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John Kemble Tarbox
John K. Tarbox.jpg
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Preceded by Ebenezer R. Hoar
Succeeded by Benjamin F. Butler
13th Insurance Commissioner of Massachusetts[1]

In office
April 21, 1883[1] – May 28, 1887[1]
Preceded by Julius L. Clarke[1]
Succeeded by George S. Merrill[1]
16th Mayor
of Lawrence, Massachusetts

In office
Preceded by S. B. W. Davis
Succeeded by Robert H. Tewksbury
Personal details
Born May 6, 1838[2][3]
Methuen, Massachusetts[2][3][4]
Died May 28, 1887[5][4]
Boston, Massachusetts[2][5]
Resting place Bellevue Cemetery, Lawrence, Massachusetts
Political party Democratic[2][3]
Spouse(s) Sarah Ann Harmon, m. May 1859.[6] died 1874;[2]
Agnes Belle Mullen, m. 1882.[2][3]
Alma mater Franklin Academy, North Andover, Massachusetts
Profession Lawyer
Military service
Allegiance US flag 34 stars.svg United States of America
Service/branch United States Union Army
Years of service 1861 – August 28, 1863[2][3]
Rank Union army 1st lt rank insignia First Lieutenant[2][3]
Unit Massachusetts 4th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment
Army of the Potomac[5]
Commands Massachusetts Company B 4th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment[2][3]
Battles/wars American Civil War

John Kemble Tarbox (May 6, 1838 – May 28, 1887) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.


Early life and educationEdit

Tarbox was born in that part of Methuen, Massachusetts that became incorporated into Lawrence, Massachusetts,[2] Tarbox pursued classical studies, engaged in newspaper work, studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1860 and practiced law.


In May 1859 Tarbox married Sarah Ann Harmon,[6] she died in 1874.[2][3]

American Civil War serviceEdit

During the Civil War he served in the Union Army as a first lieutenant in Company B of the Fourth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He was mustered out with his regiment on August 28, 1863.[2][3]

Newspaper editorEdit

For a time after his military service Tarbox was the political editor of the Lawrence Sentinel.[2][3]

Early public service careerEdit

Tarbox was a delegate at the 1864 Democratic National Convention,[2][3] and an alternate delegate at the 1868 Democratic National Convention.[2][3] Tarbox served as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1868, 1870, and 1871, in the Massachusetts State Senate in 1872, and as the sixteenth Mayor of Lawrence from 1873 to 1874.

Congressional serviceEdit

Tarbox was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-fourth Congress (March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1876 to the Forty-fifth Congress.

Later public service careerEdit

Tarbox was the City solicitor of Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1882 and 1883. From April 21, 1883 to May 28, 1887,[1] Tarbox was the Massachusetts State Insurance Commissioner.[1]

Death and burialEdit

Tarbox died in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 28, 1887 and was interred in Bellevue Cemetery, Lawrence, Massachusetts.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Singer, Isidore (1894). "The Annual Cyclopedia of Insurance in the United States., 1893–1894". H. R. Hayden. Hartford, Connecticut. p. 301.. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Webster, Franklin (June 2, 1887). "The Chronicle A Weekly Insurance Journal, Vol., XXXIX, No. 22.". The Chronicle Company, Limited. New York City. p. 266.. 
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 The Boston Herald (May, 1887). "The Boston Herald". The Boston Herald. Boston, Massachusetts. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Boston Globe (May 29, 1887). "HON. JOHN K. TARBOX Dies at His Home Yesterday Morning—A Career Full of Honorable Positions Now Ended Forever. MOURNING AT LAWRENCE. Resolutions of Respect Adopted—Arrangements for the Funeral.". The Boston Daily Globe. Boston, Massachusetts. p. 4.. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The New York Times (May 29, 1887). "HARD WORK KILLED HIM.; A FAITHFUL PUBLIC SERVANT OF MASSACHUSETTS.". The New York Times. New York City. p. 9.. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harmon, Artemas Canfield (1920). "The Harmon Genealogy, Comprising all Branches in New England". Gibson Bros., Inc.. Washington, D.C.. p. 120.. 


  • John K. Tarbox at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Retrieved on 2008-02-15
  • Harmon, Artemas Canfield:, The Harmon Genealogy, Comprising all Branches in New England, p. 120, (1920).
  • Singer, Isidore:, The Annual Cyclopedia of Insurance in the United States., 1893–1894, p. 301, (1894).

External linksEdit

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ebenezer R. Hoar
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 7th congressional district

March 4, 1875 – March 3, 1877
Succeeded by
Benjamin F. Butler
Political offices
Preceded by
S. B. W. Davis
16th Mayor of Lawrence, Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Robert H. Tewksbury
Preceded by
Julius L. Clarke
13th Insurance Commissioner of Massachusetts
April 21, 1883 – May 28, 1887
Succeeded by
George S. Merrill

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