William Wirt Hastings

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William Wirt Hastings
Benigno C. Hernández 1920 crop.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oklahoma's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1915 – March 3, 1921
Preceded by Dick T. Morgan
Succeeded by Alice Robertson
In office
March 4, 1923 – January 3, 1935
Preceded by Alice Robertson
Succeeded by John C. Nichols
Personal details
Born December 31, 1866 (1866-12-31)
Benton County, Arkansas
Died April 8, 1938 (1938-04-09) (aged 71)
Muskogee, Oklahoma

 United States

Cherokee Nation
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lula Mayfield Starr

Grace Hastings Lucile Ahnawake Hastings

Mayme Starr Hastings

Lillian Adair Hastings
Alma mater

Cherokee Male Seminary

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee



William Wirt Hastings (December 31, 1866 – April 8, 1938) was an American politician and a U.S. Representative from Oklahoma.


Born on a farm in Benton County, Arkansas, near the Indian Territory boundary, Hastings was the son of William Archibald "Yell" and Louisa J. Stover Hastings, and moved with his parents to a farm at Beatties Prairie, Delaware County (then part of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory), Oklahoma, and attended the Cherokee tribal school. He graduated from Cherokee Male Seminary, at Tahlequah, in 1884. He was married to Lula Mayfield Starr on December 9, 1896, and they had four children, Grace, Lucile, Mayme, and Lillian.[1]


Hastings was a teacher in the Cherokee tribal schools from 1884 to 1886. He graduated from the law department of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, in 1889. Admitted to the bar in the same year he began his practice in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He was again a teacher in the tribal schools from 1889 to 1891. He served as Attorney general for the Cherokee Nation from 1891 to 1895, and as National attorney for the Cherokee tribe from 1907 to 1914. He served as delegate to the Democratic State convention in 1912, as well as delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1912.[2]

Elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-fourth, Sixty-fifth, and Sixty-sixth Congresses, Hastings served from March 4, 1915 to March 3, 1921.[3] During that time, he served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department of the Interior (Sixty-fifth Congress). He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1920 to the Sixty-seventh Congress, losing to Republican Alice Mary Robertson. This was the first time in history that an incumbent U.S. Congressman was defeated by a female candidate.

Hastings was elected to the Sixty-eighth and to the five succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1923 to January 3, 1935.[4] Not a candidate for renomination in 1934, he resumed practicing law in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Through his efforts, Tahlequah had received an Indian hospital as a Christmas present in 1935. Hastings returned to public life briefly when he was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a Cherokee Chief for one day to sign a new deed when an error was found in the old abstract.[5]


Hastings died on April 8, 1938 (age 71 years, 98 days), in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He is interred in City Cemetery, Tahlequah, Oklahoma.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "William Wirt Hastings". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "William Wirt Hastings". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "William Wirt Hastings". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "William Wirt Hastings". Govtrack US Congress. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "William Wirt Hastings". RootsWeb Ancestry.com. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "William Wirt Hastings". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dick T. Morgan
United States Representative for the 2nd Congressional District of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
Alice M. Robertson
Preceded by
Alice M. Robertson
United States Representative for the 2nd Congressional District of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
John C. Nichols