talked over old affairs at the old 
home in tw^o memorable Congresses, the Fiftieth and the 

It was on the Ways and Means Connnittee, of which the Sen- 
ator from Michigan [Mr. Burrows] has just .spoken, where he 
had abundant opportunity to show his great and energy. 
My recollection is that he was not on the Ways and Means Com- 
mittee in the Fiftieth Congress, but was active in opposition to 
what was known as the Mills bill, or the revenue measure which 
took the name of the afterwards di.stinguished Senator from 
Texas, Mr. Mills. After that he went upon the committee, as 
I rememter it. In the Fifty-finst Congress it became necessary 
to formulate what was known as the tariff act of 1890. 

If I .should be asked to-day by any colleague what, in my 
opinion, were his strong points of character, I should .say his 
sterling and robust honesty and his never-failing industry. 
Add to this great kindness of heart, considerate attention to the 
wants of others, and there is no wonder why we in the Senate 
to-day miss him and why we mourn liini. Many times and (^ft 

Address of Mr. Mason, of Illinois. 53 

have I seen men approach him, in manj- cases in anxiety and 
distress, and tell their story. I never knew men or women so ' 
poor or so unimportant in the affairs of life as not to receive his 
careful and kindly attention. I knew him thirty years, a part 
of the time intimately, and I never knew him to speak unkindly 
of anyone. 

Senator Gear despised mean and small things, .small gossip. 
He sat in judgment on no man. He was a good citizen, a good 
Senator, a devoted lover of his family and his home, and a great 
worker. I remember in the old days in the House, when his 
mail was perhaps the largest of any that came. He was a good 
worker, yet fond of social conversation and chats. He was 
serious in business affairs, but yet a merry twinkle at times in 
his eye showed a keen appreciation of a good storj-. I think 
it was he who told me first the glory of a grandchild. He said 
that in the glorj* of the grandchild one has all the joy and the 
fun and none of the responsibility. 

I happened to be in Alaska at the time of the Senator's 
death. I did not hear of it for some weeks. I had just come 
down from White Pass and boarded the steamer at Skagvva)' 
when I met a gentleman who had arrived there that day and 
told me the news of his death. I .sat on the deck a long time, 
and in the rocks and in the everlasting hills I saw a type of his 
strong character and his never-failing courage, and in the quiet 
valleys filled with the music of running waters and singing 
birds I saw a type of his life in the harbor of his home. 

Life is indeed a book. We read it page by page and day 
h\ day. While the page of to-day may bring the shout of 
laughter to the lips, the page of to-morrow will be blurred with 
tears. The road of to-day may lead into a dark, foreboding 
to-morrow, but ere to-morrow's sun shall set we may pitch our 
tents within sight of the spires and domes of a friendly city. 

54 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

I think, Mr. President, one of the happiest times in hfe is 
when holding a fresh, new soul within our arms, fresh from 
the great immortality of the past, and the saddest hour is 
when, holding some loved friend by the hand, he steps down 
into the valley of the shadow we call death. 

We turn to the earth, and it is barren; to the sky, it is 

lead. The rift in the clouds only is the hope of immortality 

born within us and testified to by every line of nature that 

lies about us like an open book. With this light in our 

eyes we turn again to the earth, and it is no longer barren; 

again to the sky, and it is no longer leaden, for we read 

the same voice in the storm or in the breaking wave, in the 

quiet nook around the sunny bank, the same voice of faith — 

be patient, God reigns, and immortality is the jewel of the 


There's a wideness in God's mercy like the wideness of the sea; 
There's a kindness in His justice that is more than charity; 
For the love of God is broader than the measure of man's mind, 
And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind. 

Address of Mr, Gay, of Georgia. 55 

ADDRESS OF Mr. Clay, of Georgia. 

Mr. President: When I entered the Senate in 1897 I 
immediately formed the acquaintance of Senator Gear. We 
served together on the Committee on Post-Offices and Post- 
Road.s from that time until his death, and I believe that I 
enjoyed in a large degree his friendship and confidence. I 
often served with him on subcommittees from the Committee 
on Post-offices and Post-Roads to investigate charges made 
against appointees coming before the committee. While Sen- 
ator Gear and my.self belonged to different political parties, 
I most cheerfully bear testimony that I found him always 
ready and anxious to ascertain the truth and to report on the 
merits of each case, regardless of partisan politics. It was 
no uncommon thing, after the testimony was heard and a full 
and complete investigation had been made, to find that both 
of us had reached the same conclusion. 

If an appointment was made in my own State aftd I chal- 
lenged the fitness of the appointee, Senator Gear was always 
willing to accept my statement as to the character of the 
appointee without further statement. I believe he had con- 
fidence in anything I said, and I found him to be a loyal and 
faithful friend. Unquestionably he rendered valuable services 
to the people of my State in assisting me to reject unworthy 
and incompetent appointees, and it was through his influence 
that two or three objectionable appointments in my State 
were withdrawn. 

I feel it just to say that had the real facts been known the 
appointments would never have been made. Senator Gear 
was a plain, blunt man, who never u.sed words to conceal his 

56 Life and Charackr of Joliii Henry Gear. 

thoughts. In the discharge of his official duties he was 
prompt, thorough, and successful. 

It was my observation, in .serving on the committee with 
him, that whatever duty was assigned him he performed it 
promptly and cheerfully. He always kept up with his work 
and did it well. He had the respect, confidence, and esteem 
of his associates. He was of pleasant address and courteous 
manners, and was a genial companion. 

At an earl}- day after I entered the Senate I learned to 
regard him with affectionate interest and to appreciate his 
disinterested friend.ship. He was a modest man, and temper- 
ate in all of his habits. Judging from what I knew of him, 
he had avoided and escaped excesses which have wrecked 
and ruined the lives of so many of our great men. 

His career was a most successful one. The many exalted 
positions to which he was chosen in his own State, filling them 
all with credit and distinction, bear testimony to his real worth. 
He died in his seventy-fifth year and had been a member of 
the Iowa house of representatives; was ^eaker for two terms; 
was twicei elected governor of his State; was a member of the 
Fftieth,, and Fifty-third Congresses; was elected a 
Senator in Congress from his State for six years and had been 
reelected a short time previous to his death; consequently at 
the time of his death he had a full term of six years to serve 
in the Senate. 

He represented a great constituency and had the confidence 
of the people of his great State. The high positions which 
he held and the long public service which he so well per- 
formed, the regard in which he was held by his a.ssociates in 
this Senate, all attest that his life was a useful and successful 

He did not claim to be a great debater, but he alwavs 

. Address of Mr. Clay, of Georgia. 57 

presented his coiiteutions in the committee rooms with such 
clearness and earnestness as to carr>- conviction, and his words 
and counsel always carried great weight. 

After I thoroughly understood the man, I was not surprised 
at the wonderful success he achieved as a public man. He was 
one of the most amiable men I ever knew. His kindness of 
disposition and unobtrusive manners drew men toward him 
and made them feel easN- in his presence. He was readily 
approachable and the very soul of gentleness in his per.sonal 
relations with all who knew him, and I believe I can safely 
say the better he was known the more highly he was esteemed. 
I always observed that he had a kind word for everyone with 
whom he came in contact. 

When you study the character of Senator Gear and thor- 
oughly understand the life of the deceased, it is not difficult 
to understand why he achieved such wonderful success. He 
had a profound knowledge of the people and their modes of 
thought, the motives that influenced them, and the agencies 
by which they are controlled. He was simple and unaffected 
in his habits, courtly and gracious in his manners, and easily 
won access to the hearts of his constituents. 

Men, by reason of their association with him, learned to 
like, esteem, and then to love him. His kind and obliging 
disposition evidently gave him a strong hold upon his own 
people. I never knew a more accommodating man. He 
would go to any honorable extent to oblige and acconnno- 

date a friend. 

In the discharge of his public duties he .seemed to have an 
aptitude for details, and he was patient and untiring to faith- 
fully meet and discharge e^■ery official obligation resting upon 
him. He was a constant and faithful attendant to the pub- 
lic interest, and always commanded the respect of those who 

58 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

did not agree with him in politics, as well as those who were 
his party associates. 

During my entire service with him in the Senate, which 
lasted more than three years, he gave his best efforts to the 
services of his State and country. He was industrious, intel- 
ligent, simple, and unaffected, actuated by a high sense of 
duty, and loyally devoted to the best interests of his country. 
I have often spent hours in private conversation with the de- 
ceased, and there was a beautiful simplicity in his private life 
which elevated and charmed all who came in contact with him. 
I have seen him in conference with his constituents when 
they came to Washington, and, to my knowledge, he always 
met his fellow-citizens with a genial familiarity that made them 
feel he was one among them and could be approached without 
ceremony or embarrassment. 

As multitudinous as were the demands upon his time, he 
responded promptly to every request of his constituents, and 
took great pleasure to do what he reasonably could to have 
their reque.sts granted. The thorough business habits of the 
decea.sed made him a useful man in the Senate. He did much 
valuable work in the Senate that escaped public attention and 
for which he never received credit. He was not a man who 
sought notoriety. His valuable services consisted largely in 
thorough and effective committee work — just such work as 
shapes and molds legislation, and which is seldom properly 
appreciated by the public. Senators know and appreciate the 
value and importance of such work. 

