On This Day in Yonkers History

October 17, 1912

Frederick Davenport, a Yonkers resident and former Senator, addressed workers of the Alexander Smith Carpet Company at the company's Elm St. gate.  He was running for Lieutenant Governor on the Progressive Party* ticket, with Oscar Solomon Straus heading the state ticket.  The Progressive Party received 25% of the vote.  Mr. Davenport returned to the NY Senate in 1919, and then was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican in 1924, serving from 1925 to 1933.

The Progressive Party (also known as the Bull Moose Party) was a U.S. dissident political party that nominated former president Theodore Roosevelt as its candidate in the presidential election of 1912. The formal name and general objectives of the party were revived 12 years later. Opposing the entrenched conservatism of the regular Republican Party, which was controlled by Pres. William Howard Taft, a National Republican Progressive League was organized in 1911 by Sen. Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin. The group became the Progressive Party the following year and on August 7, 1912, met in convention and nominated Roosevelt for president and Gov. Hiram W. Johnson of California for vice president.  It called for revision of the political nominating machinery and an aggressive program of social legislation.

The party’s popular nickname of Bull Moose was derived from the characteristics of strength and vigor often used by Roosevelt to describe himself. He waged an energetic campaign, during the course of which an insane man in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, shot him while on his way to make a speech. He went ahead with his address, telling the crowd that he had a bullet in his body but assuring them that “it takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose.” The Bull Moose ticket polled some 25 percent of the popular vote. Thus split, the Republicans lost the election to the Democrats under Woodrow Wilson. The Bull Moose Party evaporated, and the Republicans were reunited four years later.


Source:  Yonkers Rising, October 14, 2016 and Encyclopedia Britannica (online)