Fanning, Adelbert Canedy
Collection of Correspondence and Ephemera pertaining to Judge Adelbert Canedy Fanning, of Towanda, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, 1902-1923

Manuscript archive consisting of 507 letters, 693 pages, both manuscript and typed, (without retained mailing envelopes), dated 1902-1923, the bulk of correspondence being from 1916 to 1923. Correspondence includes 161 retained copies of letters (174 pp) written by Judge Fanning; plus 346 incoming letters (519 pp), written to Fanning by various politicians, judges, attorneys, business associates, clients, friends, or family. Also included are 180 pieces of ephemera, of which 58 pieces deal with Judge Fanning's interest in the Yolo Olive Company. Other ephemeral materials deal with his legal work as a general attorney. His legal practice dealt with the settling of estates, handling injuries, etc. The ephemeral items include various notes and memorandum, legal papers, telegrams, postcards, hand drawn maps/plats, etc.

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The archive can be grouped into three sections: Fanning's political activities, his general legal practice, and his interest in the Yolo Olive Company, a plan to find investors to purchase land in California to grow olives for not only for the profit from the olives, but by selling  and developing the land after it was cultivated.

     Some of Fanning’s correspondents include letters written by: Pennsylvania Governor Wm. C. Sproul (1); U.S. Congressman Louis T. McFadden of Pennsylvania (55); State Senator E. E. Jones of PA (14); Judge Emory A. Walling, Supreme Court of PA (6); Judge Wm. B. Linn, Superior Court of PA (2); Judge John W. Kephart, Superior Court of PA (3); Judge Sylvester B. Sadler, 9th Judicial District Court (3); Fred T. MacDonald, Asst. Deputy to the Auditor General of Pennsylvania (3); W. Harry Baker, Secretary of the Republican State Committee of PA (7); E. Everitt Van Dyne, chairman of Bradford County's American Red Cross (5); and L. F. Hess, Supervising Principal of Montrose Public Schools (2), and many others. The letters offered here in this section of the archive give great insight into the back room deal making of political campaigns, the spoils (patronage) of the victors, etc. The letters are redolent of the “smoke filled room” and chock a block with quid pro quo, political favors owed and given.

   The collection also includes 46 letters concerning Judge Fanning's interest in the Yolo Olive Company written by: J. M. Waters, of Waters-Crouch & Waters, Real Estate & Insurance, of Sacramento, CA (14); H. P. Wanner (14); J. G. Gray, President of Delaware Corporation Company, who handled the corporate papers (4); Wallace J. Dougall, President, California Cooperative Olive Producers, Inc., of San Francisco, CA (7); George F. Robb, Manufacturer of California Pickled Olives and Olive Oil, of Highland, CA (5), and others.  These letters, included with the 58 pieces of ephemera for the Yolo Olive Company, make for an interesting little look at olive growing in California.

Judge Adelbert Canedy Fanning (1851-1935)

       Adelbert Canedy Fanning (son of David Grace Fanning and Antis Brown Canedy) was born July 25, 1851 in Springfield Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. David Grace Fanning was born February 15, 1811 and he came to Springfield, Bradford County, Pennsylvania from Springfield, Massachusetts in 1812, when a year old. David was a Methodist class leader for more than fifty years.

Adelbert C. Fanning graduated from the Mansfield Normal School in 1872 and the law department of Michigan University in 1874. He was awarded LL.D. degrees in later years by Michigan and Syracuse universities. He was admitted to the Supreme Court of Michigan in 1874, and to the Bradford County, Pennsylvania Bar the same year, and later to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania State, and later to the United States District Court.

Returning to Bradford County in 1874, he began his practice in Athens and later removed to Troy. In 1880 he became district attorney and served three years. He is found at Troy, as an attorney in the 1880 Census, boarding with a family. On 16 April 1885 he married Jennie Eugenia Loomis at Troy, Pennsylvania, daughter of Edwin Loomis and Louisa Ballard. In 1889 he was elected President Judge of the 42nd District of Pennsylvania to complete the unexpired term of the late Judge Benjamin M. Peck and removed to Towanda, Pennsylvania. He was elected to the office in again in 1900 and served 10 years with great distinction. He was elected registrar and recorder in 1927. Fanning was also a partner in the law firm of Fanning and Kaufman, based in Towanda.

