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Frederick Delbert Schwengel (May 28, 1906 - April 1, 1993) was a Republican U.S. Representative from southeastern Iowa.

Contents

Personal background

Born on a farm near Sheffield, Iowa, Schwengel attended the rural schools in West Fork Township and high schools in Chapin and Sheffield, Iowa. He graduated from Northeast Missouri Teachers College at Kirksville, Missouri in 1930, and attended graduate school at the University of Iowa in Iowa City from 1933 to 1935.

To this day, Truman State University displays a collection of Schwengel's personal collection of Abraham Lincoln historical artifacts that were donated by Schwengel's wife after his death in 1993.

Schwengel had founded the Capitol Historical Society in 1962, and continued to serve as its president after his defeat, until 1993. He also was a founder and president of the Republican Heritage Foundation.

He served as athletic coach and instructor of history and political science in public schools of Shelbina, Missouri and Kirksville, Missouri from 1930 to 1937. He engaged in the insurance business in Davenport, Iowa from 1937 to 1954.

He served in the Missouri National Guard from 1929 to 1936. File:Schwengel.jpg

State offices

Schwengel was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives in 1944, serving five consecutive terms, from 1945 to 1955. He also served as member of the Iowa Development Commission from 1949 to 1955.

Congress

In 1954, the Congressman in Schwengel's district (Iowa's 1st congressional district), Thomas E. Martin, ran for the U.S. Senate. Schwengel ran and won the Republican nomination for the seat,[1] and easily defeated John J. O'Connor in the general election. He successfully won re-election in the following four elections. However, in the 1964 Democratic landslide, Schwengel (like all but one of Iowa's Republican U.S. House members) was defeated. He lost to University of Iowa political science Professor John R. Schmidhauser by fewer than 4,000 votes. But Schmidhauser, like many members of the 1964 freshman class, served only one term; in 1966 Schwengel ran again for his former seat and defeated Schmidhauser by fewer than 5,000 votes, then defeated him again in 1968 by a wider margin.

In 1970 Schwengel narrowly defeated Iowa legislator Edward Mezvinsky by only 765 votes. Redistricting before the 1972 election shifted several Republican areas out of the 1st district, so when Mezvinsky ran against Schwengel a second time in 1972, he won with 53 percent of the vote. In all, Schwengel served eight terms in Congress.

After Congress

Schwengel had founded the Capitol Historical Society in 1962, and continued to serve as its president after his defeat, until 1993. He also was a founder and president of the Republican Heritage Foundation.

Schwengel died on April 1, 1993, in Arlington, Virginia. The Interstate 80 bridge crossing the Mississippi River near Davenport, Iowa is named in his honos.

References

  1. ^ "Schwengel is Winner in Close Race," Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, 1954-06-08 at 1.
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