William Jackson Hissem


From the Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, published by the John M Gresman Company, Chicago-Philadelphia 1896


W JACKSON HISSEM of Newport, attorney-at-law and State Senator from Campbell County was born in Tyler County, West Virginia March 12, 1863.  He is a descendant of ancestry who were active soldiers of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.  He has some of the blood in his veins of the old Pennsylvania Dutch stock, from which state his grandparents moved in the beginning of this century in the wilds of West Virginia.  When the subject of this sketch was seven years of age he moved with his parents to Campbell County, this state, where his father was engaged actively in agricultural and mercantile pursuits.  Young Hissem was of great service to his father, where he worked with might and main during the spring, summer and autumn, attending the public school during the winter.  He later attended a business college in Cincinnati, where he more firmly laid the foundation for a business career; engaged in mercantile business for himself, when he reached his majority; often served in local offices, where he was chosen by his fellow citizens.

In 1891 he was nominated by the Republicans to make the race for the Legislature; was elected and served during the Long Parliament, as that session is known.  At the end of that session he was nominated by acclamation in the convention of his party for the State Senate and elected, defeating an eminent lawyer and jurist.  He was the youngest member of that body and having drawn the short term, was re-elected in November 1895 by the largest majority ever accorded a candidate in the county.

After a course of law coving a considerable period, Mr. Hissem was admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals in 1894, since which time he has practiced his profession at his home in Newport.  He has never been defeated for any office to which he aspired.  He has always been active in the councils of the Republican Party.

He was married in 1887 to Nettie M Pickens, daughter of Robert P Pickens of Campbell County.  They have two daughters as the fruit of that union; Leva, aged seven and Ethel, aged five.

His father Levi Hissem, was a native of Westmorland Pennsylvania and removed with his father (Jesse) to what is now Tyler County West Virginia when four years of age and lived there until 1870 when he came to Campbell County.  While in West Virginia he was a farmer and largely interested in the woolen, flour and lumber business.  He was a Democrat prior to the Civil War, but since that time he has been an enthusiastic and consistent Republican.  While deeply interested in political questions, he has never been a politician.  His father, Jesse Hissem  was a native of Maryland, who removed to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania; and lived there a number of years before locating in Tyler County, Virginia.  Before his death in 1872, he removed to Meigs County Ohio.  His ancestors, as far as known, were Americans, having been among the first settlers in the United States.  W J Hissem's great-grandfather was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

Elizabeth Morgan Hissem (mother) was born in Virginia in 1820 and is living with her husband in Campbell County.  They are members of the Methodist Church and have been identified with the church work for over a half century.

Joseph Morgan (maternal grandfather) was born in Monongalia County (now) West Virginia in 1792 and died in Tyler County, West Virginia in 1884, aged ninety-two years.  He was a soldier in the War of 1812 and was a relative of Morgan, the Indian fighter, mentioned in his history.  He was a farmer, a large dealer in cattle and a very successful business man.

Cincinnati Enquirer, 20 July 1904, page 2


Proclaimed by the Mayor of Newport and County Judge Hissem

Mayor Helmbold yesterday issued a proclamation calling upon all citizens to recognize today as a holiday because of the Elk's parade.  The proclamation is as follows;

"To the Citizens of Newport Ky. Whereas the Order of Elks of the country are assembled in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio and sister cities of Kentucky in annual convention; and

Whereas, I have declared Wednesday, July 20, 1904, until 2 pm a holiday so that the city officials may see the parade in Cincinnati, I hereby call upon all business men to likewise give leave of absence to their employees until said time for the same purpose. Respectfully, A Helmbold, Mayor"

County Judge Hissem entered the following order:

"Campbell County Court, Regular Term, July 19, 1904: In recognition of the fact that Wednesday, July 20, will be a generally observed by our citizens as a holiday by reason of the execrates of a public interest arranged by the Grand Lodge, Order of the Elks, for that day, it is hereby ordered that this Court adjourn until Thursday, July 21, at 10 o'clock a m. W J Hissem, Judge"

Visitors piled into Newport in a steady stream yesterday. Most of them toured for some time at the Elk's lodge room on York street, where they were registered. Thousands of the strangers visited the fine rathskeller at Wiedemann's brewery, where they were regaled with a Dutch lunch. The antics of the crowds of small boys in their chase after pennies thrown from the second floor of the Elks lodge room by visiting Elks was a source of much amusement.  York street was packed with a howling mob of "kids" who fought for each penny, and at times blockaded the street cars.  But the climax came when a handful of pennies was thrown into a watering trough.  In the scrabble for the pennies some of the youngsters were very nearly drowned.

Many of the visitors paid a visit to Ft Thomas yesterday after taking in the sights of Newport.


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