I know full well, from sources that can not be questioned, of 
acts of kindness and deeds of charity done by Senator Gear in 
his lifetime which could only come from a heart touched with 
the gentle charities of humanity. Alas ! his work is finished. 
He lived beyond threescore years and ten. His life was a 

Address of Mr. Clay, of Georgia. 59 

busy and useful one. He fought his own way to success aud 
distinction. The lesson of his life is instructive to the a.spiring 
youth of his country. 

He made a career of which his family and friends may well 
be proud. Mr. President, the one thing that has astonished 
me more than all else since I have been a member of this Sen- 
ate is the frequency with which death crosses the threshold of 
this Hall. 

It has been less than four years since I became a member of 
this body, and seat after seat has been vacated, and funeral 
after funeral has occurred in both branches of Congress. Dur- 
ing this brief period our beloved Vice-President has passed 
away; so have Senator Harris, of Tennessee; Senator Morrill, 
Senator Earle, Senator Walthall, Senator George, Senator 
Davis, and Senator Gear. "In the midst of life we are in 
death" is true everywhere, and its warning voice should be 
kept fresh in the memories of those of us who still survive. 

6o Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

Address of Mr, Dolliver, of Iowa. 

Mr. President: My honored colleague [Mr. AUi.son] has 
spoken so fully of the public record of Senator Gear that little 
need be added to complete the biographical sketch which is 
suited to such an occasion as this, and if it were not for the 
love I bore him while he lived and the re\-erence which I feel 
for his memory I would choose to remain silent, leaving to 
others the privilege which this hour brings to his old colleagues 
and associates. 

While my acquaintance with Senator Gear began long ago 
in Iowa, vox knowledge of the man became real and intimate 
in the Fifty-first Congress in the of the stirring events 
which made the first Speakership of Thomas B. Reed notable 
and historic in the parliamentary progress of the country. 
Governor Gear was not an old member of the House in the 
sense of long service, but he was among the few who ha\-e 
been able to get credit there for .services rendered in other 
fields of activity. His peculiar preparation for the business of 
the House put him in demand for its most difficult duties, 
and without pushing his claims in the least he found himself, 
almost from the beginning, conspicuous in the leadership of 
that bodj'. 

He was a child of the frontier, and he bore throughout his 
life the marks of the rugged and arduous surroundings of 
his youth. He was not handicapped by the inheritance of 
wealth. It is doubtful if his good father, a missionary among 
Indian tribes, a chaplain at remote militarj- posts, was able 
to contribute much to the young man's support and education 
after he went out into the world for himself ; and the fact 

A ddress of Mr. Dolliver, of fowa . 6 1 

that we find hin> working by the month on an Iowa farm and 
eagerly accepting the most laborious employment m a country 
store indicates that he solved early the problem ot making 
his own living. He had all the advantages of poverty, wUhout 
its humiliations; for in a new country, where everybody .s 
engaged in the same struggle, sharing the privations of a 
common lot, social distinctions are apt to disappear altogether 
in the almost perfect equality of honorable hardships. 

But he received from his father an inheritance better than 
riches-a strong body, a healthy mind, and that rational 
philosophy of life from which he never afterwards deviated. 
Nor can it be doubted that he obtained at home, under the 
tuition of his father, a fairly good elenientar>- education, and, 
in addition, that intellectual vision which inspired his subse- 
quent career; for there must have been in this young rector 
when he left behind him the comforts of a well-ordered parish 
and turned his face toward regions where the foundations o 
society had not vet been laid, something of an apostolic zeal 
which raised him above the common level and anointed him 
as a true chaplain to the wilderness. 

I have frequently seen the likeness of Senator Geak s 
father, which he always had near him, and have often been 
impressed bv the stalwart figure of the man and by the refined 
vigor of his countenance, a countenance reminding one of the 
reservation of strength which lay in the features of Philbps 
Brooks in his latter years. He was wise enough to give the 
hov such assistance as he could and then push him out into 
the midst of things to fight the battle of life for himself. I 
count this an immeasurable good fortune to the youth of Sena- 
tor GEAR, because this world, in the long run, is governed by 
the intellectual and moral forces which it develops, and human 
nature is so framed that, with the rarest exceptions, its highest 

62 Life and Character of/ofm He?iry Gear. 

ranges of power are impossible except under the discipline and 
pressure of poverty and hard work. 

In considering the achievements which followed we ought not 
to leave out of the reckoning the prairie farm where the boy 
dug out his living as a hired hand, nor the pay roll of the 
little store which grew into the great commercial enterprise 
of which he became the head; for in these humbler stages of 
his success the character was formed which made him the 
master of every situation in which he afterwards was placed. 

It is doubtful if in his earlier years he ever contemplated a 
political career. When he was elected alderman in Burlington, 
it was not because he was a ward politician ambitious for the 
honors of local politics. His neighbors chose him because 
the city needed the counsel of such a man, and when he was 
elected mayor it was, being successful in his own 
business, the people desired the benefit of his guidance in the 
management of theirs. At this time he was nearlj' forty years 
of age, and it is certain that he did not even then expect to 
devote himself to public life, for when shortly afterwards he 
was nominated for the legislature he refused the nomination. 

He was content to be the leading citizen of his town, busy 
with his own matters, but looking with constant interest to the 
material growth of the conmiunity in which he lived. He was 
first in every good word and work, promoting the building 
of railroads, encouraging the establishment of nev.' factories, 
leading in the improvement of the highways, and vigilant in the 
maintenance of the schools. We may judge from all accounts 
that it was this public spirit in the service of his own town that 
induced him, in 187 1, to accept a commission as a member of 
the legislature, for his first work there appears to ha\-e been 
in connection with matters in which Burlington was chiefly 

Address of Mr. Dolliver, of Iowa. 63 

His duties in the legislature widened his horizon to include 
the whole State, and from that time until the day of his death 
he gave to Iowa his time, his energies, and the complete 
devotion of his heart. In a single year he had made his way 
to the confidence and approbation of his colleagues in the house 
and of the State at large, so that no one was surprised when, 
in the fifteenth and sixteenth general assemblies which followed, 
he was chosen speaker of the house. 

It was while a member of the legislature — four years of the 
time occupying the post of speaker — that he undertook an 
elaborate studj- of the business of the State, of its school sys- 
tem, its institutions of philanthropy, its means of transporta- 
tion, its scheme of taxation and public expenditures. No detail 
escaped him. He treated the business of the State as he had 
conducted the business of his commercial house, so that when 
he became governor of Iowa he was prepared for the work as 
few of the distinguished men who ha\'e filled that office before 
or since have been. It was to this period of his career, as he 
often said to me, that he looked back with the most satisfac- 
tion; and in the midst of subsequent honors he never asked 
and seldom received at the hands of our people any other title 
than that which he won by four )-ears' service in the chief 
office of the State. 

It is an interesting thing even at this day to read, 
with a view to an estimate of his character, the messages 
which he sent from time to time to the legislature. They 
include an almost incalculable mass of definite information, 
arranged in perfect order, relating to the State affairs, with 
recommendations looking to the amendment of the laws, 
to correct defects, to reform abuses, and to equalize the bur- 
dens of the State. The legislature and the people alike 
trusted him, and when his work was done, with a quaint 

64 Life and Character of John He7iry Gear. 

mixture of pride and affection, they named him "Old Busi- 
ness" as he retired to private Hfe, with the confidence and 
good will of all. 

Governor Gear was a politician in the ordinary sense of the 
term; yet he was entirely without the meaner devices and 
hypocrisies sometimes suggested by the word. The people 
knew exactly what he was; he concealed nothing; he looked 
the world steadfa.stly in the eye. He had the art of winning 
the hearts of men; his approach was persua.sive, conciliatory, 
benignant. He knew their names and where they lived — even 
their first names, which he always preferred to use. His head- 
quarters was always the rotunda of the hotel; and in the last 
thirty years few Republican conventions have been held in 
Iowa that did not give him an opportunity to .shake the hand 
and greet in genuine fellowship the men who bear the burden 
and heat of party politics. 

In all this there was no, no affectation, no conven- 
tion manners. He appeared to be glad to meet men, because 
there was in him a natural good will to men. He inquired 
about their families; asked what had become of their boys and 
girls; and nobody ever doubted that he really cared to know, 
for he only extended to his wider constituency the same inter- 
est and concern which long ago, as one who knew him well has 
said, endeared him to his neighbors as the best kind of a man 
to live next door to. 

He acquired the habit of taking an interest in others 
possibly as much from his surroundings as from his disposition, 
for in a new country, where all are strangers, worried by the 
same cares and cheered by the same prospects, the kindly 
amenities of life are slow to degenerate into counterfeit 
presentments and vain shows, and it must be remembered 
that while the State of Iowa is not new its older settlers were 

Address of Mr. Dollivcr, of Iowa. 65 

all pioneers, and hardly a generation has passed since its 
farther borders touched the wilderness. 

He was not a man of eloquent speech, though he had too 
much sagacity to underestimate the graces of culture and 
learning He did not enjoy in his boyhood the blessing of 
the public schools, yet the State owes to him much of the 
enthusiasm and many of the laws which have made its system 
of popular education a model for the world. He was deprived 
of the advantages of a college course, yet every one of the 40 
little colleges of Iowa numbered him among its helpful friends, 
while under his administration the noble university of the 
State and the agricultural college received such liberal con- 
sideration that their foundations have been broadened and 
their usefulness enlarged for all time to come. 

