Harry Whinna Nice (1877-1941)

Harry Whinner Nice, c.1925

Harry W. Nice was born in Washington D.C., on December 5, 1877 the son of Methodist minister Henry Nice and his wife Drucilla Arnold Nice. The family moved to Baltimore, Maryland soon after and he was educated in the public schools there. He was prepared for college at Baltimore City College and entered Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with the class of 1899 in 1896. He studied at the College for only one year. He left to study law at the University of Maryland, where he graduated with a LL.B degree in 1899.

Nice began a long and distinguished political career with the Republican Party when he was elected to the Baltimore city council in 1903. In swift succession, he served as secretary to the mayor of Baltimore, supervisor of elections in the city, and as a state's attorney. In an initial run for governor in 1919 when he went down to narrow defeat to his law school classmate and grandson of a Dickinsonian in the class of 1853, Albert C. Ritchie. He then distinguished himself as a tax appeal judge between 1920 and 1924 but came to national prominence in 1934 when he defeated the sitting the Democratic governor, his old rival Ritchie, on the unlikely platform that Ritchie was not doing enough in Maryland to aid in President Roosevelt's national recovery efforts. His effective political career came to an end before the end of the decade, however, when he was defeated for re-election in 1938 and again in the 1940 Senate race in Maryland.

He had married Edna Viola Amos in June, 1904. The couple had one son, Harry W. Nice, Jr. and another had died in infancy. Following the 1940 Senate race, Nice suffered from ill-health and early 1941 he was stricken with a heart attack at the home of friends in Richmond, Virginia. He died the following morning, February 25, 1941. He was 63 years old.

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Dickinson College Archives
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