Theodore L. Poole
Major Poole was United States Marshall for the
Northern District of New York, having received
the appointment from President McKinley.
He was a conspicuous figure and was always
prominent in the business, political and social
world. He was one of the three soldiers, so far is
known, who survived the operation of having the
arm removed at the shoulder socket. One of
these men died at Buffalo and the third has been
lost tract of.
Theodore Poole was born in Jordan, Onondaga
County, on April 10, 1840 and when one year
old came with his parents to this city and was
educated in the public schools. He, for a time,
worked as clerk in a store and later took up
the study of dentistry in which he was engaged
at the outbreak of the Civil War.
In 1869 Major Poole married Ella, daughter of C.S. Totman of this city. His first wife died in
1870 and in 1874 he married, Hattie, daughter of Joshua Totman, of Convoy, Mass. One
daughter, Miss Harriet Poole, survives him. He again married in 1877, Carrie L., daughter of
Charles Law, of this city, who with three children, Clara, Theodore L., Jr. and Sidmon, also survived at the time of his death. He also had one sister living, Mrs. Kate Poole Baldwin of this city.
In the summer of 1862, Mr. Poole enlisted in the 122nd regiment, New York Volunteers, as a
Private in Company I, and when the regiment was mustered into the service of the United States,
was appointed Quartermaster Sergeant. In the following September the regiment was assigned to
the famous 6th Army Corps and participated in all the battles from Antietam until the final
surrender at Appomatox.
Mr. Poole was promoted on March 1, 1863 to Second Lieutenant. On February 19, 1864, he
was made First Lieutenant and at the beginning of the Wilderness Campaign was acting Adjutant
of his regiment. For conspicuous bravery at Spottsylvania and other battled of the Wilderness
and at Cold Harbor he was commissioned: February 16, 1865, as Captain and later was breveted
Major by the State of New York and by the United States.
At the Battle of Cold Harbor on June 1, 1864, Lt. Poole, was severely wounded and after several
months of suffering at the hospital it became necessary to amputate his arm to save his life. As
soon as he was able, however, he returned and May 15, 1865 was discharged and mustered out
with his regiment.
Soon after his return from the army, Major Poole was appointed Assistant Assessor for the
United State Internal Revenue for this District and while holding that office was elected County
Clerk of Onondaga County, serving for three years.
At the expiration of his term of office he became engaged in mercantile pursuits, first as a
member of the firm of Poole and Hawkins and later in the firm of Poole and North. He was also
for a time interested in the manufacture of course salt.
In 1879 Major Poole was appointed United State Pension Agent for the Northern and Western
District of New York. This position he held for nearly 10 years. He became the organizer of
Consolidated Street Railway Company of the city, serving as its Secretary and General Manager.
Major Poole, in 1894, was nominated on the Republican ticket to become a member of the
54th Congress from the 27th district and in November of that year was elected, receiving 24,267
votes against 16,307 for W.E. Northrup, his principal opponent. In 1896 Major Poole was again
nominated for Congress but was defeated by James J. Belen. The last office to which Major
Poole was appointed was that of United States Marshall of the Northern District of New York.
Major Poole was active in the affairs of the the Grand Army of the Republic from the time of its
organization. He was one of the first to become identified with the GAR in this state and took
part in nearly every state encampment. For years he served as a member of the Council of
Administration and in 1892 was chosen Commander of the Department of New York. He was
one of the organizers of Dwight Post, the first Post organized in Syracuse, and was also one of
the charter member of Root Post No. 151.
Besides being prominently engaged in politics, Major Poole had various business interests. He
has been a Director of the Bank of Syracuse since its organization and was Vice-President of the
Engelberg Huller Co. He was also a partner in the firm of A.A. Abel and Co., dealers in sporting
While conversing with his wife, Major Theodore L. Poole, died suddenly on the morning of December 24, 1900, at his home, 120 Lincoln Ave. Cerebral hemorrhage was the cause of death. Dr. Nathan Jacobson was summoned as quickly as possible but life was extinct before he arrived. Funeral services were held at the home, with burial in Oakwood Cemetery. A military funeral was held, with members of the 122nd regiment, New York Volunteers, meeting at the
store of O.V. Tracy, to take action upon the death of Major Poole. A special meeting of Root
Post GAR was held to make arrangements for attending the funeral of Major Poole.
Source: Syracuse Newspaper.
Submitted by Lorraine Orton, PDP-Woman’s Relief Corps, Aux. to the GAR, Camillus, NY