Vance Criswell McCormick (June 19, 1872 – June 16, 1946) was an American politician and prominent businessman from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He served as mayor of Harrisburg from 1902 to 1905 and as United States Democratic National Committee chairman from 1916 to 1919. He was appointed chair of the American delegation at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, under President Woodrow Wilson.

Vance C. McCormick
Vance McCormick wi th Woodrow Wilson, 1916.jpg
Chair of the Democratic National Committee
In office
June 15, 1916 – January 15, 1919
Preceded byWilliam McCombs
Succeeded byHomer Cummings
Mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
In office
January 6, 1902 – June 30, 1905
Preceded byJohn A. Fritchey
Succeeded byEdward Gross
Personal details
Vance Criswell McCormick

(1872-06-19)June 19, 1872
DiedJune 16, 1946(1946-06-16) (aged 73)
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseGertrude Olmsted
Residence301 N Front St.[1]
Alma materYale University

Biography edit

McCormick was born in 1872 to Henry McCormick and Annie Criswell. He attended Harrisburg Academy and Phillips Andover before completing a civil engineering course at Yale University. McCormick graduated from Yale's Sheffield Scientific School in 1893, and was given an honorary MA degree by the university in 1907. While at Yale he was a member of St. Anthony Hall. A born athlete and leader, he became captain of the class football and baseball teams his freshman year and was on the university football team his junior and senior years. Vance was named to Walter Camp's All American Team as the first team quarterback. He served as president of Intercollegiate Football Association his senior year and garnered other university honors and awards, as well, including class deacon.[2] He was also student body president of Yale in 1893.

Business and politics edit

In 1902, McCormick began his career as journalist and publisher. He was president of The Patriot Company, publishers of several area newspapers including The Patriot (1902 to 1946), The Evening News (1917 to 1946), and Harrisburg Common Council (1900 to 1902). He was also president of the Pinkey Mining Company, located in Harrisburg.[2]

In 1902, McCormick was elected mayor of Harrisburg and as part of the growing City Beautiful movement he immediately set about to improve the city. Today, he is credited with expanding the city park system (which eventually included 1,100 acres), built steps along the Susquehanna River and paved Riverfront Park (which still exists today), paved seventy miles of roads, and improved the city water system. During this time, the population of Harrisburg increased from 51,000 to 73,000. His uncle, Edward Z. Gross, would go on to succeed him as Mayor of Harrisburg in 1905.[3]

In 1912, he served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania. McCormick was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania in 1914, finishing second in a seven-candidate field. Republican nominee Martin Brumbaugh, Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia, defeated McCormick on the strength of a strong performance in Philadelphia and Allegheny counties.[4] From 1916 to 1919,[5] McCormick served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and went on to be appointed chair of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace (1919) at Versailles, under President Woodrow Wilson, heading up numerous clubs and organizations along the way. He also served as Wilson's 1916 campaign manager, as chair of the War Trade Board (1916 to 1919) and as a member of many local, state, national and international organizations throughout the later years.[6]

He helped professor Thomas Garrigue Masaryk legions especially in Russia in 1918.[7]

Later life edit

McCormick remained a bachelor until the age of 52, when he married the widow of Martin Olmsted, an eight-term Republican Congressman. They announced their engagement on December 29, 1924.[8] Vance died at his country estate (Cedar Cliff Farms), June 16, 1946, near Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Mrs. McCormick died in 1953.[2][9] McCormick was a teetotaler for his lifetime.[1]

Head coaching record edit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Carlisle Indians (Independent) (1894–1895)
1894 Carlisle 1–6–2
1895 Carlisle 4–4
Carlisle: 5–10–2
Total: 5–10–2

References edit

  1. ^ a b Beers, Paul (2011). City contented, city discontented : a history of modern Harrisburg. Midtown Scholar Press. ISBN 978-0-9839571-0-2. OCLC 761221337.
  2. ^ a b c Center for Pennsylvania Culture Studies (2006). "About Vance C. McCormick". Penn State Harrisburg. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
  3. ^ "3 Apr 1905, Page 1 - Harrisburg Daily Independent at". Retrieved 2021-09-23.
  4. ^ "PA Governor". Election Results. Our Campaigns. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  5. ^ "Vance M'Cormick Resigns As Head of Committee". The Herald-Journal. January 15, 1919. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  6. ^ "Descriptions of the Edward M. House Papers and Associated Collections in Manuscripts and Archives". Yale University Library. 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-12-11. Retrieved 2007-01-04.
  7. ^ PRECLÍK, Vratislav. Masaryk a legie.(T. G. Masaryk and Legions), pages 84 - 145, (in cooperation of the Masaryk Democratic Movement, Prague, CZ) Karviná: Paris, 2019. 219 s. ISBN 978-80-87173-47-3,
  8. ^ "Engaged". Time magazine. December 29, 1924. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-04. Vance C. McCormick, onetime chairman of the Democratic National Committee, to Mrs. Gertrude Olmsted. widow of Representative Marlin E. Olmsted of Pennsylvania.
  9. ^ "Vance McCormick, Publisher, 73, Dies. Harrisburg Ex-Mayor, Head of Wilson campaign in '16. On All America '11 in '92 Directed Wilson Campaign Elected Mayor at 30 Futile Plea to Wilson League of Nations Advocate". The New York Times. Associated Press. June 17, 1946. Retrieved 2010-10-30.

External links edit

  • Vance Criswell McCormick papers (MS 478). Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library. [1]
Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Pennsylvania
Succeeded by

la:Vance C. McCormick