William N. Doak

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William Doak
3rd United States Secretary of Labor
In office
December 9, 1930 – March 4, 1933
PresidentHerbert Hoover
Preceded byJames J. Davis
Succeeded byFrances Perkins
Personal details
Born(1882-12-12)December 12, 1882
Rural Retreat, Virginia, U.S.
DiedOctober 23, 1933(1933-10-23) (aged 50)
McLean, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseEmma Cricher

William Nuckles Doak (December 12, 1882 – October 23, 1933) was an American labor leader. He was the Vice-President of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and served as Secretary of Labor. He died of cardiovascular disease in McLean, Virginia six months after retiring.


Early life[edit]

Doak was born in Rural Retreat, Virginia, on December 12, 1882, the son of Elizabeth (née Dutton) and Canaro Draton Doak. He attended from Virginia public and business, and was a Methodist.[clarification needed] Doak married Emma Maria Cricher, on October 15, 1908. Doak served as the Vice-President of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen from 1916 to 1928.

Department of Labor[edit]

On December 9, 1930, Doak was appointed by President Hoover to serve as Secretary of Labor, succeeding Senator James J. Davis.[1] He encouraged the passing of the Davis-Bacon Act, which determined the prevailing wage to be paid on a government contract or federally funded construction project.

Mexican repatriation[edit]

After President Herbert Hoover appointed Doak as secretary of labor, the Bureau of Immigration launched intensive raids to identify immigrants liable for deportation. Doak believed that removal of undocumented workers would reduce relief expenditures and free jobs for native-born citizens during the Great Depression.[2] Though there is no evidence that Doak made any effort to single out any specific ethnic group, this resulted in the targeting of the Mexican community.[3]

In 1931, the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, (the Wickersham Commission) found the methods employed by Doak's underlings to be unconstitutional.[4]

Doak retired at the end of President Hoover's administration on March 4, 1933. He died of cardiovascular disease in McLean, Virginia, on October 23, 1933. He is interred in Blacklick, Virginia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Americans Peoples Encyclopedia. 1955.
  2. ^ "Digital History".
  3. ^ "Mexican Repatriation: History". Archived from the original on 2015-03-13. Retrieved 2014-09-26.
  4. ^ "Immigrants: The Last Time America Sent Her Own Packing". 27 July 2006.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Virginia
(Class 2)

Title next held by
George Rohken
Political offices
Preceded by United States Secretary of Labor
Succeeded by