Irvine Lenroot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Irvine Lenroot
Associate Judge of the United States Court of Customs Appeals
In office
May 17, 1929 – April 30, 1944
Appointed by Herbert Hoover
Preceded by Orion Barber
Succeeded by Ambrose O'Connell
United States Senator
from Wisconsin
In office
April 18, 1918 – March 3, 1927
Preceded by Paul Husting
Succeeded by John Blaine
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1909 – April 17, 1918
Preceded by John Jenkins
Succeeded by Adolphus Nelson
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
In office
Personal details
Born (1869-01-31)January 31, 1869
Superior, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died January 26, 1949(1949-01-26) (aged 79)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Clara Clough
Alma mater Parsons Business College
Religion Congregationalism

Irvine Luther Lenroot (January 31, 1869 – January 26, 1949) was a Republican politician from Wisconsin who served in the House of Representatives from 1909 to 1918 and in the United States Senate from 1918 to 1927.

He was also Warren G. Harding's personal preference for Vice President of the United States in 1920, but the delegates chose instead to nominate Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge.

After leaving the Senate, Lenroot served for 15 years as a judge on the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals.

Early life and career[edit]

Lenroot was born in Superior, Wisconsin in 1869. He was educated in the local schools, and worked at a variety of occupations, including logger. From 1887 to 1889 he attended Parsons Business College in Duluth, Minnesota. After graduation, he became a stenographer in a Superior law office, and began to study law. From 1893 to 1896 he was the court reporter for the Superior Court of Douglas County. He attained admission to the bar in 1897, and began practicing in 1898. He served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1901 to 1907, and as Speaker of the Assembly from 1903 to 1907. Lenroot was elected as a Republican to the 61st Congress representing the 11th district. He was subsequently reelected to the four succeeding Congresses. He served from 1909 to 1918, when he resigned after being elected to the U.S. Senate in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Paul O. Husting the previous year.[1][2]

1920 Republican Convention[edit]

Senator Lenroot attended the 1920 Republican National Convention at the Chicago Coliseum, and after the selection of Harding as the GOP nominee for president, GOP leaders decided that the progressive Lenroot would be a balance to a ticket with the more conservative Harding. By Saturday night, June 12, many of the delegates had gone home, along with most of the party bosses. After Lenroot's name had been placed in nomination and seconded, but before a vote could be taken, an Oregon delegate, Wallace McCamant,[3] nominated Coolidge for vice president.[4] Unfettered by party bosses, the delegates weighed in for Coolidge, who received 674 votes to Lenroot's 146 and won on the first ballot.


He was re-elected in 1920, in the most competitive race for a Republican senator in the nation, receiving 41.6% of the vote in a competition with strong independent, Democratic, and Socialist candidates. Independent James Thompson came in second place with 34.7%. Lenroot ran again in 1926, but lost the Republican primary to John J. Blaine.

He was appointed a judge of the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals by President Herbert Hoover in 1929, and served there until his retirement in 1944. He married Clara Clough, of Superior, Wisconsin, who wrote a short memoir of her girlhood in Wisconsin in the 1860s and 1870s.[5] His daughter, Katharine Lenroot, was known for successfully lobbying for the Fair Labor Standards Act, and in regulating enforcement of child labor laws.[6]

Lenroot died in Washington on January 26, 1949, five days short of his 80th birthday and was buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Superior, Wisconsin. The Associated Press report of his death began, "Former Senator Irvine L. Lenroot of Wisconsin, the man who might have been the 30th President of the United States, died Wednesday night."[7]


  1. ^ "Wisconsin History". Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Lawrence Kestenbaum. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Lenagh to Leonad". Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Sol Barzman, Madmen and Geniuses: The Vice-Presidents of the United States, pp198-199 (Follett Publishing, 1974)
  5. ^ Long, Long Ago by Clara C. Lenroot, 1929,
  6. ^ Current Biography 1940
  7. ^ "Irvine Lenroot, Ex-Senator, Dies", Charleston(W.Va.) Daily Mail, January 27, 1949, p5

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Jenkins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
Adolphus Nelson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Francis McGovern
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
(Class 3)

1918, 1920
Succeeded by
John Blaine
United States Senate
Preceded by
Paul Husting
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Wisconsin
Served alongside: Bob La Follette (I), Bob La Follette (II)
Succeeded by
John Blaine
Preceded by
Peter Gerry
Chairperson of the Senate Railroads Committee
Position abolished
Legal offices
Preceded by
Orion Barber
Associate Judge of the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
Succeeded by
Ambrose O'Connell