Cassius C. Dowell

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Cassius C. Dowell

Cassius Clay Dowell (February 29, 1864 - February 4, 1940) was a Republican U.S. Representative from Iowa. He served from 1915 to his death in 1940, except for a two-year period in 1935-36 resulting from a 1934 election loss.

Born on a farm near the unincorporated town of Summerset, Iowa in Warren County, Dowell attended the public schools, Baptist College in Des Moines, Iowa, and Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. In 1886 he graduated from the liberal arts department of Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and graduated from Drake University Law School the following year. He was admitted to the bar in 1888 and commenced practice in Des Moines.

From 1894 to 1898, Dowell served as member of the Iowa State House of Representatives. He served in the Iowa State Senate from 1902 to 1912.

In 1914, Dowell was elected as a Republican to represent Iowa's 7th congressional district. He was re-elected to this seat eight times, until reapportionment between 1930 and 1932 moved his home county into Iowa's 6th congressional district, prompting him to run for the seat in that district. He won the 1932 race by more than 13,000 votes], surviving the Roosevelt landslide. Yet he was surprised two years later, when former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Hubert Utterback upset him by over 4,000 votes. He had served nearly twenty years, in the Sixty-fourth and the nine succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1915-January 3, 1935). He had served as chairman of the Committee on Elections (in the Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Congresses), and on the Committee on Roads (in the Sixty-eighth through Seventy-first Congresses).

Dowell returned to Des Moines to practice law, and reclaimed his seat two years later in 1936 (when Utterbeck chose not to seek re-election but instead ran for the U.S. Senate). Utterbeck lost in the Senate primary and tried to regain his House seat from Dowell in 1938, but Dowell defeated him decisively. It would be Dowell's last election.

Dowell filed for re-election in the 1940 race, but died due to heart disease in Washington, D.C., on February 4, 1940.[1] He was interred in Woodland Cemetery, Des Moines, Iowa.

In reporting his death, an Iowa newspaper reported that "only rarely did he participate in house debate but his influence upon legislation was strong. He was instrumental in securing veterans' hospitals for Des Moines and Knoxville, in the establishment of Camp Dodge during war time, and in the erection of an $800,000 federal building on Des Moines' waterfront." [1]

After his death, Republican Robert K. Goodwin won a special election and thus became Dowell's immediate successor, but Republican Paul Cunningham claimed the seat in the 1940 general election.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Dowell, Veteran Congressman of 6th District Dies," Waterloo Daily Courier, 1940-02-05, at 2.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
C. William Ramseyer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 6th congressional district

1933 – 1935
(obsolete district)
Succeeded by
Hubert Utterback
Preceded by
Hubert Utterback
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Iowa's 6th congressional district

1937 – February 4, 1940 (death)
(obsolete district)
Succeeded by
Robert K. Goodwin

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.