Elmer H. Geran

Elmer Hendrickson Geran (October 24, 1875 – January 12, 1954) was an American Democratic Party politician who represented New Jersey's 3rd congressional district from 1923 to 1925.

Elmer Hendrickson Geran
Elmer H. Geran (New Jersey Congressman).jpg
Asbury Park Press, November 3, 1949
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1925
Preceded byT. Frank Appleby
Succeeded byStewart H. Appleby
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
In office
In office
Sheriff of Monmouth County, New Jersey
In office
Preceded byCornelius B. Barkalow
Succeeded byWalter H. Gravatt
Personal details
BornOctober 24, 1875
Matawan, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedJanuary 12, 1954(1954-01-12) (aged 78)
Morganville, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic



Geran was born in Matawan, New Jersey on October 24, 1875, where he attended the public schools and the Glenwood Military Academy of Matawan, New Jersey. He graduated from Peddie Institute in Hightstown, New Jersey in 1895, from Princeton University in 1899, and from New York Law School in 1901.

Career pathEdit

He was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1901 and commenced practice in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was Matawan Boro attorney [1] for a number of years.[2] He was known for speeches on the subject of banking. On May 11, 1911 he presented at the Annual Convention for NJ Banking Association in Atlantic City, NJ.[3]

Public officeEdit

He ran for a state senate seat in 1911 but withdrew himself from the race in August 1911 and instead ran for the Assembly.[4] He was a member of the New Jersey General Assembly in 1911 and 1912, and appointed a member of the New Jersey State Water Supply Commission from 1912 to 1915. Geran was assistant prosecutor of the pleas of Monmouth County from 1915 to 1917, and was again a member of the Assembly in 1916 and 1917 and served as minority leader. He served as Sheriff of Monmouth County, New Jersey from 1917 to 1920. One odd event during his tenure as Monmouth County Sheriff was the sale of liquor in 1920. He was ordered by the New Jersey court to sell off the effects of a bar to settle a creditor demands. However, most of the effects of the bar were intoxicating beverages of various types. He was able to obtain federal permission to legally sell the holdings during prohibition.[5]

He was widely considered as a prospective candidate for Governor of New Jersey in 1918 but decided not to run.[6] He was appointed U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey by President Woodrow Wilson in 1920. During his tenure he was associated with enforcing the federal law at the time against dissemination of motion pictures of a fight. The fight referenced was the Dempsey-Carpenter fight in Jersey City - July 1921.[7] On December 16, 1921, then Attorney General Dougherty requested Geran's resignation. Stated reason was that the Attorney General desired a Republican hold the office.[8][9] Geran resigned in 1921 and resumed the practice of law in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Geran was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-eighth Congress from March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1925. He was a delegate to the 1924 Democratic National Convention. He also was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1924 to the Sixty-ninth Congress.

Later careerEdit

After leaving Congress, Geran resumed the practice of his profession until September 22, 1927. In 1927, he became Vice President of the New Jersey Gravel & Sand Co. at Farmington. In 1933, he formed the New Jersey Sand and Gravel Producers Association which advocated the use of New Jersey materials in state highway construction.[10] The 1940 Federal Census showed him as manager of a sand and gravel plant and residing on Hodgner Road in Marlboro.


He died at his home, Glen Geran Farm, in the Morganville section of Marlboro Township, New Jersey on January 12, 1954,[11] and was interred in Old Tennent Cemetery, Manalapan Township, New Jersey.

The Geran BillEdit

Geran is credited with working under Gov. Woodrow Wilson and drafting a series of election reform laws[12] in 1911 that transformed the way elections were handled in New Jersey.[13] Chiefly viewed as an anti-corruption act for voting, the legislation reform was one of the cornerstones of Gov. Woodrow Wilson's program.[14] Among its many provisions, It is the bill which requires county clerks to mail voters sample ballots before an election.[15]

