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Theodore Elijah Burton

Theodore Elijah Burton (December 20, 1851 – October 28, 1929) was a Republican politician from Ohio. He served in the United States House of Representatives and U.S. Senate.

Born in Jefferson, Ashtabula County, Ohio, Burton attended the public schools, Grand River Institute, Austinburg, Ohio, and Iowa College, Grinnell, Iowa. He graduated from Oberlin College in 1872 and commenced the practice of law in 1875, becoming a prominent attorney in Cleveland.

He was elected to the House of Representatives for the Fifty-first United States Congress in 1888 from the Ohio 21st District in Cleveland. but was defeated for re-election in 1890. He was not the Republican nominee in 1892, but was nominated again in 1894 and won election to the Fifty-fourth United States Congress. He was re-elected seven times, serving in the House until 1908.

He was noted for his work in preserving Niagara Falls and for opposing wasteful waterways projects. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him chairman of the Inland Waterways Commission in 1907 and the National Waterways Commission in 1909. He also sponsored the legislation authorizing construction of the Panama Canal.

He ooposed wasteful spending in general, and despite his background as a corporate lawyer, he resisted the influence of big business. In his first term he co-sponsored the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

After his re-election in 1908, he was elected to the Senate, and resigned his House seat. He served as Chairman of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors.

He did not seek a second Senate term. Instead he moved to New York City, and worked in banking for several years.

In 1916, he was considered a possible candidate for President, and received 77 1/2 votes on the first ballot (out of 987) at the Republican national convention.[1]

In 1920, he returned to Ohio and was again elected to the House, this time from the 22nd District (borders having changed in 1912). He was re-elected to the House in 1922, 1924, and 1926.

During his later House service, he was appointed by President Harding to the World War Debt Funding Commission in 1922; and was chairman of the United States delegation to the conference for the control of international traffic in arms at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1925.

As president of the American Peace Society, Burton hosted the First World Conference on International Justice in Cleveland in 1928, attended by 13,000, including world leaders.

In 1928, he did not seek re-election to the House. Instead he won a special election to the Senate for the unfinished term of Frank B. Willis, who had died on March 30. He served in the Senate from December 15, 1928 until his death on October 28, 1929. Black Tuesday was October 29, 1929.

From 1900 to 1912, Burton owned a country residence in Dover (now Westlake), Ohio, which had been built in 1838 by Thomas and Jane Hurst. The house was recorded in the Historic American Buildings Survey in 1936 and commemorated by an Ohio Historical Marker in 2002.

References

  1. ^ Congressional Quarterly's Guide to U.S. Elections, 2nd edition, p. 191
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Charles Horace Mayo
Cover of Time Magazine
29 June 1925
Succeeded by
Charlie Chaplin
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Martin A. Foran
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 21st congressional district

1889-1891
Succeeded by
Tom L. Johnson
Preceded by
Tom L. Johnson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 21st congressional district

1895-1909
Succeeded by
James H. Cassidy
Preceded by
Henry I. Emerson
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 22nd congressional district

1921-1928
Succeeded by
Chester C. Bolton
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