Clark County, Ohio

History and Genealogy



Plug Hat Brigade


From 20th Century History of Springfield and Clark County, Ohio by Hon. William A. Rockel
Chicago: Biographical Publishing Co., 1908


For a number of years prior to his nomination for President James G. Blaine had a very respectable following among the Republicans of this county, and when he finally received the nomination in 1884 there was very great enthusiasm among his followers. While this state had endorsed John Sherman for the Presidency and while many recognized his very great ability, yet it could not be said that he was at any time the choice of the people generally.

In the campaign that followed Blaine's nomination, the famous "Plug Hat Brigade" was organized. It took its name from the hat, which was the only uniform required of its members. This was a white plug, in imitation of the hat that Mr. Blaine frequently wore. The organization was a popular one and no requirements were essential to become a member otherwise than to be a Republican.

The club made a number of important trips to other cities and at one time sent seventeen hundred members to a large meeting that Blaine was holding in Indianapolis, Indiana. In the succeeding campaign, when Harrison was a nominee for President, a second trip was made to Indianapolis.

When R. P. Kennedy was a candidate for Congress, a trip was made to Bellefontaine, and when McKinley was a candidate for President, a like excursion was made to Canton, so that the organization became famous in the Republican political circles throughout the state. The last demonstration that the club made was the one to Canton to call upon McKinley in 1896. It was an important factor in all the Republican political campaigns from 1884 to 1896.







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