Judge Fanning was known as a brilliant speaker and writer on historical and religious subjects, as well as a keen student and writer on matters connected with his profession. He had served as Sunday School superintendent 38 years and had represented his church at the General Methodist Conference in Los Angeles in 1904.  He was a member of Trojan Lodge, F&AM, the Northern Commander, Knights Templars, and the Troy Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. He was also a member of the Lodge of Perfection, Hayden Council Princes of Jerusalem, Calvary Chapter Rose Croix of the Scottish Rite Bodies in Towanda, and the Williamsport Consistory; also the Irem Temple Order of the Mystic Shrine at Wilkes-Barre, and the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States.

For many years Judge Fanning was the president of the Towanda Library Association and a trustee of the Robert Packer Hospital at Sayre and of Mansfield State Normal School which is now the Teachers’ College.

Judge Fanning died on 6 January 1935 at Towanda, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, at the age of 83. Funeral services were held at the Methodist Church and his body was interred at Oak Hill Cemetery in Troy. Fanning's wife, Jennie Eugenia Loomis, was an invalid for a number of years and died several years before the death of her husband.  Judge Fanning's only immediate survivor was his son, Adelbert Carl Fanning (1886-1951), who lived with his wife at the family home in Towanda.

Fanning's marriage to Jennie Eugenia Loomis produced two children, Pauline Frances, who died at the age of three years, and Adelbert Carl. Carl, as he was called, was educated at Syracuse, New York, at Manlius St. John’s Military School and at Mansfield, Pennsylvania. He was for several years County Detective at Bradford, and later entered the State Highway Department. He became Chief Inspector for some time on portions of what are now known as the "Sullivan Trail" and the "Roosevelt Highways", also in Lycoming County with the Engineer Corp and later in Bradford County. Following this he was employed by the state in construction work in Bradford County having charge of a force of men, building roads, in connection with which he became an expert in the use of dynamite, a dangerous business, but never had an accident. He was later chosen as Secretary and Treasurer of the Bradford County National Farm Loan Association to which was added special representative of the Federal Land Bank of Baltimore, Maryland.

Fanning's son Carl enlisted in the military for World War I, after basic training, he was to go to  Europe, but the order was "countermanded" and he was assigned to "important work" at the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey. While in the service, he was married to Helen Peer of Dover, New Jersey. His wife Helen became the first deputy to the Register and Recorder’s office of Bradford County, where her father-in-law was the Register and Recorder. The family was well connected politically, and no doubt this played a role in assuring that his son did not see the killing fields of Europe, and his daughter-in-law landing a job with the Bradford County government.

U.S Congressman Louis Thomas McFadden - Politics, and Political Patronage

The collection contains 55 letters written by U.S. Congressman Louis Thomas McFadden (1876-1936) to Judge Fanning between the years 1916 and 1923.  McFadden was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Troy Township, Bradford County, Pennsylvania, serving from 1915 to 1935. McFadden, a banker, served as Chairman of the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency during the years 1920-1931. He is remembered as a vociferous foe of the Federal Reserve, which he claimed was created and operated by Jewish banking interests who conspired to economically control the United States. On June 10, 1932, McFadden made a 25-minute speech before the House of Representatives, in which he accused the Federal Reserve of deliberately causing the Great Depression. McFadden also claimed that Wall Street bankers funded the Bolshevik Revolution through the Federal Reserve banks and the European central banks with which it cooperated.

After the expulsion from Washington D.C. of the veteran petitioners of the Bonus Army, which he called "the greatest crime in modern history", McFadden moved to impeach President Herbert Hoover in 1932, and he also introduced a resolution bringing conspiracy charges against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. The impeachment resolution was defeated by a vote of 361 to 8; it was seen as a big vote of confidence to President Hoover from the House. According to Time magazine McFadden was “denounced and condemned by all Republicans for his ‘contemptible gesture’." The Central Press Association reported that he was "virtually read out of his party ... [had] his committee posts ... taken away from him…was ostracized by Republicans [and] called crazy ...". Sen. David A. Reed (R-PA) said “We intend to act to all practical purposes as though McFadden had died”.

