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Smith W. Brookhart

Smith Wildman Brookhart (February 2, 1869 – November 15, 1944), was twice elected as a Republican to represent Iowa in the United States Senate. He was considered an "insurgent" within the Republican Party. His criticisms of the Harding and the Coolidge administrations and of business interests alienated others in the Republican caucus and led to his ouster from the Senate over an election challenge.

Smith Wildman Brookhart
United States Senator
from Iowa
In office
November 8, 1922 – April 12, 1926
Preceded byCharles A. Rawson
Succeeded byDaniel F. Steck
In office
March 4, 1927 – March 3, 1933
Preceded byDavid W. Stewart
Succeeded byRichard L. Murphy
Personal details
Born(1869-02-02)February 2, 1869
Arbela, Missouri
DiedNovember 15, 1944(1944-11-15) (aged 75)
Prescott, Arizona
Political partyRepublican

Brookhart's absence from the Senate was brief, as he took the first opportunity to return by challenging and defeating the state's senior Republican senator. He was also a strong supporter of Prohibition and its enforcement, so as public support for prohibition waned, the same occurred to his political career.

Contents

Brookhart was born in a cabin on a farm in Scotland County, Missouri, the son of Abram C. and Cynthia Wildman Brookhart. He was educated in country schools, graduated from Bloomfield High School, and attended Southern Iowa Normal School, both in Bloomfield, Iowa, where he graduated in 1889 with an emphasis in scientific courses. For five years, he taught in country schools and high school while he studied law in offices in Bloomfield and Keosauqua, Iowa. He was admitted to the bar in 1892 and began practice in Washington, Iowa. Four years later, his brother, J. L. Brookhart, joined his firm. He served for six years as Washington County Attorney.

On June 22, 1897, he married Jennie Hearne. They had four sons and two daughters: Charles Edward Brookhart, John Roberts Brookhart, Samuel Colar Brookhart, Smith W. Brookhart Jr., Florence Hearne Brookhart Yount, and Edith A. Brookhart Millard.

He served in the US Army during the Spanish–American War and World War I in which he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was renowned for his marksmanship with a rifle. Brookhart eventually served as president of the National Rifle Association from 1921 to 1925.

In early 1920 Brookhart announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held since 1908 by the Republican Albert B. Cummins, who was a progressive senator but was from an earlier generation and distrusted both corporate interests and unions. Brookhart attempted to build his campaign around his criticism of railroad regulatory legislation Cummins had co-authored, the Esch–Cummins Act, which Brookhart claimed to do too little to wrest ownership and control of railroads away from Wall Street interests. Brookhart attempted to lure rank-and-file blue-collar workers to register as Republicans so that they could vote for him in the primary, which prompted Cummins to associate Brookhart with radical workers movements such as "the Socialists, reds and Industrial Workers of the World." Cummins was sidelined by illness in the weeks leading up to the primary but defeated Brookhart.

1922–1926

On his second attempt, Brookhart was elected to the Senate in 1922. A special election was required because Iowa Senator William S. Kenyon had resigned before the completion of his term to accept an appointment as federal judge. After receiving over 41 percent of the vote in a six-way Republican primary, Brookhart was backed by the national Republican Party, and defeated future Governor and US Senator Clyde L. Herring.

As Time would later write, Brookhart's "pugnacious cowhide radicalism nettled patrician Senators." Two years later, in the 1924 election, he made his first attempt to win a full term. Running again as the Republican nominee, Brookhart appeared to have defeated the Democratic candidate, Daniel F. Steck, by a small margin, with Brookhart getting 447,594 votes to Steck's 446,840. Brookhart thus took office on March 4, 1925, but Steck pursued a challenge with the Senate Committee on Elections and Privileges. In the committee hearings on Steck's challenge, the Iowa Republican Party sided with the Democrat Steck by filing a brief that was sharply critical of Brookhart and accused him of disloyalty to the Republican presidential ticket in 1924 because of his support for the Progressive Party presidential candidate Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin.

Brookhart held the seat only until April 12, 1926, when the Senate voted by a margin of 45–41 to replace him with Steck, who then served out the remainder of the term. Because the Senate was then firmly in Republican control, his ouster was possible only because over a dozen Republicans voted with Democrats to unseat Brookhart. On other occasions, the Senate has settled election disputes before a senator took office, but that was the only time that the results were overturned after the senator had been seated. The biographer George William McDaniel concludes:

between 1924 and 1926, those in charge of the established political machinery united to defeat Brookhart. In part they acted out of fear of his program; some really believed that it would lead to socialism or worse. In part they feared that he intended to remake the Republican party in his own image, a charge he repeatedly denied and one that most thoughtful politicians knew to be unfounded since he never

bothered to build the kind of county-by-county organizations necessary for such a move. In addition, party leaders were upset that he won without them and thus showed that the political party was not necessary as the vehicle for election. Brookhart aided their efforts by his intemperate speech at Emmetsburg, giving them an excuse to read him out of the party.

