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Object Record

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Accession Number 1900.001
Catalog Number 1900.001.044
Object Name Painting
Title Portrait of John M. Pattison
Description Bust portrait of Ohio's 43rd governor, John M. Pattison, who served just six months in 1906. He wears a black coat, a white shirt and a black tie. Pattison has dark wavy hair and a dark moustache.
Date 1908
Artist Uhl, Silas Jerome, 1841-1916
Notes John M. Pattison was born near Owensville, Ohio, on June 13, 1847. His parents were William Pattison, proprietor of a country store, and Mary Duckwall Pattison. As a child, Pattison worked in his father's store as well as neighboring farms. Pattison was only sixteen years old when he joined the 153rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the American Civil War. When the war ended, Pattison enrolled at Ohio Wesleyan University, ultimately graduating in 1869. Pattison had to work to pay his way through college. He taught school and hired himself out as an agricultural laborer in order to pay his tuition.

After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan, Pattison obtained a job in Bloomington, Illinois, where he worked for the Union Central Life Insurance Company. He was not happy in this position and moved to Cincinnati to read the law with lawyer Alfred Yaple. Pattison gained admittance to the Ohio Bar in 1872, and he began to provide legal counsel to the Cincinnati and Marietta Railroad.

Pattison first entered politics in 1873, when the residents of Hamilton County elected him to the state legislature. After one term, Pattison decided to return to his law practice. He spent the next ten years as a partner in the law firm of Yaple, Moos, and Pattison. He became the Union Central Life Insurance Company's vice president in 1881 and its president in 1891. Under his management, the company prospered.

Pattison reluctantly reentered the political arena in 1890, when he was appointed to fulfill a vacant seat in the state senate. In 1891, Pattison was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but he was unsuccessful in obtaining reelection. Once his term was over, Pattison returned to Cincinnati, where he concentrated on his business interests.

In 1905, Ohio Democrats chose Pattison as their candidate for governor. He successfully defeated Republican governor Myron T. Herrick's attempts to gain reelection. Pattison was a strong supporter of Prohibition, a stance that garnered him staunch supporters in the campaign. He also spoke out against city bosses during the campaign and argued for municipal ownership of public utilities. During Pattison's short time as governor, the state legislature raised taxes on saloons, and some railroad reforms were instituted. By the time Pattison was inaugurated, his health had deteriorated. He was hospitalized in Cincinnati for a brief time before dying at his home in Milford, Ohio, on June 18, 1906. Lieutenant Governor Andrew L. Harris completed the rest of Pattison's term.
People Pattison, John M., 1847-1906
Uhl, Silas Jerome, 1841-1916
Signed Name "S. Jerome Uhl 1908"
Sig Loc Lower right in red
Image size 36" x 25"
Frame size 53-3/4" x 41-1/2"
Frame desc Twentieth century molded gilt frame with carved beaded liner
Material Oil Paint/Canvas/Wood
Provenance In 1867, the Ohio General Assembly passed a joint resolution relative to the governors of Ohio. The legislators resolved that "the secretary of state, on the first Monday of January next, whether the portraits of the governors of Ohio, state and territorial, can be procured, and if so, whether original portraits or copies, and the probable expense of procuring such portraits for the governor's office."

The 1908 Annual Report of the Ohio Auditor of State shows Detailed Disbursements of the Revenue Fund, "Miscellaneous" paid S. Jerome Uhl $500 for painting a portrait of Governor Pattison on June 15, 1908.

The Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board took over the care of the Statehouse and its collections in 1988.
Search Terms Ohio Governor
Ohio Governor's Portraits
Subjects Governors
Portrait paintings
Collection Statehouse Artwork Collection/Governors' Portraits