In 1933, McFadden introduced House Resolution No. 158, which included articles of impeachment for the Secretary of the Treasury, two assistant Secretaries of the Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, and the officers and directors of its twelve regional banks.

In 1934, he made several anti-Semitic comments from the floor of the house and in newsletters to his constituents wherein he cited the infamous and vile “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, claimed the Roosevelt administration was controlled by Jews, and objected to Henry Morgenthau, Jr., a Jew, becoming Secretary of the Treasury. Drew Pearson claimed in his "Washington Merry-Go-Round" column that, in a publication by the American fascist Silver Shirts, McFadden had been "extensively" quoted "in support of Adolf Hitler". In September the Nazi tabloid Der Stuermer praised McFadden. He was also lauded by the publications of William Dudley Pelley, leader of the Silver Shirts, on several occasions. On election-day that year he lost to Charles E. Dietrich by about 2,000 votes. This was the only election between 1912 and 1950 when the district elected a Democrat.

      According to McFadden's Jewish Telegraphic Agency obituary: "In January 1935, he announced his candidacy for president with the backing of an organization called 'the Independent Republican National Christian-Gentile Committee' on a platform to 'keep the Jew out of control of the Republican Party!' "Not garnering much support for his presidential bid, he tried to win back his congressional seat. He lost the nomination by a wide-margin to Col. Albert G. Rutherford who went on to win the general election. By the following year he died while visiting New York City.

The letters McFadden writes to Fanning mainly deal with back room dealing and political patronage for positions in various posts of the state government.  Fanning is looking for some sort of appointment not only for himself, but also for his son. Both Fanning and his son did gain appointments, as did Fanning daughter-in-law.

       Along with Congressman McFadden's 55 letters, there are 15 letters by Pennsylvania State Senator Edward E. Jones (1867- c.1951), that deal with the same business of politics and patronage. Jones, a Republican and a merchant in the dairy business, served as a Pennsylvania State Legislator from 1907 to1917, then as a Pennsylvania State Senator from 1917 to 1922. In 1929, he was appointed Register of the U.S. Treasury by President Hoover.

       In addition,  other letters dealing with the local politics of Bradford County and Pennsylvania in general are: 7 letters by W. Harry Baker, Secretary of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania; 3 letters of 9th Judicial District Judge Sylvester B. Sadler; 6 letters of Supreme Court Justice Emory A. Walling; 2 letters of Superior Court Judge John W. Kephart; 2 letters of Superior Court Judge William B. Linn; 3 letters of Asst. Deputy to Charles A. Snyder, Auditor General, Fred T. MacDonald, as well as several other miscellaneous letters.  

      Yolo Olive Company

        Within this archive of law, politics, and political patronage, there is a group of 46 letters dealing with Judge Fanning's interest in the Yolo Olive Company. The Judge appears to have been one of the directors of the company, made up mainly of men from the east, who invested in land for growing olives in California, hiring local growers in California to handle the day to day running of the grove. The letters include information on the eastern investors and the olive company's California farmers, the search for capital, for land, their prospects for its success, and the increased value of the land once it is cultivated, with the possibility of then selling it for a profit to developers.

       Correspondents in this section of the archive include: 7 letters of Wallace J. Dougall, President of the California Cooperative Olive Producers, Inc., of San Francisco, and one of the directors of the Yolo Olive Co.; 14 letters by H. P. Wanner, one of the directors of the Yolo Olive Company, who is seeking out investors back east; 4 letters of J. G. Gray, President of the Delaware Corporation Company, a company which appears to be handling the corporate paperwork of the Yolo Olive Co.; E. J. Waters and J. M. Waters, of Waters-Crouch & Waters, Real Estate and Insurance, of Sacramento, California, and of the East Sacramento Water Co., they are the real estate company helping to locate the land for Yolo Olive Co.; plus 5 letters by George F. Robb, manufacturer of California Pickled Olives and Olive Oil, of Highland, CA, and a person that Yolo Olive Company is looking at as a possible choice to run their operations in California. There are also 16 other letters from various individuals that were involved in working for, with, or answering inquires to the Yolo Olive Company. Along with olive growing, there are some letters from Waters concerning timber rights on various parcels of land in California.