MYRON TIMOTHY HERRICK was born in Huntington, Ohio. Teaching school and writing for a newspaper, he earned enough money to attend college. He then read law and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1878, after which he opened a law office and began a number of business ventures. He rose in power and office in the Society for Savings, ultimately becoming Chairman of the Board. He was also director of several railroads and trust companies and won election as President of the American Bankers Association in 1901. And he organized a number of companies, including Quaker Oats, and was for a time Director of Union Carbide and Carbon Corporation. His political life included service on Cleveland's City Council for two years. He was a member of the staff of Ohio Governor William McKinley, and as a leading member of the Republican State and National Committees he played an influential role in McKinley's election as President of the United States. When Herrick became governor himself, he lost political ground because of his failure to act on measures that might alienate one of several factions of a splintered Republican Party and because of the decisions that he was forced to make between sides on volatile issues such as gambling and liquor. With respect to the latter circumstances, he vetoed legislation designed to permit race track betting, which won church support but alienated Cleveland leaders. And he forced changes in a local liquor option bill that alienated pro-liquor leaders as well as some church representatives. Ultimately, caught as he was between competing interests, Herrick lost to his Democratic opponent in the gubernatorial race of 1905. He returned to his business affairs and later accepted appointment by President William Howard Taft as Ambassador to France, a position in which he served with distinction during the early months of World War I. He lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat but won appointment a second time as Ambassador to France, this time by President Warren Harding in 1921. As Ambassador in 1827, he was among the delegation that greeted Charles A. Lindbergh upon the completion of his successful solo flight from America to France. Herrick remained Ambassador to France until his death in 1929. He was accorded a state funeral as a reflection of the esteem in which he was held by the French people.

SOURCES:

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 3. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 32. New York: James T. White & Company.

The Ohio Historical Society

Wikipedia.org