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 John Frederick Dezendorf

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John Frederick Dezendorf

  • Birth 10 Aug 1834 Lansingburgh, Rensselaer County, New York, USA
  • Death 22 Jun 1894 Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, USA
  • Burial Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, USA
  • Memorial ID 6862871

US Congressman. Elected as a Republican to represent Virginia's 2nd District in the Forty-seventh Congress, he served from 1881 to 1883. Dezendorf's spell on Capitol Hill was the highlight of a checkered professional life. Born in Lansingburgh, New York, he started out as a carpenter's apprentice and studied architecture and civil engineering on his own. From 1850 to 1860 he was active in railroad and other construction in Toledo and Cleveland, Ohio, and then tried to make a living as a merchant for a couple of years. During the Civil War he became an early "carpetbagger", moving to Union-occupied Norfolk, Virginia in 1863 and engaging in the shipping business. With Reconstruction he was appointed Surveyor of Norfolk City and County (1866 to 1869), assistant assessor of the US internal revenue (1870 to 1872), and merchandise appraiser at the Norfolk Customhouse (1872 to 1877). He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876. In October of that year, while stumping on behalf of a party candidate in Portsmouth, Virginia, Dezendorf was severely beaten and shot at by "a group of roughs" he claimed were Democrats, though the incident may also have arisen because of his Northern origins. He made a first, unsuccessful bid for the US House of Representatives in 1878 before winning election to that body in 1880. He did not seek a second term and returned to Norfolk, where he worked in construction until his death.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 19 Oct 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6862871
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Frederick Dezendorf (10 Aug 1834–22 Jun 1894), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6862871, citing Elmwood Cemetery, Norfolk, Norfolk City, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .