ⓘ Gilchrist Baker Stockton
Rear Admiral Gilchrist Baker Stockton was a non-career appointee who served as the American Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Austria from 1930 to 1933.
1. Early life
Stockton was born on August 20, 1890 in Jacksonville, Florida. He was a son of John Noble Cummings Stockton 1857–1922 and Fannie James nee Baker Stockton 1862–1950. His elder brother was William Tennent Stockton. His father, a Florida state legislator and who served as president of the National Bank of Tampa and the National Bank of Florida, was an unsuccessful democratic candidate to become a U.S. Senator from Florida.
His paternal grandparents were Julia Elizabeth nee Telfair Stockton and William Tennent Stockton, who was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and fought with the 1st Florida Cavalry of the Confederate army during the U.S. Civil War and also served as mayor of Quincy, Florida. His maternal grandparents were Fannie Perry nee Gilchrist Baker and James McNair Baker, who was elected as a Senator from Florida to the Confederate States Senate, serving from 1862 until the Confederacys demise in 1865. From 1865 to 1868, he served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Florida and was the namesake of Baker County, Florida.
After preparing to finish his final year at Princeton University, Stockton was awarded a Rhodes scholarship, like his elder brother, so he left Princeton to study at Christ Church, Oxford from 1914 to 1917, graduating with a B.A. degree, followed by an M.A. degree from Oxford in 1927.
From 1915 to 1916, he was a staff member of the Commission for Relief in Belgium followed by special assistant in London to U.S. Ambassador Walter Hines Page from 1916 to 1917. From 1917 to 1919, he served as aide to Admiral William S. Sims until he became Chief of Mission for the American Relief Administration in Austria from 1919 to 1920.
In 1928, he was a delegate from Florida to Democratic National Convention, On January 22, 1930, Republican President Herbert Hoover appointed Stockton as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Austria in Vienna. The existing Minister, Albert Henry Washburn, who bad been in the role since 1922, died in office three months later on April 29, 1930. On May 15, 1930, two weeks after Washburns death, Stockton presented his credentials in Vienna, serving in that role until leaving his post on September 21, 1933. He was succeeded by President Roosevelts appointee, George Howard Earle III.
Stockton served as executive vice-president of the Mail Order Association of America and as president of the Ortega Real Estate Company in Florida.
2.1. Career Military career
From 1917 to 1950, he served with the United States Navy Reserve. During World War I, he served on the staff of William S. Benson, the Chief of Naval Operations in London. In 1945, while Stockton was serving as a naval aide and liaison officer to Paul V. McNutt, the United States High Commissioner to the Philippines, Senator Charles O. Andrews sponsored Stocktons promotion from Captain to Rear Admiral.
3. Personal life
On October 14, 1925, Stockton was married to Mildred Churchwell 1902–1990, the former wife of William Glenn Dunaway. Together, they were the parents of:
- Gilchrist Baker Stockton Jr., who was born in Vienna and became an attorney.
In 1951, he was "hauled to safety" from a twelfth story window ledge of the Barnett National Bank Building in Jacksonville after "suffering a nervous disorder". Workers on the twelfth floor saw him "hanging from his window ledge by his hands."
Stockton died on August 28, 1972. He was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida.
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