He was welcomed everywhere m Iowa as an effective public 
speaker When he rose to speak it was instantly recognized 
that he knew what he was talking about, and with every 
assembly which he addressed he had the invaluable advantage 
which belongs to sincerity and truth. He attempted no flights 
of eloquence; he put on no purple patches; he avoided figures 
of speech except the familiar illustrations which he found m 
the homely scenes about him ; he dealt with the thing in hand 
with such force and simplicity of style that he was always sure 
of approval whether he received applause or not. His popu- 
larity on the .stump fairly illustrates the fact that it is only 
necessary for a speaker to have something to say,_ some 
message to deliver, some knowledge of the matter in dispute, 
in which he passes others, in order to give him at once a 
readv utterance and an attentive audience. 

I recollect very distinctly Governor Gear's speech in the 
House on the sugar schedule of the tariff bill of 1890. It was 
known that he was in a large measure responsible tor the 
S. Doc. 236 5 

66 Life a7id Character of John Henry Gear. 

provisions of that bill relating to the importation of sugar and 
the encouragement of its production in the United States. 
It was an obscure question, and few members of the House 
had had either the experience or the instruction required to 
perfectly see through it. 

When Governor Gear took the floor, the whole 
gathered around him, and iu a speech of considerable length 
he discussed the subject, answering all inquiries with thorough 
information, and when he had closed the House had for the 
first time a complete understanding of what was involved in 
the provisions of the proposed law. In .spite of the speedy 
misfortune which overtook the leaders in the tariff legislation 
of that year, it was always Governor Gear's firm conviction 
that if the policy then outlined by him had been permitted to 
survive our people would have long since been delivered from 
dependence on foreign nations for their supply of raw sugar 
and from private monopoly in the manufacture of the refined 
article at home. 

After that speech no one doubted, if any had before, the 
fitness of his appointment to the great committee of the House 
which in these later years has become, in an important sense, 
the dominant influence in our .scheme of Congressional gov- 
ernment. He was chosen because, while pretending to none of 
the studied graces of the platform, nor e-\-en to the skill of the 
controversialist, he nevertheless possessed those resources of 
knowledge and practical wisdom without which the orators and 
debaters would make a sad wreck of our affairs. He was, if 
not the forerunner, at any rate a noted example of the school 
of statesmanship which, by its profound research into the 
facts with which governments have to deal, has already 
noticeably reduced the importance of speechmakers and 
speeches in the national deliberations. 

Address of Mr. Dolliver, of loiva. 67 

Governor Gear's whole life was a preparation for the 
position which he reached as a man of affairs in this Capitol. 
It may be doubted whether any set course of education, any 
curriculum of the schools could have resulted in so adequate a 
training as was given to this son of a pioneer clergyman in the 
university of the world. A noted political leader of our day 
has broadened the definition of a business man to include work- 
ers in every field, on the farm and in the factory, as well as in 
the bank and in the countinghouse: and while it may be a 
maxim of private life that every man should attend to his own 
business, the statesman of to-day in the nature of the case 
attends to the business of all. Whoever, therefore, has mas- 
tered the problems directly and indirectly connected with the 
books of the national accounts has attained an intellectual rank 
which no longer has to fear disparagement in American public 

Senator Gear had no element of radicalism in his ■views on 
public questions. He was careful in making up his mind, 
cautious in accepting brilliant conclusions, su.spicious of high 
colors, distrustful of millennial discoveries. There was no hos- 
pitality in him for morbid opinions about the state of society 
nor for rosy dreams of impossible .social conditions. He knew 
the world well as it is, and assessed it at its average value, 
refusing to think that legislation had made it as bad as some 
claim or could make it as good as some hope. He was tolerant 
of the frailties of his fellow-men, and in all political differences 
held to the rule of charity. The noise of fame and the glare of 
wealth made little impression upon him, and when he was at 
home, rich and poor, the lowly and the eminent alike, found 
him a faithful counselor and a congenial friend. 

I do not know what church he belonged to or what creed he 
believed in, but the united witness of who knew him best 

68 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

proves that in gracious service of all who needed help he 
walked in the law of Christ; and when he was buried men and 
women of all the churches and of every creed drew near to offer 
the gentle benediction of their tears. 

One can not read the addresses and messages of Senator 
Gear when he occupied the office of governor, nor the reports 
of his political speeches in later years, without finding in them 
all one favorite note — the pride which he felt in the Common- 
wealth of Iowa. 

He alwaj-s .spoke of her in simple Saxon phrase as "our 
loved State." He came to her borders when a mere boy, before 
her boundaries were fixed. He watched her growth, and with 
exultant confidence foretold her future. He measured her 
resources and waited patienth" for their development. He 
made him friends of her lakes and rivers and knew all the 
secrets of her prairies. He overheard the conversation of her 
people, sympathized with their aspirations, had respect to their 
convictions, entered into their joys and sorrows, and showed 
him,self at once the servant and the representative of their high 

And the great Commonwealth gave back his loyaltj^ with 
perfect reciprocitj' ; for after he had pa.ssed the allotted term 
of human life, even when he stood, brave and serene, almost 
within the valley of the shadow, that generous people, seeing 
the infirmities which he bore, comforted his old age with a part- 
ing assurance of their undiminished gratitude and love. 

With the leave of the Senate, I will add, as a part of my 
remarks, an address delivered at Governor Gear's funeral 
by my colleague in the House of Representatives, the Hon. 
Thomas Hedge, who, on account of his long intimacy with him 
as neighbor and townsman, was chosen to speak on that 
mournful occasion. 

Address of Mr. Dollirer, of Iowa. 69 


The boy, John Henry Gear, had already enjoyed a strange experi- 
ence when he came here to begin his independent life. Of Puritan stock, 
born in a quiet New York village, he had been for most of his eighteen 
years a sojourner with his father and mother in the western frontier of 
inhabited America, on the line between the clearings of the pioneers and 
the hunting grounds of the red men. He had become used to the rude 
and stalwart and eccentric sorts of his fellow-man. Hobnobbing with 
Indians and with soldiers, he had mastered the art and mystery of the 
hunter and the fisher. 

To this schooling his scholar father had added much book learning not 
to be found in the academic courses of to-day. He had inherited a sound 
mind in a sound body, a healthy brain, a steady' nerve, a straight and clear 
mental vision, strong social instincts, a craving for friendship, a faith in 
the sense of justice and good will of his fellow-men, and a catholic and 
charitable spirit toward them. 

This was his preparation, his equipment, his competency uncounted and 
un.suspected, but sufficient for the life and career veiled before him. This 
was the remote Territory of Iowa. The great river was the wa}- of neces- 
sity to the commerce of the outer world. He found his future home set 
in a spot of rare beaut}-, a beauty made rugged and forlorn by the glaring, 
uncouth shelters of the vanguard of civilization. 

His frank address, straightforward look, his plain confidence in the 
good-fellowship of those whom he approached gained him at once wide 
entrance into their social order. Character was the study here then, and 
high character was in demand. He found himself joined unto a people 
most interesting and attractive — j-oung, of simple ways and plain purpose, 
endowed with the physical health, the mental vigor, the courage, and 
force of soul of the most intelligent and enterprising families of the older 
States, who had made their toilsome progress through the vast solitude 
and across the great river expecting to make their way, to establish 
homes, to work out their material salvation by the exercise of the homely 
virtues of industr)-, thrift, patience, and watchfulness. 

Marked but not separated by the different customs, habits, modes of 
thought and of expression of their respective places of nationality, by the 
variety of their inherited beliefs, there was still among them unity in 
essentials. While it was still a rude society, undisciplined, unorganized, 
unconventional, willful, impatient of restraint, indulging ever in enough 
of turbulence to try all the strength of its manhood and grace of its 
womanhood, there was the general possession and practice of the cardinal 
virtues, the interchange of the kindly offices of good neighborhood. In 
that intercourse which the common interest and common necessity quickly 
make close and intimate thej- unconsciously but sureh* corrected, mod- 
ified, educated, enlarged, enlightened, and Americanized each other. 

yo Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

Their lives were earnest; through tribulation it was for them to come 
into the kingdom; the habit to overcome difficulties became a second 
nature and bred in them a fine and constant self-reliance. They valued 
usefulness; it was their measure of merit and dignity. The abilitj' to 
serve and the will to serve seemed to the reflecting the only reason and 
excuse for being. On such vantage ground, in such spacious time, among 
these men and women of greatest force and highest quality, pioneers, 
explorers, promoters of commerce, farmers, law3-ers, founders of an im- 
perial State, was it given to him to show what manner of man he was. 
It soon was plain that he was in his own place, an equal in a noble 

Here was indeed ability to serve and the will to serve, energy of mind 
and body ever seeking exercise, diligence in business and a sagacity to 
secure success, an aptitude for affairs which suggested his constant leader- 
ship, a sound sense of duty, manhood, gentleness, and unprofessed and 
unconscious practice of the golden rule, friendliness, S3'mpathy, sincerity, 
a bright and pleasant humor. Here too appeared a strange gift for learn- 
ing men and a strange interest in their welfare, an ever present helpful- 
ness, a human kindness that knitted men's souls to his as the .soul of 
Jonathan was knitted to the soul of David. He was indifferent about 
externals and accidents. He was concerned about character and not con- 
dition. His eye searched the man through the disguise or ornament. He 
was a respecter of the person and not of the place, and he desired place 
not as a pedestal for his own conspicuousness, but as a ground and oppor- 
tunity for the service he knew himself competent to give; and it has 
seemed to me not unsuitable that in testifying our regard to our old 
familiar friend we should have respect to him rather than to the high 
places which he adorned. 

