Gilbert Hitchcock

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Gilbert Hitchcock
HITCHCOCK, G.M. HONORABLE LCCN2016857525 (cropped).jpg
Acting Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus
In office
November 12, 1919 – April 27, 1920
DeputyPeter G. Gerry
Preceded byThomas S. Martin
Succeeded byOscar Underwood (Senate Democratic Leader)
United States Senator
from Nebraska
In office
March 4, 1911 – March 3, 1923
Preceded byElmer Burkett
Succeeded byRobert B. Howell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1907 – March 3, 1911
Preceded byJohn L. Kennedy
Succeeded byCharles O. Lobeck
In office
March 4, 1903 – March 3, 1905
Preceded byDavid Henry Mercer
Succeeded byJohn L. Kennedy
Personal details
Gilbert Monell Hitchcock

(1859-09-18)September 18, 1859
Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.
DiedFebruary 3, 1934(1934-02-03) (aged 74)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park
Political partyDemocratic
Jessie Crounse
(m. 1883; her death 1925)

Martha Harris
(m. 1927; her death 1962)
RelativesLorenzo Crounse (Father-in-law)
EducationUniversity of Michigan, Ann Arbor (LLB)

Gilbert Monell Hitchcock (September 18, 1859 – February 3, 1934) was an American congressman and U.S. Senator from Nebraska, and the founder of the Omaha World-Herald newspaper.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Hitchcock was the son of U.S. Senator Phineas Warren Hitchcock of Nebraska. He attended the public schools of Omaha and the gymnasium at Baden-Baden, Germany. He graduated in 1881 from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where he was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity;[2] he was then admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Omaha in 1882. He continued the practice of law until 1885, when he established and edited the Omaha Evening World; four years later, he purchased the Nebraska Morning Herald and consolidated the two into the morning and evening editions of the Omaha World-Herald.[3]

In 1883 he married Jessie Crounse, the daughter of Nebraska Supreme Court justice and future governor Lorenzo Crounse.

In 1927 he married Martha Harris, of Memphis, TN.

His family had traditionally been Republicans, but Gilbert broke tradition and became a Democrat in response to agricultural issues and the leadership of fellow Nebraskan William Jennings Bryan.[4]

Hitchcock was an unsuccessful Democratic candidate for the Congress in 1898; four years later, he was elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-eighth Congress (March 4, 1903 – March 3, 1905). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1904 to the Fifty-ninth Congress. Hitchcock was elected as a Democrat to the Sixtieth and Sixty-first Congresses (March 4, 1907 – March 3, 1911).

He did not seek renomination in 1910, having become a candidate for the United States Senate. Hitchcock was elected as a Democrat to the Senate by the legislature on January 18, 1911; he was reelected (by direct election) in 1916 and served from March 4, 1911, to March 3, 1923. During his two terms, he was the chairman of the Committee on the Philippines (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), the Committee on Foreign Relations (a portion of the Sixty-fifth Congress), and the Committee on Forest Reservations and Game Protection (Sixty-sixth Congress). As Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, he was a leading advocate of the League of Nations [4] and the Treaty of Versailles.[5]

Hitchcock was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1922 and for election in 1930. After the end of his Senate service, he resumed newspaper work in Omaha. He retired from active business in 1933 and moved to Washington, D.C., where he died on February 3, 1934.[1] He was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Omaha. Gilbert M. Hitchcock Elementary School and Hitchcock Park in Omaha were named in his honor.[6]

The newspaper was then led by his son-in-law Henry Doorly, husband of Hitchcock's daughter Margaret.

Collections of Senator Hitchcock's papers are housed at the Library of Congress and Nebraska State Historical Society.[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Nebraska Democrat dies in Washington". Kentucky New Era. Hopkinsville. Associated Press. February 3, 1934. p. 1.
  2. ^ Baird, William Raymond (1915). Baird's Manual of American College Fraternities, pp.349-355
  3. ^ Walter, Katherine. "Early Nebraska Journalists". Nebraska Newspapers. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
  4. ^ a b "Biography: Gilbert Monell Hitchcock". Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  5. ^ "Hitchcock, Gilbert Monell". Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  6. ^ "Omaha Public Schools". Archived from the original on 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  7. ^ "Gilbert M. Hitchcock papers, 1910-1935". Library of Congress.
  8. ^ "Gilbert Monell Hitchcock, 1859-1934 [RG3640.AM]". History Nebraska.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ryley, Thomas W. Gilbert Hitchcock of Nebraska — Wilson's Floor Leader in the Fight for the Versailles Treaty. New York: The Edward *Mellen Press, 1998
  • Patterson, Robert. “Gilbert M. Hitchcock: A Story of Two Careers.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Colorado, 1940
  • Wimer, Kurt. “Senator Hitchcock and the League of Nations.” Nebraska History 44 (September 1963): 189-204.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
David Henry Mercer
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
John L. Kennedy
Preceded by
John L. Kennedy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nebraska's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Charles O. Lobeck
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Elmer Burkett
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Nebraska
Served alongside: Norris Brown, George W. Norris
Succeeded by
Robert B. Howell
Preceded by
Simon Guggenheim
Chair of the Senate Philippines Committee
Succeeded by
John F. Shafroth
Preceded by
William J. Stone
Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Succeeded by
Henry Cabot Lodge
Preceded by
George P. McLean
Chair of the Senate Forest Reservations Committee
Position abolished
Party political offices
First Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Nebraska
(Class 1)

1918, 1922
Succeeded by
Richard Lee Metcalfe
Preceded by
Thomas S. Martin
Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus

Succeeded by
Oscar Underwood
as Senate Democratic Leader
Preceded by
J. J. Thomas
Democratic nominee for
U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Nebraska

Succeeded by
Terry Carpenter