Frank T. Hines
|United States Ambassador to Panama|
November 1, 1945 – February 20, 1948
|Preceded by||Avra Warren|
|Succeeded by||Monnett Davis|
|Administrator of Veterans Affairs|
July 21, 1930 – August 15, 1945
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Omar Bradley|
|Director of the Veterans Bureau|
March 2, 1923 – July 21, 1930
|Preceded by||Charles Forbes|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
April 11, 1879|
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
April 3, 1960 (aged 80)|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Education||Utah State University, Logan|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1898–1920|
World War I
Frank Thomas Hines (April 11, 1879 – April 3, 1960) was a United States military officer and head of the U.S. Veterans Bureau (later Veteran's Administration) from 1923 to 1945. Hines took over as head of the Veterans Bureau after a series of scandals discredited the agency. He was considered a "man of stern honesty." In response to the scandals, the field service was "centralized to establish strict controls and accountability." 
Hines was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, on April 11, 1879. He graduated from high school in Salt Lake City in 1896, and worked at the mines in Mercur. He studied engineering at the Utah State Agricultural College for two years before deciding on a military career.
He joined the Utah Light Artillery in 1898 and served in the United States military during the Spanish–American War, becoming a second lieutenant. He was a captain by World War I, was promoted three times in 1918, and as a brigadier general served as chief of the Embarkation Service with responsibility for transporting more than 2 million soldiers to Europe in 18 months and shipping them home in 8 months.
Hines served as the administrator of the Veterans Bureau from his appointment by President Harding in 1923 to 1930, then as the first administrator of its successor, the Veteran's Administration, from 1930 to 1945, when President Truman replaced him with Gen. Omar Bradley.
He opposed the payment of the Veterans Bonus to World War I veterans. On April 26, 1932, during the hearings on Payment of Adjusted-Compensation Certificates before the House Committee on Ways and Means he testified: that the trust fund had already been nearly exhausted by the previous year's act increasing the loan restriction on adjusted compensation accounts to 50%; that full payment now would cost the Government $1,600,000,000; and that in any case the accounts represented the only assets many veterans possessed, leaving nothing to families if the veteran should die. "We should make every possible effort to see that they get employment. There is no question about that. But whether we would be doing the veterans a real service by cashing in these certificates, even if we were in a position to do it, would seem to me very doubtful."
He then served as United States Ambassador to Panama and negotiated an agreement for the United States to lease bases there, where troops had been stationed during the war. The Panama Assembly rejected the agreement by a unanimous vote. Hines resigned in 1947, effective March 1, 1948, to become an executive with Acacia Life Insurance Company.
Personal life and family
On October 4, 1900, he married Nellie M. Vier. They had two children: Viera and Frank.
Death and legacy
Until shortly before his death he served as a director of Acacia Life. Hines died of pneumonia on April 3, 1960, in Mount Alto Veterans Hospital in Washington, D.C. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Awards and honors
Distinguished Service Medal citation
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Army Distinguished Service Medal to Brigadier General Frank T. Hines, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished services to the Government of the United States, in a duty of great responsibility during World War I, as Chief of Embarkation in organizing and administering the Embarkation Service.
General Orders: War Department, General Orders No. 144 (1918)
Dates of rank
|No pin insignia in 1898||Enlisted, Utah Light Artillery: 9 May 1898|
|No pin insignia in 1899||Second lieutenant, Utah Light Artillery: 23 March 1899|
|Mustered out of service: 16 August 1899|
|No pin insignia in 1901||Second lieutenant, United States Army: 1 July 1901|
|First lieutenant, United States Army: 17 December 1904|
|Captain, United States Army: 4 December 1908|
|Major, Temporary: 5 August 1917|
|Lieutenant colonel, National Army: 11 February 1918|
|Colonel, National Army: 22 March 1918|
|Brigadier general, National Army: 18 April 1918|
|Brigadier general, Regular Army: 7 January 1920|
Resigned on 31 August 1920.
|Brigadier general, Officers Reserve Corps: 7 September 1920|
|Brigadier general, Retired List: 31 May 1944|
- Kammerer, Gladys. 1948. "The Veterans Administration in Transition" Public Administration Review. Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 103-109.
- New York Times: "Brig Gen. Hines, Ex-V.A. Head Dies," April 5, 1960, accessed March 12, 2012
- New York Times: "Brig Gen. Hines, Ex-V.A. Head Dies," June 1, 1919, accessed March 12, 2012
- Davis, Jr., Henry Blaine (1998). Generals in Khaki. Raleigh, NC: Pentland Press, Inc. p. 180. ISBN 1571970886.
- New York Times: Frank T. Hines, "Transporting the American Army", June 8, 1945, accessed March 12, 2012
- Hearings on Payment of Adjusted-Compensation Certificates before the House Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, Seventy-Second Congress, First Session p. 553 HathiTrust Digital Library
- New York Times: "Envoy to Panama Quits; Truman Voices Regret", February 12, 1948, accessed March 12, 2012
- Robert C. Freeman, "Latter-day Saints in the World Wars", Out of Obscurity: The LDS Church in the Twentieth Century (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000), 111
- "Valor awards for Frank T. Hines".
- Official Register of Commissioned Officers of the United States Army. 1920. pg. 434.
- Brian Waddell, The War against the New Deal: World War II and American Democracy (Dekalb, 2001)
- Alan Brinkley, The End of Reform: New Deal Liberalism in Recession and War (NY: 1995)
- Frank T. Hines at Find a Grave
- Army Distinguished Service Medal citation for Hines
- History of the Veterans Administration
- The service of coast artillery by Frank Thomas Hines, Franklin Wilmer Ward
| Director of the Veterans Bureau
|New office|| Administrator of Veterans Affairs
| United States Ambassador to Panama