Charles W. Waterman

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Charles Winfield Waterman
Charles Winfield Waterman.jpg
United States Senator
from Colorado
In office
March 4, 1927 – August 27, 1932
Preceded by Rice W. Means
Succeeded by Walter Walker
Personal details
Born (1861-11-02)November 2, 1861
Waitsfield, Vermont
Died August 27, 1932(1932-08-27) (aged 70)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Anna R. Cook (1865-1939) (m. 1890)
Alma mater University of Vermont
University of Michigan Law School
Profession Attorney

Charles Winfield Waterman (November 2, 1861 – August 27, 1932) was a United States Senator from Colorado.

Early life[edit]

Waterman was born in Waitsfield, Washington County, Vermont on November 2, 1861, the son of John Waterman and Mary (Leach) Waterman.[1][2] He worked on his family's farm, attended the rural schools, and graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy.[3] He graduated from the University of Vermont at Burlington in 1885,[1] and was a school teacher and principal in Mooers, New York, Groton, Connecticut and Fort Dodge, Iowa from 1885 to 1888.[3]

Legal career[edit]

Charles W. Waterman, Denver attorney (1911).

Waterman graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1889,[1] was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in the Denver office of Republican politician John F. Shafroth.[2] He later practiced as the partner of Edward O. Wolcott, and then as the principal of his own firm.[2] Waterman was a successful corporation lawyer, and his clients included the Great Western Sugar Company, Great Western Railway of Colorado, Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad, and New York Life Insurance Company.[1]

Political career[edit]

He was also active in Republican politics, and was a delegate to the 1916 Republican National Convention.[4] In 1918 he was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator;[5] he lost to Lawrence C. Phipps,[6] who went on to defeat John F. Shafroth (now a Democrat) in the general election.[7]

Waterman was a member of the University of Vermont board of trustees from 1921 to 1925;[8] in 1922, he received the honorary degree of LL.D. from UVM.[9]

In 1923 and 1924, Waterman was active in the effort to elect Calvin Coolidge to a full term as president, and managed his campaign in Colorado;[10] Coolidge rewarded Waterman with appointment as general counsel for the federal Oil Conservation Board.[11] In addition, he was a delegate to the 1924 Republican National Convention.[12]

In 1924, Waterman was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the death of Samuel D. Nicholson.[13] He lost to Rice W. Means, a candidate supported by the Ku Klux Klan;[14] Means went on to win the general election for the remainder of Nicholson's term, defeating John Shafroth's son Morrison Shafroth.[15]

Waterman ran again in 1926, and defeated Means for the Republican nomination.[16] He then defeated Democrat William Ellery Sweet in the general election.[17] He served in the Senate from March 4, 1927 until his death.[18] During his Senate term, Waterman was chairman of the Committee on Patents and the Committee on Enrolled Bills (Seventy-second Congress).[18]


Bequests from the estate of Charles Waterman and his wife included the creation of a charitable trust to benefit Colorado attorneys who face financial burdens because of age or illness.[19] In addition, the Watermans donated funds to the University of Vermont for the design and construction of the Charles Winfield Waterman and Anna R. Waterman Memorial Building.[8] The Waterman building has been used for several purposes since it opened in 1941, and in recent years has been the location of admissions other administrative offices.[8]

Death and burial[edit]

Frontispiece of 1933's Charles W. Waterman, Late a Senator from Colorado.

Waterman became ill in 1932 and announced that he would not be a candidate for reelection.[20] He died at the Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. on August 27, 1932.[21][20] His remains were cremated and interred at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.[20][22]


On June 18, 1890, Waterman married Anna Rankin Cook (1865-1939) of Burlington, Vermont.[2][20]

See also[edit]






External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Rice W. Means
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Colorado
Succeeded by
Walter Walker