Ebe Walter Walter Tunnell Edit Profile
Education public and private schools, Lewes, Delaware. Unmarried. Merc. business, Blackwater, 1862-1898. Also drugs and hardware, Lewes, 1871-1903.
President Farmers Bank of Delaware, Georgetown, since 1882.
He was one of two Delaware governors who never married. He was the unsuccessful Democratic Party candidate for in 1894, losing to the Republican Party candidate, Joshua H. Marvil. Two years later, in 1896, he was elected Governor, defeating the Union (Addicks) Republican Party candidate, James R. Hoffecker, and the regular Republican Party candidate John C. Higgins.
He served one term as Governor from January 19, 1897 until January 15, 1901. The Delaware Constitution of 1897, the state's constitution, was written and adopted during his term. It added some representation for New Castle County in the Delaware General Assembly, but reduced the representation of Wilmington, which was already the state's most populous part.
Among many other changes, it created the office of Lieutenant Governor, allowed governors to be elected to a second term and gave them a legislative veto, reduced judge's terms from life to 12 years, and eliminated the poll tax. It was also during his term that the General Incorporation Law was passed, creating the favorable business environment that has resulted in Delaware becoming the preferred place in the U.S. for companies to incorporate. After his term ended, Tunnell returned to Lewes, where he became President of the Farmers' Bank of Delaware, a director of the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia Railroad, and owner of the Delaware Pilot.
Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1. State Representatives have a two-year term. The Governor takes office the third Tuesday of January and has a four-year term.
Hall of Governors Portrait Gallery Portrait courtesy of Historical and Cultural Affairs, Dover. Delaware Historical Society. Website; 505 North Market Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19801.
University of Delaware. Library website; 181 South College Avenue, Newark, Delaware 19717. (302) 831-2965.
He was a member of the Democratic Party, who served in the Delaware General Assembly and as Tunnell was a member of the Delaware House of Representatives in the 1871/72 session and Clerk of the Peace for Sussex County from 1885 through 1890. Members of the Delaware General Assembly took office the first Tuesday of January.