We rejoice and are glad that he was legislator and governor and Repre- 
resentative and Senator, because he filled those places worthily, as we 
rejoice and are glad for the beneficent life he led, the fair name he won, 
the great character that he attained unto in the town that received him 
so long ago. We are happy, proud, and grateful that the State which he 
helped so greatly to exalt to honor and influence and power did in his 
old age again enrobe him with its highest dignity; that the people whom 
he served so long and so loyally did brighten his last days with the assur- 
ance of their unabated affection. 

His life was singularly happy, not because of any peculiarit}' of material 
condition nor good fortune of environment, but from his own nature. 
The world to him was full of charming men and women, because all men 
and women could present only their charming moods to him. We can 
not respond to a shining light with shadows. He received what he had 
given — full measure running over. 

He was conscious of the constant favor of his people, that honor, love, 

Address of 3Ir. Dolliver, of Iowa. 71 

obedience, troops of friends accompanied his old age. If life is given 
that we may serve our fellow-men, secure their liberty, multiply their 
opportunities, advance their learning, enlarge their life, that we may help 
the troubled, encourage the disheartened, protect the feeble, reclaim the 
wandering, rescue the outcast, restore the prodigal, then was his life a 
triumph, a sacrifice acceptable. This we believe, and that it is now writ- 
ten of him, " He served his generation according to the will of God." 

Mr. Pre.sident, I respectfully ask for the adoption of the 

The Presiding Officer (Mr. Clark in the chair). The 
question is on the adoption of the resolutions submitted by the 
Senator from Iowa [Mr. Allison]. 

The resolutions were unanimously agreed to; and (at 3 
o'clock and 5 minutes p. m.) the Senate adjotirned until Mon- 
day, January 21, 1901, at 12 o'clock meridian. 


December 3, 1900. 

Mr. Hepburn. Mr. Speaker, it is my painful duty to an- 
nounce to the House of Representatives the death of John 
Henry Gear, late a Senator from the State of Iowa, who 
died in the city of Washington on the 14th day of July last. 

Senator Gear's public career was long and illustrious. It 
began with Iowa's first political organization. He was per- 
haps more widely known and beloved than any of her public 
servants. Regret at his suddeu death in the midst of his 
great career and marked usefulness is everywhere felt in that 

I submit the following resolution. 

The Clerk read as follows: 

Resolved, That the House has heard with profound sorrow of the death 
of Hon. John Henry Gear, a Senator of the United States from the 
State of Iowa. 

The resolution was unanimously agreed to. 

A message from the Senate, by Mr. Parkinson, one of its 
clerks, announced that the Senate had passed the following 

Resolved That the Senate has heard with deep regret and profound 
sorrow of the death of the Hon. John Henry Ge.^R, late a Senator from 
the State of Iowa. 

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 ot the 
deceased the Senate do now adjourn. 


74 Proceedings in the House. 

January io, 1901. 

Mr. Hepburn. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
Saturday, January 26, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, be set 
aside to pay tributes of respect to the late Senator John H. 
Gear, from the State of Iowa. 

The Speaker. The gentleman from Iowa asks unanimous 
consent that Saturday, January 26, at 4 o'clock p. m. , be set 
aside for tributes of respect to the late Senator Gear, of Iowa. 
Is there objection? [After a pause.] The Chair hears none, 
and that order is made. 

A message from the Senate, by Mr. Piatt, one of its clerks, 
announced that the Senate had passed the following resolu- 

Resolved, That it is with deep regret and profound sorrow that the 
Senate hears the announcement of the death of Hon. John Henrv GE.\r, 
late a Senator from the State of Iowa. 

Resolved, That the Senate extends to his family and to the people of 
the State of Iowa sincere condolence in their bereavement. 

Resolved, That, as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased, 
the business of the Senate be now suspended to enable his associates to 
pay fitting tribute to his high character and distinguished services. 

Resolved, That tlie Secretary transmit to the familj- of the deceased 
and to the governor of the State of Iowa a copy of these resolutions, with 
the action of the Senate thereon. 

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

Resolved, That, as an additional mark of respect, at the conclusion of 
these exercises the Senate do adjourn. 

Jani'ary 26, 1901. 

Mr. Hepburn. Mr. Speaker, I call up the special order, and 
offer the following resolutions. 

The Speaker. The gentleman from Iowa calls up the spe- 
cial order, which the Clerk will report. 

The Clerk read as follows: 

On motion of Mr. Hepburn, by unanimous consent, it was ordered that 
Saturday, Januarj' 26, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, be set aside to pay 
tributes of respect to the late Senator John H. Gear, from the State 
of Iowa. 

The Speaker. The gentleman offers the following resolu- 

The Clerk read as follows: 

Resolved, That it is with deep regret and profound sorrow that the 
House of Representatives hears the announcement of the death of Hon. 
John Henry Gear, late a Senator from the State of Iowa. 

Resolved, That the House extends to his family and to the people of 
the State of Iowa sincere condolence in their bereavement. 

Resolved, That, as a mark of respect to the memory of the deceased, 
the business of the House be now suspended to enable his associates to 
pay fitting tribute to his high character and distinguished services. 

Resolved, That the Clerk transmit to the family of the deceased and 
to the governor of the State of Iowa a copy of these resolutions with the 
action of the House thereon. 

Resolved, That the Clerk comnmnicate these resolutions to the 

Resolved, That, as an additional mark of respect, at the conclusion of 
these exercises, the House do adjourn. 

The Speaker. The question is on agreeing to the resolti- 


76 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

Address of Mr, Hedge, of Iowa. 

Mr. Speaker: As only the colleagues aud companions of 
John Henry Gear can properly and justly measure his service 
aud fix his place in the House of Representatives, I shall, in 
my few words, venture onlj' to mark some of his qualities as a 
private citizen, as a neighbor, and a friend; to bear witness to 
that attachment for his person, that confidence in his high pur- 
pose and in his mental and moral power with which his people 
of the First district of Iowa followed him to the end. 

I do not know where to look for a truer type of the Amer- 
ican. His birth, his breeding, and his own experience joined 
to build him up into nothing less. His Puritan ancestors dwelt 
in Old England, and then for five generations in New Eng- 
land — a vigorous, god-fearing, law-abiding line. His father, 
an Episcopal clergyman, had been sent by his church as a mis- 
sionary to the Indians, and was dwelling among the remnants 
of the Five Nations, where now is Ithaca, when, April 7, 1825, 
John Henry Gear was born. His mother dying when he 
was 2 years old, he was taken to his grandmother at Pittsfield, 
Mass. , and it was not until he was 1 1 years old that he became 
a conscious pioneer. 

With his father the toilsome journey to the West was made 
in 1836. They sojourned first at Galena, then at Fort Snell- 
ing, on the western frontier of inhabited America; on the 
border line between the clearing of the white man and the 
hunting ground of the red man, and here the boy got all his 
preparatorj' schooling from what Ijooks his father could force 
upon him indoors and what he could lay hold of out of doors in 
the craft of his Indian familiar or soldier comrade. 

Address of Mr. Hedge, of Iowa. 11 

At 1 8 he was ready for independent life, and sailed down the 
Mississippi River to Burlington, Iowa Territory, to begin that 
Ufa. He was readier than he knew; admirably and exactly 
fitted and equipped for the career that awaited him, without 
burdens or impediments. He brought to Burlington a sound 
body, a straight physical and mental vision, a steady nerve, a 
stout heart, a good conscience, a tireless energy, an instinctive 
belief in the good will and fair purpose of his fellow-men. 

In Burlington he found the United States of America in its 
original elements, a gathering in miniature of the principal 
forces which were to perfect and strengthen the American 


I mean that by some strange providence had been brought 
there in the flower of youth representatives of all that was best 
of the original States— three of New England, New York, 
Pennsylvania, and Virginia— the force and virtue of Yankee 
and Knickerbocker, of Quaker, of Presbyterian and Catholic, 
of Puritan and Cavalier. They had come thither with the 
provincialisms, traditions, the prejudices, the ways of life, with 
all the peculiarities that characterized and separated their 
respective places of nativity; but in that wilderness these marks 
of character served only to distinguish and not to divide them. 
They rather drew them together, quickened mutual interest, 
and became the elements and forces of that reciprocal training 
which soon developed them all into Americans, lovers of a 
common country. 

They were a sequestered colony whose communication with 
their old homes was infrequent and precarious. The Mississippi 
River was their only highway to the outer world. The rail 
fence that marked the western border of the white man's 
conquest was hardly one day's wagon journey from the river. 
Thence westward stretched in idle beauty the prairie and desert. 

78 Life and Character of Jolm Henry Gear. 

an infinite silence, an illimitable solitude. For 2,000 miles not 
a furrow was turned, nor was ever heard the sound of the 
hammer in building temple or human dwelling. To these 
colonists ever}' newcomer was an object of interest and of 
scrutiny. They had learned quickly to measure strength and 
to discern quality. At once and for good this simple stalwart 
from the Falls of St. Anthony, this gentle embodiment of 
strength, this visible good will, took possession of their hearts 
and found himself at home. 

In those days there was but one social order among them; 
they had found no time to classify themselves, except between 
the useful and the useless. They were earning their living, 
establishing their homes, laying the durable foundations of a 
Com mon wealth . 