1927–1933

Immediately upon his ouster from the Senate in April 1926, Brookhart ran for Iowa's other Senate seat, which was still held by Cummins. In the Republican primary, Brookhart stunned his former colleagues and the Iowa Republican establishment by decisively defeating Cummins. As Idaho Republican William Edgar Borah said the following morning, "Senator Cummins was highly respected by everyone who knew him. He was a man of recognized ability, and only a real political revolution could have defeated him."

In the general election, Brookhart defeated the conservative Democrat Claude R. Porter, who had been a US Attorney during the Wilson administration. Brookhart settled into a shaky co-existence with the Republican establishment.

Brookhart was a harsh critic of the Federal Reserve: "A more sinister or evil device could not be arranged for using the people's savings to their own injury and the destruction of their property values."

He served a full six-year term. However, in the 1932 Republican primary, he was defeated by Henry Field, a Shenandoah, Iowa, nurseryman. Field had attacked Brookhart's absences from the Senate on speaking tours, as well as the number of relatives holding federal positions. he ran in the 1932 general election as a "progressive" candidate but received fewer than 33,000 votes out of over 890,000 cast.

Brookhart was what was known as a "fervent dry." In a futile effort to stop the growing sentiment for the repeal of Prohibition, Brookhart began a nationwide tour during which he debated U.S. Representative Fiorello LaGuardia, Clarence Darrow, and other prominent "wets," who opposed Prohibition.

Brookhart favored dramatically increasing Prohibition enforcement appropriations by $240 million. That was a very unpopular position because of widespread unemployment and underemployment during the Great Depression. Those favoring repeal argued that legalizing alcoholic beverages would stimulate the economy and provide desperately-needed tax revenue.

It was said that Brookhart's opinions regarding alcohol came from his role as a rifle instructor for the Iowa National Guard in whichever concluded that alcohol and guns were incompatible. He went as far as to quantify the accuracy harms associated with mild beer by claiming it lowered accuracy by 7%. With that information, he convinced the Governor of Iowa to make the rifle range "bone dry."

After his 1932 defeat, Brookhart was a special advisor to the federal government on Soviet trade, until he resigned in 1935 and returned to Iowa. In this role, he was an early advocate for United States recognition of the Soviet Union.

Upon his return to Iowa, Brookhart made a final attempt to return to the Senate. He joined an already-crowded field of candidates for the Republican nomination for Senate in 1936 but finished a distant second to the incumbent, L. J. Dickinson. Brookhart then announced a plan to unite diverse progressive elements under a new banner, declined an opportunity to run for the Senate under a Farmer-Labor Party nomination, and endorsed Franklin Roosevelt's 1936 re-election.

After the 1936 election, Brookhart opened a law office in Washington, DC, and remained there until 1943, when he went to Arizona for his health. He died in Prescott, Arizona, on November 15, 1944.

One of his sons, US Army Lieutenant Colonel Smith W. Brookhart Jr., served as an assistant trial counsel for the prosecution at the Nuremberg War Trials.

