Congressman John Blaisdell CORLISS, Esq.

Male 1851 - 1929  (78 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Congressman John Blaisdell CORLISS, Esq. 
    Title Congressman 
    Suffix Esq. 
    Born 7 Jun 1851  Richford, Franklin County, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 24 Dec 1929  Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I9713  FamilyWorld
    Last Modified 24 Nov 2014 

    Father Hezekiah CORLISS,   b. 10 May 1815, Richford, Franklin County, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 Oct 1907, Richford, Franklin County, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 92 years) 
    Mother Lydia ROUNDS,   b. 1 Aug 1822, Richford, Franklin County, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 May 1904, Richford, Franklin County, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Married 29 Jun 1845  Richford, Franklin County, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Notes 
    • 1860 census of Richford, Franklin County, Vermont, enumerated 10 July 1860:

      - Corlis, Hezekiah, age 44, Farmer, real property value $6,000, personal property value $1,600, born Vermont.
      - Corlis, Lydia, age 27, born Vermont.
      - Corlis, Homer W., age 14, born Vermont.
      - Corlis, Gilmore L., age 10, born Vermont.
      - Corlis, John B., age 9, born Vermont.
      - Corlis, Ruby C., age 5, born Vermont.
      - Corlis, Abba M., age 3, born Vermont.
      - Corlis, Jenna M., age 1, born Vermont.
      - Horn, Ruby A., age 20, Domestic, born Vermont.
      - Miller, Hiram, age 25, Farm Laborer, born Vermont.
      - Blasdell, Hannah, age 43, Lady, personal property value $300, born Vermont.

    • 1870 census of Richford, Franklin County, Vermont, enumerated 15 August 1870:

      - Corliss, Hezekiah, age 55, farmer, real property value $9,000, personal property value $2,500, born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Lydia, age 48, born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Gelinon, age 21, Farm Laborer, born Vermont.
      - Corliss, John, age 19, Farm Laborer, born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Ruby, age 15, born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Matilda, age 13, born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Jane, age 10, born Vermont.

    • 1880 census of Richford, Franklin County, Vermont, enumerated 9 June 1880:

      - Corliss, Hezekiah, age 65, Farmer, born Vermont, both parents born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Lydia, age 57, wife, occupation Keeping House, born Vermont, both parents born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Matilda, age 22, daughter, occupation At Home, born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Jennie M., age 20, daughter, occupation At Home, born Vermont.

    • 1900 census of Richford, Franklin County, Vermont, enumerated 4 June 1900:

      - Corliss, Hezekiah, age 85, married 55 years, born May 1815 in Vermont, both parents born Vermont, occupation Farmer.
      - Corliss, Lydia, age 77, wife, married 55 years, mother of 8 children, 6 children still living, born August 1822 in Vermont, both parents born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Tilda A., age 43, single, born April 1857 in Vermont, both parents born Vermont, occupation Dressmaker.

    Family ID F3108  Group Sheet

    Family 1 Elizabeth Nancy DANFORTH,   b. 3 Dec 1854, Barnard, Windsor County, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jan 1886, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 31 years) 
    Married 5 Dec 1876  Barnard, Windsor County, Vermont Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • The marriage record of John B. Corliss and Elizabeth N. Danforth cites the groom's residence as Detroit, Michigan, age 25, occupation Lawyer, born Richford, Vermont, son of L. Corliss and Lydia. The bride's residence is Barnard, Vermont, age 21, first marriage, born Barnard, daughter of William C. Danforth and Nancy W. [2]
    Notes 
    • 1880 census of 19 Alexandria Ave. West, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, enumerated 8 June 1880:

      - Maitland, George, age 31, married, occupation Stenographer, born Scotland, both parents born Scotland.
      - Maitland, Janet, age 22, wife, occupation Keeping House, born Michigan, both parents born Ireland.
      - Maitland, Mary, age 7 months, daughter, born in October in Michigan, father born Scotland, mother born Michigan.
      - Reilley, Robert, age 25, brother-in-law, occupation Clerk in Store, born Michigan, both parents born Ireland.
      - Reilley, Francis, age 15, step-brother-in-law, occupation At School, born Michigan, father born Ireland, mother born New York.
      - McKay, Margaret, age 21, occupation Servant, born Canada, both parents born Scotland.
      - Corliss, John B., age 28, boarder, occupation Lawyer, born Vermont, both parents born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Elizabeth H., age 25, boarder, occupation At Home, born Vermont, both parents born Vermont.
      - Corliss, John B. Jr., age 2, boarder, born Michigan, both parents born Vermont.

