Edwin F. Sweet

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Edwin Forrest Sweet (November 21, 1847 – April 2, 1935) was a politician from the U.S. state of Michigan.

Sweet was born in Dansville, New York and attended the common schools and Dansville Seminary. He graduated from the literary department of Yale College in 1871, where he was a member of Skull and Bones.[1]:15 After graduation, Sweet engaged in a tour of Europe and the Holy Land. Departing from New York city October 9, 1871, he went to Liverpool, Wales, London, Paris, Marseilles, Rome, Naples, and Brindisi. He then sailed to Alexandria, Egypt, went up the River Nile to the first Cataract, and then spent a month in Palestine. On his return, he passed through Syria, Constantinople, Athens, Venice, Switzerland, Austria, Prussia, Sweden, and Scotland. He returned to New York City one year to the day after his departure. In January 1873, he entered the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and graduated in 1874. He was admitted to the bar in 1874 and was employed as a clerk in the law firm of Hughes, O'Brien & Smiley in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In April 1876, he formed the law firm of Stuart & Sweet. Sweet was a member of the board of education from 1899 to 1906. He served as Mayor of Grand Rapids from 1904 to 1906.

Sweet defeated incumbent Republican U.S. Representative Gerrit J. Diekema, to be elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 5th congressional district to the 62nd United States Congress, serving from March 4, 1911 to March 3, 1913. In 1912, he lost in the general election to Republican Carl E. Mapes.

In 1913, Sweet was appointed by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce, where he served until 1921. In 1916 he was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Michigan, losing to Albert Sleeper. He was member of the board of education of Grand Rapids from 1923 to 1926 and a member of the city commission from 1926 to 1928. At some point, he operated a grain and stock ranch in North Dakota.

Edwin F. Sweet resided in Grand Rapids until 1928 when he retired and moved to Ojai, California where he died. He is interred in Oakhill Cemetery, Grand Rapids.


  1. ^ "Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University Deceased during the Year 1934-1935" (PDF). Yale University. October 15, 1935. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 

Edwin F. Sweet was a brother of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Phi chapter).

Political offices
Preceded by
W. Millard Palmer
Mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Succeeded by
George E. Ellis
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gerrit J. Diekema
United States Representative for the 5th Congressional District of Michigan
1911 – 1913
Succeeded by
Carl Mapes