John Henry Gear set at once to do what his hands found 
to do; first as farm hand, then as clerk in a country store at 
$50 per year and board, then in the employ of the leading 
merchant of the town, \\Mlliam N. Coolbaugh, who was after- 
wards a noted banker and financier in Chicago, who soon took 
him into partnership in the establishment of which he after- 
wards became the head, and which chiefly occupied his energies 
until his entry into political office in 187 1. 

There is no time or need to count the steps of his progress. 
It was steady and it was always straight. 

I shall not say that he was ever ' ' too good for human 
nature's daily food." He was ever human enough to gain and 
to hold the affection of any true man, and ever good enough 
to win the confidence of any child. 

He had "learned to labor and to wait;" was faithful to 
"the common round, the daily task." He was sane-minded. 
He saw no ghosts or phantasms. His feet were plauted on 
the solid ground. He believed in the wisdom of the ages, and 

Address of Mr. Hedge, of Iowa. 79 

held to the arithmetic, the copj- book, the Ten Commandments, 
and the Sermon on the Mount. 

He was persuaded that every man had been sent into the 
world to serve the world, and, so believing, his every day was 
marked not only by usefulness, but by its own beneficence. 

His human kindness embraced all those who needed kind- 
ness — not only the worth>- and deserving, but that class most 
in need, the unworthy and unthankful. 

Of the large hospitality of his delightful home I have not 
room to .speak. 

A model neighbor and citizen, he became a successful mer- 
chant, a promoter of commerce, a builder of highways, a man 
of affairs, the efficient helper in every enterprise which prom- 
ised to hasten the progress or to enlarge the prosperity of his 
town and State. 

I doubt if his own political preferment had ever been a 
subject of serious thought to him during all the years of his 
private life. 

At the age of 46 he consented to be the candidate of his 
party for the legislature. 

He was elected, and in his service manifested such aptitude 
for public business that on his reelection he was made speaker 
of the house, and succeeded himself as speaker on his third 
election. Then the people of Iowa desired him for their gov- 
ernor, and he became a famous governor, using those methods 
which had made his private business so successful in admin- 
istering its laws, superintending its institutions, directing its 
affairs, and promoting its advantage. His faithfulness in few 
and lesser things had fitted him to be ruler over many things. 

I shall not follow further the story of his political life. As 
new duties came, he seemed endowed with new power to 
fulfill them, going from "strength to strength." In all his 

8o Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

advancement there was no change of character or loss of 
identity. He remained as faithful as the hills. 

His life was full of labor, of happiness, and of honor, and it 
is perhaps his highest honor that at its end his people love and 
reverence his memorv as that of their old familiar friend. 

Addnss oj Mr, LaiUiaiu, of Texas. 8i 

. Address of Mr. Lanham, of Texas. 

Mr. Spe.\kek: It is with somewhat peciihar emotions that 
I join in the proceedings of this hour. I recall the changes 
that have occurred in the personnel of the delegations from 
Iowa and my own State since yon and I, Mr. Speaker, first 
became members of Congress. Of >-onr delegation onh- yon 
and your worthy colleague, Mr. Hepburn, are here. Of mine 
I alone remain. Some of them are living and engaged in 
other pursuits; some of them have passed away. It is appar- 
ent to us, as it must be to others, that we have traveled over 
the greater part of life's journey and must ere long follow those 
who have preceded us to the silent land. This retrospect and 
this prospect it may profit us to consider. 

Mr. Speaker, obituary .service is usual with us upon the 
death of one of our associates in Congress. It is meet that we 
should .say .something of the dead, and suitabl}- commemorate 
the virtues of the departed. Such service and such connnem- 
oration .should be both solemn and sincere. Extravagant en- 
comium should be avoided, and only just tributes should be 
offered. While it is right and of long ob.servance to ".speak 
well of the dead," it is not incumbent U])on any eulogist to go 
bej'ond a faithful portrayal of the life and character of one 
deceased as they may have been known and understood by 
him. Indeed, such portrayal is always the more meritorious 
when it is strictly candid and accurate, and, as .such, be 
all the more appreciated bN' surviving friends and relatives. I 
.shall be guided Ijy these considerations in my brief and imper- 
fect contribution to this .serious occasion, and say nothing that 
I do not believe to be entirely true. 
S. Doc. 236 (1 

82 Life and Cliaraclcy of John IJcnry Gear. 

I became acquainted with Senator Gear in the Fiftieth Con- 
gress, when he was first a member of the House, and was at 
once interested in him. Bringing with him as he did a con- 
spicuous record of former prominent public service in his 
State, a large experience in political and business affairs, and 
entering Congress somewhat late in life, I felt more than us- 
ually inclined to observe and study him, to learn and know 
him. He made a strong and uimsual impression upon me. 
He was strikinglj- natural and singularly free from any sort of 
affectation. There was naught of veneer about him. He was 
notably plain and practical and straightforward. There was 
nothing in his dreas, his mannerism, his form of speech, or his 
general conduct that did not attest his .simplicity and sincerity. 
His mien and modus convinced any careful observer that he 
was an earnest, solid man, and one who could be thoroughly 
trusted in important concerns. His walk and conversation 
invited confidence and gave assurance that he was above dis- 
simulation. No man ever felt " ill at ease" in his presence. 

I think he was one of the most artless public men I ever 
knew. I never heard him speak a word or do a thing which 
seemed to be spoken or done for the mere sake of form. I 
once heard a compliment bestowed upon a worth\' man, and 
which, though expres,sed in homely phrase, carried with it a 
wealth of commendation that no polished diction could sur- 
pass. It was this; " He was a good, square, everj'day man." 
I would underscore these words and intensify their signifi- 
cance in submitting my estimate of Senator Gear. He was the 
same good man each succeeding day of his life, with uniform 
upright bearing and generous demeanor. I believe that his 
humblest constituent would have been as kiudlj' received and 
considerately treated b\- him amid his distintinguished sur- 
roundings at the Federal capital as at his own home in Iowa. 

Address of Mi'. Lanham, of Texas. 83 

These traits of character and these modes of conduct are 
unfaiHng testimonials of real greatness and exalted worth. 

The fidelity and efficiency with which he filled every engage- 
ment, the acceptability of his varied service to his people, their 
repeated indorsements of his course, and the eminent success 
he achieved all combined to proclaim him no ordinary man. 
He was equal to every demand upon him and faithful to 
every trust reposed in him. 

He was possessed of a deep and comprehensive intellect, a 
ready discernment, and strong practical judgment. When he 
chose to express an opinion, it was direct and convincing — 
not ornate, perhaps, but sound and logical. He seemed disin- 
clined to participate in public discussions, unless when mani- 
festly impelled by a sense of duty and with a view to sotne 
substantial contribution to the subject under consideration. I 
think he had no patience with mere pro forma or useless utter- 
ance, and was quick to detect the animus that prompted it in 
others. He did not ' ' stale his presence by custom ' ' in unneces- 
sary or irrelevant debate. When he did speak, it was with 
and to and for a purpose. Let us never underrate the quiet, 
thoughtful, silent man; for he has about him a reserve force 
all the more potential not constantly exposed, and 
of him it may frequently be affirmed "Cum tacet, clamat." 

A few words from such a man are oftentimes more influ- 
ential than the habitual iterations of those given to much 
speaking. I think it i.s natural that as men grow older they 
become more conservative, more considerate of their speech, 
and feel a greater sense of responsibility for the dignity and 
weight and effect of what they may say, and at the same 
time less disposed to volunteer their views and suggestions, 
except when suitable results are in demand and duty calls 
for an assertion of their judgment. It was doubtless so with 

84 I-il( I'lid Character of John Henry (icar. 

Senator Geak. He liad passed the impetuosity of youth 
and was impervious to the sohcitations of sensationalism and 
ephemeral notice when he entered Congress. His ambition was 
to be useful; his desire to be riLjht, not visionary nor meteoric. 
I was one of the Congressional committee to attend his 
funeral. I never witnessed a similar occasion where there- 
was such a large attendance of what we know as ' ' country 
people," and I never saw .stronger evidences of love and 
respect for the dead than the>- exhibited. Plain old men 
and women, who had doubtless known him for many years 
and been the beneficiaries of his attention and kindness, 
passed h\ and viewed his remains, and wept as they gave 
the last look at the face of their dear old friend. Their 
grief was general, and to me particularly apparent and touch- 
ing. Their expressions of .sorrow .showed that they were 
real mourners over his death. In their tributes I thought I 
discovered that devotion of kind hearts which is ' ' more than 
coronets" and the true index of the remarkable popularity 
and distinguished career of our lamented friend, and that was 
that he was true to and beloved by the plain people of his 
community and State. While he challenged the admiration 
and esteem of all who knew him, they especially trusted him, 
and he did not forsake them. In this was his great strength, 
and in their affectionate, abiding, and grateful memory is to 
be found his best ultimate public reward. Greater recom- 
pense in this world can no man receive. He died full of 
years and honors. His long and useful life is ended. His 
noble career is finished. He hath left enduring ' ' footprints 
on the sands of time," which those who come after him shall 
see and "take heart." In the last ".sleep upon which he has 
fallen," and which must finally come to us all, may his rest 
be undisturbed. 

Address of Mr. Laccy, of /mca. 85 

Address of Mr. Lacey, of Iowa. 

Mr. Speaker: Iowa is still a young State, and her great 
growth has been made ^\■ithin the recollection of men now 
livnng, and who can not yet be called very old. She has had 
sons and daughters, by birth and by adoption, whom .she has 
loved and delighted to honor, and whose names have become 
household words throughout the land; but the best loved of 
all her .sons was the man whose life and death we conunemo- 

rate to-day. 

