George R. Lunn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
George R. Lunn (1873-1948), former Socialist mayor of Schenectady, New York who became a Democratic Congressman during World War I.

George Richard Lunn (1873–1948) was an American clergyman and politician from New York. He was the first Socialist mayor in the state of New York, a U.S. Representative from 1917 to 1919, and Lieutenant Governor from 1923 to 1924.

Biography[edit]

Early years[edit]

George R. Lunn was born June 23, 1873 near Lenox, Taylor County, Iowa. He graduated from Nebraska's Bellevue College in 1897, attended Princeton, New York, and Columbia Universities, and graduated from Union Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1901.[1][2]

Lunn fought in the Spanish-American War in 1898, serving as Corporal in Company I, 3rd Nebraska Infantry Regiment.[3]

After receiving his ordination Lunn was pastor of Presbyterian and Dutch Reformed churches in Brooklyn and Schenectady from 1901 to 1914, including several years as associate pastor of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn.[4][5]

He also became an advocate for workers' rights, and was arrested for taking part in pro-labor protests.[6]

Political career[edit]

Lunn was Mayor of Schenectady, New York from 1911 to 1913 and from 1915 to 1917, elected first on the Socialist ticket, and afterwards becoming a Democrat.[7][8]

He was elected as a Democrat to the 65th United States Congress, and served from March 4, 1917, to March 3, 1919.[9] In 1920, he was defeated by Harry C. Walker in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senator from New York.[10]

From 1919 to 1923 he served again as Schenectady's Mayor.[11] He was a Delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1920, 1924, 1928, 1932, and 1936.[12]

Lunn was Lieutenant Governor of New York from 1923 to 1924, elected on the Democratic ticket in 1922, but defeated for reelection in 1924, even as Democratic Governor Alfred E. Smith was winning reelection.[13] The 1924 election was the last in which the Governor and Lieutenant Governor were elected on different tickets.[14]

In 1925 Lunn was named to the state Public Service Commission, and he served until 1942.[15][16]

He served as Commander-in-Chief of the United Spanish War Veterans from 1931 to 1932.[17]

Death and burial[edit]

Lunn retired to Del Mar, California, where he died on November 27, 1948.[18][19][20] He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.[21]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ George Richard Lunn Gardner, The Schenectadians, 2001, pages 2 to 15
  2. ^ Princeton University, Directory of Living Graduates and Former Students of Princeton University, 1902, page 133
  3. ^ Livy S. Richard, Midmonthly Survey, Democracy in Religion, July 2, 1910, page 535
  4. ^ Hartford Courant, A resignation Accepted, November 25, 1909
  5. ^ James Weinstein, The Long Detour: The History and Future of the American Left, 2004, page 53
  6. ^ New York Times, Lunn Arrested Again: Committed to Jail in Herkimer with Four Companions on Riot Charge, October 18, 1912
  7. ^ Boston Globe, Socialist Parson Rules, November 26, 1911
  8. ^ Eugene Victor Debs, James Robert Constantine, Letters of Eugene V. Debs, Volume 2, 1991, page 201
  9. ^ New York Secretary of State, Manual for Use of the Legislature of the State of New York, 1918, page 338
  10. ^ New York Times, Lunn to Speak for Democrats, September 20, 1920
  11. ^ Peter R. Eisenstadt, Laura-Eve Moss, The Encyclopedia Of New York State, 2005, page 935
  12. ^ Congressional Quarterly Press, Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1996, 1997, pages 1422 to 1423
  13. ^ New York Times, G.O.P. Gets State Offices: Lieut. Governor Lunn and All Other Incumbents Defeated, November 6, 1924
  14. ^ New York Times, Lowman Dies 71: Ex-Lt. Governor, March 14, 1940
  15. ^ Wall Street Journal, Lunn Confirmed for P.S.C., March 19, 1925
  16. ^ New York Times, George R. Lunn Resigns, April 8, 1942
  17. ^ Eugene Beals (ed.), "Commander-in-Chiefs of National Encampments, United Spanish War Veterans," Roots Web, www.ancestry.com/
  18. ^ New York Times, Ex-Lieut. Gov. Lunn Dies on Coast, November 28, 1948
  19. ^ Los Angeles Times, Rites Conducted in La Jolla for Dr. George Lunn, December 1, 1948
  20. ^ Larry Hart, Schenectady Gazette, Concerts on the Green Made 90s Gay:Bandstand Symbol of Old Crescent Park, March 30, 1967
  21. ^ George Richard Lunn at Political Graveyard

Additional sources[edit]

Works[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Kenneth E. Hendrickson Jr., Tribune of the People: George R. Lunn and the Rise and Fall of Christian Socialism in Schenectady, in Bruce M. Stave (ed.), Socialism and the Cities, Port Washington: Kennikat Press. 1975.
  • Kenneth E. Hendrickson Jr., "George R. Lunn and the Socialist Era in Schenectady, New York, 1909-1916," New York History, vol. 47, no. 1 (January 1966), pp. 22–40. In JSTOR
  • George R. Lunn Gardner, The Schenectadians: The Story of Schenectady's 20th Century and Two Men Who Helped Shape It. Writer's Club Press, 2001.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William B. Charles
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 30th congressional district

1917–1919
Succeeded by
Frank Crowther
Political offices
Preceded by
Clayton R. Lusk
Acting
Lieutenant Governor of New York
1923–1924
Succeeded by
Seymour Lowman