Business InterestsEdit

  • Geran was one of 5 principals in the incorporation of The Western Telephone and Telegraph Company in January 1902. WT&T was a holding company within AT&T from 1902 to 1911. In 1911, AT&T absorbed the WT&T in a stock purchase of three shares of AT&T for four shares of WT&T shares plus $20.[16]
  • Geran was also one of 5 principals in the incorporation of the Accidental Company under the laws of 1896 on January 23, 1902. This was a telephone company which was set up to carry on business "outside the state of New Jersey".[17]
  • Geran was one of 12 principals in the establishment of the Vandalia Coal Company in 1905.[18] Vandalia Coal Company owned and operated mines in the mid-west.[19]
  • He joined with three others in the incorporation of Lind & Company in 1909. This was a real estate company which specialized in purchasing land and building mines.[20]
  • In 1910 he started the Bankers Organization and Asset Realization Company. The company was a general real estate and investment business.[21]
  • He was Director of the Hudson County Water Company. This company primarily appropriated water from New Jersey and sold the water on Staten Island. He resigned his position in this company in 1911 prior to becoming an Assemblyman. He stated it may have been viewed as a conflict of interest.[22]
  • In 1931 he was on the Board of Directors for the Matawan Bank when it closed it doors due to exhausting its cash funds.[23]
  • In 1932 he was president of the City Mortgage Company which he put into receivership following him uncovering that there was "unscrupulous trading of company stock" by the Board of Directors.[24]
  • He was president of the Central Jersey Sand and Gravel Company of Asbury Park when the company went into receivership and became insolvent in 1932.[25]


  1. ^ Geran Dies, Asbury Park Press, January 13, 1954, Page 1
  2. ^ Elmer H Geran, Asbury Park Press - Asbury Park NJ, Nov 6 1949, Page 11
  3. ^ New Jersey Bankers, The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 1911, Page 8
  4. ^ Geran is out for Assembly, Asbury Park Press, Aug 26 1911, Page 8
  5. ^ Oft Deferred Liquor Auction Put off, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 19, 1920, Page 11
  6. ^ Geran Lauds La Monte, The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 9, 1918, Page 6
  7. ^ Last Big Fight Says Wilber Crafts, Reading Times, Reading Pennsylvania, June 30, 1921, Page 10
  8. ^ Ask Resignation of US Attorney, The Des Moines Register, Des Moines Iowa, December 17, 1921, Page 2
  9. ^ United States District Attorney Geran is Asked to Resign, The Courier-News, Bridgewater New Jersey, December 17, 1921, Page 1
  10. ^ Geran Dies, Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park New Jersey, January 13, 1954, Page 3
  11. ^ Staff. "ELMER H. GERAN, 78, IN CONGRESS 1923-25", The New York Times, January 14, 1954. Accessed September 10, 2015. "Elmer H. Geran, former Congressman, assemblyman and United States attorney, died last night at his home, Glen Geran Farm, Marlboro Township."
  12. ^ L. 1911, Ch. 183
  13. ^ Election Laws: The New Geran Law in New Jersey, Notes on Current Legislation, The American Political Science Review, Vol 5 no 4, Nov 1911, Pages 579-585
  14. ^ The Legislature of 1911, Wilson, Volume I: The Road to the White House by Author S. Link, Page 259
  15. ^ The New Jersey Law Journal, Vol 34, Editors Abraham Van Doren Honeyman, Edward Quinton Keasby and George Maculloch Keasby, Page 324, Volume 34, 1911
  16. ^ Telegraph and Telephone Age, November 1, 1911 - Page 701
  17. ^ Many Millions in Phone Stock, The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 23, 1902 - Page 2
  18. ^ Stocks and Bonds, The Inter Ocean, Page 8 - Chicago Illinois, July 8, 1905
  19. ^ Interesting facts about the early days - Narrow Gage Railroad- 1979, page 22, Sullivan Indiana
  20. ^ New Corporations, The Trenton evening Times, Trenton NJ, March 19, 1909, Page 4
  21. ^ New Corporations, The Trenton Evening Times, Trenton NJ, March 25, 1910, Page 1
  22. ^ Monmouth Assemblyman was Director of Hudson County Water Co., Asbury Park Press, August 10, 1911, Page 7
  23. ^ Matawan Bank Closed by Board; Cash Exhausted, Asbury Park Press, Asbury New Jersey, December 28, 1931, Page 1
  24. ^ Quinn to Handle East Jersey Co., Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park New Jersey, January 15, 1932, Page 1
  25. ^ Second of Senators Firms is Insolvent, The Courier News, Bridgewater New Jersey, April 16, 1932, Page 1

External linksEdit

  • United States Congress. "Elmer H. Geran (id: G000133)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • Elmer Hendrickson Geran at The Political Graveyard
  • Elmer Hendrickson Geran at Find a Grave
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 3rd congressional district

March 4, 1923 – March 3, 1925
Succeeded by
Legal offices
Preceded by United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey
Succeeded by