William A. Ekwall
|William Alexander Ekwall|
|Judge of the United States Customs Court|
February 9, 1942 – October 16, 1956
|Appointed by||Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Preceded by||Walter Howard Evans|
|Succeeded by||Scovel Richardson|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 3rd district
January 3, 1935 – January 3, 1937
|Preceded by||Charles H. Martin|
|Succeeded by||Nan Wood Honeyman|
June 14, 1887|
|Died||October 16, 1956
|Alma mater||University of Oregon School of Law LL.B.|
Born in Ludington, Michigan to Alexander and Emilie Ekwall, Ekwall moved to Klamathon, California with his parents in 1893. In 1902, the town of Klamathon was destroyed in a massive fire, and the Ekwalls eventually made their way to Portland, Oregon in 1906.
He attended the public schools and then the University of Oregon School of Law, then located in Portland, graduating in 1912. He was admitted to the bar the same year and commenced practice in Portland in the firm Senn, Ekwall, and Recken. During World War I, Ekwall served in the United States Army as a private in the Infantry, attending the Central Officers Training School in 1918. After his Army service, he worked in Portland as a municipal judge from 1922 through 1927, and as judge of the circuit court, fourth judicial district (Multnomah County), department 8 until 1935.
In 1934, Democrat Charles H. Martin, the incumbent U. S. Representative for Oregon's 3rd congressional district in Portland, announced that he would run for Governor of Oregon. Ekwall ran for Martin's congressional seat as a Republican, winning the May primary election and facing Walter B. Gleason, who two years earlier, had lost the 1932 U.S. Senate election to Frederick Steiwer. With several third-party candidates in the race, Ekwall earned a narrow 41%–38% plurality over Gleason and a seat in the 74th United States Congress.
Ekwall sought re-election in 1936. He was challenged by Nan Wood Honeyman, a Portland community activist and family friend of President and Mrs. Roosevelt. Honeyman's aggressive door-to-door campaign, coupled with Roosevelt's landslide re-election, helped her defeat Ekwall, earning 51% of the vote to Ekwall's 33%. Following his loss, Ekwall returned to his Portland law practice, serving as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1940.
Federal Judicial Service
On January 19, 1942, President Roosevelt nominated Ekwall to serve as a Judge for the United States Customs Court, to the seat vacated by Judge Walter Howard Evans. He was confirmed by the Senate on February 9, 1942 and received his commission on February 13, 1942. He served upon the court until his death and was succeeded by Judge Scovel Richardson.
- "Appointed by Roosevelt". New York Times. October 18, 1956. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "Ekwall, William Alexander". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
- "Lost Cities: Klamathon". SiskiyouHistory.org. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- Wharton, Wallace S (May 27, 1934). "Radicals defeated in Oregon primary". New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 6, 1934". United States House of Representatives. p. 26. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- Krock, Arthur (November 18, 1936). "In Washington; Identifying Some Prominent Casualties of Nov. 3". New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- Krock, Arthur (July 17, 1935). "In Washington; Activities of Congress Likened to a Broadway Burlesque". New York Times. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "Epithets of 'Jackass' and 'Fool' Stir House; Leaders Condemn 'Increasing Disorder'". New York Times. March 12, 1936. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "Nan Wood Honeyman". Women in Congress. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1936". United States House of Representatives. p. 26. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- Biographical Directory of Federal Judges
- "William A. Ekwall, Customs Judge, 69". New York Times. October 18, 1956.
- Board of General Appraisers & U.S. Customs Court. Federal Judicial Center