  1. "Ex-Sen. Brookhart Dies in Arizona; Iowa Rites Planned," Mason City Globe-Gazette, 1944-11-16, at 1.
  2. Burrell, Howard A. (1909). History of Washington County, Iowa from the First White Settlements to 1908. II. Chicago, Ill.: S J Clarke Publishing Co.
  3. "Cummins May Campaign Iowa Before Primary," Waterloo Evening Courier, March 23, 1920 at 7.
  4. "Cummins Seems Choice of Black Hawk Co. Voters," Waterloo Evening Courier, June 4, 1920 at 1.
  5. "Cummins' Lead over Brookhart is Over 20,000," Waterloo Evening Courier, June 9, 1920, p. 1.
  6. "Brookhart Sworn as Junior Senator," Waterloo Evening Courier, 1922-12-02, at p. 3.
  7. "Brookhart Given 41.1 Percent on All Primary Ballots," Waterloo Evening Courier, June 7, 1922 at 1.
  8. "Again, Brookhart," Time, April 20, 1936.
  9. "Official Count Indicates Steck is Winner," Cedar Rapids Republican, February 4, 1926 at 4.
  10. "Brookhart says he is glad it is all over," Oelwein Daily Register, April 13, 1926 at 1.
  11. McDaniel (1987) p 433
  12. "Washington Sees Corn Belt Revolt in Brookhart Win," Waterloo Evening Courier, June 8, 1926 at 2.
  13. George William McDaniel, "The Republican Party in Iowa and the Defeat of Smith Wildman Brookhart, 1924-1926." The Annals of Iowa 48.7 (1987): 413-434. online
  14. July 4, 1927, Bakersfield Californian
  15. "Senate Met While Brookhart was on Chautauqua," Boyden Reporter, May 19, 1932 at 6.
  16. Plummer, Herbert (October 10, 1929). "A Day Book of Washington". The Evening Tribune, Providence. RetrievedOctober 10, 2013.
  17. "Dickinson and Herring Nomination Winners," Waterloo Daily Courier, June 2, 1936 at 1.
  18. 'Brookhart will back Roosevelt," Mason City Globe-Gazette, August 17, 1936.
  19. David Cesarani, Holocaust: Critical Concepts in Historical Studies, p. 168 (Routledge: 2004) ISBN 0-415-31872-6.
  20. Molly Myers Naumann. "Smith Wildman and Jennie (Hearne) Brookhart House"(PDF). National Park Service. RetrievedDecember 23, 2015.

United States Congress. "BROOKHART, Smith Wildman (id: B000873)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

Party political offices
Preceded by
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Iowa
(Class 2)

1922, 1924
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Iowa
(Class 3)

1926
Succeeded by
Henry Field
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
U.S. senator from Iowa
1922–1926
Succeeded by
Preceded by
U.S. senator from Iowa
1927–1933
Succeeded by
National Rifle Association
Preceded by
President of the NRA
1921–1925
Succeeded by
Preceded by
President of the NRA
1925–1926
Succeeded by

