Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ALDRICH, Charles, journalist, born in Ellington, Chautauqua County, New York, 2 October, 1828. He received a common-school education, and spent one year in Jamestown academy. In 1857 he went to Iowa and established the "Freeman" in Webster City. He served as chief clerk of the Iowa house of representatives in 1860-'2, 1866, and 1870, and was a member of that body in 1882-'3. Mr. Aldrich is the author of many of the important laws of Iowa, including that changing the system of county government from dictatorship of a single county judge to a board of supervisors, for the protection of birds, and for the preservation of the public documents of the state. He originated the agitation in the public press that resulted in the repeal in Iowa of the so-called granger laws for the regulation of the transportation on the railways and the adoption of a commission system. In 1882 he became widely known through his efforts to secure legislation prohibiting the issue of railroad passes to public officers. His speeches and articles in the "North American Review" and elsewhere were circulated extensively in the United States and Europe. This agitation was largely instrumental in promoting the passage of the interstate commerce act. He presented to the state of Iowa, in 1884, his large and valuable collection of manuscripts, portraits, and autograph letters. The degree of A. M. was conferred on him by Iowa college in 1869. He was one of the founders of the American ornithologist's union in New York in 1883, and was elected corresponding member of the Wisconsin historical society in 1887.
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