Thomas D. Schall

Thomas D. Schall

Infobox Senator
name=Thomas David Schall

jr/sr and state=U.S. Senator from Minnesota
term=March 4, 1925 to December 22, 1935
preceded=Magnus Johnson
succeeded=Elmer Austin Benson
date of birth=birth date|1878|6|4|mf=y
place of birth=Reed City, Michigan
date of death=death date and age|1935|12|22|1878|6|4|mf=y
place of death=Washington, D.C.

Thomas David Schall (June 4, 1878 – December 22, 1935) was a United States politician. He served in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate from Minnesota. He was initially elected as a Progressive but later joined the Republican.

He was born in Reed City, Michigan and moved with his family in 1884 to Campbell, Minnesota. He attended Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota and graduated from the Minnesota School of Law in 1904. He was blinded in an electrical shock from a cigar lighter in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1907.

He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1914 and served from March 4, 1915 to March 3, 1925 in the 64th, 65th, 66th, 67th, and 68th congresses. Schall was legally blind and was granted, by House vote, a full-time page to assist him with his work. ["Thanked by Blind Member," New York Times, Jan. 29 1916. [ Link to .pdf text] ]

After losing the Republican primary for a special election to the Senate in 1923, Schall was elected to the Senate in 1924, defeating Magnus Johnson with 46% of the vote, and served from March 4, 1925 until his death, in the 69th, 70th, 71st, 72nd, and 73rd congresses. He had a tough reelection campaign in 1930, facing strong candidates from both the Democratic and Farmer Labor Parties, and eventually won with 37% of the vote.

Schall was struck by a hit and run driver while walking across the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Cottage City, Maryland, on December 19, 1935. He died in Washington three days later, becoming one of few United States Senators or Congressmen in history to die in office in a road accident. He is buried at Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis.


George Daniel Harden, "The Career of Thomas Schall of Minnesota," unpublished M.S. thesis, Winona State University, Winona, Minn., 1968.

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