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  Hisgen, Thomas L.
NameThomas L. Hisgen
West Springfield, Massachusetts , United States
Born November 26, 1858
DiedAugust 27, 1925 (66 years)
Last ModifedChronicler
Apr 09, 2020 11:46am
InfoBorn in Petersburg IN, the 5th of 11 children. Moved to Albany NY in 1874 and became a clerk in a clothing store.

Hisgen's father invented a new form of axle grease, and the family formed Hisgen Brothers to market the product. A factory was constructed in Albany in 1898 to produce their product. The firm competed with Standard Oil, which refused to supply the business with the ingredients to produce its grease. Thomas L. Hisgen became the President of the business. Standard Oil offered to purchase the business; when the Hisgen family refused, Standard Oil began to harrass their clients in an effort to drive them out of business. NYT 7-29-1908; 8-28-1925

Indepencence League candidate for Governor of Massachusetts 1907

At the MA state ILP convention on 5/9/1908, Hisgen was appointed a delegate at large to the imminent ILP national convention. The state convention considered instructing its delegates to support Hisgen but decided against it on a voice vote. NYT 5/10/1908.

During the ILP national convention, burglers broke into his house in West Springfield MA. The three burglers were captured.

Hisgen was nominated for President at the Independence Party National Convention in 1908; he left his post as President of Hisgen Brothers for the remainder of the campaign. NYT 8-9-1908

Following the election, Hisgen became the President of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, a network of firms which challenged Standard Oil. NYT 12-20-1909

Hisgen was affiliated with the Democratic Party 1909 to 1912 and then the Progressive Party in 1912.

Retired from the oil business in 1917. NYT 8-28-1925

Contender for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Massachusetts in 1911; defeated by Eugene N. Foss. NYT 9-27-1911.

Hisgen died in Springfield MA on 8/27/1925 (Fitchburg Sentinel, 8/27/1925).


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Wife Barbara Anne Fox Hisgen May 28, 1900-Aug 27, 1925
Son Thomas L. Hisgen, Jr. 1903-
Daughter Katherine Elizabeth Hisgen Sommerville 1904-
Daughter Henrietta Hisgen Campbell 1907-2004

  11/05/1912 MA District 2 Lost 18.94% (-23.87%)
  09/26/1911 MA Governor - D Primary Lost 7.37% (-85.27%)
  11/03/1908 US President National Vote Lost 0.55% (-51.02%)
  07/29/1908 US President - Ice Convention Won 60.92% (+45.31%)
  11/05/1907 MA Governor Lost 20.20% (-30.12%)
  11/06/1906 MA Auditor Lost 38.71% (-16.11%)