    • 1900 census of 34 Canfield Avenue, Detroit, Ward 2, Wayne County, Michigan, enumerated 1 June 1900:

      - Corliss, John B., age 48, widowed, born June 1851 in Vermont, both parents born Vermont, occupation Lawyer, Congressman.
      - Corliss, John B., age 22, single, born November 1877 in Michigan, both parents born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Elizabeth, age 18, daughter, born November 1881 in Michigan, both parents born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Marjine, age 16, daughter, born November 1883 in Michigan, both parents born Vermont.
      - Corliss, Cullen, age 14, son, born January 1886 in Michigan, both parents born Vermont.
      - Cox, S. Maria, age 59, aunt, single, born December 1840 in Vermont, both parents born Vermont.
      - Robb, Anne, age 26, servant, single, born November 1873 in Canada English, both parents born Canada English, immigrated to the United States in 1891, lived in the U.S. 9 years, occupation Cook & Maid.

    • 1910 census of Detroit, Ward 2, Wayne County, Michigan, enumerated 15 April 1910:

      - Corliss, John B., age 58, widowed, born Vermont, both parents born Vermont, occupation Lawyer, General Practice.
      - Corliss, John B. Jr., age 31, single, born Michigan, both parents born Vermont, occupation (looks like) Weasciver, Lubricator Co.
      - Corliss, Cullen D., age 24, single, born Michigan, both parents born Vermont, no occupation.
      - Cox, S. Maria, age 69, aunt, single, born Vermont, both parents born Vermont, occupation Housekeeper, Private Family.
      - Robb, Libbie, age 30, servant, single, born Canada English, both parents born Canada English, occupation Housemaid, Private Family.
      - McFarlan, Themis, age 34, servant, single, born Canada English, both parents born Canada English, occupation Housemaid, private Family.

    Children 
     1. John Blaisdell CORLISS, Jr.,   b. 3 Nov 1877, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Aug 1945  (Age 67 years)
     2. CORLISS,   b. Abt 1879, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1879, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 0 years)
    +3. Elizabeth Danforth CORLISS,   b. 1 Nov 1881, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jul 1973, Grosse Pointe, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 91 years)
    +4. Margery Maria CORLISS,   b. 2 Nov 1883, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Feb 1973, Grosse Pointe, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
    +5. Cullen Danforth CORLISS,   b. 9 Jan 1886, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Mar 1920, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years)
    Last Modified 3 Oct 2012 
    Family ID F3157  Group Sheet

    Family 2 Dorothy MONTGOMERY,   b. Abt 1877, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 26 Nov 1917  Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • The marriage record of John B. Corliss and Dorothy Montgomery cites their residences as Detroit, Michigan. The groom's birth place is Va [Vermont], occupation Lawyer, son of Herkiah and Lidia. The bride's birthplace is Michigan, daughter of George and Mary. Witnesses are C.D. Corliss and Mary Montgomery. [3]
    Notes 
    • 1920 census of 34 Canfield St. West, Detroit, Ward 2, Wayne, Michigan, no date of enumeration:

      - Corliss, John B., age 68, owns the home, born Vermont, both parents born Vermont, occupation Lawyer, Corporation.
      - Corliss, Dorothy, age 43, wife, immigration date unknown, naturalized citizen, born Canada English, both parents born Canada English,
      - Corliss, John B., age 42, son, single, born Michigan, both parents born Vermont, occupation Student, College.
      - Cox, Maria, age 79, aunt, single, born Vermont, both parents born Vermont, occupation House Keeper, Private Fam.
      - Mason, Grace, age 45, lodger, widowed, born New York, both parents born New York, occupation Maid.

      The next family is:

      - Corliss, Cullen D., age 34, married, born Michigan, both parents born Vermont, occupation Brass Mfr.
      - Corliss, Meta, wife, age 23, wife, born South Carolina, both parents born South Carolina.

      The next family is:

      - Holley, George M., age 40, born Pennsylvania, both parents born Pennsylvania, occupation Carbureator Mfr.
      - Holley, Margery, wife, age 38, born Michigan, both parents born Vermont.
      - Holley, George M. Jr., son, age 5, born Michigan, father born Pennsylvania, mother born Michigan.
      - Holley, John Corliss, son, age 11 months, born Michigan, father born Pennsylvania, mother born Michigan.