Smith W. Brookhart
Smith W Brookhart Language Watch Edit Smith Wildman Brookhart February 2 1869 November 15 1944 was twice elected as a Republican to represent Iowa in the United States Senate He was considered an insurgent within the Republican Party His criticisms of the Harding and the Coolidge administrations and of business interests alienated others in the Republican caucus and led to his ouster from the Senate over an election challenge Smith Wildman BrookhartUnited States Senator from IowaIn office November 8 1922 April 12 1926Preceded byCharles A RawsonSucceeded byDaniel F SteckIn office March 4 1927 March 3 1933Preceded byDavid W StewartSucceeded byRichard L MurphyPersonal detailsBorn 1869 02 02 February 2 1869 Arbela MissouriDiedNovember 15 1944 1944 11 15 aged 75 Prescott ArizonaPolitical partyRepublican Brookhart s absence from the Senate was brief as he took the first opportunity to return by challenging and defeating the state s senior Republican senator He was also a strong supporter of Prohibition and its enforcement so as public support for prohibition waned the same occurred to his political career Contents 1 Early life 2 First run for Senate 3 Senate service 3 1 1922 1926 3 2 1927 1933 4 Support for Prohibition 5 Later life 6 See also 7 References 8 Sources 9 External linksEarly life EditBrookhart was born in a cabin on a farm in Scotland County Missouri the son of Abram C and Cynthia Wildman Brookhart 1 He was educated in country schools graduated from Bloomfield High School and attended Southern Iowa Normal School both in Bloomfield Iowa where he graduated in 1889 with an emphasis in scientific courses 2 For five years he taught in country schools and high school while he studied law in offices in Bloomfield and Keosauqua Iowa 1 He was admitted to the bar in 1892 and began practice in Washington Iowa 1 Four years later his brother J L Brookhart joined his firm 2 He served for six years as Washington County Attorney 2 On June 22 1897 he married Jennie Hearne They had four sons and two daughters Charles Edward Brookhart John Roberts Brookhart Samuel Colar Brookhart Smith W Brookhart Jr Florence Hearne Brookhart Yount and Edith A Brookhart Millard 1 2 He served in the US Army during the Spanish American War and World War I in which he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel He was renowned for his marksmanship with a rifle Brookhart eventually served as president of the National Rifle Association from 1921 to 1925 First run for Senate EditIn early 1920 Brookhart announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the U S Senate seat held since 1908 by the Republican Albert B Cummins who was a progressive senator but was from an earlier generation and distrusted both corporate interests and unions Brookhart attempted to build his campaign around his criticism of railroad regulatory legislation Cummins had co authored the Esch Cummins Act which Brookhart claimed to do too little to wrest ownership and control of railroads away from Wall Street interests 3 Brookhart attempted to lure rank and file blue collar workers to register as Republicans so that they could vote for him in the primary 3 which prompted Cummins to associate Brookhart with radical workers movements such as the Socialists reds and Industrial Workers of the World 4 Cummins was sidelined by illness in the weeks leading up to the primary 4 but defeated Brookhart 5 Senate service Edit1922 1926 Edit On his second attempt Brookhart was elected to the Senate in 1922 6 A special election was required because Iowa Senator William S Kenyon had resigned before the completion of his term to accept an appointment as federal judge After receiving over 41 percent of the vote in a six way Republican primary 7 Brookhart was backed by the national Republican Party 7 and defeated future Governor and US Senator Clyde L Herring As Time would later write Brookhart s pugnacious cowhide radicalism nettled patrician Senators 8 Two years later in the 1924 election he made his first attempt to win a full term Running again as the Republican nominee Brookhart appeared to have defeated the Democratic candidate Daniel F Steck by a small margin with Brookhart getting 447 594 votes to Steck s 446 840 Brookhart thus took office on March 4 1925 but Steck pursued a challenge with the Senate Committee on Elections and Privileges In the committee hearings on Steck s challenge the Iowa Republican Party sided with the Democrat Steck by filing a brief that was sharply critical of Brookhart and accused him of disloyalty to the Republican presidential ticket in 1924 because of his support for the Progressive Party presidential candidate Robert M La Follette of Wisconsin 9 Brookhart held the seat only until April 12 1926 when the Senate voted by a margin of 45 41 to replace him with Steck who then served out the remainder of the term Because the Senate was then firmly in Republican control his ouster was possible only because over a dozen Republicans voted with Democrats to unseat Brookhart 10 On other occasions the Senate has settled election disputes before a senator took office but that was the only time that the results were overturned after the senator had been seated The biographer George William McDaniel concludes between 1924 and 1926 those in charge of the established political machinery united to defeat Brookhart In part they acted out of fear of his program some really believed that it would lead to socialism or worse In part they feared that he intended to remake the Republican party in his own image a charge he repeatedly denied and one that most thoughtful politicians knew to be unfounded since he never bothered to build the kind of county by county organizations necessary for such a move In addition party leaders were upset that he won without them and thus showed that the political party was not necessary as the vehicle for election Brookhart aided their efforts by his intemperate speech at Emmetsburg giving them an excuse to read him out of the party 11 1927 1933 Edit Immediately upon his ouster from the Senate in April 1926 Brookhart ran for Iowa s other Senate seat which was still held by Cummins In the Republican primary Brookhart stunned his former colleagues and the Iowa Republican establishment by decisively defeating Cummins As Idaho Republican William Edgar Borah said the following morning Senator Cummins was highly respected by