Detail from Memorial Services ... In Eulogy of John B. Kendrick, 1934 (Trail End Collection)
Edited by Site Superintendent Cynde Georgen; from Trail End Notes, November 2012
NOVEMBER 2012 MARKED the 79th anniversary of the death of Trail End’s founder, John B. Kendrick, from the effects of a cerebral hemorrhage. As was the custom of the time, memorial services were held the following April in the House of Representatives, in which members of the Seventy-Third Congress (Second Session) offered words of praise concerning their fallen brothers (including Kendrick, fourteen members of Congress died between March 1933 and April 1934).
The following are excerpts from remarks made regarding John Kendrick, published in Memorial Services Held in the House of Representatives of the United States, Together With Remarks Presented in Eulogy of John B. Kendrick, Late a Senator From Wyoming.
Key Denson Pittman, Democratic Senator from Nevada - No man, in my opinion, better typified the highest ideals of the great West - a cowboy herding longhorns over the trail … Even in those days, as a young man, he was kindly and tolerant, although he possessed the courage and firmness of a leader. … I am sure that he did not have an enemy in the United States Senate. He held the respect and friendship of every Member.
Joseph O’Mahoney, Democratic Senator from Wyoming - Modest of mien, gentle of speech, sympathetic of nature, with an indomitable will that nothing could overcome, he inspired respect, confidence and love among all who knew him. He had an uncommon understanding of human motives, and to this penetrating insight he added patience, tolerance, and an all-embracing sense of kindly humor. … The Senator understood that political parties are instrumentalities to be used for the public good rather than for … partisan advantage. Because they knew this to be the fact, men of all parties flocked to his standard.
Arthur Capper, Republican Senator from Kansas - Senator Kendrick and I were thrown much together, in spite of the fact that he and I were of different political faiths. But when it came to matters affecting agriculture, the welfare of the great West, and the general welfare of the nation, I soon found that he measured legislation proposed on its merits and not from any narrow partisan viewpoint. … Senator Kendrick was a man of much practical information and knowledge. He knew what was good for his people and his State, and worked for those things. Withal he was a sensible, kindly and fair-minded man; one who earned liking and respect, and who held that liking and respect to the end.
Joseph T. Robinson, Democratic Senator from Arkansas - Senator Kendrick, throughout a long and active career, inspired his associates with respect and confidence. His capacity for clear thinking and firm decision enabled him to overcome the disadvantages inseparably connected with the period of his early life in the West … Senator Kendrick was generous and devoted to his family and his friends. Tolerant of the views of others, responsive to sound argument, he also exemplified an independence of judgment and a freedom of action which made him admirable as a man and notable as a legislator.
J. Hamilton Lewis, Democratic Senator from Illinois - [In recalling] the quiet, calm, unruffled nature of our patriot, scorning the practices of the hypocrite, the pretense of superior virtue, ever fast and firm in his convictions, and serving his office in splendor of achievement after rising from the estate of humility to eminence of first a great merchant, then an eminent leader, Governor of his State, Senator of the United States, a friend, counselor, and confidante of five Presidents of the United States - Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, Hoover and Roosevelt - I reflected that one could not ask to rise to grander heights, nor could one ask for more by which to attain fame or be remembered.
Henry F. Ashurst, Democratic Senator from Arizona - Romance and emprise [sic] clustered around him, and although his lips have now partaken of the sacraments of the dust, the influence of his character survives and is treasured by his relatives, his friends, and his proud State. … Even when he viewed the swelling dome and the fluted pilasters of the Nation’s Capitol he wistfully yearned for the far-away rim of the prairie. … Senator Kendrick symbolized the American cowboy - calm, steady, generous, fair, adaptable, industrious, and firmly devoted to the rugged old virtues which made our nation great and strong.
Charles L. McNary, Republican Senator from Oregon - Senator Kendrick had a rare and generous sympathy toward all whom he believed to be oppressed. … I always found him courageous, independent, dependable, and above all, always reliable. His word was as good as the very life he cherished. We on this side of the Chamber join with the Democrats in mourning the loss of so fine a character.
Robert D. Carey, Republican Senator from Wyoming - Nothing I have said and nothing that we can now do will add to the fullness of Senator Kendrick’s life, an epic of the old and the new, the East and the West. These occasions are merely efforts on our own part to understand, if possible, and do honor to those who have so ably borne the burden and the heat of the day.
Vincent M. Carter, Republican Representative from Wyoming - Senator Kendrick died in the harness, working long and hard for his folks in Wyoming. And now his spirit is free to return to the land he loved - the land of which he was so much a part - the West.
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