Death is always a sorrowful event; but when it comes as it 
came to Senator, after he had passed .six years beyond 
the allotted limit of human life, after he had reached the 
pinnacle of his ambition, death seems a coronation rather 

than an end. 

John Henry Ge.\r has long been known to the people of 
Iowa. Nor was his fame limited by the boundaries of his 
State. His public life was long and eventful, though he was 
past middle life before he really entered on his career. He 
filled, with honor to himself and to his con.stituency, many 
responsible positions. His advancement was steady and per- 
sistent. He began at the bottom of the ladder and .step In- 
step made his way to the top, never losing his balance, not 
once forgetting his friends. As alderman, mayor, member of 
the legislature, speaker of the Iowa, governor of his 
State, Representative in Congre,ss, Assistant Secretary of the 
Treasury, and finally United States Senator, he was always the 
same approachable, genial, courteous, painstaking public serv- 
ant. He filled all of these various positions well; he worked 
consistentlv in them all, demonstrating his fitness to go higher. 

86 Life and Charartcy of foliu Henry Gear. 

The people of Iowa showed their appreciation of his good 
works by electing him to a second term in the United States 
Senate, a term of ser\'ice which would begin after he had 
passed his seventy-sixth year. 

States and districts usnally select to represent them the kind 
of a man that will best exemplify the character and habits of 
those who chose him. Iowa honored herself in selecting such 
a man, for the world judges the State by those it advances to 
high office. Commencing his life in penury, adversity only 
.stimulated him to greater efforts. 

Above all else, he honored and loved the State which was 
his home. I have known Mr. Ge.\r for many years, and I 
have often heard him say that he liked best of all the title 
"Governor" — that which most intimately connected his name 
with the name of his State. He said: 

When they call me "Senator," the idea is associated with the I'liited 
States; when they call me "Governor," it means Iowa, and I like it. 

When he was a member of the Hpuse his district and the one 
which I represent joined each other, and our relations in public 
affairs were very close. We were accustomed to hold joint 
meetings along the borders of the two districts in each cam- 
paign, and it was always a delight to me to see and hear the 
earnest welcome and applause he received from his constituents. 
His political opponents admired and respected him as much as 
his friends did, and the inquiry always was on the eve of an 
election, "How much will the Governor run ahead of his 
ticket?" for it was a matter of course that he wotild out.strip 
all others, his geniality and kindness of heart so endeared him 
to the people. 

Nicknames do not attach to persons luiless they seem to fit. 
Napoleon was called the "Little Corporal" by his friends; 
Jack.son was "Old Hickorx;" Gear was "Old Bu.siness. " In 

Address of Mr. Laay. of fou'a. 87 

one Congress our seats were side by side, and I learned to 
know him as I had not before. I was especially struck with 
his plain, practical good judgment. He was the genius of com- 
mon .sense. 

He never studied law, but in his long public service as well 
as in business life he had that training which made him a good 
judge of law. I often submitted involved legal propositions to 
him to find out how they would strike the mind of a layman. 
It was remarkable how correctly he would answer, giving his 
reasons with force and clearness. It was a good illustration of 
the fact that the law is, iu its last analysis, founded on pure 

Senator Gear was a great worker, and by the untiring 
nature of his efforts overcame in a great mea.sure the disadvan- 
tages of an inadequate scholastic education. Down to the 
very last days of his life in Washington he was seen going 
the weary round of the Departments, neither neglecting nor 
forgetting any call of his people upon him. He did nothing 
for di-splay. His success in life was the crowning reward of 
hard work. 

In a long career like that of Senator Gear his public life 
was coiniected with many important affairs, so that it is diffi- 
cult to .select the particular events in which his influence was 
most effectually felt. He has left a monument in the records 
of his State and nation. In Iowa he first suggested the idea of 
a board of control for the State institutions; and his plan was, 
in a subsequent administration, enacted into law. The work of 
tariff revi-sion, which he helped to frame in 1890, he saw con- 
demned, untried by the people, but he lived not only to be re- 
turned to Congress upon the same issue, but to see his course 
upon this question indorsed by national popular approval. The 
successful .settlement of the claims of the Government against 

88 Life and Character ot John Henrv Clear. 

the Pacific railways was the crowning act of his public life, and 
was the last great measure placed in his charge. 

He was a doer of things and not a saver of them, yet as a 
public speaker he accomplished what many professional orators 
fail in; he convinced his hearers. His speeches were of the 
vote-getting kind, for he always made his position both plain 
and plausible. 

No man was more free from prejudice and envy than he. 
He was not given to .saying hard things of his political oppo- 
nents, and he aspired to merit and win the good will of all with 
whom he was associated. That his friendship was sometimes 
abused did not cause him to lose faith in human nature. He 
did not fail to trust one friend because another had proved 

In politics he was a regular, recognizing the necessity of 
united effort in accomplishing political results. He yielded his 
judgment in matters of detail when it was necessary to present 
a united front to the opposition, but gave way in nothing where 
principle was involved. In both the House and the Senate he 
enjoyed the most hearty respect of the opposition as well as the 
warm regard of his political friends. 

In domestic life he was as fortunate as in his relations with 
public affairs. As a father and hu.sband he gave us the best 
example of American manhood. In his marriage relations the 
twain were indeed one. Those who knew Senator Ge.\r best 
alwa^'s associated him in their thoughts with the loving help 
mate of his long and busv life, who aided him in all his plans 
and encouraged him in all his struggles. 

John Henrv Gear has gone, but "his works live after 
him." Bj' no other standard would he be judged. He .sought 
not fulsome praise in life, and needs no flattering encomium in 
death. His loving heart sought only love, and this a grateful 

Address of Mr. I.acey, of foTca. 8g 

State and nation gave him in full meed. Measured by this 
standard of what he did. he stands forth a typical and great 

Glory of warrior, glory of orator, glory of song, 

Paid with a voice fl)iiig out to be on an endless sea; 

Glory of virtue to fight, to struggle, to right the wrong; 
Nay, but she cares not for glory; no lover of glory is she; 
Give her the glory of going on, and yet to be. 

This is the glory of the long life of John H. Geak. His 
work is done, Imt in the re.sidts of that long life his work goes 
on and yet shall be. 

90 Life and C/iarailir of /o/ni Henry Gear. 

Address of Mr. Grosvener, of Ohio. 

Mr. Speaker: Members of Congres.s from the district or 
vState from which a member comes have an opportunity to 
know more of the varied characteristics of a colleague than 
does a member from another State. He comes with the tra- 
ditions and recollections of his association with his home 
State; the campaigns, the contests, the struggles of political 
parties, and the associations and friendships which have begun 
and grown and blossomed in the State being brought here; and 
so it is that members of Congress from the State of Iowa can 
better speak of all the details of the character of Senator Gear 
than can a member of the House who knew him only in the 
official relations of the business of the House. 

I came to Congress in the Fort\-ninth Congress and Mr. 
Gear came in the Fiftieth Congress. His progress in the 
House was very rapid. He became a member of the Com- 
mittee on Ways and Means in the Fifty-first Congress — in his 
second term. I speak only from casual recollection, for I have 
no knowledge now, but I do not recollect the name of any one 
who reached that committee so early in his career in the House. 
He was a member of it at the time that the great contest over 
the tariff bill was the dominating question here. He must 
have been recognized early as a man of capacity in that line. 
I remember that he had charge on the floor of the House and 
el.sewhere of the interests of the agricultural departments; and 
I remember with what detail he di.scuased every question dur- 
ing the long ten or twelve days that the House was in Com- 
mittee of the Whole upon that liill. I knew him here in the 
House. I came to know him simjily by the discovery which I 

Address of Mr. Grosvenor, of Ohio. 91 

made, that he never undertook to explain a matter that he did 
not thoroughly understand. Accuracy of detail, accuracy of 
knowledge, was his strong point. 

It has been said of him, not only here but in the Senate, 
that he was not an orator; but he had the power of statement. 
He had that power which so rapidl\- communicates the thought 
of the speaker to the auditor. He had the power to make \'ou 
understand the argument that he was submitting, and his 
.speeches were always arguments. I never heard him make a 
speech — I never heard him using a .single word or .sentence — 
that he ever intended using anywhere else than here. He 
addressed the judgment, the sense, and the inider.standing of 
the House of Representatives, and apparently had no thought 
of the effect of his address outside. He was here always. He 
was one of the most faithful attendants, and I attribute his 
success and growth in the House in large part to his constant 
attendance on the sessions of the House. If I were to rise here 
in my place to deliver a lecture on the subject of the best road 
to preferment in the House of Representatives, I .should .say 
that that was the road traveled by Jonx Henky (iE.\r — the 
road that finds a member li.stening to the prayer of the Chap- 
lain and hears the echo of the gavel of the Speaker when he 
announces the adjournment of the House. 

It was my ob.servation that there was no question in the line 
of business here that he undertook to know anything about 
that he did not keep fully in touch with. 

He was a strong party man. After I became acquainted 
with him I had a great deal of conversation with him upon the 
subject of party organization and party politics. While he very 
fully appreciated the patriotism and judgment of political oppo- 
nents, he had a nmcli higher and more exalted opinion of the 
views and judgment of the men of the party to which he 

y2 Life and Character of /oliv Hcnrv dear. 

belonged. He was not ashamed to saj- that he was a member 
of his poHtical party and that he beHeved that part\- was ahvays 
right, substantially, and that the other party was largely 
inclined to be wrong. He challenged the good ()]iinion of the 
Democratic part>- in that way and alwaj'S had it. 

