Calvin S. Brice

Calvin Stewart Brice ( born September 17, 1845 Denmark Township, Ohio; † December 15, 1898 ) was an American politician of the Democratic Party. From 1891 to 1897 he sat for the state of Ohio in the U.S. Senate. From 1889 to 1892 he was chairman of the Democratic National Committee.


On September 17, 1845 Calvin S. Brice was born as the son of Elizabeth Stewart and William Kilpatrick Brice, a Presbyterian pastor. Originally, he was taught at home, but switched after some time in the public school system of Putnam County. In 1859 he was admitted as a student at Miami University. There he studied law. Later he supported the university twice with funds, which is why a building was named ( Brice Hall ) after him. The building has since been demolished.

Military career and early career as a lawyer

In 1861 he tried to apply in the military, but was initially rejected due to his young age. In 1862 he was finally taken into the army and served first in the 86th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry in West Virginia. In 1863 he left the army to continue his studies. Subsequently, he worked as a teacher before he again went into the army in 1864. He rose in the Union Army on quickly and was at the end of the Civil War with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After the war he retired from the army and launched a career as a lawyer. In 1865, he completed his studies at the University of Michigan and in 1866 was admitted to the bar. Subsequently, he worked as a lawyer.

Business Opportunities

After working as a lawyer Brice was in the legal department of the Lake Erie and Louisville Railroad, a railroad company, employs. Around the same time he made the acquaintance of Charles Foster, the then Governor of Ohio. With the support of Foster succeeded Brice to guide the train through the founder noise and connecting to other areas of the route network. In 1887, Brice was president of the company now called Lake Erie and Western Railroad.

Over time, Brice collected at a stately fortune, which he invested in other railway companies and banks. Later Brice was entrusted with railway projects in China. He was a founding member of the American Asiatic Association, an organization responsible for U.S. trade interests in China during the open-door policy.

Political career

While its economic success, he played an increasingly important role in politics and government. He was considered a Bourbon Democrat. In 1884, he worked during the election campaign for the later U.S. President Grover Cleveland. In 1889 he was elected to succeed William Henry Barnum as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He held until 1892 this position.

In the Senate elections in 1890, Brice was elected as the successor of no longer being beaten Henry B. Payne senator. He served a term of office. In 1897 he retired again from the Senate, and was succeeded by Joseph B. Foraker. He retired from public life back then.

Brice died in 1898 of pneumonia. Briceville in Tennessee was named after him.