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Herbert J. Corwine has long been one of Topeka’s most popular citizens, was formerly pastor of the Third Christian Church of that city, and in 1916 he became widely known all over the First Congressional District as democratic candidate for Congress, running in opposition to Congressman Anthony of Leavenworth. To elect a democrat from this district would be to perform a miracle in politics, but Mr. Corwine made a very strong bid for popular support and secured a handsome aggregate of votes, thought impartial observers would have conceded the election of his republican opponent before the ballots were counted. Mr. Corwine was by far the strongest candidate of his party at the primaries in August, 1916, and particularly in those counties where he was personally known he secured a large number of normally republican votes.
Mr. Corwine was born in Pike County, Missouri, at the Town of Frankfort, September 25, 1876. His is a very interesting ancestry. He is a son of John Brooks Corwine, who was born in Mason County, Kentucky, in 1841, and for more than forty years was one of the ablest ministers of the Christian Church. He did his first work as a pastor in Macoupin County, Illinois. He also organized the First Christian Church at Bowling Green, Missouri, and one of its charter members was the distinguished Missouri and national statesman, Champ Clark. Thereafter an intimate friendship existed between Mr. Clark and Mr. Corwine. John B. Corwine was left an orphan and was reared by his relative, Thomas Brooks. Thomas Brooks was a son of John A. Brooks, who at one time was candidate for vice president of the United States on the prohibition ticket and in his prime was considered America’s greatest temperance orator. Another relative of John B. Corwine was the illustrious Tom Corwin of Ohio, who stood in the front rank of a group of Ohio men as leaders and molders of public opinion in the crucial period of the Civil war. John B. Corwine himself was a man of more than ordinary ability, talent and intelligence, though extremely modest, a quality which may have prevented the fullest exercise of his abilities so far as his individual promotion was concerned. He had the faculty of attaching young men to him, and he brought thousands of members into the Christian Church. For a number of years he was a member of the faculty of the Christian University of Canton, Missouri, and for ten years was president of the State Sunday School Association.
The wife of John B. Corwine was Martha Goode. Her father, Doctor Goode, was at one time an army surgeon, lived in Macoupin County, Illinois, and later in life became a minister of the Christian Church. To the marriage of John B. Corwine and Martha Goode were born eight sons and one daughter, namely: Willie, who died in infancy; Harry B., who died in Bozeman, Montana, in 1909; Edward L., a resident of Frankfort, Missouri; Bertrand B. and Arthur E., ranchers in Montana; Herbert J. and Homer D., twins, the latter a banker at Frankfort, Missouri; Joel B., in the real estate business at Shelbina, Missouri; and Mary, wife of Mr. Ira Lake of Hannibal, Missouri.
Herbert J. Corwine received his early education in the common and high schools of Frankfort, Missouri, and started life with a definite purpose and resolution to make his personality and talent count for something in the world. For nineteen years he was active in the ministry of the Christian Church, and for several years of that time was pastor of the Third Christian Church at Topeka. He has always been deeply interested in social problems and social amelioration and for 2½ years he served as parole agent for the State Industrial School, having been appointed to that office by the governor of Kansas. For the past year Mr. Corwine has been agency supervisor of the Equitable Life Assurance Company of the United States.