everyone who knew him He was a man of recognized ability and only a real political revolution could have defeated him 12 In the general election Brookhart defeated the conservative Democrat Claude R Porter who had been a US Attorney during the Wilson administration Brookhart settled into a shaky co existence with the Republican establishment 13 Brookhart was a harsh critic of the Federal Reserve A more sinister or evil device could not be arranged for using the people s savings to their own injury and the destruction of their property values 14 He served a full six year term However in the 1932 Republican primary he was defeated by Henry Field a Shenandoah Iowa nurseryman Field had attacked Brookhart s absences from the Senate on speaking tours as well as the number of relatives holding federal positions 15 he ran in the 1932 general election as a progressive candidate but received fewer than 33 000 votes out of over 890 000 cast Support for Prohibition EditBrookhart was what was known as a fervent dry In a futile effort to stop the growing sentiment for the repeal of Prohibition Brookhart began a nationwide tour during which he debated U S Representative Fiorello LaGuardia Clarence Darrow and other prominent wets who opposed Prohibition Brookhart favored dramatically increasing Prohibition enforcement appropriations by 240 million That was a very unpopular position because of widespread unemployment and underemployment during the Great Depression Those favoring repeal argued that legalizing alcoholic beverages would stimulate the economy and provide desperately needed tax revenue It was said that Brookhart s opinions regarding alcohol came from his role as a rifle instructor for the Iowa National Guard in whichever concluded that alcohol and guns were incompatible He went as far as to quantify the accuracy harms associated with mild beer by claiming it lowered accuracy by 7 With that information he convinced the Governor of Iowa to make the rifle range bone dry 16 Later life EditAfter his 1932 defeat Brookhart was a special advisor to the federal government on Soviet trade until he resigned in 1935 and returned to Iowa 8 In this role he was an early advocate for United States recognition of the Soviet Union 1 Upon his return to Iowa Brookhart made a final attempt to return to the Senate He joined an already crowded field of candidates for the Republican nomination for Senate in 1936 but finished a distant second to the incumbent L J Dickinson 17 Brookhart then announced a plan to unite diverse progressive elements under a new banner declined an opportunity to run for the Senate under a Farmer Labor Party nomination and endorsed Franklin Roosevelt s 1936 re election 18 After the 1936 election Brookhart opened a law office in Washington DC and remained there until 1943 when he went to Arizona for his health 1 He died in Prescott Arizona on November 15 1944 1 One of his sons US Army Lieutenant Colonel Smith W Brookhart Jr served as an assistant trial counsel for the prosecution at the Nuremberg War Trials 19 See also EditSmith Wildman and Jennie Hearne Brookhart House in Washington Iowa is listed on the National Register of Historic Places 20 References Edit a b c d e f g Ex Sen Brookhart Dies in Arizona Iowa Rites Planned Mason City Globe Gazette 1944 11 16 at 1 a b c d Burrell Howard A 1909 History of Washington County Iowa from the First White Settlements to 1908 II Chicago Ill S J Clarke Publishing Co a b Cummins May Campaign Iowa Before Primary Waterloo Evening Courier March 23 1920 at 7 a b Cummins Seems Choice of Black Hawk Co Voters Waterloo Evening Courier June 4 1920 at 1 Cummins Lead over Brookhart is Over 20 000 Waterloo Evening Courier June 9 1920 p 1 Brookhart Sworn as Junior Senator Waterloo Evening Courier 1922 12 02 at p 3 a b Brookhart Given 41 1 Percent on All Primary Ballots Waterloo Evening Courier June 7 1922 at 1 a b Again Brookhart Time April 20 1936 Official Count Indicates Steck is Winner Cedar Rapids Republican February 4 1926 at 4 Brookhart says he is glad it is all over Oelwein Daily Register April 13 1926 at 1 McDaniel 1987 p 433 Washington Sees Corn Belt Revolt in Brookhart Win Waterloo Evening Courier June 8 1926 at 2 George William McDaniel The Republican Party in Iowa and the Defeat of Smith Wildman Brookhart 1924 1926 The Annals of Iowa 48 7 1987 413 434 online July 4 1927 Bakersfield Californian Senate Met While Brookhart was on Chautauqua Boyden Reporter May 19 1932 at 6 Plummer Herbert October 10 1929 A Day Book of Washington The Evening Tribune Providence Retrieved October 10 2013 Dickinson and Herring Nomination Winners Waterloo Daily Courier June 2 1936 at 1 Brookhart will back Roosevelt Mason City Globe Gazette August 17 1936 David Cesarani Holocaust Critical Concepts in Historical Studies p 168 Routledge 2004 ISBN 0 415 31872 6 Molly Myers Naumann Smith Wildman and Jennie Hearne Brookhart House PDF National Park Service Retrieved December 23 2015 United States Congress BROOKHART Smith Wildman id B000873 Biographical Directory of the United States Congress Sources EditMcDaniel George William The Republican Party in Iowa and the Defeat of Smith Wildman Brookhart 1924 1926 The Annals of Iowa 48 7 1987 413 434 online McDaniel George William 1995 Smith Wildman Brookhart Iowa s Renegade Republican 1st ed Ames Iowa Iowa State Press ISBN 0 8138 2107 X Editorial Cartoons of J N Ding Darling Iowa Digital Library University of Iowa Libraries Cartoons referencing or depicting Smith W Brookhart External links Edit Media related to Smith W Brookhart at Wikimedia CommonsParty political officesPreceded by William S Kenyon Republican nominee for U S Senator from Iowa Class 2 1922 1924 Succeeded by Lester J DickinsonPreceded by David W Stewart Republican nominee for U S Senator from Iowa Class 3 1926 Succeeded by Henry FieldU S SenatePreceded by Charles A Rawson U S senator from Iowa 1922 1926 Succeeded by Daniel F SteckPreceded by David W Stewart U S senator from Iowa 1927 1933 Succeeded by Richard L MurphyNational Rifle AssociationPreceded by William Libbey President of the NRA 1921 1925 Succeeded by Francis E WarrenPreceded by Francis E Warren President of the NRA 1925 1926 Succeeded by Fred M Waterbury Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Smith W Brookhart amp oldid 1046820595, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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