Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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JEWETT, Thomas L., railroad president, born in Maryland about 1810; died in New York city in November, 1875. He was a practising lawyer in Steubenville, Ohio, and was at one time a judge in a state court, but became interested in the construction of the Pan Handle railroad, and was chosen its president. As Virginia was unwilling to grant a charter for a connecting-line across her territory for the Pennsylvania central railroad, Judge Jewett sought the interposition of the government at Washington. When a system of railroad government by commissioners that were nominated by the companies was in contemplation, he was selected as one of the commissioners. He was long well known as a railroad manager in Ohio, and held important offices in various companies.--His brother, Hugh J., railroad president, born in Deer Creek, Harford County, Maryland, about 1812. He studied law, was admitted to the bar, and in 1840 removed to St. Clairsville, Ohio, where he began practising his profession. In 1848 he settled in Zanesville, Ohio, and soon became noted for his skill in cases involving financial questions. He was elected president of the Muskingum branch of the Ohio state bank in 1852, a presidential elector the same year, and a state senator in 1853, and was soon after appointed United States district attorney for the southern district of Ohio. His experience as a railroad financier began in 1855, when he was elected a director of the Central Ohio railroad company, becoming vice president and general manager in 1856 and president in 1857. In 1860 he was nominated for member of congress, in 1861 for governor of Ohio, and in 1863 for United States senator, but was defeated in each election. He was returned to the state senate in 1867, and elected a member of congress in 1872. His success as a railroad manager led to his election to the presidency of the Little Miami, Columbus, and Xenia railroad company in 1869, and shortly afterward to that of the Cincinnati and Muskingum valley railroad company. On removing to Columbus he was elected vice president of the Pittsburg, Cincinnati, and St. Louis railroad company. In 1871 he retired from active railroad management, and was appointed general counsel for the Pennsylvania railroad company. Two years later he resigned his seat in congress to accept the receivership of the New York and Erie railroad company, to which he had agreed to devote his whole time for a period of ten years. He succeeded in extricating the discredited and bankrupt corporation from its embarrassments, secured its release from the jurisdiction of the courts, and became president of the reorganized board. On the expiration of his ten years' contract he retired to his home in Zanesville, Ohio, being succeeded in the presidency of the newly named New York, Lake Erie, and Western railroad company by John King. Mr. Jewett's name was mentioned as a candidate for the presidential nomination by the Democratic party in 1880.
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