I was in Iowa once when a great gathering of the people at 
Burlington was going on. Governor Gear met the ])arty out- 
side of the State and went with us to the city of Burlington and 
then westward, and I noticed that in the \-ast throng that 
crowded around the cars and that came upon the platform 
where speeches were going on he knew h\ name nearl>- ever\ - 
body there. He may have missed the name of .somebody, but 
r saw no one that he did not apparently call by .some name, and 
usually it appeared to me that he had got the right name 
on the right per.son. He .seemed to have that great faculty of 
knowing everybody, and everybod>- seemed to have the ap- 
pearance of being very fond of him. 

\'ery few men in this country have grown to the distinction that 
he did who did not enter public life at an earlier period. From 
the start he made in his own State, when he was past middle age, 
mitil the time of his death, when he had reached old age, he 
made a .steady and rapid progress forward. There could be no 
better testimonial of his standing and hold upon the people of 
Iowa than that under all the circumstances he received the elec- 
tion which he did to the term which he never entered upon under 
all the conditions that surrounded him. He will always lie 
jiointed out by the men in this House and the men of the present 
Senate and the men who knew him in public life in Washington 
not so much for the characteristics which his comrades can detail 
as he will be for one of sturdy characters — honest, upright, 
persistent — who was ahvays at the post of duty and always will- 
ins: to .share the burdens and labors that fell to his colleagues. 

Address of .Ur. Dah.ll, of Pennsylvania. 1^3 

Address of Mr. Dalzell, of Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Speaker: I think it may safely be asserted that a 
lengthy experience in public life finds most men at its close 
with many acquaintances, but with only a limited ninnber 
whom they regard with feelings of warm friendship. ' ' Gov- 
ernor" Ge.vk, as I was always in the habit of calling him, was 
one of the men who, so far as I am concerned, is to lie classed 
in the latter category. 

Entering the of Representatives at the .same time — in 
the Fiftieth — we were more or less intimate during 
the remainder of his life, and the news of his death came to 
me with a sens;; of personal I had noticed with regret 
for .some time his failing health and the characteri.stic courage 
and persistence with which, notwithstanding, he attended 
assiduously to every duty. Cut off suddenly in the midst of 
his public .services, he may be said literally to have died as he 
would have wished to die — "in the harness." 

His colleagues from the State of Iowa have given to us the 
details of his long and useful life, and it is no part of my pur- 
pose to repeat them. They furnish us the key to his character 
and the explanation of his Nothing is .surer than 
that we are all of us more or the product of our envi- 
ronment and that the e.xi.stence of certain traits are to be 
accoiuited for by reference thereto. Governor Ge.vr came of 
a race of pioneers, of whom he was himself a worthy succe.s.sor. 

His missionary father found a congenial sphere of usefulness 
among the Indians and in the primeval forests of our earlier 
history. He carried the gospel and the lessons of civilization 
first to the red men of the Kast and later on to those of our 

94 Life and Character of John Henry dear. 

Western wilds, not counting the rigors of climate, the harsh 
conditions of semisavage life, and the absence of comforts as 
in comparison with the great work to which his life had been 

His steadfastness of purpose, his perseverance, his lofty con- 
ception of duty and his loyalty thereto, were the rich inheri- 
tance that he bequeathed to his son. To the talent to which 
he succeeded, the son, like the faithful servant of old, added 
yet other talents, which contributed much to the welfare of 
his fellow-men. Governor Gear's characteristics were those 
of the pioneer. He was a plain mau and unassuming, and 
yet possessed the aggressiveness needed to make his career a 
success. Commencing life apparently without any desire for 
power or place, he exhibited the qualities which attracted 
others to him and designated him as a fit counselor in their 

In whatever sphere he found himself he modestly and faith- 
fully pursued each day its duty, and each day made progress. 
A farm hand, a store clerk, a trusted .servant, a modest store- 
keeper, he finalh- became a prosperous merchant and a marked 
man in his community. Not seeking office, office sought him. 
From time to time the sphere of his usefulness broadened. He 
became an alderman of his ward, theu mayor o& his city, then 
assemblyman, then governor of Iowa, then a Representative in 
Congress, and at last one of the Senators of his State. 

Governor Gear was a brave man. As new responsibilities 
came he assumed them, knowing that with burdens taken up 
would come self-reliance. In the performance of his \arious 
duties he acquired a wealth of knowledge, practical in its 
character, which a wonderful memory made serviceable to 
mankind. He became thus a resourceful man. I ha\-e never 
known another who seemed to know more things worth 

Address of Mr. PixlzclL of Pennsylvania. 95 

knowing h\ a legislator and who knew them with more accu- 
racy of detail than did Governor Gear. 

He was a member of the Ways and Means Committee in the 
Fifty-first Congress, and no man on that committee was more 
useful in the framing of legislation. It is safe to say that his 
was a large part in the framing of the McKinley law. Not- 
withstanding the fact that his business career was at that time 
a thing of the long past, there still remained his accurate and 
varied knowledge of prices, tariff rates, markets, and all the 
details necessary to the making of a tariff bill. He was for 
that reason one of the most efficient members of that great 

He was as diligent as he was wise. He gave to the duties of 
his committee continuous, unremitting attention. He was 
ful on the floor as well as in committee. While not what the 
public might term an orator, he was a forcible speaker, clear, 
concise, and persuasive in the presentation of his views. It 
may be that in his long service in House and Senate his name 
is not particularly connected with any great measure, neverthe- 
less there were few such measures to which he did not give 
thought, consideration, and loyal service. 

His was a pleasing personality, possessing the quaHties which 
made and retained friends. He was even-tempered, well-bal- 
anced, warm-hearted. He was an amiable man. No one could 
continuously have filled the places of honor and trust that he 
filled covering so long a period of time without having had an 
army of warm and loyal friends. That he retained these is the 
most conclusive proof that he was deserving of them. I.ike 
Abou Ben Adhem, he loved his fellow-men. 

But it is not because Governor Gear was a faithful and dis- 
tinguished pubUc servant that I bring this my humble tribute 
to him to-day. It is rather because he was my friend, and 

96 Life and Character of John Ileiny dear. 

because I esteemed and admired him as such, and because his 

death has made the number of my friends one less. I can not 

think that there is anything to be bemoaned in his departure. 

It was not untimely. Full of years and of honors, he leaves 

the priceless heritage of an unsullied name and the record of 

a u.seful life well spent in the .service of his kind. 

He had so lived — 

That when liis sumnions came to join 

The innumerable caravan, which moves 

To that mysterious reahn, wliere each shall take 

His chamber in the .silent halls of death, 

He went not, like the quarry-slave at night, 

Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed 

By an unfaltering trust, * * * 

He wrapped the drapery of his couch 

About him, and lay down to pleasant dreams. 

Address of Mr. Richardson, of Tennessee. 97 

Address of Mr. Richardson, of Tennessee. 

Mr. Speaker: I regret that I did not have notice earlier 
that I might have had time to prepare with some care remarks 
appropriate to this occasion. It was only a few moments ago 
that I determined to saj- a word by way of eulogy of Senator 
Gear. I remember, Mr. Speaker, very well when Senator 
Gear became a member of this House in the Fiftieth Con- 
gress, the session after I became a member. I was not thrown 
intimately in connection with him during his legislative career, 
but I came to know him very well. Senator Gear came into 
national politics as a member of Congress late in life. 

My experience has been, sir, that it is rather unusual for a 
man to enter this House so old as was Senator Gear when he 
came here and make so perfect a success as a legislator as is 
true of that gentleman. He was past 60 years of age when he 
entered Congress. As remarked by the gentleman from Ohio 
who preceded me, he at a very early date became a member of 
the greatest legislative committee of the House of Representa- 
tives — the most important of any of its committees. We who 
were members at that time will all bear witness to his faithful- 
ness and his capacity as a member of that important committee 
in the Fifty-first Congress. 

I am reluctant to refer to myself on any occasion of this 
kind, but I remember very well his participation in the debate 
when the tariff question was being debated in the Fifty-third 
Congress. Gentlemen have spoken of the tenderness and lov- 
ing nature and disposition of Governor Gear. This was 
clearly shown in the Fifty-third Congress. I am sure no gen- 
tleman was better entitled to be held in the deep affection that 
S. Doc. 236 7 

98 Life and Character of John Heiuy Gear. 

seemed to cluster around him. It was illustrated in the case to 
which I am about to refer by a gentleman who was a candidate 
against him for the Senatorship in Iowa. That gentleman was 
then and is now a member of this House and is now doing me 
the honor to li.sten to what I am .saying. 

I remember \'ery well when, as the result of the contest 
there for the Senate, Senator Gear was succes.sful, of having 
a conversation with this gentleman, his colleague, who was 
then aspiring to the exalted station which Governor 
had won. He said he liad a first-rate chance to win the fight, 
indeed he believed he would win until Governor Gear 
became a candidate and entered the field actively. He said: 
' ' After the old man came into the race I knew I had no 
chance." He added that when it became known he wanted 
the Senatorship all opposition quickly vanished. He spoke 
of him in the kindly and tender way, which satisfied 
me of the depth and strength of the affection which Go\ernor 
Gear nnist have had on the people of Iowa. 