    Last Modified 3 Oct 2012 
    Family ID F18486  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 7 Jun 1851 - Richford, Franklin County, Vermont Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 5 Dec 1876 - Barnard, Windsor County, Vermont Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 26 Nov 1917 - Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 24 Dec 1929 - Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • "Corliss Connections," 12/95 and 2/96: John Blaisdell Corliss became a Republic Congressman from the First District in Michigan in 1894. Born and raised in the Canadian border town of Richford, Vermont, John Blaisdell Corliss, son of abolitionist Hezekiah Corliss and his wife Lydia (Rounds) Corliss, was encouraged to search out education at an early age. At fourteen, he went to the French Academy in Quebec Province. That stint was followed by graduation from Fairfax Academy and Montpelier Methodist Episcopal Seminary in 1871. After eading law in the offices of Noble and Smith in St. Albans, he passed examinations and went on to the senior class at Columbia Law School in Washington, D.C. In September of 1875, he "went west" to Detroit with only $35 of borrowed money in his pocket. In 1881, after only six years in the Detroit bar, he was elected city attorney and completely revised the city charter. The first Congressional district of Michigan had been represented by a Democrat for sixteen years when John was elected in 1894. During his first term he sat on both interstate and international commerce committees. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the plan to build a canal across the country of Nicaragua. In addition, he was a stout supporter of measures to restrict immigration and to popularly elect U.S. senators. He introduced the first bill to regulate railroad rates. Mrs. James Powell, a local historian in Richford at the turn of the century wrote, 'During each of his four terms he was recognized as the vigilant and consistent champion o the rights of the people and an exponent of the idea of a fair and judicious regulation of corporations.' John's wife, Elizabeth Danforth, died as a young woman, leaving the young lawyer to raise four children (John B., Jr., Elizabeth D., Margery M., and Cullen) under the age of eight alone, a task which he undertook with care and success.

      From Gail Reynolds: Residence: Detroit, Michigan. Was sent to the Fench Academy in Quebec Province at age 14. Attended Richford High School, Fairfax Academy. Graduated Vermont Methodist Episcopal Seminary in1871 LL.B. Worked three years in law office of Noble and Smith in St. Albans, VT. Columbian (George Washington University) 1875. Arrived in Detroit on 25 Sep 1875 with $35 borrowed money in his pocket. Admitted to the bar 1875. Lawyer. Entered the firm of E.Y. Swift, a native of Vermont (four of the five Detroit judges were Vermonters!) Elected City Attorney for Detroit in 1882. Prepared first complete City Charter for Detroit, passed by legislature in 1884. In 1886 he formed the firm of Corliss,Andrus and Leete. Interested in railroad speculaation and street railway construction. General counsel for the Detroit United Railway. A stockholder and director in large corporations. Elected to Congress in 1894 as a Republican in a Democratic district. U.S. Congressman from Michigan First District in 54-57th Congresses (1895-1903). During his first term he was an advocate of the Nicaragua Canal Bill. He favored restricting immigration and for amending the Constitution to provide for the popular election of U.S. Senators. During the second session of the 55th Congress, he successfully opposed the exclusive grant of a subsidy to the Pacific Cable Co which was warmly endorsed by President Theodore Roosevelt. He was the father of the first bill introduced for railroad rate regulation. During his four terms he was seen as a vigilant and consistent champion of the rights of the people and an exponent of the idea of a fair and judicious regulation of corporations. He was thorough in his duty, well-balanced in intellect and superbly professional. According to Congressional Quarterly's Guide to US Elections, 3rd Ed., in 1894 he won over the incumbent Levi Griffin by 55% to 39.7% in District 1; in 1896 he won over a populist candidate by 55.5% to 44.5%. In 1898 he defeated another Populist candidate by 51.2% to 47.3%. In 1900 he defeated Rufus Jacklin a Democrat by 54% to 44.9%. In 1902 he lost to Alfred Lucking, a Democrat by 53.% to 44.9%. (Lucking lost the next time.) Practiced law in Detroit, senior member of Corliss, Leete, and Joslyn President, Michigan Lubricator Co. In April of 1901 he spoke at the National Commission meeting at Planter's Hotel in St. Louis re the coming World's Fair. (From Episodes in My Life by Rolla Wells.

    • Wikipedia: John Blaisdell Corliss (June 7, 1851 - December 24, 1929) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

      Corliss was born in Richford, Vermont, to Hezekiah and Lydia (Rounds) Corliss. He attended the common schools and the Fairfax, Vermont Preparatory School and graduated from the Vermont Methodist University at Montpelier in 1871 and from the law department of Columbian College (now The George Washington University Law School), Washington, D.C., in 1875. Corliss settled in Detroit, Michigan, in 1875 and was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice there.

      On December 5, 1877, in Barnard, Vermont, he wedded Miss Elizabeth N. Danforth, who died in 1886. They were the parents of two sons and two daughters: John B. Corliss, Jr.; Elizabeth D. Holley, the wife of Earl Holley; Margaryt M. Holley, the wife of George M. Holley; and Cullen Danforth Corliss.

