Weldon B. Heyburn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
for the actor, see Weldon Heyburn
Weldon B. Heyburn
United States Senator
from Idaho
In office
March 4, 1903 – October 17, 1912
Preceded by Henry Heitfeld
Succeeded by Kirtland I. Perky
Personal details
Born May 23, 1852
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania
Died October 17, 1912(1912-10-17) (aged 60)
Washington, D.C.
Resting place Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery
West Chester, Pennsylvania
39°54′23″N 75°35′39.1″W / 39.90639°N 75.594194°W / 39.90639; -75.594194 (Weldon B. Heyburn Burial Site)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Gheretein Yeatman [1][2]
Residence Wallace, Idaho
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
Profession Attorney

Weldon Brinton Heyburn (May 23, 1852 – October 17, 1912) was a U.S. Senator from Idaho from 1903 to 1912.

Early life[edit]

Born near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, Heyburn's parents were Quakers of English descent.[3] He attended the public schools there, and later Maplewood Institute, Concordville, Pennsylvania, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. His brother, William Heyburn (1861–1939), eventually moved west to Louisville, Kentucky, where he became a leading citizen and President of Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing Company.

Legal career[edit]

He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1876, when he commenced practice in Media. In 1883, he moved to the Silver Valley of Shoshone County in northern Idaho and continued the practice of law in Wallace. Heyburn was a member of the convention that framed the constitution of the State of Idaho in 1889.[2]

Political career[edit]

Heyburn was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for election in 1898 to the 56th Congress, losing to Silver Republican Edgar Wilson. In January 1903, Heyburn was elected by the Idaho Legislature to the United States Senate, defeating Boise attorney William Borah, who won the other Senate seat four years later. Others in the race were former Governor and Senator George L. Shoup, and Judge D.W. Standrod.[4][5][6] Heyburn was re-elected by the legislature January 1909, and served until his death in Washington, D.C. on October 17, 1912. In the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Manufactures (58th through 62nd Congresses). Heyburn had been in ill health for several months[1] and was interred in Birmingham Cemetery near West Chester, Pennsylvania,[7] west of Philadelphia. During his career, he opposed Gifford Pinchot's call for national forests because he didn't agree with the government controlling vast amounts of land in western states. He also fought Theodore Roosevelt on many of the Progressive Era ideas such as an 8 hour work day and child welfare laws.


Heyburn is best remembered for introducing the bill which became the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.[5][8]

In the state of Idaho, the city of Heyburn in Minidoka County is named for him, as well as Mount Heyburn, a jagged peak in the Sawtooth Mountains.[9] The mountain tops out at 10,299 feet (3,139 m) above sea level, and overlooks Redfish Lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, just south of Stanley in Custer County.


  1. ^ a b "Senator W.B. Heyburn dies after lingering illness". Spokesman-Review. October 18, 1912. p. 1. 
  2. ^ a b "Senator Heyburn dies". Milwaukee Journal. October 18, 1912. p. 2. 
  3. ^ "Heyburn passes away". St. Joseph Gazette. October 18, 1912. p. 2. 
  4. ^ "Caucus tonight on Senator". Spokesman-Review. January 7, 1903. p. 1. 
  5. ^ a b "Weldon Brinton Heyburn, 1852-1912, Papers, 1889-1911". University of Idaho Library. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ "How Heyburn got it". Spokesman-Review. January 17, 1903. p. 4. 
  7. ^ "Idaho important: death of Heyburn may have bearing on presidential election". Spokane Daily Chronicle. October 18, 1912. p. 3. 
  8. ^ "Heyburn a winner". Spokane Daily Chronicle. January 27, 1906. p. 15. 
  9. ^ "Mount Heyburn". Idaho Summits.com. Retrieved June 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]

United States Senate
Preceded by
Henry Heitfeld
U.S. Senator from Idaho
Succeeded by
Kirtland I. Perky