I have already hinted at and was about to mention an 
incident which occurred and came under my own obser\ation 
when he returned to the House of Representatives as a Sena- 
tor-elect. He had been away some time seeking the position. 
I mention this incident to show the feeling and the respect 
entertained for Governor Gear, not oidy by his colleagues 
on the Republican side but by gentlemen on this .side of the 
House at that time. After an ab.sence of several weeks spent 
in conducting his campaign he returned. The tariff bill of 
the Fifty-third Congress was being discus.sed. I had the 
honor to be in the chair in Committee of the Whole when 
the Senator-elect came upon the floor and took his seat just 
in the rear of that side. He had been here onh- a few 
moments when .some question on which he desired to speak 

Address of Mr. Richardson, of Teimessee. 99 

was presented. He rose and addressed the Chair for recog- 
nition, which was promptly accorded him. 

Up to that moment his presence on the floor had not been 
noticed. I took the liberty, because of the warm friendship 
which I entertained for him, to recognize him, when he 
addres.sed the Chair, as "The Senator from Iowa," which at 
once called attention to his presence. The applause which 
broke out on that side of the House was not surpas.sed by 
that which followed upon this side, in recognition of his 
popularity and the high esteem in which he was held. 

Mr. Speaker, 1 shall not occupy further time in .speaking 
of this distinguished man. I regret that there are not more 
"Governor Gears" in the politics of this country. Iowa 
has sent many able, accomplished, and faithful legislators to 
this body and to the other branch of Congress; but in my 
judgment she has never sent any man better calculated to 
reflect honor upon a great Commonwealth, for faithfulness to 
duty, for ability, for integrity of character, and for sincerity 
in all his public acts, than John H. Gear. 

loo Life a?id Character of John Henry Gear. 

Address of Mr. Steele, of Indiana, 

Mr. Speaker: I thank the gentleman from Iowa [Mr. Hep- 
burn] for giving me an opportunity to say a word in apprecia- 
tive memory of the friend.ship I enjoyed with Johx H. Gear. 

Of the earlier boyhood days of Senator Gear none are left to 
speak from personal knowledge. We are informed that from 
1 83 1, when he was 6 j^ears of age, ten years or more were spent 
at Fort Snelling, then on the remote frontier. There he was 
necessarily deprived of the advantages afforded by civiliza- 
tion. His father was dependent upon the meager salary of an 
army chaplain. At this remote outpost even the necessaries 
of life were secured at such cost that little was left either to 
hu.sband for a rainj- day or to provide for the education of his 

It is not surprising, therefore, to those who knew Senator 
Gear to read that at the age of 17 he left his old home behind 
him and went into the world to make a new home for himself. 
B3' the exercise of the rugged qualities which characterized him 
to the last of life, he succeeded not onlj' in this ambition, but, 
with a courageous spirit, a mind of native strength, and a rep- 
utation for honesty and sincerity which grew greater as he 
discharged the many public duties intrusted tc him, he rose 
to a place of eminence in the councils of the nation. 

I leave to others the history of his long and distinguished 
public career, and speak of him onh- as a friend. My acquaint- 
ance with him began in 1884, but not until 1887 did I know 
him well. We then became associated on the Committee 
on Military Affairs. This was during the Fiftieth Congress. 
Of the members of that conunittee at that time but two are 

Address of Mr. Steele, of Indiana. loi 

members of the present House, and of the membership of that 
House there are but twenty-one in the present. 

Senator Gear's domestic hfe left nothing to be desired. He 
was devoted to his wife and children. Few men had more lo}'al 
and devoted friends than had he, and few men derived greater 
enjoyment from association with his friends. After the mem- 
bers of his immediate family, lowans general!)' were naturally 
nearest his heart, and first of the first was, doubtless, his col- 
league, Senator Allison. Senator Gear was a man of unusual 
ability, yet he was modest and unassuming, good of heart, hon- 
est, truthful, and loyal to his friends. He helped make the 
world better. 

I02 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

Address of Mr. Hull, of Iowa. 

Mr. Speaker: For more tliaii a quarter of a century it was 
my privilege to have in the person of John Henry Gear a 
friend. During that time I learned to love him. I first knew 
him intimately during his connection with the general as.sem- 
bly of Iowa in 1.S72. In common with the other citizens of 
Iowa, I recognized during the first few weeks of that session 
that a new and powerful and dominant factor had entered 
public life. I was associated with him then and in the suc- 
ceeding session, when the two parties in Iowa were e\enly 
balanced in the, each liaving fifty members, his party 
selecting Representative Gear as their candidate for speaker. 

I believe I am safe in saying that every citizen of Iowa 
recognized that there was no other man on the Republican 
side who could have broken what was known as our "legisla- 
tive deadlock-" and the universal feeling among all the mem- 
bers who had .served with him in the preceding legislature 
that he was absolutely fair and entirely honest was the only 
thing that made it possible for liim to be elected speaker of 
the Iowa hoi;se the first time. His course in the legislature 
during his three terms of service was of such a character that 
the people of Iowa without regard to party recognized him 
as an able and honest and industrious public .servant. 

When he came to be named for the higher office — the high- 
est in the gift of his people, that of governor — he received the 
support of his party and of many who did not belong to his 
party at the time because of their belief in him as a man. 

During his service as governor I was associated with him on 
the executive council, being .secretary of state. In this way I 

Address of Mr. Hull of Iowa. 103 

came to know him more intimately than I ever could have 
known him otherwise. And I take pride in saying that everj- 
act of his as executive of that great Sfate was inspired by a 
desire to serve the best interests of his people, and that in every 
crisis coming to him during his administration he met the full- 
est expectation of the people of the entire State. 

During this service, Mr. Speaker, I believe I found one of 
the secrets of his wonderful strength among the people. One 
element of his strength was his approachability. No divinity 
hedged him around, but every citizen could meet and talk with 
him and lav before him his grievance or his wants without 
any intermediary. Every child that met him upon the street 
received from him a kind word that made the child treasure the 
fact that he knew Governor Gear. 

An eminence upon which was situated the capitol of Iowa, 
with a long .slope down to the river, was, in the winter days 
when Gear was governor, the great coasting place for the 
young lads and lassies of Des Moines ; and this man, wh.. held 
the highest office in the State, would take pride as he went 
from the capitol in saying to them, "Let me have a ride with 
you," until every evening, as he left his office, there was a 
contest among the boys and girls of the capital city as to who 
should have the honor of taking the governor on the bobsled 
and coasting him down the long incline. 

These things, Mr. Speaker, were done at the time simply 
from the kindness and goodness of his heart ; but as the >-ears 
passed on and when )-ounger men were wanting to crowd lum 
out of political position and take his place, on the ground that 
he was too old to serve the State, these boys with whom he 
played in their early days and had grown to manhood, these 
young fellows who had met Governor Gear when he was 
governor of the State and when he was active in State politics, 

I04 Life and Character of John Henry Gear. 

rallied to his support and formed a solid phalanx and said to 
the people of the State of Iowa : ' ' This man has performed 
such great, such honorable service that we all think it proper 
and right to renominate him and keep him in the Senate." 

The gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Grosvenor] in the course of 
his remarks upon the life and character of Senator Gear has 
referred to his marvelous memory-. When he was in active 
politics, Mr. Speaker, in Iowa, there was no man amongst all 
of our f)eople who coukl meet men from every section of the 
State, in the convention or in the great political gatherings or 
the meetings of the legislature, and call as many men by name, 
locate them at their homes, speak of them as to their families 
and their family relations, to equal vSenator Gear or even 
approach him in that respect. His memory was something 
marvelous. He bore all of this great multitude of people not 
only in his brain, but in his great, generous heart. 

John H. Gear, Mr. Speaker, was a type of a race of men 
who are rapidly disappearing in this country — the pioneers. 
Born of the sturdy stock that could conquer the wilderness and 
could overcome most of the difficulties of life, he helped to 
mold the policy of the great State, saw it to the highest 
honors of a State from a Territory, helped to make statehood 
possible to it, and aided as few other men did in the formation 
of <• the State in the earh^ years of his political life. Mr. 
Speaker, men like him are rapidly passing away, leaving their 
descendants after them a very much better opportunit,v than 
they had, with more culture than was theirs, because of the 
hardships necessarily endured in those pioneer days ; but no 
race of men of better fiber than those men of which Senator 
Gear was a fitting type can be found in the annals of 
American history-. 

His loss will be mourned in Iowa while the generation now 

Address of Mr. Hull, of loiva. 105 

living there shall rule. His memory will be torne in the affec- 
tionate hearts of the people he served so well. We will build 
him an enduring monument in our State, in the affections of 
our children, and we can say to his friends that they can take 
pride in the fact that tliex- were related in any way to this 
splendid specimen of American manhood and American states- 


Mr. Speaker, I only regret that I have not had an opportu- 
nity to more effectively pay my tribute of respect and affection 
to the memory of my friend, the late Senator John Henry 
Gear, who was also the friend of all the people and of all the 
interests of the great State of Iowa, as he was the friend of the 
best interests of the people of the entire United States. He is 
gone. We mourn him, and can say in all truth, 

Go search the land of living men; 
Where shall we find his like again? 

The Speaker. The question is on the adoption of the reso- 
lutions which have been presented. 

The resolutions were unanimon.sly adopted. 

The Speaker. It becomes the duty of the Chair now, in 
pursuance of the resolutions just adopted, to declare this House 
adjourned until 12 o'clock noon on Monday next. 

Accordingly (at 5 o'clock and 5 minutes p. m. ) the House 

S. Doc. 236 8 





1 luoADv nr Congress