Albert B. Cummins


Albert B. Cummins

Albert Baird Cummins (February 15, 1850 - July 30, 1926) was a Republican Governor of Iowa and U.S. Senator.

Personal background

He was born in Greene County, Pennsylvania and lived in Pennsylvania until about 1869. As a young man, he lived in Iowa, Indiana and Illinois before finally settling in Iowa and practicing law. Cummins served a single term in the Iowa State Senate representing Des Moines, unsuccessfully pursued a seat in the U.S. Senate, and was active in the William McKinley campain in 1896.

1900 candidacies for U.S. Senate

In 1900, Cummins was passed over twice for the U.S. Senate. In early 1900, when the Iowa General Assembly exercised its former power to choose a U.S. Senator (for the Class 2 seat, to serve from 1901 to 1909), Cummins was the opponent of incumbent Republican John H. Gear, but withdrew when it appeared he lacked the votes to win. ["Our Des Moines Letter," Boyden Reporter, 1900-01-19 at 1.] After Gear suffered a fatal heart attack in July 1900, Governor Leslie M. Shaw rejected numerous appeals to appoint Cummins to the vacancy, and instead appointed Jonathan P. Dolliver."Dolliver is Appointed," Des Moines Daily News, 1900-08-23 at 8.] Cummins initially vowed to seek the seat again in the 1901 legislative session, but instead focused winning the 1901 election for Governor of Iowa.

Governor of Iowa

He served as Governor of Iowa between 1902 and 1908.

U.S. Senate

In 1908 he sought to be elected United States Senator in place of Senator William B. Allison but was unsuccessful in that effort. But after Senator Allison died on Aug. 4, 1908, the Iowa General Assembly in November, 1908, did elect Cummins to succeed Allison.

Cummins served as a United States Senator from Iowa for 18 years, from 1908 until his death. He served as President pro tempore of the U.S. Senate between 1919 and 1925. He also chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee. In June, 1926, he was defeated in his bid to be renominated in the Republican primary by Smith W. Brookhart, who had been ejected from the other Iowa Senate seat to which Brookhart had apparently been elected in 1924.

The month after his primary defeat, Cummins died in Des Moines, Iowa. He is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery there.

References


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