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John W. Weeks: Wikis


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John Wingate Weeks

In office
March 5, 1921 – October 13, 1925
Preceded by Newton D. Baker
Succeeded by Dwight F. Davis

In office
March 4, 1913 – March 3, 1919
Preceded by Winthrop M. Crane
Succeeded by David I. Walsh

In office
March 4, 1905 – March 3, 1913
Preceded by Samuel L. Powers
Succeeded by James M. Curley

In office
March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1913
Preceded by William S. Greene
Succeeded by John J. Mitchell

Born April 11, 1860
299 Elm Street, Lancaster, New Hampshire
Died July 12, 1926
Lancaster, New Hampshire
Political party Republican
Alma mater United States Naval Academy
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1881-1883

John Wingate Weeks (April 11, 1860 – July 12, 1926) was an American politician in the Republican Party. He served as a United States Representative for Massachusetts from 1905 to 1913, as a United States Senator from 1913 to 1919, and as Secretary of War from 1921 to 1925.


Life and career

Weeks was born and raised in Lancaster, New Hampshire. He received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1881, and served two years in the United States Navy.

Former Washington, D.C. residence of John W. Weeks

Weeks made a fortune in banking during the 1890s, after co-founding the Boston financial firm Hornblower & Weeks in 1888. With his financial well-being assured, Weeks became active in politics, first at a local level in his then-home of Newton, Massachusetts (he served as alderman in 1899–1902 and as mayor in 1903–04), then on the national scene.

As a member of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate, Weeks was notable mostly for his contributions to banking and conservation legislation, including the Weeks Act in 1911 that created the foundation for the United States National Forest system.

Despite his defeat for re-election to the Senate in 1918, Weeks remained an active and influential participant in the national Republican Party. He was an early supporter of the nomination of Warren G. Harding for President in 1920, and when Harding became President, he named Weeks to his cabinet.

John W. Weeks c.1908

As Secretary of War, Weeks was a competent, honest, and respected administrator and adviser, who guided the Department of War through its post-World War I downsizing. Weeks' hard work and long hours led to a stroke in April 1925, which led in turn to his resignation as Secretary in October of that year.

Weeks died several months later, at his summer home on Mount Prospect in Lancaster, New Hampshire. That building is now open for tours as part of the Weeks State Park. A nearby mountain was named Mount Weeks in his honor.

Weeks' son, Charles Sinclair Weeks, was Secretary of Commerce during the Eisenhower administration.

Weeks' cousin, Edgar Weeks, was a U.S. Representative from Michigan. His granduncle, also named John Wingate Weeks (1781–1853), was a Major in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812 and a U.S. Representative from New Hampshire.


The John W. Weeks Bridge, a footbridge over the Charles River on the campus of Harvard University in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, was named for Weeks and opened in 1927.

The John Wingate Weeks Junior High School built in 1930 in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, was named for him.

During World War II, the U.S. Navy destroyer escort USS Weeks (DE-285) was named for Weeks. Her construction was cancelled in 1944.

The destroyer USS John W. Weeks (D-701) then was named for Weeks. She was in commission from 1944 to 1970.

The investment banking and brokerage firm Hornblower and Weeks, founded in 1888, was named for Weeks and co-founder Henry Hornblower.

See also

  • Template:The local Farmhouse where John W. Weeks was born, 299 Elm Street, Lancaster


  • Garraty, John A. and Carnes, Mark C.: American National Biography, vol. 22, "Weeks, John Wingate". New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Samuel L. Powers
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 12th congressional district

1905 – March 4, 1913
Succeeded by
James Michael Curley
Preceded by
William S. Greene
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 13th congressional district

March 4, 1913 – March 4, 1913 (one day)
Succeeded by
John J. Mitchell
United States Senate
Preceded by
Winthrop M. Crane
United States Senator (Class 2) from Massachusetts
March 4, 1913 – 1919
Served alongside: Henry Cabot Lodge
Succeeded by
David I. Walsh
Political offices
Preceded by
Newton D. Baker
United States Secretary of War
March 5, 1921 – October 13, 1925
Succeeded by
Dwight F. Davis
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Frank O. Lowden
Cover of Time Magazine
October 22, 1923
Succeeded by
Roy Chapman Andrews


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