John E. Raker

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John E. Raker

John Edward Raker, (February 22, 1863 – January 22, 1926) was a Democratic Party Congressional representative for California. He was usually known as John E. Raker.

He was born near Knoxville, Knox County, Illinois, on February 22, 1863 and moved with his parents (Christian Raker and Mary E. (Rambo) Raker) to Lassen County, California, in 1873. After attending public school and the State normal school at San Jose from 1882–1884, he studied law. He was admitted to the bar in 1885 and began practising law in Susanville. On December 6, 1886 he moved to Alturas. He was District Attorney of Modoc County from 1895–1899, Judge of the Superior Court of Modoc County from January 5, 1903, to December 19, 1910, when he resigned.

He married Iva G. Spencer on November 21, 1889.

In 1898 he stood as a candidate for the California state senate, and was a superior court judge in California, from 1905 until 1910.

Raker was chairman of the Democratic State central committee from 1908-1910. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Denver in 1908. Elected as a Democrat to the sixty-second United States Congress in 1911, and to the seven succeeding Congresses, he served from March 4, 1911 until his death in Washington, D.C. on January 22, 1926. He represented the 1st District from 1911–13, and the 2nd District from 1913-26.

In 1911, he tried unsuccessfully to introduce legislation for the creation of the Redwood National and State Parks. In stark contrast, in the next session he was the main sponsor of what came to be known the Raker Act, passed in 1913 and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. The Act authorized the damming of the Tuolumne River and the flooding of the Hetch Hetchy Valley, which remain controversial to this day.

In the sixty-fifth Congress, he held the office of Chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of Justice, and the Committee on Woman Suffrage.

He was a member of the Freemasons and the Odd Fellows.

He is buried at Susanville Cemetery, Susanville, California.

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William F. Englebright
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 1st congressional district

1911–1913
Succeeded by
William Kent
Preceded by
William Kent
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 2nd congressional district

1913–1926
Succeeded by
Harry Lane Englebright

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