      He was city attorney of Detroit 1882-1886 and prepared the first complete charter for Detroit which was passed by the Michigan State Legislature in 1884. He was also president of the Michigan Lubricator Company and of the Shipman Koal Company of Pennsylvania. He was also a member of the Detroit Board of Commerce.
      Corliss was made a Mason in Union Lodge of Detroit in 1880 and during the ensuing five years became a Chapter and Commandery Mason and attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite. From 1887 to 1892 he was commander-in-chief of the Michigan Sovereign Consistory and he was one of the promoters of the consolidation of the Masonic order in the Valley of Detroit, resulting in the establishment of the Masonic Temple Association and the building of the Masonic Temple on Lafayette avenue, having exclusive charge of the legislative and legal work. This association owns property to the value of more than a million dollars, title being held by the corporation created for the purpose and controlled by the board of trustees elected by the respective Masonic bodies. In 1890 the honorary thirty-third degree was conferred upon Corliss. For many years he served on the board of trustees of the Temple Association and he has been president of the Old Guard of Detroit Commandery. He was the prime organizer and first president of the Pioneer Association of Michigan Sovereign Consistory and he was also the organizer and first president of the Past Potentates, Moslem Temple. Moslem Temple, the social branch of high degrees of Masonry, was made an active organization during his services in 1887 and 1888, when he was its first active potentate.
      In 1894, Corliss ran as a Republican and defeated incumbent Democrat Levi T. Griffin to be elected as a United States Representative from Michigan's 1st congressional district to the Fifty-fourth and to the three succeeding Congresses, serving from March 4, 1895, until March 3, 1903. He served as chairman of the Committee on Election of President, Vice President, and Representatives in the Fifty-fifth through Fifty-seventh Congresses. He lost to Democrat Alfred Lucking in the general election of 1902.

      After leaving Congress, he reengaged in the practice of law in Detroit where he became senior member of the law firm of Corliss, Leete & Moody. In November 1917, Corliss married his second wife, Dorothy Montgomery. In 1920 he was chosen a member of the executive committee of the American Bar Association. Also in 1920, Corliss issued an authoritative history of the Detroit lodge of the Scottish Rite, relating in detail the early struggles of the lodge before it became firmly established in Detroit.

      He died in Detroit at the age of seventy-eight and is interred there at Woodlawn Cemetery.

    • John Blaisdell Corliss applied for membership in the Sons of the American Revolution, Michigan Society, signed April 1899 in Detroit, Michigan:

      "John Blaisdell Corliss, age 47, born Richford, Franklin County, Vermont, 7 June 1851...

      son of Hezekiah Corliss of Richford, Vermont and Lydia Rounds, his wife...

      grandson of Ephraim Corliss of Richford, Vermont and Abigail Goff, his wife...

      great-grandson of James Corliss of Haverhill, New Hampshire and Sarah, his wife...

      great-great grandson of John Corliss of Haverhill, Massachusetts and Abigail Mitchell Stevens, his wife, and...

      great-great-great grandson of John Corliss of Haverhill, Massachusetts and Mary Wilford Corliss, his wife, and...

      son of George Corliss and Joanna Davis of Haverhill, Massachusetts, the said James Corliss is the ancestor who assisted in establishing American Independence while acting in the capacity of private in Capt. Jeremiah Davis Company in Lieut. Col. Welch's Reg. of Volunteers."

      [The lineage cited is incorrect. This James Corliss with wife Sarah was not the son of Ephraim Corliss and Abigail Goff.]

      Attached is a handwritten letter on letterhead of the Office of Genealogist General, 9 Ashburton Place, Boston, Massachusetts, addressed to Mr. Wm. S. Parks, 900, 17th St., Washington, D.C.: "Mr. John Blaisdell Corliss, Detroit, #12,354, is a descendant of James Corlis b. in Haverhill, Mass., 7 July 1743, who went to Haverhill N.H. after the Revolution. Mr. Corliss claims his ancestor was a member of Capt. Jeremith Dow's Co. which was recruited in Salem, N.H. This soldier was undoubtedly another man, James Corlis, b. in Salem, N.H. 1 Jan 1751* [son of Jonathan and Lydia (Emerson) Corliss], another line of the family." Yours truly, W.K. Watkins. *The History of Salem, N.H.

      On the reverse is written: "A John Corliss of Haverhill Mass was a private in Capt. Jonathan Ayer's Co., Col. Nathaniel Wade's (Essex County) Reg't; enlisted July 15, 1780, discharged Oct. 10, 1780, service 3 mos. 7 days, travel included. (?) A raid (?) to re-inforce Cent'l Army for 3 months. [Illegible] dated Haverhill, see Mass. Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolution, Vol. III, p. 1007. This is probably too young a man to be the father of James - born 1743 - a. no. c."


  • Sources 
    1. [S12] IGI, website: https://www.familysearch.org/.
      Vermont Vital Records 1760-1954

    2. [S12] IGI, website: https://www.familysearch.org/, Vermont, Vital Records, 1760-195.

    3. [S12] IGI, website: https://www.familysearch.org/, Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925.