Joseph H. Bottum

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Joseph H. Bottum
United States Senator
from South Dakota
In office
July 9, 1962 – January 3, 1963
Appointed by Archie M. Gubbrud
Preceded by Francis H. Case
Succeeded by George McGovern
27th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
In office
Governor Archie M. Gubbrud
Preceded by John F. Lindley
Succeeded by Nils Boe
Personal details
Born Joseph Henry Bottum
(1903-08-07)August 7, 1903
Faulkton, South Dakota
Died July 4, 1984(1984-07-04) (aged 80)
Rapid City, South Dakota
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of South Dakota School of Law

Joseph Henry Bottum (August 7, 1903 – July 4, 1984) was an American politician. He served as the 27th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota and as a member of the United States Senate from South Dakota.

Early life[edit]

Bottum was born in Faulkton, South Dakota and was educated in the public schools of Faulkton. His paternal grandfather, Henry C. Bottum, had been a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly, his maternal grandfather, Darius S. Smith, had been a member of the South Dakota Senate and his father, Joseph H. Bottum, was also a member of the South Dakota Senate. He attended Yankton College and the University of South Dakota (1920–1921). He graduated from the law school of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion in 1927.[1] He was admitted to the bar in 1927 and commenced the practice of law in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1928.


Bottum became a state's attorney at Faulkton from 1932 to 1936. He was director of taxation for the State of South Dakota from 1937 to 1943. In 1942 Bottum was unsuccessful in seeking the Republican nomination for Governor and in 1950 he was unsuccessful in his attempt to gain the Republican nomination for Representative.

He became the 27th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota from 1961 to 1962, and was then appointed on July 9, 1962 as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Francis H. Case. He served until January 3, 1963. He was a candidate in 1962 for election to a full term in the Senate, but was defeated by the Democratic candidate, George McGovern, in an extremely close race (50.1%-49.9%).

Judicial service[edit]

The son of Joseph Henry Bottum Sr. (1853–1946), circuit judge in Faulkton, South Dakota, from 1911 to 1942,[2] Bottum followed his father onto the court, serving from 1965 to 1980 as a South Dakota circuit judge. Among the trials over which he presided was the controversial prosecution of the Native American activist Russell Means by state attorney general Bill Janklow.[3]

Death and legacy[edit]

Bottum was a resident of Rapid City, South Dakota until his death. He is interred at Pine Lawn Cemetery in Rapid City, South Dakota.


  1. ^ "BOTTUM, Joseph H., (1903 - 1984)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 3, 2012. 
  2. ^ Official Fifth Circuit list of Judges
  3. ^ Edward J. Reilly, Legends of American Indian Resistance, p. 290

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
John F. Lindley
Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
Succeeded by
Nils Boe
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Francis H. Case
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from South Dakota
Served alongside: Karl E. Mundt
Succeeded by
George McGovern