John F. Shafroth
John Franklin Shafroth
|United States Senator
March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1919
|Preceded by||Simon Guggenheim|
|Succeeded by||Lawrence C. Phipps|
|18th Governor of Colorado|
January 12, 1909 – January 14, 1913
|Lieutenant||Stephen R. Fitzgarrald|
|Preceded by||Henry A. Buchtel|
|Succeeded by||Elias M. Ammons|
|Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 1st district
March 4, 1895 – February 15, 1904
|Preceded by||Lafe Pence|
|Succeeded by||Robert W. Bonynge|
June 9, 1854|
|Died||February 20, 1922
|Political party||Republican (1895-1897)
Silver Republican (1897-1903)
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
Born in Fayette, Missouri, he attended the common schools and graduated from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1875. He studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1876 and commenced practice in Fayette. He moved to Denver, Colorado in 1879 and continued the practice of law.
He was city attorney from 1887 to 1891 and was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth Congress as a Representative. He then joined other Colorado officials such as Senator Henry M. Teller, splitting from the Republicans to join the Silver Republican third party, on whose ticket he was reelected to the Fifty-fifth, Fifty-sixth, and Fifty-seventh Congresses. To the Fifty-eighth Congress, he presented credentials as a Democratic Member-elect. Thus, he served in the U.S. House from March 4, 1895, until his resignation on February 15, 1904, when he declared that, due to fraud in 29 electoral precincts, he was unable to legitimately assert that he had won the election, and requested that his opponent, Robert W. Bonynge, replace him. Subsequently, Shafroth was often referred to (sometimes admiringly, sometimes sarcastically) as "Honest John."
Shafroth was Governor of Colorado from 1909 to 1913, and was instrumental in bringing in Colorado's ballot initiative institutions. In 1912, he was elected as a Democrat to the U.S. Senate, where he served one term from March 4, 1913, to March 3, 1919; he was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1918. While a Senator, Shafroth was chairman of the Committee on Pacific Islands and Puerto Rico (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), the leading Senate sponsor of the Jones-Shafroth Act of 1917 which granted citizenship to Puerto Ricans, and a member of the Committee on the Philippines (Sixty-fifth Congress).
Later life and death
After leaving the Senate, he served as chairman of the War Minerals Relief Commission from 1919 to 1921.
John F. Shafroth died in 1922 and was interred in Fairmount Cemetery in Denver. His personal and official papers are archived at several locations including the Colorado State Archives (gubernatorial papers), the Colorado Historical Society Library, and the Denver Public Library's Western History and Genealogy Department.
- Hagerman, Frank (July 2004). "John Franklin Shafroth". The Colorado Lawyer 33 (7): 15. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- Very Honest Man Astounds Lower House of Congress, in The Tacoma Times (via Chronicling America); published February 15, 1904; retrieved 2015-01-03.
- Leonard, Stephen J.; Noel, Thomas J.; Walker, Donald L., Jr. (2003). Honest John Shafroth: A Colorado Reformer. University Press of Colorado. ISBN 978-0-942576-07-8.
- Governor John F. Shafroth Collection at the Colorado State Archives
- John F. Shafroth at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- John F. Shafroth at Find a Grave
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Colorado's 1st congressional district
Robert W. Bonynge
Henry Augustus Buchtel
Elias Milton Ammons
|United States Senate|
|U.S. Senator (Class 2) from Colorado
Served alongside: Charles S. Thomas
Lawrence C. Phipps