Porter J. McCumber

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Porter James McCumber
Porter James McCumber.jpg
United States Senator
from North Dakota
In office
March 4, 1899 – March 4, 1923
Preceded by William N. Roach
Succeeded by Lynn Frazier
Personal details
Born (1858-02-03)February 3, 1858
Crete, Illinois
Died May 18, 1933(1933-05-18) (aged 75)
Washington, D.C.
Political party Republican
Alma mater University of Michigan Law School

Porter James McCumber (February 3, 1858 – May 18, 1933) was a United States Senator from North Dakota.


Born in Crete, Illinois, he moved with his parents to Rochester, Minnesota the same year. He attended the common schools and taught school for a few years, and graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1880. He was admitted to the bar and commenced practice at Wahpeton, Dakota Territory in 1881. He was a member of the Territorial House of Representatives in 1885 and a member of the Territorial Senate in 1887. He served as State's attorney of Richland County from 1889 to 1891 and was elected as a Republican to the U.S. Senate in 1899. McCumber won reelection in 1905, 1911, and 1916 and served from March 4, 1899, to March 4, 1923; he was an unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1922. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Manufactures (Fifty-seventh Congress) and a member of the Committee on Pensions (Fifty-eighth through Sixty-second and Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Congresses), the Committee on Indian Affairs (Fifty-ninth Congress), the Committee on Transportation Routes to the Seaboard (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), and the Committee on Finance (Sixty-seventh Congress). One of his main legislative accomplishments was the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act of 1922.

In his position on the Pension Committee he was part of the interrogation of Colonel W.S. Metcalfe regarding alleged shooting of unarmed prisoners during the Philippine–American War, at the Battle of Caloocan on February 10, 1899. Brigadier General Frederick Funston was accused of interfering with an investigation into the alleged shooting. Metcalfe denied the charges.[1]

McCumber resumed the practice of law in Washington, D.C. and was appointed by President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 as a member of the International Joint Commission to pass upon all cases involving the use of the boundary waters between the United States and Canada, in which capacity he served until his death in Washington, D.C. in 1933. His first interment was in Abbey Mausoleum, adjoining Arlington National Cemetery; the remains were removed and reinterred at Columbia Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.


In his youth, McCumber reportedly worked as a grain stacker on the farm of George Worner near Great Bend. Worner was one of the town founder's and served in county government as well as the North Dakota House of Representatives.[2]


  1. ^ Hearings Before the Committee on the Philippines of the United States Senate in Relation to Affairs in the Philippine Islands, January 31-June 28, 1902, Volume 2, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1902, from books.google.com retr 2013 7 6
  2. ^ A History of Richland County. Wahpeton, ND: Richland County Historical Society. 1977. p. 295 & 298. OCLC 3273577. 

External links[edit]

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
William N. Roach
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from North Dakota
1899 – 1923
Served alongside: Henry C. Hansbrough, Martin N. Johnson, Fountain L. Thompson, William E. Purcell, Asle Gronna, Edwin F. Ladd
Succeeded by
Lynn Frazier
Political offices
Preceded by
Boies Penrose
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
1922 – 1923
Succeeded by
Reed Smoot