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About Hugh Reid Belknap
Hugh Reid Belknap (September 1, 1860 – November 12, 1901) was a U.S. Representative from Illinois.
Born in Keokuk, Iowa, Belknap attended the public schools, Adams Academy, Quincy, Massachusetts, and Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. At the age of eighteen he entered the service of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. and worked in various capacities until he retired in 1892 to become superintendent of the South Side Rapid Transit Railroad of Chicago, Illinois. He successfully contested as a Republican the election of Lawrence E. McGann to the Fifty-fourth Congress. He was reelected to the Fifty-fifth Congress and served from December 27, 1895, to March 3, 1899. He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1898 to the Fifty-sixth Congress. He resided in Chicago until 1901.
In March 1899. Belknap was appointed a Volunteer Paymaster in the U.S. Army. Two years later he was appointed a major in the regular Army. In July 1901, Belknap (accompanied by his wife) sailed for the Philippines. He started on his first pay trip within two weeks after arriving in Manila. His first stop was at Calamba (on the island of Laguna), where he became ill and required surgery. Word was immediately sent to Major Elijah W. Halford, Chief Paymaster, and his wife. Upon Major Halford’s arrival, Belknap told him: “Major, I have two requests to make. I want you to be kind as possible to my poor wife, whom I must leave far away from her home and among strangers. And I want you to pray for me.” Belknap died the next day, 12 November 1901. He was interred in Arlington National Cemetery.
Belknap was the son of the controversial William W. Belknap who served as United States Secretary of War from 1869 to 1876 under President Ulysses S. Grant. William W. Belknap holds the distinction of being the only cabinet member impeached after resigning office.